Just Have the Baby? A New Mom Reveals Why There Is No ‘Just,’ and Not Necessarily Any Justice Either


My husband and I just had a baby.

My first two trimesters weren’t easy (though they could have been worse), and then it got harder after I had my baby. So I have a lot more to say about the many reasons why this pregnancy has further revealed to me why it’s wrong and inhumane to make light of how difficult it is to “just have the baby,” as anti-choice extremists say everyone should have to do.

Two more months of decreasing mobility and shortness of breath weren’t the worst part by far.

On the less serious, but financially inconvenient, side, I’d started expanding past even the maternity clothes I bought early in pregnancy. By the end, none of my shoes fit over my swollen feet. It’s not a medical concern, but not everyone can readily afford to just turn over a wardrobe twice in less than a year, especially when there are all these exciting new expenses for baby clothes and supplies.

Nearly a month after the birth, I still can’t fit into my pre-maternity clothes or bear to wear a real bra, and I’m really glad that I don’t have to show up anywhere looking professional for a little while yet. If I can’t be somewhere in an outfit that includes a nursing tank right now, I can’t be there.

There were also worries about gestational diabetes. Pregnancy can give a person temporary diabetes, and if it does, it elevates their risk of getting full adult-onset diabetes after the pregnancy. There are also risks to the developing fetus, including too-rapid growth before birth, an increased risk of diabetes throughout its life, or stillbirth.

The results of my first glucose tolerance test were high, so they wanted to do a follow-up. Since a three-hour glucose tolerance test after fasting seemed like a bad idea for a patient with a history of passing out during blood draws on an empty stomach, my doctor had me test myself four times a day at specific times and follow a meal plan for gestational diabetics so they could settle the question.

I turned out not to have gestational diabetes, but the exercise was a huge hassle. When was the last time you picked out your lunch based on how many servings of meat, starches, fats, vegetables, and fruit it contained? Would it be easy for you to take the time and find a clean, stable place to stick a needle in your finger and test your blood four times a day? Then I found out on a pharmacy trip that a pack of 25 test strips, which I was supposed to use at the rate of four a day, cost $138 without insurance.

I asked my doctor what real diabetics do when they don’t have health coverage. She said that if they survive at all, they usually end up on Medicaid. And, well, of course they would.

So here’s another risk to pregnancy: getting an expensive, chronic, permanent health condition that imposes daily hassles and can significantly decrease life expectancy if you can’t afford to manage it well.

I’m sure the last month of pregnancy would have been all kinds of interesting, but I wasn’t going to find out. Friday, May 24, I had a prenatal checkup where everything seemed fine and my doctor was unconcerned about the weekend train trip my husband and I were taking to New York City. Monday, May 27, at about 3 a.m., I suspected that my water had broken. The medical advice line directed me to go to the nearest hospital at once and not to try to get home to Washington, D.C.

The doctor in the labor and delivery triage unit doubted that my water had broken because I wasn’t dilated, but an ultrasound confirmed that there was practically no amniotic fluid left around the fetus. They told me that if I didn’t start labor they’d have to induce to prevent infection. They admitted me. I went into labor, and delivered my son about 26 hours after my water broke.

The hospital bill was over $24,000. The anesthesiologist’s bill for the epidural was over $9,000. The presiding obstetrician’s bill was around $4,500. Those are just the bills we’ve seen so far, and we’re lucky that our insurance is going to pick up the majority of it. I do not know the full range of what happens when you get a set of bills like that and you have no health coverage or little to no income, but it can’t possibly be good.

The baby came out face up, which makes for a difficult labor, and had a large head for a six-pound baby that came five weeks early. If someone had wanted me to show up at a job site that week, they would have been out of luck, and I might have been out of a job. Until last week I couldn’t even sit up on a chair without serious medication and I still feel bruised, because why wouldn’t I?

While there are some people who are up and about like nothing happened just days after a normal vaginal delivery, and some who have significant birth injuries, it usually takes about six weeks to recover from giving birth if everything goes well. Since there are millions of parents in the United States who can’t even get a day off for the flu, it’s not hard to figure out that birth itself causes a lot of immediate job loss.

To the other option, a nurse I was talking with over the weekend said it took her a month to recover from her c-section to the point where she could even lift her ten-pound son after he was born. They didn’t make the incision large enough, so they still had to vacuum the baby out and she lost two liters of blood in the process. She said she wasn’t back to full strength yet, even though it’s been over a year.

That’s not something I had to go through, but it’s a good reminder that it’s offensive to talk about having a c-section as if it weren’t major abdominal surgery. Like other kinds of surgery, some people recover quickly and well, but some people don’t. It’s monstrous to expect an exceptionally quick healing response from everyone after getting their abdomen cut open and sewn up.

To say “Just have the baby” is to say “Just risk a prolonged illness, surgery, and the loss of your income when you have a lot of new expenses.” It’s to tell someone casually that they should sign up for the possibility of experiencing more physical pain and agony than they thought a person could live through, and maybe having a great deal of it continue for days, weeks, months, possibly even years.

The reason I was talking to a nurse was because I’ve been in and out of the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) of the local children’s hospital since Friday. This is my son’s third stay in a NICU since he was born.

My son spent his first night of life in the NICU because he had a breathing problem at birth, though that corrected itself very quickly. When he was four days old, he was back in a NICU room for intensive phototherapy to treat his jaundice and he stayed for three days. Then early last Friday morning, we noticed a little blood in his diaper and were told to bring him in to urgent care the next morning. Because a serious bowel infection couldn’t be ruled out from his x-rays, they took him off any food by mouth and started him on an intense antimicrobial cocktail that was continued until yesterday, though they might have kept him on it for as long as ten days.

His first NICU stay cost over $1,000 a day. Our insurance will again pick up most of the tab, which is why we didn’t hesitate to bring our little boy to a doctor at the first signs of trouble, signs we might have talked ourselves into downplaying if we were worried about making our rent or affording food next month.

I remember reading the story of a little boy who died of a tooth infection right here in D.C. years ago, because his family didn’t have dental insurance and they waited what ended up being too long to seek treatment. Having lost molars because I couldn’t afford a dentist’s visit at the right time myself, I understand the calculation, it just worked out better for me.

It’s not about knowing whether something is wrong. It’s about living in a household that has a hard time affording things like diapers and second-guessing yourself about whether the situation is really as urgent as you thought. It’s just that babies and young children can get so sick, so fast, that hesitation can be even more dangerous than for adults.

And if a family can’t get good medical care when they do seek treatment, then they may end up with a child who has an expensive long-term health condition.

On Sunday, when we told the cab driver that we were going to Children’s National, he told us that he’d spent a lot of time there recently. Then he launched into the story of the birth of his twin daughters. He said that, as a new immigrant at the time, his wife ended up delivering at a teaching hospital eight years ago. The first girl came with her umbilical cord around her neck, her skin dark from the lack of oxygen. The doctor handed her to a room full of students, none of whom knew how to resuscitate a newborn, to continue attending the birth. It was ten minutes before someone came and revived her, from which she’s suffered lifelong brain damage. He said he tries not to compare her to her healthy sister, but it’s hard, and he wishes he’d sued the hospital to cover her therapy.

We should get to take our baby home tomorrow. Whatever was wrong, and they can’t know for sure because it didn’t get bad enough to need surgery, it seems to have gotten better.

The one- and two-pound preemies in his ward aren’t going home for a long time yet, not until after they’ve topped five pounds, at least. Many of them have been there well past the point when a working-age adult can afford to sleep near them every night in the rooms’ torturous reclining chairs.

The very tiny preemies’ parents visit when they can, leave them things from home that might be comforting, touch them if they’re able. Some of the smaller babies are too weak to feed very fast, too sick to try to feed, or too susceptible to infection for anyone to be allowed to put a bare hand on them.

It’s a visit to a special kind of hell when you must listen to your baby scream when they insert an IV or draw blood, and not to be able to make it stop, or to be terrified that you’ll dislodge that IV when you hold them, starting another round of heartbreaking cries. It’s horrid to perhaps not be allowed to directly feed or pick them up because they’re too ill, and you, and everybody really, knows that they desperately want to be fed or picked up.

That can be part of parenting, too, one of the risks you take on: that a pregnancy doesn’t mean you’re going home with a healthy baby. And after three nights on the recliner in my son’s room, my own not-quite-healed body just gave out and started hurting like it was two weeks ago all over again. So I’m at home for a break, trying to get better and rest, while missing our little boy so much that I can’t really relax.

To say “Just have the baby” is to tell someone they should just casually take on what can be an experience where you’re thrust into both love at first sight and devastating fear, anguish, and possibly heartbreak in a very short period of time. A time, no less, when you may be at the very end of your physical and emotional endurance.

There’s no “just” about having a baby. And not necessarily any justice, either.

None of the babies in the NICU has done anything to anyone in their short lives that could justify what they go through being there every day. Every NICU nurse we’ve met is kind, gentle, and even loving to their tiny patients. But they still have to put them through painful medical procedures, and they can’t make up for a baby’s need to be held and to bond with the people who’ll take care of them as they grow up.

Just have the baby? Only if you want to. Because no one else can take on any of the pain or risk, and it’s rare that you’ll be helped significantly with the costs—something I think anyone capable of becoming pregnant understands all too well and that forced pregnancy activists work very hard not to acknowledge.

Update, June 28: We did finally get our baby home, where he’s proceeded to eat as though he’s been starving his whole life. Anyway, he seems to be in working order once again.

My husband was also able to stay in the hospital every night with the baby, even when I couldn’t, so he always had a parent nearby, and brought him home when I was hurting too much to want to get in a car. He was able to do that because when he told his employer last Friday that the doctors thought the baby might need a week-long hospitalization, they offered him another week of paid leave on top of the four he was just finishing up. Most families in the United States aren’t nearly so lucky, as this country is the only industrialized nation (and one of only four nations in the entire world) that doesn’t mandate paid maternity leave, and forget leave for dad. Too many fathers in the United States are discouraged from taking leave if it’s even offered.

We got the complete bill in the mail yesterday for the baby’s first three-night NICU stay, and it topped $23,000. He was there six nights this time, with more tests performed and more complicated treatments administered.

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

  • Phoebe McNeece

    Excellent article. I would only add that mental health, both before, during and after pregnancy is another thing to consider. I have a mental illness that requires me to take medicine that is deemed unsafe to take during pregnancy. Off my medication, I attempted suicide twice in one year. After my son was born 10months ago, I also came down with a severe case of post-partum depression which in itself is a traumatic, stigmatizing, horrible experience.
    I was lucky that I had mental healthcare professionals with me every step of the way. Not every woman does.

    • Andrea_Videographer

      Great point. I’m sorry for what you went through.

    • malkavian

      Those of us with physical chronic illnesses have similar concerns. I take a class D drug for an autoimmune disease which, among my regimen, is the one most responsible for keeping me in remission. I’m terrified as to what would happen to me if I had to stop taking it and got sick again. Another friend of mine has severe migraines that are at least in part hormonally triggered, so she has no idea what would happen to her with pregnancy and childbirth.

    • Gemini68

      Excellent point. I have bipolar disorder which can be inherited. It took 20 years for me to be correctly diagnosed. I would never want to inflict the suffering I went through on a child who had no choice in the matter.

    • mueizzathecat

      ,,my Daughter had some serious Chemical imbalances come up during her pregnancy and was put on Prozac for the last 4 months..it was scary..I worried for her and the Baby..

    • Laura

      Not a good argument to abort. Obviously you didn’t think so either, since you completed your pregnancy and had your son. Past-partum is traumatic, but it is common AND manageable, and yet another non-reason to abort.

      • Ella Warnock

        Gee, it’s almost as if Phoebe was pointing out that she’s very fortunate to have gotten good mental health care, that all post-partum women do not, and that she wasn’t actually referring to abortion at all.

        Golly, do ya think THAT could be it? For the serious-minded individual, it’s probably worth more than a passing thought.

        • Laura

          “None of the babies in the NICU has done anything to anyone in their short lives that could justify what they go through
          being there every day. Every NICU nurse we’ve met is kind, gentle, and
          even loving to their tiny patients. But they still have to put them
          through painful medical procedures, and they can’t make up for a baby’s
          need to be held and to bond with the people who’ll take care of them as
          they grow up.”

          NONE of the babies who are aborted daily did anything to anyone that could justify what they go through. The statement above implies that, in retrospect, abortion might have been better. I just don’t understand how snuffing out an innocent life is better than trying to give a baby the best possible care so they can live. There isn’t an argument out there that makes murder the better option in the above cases.

          The ONLY time abortion is necessary (I will never say good) is when the life of the mother is truly at risk. Ectopic pregnancy, for example, where if left to continue, would kill both mother & baby. This is a known fact, not a what if. There are risks with every pregnancy, but to weigh the fact that some health risk might happen, or you might have a medically compromised child, or you might not fight back in your pre-pregnancy clothes quickly enough? Well, no…not good enough.

          • Ella Warnock

            And none of what you just wrote has anything to do with your criticism of Phoebe’s post or the point she was making. Now you’re jumping back to your criticism of Natasha. Pick one and stick with it.

  • Laura Dawn

    Thank you for writing this.

  • Amanda Kazarian

    I guess the best option for being forced to have a baby if abortion becomes illegal and not being able to afford prenatal care is do what women did in Romania. Receive no prenatal care, have the baby at home, the place the baby in a foundling wheel outside a church or hospital. All health complications caused by these actions that affect the baby will have to be covered by the state since the baby will be given up anonymously.

