NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Responds to 20-Week Abortion Ban Passing the Senate

The Ohio state senate has passed a 20 week ban on abortion based off of the faulty science of “fetal pain.”  The ban, which is one of seven anti-choice bills introduced this session, is expected to easily pass and be signed into law.  Via Reuters:

[Executive director of Ohio Right to Life‘s Mike] Gonidakis said a doctor seeking to perform an abortion has to determine viability at 20 weeks and get a second opinion from another doctor, and abortion would not be allowed if the fetus was found capable of surviving outside the womb. Exceptions would be made if the pregnant woman faces death or severe health impairment, Gonidakis said.

The bill passed by a 24-8 vote in the Republican-majority Senate. The Ohio House also has a Republican majority.

Like many of the 20 week bans being passed so far this legislative session, the Ohio version has no exception for fetal anomalies, mother’s health or mother’s mental health issues, only direct threat to a mother’s life.  NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio’s Kellie Copeland released the following statement:

In passing this legislation, the Ohio Senate is ignoring the devastating impact this legislation could have on the health of many Ohio women and they are inappropriately inserting themselves between doctors and their patients.  This legislation harms women with wanted pregnancies that experience heart-breaking complications, such as a fetal anomaly or a cancer diagnosis….This bill lacks an exception to protect a woman’s health against grave risks posed by a temporary medical condition, and goes even further to explicitly disqualify even the most serious of mental health conditions from the permitted exceptions to this ban.

Ohio is still waiting for potential passage of the “Heartbeat bill,” a ban on abortions from 18 days post conception, which would then make this 20 week ban unnecessary.

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  • progo35

    Again, this isn’t about fetuses that have no brain or are going to die a few minutes after birth. It’s about fetuses with “anomalies.” Any anomaly. That’s what I was getting at on the other fetal pain post.

  • crowepps

    How can you say it isn’t about those fetuses?  Those fetuses are included in anomalies.  If your point is that in your opinion some anomalies should qualify and other should not, you need to divide up the long list of anomalies into those that are Progo approved and those that aren’t.


    And speaking of that, did you see this shameful story today?  This kind of publicity has a negative effect on women making those decisions.

    In a civil suit filed in federal court, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission charged that Hill Country Farms exploited and abused a group of 31 men with cognitive disabilities in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

    The complaint … alleges the company … paid the workers just $65 a month to gut turkeys for a processing plant in West Liberty, Iowa.

    …In addition to the claim of discriminatory wages, the EEOC complaint alleges Henry’s Turkey subjected the workers to illegal verbal and physical harassment, calling them “retarded,” “dumb ass” and “stupid,” and physical abuse including corporal punishment.

    The complaint also charges the company restricted the men’s freedom of movement, in one case handcuffing a worker, required them to live in sub-standard living housing, and failed to provide adequate medical care when needed.;_ylt=Ak08KMHvq._YdGzH_p.TDU9vzwcF;_ylu=X3oDMTJwOWgzaDZrBGFzc2V0A25tLzIwMTEwNDA2L3VzX3R1cmtleV9mYXJtX2FidXNlBHBvcwMzBHNlYwN5bl9hcnRpY2xlX3N1bW1hcnlfbGlzdARzbGsDdHVya2V5ZmFybWV4

  • progo35

    Crowepps-yes, I saw that story…and your point is that abortion “saves” disabled people from those experiences? And yes, a little specificity would benefit the contention that NARAL isn’t being anti disability in pushing late term abortion in the case of “anomaly.” To hear them speak, one would think that Down Syndrome is just as devastating as Anencephaly. Both, after all, are “anomalies.” Congenital deafness, Williams Syndrome (which basically results in a learning disorder) Cleft Pallet, Ectrodactyly, and many other relatively “mild” disabilities are now detectable prenatally. Many people seem to  be holding their breath, just waiting for the day when there’s a prenatal test for autism, so that autistic people can be prevented from entering the world, too. The problem is that NARAL makes no distinction.

  • arekushieru

    There are different degrees within each of the ‘anomalies’ you listed.  So, what, are you going to list all the levels of severity that are acceptable, as well?  Do you get crowepps’ point, now?

  • ldan

    So an article about the fact that another state has decided to set an unreasonably early limit to abortion, a limit that predates viability by several weeks, is based on the phony claim that 20-week old fetuses feel pain (what must birth be like for them then!?), and has no exceptions for rape, incest, fetal anomaly or the mother’s health…and you’re going to focus on the fact that they didn’t split out ‘fetal anomaly’ into the hundreds of possibilities that exist?


