My Morning As a Clinic Escort


Back in April, I went to the Planned Parenthood in St. Paul, Minnesota to cover the Good Friday protest and counter-protest events that happens every year.  While talking with some of the women touting signs in support of the clinic, I joked, “You know, if I ever get pregnant again, I’m totally going to try out clinic escorting while I’m huge.”

Little did I know I was actually pregnant when I said that, and now, almost six months later, I felt like it was time to follow through on my promise.

This Saturday morning I sneaked quietly out of the house to head downtown to the Midwest Women’s Clinic, to sit in on a clinic escort training session and test the waters a bit on escorting.  I found that much of what I assumed about both escorting and the protesters I would encounter was quite different from what I saw in real life.

We met in a conference room in a non-descript building off of Nicollet Mall.  And by non-descript, I mean that I missed it the first time and had to go back through my emails to get directions.  There is no identifying marks on the front, no signage, no names.  Unlike other clinics, where the escorts tend to have to provide more of a buffer for their clients, here we acted more as signage for the clinic, letting the women with appointments know exactly where they are supposed to be.

There are reasons that Midwest doesn’t get the attention that many other clinics in the area receive from anti-choice protesters.  And frankly, one of those reasons is that the people who want to “sidewalk counsel” simply don’t want to pay for parking. 

It’s really not surprising.  The main “sidewalk counselor” who shows daily at the clinic is paid for his efforts, as is one of the semi-regular protesters.  It never occurred to me that clinic protesters might be paid for their work, in comparison to the escorts who volunteer their time to take the women past their pleas and jeers.

A majority of our training consisted of us being shown anti-choice literature that will likely be handed to the clients, and an explanation of the rules that escorts need to follow when it comes to dealing with protesters.  Some made a good deal of sense when I considered them more: don’t talk to or engage with a protester — it can confuse the client who is unsure of who to trust (especially true for clinics where protesters may put themselves in vests to make women believe they are also escorts, although that has yet to happen locally).

Other rules confused me more.  We had to be sure that as we escort a client we do not stand between the client and protester and interfere with the protester’s ability to talk to the woman.  In fact, the regular “counselor,” Charley, had threatened to call the police on an escort earlier in the week for “blocking his access” to a client by standing in between the two of them when walking her into the clinic.  It began to feel like there was a legally sanctioned right to harass, with protesters having more protected rights than the woman seeking an abortion.

The morning I was escorting, Charley was relatively mild.  Because of the training session, most of the clients had already entered the building before I went out to train with the other escorts.  I’d been told Charley has many standard tactics — one favorite is to hand cigarettes out on the street in an attempt to draw a crowd (including, bizarrely, to underage teens, showing a confusing disconnect between wanting to help “babies” and actually harming real children.

Then, on most days, he carries around a batch of “baby” dolls, small plastic dolls made to look like curled up 14 week fetuses.  He tries to pass them out to the women entering the clinic, picking pink ones for the Caucasian women he sees, and little brown ones for any woman of color who comes by.  When he can, he follows the women to the door, shaking his “babies” at them through the big glass window while they wait in the lobby for an elevator to take them up to the clinic.

Because of these stories about him, I felt I was prepared for anything he would do. What I wasn’t prepared for, however, was Debra.

I was sent to the far end of the street, by a paid parking lot, where I stood with another trainee and two veterans.  A small, gray-haired, be-speckled, frail looking old woman was standing in the entrance to the parking lot.  At first I thought she had a stack of diapers in her hand (which, frankly I thought was rather clever) but once she came closer I saw it was a very large batch of brochures.  She walked the sidewalk up and down like she was marching a picket line, and the veterans just told me “Oh, yes, that’s Debra.  She’s much worse than Charley.”

I got to see her in action a few minutes later.

While we were still being trained, the patients were already starting to arrive, and one woman showed up with two other women for support, each of the friends wheeling an umbrella stroller with a toddler inside.  The training stopped for a minute because we could hear shouting through the open door, which went on for quite some time.  Later I found out one of the women who was providing emotional support got her stroller stuck in the door, and the full group was being shouted at by both Debra and Charley as they tried to get everyone inside.  It was what I had expected.  “You don’t have to do this!  You have other options!  Please don’t murder your child, he already loves you inside the womb!”

Now, the two women who were friends or family of the patient were leaving the clinic, still pushing their young children in strollers.  I watched as Debra ran to the parking lot and grabbed a sign I hadn’t seen earlier, with a 12 week fetus next to a picture of bloody tissue.

Debra yelled.

She called them murderers.  She asked them how they felt to have blood on their hands.  She told them that they couldn’t even look at her sign because they knew that what she was showing them was the truth.  She told them they were more guilty than the woman inside, because they already had children and know what was being destroyed in that building.

She chased them down the street, following them to the parking lot.  She continued berating them as they put their children in car seats, packed away the strollers, climbed into their seats and pulled away.  She continued as they paid for their parking on the way out, stood next to the window shouting while they paused, trying to figure out which way to drive down the street to get out of the maze that is downtown Minneapolis.

The Debra put down her sign, picked back up a stack of pamphlets, and began her incessant march, back and forth up and down the street in front of the clinic.

I was in shock.  In my head, although I didn’t agree with them, I could justify a lot of what anti-choice activists did under the umbrella of “Well, to them, it’s justified to ‘save a baby.’” I don’t like or in any way condone the tactics being used to try and make it more difficult, both physically or emotionally, for a woman to go inside and have an abortion, but the motivation at least made sense: saving a “life.”  I often wondered how they thought that yelling, name calling and the like would make a woman change her mind, rather than simply antagonize her, but at least I thought I understood there was in fact a reason behind it.

But Debra’s tactics aren’t like that.  I learned that she is the only protester at the clinic who stays the full day.  She waits for the women to come out, and that’s when she attacks.  Once it’s already done.  Once there is no longer choice still to be made.  Once there is no nothing left to “save.”

She’s not there to advocate.  She’s not there to counsel.  And inherently, she’s not there to change a person’s mind, although if she managed to, no doubt it would be heralded by Pro-Life Action Ministries as a victory.

Debra, and people like Debra, are there to punish women.  To try to make sure that they are somehow hurt emotionally by what they have undergone.  They need more women to regret their abortions so that they can justify their own actions in front of the clinics and to bring in more recruits.  Why else would you go out of your way, waiting for hours, simply to argue with a woman who has already done the thing you claim you are trying to stop her from doing?

It was the Debras of the world that I wasn’t prepared for, the protester who isn’t trying to stop what she sees as a murder, but instead gleefully takes the opportunity to hurt someone who is already at a time of emotional upheaval.  I wasn’t prepared, and I don’t know if there even is enough training to make me able to accept her type, or that I’m not there to defend, to protect, but just to act as much like a buffer as I am legally allowed to be.

I’m officially trained as an escort now, but I’m not sure if I can actually be one.  Silence is not something I’m equipped to handle, especially not while pregnant.  Injustice and unfairness rankle me in a way that I find easier to ignore otherwise.  However, I am considering a trip to Fargo in the next few weeks to do a clinic defense for Red River Women’s Clinic, which is in the middle of a 40 Days for Life onslaught.  If I think I can hold my tongue for an entire day, I might try it again.

Otherwise, I think that after I have my own baby, I may return to Midwest, and perhaps go through Patient Advocacy training instead.  I want to help someone through the process, provide emotional support to her, and at the end of the day feel something more healthy than anger and frustration. 

I’m not made to be a buffer, I don’t think.  I’m made to be a helping hand.

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  • reproductivefreedomfighter

    Oh, so Debra wasn’t just praying?  Interesting.  And I find it odd, like you, that they continue to hassle women after leaving the clinic, no matter what they were doing there.  This shows they’re not interested in the fetus.  They’re interested in controlling women.  I applaud you for your efforts!

  • purplemistydez

    I would have been so pissed off if someone got in my face like that.  It’s unbelievable that the anti choice can do that.  Isn’t that harassment or something?

  • plume-assassine

    Great article. couple questions since I’ve never escorted before, but I am interested in volunteering in the future…

    We had to be sure that as we escort a client we do not stand between the client and protester and interfere with the protester’s ability to talk to the woman.

    Why in the world…? What if a client specifically wants and asks you to stand between them and the protesters, and block them from being yelled at by “sidewalk counselors”? It really pisses me off that this kind of harrassment is legal…

     

    The main “sidewalk counselor” who shows daily at the clinic is paid for his efforts, as is one of the semi-regular protesters.  It never occurred to me that clinic protesters might be paid for their work

    This is also mind boggling to me. Who is paying them to do this?

     

    She chased them down the street, following them to the parking lot.  She continued berating them as they put their children in car seats, packed away the strollers, climbed into their seats and pulled away.  She continued…

    What if these people responded to her and told her to stop or go away? What if they had called the police? Would they have been able to do anything?

  • robin-marty

    The “blocking access to a patient” thing is sort of a nebulous charge. Here’s what it says directly from the papers I got. in the Do Nots:

    *Get in the way of protesters distributing literature to patients, or remove anti-abortion literature from a patient’s hand. If she wants to dispose of it, point out the recycling bin close to the elevator.

    The protester argued that by one escort walking in between him and the patient, she was blocking his ability to distribute lit to the patient, and that he would call the police. Would the police do anything? Probably not. Was the protester right? Not necessarily, but it would depend on which cop showed up, for the most part.

    I don’t know what would happen if the police were called by the women being yelled at by Debra. The sidewalk is technically public, as was the parking lot. Debra never entered the lot, just stood outside the barrier, about 15 feet from the car. So it’s hard to say if the police would consider that any sort of offense.

    Charley, and I believe Debra as well, are both paid by Pro-life action ministries in Minnesota.

  • rachel-larris

    When I first started escorting in DC, I had some naive idea that there would be the occasional concept of “dialogue.” Not that I thought it would ever stop anyone from protesting (or us from escorting) but since it’s one of the few times pro-choicers and anti-choicers see each other face-to-face (often standing around for hours)it seemed like there was at least the possibility to talk to them.

    Except that I forgot on battlefields soldiers of opposite sides don’t sit down and talk about why they are fighting. I hate to use the “battlefield” analogy, because it also raises the anti-choice side up to the same moral level as what escorts are doing, but it seems the most apt.

    The people who come to harass and to protest are not “well-meaning” individuals who just happen to have a different point of view. To put it bluntly, they are fucking crazy. They are more “dedicated” in their cause because they are also a little unbalanced and mentally ill. Those that come, the women like Debra, have STOPPING ABORTION as their sole cause in life. Even though I care about Choice its not the only issue I care about. Even though I spend SOME Saturdays as a volunteer, going EVERY SATURDAY OF EVERY WEEK would be beyond me. It’s beyond all of us. Because we are sane.

  • rebellious-grrl

    I really appreciate the hard work the clinic escorts do. It’s sad that we even need to have clinic escorts for a legal medical procedure. I don’t think I would be able to be an escort because I’m a loud mouth and wouldn’t be able to keep my mouth shut around the anti-choicers getting in my face. It seriously pisses me off. Like you I think a better use of my time would be a patient advocate.

    It’s really not surprising.  The main “sidewalk counselor” who shows daily at the clinic is paid for his efforts, as is one of the semi-regular protesters.  It never occurred to me that clinic protesters might be paid for their work, in comparison to the escorts who volunteer their time to take the women past their pleas and jeers.

    Do you know if this is common? From what I understand the guy that is always in front of PP Ford Parkway is also paid by the antis.

    Other rules confused me more.  We had to be sure that as we escort a client we do not stand between the client and protester and interfere with the protester’s ability to talk to the woman.  In fact, the regular “counselor,” Charley, had threatened to call the police on an escort earlier in the week for “blocking his access” to a client by standing in between the two of them when walking her into the clinic.  It began to feel like there was a legally sanctioned right to harass, with protesters having more protected rights than the woman seeking an abortion.

    I agree. If he did call the police it would depend on who the cop was. I would love to see a burly feminist cop show up and haul him away for disorderly conduct. There has to be something we can do about this. What really unnerves me about this is that I protested during the RNC convention in 08 and my first amendment rights were repeatedly violated by the government and the police. But these  wacko “sidewalk counselors” have their right to harass women protected under the first amendment under the law.

    Robin, whatever you decide to do, escort or advocacy, I know your work will be well appreciated. Thanks.

  • robin-marty

    yup. It’s the same man. He does Saturdays and mornings at midwest, I believe. All in black, huge backpack on his back…that’s Charley. I think I even have a picture of him when I did the st paul good friday thing. I took his picture because I didn’t know he was a fixture, and he was right at the door, dressed all in black, constantly going into his backpack, and I thought he was going to do something violent.

  • rebellious-grrl

    That guy is creepy.

    one favorite is to hand cigarettes out on the street in an attempt to draw a crowd (including, bizarrely, to underage teens, showing a confusing disconnect between wanting to help “babies” and actually harming real children.

    This is a new one to me. Maybe he could be arrested for giving cigarettes to minors.

  • lsweet

    I work at Midwest and we really appreciate the escorts.  Charley bugged me every day I was pregnant walking in, as if I were a patient at 6 months, 7 months, 8 months and so on.  

    The worst was when a little verbally attacked me for walking in when she saw my breast pump.  So hard to bite my tongue.  

    Regarding the cigarettes.  When I escorted at a clinic in AZ, a woman actually shouted, “Ma’am, don’t let that be your baby’s last cigarette.”  Yep, real in touch with public health. 

    I look forward to seeing you at the clinic some time and thanks again for making our patients and staff feel safe and supported. 

    • cdramsey

      Hi lsweet,

      Bugged every day while pregnant? Why would I do that if I know that someone works there, and thus is not a client?

      Honestly, I required at most 15 or so encounters to recognize someone :)

  • crowepps

    The protester argued that by one escort walking in between him and the patient, she was blocking his ability to distribute lit to the patient, and that he would call the police.

    Why would anybody consider for even a second that the protestor was telling the truth about this issue?  They lie about everything else.  The protesters have the right to be a position to ATTEMPT to distribute/give their opinion.  They do not have the right to SUCCEED in doing so and they certainly have no right whatsoever to control the behavior of anybody else to FACILITATE their attempts to do so.

  • catseye71352

    Some of those people are purely _deranged_! Giving _cigarettes_ to teenagers in the name of “protecting life”?????????

  • rebellious-grrl

    As much as I would love to counter-protest “sidewalk counselors” and the like, I know this is NOT helpful to clinic staff/escorts and clinic patients. It would only help with my anger and frustration at the antis.

    I’ve always wanted to bring flowers, coffee, or cookies to the escorts to show I care and appreciate their work. I donate money to PP and other pro-choice organizations. I also attend the Good Fri. march at PP. I honestly want to give the escorts a huge hug to thank them but they would probably think I’m crazy. Is there something escorts need that I could do? Like in winter can I bring escorts hand-warmers or hot chocolate? Just an idea.

  • mechashiva

    People working at PP and other abortion-providing clinics always appreciate food (*grumbles about comparatively low wages*). I’d still advise calling ahead, particularly if you are in a more conservative area. Some places, staff don’t eat treat-gifts unless they come vacuum-sealed. God, I hate how paranoid you have to be in this line of work… can’t even trust homemade cookies. :(

     

    But man… handwarmers and packages of cocoa? That would mean a lot to an escort.

  • plume-assassine

    Thanks for your quick response, Robin. This is all sort of fascinating to me. In spite of all the weird rules, I am still considering volunteering someday if I ever have serious free time.

     

     It’s incredible to me that there are people paid to scream at patients and distribute pamphlets and wave “baby” dolls around. It certainly explains the folks you see who show up every single day. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that “Pro-life action ministries” hires psychologically-unbalanced people who cannot otherwise function in a normal work environment/hold down a job. I’m sure there are somewhat normal people, too, but I don’t think that applies to the people who are the creepy regulars

  • stacey-burns

    In Minnesota, clinic escorts count their years of service by the number of Februarys, rebellious girl–handwarmers are MOST welcome! You could drop off a box at Midwest Health Center for Women, where I volunteer, if you called ahead, and we’d love you for it. Otherwise, a smile or a thumbs up while walking or driving past punctuates the day very nicely.

     

    As one of the volunteers who Charlie regularly threatens with police action, I’m completely unfazed. My role as a volunteer at the clinic is to get the patients safely inside the clinic so that they can keep their appointments without further hassle. Charlie doesn’t concern me–the patients do.  I’m not protesting anything when I’m outside the clinic. While Charlie bears down menacingly on women searching for the clinic, they’re grateful for a friendly, calm presence, and most of them welcome the reassurance an escort can give.

     

    In the Twin Cities, there are three clinics that have escorting programs, if you ever change your mind: Midwest Health Center for Women, Dr. Hanson’s, and Planned Parenthood.

     

  • cdramsey

    Hello, and may this find you most well!

     

    I’m Charley from the article. I’d welcome Robin speaking with me directly about what she saw. A few points…

     

    I’m paid to coordinate the other volunteers at the Twin Cities’ six abortion buildings. I’ve always sidewalk counseled as a volunteer. No one else is paid–perhaps Robin was thinking about Debra, who is the Education Coordinator for Pro-Life Action Ministries and my supervisor.

     

    We offer post-abortion brochures and phone numbers to women leaving the building. We don’t argue or discuss with them. Planned Parenthood acknowledges that at least 10 percent of post-abortive women will experience psychological distress, and we offer information on post-abortion support services.

     

    I give cigarettes so that people passing Midwest don’t dig in ashtrays or pick cigarette butts off of the ground. I hadn’t considered the aspect of giving cigarettes to minors, I give them to whomever asks, up to three cigarettes per week.

     

    I don’t wave fetal models in front of the window, I hold them up so that people will know the actual development state of their baby, which is not “a clump of cells” or “fetal tissue.”

     

    We speak strongly to people who come as companions, such as the two women with their children in strollers, because women have said that they would prefer not to abort if they felt supported by those around them, and because eventually participation in a child’s death weighs on companions, especially if they are parents themselves–they deserve to be encouraged to avoid this.

     

    Thank you, Robin, for your commitment to continuing to seek the truth! May you and your loved ones be greatly blessed!

     

    Sincerely,

     

    Charley Ramsey

     

     

    • arekushieru

      And, I’m sorry, but if most of your fetal models look anything like an actual baby, then you are, once more, spreading lies….

    • princess-rot

      Planned Parenthood acknowledges that at least 10 percent of post-abortive women will experience psychological distress

       

      I suspect these womyn would feel hardly any distress if you lot were not getting all up in their faces and trying to remind them of a female’s place as a vessel for babies.

  • rebellious-grrl

    I’m paid to coordinate the other volunteers at the Twin Cities’ six abortion buildings. I’ve always sidewalk counseled as a volunteer. No one else is paid–perhaps Robin was thinking about Debra, who is the Education Coordinator for Pro-Life Action Ministries and my supervisor.

    Well now we know who you are and what you do. Paid to oppress, shame, harass, and intimidate women. You harass women who are exercising their constitutional right to their bodily autonomy. Does it make you feel like a big man to shame, harass, and bully women?

    I wonder how would Pro-Life Action Ministries would feel if I stood outside their offices and protested them? Or “sidewalk counseled” them on their outright lies and misogyny. Hmm, might be difficult to do since they the only address they list on their website is a p.o. box.

    We offer post-abortion brochures and phone numbers to women leaving the building. We don’t argue or discuss with them. Planned Parenthood acknowledges that at least 10 percent of post-abortive women will experience psychological distress, and we offer information on post-abortion support services.

    Bullpucky!!!!!! That is an outright lie! You and Debra harass women! There is no such thing as “post-abortion psychological distress” or “abortion trauma syndrome.” It is a myth created by the antis to shame and oppress women. Which you and your co-workers do.

    I give cigarettes so that people passing Midwest don’t dig in ashtrays or pick cigarette butts off of the ground. I hadn’t considered the aspect of giving cigarettes to minors, I give them to whomever asks, up to three cigarettes per week.