    And the women will have to arrive in the emergency room in an ambulance and also have the tax payers pay for their outrageous medical bills from health problems going untreated.

    Enjoy your tax increases prolifers.

    • MJ

      increase your tax increases for abortions and birth control. Guess who pays for all the whores, EVERYONE.

      • Jennifer Starr

        And there you have it. What the so-called ‘pro-life’ faction thinks of pregnant women with lower incomes while they’re pretending to care and wanting to ‘help’ them.

      • Amanda Kazarian

        Lol slut shaming. I also I saw the name calling in your original comment, classy.

        • MJ

          Supporting abortion, classy

          • Amanda Kazarian

            I mind my own business and stay out of other peoples sex lives and body issues.

            Getting involved in other peoples business is creepy.

          • MJ

            I dont care who f*cks what, I care about when people KILL people as a result of their poor choices. Thats WRONG and EXTREMELY SELFISH. I stand for those children who have no rights even though our bill of rights guarantees the right to “LIFE” liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These RIGHTS are not being honored and I WILL NEVER STOP FIGHTING FOR THEM!

          • Amanda Kazarian

            Ive never killed a baby nor am I currently doing so, I was commenting on an article about the possibilities if abortion becomes illegal. Damn

          • jennyschecter

            oooooh caps locks. does baby need his binky?

          • LisaC

            Teh baybeez want you to know that while they’re very grateful for your willingness to scream obscenities on their behalf, they’re embarrassed by your ignorance of the Bill of Rights.

          • goatini

            Rights accrue to citizens at birth. Fetuses have no rights.

          • MJ

            HAVE ANY OF YOU IGNORANT PPL ACTUALLY SEEN THE PICTURES OF ABORTION? You enjoy letting people decapitate babies and jam scissors into their spines? YOURE ALL FILTH AND DISGUSTING!

      • fiona64

        So, anyone who uses contraception is a whore … and anyone whose contraception fails is a whore.

        Lose-lose “logic,” there, MJ.

        • MJ

          Did I say that? Quit putting words in my mouth you baby hating bitch ass whore!!

          • fiona64

            You said this: “increase your tax increases for abortions and birth control. Guess who pays for all the whores, EVERYONE.”

            It’s pretty clear that a) you’ve never heard of the Hyde Amendment (no tax dollars go to abortions) and b) think that anyone who uses birth control is a whore. You said it, sweetie. There’s no need to put any words in your mouth; I just used yours.

            You’re a pure, breath of air, though, I must say, with your stunning grasp of Anglo-Saxon profanities. If I were a wagering woman, I’d bet you even call yourself a “good Christian.”

          • MJ

            hahaha cuz bad words make someone bad, but killing babies doesnt. LOL

          • fiona64

            If you know of anyone who has killed a baby, contact the police at once! Infanticide is a crime.

          • jennyschecter

            Yeah, you did actually.

          • Poop

            No I didnt say “ALL people who use birth control are whores.” I said everyone pays for the whores. More meaning that women who get abortions are whores, cuz thats a WHOREY thing to do.

          • Jennifer Starr

            You’re sounding less and less like a grown woman who claims to have had a child in an NICU and more and more like a male troll.

          • Ella Warnock

            Yep.

          • malkavian

            “increase your tax increases for abortions and birth control. Guess who pays for all the whores, EVERYONE.”

            Yes, you did. Also, you seem to misunderstand the definition of the word whore.

          • goatini

            What’s the term for a male whore? Oh, that’s right, it’s “stud” or “player”. Funny how that works out.

          • fiona64

            Because “gigolo” is too complicated for some folks to spell (present company not included) …

          • Jennifer Starr

            Actually, Poop (fitting name, incidentally), that is exactly what you said. And I guess profanity is all you have to fall back on after you run out of anything intelligent to say–assuming you had anything in the first place. Wouldn’t happen to be related to Vanessa, would you?

          • malkavian

            You did. Grow two brain cells to rub together, you stupid, reeking, useless pond scum.

          • Poop

            Grow a soul you heartless bitch. Whatever helps you filthy POS’s sleep at night.

      • Rachel

        Apparently our taxes are paying for your medical care, care if we pass some judgement on you as well?

        • fiona64

          Good point, as she admitted to being on Medicare earlier …

        • MJ

          Who’s passing judgment? Dumbass. N I had coverage but my baby didn’t. I don’t have to explain my shit to you liberal bitch

          • Rachel

            Nice language. You kiss your kid with that mouth?
            Do you not realize how big of a hypocrite you are for telling anyone that you don’t have to explain your ‘shit’ yet you feel you have the right to be all up in other people’s business?

      • malkavian

        Yeap, my friend who uses contraceptives to keep crippling migraines at bay is totally a whore. I guess I’m a whore, too, because I use contraceptives to make sure my husband and I don’t get pregnant while I’m taking the class D drugs that keep my autoimmune disease at bay. Women who are on the pill because they have endometriosis or PCOS? Whores, the lot of them. Endometriosis and PCOS are obviously whore diseases.

        Not that it should even matter, anyway. People who don’t want kids should be able to obtain contraceptives, period, end of sentence.

        Why don’t you take the plank out of your own eye before attempting to remove the splinter from someone else’s, ma’am.

        • Var Enyo

          That broaches another problem. The anti-choicers are completely anti-birth control. They actually have been trying to take over pharmacies to stop woman from being able to get it easily. All the major groups link to something called..the pill kills claiming that birth control is abortion.

          • Laura

            Utter nonsense. I am pro-life AND pro-birth control. Where you come up with this craziness about taking over pharmacies to prevent women from getting birth control is beyond me. There are some whose religious convictions include a belief that birth control pills are abortifacients, but most of us understand that is not the case. I am against the use of abortifacient drugs and abortions. I believe they are murder. But I am NOT against taking measures, including birth control, to prevent unwanted pregnancy. It’s far better to do that than to snuff out a life.

        • Mandi Vanover

          I agree, even condoms can be purchased from gas station bathrooms.

          • malkavian

            Condoms aren’t going to help my friend’s migraines (friend is not sexually active so contraceptive use of these meds isn’t really a factor for her) or endo/PCOS sufferers, and they’re less effective than nearly every other form of contraceptive under perfect use conditions, making other forms of contraceptive more optimal in long-term monogamous relationships where STDs aren’t a huge factor.

          • fiona64

            All forms of contraception have known failure rates … including sterilization and, yes, condoms purchased from gas station bathrooms.

      • HeilMary1

        And we ALL pay for pedophile priests and adulterous looksist playboy GOP wife-dumpers who keep third worlders in incubating and sweatshop slavery for their own bank accounts and sexual perversions.

        • MJ

          actually only people who go to church pay for priests. nice try.

          • Reality

            Out of curiosity, what do you think of all the prime real estate that’s currently being occupied by churches? I’d imagine that if the churches weren’t there not paying taxes, businesses or individuals would own that land and be paying taxes on it.

            That means that tax rates have to be higher for everyone else to make up for the revenue shortfall.

            That means that we all pay for priests, since everyone is subsidizing their tax-free land and income. As you said, nice try.

      • Ella Warnock

        You’ve already admitted that the taxpayer is paying your medical bills. Why should “I” have to pay for your lifestyle choices?

        • MJ

          My child’s health is not a lifestyle choice you fucking moron

          • Ella Warnock

            My, you’re a foul mouthed little toad. Your poor child. And yes, your kid is your responsibility. Not really the taxpayer’s problem.

          • MJ

            funny coming from a liberal turd who believes everyone should get help, except for when they need help for something against what you believe. right. In your eyes it would have been better to murder my child. HAHAH its okay, Ill have the last laugh, when my judgment day comes. :)

          • Ella Warnock

            I think we should demand that you bear the same responsibility for choices that you make that you demand of everyone else. Pay your own medical bills.

          • MJ

            I do. YOU know nothing about me. I asked for help in this one situation because NO ONE besides millionaires could afford $40,000 to have a baby. That’s my point. All you care about is defending your POS abortion views. Shove it.

          • Ella Warnock

            If you couldn’t afford the possibility of a $40,000 kid, perhaps you should have kept your legs closed.

          • MJ

            you clearly have no value for human life. go hug your cats bitch.

          • Ella Warnock

            That’s what you’re going with? You’re all BAD people because . . . cats!. Ah, okay, MJ.

          • goatini

            I think Poop’s mommy changed the litter box without gloves while she was pregnant with him. Bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia can be caused by toxoplasmosis.

          • goatini

            He’s a trolling Catholic high school boy. It’s summer vacation.

          • http://www.facebook.com/shannanigan1 Shannon Finch

            “Keep your legs closed” way to promote misogyny, sexism and keeping your own gender in “their place”. You are a miserable human being and I’m revoking your woman card… GTFO.

          • Ella Warnock

            I was schooling a troll. What, you just happened to miss all the “comment deleted”? That was the troll. Go read the rest of this thread then come back and natter on about my “woman card.” Now you GTFO . . . or just actually pay attention next time.

          • Ella Warnock

            Oh really, goatini, you’re upvoting Shannon after you DEFENDED me elsewhere on the thread for fucking with the troll? Well, thanks a fucking lot for all your support, people. Fuck right off, RH.

          • fiona64

            Unfortunately, as the posts to which Ella was responding were deleted, you are unable to see the giant mass of crap that she was handing right back to the poster, who had informed her that (among other things) bills for pregnancy weren’t that big a deal, because MedicAid paid hers, and anyone who didn’t want a baby just shouldn’ have sex.

            This was sprinkled in between so much cursing (not that I’m immune to doing so myself) that the OP looked like a stevedore with Tourette syndrome.. :-/

          • cjvg

            I and my first child spend 2 weeks in the ICU as well as a month of visiting nurse aftercare.
            Primarily (80%)covered by my private insurance that I had under cobra since my employer changed insurances half way through my pregnancy and no new insurance covers an already pregnant woman!

            Of course I was a responsible adult who made sure that I was fully insured before I even decided to become pregnant (thanks to REPRODUCTIVE CHOICES!) and continued that coverage at significant personal financial costs when my employer changed insurances half way through.

            When a parent (mother or father) is covered under private insurance so is your newborn as long as you report the birth within the specified time as stated in your contract, so my child was fully covered after birth.
            Private insurance, by law, can not refuse to cover the new born of an insured member. This law has been in place for at least the past 20 years!

            Responsible parents, of which you are clearly NOT one, would have taken care of this insurance situation before the need arouse

          • Judy Jackson

            IF you can’t afford to have a baby, DON’T HAVE ONE. You should have KEPT YOUR LEGS closed. I am guessing you also get food stamps, WIC, Section 8 & other TAXPAYER funded help. From one of those taxpayers (who paid her hospital bills over the course of 17 months so taxpayers wouldn’t have to), you are welcome.

            It costs a lot more than $40,000. to raise a child to adulthood. I am betting you won’t be able to afford that either. Your child will benefit from free lunch programs & after school care. Again, as a taxpayer who is footing your bills, you are welcome.

          • goatini

            “Ill have the last laugh, when my judgment day comes. :)”

            Fake “Christian”.

          • mueizzathecat

            ..that “Type” needs mental health care..and the mentally ill are drawn to those who would “exploit them” as “Fundy religions do”… for their own profit (notice the difference in the word…”profit”..the “Ill” confuse it with the word “Prophet” in their minds..because that’s what “the ill do”..and then, it gives them “Encouragement to believe in an Invisible friend that actually interacts with them”…not a “Philosophical point to draw wisdom and social interaction training from, by using the Parable type story..”Early Multi-media”..

          • malkavian

            Neither is my autoimmune disease, but I couldn’t get medicaid assistance to help me pay for those costs.

          • Gemini68

            And the pro-lifers have no right to dictate to a woman whose pregnancy puts her life at risk. After all they’re not going to be six feet under if something goes wrong.

            And please explain how getting pregnant as a result of rape or incest is a lifestyle choice?

          • cjvg

            You should have been more responsible and keep your legs closed!
            If you can’t pay for your own kid, do not have one!

            By the way, if you are insured like you claim to be (!) then your insurance is obligated to put your child on your insurance when you report their birth !
            (Unless you were lying about coverage and were not getting pre natal care, like all these lose irresponsible sluts who have kids they have no intention of being financially responsible for do!)
            This must be done within 24-48 hours after birth according to most private insurance rules and responsible parents do so!

            The fact that you did not and chose to have your child covered by medicare clearly shows that you are an irresponsible slut who has no intention of being a responsible parent who takes care of their children.
            Obviously with your minimal vocabulary and unwillingness to claim responsibility for their own child. you should never have been allowed to breed!
            Now please let us responsible reproductive control using tax paying adults, who have sufficient cognitive facilities to make ourselves understood without resorting to “poop” language, and incidentally who are covering your kids medical costs (your welcome), discuss these important things without your clearly unnecessary “contributions”

        • kittyschwanitz

          As a taxpayer I pay for lots of thing I don’t care for, CIA black sites, selling weapons that will be used on civilians, tax exemption to Churches that are political and most of it going to Corporate Welfare when profits have never been higher.
          As a responsible adult and part of the community- I would rather pay for the health, education and welfare of my neighbors then any of the above.
          Let’s ask the hard question Ella;
          Why don’t you want an America that is #1 in education, #1 in healthcare, and #1 in productivity? Instead of an America where we lead in defense spending (out spending all 26 nations, 24 of which are allies), number of incarcerated citizens and people who believe in Angels? (Thank you Sorkin, you have the best material to steal from)

          • goatini

            Ella is on our side, Kitty. Ella is being snarky to a poster whose comment was deleted, with the same nonsense the forced-birth theocrats snarl at women who wish to avail themselves of reproductive health care.