    I’m against sexism and the cultural institutions that make female children unwanted. But I would prefer to leave sex-selective abortions alone and work against the culture that makes them unwanted rather than have girls born into families that adamantly don’t want them. The latter isn’t helping those girls out in any way. It’s also a strategy with a greater liklihood of success, since we’ve seen throughout history that women who want abortions will go to great lengths to get them.


    It just seems there would be a lot more fertile ground to fight on than that of forcing women to bear fetuses they don’t want, particularly on the grounds of fetal anomaly.

  • lauraj400

    have an abortion based on an article would 1.had one anyway.2.isn’t too bright.I REad the newspAPER every day,read accounts of rape.I STill like men.

  • crowepps

      your point is that abortion “saves” disabled people from those experiences?

    Well, no.  Actually, my point was the one I actually PUT IN MY POST:

    This kind of publicity has a negative effect on women making those decisions.

    And the SOLUTION, obviously, would be to make sure that people with cognitive disabilities, for ANY reason including injury after birth, are protected from exploitation.

    To hear them speak, one would think that Down Syndrome is just as devastating as Anencephaly.

    Some cases of DS are just as devastating — like the ones with a grossly malformed heart and no esophagus present.  Even the disabilities that you label “mild” have graduations — there can be a very mild case of cleft palate that just needs a few stitches in a lip and a severe case as Treacher-Collins syndrome where extensive reconstuction of the entire face would be necessary. 


    Each anomaly occurs on a continuum with more or fewer effects on the fetus depending on the severity of that individual case and that is why the PEOPLE ACTUALLY INVOLVED are the ones most like to have sufficient information to make an informed decision and not TOTAL STRANGERS who “make no distinction” but say none of the anomalies justify abortion.

  • ldan

    Missing the point much?


    The article is indicative of the kinds of articles and attitudes out there that illustrate the biases and atmosphere that a woman would be looking at who was deciding whether or not to continue a pregnancy after anomalies were detected. Nobody is saying that women are making that decision based upon one article, and it’s rather indicative of your own disrespect for women’s abilities to make informed decisions that you jump to that conclusion.

  • ldan

    Given that NARAL is pro-women-making-their-own-choices, including women with disabilities btw, I don’t really see that there is any reason for them to spend their energy where you want them to. Given that they would prefer not to have this ban in place at all, why should they fight for wording that excepts only ‘sufficiently bad’ fetal anomalies rather than all anomalies, which puts greater control back in the hands of more women?


    If you haven’t noticed from the endless stream of restrictive abortion laws being pushed through, we’re a bit busy fighting for the basic ability to control our reproductive rights at all.  Having strangers decide that they need to fine tune restrictive laws into forms that involve strangers poking their heads in to decide if one’s exception is actually bad enough to be an exception isn’t something I’m interested in helping out with. I’d be a bit annoyed if my donations to NARAL went to that end.


    Prove that one’s rape was really rape, spend precious time proving that one’s life is actually endangered by pregnancy, and now prove that the fetal anomaly discovered is serious enough to justify not wanting to continue gestation? How about no?

  • beenthere72

    Apparently you can add Massachusetts to the list of states where similar legislation is on the radar, but I learned that from USA Today and nowhere else in my local news:



    When I googled for news on it, there isn’t any.  The only mention I can find of proposed legislation is on a prolife website:



    Possibly because it’s non-news, ie, won’t get anywhere.  Hopefully. 


    Trying to figure out why South Dakota is not blue on the USA Today map, too. 

  • progo35

    Actually, the esophagus issue is easily correctable with surgery. In fact, that issue was a major player in a 1982 case concerning “Baby Doe,” an infant with Down Syndrome whose issue could have been corrected with a simple surgery. The parents, however, didn’t want to have a “retarded” baby, so they wouldn’t give their consent. So, the baby’s lungs were digested by stomach acid while it starved to death. Again, the baby could have lived a long and relatively healthy life if the parents had consented to the surgery, but they and the court system decided it was their “right” to withhold the surgery, even though the child wasn’t dying and parents withholding such surgery from a nondisabled infant would have gone to jail. Your use of disabled infants and their conditions, in which you refer to down syndrome as “devastating” contributes to the deep fear parents feel when they recieve a prenatal diagnosis. It isn’t accurate, it doesn’t promote choice. It’s just bigotry, plain and simple.

  • colleen

    Actually, the esophagus issue is easily correctable with surgery.

    Being born without an esophagus is “easily correctable”? Do you have a cite for that ?


