Are We Creating a Hobson’s Choice for Abortion Rights?


Last week Rachel Maddow interviewed the President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Cecile Richards.  In her intro, Maddow alluded to the fact that while pro-choice advocates and politicians have been fiercely defending Planned Parenthood’s provision of critical health care services for women, they have simultaneously been downplaying the fact Planned Parenthood also provides abortion services.  Abortion services only account for approximately 3% of Planned Parenthood’s services.  The other 97% are health care services ranging from contraception, STD testing and treatment, breast cancer screenings, and other basic preventive health care services. 

But that same 3% of abortion services that is downplayed by those seeking to preserve critical health care services for vulnerable, low-income women is being used to demonize Planned Parenthood as nothing more than an abortion mill.  That demonization was front and center when Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) falsely claimed that “[i]f you want an abortion, you go to Planned Parenthood, and that’s well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does.”  But here’s the truth about Planned Parenthood:

…more than 90 percent of the health care services provided by the organization is preventive in nature.  Each year, it provides more than one million cervical cancer screenings, 830,000 breast exams, and nearly four million exams, treatments, and tests involving sexually transmitted diseases.  The federal funding received by the organization goes strictly toward these basic needs and others, such as birth control and annual exams.  In fact, just three percent of its work is related to abortion.

Senator Kyl’s office defended this blatant lie by telling CNN “…’his remark was not intended to be a factual statement, but rather to illustrate that Planned Parenthood, an organization that receives millions of dollars in taxpayer funding, does subsidize abortions’.”

For people like Senator Kyl, Representative Mike Pence (R-IN), and Representative Michele Bachmann (R-MN), it does not matter that Planned Parenthood provides affordable health care services for millions of women each year; in their mind that 3% makes Planned Parenthood evil.  Kyl, Pence, and Bachmann don’t care that Planned Parenthood is the only health care provider for many of these women – it’s still that 3%. 

Is this demonization of abortion rights by the far right forcing women’s advocates to make a Hobson’s choice?  In order to preserve basic health care access for women will we need to cede our open defense of abortion rights?  When we isolate abortion rights from other reproductive health care rights, we inadvertently provide anti-women extremists with the precise weapon they need to further de-legitimize abortion as health care.  Unless we are willing to fight back unapologetically for our fundamental abortion rights, those rights will indeed become meaningless for millions of women whose access to abortion rights are now under direct attack in state legislatures all across the country. 

During the Cecile Richards interview, I thought there could be a thoughtful discussion about the further de-legitimization of abortion and the onslaught of extreme anti-abortion state legislation around the country.  Instead, Richards remained steadfast in her defense of Planned Parenthood’s non-abortion related services.  The current political climate leaves anyone who is fighting for Planned Parenthood’s survival with no other choice but to downplay the abortion services.  The GOP has forced pro-choice advocates into an untenable position.  Pro-choice organizations must and do defend abortion rights.  But how does someone like Richards do that while still protecting the millions of women that seek out Planned Parenthood for vital health care services each year?  Sadly, the toxic political climate has made it next to impossible for Planned Parenthood defenders to even discuss abortion rights in any meaningful manner. 

On January 22, 2011, President Obama released a rather milquetoast statement celebrating the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.  The statement reads:

Today marks the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that protects women’s health and reproductive freedom, and affirms a fundamental principle: that government should not intrude on private family matters.  I am committed to protecting this constitutional right.  I also remain committed to policies, initiatives, and programs that help prevent unintended pregnancies, support pregnant women and mothers, encourage healthy relationships, and promote adoption.  And on this anniversary, I hope that we will recommit ourselves more broadly to ensuring that our daughters have the same rights, the same freedoms, and the same opportunities as our sons to fulfill their dreams.