            The deleted comment was from some nitwit troll claiming that the huge bills for sustaining a neonate were of no consequence whatsoever, since (s)/he had his/(her) alleged neonate’s $40K in medical bills “paid by Medicaid”.

            Ella was just giving him/(her) a taste of the same BS that we get from same nitwit trolls.

          • Ella Warnock

            Thanks, goatini!

          • fiona64

            America is not number one in any of those things, Kitty. We’re #17 in education, #39 in health care, and #12 in productivity.

            The rest of your numbers are bang on, but let’s not delude ourselves on the others.

      • Judy Jackson

        My best friend nearly DIED at the age of 16 from complications related to her menstrual & ovulation cycles. A low dose of birth control regulated her cycles & when she was ready for a family, she had a wonderful baby girl. Even with insurance, the deductible was so high that had it not been for PP, she would not have been to afford prenatal care to ensure a healthy pregnancy. After her daughter was born, she wanted to get her tubes tied, but the doctor refused. She went back on birth control until her husband decided to have a vasectomy. Birth control treats many illness that women suffer.
        I live in Texas. Under the “leadership” of the GOP, Texas has HIGH teen pregnancy rates, HIGH teen STD rates, LOW high school graduation rates. 1 in 4 Texas children lives in poverty. Texas has one of the fastest rising numbers of NEW welfare cases in the USA. THAT is the legacy of the “just have the baby” mentality here in Texas.

        • Everybodhi

          When my fourth daughter was born, I asked the doctor, a month before the birth, to tie my tubes during my medically required (?) c-section, he refused. He said I needed to ask sixty days before the birth, because, you know, a thirty eight year old woman with four children may not realized what she’s doing and regret not having more babies. It was 1992.

  • Peebee

    if I haven’t said today how much I adore Natasha, Chris and Linus, I have clearly been remiss.

  • barbaraglickstein

    You have written this from a place of raw clarity. You uncover truth. You reveal to us the depths of your empathy and passionate activism for reproductive rights and social justice. Thank you. You have provided us with fuel to fight harder for reproductive rights and health care access for all. Wishing you, your son, his father and your extended families continued healing.

  • Lynnsey

    We need to make it safer for women to admit that pregnancy and childbirth and having children is not all rainbows and unicorns all the damn time. It’s hard and it’s potentially dangerous and pretending that it’s not is harmful in so many ways to so many people.

    • Andi_S

      Everything child related will be romanticized so much these days. If you say something against their ‘perfect world’ you’re the devil in person…

      • pspusp

        so true, we are waging two wars to supposedly protect those children yet the governments own data shows that 50 mill adults and over 17,000 children are living below poverty; In this case we [taxpayers] are very callous to address. damed if you do and damed if you don’t.. raising is the next big cost and that never seems to end.

        • Laura

          The American idea of poverty is ridiculous compared to the poverty of the rest of the world. What? Can’t afford to have cable? A car (or two)? A phone? True poverty in the US…the kind of poverty that other nations know…is not nearly the numbers the govt would have you believe. Even if it were, abortion is NOT the answer.

          • pspusp

            yeah would like to agree with you but hunger in the USA is the same HUNGER anyplace else on the planet. Living i squaller and having no or little access to education in the worlds richest country is a crime against humanity to boot your thoughts on abortion are very simplified and based on silly childish religious beliefs.

      • Laura

        Total bullshit. Everything child is not at all romanticized. Most people having children have a pretty realistic idea of what is at hand. It is not all rainbows and unicorns, and yet many, many, many women would NEVER choose to abort.

    • http://ctrlrz.com Shawn Gordon

      Lynnsey, I think it is pretty safe for women to say that pregnancy and childbirth is not all rainbows and unicorns. I’ve read books for men written by women for first time fathers that get very in detail on the process of pregnancy and they’re not always terribly happy through the process – in fact, a couple stress this fact ad nauseum. But, I think that to a point, because we’ve struggled to save everyone from everything, a certain sickness within our species have set it and it becomes problematic to do most anything.

      • Lynnsey

        Do you realize that you’re arguing that because you read a book that discusses these things (and probably in a humorous way, because it’s rarely spoken of in a serious way) that it somehow negates the experience of actual women who have, upon giving voice to any kind of negative response to the more unpleasant parts of pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting, been told some form of “shut up and be glad you have a baby” or “why did you even have kids, you selfish bitch?” Why don’t you think about that…

        Further, I’d be interested to know how many times have you been pregnant, Shawn?

        • http://ctrlrz.com Shawn Gordon

          You realize that you’re taking what I said way out of context? What I said was that I am aware that pregnancy for women is not all happy and fun as they seem to think men think it is. I also think you missed that the books I have read were written by women, who were mothers and doctors. So, they too were describing their experiences from a first person perspective. If being a man negates what I took from those books, written by mothers and doctors, adds nothing – then who are you really discounting here, me or them? And, if me, isn’t that a bit sexist?

          I’m in no way telling you or any other woman to “shut up” about your experience, but falling back to “you can’t have kids” (which is essentially the veiled point of your ridiculous question) is exactly that argument: Shut up, you can’t have kids, you’ll never understand.

          Great – I wont understand and you’re approach and mindset institute understanding by exactly 0%. So, I’ve never been pregnant, but I am a human being with a degree of empathy for those I truly care about. I can only imagine the struggle women have for 9 months (sometimes more) with pregnancy – but it seems you’re attempting to draw a broad segregating line between the genders so that there isn’t some kind of shared experience or understanding. In return, I’ll ask – how many women do you kow who’ve played professional football in the NFL? ZERO. How many females do you know that have died as an Infantry soldier in the US Army? ZERO. So, why is there a female commentator on ESPN telling me about football if they’ve zero experience in the game – why are there women attempting to convince my male counterparts that they’re capable of being infantry if they’ve no experience in it? they’re talking about an experience that for them, is currently completely unknowable. Yet… are they disqualified from making a statement of belief, perception, or opinion on the matters.

          Wait, perhaps that was a bit off topic and a little unfair given that much of that is gender based (or was it?) – I’ll frame that into something more personal and relevant and not reliant upon gender – how many times have you been adopted? I’m going to guess and say ZERO. How many children have you given up for adoption? Probably ZERO. How many kids have you adopted? Probably ZERO. Oh, I’m sure you know someone who has one of the three, or you might know someone who has any combination of them, and I’m sure you’ve met someone that would speak on it candidly using humor to make the topic approachable and not awkward – but let’s face it – it’s something you cannot know because you’ve never experienced it. And yet, the fact you’ve never experienced it is in no way a means to disqualify any opinion you might have on that issue. It’s not even a valid reason to try a reversal “shut up” argument because I suspect that you can compile information and compare it to your personal experience, use empathy and draw a rational conclusion based on all portions of data. But, because I lack a uterus, I can’t have a valid opinion on the topic. That’s good to know.

          • Lynnsey

            You very directly dismissed, in your reply to my rather popular comment, the idea that women are scolded and shamed when they voice a negative response to the unpleasantness of pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting despite the myriad times it has occurred in this very thread and the experience of the author and likely many of the people who up-voted my comment.

            You’re entitled to believe that women aren’t silenced and scolded when they’re honest about their experiences and feelings. You can even base that belief on a handful of books you read or your own incredible empathy. It’s entirely possible that you’ve never witnessed it (as I’m going to guess that you’ve never experienced it first hand). If that is so, you should take a moment to thank the deity of your choosing for your incredible privilege. Your belief or even your knack for empathy do not give you the right to dismiss the experience of others, as you did when you said …I’m pretty sure it’s safe for women to say that pregnancy and childbirth are not all rainbows and unicorns…”

            In answer to your final example, while I might have or even offer an opinion on a subject with which I had no direct experience, I would, under no circumstances presume to dismiss the opinion of those who had in the course of offering my own. That is what you did above and the point of my reply.

          • http://ctrlrz.com Shawn Gordon

            Yes. If gauging self importance on the popularity of my comments

            I simply stated what another woman said, verbatim. Was she being dismissive?

            Clearly you’re disinterested in actual discourse by the response to my questions. They were valid and relevant in context to the article. Still I didn’t dismiss anyone’s opinion at being a parent or their trials as one. It’s not different experience for all.

          • Lynnsey

            Wow, you’re thick. It’s not about self-importance. It’s about the number of people who agreed with what I wrote. The point was that it obviously struck a chord with a lot of people and you DID dismiss it as I’ve pointed out with a quote from your own reply.

            Let me be very plain. You can have any opinion you like, but when you essentially tell people to whom a thing has happened that it really doesn’t because YOU have never experienced it (especially when, for all intents and purposes, you can’t) or because some other person experienced somthing else be prepared to be called out on it.

          • http://ctrlrz.com Shawn Gordon

            I’m sorry, gauging the popularity of what you said as a metric of validation is, for all intents and purposes, self important when you’re the one using it as a metric to promote your view. It says “people agree, therefor it must be true or valid.”

            Per the second part – I acknowledge it, but it doesn’t explain at all how I was dismissive. I didn’t discredit or devalue any opinion. I parented what another female commenter said regarding birth and agreed that as a man, I can imagine it as true. So, be true but be honest

          • Lynnsey

            You don’t see how saying that you disagree with the experience of someone to whom this thing has actually happened (by saying “Lynnsey, I think it is pretty safe for women to say that pregnancy and childbirth is not all rainbows and unicorns.” and then backing that up based on some thing you read) could possibly come off as dismissive?

            Then I guess there’s no use in continuing as you are either the most willfully obtuse person I’ve ever had the chance to encounter or a professional at what is commonly called “mansplaining.”

          • http://ctrlrz.com Shawn Gordon

            I repeated exactly verbatim what another woman on this blog commenting wrote, verbatim, and agreed with it bad on my observations as a husband and father with two of my own children and been through pregnancy with my wife, watching it happen, being there in person – and based on the account of several women I have spoke with with or who talk about it. Agreeing based on these not dismissive.

            Nice little dig at the end, implying that because I have a penis I’m stupid. It is women who act like you, that really dent a general opinion of the other women. Continue to move goal posts… You t get far.

          • Lynnsey

            Any woman on this thread who dismisses the experience of another because SHE has not experienced such treatment (and it, therefore, could not possibly be true!!) is just as obnoxious as you are. Quoting them doesn’t bolster your case. Further, it’s not your penis that makes you seem stupid. It’s your supreme lack of self awareness and your continuing to explain a thing to people who have experienced it as though you are capable of having greater knowledge of it than they do.

            I’m sorry that women who don’t smile and nod when you condescend to them “dent” your opinion of all women. I’m glad, however, not to be among the kind you apparently favor.

          • http://ctrlrz.com Shawn Gordon

            Wow. Such arrogance. I call it how I see it. If you’re so self involved that you’re unwilling to understand that this entire time you’ve taken shit out of context just to be “right” then, well… You prove so many points made by your counterparts.

          • Laura

            I have never once been scolded or shamed when I have spoken about the unpleasantness of pregnancy. We’ve commiserated more than anything. You’re painting with a very wide brush trying to make your point, and it is falling flat.

          • Lynnsey

            Well…obviously, your experience negates that of every other woman. This must NEVER happen because it didn’t happen to you…

          • Laura

            Not what I said. I said it never happened to me, but I also said you’re painting with a VERY wide brush in trying to make your point. In this day and age, women are safe to do anything they want with their bodies, including terminating a pregnancy. You think your safety is compromised because there is some blow back when you make an unpopular or controversial opinion known? Give me a break.

          • Lynnsey

            I’m obviously not talking about physical safety. No one is beating a woman because she complains about her hemorrhoids.

            However, women are often scolded, shamed, and silenced when they voice any negative thoughts about pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting, even the least pleasant parts. I’ve seen a lot of women feel like they can’t be honest about their negative thoughts because people act as if you hate your baby because you admit that you don’t think every pool of spit-up is a blessing. In this very thread there have been numerous comments that amount to the two main versions of this: “why’d you even have kids?” or “you should be happy you even have a baby.” Women who don’t just suffer through are often treated like they’re selfish.

            Not being able to admit that it’s not all awesome without being chastised for it feeds into a lot of the stress and depression that a lot of (especially new) mothers feel.

          • Jennifer Starr

            Then you must not have spoken to many of these ‘pro-lifers’, because they seem to be doing precisely that–scolding and shaming. Oh look–and so did you.

    • Ginger Holm

      Abortion is much more dangerous to a woman’s health than following through with the pregnancy. This is a known fact but the pro-death crowd keeps putting out false information.

      I had one of your so-called “life-threatening conditions” and was assured by my physician that as long as I followed his orders there shouldn’t be any problems. If my condition worsened we would have simply delivered early – yes, I said simply.

      Tell me how a woman in her third trimester can go through labor to deliver a baby was ever in any danger to begin with?

      • Lynnsey

        Perhaps you should actually look at the mountain of evidence that suggests otherwise and try again. The US has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the developed world and an early abortion (as 90% or so are) is vastly safer than the average pregnancy and delivery.

        That aside, this article is not about abortion. You would know that if you had read it.

        Lastly, your experience in no way negates that of any other woman. I’m glad that your pregnancy turned out well. I have had numerous friends almost die in childbirth and many more suffer lasting medical harm from pregnancy. Further, you can be cavalier about delivering early if you like, but people who know anything about prenatal development tend to have a different position.

