New York Anti-Choice Group Decries Abortion Rate While Opposing Sex Ed and Family Planning


See our other reports on New York City’s sex ed program here.

At this point, it’s no secret that anti-choice groups in the United States oppose the fundamental rights of women to determine whether and when to bear–and undertake the lifelong responsibility of parenting–a child when facing an unintended and untenable pregnancy.

Only more recently, however, has their real agenda become unequivocally clear: They are also adamantly against contraception and sexual health education, the very things that reduce rates of unintended pregnancies–and hence the need for abortion–in the first place.

But rarely do events underscore the forced birth agenda of such groups so blatantly as did the actions this month of the Chiaroscuro Foundation of New York.

On August 16th, Chiaroscuro held a press conference strongly denouncing the city’s new mandate requiring that New York City Public Schools provide evidence-based comprehensive sex education–curricula for which always include emphasis on abstaining from sex in the first place–in both middle and high schools. This is the first time the city has put in place a mandate for systematic approaches to comprehensive sex ed. The Bloomberg mandate is important for any number of reasons, including the fact that with more than one million students entering school this year, the New York City public school system is one of if not the largest in the United States, and there is a high rate of unintended teen pregnancy in the city.

The foundation’s solution? To promote dis-proven abstinence-only programs instead.

Since their press conference, Chiaroscuro has set up a website railing against plans to teach students actual facts about contraception, safer sex practices, and non-discrimination against gay, lesbian and transgender persons, and instead encourages people to complain about or opt out of the program altogether. In place of comprehensive programs, they advocate for failed programs such as ASPIRE: Live your life. Be free; Choosing the Best PATH which promotes heterosexual marriage as the only “good” kind, relies on fear and shame, and suggests that the “emotional consequences” of premarital sex include “guilt, feeling scared, ruined relationships, broken emotional bonds;” and Game Plan which promotes only heterosexual marriage and discourages critical thinking or discussions of alternate points of view in the classroom. Another Chiaroscuro favorite is WAIT Training, a part of which explains, “men sexually are like microwaves and women sexually are like crockpots…”.  Chiaroscuro’s primary “expert,” Dr. Miriam Grossman, is an ultra-religious conservative who advocates only “traditional marriage,” and “traditional roles” for girls and women.

Yet with no sense of irony, and less than a month later on September 7th, Chiaroscuro released a report, based on publicly available Department of Health data, decrying the high rate of abortion in New York City.

If this doesn’t make their agenda blatantly clear, I don’t know what does.

If you are against contraception and evidence-based sex ed, and you are also against the right of women to terminate a pregnancy, you are for forced pregnancy and birth. You may not say it this way, but you stand for eliminating all options for girls and women who may aspire to education or career plans that involve delaying or not having children; for women who feel they can not afford another child or can’t bring another child into an abusive marriage; for women who have been raped; or for women who may be at serious risk of health and possibly death from carrying a pregnancy. This is called forced birth.

This is perhaps no surprise, since the foundation’s mission is based on the premise that:

[T]he Universal Catholic Church, with the apostolic tradition and the communion of saints, is uniquely qualified to communicate the full depth of God’s word. Accordingly, we will support the Church’s effort to develop and promote its teachings, as well as form Catholics in those teachings.

The foundation, a nonprofit group, is, according to the New York Times, “financed privately by its president, Sean Fieler, an investment banker who supports religious and conservative causes, and “fight[s] for the protection of all human life from conception to natural death.” In other words, in keeping with the lobbying arm of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, they’ve changed the definition of when pregnancy begins (medically it is when an embryo implants successfully in the uterus), and also want to control how you die.

But anti-choicers love obfuscation on every level; rarely are they so blatant about their agenda. In January, for example, Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, who in a meeting sponsored by Chiaroscuro, adopted what the Times called a “more pragmatic goal for New York than abolishing abortion: “Let’s see to it that abortion is rare,” he said.”

But there is nothing pragmatic about denying both teens and women access to information and services to secure their reproductive and sexual health. There is nothing pragmatic about opposing evidence-based sex ed, or the expansion of reproductive health services and contraceptive supplies to all persons. Instead the real strategy is to further stigmatize women who have sex, use contraception or terminate a pregnancy.

