How I Lost Faith in the “Pro-Life” Movement


Written by Libby Anne at Love, Joy, Feminism.

The spring of my sophomore year of college I was president of my university’s Students for Life chapter. The fall of my junior year of college I cut my ties with the pro-life movement. Five years later I have lost the last shred of faith I had in that movement. This is my story.

I was raised in the sort of evangelical family where abortion is the number one political issue. I grew up believing that abortion was murder, and when I stopped identifying as pro-life I still believed that. Why, then, did I stop identifying as pro-life? Quite simply, I learned that increasing contraceptive use, not banning abortion, was the key to decreasing the number of abortions. Given that the pro-life movement focuses on banning abortion and is generally opposed advocating greater contraceptive use, I knew that I no longer fit. I also knew that my biggest allies in decreasing the number of abortions were those who supported increased birth control use – in other words, pro-choice progressives. And so I stopped calling myself pro-life.

But when I first started blogging a year and a half ago I was very insistent that the pro-life movement should be taken at its word when it came to rhetoric about saving “unborn babies” from being “murdered.” I insisted that the pro-life movement wasn’t anti-woman or anti-sex, and that those who opposed abortion genuinely believed that a zygote/embryo/fetus was a person with rights in need of protection just like any other person. I believed that the pro-life movement’s actions were counterproductive, but that they were merely misinformed. I wrote a post with practical suggestions for opponents of abortion. I believed that the pro-life movement was genuine in its goals, but simply ignorant about how its goals might best be obtained.

I have come to the conclusion that I was wrong.

As a child, teen, and college student, I sincerely believed that personhood, life, rights, and the soul all began at fertilization. I was honestly opposed to abortion because I believed it was murder. It had nothing to do with being anti-woman or anti-sex. I thought that the pro-life movement writ large – the major pro-life organizations, leaders, and politicians – were similarly genuine. I thought that they, like myself, simply wanted to “save the lives of unborn babies.”

I have come to the conclusion that I was a dupe.

What I want to share here is how I came to this realization. And if you, reader, are one of those who opposes abortion because you believe it is murder and you want to save the lives of unborn babies, well, I hope to persuade you that the pro-life movement is not actually your ally in this, that you have been misled, and that you would be more effective in decreasing the number of abortions that occur if you were to side with pro-choice progressives. If this is you, please hear me out before shaking your head.

Changing Tactics and Breaking Ties

My journey began one blustery day in October of 2007 when I came upon an article in the New York Times. This article completely shook my perspective. It didn’t change my belief that abortion was murder or my desire to save the lives of unborn babies. Instead, it simply completely overhauled my tactical focus and made me realize that the current efforts of the pro-life movement are extremely backwards.

Banning Abortion does not Decrease Abortion Rates

The first thing I learned from that New York Times article shocked me: it turns out that banning abortion does not actually affect the abortion rate.

A comprehensive global study of abortion has concluded that abortion rates are similar in countries where it is legal and those where it is not, suggesting that outlawing the procedure does little to deter women seeking it.

Moreover, the researchers found that abortion was safe in countries where it was legal, but dangerous in countries where it was outlawed and performed clandestinely. Globally, abortion accounts for 13 percent of women’s deaths during pregnancy and childbirth, and there are 31 abortions for every 100 live births, the study said.

The results of the study, a collaboration between scientists from the World Health Organization in Geneva and the Guttmacher Institute in New York, a reproductive rights group, are being published Friday in the journal Lancet.

“We now have a global picture of induced abortion in the world, covering both countries where it is legal and countries where laws are very restrictive,” Dr. Paul Van Look, director of the W.H.O. Department of Reproductive Health and Research, said in a telephone interview. “What we see is that the law does not influence a woman’s decision to have an abortion. If there’s an unplanned pregnancy, it does not matter if the law is restrictive or liberal.”

But the legal status of abortion did greatly affect the dangers involved, the researchers said. “Generally, where abortion is legal it will be provided in a safe manner,” Dr. Van Look said. “And the opposite is also true: where it is illegal, it is likely to be unsafe, performed under unsafe conditions by poorly trained providers.”

I was flabbergasted upon reading this. I followed the link to the summary of the study, printed the entire thing out for reading over lunch, and then headed off to class. As I perused the study over a taco bowl in the student union later that day I wondered why I had never been told any of this. I was shocked to find that the countries with the lowest abortion rates are the ones where abortion is most legal and available, and the countries with the highest abortion rates are generally the ones where the practice is illegal. It’s true.

Highly restrictive abortion laws are not associated with lower abortion rates. For example, the abortion rate is 29 per 1,000 women of childbearing age in Africa and 32 per 1,000 in Latin America—regions in which abortion is illegal under most circumstances in the majority of countries. The rate is 12 per 1,000 in Western Europe, where abortion is generally permitted on broad grounds.

Banning abortion does not actually affect abortion rates. I was could not have been more shocked. I learned that all banning abortion does is make abortion illegal – and unsafe. I found that almost 50,000 women worldwide die each year from unsafe abortions, and that many more experience serious injury or infertility. These deaths happen almost entirely in countries where abortion is illegal – and thus clandestine. In fact, when abortion was made legal in South Africa, the number of abortion related deaths fell by over 90%.

Overturning Roe, I realized, would not make women stop having abortions. Instead, it would simply punish women who have abortions by requiring them to risk their health to do so. This is all well and good if the goal is to punish women for seeking abortions, but if the goal is to keep unborn babies from being murdered, this is extremely ineffective.

The Real Solution: Birth Control

But if banning abortion does not decrease abortion rates, what does? Why do some countries have low abortion rates while others have much higher rates? The answer, I found, was simple.

Both the lowest and highest subregional abortion rates are in Europe, where abortion is generally legal under broad grounds. In Western Europe, the rate is 12 per 1,000 women, while in Eastern Europe it is 43. The discrepancy in rates between the two regions reflects relatively low contraceptive use in Eastern Europe, as well as a high degree of reliance on methods with relatively high user failure rates, such as the condom, withdrawal and the rhythm method.

As I sat there in the student union reading over my lunch, I found that making birth control widespread and easily accessible is actually the most effective way to decrease the abortion rate. Even as I processed this fact, I knew that the pro-life movement as a whole generally opposes things like comprehensive sex education and making birth control available to teenagers. I knew this because I had lived it, had heard it in pro-life banquet after pro-life banquet, had read it in the literature. The pro-life movement is anti-birth-control. And opposing birth control is pretty much the most ineffective way to decrease abortion rates imaginable. In fact, opposing birth control actually drives the abortion rates up.

As I mulled this over, I realized how very obvious it was. The cause of abortions is unwanted pregnancies. If you get rid of unwanted pregnancies the number of people who seek abortions will drop like a rock. Simply banning abortion leaves women stuck with unwanted pregnancies. Banning abortion doesn’t make those pregnancies wanted. Many women in a situation like that will be willing to do anything to end that pregnancy, even if it means trying to induce their own abortions (say, with a coat hanger or by drinking chemicals) or seeking out illegal abortions. I realized that the real way to reduce abortion rates, then, was to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies. And the way to do that is with birth control, which reduces the number of unwanted pregnancies by allowing women to control when and if they become pregnant.

I realized that the only world in which opposing birth control made any sense was one in which the goal was to control women’s sex lives. After all, birth control allows women to have sex without having to face the “consequences” of sex. But I had never opposed abortion in an effort to make women face the “consequences” of having sex. I had always opposed abortion out of a desire to save the lives of unborn babies. As a child, I had been moved to tears by the image of millions of babies murdered by abortion each year. If making it easier for women to have sex I personally believed was sinful was the price I had to pay to save the lives of unborn babies, it was a price I was more than willing to pay.

As my next class approached, I put the printout back in my backpack and walked out into the October sun. My mind was in turmoil, but there was one thing I knew for sure. I could no longer call myself pro-life, because I could no longer support the policies advocated by the pro-life movement and the major pro-life organizations. I no longer wanted to see Roe overturned or abortion banned. Instead, I wanted to work towards a world in which everyone has access to affordable birth control and unplanned pregnancies are reduced to a bare minimum. That day I became pro-choice.

What about the Zygote?

In the five years since that day in October, I have rethought many things. I no longer believe that abortion is murder because I no longer hold that a zygote, embryo, or fetus is a “person.” I also came to realize that the focus on personhood ignores the fact that a zygote, embryo, or fetus is growing inside of another person’s body. For me, the key dividing line is birth. But even as my position shifted, I was still willing to give the pro-life movement the benefit of the doubt. Why? Because I believed that the pro-life movement’s opposition to birth control stemmed not from a desire to control women’s sex lives but rather from the belief that the pill was an “abortifacient.” This meant that the pro-life movement could oppose abortion as murder and yet also oppose birth control without actually being inconsistent. But in the last few months I have read several things that have shaken this belief.

Does the Pill Kill?

Let me preface this with a quick biology lesson. Every month, a woman’s body releases an egg into the Fallopian tubes. If there is sperm there waiting, the egg becomes fertilized, and this fertilized egg has its own unique DNA. This is when I was taught life – including personhood and the bestowing of a soul – began. This fertilized egg, or zygote, then travels from the Fallopian tubes to the uterus, where it implants in the uterine wall. That is when pregnancy begins.

Now, the birth control pill works primarily by preventing ovulation in the first place, and also by impeding sperm so that it can’t get to the Fallopian tubes to fertilize the egg. But leading organizations in the pro-life movement argue that there is some chance that women on the pill will have “breakthrough ovulation,” and if this occurs and sperm somehow make their way into the Fallopian tubes, you could technically end up with a fertilized egg. Pro-life organizations further suggest that because the pill also thins the uterine lining, this fertilized egg would be flushed out of a woman’s body through her vagina rather than implanting in her uterus.

Here is how a Life Issues Institute article describes this:

The estrogen level is so low that it doesn’t suppress ovulation all of the time …, and sometimes there is what we call a breakthrough ovulation – ovulation which breaks through the effect of the drug and is simply a plain old ovulation. It just happens. Fertilization, then, can occur. But if fertilization occurs, implantation within the nutrient lining of the womb is prevented by another action of the same pill. That action is a hardening of the lining of the womb. What occurs, then, is an induced micro-abortion at one week of life.

How frequent is breakthrough ovulation in a woman taking a low-estrogen contraceptive pill? Well, let’s take a high estimate – 20%. Probably lower than that. How frequently does pregnancy occur when an egg or an ovum is waiting? Probably not much more than two or three times out of the twenty.

So if we use a high figure, a 20% breakthrough ovulation, that would mean a two or three percent fertilization rate. But, as a matter of fact, pregnancy occurs only about 1% or less of the time, so, in the other 1 or 2%, fertilization does occur, implantation cannot occur, and the little embryonic baby dies.

The bottom line, then, for the commonly used contraceptive pill is this: in 97 or 98% of the time, the effect is one of preventing pregnancy. But, in perhaps two or more percent of the time, the effect is abortifacient. There is no way in the normal clinical practice of knowing which is happening, or when.

When I learned that birth control, not banning abortion, was the best way to decrease abortion, I knew about this argument. However, I concluded that the small number of times this might happen was outweighed by the number of abortions the widespread use of birth control would prevent. Yet even though that was my conclusion, I could at least understand why those in the pro-life movement almost universally opposed the pill and other forms of hormonal birth control. I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that, even though I thought they were misguided in their tactics, they really did simply want to “save the lives of unborn babies.” And give them the benefit of the doubt I did.

I later learned that  an increasing pile of evidence suggests that the pill does not actually result in fertilized eggs being flushed out of a woman’s body. I began to feel that the pro-life movement had no qualms with twisting the scientific evidence if need be, which was confusing because there didn’t seem to be a motive for insisting on the belief that the pill causes abortions if scientific evidence indicated the contrary. I also found that the pro-life movement is not afraid of twisting the evidence when it comes to things like the supposed harmful side effects of abortion, such as depression and breast cancer. Cooking up “scientific facts” in an effort to scare women out of having abortions rather than working to encourage birth control use in an effort to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies seemed extremely backwards, and I became increasingly troubled by the way the pro-life movement treated science and their constant willingness to play fast and lose with the facts.

The Biggest Killer: A Woman’s Own Body

Because I knew that the pro-life movement believed that the pill causes abortions, though, I could on some level understand why they opposed it, and I continued to give them the benefit of the doubt on that score. That is, until I read this blog post by Sarah.

The anti-birth control crowd leaves out one very important fact: a woman’s bodynaturally rejects at least 18% of fertilized eggs. This means that if you have unprotected sex that leads to the fertilization of an egg (30% chance of successful fertilization), the resulting zygote has an 18% chance of being rejected by the uterus. The human bodynaturally performs “abortions” almost 20% of the time. So does taking birth control actually increase the chances of zygote abortion, or does birth control actually reducethe chances of this occurring? Let’s do the math.

Without Birth Control:

  • Out of 100 fertile women without birth control, 100 of them will ovulate in any given month.
  • Out of those 100 released eggs, 33 will become fertilized.
  • Out of those 33, 18% will be rejected by the uterus.
  • In a group of 100 women not on birth control: 6 zygotes will “die”

With Birth Control:

  • Out of 100 fertile women on birth control, around 6 of them will ovulate in any given month.
  • Out of those 6 released eggs, only 2 will become fertilized.
  • Out of those 2, 100% will be rejected by the uterus.
  • In a group of 100 women on birth control: 2 zygotes will “die”

So let’s get this straight, taking birth control makes a woman’s body LESS likely to dispel fertilized eggs. If you believe that life begins at conception, shouldn’t it be your moral duty to reduce the number of zygote “abortions?” If you believe that a zygote is a human, you actually kill more babies by refusing to take birth control.

I have to be honest, this blog post totally shocked me. I wondered about the numbers Sarah used, so I went looking for verification. As I did this I opted to use the pro-life movement’s own numbers on the rate of fertilized eggs that fail to implant for women on the pill. Remember, once again, that scientific studies have found again and again that the pill does not result in fertilized eggs failing to implant. However, I felt that if I used the pro-life movement’s own numbers I could not be accused of simply using studies with a liberal bias. And so I explored the numbers. What I found was that Sarah’s numbers were off. What I found was that for every 100 fertile women on birth control each month, only 0.15 fertilized eggs will be flushed out. In contrast, for every 100 fertile women not on birth control in a given month, 16 fertilized eggs will be flushed out. In other words, Sarah’s numbers were far too conservative. She was more right than she knew. It is the people not using birth control that are “murdering” the most “children,” not women on the pill.

After reading Sarah’s article and doing the math using the pro-life movement’s own numbers, I concluded that the idea that the pill is an abortifacient is used as a smokescreen. It has to be. If the pro-life movement believes that even a very small chance of a zygote being flushed out is enough reason to oppose the use of the pill, then there should be an extreme amount of concern about the much, much higher number of fertilized eggs flushed out of the bodies of women not using the pill. Anyone who really thinks about it cannot help but come to the conclusion that if your goal is to save “unborn babies,” and if you truly believe that a zygote – a fertilized egg – has the same value and worth as you or I – the only responsible thing to do is to put every sexually active woman on the pill. Sure, according to the pro-life movement’s figures a few fertilized eggs would still fail to implant and thus “die,” once again according to their own figures, an enormous number of these “deaths” would be prevented.

And yet, the pro-life movement still up the pill as a great evil. Pro-life doctors often refuse to prescribe the pill, and pro-life pharmacists refuse to fill prescriptions for it. This makes utterly no sense unless the point is not “saving unborn babies” but rather making sure that women who dare to have sex have to face the “consequences,” i.e. pregnancy and children. As I thought through all of the implications of Sarah’s article, the benefit of the doubt that I had been giving the pro-life movement began to falter. How could they justify opposing the pill when putting sexually active women on the pill would actually save the lives of unborn babies?

Why No 5k to Save teh Zygotes?

A few months after reading Sarah’s article I came upon one by Fred Clark. In it, he argues that if those who oppose abortion really believe that every fertilized egg is a person we ought to see 5K fundraisers to save these zygotes. This is very much like what I said above, except that the focus here is whether the 50% of all zygotes – 50% of all fertilized eggs – that die before pregnancy even begins could be saved. Fred suggests that if the pro-life movement really is about saving unborn babies, and if those in the pro-life movement really do believe that life begins at fertilization, then pro-lifers really ought to be extremely concerned about finding a way to save all of these lives. But they’re not.

Name a disease and there’s a charitable research foundation committed to finding a cure, and for just about every such foundation there’s a corresponding 5k race or walkathon, lemonade stand, bake sale, golf tournament, banquet, concert, gala or festival to raise funds.

But for the biggest killer of them all, there’s nothing.

No 5k or 10k. No walkathon. No foundation promoting research. No research.

The deadly scourge that claims half of all human lives ever conceived is completely ignored.

Here’s Jonathan Dudley discussing this killer in his book Broken Words:

Due to hormone imbalances, genetic anomalies, and a number of unknown factors, between 50 percent and 75 percent of embryos fail to implant in the uterus and are passed with the monthly menstrual flow. If we agree with pro-life advocates that every embryo is as morally valuable as an adult human, this means that more than half of humans immediately die. This fact provides pro-life advocates with an opportunity to follow through on their convictions. Surely, a moral response to a pandemic of this magnitude would be to rally the scientific community to devote the vast majority of its efforts to better understanding why this happens and trying to stop it. Yet the same pro-life leaders who declare that every embryo is morally equivalent to a fully developed child have done nothing to advocate such research. … Even if medicine could save only 10 percent of these embryos — and we don’t know because no one has cared enough to ask — it would be saving more lives than curing HIV, diabetes, and malaria combined.One could say that this massive loss of human life is natural, and therefore, humans are under no obligation to end it. But it is not clear why the same argument could not be used to justify complacency in the face of AIDS, cancer, heart disease, and other natural causes of human death.

For anyone who genuinely believes the pro-life argument that “every embryo is morally equivalent to a fully developed child,” the sort of research Dudley describes ought to be an inescapable obligation.

And yet there are no charitable events to support the foundations funding such research. No such foundations exist to be supported. No such research exists to be funded.