    And that is bullpucky too. You use cigarettes like a carny shill to create a crowd. BTW, it’s illegal to sell or distribute tobacco products to minors in MN. State law MINN. STAT. § 609.685 (2010) says, Whoever furnishes tobacco or tobacco-related devices to a minor is guilty of a misdemeanor for the first violation and a gross misdemeanor for any subsequent violation.

    It’s sick and sad that you think you are entitled to harass and bully women, to infringe on their constitutional right and it’s all ok for you to break the law. Your “sidewalk counseling” is not welcome. Quit harassing, oppressing, and shaming women. 
     

  • cc

    If you and your anti-choice pals think that you are “counselors,” you are seriously delusional. Obviously anybody can call themselves a counselor; but in the professional sense of the term, there are other criteria to be met. In order to be a licensed counselor, in many states, one needs a Masters Degree in psychology and/or counseling field. Do you have a degree, Charlie? And if so, in what field? One of the first things that one learns in a counseling program is that a counseling session provides a safe and non-judgemental environment in which those being counseled feel free to express their feelings. Anti-choice zealots screaming at vulnerable women, who have made a difficult decision, is hardly an appropriate counseling mileu. The controlled chaos of the “sidewalk counselors” is totally antithetical to what a real counseling session is all about.  A real counselor would never force literature onto a client.  As I noted, true counseling is non judgemental.  The comments yelled by “sidewalk counselors,” as well as the plastic fetuses and graphic photos, are all about inducing guilt.

     

    I spent time and money in order to obtain the proper credentials for counseling, Charlie, so I’m really offended when anti-choice crazies attempt to pass themselves off as counselors. You’re not counselors, you’re harassers of women. Big difference! All I can say is “shame.”

  • prochoicekatie

    I believe that many women (and also men) subjected to being yelled at, told they were going to hell, having images of surgical procedures waved in front of them, and harassed by pompous STRANGERS would experience some distress. Seems like it would make it hard to figure out why someone is upset if you’re actively trying to upset them.

    I wonder if Pro-Life Action Ministries has done any research on the psychological distress they cause all of our patients by harassing and screaming at them. I can assure you, it would bother me to come in for my annual pap smear and be told I was going to hell.

    These people don’t know why anyone is a) coming into the clinic, or b) if they are having an abortion, what their reason is. They indiscriminately yell at everyone.

    If I go to the grocery store and someone punches me in the face as I leave, it probably isn’t fair to say that I’m upset that I went grocery shopping because you saw me crying later. Just saying.

    • cdramsey

      Hello Katie,

      I don’t tell people that they are going to Hell, because this is exactly what is meant by “judge not, lest ye be judged.” Hell is real, however, and warnings about it can be necessary, just as anyone should be warned about something to be avoided.

  • embell

    The loud, rude, “sidewalk counselling” contingent who bully people outside our clinic are not really attempting to communicate with anyone.  After 2+ years of watching and (unfortunately) hearing them several times a week, I’ve concluded that they are lunatics of slightly differing types, whose need to attract attention to themselves by any means is overwhelming.  Their intrusive and personal comments to clients, escorts, and even simple passers-by would be unacceptable in any other social situation.  One example: As two young women walked past our clinic on their way elsewhere, a protester yelled to them, “They want to suck out the contents of your wombs.”  As another escort had suggested, “If I stood outside of an ice cream shop with a sign saying ‘I regret my fat’ and tried to stop people from entering, I’d end up in custody or a room with rubber walls.”  That’s where the anti-choicers belong.

  • crowepps

    Planned Parenthood acknowledges that at least 10 percent of post-abortive women will experience psychological distress, and we offer information on post-abortion support services.

    At least 10 percent of post-partum women will go home with their live babies and experience psychological distress.  Hand any brochures out at fertility clinics encouraging women to forget about having babies because it might upset them later?  Women who do experience psychological distress need professional help from qualified, trained medical personnel, not an invitation to a guilt-trip cult staffed by amateur busybodies.

    • squirrely-girl

      Several studies have found as many as 80% of women feel “down” or “blue” following childbirth. Not to the levels of full blown postpartum depression or psychoses, but certainly a significant number of women have other than wholly positive responses to childbirth. Maybe we should do away with childbirth and babies… I mean, if our goal is to protect “teh womenz.”

  • cdramsey

    Hello, everyone! May this find you most well!

    As CC correctly stated, anyone can call themselves counselors, in the sense of offering counsel, and that is how we understand this term. We are not claiming to be licensed counselors, and the people are of course free to reject what we offer.

    The information I quoted on post-abortion distress comes from the Alan Guttmacher Institute of Planned Parenthood.

    Giving cigarettes to minors is a true concern that I will take seriously. It is, however, unrelated to why I am at Midwest. If people weren’t searching through ashtrays, I wouldn’t carry cigarettes, as I don’t smoke. Giving cigarettes has become a pleasant social event for people who often are struggling with homelessness and other difficulties, many of whom attend a prison transition program in the next building. I never thought that this would happen, for the first time in my life I bought a carton!

    For Stacey, I don’t believe that ‘regularly threaten with police action” would be precise, although I could see it appearing this way! I recollect it happening three times in three years. It is also intended less as a threat than a notification in order to avoid it if desired. I also appreciated your distinction about offering help to women versus counter-protesting. I see our actions in the same way. Midwest has said that they offer information on parenting and adoption, and we are there to promote these options exclusively. I don’t see myself as protesting. It is not harassment to tell women about other options, although how I do it could be.

    Regarding escorts walking between clients and ourselves, ordinarily that isn’t a problem for us. It sounds as though Midwest is trying to avoid potential conflicts, which is commendable. The real issue is stepping in front of someone as they attempt to proceed on the sidewalk. This is intentionally impeding sidewalk access, which is prohibited for all of us.

    For Rachel, I was at the Silver Springs Planned Parenthood in the DC area in ’05-’06, and there was ample dialogue if ourselves and escorts were so inclined. Midwest’s rule of non-engagement, while apparently always the policy, is only recently being re-enforced. Before this, escorts and ourselves have discussed politics, education, health care, poverty alleviation, environmental policy, etc. We are all seeking learning and growth in what is true, good, and beautiful. 

    I also believe that it would be to everyone’s advantage if engagement were once again permitted. I’ve found that it improves the atmosphere on the sidewalk, so that those coming to Midwest are treated more kindly by all of us in their difficult circumstance. These people deserve to know that there are many who care about them. Talking always stops long before the people reach Midwest, so confusion is not a concern.

    Thank you, everyone, for your honest dialogue, and I look forward to more discussion! Thanks also to Robin for allowing my comments once again to appear. May yourselves and your loved ones, and your endeavors, continue to be richly blessed!

     

    Sincerely,

     

    Charley Ramsey 

  • crowepps

    the people are of course free to reject what we offer.

    Unfortunately, you don’t seem to understand that people should also be free to reject your presence if they don’t want to listen to you.

     

    When the concept of freedom of speech was envisioned, it was presumed that it would be linked with civility.  Civility includes the concept of leaving strangers alone when they don’t want you to bother them as well as not deliberately getting in the way of passersby in an effort to force them to listen to you.  Certainly you have a legal right to be an obnoxious nuisance, but that doesn’t mean that it is ‘moral’ for you to do so.

     

    What would really improve the atmosphere on the sidewalk would be your absence altogether.

  • cdramsey

    Hello!

     

    Civility is of course obligatory. It is always the goal, even if we fall short through emotionalism or other factors.

     

    Deliberately getting in the way of passersby is illegal, this is impeding sidewalk access.

     

    There are women who are still pondering this action as they approach Midwest, and there are women who desire very much not to abort and who intensely seek help with continuing the pregnancy. It seems prudent to assume that any woman coming there could be doing this, and to make alternative information available to them.

     

    We offer them brochures to take and read. If they have the brochure we discontinue speaking to them, except to mention which help centers are available to call right away. They have the information and are in control of the situation.

     

    Thanks, and blessings on your evening!

  • crowepps

    Civility is of course obligatory. It is always the goal, even if we fall short through emotionalism or other factors.

    A person prone to “emotionalism” which causes them to be unable to control their behavior and thus violate civility should not be attempting to make contact with strangers on public sidewalks.  Actually, in my opinion, anyone who thinks he has “incredible psychic powers” which allow him to read the minds of strange women and assert they are “still pondering” or that he knows what they’re thinking isn’t mentally healthy enough to be making contact with strangers on public sidewalks.

  • goatini

    Nothing “pro-life” about it.  It’s harassment of women, because they are women.  It’s thuggish misogyny.  They hate autonomous women.  They want to erase every advance towards full equality and full citizenship for women.

     

    You don’t see these cowardly bullies down at the urology clinic every week, screaming “Don’t kill your vas deferens!”, “Daddy Daddy don’t snip me!” etc etc etc.  

     

    Because they know they’d get the snot beat out of them if they tried that crap on men.

  • forced-birth-rape

    Thank you goatini sweet girl, love it.

  • cc

    “Midwest has said that they offer information on parenting and adoption, and we are there to promote these options exclusively.”

     

    Oh, pulleeze. How is thrusting pamphlets and shouting at women walking into a clinic “promoting” anything? It’s no different from carnival barkers who run up to folks in an amusement park and hand out flyers for whatever is being promoted. You people aren’t offering anything except a guilt trip.

  • cdramsey

    Hello,

    It isn’t a matter of reading minds, this is what women have told us.

    Bless your weekend!

  • mechashiva

    If women aren’t certain of their decision, they will share their concerns with the medical proffessionals at the clinic. Those clinicians can and will provide the appropriate service to the woman, along with accurate information about all of her options. If women are grieving after having an abortion, every clinic gives patients referals to legitimate counseling services offered by groups that do not have a political or religious agenda.

     

    Your presence is not necessary. Neither is your inacurate propoganda. The political lobbyists running your group could save money by downsizing their department of protesting.

     

    You aren’t needed.

  • rebellious-grrl

    I find what you are saying disturbing. It would be a much more beautiful and blessed world if you left women alone and quit bullying them.

    I don’t see myself as protesting. It is not harassment to tell women about other options, although how I do it could be.

    You must think women are really stupid if they haven’t thought through their options. THEY don’t need you to tell them what to do!
     
    “Sidewalk counseling” is not counseling;

    It’s rude
    It’s harassment

    It’s bullying

    It’s unwanted attention

    It’s demeaning

    It’s misogynistic

    You have a belligerent sense of entitlement that you feel you can harass women. What a deranged sense of entitlement that you think women aren’t smart enough to decide what is best for them and their families.

    And speaking of civility, what you are doing is not civil. You are infringing on a woman’s civil rights, her constitutionally protected right, her right to bodily autonomy.

  • rebellious-grrl

    Thank you! Well said! Can’t agree with you more here. This is going in my RHRC favorite quotes and posts file.

  • rebellious-grrl

    Charley – What you are doing is abusive. “Sidewalk counseling” is abusive. When you say things like “May you and your loved ones be greatly blessed!” it comes across as disingenuous. It’s condescending to say things like that to women you are being abusive to. It sounds like you are saying it to ease your conscience of abusive behavior.

  • rebellious-grrl

    goatini – Beautifully said and so true. Another post for my RHRC favorite quotes and posts file. Thank you.

    I’ve fantasized about what would happen if urology clinics were protested and how men would react to this kind of harassment.

  • cdramsey

    Hello Rebellious grrl and all,

    It seems necessary to distinguish between whether an action such as offering women information is in itself abusive, versus whether the action is done abusively. Even a good action can be performed badly.

     

    I don’t shout at women or thrust literature at them. If I did, I’d be cited for disorderly conduct, as the police have told me, and in three years I have never been accused of this, not even by Midwest or their customers. In fact, in reference to my “bearing menacingly down on a woman,” actually now I rarely walk up to women at all, but wait until they reach the door.

    There are women who are scheduled for abortions who don’t want to have them, often because of being in coercive, abusive relationships with boyfriends or parents, so telling them of their ability to honor their true wishes would be counter-abusive, not abusive. How I go about doing this, of course, could be done wrongly. Yes, Midwest has a mechanism for preventing unwanted abortions, but why rely entirely on this for something so important?

    And, even an abusive person can wish blessings on someone, since blessings come from the Giver of blessings. So, may this happen!

  • cdramsey

    How do comments remain posted to be read? Would this not be useful for others seeking to follow the entire message thread?

    Thanks!

  • cdramsey

    Hello MechaShiva,

    There have been women who have told us that they were grateful for our presence. It seems that even one such woman would justify our being there.

    Our information is from medical textbooks.

    We have no political lobbyists connected with our group, and have no department of protesting.

    Good day!

  • arekushieru

    Um, in answer to your next post, reading the Rating Comments thread, would perhaps help…?  Just a thought….

     

    In response to this post, I would say that you are being abusive when you are NOT relying entirely on the clinic for something like this.  Because you treat this medical service entirely different from any other, even *similar*, medical service.  (Do you hand out brochures and pamphlets to people at the entrances or surrounding areas, thereof, of organ, tissue and blood donor clinics, entreating them to save the life of an indisPUTable human being?  Somehow I doubt it….)  Because you do not rely on medical textbooks or facts when you hold up photos of late-term fetal development or stillborn feoti to oppose abortion.  (The majority of abortions are performed beFORE that stage, after all, y’know….)  Because you wait until ASKED to interfere in all other medical decisions, even those that involve another’s life (see above) but this one you invade a woman’s privacy AND body much like a rapist does.

  • cdramsey

    Hello Arekushieru,

    I have looked at the Rating Comments thread, but still need to understand it. If a comment is rated as satisfactory, it stays? Most of these ratings are by one voter. I’d appreciate knowing more about the process.

    No other medical action results in the death of a person. A fetus is legally a person everywhere but in abortion, because killing a pregnant woman brings charges of two murders.

    As well-meaning as the persons working in an abortion building might be, there is still a financial motivation in providing abortions. It is difficult for anyone to dissuade someone from something when it impacts one’s livelihood.

    Abortions in Minnesota are performed up to 20 weeks of development, so we use a first-trimester medical-textbook abortion picture in our brochure. Others who come to make statements about abortion use late-term pictures, but we do not.

    I don’t see how we invade a woman’s privacy and body like a rapist does. When we talk to women they maintain control of their privacy and body by ignoring us if they choose, which is not possible with a rapist.

    Privacy does not extend to harming another person. A rapist, for example, cannot claim privacy to carry out rape.

  • arekushieru

    Umm, you really are unable to see women as autonomous beings, aren’t you?  If I don’t consent to donate an organ, and an indisPUTable human being dies, that’s a result of a medical activity.  Yet, for some reason, only WOMEN are deemed to be the ones who should not be permitted to deny or give consent, especially in regards to a specifically female medical activity.  One would think that women don’t have the same rights as other groups of humans, simply because of that female function.  Oops.  Did I point out a logic fail, there…? 

    And you really are unable to see the difference between force and unforced, aren’t you?  Because, if you HAD been able to, you would know that the fetus wasn’t killed due to a woman’s CHOICE but because of a LACK of choice given her.  Similar to the forced abortion policy in China, y’know, the thing ProChoicers are against, because of that whole… well… *choice*… thing…?  Besides, I guess you want to grant personhood status to my mother’s tumour (which, by *your* logic, would mean that she couldn’t remove it even though it’s causing her considerable pain, because you think it’s better for someone ELSE to suffer as long as all persons are alive – SICKening -), molar and ectopic pregnancies, cells, sperm, eggs, parasitic fetuses, fetus in fetu, etc, etc… simply because they would ALL have the same requirements for personhood that a fetus did, then. 

    As well meaning as an ob/gyn working in the L & D section of a hospital  might be, there is still a financial motivation to providing these services (and a MUCH more lucrative one, at that, than abortion services).  It would be difficult to dissuade somone from such a thing when it impacts on their livelihood.  Meaning that financial motivations aren’t really what you are concerned about, so it’s rather disingenuous to bring them up

    I have never seen a medical textbook that has a picture of an aborted fetus.

    They shouldn’t HAVE to be the ones to ignore you in the first place, especially considering the scenarios, y’know, I outlined above AND previously…?  You are, like a rapist, placing all the responsibility on the victim/target (which is what I was oRIginally referring to…?) to do something.

    Finally, more than one voter has to vote in order for it to be counted.  If you hadn’t noticed (which I find surprising, if that’s the case), the vote count doesn’t go up if one person votes twice.  The voter simply changes their first votes RAting if they vote again.  Thanks. 

     

      

  • arekushieru

    Hell is NOT real.  I am a Christian, btw.  God, Himself, said that the commonly envisioned idea of Hell was something that had never entered into His head.  Hell is a bastardization of Hela’s dimension, nothing more, nothing less.

  • crowepps
  • cdramsey

    Hello Arekushieru,

    Jesus Christ said that Hell is real, in references to Gehenna.

    I’ve not heard of Hela?

  • cdramsey

    Hello Arekushieru,

     

    Thank you for your detailed response, I’ll write when I’ve studied it more.

    For the comments, I’m still trying to understand…I see some comments still up that have a 0 rating, or are unrated, or have a higher rating but from one voter. Some of my comments are no longer visible though they have a 2 rating. My first comment was made not visible, but now is visible, with I believe a 2 rating. Help!

  • cdramsey

    Hello,

    I see that I should have spoken more precisely.

    I was referring to medical actions directly intended to cause death, not to where death occurs unintentionally. Euthanasia would be the only other direct intentional causing of death.

    Thank you for the link!

  • arekushieru

    Gehenna is real, a Hell as it pertains to Christianity is not.

  • arekushieru

    Commenters can only see their own rating, they can’t see the number of voters who voted for them.  GEH.  My mistake.  Makes it impossible to figure out.

     

    Anyone with a rating higher than two with a number of two or more voters keeps his/her post visible.  Anyone with a rating of two or lower with a number of two or more voters makes her/his post invisible.

     

    If you need to clarify this anymore, it should be continued on the Rating Comments thread.     

  • arekushieru

    Then she was still correct.  The intent in abortion is not death.  If you make it so, then you can only be basing your assumption on someone’s biological functions which you don’t do anywhere else.

  • mechashiva

    The information about the surgical procedure might come from a medical text book, but nothing else you hand out does. I’ve seen enough pro-life propoganda to know it doesn’t vary much between groups. The information on fetal development measures from conception, rather than the first day of the last menstrual period (as is used in most clinics), but the pamphlets don’t explain this. As a result, women believe that their fetus is around 2 weeks more developed than it really is, and that 2 weeks can make a big difference. Pro-life pamphlets use outdated sources and research studies with problematic (to say the least) methodology that inflate the risks associated with abortion. Pro-life pamphlets commonly claim that abortion causes breast cancer, something that has been disproven for over 20 years now and is not accepted by any legitimate medical organization. On top of it all, many pro-life pamphlets push the idea of “spiritual harm” following an abortion, and all of their post-abortion counseling has a Christian orientation… which is not helpful for many Christians (since their faith may not be the issue bothering them most), and is certainly unhelpful for non-Christians.

     

    Someone is paying you to distribute this filth. That money comes from somewhere, be it federal abstinence-only education funding that goes to CPCs (read: taxes) or donations. Someone, somewhere is lobbying for you to get paid. Whether or not you are part of a formal “Department” you are a part of an organization that undoubtedly has political motivations and connections. There is no such thing as a pro-life organization that is not involved in political activism… it’s the main point of the movement.

     

    I do not think that having one patient value your presence is a good enough reason for you to be there. Women who have doubts about their abortions tend not to come back for surgery anyway. That is because women are perfectly capable of making the decision to not abort without your help. The bullying of all the patients who do not want you around (guaranteed to be a far greater number than those who appreciate your presence) is not worth your statistically insignificant non-impact on the number of women who choose abortion. You are nothing more than a decorative element of the pro-life movement, because protesting is easily the most ineffectual thing pro-lifers do.

  • plume-assassine

    A couple points:

    1. I think religion is BS. So, this discussion of Hell is sort of irrelevent. The point is that your personal faith does not entitle you to shame and intimidate women.

    2. From reading your posts, you imply that women are moral children who don’t understand what they’re doing and are totally unaware of their options. If some women have “thanked” you for your presence, then I guarantee you that there are hundreds of others who find your presence to be physically threatening or extremely unnerving.