No one disputes that New York City has a high rate of unintended pregnancies and hence a high rate of abortion. Over 60 percent of all pregnancies in the city are unintended. Fifty-four percent of all pregnancies among Latinas are unintended according to one study cited by Linda Greenhouse in the New York Times, and over 87 percent of the 20,000 teen pregnancies that occur each year in the city are unintended.

High rates of unintended pregnancies among low-income women and those with the least access to health care lead to higher rates of abortion as women struggle to manage the multiple responsibilities of family, work, community and personal aspirations, iike better education for their children and themselves, not to mention the concerns of an unstable economic environment and high rates of unemployment. Nearly 60 percent of unintended pregnancies among black women in the city end in abortion, for example. Overall the rate of abortions (as measured by the number of abortions per 100,000 live births) is highest in the Bronx at 48 percent, followed by Brooklyn (39 percent), Manhattan (38 percent), Queens (39 percent), and Staten Island (32 percent).

Given the fact that data on both unintended pregnancy and abortion in the city are widely available and that the administration of Mayor Michael Bloomberg has created several initiatives to reduce unintended pregnancies, the situation and the need for solutions is no secret.

But, as experts point out, as with any problem that has multiple root causes, there is no silver bullet. The solutions to unintended pregnancy are complex, and include but must go beyond comprehensive sex ed in the schools to embrace and expand various initiatives now underway.

“By focusing on New York in the way it does,” says Anglea Hooton, interim executive director of NARAL Pro-choice New York, “Chiaroscuro implies that New York is some kind of unique place as though unintended pregnancy is not a problem across the country.”

“While we have high rates of unintended pregnancy and abortion here, we also have incredible rates of poverty and of populations who are severely economically disadvantaged,” Hooton continued.

We have to address the problem of unintended pregnancy through a much more comprehensive effort based on understanding of what it means to have a large share of your population not able to access basic preventive health care. Incredibly high concentrations of unintended pregnancy and abortion are in evidence in those communities with the least access to services, in which people are most economically-disadvantaged, and have limited means, limited knowledge [of how to get health care], and limited educations. There are other factors as well in reaching populations where, for example, language barriers make outreach more difficult.  All of these issues have to be considered.

But the sex ed mandate, while not a panacea, is a critical component in combating unintended pregnancy, argues Hooton.  “It is a fact that there has never been any requirement or uniform implementation for sex ed in the public school system,” she says, and since it is arguably the biggest in the country, we have to ensure everyone has the same education according to basic evidence-based standards.” 

In reply to the Chiaroscuro Foundation, she asks: “Why are you not with us to make sure that the next generation of youth are armed with the information they need to make the best decisions about their bodies and their lives throughout their entire life-cycle?”

Similar sentiments were expressed by Planned Parenthood of New York City president Joan Malin said in January when she said: “The unplanned pregnancy rate in New York City is impacted by a myriad of societal factors, including access to information and education, access to birth control, and intimate partner violence, among others. Planned Parenthood works every day to address those underlining issues and we invite the Archdiocese of New York and its partner organizations to join in making sure that every young person in New York City has access to comprehensive sex education and access to birth control information and usage.”

My guess is their offer is still on the table.

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  • stephrobzy

    Dear Jodi,

    Whether Pro-Choice OR Pro-Life I think we can ALL AGREE that if 41% of pregnancies are ending in abortion THIS IS A DISASTER.

    I got the feeling from your article that you think most of the problem stems from the “lower economic classes” lacking proper sex education because of their high abortion rate.  

    But then the map breaks it down by zip code (http://nyc41percent.com) and… well what the hells going on with SoHo and the 10012?!  60% of there pregnancies are aborted?  These are some of the trendiest, wealthiest areas of Manhattan for sure, so why are more of these women actually getting abortions than having their babies?  Now that’s effed up.

    30 years ago I would have agreed with you that safe sex ed and easier access to contraceptives would be the obvious solution to reducing the number of unplanned/unexpected pregnancies.  HOWEVER the past 30 years has shown us that this is NOT the case – the STD rates are soaring (now 1 in 4 high school girls has already contracted an STD).  So I don’t see how we can still argue the same point that “better sex ed” will reduce the abortion rate… We have free condoms being handed out everywhere, practically every woman I know is on the pill/shot… so what’s going on?  I’m NOT saying “chastity only,” I am only pointing out that what we have been doing the last 30 years is NOT WORKING.  Anyone looking at these numbers can see that… And I don’t think dropping condoms and Planned Parenthood brochures from planes in the sky is going to help.