When I first read the statement back in January, I wondered if perhaps I was being overly critical or too sensitive regarding the fact that nowhere in the President’s statement celebrating the legalization of abortion was the word “abortion.”  And still the President is demonized for being pro-choice, most recently in Chicago with a vulgar and overtly racist campaign targeting African American women

During that interview, I noticed that regardless of how much Maddow pressed the issue of the importance of abortion and how this fight over Planned Parenthood was being waged with abortion as the weapon Richards did not and quite frankly could not directly engage in the discussion. 

Richards is desperately waging her own war to save health care services for low-income women around the country who often use Planned Parenthood as their only source of medical care.  If Planned Parenthood is defunded then these vulnerable women that rely on their services will no longer have access to basic health care.  Those hardest hit will be women who rely on Medicaid. 

However, the fact remains that there is a war on abortion access happening in this country right now.  It is a war being waged in state legislatures taken over by anti-women, anti-choice Republicans.  We saw that same battle waged and lost during the budget showdown when the President and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid decided to sacrifice abortion services for low-income women in D.C. in order to avert a government shutdown.  The editorial board of the New York Times called stripping D.C. residents of their right to use their own locally raised revenue for abortions services “…a cruel blow to the poor and largely African-American women who need those services.” 

The war on abortion access was highlighted by the Guttmacher Institute’s recent report titled, State Legislative Trends: Hostility to Abortion Rights Increases.  Shockingly, “[t]hrough March 31, legislators introduced 916 measures related to reproductive health and rights in the 49 state legislatures that had convened their regular session.” 

Abortion access is being severely curtailed throughout the country – not just for low-income women but for all women; even for victims of rape and incest.  In fact, some anti-abortion politicians believe women will go so far as to lie about being raped in order to receive abortion services under Medicaid.  This war on abortion in the states is becoming more extreme with each passing day.

And violence against abortion providers and clinic staffers is also increasing, thereby increasing the shortage of providers; providers who are unwilling to risk their lives and live under the constant threat of harassment and violence in order to provide abortion services. 

The Center for Reproductive Rights issued a report in 2009 titled, Defending Human Rights: Abortion Providers Facing Threats, Restrictions, and Harassment.  The report outlined the increasing shortage of providers; the intimidation and harassment at clinics; and the urgent action needed to protect abortion providers and hold perpetrators accountable for violations of federal and state laws. 

In fact, the Guttmacher Institute reports that “…the number of abortion providers nationwide has declined by 25% since the 1990s.  Currently, more than a third of women of reproductive age live in counties without an abortion provider.”

The Feminist Majority Foundation’s 2010 survey of clinic violence found “…the percentage of clinics experiencing severe violence has increased to 23.5% of all abortion providers participating in the survey in 2010, compared to 20% in 2008 and 18.5% in 2005.  Moreover, this marked the highest level of violence recorded since 1997 when 25.0% of all clinics experienced one or more incidents of severe violence.” 

Even the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is being used as a weapon against women’s reproductive rights.  Significantly, the war on abortion access for middle income women is being manifested by the surge of state legislatures using ACA to eliminate abortion coverage from insurance plans.  The National Women’s Law Center reports that currently in eleven states, “…women will not be allowed to use their own private money to purchase an exchange-based health plan that covers abortion services, and also may not be able to purchase a plan that provides insurance coverage for abortion at all.”  Furthermore,

…since ACA “…explicitly allows states to pass laws banning private insurance coverage of abortion in any exchange set up in their state,”  this problem will only get worse over time until it becomes too burdensome for any insurance carrier to offer abortion coverage.  We will eventually see all women – low-income and middle income, being deprived of basic access to abortion care services.  ACA may turn out to be the precise vehicle by which anti-choice state legislatures completely extinguish insurance coverage for abortion services in this country.

With these sustained and seemingly endless attacks on abortion access growing more venomous and pervasive every day, how can pro-choice activists continue to defend Planned Parenthood without having to subtly and sometimes not so subtly distance themselves from abortion rights? 