    3. Abortion is not a lucrative industry.

    4. You are not a doctor or therapist and have no right to counsel or inform any patient about the development of her pregnancy or her pregnancy options. You are not needed and most certainly are not wanted.

    5. An embryo/fetus is not a person and a woman is not an incubator

     

    Thanks and have a good night.

  • crowepps

    The death of the embryo/fetus is a byproduct.  Many women who have abortions wouldn’t have any problem at all with the ZBEF being removed alive and transferred to someone else so long as they personally no longer had to be pregnant.  The current state of medical technology isn’t up to that challenge.

  • arekushieru

    OR up to the challenge of all the costs and legal issues….

  • cdramsey

    Hello Crowepps,

    I have usually heard childrearing as the reason for abortion, as in “I’m not ready for a child” or “I have other children” or “I can’t afford a(nother) child.” I haven’t yet heard about not wanting to be pregnant. In nine months the mother will no longer be pregnant, and with adoption the child is alive and transferred to someone else. However, women who reject adoption recognize that a maternal bonding occurs with pregnancy, so perhaps this might be what a woman refers to if she desires not to be pregnant.

    A death can only be considered a byproduct if the action is good, such as seeking the health of a pregnant woman with uterine cancer by removing the uterus, resulting unavoidably in the death of the fetus. An abortion intends the death of the fetus, the child doesn’t die as the result of some other action.

     

  • cdramsey

    Hello Arekushieru,

    Refusing to donate an organ doesn’t cause someone’s death, their disease does. I might have failed to prevent their death, but I didn’t cause it. There is no disease in pregnancy, the doctor’s action causes the child’s death.

     

    Tumors, sperm, and eggs do not have souls, and therefore are not persons. A fetus has a soul and thus is a person, even if in a state incompatible with life such as with an ectopic pregnancy. Frozen embryos also have souls and are persons, which is why embryonic stem cell research is immoral.

     

    It is true that many women believe that they must have an abortion because of a perceived lack of choices regarding finances, support, etc. But this lack of choices is only apparent, not real, and we are there to tell them this. On our Free Help brochure there are 95 pregnancy help centers.

     

    The comparison with a rapist still would not be valid. I am actually just another person speaking on the sidewalk, which cannot be said of a rapist. This woman might be highly annoyed with me, but she is not being forced in any way. Blaming the victim in rape states falsely that the woman had the power to prevent the rape.

     

    It is true that there would probably not be many reasons for a medical textbook to show an aborted fetus, although I could imagine a nursing textbook showing one, since there must always be a subsequent count of body parts. Our fetal development pictures are from medical textbooks.

     

    Finally, thank you for the continued advice about comments rating. I still don’t understand why other comments rated 0 are still visible, and how no one else has comments that are darkened, though perhaps I only see mine? Meanwhile, all of my comments are not visible though some are rated higher than this. I must be missing something!

     

  • arekushieru

    Uh, if a woman isn’t ready for a child, has other children or can’t afford a(nother) child and has an abortion, she simply doesn’t want to be pregnant for a variety of reasons.

    In the next paragraph, you’re actually talking about two different situations:

    Or, in other words, damage to one’s house can only be deemed a byproduct if someone was having a party not trying to kill someone else in the process.  Wow, what logic (/snark). 

    The fetus dies because it is incompatible with life upon separation from the uterus.  That’s it, that’s all.  The only way you can make a woman alone responsible for this is by punishing her for having a uterus.  Because a person on artificial life support dies for the exact same reason.  If you don’t believe me, find an ACTual medical diagnosis and show me one where it says the cause of death (what killed a person) was the removal of life support.  Can’t find one?  Oh, well, that’s… prooobably… because it lists lack of brain function as cause of death.  Iow, incompatibility with life…. 

  • ahunt

    A fetus has a soul and thus is a person, even if in a state incompatible with life such as with an ectopic pregnancy. Frozen embryos also have souls and are persons, which is why embryonic stem cell research is immoral.

     

     

    Assumes facts absent evidence. Your belief in “ensoulment” upon fertilization is just that…a belief. Your beliefs do not trump a woman’s right to bodily autonomy.

  • cdramsey

    Hello MechaShiva,

    It seems that you’ve raised a good point about LMP versus conception, and I’ve mentioned it to our office. We use conception because it is more accurate, and not to mislead women. But, if women are thinking in terms of LMP, I see no reason why we shouldn’t also. It would improve clarity to stick to one method.

    The link between abortion and breast cancer has not at all been disproven. There is ample evidence that certain groups refuse to accept. Numerous studies claim it, and these studies seem objectively better-designed than the ones which dispute it.

    If abortion causes harm, it will have a spiritual component, since we are body and spirit.

    Propaganda implies something that is not true. Everything that we say can be factually verified, or we shouldn’t say it. If something seems not factual, please let us know. I have heard abortion workers speak of “the lies in your brochure,” but have never heard examples other than the LMP/conception issue.

    I’m not there to protest, but to promote parenthood or adoption. If everyone chooses parenthood or adoption I don’t address an abortion building’s capacity for abortions.

    Thank you for your thoughts!

  • crowepps

    The link between abortion and breast cancer has not at all been disproven. There is ample evidence that certain groups refuse to accept.

     

     

    Yes, yes, the entire scientific establishment, medical researchers, etc., etc., are all just REFUSING to accept the ‘truth’.  Except that, you know, they’re not.  Instead it is you guys you just cannot let go of this myth because it’s so USEFUL to you.

    Everything that we say can be factually verified, or we shouldn’t say it.

    But I BELIEVE this is true is NOT factual vertification.  And, no, you shouldn’t say it.

     

    This is probably unduly picky but the building in which the clinic is contained is, ta da, a BUILDING, and doesn’t have any ‘capacity for abortions’.

  • crowepps

    A fetus has a soul and thus is a person, even if in a state incompatible with life such as with an ectopic pregnancy. Frozen embryos also have souls and are persons, which is why embryonic stem cell research is immoral.

    IF this were true, IF the ectopic pregnancy really did contain a soul and the frozen (blastocyst) did have a soul, so what?  Destruction of the physical body sends that ‘innocent’ soul right up into Heaven where it’s supposed to be, right?  No harm, no foul.

  • cdramsey

    Hello Arekushieru,

    That is correct, it is two different situations. One is moral and not anyone’s fault, and the other is not moral and has culpability. The mother is not responsible for having a diseased uterus, but with abortion there is no disease.

    The moral principle with the diseased uterus is called the Principle of Double Effect, where a good action, removing a diseased organ, comes with an unavoidable negative consequence, the child’s death. The intent of the act is to cure the mother, not to kill the child, and if the child’s death could be avoided, it would be. The intent of an abortion is to kill the child, and there is no effort to avoid the child’s death.

    For any act to be good, there must be goodness of the act itself, as well as of the act’s intention and circumstances. All three components must be present, so that performing an evil act with good intentions cannot result in good.

    In the first case the child dies because of the loss of viability of the uterus once the uterus is separated from the mother. In the second case the child is both removed from a viable uterus and dismembered. In the first case the doctor causes the child’s death indirectly and unintentionally, and in the second case death is caused directly and intentionally.

    So, with the analogy of the house, we’d be considering both damage to the house and harm to the occupants, and the question is whether harm to the occupants is intentional.

    Thanks for the intellectual effort!

  • cdramsey

    Hello Crowepps,

    The soul is supposed to be where the Creator says, not where we say. We’re not qualified to decide that, and so definitely there is a foul!

    We humans have a value and a dignity beyond our imagining. We are an end to ourselves, and are never to be used as a means to other ends, such as a means of production as in slavery, or a means of therapeutic processes such as cloning or organ harvesting. We use things, we don’t use people.

    Thanks!

  • cdramsey

    Hi Crowepps,

     

    It isn’t the entire scientific establishment. It is possible for certain areas of science to become politicized, given the large amounts of prestige and grant money involved.

    Something is useful only if it is true. If an abortion/breast cancer link is not true, it is of no use.

    We don’t speak of what we believe, but of what seems true based upon the evidence, which we must be willing to provide.

    Referring to the abortion building, it isn’t the best phrasing, but to me it is better than ‘clinic.’ I was referring to the potential for abortions to be performed inside, which is not of interest to me if no one is coming there for this.

    Thanks!

  • ahunt

    The soul is supposed to be where the Creator says, not where we say.

     

    I just had to see this again!

  • crowepps

     In nine months the mother will no longer be pregnant

    You fail to grasp that she just might have something else she needs to do during that nine months for which she needs an unpregnant body, like, for instance, work.

     

    Women don’t have any obligation to go through an entire pregnancy in order to provide somebody ELSE with a free baby, particularly in light of all the horror stories about how private adoption agencies turn over ‘innocent’ babies to abusive whackos and religious extremists.

     

    Oh, yeah, I’ve heard all the hair-splitting about ‘intentionality’ before, particularly in cases of ectopic pregnancy, where the reasoning is outright hiliarious — ‘the ZBEF is doomed no matter what, but if the ZBEF is outright removed God will be MAD at us.  Let’s all PRETEND that what we’re REALLY doing is removing the tube, even though it’s perfectly healthy and doesn’t really need to be removed, and then God will be totally FOOLED about what’s going on, and we can all get away with it scot-free just by saying ’ZBEF?  What ZBEF?  Oh, golly, was there a ZBEF there!  Oopsie!’

     

    But, see, that is a RELIGIOUS belief about how something is only ’sin’ if you have ‘a choice’ and yet obstinently ‘intend’ to sin, and about how it’s possible to play a shell game on God to avoid facing the misogynistic basis of the religious philosophy, while totally ignoring the fact that Nature/God slaughters ZBEF’s left and right, and INTENDS in future to slaughter the ZBEF’s of 15% of the women who forestall that action by abortion.

     

    Meanwhile, women who are not believers in that particular religious tradition think that’s all pretty silly and  they don’t have to take any of that into consideration.  See, the thing is, in America we have RECIPROCAL freedom of religion, which means you are free to not have an abortion yourself because YOUR religion says it’s bad and other people whose religious beliefs are different from yours are free to believe it’s no big deal,  go right ahead and proceed to freely do things you don’t like.

  • rebellious-grrl

    Hello Charley,

    I hope you can understand what I am saying.

    I have usually heard childrearing as the reason for abortion, as in “I’m not ready for a child” or “I have other children” or “I can’t afford a(nother) child.” I haven’t yet heard about not wanting to be pregnant.

    Yes, that’s a reason for terminating a pregnancy. A woman does not wish to be pregnant. I see nothing wrong with that. A fetus does not trump her life. I hate to be brutally honest with you but women have been practicing birth control and abortion for thousands of years. Get over it, really.

    In nine months the mother will no longer be pregnant, and with adoption the child is alive and transferred to someone else. However, women who reject adoption recognize that a maternal bonding occurs with pregnancy, so perhaps this might be what a woman refers to if she desires not to be pregnant.

    No. You can’t force a woman to give birth. If a woman doesn’t want to be pregnant I don’t think she is worrying about maternal bonding — because she doesn’t want to be pregnant, duh.  

    Death is a concern, the death of a woman, who could die as a result of being pregnant. Being pregnant is not without side effects, risks, and health complications. A women should only be pregnant and give birth if that is her choice. Forcing a woman to give birth, to legally force every pregnancy to result in a live birth is sadistic. A woman is not an incubator, or chattel. She can not be used as livestock to reproduce.

    Normal, frequent or expectable temporary side effects of pregnancy:
        •    exhaustion (weariness common from first weeks)
        •    altered appetite and senses of taste and smell
        •    nausea and vomiting (50% of women, first trimester)
        •    heartburn and indigestion
        •    constipation
        •    weight gain
        •    dizziness and light-headedness
        •    bloating, swelling, fluid retention
        •    hemmorhoids
        •    abdominal cramps
        •    yeast infections
        •    congested, bloody nose
        •    acne and mild skin disorders
        •    skin discoloration (chloasma, face and abdomen)
        •    mild to severe backache and strain
        •    increased headaches
        •    difficulty sleeping, and discomfort while sleeping
        •    increased urination and incontinence
        •    bleeding gums
        •    pica
        •    breast pain and discharge
        •    swelling of joints, leg cramps, joint pain
        •    difficulty sitting, standing in later pregnancy
        •    inability to take regular medications
        •    shortness of breath
        •    higher blood pressure
        •    hair loss
        •    tendency to anemia
        •    curtailment of ability to participate in some sports and activities
        •    infection including from serious and potentially fatal disease
(pregnant women are immune suppressed compared with non-pregnant women, and
are more susceptible to fungal and certain other diseases)
        •    extreme pain on delivery
        •    hormonal mood changes, including normal post-partum depression
        •    continued post-partum exhaustion and recovery period (exacerbated if a c-section — major surgery — is required, sometimes taking up to a full year to fully recover)

    Normal, expectable, or frequent PERMANENT side effects of pregnancy:
        •    stretch marks (worse in younger women)
        •    loose skin
        •    permanent weight gain or redistribution
        •    abdominal and vaginal muscle weakness
        •    pelvic floor disorder (occurring in as many as 35% of middle-aged former child-bearers and 50% of elderly former child-bearers, associated with urinary and rectal incontinence, discomfort and reduced quality of life)
        •    changes to breasts
        •    varicose veins
        •    scarring from episiotomy or c-section
        •    other permanent aesthetic changes to the body (all of these are downplayed by women, because the culture values youth and beauty)
        •    increased proclivity for hemmorhoids
        •    loss of dental and bone calcium (cavities and osteoporosis)

    Occasional complications and side effects:
        •    spousal/partner abuse
        •    hyperemesis gravidarum
        •    temporary and permanent injury to back
        •    severe scarring requiring later surgery (especially after additional pregnancies)
        •    dropped (prolapsed) uterus (especially after additional pregnancies, and other pelvic floor weaknesses — 11% of women, including cystocele, rectocele, and enterocele)
        •    pre-eclampsia (edema and hypertension, the most common complication of pregnancy, associated with eclampsia, and affecting 7 – 10% of pregnancies)
        •    eclampsia (convulsions, coma during pregnancy or labor, high risk of death)
        •    gestational diabetes
        •    placenta previa
        •    anemia (which can be life-threatening)
        •    thrombocytopenic purpura
        •    severe cramping
        •    embolism (blood clots)
        •    medical disability requiring full bed rest (frequently ordered during part of many pregnancies varying from days to months for health of either mother or baby)
        •    diastasis recti, also torn abdominal muscles
        •    mitral valve stenosis (most common cardiac complication)
        •    serious infection and disease (e.g. increased risk of tuberculosis)
        •    hormonal imbalance
        •    ectopic pregnancy (risk of death)
        •    broken bones (ribcage, “tail bone”)
        •    hemorrhage and
        •    numerous other complications of delivery
        •    refractory gastroesophageal reflux disease
        •    aggravation of pre-pregnancy diseases and conditions (e.g. epilepsy is present in .5% of pregnant women, and the pregnancy alters drug metabolism and treatment prospects all the while it increases the number and frequency of seizures)
        •    severe post-partum depression and psychosis
        •    research now indicates a possible link between ovarian cancer and female fertility treatments, including “egg harvesting” from infertile women and donors
        •    research also now indicates correlations between lower breast cancer survival rates and proximity in time to onset of cancer of last pregnancy
        •    research also indicates a correlation between having six or more pregnancies and a risk of coronary and cardiovascular disease

    Less common (but serious) complications:
        •    peripartum cardiomyopathy
        •    cardiopulmonary arrest
        •    magnesium toxicity
        •    severe hypoxemia/acidosis
        •    massive embolism
        •    increased intracranial pressure, brainstem infarction
        •    molar pregnancy, gestational trophoblastic disease (like a pregnancy-induced cancer)
        •    malignant arrhythmia
        •    circulatory collapse
        •    placental abruption
        •    obstetric fistula

    More permanent side effects:
        •    future infertility
        •    permanent disability
        •    death.

    http://www.thelizlibrary.org/liz/004.htm

    May this post find you more enlightened. 

  • arekushieru

    Refusing to donate an organ doesn’t cause someone’s death, their disease does. I might have failed to prevent their death, but I didn’t cause it. There is no disease in pregnancy, the doctor’s action causes the child’s death.

     

    Then your movement is not about life, it’s about punishment, misogyny and hypocrisy.

    Tumors, sperm, and eggs do not have souls, and therefore are not persons. A fetus has a soul and thus is a person, even if in a state incompatible with life such as with an ectopic pregnancy. Frozen embryos also have souls and are persons, which is why embryonic stem cell research is immoral.

     

    First off, if we are going by Christian precepts:  Prove that souls exist.  THEN prove that tumours, sperm and eggs do NOT have a soul.  I am a Christian, remember, but it is beCAUSE I am a Christian I don’t automatically believe that Christian dogma (such as the assumption that only God and Christians can determine what does and doesn’t have a soul) is applicable to EVeryone.

    Secondly, if we are going by the concepts of conscious and awareness being applicable as to what constitutes a soul:  Tumours, eggs and sperm have the same level of consciousness and awareness that fetuses have.

    Lastly, embryonic stem cell research actually DOES affect indisputable persons by saving their lives.  Thus, embryonic stem cell research is moral.

    It is true that many women believe that they must have an abortion because of a perceived lack of choices regarding finances, support, etc. But this lack of choices is only apparent, not real, and we are there to tell them this. On our Free Help brochure there are 95 pregnancy help centers.

    And the decision on whether there is or isn’t a perceived lack of choices is best left to the woman not an outsider/stranger.

    95 pregnancy help centers?  Would that be Crisis Pregnancy Centres?  Because they absolutely do NOT address, as you put it, the ‘perceived lack of choices’.  Actually, places such as Planned Parenthood probably help more with that because they are affiliated with programs that assist on the full spectrum before AND after birth.

     

    The comparison with a rapist still would not be valid. I am actually just another person speaking on the sidewalk, which cannot be said of a rapist. This woman might be highly annoyed with me, but she is not being forced in any way. Blaming the victim in rape states falsely that the woman had the power to prevent the rape.

    You simply continue to fail to understand that a comparison does not reQUIRE two situations to be exACTly the same.   You are stating, with your actions, that the target/victim has the responsibility/power to prevent YOUR activity.  However, when not blaming the victim, it is stated that the one who DOES the targeting/perpetrating the crime has the responsibility/power to prevent their OWN activities. 

    It is true that there would probably not be many reasons for a medical textbook to show an aborted fetus, although I could imagine a nursing textbook showing one, since there must always be a subsequent count of body parts. Our fetal development pictures are from medical textbooks.

    Ok, this one I will give you.  You had, indeed, already stated this, actually.  My mistake.

    Finally, thank you for the continued advice about comments rating. I still don’t understand why other comments rated 0 are still visible, and how no one else has comments that are darkened, though perhaps I only see mine? Meanwhile, all of my comments are not visible though some are rated higher than this. I must be missing something!

     If you haven’t already done so, please repost this in the Rating Comments thread.  Otherwise, I will not respond.

  • cdramsey

    Hi La Plume,

    Hell is real or it’s not, regardless of religion. Mount Everest doesn’t go away if I don’t believe in it.

    Some of these women literally are children, minors coerced by parents or boyfriends–”have the abortion or I’ll kick you out.” They can indeed be unaware of their options or can feel powerless to exercise them, exploitation of women if ever there was.

    Abortion is lucrative for the doctor, at least a couple of thousand dollars per hour. It is also now intensely lucrative, in the billions of dollars, with the sale of fetal tissue and organs for research and to make cosmetics and vaccines.

    And, regarding being needed, I’d consider someone’s presence on the sidewalk necessary if I were about to be aborted. I’d be grateful for anyone I could get!

    Thanks, and a good night to you as well, even though we’re now talking about a different night!