    I actually feel that such free, easy access to abortion has been COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE to women, because there is always that “back up plan” if we don’t feel like using protection.  I believe people take more risks when there is that safety net of abortion readily available (and often government funded.)  I think it leads us to feel we can make reckless or unsafe decisions while avoiding the negative consequences of our actions.  Not ALWAYS – but often enough to question it.  
    I live in New York and have many friends who have had abortions – I’ve seen how the after-effects of the procedure can be extremely emotionally/physically painful and in a few cases completely debilitating.  And I don’t like how abortion is shrugged off as a simple no-big-deal issue.  Why is there no counseling or support available to women AFTER the procedure if they need it?  It IS a big deal for many women who have chose to end their pregnancy and they should not have their feelings trivialized.  And we SHOULD be talking about these issues and SUPPORTING these women, for it is their bodies, their lives and the lives of their children that are at the heart of this deeply personal issue.
    So I am Pro-Life because I am Pro-Women, and am sensitive to the experiences of these girls and women, and I am ashamed that as a society, we are too stubborn in our pro-choice views to ever look at the stats and admit that SOMETHING IS VERY WRONG HERE.
    I do appreciate your article however, and while we come from a different viewpoint, I respect the quality of your journalism.  But I do hope one day you change your mind!  :)

    “Let’s change HEARTS not LAWS in regards to abortion… We want women to WANT to choose better options for themselves and their little one(s)!  And change will only come through realization, acceptance, and not force.”  

  • jodi-jacobson

    Dear Steph,

    There are several misleading and erroneous statements in your comment.

    I believe that if you actually read my article, you would note that I underscored the problem of the high rate of unintended pregnancies. Which is in fact the problem. You want to shift the focus.   Nowhere do you reference the root issue: unintended pregnancies.  You might want to focus on the outcome of those unintended pregnancies, but the core issue is the high rate of unintended pregnancies.  Rather than deal with those, you prefer to focus on the outcome of abortion. Your supposition is that women do not know what they want or need, and “we” just need to tell or convince them.  I trust women writ large to make the right decisions for themselves.  If they do not want to be pregnant in the first place there is a reasonable likelihood they didnt’ want to bear a child.

    It is a documented fact that women who live in tenuous economic circumstances, face high rates of poverty, unemployment, underemployment, perhaps high rates of domestic or community violence with little means of escaping economically also have far lower rates of access to information, education and services… access to consistent contraceptive supplies among them.  These populations are grossly underserved.

    Your point about zip codes also is misleading. In a place like Chelsea, for example, or Soho, where the demographic is more heavily skewed toward single people, or other groups differentiated by age, sexual orientation, you may well have a higher rate of abortion per live births.  There are many fewer pergnancies in some of these zip codes than others. Some zip codes are characterized by populations where there are higher percentages of single people not forming famiies or of women who do not want or can not have another child for their own reasons.  Again, the overall “wealth” of one zip code does not tell you specifically what is happening among the populations within that zip code.  But nice try.

    Finally, your contention that we’ve prioritized comprehensive sex ed and universal access to reproductive health care, or even addressed the other economic and social issues underlying high rates of unintended pregnancies is patently false.  This is the first time ever, for example, that New York City has had a comprehensive sex ed mandate and a focus on systematic responses.  The Bloomberg Administration, with which I do not agree on numerous issues in other areas of public policy, nonetheless has made focusing on unintended pregnancies and sexual health a priority.  This is a great step forward.  Across the country we have been subject to at least 15 years and hundreds of millions of dollars in disproven, ideological abstinence-only-until-marriage programs.  These are the failures. 

     

     

     

  • cloned-lamb

    This comment was removed for violation of RH Reality Check‘s commenting policy.

  • cloned-lamb

    Sorry about the double post!

  • prochoiceferret

     

    You might want to share a teeny, tiny bit less.