Reading Fred’s article compounded what I had felt reading Sarah’s article. The pro-life movement is not about “saving unborn babies.” It can’t be. As someone who as a child and teen really did believe that life – personhood – began at fertilization, and who really was in it to “save unborn babies,” this is baffling. If I had known all this, I would have been all for this sort of research. I would have been all for sexually active women using the pill to cut down on “deaths.” But I didn’t know any of this. The adults of the anti-abortion movement, though, and certainly the leaders, they surely must know these things. This isn’t rocket science, after all. They must know these things, and yet they are doing nothing.

The Ultimate Hypocrisy

Reading Sarah and Fred’s articles and then thinking them through and doing some research made me realize that those in the pro-life movement, or at least the leaders of the pro-life movement, are incredibly inconsistent. You simply can’t be against the pill for fear that it will result in flushed out zygotes and yet not concerned at all about the vastly greater number of zygotes flushed out naturally every day. At least, not if you really truly believe a zygote has the same worth as an infant, toddler, or adult, and not if you’re truly motivated solely by a desire to save the lives of these “unborn babies.” Fresh off of these thoughts, I came upon two news articles on the subject in the last week that have completely shattered the last bit of faith I had in the pro-life movement.

Barack Obama, Pro-Life Hero?

Those who oppose abortion are all set to vote for Romney because he has done things like voice approval for the personhood amendment, which would ban abortion, but what they don’t seem to realize is that, as I found out for the first time last week, Obama has already done more to reduce the number of abortions than any other president ever has or ever will.

On October 3, researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine published a study with profound implications for policy making in the United States. According to Dr. Jeffery Peipert, the study’s lead author, abortion rates can be expected to decline significantly—perhaps up to 75 percent—when contraceptives are made available to women free of charge. Declaring himself “very surprised” at the results, Peipert requested expedient publication of the study, noting its relevance to the upcoming election.

As most observers surely know, the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. “Obamacare”) requires insurance coverage for birth control, a provision staunchly opposed by most of the same religious conservatives who oppose legalized abortion. If Peipert is correct, however, the ACA may prove the single most effective piece of “pro-life” legislation in the past forty years.

In the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate, we have a previously unimaginable opportunity for satisfying compromise on abortion. In accordance with liberal demands, the procedure will remain safe and legal, and reproductive choices will be extended to those who have been unable to afford them in the past. In exchange, conservatives will see abortion rates plummet, achieving a result comparable to that of illegality but without the fierce controversy or government imposition in the lives of individuals.

I am not so naïve as to believe that this conclusion is likely to be reached soon, or without further contest. Nor do I anticipate that Tom Minnery or Bryan Fischer will embrace President Obama as a pro-life hero. But it seems to me that, if conservatives really believe in the evil of abortion, they are morally obligated to embrace a policy that stands to limit it so impressively.

Obamacare stands to cut abortion rates by 75%. And yet, the pro-life movement has been leveraged in opposition to Obamacare, and most especially in opposition to the birth control mandate. They don’t believe women should be guaranteed access to free contraception even though this access is the number one proven best way to decrease the number of abortions. That access would, to use the rhetoric of the pro-life movement, prevent the murders of 900,000 unborn babies every year.

When I was pro-life, I truly believed it was about saving unborn babies. If I had seen a study like the one above – that making birth control available free of charge would cut the number of abortions by 75% – I would have immediately supported the requirement that all insurance companies offer birth control without copay. We’re talking about hundreds of thousands of lives. I cried about this as a child, cried about all the deaths. I felt guilty that I was one who had survived the abortion “holocaust.” Saving hundreds of thousands of these lives a year? I would have jumped at the idea!

And yet, the pro-life movement is fighting tooth and nail to repeal the very act they should be praising to the rooftops. In fact, some of them don’t even just think birth control shouldn’t be covered without copay, they don’t think birth control should be covered at all. When I read this study and thought about the pro-life response to Obamacare, I was baffled. Dumbstruck. But it gets worse.

Making it Harder to Afford Children

One thing I realized back in 2007 is that, given that six in ten women who have abortions already have at least one child and that three quarters of women who have abortions report that they cannot afford another child, if we want to bring abortion rates down we need to make sure that women can always afford to carry their pregnancies to term. Maternity and birth is expensive, adding your child to your health care plan is expensive, daycare is expensive, and on and on it goes. Raising children costs money, and women who have abortions know that.

The reasons women give for having an abortion underscore their understanding of the responsibilities of parenthood and family life. Three-fourths of women cite concern for or responsibility to other individuals; three-fourths say they cannot afford a child; three-fourths say that having a baby would interfere with work, school or the ability to care for dependents; and half say they do not want to be a single parent or are having problems with their husband or partner.

I realized, then, that if the goal is to cut the abortion rate, the pro-life movement should be working to make sure that women can afford to have and care for children. After all, a full three quarters of women who have abortions say they could not afford a child. If we found a way to offer more aid to parents, if we mandated things like paid maternity leave, subsidized childcare, and universal health insurance for pregnant women and for children, some women who would otherwise abort would almost certainly decide to carry their pregnancies to term. But the odd thing is, those who identify as “pro-life” are most adamant in opposing these kind of reforms. I knew this back in 2007, because I grew up in one of those families. I grew up believing that welfare should be abolished, that Head Start needed to be eliminated, that medicaid just enabled people to be lazy. I grew up in a family that wanted to abolish some of the very programs with the potential to decrease the number of abortions. When I shifted my position on this issue, I was in many ways simply becoming consistent.

With the advent of the Tea Party movement and new calls for a small government and for cutting things like welfare and food stamps, those who claim to believe abortion is murder, who claim to want to bring abortion rates down, have only done further damage to what credibility they had left in my eyes. And lately, it’s gotten worse. You see, in some cases conservatives are actively working to make it harder for poor women to afford to carry unintended pregnancies to term.

Pennsylvania House bill seeks to limit the amount of TANF assistance that low-income women receive based on the amount of children they give birth to while covered under the program.

Despite the fact that low-income women who give birth to children would logically need increased assistance to care for their larger family, Pennsylvania lawmakers — State Reps. RoseMarie Swanger (R), Tom Caltagirone (D), Mark Gillen (R), Keith Gillespie (R), Adam Harris (R), and Mike Tobash (R) — don’t want their state’s welfare program to provide additional benefits for that newborn. If a woman gives birth to a child who was conceived from rape, she may seek an exception to this rule so that her welfare benefits aren’t slashed, but only if she can provide proof that she reported her sexual assault and her abuser’s identity to the police

In other words, this bill would make it so that if a poor woman gets pregnant, she has to decide whether to have an abortion or whether to carry to term, have the baby, and see her welfare benefits slashed, taking food out of the mouths of the children she is already struggling to feed. I want to say I’m surprised, but I’m really not, because I’m remembering rumblings underneath the polished surface of the things I was taught. This idea that women shouldn’t “spread their legs” if they’re not ready to raise the results of their promiscuity, that the government shouldn’t be expected to pick up the tab for some slut’s inability to say no. As a teen and a young adult, I never thought about how inconsistent these ideas were with the “saving unborn babies” pro-life rhetoric I so strongly believed in. But they are. If it’s all about “saving unborn babies,” it shouldn’t matter how those unborn babies are conceived, or whether their mothers are rich or poor, married or not.

If those who oppose abortion really believes that abortion is murder, they should be supporting programs that would make it easier for poor women to afford to carry pregnancies to term. Instead, they’re doing the opposite. Overwhelmingly, those who oppose abortion also want to cut welfare and medicaid. Without these programs, the number of women who choose abortion because they cannot afford to carry a given pregnancy to term will rise. Further, they are working against things like paid maternity leave, subsidized daycare, and universal health insurance for children, programs which would likely decrease the number of women who choose abortion because they cannot afford to carry a pregnancy to term. And in this specific case, conservatives want to penalize a poor woman who chooses to carry a pregnancy to term by making it harder for her to make ends meet.

This makes utterly no sense if the goal is to save babies.

Conclusion

After reading that last article just a couple days ago, I realized something. I am done making excuses for the pro-life movement. I am done trying to explain that the movement is not anti-woman. I am done trying to insist that the movement really is simply trying to “save unborn babies.” I’m done because it’s not true. The pro-life movement supports the exact policies that will keep abortion rates high. It is those who believe in choice who support policies that will bring the abortion rates down.

I was a dupe. I’m ready to admit it now.

The reality is that so-called pro-life movement is not about saving babies. It’s about punishing women for having sex. That’s why they oppose birth control. That’s why they want to ban abortion even though doing so will simply drive women to have dangerous back alley abortions. That’s why they want to penalize women who take public assistance and then dare to have sex, leaving an exemption for those who become pregnant from rape. It’s not about babies. If it were about babies, they would be making access to birth control widespread and free and creating a comprehensive social safety net so that no woman finds herself with a pregnancy she can’t afford. They would be raising money for research on why half of all zygotes fail to implant and working to prevent miscarriages. It’s not about babies. It’s about controlling women. It’s about making sure they have consequences for having unapproved sex.

But I am very sure that there are other dupes out there. If you’re sitting there reading this thinking “but I really am in it to save unborn babies,” I am sure you’re not alone. After all, I was one of you. If you are one who has been a part of the pro-life movement because you really do believe in “saving unborn babies,” it’s time to cut your ties with the movement. You may be an honest and kind-hearted person, but you’ve been had. You’ve been taken in. It’s time to let go. It’s time to support Obamacare’s birth control mandate, it’s time to call off opposition to birth control, and it’s time to get behind progressive programs that help provide for poor women and their children. It’s time to make your actions consistent with your motives.

We’d love to have you join us.

Former Quiverfull believer, Libby Anne is a member of the Spiritual Abuse Survivor Blogs Network at No Longer Quivering - she blogs at Love, Joy, Feminism.

Like this story? Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

Follow Vyckie Garrison on twitter: @@NoQuivering

  • squirrely-girl

    This was powerful. Thank you for sharing :)

  • maroontiger

    “just trying to save unborn babies” .. you’ve gotta be kidding me.. the pro-life movement is trying to strengthen families…

     

    Prochoice is a mentality for the youth.. the subset of people who have no life plan, and dont really care about what they do to others, themselves and their future.

     

    and society needs to stop isolating abortion as a WOMAN’s issue.. opposing abortion stops men from getting off the hook as fathers-to-be.  It is a humanity issue

     

    Opposing abortions does not mean that you are opposing women’s rights.  Abortion isnt a birthright, it is a silly entitlement that society has created to help serve the masses of irresponsible boys, girls, women and men

     

    Is the pro-life movement perfect? No, i am pro life but i am 100% for contraception.  I think the problem with Pro-choice is that there is no mention of RESPONSIBILITY, or ways to prevent abortions..  the solution is ABORT..ABORT..ABORT.  that is not a solution, its an escape or workaround.  

     

    Women and Men need to respect themselves more and be prepared of the consequence of having sex.  That is what makes you morally responsible, not demanding automous rights over your own sexual obligations.  The prochoice movement doesnt stress this.  there is no awareness of sexual responsibility or respect for oneself, it is simply, “do what you believe needs to be done”.  how prochoicers can vouch for casual sex and casual abortions or abortions in marriage is beyond my level of comprehension.

     

    and most pro-choice people probably dont agree with casual abortions, but they dont realise that they are representing casual abortions b/c 90% of abortions are most likely abortions for convenience.

     

    Not every baby can be saved, but to institute a mentality that you can simply casually abort children is horrendous and i wont even mention the destruction that it does in a relationship.  I am a post-abortive man in a marriage where a woman isolated herself and demanded to abort..claiming that i had no rights, and i can honestly say there is nothing worth respecting (from a mentality perspective) of someone who thinks like that.  It is simply an ANTI-FAMILY mentality.

     

    just as a disclaimer from a man, abortion and pro-choice may be liberating as a woman, but it makes you look irresponsible, sloppy and ridiculous from a male perspective.

     

    At some point in everyone’s life, we must stand up and be responsible for our choices.  The decision to always keep an option to negotiate life choices while on the path of life is nothing more than irresponsible and cowardly.

  • purplemistydez

    Pro-choice is the mentality of people who mind their own damn business and trust women as capable and intelligent adults to make their own medical choices.  Pro-choice cares about women and their dreams and goals.  We understand that not all women are ready or even want to be mothers and respect her choice to have an abortion.  Opposing abortion and taking away that choice from women shows your total disrespect for women and right to determine whether they can terminate their pregnancies.  That is inexcusable.  Not you or anyone else has the right to make a medical choice about my body.  Obviously you are ignorant on the pro-choice advocates.  Pro-choice is for women and whatever choice they want to make regarding their own body.  Pro-choice is for comprehensive sexual education, accessible and affordable contraception.  Pro-life is for none of that.  Pro-life is for punishing women for having sex period.  Pro-life pushes gender stereotypes of men and women and women who do not fit into their warped views should be punished for having recreational sex.  A fetus is not a baby.  Until it can live on it’s own without assistance from the woman, it is up to the woman to do with it what she wants including abortion.  Just because you do not think having an abortion means a woman is being irresponsible does not make it so.  A woman may be taking responsibility by having abortion because she knows she does not want a child or can not afford one.  She may have other children to think about.  Whatever a woman’s decision is her own and frankly none of your fucking business.  Unless she asks for your advice, stay the fuck out of her uterus.  It’s between her and her doctor.

  • ljean8080

    developed that it can survive on its own?

  • jodi-jacobson

    You do realize that viability is already the outer limit for abortion *unless* a woman’s life or health are endangered by the pregnancy OR the fetus has anomalies incompatible with life?

     

    This is a strawman argument.

     

    Jodi

  • purplemistydez

    The woman still retains the right to abort, but it would probably be safer for her to give birth.  The woman’s health and autonmy is always the priority.  If the woman wants the fetus saved, then it is her choice.

  • ldan

    Responsibility: I do not think it means what you think it means.

     

    Yes, using birth control is a responsible choice. And if we didn’t have to fight so hard to keep abortion legal, we’d have even more resources to divert toward expanding access and education. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

     

    But abortion is also responsible. Once pregnant, it isn’t as if someone can just shrug and duck all responsibility; they’re stuck with options, but have to chose and be accountable for all of them.

     

    I love your “probably 90% of abortions are most likely abortions of convenience.” Firstly, yeah, abortions sure are convenient…all the waiting periods and hurdles and nosy folks putting their noses in someone else’s business, the cramping and pain, these are all quite convenient. Second, ‘probably?’ could you back that 90% up with some actual data? What counts as an abortion of convenience? “I can’t afford to take care of a child?” “I want to graduate college to have a better life for myself and future children?” “I don’t want to be a mother, period?” Sorry if I doubt that I’m going to find your definition of convenience any more compelling than your definition of responsibility.

     

    And finally, you absolutely make all the points the author of the piece above did. You are against abortion because you believe people shouldn’t have casual sex, not because of the sanctity of fetal life. That comes through loud and clear. I find the idea of using babies as punishment for sex you don’t agree with to be a pretty irresponsible way to view actual people. But neither fetuses or babies are actual people to forced-birthers like you. They are abstract ‘consequences’ to punish people who have sex.

     

    It’s pretty telling that your relationship suffered because you weren’t allowed to force your wife to risk her health through pregnancy. I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t have felt she had the right to force you to have medical procedures, like a vasectomy, done to your body, but you’re upset that you don’t have the right to tell her what to do with hers? Pardon me if I don’t have much sympathy there.

  • ljean8080

    and the child is born alive?what then?what if you are a day away from your due date?

  • julie-watkins

    and it’s for pre-eclapsia or some other emergency. That late, the woman was attempting to bring to term. When it’s real doctors & not back-alley without oversite, there’s medical standards. At some point it will be “too late” for elective abortion. If it’s “too close” to that line, it’s most likely because the woman had access problems, and I blame that more on politicians who pass anti-woman legislation and/or protestors who harrass doctors and hospitals.

  • thalwen

    Oh poor poor you. You married a woman thinking she’s now your property and that you get to make all decisions for her and she had the gall to think that she had any control over her body. Poor you. I really don’t understand why you’re divorced. I mean a man who thinks he owns his wife, who thinks that women who assert control over their bodies are irresponsible and sloppy? 

     

    As everyone else has pointed out, having an abortion is taking responsibility. A child is a gift and a miracle, it isn’t a punshment.

     

    And on that note of responsibility.. We treat car accident victims when their poor driving or impaired driving caused the accident. We treat people for heart attacks even if they live the unhealthiest of lifestyles. We treat diabetics who decide to be careless about their blood sugar and drug addicts that have overdosed. We don’t tell them that they should die because death is the consiquence of their actions and medical treatment would be an irresponsible escape. 

     

    You are right about one thing. Abortion isn’t just a woman’s issue. Restricting the right to abortion and contraceptive access has a negative impact on the economy as a whole, it has a devastating impact on individual families. It isn’t just a woman’s issue, but certainly not in the way you imply. 

     

    The decision to always keep an option to negotiate life choices while on the path of life is nothing more than irresponsible and cowardly.”

    Really? That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. 

  • ldan

    And this addresses the points of the article how? You’re pointing to a miniscule percentage of abortions (if any) while skating on by the point the article makes that the pro-life movement largely fails to get behind measures that would actually reduce abortions in favor of policies that reveal an underlying agenda of shaming people for having sex.

     

    The “abortion a day from due date” nonsense does not address the actual forces behind most abortions, nor does it resemble the majority of abortions. It’s an argument made of straw even in the greater abortion debate, doubly so here.

  • thalwen

    What if the fetus starts tap dancing in the womb? What if it’s a damn good dancer at that? What if it starts tapping out morse code? What if the birth is essential to fulfil a prophecy to destroy Voldemort? Really, those hypotheticals are just about as probable as the lady carrying the kid until due date and then deciding on a whim she doesn’t want it, and finds a doctor to agree. 

  • jodi-jacobson

    No one has an abortion a day before their due date. Let’s take a wild hypothetical and say that a woman is about to give birth and her baby dies in utero? Then, perhaps, a doctor will either induce labor or, depending on the woman’s risk factors–does she have a condition that developed which would cause harm to her?–might take the fetus another way.

    Over 90 percent of all abortions are in the first trimester, an increasing share of those before 8 weeks. If you are worried about late abortion scenarios, you ought to be out there EVERYWHERE working for universal access to contraception AND unfettered access to early abortion for those women who need an abortion. Instead, anti-choicers do just the opposite.

     

  • maroontiger

    whoa…. i never said a woman is a man’s property… who told you that? check my post and please tell me the line that i said that..