  • plume-assassine

    I haven’t yet heard about not wanting to be pregnant. In nine months the mother will no longer be pregnant, and with adoption the child is alive and transferred to someone else. However, women who reject adoption recognize that a maternal bonding occurs with pregnancy, so perhaps this might be what a woman refers to if she desires not to be pregnant

    Really?? Do you not understand that pregnancy takes an ENORMOUS toll on a woman’s body? You are so glib when you say, “in 9 months, the mother will no longer be pregnant, and with adoption the child is alive…” like it’s just no big deal! Excuse me, but that 9 months is not a piece of cake. There are more health risks associated with carrying to term than there are with having a safe abortion. We are not incubators, you know! You are essentially arguing for forced pregnancy/forced birth.

     

    And not every woman has maternal instincts. Not every woman wants to experience pregnancy or be a mother. I am one of those women. I don’t want children (ever) and I don’t ever want to experience pregnancy or childbirth. So, I take it very personally when anti-choicers such as yourself act like every woman has a “innate desire” to be a mother, and all she needs is money and good resources. That may be the case for some, but certainly not for me and not for other childfree-by-choice women.

  • crowepps

    The soul is supposed to be where the Creator says, not where we say. We’re not qualified to decide that, and so definitely there is a foul!

    I’m not aware of anybody ‘deciding’ where the soul goes, that’s entirely God’s business and He can certainly handle it without our needing to be concerned about it.

    We are an end to ourselves, and are never to be used as a means to other ends, such as a means of production as in slavery, or a means of therapeutic processes such as cloning or organ harvesting. We use things, we don’t use people.We use things, we don’t use people.

    Fascinating, when you’ve just finished explained how you feel justified in using unwilling women as a “means of production” to provide free babies to adoptive parents.

     

    As to ‘we don’t use people’, apparently you haven’t ever had a job and don’t read the news.  Ever heard of rape?   People ‘use’ other people all the time.

  • crowepps

    It is also now intensely lucrative, in the billions of dollars, with the sale of fetal tissue and organs for research and to make cosmetics and vaccines.

    Fetal tissue and organs from abortion are never sold to be used for ‘research’ although certainly research may be done with DONATED materials just as fetal tissue from SPONTANEOUS abortions is used in research.

     

    Fetal tissues and organs are never, ever used in cosmetics and the references to ‘placenta’ on cosmetics refer to COW placentas obtained from slaughterhouses.

     

    Fetal tissue is not used in the preparation of vaccines.

     

    Your inclusion of this sort of ridiculous nonsense is precisely why many of us here conclude that ProLife extremists are terminally gullible.  You’ll apparently believe literally any silly rumor that you hear, no matter how idiotic.

     

  • rebellious-grrl

    If everyone who believed that ensoulment happens at fertilization why don’t they pray over every used tampon and pad? If personhood was granted at fertilization infant mortality rates would be through the roof.

    Although the statistics on the failure rate of human fertilization are not entirely robust, given the biological and ethical delicacy of conducting research in this area, the numbers consistently suggest that, at minimum, two-thirds of all human eggs fertilized during normal conception either fail to implant at the end of the first week or later spontaneously abort. Some experts suggest that the numbers are even more dramatic. John Opitz, a professor of pediatrics, human genetics, and obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Utah, told the President’s Council on Bioethics last September that preimplantation embryo loss is “enormous. Estimates range all the way from 60 percent to 80 percent of the very earliest stages, cleavage stages, for example, that are lost.” Moreover, an estimated 31 percent of implanted embryos later miscarry, according to a 1988 New England Journal of Medicine study headed by Allen Wilcox of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

    http://discovermagazine.com/2004/may/cover/article_view?b_start:int=2&-C

     

     

  • cdramsey

    Hi Arekushieru,

    Thanks! However, how do I repost in the Rating Comments thread? Perhaps this is the key to the difficulty!

  • cdramsey

    Hi Crowepps,

    That is true, and it shouldn’t happen!

    Women are not means of production. Babies are not a product. Adoption is primarily for the good of the child, and only secondarily for the adoptive parents.

    God can indeed handle where souls go, but we do need to be concerned about interfering with His handling.

    Thanks for a good discussion, talk to you next time, Lord willing!

  • arekushieru

    That is correct, it is two different situations. One is moral and not anyone’s fault, and the other is not moral and has culpability. The mother is not responsible for having a diseased uterus, but with abortion there is no disease.

    I am simply referring to a uterus.  Whether it is diseased or not has no bearing. 

    A woman has culpability and responsibility for the presence of a uterus in her body?  If she doesn’t, then she neither needs to, or is required, to take any more responsibility than her male counterparts may do with regards to reproductive and sexual health, either.  If she does, that is just sexism targeting unlucky ’victims’.  

    With abortion there IS a medical condition, ALways.  Pregnancy IS a recognized medical condition.  If it were not, health care would not include pregnancy care.  Abortion and childbirth BOTH return a woman to her former state of health.  Thus, abortion care IS health care. 

    Btw, I was referring to YOUR two statements being different situations.   The organ donation and pregnancy scenarios aren’t, after all.

    The moral principle with the diseased uterus is called the Principle of Double Effect, where a good action, removing a diseased organ, comes with an unavoidable negative consequence, the child’s death. The intent of the act is to cure the mother, not to kill the child, and if the child’s death could be avoided, it would be. The intent of an abortion is to kill the child, and there is no effort to avoid the child’s death.

    Again, I am not referring to a diseased uterus, so I’ll just disregard that comment.  Same with abortion, the intent of the act is to restore the woman to her former health, not to kill the *fetus* and, if fetal death could be avoided, it would be.  The intent of an abortion is to terminate the implantation of the fetal plaCENta into the uterus, and there is no effort to avoid fetal death, because, as it currently stands, this would put the woman at greater risk, leaving her devoid of her right to medical privacy at the same time.

    For any act to be good, there must be goodness of the act itself, as well as of the act’s intention and circumstances. All three components must be present, so that performing an evil act with good intentions cannot result in good.

    This means that wanted abortion is always good.  The act of abortion gives a woman options that enable her to retain her right to bodily autonomy, after all, a right that all other groups of humans have without fear of reprisal.  The intent is to restore her to her former health.  And the circumstances always include a woman’s well-being, which are also good. 

    In the first case the child dies because of the loss of viability of the uterus once the uterus is separated from the mother. In the second case the child is both removed from a viable uterus and dismembered. In the first case the doctor causes the child’s death indirectly and unintentionally, and in the second case death is caused directly and intentionally. 

    There is no ‘child’ involved.  That you would recommend that a woman’s right to medical privacy be revoked and she be enforced to endure scarring and future infertility just so that you can sit back and be smugly satisfied that you forced someone to do what YOU consider the ‘right thing’ is just appalling. It’s DEFinitely an ‘evil’ act, DEFinitely evil intentions and DEFinitely evil circumstances.

    I explained why dismemberment was necessary.  The doctor DOES kill the fetus via methods that faCILitate abortion, but I also explained why THAT is necessary.

     

  • crowepps

    It isn’t the entire scientific establishment. It is possible for certain areas of science to become politicized, given the large amounts of prestige and grant money involved.

    I’m well aware that ProLife true believers and ProLife organizations are pouring buckets of money into research hoping to ‘prove’ how terrible abortion is for women, and that ProLife researchers are willing to slant the results of their studies to please those providing their paychecks. 

     

    See, the thing is, when one is doing ‘science’ one does not know the answer before doing the research, and does not design the study in such a way as to come up with that ‘right answer’ determined beforehand.

     

    In addition, if there are 2,000 scientists, 1,800 of them come up with one answer, and 200 who are rapidly ProLife come with another, the general consensus is that the 1,800 have it and the 200 are blinded by their ideology.

     

    Regardless, of course, the OPINIONS of the scientists, while they certainly might be useful to women so far as providing them information for informed consent, have nothing to do with the women’s decisions.  If a woman is willing to take the risk of MAYBE getting breast cancer in 30 years because she doesn’t want to be pregnant NOW then she has a right to weigh her options and voluntarily take that risk.

  • plume-assassine

    A fetus has a soul and thus is a person

    Once again, as an atheist, I must point out to your that your BS religious beliefs/delusions do not entitle you to interfere with the bodily autonomy of a woman (who is the ONLY INDISPUTABLE PERSON in the “unwanted pregnancy” scenario). We have separation of church/state in this country for a reason.

    Here’s an absurd scenario for you: Let’s pretend that I rabidly believed that human fingernails contained the souls of individual people, and I spent my life trying to convince people not to cut their fingernails or immorally adorn them in any way, and I stood outside of nail salons shouting at people in protest (or trying to “counsel” them). Everyone would think that I was crazy, and most people would say that my bizarre religious beliefs about fingernail ensoulment do not entitle me to harrass and intimidate others. The same goes for your bizarre belief about z/b/e/f ensoulment… it has no basis in science or reality.

  • rebellious-grrl

    Sorry Charley,

    We’re not buying what your selling. Your rating is low because you’re a troll. Troll rating = 1.

    (Hint, text under the number of comments, “Comments are rated by readers on a scale from 1 to 5. Comments with a rating of 2 or less are hidden. Click on hidden comments to view them.”)

    I just hate to be the bearer of bad news. Really I do.

     

     

  • mechashiva

    It is much easier to estimate the first day of the last menstrual period than to guess the date of implantation (the beginning of the actual pregnancy) or the date of fertilization, which may not even be the same day as ovulation or coitus. Those other measures have too much variability to be estimated with any certainty. This is why doctors use LMP, because it is the simplest and most accurately pinpointed. It also happens to define pregnancy-duration by women’s cycles rather than on embryonic development, which is interesting from a philosophical standpoint but unrelated to the reasoning behind choosing LMP.

     

    All major public health organizations and cancer foundations agree that there is not substantial evidence linking abortion to breast cancer. They have made this determination after reviewing all the research with the motivation of decreasing incidence of breast cancer. Grant money is given on how promising research is in this area. All claims regarding corruption of cancer organizations by pro-choice influence are conspiracy theories. You are wrong when you claim that the studies your pamphlets cite are well-designed. There’s an excellent analysis of this issue written by an oncologist here:

    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=2749

     

    All claims about souls and spiritual health are metaphysical, meaning they are unsubstantiated. By their very definition, there is no way to prove or disprove metaphysical claims. Therefore, metaphysical claims should be presented only as hypotheses, rather than facts or rigorously tested theories. Put simply: religious beliefs are a matter of personal opinion, and should not be foisted onto others.

     

    Propoganda is any media that is meant to persuade, but particularly implies a political agenda. All pro-life handouts are meant to be persuasive with regards to personal decision, and also attempt to influence the reader’s opinion of abortion in general (read: abortion in politics). Lies are not necessary to define something as propoganda, but your movement does make ready use of untruths.

  • crowepps

    Unfortunately, most people live in and have to deal with the actual REAL world, and so what ‘shouldn’t’ happen is totally irrelevant.

     

    Adoption is primarily for the good of the child, and only secondarily for the adoptive parents.

    As it is currently structured, adoption is primarily for the good of the adoption agency, which browbeats or shames the mother into surrendering the child by insisting she ‘owes’ the agency for her prenatal costs/support or that she won’t be able to take care of a baby adequately and then rakes in huge amounts of money by extorting cash from people who want a baby.  A poor history including mental illness, alcoholism, abusive behavior, history of child sexual abuse or religious extremism can be ‘evaporated’ by extra applications of cash.   The baby’s well being comes way down at the end of the line – the baby is just the ‘product’.

     

    I certainly don’t know of any human with the CAPACITY to interfere with God’s handling of souls.  He does as He wills with them entirely without our input and we CAN’T affect His decisions one iota.  It actually borders on blasphemous for you to assert that we can.

  • colleen

    Some of these women literally are children, minors coerced by parents or boyfriends–”have the abortion or I’ll kick you out.

     

    Children don’t make medical decisions for themselves. no decent parent would force a raped child to carry a pregnancy to term. Indeed, no decent human being would. Little girls aren’t livestock.

     

  • plume-assassine

    Hell is real or it’s not, regardless of religion. Mount Everest doesn’t go away if I don’t believe in it.

    ROFL. Yeah, except that Mount Everest is A REAL PLACE ON EARTH, people have been there, and there is abundant proof of its existence. You cannot say the same thing for “Hell”!

    Radioactive deadly pink unicorns are either real or they’re not, regardless of religion. Radioactivity doesn’t go away if I don’t believe in it.

    and “…regardless of religion”? Wrong. Hell is a construct of religion; it’s not some separate concept existing outside of religious belief.

     

    Some of these women literally are children, minors coerced by parents or boyfriends

    And enduring the shame, harrassment, intimidation, and stigma associated with being yelled at/confronted by rabid religious fanatics on the clinic sidewalk DOES NOT HELP MATTERS. Again, there are doctors and trained counselors to help. You are not equipped to handle that situation!

     

    Abortion is lucrative for the doctor, at least a couple of thousand dollars per hour. It is also now intensely lucrative, in the billions of dollars, with the sale of fetal tissue and organs for research and to make cosmetics and vaccines.

    Wrong. There is no sale of aborted fetal tissue for research or “cosmetics”! Either you are lying through your teeth or you are grossly ignorant of the facts. And I’m guessing that you did not even read the article I linked to. The most lucrative careers for a doctor are cardiologist, radiologist, oncologist, gastroenterologist, cardiac surgeon, orthopedic surgeon, transplant surgeon, and pediatric surgeon. Gynecologist or a doctor who regularly performs abortions — not in that list.

     

    And, regarding being needed, I’d consider someone’s presence on the sidewalk necessary if I were about to be aborted. I’d be grateful for anyone I could get!

    Patently ridiculous. There is no conscious “I” in an embryo or a fetus. There is no capacity to reflect on existence or nonexistence in that state.

  • rebellious-grrl

    It always annoys me when anti-choicers (especially men) say flippantly, “it’s only nine months.” Like it sounds like so much fun. Give me a break. I don’t believe there is any innate maternal instinct. Pregnancy and parenthood is not for everyone and definitely not for me.

  • arekushieru

    I don’t think that the above scenario that you quoted, represents a decent parent.  But I absolutely believe that if the parent said I would support you in whatever medical decision you made, and I believe that abortion is the best choice for you, here’s why, and accompanied the child to the clinic to have an abortion performed, THAT would be a decent parent.  :) 

  • arekushieru

    Patently ridiculous. There is no conscious “I” in an embryo or a fetus. There is no capacity to reflect on existence or nonexistence in that state.

    It’s also ridiculous considering that there are organ recipients who actually do have a conscious “I” that would probably be grateful for anything similar, yet no one seems to care when it comes to actual PERsons with consciousness and awareness, oddly enough. 

  • arekushieru

    Just to clarify, LaPlume, I believe Gehenna simply refers to the pits, or mass graves, where bodies were buried and burned.  That’s why I believe it exists.

  • crowepps

    There is no sale of aborted fetal tissue for …”cosmetics”!

    I’ve been hearing this same stupid lie for AT LEAST 20 years.  Apparently some nitwit saw ‘placenta’ on the list of ingredients for their face cream and being too ignorant to realize that ALL reproducing mammals have placentas, and unaware that dairy cows are bred and have a calf every year to ‘freshen their milk’ and the farmer sells the placentas (right along with the young calves/veal), LEAPT to the totally unjustified conclusion that they ‘must be’ human placentas.

     

    I sorrow for the future of our country knowing that people with the capacity to cope with making posts on a computer can’t bother to google an urban myth like this but instead apparently PREFER to go on believing gross lies because they get such a thrill out of anything that demonizes ’the enemy’ (the rest of their fellow citizens) and justifies their bizarre ideology.

     

    The only explanation is:

    http://www.villagevoice.com/2010-09-29/news/white-america-has-lost-its-mind/

  • plume-assassine

    oh, yes, I knew what you meant. Just for the record, I don’t have a big problem with religious belief/faith as long as it’s not used to oppress others, …as in this case, women. (which, from reading your many excellent posts, you are not guilty of doing) I wish there were more liberal, feminist, social-justice-oriented Christians, actually.

  • forced-birth-rape

    ”Some of these women literally are children, minors coerced by parents or boyfriends–”have the abortion or I’ll kick you out.” They can indeed be unaware of their options or can feel powerless to exercise them, exploitation of women if ever there was.”

    ~This perverted self-serving statement was exploiting pregnant women, pregnant little girls, and pregnant female rape victims! Women are exploited by forced-sex and forced-childbirth, both have to do with their bodies and vaginas being used, and abused against their will. Little pregnant girls do not want you perverts watching and badgering them as they go or come from getting an abortion, you make their whole sad life experience more perverted. They think you are gross! I use to smile and be polite to religious pervs, but what I was thinking the whole time was, don’t talk to me, don’t touch me, don’t look at me, don’t think about me, don’t say my name. You pro-lifers remind me so much of the perverts from my childhood.~

  • beenthere72

    I rate this post a 10.  A+++++++++

  • rebellious-grrl

    Thanks beenthere72!

  • katwa

    Even if the 9 months spent pregnant were a cake-walk, what about actually giving birth? Most women will tell you it was the most painful thing they ever experienced! Sure, if they want kids, it may be worth it. I, however, DON’T and am frankly horrified by the idea of the whole thing. Some women would rather DIE than give birth (and have killed themselves for this reason when they cannot get an abortion). Obviously it IS a big deal.

  • cdramsey

    Hi Crowepps,

     

    Placentas are not fetal tissue in the immoral sense, unless they are obtained by abortion. Placentas and umbilical tissue are produced naturally and are already being used for numerous therapies in Adult Stem Cell Research, versus Embryonic Stem Cell Research which has not produced one.

    I see the medical lab couriers making pickups at the abortion buildings, so this would seem to be some evidence of such transactions. I will research further, I’ve heard about cosmetics and vaccines from sources found generally reliable.

  • cdramsey

    Hello MechaShiva,

    Metaphysics does not mean unsubstantiated, it means beyond physics, or beyond what is measurable. Such things are true or not even if we can’t see them, and they don’t change with our opinions.

    We should make no use of untruths, and neither should anyone else.

     

    That would be the correct definition for propaganda, which comes from the Latin, “what is propagated.” The truth is the only thing worth propagating. So the goal really is not to persuade, but to promote the truth for everyone’s benefit. There would be no benefit in persuading someone of something that is untrue.

     

    I will research about the medical and cancer organizations.

  • cdramsey

    Hello Rebellious grrl,

    Thank you for the advice about comments. It isn’t about me, it is about what is true. Some things are true no matter who says them, and no matter how they are received.

    Selling something that isn’t true doesn’t make it true, and calling the truth untrue doesn’t make it so.

    So, it is less a question of, “how do the readers rate this,” and more, “is this objectively true?”

     

  • cdramsey

    Hi Crowepps,

    What should happen is definitely relevant! We’re here to help the world become more as it should be! That would apply to adoption processes as well.

    Every human has the capacity to refuse to cooperate with God’s handling of souls. We don’t change anything about God, because God doesn’t change, but refusing to cooperate changes us, we end up in a different way than God intended.

    Our input is actually highly important, because being created in God’s image, we have the capacity to share in divine life. Our prayers and actions don’t change God’s mind, but have been ordained by God from eternity to lead to certain results. So God created us to participate with Him, and that applies to bringing about new life, which is why it is called “pro-creation”, a sharing in creating.

  • mindy

    I’m one of those “insane” people you talk about, who does get up on Saturday mornings to go to our local abortion clinic.  Why?  Because there are many women who go for an abortion because they think it is their only option and nobody inside is going to tell them otherwise.  Abortion is a business; a big money business.  The women who go who have made up their minds, we leave alone.  But there are many who are at a loss and are looking for someone to talk with.  We don’t have a stake in this game.  We aren’t looking to gain the $300.  We have nothing to offer but to let them know they aren’t alone.  I’ve had multiple young girls come to talk who have no idea what an abortion does.  Once they hear they say, “I can’t do that”.  To say that there is no such thing as post-abortion trauma is plain goofy.  Women who were coerced into an abortion or felt like it was their only option routinely regret a choice that can never be reversed.  If we felt confident that the abortion clinic would give full disclosure of what an abortion is and what alternatives were available, we wouldn’t be outside their doors.  But why would they?  They want the money.  The trite retort that abortion should be “safe, legal and rare” sounds great if it were true.  But abortionists want abortions.  It’s their business.  They aren’t going to try to dissuade a patient from the very product they peddle.  So why don’t the sidewalk counselors just stay home?  Because the women going into the abortion clinics are victims of greed and bad information.  Another reason is that life matters, at all stages.  I notice that Robin refers to “babies” in quotes.  If they aren’t babies, what exactly are they?  And who is speaking on their behalf?  I am a woman and a lot of little women’s human rights are being violated.  You may want us to go away, but as long as lives are being snuffed out, we’ll be there–for them and their moms. 