  • cloned-lamb

    but i will not apologize for being far better read and educated by experience on this subject than you.  my catholic munchausen by proxy mother burned all my skin off as her permanent marital abstinence excuse, so i’ve spent my life connecting dots between various human rights abusers.  your insulting ignorant tin foil hat dismissal ranks up there with rapists blaming victims.  your contempt for my historical facts explains why flat earth forced birthers are gaining ground in reversing women’s basic rights.  you’re their best useful fool cheerleader against truth and their history will repeat itself here because you prefer comfy amnesia.

  • prochoiceferret

    your insulting ignorant tin foil hat dismissal ranks up there with rapists blaming victims.

     

    Who said it was a dismissal? If you’re so well-read and educated on the subject, you already know that all this anti-choice and human-rights abuse is just a distraction initiated by the aliens who landed at Roswell. They’ve been working on their plans to take over the Earth ever since we entered the nuclear age. Tin-foil hats, as you should now, are a simple and inexpensive means of blocking the aliens’ ability to read and in some cases even control your mind. Of course, it has to be real tin foil—aluminum foil won’t do a thing. If tin foil hats are just an ignorant joke, then why do you think aluminum foil all but replaced tin foil in stores not long after World War II? They say it’s because aluminum is cheaper, but why do you think aluminum became cheaper? Don’t you see how the dots all connect together? The Cuban Missile Crisis, 9/11, and so on?

     

    Remember, people make fun of the tin-foil-hat-wearing, Caps-Lock-using conspiracy theorist for a reason. What you have to decide for yourself is whether they do that because conspiracy theorists are a few tacos short of a combo platter, or because they’re the ones who really know what’s going on.

  • joneenmackenziern

    I am perplexed and bewildered. The hostility of those who are against teaching skills to live and love well is amazing. The Center for Relationship Education educates, equips and empowers young people with the skills necessary to develop healthy relationships, build strong lifetime committed partnerships/marriages  and form safe and stable families in their future. Many of the students we reach are those who do not have healthy or safe and stable families. If they do not know what this looks like, how are they going to be able to do this without assistance and education?  I am also perplexed as to why when the Center for Relationship Education’s national WAIT (Why Am I Tempted?) Training Curriculum was mentioned in the article; the link went to a review of curricula which had little to say about the contents of the program, but, rather, editorialized as to how the curriculum withholds information. Is that even possible to do in the age of Google and many other search engines?  Throughout this article the author talks about unintended pregnancy of women, and then the focus shifts to the mandated sex education of NYC children.   Why does this shift occur in this article many times?

     

    Children are children and desperately need the guidance of adults. They need to be taught the healthiest and most positive message of protecting their heart as well as their bodies.  They need to be inspired by a curriculum that expects more from them. They need to be captivated and motivated to do something that makes them reach higher, do better.

     

    The author also states that the curricula now mandated in NYC schools “always include emphasis on abstaining from sex”. I think not. Abstinence is mentioned in these so called, “evidence based curricula” and many times talked about as a form of birth control.  If there was equal time given in these programs to skill building for healthy relationship development, strategies to resist temptation such as drugs, alcohol, sex, smoking, and if there were constructs teaching strategies about self-regulation, impulse control, personal power / responsibility, future orientation, positive youth development and poverty prevention, I do not think there would be so many against talking about risk reduction in the form of contraceptives. Currently, the focus of these programs now mandated in NYC schools is to ensure that kids know about condoms and contraceptives, how to buy them, how to use them, what they feel like, what they cost, where to get them, how to store them, how to dispose of them, when to put them on and all of the details regarding safe sex practices. They also want children to know that they have a right to privacy and to not tell their parents. If those who think this is the way to healthier more successful children, I say continue with your comprehensive condom/ contraceptive-only curricula. Let’s see what happens in NYC in the next 5 years. All I can say is I am glad I do not live in NYC. My children would be out of that school district in a New York minute!

    Question: Does pro- choice extend to school-choice?

    Respectfully Submitted,

    Joneen Mackenzie RN President Founder, the Center for Relationship Education http://www.myrelationshipcenter.org

     

     

     

  • crowepps

    9/11 is always a sad day.  I sincerely thank you for making me literally laugh so hard I almost fell out of my chair.

  • crowepps

     Throughout this article the author talks about unintended pregnancy of women, and then the focus shifts to the mandated sex education of NYC children.   Why does this shift occur in this article many times?

    If you do not understand why that shift occurs in the article many times, you should not teach sex-ed to students, because you do not understand the purpose of sex-ed.