This is a problem that is not going away.  Anti-abortion advocates are itching for a Supreme Court fight and hoping that if one of these extreme state laws gets challenged, that the conservative Roberts court will further constrain abortion access.  And here too, pro-choice groups have so far been unwilling to fight back against the unconstitutional attacks on Roe v. Wade in states that have enacted laws directly contravening the specific rights delineated within Roe

We must remember that reproductive rights and reproductive justice includes abortion access that is fair and equitable for all women.  That means eliminating the constraints on private insurance and defeating the Hyde Amendment that discriminates against poor women.  Right now there is virtually no political will to fight for abortion access rights – but that cannot and should not stop pro-choice advocates from fighting for the constitutional rights of all women – rights that should not be defined by the amount of money in a woman’s pocket.

When we accept the Hyde Amendment, and for that matter any constraints on insurance coverage for abortion services, as our inevitable fate and political reality, then we have ceded those constitutional rights as not being rights at all anymore.  We will have turned those fundamental rights into luxuries reserved solely for women who can afford the privilege.  We will have also given pro-choice politicians the permission to portray this subversion of women’s rights as a fixed and inevitable political reality.

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  • rebecca-sive

    Antoinette,

    You’ve done a great job of laying out the problem, as well as why it needs attention. Thank you.

    I’ve also written about this, albeit in a different way. See here:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rebecca-sive

    Best wishes.

    Rebecca Sive

     

  • antoinette-bonsignore

    Thanks Rebecca – just read your brilliant article at Huffington Post – I’m so glad you noticed that Maddow interview too!  

  • antoinette-bonsignore

    Thanks so much Rebecca!

  • lookingforrespectfuldialogue

    Hi, Antoinette,

    You’re absolutely right to get after Sen. Kyl for sharing false statistics about Planned Parenthood. Kyl: “You’re a public figure and a U.S. Senator. So get your damn facts straight before opening your mouth.” Shame on him. 

    The stats that Planned Parenthood gives, though, about 3% of its health services going towards abortion are a bit misleading, though. They provided  1,436,808 emergency contraception kits in 2008, which I think should fall under the umbrella of abortion services since they are used to terminate a pregnancy in its earliest stages. And over 90% of Planned Parenthood’s services towards pregnant women go towards abortion services, as the organization’s fact sheet shows (compare adoption referrals to abortions and emergency contraceptives: http://www.plannedparenthood.org/files/PPFA/fact_ppservices_2010-09-03.pdf). This isn’t actually the point of my post, but I just wanted to point out that statistics, so often, are malleable based on the perspective of the person using them. I tend to think they should be taken rather lightly. Or at least always deserve more looking into. 

    But the real reason I wanted to respond to your article is just to point out that I disagree: being anti-abortion isn’t the same thing as being anti-woman. I’m a woman who is very concerned about women’s rights and their freedom from patriarchal oppression. I just don’t believe that abortion in any way ensures that freedom. In fact, so often it’s a symptom of the patriarchy because it provides men an easy way out of responsibility and seats women with the burden of choice–and all of the potential psychological repercussions that go along with it. I think that abortion provides an “easy fix” that fails to address the lifelong emotional and psychological elements in that decision–fails to see the issue as involving a woman who is a whole person rather than just a biological organism. On the global level, at least, the patriarchal pressure involved in abortion becomes crystal clear. In India and China, the “gendercide” being accomplished through selective abortion is reaching crisis proportions in some areas ( http://www.gendercide.org/case_infanticide.html –this article discusses infanticide first but also gets to selective abortion later). So when I think when we’re championing abortion as “women’s rights,” it’s important to pause and ask the question, “Who are we really protecting?”

    Another qualification of what I’m saying: These are lean times for Americans, and I think that the government needs to try to cut back in a lot of ways to ease the burdens on taxpayers. But when it comes to providing prenatal, natal, and long-term postnatal and adoption services for women, I’m downright socialist. If people are going to talk about women’s rights and being pro-life, we need to put our money where our mouth is. That’s something pro-lifers and people on the right aren’t often willing to admit, and that’s wrong. You and I both care about providing for and protecting women. We don’t agree on how to do that, but neither of us is “anti-woman.”