  • cdramsey

    Hi La Plume,

    We’re pregnant with babies, which are persons, so there are two undisputable persons in the unwanted pregnancy scenario.

     

    Fingernails do contain our soul, actually, every cell in the body does. But the real question would be whether cutting or adorning fingernails truly threatens the soul. If it doesn’t, then the nail salon protester/counselor can be safely ignored. If it does, however, then the p/c should persevere in spite of resistance, because people would need to know this. Thinking that the p/c is crazy doesn’t mean that the p/c is.

     

    Zygote, blastocyte, embryo and fetus are stages of human development as are infant, toddler, child and adolescent. We are ensouled across the entire continuum of human life. Perhaps you’ve heard this, the only difference between a child in the womb and one outside it is SLED: Size, Level of Development, Environment, and Dependency. 

     

    If this is true, it has a basis in reality and will be confirmed by science, to the extent that science can address such a question. If it is true, science will be unable to disprove it. So the task is to determine whether it is true.

  • cdramsey

    Hi Mindy,

    Maybe you won’t think that I’m a Troll! :) See all of the dimmed comments…

  • cdramsey

    Hi Rebellious grrl,

    Not that you’re saying that I did, but I wanted to emphasize that I didn’t say, and didn’t mean, “it’s only nine months.” I’m not at all belittling the difficulty of pregnancy. My point was that there is another way for pregnancy to end.

     

  • ack

    And if you’re harassing women who are in abusive relationships and WANT an abortion because their partner deliberately impregnanted them, you’re contributing to the abuse. You don’t get to decide what’s best for women in abusive relationships. Those educated people in confidential, closed spaces will tell them about their options. Then those women get to decide for themselves.

     

    Your efforts would be better spent lobbying your legislature for support for women who are pregnant and want to stay that way, through support for the health care reform bill, child care subsidies, and increased access to education and jobs for mothers.

  • ack

    “As well-meaning as the persons working in an abortion building might be, there is still a financial motivation in providing abortions. It is difficult for anyone to dissuade someone from something when it impacts one’s livelihood.”

     

    So all those people working to end intimate partner abuse, child abuse, unequal treatment of LGBTQ people, racism, ableism, classism, ethnocentrism, animal abuse, the destruction of the environment, and war don’t REALLY want those things to end because that’s where the fucking paycheck comes from? 


    You have GOT to be kidding me. 


    Doctors who provide abortions universally support access to contraception and reproductive health care, medically accurate sex ed, and all that stuff that the extreme anti-choice side doesn’t. They support programs for women with children, pregnant women who want to keep their children, and yes, access to abortion. They, and we, support women. AND WE SUPPORT THE PROGRAMS THAT ACTUALLY REDUCE ABORTION RATES. 

  • prochoiceferret

    Because there are many women who go for an abortion because they think it is their only option and nobody inside is going to tell them otherwise.

     

    So you, some random person on the street with no credentials and a rather gargantuan ideological chip on your shoulder are going to bring women the enlightenment that they won’t get from trained, experienced, professional counselors.

     

    Abortion is a business; a big money business.  The women who go who have made up their minds, we leave alone.

     

    I’m guessing you’ve seen very, very, very few women who have made up their minds. Did they happen to be accompanied by large, burly men with a tendency to look daggers at annoying solicitors?

     

    But there are many who are at a loss and are looking for someone to talk with.

     

    When they say things like “Please go away” and “Who are you? Leave me alone!”, they’re really just crying out for your help.

     

    I’ve had multiple young girls come to talk who have no idea what an abortion does.  Once they hear they say, “I can’t do that”.

     

    “I don’t want them to stick the same kind of vacuum they use to clean out porta-johns inside my cooter!”

     

    To say that there is no such thing as post-abortion trauma is plain goofy.

     

    Almost as goofy as claiming that the trauma/depression results from the procedure itself, and not from existing trauma/depression.

     

    Women who were coerced into an abortion or felt like it was their only option routinely regret a choice that can never be reversed.

     

    Umm… if they were coerced, or didn’t have any other option, then it wouldn’t exactly be what you’d call a “choice,” now would it?

     

    Oh wait. Let me rephrase. Then it wouldn’t exactly be what a sane, reasonable person would call a “choice,” now would it?

     

    If we felt confident that the abortion clinic would give full disclosure of what an abortion is and what alternatives were available, we wouldn’t be outside their doors.

     

    And since they won’t disclose that abortion is an evil evil evil thing no matter what reason the woman may have for wanting one, you’re going to keep skipping Saturday-morning bingo for this.

     

    But why would they?  They want the money.  The trite retort that abortion should be “safe, legal and rare” sounds great if it were true.  But abortionists want abortions.  It’s their business.  They aren’t going to try to dissuade a patient from the very product they peddle.

     

    Yes, they would never do anything that would reduce the number of “products” they sell, like distribute contraception. Abortion doctors hate the Pill with a passion.

     

    So why don’t the sidewalk counselors just stay home?  Because the women going into the abortion clinics are victims of greed and bad information.

     

    Yes, those doctors are living lives of luxury, thanks to their refusal to tell their patients that abortion will send them straight to hell.

     

    Another reason is that life matters, at all stages.  I notice that Robin refers to “babies” in quotes.  If they aren’t babies, what exactly are they?

     

    Zygotes, embryos, or fetuses, which are the proper medical terms. Everybody uses “stomach” to refer to their abdomen area, but that doesn’t make it accurate terminology, either.

     

    And who is speaking on their behalf?

     

    Obviously, people who want to use them as an excuse to restrict women’s reproductive choices.

  • arekushieru

    Funny, my God isn’t a misogynist.  Apparently yours is.  The way you want to enforce Pro-creation is by making women slaves to their uteruses, especially women who wish they didn’t HAVE to have that organ that defines their way of life to all you misogynists.. 

  • mechashiva

    If it can’t be measured, then there’s no way to gather evidence. Without evidence, the claim is unsubstantiated. So yes, all metaphysical claims are unsubstantiated. That’s the whole “mystery of faith,” believing even though you understand you can never know for sure that any of it is true. What you choose to believe is just that, your personal preference of certain metaphysical hypotheses over others.

     

    The reason your pamphlets are propoganda is that they are based on your religious hypotheses. The pseudoscience supporting anti-abortion claims come from biased research and statistical abuse. You are not spreading truth, you are spreading your perspective… your opinion. When you masquerade opinion for fact, you are lying in order to persuade.

  • arekushieru

    Placentas are not fetal tissue in the immoral sense, unless obtained by abortion?  Wanted abortion is moral so how can fetal tissue obtained from an abortion be considered immoral, in this context?

  • mechashiva

    It’s possible that the clinic you go to contracts with a clinical lab science organization (collecting explicitly donated tissue for distribution to labs across the country). However, I don’t think that they would be using a big truck. The people who came to our clinic just took their normal cars, because the tissue from one day doesn’t take up much room (just being frank, here).

     

    If your group sees a biohazard truck collecting lots of trash bags, that’s just the weekly (or so) collection of all the medical waste from that time period. Some of it is fetal tissue, but most of it isn’t. Abortion is a surgery, and surgery can be either a little messy or a lot messy (never spic-and-span). Whatever is used to clean up, usually a bunch of bulky paper-products, has to be incinerated, because it has been exposed to human fluids. So that’s the majority of the waste from the clinic. I only mention this because I have seen protesters get down on their knees and pray at a bag of “puppy-pads.”

  • arekushieru

    “We’re” not pregnant with babies.  I don’t know about you, but I have not yet heard of a male who could get pregnant.  Meaning someone with two XY chromosomes and a set of male organs.  I have also never heard of someone refer to a toddler as an adolescent.  Why are you determined to display a different set of standards in the case of a fetus?

     

    Dependency IS the issue.  That is what causes a fetus to infringe on a woman’s rights.  And there is that saying, your rights stop at the end of my nose, y’know….

  • mechashiva

    If we felt confident that the abortion clinic would give full disclosure of what an abortion is and what alternatives were available, we wouldn’t be outside their doors.

    There’s nothing an anyone can do or say to make you “confident” that abortion clinics actually do provide full disclosure and at least referrals to help with other decisions. However, it is true. They do. We provide far more accurate information than pro-lifers do… because we know more about our job than you do. That’s what makes us professionals.

     

    I can tell you that staff, who are paid wages by the hour, generally prefer a lighter surgery schedule. Staff don’t care how the company’s stock is selling, and neither do the doctors (who may be paid a salary or on comission, but have no control over the number of surgeries to be done). They’re medical assistants, nurses, managers, and receptionists… not salesmen or CEOs. If a woman isn’t sure, staff are generally happy to encourage further consideration of all the options available… because then there’s one less patient to see, and they can go home on time (or *gasp* early, for a change). It isn’t like we get paid on commission or get a bigger bonus if we sign up the most patients that month.

     

    Also, abortion is not a big business. Quotes of the amount of money generated at abortion clinics lack the context of what level of profit should be expected from any outpatient surgery facility. Abortion clinics generate significantly less profit than other types of clinics. As a result, staff and physicians tend to be paid much less than they would be for comparable work elsewhere. The people who work at abortion clinics are people who are willing to work for perhaps half of what they could make in a different area of medicine.

  • crowepps

    I certainly can’t see anything in the usual theories about the soul that indicates that the soul is ‘damaged’ by the death of the body.  As a matter of fact, most Christian commentators insist that it is being BORN that ‘damages’ the soul by making it heir to the debt of ‘original sin’ and subject to damnation.

     

    Any argument about the good of the fetal ‘soul’ seems to me pretty weak, since if when a zygote is created the ‘soul’ is created and when the zygote fails to implant and is flushed that ‘soul’ goes wherever God directs ‘innocent’ souls, it’s a win-win for everybody.  Based on that theory, women who selfishly insist on their children being born ALIVE are doing more damage to the souls they have created.

     

    And, of course, an argument about something for which there is zero evidence whatsoever is always kind of fruitless.

  • annas-nana

    Wow, What a great conversation you have all been having. While I am not responding on behalf of MHCW, I am an administrative employee at Midwest Health Center for Women. I’d really like to thank Robin for volunteering as an escort and for writing about her experience. I can attest to how much our patients appreciate having escorts outside the building. And yes, since our clinic is nondescript, we also appreciate escorts serving as building markers for the patients! We LOVE all our volunteers!

     

    I do feel compelled to respond to a few of Charley’s comments.

     

    My first one is petty, he told Leah S that it takes 12 (or so) times for a person to walk by before he recognizes them. Yet, he is somehow able to limit his cigarette supply to teenagers to no more than 3 a week. I just must say that is a convenient memory he has going for himself!

     

    But, more importantly I will address just two of Charley comments regarding abortion clinics:

     

    “Abortion is lucrative for the doctor, at least a couple of thousand dollars per hour. It is also now intensely lucrative, in the billions of dollars, with the sale of fetal tissue and organs for research and to make cosmetics and vaccines.”I see the medical lab couriers making pickups at the abortion buildings, so this would seem to be some evidence of such transactions. I will research further, I’ve heard about cosmetics and vaccines from sources found generally reliable” – quotes by cdramsey

     

    I can assure the readers that our physicians do not make close a couple of thousand dollars per hour, and not even close to one thousand dollars per hour! Additionally, MN has a law that fetal remains must be buried or cremated respectfully. We have always followed that practice. We have never made any money whatsoever selling fetal/pregnancy remains, tissue or organs; and in fact it is an expense to the clinic.  We are a medical clinic. Of course we have lab couriers making pickups. We provide pap smears and many additional medical TESTS that are sent to an outside lab on a daily.

     

    Abortion clinics come under fire enough, I do not believe any clinics are going to open themselves up further by making income off the products of conception.

     

    I could go on and on, but my lunch break is over and it’s time to get to work! I created this new account to respond to this blog entry. Surprisingly, becoming a nana a year ago made me even MORE prochoice, hence the name!!

  • lucy9

    @Pro-Choice Ferret

    So you, some random person on the street with no credentials and a rather gargantuan ideological chip on your shoulder are going to bring women the enlightenment that they won’t get from trained, experienced, professional counselors.

    First of all, Mindy has said nothing about whether or not she has credentials so that’s an assumption. But even if she doesn’t, it doesn’t take special training to tell a women she has other options and offer her support. For all the rhetoric I hear about how women are strong and should be able to make their own choices, I find it funny that when a “random person on the street with no credentials” chooses abortion they know what they’re doing, but another “random person on the street” that disagrees with you all of a sudden isn’t educated enough to offer advice. 

    Anyways, as Planned Parenthood does 1 adoption referral for every 134 abortions, I wouldn’t say that these “professionals” are doing too great at presenting all choices equally.

    (statistics from Planned Parenthood: http://www.plannedparenthood.org/files/PPFA/fact_ppservices_2010-09-03.pdf)

     

    Almost as goofy as claiming that the trauma/depression results from the procedure itself, and not from existing trauma/depression.

     

    Existing depression – are you serious? Yes, I am sure that some cases of post-abortion depression could be tied into previous conditions, but every woman that I have met that has suffered from depression after an abortion has linked it to regretting the abortion.

     

    Umm… if they were coerced, or didn’t have any other option, then it wouldn’t exactly be what you’d call a “choice,” now would it?

    Oh wait. Let me rephrase. Then it wouldn’t exactly be what a sane, reasonable person would call a “choice,” now would it?

     

    Exactly… a lot of the time, when women have an abortion they don’t feel like they have much of a choice – hence the reason the sidewalk counselors are there. Asking whether or not you should get a tattoo at a tattoo parlor won’t be the best way to receive unbiased opinions (I have nothing against tattoos btw) – and the same goes for abortion clinics. If the pro-choice movement is really all about choice, why does it matter if these women decide to talk to one of the people outside the clinic and choose life? Why do we need clinic escorts to make sure these women don’t talk to other women? I’m sure examples of the few crazies will be brought up, but those don’t represent the majority of sidewalk counselors. I drive past our local Planned Parenthood often and the people outside aren’t hell-preaching radicals, they’re everyday people wanting to either share their personal experience with abortion, or stand up for those that can’t defend themselves.

     

    I’m sorry that the author of this article witnessed a “Debra”, but for every Debra there are far more gentle people that truly care about the women and about the babies, many of whom have already suffered the affects of abortion. The times I’ve talked to girls who regret their abortions, I never condemn what’s already done and don’t dream of “punishing” them – that’s not my purpose.

     

    And since they won’t disclose that abortion is an evil evil evil thing no matter what reason the woman may have for wanting one, you’re going to keep skipping Saturday-morning bingo for this.

     

    Your sarcasm is getting old. Once again, you keep attributing situations to Mindy, (i.e. Bingo, “I don’t want them to stick the same kind of vacuum they use to clean out porta-johns inside my cooter!”) to make her, another woman, appear uneducated or stupid – a typical method of arguing, but a poor one. You know nothing about her except that she disagrees with you.

     

    Obviously, people who want to use them as an excuse to restrict women’s reproductive choices.

    I notice that in responding to her quote, “And who is speaking on their behalf?”, you avoided addressing her following line, “I am a woman and a lot of little women’s human rights are being violated.” 

     

  • beenthere72

    Existing depression – are you serious?

     

    Hi Lucy, nice to meet you.  My name is Rachel, otherwise known as beenthere72.    I was suffering from depression long before I got an abortion.    I did not regret the abortion, I regretted the unprotected sex.     I did not regret the abortion, I regretted my lack of self esteem.     I did not regret the abortion, I did regret not having someone else drive me to the clinic (man, that was a tough drive home).  

     

    I went to a Planned Parenthood.   I was told about other options, but my mind was already made up, was made up long before I got there.   I did not want to be pregnant.  I did not want to give birth.   I do not believe that early term abortion is murder.   

     

    I assume those women you meet that regret their abortions are also those that are now choosing to be pro-life, and hence why you’re meeting *those* women, and not the majority of us that had abortions and moved on with our lives and choose to NOT interfere in the choices of other women.    What you do with your uterus is your business.   What I do with my uterus is my business.    

     

    As for your tattoo reference, a respectable tattoo artist – and they really do exist – will not give you a tattoo if you’re on the fence about it.     If you express any doubt, whatsoever, they will not put one dab of permanent ink on your body.    Trust me, I have many. 

     

    I can say with certainty that Planned Parenthood works much the same way. 

  • goatini

    a lot of the time, when women have an abortion they don’t feel like they have much of a choice” – BS.  

     

    What those women have braved, not the least of all being your sanctimonious @ss harassing them at a medical care facility, just to get themselves to the door of the facility, PROVES that they have thought carefully and are exercising THEIR (legally protected, thanks to women like me) CHOICE.

     

    The REALITY is the following:  A lot of the time, when women are faced with an unwanted pregnancy, they don’t feel like they have much of a choice, because…

     

    * their state legislatures keep adding ridiculous hurdles around obtaining a legal medical procedure.  

     

    * insurance coverage is not provided for a legal medical procedure.

     

    * there is ONE facility in their state that offers this legal medical procedure.

     

    * they don’t have the disposable time and money to take time off from work, arrange child care if needed, take the trip, stay somewhere, spend X number of days waiting due to ridiculous waiting laws for a legal medical procedure.  

     

    * (RHRC regulars, insert more reasons here)

  • crowepps

    Why do we need clinic escorts to make sure these women don’t talk to other women?

    I have watched many of the videos posted by both sides of this issue on YouTube.  I have never, ever seen a client escort do anything that could be interpreted as ‘making sure these women don’t talk to other women’.  I have seen a great many instances in which clients are saying, ‘leave me alone’, ‘get away from me’, ‘I don’t want to talk to you’ and the protestors just keep after them.

     

    The escorts are there to make sure liars don’t misdirect clients to the NEAREST CPC in an attempt to prevent their abortion or tell them ‘the clinic is closed today’ or ‘your appointment has been canceled’.  The escorts are there to KEEP PROTESTERS THE LEGAL DISTANCE AWAY from people who do NOT want to talk to them.  The escorts are there because clients find protesters SCARY as they WALK IN FRONT OF cars and RUDE as they intrude into other people’s space, and UNCIVIL as they insist that their ‘free speech rights’ give them license to INSIST that people listen to them.  Clinic escorts give clients a feeling of safety as people SCREAM at them and CURSE them and call them murderer and wave bloody dollies in their faces.

     

    Continue to wallow in your self-righteous satisfaction as a member of a lynch mob, but for cripe’s sake, don’t fool yourself that a client who says ‘thank you’ is saying anything except ‘don’t hurt me’.  The average ordinary person thinks the ‘gentle, sincere’ clinic protesters are there to give the nut with a gun some cover until he can get a good shot.

  • cdramsey

    Hello Annas,

     

    I was kidding about needing 12 times to recognize someone, hence the :). My point was that I would certainly not speak to an employee and/or an obviously pregnant woman since they are not heading for an abortion.

     

    Former abortion owners and workers have admitted to these practices, so they have occurred at some abortion places.

     

    If a doctor can be paid $500 per abortion and perform 4 abortions in an hour, that would be $2,000/hour. Even $1,000/hour should be considered lucrative, and abortion doctors have said that this made it difficult for them to stop. The point isn’t whether it is as lucrative as other medical fields, the point is that it is a strong incentive.

     

     

  • cdramsey

    Hi Crowepps,

    It doesn’t happen that often any more, but there have been plenty of escorts who have made sure to talk to the women in ways that prevent me from being heard by them, unless I raise my voice.