     

    The purpose of sex-ed class in public schools is not to tell children lies about how everyone can and should attempt to live a religious ideal of two virgins marrying and never, ever having sex with anyone else, and never being exposed to any sexually transmitted disease, and having sex only when they want to have children, and both voluntarily giving up their sex life for chastity in perpetuity when they don’t want any more children.

     

    There are several reasons for this.  The first is that public schools should not be teaching idealistic religious myths to children.

     

    The second is that encouraging children to believe this myth is cruel, since their chances of actually succeeding in fulfilling it are slimmer than their chance of becoming a famous rock star, and their attempts to reach an unattainable goal will make them feel like failures.

     

    The third is that there just aren’t that many closeted gay men out there anymore, or men with low libidoes, who aren’t interested in having sex except when children are wanted, and some of the girls are going to have to cope with boyfriends or husbands who actually have sex drives.

     

    Fourth, and most important, is that pregnancy produces fragile and vulnerable babies who deserve to be wanted babies, and who need mature and loving parents capable of taking care of them, and withholding from students the information which will allow them to prevent becoming pregnant before they are mature, keeping secret the methods by which unwanted pregnancy can be prevented, is precisely WHY the unwanted pregnancy occurs.  Keeping students ignorant does NOT prevent them from having sex.  Keeping students ignorant DOES prevent them from having the necessary knowledge to be able to prevent pregnancy.

     

    The PURPOSE of sex education is to educate: to give the student every particle of information available so that no matter what choices he or she makes,  or what situation she or he finds themselves in, the information needed to protect against unintended pregnancy will already have been learned and will be instantly available.  If they decide to fulfill the religious idea, that’s great, and there isn’t anything at all in having learned all of the facts which will prevent them from doing so.

     

    The connection is as clear as “the author talks about car accidents and injuries, and then the focus shifts to safe driver training and the mandated wearing of seat belts.”

  • cloned-lamb

    was i mistaken to assume that you are both pro-choice feminists?  since this article is about an anti-choice catholic organization, i thought my background info would be helpful.  i usually post such info on raw story and alternet under a different name and most commentors agree with me because of their own research and/or suffered abuse.  my comments here are only about related church abuses and the horrific domestic abuse i barely survived myself, and “pro-choice” ferret goes ballistic like a typical anti-choice troll dismissing historical facts and my personal suffering as sci-fi hooey because only he/she is allowed to use caps for emphasis (i tried using italics from the menu but that feature doesn’t work on my outdated computer).  i hope you’re not agreeing with ferret because he/she is cruelly laughing at documented atrocities and domestic abuse.  while he/she tries to flame me off this site because of cap use and mentioned historical scandals, the gop fundies get away with criminalizing women’s health and looting our economy.  that’s not sci-fi, so shame on tin foil hat-wearer ferret!

  • prochoiceferret

    i hope you’re not agreeing with ferret because he/she is cruelly laughing at documented atrocities and domestic abuse.

     

    We’re not laughing at you because of atrocities and abuse that you and others have suffered. We’re laughing at you because you’ve delivered your arguments in a hyperbolic, overblown manner that fits the stereotype of conspiracy theorists to a T—and you clearly lack the self-awareness to realize that this not only decimates your credibility, it can even help the other side, because people can just point to your writings and dismiss you as a raving lunatic.

     

    I don’t have reason to doubt that you’ve suffered real abuse, Ms. Lamb. But the way that you have been writing about it here does a disservice to you, and others who have suffered. Please try to understand why.

  • cloned-lamb

    I wasted 11 years in abstinence-only Catholic schools and witnessed many learning-disabled kids brutally beaten by nuns for their inherited disabilities.  I started considering suicide in 4th grade because in 1st grade my Munchausen by Proxy, childbirth-fistulaed, sex-hating mom chemically burned all my skin off as her permanent marital abstinence excuse.  Everyone blamed me instead and continually bullied me about my disfigurement.  I wish mom had aborted me instead.  A playboy priest advised dad to take up alcohol and hookers.  I never met any “devout” families that weren’t miserably abusive.  A virgin neighbor naively married a gay soldier who then honeymooned at a gay dive.  She wasted thousands on lawyers, a Vatican “vacation” and ten years of her youth before the pedophile-protecting Vatican annulled her never-consummated marriage!  Would you patronize a restaurant run by nasty anorexics who indulged male diners but only served women moldy crackers and contaminated water to teach them “restraint and respect for food”??  Would you buy essential furniture and appliances from a cult store that made you vow not to use the merchandise 25-29 days each month??  Why treat sex and women’s bodies that way??  Why let misogynist closet gay and straight pedophile “celibate” clergy from a genocidal cult kick couples out of their own bedrooms whenever they’re not risking deadly and bankrupting procreation?  Jesus never said women must always risk obstetric fistulas to justify keeping their husbands out of brothels.