    I think, too, that Obama’s sidestepping the issue of abortion in his address comes from an awareness that the majority of the population reports being at least personally against abortion even if they don’t want to take legislative action to make it illegal. As sonograms provide greater and greater insight into fetal development, I think that the populace is feeling more and more queasy about the reality of abortion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsGrhXjOoPo.  Because of these developments, I think that the hesitation the populace is expressing about speaking in favor of abortion–the hesitation you are alarmed about–stems as much from scientific developments as it does from ideology. 

    Anyway, thanks for your time. I just wanted to point out that there is a rational side that does not see abortion rights as part of “reproductive health care,” and that side is not necessarily all “anti-women extremists.”  

     

  • lookingforrespectfuldialogue

    Hi, Antoinette,

    You’re absolutely right to get after Sen. Kyl for sharing false statistics about Planned Parenthood. Kyl: “You’re a public figure and a U.S. Senator. So get your damn facts straight before opening your mouth.” Shame on him. 

    The stats that Planned Parenthood gives, though, about 3% of its health services going towards abortion are a bit misleading, though. They provided  1,436,808 emergency contraception kits in 2008, which I think should fall under the umbrella of abortion services since they are used to terminate a pregnancy in its earliest stages. And over 90% of Planned Parenthood’s services towards pregnant women go towards abortion services, as the organization’s fact sheet shows (compare adoption referrals to abortions and emergency contraceptives: http://www.plannedparenthood.org/files/PPFA/fact_ppservices_2010-09-03.pdf). This isn’t actually the point of my post, but I just wanted to point out that statistics, so often, are malleable based on the perspective of the person using them. I tend to think they should be taken rather lightly. Or at least always deserve more looking into. 

    But the real reason I wanted to respond to your article is just to point out that I disagree: being anti-abortion isn’t the same thing as being anti-woman. I’m a woman who is very concerned about women’s rights and their freedom from patriarchal oppression. I just don’t believe that abortion in any way ensures that freedom. In fact, so often it’s a symptom of the patriarchy because it provides men an easy way out of responsibility and seats women with the burden of choice–and all of the potential psychological repercussions that go along with it. I think that abortion provides an “easy fix” that fails to address the lifelong emotional and psychological elements in that decision–fails to see the issue as involving a woman who is a whole person rather than just a biological organism. On the global level, at least, the patriarchal pressure involved in abortion becomes crystal clear. In India and China, the “gendercide” being accomplished through selective abortion is reaching crisis proportions in some areas ( http://www.gendercide.org/case_infanticide.html –this article discusses infanticide first but also gets to selective abortion later). So when I think when we’re championing abortion as “women’s rights,” it’s important to pause and ask the question, “Who are we really protecting?”

    Another qualification of what I’m saying: These are lean times for Americans, and I think that the government needs to try to cut back in a lot of ways to ease the burdens on taxpayers. But when it comes to providing prenatal, natal, and long-term postnatal and adoption services for women, I’m downright socialist. If people are going to talk about women’s rights and being pro-life, we need to put our money where our mouth is. That’s something pro-lifers and people on the right aren’t often willing to admit, and that’s wrong. You and I both care about providing for and protecting women. We don’t agree on how to do that, but neither of us is “anti-woman.”

    I think, too, that Obama’s sidestepping the issue of abortion in his address comes from an awareness that the majority of the population reports being at least personally against abortion even if they don’t want to take legislative action to make it illegal. As sonograms provide greater and greater insight into fetal development, I think that the populace is feeling more and more queasy about the reality of abortion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsGrhXjOoPo.  Because of these developments, I think that the hesitation the populace is expressing about speaking in favor of abortion–the hesitation you are alarmed about–stems as much from scientific developments as it does from ideology. 

    Anyway, thanks for your time. I just wanted to point out that there is a rational side that does not see abortion rights as part of “reproductive health care,” and that side is not necessarily all “anti-women extremists.”  