        Thanks for stopping by.

        • SurplusMama

          “Further, you can be cavalier about delivering early if you like, but
          people who know anything about prenatal development tend to have a
          different position.”
          This is an interesting thought: Prenatal development is of consequence if you want your baby, but since the implication of this article is that one should have ample access to killing your baby because pregnancy is hard makes this argument somewhat laughable. Either the child in the womb is important (hence, the desire to avoid early delivery), or it’s not. It’s not important only if you want it.

          • Lynnsey

            Exactly how many post-viability abortions do you think are occurring? Because prior to that point, the development of the embryo or fetus is really irrelevant. It either can or cannot survive outside the uterus. It’s only once it can that its development has any real consequence on its continued existence and warrants any concern.

          • SurplusMama

            Who are you to decide whose life is “relevant”? From the time of conception the embryo/fetus is a distinct human being. Just because he or she lacks the level of development that you find valuable does not make that human being irrelevant or unimportant – nor does that reality give one license to kill him or her. It might make you feel better to theorize, ” It’s only once it can that its development has any real consequence on its continued existence and warrants any concern,” but that’s just your opinion and certainly not based in objective fact. I’m pretty sure that an individual’s continued existence has real consequence to that individual. It’s pretty convenient to determine that humans of certain levels of development are unworthy of life when you are in no danger of being found to be one of them. It’s also repugnant.

          • Lynnsey

            It’s not just convenient, it’s realistic. An embryo at 9 weeks gestation and a fetus at 19 have exactly the same chance at survival outside the uterus. That is to say, zero. It has nothing to do with what level of development I ‘find valuable.’ It has to do with the viability of the fetus and until viability is reached, it really is moot. After that is when development has any real bearing on not just survival, but quality of life. There’s a reason that less than 10% of preterm births prior to 24 weeks survive at all, let alone without severe neurological problems.

            So now again, I’ll ask…how many fully viable fetuses do you think are being aborted?

          • SurplusMama

            “An embryo at 9 weeks gestation and a fetus at 19 have exactly the same
            chance at survival outside the uterus. That is to say, zero. It has
            nothing to do with what level of development I ‘find valuable.’ It has
            to do with the viability of the fetus and until that point is reached,
            it really is moot.”

            Why does viability have any bearing on the value of the human being under discussion? And, yes, viability IS about stage of development.

            ” Viability is a threshold that’s used already for a reason and if you’re
            going to purposely deliver with the intent of producing a surviving
            baby then its level of development and the subsequent consequences of said development are of importance.”

            Absolutely development and viability are important for those who deliver early “with the intent of producing a surviving baby” – and my point stands: to you, stage of development is important only because the baby is “wanted” by it’s parent. When a child is *unwanted*, then state of development is irrelevant. It is ironic.

            You ask how many fully viable fetuses are aborted. According to Guttmacher, 1.1% of all abortions are done past 21 weeks gestation. SInce the youngest child to survive outside of the womb was born at 21 weeks, 3 days, this is a useful indicator. There are over 2,000 human beings over 21 weeks of age aborted every year.

            Here is my question for you: how many unborn human beings do you think are being aborted every year?

          • Lynnsey

            First, you do realize that abortions after 24 weeks in the US are restricted to cases of medical necessity, right? It’s not like you can saunter into your local Planned Parenthood and have an abortion at 30 weeks gestation because you’re tired of being pregnant. The overwhelming majority of post-20 week abortions are terminating wanted pregnancies in which something has gone catastrophically wrong. Contrary to the fantasies cooked up in the fevered minds of abortion opponents, women are not (with rare, and already illegal, exceptions) ripping fully formed babies limb from limb for funsies. They are making difficult decisions about how to proceed when they find out the baby they wanted doesn’t have enough of its heart or brain or whatever to survive. I know this firsthand.

            Further, less than 10% of preterm births prior to 24 weeks survive and 95% of those that do have profound and debilitating neurological disorders, so let’s be honest about what “viable” actually means, shall we?

            The stage of development is important with regards to viability because up to that point (generally considered to be around 24 weeks), the result of removing an embryo or fetus from the uterus is pretty much the same, a nearly* inevitable lack of survival, regardless of the level of development, be it 5 weeks or 15. However, after viability is reached if you remove the fetus from the uterus you have a wide range of outcomes based on the level of development of the fetus on which its likelihood of survival and its success (as measured by quality of life and body/brain function within “normal” parameters, for instance) is dependent, making it vastly more important. The difference in the potential outcomes between a preterm infant born at 26 weeks gestation and 36 weeks, all other things being equal, is fairly substantial. So, yes, if you’ve decided to deliver a baby you want to survive and thrive, it IS then problematic if you intentionally do so at the earlier end of that period beyond which a fetus is viable where the likelihood for complications is higher.

            It’s not an issue, at least not for me, of “wanted” versus “unwanted” it’s an issue of viable versus not viable. Does it matter how “not viable” an embryo or fetus is (meaning how much or little it was developed) if it doesn’t survive for whatever reason? I don’t think so, but it does matter how viable, meaning to what degree it has a chance of survival and reasonable quality of life, if it does.

            *nearly is an important word here. There are rare cases of preterm infants “surviving” prior to 24 weeks, of course, but usually with profound and debilitating neurological defects.

          • SurplusMama

            “First, you do realize that abortions after 24 weeks in the US are restricted to cases of medical necessity, right?”

            Uhh…not really. First, there are 9 states in which you can get an abortion at any time for any reason. In the other states, you can find some restrictions, but given the SCOTUS’ definition of “health” of the mother, a woman in the United States CAN get an abortion at any time for any reason. In some states, one might have to claim to be depressed by their pregnancy, but Doe V. Bolton ensured that women can get abortions through all 9 months of their pregnancies. In fact, in 1987, Guttmacher asked 420 women why they were pursuing a late abortion at post 16 weeks gestation. The number #1 reason giving was ignorance of their pregnancy (71%). The LEAST cited reason (2%) was fetal problems. NO ONE cited their own health as a factor. Your stand, while commonly cited, is not based in reality.

            I still do not understand your hang up on viability: if your offspring is a living human being, their right to life and their value has nothing to do with whether or not they’re dependent. Viability is a Red Herring.

          • Lynnsey

            Fine. If you want to get down to brass tacks…whether they are a human beings is also irrelevant. YOU are a human being. You have a right to life. What you don’t have is a right to use my body or any part of it to sustain your life. Even if you’ll die without and certainly not because I had sex. End of story.

            Your original reply asked (essentially) what the difference was between aborting an “unwanted” embryo/fetus and purposely giving birth early. The difference IS, at least to me, viability. The bottom line is that the majority of people aren’t aborting viable fetuses even if you want to believe that they are. In fact, the majority of people are having abortions during the embryonic stage. There is a difference between a fertilized egg or an embryo and a reasonably viable fetus. You can believe otherwise, but I’d ask that you keep that belief out of my medical decisions.

            I seem unable to find your “9 states”, but even giving you the benefit of the doubt there and pretending that the health exceptions are as simple to pursue as you seem to think they are, the “right” to have an abortion whenever you want one is very difference than the practical ability to do so. Why don’t you call around and see if you can find a doctor who will perform an elective abortion at 35 weeks gestation…

            And, lastly…
            “Your stand, while commonly cited, is not based in reality.”
            And yours is based on a 25 year old poll you found on Wikipedia.

          • SurplusMama

            “Fine. If you want to get down to brass tacks…whether they are a human
            beings is also irrelevant. YOU are a human being. You have a right to
            life. What you don’t have is a right to use my body or any part of it
            to sustain your life. Even if you’ll die without and certainly not
            because I had sex. End of story.”

            Does your born child have a right to expect you to provide nourishment and a place to live? Will you be legally penalized if you choose not to provide that? In this country, we have determined that parents are REQUIRED to provide sufficient nourishment and housing to keep their child alive. (Heck, we’re REQUIRED to provide things not essential to life: like an education.) It is not a stretch to tell parents that they are equally REQUIRED to provide that nourishment and “housing” through pregnancy.

            “There is a difference between a fertilized egg or an embryo and a
            reasonably viable fetus. You can believe otherwise, but I’d ask that
            you keep that belief out of my medical decisions.”

            We agree that there is a difference between an embryo and a viable fetus. We also likely agree that there is a difference between a newborn and a teenager. The fact that there are developmental differences does not make one of less value – or, even worse – acceptable to kill.

            Calling abortion a “medical decision” is convenient, but more than 98% of the time, it’s untrue. It is a decision made, nearly every time, for reasons of personal convenience – not for medical reasons.

            You write, “the “right” to have an abortion whenever you want one is very difference than the practical ability to do so. Why don’t you call around and see if you can find a doctor who will perform an elective abortion at 35 weeks gestation…”

            This is true. Now, why would that be? Primarily because it is morally reprehensible. Even doctors who do not have qualms about killing preborn human beings at 8 & 10 weeks gestation refuse to do so at 35 weeks. Late term abortions are also much more dangerous for the mother. For both of those reasons it’s not hard to understand why a doctor would refuse that line of work. My point was only that abortion after 24 weeks is NOT, as you claimed, restricted to medical necessity.

            “”Your stand, while commonly cited, is not based in reality.”
            And yours is based on a 25 year old poll you found on Wikipedia.”

            So we agree that your stand is not based in reality, and mine is based on facts. You certainly cannot blame me that no one has done more research as to why women abort at later term.

          • Lynnsey

            On a more personal note, these issues are not just theoretical for me. I’ve never had an abortion, but what I have had is a fetal echocardiogram at 20 weeks in each of my pregnancies to rule out the very small possibility that the fetus I was carrying was missing too much of its heart to survive. I was fortunate that the answer to that question was no each time, but if it was yes many of the restrictions that are being proposed would force me to carry to term a pregnancy that would never result in an actual, living baby to the detriment of my mental health and my ability to care for my family. If you find that terrifying prospect acceptable, then we really have nothing further to discuss.

          • SurplusMama

            ” I was fortunate that the answer to that question was no each time, but
            if it was yes many of the restrictions that are being proposed would
            force me to carry to term a pregnancy that would never result in an
            actual, living baby to the detriment of my mental health and my ability
            to care for my family.”

            As I pointed out, this is popular – but categorically untrue. Thanks to Doe V. Bolton, you could have an abortion in that event – unless the SCOTUS overturns that ruling.

          • Lynnsey

            In my spare time, I could take my case to the SCOTUS, right?

          • Guest

            First, you do realize that abortions after 24 weeks in the US are restricted to cases of medical necessity, right? It’s not like you can saunter into your local Planned Parenthood and have an abortion at 30 weeks gestation because you’re tired of being pregnant. The overwhelming majority of post-20 week abortions are terminating wanted pregnancies in which something has gone catastrophically wrong. Contrary to the fantasies cooked up in the fevered minds of abortion opponents, women are not (with rare, and already illegal, exceptions) ripping fully formed babies limb from limb for funsies. They are making difficult decisions about how to proceed when they find out the baby they wanted doesn’t have enough of its heart or brain or whatever to survive. I know this firsthand.

            Further, less than 10% of preterm births prior to 24 weeks survive and 95% of those that do have profound and debilitating neurological disorders, so let’s be honest about what “viable” actually means, shall we?

            The stage of development is important with regards to viability because up to that point (generally considered to be around 24 weeks), the result of removing an embryo or fetus from the uterus is pretty much the same, a nearly* inevitable lack of survival, regardless of the level of development, be it 5 weeks or 15. However, after viability is reached if you remove the fetus from the uterus you have a wide range of outcomes based on the level of development of the fetus on which its likelihood of survival and its success (as measured by quality of life and body/brain function within “normal” parameters, for instance) is dependent, making it vastly more important. The difference in the potential outcomes between a preterm infant born at 26 weeks gestation and 36 weeks, all other things being equal, is fairly substantial. So, yes, if you’ve decided to deliver a baby you want to survive and thrive, it IS then problematic if you intentionally do so at the earlier end of that period beyond which a fetus is viable where the likelihood for complications is higher.

            It’s not an issue, at least not for me, of “wanted” versus “unwanted” it’s an issue of viable versus not viable. Does it matter how “not viable” an embryo or fetus is (meaning how much or little it was developed) if it doesn’t survive for whatever reason? I don’t think so, but it does matter how viable, meaning to what degree it has a chance of survival and reasonable quality of life, if it does.

            *nearly is an important word here. There are rare cases of preterm infants “surviving” prior to 24 weeks, of course, but usually with profound and debilitating neurological defects.

      • Jennifer Starr

        Wow–you really are just a complete and utter idiot, aren’t you?

    • Laura

      How is it NOT safe to admit that? I had a difficult, uncomfortable pregnancy. I swelled terribly, had very painful carpal tunnel syndrome, had severe heartburn throughout, and had to deliver a week and a half early because I was becoming preeclamptic. I did not enjoy being pregnant at all. My body has never been the same. I would not take back ONE MINUTE of it, because my son was worth it. Every baby is.

      • Sarah Eilerson

        Okay, you’re a martyr. Your willingness to play that part in no way obligates me to complete an unwanted pregnancy.

        • Laura

          Hardly. The fact that there is a human life in your womb should obligate you to complete the pregnancy, wanted or not.

          • Sarah Eilerson

            Nope.

          • Dez

            Nope not at all. My ancestors were forced breeding cattle. I will not let you do that to women in this modern age.

  • Lisa Rebman

    Right, because having a dead baby is so much better. All of this is nothing compared to lifelong grief. – from a mother of a 24 week stillbirth.