  • lauraj400

    for women.

  • crowepps

    You do realize, I hope, that a nondisabled infant wouldn’t have NEEDED the surgery?  I remember the Baby Doe case.  I remember the ProLife hysteria over the case.  I remember that in the following year there were MILLIONS of infants born in the country and altogether a total of only 33 cases were reported for investigation, less than 10 were actually investigated, and only THREE were found in which there was possible treatment not being provided.  The hospitals and doctors and parents were already, privately, without government interference, doing a pretty fine job.


    I am a parent and a grandparent.  As a single woman looking at the diabled issue entirely through the lense of entitlement, your posts make it crystal clear you have little insight into what the parents feel and little sympathy for them or their problems.  Your entire focus is on how their fetus ‘represents all disabled people’.


    You inability to feel compassion for those parents makes it unlikely that you would be able to provide them with accurate, objective information, and certainly inflicting an ideological rant from a zealot on them doesn’t do much to promote choice either.  Choice is not about ‘let everybody with an ax to grind horn in, anoint the fetus a symbol, and then tear the parents in two fighting over which of them is right’.


    I’m really impatient with your continued assertions that I am a bigot.  Ad hominem is contrary to the terms of use of this board.  Accusing people of being bigots or prejudiced or hating the disabled leads people to dismiss the valid points you bring up because you come across as not just a hysteric, but an abusive and judgmental extremist.  Since you don’t seem capable of addressing the other posters here respectfully, I’ve decided discussing things with you is a poor use of my time and don’t plan to respond to any more of your posts.

  • freetobe

    to help them even if the technology exists?  When your kind thinks it is ok to let a woman die in childbirth if they cannot save the fetus???

    What is the difference between a living breathing woman being denied medical intervention and a deformed livng baby?

    The point is there is no difference so what goes for one kind of human is going to spread to all humans. Lets just deny everyone healthcare ok I mean after all intervening is against Gods will how dare they try and save anyone!!!!

    So this is the kind of world you want to live in?  Regulate life and death of all humans? This is how your kind sounds to me absurd!

  • lauraj400

    with a late term fetus that survives the abortion?

  • progo35

    “You do realize, I hope, that a nondisabled infant wouldn’t have NEEDED the surgery?”

    That isn’t true. This link establishes that such surgery is regularly performed on nondisabled infants:

    “As a single woman looking at the diabled issue entirely through the lense of entitlement, your posts make it crystal clear you have little insight into what the parents feel and little sympathy for them or their problems.”

    I do think your use of the phrase “entitlement” is a bit ridiculous, since most of this website is about various “entitlements” that people have a right to expect. Moreover, opposing what the parents did in the Baby Doe case doesn’t mean that I don’t “feel sympathy.” It means that I don’t support a parent’s right to neglect their child’s need for surgery because the child is disabled, period.

  • progo35

    The need for Esophagus surgery it can occur in nondisabled infants. Moreover, the Baby Doe case wasn’t about a “fetus” it was about a baby, and if you think that “only three” infants being neglected doesn’t warrant intervention, that’s problematic.

    You know, often people on this site take the position that their worlview is based on “facts,” whereas the opposition’s worldview is based on emotional narratives. Well, this is what is being done here. Somehow our sympathy for the parents feelings is supposed to make us more supportive of the parents’ actions in this case and ignore the facts. The baby wasn’t terminal. This wasn’t like taking a braindead person off life support.  At the end of the day the fact is that the the parents in that case killed their newborn via neglect because they didn’t want to raise a disabled child. One may sympathize with their shock, fear, sadness, or anything else they might have been feeling, but that doesn’t absolve them from what they did.  And no, “my kind” doesn’t support letting women die in childbirth. That’s why these bans have exceptions for severe medical problems. And, really, the whole disability angle comes from the fact that NARAL doesn’t seem to care if using the term “anomalies” to justify late term abortion strikes fear into the hearts of prospective parents and may contribute to a climate in which it is difficult for them to make a truly unbiased decision. After all, if any anomaly justifies a an abortion after twenty weeks, than having any anomaly must mean that the fetus would otherwise have a terrible life, and terminating the pregnancy is what a truly responsible parent should do. If you were carrying a fetus with an anomaly that wasn’t terminal, and everyone around you implied or urged you to terminate, how would you respond?  If you, Crowepps don’t want to respond to me, that’s your right. I refuse to respond to anything Coleen says because she used my experience of sexual assault to make a point.