     

    im sorry but when you get married, two become one.  a team.  there is no room for people to make decisions automously.. that defeats the purpose

     

    on your 3rd paragraph.. HORRIBLE ANOLOGY.. that needs to go to the hall of shame.  a pregnancy is not a CONDITION, or a TUMOR, or a cosmetic procedure, its killing a child, its defeating the purpose of the sex that you previously had.  again, i never said that abortionists or pro-choice peoples should burn in hell..  but it is an irresponsible escape.

     

    you will do well on your own with those indivualistic opinions… its a shame you cant build/sustain a family with that mindset

  • liberaldem

    Thank you for writing such a throughtful post about your personal experience with the pro-life movement and your efforts to educate yourself and to learn what the pro-choice movement is truly trying to do.

     

     

     

  • maroontiger

    wow you people are die-hard pro-choice… thats commendable.. but there are more holes in your convictions than swiss cheese

     

    i am a prolife man, that doesn not imply that i dont care about women, doesnt mean i want to own a woman or tell her or force her to do what she doesnt want to

     

    i went to the clinic to sit through an abortion of my own child and i dont agree with abortion. tell me where “control freak” relates to that?

     

    i dont believe in forcing people to do what they dont want to do, but at the same time, i dont believe in people purposely having sex with no idea of raising a child if it is created.. that is irresponsible.. no way around that.  no way to sugar coat that. nobody forced a fetus in your womb, you did… i know you might have something to whine about (money, school, job, just dont want to be pregnant) but who doesnt have something to $(@(#(@ about everyday?  life doesnt happen as we want it to all the time

     

    NOW LETS NOT FORGET THE BIGGEST PIECE OF THE PIE… YOU HAVE A MAN TO HELP YOU RAISE THE CHILD, YOUR CHILD… that you both created.  family is beautiful… not a punishment

     

    the fact that you associate abortions with medical procedures is TWISTED… and it is OCT 31, so i guess its fitting

     

    Why is it shameful or wrong to ask men and women to be prepared for consequences of their actions?! i mean if we’re talking kids, then yeah, kids arent prepared, but 25-35/+ year old adults?!  allowing them to just do whatever they please?  im not saying i want to control them but the society’s mentality around sex has to change..

     

    so i guess a baby is a pending medical procedure until it is born right?! am i getting that straight? wow

     

    “I want to graduate before i ____, i want to get a raise before i ____, i want to ___ before i ___, etc”

    newsflash…. LIFE DOESNT FOLLOW A SCRIPT, life has ups and downs… you can still finish college, get your promotion/etc with a child.. just not as conveniently, unless you are single. and its still a bad midset to adopt if you’re single b/c at some point you wont be single anymore….

     

    the fact that a baby is seen as a punishment?! wow… my mind is blown

     

    i dont know where you think i am not defending the right of life of the fetus… what is most important is solving the problem of casual sex and the right of the fetus will come after that.  Why would men and women care about the fetus if they dont even respect themselves to have a purpose behind the sex that they have?!

     

    wow, you guys are a piece of work.. i got my $$’s worth, i’ll give you that

     

  • maroontiger

    for those who are prochoice can you please help me understand some things

     

    1. how does the pro choice movement reduce the number of abortions (beside adoption)

    2. why is keeping a child of an unwanted/unplanned pregnancy a punishment?

    3. why are you so angry at men and angry in general?

    4. at what point in a womans life does she stop thinking of abortions as options to handle a pregnancy?  is it after she achieves her ultimate ambition, or optimum net worth?

    5. why cant women who have no plans to be responsible for potential pregnancies just let men know that before they have sex?

    6. if a woman has achieved all there is to achieve in life (i.e. oprah) and is 30 years of age, and still wants to abort a child from a one night stand/3 year old healthy marriage/casual relationship/serious relationship/engagement/honeymoon is it ok for her to obtain an abortion with no logical reason to do so?

  • prochoiceferret

    1. how does the pro choice movement reduce the number of abortions (beside adoption)

     

    Better availability/accessibility of contraception and comprehensive sex education. Reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies inherently reduces the number of abortions needed.

     

    2. why is keeping a child of an unwanted/unplanned pregnancy a punishment?

     

    Perhaps some of the women who have unwanted children from such pregnancies can transfer the expense and responsibility for them to you, so that you might find out firsthand?

     

    3. why are you so angry at men and angry in general?

     

    We’re not angry at men in general. We’re just angry at those who commit violence against women, and deny them their basic human rights and ownership over their own bodies. Which is something that a surprisingly high number of men do—but not nearly all of them, let alone “in general.”

     

    4. at what point in a womans life does she stop thinking of abortions as options to handle a pregnancy?  is it after she achieves her ultimate ambition, or optimum net worth?

     

    No, I think it’s at the point that she can no longer become pregnant.

     

    5. why cant women who have no plans to be responsible for potential pregnancies just let men know that before they have sex?

     

    I’m not acquainted with this group of women you’re talking about. Do you know such a group? Have you tried asking them?

     

    6. if a woman has achieved all there is to achieve in life (i.e. oprah) and is 30 years of age, and still wants to abort a child from a one night stand/3 year old healthy marriage/casual relationship/serious relationship/engagement/honeymoon is it ok for her to obtain an abortion with no logical reason to do so?

     

    She would have a logical reason to obtain an abortion: she doesn’t want to be pregnant.

  • forced-birth-rape

    St. Augustine said, “Any woman who acts in such a way that she cannot give birth to as many children as she is capable of, makes herself guilty of that many murders.”

    Martin Luther wrote: “God created Adam lord of all living creatures, but Eve spoiled it all. Women should remain at home, sit still, keep house and bear children. And if a woman grows weary and, at last, dies from childbearing, it matters not. Let her die from bearing; she is there to do it.”

     

    “Anders Behring Breivik christian terrorist, pro-forced-birther, killed seventy seven people.

    What he thinks about womens rights, women need to breed, breed, breed.

    1. Limit the distribution of birth-control pills (contraceptive pills): Discourage the use of and prevent liberal distribution of contraceptive pills or equivalent prevention methods. The goal should be to make it considerably more difficult to obtain. This alone should increase the fertility rate by 0,1 points but would degrade women’s rights.

    2. Reform sex education: Reform the current sex education in our school institutions. This may involve limiting it or at least delaying sex education to a later age and discourage casual sex. Sex should only be encouraged within the boundaries of marriage. This alone should increase the fertility rate by 0,1 points.

    3. Making abortion illegal: A re-introduction of the ban on abortion should result in an increased fertility rate of approximately 0,1-0,2 points but would strip women of basic rights.

    4. Women and education: Discourage women in general to strive for full time careers. This will involve certain sexist and discriminating policies but should increase the fertility rate by up to 0,1-0,2 points.

    Women should not be encouraged by society/media to take anything above a bachelor’s degree but should not be prevented from taking a master or PhD. Males on the other hand should obviously continue to be encouraged to take higher education – bachelor, master and PhD.”

     

    “Self-Described ‘Christian Counterpart To Osama Bin Laden’ Arrested In Plot To Bomb Abortion Clinic

    Justin Carl Moose describe “himself” as the Christian counterpart to Osama bin Laden.

    Moose wrote:

    “I have learned a lot from the muslim terrorists and have no problem using their tactics.”

    Each year about 890,000 women have abortions in Pakistan, and every day 10 women die because they had an unsafe abortion. Some 560,000 Filippina women have unsafe illegal abortions every year, with 90,000 suffering complications from the procedure and 1,000 dying.~

     

    Pro-forced-birthers favorite piece of literature of all time.

    Genesis 3:16

    “I will greatly multiply your grief and your suffering in pregnancy and the pangs of childbearing; with spasms of distress you will bring forth children. Yet your desire and cravings will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”

     

    “In the 1800′s when chloroform was introduced to the US to help ease the excruciating pain of childbirth for women, it was woman-hating Christians who fought against its permitted use on the grounds that easing women’s childbirth pain was contrary to God’s will. They cited the book of Genesis where God punishes women with the curse of pain in childbirth.”

     

    What pro-forced-birthers think of raped little girls.

     

    “Church excommunicates mother of 9-year-old rape victim – but not accused rapist.”

    A senior Vatican cleric has defended the Catholic Church’s decision to excommunicate the mother and doctors of a nine-year-old rape victim who had a life-saving abortion in Brazil.”

    “Police believe the girl was sexually assaulted for years by her stepfather, possibly since she was six. That she was four months pregnant with twins emerged only after she was taken to hospital complaining of severe stomach pains.”

     

     

    The southern baptist wife beating convention is the second biggest pro forced birth group in the world, after the child raping catholic church.

     

    “TIME ranks Southern Baptists’ rejection of sex-offender database as a top “underreported” news story of 2008″

     

    These people want more unwanted, unloved, unprotected, unvalued, virgin children to sexually terrorize, I know, I grew up with them.

  • maroontiger

    These people want more unwanted, unloved, unprotected, unvalued, virgin children to sexually terrorize, I know, I grew up with them”


    no, you grew up with bad mothers and or fathers.. a good parent(mother or father) wouldnt allow anyone to feel that they were unwanted, unloved or unprotected….


    the “unwanted, unloved, unvalued” shtick is a ploy to whine and complain about one’s responsibility.. what happens if i treat my job like its unwanted, unvalued or unloved? i’d get fired… instead i suck it up and take care of my responsibilty, even if it is giving me a hard time or things to be upset about

    when life gives you lemons, make lemonade… not excuses

  • colleen

    when life gives you lemons, make lemonade… not excuses

    Seriously, go fuck yourself.

  • maroontiger

    this is great but 

     

    1. more education doesnt prevent abortions. women and men still take away from society’s message that “get an abortion if you DONT WANT to be pregnant” but not “dont have sex if you dont want to be pregnant” or “respect yourself enough to have sex when it is affordable for you to do so”

     

    im pro life and i beleive 100% in contraception… but i understand why prolifers are against it… it FORCES HOME the message, dont have sex unless you’re planning/prepared to have a child… and theres some truth to that.. albeit its too abrasive in its approach

     

    2. why would a woman need to transfer the experience to me when i am the father of the child.. after 9 months, we share the child rearing experience 100%… unfortunately only women were equipped to carry a child to term… i guess you see that as a burden, i see it as a great responsibility and an honorable decision to carry the child to term

     

    3. honestly, the majority of men DONT take over control of womens bodies, they do the oppositte, they exploit your passion for optimum family planning and screw you knowing that you have no plans to be responsible for the outcome.. and in the end, men have a gaurentee that they can get off the hook whenver they want.. what you dont understand is that most young men fear responsibility.. and if women fear the same responsibility.. you’re simply bringing mice to a snake

     

    4. what are your views of prenancy in marriage?  and how does autonomous reproductive and autonomous general thinking help marriages?

     

    5.  fair enough.. but there are a ton of men and women who dont disclose their intentions prior to sex

     

    6. why is it ok to be sexually active and fertile but have no desire to be pregnant?  is there no responsibility associated with sex?

     

    7. if a man who doesnt take care of his kids a dead beat dad, is a person who aborts a child when they can afford to do so and have a healthy relationship a dead beat mom? (in all seriousness)

     

    8.  Can women trust men with their general safety, life, and well-being? especially when she becomes a mother

     

    9. do prochoice women see anything wrong with abortion? do they feel sorry for the child who will never get a wink of life?

     

    10.  do prochoice women see men and husbands as sufficient supporters, or a burden or unequal/unreliable supporters/partners?

     

    11. do you see parenthood as a team endeavor or a burden to women?

     

    12. do you believe that men and women need each other for a purpose other than sex?

     

    13. Do prochoice women think of motherhood?

     

    14. is an unwanted pregnancy ever a good thing?

     

    15. is pregnancy only a happy experience when it is planned?

  • maroontiger

    what happened to intellegent dialouge?

    is it because i dont share the same beliefs?

  • thalwen

    Oooh I have even more!!!!

    1. Why do you think you have the right to put someone else’s life and health in danger because you weren’t responsible enough to make sure you used contraception and discussed your wife’s willingness to have a child before you had sex? That sounds pretty irresponsible to me! And here you are a man! With a penis and a superior man brain! 

    2. Do you see women as people? Or are we the equivalent of Real Dolls with a baby making feature to you?

    3. Do you really not understand that a woman can die, be permanently disabled by pregnancy? 

    4. Do you know that women are far more likely to be murdered while pregnant? Usually by their loving supportive parners.

    5. Do you understand that women these days work outside the home? Do you understand that most families share responsibilities and it isn’t the wife relying on her owner to provide for her and keep her safe in exchange for sex, babies and sammiches? 

    6. Do you realise that the number one risk of violence to a woman is her partner, so having a man around to “keep her safe” isn’t that appealing to us?

    7. Everytime you want to have sex, are you thinking “OMG let’s go make baybeez? Does the smell of dirty diapers make you all hot and bothered?”

    8. Also, I see you’re trolling several other threads by different names with the same argument of “Y u wimminz think ur all human and get to decide important things that can only be decided by a penis?”

    9. Since you’ve labeled us all as man-haters, why do you think we have sex? You don’t think we enjoy it because you repeatedly refer to sex as men using women. 

    10. If you think babies are so awesome and stuff, why do you repeatedly refer to them as a consiquence and say that one must have a baby to not escape the high crime of having sex while female? 

     

  • crowepps

    I know lots of people who don’t share the same beliefs I have, but they are capable of intelligent dialogue.  I think the reason you are not is that your arguments are all reruns of the same tired tropes, which have been refuted and debunked hundreds of times.  Intelligent dialogue is not composed of bumper sticker slogans.

  • coralsea

    Maroon — It does not appear that you read or understood the article.  It also appears that you are willfully ignorant in regard to women and, I would suspect, humans in general.  You ask all of these “why, why, why” questions, but I really doubt that you would pay attention to the answers, or if you did, that you would accept those that didn’t agree with what you already think.  Therapy might help you — or perhaps not.  Willful stupidity and wooden-headedness isn’t easily altered.

     

    However, in regard to the following questions you asked:

     

    4. what are your views of prenancy in marriage? and how does autonomous reproductive and autonomous general thinking help marriages?

     

    5. fair enough.. but there are a ton of men and women who dont disclose their intentions prior to sex

     

    6. why is it ok to be sexually active and fertile but have no desire to be pregnant? is there no responsibility associated with sex?

     

    I once again toss back to you — Why did YOU (and/or do YOU continue to) have sex if you aren’t proactively discussing these issues with the woman/women with whom you are intimate?  In regard to 4. — Didn’t you discuss this with the woman who decided not to have your baby?  Or did she simply get enough of you and flee, not willing to continue any tie to you?  (I’d love to know the answer to this one, because I expect that something happened along these lines).  In regard to 5. Did YOU have this discussion with the woman — or continue with an on-going dialogue along these lines, or did you simply decide in your own little brain that it was “all systems go” and not bother to discuss it with her?  In regard to 6. — I return to my original question: Why did YOU have sex without knowing what you were getting into?  So you think that, if YOU get a woman pregnant, she HAS to have your baby?  Did you TELL her that?   Because I’m thinking that if you were completely forthright, a lot of women would tell you “no deal.”

  • coralsea

    I believe that you either a troll who simply likes to run others around in circles or you are so hopelessly self-centered and narcissistic that you have absolutely no interest in the views of others.   Clearly, you have been given explanations, so it is one or the other — troll or narcissistic idiot.  In either case, you aren’t worth MY time anymore.  

  • coralsea

    Maroon — If you don’t understand by now, you never will.  See a therapist.  Buy a bunch of dolls and play with them.  Jerk yourself a soda.  I doubt that anything is going to help you because your either willful, obstinent, and possessed of a whopping personality disorder, or you are incredibly stupid.

     

    Frankly, I hope you never manage to breed; the gene pool sure as hell doesn’t need whatever afflicts YOU floating around.

  • coralsea

    If you weren’t prepared for the woman you were with to not want your baby — then why did YOU have casual sex?  Was that responsible, sir?  I can see why this woman opted not to continue through the pregnancy, because she didn’t want to be stuck with yet another baby: the one she would have given birth to and YOU.  The one she might have given birth to would have grown up.  I can’t say the same about you.  

     

    So next time, find a woman who shares your values — there are plenty of women who want to have babies.  Talk to her — which means that you actually need to listen to what she has to say.  Discuss the whole baby thing before you have sex — and before you get married.  If you are both in agreement, I’d still wait a couple of years before you try for a baby to make sure she wants to stay with you — and you want to stay with her.  In other words, act like a grownup.   You know — take responsibility for having sex.   Responsibility isn’t just for women.  Based on what you’ve said, it appears that didn’t occurred to you.

     

    BTW — you indicate that finishing college and getting a promotion will be tougher if she has to raise a child.  Well heck — do you see YOURSELF actually kicking in and changing diapers and caring for the kid half the time — even if it gets in the way with your hobbies or watching sports?  Because if it’s so important for you to have a baby, then man up and make sure you do half the work.  

  • prochoiceferret

    1. more education doesnt prevent abortions. women and men still take away from society’s message that “get an abortion if you DONT WANT to be pregnant” but not “dont have sex if you dont want to be pregnant” or “respect yourself enough to have sex when it is affordable for you to do so”

     

    You might want to look up what is covered by “comprehensive sex ed.”

     

    im pro life and i beleive 100% in contraception… but i understand why prolifers are against it… it FORCES HOME the message, dont have sex unless you’re planning/prepared to have a child… and theres some truth to that.. albeit its too abrasive in its approach

     

    It’s kind of like saying how not allowing people to use seat belts FORCES HOME the message, don’t drive unsafely unless you’re planning/prepared to have major injuries from a traffic accident… and there’s some truth to that… albeit it’s too ludicrous in its approach

     

    2. why would a woman need to transfer the experience to me when i am the father of the child.. after 9 months, we share the child rearing experience 100%… unfortunately only women were equipped to carry a child to term… i guess you see that as a burden, i see it as a great responsibility and an honorable decision to carry the child to term

     

    So because you wanted to have a child and have the resources for childrearing and enjoy doing so, there’s no way that another person could sincerely not want to do it, right? Especially if they did not want to do it so badly that if they were forced into doing it, they would feel it was a punishment… right?