     

    There have also been escorts who have stepped deliberately in front of me to keep me from getting close enough to offer information, and for these I have called the police if it doesn’t stop after warnings, because no one can intentionally interfere with someone’s use of the sidewalk.

     

    I won’t schedule anyone who lies, screams, curses, waves bloody dolls, etc., and if such a person insisted on coming out, I would tell them that they were not welcome with us and should expect to have the police summoned if they became too disorderly. Someone so behaving is generally unable to come out consistently, anyway.

  • crowepps

    It doesn’t happen that often any more, but there have been plenty of escorts who have made sure to talk to the women in ways that prevent me from being heard by them, unless I raise my voice.

     Maybe they do that because the women they are escorting DON’T WANT TO HEAR WHAT YOU’RE SAYING.

    There have also been escorts who have stepped deliberately in front of me to keep me from getting close enough to offer information, and for these I have called the police if it doesn’t stop after warnings, because no one can intentionally interfere with someone’s use of the sidewalk.

    Maybe they do that because the women they are escorting DON’T WANT YOU TO GET THAT CLOSE TO THEM.

     

    You certainly do have a right to use the sidewalk.  You do NOT have a right to ‘get close enough to offer information’ if the woman doesn’t want you that close.  Women do not have to participate in or tolerate your monomania.

  • annas-nana

    I have personal knowledge of what physicians are paid at two of the clinics and it is not even close to $500 per abortion. And, again, I indicated they do not make “even $1,000/hour” – not even close.

  • crowepps

    Who carries the insurance on the doctors?  Do the doctors have to pay their insurance out of the fee received?  If so, their ‘fee’ is gross income, not what they actually ‘earn’.

  • prochoiceferret

    First of all, Mindy has said nothing about whether or not she has credentials so that’s an assumption.

     

    Given that she’s approaching women who don’t want to talk with her, in an environment that no halfway-competent counselor would find appropriate for patient interaction, it’s a pretty safe assumption.

     

    But even if she doesn’t, it doesn’t take special training to tell a women she has other options and offer her support.

     

    It does take special training to tell a woman she has other options without pressuring her to choose them instead of what she already has in mind, or to offer her support that is actual support for the decision she makes, and not just for the decision you want her to make.

     

    For all the rhetoric I hear about how women are strong and should be able to make their own choices, I find it funny that when a “random person on the street with no credentials” chooses abortion they know what they’re doing, but another “random person on the street” that disagrees with you all of a sudden isn’t educated enough to offer advice.

     

    Isn’t it funny how random people on the street tend to be the world’s preeminent experts on the circumstances of their own lives?

     

    Anyways, as Planned Parenthood does 1 adoption referral for every 134 abortions, I wouldn’t say that these “professionals” are doing too great at presenting all choices equally.

     

    Neither would you say that pregnant women who visit a Planned Parenthood clinic about abortion services might already be a teeny bit inclined toward getting an abortion. The ones who aren’t tend to visit adoption agencies instead. (What do you suppose their abortion-referral ratio is? Might the “professionals” at the agencies not be doing too great at presenting all choices equally?)

     

    Existing depression – are you serious? Yes, I am sure that some cases of post-abortion depression could be tied into previous conditions, but every woman that I have met that has suffered from depression after an abortion has linked it to regretting the abortion.

     

    They’ve done actual studies of this, so anecdotes are not needed. The most predictive factor of “post-abortive depression” was pre-abortive depression.

     

    Postpartum depression, however, is very real. And because you don’t like it when women get depressed, I’m sure you encourage women not to give birth, unless they’re really, really set on doing so.

     

    Exactly… a lot of the time, when women have an abortion they don’t feel like they have much of a choice – hence the reason the sidewalk counselors are there.

     

    So when a woman has a choice where one option is a lot more preferable for her than the other… that’s the same thing as being coerced. I guess when I order a pizza, I don’t really have the choice of whether or not to get anchovies on it, either.

     

    If the pro-choice movement is really all about choice, why does it matter if these women decide to talk to one of the people outside the clinic and choose life?

     

    Because that’s not what happens 99.999%  of the time, and to you, it matters way too much if these women decide to ignore you and have an abortion.

     

    Why do we need clinic escorts to make sure these women don’t talk to other women?

     

    We don’t. We need clinic escorts because you won’t leave these women alone even when they explicitly tell you to go away.

     

    I’m sure examples of the few crazies will be brought up, but those don’t represent the majority of sidewalk counselors.

     

    No, the majority of sidewalk counselors just harass and get in people’s faces and refuse to back off when told that their “counseling” is not wanted.

     

    I drive past our local Planned Parenthood often and the people outside aren’t hell-preaching radicals, they’re everyday people wanting to either share their personal experience with abortion, or stand up for those that can’t defend themselves.

     

    Kind of like how telemarketers just want to share with your their excitement about an innovative new product… except you can’t just hang up the phone.

     

    I’m sorry that the author of this article witnessed a “Debra”, but for every Debra there are far more gentle people that truly care about the women and about the babies, many of whom have already suffered the affects of abortion.

     

    Do these “far more gentle people” respect the woman’s wishes when she says that she is not interested in hearing their spiel?

     

    The times I’ve talked to girls who regret their abortions, I never condemn what’s already done and don’t dream of “punishing” them – that’s not my purpose.

     

    How nice. Perhaps you can give a stern “pro-lifer” to “pro-lifer” reprimand to those people who throw epithets like “slut” and “whore” at the women.

     

    Your sarcasm is getting old.

     

    Not as old as your disingenuity!

     

    Once again, you keep attributing situations to Mindy, (i.e. Bingo, “I don’t want them to stick the same kind of vacuum they use to clean out porta-johns inside my cooter!”) to make her, another woman, appear uneducated or stupid

     

    Actually, I was aiming more for “hyperbolic and deceitful.” Because I doubt her description of the abortion procedure is any closer to the reality.

     

    I notice that in responding to her quote, “And who is speaking on their behalf?”, you avoided addressing her following line, “I am a woman and a lot of little women’s human rights are being violated.”

     

    Because once those little women become big, pregnant women who don’t want to remain pregnant, violations of their human rights are what you’re all about.

  • arekushieru

    PCF:

    So when a woman has a choice where one option is a lot more preferable for her than the other… that’s the same thing as being coerced. I guess when I order a pizza, I don’t really have the choice of whether or not to get anchovies on it, either.

    Actually, I think there might be a case made that there is SOME coercion involved, but I generally think of it like this:  Taking away, or limiting, even more, a woman’s choice just because it is considered defective is a very, very, VERY bad idea.

    Lucy:

    or stand up for those that can’t defend themselves.

    But you aren’t simply standing up for those who can’t defend themselves (although I would question that a fetus is defenceless since it suppresses a woman’s immune system in order to keep the woman’s body from attacking it AND it draws nutrients from the calcium in the woman’s bones if it isn’t consuming enough calories, putting the woman in further danger), you’re moralizing for them.  If you were to simply stand up for them, you would promote ‘uterine-donation’ much the same as all other organ donation, withOUT the moralizing.

    Existing depression – are you serious? Yes, I am sure that some cases of post-abortion depression could be tied into previous conditions, but every woman that I have met that has suffered from depression after an abortion has linked it to regretting the abortion.

    In order for something to be considered a cause of depression, depression must result in the majority of its cases, reGARdless of the circumstances.   Which leads me to my next question:  Regretting the abortion, or regretting the fact that they were coerced into having one…?  Somehow, the latter seems more likely….  And, if that IS true, most women with PPD can’t ascribe to a similar category.  Regretting the lack of choice they had in continuing the pregnancy certainly compounds the problem, but it starts as a result of regret due to the ACTual pregnancy

  • arekushieru

    Why is it so necessary to focus on the incentive, here, but not in other places where it IS more lucrative?  If it’s the loss of life, then your focus should not be incentives in the first place.

  • cdramsey

    Hello MechaShiva,

     

    I’m sorry for the delay in replying, there was a good deal to think about.

     

    While it is true that metaphysical claims would be unsubstantiated, that doesn’t mean that they are unsubstantial, that they have no reality. I don’t think that anyone says that there are no metaphysical truths, just that we aren’t able to prove those truths by conventional measuring. So, there would be metaphysical truths, whether or not anyone believes in them.

     

    While it is also true that religion involves belief, belief ultimately has no bearing on what is true. Something is true or not regardless of belief. Hopefully one’s belief and one’s religion correspond to the truth, one wouldn’t worship what one doesn’t believe to be true, but truth exists independently.

     

    So, either natural law exists, and abortion violates it, or it doesn’t. That would mean that our pamphlets speak the truth, or they don’t. If they don’t speak the truth, they can be ignored, but if they do, they should be heeded. Our pamphlets could have errors, but again, that wouldn’t bear upon the existence of natural law.

     

    Finally, perhaps it is the time to wonder how a comment saying, “This guy is creepy” is rated Brilliant, while one involving metaphysics can’t even be rated Thoughtful.

     

    Thanks!

  • cdramsey

    Hello Arekushieru,

     

    A baby’s defense against her mother’s immune system isn’t much help against the abortion doctor’s tools. That is why we say that the baby is defenseless, she is unable to keep herself from being aborted.

     

    The so-called choice of slavery wasn’t outlawed because slaveowners behaved defectively, but because slavery is wrong, and owning a slave is not a choice for anyone. Nothing that hurts another can be called a choice; the word is being wrongly used. As much as they might wish to, child molesters and wife beaters may not speak of choice, because their actions have victims.

  • cdramsey

    Hello Crowepps,

    The original statement was that there has been nothing seen on YouTube about escorts interfering with us. My response was that it has happened. Now, whether it should happen would be the next question.

     

    These women are capable of deciding for themselves whether they want to take our information. An illegal action by an escort does not help them.

  • crowepps

    If the woman accepts the presence of the escort, and she says to the escort “Please keep that creepy guy AWAY from me”, at that point the women has decided.  Your assertion that the escort assisting the woman by helping to do exactly what the woman asked her to do is “illegal” is kind of strange.  What exactly is illegal about it?  You have a right to stand there.  You have a right to hold out your biased pamphlets.  You do NOT have a right to invade the personal space of a woman who has already declared she does NOT want you to get near her.  You do NOT have a right to follow behind someone and insist on continuing to talk to them after they say ‘leave me alone’.  Both actions are ABUSIVE and THREATENING and CREEPY.

  • cdramsey

    Hello Ack,

     

    Your efforts would be better spent lobbying your legislature for support for women who are pregnant and want to stay that way, through support for the health care reform bill, child care subsidies, and increased access to education and jobs for mothers.

    These are obviously worthwhile actions, but what would be even better would be to do this while making sure that children remain alive. Child care subsidies and increased access to education and jobs could help women decide that they want to remain pregnant because they have support.

     

    Abortion means that now two people are abused, when there shouldn’t be any. If I’m conceived in an abusive relationship, why should I die? How is this my fault?

     

    Relationship abuse is truly a complex topic, and I can sympathize completely with women who consider abortion in order to avoid abuse to the child. But escaping from the abuser is the answer, not putting the child to death, and we have helped women find ways to leave. The abuser shouldn’t get to victimize additional people.

     

     

  • crowepps

     If I’m conceived in an abusive relationship, why should I die? How is this my fault?

    Why should you live?  Maybe she can’t stand the idea that the genes of the abuser will be reproduced.  Maybe she’s afraid a child whose father is a monster that will grow up to do horrible, abusive things like approach strange women at abortion clinics and harass them.  There are some people the world would never miss.

  • arekushieru

    And a woman’s defense against a *fetus* isn’t much help if she cannot procure an abortion.  See how that works, now…?  

    And I think you seriously misinterpreted my argument about limiting women’s choices even further.  Because, limiting a slave-owner’s choices, would be comparable to limiting the ‘choices’ of a FETUS.  Yet you say a fetus can own a woman’s body.  Hmmm…. That sounds rather slavish like….  And pregnancy, which ALways hurts a woman, cannot be called a choice?  Weird logic you have there….  

  • cdramsey

    Hi Arekushieru,

    Refusing to donate an organ doesn’t cause someone’s death, their disease does. I might have failed to prevent their death, but I didn’t cause it. There is no disease in pregnancy, the doctor’s action causes the child’s death.

    Then your movement is not about life, it’s about punishment, misogyny and hypocrisy.

    How is this about punishment, misogyny and hypocrisy?

    First off, if we are going by Christian precepts:  Prove that souls exist.  THEN prove that tumours, sperm and eggs do NOT have a soul.  I am a Christian, remember, but it is beCAUSE I am a Christian I don’t automatically believe that Christian dogma (such as the assumption that only God and Christians can determine what does and doesn’t have a soul) is applicable to EVeryone.

    Secondly, if we are going by the concepts of conscious and awareness being applicable as to what constitutes a soul:  Tumours, eggs and sperm have the same level of consciousness and awareness that fetuses have.

    Lastly, embryonic stem cell research actually DOES affect indisputable persons by saving their lives.  Thus, embryonic stem cell research is moral.

     

    If God is the Creator, God does decide who has a soul. Christians don’t decide this; Christians believe that God has revealed Himself through His Son, Jesus Christ, and that in Jesus is revealed the fullness of human nature, since Jesus assumed a human nature. If Christianity is true, Christian dogma would therefore apply to all of humanity and all of creation.

     

    Tumors, sperm and eggs do not have the consciousness that fetuses have. Fetal consciousness lies on the continuum of human consciousness, and t/s/e are not of this nature. They are human cells of a particular type, and are not human persons.

     

    When it is said, “stem cell research has resulted in therapies,” we must clarify. Embryonic stem cell research has resulted in zero therapies, and grant money for the research goes unclaimed because scientists will not risk precious time in research careers to deal with something so unstable. ESCR continues because research there can be patented while Adult Stem Cell Research often cannot, being already in the public domain. ASCR, conversely, is bringing more new therapies than can be listed. Today I heard, on EWTN’s The World Over, that scientists in Boston and Australia are able to grow pluripotent cells from skin cells, to treat leukemia victims.

    Even if ESCR resulted in therapies, however, they would be immoral, as would therapies derived from Holocaust experiments. The ends do not justify the means, and an evil act cannot bring a good result.

  • cdramsey

    Hello Annas Nana,

     

    Former abortion doctors have said that they began performing abortions because of being able to earn a large sum of money relative to a short time for the procedure. Perhaps the amount overall isn’t so large, but it is for a few minutes’ effort, especially when there is not much patient followup.

  • crowepps

    an evil act cannot bring a good result

    Well, that pretty much allows abortion in cases of ‘evil’ - rape, incest and abuse.  No good could come of those pregnancies.

  • cdramsey

    Hi Arekushieru,

     

    You are absolutely right that the focus should be on protecting life. The point would be that financial fear can override this, as it often does with a pregnant mother with monetary concerns.

     

    Also, former abortion operation owners such as Carol Everett have admitted that abortions brought in the most income, so that these were encouraged by magnifying to women the costs and difficulties of childrearing.

     

    The former Planned Parenthood manager in Texas, Abby Johnson, was told by regional superiors that more abortions were required to boost income, even though Ms. Johnson’s goal had been to reduce abortions through education, and she had thought that it was PP’s goal as well. Perhaps it was for some at PP, but continued financial existence will always be a powerful motivator.

  • crowepps

    Tumors, sperm and eggs do not have the consciousness that fetuses have.

    Human consciousness is an artifact of the forebrain, the frontal lobes.  Until the frontal lobes develop very late in pregnancy fetuses have precisely the same consciousness as tumors, sperm and eggs: none.  There is no evidence whatsoever to show if there is a soul, or when such hypothetical souls might be ‘attached’ to a body.  The Biblical tradition is that the fetal body is ‘formed’ during pregnancy and the soul arrives with the first breath.

    They are human cells of a particular type, and are not human persons.

    Also true of ZBEF’s, which are not ‘human persons’ until they’re born alive.

  • arekushieru

    Uh, I think you really need to look up the terms punishment, misogyny and hypocrisy.  Punishment relies on behaviour modification to bring about (or what one ‘deems’ to be) the appropriate effect to a cause.  You aren’t attempting to save the life of indisPUTable human beings because no one CAUSED this behaviour.  Notice the emphasis on ’cause’ NOT life, this time…?  Misogyny means you treat women differently from every other class of humans simply because of the different behaviour of her anatomy.  As I told another anti on this website, rights are NOT determined by the expression of organs and their functions present in one’s body.  The expression of organs and their functions present in one’s body ARE determined by the rights granted to a person.  In the former case, your moralizing is applicable to women, ONLY.  In the latter case, your moralizing is applicable to ALL other groups of humans.  Hypocrisy arises out of a combination of characteristics inherent to the former two.

    God determines who has a soul…?  Then why are you attempting to speak for God, by determining that very thing…?

    Jesus had a CHRISTIAN human nature.  That you don’t distinguish tells me a lot about you.  I don’t believe Jesus asSUMEd a human nature.  I believe he asSUMEd a holy nature.

    So, you think pain and suffering is moral?  Sickening, I must say.  EsPECially when you aren’t the one on the receiving end of that suffering.  Besides, what do you think happens to Embryonic stem cells that AREn’t used in stem cell research?  They are destroyed.  Meaning they are destroyed without ever being useful.  I think a LOT of people would rather have been useful before dying.  But, then again, I’m not denying reality, I guess.

    Edited to add a complement to crowepps own comment: Fetuses have as much consciousness and awareness as sperm and eggs do, which are, in turn, the equivalent to the consciousness of a table.

     

  • arekushieru

    First breath meaning birth, right…?  Because fetuses can’t breathe, otherwise they would drown. 

  • arekushieru

    are apparently unrecognizable to certain anti-choicers….

  • crowepps

    One of the primitive explanations for stillbirths was that no soul was available to ‘animate’ the physical body.  Stillbirths still occur in the United States one in approx. 115 births.

  • arekushieru

    No, you just make sure the woman is victimized twice over.  Making sure that ‘children’ remain alive puts the women at risk and dehumanizes them.

  • forced-birth-rape

    ~Has it ever occurred to you that the woman, little girl, or rape victim is scared, and does not want to have extreme vaginal pain, does not want to have to anticipate and worry what could go wrong in delivery with her vagina. I, as some one who was sexually abused find it abhorrent that you people think some ones right to life gives them the right to cause a woman, little girl, or pregnant rape victim extreme vaginal agony to save their life. Every female has the right not to have extreme vaginal agony against her will, I know there is “NO” reason that justifies causing any female any vaginal pain against her will.~

  • plume-assassine

    I wasn’t going to jump into this thread again, but your comments pissed me off so much that I need to respond.

     

    How is this about punishment, misogyny and hypocrisy?

    The anti-choice movement is about punishment because you, and many others, want to live in a world where women are forced to carry to term and give birth against their will; where women are punished for having unprotected sex or punished for a mistake or punished for being raped; where women would be jailed if they DID have an abortion, based on a religious beliefs about souls.

    The anti-choice movement is about misogyny for the above reasons and because it sees women as incubators AND because you value the continued growth and existence of a fertilized egg or a fetus OVER the suffering and life circumstances of women!

    The anti-choice movement is about hypocrisy because many of you support war which kills millions of innocent humans; because many of you do not devote your time to the protection of INDISPUTABLE human life (the poor, the hungry, the abuse and rape victims); and because many anti-choice women will choose an abortion at some time in her reproductive life and believe that her choice was “moral” but others’ are wrong.

     

    Tumors, sperm and eggs do not have the consciousness that fetuses have

    All you are doing is re-stating your beliefs here. You have done nothing to PROVE without a shadow of a doubt that an embryo or a fetus has capability for sentience on the same level as you or I. The burden of proof rests with the believer! There is no reason that any of us should believe that an embryo or a fetus is a conscious person, especially when such a belief is counter to all that science can tell us about the development of human consciousness.

     

    Even if ESCR resulted in therapies, however, they would be immoral, as would therapies derived from Holocaust experiments

    It is extremely insulting for you to compare legitimate medical research on embryonic stem cells to torturous medical experiments performed on Holocaust victims! Especially considering that I know people whose family members are/were survivors of the Holocaust, it is insulting to compare their indisputable humanity and personhood, their indisputable pain and suffering to that of a human BLASTOCYST in a research lab, essentially 150-300 cells in a petri dish. You may be morally opposed to ESCR or abortion or birth control for whatever ridiculous religious delusions you hold dear, but DO NOT compare it to the atrocities of genocide or the Holocaust.