  • cloned-lamb

    You are confusing conspiracy theories with under reported history.  You’re the over the top raving, projecting lunatic/control freak gate keeper of information.  By your narrow harmful definition, the first altar boys who reported sexual abuse were wearing tin foil hats.  Get over your raging nanny sanctimony.

  • prochoiceferret

    You are confusing conspiracy theories with under reported history.  You’re the over the top raving, projecting lunatic/control freak gate keeper of information.  By your narrow harmful definition, the first altar boys who reported sexual abuse were wearing tin foil hats.  Get over your raging nanny sanctimony.

     

    The first (former) altar boys who reported sexual abuse didn’t write screeds with heavy use of all-caps and Third Reich references.

     

    If they had, many of the pedophile priests who had abused them might very well have not been brought to justice.

     

    Think about it.

  • prochoiceferret

    9/11 is always a sad day.  I sincerely thank you for making me literally laugh so hard I almost fell out of my chair.

     

    Awww, thanks for the kind words, Crowepps. It’s the least I can do to reciprocate for such blisteringly articulate and insightful comments like this one.

     

    If I’m the court jester around here, you’re the wrecking ball =^_^=

  • colleen

    The hostility of those who are against teaching skills to live and love well is amazing.

    Perhaps because they don’t believe that terminally self righteous conservative women (or men) are capable of teaching others “to live and love well” .

  • cloned-lamb

    and the internet wasn’t around for the first altar boys.  Have you seen their original hand-written complaints?  How do you know they didn’t use caps? What does caps use have to do with the validity of complaints? I hope you don’t process criminal complaints because you are mean enough to dismiss valid complaints against serious criminals based on traumatized victims’ penmanship, punctuation, etc.  The first altar boys weren’t believed by their own families because of the families’ Stockholm Syndrome denial.  The same process of shuffling thousands of pedophile priests to thwart law enforcement was copied for smuggling 100,000 Nazis into America to take over the GOP to criminalize family planning.  Operation Paperclip was just one of countless ratline operations and many Latin countries suffered decades of terrorism because their governments hired Nazis to run their secret police.  It’s not a conspiracy theory that 20,000 Argentinians “disappeared” thanks to Nazi Catholic Croatian Ustasha terrorists hired by Peron.  Learning history helps people avoid repeating mistakes.  Your shooting me won’t make the truth of my message disappear.   I’m going to start calling you out for all your cap use and pompous ignorance of history.

  • cloned-lamb

    Thank you!  These abstinence pushers always have the most dysfunctional, hypocritical and miserable personal lives.  The husbands are always bigoted sex perverts of one kind or another.  I’ve had the misfortune of meeting many.  My own racist German dad took Sunday walks in the direction of a motel that was later raided for prostitution.   The arrested hooker was a gorgeous Catholic high school classmate of my sister.  I suspect my dad may have been arrested too.  She probably got her start doing priests.

  • crowepps

    I think of it more as “telling the truth and shaming the Devil”.

    Must say, while I sympathize with these people, knowing that they have been brainwashed into actually believing their ‘sex is icky animal behavior, and nice women conquer their disgust of it only for the sake of having babies’ stuff, but when they try to imply their sexophobic curriculum is what leads to a “good life”, and obfuscate that they really want is to lay a huge stinking pile of religious guilt on girls, they really need to be stopped.

    If the Evangelicals and Catholics want to think of their own women as breeding stock and use their private religious schools to convince them to commit suicide by pregnancy, well, that’s a shame.  It’s outrageous for them to insinuate themselves into the public schools and attempt to stupify girls who actually still have their intelligence, and who have a chance to do something besides be a household drudge groveling in self-abnegation before a lord and master, popping out one baby after another for him like a Xerox machine.