    • Lynnsey

      Well, that didn’t take long.

      I’m sorry for your loss, but miscarriage/stillbirth or infertility or any other thing doesn’t give you the right to dismiss the feelings and experience another woman has about pregnancy/birth/children. Telling women who express their true feelings about the less-than-pleasant aspects of the same that they should essentially shut up and be happy they have a baby is incredibly insulting.

    • Atheist Finch

      I’m so, so sorry for your loss. I wish I had words of comfort.

    • Christy

      I am very sorry for your loss. My 2nd daughter was stillborn at 37 weeks, about 17 and a half years ago. For a period of time afterward, I couldn’t imagine how anyone could voluntarily get rid of a baby (although at no point did I think it should be illegal). I went on to have 2 more children. During the last birth 8 years ago, both of our lives were in serious danger (placental abruption, major hemorrhaging, emergency c-section under general anesthesia). I went through that because I wanted that baby. I honestly could not imagine the trauma of being forced to endure that if I was in a situation where I did not want a child.

      For me, it all comes down to one thing–I have the right to determine what happens with my body; I don’t have the right to determine what everyone else does with theirs.

      I hope that you have a good support system for dealing with the grief. I didn’t, and looking back, there are so many things that I think would have been helpful to me. Nothing can take away the pain, but time and support will help you get through it. Again, I am so sorry that you are going through this. It is a pain that absolutely no one deserves.

    • http://www.redstateeclectic.typepad.com AngelaTC

      Deepest sympathies for your loss. The author of this piece exemplifies so much of what is wrong with humanity that it’s hard to know where to start, but narcissistic seems as good a place as any.

      • goatini

        The author of the post I am replying to exemplifies so much of what is wrong with humanity that it’s hard to know where to start, but narcissistic seems as good a place as any.

      • Jennifer Starr

        Someone else who apparently couldn’t be bothered to actually read the article.

    • KayeBlue

      How would that be relevant? You still have bills from your pregnancy and delivery, need time to recover, medical help both emotionally and physically. If anything, the possibility of later-term stillbirth only highlights that no woman should be forced to carry a pregnancy. No one should be forced to endure that heartbreak.

      I assume this post is a troll because it is so illogical and irrelevant.

    • Andi_S

      I’m sorry for your loss but everyone should have the choice to do what she wants. If we look at some countries where abortion is illegal what do people there? They bring a child to the world they never wanted, throw it out of a window, put it in the freezer or just kill him/her right away. Then they try to bury and hide the dead body. SO much better right?

      These action’s aren’t rare either. This happens hundreds of times per week. You can’t force people to do something they don’t want. Don’t know which country it was exactly but they made abortion illegal. Guess what? They had 300% more dead children in that year than ever before. If someone gets pregnant and absolutely does not want the child they’ll do whatever it takes to get rid of it. Guess abortion is the better option then?

    • Jennifer Starr

      I am very sorry for your loss.

  • Atheist Finch

    Thank you so much for writing this.
    I suspect, however, that anti-choice evangelicals really don’t care about your pregnancy, and nor do they care about your baby. They care about being self-righteous and superior, and making sure that you fall in line and behave in ways that make them comfortable. Any attempt to stray from behaviour they find acceptable is what really sets them off, which explains their total lack of empathy, compassion, or understanding for the precious life that is an already-existing woman. Life begins and conception (and ends at birth), and women must do as they’re told by strangers who are uncomfortable with lack of conformity. How dare you experience discomfort? You should have mother-ish feelings ONLY, and your own pain be damned. Sickening.

    • jakee308

      Your suspicions are worthless and show you to be a shallow and ego centric individual. Your blithe dismissal of their beliefs is only matched in arrogance by your assumption that you know what they’re thinking or why.

    • jennyschecter

      It’s how the right wing and religious work. they have a very rigid, strict approach to everything in life. their ardent belief in god makes them unprecedentedly judgmental. if you don’t follow them or their beliefs, then you are simultaneously turning your back on god- their god actually- as if those were mutual activities.

      And so of course, you must be going to hell. And they just laugh at you and tell you you deserve it. It’s really evil.

  • nimblebooks

    Terry Pratchett likes to observe in his Discworld novels that there is no divine justice — “just us”.

    • Gemini68

      From Douglas Adams: the church of god the utterly indifferent. Wouldn’t that piss off the religious right’s obsessive desire to have god spank us when we don’t do as we’re told?

  • Courtney

    This is a wonderful article! I was asked, after the birth of my son, if I had changed my position on abortion. I told this relative that I had and that I was more staunchly prochoice than ever. Natasha is exactly right. There is no “Just have the baby.” All the best to Natasha & Linus (& Chris).

  • Daniel Distant

    Thanks for sharing your experience. I don’t believe (or at least I haven’t heard) anyone saying to “just have the baby,” and if they have, I’m sorry, because that’s really insensitive. Having a child is very, very hard and it should be viewed as such. However, the gravity of abortion — potentially killing a child, ending it’s life before it leaves the womb, taking away its right to humanity — is too great to dismiss simply because a mother and child may endure some hardships. Your list of struggles:

    -Clothes that didn’t fit
    -Potential temporary (or permanent) diabetes
    -Dietary restrictions
    -Job loss (not completely sure about this one, as maternity leave is required by law in the U.S., but still)
    -Potential major abdominal surgery
    -a large hospital bill (fortunately, for you, was mostly paid off by insurance)

    These are important for new families to know as potential hurdles, and I thank you for sharing them. Still, I don’t believe that they, or any of the relatively conquerable struggles faced by many American families, mean that abortion should be an option. Although it is horrifying, most of the people choosing abortion do it for only one reason: they don’t feel like being parents. Rape, potential sickness or deformity of the child, financial problems with the family — all these are rare occurrences that lead to abortion. Most times it’s people’s own selfishness and unwillingness to change their lifestyles.

    We’re at the point where abortion is no longer “rare,” as Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers claim it should be. Women in their 30s and 40s are on their fourth or fifth abortions. 40 percent of the abortions in New York State (my home state) are African-Americans. So if people are saying “just have the baby” that’s rather rude, but I think what they are trying to express is that the child, that defenseless unborn soul, deserves a chance at life, even if they (or, God forbid, the mother) have to struggle.

    • Lynnsey

      By you’re name, I’m guessing you’re a man (I could be wrong). Thanks for dismissing this woman’s experience despite the fact that you’ll never experience anything quite like it. This is exactly what I was talking about in my other comments. You don’t have the right to write these things off as a mere inconvenience. If you think these things are trivial, you should thank the deity of your choosing for your unbelievable privilege…

      *Buying clothes that do fit costs more money. Money many people don’t have.

      *People die all the time from complications of diabetes. I’ve lost multiple family members that way.

      *Maternity leave is only required under certain circumstances. It is most often unpaid and too short to recover from childbirth even if you DO qualify and even if you’re lucky enough to not have to stop working PRIOR to delivery. If you want to encourage people to have babies, advocate for a change in that situation.

      *How about you have your abdomen cut open and get back to me about that one?

      *Delivering a child without complications costs tens of thousands of dollars. Even with good insurance, we paid $3K out of pocket with my daughter. When you add complications you can easily be talking about hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. Hospitals don’t just eat that for the uninsured, either. They pass it on to everyone else.

      Your dismissal of the hardships women and their families face in dealing with pregnancy/childbirth/parenting is breathtakingly insulting.

      • jakee308

        Being Male is a privilege? My, oh my, there’s a bunch of baggage right there and a whole load of female chauvinism to boot. It is the root of female discontent though. For some reason females think that males have it soooo easy in the world and that the poor females just can’t get a break on top of having to birth a child if they get impregnated. There’s a saying for that; the universe isn’t fair, there is no justice and you make of your life and your talents or handicaps what you will of it. There’s also a lot of chance involved also. You have no RIGHT to claim being male is so easy since you have no way of experiencing what it is to be male. Females only see the superficialities, the things that others can see. Females constantly make this mistake and never learn that they aren’t equipped to understand males. Just as males aren’t equipped to truly understand females. Different wiring, chemistry and perception. Your dismissal of males and what they go through emotionally and mentally over a love object being pregnant is breathtakingly insulting.

    • squirrely girl

      There is a difference between privilege and easy.

      Being male affords you the privilege of never having to risk your life or health to carry a pregnancy to term and experience childbirth.

      It provides you the privilege of not being worried about the possibility of your body becoming pregnant as a result of sex.

      Being male affords you the privilege of intellectualizing abortion because you’ll never actually risk experiencing it yourself.

    • Amadi

      The phrase “relatively conquerable struggles” leapt out me. Relatively isn’t a very convincing modifier in the best of circumstances, and in a circumstance which could literally cost someone their job (and consequently their insurance, their home, their security) or their health or even their life, we need some assurances beyond “relatively.”

      But even more importantly, if I can’t conquer the struggles that pregnancy would present to me? What if I don’t have the resources or the support to do so? What if I don’t have the energy? What if I just don’t want to?

      See, the thing is, no one else can do the hardest part of pregnancy for the pregnant person. As much as anyone else can do by way of support, they can’t take on the pain, the complications, the disease, the recovery. They can’t take on the risk.

      And until such time as pregnant people, and pregnant people alone face all that risk on their own, then the choice to continue a pregnancy is not anyone else’s to make, and really, no one else’s business. No matter how conquerable, relatively or otherwise, you think the “struggles” they might face, happen to be.

    • KayeBlue

      She’s discussing clothing, food, and shelter in the LIST of expenses a pregnant woman faces.

      The US does NOT require maternity leave. The FMLA requires 12 weeks of medical leave for *companies with 50+ employees* if the given employee has worked there *longer than one year*. With NO PAY!

      Oh, and I love how you just tick off “major abdominal surgery”. Nevermind vaginal tearing, infection, hip displaysia, and postpartum depression. (/sarcasm)

      I won’t even touch “30s and 40s on their 4th and 5th abortions” because anyone typing that on a computer has access to Google, which will immediately invalidate that preposterous statement.

      Even if you are so callous as to be indifferent to the suffering of an actual, living, breathing, decision-making human being because it happens to be a pregnant woman, you have no right to even *ask* her to ‘struggle’. But of course, a rape exception is OK by you because it’s that women should be ‘punished’ for having sex. Worry about your own soul, and leave our bodies out of it.

    • splashy79

      Abortion has NEVER been rare. Women have been seeking them out as long as they have known something could be done about pregnancy.

    • fiona64

      We’re at the point where abortion is no longer “rare,” as Planned
      Parenthood and other abortion providers claim it should be. Women in
      their 30s and 40s are on their fourth or fifth abortions.

      Citations needed. Thanks in advance.

    • JK

      I don’t know much about stats regarding illnesses, but rape and financial problems are not rare at all. Sometimes women really want to keep their babies but know they can’t afford to. It’s a reality, stop pretending like it’s not.

    • Andi_S

      Should people who absolutely doesn’t want children really have some? It’s not like population is decreasing. Actually we already have too many human beings on this planet.

      • MJ

        yeah its called dont have sex, or use birth control. Sex leads to babies, DUH

        • goatini

          Yep, Catholic high school boy trolling.

      • MJ

        and NO WE DONT have too many people on this planet. Thats your leftist opinion.

        • goatini

          Rick Perry? Is that you?

    • Judy Jackson

      Daniel, when you actually EXPERIENCE what it is like to be a woman who is facing these decisions, CALL ME. Until then, you have no say in this. My birth control didn’t work, my son’s father walked out on me before my son was born. I NEVER got child support, NEVER got a thing from him. I went back to work when my son was 6 days old because I had a hospital bill to pay. It took me 17 months, but I paid it. My mom took care of my baby during the day, I took care of him at night. I was 23 when I had my son. You have NO clue.

    • Callie

      LOL where is maternity leave required by law in the US (FMLA doesn’t count, it doesn’t apply to workplaces with less than 50 people)

  • Banditelli

    I love you three. I wish we could convince every new mother to tell their story. ((hugs))

  • Nancy Cadet

    A reality check, indeed! This is the plain, unvarnished truth— child bearing is tough, a medical and financial challenge, and in our country , there is very little help for ordinary working people when they need it. To give another example, In NYC, progressive City Council members had to fight very hard last week to mandate paid sick leave days for workers who don’t have them!

    Our friends in developed economies with universal health systems are continually amazed at the raw deal we in the US have, and for the most part,that our voters accept meekly or in a state of delusion. “Just have the baby” is really the mantra of the right wing here, who direct public funds to “pregnancy crisis centers” and try to shame any female (or supportive male) who doesn’t buy into that.

    Good luck to Natasha, father and baby. Let’s hope things continue to improve. But don’t forget that if these childbirth costs amounted to basically the same as a working person’s annual salary, college tuition will cost even more !

  • vanessa

    Im sorry but this seems selfish. The mother seems to be worrying about her own health more than the babys. If ur so worried about your health, get your tubes tied or stop having unprotected and irrisponsible sex. A child is not a burden, it is a wonderful gift and also the result of selfishness and irrisponsibility.

    • malkavian

      Excuse me? The author doesn’t state this outright, but I’m pretty sure her child was wanted. You can want a baby, and still have a very hard pregnancy. You can want a baby and hate your pregnancy. You can want a baby and still die during childbirth. Wanting the child doesn’t make giving birth less expensive. It doesn’t make emergency medical costs less expensive. It doesn’t give you adequate maternity leave.

      If children are a wonderful gift, why don’t we have more resources in place to help parents and babies?