  • crowepps

    The abuser shouldn’t get to victimize additional people.

    Just how is it that your having “helped  women find ways to leave” prevents the abuser from victimizing additional people?  The abuser promptly finds ANOTHER victim and continues to perpetrate abuse on HER.  Perhaps instead of just helping the women to leave, you could pressure the police to prosecute the abuser so that’s locked up where he can’t hurt anyone else or do a protest near the ABUSER to ’save’ other women who might be fooled by him.

  • cdramsey

    Hi Crowepps,

     

    It wouldn’t be a question of whether the world misses someone, but whether the Creator wants them there. The Creator properly decides who is to be in the world, not the other creatures in it. Hitler believed that the world shouldn’t miss Jewish people.

  • cdramsey

    Hi Crowepps,

    I meant that an abortion means that the abuser has victimized both the mother and the child. Both should find safety away from the abuser.

    I would agree that there should be encouragement of prosecution of abusers as well as education to help abusers see that women are children of God and that this is how they want to treat women. They would need to see as well that they are sons of God and that abuse is behavior unworthy of them.

  • cdramsey

    Hello Forced,

    Yes, we understand that fears of the pains of pregnancy are a strong incentive for abortion. Pain management continue to improve, though pain could still be significant.

     

    It would seem to be one of the great mysteries of maternity, more in that sense than paternity, of how much suffering mothers will, or are called upon to undergo for their children. The greatest acts of love involve sacrificing and suffering for the good of another.

     

    Continuing a pregnancy amidst such fears requires tremendous faith that there is Someone Who has known them and this situation from eternity, Who knows exactly how much they can handle, and Who will get them through this. The same goes for providing for the child: “Do not worry about what you will eat or drink or wear, your Father in Heaven knows that you need these things.”

  • mechashiva

    The greatest acts of love involve sacrificing and suffering for the good of another.

    I disagree. The greatest acts of love involve releasing a person from their suffering. This does not require that the “savior” suffer, and their suffering does not make the “saving” more important.

     

    Besides, this whole emphasis on the suffering-savior is decidedly Christianity-based (though martyrdom is something religious extremists of all stripes support). It’s not a universal value, because it has dangerous repercussions when people internalize some idea of the “righteousness of suffering.” You might consider looking into other religions’ views on the matter, just to get a sense of perspective.

     

    Anyhow, continuing a pregnancy in the face of enormous difficulty does not require faith in a higher power. Atheists are perfectly capable of making these same decisions, and find their source of strength internally (and through their relationships with support-people). Religious people are no more likely to choose to carry to term than non-religious folks, and religion certainly does not make a person morally superior.

  • mechashiva

    What I’ve noticed about metaphysics: As soon as there is some evidence to support a “metaphysical” theory, it becomes “science.” Consider String Theory. Many of the basic ideas sound similar to religious beliefs, but most people think of it as  ”Quantum Physics.” People stop thinking about things as “religion/magic” once they understand how they work. Another great case in point: bacterial growth and Pasteur’s experiments disproving spontaneous generation (positively heretical at the time).

     

    Like Pasteur or any good scientist, I won’t simply accept something just because some religious leader came up with it. There might be a universal truth, but no one knows what that truth is any better than I do, so I’m going to do what I think is best. The Pope has as much reason to believe in Catholicism as the Dalai Lama has to believe in Tibetan Buddhism or my friend has for believing in Voodoo, and none have more proof to offer me than the others. They’re just hypothesizing based on what feels right to them. And what feels right to them varies due to their cultural backgrounds and life experiences, so what feels right to one will not feel right to another.

     

    Some people openly hedge their bets, “I believe what I do, just in case it is real.” That’s not good enough for me. There might be ideas I like better than others, but I don’t put faith in anything untested and/or untestable. I won’t let unsubstantiated claims dictate my behavior, because that’s just gambling. What if following certain religious beliefs brings me (and others) emotional suffering, and then the belief isn’t true? Then we have suffered for nothing. How could I possibly choose one religion over any other, when they are all equally baseless? I think it is better to live my life according to what brings me joy (not to be confused with “pleasure”) and alleviates suffering in others, because that is something that is observably positive and unquestionaly ethical… religion or no.

     

    As for “going against natural law,” we’re going to do that in practically every aspect of modern life. Objectively, an abortion is less harmful to the “fabric of life” than driving my car to work every day. When you consider the vastness of the universe, or even just all the forms of life present on this planet, it’s obvious that abortion cannot possibly have any significant impact on “the force that binds everything together”/God.

     

    Additionally, abortion is arguably one of the least “unnatural” things that we do, since it is something humans have documented for at least the last 4000 years. Being that it is so widespread and has been for so long, the fact that it is not explicitly discussed in most religious texts is telling… it must not be that important if no gurus bother to mention it (or perhaps they were just male-centric and didn’t care to notice the ethical issues women face, but goddess-based religions did not stigmatize abortion). Also, we aren’t the only animals that abort poorly-timed or or otherwise detrimental pregnancies (some herd animals can apparently abort at-will). We just do it with tools, because that’s what humans are best at.

  • prochoiceferret

    Yes, we understand that fears of the pains of pregnancy are a strong incentive for abortion. Pain management continue to improve, though pain could still be significant.

     

    Oh, trust me, it’s still significant.

     

    It would seem to be one of the great mysteries of maternity, more in that sense than paternity, of how much suffering mothers will, or are called upon to undergo for their children. The greatest acts of love involve sacrificing and suffering for the good of another.

     

    And not allowing women to freely choose to make those sacrifices kind of defeats the whole purpose, doesn’t it?

     

    Continuing a pregnancy amidst such fears requires tremendous faith that there is Someone Who has known them and this situation from eternity, Who knows exactly how much they can handle, and Who will get them through this.

     

    They may have tremendous faith that someone will pay their overdue rent and electrical bills, but somehow this never seems to happen.

     

    The same goes for providing for the child: “Do not worry about what you will eat or drink or wear, your Father in Heaven knows that you need these things.”

     

    But He won’t stop legislators from cutting funds that would provide them. Although if you really don’t worry about what the child will eat or drink or wear, I suppose s/he’ll be provided for, because Child Protective Services will have him/her removed from your custody.

  • prochoiceferret

    It wouldn’t be a question of whether the world misses someone, but whether the Creator wants them there. The Creator properly decides who is to be in the world, not the other creatures in it. Hitler believed that the world shouldn’t miss Jewish people.

     

    Well, obviously the Creator doesn’t want someone to be born if the would-be-mother doesn’t want to be pregnant with them.

  • mechashiva

    Of the doctors/nurses I worked with, I was given the following reasons (paraphrasing):

     

    1. “I was an OB for 40 years, and I got tired of doing night-call for deliveries. I had always done abortions for my regular patients, because it just goes with the territory. With this job (at a just-abortion clinic), I have regular hours.”

     

    2. “I was in a car accident and my spine was horribly injured. I can do this job while sitting down most of the day. Also, I’m apparently really good at D&Es, and there aren’t a lot of people to do them.  When I was younger, I worked in hospitals when abortion was illegal. It was horrible. This job is gross and generally shitty, but I can do it and it needs to be done.”

     

    3. “I’m a doctor. I think women should have the right to a safe abortion from a doctor. So, I do abortions.” This was the answer I got from several people.

     

    4. “I used to work in NICU with the premies. The way they suffered was horrible. Some people just can’t stop the medical intervention, because they’re too emotionally invested. It was just too depressing to see that much suffering every day. This job (at the abortion clinic) doesn’t bother me, because I know exactly how capable of living fetuses are at this point in time (up to 24 weeks LMP). Also, not many places are hiring, because no one can afford to, even though there’s a general shortage of nurses. They won’t hire new nurses who need more training/experience, and they can’t afford experienced people full-time, so they only hire temps. I’m keeping an eye out for something that pays better, but I’d rather be here than in NICU.”

     

    5. “This place sucks. The benefits are crap. I make way better money over at the plastic surgery clinic… Back when I started working in hospitals, abortion was illegal. The septic-obstetrics ward, all illegal abortion patients, was always overflowing. Women in beds in the hallway, women dying in front of each other. People forget how bad it was. Ugh, but the managers of this place, man. They don’t even buy us a decent lunch!”

     

    6. “I just don’t want to retire, because I don’t want to be around my husband all day every day. I’d go nuts! I used to be in the ER, and this is much more low-key. It’s an easy job, and important too. I used to see illegal abortion patients, and it was awful.” Got this same answer from multiple women.

     

    7. “Back when I was in medical school, a friend of mine became pregnant and sought an illegal abortion. She died. I knew then that I would provide safe abortions for women.”

     

    8. “Eh, it’s a job. Shut-up and get me a [something], girl. Be quick about it. Huh? Oh yeah, I remember when abortion was illegal, it was pretty bad. I was in the shit, though. Will you hurry up?!”

  • rebellious-grrl

    What I picked up from your post is. Yeah, pregnancy is painful but deal with it because it’s just one of those “great mysteries of maternity.” Oh and don’t worry God will provide.

    Wake up and join reality. There is no “great mysteries of maternity.” If a woman doesn’t want to be pregnant, the worst thing for her would be to force her by whatever means to give birth.

    There is no love in your statement. There is no love in what you’re saying. There is no truth in what you are saying. You harass women seeking abortions during the day and then continue to post your bs and lies here. You don’t want to have a conversation, you just want a place to spew your vicious dangerous lies and hateful misogyny. It’s really getting old and your posts are getting more and more nauseating.

  • crowepps

    Since the Creator could quite easily send an angel with a flaming sword to change the woman’s mind, apparently He doesn’t have any problem with her decision.

    Godwin’s law:  ”As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches.”

    Hitler made abortion illegal.  Does that automatically mean it’s a good thing?

  • crowepps

    Why it would be “unworthy of them” as sons of God to imitate His behavior?

  • crowepps

    Why does this matter? Because pretending that faith and science are equally valid ways of finding truth not only weakens our concept of truth, it also gives religion an undeserved authority that does the world no good. For it is faith’s certainty that it has a grasp on truth, combined with its inability to actually find it, that produces things such as the oppression of women and gays, opposition to stem cell research and euthanasia, attacks on science, denial of contraception for birth control and AIDS prevention, sexual repression, and of course all those wars, suicide bombings and religious persecutions.

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/2010-10-11-column11_ST_N.htm

  • cdramsey

    Hi Crowepps,

    God won’t interfere with our free will, so He does permit us to do things that He considers problematic. In order truly to love Him, we must be free to reject Him, including for eternity.

    God also usually doesn’t work through angels with flaming swords, but with ordinary people and events that He arranges with extraordinarily perfect timing. Therefore, in theory anyway, He could work through someone on the sidewalk in front of the abortion building, who hopefully reflects His loving care for the person going inside. We’ve had people say that they were asking for a sign of God’s will for this, and then encountered us.

    My recollection was that the Nazis permitted or required abortion regarding pregnancies between Aryans and Jews. Euthanasia also occurred for those considered unfit. I hadn’t heard of Godwin’s law, it is good to keep in mind. Naziism is an extreme example among others of the harm that ensues when humans try to direct the world by themselves.

  • cdramsey

    Hi MechaShiva,

    Yes, we’ve seen both the lab collection drivers with normal cars and the biohazard companies with the trucks.

  • cdramsey

    Hi Arekushieru,

    Abortion is not moral, even if the mother desires it, because it takes an innocent human life. So using fetal tissue here would be immoral because it comes from an immoral act.

    Placental and umbilical tissue are a normal part of birth, and involve no harm to anyone, so their use is morally acceptable.

     

  • forced-birth-rape

    ~Hitler wanted more blond-haired blue-eyed babies, and more soldiers for his armies no doubt. My grandmother calls me if one of my cousins has a newborn baby with blue-eyes and blond-hair, she does not call if one of my cousins has a newborn baby with brown-eyes and blown-hair. I have always heard men in my family complain that boys do not join the army as much as they should. You would think boys would be hurt that certain people just want them to be born were the can join the army.~

  • crowepps

    If God finds the concept of Free Will good, who are you to insist that it should be abolished?

     

    Your ‘sidewalk counseling’ is an excellent example of humans trying to direct the world by themselves.  Your theory that your presence there represents God working through you is an excellent example of human arrogance.

  • plume-assassine

    So, it’s moral to force women to stay pregnant and give birth against their will? It’s moral to allow thousands of women to die from self-induced abortion or suicide associated with an unwanted pregnancy? It’s moral to allow a child to form and be born in a world where it may be unwanted or abused?

  • crowepps

    “Medical waste” which is required to disposed of by “biohazard companies” include everything from kleenex through tongue depressors through exam table paper to blood.  These trucks visit hospitals and ordinary doctors’ offices as well.  Their presence at abortion clinics proves nothing except that the clinic is obeying State statutes regarding medical waste just every other medical facility in town.

     

    WHO GENERATES INFECTIOUS MEDICAL WASTE?

    There are many facilities which generate infectious medical waste. Some examples are:

    hospitals, doctors offices, dentists, clinics, laboratories, research facilities, veterinarians, ambulance squads and emergency medical service providers, etc. Infectious medical waste is even generated in homes by home health care providers and individuals, such as diabetics, who must receive injections at home.

    http://www.wvdhhr.org/wvimw/pdf/fact_sheet.pdf

  • cdramsey

    Hi MechaShiva,

    Thank you for your thoughtful replies.

    That would be true about metaphysics, we continue to penetrate more deeply into life’s mysteries.

    Regarding following a religion and being wrong, in his Wager mathematician Blaise Pascal recommended living for thirty days as though God existed. If He does exist, after thirty days this will be known, and if He doesn’t, not much time is lost. This relationship with God would include learning which religion unites us best with Him. The Catholic Church is the church founded by Jesus Christ, all other Christian denominations come from it.

    The Didache, a collection of first-century Christian writings, speaks extensively in prohibition of abortion.

    In Catholicism, anyway, the teachings are not those of Church leaders but are part of a deposit of faith revealed by God, that the leaders are charged with protecting, defending, and handing on. Not even the Pope is authorized to change anything of Divine origin.

    Abortion would have a greater effect on the fabric of creation because we humans are the pinnacle of creation, being created in God’s image, so our effect is outsized relative to other creatures. As vast as the universe is, the greatness of humanity in the Creator’s sight is beyond comprehension, not because of our superiority, but because of our Creator’s love for us. It is true that our actions don’t change God, but in a sense they affect God, because we are His children and it hurts Him to see us suffer.

    That would be why it is not an issue of mother versus child, but of mother and child, the Creator values them both inestimably and has a plan for their mutual benefit, even if the child enters under difficult circumstances.

  • cdramsey

    Hello ProChoice,

    God wants every pregnancy to have the outcome He has ordained, even if the mother has doubts and concerns, which He understands and with which He is prepared to help. God can will that a child not be born because of miscarriage, but that is His decision as the Author of Life, and humans do not have authority in this area.

    God never wills wrongdoing, but He respects our free will, and so He will permit evil if He intends to have it lead to a greater good. God can bring good out of evil, but we cannot do evil in order to achieve good.

     

  • plume-assassine

    Stop acting like you have moral authority over others because of your religious beliefs.

     

    Your words about God, God’s plan, free will, human intervention, and eternity are empty and extremely arrogant. If there was a God, what makes you think that you know how “he” works or what “he” wants? You wouldn’t. It’s an imaginary crutch to make you feel like you have the right to interfere with the life decisions of other people. You can not prove that your God exists (as opposed to any other religions’ God or no God at all). I suggest you find other reasons to be “against” abortion, preferably ones that are grounded in reality, instead of acting like you know the mind of God.

     

    God can be used to justify any number of human atrocities.

     

    And since you insist on bringing up Nazi Germany over and over again, I would like to point out to you that most Nazis were Christian. Naziism is an extreme example among others of the harm that ensues when human beings are arrogant enough to claim moral and racial superiority over others.

  • colleen

    Yes, we’ve seen both the lab collection drivers with normal cars and the biohazard companies with the trucks.

    the clinic you protest at is selling fetal tissue to  cosmetics manufacturers?

     

  • cdramsey

    Hi Crowepps,

    Free will is meant to be used to do what is good. God permits the use of free will for wrongdoing, but He also permits the consequences.

    By the way, sidewalk counseling is just a term we use for want of anything better, and I’d be happy using something more neutral. I don’t consider myself a protester. Advocate, perhaps?

    You’re quite right, bad sidewalk counseling or advocacy is an example of humans directing the world by themselves. That is why we are called Pro-Life Action Ministries, a ministry recognizes that any good work is God working through us, that of ourselves we can do nothing.

    It would indeed be arrogance to claim that God always works through us. But, He does work through those who are sincerely trying to let Him do so. That applies as well to people working in abortion buildings. I tell abortion workers that if they are sincere in helping women, and open to the ways God wants them to help women, they are right with God and He will direct them.

    I tell our volunteers that our efforts must be about Christianity first, and not abortion, because then we will have the best chance of doing what God wants and treating people as He wants them treated. Jesus said that whatever we do to the least of our brothers, we do to Him, so we’ll be accountable for every action on the sidewalk, and we must never forget this.

    I also tell escorts and abortion workers that if they want my immediate attention, tell me that they believe that my actions are un-Christian. If I’m offending God I’m not accomplishing anything good.

  • plume-assassine

    Pascal’s Wager is bullshit and contains several fallacies:

    It can be applied to ANY of the millions of conflicting/contradictory religions that have ever been invented, not just Christianity. You can apply it to Zeus, Vishna, Allah, ad infinitum. How do you know which one is “correct”? You don’t, and nobody has time to test each one by converting for 30 days. If we have everything to gain and nothing to lose by converting to Islam, then we should all be Muslims. Christians never seem to realize that they are in just as much “danger” of going to the Muslim Hell or the Hell of ancient Grecian religions as atheists are in “danger” of going to the Christian Hell. Each group of believers dismisses the Hell threats of the other because they know that those claims are unsubstantiated. And likewise, atheists don’t fear anyone’s Hell because none of them are backed up by any evidence.

     

    If you support Pascal’s Wager, then simply going along with the religion of your family and neighbors is too “risky,” and intellectually indefensible. It’s an accident of birth, not rational decision-making. Even within Christianity, there are hundreds of conflicting beliefs and denominations, each claiming that they are right and everyone else is wrong.

     

    Pascal’s Wager is also flawed in that it claims a person has everything to gain, and nothing to lose, by converting to a religion. But if we sacrifice our life to subservience to a nonexistent god, or the “wrong” god, or sacrifice our life in trying to determine which of the millions of nonexistent gods we should worship, then we have lost everything.

     

    The safest bet is to simply be an atheist and appreciate every second of life on this earth, because it is probably all we get.

  • crowepps

    The Catholic Church is the church founded by Jesus Christ, all other Christian denominations come from it.

    The early church split within the first two centuries into multiple sects, as evidenced right in Paul’s writings where he complains that only HE had the ‘one true faith’ and all the churches teaching the older, original tradition were wrong, even though he was a late comer to the faith and wasn’t one of the original apostles.  Most of these sects, the Sabellianists, the Docetists, the Monophysite, the Apollinarians, the Arianists, the Marcionites, the Ebionites, and most other original sects were wiped out through persecution and murder, although there are still a few Nestorian churches in the middle east. 

     

    The Church in Rome made major adjustments to the ‘faith’ in order to get a political accomodation from Emperor Constantine, including absorbing wholesale the Mass ceremony popular with the Roman army (originally designed to worship the ‘god’ Sol Invictus).  This allowed the Church to become the Official Religion and gave its adherents the power to persecute, murder and wipe out all the adherents of competing versions of the faith.