    Children don’t need to learn Disney tales about Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella, they already KNOW those fairy tales.  Public schools instead need to make sure girls who are being raised to be actual people receive and understand accurate knowledge about their own biology and how sex and reproduction work in the real world.

  • cloned-lamb

    Your comment is spot-on, but these religion hucksters consider us victims as sub-human.  It doesn’t help us survivors when so-called pro-choicers pile on with additional victim-blaming and tin foil hat accusations.  I witnessed victim-blaming by secretly bought-off government infiltrators destroy a coalition of radiation experimentation survivors in the 1990s.   Amy Goodman of Democracy Now has reported on this insidious process wrecking several civil rights groups. 

    It takes decades to shake off brainwashing, guilt-tripping, and expensive medical abuse. Don’t know what hurts more — the non-stop betrayals of clergy, relatives, neighbors, classmates, co-workers and strangers over my disfigurement or dismissive insults from know-it-all ostriches who weren’t there.

  • colleen

    I’m going to start calling you out for all your cap use and pompous ignorance of history.

    She is sane and funny and we are very fond of her. You, OTOH  sound a lot like a troll  anxious to discredit and disrupt.

    While the entertainment value of unsupported statements like:

    The same process of shuffling thousands of pedophile priests to thwart law enforcement was copied for smuggling 100,000 Nazis into America to take over the GOP to criminalize family planning.

    are considerable they also tend to swiftly pass eccentric and place the writer firmly into it’s a waste of time to try to reason with this person.

     

     

  • cloned-lamb

    Many journalists like Jason Berry and newspapers like the Boston Globe have written about bishops hiding pedophile priests by sending them to new unsuspecting parishes.  Many like former CNN reporter/author of “Hidden Agenda” Linda Hunt and former Justice Dept. attorney/co-author of “Unholy Trinity” John Loftus have documented the extensive smuggling of Nazis into the U.S. and around the globe by the same church officials who gave them clergy garb and fake IDs to avoid arrests by Allied forces.  Even Sam Donaldson of ABC got into the Vatican Nazi ratline hunt.  Why don’t you look up these stories yourself if you think I’m lying?  I bring up these clergy and Nazi perps because they are also in the anti-choice extremist groups.  Even the Southern Poverty Law Center tracks these creeps.  Why are you so threatened by this relevant info?  Are you all Catholic?  Why are you insulting me because I survived horrific anti-choice abuse?  Don’t you care about how anti-choicers abuse their family members?  Knowing what they do helps fight them.  I am typical of all abuse survivors who are anxious to share what they know.   None of you sanctimonious stone throwers could survive 5 minutes of what I’ve been through.  I like the articles and journalists here, but am having serious doubts about the “pro-choice” gatekeeper commentors who chase away whistleblowers.  I used to enjoy many snarky comments that set anti-choicers straight and thought I would fit in.  But some of you have ganged up on me like nasty spoiled prom queens hazing a homely but smarter misfit.  You should be ashamed of yourselves.  I think some of you are the anti-choice trolls.

  • ack

    I don’t want to put words in people’s mouths, but the regular commenters on this site certainly see a link between various human rights abuses, both historically and as they exist today in a complicated web of oppressions that combines all the “isms.” Personally, I had a hard time following your OP. I’m not saying that the connections you claim aren’t valid, just that when people start bringing up Nazis out of a specific context on the internet it sort of automatically rings alarm bells. In general, we try to stick to the topic at hand as much as possible on this site. This is for a couple of reasons:

    1. Anti-choicers come to this site and engage in the same arguments we’ve had repeatedly for much longer than I’ve been commenting. They post their, “It’s a baby!” regardless of the topic, which gets frustrating. (Sex ed? ITS A BABY! HPV Vaccine? IT’S A BABY! Domestic violence? IT’S A BABY, AND BABIES NEED THEIR FATHERS!!!!!!!)

    2. It allows us to link concepts in a big way while still focusing on the issue that the OP discusses. (Personally, I think this is also respectful of the author.)

    3. Regarding #1, it gives us an out if people come and start flinging around the same tired arguments that we’ve rehashed to no end. In my experience, we’re all more willing to engage with them if we’ve had a break. If we’re tired of it, we can point them to previous posts where responses can be found. It doesn’t diminish the arguments the commenters presents, but saves us from having to retype it if we’ve done so 18 times in a month.