     

    3. honestly, the majority of men DONT take over control of womens bodies, they do the oppositte, they exploit your passion for optimum family planning and screw you knowing that you have no plans to be responsible for the outcome.. and in the end, men have a gaurentee that they can get off the hook whenver they want.. what you dont understand is that most young men fear responsibility.. and if women fear the same responsibility.. you’re simply bringing mice to a snake

     

    I’m so sorry that you see a sexual relationship in terms of predator-prey. You must have had some horrible experiences in life to have been left with this unhealthy conception of sex.

     

    4. what are your views of prenancy in marriage?  and how does autonomous reproductive and autonomous general thinking help marriages?

     

    Pregnancy in marriage is quite popular, and I’m perfectly okay with couples who choose to do it. Autonomous reproductive and autonomous general thinking helps marriages, because it’s not healthy when the people in a relationship are not complete individuals.

     

    5.  fair enough.. but there are a ton of men and women who dont disclose their intentions prior to sex

     

    That’s humanity for you!

     

    6. why is it ok to be sexually active and fertile but have no desire to be pregnant?

     

    For the same reason it’s okay to eat a hamburger but have no desire to have high cholesterol.

     

    is there no responsibility associated with sex?

     

    No, there is responsibility. One should discuss STIs with one’s partner, contraception, and what to do (e.g. abortion) if for some reason the person with the uterus (if any) becomes pregnant (if that is possible).

     

    7. if a man who doesnt take care of his kids a dead beat dad, is a person who aborts a child when they can afford to do so and have a healthy relationship a dead beat mom? (in all seriousness)

     

    That would depend on whether this person has kids that she is not taking care of.

     

    8.  Can women trust men with their general safety, life, and well-being? especially when she becomes a mother

     

    I think that depends on the man in question.

     

    9. do prochoice women see anything wrong with abortion?

     

    I don’t think “prochoice women” all think the same way about it.

     

    do they feel sorry for the child who will never get a wink of life?

     

    Some might, others wouldn’t. It’s not like “prochoice women” are some kind of hive mind who all have the same thoughts on stuff.

     

    10.  do prochoice women see men and husbands as sufficient supporters, or a burden or unequal/unreliable supporters/partners?

     

    Again, that would depend on the man/husband in question, don’t you think?

     

    11. do you see parenthood as a team endeavor or a burden to women?

     

    I think that would be for each individual woman to decide.

     

    12. do you believe that men and women need each other for a purpose other than sex?

     

    Given that we are social creatures by nature, I would certainly hope so.

     

    13. Do prochoice women think of motherhood?

     

    I’m sure many of them do!

     

    14. is an unwanted pregnancy ever a good thing?

     

    Maybe, in the same way that a sprained ankle might under some circumstances be a good thing.

     

    15. is pregnancy only a happy experience when it is planned?

     

    No, not least because “unplanned” is not the same thing as “unwanted.”

  • ldan

    How is being willing to consider abortion *not* being prepared for the consequences? Abortion is a consequence.

     

    You are basically saying that anyone who is unwilling to bear children should remain celibate forever. How is that a reasonable proposition? I take precautions, but I have no intention of either living a celibate life, or bearing a child.

     

    Sorry, I see no reason every conceived zygote should be owed a chance to become a person. Even without abortion, huge numbers never will. If I were to *chose* to provide that chance, willingly risk my life and health–fine. But it’s really not reasonable to force anyone to do that. Having a man, or woman, to help raise one has nothing to do with that. Family being beautiful has nothing to do with that. My family *is* beautiful, thank you very much.

     

    Can you explain how abortion is not a medical procedure? However, I didn’t say pregnancy was a medical procedure. But it is something that involves someone’s body and their reproductive choice. Vasectomy is about the closest I can come up with to a male equivalent. Basically, I don’t get to tell you what to do with your reproductive parts and you don’t get to tell me what to do with mine…nor does a fetus.

     

    Society’s attitudes around sex *are* changing, thank goodness, but not back to the regressive, shameful thing you seem to think it should be. “Why would men and women care about the fetus if they dont even respect themselves to have a purpose behind the sex that they have?!” I mean really? I need to have a purpose behind the sex I have? I’m pretty sure I have one…which is enjoying a normal, healthy part of being human, being in love, enjoying what my body can do. If you want to tell me that the only approved purpose for having sex is procreation, I’m just going to laugh at you.

  • ldan

    Right, so we should take away the choice of those bad mothers and fathers and force them to have kids that they can parent poorly?

     

    When you talk about kids as a responsibility like your job–suck it up and take care of the responsibility–I mean, that really makes it sound like children are a blessing, doesn’t it? And yet you’re surprised when I accuse you of speaking as if they’re a punishment?

     

    Responsibility is not becoming a parent if you aren’t up to that responsibility. Then there isn’t an actual child suffering for your inability.

     

    Reading the rest of your responses here, I’m really glad I don’t know you in real life. Your views of women and children are pretty vile.

  • give-em-hell-mary

    “Opposing abortions does not mean that you are opposing women’s rights.  Abortion isnt a birthright, it is a silly entitlement that society has created to help serve the masses of irresponsible boys, girls, women and men”

    Mother killer, abortion was invented thousands of years ago by mid-wives for gruesome obstructed labor.  You think saving mothers is a silly new entitlement?! What a disgrace you are to your own mother who probably got cheated on by your repulsed dad because of the disfiguring damage you did to her!

    If abortion looks sloppy to you, imagine if your “brood mare” suffered stinky childbirth bladder and bowel incontinence fistulas just to please your ego?!   You would have dumped her and the kid instantly (or cheated like my dad!)!

  • give-em-hell-mary

    “pregnancy is not a CONDITION, or a TUMOR, or a cosmetic procedure, its killing a child”

    Pregnancy has a ZILLION DEADLY, disfiguring, bankrupting and divorce-causing consequences, including CANCEROUS molar “pregnancies”, and face and breast cancers that maimed and murdered many women I knew, and bankrupted their families with futile oncology bills and “cosmetic” RECONSTRUCTIVE surgeries, still killing these women in the end.  There! — I fixed it for ya!

    If childbirth had killed your wife, would you be willing to do life in prison for killing her with a fetus instead of your fist?

  • thalwen

    You’re funny.

    Seriously. Intelligent dialogue? I laughed, out loud, hard. 

  • ljean8080

     be pregnant.Some try for years.To SAY that a child is to blame for what happens to the mother is crazy.no one asks to be .born

  • give-em-hell-mary

    You ALWAYS miss the point!  Most women, even infertile women who spend fortunes to become pregnant, would opt for emergency abortions to avoid their own deaths and gross injuries.  Moreover, most looksist anti-choice men are clueless about these disfiguring and bankrupting complications, and they always abandon such ruined mothers and their kids.  By your idiot logic, innocent tumors should never be blamed for their hosts’ deaths and therefore should never be removed!  Tumors are “God’s Will” and should never be killed by their “sinful” hosts.

  • ljean8080

    not a tumor.

  • jennifer-starr

    Yes, and some women don’t  want to be pregnant. You have a problem with that?  

  • jennifer-starr

    And again, you miss Mary’s point by a mile. Go back and read again, please. 

  • ljean8080

    will you please stop calling people with Down Syndrome”accidents’.it’s demeaning.

  • give-em-hell-mary

    Lying Troll, I never called people with Down Syndrome ”accidents”!  I only refer to unwanted pregnancies from the UNnatural Family UNplanning scam as “accidents” because NFP bullies criminally intend to injure, bankrupt and even murder women with the resulting guaranteed unwanted pregnancies.

  • give-em-hell-mary

    Google molar pregnancies to get a clue, troll.

  • ljean8080

    Down Syndromeaccidents

  • lcmae

    I am neither ProLife nor ProChoice because I think neither side wants to have an honest discussion.  I prefer not to align myself with political entities or label or categorize myself or others.  I do think that all human life is important from conception to death.  With that said, I appreciate your thouroughness with your essay.  It is indeed thought provoking and you went through a self journey that led you to your beliefs.  I respect your thoughts, but I hope that you are able to respect those who may differ in opinion and not label them or think for them, as you don’t want others to think for you.

    Abortions are legal in the United States and contraception is readily available, either free or through the healthcare system.  I have received free contraception from schools and health departments.  I realize there are those that want to limit it, but the options are available if someone chooses to use it or not.  You say that having access to legal abortions and contraception lowers the need for abortion.  I’m not so sure that is the case for the United States.  We have higher numbers of abortions than Western European countries, but we are on par with Australia, New Zealand, and Sweden.  Why?  I would suggest that it is because the United States is the only country with First World status, and one of at total of three nations, that does not provide some sort of job security for pregnant women.  I kept waiting for you to mention that, which you did way down within your essay.  I thank you for that because it seems that is probably one of the most important factors for considering an abortion.  Another point, there is research concerning miscarriages and fertility.  A lot of ongoing research for many things does not need a walk-a-thon or 5K to be acknowledged as  respectable research.

    One of the arguments for abortion that I find the most disturbing is the negation of human development and the euphemisms used to say the human zygote is not a person until the later stages of development that results in birth.  Yes, it is reliant upon the woman’s body, but it is a human being, none-the-less.  Somewhere along the line of its development it will die.  Even humans that have been born must rely soley on others until it is capable of gathering the basic necessities to survive.  If that is the argument for abortion before birth, then we also should allow those women and men who find they can not afford to support the baby to terminate its life, as opposed to finding other sources that can provide the necessary resources to help the human continue its developmental cycle. I don’t propose that as a reality or option, but it is a valid argument if we are talking about being able to sustain life without some sort of physical support.

    Medical abortion is not the same as natural abortion/miscarriage.  Medical abortion is a decision to terminate a life for whatever reason it may be.  It is not removing a hang nail or a cancerous lesion.  Abortion is a medical procedure that can have serious consequences for the woman, and, in my opinion, it should be thoroughly explained like any other medical procedure so the people or person involved can make an informed decision and have the after-care and support necessary.  If it is an underage woman, it needs to be discussed with her parent or guardian.  Of course, there are those instances where abuse is feared or honestly expected, but there is also the unexpected support.  I can imagine that emotions would be high for many women, even if she doesn’t want the pregnancy, but the decision should not be made soley on emotions and fears.  It bothers me when I hear fear mongering in relation to the decision to abort, and it comes from both sides of the political spectrum.

    The issue of personhood has many ramifications, not just for abortion, but for cases where there is a wanted pregnancy and the baby dies.  Should a person who murders a woman who is pregnant not be charged with two counts of murder?  Or, with an accident, should emergency personnel only be concerned with the mother?  Is the developing human a person only when it is wanted?  It bothers me when we can have corporate personhood, but the developing human doesn’t have personhood until after birth.

    The debate invokes emotional responses, but it rarely seems to honestly talk about the emotional sides of sex, pregnancy, disease, or abortion.  Our society encourages sexual experimentation and casual sex, supposedly without consequences.  It’s fun.  I agree that it is, but I also know the side of rejection, confusion, sadness, feelings of inadequacy, and I could go on.  Abstinance can and should be talked about in a positive fashion and not as some uptight, prudish option because becoming sexually active before understanding all the possibilities can have dire consequences that can end with suicide or life-long issues, let alone dealing with an unwanted pregnancy.

    I don’t see it as a “My Body, My Choice” thing.  It is an individual decision, though.  I am not naive to think that every baby conceived will be loved and supported, but I do think we should be honest with ourselves.  Adoption should not be so damnedably expensive.  Men should be included in the decision, especially if they are expected to support children that they may not want.  If a man is willing to support a child for the rest of its life after birth, it should be a legitimate option.

    The debate seems to be all about the woman, but as in business and other things in our lives, she did not get pregnant all by herself.  The debate should become an honest and open discussion.  The things I’d like to see discussed would not bring back the stone-age or turn the clock back.  Perhaps there are more people who can see the validity of concerns on both sides of the Pro this or that debate if we decided to discuss instead of label or think for others.

    Thank you for writing your essay and sharing your journey to your currently held beliefs.  I appreciate the opportunity to share mine.

  • give-em-hell-mary

    I’m sure you’re taking it out of context — all unplanned pregnancies are labelled accidents by many people, regardless of whether the fetuses have disabilities.  Healthy fetuses can be accidents too!  The term “accident” refers to the intentions of the parents.  Capiche?

  • give-em-hell-mary

    “Abstinance can and should be talked about in a positive fashion and not as some uptight, prudish option because becoming sexually active before understanding all the possibilities can have dire consequences that can end with suicide or life-long issues, let alone dealing with an unwanted pregnancy.”

    Positive fashion?!  My childbirth bladder- and bowel-incontinent mom burned all my skin off when I was in first grade as her permanent abstinence excuse since the NFP scam nearly killed her with additional dangerous pregnancies.  Decades of involuntary abstinence imposed by parental disfigurement really suck!  I wish mom had aborted me instead and I have attempted suicide over resulting public bullying.  Miserable abstinence gets stuck on ugly and unlucky people, and you should only be forcing it on pedophiles.  You conveniently leave out that most people practice plenty of default abstinence because they have no suitable partner and killer work and school schedules.  You also conveniently leave out the gross, deadly and bankrupting complications of childbirth that ruin marriages, employment, job markets, environments, nations and peace accords.

    If you truly believe life begins at conception, you’d be attending “baby” tampon funerals 24/7.

  • purplemistydez

    You are right Mary.  I will not intentionally get pregnant.  I told my boyfriend it will happen by accident.  If it happens then it happens, if not, oh well. Plus aren’t most pregnancies unplanned or accidents?  My brother for example and he came out healthy.

  • purplemistydez

    I am neither ProLife nor ProChoice because I think neither side wants to have an honest discussion.  I prefer not to align myself with political entities or label or categorize myself or others.  I do think that all human life is important from conception to death.  With that said, I appreciate your thouroughness with your essay.  It is indeed thought provoking and you went through a self journey that led you to your beliefs.  I respect your thoughts, but I hope that you are able to respect those who may differ in opinion and not label them or think for them, as you don’t want others to think for you.

     

    There is no honest discussion with pro-lifers that lie and try to push their ideals onto others.  Pro-choice maintains that you choose what is best for you and trusts women as capable adults able to make their own medical choices regarding their bodies.  Anything less than that is crap.

     

    Abortions are legal in the United States and contraception is readily available, either free or through the healthcare system.  I have received free contraception from schools and health departments.  I realize there are those that want to limit it, but the options are available if someone chooses to use it or not.  You say that having access to legal abortions and contraception lowers the need for abortion.  I’m not so sure that is the case for the United States.  We have higher numbers of abortions than Western European countries, but we are on par with Australia, New Zealand, and Sweden.  Why?  I would suggest that it is because the United States is the only country with First World status, and one of at total of three nations, that does not provide some sort of job security for pregnant women.  I kept waiting for you to mention that, which you did way down within your essay.  I thank you for that because it seems that is probably one of the most important factors for considering an abortion.  Another point, there is research concerning miscarriages and fertility.  A lot of ongoing research for many things does not need a walk-a-thon or 5K to be acknowledged as  respectable research.

     

    Yet we do not have comprehensive sexual education that teach teens and adults to properly use birth control or what is out there for them to use.  This article is about pro-life and pro-choice.  You can probably find articles on this site about pregnant women and job issues somewhere else.

    One of the arguments for abortion that I find the most disturbing is the negation of human development and the euphemisms used to say the human zygote is not a person until the later stages of development that results in birth.  Yes, it is reliant upon the woman’s body, but it is a human being, none-the-less.  Somewhere along the line of its development it will die.  Even humans that have been born must rely soley on others until it is capable of gathering the basic necessities to survive.  If that is the argument for abortion before birth, then we also should allow those women and men who find they can not afford to support the baby to terminate its life, as opposed to finding other sources that can provide the necessary resources to help the human continue its developmental cycle. I don’t propose that as a reality or option, but it is a valid argument if we are talking about being able to sustain life without some sort of physical support.

     

    Except that is just your opinion.  Your opinion is not more valid than someone that thinks a fetus is not a person.  No human has the right to forceably have a woman give her nutrients to them without consent.  That is what makes a fetus different than even a newborn.  A newborn can be cared for by anyone.  A fetus is solely dependent on the woman and can not be removed and implanted into another woman to gestate the rest of the nine months.

     

    Medical abortion is not the same as natural abortion/miscarriage.  Medical abortion is a decision to terminate a life for whatever reason it may be.  It is not removing a hang nail or a cancerous lesion.  Abortion is a medical procedure that can have serious consequences for the woman, and, in my opinion, it should be thoroughly explained like any other medical procedure so the people or person involved can make an informed decision and have the after-care and support necessary.  If it is an underage woman, it needs to be discussed with her parent or guardian.  Of course, there are those instances where abuse is feared or honestly expected, but there is also the unexpected support.  I can imagine that emotions would be high for many women, even if she doesn’t want the pregnancy, but the decision should not be made soley on emotions and fears.  It bothers me when I hear fear mongering in relation to the decision to abort, and it comes from both sides of the political spectrum.

     

    Again it is your personal opinion that abortion has serious consequences.  Some women are relieved after their abortions and may go onto to have children or not.  Abortion is factually safer than childbirth.  More women die from pregnancy than abortion.  So an underage teenager is old enough to raise a baby, but get an abortion?  Yeah that makes alot of sense.  You do not give women enough credit.  You think we are emotional children that need to be guided into the right decision.  Sorry but we are rational adults that can make choices that you may not agree with, but being a woman does not make them invalid.  A woman’s reasons are hers and she only will deal with the consequences.

     

    The issue of personhood has many ramifications, not just for abortion, but for cases where there is a wanted pregnancy and the baby dies.  Should a person who murders a woman who is pregnant not be charged with two counts of murder?  Or, with an accident, should emergency personnel only be concerned with the mother?  Is the developing human a person only when it is wanted?  It bothers me when we can have corporate personhood, but the developing human doesn’t have personhood until after birth.

     

    Personally I think a person  that kills a pregnancy woman should be charged with unauthorized abortion.  If the woman dies, the fetus dies, so it makes sense to be more concerned with the woman.  Of course the woman is the ultimate decider on what medical procedures she will allow on her and her fetus.  Once a fetus is birthed it a person, not beforehand.

     

    The debate invokes emotional responses, but it rarely seems to honestly talk about the emotional sides of sex, pregnancy, disease, or abortion.  Our society encourages sexual experimentation and casual sex, supposedly without consequences.  It’s fun.  I agree that it is, but I also know the side of rejection, confusion, sadness, feelings of inadequacy, and I could go on.  Abstinance can and should be talked about in a positive fashion and not as some uptight, prudish option because becoming sexually active before understanding all the possibilities can have dire consequences that can end with suicide or life-long issues, let alone dealing with an unwanted pregnancy.