      And why don’t you try listening to people’s experiences instead of talking over them?

      • Lynnsey

        That.

    • Jennifer Starr

      I’m not even sure you read and comprehended the article–it’s quite obvious that this woman loves her baby very much and cares very deeply for him and wants to care for his health. Admitting that a pregnancy was difficult and expensive (they are) is in no way selfish. I’m assuming from your writing and maturity level that you’re a teenager–perhaps as you get older your general comprehension will improve. .

      • JK

        I agreed with you until you started being ageist. Who would know some of these struggles better than someone facing teen pregnancy?

        • Jennifer Starr

          My apologies–that was not my intention to be that way. I am sorry.

    • Lynnsey

      This is exactly what I was talking about in my first comment. While it’s not an unusual reaction to women expressing that every pool of spit-up isn’t pure glitter and every hemorrhoid isn’t fabulous, it should be. It needs to be okay for women to say “this is hard and sometimes completely awful” without being scolded and treated like they hate their baby. It’s irresponsible and selfish to NOT take care of yourself and not to admit that you’ve had it for today and you need a break. I can’t help but wonder how many women would have suffered less if they hadn’t felt the need to do it in silence for fear of being shamed for being honest about how they felt.

    • fiona64

      Yeah, a planned pregnancy within marriage that goes wrong (as the author wrote about here) is obviously “unprotected and irrisponsible [sic] sex.”

      Even then, you do know that every form of contraception, including surgical sterilization has known failure rates, right? Or perhaps you are unaware that many gynecologists will not perform a tubal ligation on a woman who is under 30 or has fewer than two children?

      I am sure that you could cram some more ignorance into this post if you tried …

    • Amanda Kazarian

      Yes because it is so easy to get your tubes tied in the U.S. Get real

      • fiona64

        Exactly. I had to “doctor-shop” on my insurance plan to get my tubes tied at age 29 … and he had to explain to a peer review board why he was performing the requested surgery on a woman under the age of 30. I also had to have a form completed by my husband that he was aware I was seeking the surgery (it really amounted to a permission slip) and undergo a 30-day waiting period between the day I signed the informed consent and the day I had the procedure “in case I changed my mind.”

        It’s been 20 years since that procedure, and I haven’t “changed my mind.”

        The barriers to a full range of women’s health care have gotten more and more ridiculous since then …which I almost find hard to believe.

        • Jennifer Starr

          My friend and her husband did not want any children, ever–and she wanted to get her tubes tied. Imagine their surprise when they found out that she actually needed her husband’s permission to get the surgery. Insane.

          • Amanda Kazarian

            Luckily planned parenthood doesn’t ask about any of that, lots of paperwork though because they are worried I will change my mind. As if I just woke one day and decided I didn’t want children.

          • cjvg

            When was this, and does this still go on, if I may ask?
            What would have happened if she was single?
            (sorry for my incorrigible curiosity, I’m just completely flabbergasted that this is still occurring)

          • Jennifer Starr

            It was in Texas sometime in the late 70s or 80s–not sure if that still goes on, though I wouldn’t be surprised. Was doing some research and apparently Ohio had or still has a law like this too? It’s just bizarre.

          • Judy Jackson

            Yes, it still goes on. I live in Texas & I know women who have been turned down for a tubal because they were “too young” or “might change their minds” or they didn’t have their husband’s permission. It is still very difficult for a single woman to have her tubes tied in this state. Patriarchy is very much alive & well in Texas (although many of us ARE working to change that). My sister’s husband didn’t need her permission for a vasectomy, but she needed his for a tubal. They decided as a family that he would have the vasectomy as it is a much safer, less invasive procedure than a tubal.

        • Amanda Kazarian

          You are very fortunate to have found a doctor willing to do the procedure. My only hope for ensure is planned parenthood and it will cost a pretty decent amount of money even with insurance.

          • fiona64

            I know. This same surgeon was given grief for performing a tubal ligation on a 19-year-old who already had four kids, BTW. I know, because he told me. He said that, unlike many of his OB/GYN colleagues, he believes women when they say they don’t want any (more) kids. He figured that women knew their circumstances and were smart enough to decide. That didn’t stop the flood of ridiculous paperwork I had to complete, but I had already been told by many doctors that I would “doubtless change my mind” and been refused.

      • Gemini68

        Does a man need to get permission from a woman to get a vasectomy? Just curious.

        • Ella Warnock

          I had to sign a release when my husband had his. He was active duty at the time, and I suspect in our case that we flew completely under the radar, somehow. The doctor didn’t even realize my husband didn’t have kids until he was halfway done with the procedure. If anyone had really been paying attention we probably would have had a lot of questions to answer.

        • Amanda Kazarian

          No a man doesnt need permission from his wife to be sterilized, thats his private man business. Only women’s reproductive organs are up for public debate (or thats th way it seems)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000988729432 Rick Bagnall

      “If ur [sic] so worried about your health, get your tubes tied…” Do you have any idea how expensive getting your tubes tied is? Not to mention the same concerns about losing one’s job for missing work apply for MANY Americans–the more so since getting your tubes tied is an elective surgery (childbirth isn’t, really).

      “… or stop having unprotected and irrisponsible [sic] sex.” Not all abortions are chosen to avoid the consequences of unprotected sex. I have a friend whose doctors have all told her that pregnancy is absolutely out of the question for her due to heart arrhythmias. Given that she has a Master’s degree and her husband has a Bachelor’s, I have a hard time believing that they would have completely ignored her doctor’s advice and engaged in unprotected sex…and yet she still got pregnant a couple of years ago. And it was an ectopic pregnancy, just to make matters worse. Tell me…what was she supposed to do OTHER than get an abortion under those circumstances?

    • HeilMary1

      So married sex is selfish and irresponsible?

      • malkavian

        Moreover, caring about your own health is selfish?

  • https://twitter.com/#!/MiddleAmericaMS MiddleAmericaMS

    Don’t all 14 year old girls have health insurance or a good job to pay the tens of thousands the health industry charges?

    This is going to be terrible for red states that outlaw abortion.

    :(

  • splashy79

    Yes, that IS the point, isn’t it. Bearing children is messy, painful, and dangerous, for both mother and child. Many girls/women are injured, maimed for life, or die from it.

    There is no “just” to it. It’s a gamble that could end the life of the girl/woman, or cost her the rest of her life.

    It should only be HER decision, with no one else stepping in the way.

  • bcalnyc

    Wow! First of all, congratulations on the birth of your son and thank goodness he’s ok. Second, as a woman who had her first child at 18 and her last at 40 (4 all told) and having had them in various circumstances I can certainly concur with the idea that “just have a baby” is a sentence only spoken by the ignorant.
    For every child – I wish that they are wanted, for every mother – I wish a supported (and trouble free) pregnancy. Until both those things are true in EVERY case (as if!) we all need to try harder.

  • MJ

    Oh Sorry your baby was such an inconvenience. I had no medical coverage, had pre-eclampsia, baby stayed in nicu for a week. Bill was upwards of about 40,000. Money is not an issue though. Medicaid covered everything. Your argument is invalid. What a stupid article.

    • Jennifer Starr

      Another person who apparently can’t be bothered to read and comprehend the point of the article. What on earth is so bad or selfish about admitting that childbirth is not always a cakewalk?

      • fiona64

        Because if you admit that it isn’t always a cakewalk, why, people won’t think it’s a cakewalk?

        I don’t know about you, but I’ve lost track of the number of women I’ve read on-line or spoken to who bitch up one side and down the other about how “haaaaarrrrrddddd” it is to be a mom, only to follow up with “but it’s all worth it.”

        Parenting and childbirth are not easy. Pregnancy is not a state of wellness. Until we start talking about these matters as *facts,* instead of romanticizing the whole process, we are going to continue having women who are surprised when their picture-perfect fantasy of motherhood turns out to be false.

        • Ella Warnock

          It’s only worth it if you think it is.

    • fiona64

      Shorter MJ: Don’t bother me with facts. Medicaid paid all of my bills, so it’s all good.

      Her argument is 100 percent valid, and an important read. It’s very easy to be dismissive about other women’s reproductive health and decisions … as you just have.

    • Jennifer Starr

      Sure medicaid covers everything–until the GOP decides to make cuts, because they care about forcing women to give birth, but they don’t give a crap about actual BABIES. Because you see, worrying about the ‘unborn innocent lives’ maybe requires a lot of grandstanding and emoting, which politicians are quite good at. But actual born babies and children require you to actually do something, and they don’t like that at all.

    • Fr0sty

      Exactly. How do you put a price on a child? Children are priceless.

      • fiona64

        Being bankrupted by medical bills is not exactly good for families.

        The author of the original article made a very big point of the fact that she knew she was *lucky to have the resources she did,* and that other women in the exact same circumstances do not.

        Why is this so incomprehensible to some people?

      • Jennifer Starr

        Sure because they don’t need to be fed, and educated, and clothed and have medical care or anything like that. Some deity will no doubt provide, because he would never ‘let a child go hungry’ (except when they frequently do). Cute little homilies sound real sweet and all on a calendar with big-eyed Precious Moments children, but there are practical considerations out in the real world.

        • Fr0sty

          Right, and as the mother of 4 children who had her first child at 20 and who has been extremely poor I would know nothing about the “real world.” Not believing in any particular deity I have no expectation that anyone will provide for me except myself. My agnosticism doesn’t, however, preclude my belief that capriciously destroying human life cheapens us all.

          • Jennifer Starr

            Still doesn’t explain why this article is generating antagonism among ‘pro-lifers’–they seem to think that just because this woman is admitting that pregnancy, childbirth and post-partum isn’t always a bed of roses and in fact can sometimes be a real bitch is somehow bad or that she must think of her son as an inconvenience when it’s quite obvious how much said author loves and cares for her child.

            Apparently we’re all supposed to go through it with smiles on our faces and call it a blessing instead of being allowed to be honest at times. No wonder women with post-partum depression feel such shame with women judging them for feeling less than joyful.

          • fiona64

            It is a little bizarre, actually. I’m reading this woman talking about her wanted pregnancy, how much she loves her son … all of that seems pretty positive to me. And yet, the anti-choicers are flipping their collective wigs because she dares to point out that babies don’t shit chocolate ice cream and that having a kid in the NICU is stressful and costly. None of this should be shocking to anyone, but yet the anti-choicers seem to think that these admissions are tantamount to the Spartans abandoning a child in the woods.

          • HeilMary1

            They are afraid the scary bankrupting, job- and marriage-destroying truth is finally being told.

          • fiona64

            So, do you cry every time you use a loofah? Those cells you exfoliate are, after all, “human life.”

          • malkavian

            I hope you also believe that denying medical care to sick people cheapens human life, then. And that war cheapens human life. That people not getting enough to eat cheapens human life. And so on, and so forth.

          • Fr0sty

            Why are you trying to imply? That I’m a pro-war, pro-starvation person who wants to deny medical care to sick people? Just because I disagree with the author of this article and suggest that pro-life people may indeed be aware that pregnancy and childbirth are not trivial?

          • fiona64

            I don’t think you even *read this article.* The author was saying that her *wanted pregnancy* had issues, and that her son is having health problems, and that she is lucky to have resources in place that many other women do not have. As a result, she finds the phrase “just have the baby” to be ridiculous.

            What, exactly, is so hard to comprehend about that?

            Oh, wait. I’m sorry. If I re-read your posts, I find that every single one of them is a different version of “just have the baby.” I guess *that’s* why it’s so hard for you to understand.

            My bad.

          • malkavian

            Primarily because, politically, people who tend to oppose abortion also tend to oppose access to abortion also oppose things like universal healthcare systems and welfare systems, and many are also pro-war. Ironic, considering many women (about 40 percent) who seek abortions already have children who they love and are struggling to support, and have the abortion to ensure they can care for the child they already have even if they would want another. So, if there was more support for mothers, it’s likely fewer abortions would occur, but most abortion opponents do not support these programs.

          • Fr0sty

            I think it’s possible to have a more nuanced position that the one you’ve outlined here. It’s unfortunate that discussions on such contentious and complicated issues must always devolve into battles of stereotype against stereotype.

          • HeilMary1

            I know / knew many women who suffered lethal and gruesome childbirth complications that deserve public discussions to ward off repetition by the naive.

          • goatini

            ^ ^ ^ Example: straight out of the RCC playbook.

          • HeilMary1

            Forcing all women to risk death and permanent injuries by childbirth on behalf of spoiled pedophile priests definitely cheapens humanity.

          • goatini

            “Not believing in any particular deity… My agnosticism doesn’t…”

            Oh, and that’s why all your arguments are all from the Roman Catholic Catechism playbook.

      • cjvg

        Sure they are, that is why the farm bill that includes food stamps for poor families that have trouble feeding their children failed!

        So now the GOP wants to split these issues so they can vote yes on giving lots of money to big corporate farms like Montesano when they do not make enough profit, and no on supporting food stamps since born children don’t really need to eat every day !

        • Fr0sty

          Come to think of it, you’re right. Children aren’t priceless at all. In fact, we should make sure every fetus is aborted until the GOP passes the farm bill. We’re all in this together. No babies until they do what we want.

    • LisaC

      Speaking as the taxpayer who paid your bill–you’re welcome. I’m glad we could all pitch in and help you out, and I really do mean that. However, your argument that “money is not an issue” is invalid, because people who are paying for their own care via health insurance usually have to pay a deductible and sometimes some additional part of the cost. Not everyone’s health plan is as good as yours.