     

  • forced-birth-rape

    ~ Forced birth is anti-women, it is extreme vaginal pain on women and little girls against their will.

    I was sexual abuse as a little girl and I know damn well that you do not give a damn about me, my mother, or my little sister. My mother had me, so she and I both were subject to my vile christian father, she had every right to abort me, and save herself, and me.

    You are trying to polish up forced birth. Using a unwanted fetus as a sexual torture instrument on women and girls against their will is anti-women.

    No one should ever force or badger women or girls into getting married against their will, because their life, body, future and vagina is on the line.

    No one should ever force or badger women and girls into having sex against their will, because their life, body, future, and vagina is on the line.

    No one should ever force or badger women and girls into giving birth against their will, because their life, body, future, and vagina is on the line.

    I get the same message from pro-forced-birthers, Christians, and the porn industry, women and girls are for sex, babies, and serving men, nothing more, and nothing less.

    All females are just cunts to you people.

    If someone tried to force me into giving birth against my will it would make me very scared, and feel like I was nothing but chattel, and breeding livestock.

    I would not want any little girl I love to lose custody of her body the minute she becomes pregnant, and it is her reproductive slave holders goal to make sure her body is used against her will, and she is forced into have extreme unwanted vaginal pain against her will, with nine long months to anticipate it.

    I, as someone who has a family history that has rape of little girls, wife beating, and using women’s reproduction as a way to subjugate and control them, do not respect or want your pseudo women’s rights in my life, or the little girls lives I care about. ~

  • prochoiceferret

    They provided  1,436,808 emergency contraception kits in 2008, which I think should fall under the umbrella of abortion services since they are used to terminate a pregnancy in its earliest stages.

     

    So you “think” that emergency contraception is abortion. I suppose that you might also “think” that the sky is green. Unfortunately, reality is not what you “think” it is, on both counts.

     

    And over 90% of Planned Parenthood’s services towards pregnant women go towards abortion services, as the organization’s fact sheet shows

     

    That would be true if ten pregnant women visited PP in a given year, and nine of them have abortions. Meaning, someone without an axe to grind would read that statistic as “not many pregnant women visit PP for non-abortion services” rather than “90% ABORTION!!! 90% ABORTION!!! OH MY GOD SHUT THEM DOWN!!!”

     

    This isn’t actually the point of my post,

     

    Yes, I suppose it’s hard to resist the urge to squeeze some PP-bashing in there.

     

    but I just wanted to point out that statistics, so often, are malleable based on the perspective of the person using them.

     

    True, and it’s pretty clear what perspective you’re coming from.

     

    But the real reason I wanted to respond to your article is just to point out that I disagree: being anti-abortion isn’t the same thing as being anti-woman.

     

    Kind of like how the Saudis feel that being anti-letting-women-leave-the-house-unaccompanied-by-a-related-male isn’t the same thing as being anti-woman, I take it.

     

    I’m a woman who is very concerned about women’s rights and their freedom from patriarchal oppression.

     

    Oh, so you’re a member of Concerned Women for America?

     

    I just don’t believe that abortion in any way ensures that freedom. In fact, so often it’s a symptom of the patriarchy because it provides men an easy way out of responsibility and seats women with the burden of choice–and all of the potential psychological repercussions that go along with it.

     

    Yes, I suppose abortion does deprive women of the freedom of not having a choice. I know that I suffer significant psychological repercussions every day when I have to decide what to watch on TV—how much greater must that burden be to a woman making decisions about her own body?? If only we could be unshackled from these irons of indecisiveness, and finally experience the true liberty of having someone else make these choices for us!

     

    I think that abortion provides an “easy fix” that fails to address the lifelong emotional and psychological elements in that decision–fails to see the issue as involving a woman who is a whole person rather than just a biological organism.

     

    Whereas just going ahead and having the baby ensures that there will be no lifelong emotional and psychological elements to address at all. And nothing helps more to see a woman as a whole person rather than just a biological organism than forcing her to do that whether she wants to or not.