     

    Bullshit our society condones sex without consequences.  Our society tries to promote only hetero and married sex.  If you want casual sex, wrap it up or use birth control.  Abstinence is not realistic.  Most people enjoy sex and will not wait until marriage.  That is reality.  We need to accept that teens and young adults are waiting later to marry yet still will have sex in the meantime.  As a society we need to accept this and teach real education about contraceptives, STDS, and dealing with relationships including the LGBT.

     

    I don’t see it as a “My Body, My Choice” thing.  It is an individual decision, though.  I am not naive to think that every baby conceived will be loved and supported, but I do think we should be honest with ourselves.  Adoption should not be so damnedably expensive.  Men should be included in the decision, especially if they are expected to support children that they may not want.  If a man is willing to support a child for the rest of its life after birth, it should be a legitimate option.

     

    You may not see it that way, but many of us would like you to stay the hell out of our medical choices.  You do not make our choices for us or have to deal with the consequences for them.  All we ask is to mind your damn business and worry about yours.  A man can make his own choices regarding his own body, but not anyone else’s body.  Bodily autonomy includes only your body, not mine.

     

    The debate seems to be all about the woman, but as in business and other things in our lives, she did not get pregnant all by herself.  The debate should become an honest and open discussion.  The things I’d like to see discussed would not bring back the stone-age or turn the clock back.  Perhaps there are more people who can see the validity of concerns on both sides of the Pro this or that debate if we decided to discuss instead of label or think for others.

    Thank you for writing your essay and sharing your journey to your currently held beliefs.  I appreciate the opportunity to share mine.

  • beenthere72

     I am a post-abortive man in a marriage where a woman isolated herself and demanded to abort..claiming that i had no rights, and i can honestly say there is nothing worth respecting (from a mentality perspective) of someone who thinks like that.

     

    This is the woman you fell in love with and pledged a lifetime commitment to? The woman you so lovinginly refer to as ‘a woman’  (I do the same thing when I refer to the shitty qualities of my soon-to-be-ex-husband)?  She must’ve had a pretty damn good reason to choose to not have your baby for you to have not been able to convince her that you’d remain a loving, faithful, doting husband and father.    Are you blaming everybody else for your failed marriage?  Unable to take any responsibility for your own actions?    Me thinks you’re displacing your anger on other people and you should look within yourself for resolve.

     

    but it makes you look irresponsible, sloppy and ridiculous

     

    A reasonable person would think:  ‘It’s really none of my business, I don’t know the circumstances of her situation, who am I to judge?’      

  • beenthere72

    Why would anybody willingly wait that long if they didn’t want to be pregnant in the first place?  

  • thalwen

    Abortions are legal in the United States and contraception is readily available, either free or through the healthcare system.  I have received free contraception from schools and health departments.”

    Oh thank goodness you represent every single American.


    One of the arguments for abortion that I find the most disturbing is the negation of human development and the euphemisms used to say the human zygote is not a person until the later stages of development that results in birth.  Yes, it is reliant upon the woman’s body, but it is a human being, none-the-less. 

    Source? Hmm… your own personal opinion. So nice of you to decide that your opinion is fact and can be imposed on everyone else by law. By the way, a woman – is a human being not merely a sperm-creation incubator. 


     It bothers me when we can have corporate personhood, but the developing human doesn’t have personhood until after birth.

    It bothers me when a person thinks corporations and fetuses should have more rights than women. 


    Medical abortion is not the same as natural abortion/miscarriage.  Medical abortion is a decision to terminate a life for whatever reason it may be.  It is not removing a hang nail or a cancerous lesion.  Abortion is a medical procedure that can have serious consequences for the woman, and, in my opinion, it should be thoroughly explained like any other medical procedure so the people or person involved can make an informed decision and have the after-care and support necessary.

    Thank goodness you came along and ‘splained it all to us feeble-minded women! I mean, here I was being all emotional and crying and laughing and deciding everything based on my uncontrolable lady emotions! It’s not like women are perfectly capable of making rational medical decisions based on facts because we’re human beings with brains and stuff, nope we decide everything on our hysterical emotions. Also, you do understand that for most women, a miscarriage of a wanted pregnancy is far more traumatic than an abortion of an unwanted pregnancy? And you do understand that medical abortions are done, especially the later term ones for medical reasons? 

    Also, why do you think cancer surgery, which is far more dangerous and invasive should not be thoroughly explained to the patient? 

     

    Abstinance can and should be talked about in a positive fashion and not as some uptight, prudish option because becoming sexually active before understanding all the possibilities can have dire consequences that can end with suicide or life-long issues, let alone dealing with an unwanted pregnancy.

    Really? Abstinence-only is the reality for a lot of sex-ed in this country. And abstinence-only doesn’t include any information about masturbation which would make abstinence a more appealing option. Abstinence along with accurate info on safe sex, sexual identity, setting sexual boundaries is ideal but will never pass in many places in this country. Alone, abstinence has a piss-poor success rate and if something has a piss-poor success rate, then we shouldn’t have it as the only option. 


    The debate seems to be all about the woman, but as in business and other things in our lives, she did not get pregnant all by herself.  The debate should become an honest and open discussion.  The things I’d like to see discussed would not bring back the stone-age or turn the clock back.

    Abortion and birth control have been around since men and women figured out that sexy time can lead to babies. Your proposal is basically to go back to the 1850s where women were legally property and did not have the legal right to just about anything. That was a crappy time for women, we don’t want that again and neither do most men. Most couples do make their reproductive health decisions together, but ultimately it is the woman whose life and health are being put at risk, it is her body that is being occupied for 9 months, therefore the ultimate right to decide goes to her. 

  • purplemistydez

    Exactly been.  I’m pro-choice for all 9 months because I trust women and know most abortions happen in the first trimester.  People do not give women enough credit.  They assume we would wait until the last minute.  That is incredibly insulting to think of women like that.  Of course we would get an abortion as soon as possible if it is elective.  The abortions in the second and third trimester are usually done on wanted pregnancies that went wrong.

  • lcmae

    I am terribly sorry for your situation.  I’m also sorry you felt the need to strike out at me because I have a differing opinion.  I was not saying that abstinance should be the only type of sex education or imposed as a singular option, but that it can be a part of it.  Plenty of people are abstinent because of choice or personal situation and should not be ridiculed for it.  I remember being ridiculed for being a prude, cold, and told that something was wrong with me; nothing to the extent that you’ve experienced.  I wish I could change it for you, but I can’t.  I can only empathize.

    I did not imply anything other than abstinence is something that a lot of people fight to not have in sex education, as if it is not natural to abstain.  We can abstain from other things, but if we abstain from sex, something must be wrong with us, when nothing is.  As for Natural Family Planning, it can work for some and it also takes a lot of work.  I did not promote it in my post.

    There is nothing convenient when discussing the issues of abortion.  You bring your experience to the discussion and it is an important and valuable part to honestly discuss some of the issues people face.  I am sorry that you feel that you’d rather have been aborted.  As I said, nothing is convenient.  There are also a lot of other things that can cause problems with the things you wrote about.  One of them is a lack of respect for others and their differences.  Another is a lack of support, and others too numerous to list.

    I do believe that life begins at conception, but I also believe that our bodies miscarry for various reasons.  It is not the same as a medical abortion.  I hope that there will be a time when reasons for abortions are few and far between; that more people who aren’t remotely prepared for disease, pregnancy, or the possible emotional damage from casual sex will consider their options, including abstinence, before they have a decision to make about an unwanted pregnancy.  I’d rather focus on the issues that lead to unwanted pregnancies.  It isn’t simply a lack of contraception or access to medical abortion, we need to address abuse, poverty, unemployment, culture, and a myriad of other things.

  • give-em-hell-mary

    And later abortions cost $20,000 to $30,000!  What low-income or well-off woman would frivolously skip an early $500 abortion for a more dangerous $20-30,000? –  only a woman with cancer or a dead or dying fetus!

  • ljean8080

    their child’s life AFTER it is born?

  • jennifer-starr

    Is there some reason that you continually dredge up pointless strawmen and red herrings??   No one here endorses infanticide, Ever. 

  • lcmae

    You can have an honest discussion with someone who is Pro on either side and in between.  Not all the information on either side is lying.  There is a lot of factual information, but it seems to be used to convey different opinions and trying to refute each side.  You mention that it is my opinion that abortion can have serious consequences.  Women die from complications from legal medical abortion.  That is not an opinion.  Simply justifying abortion because medical abortion is safer than childbirth is disingenuous.

    The author of the essay brought up the issue of pregnancy and jobs late in her essay.  The lack of support for maternity is one reason for considering abortion.  She compared Western Europe to the United States and how abortions are less there than in the United States.  Because I don’t have the exact same or concurring opinion, my response is not suitable here?  I was thanking her for a well thought out essay and that she finally added that information.

    You assume that a newborn can be taken care of by someone else.  That is not necessarily so, unfortunately.  Adoption is quite expensive.  Social services are overflowing in many areas, and some people don’t feel they have other options.  We talk about viability, but the reality is true viability does not happen for quite awhile after birth.  Hopefully, a birthed baby has a relationship with someone willing to care for it until it reaches a stage that it can survive on its own, if it must.  We confuse the word parasite, as well, in the discussion of abortion.  A parasite is a different species from its host.  There is a heterospecific relationship.  While a parasite and a human zygote are metabolically dependent on the host, they are different.  It may be of the opinion of the host that the human zygote is not wanted, but for the most part, it is not a detrimental invader like some people want to convey.  Women can be successful, healthy, etc., despite an unwanted pregnancy.  I’m not saying she must go through with the pregnancy, but there are those who would immediately tell a woman who is faced with pregnancy, unwanted or not, that the pregnancy will keep her from finishing school, subject herself and her baby to a life of poverty, and other things.  I’ve experienced this from some “pro-choice” people.  I wouldn’t say that is the message from the entire Pro-Choice people, but it is a message being communicated.

    Abstinance is realistic.  It is realistic to be able to have self-control and think about our actions before we have sex, eat, do drugs, strike out at someone, quit our job, or do something that might have consequences we aren’t ready for.  People do it all the time.  A lot of people don’t, as well, but it doesn’t make abstinance unrealistic.  Some drugs can be fun, but we have consequences if we are caught.  My body, my choice.  Right?

    Just because people have sex doesn’t mean they always enjoy it.  Assumption on your part.  I’m glad you find it fun.  And I did say our society condones sex.  It is everywhere in all perceptions and persuasions.  Some places do have comprehensive sex education that does deal with relationships.  That is a good thing, in my opinion.  Teens (adults, too) need to know they are okay whether they don’t engage in sex or, when they do, they have full knowledge of preventing disease, pregnancy, and emotional trauma.  They shouldn’t be discouraged to involve their parents in the discussion, either.

    I guess you assume I am not a woman.  It doesn’t matter.  I’ve experienced that before.  I agree, women are not emotional children that need to be told what to do.  Women should be provided with honest information that is not trying to promote one side or another.  I am personally opposed to abortion, but I have provided support to women who are going through the decision process and those that have had them.  It is a very difficult decision to make either way, but women should not be alone or misinformed.  That’s why I am not aligned to Pro-Life or Pro-Choice.

    You mention bodily autonomy.  Do you extend that to those that smoke (alone), drink, do drugs, are overweight, or abuse themselves?  Our society surely does not provide the same choice to them; woman or man.  As I mentioned, the current trend is that we each do not have autonomy.  We do not make our own success.  Someone helped us.  Women do not get pregnant on their own.  If a woman decides to continue with a pregnancy, the child becomes the responsibility of the co-maker, whether that person wanted the child or not.  If a woman chooses to have a medical abortion that is funded through tax-dollars, it does become a consequence for some.  Is it really pro-choice when not all people have the choice?

  • purplemistydez

    You can have an honest discussion with someone who is Pro on either side and in between.  Not all the information on either side is lying.  There is a lot of factual information, but it seems to be used to convey different opinions and trying to refute each side.  You mention that it is my opinion that abortion can have serious consequences.  Women die from complications from legal medical abortion.  That is not an opinion.  Simply justifying abortion because medical abortion is safer than childbirth is disingenuous. 

     

    Like what?  You make this claim with no facts.  What is the pro-choice lying about?  People die from complications from lots of medical procedures.  They just die alot less when abortion is legal and less than those that die from pregnancy.

     

    You assume that a newborn can be taken care of by someone else.  That is not necessarily so, unfortunately.  Adoption is quite expensive.  Social services are overflowing in many areas, and some people don’t feel they have other options.  We talk about viability, but the reality is true viability does not happen for quite awhile after birth.  Hopefully, a birthed baby has a relationship with someone willing to care for it until it reaches a stage that it can survive on its own, if it must.  We confuse the word parasite, as well, in the discussion of abortion.  A parasite is a different species from its host.  There is a heterospecific relationship.  While a parasite and a human zygote are metabolically dependent on the host, they are different.  It may be of the opinion of the host that the human zygote is not wanted, but for the most part, it is not a detrimental invader like some people want to convey.  Women can be successful, healthy, etc., despite an unwanted pregnancy.  I’m not saying she must go through with the pregnancy, but there are those who would immediately tell a woman who is faced with pregnancy, unwanted or not, that the pregnancy will keep her from finishing school, subject herself and her baby to a life of poverty, and other things.  I’ve experienced this from some “pro-choice” people.  I wouldn’t say that is the message from the entire Pro-Choice people, but it is a message being communicated.

     

    In the sense that any person other than the woman can care for the newborn.  The newborn is not dependent on the woman for nutrients.  A newborn can be separated by the woman and still be alive.  The quality of care is another issue.  The fetus being human does not make anymore special than the woman carrying it.  The pro-choice side does not assume to know the woman’s life and experinces that the pro-life side assumes.  A woman’s reasons are her own.  Whatever reason or no reason at all to have abortion is a woman’s right.  I will not pry into a woman’s personal life and tell her that her reason’s for having an abortion are incorrect.  That is intrusive and wrong.

     

    Abstinance is realistic.  It is realistic to be able to have self-control and think about our actions before we have sex, eat, do drugs, strike out at someone, quit our job, or do something that might have consequences we aren’t ready for.  People do it all the time.  A lot of people don’t, as well, but it doesn’t make abstinance unrealistic.  Some drugs can be fun, but we have consequences if we are caught.  My body, my choice.  Right?

     

    No it is not.  People have sexual urges.  We have tried abstinence education in school and it has failed miserably.  Just telling someone not to have sex is silly.  All abstinence does is prolong sex for a little while longer, so when they do have sex they are more likely to have sex with no protection.  Pregnancy rates are higher where abstinence only education is taught, because it is not rooted in reality with how people really act.  The drug war is a total fail as well.  What I put into my body is my choice.  Unfortunately many black men and women are being put into jail for a small amount of weed.  Money would be more better spent on rehab than putting everyone who does drugs in jail. 

     

    Just because people have sex doesn’t mean they always enjoy it.  Assumption on your part.  I’m glad you find it fun.  And I did say our society condones sex.  It is everywhere in all perceptions and persuasions.  Some places do have comprehensive sex education that does deal with relationships.  That is a good thing, in my opinion.  Teens (adults, too) need to know they are okay whether they don’t engage in sex or, when they do, they have full knowledge of preventing disease, pregnancy, and emotional trauma.  They shouldn’t be discouraged to involve their parents in the discussion, either.

     

    That is coercion and akin to rape.  Like any choice regarding a person’s body, they should not be forced to do anything against their will.  I agree that teens and adults need all information regarding sex and relationships to help make informed choices.  People tend to make better choices when they have all the facts good and bad.

     

    I guess you assume I am not a woman.  It doesn’t matter.  I’ve experienced that before.  I agree, women are not emotional children that need to be told what to do.  Women should be provided with honest information that is not trying to promote one side or another.  I am personally opposed to abortion, but I have provided support to women who are going through the decision process and those that have had them.  It is a very difficult decision to make either way, but women should not be alone or misinformed.  That’s why I am not aligned to Pro-Life or Pro-Choice.

     

    I align myself with the pro-choice side that has a history of informing women and letting them make their choices.  I see what happens when pro-lifers give out information to women.  Lies and religious guilty trips based on emotions instead of truths.  CPCs for example.  PP gives out accurate information without trying to push women in any one way.  I can not say that about the pro-life side.  Honestly any side that does not fully support a woman’s right to chose is wrong in my opinion. 

     

    You mention bodily autonomy.  Do you extend that to those that smoke (alone), drink, do drugs, are overweight, or abuse themselves?  Our society surely does not provide the same choice to them; woman or man.  As I mentioned, the current trend is that we each do not have autonomy.  We do not make our own success.  Someone helped us.  Women do not get pregnant on their own.  If a woman decides to continue with a pregnancy, the child becomes the responsibility of the co-maker, whether that person wanted the child or not.  If a woman chooses to have a medical abortion that is funded through tax-dollars, it does become a consequence for some.  Is it really pro-choice when not all people have the choice?

     

    Yes I do.  A woman may not get pregnant on her own, but she is the sole person the pregnancy is happening to.  Hyde Amendment prevents tax payer money to go to abortions unless rape, incest, or health of the mother.  No taxpayer money does not grant us the right to make medical decsions for a woman.  You retain the choice for your body and only yours.  You cross the line when you try to make choices for some one else.  How hard is it for you to mind your damn business?  Why do you feel like you have the right to involve your self into another persons private matters?

     

  • thalwen

    Simply justifying abortion because medical abortion is safer than childbirth is disingenuous.

    When your alternative to abortion is forced birth, it is perfectly reasonable to note that the latter option has many more health risks than the former, especially if you don’t believe in exceptions for health and life.


    You assume that a newborn can be taken care of by someone else.  That is not necessarily so, unfortunately. 

    No it is. You can drop off a newborn at any hospital, police station or fire station. There are even special containers in some states just for that purpose. 

     

     I wouldn’t say that is the message from the entire Pro-Choice people, but it is a message being communicated.

    I wouldn’t say that the message from the anti-choice people is that every woman that has sex is a dirty slut that deserves to be punished with a baby but it’s a message being communicated. 