  • colleen

    Esophogus surgery is a relatively simple procedure and the need for it can occur in nondisabled infants.

    that you’re not a physician. . From your reply I’m assuming that you cannot find a  cite from a reputable source to substantiate your absurd claims that surgery on a child born without an esophogus is a simple procedure.  Instead you do what you always do and pretend that something entirely different was said, personally attack the person you’re replying to, move the goal posts and proclaim yourself the poor martyred victim.


  • arekushieru

    Yes, you do, if you think that sexism against women is not as bad as ableism against fetuses.  Yes, you do, if you think that the majority of primary caregivers (mostly women, whether guardians or specialized workers, from single-parent or two-parent families) should be forced to give up their own hopes and dreams just because you, the almighty arbitrator and decider of human life, decide that the condition isn’t ‘severe’ enough.

  • arekushieru

    Um, any fetus that survives an abortion is now a baby and not dependent on one single person for its survival.  And a baby should be treated like any other patient.  You should know what we think about this, by now….

  • lauraj400

    can not refuse surgery why should parents of disabled be able too?

  • crowepps

    All parents can refuse to authorize surgery for their children if the parents do not feel it is necessary.  If the hospital or doctor believes those parents are being unreasonable, they can go to court.  In the Baby Doe case that happened, and the Court said the parents were not being unreasonable.


    Edited to add:  The current state of the art medicine and how easy it is to do esophagal repair and reconstruction isn’t very useful in discussing the Baby Doe case anyway, since it occurred THIRTY YEARS AGO.


    Question — you do understand that if the parents give permission for the surgery they are going to be expected to pay for it, right?  And that it’s very very expensive?

  • arekushieru

    Or may opt to authorize surgery that may result in the death of one to save both.  For example, twin to twin transfusion syndrome, which can lead to the birth of the fetus that is ‘disabled’ or the one that is ‘abled’.  From the rhetoric I’ve seen from Laura and Progo, I would gather the death of the former would be more horrible than the death of the latter.  Another example, conjoined twins.  Parents may choose to separate the twins, leading to the death of one or the other.  There have been cases reported, so much so, that it’s a wonder that these two haven’t heard of them, before.

  • progo35

    This is why I am pro life and not pro choice. Because the people here see letting an infant with Down Syndrome starve to death and die  as a matter of parental choice. You know what? Choice isn’t a god. There are and should be limits to choice. I honestly feel that even if there were absolute proof that could be provided that the surgery would have worked, you would still be okay with the parents denying surgery based on the fact that they didn’t want a disabled child.

  • arekushieru

    WHERE have we ever said that?  Is this just more of your cherry-picking and twisting words to suit your needs (most likely)?

    And I honestly feel that you are in NO way trying to understand what our viewpoint actually is and what compassion means.

    THIS is why I’m Pro-Choice because I don’t need to twist other people’s words so I can feel comfortable fitting into my limited niche.


  • plume-assassine

    Progo’s anti-choice position ultimately leads to maximizing the suffering of all parties involved – parents and newborn (or parents and non-viable fetus). If anyone expresses rational disagreement with her Absolutism, she resorts to insulting the morality of posters rather than considering their position for even a moment, claiming that their disagreement stems from ableism, bigotry, heartlessness.

  • progo35

    La Plume asssassin-IMO, some of the commentators here seem to (and perhaps I should have used a qualifier in my previous post) go to the opposite extreme-assuming that if a parent does what these particular parents did, they must have had a “good” reason, and we shouldn’t “judge” them. The posts I’m seeing here seem to indicate a widespread belief that the parent’s actions were acceptable because it was their choice, as if choice were some rite of absolution that negates any moral ambiguity or wrongdoing on their part. I don’t think that posters would have the same attitude if the child in question didn’t have down syndrome.  Moreover, A nonviable baby is one with anancephaly or trisomy 18 or some other condition from which they are dying, and for which nothing can be done. That isn’t what this infant had. People here seem willing to accept the parent’s actions because that’s considerate of their feelings. How rational is that? Again, this is disheartening because this case didn’t concern a fetus, it was a newborn. Arguging that disabled infants who are not dying should recieve the same standard of care that nondisabled infants do does not seem “irrational”  or “anti choice” to me. I don’t think it’s rational to argue that parents doing surgery to seperate conjoined twins, in which there is a risk of death, is the same thing as withholding surgery so that the person who needs it will die. Once again, the disability community did speak out against the behavior of Baby Doe’s parents, but that aspect of the debate is ignored, I think, because it just isn’t conducive to maintaining the “pro life vs. pro choice” narrative.