    • malkavian

      Yes, because talking about how her pregnancy was hard is saying your child is inconvenient. Being terrified because your kid is sick and you don’t know why and they’re in pain and you can’t help them is saying your child is inconvenient. Recognizing that you’re lucky to have certain supports in place that not everyone has, even though they really should, is saying your child is inconvenient. Are we reading the same article?

      You know, I don’t think you really value life, look how blase you are about your child’s NICU stay.

    • HeilMary1

      What about women who lose their jobs, insurance, spouses and are denied Medicaid while pregnant?? And what about your wife-dumping GOPer buddies who want to eliminate Medicaid for you “lazy poor whores” altogether? GOPers only care about the reproductive health of their hot mistresses, and they make sure we un- and under-insured pay for their mistresses and Viagra.

    • Ella Warnock

      Money isn’t an issue, huh? That’s because the taxpayers – including prochoicers – picked up the tab for you. You’re welcome.

      • MJ

        You don’t think abortion and contraception isn’t tax payer funded? Ever heard of planned parenthood? Oh yeah. You are welcome too. You are missing my point. She was bitching n moaning about bills when clearly that’s NEVER an issue.

        • Ella Warnock

          Clearly never an issue for you, yes, you mentioned that already.

        • fiona64

          Ever heard of the Hyde Amendment? No tax dollars go to abortion. Lies, lies, lies.

    • cjvg

      However, some of us are responsible people who make sure that we can pay all the bills related to our pregnancies and childbirth before we have kids!

  • Fr0sty

    Yet another skirmish in the left’s raging war on straw men. Who, exactly, says to “just have the baby?” Who are these “extremists” so eager to trivialize and minimize the miracle of pregnancy and childbirth?

    It’s rather troubling that throughout your entire article you seem to imply that poor woman, especially, ought not consider carrying their babies to term, as babies are expensive, as is health care. Better to not reproduce if you’re not well off I guess.

    Not having met many, if any, “anti-choice extremists” I’ll have to assume you mean people who believe that it’s rather more humane and morally correct to deliver a live baby than to kill that baby before it has a chance to be born. I wonder why you would assume that such people would not be aware of the difficulties of pregnancy, labor and childbirth and also the ensuing expenses?

    As the mother of 4 children, who has been very poor, who has been a single mother, who has had to work during pregnancy, and who has had complications during pregnancy and who believes that having the baby is preferable to having an abortion, especially after the 1st trimester, I strongly disagree with your contention that I am unaware of the difficulties women face.

    • fiona64

      I had someone say it in another on-line community just this morning. The people who are saying “just have the baby” are anti-choicers who think that it’s okay for them to make decisions about other women’s lives and health status.

      The author of the article was very clear that she knows she is in a better position than lots of women who go through the same thing she did.

      You had your choice to have the children you did. The author of this article chose to have a child. No one is denying either of you that choice.

      However, I hasten to point out something to you. This remark you made: I’ll have to assume you mean people who believe that it’s rather more
      humane and morally correct to deliver a live baby than to kill that baby
      before it has a chance to be born.
      ?

      Can be very briefly translated as “just have the baby.”

      So, I guess that’s twice today …

      • Fr0sty

        I completely disagree. Why do you assume being pro-life means that people must necessarily be unaware of the difficulties women face during and after pregnancy? There are, in fact, many pregnancy crisis centers set up just to help women through this trying time because people know exactly how difficult it is and want to help.

        • Jennifer Starr

          No. CPC’s pressure women, lie to them, preach to them, harass them, invade their privacy–and often coerce them into adoptions. Sure they might give you some secondhand junk if you take one of their ‘bible classes’, but they don’t actually help.

          • Fr0sty

            I wonder if you are able to comprehend that those with whom you disagree may actually be acting in good faith. It’s odd that while you appear to ascribe to a worldview with which I disagree and which I consider quite misguided, I do not necessarily believe you to be evil and disingenuous. Is it possible for you to entertain the idea that some pro-life people do actually care about both women and their children?

          • fiona64

            I might ask you the same question. The anti-choice position, though, elevates the fetus above the woman.

            I don’t believe you to be evil, but I do believe you to be disingenuous.

          • Fr0sty

            Disingenuous in what way? Where have I sought to deceive? Is it not possible for someone to see inherent worth in both the baby and the mother?

          • fiona64

            Is it possible for you to see that a fetus is not a baby? Is it possible for you to see that you don’t get to make medical decisions for other people?

            Is it possible for you to see past your various versions of “just have the baby” and realize how very, yes, disingenuous that attitude *is*? That is the whole point of this author’s writing: she wanted the baby. She had the baby. Her wanted pregnancy went horribly wrong … and she was lucky to have resources in place that other women in the *exact same circumstance* do not. She was acknowledging the absolutely, 100 percent, disingenuous attitude behind the statement “just have the baby.”

            The reason you can’t see it, madame, is that you are so damned busy *saying it yourself.*

          • Fr0sty

            At no time during my 4 pregnancies did I tell anyone I was having a fetus. What I was having each time was a baby. I’ve never actually heard any other expectant mother say she was having a fetus either. I suppose the choice of word speaks to the intent.
            If you believe that I am being disingenuous when I say that I am completely cognizant of how demanding and expensive pregnancy and childbirth are, and that many “anti-choice extremists” must be as well, then there’s really nothing more to say. You will believe what you will believe.

          • fiona64

            You said you were “going to have a baby.” Please note the use of the future tense.

            What you were pregnant with was a fetus. I guarantee that, if you looked at your medical records for your pregnancy, you would see references to fetal development and so on. Not one peep in that record would refer to a “baby” until it was born, and even then the term used would be infant.

            We have names for developmental stages for a reason. Prior to birth, those stages are (in order): conception, zygote, blastocyst, embryo, fetus. After birth, those stages are infant and child.

            The “choice of word,” as you put it, speaks to *reality.* I am guessing you missed a few days of biology class; otherwise, you would know this. All mammalian biology follows the same stages of development.

            Finally, as I have said repeatedly, the reason I find you disingenuous is that you keep trying to pretend you are saying anything *other* than “just have the baby” — when that is *exactly* what you’re saying.

          • Fr0sty

            Right, and when you go and have an ultrasound you say things like “oh look at the little fetus, she’s so beautiful!” and when you go for check ups they always ask if you want to “hear the fetus’s heartbeat.” Oh wait, no, they call it a baby. I guess every doctor and nurse I encountered during every pregnancy missed the same biology classes I did. I’m sure glad things turned out as well as they did, given our ignorance of biology.

          • Lynnsey

            When I put batter in the oven, I often say I’m baking a cake…

          • fiona64

            Yep … because, once it is done developing and taken out of the oven, it’s a cake. Until then, it’s just batter undergoing physical and chemical processes. And this is, actually, a perfect analogy — to which I am certain that at least one poster here will take umbrage.

          • Fr0sty

            As do I. Never once, however, has one been alive either before or after being in the oven.

          • fiona64

            I’m guessing you don’t do much with bread, then …

          • fiona64

            They are using lay terms that you understand, because you are (obviously) not a medical professional. Your medical records would refer to fetal development, fetal heartbeat, etc.

            I think I already said that, though.

            I worked in hospitals for seven years, and I am still in the medical field now. I do not romanticize things by referring to them in inaccurate lay terms. You’re welcome to do otherwise, of course. Calling it a “baby’ before it was born doesn’t change the reality that it was a fetus. If you are sitting in the garage, are you suddenly a Buick?

          • Fr0sty

            A live 24 week old fetus becomes an infant the moment he or she leaves the birth canal, correct? It’s hardly romanticizing to call a 6 month’s along pregnancy a baby.

          • fiona64

            I do believe that I pointed out that birth is necessary in order for an infant to exist, yes. (And you wonder why I think you’re being disingenuous; at this point, I’m not sure you know the definition of the word.)

            At 24 weeks’ gestation (normal gestation is 40 weeks), there is a 10-35 percent infant survival rate. What this means, in the event that you are mathematically impaired, is that between 65 and 90 percent of infants born at that stage of fetal development *die.* Why? Because they are NOT FULLY DEVELOPED. Good god, woman; must I shout at you in order for you to comprehend that a fetus at 24 weeks’ gestation is not what you think it is?

          • Fr0sty

            You seem to have a great deal of emotional investment in the idea that a developing child in the womb is not a baby. It seems like semantics to me. Call it whatever you want to call it, it is still a developing human being. Or does it not become human until birth? If not, what is it?

          • fiona64

            I’m sorry that you are confused by people using correct terminology for human development. I also use words like penis instead of “peepee” and vagina instead of “lady parts.” Shocking, right?

            You’re the one hyper-emotionalizing, not me. ::shrug:: I’ll humor you and answer your question.

            A fetus is a *potential* human being. There is a difference between being “human” and being “a human.” I thought I had given you an analogy to explain this already, when I pointed out that use of a loofah destroys human life as it removes cells.

            Let me know if I need to use smaller words, okay? /snark

          • Fr0sty

            The loofah comment I ignored as it seemed quite facetious and meant to provoke. It’s a poor analogy, however, as skin cells are just one of the myriad cells that must interact to form a human being. A skin cell on its own will obviously never become sentient, for example. A “potential human being” gestating in the womb contains all the necessary cells to become “a human.” I suppose that is also what differentiates it from bread, another poor analogy you’ve used elsewhere.

          • goatini

            You seem to have a great deal of emotional investment in the idea that a fetus is a “baby”. It seems like deliberately deceptive emotional manipulation to me. Call it whatever you want to call it, it is still a product of conception and not a person and citizen, since rights are imbued to citizens at birth. Or do you measure “birthdays” from the instant of fertilization? If not, what is it?

          • Fr0sty

            The only emotional investment I have in this exchange is the umbrage I felt at the author’s contention that pro-life people must necessarily not be cognizant of the trials of pregnancy and childbirth. With regard to your comment above, I have merely noted that every single expectant mother I have ever interacted with has referred to her “fetus” or “developing human being” as a baby. Is it no longer correct for pregnant women to do so? Or is just not politically correct when one is speaking of abortion?

          • SisterBenedict

            I believe that the contents of a woman’s uterus when she is pregnant can be rightly called a baby.

          • Lynnsey

            Well, when you dismiss the things she talks about as “inconveniences” as so many of them do, it does seem as though they aren’t…

          • fiona64

            I don’t care if you (or any pregnant woman) call the fetus a Russian wolfhound, to be honest. It doesn’t change the fact that it is a fetus. I’m sorry that you find correct medical terminology so threatening.

          • Fr0sty

            Goodness, you’ve really got a chip on your shoulder about pregnant women. So gracious of you to allow me to use the word baby rather than fetus. By the way, I also refer to my canine lupis familiaris as a “dog” and my felis catus as a “cat.” Hope you don’t mind.

          • fiona64

            Oh, sweetie. Do you really imagine that I give two shits what you think about me? I don’t care enough about you, or what you do in your own life, to miss you if you were gone.

            I feel sorry for you, to be honest. It’s quite clear that the one with the chip on her shoulder is *you,* with your constant references to how much struggle and strife you went through to have your four children starting at age 20, and how if you could do it, anyone could. I’m beginning to think you’re pissed off at people who had the opportunity to obtain an education. Tell me; did you use Wikipedia to look up the Latin you just used? I’ll bet you did …

            PS: It’s canis familiaris not, “canine familiaris.” And no, I didn’t have to look it up. Abi in malam crucem.

          • Fr0sty

            I haven’t expressed an opinion of you, beyond noting that you seem awfully touchy about expectant mothers calling their “fetuses” “babies.” While many of my friends and neighbors hold advanced degrees, I am usually able to converse and interact with them on equal terms despite having only obtained a BA myself. No being an education snob, I don’t necessarily believe an advanced degree confers wisdom or intelligence in and of itself anyway. I’ve no need for sympathy either, as my family has done very well but thanks anyway.

          • goatini

            We are justifiably annoyed at those who seek to condescend to and infantilize adult pregnant women with deliberately manipulative and inaccurate terminology, with a deliberate goal of deceptively positing that a product of conception, that may or may not make it to full term even under the best of conditions, is (impossibly) “equal” to a living, breathing actual WOMAN.

            It’s in all the forced-birther playbooks, we all have those documents saved to our hard drives, and we know EXACTLY what the deliberately deceptive manipulative misinformation game is all about.

            And we’re not unaware that there are some holders of advanced degrees who are leaders in the forced-birth syndicate, who are quite aware of exactly what they are doing to perpetuate this deceptive, manipulative, inaccurate misinformation.

          • Fr0sty

            Incredible. A few hours ago I was a middle aged mother of 4 with time to kill posting a comment and now suddenly I’ve become a subscriber to “forced-birther playbooks” and a member of the “forced-birth syndicate.” I think you give me way too much credit. All the snark and histrionics on display here have done nothing to change my opinion, however, an opinion, by the way, that I share with a little over half the population of this country. Thankfully, most people are not so extreme as the majority of the commenters here.

          • goatini

            “time to kill”?

            That “time” is unique and irreplaceable! How dare you abort it?

          • goatini

            On a more serious note, your passive-aggressive projection of your own shortcomings onto others, and your extreme radical views on your desire to strip female US citizens of their civil, human and Constitutional rights to privacy and personal bodily autonomy, as guaranteed by the protections of the due process clause of the 14th Amendment, are quite obvious in your post.

            We take such extreme regressive views of women and their rights very seriously. You look like a fool when you pretend that you’re just a bored mom who just happened by here by chance to say a few words. Everything I said in the message you responded to was completely accurate, and your disingenuous backpedaling isn’t fooling anyone.