    You mention bodily autonomy.  Do you extend that to those that smoke (alone), drink, do drugs, are overweight, or abuse themselves?  Our society surely does not provide the same choice to them; woman or man. 

    So, you’re not allowed legally to be overweight, to smoke, or drink? Oh wait, you are, and we provide medical treatment and social supports without controversy to mitigate the consiquences.


  • lcmae

    I represent every single American?  How about the married ones?  I think I’ll only represent myself, but thanks.  :)

    What source(s) are you requesting?  A compilation of euphemisms for the human zygote?  I’ve heard it referred to as a bunch of cells, nothing more than a hangnail, a parasite, and several others.  I always wonder, if it is not human, will it become a puppy or a tree after nine months.  Do you want a biology sources?

    I’m glad we can agree on the corporate personhood.

    Did I call any woman feeble-minded or infer we only make decisions based on emotions?  I truly thought I could have a rational discussion without deriding comments or ridicule.  I guess not in your instance and we’ll just devolve into the typical lack of respect for differing opinions type of repartee known for the comment regions posts.  I’ll bite, though, because you asked me questions.

    I’ve experienced a few miscarriages, so I can identify that it can be traumatic.  It can also be somewhat of a relief.  My sister had an abortion many years ago (legal and with moral support) and to this day she looks for validation.  Anecdotal, I know.  I can’t speak for most women, though.  Do you have a source for your “fact”?  Are there any other types of abortion other than medical?  Getting an abortion is a medical procedure, correct, whether as a birth control measure or for the health of the woman anytime during the course of a pregnancy?  Did I say cancer surgery shouldn’t be thoroughly explained?  I thought I wrote that all medical procedures should be.

    Gosh, there you go again.  You asked me for source and then you write about Abstinence-only education is the reality for a lot of sex-ed in this country.  I did not say anything about abstinence-only education, but that abstinence should be a part of the education so that those people who choose the self-control method or are abstinent for other reasons aren’t looked at as prude or that something is wrong with them.  Abstinence is 100% effective, non-abstinence has varying degrees of success or failure rates.  Masturbation might make abstinence more appealing for some or it just might exacerbate disappointment in not having sex.  That is a matter of opinion, I guess.

    Thanks for the tip that abortion and birth control has been around since men and women figured out that sexual intercourse can lead to babies.  I don’t know how I missed that one.  Were you alive during the 1850′s?  Which part of the world were you living at the time?  Goodness, nowhere did I propose to go back to a time before legalized abortion.  I would like to have honest discussions, though, not scare tactics that a pregnacy will ruin the life of a young woman because she wouldn’t be able to complete school, won’t have her parents support, will have a life of poverty, and other mistruths.  I’m not saying that those things aren’t possibilities, but they aren’t set in stone, either.

    In all seriousness, the debate of the Pros, is more about politics and dividing people.  The ones caught in the middle are those who are facing the tough decision of abortion or birth, the guys who want to be part of the decision or take care of the baby, and the families of these women.  For me, it isn’t about choice, it is about compassion for another human being, whether born or unborn, old, young, whatever.  We can disagree on the philosophical aspect of the issue, but if we aren’t willing to come together to help and respect each other for our differences of our nature or opinion and be willing to speak to each other respectfully, nothing is going to change.  I know what is right for me and what I would encourage someone to do, but I also know that it might not be the best decision for that person and I must respect it.  If I was faced with a young person or friend asking me what to do, I would provide as much information as I possibly could and be as supportive as possible.  If abortion was chosen, I would grieve for the loss of that life and continue to try to work towards a society where abortion was only a procedure for saving a woman’s life and not a birth control measure because there wasn’t support or a feeling that there weren’t other options.  There is room for open and honest discussion without the militant, the lack of respect, the ridicule, or the demand of I’m right, you’re wrong mentality.  I wish you all the best.  We may disagree, but I value our differences as much as I value our similarities.

  • thalwen

    I represent every single American?  How about the married ones?  I think I’ll only represent myself, but thanks.  :)

    When you imply that because you have no problem accessing birth control other people must not as well that does seem what you’re trying to do :)

    What source(s) are you requesting?  A compilation of euphemisms for the human zygote?  I’ve heard it referred to as a bunch of cells, nothing more than a hangnail, a parasite, and several others.  I always wonder, if it is not human, will it become a puppy or a tree after nine months.  Do you want a biology sources?

    What source do you have that a zygote is a person with the full rights of a born person? Of course it’s human, a hang nail is human too and alive until the skin cells die. The question is when does the zygote/fetus have the legal rights of a person. That isn’t a biology question, it is an ethical one that people have legitimate disagreement with. So where is your incontrovertible proof, besides your own personal opinion that a zygote qualifies as a legal person?

    Did I call any woman feeble-minded or infer we only make decisions based on emotions?  

    Yes.

    Anecdotal, I know.  I can’t speak for most women, though.

    You certainly try though. 

    You seperate miscarriages and abortions when you say one is natural and the other isn’t. An abortion that is done on a wanted pregnancy because of a problem with the fetus or the mother is the same as a miscarriage with the difference that it is induced by a doctor rather than naturally occuring and I really see very little difference between the two. Induced labour and natural labour both result in the same thing as do miscarriages and abortions. And yes, it’s just logic that most women would be more upset in losing a wanted pregnancy than an unwanted one. 


    I did not say anything about abstinence-only education, but that abstinence should be a part of the education so that those people who choose the self-control method or are abstinent for other reasons aren’t looked at as prude or that something is wrong with them. 

    Where are these places where they aren’t teaching abstinence? Comprehensive sex ed includes abstinence. If you want to stop the prude/slut dichotomy then the key is to empower girls so that they don’t equate their own personal worth with their sexual status. Abstinence is only as effective as people are willing to practise it and there are many that don’t which is why comprehensive sex ed is so important.


    I know what is right for me and what I would encourage someone to do, but I also know that it might not be the best decision for that person and I must respect it.  If I was faced with a young person or friend asking me what to do, I would provide as much information as I possibly could and be as supportive as possible.

    As much as you think pro-choice is pro-abortion, it is pretty much what you just wrote. 

  • crowepps

    In cases of illness or accident where a minor child is believed to be brain dead, the persons they ask to make the decision about shutting off the machine are the parents.  In fact, if ones child is an adult in the same situation, with no other spouse or child to speak for them, the parents have the responsibility to make that final decision.  Most of us trust parents to make the best possible decisions for their children, even about whether and when they want to have children.

    I’ve always found it rather odd that so many people insist that the only way to get people to become parents is to force it on the unwilling.  Personally, I like children, and went through some risk and hardship to have mine, and most of the women I know were equally eager for theirs.  Seems to me some people must really loathe children if they feel being a parent is such a hardship and requires so much sacrifice that the only way to get women to participate is to mandate it by law, keep women too ignorant of their own biology to avoid it, and stigmatize women harshly if they are believed to have “escaped”.

  • theprinterlady

    This article expresses my changed viewpoint perfectly. It is difficult for me to explain to people why I still consider myself “anti-abortion” and yet am so incensed by what the GOP is doing… I wish more “pro-life” people could come to realize how “anti-life” their policies actually are…. and what they are REALLY about, which is trying to keep women who are poor, or not married, from having sex. They are (apparently) not worthy of the benefits of sex (the relationship enrichment and fulfillment)… because the stereotype is that poor women who can’t afford more kids MUST be unmarried and morally irresponsible (otherwise she wouldn’t want or need an abortion). When you boil away the chicken fat, the “consequence free” sex thing is what this is REALLY all about… as if it is a given that sex “must” have consequences.  The accusation is that women who cannot afford children (and presumably those who cannot affort pregnancy due to their health, or women who have genetic defects in the parental line) should just say “no”… it worked so well for the use of drugs, after all. 

     

  • theprinterlady

    This article expresses my changed viewpoint perfectly. It is difficult for me to explain to people why I still consider myself “anti-abortion” and yet am so incensed by what the GOP is doing… I wish more “pro-life” people could come to realize how “anti-life” their policies actually are…. and what they are REALLY about, which is trying to keep women who are poor, or not married, from having sex. They are (apparently) not worthy of the benefits of sex (the relationship enrichment and fulfillment)… because the stereotype is that poor women who can’t afford more kids MUST be unmarried and morally irresponsible (otherwise she wouldn’t want or need an abortion). When you boil away the chicken fat, the “consequence free” sex thing is what this is REALLY all about… as if it is a given that sex “must” have consequences.  The accusation is that women who cannot afford children (and presumably those who cannot affort pregnancy due to their health, or women who have genetic defects in the parental line) should just say “no”… it worked so well for the use of drugs, after all. 

     

  • elburto

    8. Can women trust men with their general safety, life, and well-being?

    Given that the biggest cause of maternal mortality is murder by a male partner, them I’d say the answer is an obvious and emphatic NO.

    WRT question 12, you are aware that not all women “need” men for anything,, yes?

    Not for sex, not for companionship, not for co-parenting, mol even to put up shelves. For quite a few of us, the amount of male involvement we “need” ranges from none, to a teaspoon full.

    Not to mention that the children of two mothers tend to outperform other kids on many levels. How queer!

  • elburto

    It’s because we despise sick, deranged, victim-blaming pigs who mock survivors of childhood rape by spouting inane platitudes at them.

    It’s because we detest mansplanations on what we should, or shouldn’t be allowed to do with our OWN bodies.

    You are utterly irrelevant. You can never become pregnant, never give birth, and never be disabled or disfigured by those processes.

    Your input into pregnancy, the entire single gamete, does no harm to you. Your organs aren’t rushed to breaking point, your bones aren’t weakened, your ligaments and muscles are not altered, your skin does not stretch, your immune system is not suppressed, your brain chemistry and mental state are not altered, your heart is not strained, your teeth remain strong, your digestive system is not flung into chaos, and your bowel and bladder function as normal.

    That’s why it’s not your choice, and why it never will be.

    Go away. Don’t return until you’ve reached the minimum standard for human decency. 2050?

  • elburto

    Are there any other types of abortion other than medical?
    So wait… you’re pontificating on a subject you’re not fully informed on? Wow. I wouldn’t dare.

    Spontaneous abortion – This occurs when the body rejects the zygote/embryo/foetus, and expels the contents of the uterus.

    Incomplete spontaneous abortion – embryonic or foetal death occurs, but for some reason the body fails to recognise this. There are three possible outcomes: waiting for the body to abort on it’s own, medical intervention, or surgical intervention.

    Medical abortion – The pregnancy is ended using drugs such as miferristone and misoprostol. These can be administered orally, either by swallowing them, or placing them against the buccal or sublingual mucosa.

    The result is indistinguishable from a spontaneous abortion.

    Surgical abortion – The method varies according to the gestation. Vacuum aspiration is used early in pregnancy. A thin cannula is passed through the cervix and the contents of the uterus (products of conception) are suctioned out

    . Dilation and curettage is used when vacuum aspiration is no longer appropriate, The uterus is dilated, and a tool (curette) is used to detach the placenta from the uterine wall, and to remove the foetus. The inner surface of the uterus is cleared of any remaining productS of conception using vacuum aspiration.

    For the latest stage pregnancies where therapeutic abortion is required, intact dilation and extraction is used. Usually the foetus is given an injection to stop it’s heart. The cervix is dilated, forceps are used to remove the foetus, and the contents of the skull are removed to allow easier cervical passage, and prevent damage to the woman.

    The rest of the PoC are then removed via vacuum aspiration and D&C.

    In my country ID&X is not used. Instead, unless it would risk the woman’s life or health, after the foetus has had it’s heart stopped, labour is induced. The woman is offered drugs to minimise distress and pain. This method allows her to hold the baby and say goodbye if sin wants to, as with any other stillbirth. Some hospitals offer a special photography service, should the family wish to have a memento.

    Surgical intervention is typically reserved for emergent situations.

    Elective abortion is one chosen by the woman. Therapeutic abortion is done when the foetus is incompatible with life, or the woman’s health is at risk.

    Finally, adoption is irrelevant. It is the solution to unwanted parenthood, not unwanted pregnancy. The American adoption industry is corrupt and dangerous, making money out of desperate, scared, and damaged people.

  • ack

    Being pro-choice is about fighting for women and girls to have control over their reproductive lives. We fight for it because women and girls have the right to create their own life plan, rather than being forced into pregnancy and childbirth when they’re not ready or if they’re just not interested in having kids. Family planning helps women and girls complete their educations and get careers stabilized before having families. Your view is incredibly insulting, not only to pro-choice people, but to women and girls who use birth control and obtain abortions. Using contraception IS behaving responsibly. Getting tested and being upfront about STI status IS behaving responsibly. And yes, getting an abortion IS behaving responsibly; women and girls look at the totality of circumstances in their lives and make a decision that’s best for them and often their children. It’s not flippant.


    The prochoice movement doesnt stress this.  there is no awareness of sexual responsibility or respect for oneself, it is simply, “do what you believe needs to be done”. 


    You’re apparently woefully unaware of the massive campaigns by Planned Parenthood for people to get tested and engage in safer sex. Additionally, people who engage in non-pro-creative sex don’t lack self-respect.

    just as a disclaimer from a man, abortion and pro-choice may be liberating as a woman, but it makes you look irresponsible, sloppy and ridiculous from a male my perspective.

    There, I fixed that for you. Plenty of men are pro-choice. 

  • ack

    a pregnancy is not a CONDITION

     

    Most women who have been through pregnancy would probably disagree with you. Pregnancy is dangerous; women and girls suffer a myriad of physical and emotional harms during it. And then you get to childbirth, which is arguably the worst pain a human can experience. Why do you think you have the right to force another person to expel an 8 pound object out of a 10 cm bodily orifice, ripping all of the tissue as it comes out? Do you believe I should be able to force you to do the same if it saved someone’s life?

     

     its defeating the purpose of the sex that you previously had


    Sex has more than one purpose. It’s fun, it relieves stress, it brings people closer together in a relationship, and it’s a biological drive. The vast majority of sex acts serve those purposes without resulting in a pregnancy or even with pregnancy as the desired result, so why is pregnancy the purpose? I’d argue that the practical purpose of sex is pleasure.


  • ack

    What if the birth is essential to fulfil a prophecy to destroy Voldemort?


    Interestingly, the prophecy in question sort of addressed that… Not directly, of course, but there were several pregnancies that had the potential to result in The Child Who Lived. Anyhoo, tangent. ;) But thanks for making HP even awesomer for me.

  • ack

     I realize there are those that want to limit it, but the options are available if someone chooses to use it or not. 

    First off, the lack of sex ed presents a barrier to people accessing and successfully using contraception. If they don’t know what it is, where to get it, or how to use it effectively, then they can’t benefit. Second, even if people are aware that they can get it, there’s massive costs associated. Take Title X; it’s a wildly successful family planning program, but there are still access issues. The services through Title X are only free if you’re at or below the federal poverty level. In 2012, that level was $11,170 for a single person. Yes, you read that right. If you make $12,000/year, you have to pay something for the services. So paying for the exam as well as the monthly cost of the pills is a huge barrier. On top of the cost of the visit and the contraception itself, you have to get to the appointment and potentially the pharmacy. For women in rural areas or women in urban areas without good public transportation systems (I’m looking at you, Phoenix), just getting there is an issue. Then you have to go back every month in time to start a new cycle of contraptives. 


    I would suggest that it is because the United States is the only country with First World status, and one of at total of three nations, that does not provide some sort of job security for pregnant women.


    I totally agree that this is an issue. The FMLA is a joke. Just started a new job and find yourself pregnant? Too bad, your employer doesn’t have to give you parental leave for 12 months after your start date. Ordered on bedrest four weeks before your due date? If you don’t have the sick time, your employer can fire  you. But we don’t see people who are supposedly so enamored with babies taking these issues on. Women’s advocacy groups like PP, NOW, and NARAL do. That’s the point of the original post; that the mainstream movement to eliminate abortion rights doesn’t actually advocate for policies that reduce the number of abortions, protect pregnant women, or provide stability for families.


    Yes, it is reliant upon the woman’s body, but it is a human being, none-the-less.  Somewhere along the line of its development it will die.  Even humans that have been born must rely soley on others until it is capable of gathering the basic necessities to survive.  If that is the argument for abortion before birth, then we also should allow those women and men who find they can not afford to support the baby to terminate its life, as opposed to finding other sources that can provide the necessary resources to help the human continue its developmental cycle. I don’t propose that as a reality or option, but it is a valid argument if we are talking about being able to sustain life without some sort of physical support.


    People who don’t want to care for their children can turn them over to the state. That’s the difference. In the case of an unwanted pregnancy, the only way for the woman or girl to stop the fetus from co-opting her body and threatening her health and life is abortion. You may not like looking at it this way, but we allow people to kill in self-defense. If someone was attempting to hook himself up to you for nine months in order to save his live by sapping your bodily resources, anyone would support your right to use whatever force was necessary to stop it precisely because that’s a gross violation of your freedom. Even if it was your fault he was in that position. Bodily autonomy is enshrined in legal precedent, and it’s a constitutional right.


    It is not removing a hang nail or a cancerous lesion.  Abortion is a medical procedure that can have serious consequences for the woman, and, in my opinion, it should be thoroughly explained like any other medical procedure so the people or person involved can make an informed decision and have the after-care and support necessary.


    Childbirth is far more dangerous than abortion, but we don’t see people passing laws mandating that doctors explain all the risks to women who just found out they’re pregnant so they can make an informed decision about whether to continue the pregnancy. No reputable study has shown a negative effect on women’s mental health after an abortion, but they sure as hell do after childbirth. Furthermore, a lot of these so-called informed consent laws relating to abortion force doctors to relay misinformation and outright lies. 


    http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/article/2012/07/25/when-lying-to-women-is-mandated-care-informed-consent-and-abortion

     

    I appreciate your respectful tone, even if we obviously disagree on the issue. 




  • crowepps
  • matthewchoffman

    This article reads like little more than a rationalization of an indefensible position. Let’s look at the false arguments.

    1. The New York Times says restrictive laws don’t reduce abortion rates.

    This argument has been answered many times. Studies that don’t control for cultural factors or income differences will not yield proper results, and the study reported failed in that respect. If we compare abortion rates among homogeneous entities, like states of the United States, we find that the states with more restrictive laws generally have lower abortion rates, and states that implement such laws, like Texas, reduce their rates. To see a breakdown of the data, go here: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/badcatholic/2012/11/how-i-lost-faith-in-the-pro-life-movement-rebuttal-up-in-hurrrrr-part-1.html

    2. Pro-lifers should favor benefits for women like paid maternity leave, but they don’t, so they’re not really concerned about human life, and therefore the pro-life movement is a grand conspiracy to attack women.