  • plume-assassine

    I can’t comment on the case of Baby Doe – whether esophageal surgery would’ve helped or not or whether it would have extended or alleviated suffering – because I don’t have all the info on it to come to any conclusion or judgment. I think it’s one of those situations that is far more nuanced than we are lead to believe.

    However, this article is about 2nd trimester abortions that may or may not deal with fetal anomaly. It’s not about disabled babies. I think it is irrational to want to prevent abortion in cases of fetal anomaly unless the condition meets “specific criteria” or is “serious enough” to meet the standards of any one community. It’s a private decision. Nobody benefits from making a fetus into a symbol or representative for the entire disabled community.

  • progo35

    I wouldn’t have mentioned the issue of disability at all if NARAL hadn’t used fetal anomaly as a reason for why abortions after twenty weeks should remain legal. That statement plays on our culture’s aversion to disability by making the disabled fetus, terminally ill newborns, and disabled children into symbols of why choice in the matter of late term abortion is important.

  • progo35

    Crowepps-the parents in this case didn’t cite cost as the reaon for their choice. They specifically stated that the surgery coudln’t cure their child’s Down Syndrome and that that was why treatment was being withheld. It was quite clear that they would have authorized the surgery, had the infant not had a condition associated with cognitive disability.

  • plume-assassine

    It’s not up to you to determine why women have abortions in cases of fetal anomaly. I’m willing to bet that most cases have nothing to do with an “aversion to disability,” but rather an aversion to suffering. Not every 2nd trimester abortion in cases of fetal anomaly is due to bigotry. I find such generalizations to be irrational. Furthermore, shaming/judging women for such a decision about a potential child is not going to help the disabled community, nor will such tactics based on suspicion and invasion of privacy work to achieve societal acceptance of actual persons. I understand that you are passionate about disability rights, but you are going about it the wrong way, and targeting the wrong people.

  • colleen

    I wouldn’t have mentioned the issue of disability at all if NARAL hadn’t used fetal anomaly as a reason for why abortions after twenty weeks should remain legal.

    Oh bullshit. You manage to hijack every thread you’re on with irrelevant, off topic comments about disabilities and personal attacks on the good and decent women who post here.


  • ldan

    So they should ignore the fact that 20 weeks is right around the point where prenatal care tends to pick up on many fetal anomalies? It wouldn’t be nearly as important a point in arguing against such an early ban otherwise. Of the other exceptions, rape and incest are usually known quantities from the start and problems that threaten the woman’s health or life can develop at any point in the pregnancy. But diagnosis of fetal anomalies is right around that 20 week-mark.


    Hey, if we could quit arguing about what was an ‘acceptable’ reason to choose against carrying a pregnancy to term, NARAL wouldn’t bring up the argument at all, and you could spend more energy on creating that ideal world where parents don’t need to fear that they’ll be swallowed whole by the work involved in raising and advocating for a disabled child.

  • progo35

    Even though we may not always agree, there are many good and decent women who post here, Colleen. You, however, aren’t one of them.

  • progo35

    Ldan-it’s a complicated issue, but NARAL could easily have clarified their statement by saying something like, “fatal anomalies.” As a disabled person, I do feel like NARAL is using people like me as a symbol for why abortion should be legal, and I think that sucks. And, again, the disabled feminist movement, while pro choice, does make a point of raising this issue in terms of calling attention to tolerance and the provision of balanced information on disability to potential parents. The purpose is definitely not to shame women who have such abortions, as, on the whole, the disabled feminist movement supports that right.

  • progo35

    Not every abortion in the case of fetal anomaly is due to bigotry. Every woman is different and has different circumstances. However, I  dothink that NARAL as an organization is feeding into a prejudiced mindset by waving potential disability as a red flag in the abortion debate.

  • forced-birth-rape

    ~ Yes Colleen is a good person! (I adore her.) Colleen takes up for raped children and women. Pro-lifers love to capitalize off of women and girls getting pregnant by way of rape. ~


    ~ Progo35, I was a sexually abused child and I find the pro-forced-birth movement to be vicious to little girls, and women who where victims of penis rape. ~


    ~ Telling a woman or little girl “NO” your life, body, and vagina is going to be used the way I want it to be used, and do what I want it to do, even though it causes you unwanted vaginal pain. That very much hurts me as female survivor of rape. ~


    ~ My little sister cries every day because she wants to have a baby, she wants to have five, but she cannot afford to be pregnant, give birth, or take of work to nurse a baby. ~