     

    On the global level, at least, the patriarchal pressure involved in abortion becomes crystal clear. In India and China, the “gendercide” being accomplished through selective abortion is reaching crisis proportions in some areas

     

    Hey, no big deal—I’m sure they don’t see it as being “anti-woman,” either.

     

    So when I think when we’re championing abortion as “women’s rights,” it’s important to pause and ask the question, “Who are we really protecting?”

     

    Uh… aliens from the planet Zerg?

     

    Another qualification of what I’m saying: These are lean times for Americans, and I think that the government needs to try to cut back in a lot of ways to ease the burdens on taxpayers. But when it comes to providing prenatal, natal, and long-term postnatal and adoption services for women, I’m downright socialist.

     

    Republicans would have had you pegged as a socialist as soon as you said “but.” Too bad it’s not incompatible with abject misogyny.

     

    If people are going to talk about women’s rights and being pro-life, we need to put our money where our mouth is. That’s something pro-lifers and people on the right aren’t often willing to admit, and that’s wrong.

     

    Why would they admit it? Are you under the impression that self-describing as “pro-life” actually means that someone is, in fact, pro-life?

     

    You and I both care about providing for and protecting women. We don’t agree on how to do that, but neither of us is “anti-woman.”

     

    Saudi patriarchs agree with you wholeheartedly.

     

    I think, too, that Obama’s sidestepping the issue of abortion in his address comes from an awareness that the majority of the population reports being at least personally against abortion even if they don’t want to take legislative action to make it illegal.

     

    Or it might have to do with a vocal minority of the population that threaten to scream and holler and distract everyone from the issues he wants to focus on.

     

    As sonograms provide greater and greater insight into fetal development, I think that the populace is feeling more and more queasy about the reality of abortion

     

    I suppose when misogyny is invisible to you, it’s easy to chalk up shifting attitudes on abortion to a relatively minor issue like technology.

     

    Because of these developments, I think that the hesitation the populace is expressing about speaking in favor of abortion–the hesitation you are alarmed about–stems as much from scientific developments as it does from ideology.

     

    Nope, it’s pretty much ideology. You might have an easier time seeing it if you take that log jam out of your eyes.

     

    Anyway, thanks for your time. I just wanted to point out that there is a rational side that does not see abortion rights as part of “reproductive health care,” and that side is not necessarily all “anti-women extremists.”

     

    Oh, certainly. We just don’t pay quite as much mind to the “anti-women extremists who pose as rational misogynists ostensibly looking for so-called ‘respectful’ dialogue.”

  • crowepps

     They provided  1,436,808 emergency contraception kits in 2008, which I think should fall under the umbrella of abortion services since they are used to terminate a pregnancy in its earliest stages.

    Emergency contraception does not “terminate a pregnancy”.  It prevents ovulation or prevents the sperm from fertilizing the egg.  In addition, the mere fact that a contraception kit was passed over the counter doesn’t mean that it was used and doesn’t mean if it was used that the person using it actually was at risk of pregnancy.  They most likely were at a point in their cycle where they were not likely to get pregnant, but wished to make absolutely sure because they did not want to have to cope with an unwanted pregnancy.  Certainly a woman who is raped has no way of knowing where her assailant is fertile or sterile, but is absolutely not going to want to take any chances.

    For combined oral contraceptives and progestin-only methods, the main mechanisms are ovulation inhibition and changes in the cervical mucus that inhibit sperm penetration. The hormonal methods, particularly the low-dose progestin-only products and emergency contraceptive pills, have effects on the endometrium that, theoretically, could affect implantation. However, no scientific evidence indicates that prevention of implantation actually results from the use of these methods. Once pregnancy begins, none of these methods has an abortifacient action.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10561657

  • arekushieru

    Emergency contraception is NOT abortion.  It prevents a woman from ovulating, her ova from being fertilized, or an egg from implanting into the uterus.

    Um, Planned Parenthood’s services are mostly comprised of preVENtative services, so why would you compare two options that come AFter the preventative service failed, if you wanted to show a complete picture of Planned Parenthood?  Hmmm…? 