    And there are several regular posters, myself included, who talk about surviving rape and other forms of abuse. What happened to any of us wasn’t our fault, and those individual experiences are certainly part of a much larger system of oppression. (This is not to say that anyone’s experience is comparable to anyone else’s, including yours. The brief description you gave was chilling. But I am saying that several of us are survivors and those experiences may or may not have shaped our opinions about the topic at hand.)

  • ack

    If the Evangelicals and Catholics want to think of their own women as breeding stock and use their private religious schools to convince them to commit suicide by pregnancy, well, that’s a shame. 

     

    I can only say that I am honestly, terribly sad for those girls and women. I just think that girls and women are capable of making more than dinner for theihusbands. Keeping a house and/or child-rearing are amazing jobs. But I think it sucks that they’re not given a choice to do something else.

     

    It’s outrageous for them to insinuate themselves into the public schools

     

    Yup. The Center for Arizon Policy recently put out a fundraising plug to hire someone dedicated to inserting Christianity back into public schools, and to help elect school board members friendly to their cause.

     

    attempt to stupify girls who actually still have their intelligence

     

    A lot of girls and women involved in those movements are intelligent. They’re just not allowed to express that intelligence in public.

    Public schools instead need to make sure girls who are being raised to be actual people receive and understand accurate knowledge about their own biology and how sex and reproduction work in the real world.

     

    I’d go a step further. Knowledge about how sex and reproduction work isn’t enough. I think this is what you mean by “in the real world,” but young people in general need to know about healthy relationships, how to create boundaries and modify them in a way that’s comfortable and consensual, and how to communicate with their partners about what they want and don’t want. They need to understand that those boundaries should be respected, and that communications to and from their partners should be taken seriously.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • crowepps

    Really, truly do try to respond to the points people are making, if I can figure out what they are, and really, truly do try not to use ad hominem arguments.

    Have little sympathy for conspiracy theories where all the various different human rights issues coalesce and are revealed to ALL be caused by a huge overarching conspiracy by one oppressor/secret cabal.  It is not my experience that people are capable of keeping such secrets.

    Am unsympathic to posters who claim a history of being abused and bullied and then spend half their post assuming things about the other posters and making up clever ways to label them with nasty names and insult them.  It is not helpful.

    Just as an example, nobody is insulting you BECAUSE you survived abuse.  Some of us were abused as well, and although we might reference that if it informs our comment on a subject, we don’t feel that being abused has any connection to whether or not an opinion is correct or incorrect.  It is possible to be an abuse survivor and be mistaken about facts or hold an unsound an opinion, or to be an abuse survivor and be absolutely correct — the abuse does not make a person more or less intelligent or right.

    And seriously, considering the horrofic abuse you survived, I sincerely hope you are seeing a sympathetic therapist.  If you are not, I would strongly urge you to consider it.  It can be very helpful in overcoming some of the effects of the trauma.

  • crowepps

    Of course the girls are capable of much more.  If they weren’t, it wouldn’t require isolating them from society and feeding them a constant diet of propaganda for 18 years to convince them God wants them to voluntarily stop thinking because men are supposed to be smarter and that means women have to at pretend to be dumb as a rock.

    I’d note that after having a few babies and getting the first child to the toddler stage, mothers HAVE to start thinking again, because women raising children MUST do what their children need, and if the husband Daddy picked out for you is an idiot, you MUST do what you can to protect your children from his bad decisions.

    If their propaganda had enough connection with reality to actually stick permanently, there wouldn’t be any women who want to escape, or any women smart enough to succeed at doing so considering the way the family/cult/religion/law tries to force them back into the mold.

  • elburto

    You babble about stress causing double ovulation and “XXY GAY INTERSEX children” and you wonder why people think you’re a nut?

    Stop equating gay people with paedophilia, stop conflating intersexuality with homosexuality, and stop insinuating that anyone gay or intersex is the freakish result of naziesque experimentation.

    Stop it. as a dyke whose family was tortured and killed in german concentration camps, and as someone who does not take kindly to delusional tinfoil hatters spewing bullshit about MY PEOPLE, stop it or I’ll stop you myself.