    ~ Why don’t you go badger your side into helping women have as many children as they want. Instead of forcing women to be scared of having children because thay cannot take proper care of themselves while pregnant and giving birth, then take proper care of their very much wanted babies. ~


    ~ Your side makes women not want children, and makes them scared of having children. If we had woman friendly health care, we could all have all the children we want. ~

  • kj

    While I think that ableism plays some role in the choices women make regarding pregnancy, I think that it ridiclous to restrict women’s rights because of it. Many white people make a choice to live in neighborhood that is primarly white becasue they are racist and don’t want their kids to go to school with children of color.  Does that mean we should be able to say that white people can’t move to a primarly white area becuase their reasons for moving might be racist?   Same with this: a woman’s choice to have an abortion may be influnced by abelism, but that is not a reason to deny her the right to decide what to do with her body. 


    I’m a woman with disabilties who works with people with disabilties and I can tell you right off, life isn’t easy for any of us.  Nor was it easy for my parents.  Having a child with disabilities is economically, socially and physically difficult.  If you want to stop women from having abortions because their child is disabled, you would do better to focus your energies on advocating for the goverment providing respite care, better social servies and better support for families and people with disabilties.  Being anti-choice is not going to encourage women to bring fetuses with disabilties to term, but advoacting for the rights of people with disabilites and for govermental support of people with disabilties might.

  • progo35

    I wasn’t trying to say that women should be denied control over their bodies, I was saying that ableism plays a role in whether women carry fetuses with disabilities to term. I do a lot of work advocating for the disabled and I also work with young people with disabilities. So, in terms of trying to advocate for support, I’m totally there with you.

  • progo35

    double post.

  • progo35

    FBIR-I was sexually abused by a neighbor when I was a child, and Coleen, despite the fact that she “takes up for raped children and women,” used that tragedy to attack me in a discussion on this board. So, IMO, she is NOT a good person. Anyone who does things like that is a lowlife. I’m sorry that you experienced what you did in childhood. I’m not advocating that women be forced to carry to term, I’m saying NARAL and other pro choice organizations should stop using the spectre of disability to serve their political ends.


    That hurts women who are trying to make an unbiased decision about whether to carry to term or not. We agree that ableism does play a role in those decisions and I would like NARAL to stop contributing to that.

  • lauraj400

    If I have a non-disabled child and I refuse  to get them medical treatment and they die,I get sent to jail.If they are disabled,I get sent home.Why is that>

  • colleen

    I’m not advocating that women be forced to carry to term

    When did you change your mind? You’ve been very clear in the past that that is precisely what you do expect and it certainly is what the Catholic Church and the ‘pro-life’ movement expects.

    I’m saying NARAL and other pro choice organizations should stop using the spectre of disability to serve their political ends.

    What NARAL and everyone here is saying is that women should be allowed a choice in these matters. That said, I wish that you would stop using the specter of disability and your unfortunate victimized childhood as a shield to hide behind while attacking others in the most personal ways you can imagine. It’s cowardly and chickenshit of you.  Particularly seeing as you’ve never addressed the fact that the resources necessary to raise one or more disabled children aren’t readily available anywhere in the US and the more ‘Pro-life’ ‘personal responsibility’ woman hating Republicans y’all vote for the fewer farer between those available resources become.

    That hurts women who are trying to make an unbiased decision about whether to carry to term or not.

    What hurts women in that situation is sanctimonious fools trying to shove a fundamentally flawed, sexist and deeply destructive version of ‘morality’ and gender roles down their throats.


    We agree that ableism does play a role in those decisions and I would like NARAL to stop contributing to that.

    Clearly the notion of reproductive choice is not something  you have fully grasped. That’s odd considering the obsessive interest in this blog  you have demonstrated over the years.  Indeed you appear to have missed the fact that it’s not primarily or even secondarily, a disability rights blog.

  • arekushieru

    Are you talking about Jehovah Witnesses refusing blood transfusions to their children?  If so, that is because Jehovah Witnesses are denying them transfusions as part of a faith-backed reason.  If that was allowed to continue, that would be called discrimination by religious institution.  But, I forgot, it’s all fine and good if religious institutions discriminate.

  • progo35

    The point is: selective abortion has done more to wipe people with disabilities off this planet than any other eugenics program, and NARAL is thrilled to death about it.

  • arekushieru

    Really?  Do point out where that is the case?  Oh, that’s right, you just like making baseless claims without backing them up.

  • plume-assassine

    Oh good grief, you have got to be kidding me. This is utter nonsense, Progo, and I think you are well aware of it.