    Being anti-abortion is ALways about being anti-woman.  You cannot deny a woman basic rights and NOT be anti-woman.  You cannot deny women the basic right to determine who uses their body and when and how it is used, via ongoing, informed and explicit consent, regardless of intent and/or cause and whether someone’s life depends on that usage, withOUT being anti-woman.  You anti-choicers always like to reframe the debate into something that you can easily defend against.  But terminating a pregnancy is just the tip of the iceberg.  Continuing a pregnancy is just as much a part of it as abortion is.  Why, you ask?  Because this is about having the right to choose (y’know, the whole reason why we’re called ProCHOICE) whether to share your organs or not. And, do you think it is REsponsible for a man to force a woman to gestate or sabotage her contraception in order to get her pregnant?  Do you think it is REsponsible for a widowed woman to continue an expensive pregnancy to term at the expense of the health and life of her already exISting children (because most women who have had abortions had children, already)? If you can tell a woman that she shouldn’t have a choice to determine who uses her body because that just reduces her to a biological organism, then you should be able to say the same about potential organ donors.  If they donate an organ that just reduces them to their own organic parts.  Unfortunately, however, that also conflicts with the ProLife stance that the right to life is the most basic right there is, making it obvious who truly reduces a woman to her organic parts (hint: It’s not ProChoicers), who singles out the uterus or a woman as being ‘special’, simply because her organ/body can do something no one else’s can. The pressure placed on women to abort female fetuses in countries such as China and India, is very much due to anti-choice policies, only this time it happens to be ProAbortion policies (psst: ProChoice is the middle ground between the two extremes of ProAbortion and ProLife).  Restricting a woman’s choice even further, because it’s already restricted, is very much blaming the victim.

    Abortion is health care.  If abortion isn’t health care, then neither is pre-natal or post-natal care.  So, how can you be downright socialist with something that isn’t health care?

    I feel very queasy when I see videos of childbirth or heart surgery, does that mean we should outlaw those types of medical care?  What other reason would you have to outlaw abortion now that your other contentions have all been laid to rest, after all? ProChoicers have been aware for a long time that a fetus is human life.  Our contention is that fetuses do not deserve more rights than anyone born.  You have failed to address that contention, like every anti-choicer before you.

    As I’ve said, abortion is reproductive health care.  You may not be an anti-woman extremist, but you are anti-woman, which should be obvious, now that I’ve pointed it out, for you. 

  • bj-survivor

    You know, if you really want to be taken seriously as “reasonable” and not “anti-woman,” then stop peddling the LIE that emergency CONTRACEPTION is the same as the abortion pill.

     

    Go away, troll. Stop wasting our time.

  • therealistmom

    That reminds me I need to go down to PP and get a set of MAP’s. One for me and one for my daughter. Every woman should have some on hand.

  • ldan

    The stats that Planned Parenthood gives, though, about 3% of its health services going towards abortion are a bit misleading, though. They provided  1,436,808 emergency contraception kits in 2008, which I think should fall under the umbrella of abortion services since they are used to terminate a pregnancy in its earliest stages. And over 90% of Planned Parenthood’s services towards pregnant women go towards abortion…

    First, as multiple people have pointed out, just because you think pregnancy begins at conception, doesn’t mean that it does. There are sound reasons for drawing that line, scientific ones even. But I doubt you’re even going to drop back in here, much less engage in respectful dialogue (hint, dropping a wall of text and running off does not equal dialogue).

     

    Second, why count all of those as abortions, when many are picked up an never used, or used when there isn’t actually a fertilized egg present. Is preventing an egg from being fertilized now abortion in the forced-birth camp? Every sperm is sacred?

     

    Nobody citing that stastic regarding percentage of services to pregnant people seems to be asking the question of why? Or rather, they’re assuming that somehow PP is ‘selling’ them on abortion. Possibly, a far greater percentage of people going to PP are in circumstances that make it financially probematic to have a baby? Possibly the very reputation that the right is selling brings a lot more people to PP when they’ve already decided that abortion vs. gestation is their best option?