    This is ridiculous.  The author makes presumptive statements about the motives of American conservatives in opposing measures they regard as socialistic, and doesn’t even bother to inquire about the reasoning. How about the fact that paid maternity leave drives up the cost of hiring women, creating a disincentive to do so, or suppressing wages in professions in which women are predominant?   Moreover the author knows, or should know, that American conservatives are strongly against big government on principle (something that is not so true of European conservatives), because they are afraid that it creates unhealthy forms of dependency that threaten individual freedom. I am not personally so concerned about this, but American conservatives generally are.

    3. Contraception reduces abortion rates? In fact, this is not well-established at all. Contraception encourages people to engage in out of wedlock sexual activity, driving up the number of unwanted pregnancies when the contraception fails, as it will tend to do in the long run.  Studies back this up. See: http://www.jillstanek.com/2011/01/study-spain-contraception-use-up-abortions-double-researchers-cant-figure-out-why/

    4. Finally, this article is simply unbelievable on its face. To claim that the pro-life movement, with which half of the country identifies, is a grand conspiracy to attack women, apparently out of some bizzare, irrational malevolence, is just plain ridiculous. It’s a particularly silly, melodramatic form of left-wing paranoia, and one that evades the obvious issue: human beings are being dismembered alive. Let me just repeat that. Human beings, in the United States and many other countries, are being dismembered alive, in the hundreds of millions. If that does nothing to stir one’s conscience, something is terribly wrong.

  • give-em-hell-mary

    “states with more restrictive laws generally have lower abortion rates”

    Because women then get abortions in other states or countries.  Irish women have very high rates of abortion, but they travel to England to get them.  Your shell game hides the real numbers under the carpet.

    “paid maternity leave drives up the cost of hiring women, creating a disincentive to do so, or suppressing wages in professions in which women are predominant”

    So you support firing pregnant women, unequal wages, and deadly, uninsured third world maternity drive-thrus?

    “conservatives are strongly against big government … because they are afraid that it creates unhealthy forms of dependency that threaten individual freedom”

    But you support policing all lady parts, then firing pregnant women, and picking their pockets to “teach them self-reliance” while all you spoiled playboys spend their stolen wages on Viagra hooker parties.

    “Contraception encourages people to engage in out of wedlock sexual activity, driving up the number of unwanted pregnancies when the contraception fails”

    Troll, without contraception, ALL husbands like my dad, Randall Terry, Deal Hudson, Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich, Speaker Boner, and Tennessee Rep. DesJarlais get sex elsewhere.  Jill Stanek is a lying professional mother-killer who is funded by pedophile priests.

    “human beings are being dismembered alive. Let me just repeat that. Human beings, in the United States and many other countries, are being dismembered alive, in the hundreds of millions”

    Yes, that’s how the Vatican has punished millions of “heretics” and “witches” throughout its history.  Its “hospitals” secretly sever women’s pubic bones to keep them incubating for pedophile priests.  Google obstetric fistulas to get a clue why all you misogynists cheat on and trade in your brood mares. 

    I’ll bet if I googled you, your own sex scandals would pop up.

     

  • ljean8080

    Mary,stop crossing the line.

  • jennifer-starr

    What line would that be, exactly? 

  • give-em-hell-mary

    You belong to and defend a pedophile- and war criminal-protecting cult and you accuse me, another victim of your cult, of crossing the line?  Your consecrated Kool Aid has definitely addled your brain!

  • ljean8080

    personal attacks.

  • give-em-hell-mary

    And yet you attack me with insulting and false claims.

  • ljean8080

    you?

  • give-em-hell-mary

    You have accused me of attacking people with DS and have repeatedly called me hateful, mentally ill and stupid because I won’t excuse your misogyny cult.

  • ljean8080

    i have not called you anything.show me where I did.

  • give-em-hell-mary

    Further up on this thread:

    “will you please stop calling people with Down Syndrome”accidents’.it’s demeaning.”

    You twisted my words to make me look bad.

    You accused me of hating and mistreating the daughter who triggered her mother’s lethal face cancer:

    http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/article/2012/10/07/birth-control-prevents-abortion-should-be-obvious-but-sadly-disputed#comment-73690

  • ljean8080

    The changes in her Mother’s body did.you act like it is all the daughter’s fault.

  • jennifer-starr

    If this woman had never continued her pregnancy, or better yet, never conceived it in the first place, she would not have ended up with face cancer. She would still be alive today. 

  • ljean8080

    It was her choice not the daughter’s.The girl had no say in her being  born.

  • give-em-hell-mary

    Why do you fetal idolators always blame and hate the bullied, disfigured and murdered mothers?  I told you before that I blame lying forced birthers and abusive fathers, but you insist on letting those criminally culpable perps off the hook.  Fetuses are like biowar injections, clubs, knives, guns and fists.  If the injections and weapons are kept locked up and men keep their fists in their pockets, these deadly weapons misused on devalued women would not be a problem.  Fetuses wouldn’t be a problem if they weren’t forced on unwilling and/or unhealthy women.  You fetal idolators lie about the cancer-pregnancy connections because you selfishly hate other children’s mothers and don’t care if those orphaned children then get sexually trafficked by your murdered mother cult.  You selfishly care about your own mother, but no one else’s mother!  Even I who hate my abusive mom blame the genocidal RCC more than I blame her.

  • freetobe

    Prochoice is a mentality for the youth.. the subset of people who have no life plan, and dont really care about what they do to others, themselves and their future.

     

    and society needs to stop isolating abortion as a WOMAN’s issue.. opposing abortion stops men from getting off the hook as fathers-to-be. It is a humanity issue”

     

    That in my opinion is so far from the truth! I was raised in a very Catholic family and taught that the girl always had to be the one to say “no”. It was always the girls responsiblity to stop the man from sex and kissing,petting etc. I asked my mother why the boys could not stop themselves. She said “it was harder for them” Sorry that does not cut it in my book. It was really hard for me too. For years I thought that something was wrong with me because I thought about sex 24/7! It was always on my mind. It was a sheer battle for me to stay away from men because I did not think I could control myslef much less them! I did that until I turned 18 and could not stand it anymore! I was responsible because I was educated on reproduction and birth control. The science of birth control not fairy tales from the Bible. (Which by the way if you beleive in God then you also must realize that God created Math and science too!)

    Many men may have stayed with their partners at first but left eventually left the woman to fend for herself and her children alone. I heard that over and over as I was growing up and also many of my friends lost their boyfriends or husbands due to lack of male responsibility (which you people seem to blame ALL on the women). I know there are women who lack responsibliity as well but it is the woman who usually winds up with the children. We live  in a mans world where women must struggle every day just to survive. Men have not only abandoned their responsibilities but have made it very hard on women in the process. That is the mans problem not the womans. In other words you guys need to toughen up on yourselves instead of playing psuedo macho you need to play male RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR ACTIONS! being a jerk is NOT SEXY its a turn off!

    Today 50% of marriages fail. that tells me that the problem is NOT forcing women to be incubators and maids but that their mothers and fathers failed at being responsible parents. How do you plan on fixing such a difficult problem as that?  What about all the ABUSIVE self hating men out there? There is no fixing them. They are the ones who really hurt and kill women and then hurt their own children by irrespoonsible behavior that they will not even see a doctor to fix in most cases! We need to adapt to a changing world and live and let live. That is how it will always be regardless of how many of you Bible thumpers think otherwise.

    That is my opinion my outlook on life and I am sticking with it because I have lived through it and survived regardless of you self hating men!

  • ljean8080

    really classey

  • ack

    Prepare for the longest comment ever. Sorry, rhrealitycheckers.

     

    1. Abortion has gone down nationwide over the last ten years, both in states with highly restrictive laws and states with fewer restrictions. Since you brought up Texas: http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/sfaa/texas.html

    Texas has had a lower rate than the national one since the early 80s. The decreases are pretty parallel over the last 10 years. From 2000-2008, their rate of abortion per 1,000 women (which doesn’t include women who go to Mexico) has decreased by 2.3 abortions.

     

    Now let’s look at New York. New York historically has higher rates of abortion than the national stats and hasn’t implemented the restrictions we’ve seen over the last decade. http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/sfaa/new_york.html From 2000-2008, the rate of abortion per 1,000 women decreased by 1.5 abortions. 

     

    Just to make this more interesting, let’s look at Oregon. http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/sfaa/oregon.html

     

    From 2000-2008, Oregon decreased it’s abortion rate by 6.2 per 1,000 women. And they have none of the restrictions they have in Texas.

     

    Now, I realize that a lot of the restrictions have passed in the last few years, and we don’t have available data. But that also means that you can’t say that any of these things actually reduce rates, so looking at empirical data from Europe makes the most sense. When developed countries make abortion legal, safe and widely available AND support families AND make contraception and education on how to use it incredibly accessible, we see the lowest abortion rates in the world.

     

    2. The article is talking about the “pro-life movement,” not necessarily “pro-life” politicians. The organizations’ ONLY issue is supposedly abortion, and saving babies. So if that’s their priority, family leave for mothers AND fathers should be a priority, as should social programming that helps low-income people. If they really, honestly believe that abortion is murder, then raising taxes to provide social supports and advocating for stronger workplace policies regarding families is paramount. They don’t take positions on taxes, and they don’t stand on street corners holding up photoshopped pictures depicting the death of capitalism and how the country is going to shit because of it. If their organization is about saving babies, then it should be about saving babies. 

     

    3. Sigh.

    I actually read that study. Jill Stanek apparently didn’t, or doesn’t understand how social research works. The conclusion they came to (that they need more information) is because the study was limited in scope to reported contraceptive use and requests for pregnancy termination. Here are the issues the researchers themselves offered as possible explanations, but they’re not going to pick one because that wasn’t their research question:

    A. Spain has increased its reporting of induced abortions.

    B. They didn’t look at compliance. A lot of those people using contraception may have been using it wrong.

    C. Gender disparities in sexual health, particularly at lower socioeconomic levels. Girls are pressured to engage in sex, stigmtized if they talk about condoms or ask him to withdraw, and are expected to deal with the fallout. This results in inconsistent use.

    D. The effect of a growing immigrant population. 

     

    But don’t worry! We have a multitude of studies that show precisely the opposite.

     

    First, your idea that somehow contraception increases premarital and out of wedlock sex is untrue. The rates of premarital sex have remained stable since the 1950s, before the pill was available: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16287113/ns/health-sexual_health/t/even-grandma-had-premarital-sex-survey-finds/

     

    Sorry for the weird formatting, but c&p from Ebsco doesn’t work all that well in this format:

     

    Study in St. Louis: http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/10/04/14224132-free-birth-control-cuts-abortion-rate-dramatically-study-finds?lite

     

    Study in Georgia (the country): Contraception Matters: Two Analysis of the Declining Abortion Rate in Georgia

    Images

    Authors:

    Serbanescu, Florina

    CONTEXT: The abortion rate in the republic of Georgia is the highest documented in the world. Analyses using reliable data are needed to inform programs for preventing unintended pregnancy and abortion. METHODS: Data from two large national household surveys conducted in 1999 and 2005 were used to assess the relationship between contraceptive use andabortion. Two analytic approaches were used. First,abortion rates were estimated for three subgroups: users of modern contraceptives,users of traditional contraceptives and nonusers of contraceptives. A decomposition method was then used to estimate the proportions of change in abortion rates that were due to changes in contraceptive use and to changes in use- and nonuse-specific abortion rates. Second, a methodology developed by Westoff was used to examine abortion rates among contraceptive users and among nonusers with differing risks of unintended pregnancy. RESULTS: According to data from the 60 months before each survey, contraceptive prevalence among married women increased by 23% (from 39% to 48%) and the marital abortion rate declined by 15% (from 203 to 172 abortions per 1,000 woman-years) between 1999 and 2005. Both approaches showed that nonuse of any method was the principal determinant of the high unintended pregnancy rate and that the increase in use of modern contraceptives was a significant contributor to the recent drop in abortion (explaining 54%of the decline, according to the decomposition analysis). CONCLUSIONS: Efforts to increase availability and use of modern family planning methods in Georgia should lead to a direct and measurable decline in the abortion rate. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

    Study in Iran: Rates of Induced Abortion in Iran, Irfani, Amir, and McQuillan, Kevin

    Iran has experienced a dramatic decline in fertility in recent decades, but limited access to legal abortion continues to lead many women whose pregnancies are unwanted or mistimed to undergo clandestine, unsafe abortions. No official data on the abortion rate in Iran have been collected, however. This study uses the 2000 Iran Demographic and Health Survey to estimate the abortion rate for the country as a whole and for specific regions, and to explore the role of contraceptive use and religiosity in explaining regional variations inabortion rates. We estimate the total abortion rate for the country to be 0.26 abortions per married woman, and the annual general abortion rate to be 7.5 abortions per 1,000 married women aged 15–49. We find that the negative effect of modern contraceptive use on the abortion rate is 31 percent greater than the negative effect of religiosity, and we highlight the implications of these findings for policies on reproductive health and family planning.


    Study in the EU: 


    Please cite this paper as: Gissler M, Fronteira I, Jahn A, Karro H, Moreau C, Oliveira da Silva M, Olsen J, Savona-Ventura C, Temmerman M, Hemminki E, the REPROSTAT group. Terminations of pregnancy in the European Union. BJOG 2011; DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2011.03189.x. Objective To study the current legislation and trends in terminations of pregnancy in the European Union (EU). Design Data were collected on legislation and statistics for terminations of pregnancy. Setting Population-based statistics from the EU member states. Population Women in reproductive age in the 27 EU member states. Methods Information on legislation was collected for all 27 EU member states. Statistical information until 2008 was compiled from international ( n = 24) and national sources ( n = 17). Statistical data were not available for Austria, Cyprus and Luxembourg. Main outcomes measures Terminations of pregnancy per 1000 women aged 15-49 years. Results Ireland, Malta and Poland have restrictive legislation. Luxembourg permits termination of pregnancy on physical and mental health indications; Cyprus, Finland, and the UK further include socio-economic indications. In all other EU member states termination of pregnancy can be performed in early pregnancy on a women’s request. In general, the rates of termination of pregnancy have declined in recent years. In total, 10.3 terminations were reported per 1000 women aged 15-49 years in the EU in 2008. The rate was 12.3/1000 for countries requiring a legal indication for termination, and 11.0/1000 for countries allowing termination on request. Northern Europe (10.9/1000) and Central and Eastern Europe (10.8/1000) had higher rates than Southern Europe (8.9/1000). Northern Europe, however, had substantially higherrates of termination of pregnancy among teenagers. Conclusion A more consistent and coherent reporting of terminations of pregnancy is needed in the EU. The large variation of termination rates between countries suggests that termination of pregnancy rates may be reduced in some countries without restricting women’s access to termination. Sexual education and provision of access to reliable and affordable contraception are essential to achieve low rates of termination of pregnancy


    And seriously, that was two searches of peer reviewed journals. There were a whole lot more if you have access to a library.


    4. The OP was very clear that she was talking about the organizations, not necessarily the people on the ground. For her, this used to be an issue of saving babies, but then she realized that the methods the organizations espouse are ineffective at best and counter-productive at worst. This also points to your assertion that over half the country identifies with the movement; they don’t. They may call themselves pro-life, but the vast majority of Americans believe abortion should be legal. (They also believe Planned Parenthood should be federally funded.) Since the organizations are the ones who set the agenda, reasonable people who are against abortion rights but support real world solutions aren’t heard.


    Additionally, your perceptions of what happens during an abortion are highly skewed. 90% of abortions occur before 12 weeks. The fetus is 2 inches long. 62% occur before 9 weeks, when it’s at most the size of a peanut. No one is hacking up children.

     

    Finally, every day, 800 women die because of pregnancy complications worldwide. Access to safe, legal abortion saves lives and allows women AND men in developing countries to work toward economic stability for themselves and their families.

  • crowepps

    This is a great post, and helpful to anyone based in reality.

    Unfortunately, too many ProLife activists are instead based in mythos:

    “Good Women think messy, stinky sex is nasty and only have sex for children.”

    “Real Women WANT to be mothers!”

    “Good Mothers WANT to die for their children!”

    “Men were created to be Like God, but Women were only created to gestate more men.”

  • ack

    I just don’t understand how people can willfully and repeatedly ignore reputable scientific studies. The confirmation bias is astounding. Once or twice, sure. No one likes to be proven wrong. I’ve certainly been guilty of it. But with the veritable library of material we have linking contraception use to lower abortion rates, you’d think they’d be starting massive funds for long term reversible contraceptives. Which is why, when I see something repeatedly replicated or verified in multiple studies, I change my freaking mind.

     

    People who don’t like abortion have two choices. They can dig their heels in and pretend they can convince everyone in America that non-procreative sex is wrong AND get them to stop engaging it (as people who think they’re sinning are still getting busy), or they can take practical steps that actually reduce abortions. The choice that the major organizations have made clarifies their motivations, especially since they can’t pass laws making recreational sex illegal. From a public policy standpoint their platform is, well, a stupid strategy.

  • freetobe

    but if you are not pro or con on this subject than what are you? In the middle? That’s like being a little pregnant.

    Once again you are complaining that women are just to darn slutty in this day and age. Well back where I come from we women were trained like dogs to not let a man do anything with us like kiss or touch. That was our (girls) whole entire responsibility. Funny though it sounds like you are wanting women to be that way again I guess to make your guys life even easier so that if the girl does not fight you can just blame any sex that happens on her looseness and not your lack of restraint. Since when and where in the Bible does it say that ONLY the women must say NO? I think God was talking to both sexes on that subject. In other words it is BOTH genders duty to restrain from one another. Of course the men always get the exceptions of cheating on their virgin girlfriends  and looking at porn, going to strippers clubs and of course hookers. While us good girls get to sit at home and wish to be treated with real respect as in self respecting men.

    if you want to blame societies ills all on womans backs forever and a day this old tiresome arguement will never be resolved. Look inward!

  • anika1618

    Thanks to the ACA I didn’t have an abortion. 