     

    The Syrian Orthodox Church rejected what they labeled the heretical changes to Christianity of the Roman Orthodox Church and Eastern Orthodox traditions at the Council of Chalcedon in 451 and retained their original format.  In addition, Coptic Christianity which is believed to have been founded by one of the original apostles and gospel authors, Mark, has been in Egypt since the first century and claims to have preserved the ‘original’ faith unchanged.

     

    In 1054, the ‘official’ Church finalized its split into Eastern and Western branches of Orthodoxy after claims were made that the Roman Bishop was supreme, a claim rejected by the Eastern church as contrary to the spirit of Christ’s teaching and based in politics, not scripture.  The Roman Catholic Church in its present format dates from that time, NOT from the beginning.

  • cdramsey

    Hi La Plume,

    I don’t mean to come across as having moral authority over others, and that is as it should be, because I don’t have moral authority over others.

    These things about God are true or not on their own, and not because I say them. If they are true, my saying them doesn’t make me superior, but on the contrary, it puts me under greater obligation, I’ll have more to answer for.

    The Nazis claimed to be Christian, although actually the Church always opposed National Socialism, albeit perhaps with insufficient effectiveness. Ultimately, Christ decides who is Christian, who has followed Him faithfully. He warns us that “not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”

    A true Christian is humble enough to take the lowest place, to put others before himself, and to recognize how imperfectly he does this and how incapable he is of doing good without divine assistance.

    While no one knows God completely, there is evidence that God has revealed aspects of Himself for us to know. Jesus Christ was a historical person.

  • crowepps

    People who believe that God is telling them what to do are sincere but pathetic.

    People who believe that God is telling them they are entitled to tell OTHER people what to do are dangerous.

  • forced-birth-rape

    ~Any god who wants me to have unwanted vaginal pain against my will like a rapist, and sends his pro-life-vaginal-pain-mongers to badger and harass me about my vagina, and me having unwanted vaginal pain against my will is not a god I want to worship, I might as well worship my rapist. The catholic church is no one to listen to, they adore and protect child rapist. Protestants are rampant closet wife beaters! I know you and your ilk is evil, to who? Child rape victims, and women!~

  • cdramsey

    Hi Crowepps,

    Your Church history knowledge is impressive!

    The Docetists, Arians, etc. weren’t exactly sects, but followers of heretical teaching. I’m sure that there was bloodshed in dealing with them because such things were done in those days, but excommunication is the way of dealing with heresy, with fervent desire for reunion.

    There has always been a faithful core in the Catholic Church, and Paul’s writings are considered part of that, which is why they are included in the Scriptures as divinely inspired and other writings, including some of his such as his Gospel, are not. Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would always guide the Church in the truth, and so even though most of the Church’s bishops went over to Arianism, a faithful remnant didn’t. 

    So, in a sense it is true that the Church’s present structure dates from 1054, but it has a supernatural dimension that is eternal and unchanging. That is what makes the Church different from other political entities, even though it is organized and administered along similar lines.

  • crowepps

    The Nazis claimed to be Christian, although actually the Church always opposed National Socialism

    That is incorrect

    In Germany, Hitler’s election as Chancellor had partly relied upon the Catholic support he had poached from the Centre Party. Following Mussolini’s example [see below], the Fuhrer set out to limit the power of the German churches and one of his first tasks was to arrange for a Concordat between the Nazi State and the Vatican. This rather unlikely alliance took place on 20th July 1933 and allowed Hitler to safeguard from any potential opposition from those Catholics who were hostile to his new regime.

    http://www.rosenoire.org/articles/hist2.php

    Concordat Between the Holy See and the German Reich

    July 20, 1933

    His Holiness Pope Pius XI and the President of the German Reich, moved by a common desire to consolidate and enhance the friendly relations existing between the Holy See and the German Reich, wish to regulate the relations between the Catholic Church and the State for the whole territory of the German Reich in a permanent manner and on a basis acceptable to both parties. They have decided to conclude a solemn agreement, which will supplement the Concordats already concluded with certain individual German states, and will ensure for the remaining States fundamentally uniform treatment of their respective problems.

    Article 16

    Before bishops take possession of their dioceses they are to take an oath of fealty either to the Reich Representative of the State concerned, or to the President of the Reich, according to the following formula: “Before God and on the Holy Gospels I swear and promise as becomes a bishop, loyalty to the German Reich and to the State of . . . I swear and promise to honor the legally constituted Government and to cause the clergy of my diocese to honor it. In the performance of my spiritual office and in my solicitude for the welfare and the interests of the German Reich, I will endeavor to avoid all detrimental acts which might endanger it.”

    http://www.newadvent.org/library/docs_ss33co.htm

  • cdramsey

    Hello Forced,

    God only permits the suffering for us that we can handle, and He gives us the strength to handle it. We’re His children, and He loves us more than we can understand. He permits suffering for us when it will make us stronger, the way we allow children to struggle with something on their own in order to master it.

  • crowepps

    Abortion would have a greater effect on the fabric of creation because we humans are the pinnacle of creation, being created in God’s image

    Yes, yes, that’s what we tell ourselves, that we are the pinnacle of creation and the most important thing in the universe and everything and everybody else exists purely to serve our wonderfulness.  And then we turn three and realize everybody else thinks exactly the same thing and it’s no more true for them than it is for ourselves.

  • mechashiva

    La plume and Crowepps addressed Pascal’s Wager and the history of the Church fantastically. I’d like to add a bit.

     

    I’ve followed several different religions over the years, and none of them (including Catholicism) felt more true to me than any of the others. I spent considerably longer than 30 days in each faith tradition I explored. Conservatives seem to think that atheists just haven’t tried religion, and we don’t know what we’re missing. Au contraire. We’ve just come to different conclusions.

     

    For one thing, I’ve never believed this:

    humans are the pinnacle of creation

    We are not more valuble, unique, or special than any other form of life on this planet. We got here the same way everything else did, through the processes of natural selection. Anyhow, obviously the rest of the things you have to say about how humans are God’s favorites requires belief in God to begin with. So, your argument against abortion will fall flat with anyone who doesn’t hold the same belief system you do… and that isn’t limited to atheists or members of other religions. Even a lot of Christians would disagree with you.

  • cdramsey

    Hi La Plume,

    You are correct, Pascal’s Wager referred to God’s existence, and not necessarily to religious denominations. But a relationship with God will eventually give the clarity of which denomination is true.

    We’ll never go wrong opening our life to the true God, Whoever He is. That is what the Wager was about. We don’t have to decide at the outset Who that is, He’ll show us. Initial conversion to a denomination is not necessary. And, the Wager is for a limited time, so it has limited risk.

  • crowepps

    I have heard a lot of people make this claim and it’s got to be just about the stupidest statement I’ve ever heard.  LOTS of people are subjected to more suffering than they can handle.  That’s what suicide and madness are about.

     

    This is an attempt to excuse oneself for KNOWINGLY promoting circumstances that cause suffering and then shifting the blame onto God.  It’s also a terrific way of excusing oneself from any obligation to alleviate suffering.  Maybe instead of God permitting suffering to ‘make the victim stronger’ He permits suffering to test our willingness to stop it.  At this point, we collectively get a massive FAIL on that test.

  • mechashiva

    Gee, that’s a mighty convenient excuse.

     

    Reminds me of another religion’s excuse for allowing people to suffer. In Thailand, the Buddhist belief in reincarnation is used to justify selling girls into sexual debt-bondage (slavery). If they were good people in previous lives, they wouldn’t have been born women in the first place. Suffering through forced prostitution as a child will help her to erase her karmic debt (and that of her family).

     

    To Hell with religious rules about suffering and how we should just suck it up and deal with it. Suffering is bad, and we should do everything we can to eliminate it. Getting injured and suffering through the healing process does not make you strong. Being consistently healthy and happy makes you strong.

  • squirrely-girl

    So my family line is mostly Italian with some Native American tossed in for fun which contributes to my olive skin, dark hair, and green eyes. On the other hand, my husband’s family is TOTALLY German… blonde hair, blue eyes, unnecessarily German last names (impossible to spell and pronounce), etc. When our son popped out looking like a Hitler’s youth poster child both sides of the family were incredibly pleased. One of my elderly Italian aunts even commented to the effect of “è una buona aspetto per un ragazzo… e sicuro” which basically translates to “that’s a good look for a boy… and safe.”

    :/

  • crowepps

    The Docetists, Arians, etc. weren’t exactly sects, but followers of heretical teaching.

    Keeping in mind, of course, that heresy always is defined by the executioner.  Remember, the followers of those faith traditions thought Paul was a heretic.  They just didn’t suck up to the Emperor well enough to get an army with which to kill his followers.

    Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would always guide the Church in the truth,

    I’m sure the Copts are still paying close attention.

  • squirrely-girl

    God only permits the suffering for us that we can handle, and He gives us the strength to handle it.

    Tell that to women who die in childbirth and women who are violently gang raped and murdered in the Sudan every day.

     

    Or are you one of those martyr fetishists? 

     

     

  • cdramsey

    Hi MechaShiva,

    Thank you for writing, and yes, La Plume and Crowepps did address these topics terrifically well!

    Humans could still be creation’s pinnacle even when we have a very unworthy appearance, when we don’t behave as though we have this dignity.

    Natural selection doesn’t rule out a Creator, this could have been a development method of His choosing. The Church has no problem with natural selection as a way for the evolving of our physical selves, only with an assertion that the soul evolves, or that natural selection takes place without a Creator.

    There are places that call themselves Catholic that are in fact not, which can explain a feeling of inauthenticity. I grew up in this myself and left it, returning only twelve years ago.

    I don’t see it as my place to argue about abortion. All of these things are true or not, external to me. If they are true, then people deserve to hear it; if they’re not, then I apologize for the annoyance.

    The Spirit of Truth is what convinces people, not human effort. I think that we’d all agree that humans desire to grow in what is true, good and beautiful.

     

     

  • plume-assassine

    It’s like you didn’t even comprehend anything I wrote.

     

    To illustrate the ridiculous nature of Pascal’s Wager for you:

    For 30 days in the past, I opened my life to belief and worship of a God, and eventually that God revealed himself to be the Flying Spaghetti Monster, the one true God.

     

    If you believe that Pascal’s Wager is a legitimate reason enough for belief/faith, then it is incredibly “risky” because it is for a limited time. Theoretically, in that small window of time, you could end up choosing one out of any number of Gods at the end of your belief trial period. There are millions of angry, jealous Gods who would like to send you to their own Hell because you decided to worship a “false” God over them. Or maybe all those others Gods are nonexistent… how do you know which one exists? How do you know that your Catholic God is real and Zeus is not?

    To really play it safe, you would have to have different “trial periods” in order to try to worship all gods in all ways. After all, any of them could be the one true god! You’d better get it right because this is your soul we’re talking about! Unfortunately, that would take 24 hours per day, seven days per week– and a few hundred lifetimes. Just learning the names of the gods would take a lot of time and effort. Saying one brief daily prayer to even a small fraction of the gods would take all day and night, to find out which one is right. Work and family life would suffer. But since we’re talking eternity here, it might be worth it! Are you ready to try? Have you tried Allah yet? You have everything to gain and nothing to lose!

  • cdramsey

    Hi Crowepps,

    The universe exists to help us fulfill our dignity. And, part of fulfilling that dignity is being of service to others. So being a pinnacle isn’t being self-centered, it is a tremendous responsibility, for which unselfishness is the only approach. Being a pinnacle means being given an assignment of unfathomable importance, to be of maximum benefit to others, which is the way that we benefit in return.

  • mechashiva

    Right, right, I forgot about the whole “God created evolution” thing. But at this point, I’d just be going around in circles, because I would have to point out that such a notion is entirely unsupported/faith-based. In any case, if God made evolution, then he made humans exactly the same way that he made everything else. We are not more special. We are just more destructive than any lifeform since the bacteria that converted the composition of our atmosphere, which resulted in a mass extinction.

  • crowepps

    If they are true, then people deserve to hear it; if they’re not, then I apologize for the annoyance.  The Spirit of Truth is what convinces people, not human effort.

    If they are True, people will figure them out all by themselves.  They don’t need you to explain them.  Your presumption in appointing yourself their moral teacher is annoying, as in your incivility in addressing strangers.  Instead of apologizing for being annoying, STOP BEING ANNOYING.

     I think that we’d all agree that humans desire to grow in what is true, good and beautiful.

    Most humans want this to be a process which they control themselves, and have an absolutely enormous unmet need  to be LEFT ALONE by self-appointed experts who want to ‘teach’ them.

     

    Ever heard the scripture about ‘by their fruits you shall know them’?  Based on that, the Catholic Church has absolutely nothing to say that I am interested in hearing. 

  • cdramsey

    Hello Rebellious grrl,

    I don’t mean to diminish or demean the difficulties of pregnancy. Femininity is a great mystery, as is masculinity, and maternity is part of femininity.

    Truth and love are what we all seek, and in which I’m trying to progress in these comments, as badly as I do it. I hope that perhaps it could be possible to see the effort, even if the truth and love don’t come through as I’d wish. I’d appreciate any specifics in how truth and love could be better accomplished.

  • plume-assassine

    You exude an air of arrogance and of claiming moral superiority because 1) you write as though you know what you say is true without supplying any evidence, 2) you use belief as an excuse to harass others, especially women, and therefore demonstrate a lack of respect for the beliefs or non-belief of others.

     

    Oh, and it is entirely possible that Jesus was not a historical person and didn’t actually exist.

  • crowepps

    There’s a great deal of suffering in the world.  It’s a great shame that your interpretation of how to be of ‘maximum benefit to others’ increases it rather than alleviating it.

  • cdramsey

    Hi Crowepps,

    Again, thanks for your history!

    Concordats have always been concluded with Church enemies over the centuries, to safeguard Church rights as far as possible. They are not an approval of a regime.

    The Church was always aware of the dangers of National Socialism, but at times didn’t speak against it vigorously, for various reasons, although individual Bishops did. The Nazis aggressively accused the Church of unpatriotism in any dissent, for instance, so the Church felt on the defensive. Thus, Catholics believed it acceptable to support Naziism.

    The encyclical Mit Brennener Sorge, I believe, translated With Burning Sorrow, was smuggled into Germany from the Vatican and read in all of the churches regarding Naziism.

     

  • crowepps

    If you don’t have a thorough grasp of pregnancy and its complications, what on Earth makes you think that you’re qualified to tell pregnant women what they should think or do?

     

    Truth and Love could be better accomplished by minding your own business and concentrating on the ‘mysteries of masculinity’ where there’s some possibility you might actually know what you’re talking about.  Go bring the Word to the guys at the Batterers Intervention Group.

  • cdramsey

    Hi La Plume,

    It should go without saying that these things seem true to me, but if they’re not, they’re not, regardless of what I think. I think that what I say about God can be proven, although I’d need to look the proofs up.

    If these things are true, they confer no moral superiority on me. If I know about physics or mathematics, that doesn’t make me better or worse, I didn’t invent them and don’t have any proprietorship of them. I’d just be talking about something available to everyone.

    If these things are as good as claimed, however, I’d have an obligation to try to make them known, and then others decide whether or not to avail themselves.

  • crowepps

    If the Church is so fond of the idea of ‘martyrdom’ for pregnant women, and so wary of the idea of damnation for doctors who do things to assist those pregnant women to live, perhaps it would have been more ‘moral’ for the heirarchy of the Church to avoid the ‘immoral action’ of legitimatizing the Nazis, stick up for Eternal Truths and outright condemn the Nazis.  Surely it’s not better for a true Catholic to survive, knowing for the rest of their life that their cowardice enabled genocide and war.

     

    Seems like martyrdom is something that’s only a ‘great good’ for women, but not nearly so attractive for Bishops, Archbishops and Popes.

  • ahunt

    Femininity is a great mystery, as is masculinity, and maternity is part of femininity.

     

    Care to elaborate?

  • cdramsey

    Hi MechaShiva,

    Perhaps you’ve already said this, however even if God made humans using the same method as making everything else, He still could have made humans different from everything else.

  • colleen

    Concordats have always been concluded with Church enemies over the centuries, to safeguard Church rights as far as possible.

     Your claim was that ” actually the Church always opposed National Socialism”  and now you appear to be claiming that they secretly opposed them with (gasp) an encyclical which appeared rather late in the conflict.

    The Nazis aggressively accused the Church of unpatriotism in any dissent, for instance, so the Church felt on the defensive. Thus, Catholics believed it acceptable to support Naziism.

    So, the laity were moral idiots because their leadership were moral cowards?

     

     

  • cdramsey

    Hi Crowepps,

    God permits suffering for numerous reasons, including both making us stronger and testing our willingness to stop it. Alleviating suffering is part of serving others–”I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me to drink…”

  • cdramsey

    Hi La Plume,

    It does require some faith to trust that when we ask that the True God will reveal Himself to us, that He will, and that it won’t be some other spiritual entity. There is one true God, but there are evil spirits, fallen angels who will masquerade as God. But, we trust that if we ask God sincerely, we’ll receive a convincing response. God can do better than the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and He will, especially since such a moment is so important.

    We’re not talking to God as we imagine Him, but as Who He actually is.

  • cdramsey

    Hi Crowepps,

    Obviously hindsight is involved here, but yes, you’re absolutely correct that if we’re dealing with Eternal Truths, they are worth dying for, and it is the job of Church leaders to say that, including in Nazi Germany.

    The writings of St. Ignatius of Antioch are good examples of this, he wrote letters to various communities on his way to being executed by fire in Rome. Would that our modern day leaders had his courage!

    A very high number of the first Popes were martyred.

  • crowepps

    It’s all a mystery to him.

  • cdramsey

    Hi Colleen,

    The encyclical was brought into Germany secretly and then read publicly.

    The Church had warned about National Socialism before the Nazis came to power, and forbade Catholics to join the party, since its beliefs were incompatible with Catholicism. After the Nazis were elected, however, eventually the Church allowed this, and criticism of Naziism became more muted, especially once the war began.

    Yes, if that is the condition of the Church leadership, that will be the condition of the laity, in practice anyway. The laity have an obligation to form themselves in the truth and to act upon it, so it can’t all be blamed on the leadership, but leadership is a big factor.

  • cdramsey

    Hello Ahunt,

    I certainly would, but time does not now permit! This would be a topic for another few years…

  • cdramsey

    Hi Crowepps,

    Someone, I can’t find the comment, said, “Your rights stop at the end of my nose.” Basically, the nose of the child is where the mother’s rights stop, whether the child is in the womb or in a car seat.

    That’s why I’m not really there to discuss pregnancy, and don’t need to be an expert in it, I’m there to discuss the other person involved.

    And, obviously everything is a mystery to us when we think about it!

  • colleen

    A very high number of the first Popes were martyred.

    Yes, well the present one spent his youth as a member of the Hitler Youth.

  • ahunt

    Okay…this is novel…equating the uterus with car seat carriers…which makes women cars?

     

    Sigh.

  • crowepps

    Someone, I can’t find the comment, said, “Your rights stop at the end of my nose.” Basically, the nose of the child is where the mother’s rights stop, whether the child is in the womb or in a car seat.

    Actually, there’s a big difference, because the rights of the ZBEF end where the uterus begins.

    That’s why I’m not really there to discuss pregnancy, and don’t need to be an expert in it, I’m there to discuss the other person involved.

    It’s obvious you’re not an expert on pregnancy, since if you were you’d know there isn’t another ‘person’ around until quite late in the pregnancy.

    And, obviously everything is a mystery to us when we think about it!

    Oh, no, not at all.  Some of us actually have enough intelligence to obtain an education, continue learning lifelong, and don’t rely on superstition or ‘mystery’ in making our decisions.  That’s what being a human being is all about, actual THINKING!

  • crowepps

    You know how the conservatives are about ‘traditional gender roles’.  Apparently martyrdom is a girl thing.

  • prochoiceferret

    But a relationship with God will eventually give the clarity of which denomination is true.

     

    Unless, of course, you have a relationship with a false God who says that abortion is bad and women have less value than men. Then you’ll just end up spending the rest of eternity in Hell. Of course, you can avoid this fate by repenting now, and becoming a pro-choice activist. Isn’t the fate of your eternal soul worth it?

  • brady-swenson

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