     

    Given the fact that abortion services helps subsidize all the non-abortion services…maybe PP should be getting *more* government money so nobody has to worry that their PAP smear was paid for with tainty abortion money.

    On the global level, at least, the patriarchal pressure involved in abortion becomes crystal clear. In India and China, the “gendercide” being accomplished through selective abortion is reaching crisis proportions in some areas

    And because you’re blind to anything other than your ideology, somehow this is a problem of abortion rights rather than a problem of horribly sexist cultural issues? Don’t you think it would be a lot more useful to address the latter so that there is less pressure to abort female fetuses? Don’t you think that forcing girls to be born into families and cultures that have such pressures is cruel? Seriously, forcing women to carry unwanted pregnancies sounds empowering to you? It sounds like freedom to say sex should have consequences for women, but not for men…unless we legislate consequences for them and bother to enforce them?

    If people are going to talk about women’s rights and being pro-life, we need to put our money where our mouth is. That’s something pro-lifers and people on the right aren’t often willing to admit,

    Not only are they not willing to admit it, they’re not willing to do it. Seriously, a poor woman gets pregnant and all she can expect from the right is shame and guilt if she aborts, and finger-wagging about not having more children than she can feed when she asks for help in providing for them. So if we’re a bit cynical about forced-birth advocates claiming that they really want to help children after they’re born too, we have solid reason to be.

     

    Seriously, there was a relatively recent article of a women who drove herself and her four children into the water because her partner decided to leave and she was that despondent. One kid escaped, the rest drowned. The comments on that article were absolutely vile, mostly asking why she had that many children if taking care of them was going to be that impossible. Nevermind how many of the commenters would actively oppose any money helping her get abortions, or day care, or anything else.

    Anyway, thanks for your time. I just wanted to point out that there is a rational side that does not see abortion rights as part of “reproductive health care,” and that side is not necessarily all “anti-women extremists.” 

    You haven’t remotely positioned yourself as the rational side, though you don’t sound like an extremist just yet. Conflating contraception with abortion comes damn close though.

     

    Rational opposition recognizes that contraception reduces abortion, as does the education to use contraception correctly, negotiate contraception (and everything else around sex), and the social structures to minimize abusive power structures and provide support for children and families. The forced-birth movement, by and large, does not want to address any of these. By and large, they live in the cognitive dissonance of thinking that they actually believe it’s all about babies…when a few simple questions points out the flaws in those beliefs (not that it will make them change their minds). Since you’re upset over emergency contraception, and the fact that a bundle of cells might not get to attach to a human life support system, you too live in that land of lies.

     

     

  • elburto

    Adoption is a solution for unwanted parenthood, not unwanted pregnancy. Women all over the world, China included, are NOT incubators designed to provide babies for sale to infertile women. If they want children so badly then there are foster kids aplenty out there.

    Also, emergency CONTRACEPTION is not abortion. The word ‘contraceptive’ means ‘something used to prevent pregnancy’. You cannot terminate a pregnancy that never happened. Also, it’s only proven mechanism of action is to inhibit ovulation. If the woman has already ovulated it does nothing. It does not stop sperm reaching an egg, it does not prevent fertilisation, nor has it ever been proven to prevent implantation. So as abortion is the act of separating the foetal portion of the placenta from the wall of the uterus, how is EC abortion? Oh. That’s right. It isn’t.

  • ldan

    Just saw this today  , about evangelical abortions and the large push to expand international ones.

     

    Couldn’t miss this: “In Reclaiming Adoption, Cruver bluntly declares, ‘The ultimate purpose of human adoption by Christians, therefore, is not to give orphans parents, as important as that is. It is to place them in a Christian home that they might be positioned to receive the gospel.'” So really, pushing for adoption just so you can have more kids indoctrinated early? It’s pretty disgusting.