    Elective abortion does not wipe out any person or people, period. This is inaccurate. And NARAL is not invested in any sort of eugenics, positive or negative.

    In fact, there are far MORE disabled people alive today than ever before because of advances in medical technology and social welfare programs (although we could be doing much more). As a species, our collective empathy for the lives of other people is overriding natural selection.

  • ack

    It’s not a red flag. It’s a very real concern among women and girls who find themselves pregnant, whether by choice or by accident. Resources are limited and diminishing. NARAL is doing NOTHING to promote abortion of fetuses who may have/will have disabilites. (No one promotes abortion. The people who think folks do have a warped perspective of what “choice” means; I don’t think you have that perspective, but I just want to make this clear for lurkers and drivebys.) They’re supporting the right of women and girls to control their reproductive lives and make decisions according to their own circumstances, wishes, and the resources available to them.

  • progo35

    I’m not kidding. According to the NY Times and every other source I’ve read, the abortion rate for prenatal diagnosis of a disability is around 80-90 percent. That means that 80-90 percent of the disabled people who would otherwise be born and make up the disabled population are not here because of abortion. Hence, more disabled people have been wiped off the face of the earth via abortion than via previous US eugenics programs. Moreover, I stand by my previous assertion that NARAL shamelessly uses the spectre of disability to serve their political ends whenever they use fetal anomaly to argue for legal abortion. They can maintain their pro choice stance and advocacy efforts quite well without doing that, as there are many other serious reasons for why a woman might want an abortion after 20 weeks. Yet, they continue to do this, completely disregarding any role their rhetoric may play in stigmatizing those with disabilities.

  • arekushieru

    Where are your statistics that this would not have been a similar scenario without the diagnosis.  Perhaps many of these women had already decided to abort but the diagnosis simply clinched it in their minds…. Thanks.

    Again with your logic fail?  Fetuses with anomalies must be treated more ‘specially’ than those without?

  • progo35

    90 percent DS abortion rate

    80-90 percent abortion rate for a prenatal diagnosis. Note that there is no differentiation. Every disorder mentioned on the site falls under the umbrella of “severe.” Once again, the logic seems to be that DS and Turners Syndrome = Anencephaly or T18 in terms of their impact on the fetus being aborted.

    A report discussing the termination rate for fetal anomaly which displays the same logic: anencephaly, Spina Bifida, DS, Turners and T18 are all equally severe. If your baby has Turners or DS, he or she might as well as be missing a brain.


  • progo35

    double post

  • progo35

    And, are, remember that most of these terminations were of WANTED pregnancies, not pregnancies in which the woman didn’t want a/nother child and was already planning to terminate. That’s why the choice was heartbreaking. Moreover, women who are planning to terminate their pregnancies generally don’t wait ten weeks and get a CVS scan, or even later and find out about an anomaly via ultrasound. If one is planning to terminate, there is no point in getting any of those tests or waiting so long. These babies would have been brought into the world had they not been diagnosed with a disability prior to birth.

  • plume-assassine

    Once again, do you need to be reminded that a diagnosis of DS or Turner’s syndrome CAN be very severe? We are talking about a spectrum here, ranging from mild to life-threatening.


    I should also add that it’s not your job to investigate women concerning the severity of fetal diagnosis and deciding whether or not they are “allowed” to abort based on your personal criteria.

  • progo35

    LaPlume, I suspect you know that most people with those conditions have productive lives, just like most people without disabilities. Turners is even less severe than DS:

    “Even though the high risk of miscarriage probably sounds scary, researchers believe that the majority of miscarriages related to Turner Syndrome occur in the first trimester. By the time the baby has reached the point of being eligible for an amniocentesis, the odds of pregnancy loss are not nearly as staggering. One study found that 91% of babies diagnosed via amniocentesis survived to birth. It can be unnerving to learn that your baby has a chromosome disorder though, so it’s a good idea to get in touch with support groups or a genetic counselor to prepare.

    Prognosis for Liveborn Babies:

    Despite the high risk of miscarriage and stillbirth, the overall prognosis for a baby with Turner Syndrome is far from dismal after birth. There are some common health problems and physical characteristics, but girls with Turner Syndrome usually have normal intelligence without life-threatening disabilities and can lead happy, healthy lives. Many do not even find out that they have the disorder until adulthood.”