     

    After I’d gotten married I lost my father’s health insurance, but because I’m under the age of 26 I was able to enroll again even though I was married because the Affordable Care Act was passed. I was so grateful to be covered again, I was always worried about getting sick or hurt when I wasn’t covered. My husband and I couldn’t afford to pay for health insurance for ourselves. Then, even though we were using birth control, I got pregnant. 

     

    My husband and I wanted a child in the future, when we were financially secure enough to afford one. We talked about getting an abortion, but ultimately decided not to because my father’s health insurance would cover prenatal care and the birth of the baby. I know that children are expensive and that pregnancy and birth are only the beginning of the expenses, but if I didn’t have health insurance I would absolutely have had an abortion. There is no way we could have paid for the baby to be born, an uncomplicated vaginal birth in a hospital costs around $10,000. Thanks to the ACA I can afford to at least have this baby, and my husband and I are excited to become parents.

     

    Other government programs will help us raise this child if we can’t find better paying jobs, and if that safety net wasn’t there I would also have had an abortion. I wouldn’t have a baby that I wouldn’t be able to feed. 

     

    Thanks for supporting policies that reduce abortion rates. 

  • freetobe

    “human beings are being dismembered alive.”   if you can call a blob a human being. The blob has no limbs to remove and most abortions are done before 8 weeks which makes the embryo a blob shape.

    If any fetus is dismembered it probably is brain dead,dead or very deformed. As in late term abortions. Doctors usually put the fetus to sleep before the procedure to spare the parents and the fetus any more pain then they are already feeling and or emotionally.

     

    If this were not a conspiracy the men would also have their reproductive rights restricted and removed from insurance. They however are not being forced to endure this discrimination. A man can get sterilized without being questioned. A woman has to find a doctor to “agree” to do it. Women BC was not always covered under her insurance. i guess viagra is more important than BC pills. because men only count women are just “pre-existing conditions”. The Catholic church never made a stink about viagra even thought in the Bible it states that once a wife goes through menopause the man and wife shall no longer have sex!

    Conservatives want to control women’s lives by using their bodies to trap them. Thats the truth!

     

  • logicaldebate

    Besides watering down the morality of abortion by claiming that women will get it if it is legal or not, it doesn’t change the act: ripping apart a baby in the womb. So, she bought into the idea that a zygote isn’t alive, I have heard it called a “tumor” on NPR. But, even if the zygote isn’t alive, most abortions aren’t done when the baby is a zygote. That distinction is important for the Pill, especially the Morning After pill or Plan B. While the pill “impedes” sperm,it doesn’t stop them, so there is still a chance that a fertilized zygote won’t be able to implant in the lining of the womb, she mentioned one or two percent. That, from a Catholic view, is an abortifactant. Devote Catholic pro-lifers tend to also be against contraceptives, including condoms, since the first commandment is to “be fruitful and multiply.” However, I know very few pro-lifers who do oppose the pill or condoms, since the vast majority of Catholics use birth control. This is attempting to use math to discredit a moral issue. To me its like Hitler saying that since 100% of Jews will die eventually, killing them now makes no difference. One is an immoral choice, the other is a natural act. Math will never change the morality, although it can be used to justify providing easier access to contraceptives, it can’t justify abortion.

  • logicaldebate

    Birth control pills cost 10$ through Wal-Mart. Condoms are handed out in school as low as 8th grade, sometimes even 6th grade.  Claiming Obamacare will increase the availability of birth control, therefore, is unsubstantiated at best.  There is no reason to believe that any more women will use birth control after Obamacare takes effect than before.  When you consider that all the health care plans have increased in price, co-pays, and co-insurance amounts, that ten dollars is dwarfed by the increased costs.


  • give-em-hell-mary

    Troll, you better arrest God for giving women 450+ natural abortifacients like coffee, tea and holy wine to save them from deadly, stinky obstetric bladder and bowel fistula incontinence and a zillion other gross complications just so your spoiled pedophile priests will have unlimited victims.  If you believed your own crap, you’d arrest yourself for consuming and/or serving these “baby-killers”.  You’d also be attending “baby” tampon funerals every month.

    And “You shall have no other gods before Me”is the First Commandment.  Did you snooze through your religion and debate classes?

  • prochoiceferret

    Birth control pills cost 10$ through Wal-Mart.

     

    What happens if you can’t safely use the $10 Wal-Mart pills?

     

    Condoms are handed out in school as low as 8th grade, sometimes even 6th grade.

     

    What about school districts where socially-conservative parents have seen to it that this doesn’t happen?

     

    Claiming Obamacare will increase the availability of birth control, therefore, is unsubstantiated at best.

     

    Actually, it’s been plenty substatiated. What you’re saying, on the other hand, hasn’t held up so swell.

     

    There is no reason to believe that any more women will use birth control after Obamacare takes effect than before.

     

    Except for women who want to use birth control and were unable to afford it before Obamacares.

     

    When you consider that all the health care plans have increased in price, co-pays, and co-insurance amounts, that ten dollars is dwarfed by the increased costs.

     

    Yes, prenatal care and birthing costs make $10 look positively dwarflike!

  • logicaldebate

    The fetus has arms, a head, and a heart, by 6 weeks. It is about the size of your thumb.  It is quite disgusting to see one out of the womb, and even wrost to see it cut in peices.  And that is at 6 weeks. By the time you get into the second or third trimester they fully formed child is being cut to peices.  The pictures look like the piles of bodies in the concentration camps.  The war on women is done in the womb, and if you support abortion after seeing the pictures you are heartless.

  • logicaldebate

    The fetus has arms, a head, and a heart, by 6 weeks. It is about the size of your thumb.  It is quite disgusting to see one out of the womb, and even wrost to see it cut in peices.  And that is at 6 weeks. By the time you get into the second or third trimester they fully formed child is being cut to peices.  The pictures look like the piles of bodies in the concentration camps.  The war on women is done in the womb, and if you support abortion after seeing the pictures you are heartless.

  • prochoiceferret

    The fetus has arms, a head, and a heart, by 6 weeks. It is about the size of your thumb.  It is quite disgusting to see one out of the womb, and even wrost to see it cut in peices.  And that is at 6 weeks. By the time you get into the second or third trimester they fully formed child is being cut to peices.

     

    So you’re saying we should ban abortion because you think it’s gross? What do you think of autopsies?

     

    The pictures look like the piles of bodies in the concentration camps.

     

    So you’re saying we should ban anything that reminds us of concentration camps? Would this include prisons and slaughterhouses?

     

    The war on women is done in the womb, and if you support abortion after seeing the pictures you are heartless.

     

    The war on women is done everywhere, and our support for a woman’s right to a safe abortion is based on a lot more than visual reasons. After seeing the arguments you’ve put forth, however, there’s a good case to be made that you are brainless.

  • logicaldebate

    Okay, so what percentage of women can’t use a generic birth control pill, since almost all of them have a generic version now?

     

    Almost no school districts restrict condom hand-outs now, and even if they did, there are many other places they can be obtained, and the majority of abortions aren’t done on High school students. Most women are over 20 and before 30, so that doesn’t really impact abortion either, it is a tiny amount of the 50 million abortions performed so far in the US.

     

    What women can’t aford 10 dollars a month, but can afford a 25% increase in their healthcare costs? So, show me any actual research that would indicated that more women will have access?  There is none. Every cost decrease will be met with a cost increase elsewhere.

     

    And NOTHING has been about prenatal care or birthing. The issue is 10$ verse over 25$ a month in increased health care costs, or more.

     

    Lastly, murdering a baby is still murder.  Look at the pictures, please. Even at 6 weeks it has a heart, and can suck its thumb! Babies are being cut out of the womb in peices. Please, morally defend that?

     

     

     

  • give-em-hell-mary

    Troll, some Wal-Marts won’t dispense BC pills, which usually cost $50-100 per month for women with zero insurance.  I know this because I needed them for acne during my many years without insurance.  Condoms certainly weren’t handed out in my Catholic or public schools!  If you quit listening to spoiled pedophile priests and got facts from insurance companies, you’d learn that insurance companies are eager to provide low-cost or free contraception because of their enormous long term savings.  Childbirth costs $10,000 to several million, depending on maternal and infant complications, not to mention resulting law suits.  Injured mothers and infants often need additional rounds of surgery, disability payments, and special education.  Anti-choice men love divorcing and skipping child support to such “ball and chain losers”.

  • logicaldebate

    The first of the TEN Commandments is “You shall have no other God before me.” The first Commandment in the Catholic Church is “Be Fruitful and Multiply” it is their reason behind opposing all birth control. There is a huge difference between a natural death, which is tragic, but often unavoidable, and an intentional act that causes the death of a baby. The rest of your big0ted rant doesn’t deserve reply.

     

  • prochoiceferret

    But, even if the zygote isn’t alive, most abortions aren’t done when the baby is a zygote.

     

    No, most abortions are done when the “baby” still has gills.

     

    While the pill “impedes” sperm,it doesn’t stop them, so there is still a chance that a fertilized zygote won’t be able to implant in the lining of the womb, she mentioned one or two percent. That, from a Catholic view, is an abortifactant.

     

    I think that’s more from a Catholic-clergy view, actually.

     

    Devote Catholic pro-lifers tend to also be against contraceptives, including condoms, since the first commandment is to “be fruitful and multiply.” However, I know very few pro-lifers who do oppose the pill or condoms, since the vast majority of Catholics use birth control.

     

    I doubt they see the Pill as an “abortifactant,” either.

     

    This is attempting to use math to discredit a moral issue. To me its like Hitler saying that since 100% of Jews will die eventually, killing them now makes no difference.

     

    Seems like you’re attempting to use bogus logic to discredit your moral reasoning. (And you know what? It’s working!)

     

    Math will never change the morality, although it can be used to justify providing easier access to contraceptives, it can’t justify abortion.

     

    That’s okay. We have bodily integrity and basic human rights to do that.

  • give-em-hell-mary

    Mother killer, “Be Fruitful and Multiply” is from Genesis and the child-raping RCC opposes contraception so its pedophiles will have countless victims and so repulsed playboy husbands won’t be stuck with stinky incontinent aging brood mares.  There is nothing holy about your misogynist heresies.

  • logicaldebate

    So Obamacare is going to fix everything from costs from a complicated birth, to special education?  Thats quite a rambling statement.  I think when Obamacare is fully implimented, you will be sorely disapointed.  You can’t rob peter to pay paul, the money comes from somewhere.

     

    I can see you are filled with rage and hate,  maybe you should see a priest.

     

     

     

     

  • rebellious-grrl

    I’m very thankful for ‪Affordable Care Act (ACA)‬ aka Obamacare for the simple reason of getting affordable birth control. This is an economic issue for me. I can’t take birth control pills for health reasons. I have opted for using a diaphragm. Prior to ACA it would cost $64 for the prescription plus the cost of spermicide which adds an additional cost between $7-20. As far as I know, spermicide (and other over the counter medicine) is not covered by ACA.

    My husband has been laid off for the the second time in three years. We are on a tight budget, so yes I very much appreciate ACA for affordable birth control. So yes, ACA this will increase my access (via affordability) to birth control.

    Even if you use condoms (which you say can be acquired for free – sometimes yes and sometimes no) you should be using spermicide with it, which is an additional cost.

    My health-care insurance (which I earn from my job) has increased minimally as it has every previous year. I don’t see a large or unusual rate increases due to ACA. Personally, I would rather pay more and have society on a whole have increased access to birth control and preventive screenings.

    BTW – preventative screenings are covered under ACA and insurance companies can’t deny coverage because of pre-existing conditions like pregnancy or breast cancer.  So that’s another benefit.

  • prochoiceferret

    So Obamacare is going to fix everything from costs from a complicated birth, to special education?

     

    By making contraception more easily available, Obamacares will reduce those costs.

     

    Thats quite a rambling statement.

     

    And you’re certainly good at writing them!

     

    I think when Obamacare is fully implimented, you will be sorely disapointed.  You can’t rob peter to pay paul, the money comes from somewhere.

     

    Does Peter run an emergency room popular with indigent folks, by any chance?

     

    I can see you are filled with rage and hate,  maybe you should see a priest.

     

    No thanks. But you clearly need to see an optometrist.

  • logicaldebate

    How is it bogus logic? The author is using the fact that babies die natual deaths in the womb to justify the act of ending a baby’s life.  That is the authors logic, and it is obviously flawed. Everyone dies naturally sometime, the fact of a natural death in no way justifies murder.

     

    How do human rights justify abortion?  Even the UN has condemned China’s sex-selective abortion as a human rights violation, so how can it be a human rights violation if it is sex selective, but not if it is just randomly killing a baby?  I beleive in Women’s rights, and I beleive they start when the woman is conceived.  You can’t argue the rights of a woman and deny the rights of the baby.

     

     

  • rebellious-grrl

    This was one of the reasons I left the Catholic church. The last time I attended mass the church I attened was in opposition to a teen health clinic opening in the area because they gave out condoms. I stood up during mass and blurted out how wrong they were. I walked out and never went back.

    This was many, many years ago. I’ve never regretted my decision to leave the patriarchal anti-woman Catholic church. 

  • logicaldebate

    But the pill DID cost that, and most women could get birth control for free through agencies like planned parenthood. The argument that the ACA will decrease abortion by increasing birthcontrol is what I take issue with. There is no evidence to support that claim.

  • give-em-hell-mary

    Fetuses grossly maim and kill mothers, thereby justifying all abortions as self-defense.

  • give-em-hell-mary

    And I’ll bet those “anti-condom” pervert priests could have kept that clinic busy with patients when the kids’ parents weren’t looking!

  • crowepps

    Using reliable, long-term birth control and reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies pays for itself in a number of ways.  First, it prevents pregnancies from starting in the first place, removing all the further costs of abortion, prenatal care and delivery of those pregnancies from the ledger, as well as the high costs of treating serious complications which can arise when a woman with pre-existing medical problems becomes pregnant.

    Second, since unexpected pregnancies have a higher incidence of complications, the greater the percentage of pregnancies that are planned, the lower the number of pregnancies with complications becomes, and the less expensive prenatal care becomes.  In addition, children born from planned pregnancies are less likely to be premature, are less likely to have birth defects, and are less likely to need expensive treatment in their first days and months of life, special education when they reach school age or lifetime support when severely disabled.

    Finally, planned pregnancies result in wanted children more likely to be valued by their parents, more likely to succeed in life, less likely to be poor, less likely to require foster care, and less likely to be be criminals imposing high costs on their fellow citizens with their crimes and then requiring the expensive intervention of the police, probation and prison systems.

    Truthful Sex Education plus Reliable Birth Control equals Planned Pregnancies results in Wanted Children who end up as Happy Adults with no need for psychiatrists.  Or priests.

    And all at an actual SAVINGS of money overall!

  • colleen

    I can see you are filled with rage and hate,  maybe you should see a priest.

    I can see you’re an abusive jackass who is unable to speak the truth or listen when the truth is spoken to you. Maybe you have seen too many Priests.

  • give-em-hell-mary

    Troll, bc is not free at PP, and only pedophile priests claim that bc increases abortion rates because they’re afraid of running out of fresh altar boys.

  • give-em-hell-mary

    Priests ruined my life.

  • crowepps

    Must say, find it ironic that this string of emotionalism, shock words, sentimentality and shaming was posted by someone calling themselves “logical debate”, since it contains neither.

  • rebellious-grrl

    ACA isn’t perfect, but it’s better than the status quo. Not sure what you are talking about saying, “You can’t rob peter to pay paul, the money comes from somewhere.” I would prefer a single payer system.

    Like I said in a previous post, ACA will be beneficial to people with pre-existing condition, preventative screening,  and access to birth control. ACA won’t fix everything, but it’s a start. My hope is that we will have a single payer system in the future.

    You have no ground to say Give em hell Mary is “Filled with rage and hate.” I understand her. I grew up under the oppressive thumb of Catholicism. When one is oppressed, rage and anger are a just emotion. I strongly disagree with you. I think Give em hell Mary speaks the truth. You should listen instead of making judgements.

  • rebellious-grrl

    It’s $10 if you have pharmacy benefits that cover a generic version. Some women can’t take the generic version and have to pay more for a non-generic prescription. Birth control pills are not free at Planned Parenthood. Trust me I’ve checked. Diaphragms are not free at Planned Parenthood, I’ve checked. You didn’t listen to what I said. I can’t take birth control pills. So no $10 prescription for me. Do you get that? If you’re going to argue with on the site you have to listen. You say you are logical but I don’t see it.

     

     

  • rebellious-grrl

    I’m sorry. I understand. 

     

  • rebellious-grrl

    As much as I’d like to argue with you point by point your logic fail, I’m leaving to sit by a fire with my hubby, drink some wine, and hopefully have some great non-procreative orgasmic sex later. See ya.

     

  • beenthere72

    Abortion rates in MA have been steadily declining and we have “Romneycare”.  

     

    Also consider that when women have access to affordable healthcare, there is a chance that they’ll be more inclined to continue pregnancies.   Is that not pro-life enough for you?

     

    http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/08/increased-access-to-health-care-may-decrease-abortions/261463/#

  • give-em-hell-mary

    “hopefully have some great non-procreative orgasmic sex”

    LOL!  That’ll make his pompous head explode! ♥♥♥

  • give-em-hell-mary

    Thanks!  A coalition of us RCC survivors can be pretty powerful.

  • freetobe

    Far from from it. In fact I care about EVERY living BORN and breathing on their own creature. That includes human infants of course the ones that are born. I can’t even kill bugs in my house. I catch them and put them outdoors!

    I am a vegan, against the death penalty and against all wars.

    I saw a fetus close up. My own in the toilet. At the time I did not know what it was. It was just a big blob and I could not really distinguish anything else about it except that GOD killed it!

    Have you seen what God and mother nature do? you might try watching some nature shows. LIFE IS BRUTAL for ALL living beings. Bears tear up fish alive and eat them and guess what so do humans. If you eat meat have you seen what they do in slaughterhouses? That piece of steak you eat may have been skinned alive and then dismembered. It may have been kicked an spat on or peed on. So don’t me that I am heartless. I know what goes on in this world and with humans there is no excuse for the things that humans do not just to animals but other humans that are alive and breathing on their own that are fully conscience and aware of every excruciating thing that is done to them! Tell it to God he created it all this way.