    Moreover, my point is not that women shouldn’t be “allowed” to abort. That is not the point. My point is that aborting a wanted pregnancy because of disability is a form of prejudice that NARAL encourages when it USES people with disabilities who are HERE NOW to defend legal abortion, and that abortion is responsible for a dramatic decrease in the number of people with disabilities walking the planet. I think you also understand the prejudice inherent in saying-“look at those poor disabled people! their lives are HORRIBLE! Abortion is a MERCY!” NARAL can defend the legality of abortion quite well without resorting to ableist stereotypes-do you need to be reminded of that?




  • plume-assassine

    Moreover, my point is not that women shouldn’t be “allowed” to abort. That is not the point. My point is that aborting a wanted pregnancy because of disability is a form of prejudice that NARAL encourages when it USES people with disabilities who are HERE NOW to defend legal abortion, and that abortion is responsible for a dramatic decrease in the number of people with disabilities walking the planet. I think you also understand the prejudice inherent in saying-“look at those poor disabled people! their lives are HORRIBLE! Abortion is a MERCY!” NARAL can defend the legality of abortion quite well without resorting to ableist stereotypes-do you need to be reminded of that?

    I’m not buying it. I DO get where you are coming from, Progo, but your position does not sit right with me for several reasons: because you seem to think that ableism/prejudice is the driving factor behind the decision to have a late-term abortion and you also seem to think that there is an obligation to bring a(nother) disabled person into the world no matter what; and by not doing so, the parents are just prejudiced. More likely, I think it’s the fear of not being able to find resources and help for their child (which is reality, as you know, the assistance programs in the US are abyssmal, especially when finances are tight), the fear of uncertainty (will my child really be able to live a productive life like the prognosis says is possible?), and an aversion to lifelong suffering (which for some disabilities is a reality).

    I also do not believe that NARAL is in any way encouraging abortion in cases of fetal anomaly, when all they are doing is protecting access to abortion, regardless of reason. I’m going to be honest, I sometimes suspect that you are using disability rights as a “concern” front to be anti-choice across the board.

    But if I’m wrong about that, I still don’t think that targeting late-term abortion access is a way to improve the lives of people with disabilities. What it does is shame women – who are already vulnerable about their decision – and accuses them of bigotry if they make the “wrong” choice, when you couldn’t possibly know all of their reasons for wanting abortion after hearing a certain diagnosis. Sure, it very well COULD be prejudice, but telling women that NARAL is just there to turn them into ableist bigots isn’t going to make them want their pregnancy any more. It’s a guilt trip, when in actuality, what they really need is to have their concerns addressed without judgment either way. You seem more concerned with the number of potential disabled people rather than the quality of life of actual disabled individuals already on this earth. 

  • progo35


    Because I don’t know who you are and I don’t want to give too many identifying characteristics on this board, as I try to keep my position on abortion out of my work, which involves working with people who hold a variety of views, I can’t go into exactly what I do, however, I will tell you that a significant portion of my time and life has been spent attempting to improve the environments that people with disabilities find themselves in and  the resources that we have access to. So, it isn’t accurate to say that I care more about the number of people than the quality of each person’s life. Moreover, I think that it would be misguided of me to support a group or policy that has lead to the elimination of 80-90% of the would-be disabled population. I feel like you’re asking me to excuse NARAL because it supports choice and tends to support liberal social policies. When people on the right express bigotry by, say, arguing that the Americans with disabilities Act is unconstitutional, I suspect taht you see their position for what it is: abelist. When NARAL uses the problems that living people with disabilities experience to push abortion, you don’t see it as ableist because NARAL embraces a political ideology that you are comfortable with.

    I do think that many parents feel afraid of what their disabled child will experience, but again, they are often given misinformation about the help that IS available, and many, I’m sorry to say, really ARE ableist. You could offer them millions of dollars in federal aid and they would still abort because they can’t stand the idea of having to confront the spectre of human disability in their own child. Saying that many of these decisions are bourne from prejudice might not be very “nice” or politically correct, but that doesn’t negate the fact that ableism is inherently related to the medicalization of disability and the prevention thereof, which has a huge impact on women deciding whether to carry a disabled fetus to term.

  • arekushieru

    Did I say they had made the decision with 100% certainty?  No.  Just that they WERE leaning more towards making the decision to have an abortion.  Many women seek a second opinion even if they feel they are 100% sure, as well, y’know….

    You’re talking about late-term abortions, right?  The health of the woman is one reason why they would choose to have a late-term abortion.  Why would that choice be any different than the choice to have an abortion because of a fetal anomaly, unless you want to make the fetus with an anomaly more special than the one without…?  Fetal anomalies can put a woman’s life MORE at risk, anyways.