          • Fr0sty

            You have no idea what my views are, yet you continue to make baseless assumptions about me and accuse me of all sort of outrageous things with absolutely no justification. Perhaps you need professional help, as you honestly present quite a paranoid and bitter aspect, at least through your comments here. I have no wish for further communication with someone so divorced from reality that civil conversation is impossible so I will bid you good night.

          • fiona64

            Oh, sweetie. Do you really think we are unable to read your views? We know what they are, because you have *posted them for us to see.*

            Perhaps *you* should consider professional help, given your apparent phobia toward medical terminology. That’s fairly irrational, if you ask me.

          • Fr0sty

            Yes, I have posted them, at least a brief outline of them here. However, your comrades from this extrapolates that I am part of a “forced-birth syndicate” and that I want to take food from the mouths of “born children” and give it to Montesano (I think she means Monsanto.)Oh, and I’m not your “sweetie,” a term which under the circumstances can only be construed as patronizing and hostile.

            How fun in your echo chamber.

          • fiona64

            I intended it to be patronizing.

            And yes, “just have the baby” does pretty much make you part of the forced-birth syndicate ::shrug::

          • goatini

            (more furious, disingenuous backpedaling, now with more defensive ad hominems!)

          • Fr0sty

            Not backpedaling. Again, all the histrionics and snark on this site have not changed my opinion in the least. I’m neither furious nor defensive, simply tired of wasting time in your echo chamber. It’s some consolation that the views expressed here are considered extreme (and somewhat reprehensible) by the vast majority of people, not just in the US, but worldwide. Feel free to carry on with your closed minds and confirmation bias while the world changes around you.

          • goatini

            How many items of pure projection by Mr/Ms “Fr0sty”of his/her own behavior can you count in this post?

            * histrionics
            * snark
            * defensive
            * furious
            * extreme
            * reprehensible (not just somewhat, but utterly)
            * closed mind
            * confirmation bias
            * knows the world is changing around him/her, and hates that s/he can’t do a damned thing about it
            * hangs around in forced-birth syndicate echo chambers (e.g., Stanek’s cesspool of misogyny; LIE Shite Spews) – then crashes feminist reproductive justice site and wants to hog the megaphone unchallenged

            Projection: It’s what the extreme right-wing does best.

          • Fr0sty

            I am indifferent opinion of me. That you have created a false persona for me out of whole cloth for your own amusement, while interesting from a psychological perspective, is really nothing to me. Few people agree with your extreme views. If you want to hang around with a bunch of like minded people what is that to me?

          • Ella Warnock

            How many times are you going to post that you’re indifferent? Because two posts indicate another possibility.

          • Fr0sty

            I am indifferent to your characterization of me, especially given how ridiculously inaccurate as it is. Thankfully, people who believe as you do about this issue are a small minority, and given the communication style evidenced on this site, they are unlikely to change many minds.

          • goatini

            No one has a “chip on (their) shoulder” here, except you and the other forced-birth apologists. We respect pregnant women, don’t infantilize them, don’t condescend to them, and we treat them with the dignity they deserve as fully human, fully realized, fully actualized individuals whose rights are not erased at the instant of fertilization.

          • goatini

            Every single pregnant woman I have ever interacted with, refers to being pregnant. As in, “I am pregnant”, “my pregnancy”, “my due date”.

          • Fr0sty

            How awfully PC of them.

          • goatini

            It’s “PC” to be intelligent?

            Looks like Rick Santorum is right – the smart people will never be on his (or your) side.

          • goatini

            “A live 24 week old fetus becomes an infant the moment he or she leaves the birth canal, correct?”

            That is correct. And birth at 24 weeks always results in a highly compromised infant.

          • cjvg

            But here is the kicker, it was born and is now referred to as a premature infant.

            Just because a young girl tries on a wedding dress that does not make her a married woman, she will first actually have to go through the procedure of getting married.

            Yes the unmarried girl and the married girl are the same sex and in fact can be the same person with just a couple of minutes in-between the change of one into the other.
            However, the law and society do she her legal, moral and ethical status and responsibilities as completely different

          • Fr0sty

            So birth is just a social convention then.

          • fiona64

            And you wonder why I consider you to be disingenuous …

          • goatini

            I suppose, then, that all the doctors and nurses you encountered were affiliated with Catholic facilities, then, because I would be insulted to be infantilized and condescended to, as if I didn’t understand pregnancy at all.

          • cjvg

            Actually they did not!

            With neither of my 2 pregnancies did the medical staff at any time refer to the fetus as the baby!
            And yes they most certainly did discuss fetal heartbeat!

          • Fr0sty

            I suppose much has changed since my youngest was born 16 years ago. Congratulations on not having to hear your fetus referred to as a baby. It must have meant the world to you.

          • cjvg

            That is all you got?, personal attacks because the medical personal I encountered during my pregnancies (which were 16 and 14 years ago) used the most common medical terminology while doing their job?

            Sad the level you must sink to!

          • Fr0sty

            Were you not heartened to hear the medical personal refer to your fetus as a fetus? How is that a personal attack? Is that not the term you wish to have applied to the product of conception or developing human or whatever? In my case my children were called babies, and that was amenable to me. Is that unacceptable to you for some reason?

          • fiona64

            Once again, I’m sorry that you feel so threatened by people who use medically correct terminology. I’m now curious as to why that might be.

          • goatini

            At no time during any of my friends’ and relatives’ pregnancies, did any of them ever say they were “having a baby”. They ALL said that they were pregnant. I ask my pregnant friends and relatives when THEY are due. Because the ONLY person in the equation is the living, breathing WOMAN. And – as the above article which you seem to have not read at all makes quite clear – there are NO guarantees in pregnancy, up until a healthy birth has occurred resulting in a healthy infant. In some cultures, even today, pregnant women don’t pick a name out until several days after birth, for this very reason.

          • goatini

            And yet another RCC playbook argument.

          • fiona64

            Can “what if your mother had aborted you” be far behind?

          • cjvg

            Again, disingenuous, a pregnancy is not a baby it will take approximately 40 weeks gestation before there is a baby!

            A woman is still a living breathing aware and already present human being, as such she is so much more than the potential that a pregnancy represents!

            A woman, pregnant or not is not a potential, but a realized present aware life!
            For you to claim that a pregnancy has just as much worth as a woman is dishonest to say the least!

          • Fr0sty

            How much worth then, ought the baby – oops – the fetus, be given?

          • cjvg

            Obviously that depends on the woman and what she feels her body and mind can endure

          • Fr0sty

            So worthless then, if the mother thinks that is so. A baby – oops – fetus is simply a psychological construct of the mother. Well, thank goodness my mother willed me into being then.

          • fiona64

            As much as the pregnant woman assigns to the fetus. Nothing ore, nothing less.

          • Jennifer Starr

            Listen, no offense, and I don’t deny that there may be people who actually care, but a CPC tried to tell my aunt that her ectopic pregnancy could be moved to her uterus by a doctor. Complete lie, and she nearly died while looking for a doctor. So you’ll forgive me if my view of them is less than rosy.

          • fiona64

            I have yet to find a crisis pregnancy center staffed by anyone other than “well-meaning” volunteers. No medical staff on-hand, no one with any training other than a little checklist on a clip board … oh, and a big bin full of ridiculous plastic baby dolls in different sizes to give to women and say “This is what your baby looks like right now.” As though we hadn’t dismissed the homunculus theory of human development ages ago! No one embryo-lookin’ thing in the bunch … just a bunch of tiny, perfectly formed, always Caucasian plastic babies.

            I’m really sorry that happened to your aunt; that is what happens when non-medical people try to make medical decisions for folks.

          • HeilMary1

            What did you expect? CPCs are funded by pedophile priests.

          • goatini

            An gestating entity is by definition subservient to the woman. A fetus is not equal to the pregnant woman, and a fetus has NO rights until birth.

          • fiona64

            Exactly. I had a post up earlier with some source material about the matter, but it appears to have been taken down. Suffice it to say that, even without the references I provided, your description of so-called “crisis pregnancy centers” is 100 percent accurate.

          • HeilMary1

            Thank you! That’s what my late friend, Ann, experienced.

        • fiona64

          I’m looking for the place in my post where I said any such thing … and I didn’t. Why do you assume that, just because you were in a position to choose to have children (as the author did, and discussed in her very honest commentary), that all other woman can or should do the same?

          • Fr0sty

            I haven’t said that all woman, or any woman should do anything at all. I’ve said that for the author to categorically claim that pro-life people are ignorant of the trials and expense of pregnancy and birth is false. I’ve also said that women who carry their babies to term make a choice that is, to me, more humane and morally correct. I should however, in all honestly, say that I also believe it is unreasonable to assume that every pregnancy ought to be continued. I believe a 12 week limit is reasonable.

          • fiona64

            Well, given that many fetal anomalies incompatible with life outside the womb cannot be detected until 20 weeks’ gestation *or later,* I guess I’ll leave such decisions to the pregnant woman and her physician.

          • Fr0sty

            What do you feel is a reasonable limit?

          • Lynnsey

            I think she answered that.

            I have had a fetal echocardiogram in each of my pregnancies at 20 weeks to rule out the small possibility that the fetus I was carrying was missing too much of its heart to survive. We were fortunate that the answer was no in each case, but had it been yes the course of action taken should be left up to myself, my family, and my doctors.

          • fiona64

            I think that I already said such decisions are between the pregnant woman and her physician. Was that not clear enough for you? If I am not the pregnant woman, it isn’t up to me.

            After 20 weeks in this country, no woman is terminating a pregnancy absent medical necessity; it’s against the law (thanks, Dubya!). And no woman is sitting around at five months’ gestation thinking “Hmm, I don’t think I want to be pregnant anymore.” Well over 90 percent of abortions take place between 8 and 12 weeks’ gestation.

            If a fetal anomaly incompatible with life outside the womb is found on ultrasound or amniocentesis, most pregnant women are going to seek second opinions. That takes even more time. In the mean while, there is the emotional toil that is going on as the woman tries to come to terms with her wanted pregnancy going wrong, and all of the dreams she projected onto that fetus (you know, sort of like you did when you called it a baby before it was one) possibly not coming true.

            And then she has to find a provider, should she decide she is not going to continue the pregnancy … and that could take more time. Some OB/GYNs refuse to perform terminations, and many universities no longer require that OB students learn how to do them (I’ll bet you didn’t know that).

            So, this is why ::wait for it:: I don’t get to decide what’s “reasonable” for anyone but myself. If I’m not the pregnant woman, or her physician, it’s not my call. Period.

          • malkavian

            Not to mention that a lot of very dangerous complications occur later in pregnancy.

          • Fr0sty

            Are we talking about wanted children here? Because “later in pregnancy” isn’t an early delivery an option? Must the nearly fully developed child always be terminated?

          • fiona64

            Oh, bullshit. No one goes around “terminating a nearly fully developed child.” As previously cited, the majority of fetal anomalies cannot even be *detected* prior to 20 weeks’ gestation — and believe me, lady, that is not a “nearly fully developed” fetus.

          • Lynnsey

            Abortions after 20 weeks account for just over 1 % of all abortions. The number post-viability is obviously even smaller. How many viable fetuses do you think are being aborted?

        • HeilMary1

          My friend who died of the female fetus-caused face-rotting cancer was horribly treated by a D.C.-area PCC.

    • Jennifer Starr

      That’s not a strawman–I just googled literally tens of thousands of cases where ‘pro-lifers’ have whined “Why not just have the baby and put it up for adoption?” You’re entitled to your own opinions on the subject, but it’s dishonest to pretend that ‘pro-lifers’ never say that. They do.

    • malkavian

      Actually, I’m pretty sure she means people that believe carrying a pregnancy to term is THE MOST IMPORTANT THING, regardless of circumstance, fetal viability or even threats to the mother’s health. For example, Beatriz in El Salvador and Savita Halappanavar in Ireland.

      If anti-choice extremists are aware of the difficulties involved in pregnancy and childbirth, it’s abundantly clear they don’t give a rat’s arse about them.

    • Amanda Kazarian

      As I have said over and over again, I could just give birth, sign away my rights of legal guardian ship, and walk out of a hospital, leaving the baby in care of the state. Working in the adoption industry, I have seen women do that before, and no, not all those babies find loving parents to adopt them. That is when things will get complicated and expensive.

      You cannot force someone to parent.

      • fiona64

        Exactly. Every time someone brings up the “you could always give it up for adoption” canard (or the infamous “there aren’t any kids available for adoption, which is absolute nonsense … as you know), I suggest that they go talk to a kid who aged out of the system without ever having a permanent home and ask how that worked out for *them.*

    • HeilMary1

      And what if your female fetuses triggered lethal face- and breast-rotting cancers that made you too sick and disfigured not only to keep a job and a spouse, but also to care for your children and perform necessary errands? I’ve met such women and they and their children were living in hell.

    • Rachel

      Just in this thread Ms. Vanessa exclaims ‘woman it up’ (just have the baby). Did you miss it?

      • fiona64

        Oh, but no one ever does that! /sarcasm

    • Ella Warnock

      Who says to just have the baby? Every wingnut protester parked outside a PP clinic, that’s who.

  • vanessa

    Yes childbirth is difficult..but the child did not choose to be created. The mother and fathers lack of responsibility created it. So its ok to murder a life form? Just because its “hard”. Granted..if someone has an illness or its a danger to get pregnant they should prevent it. But again..they need to take responsibility in their actions. Its easy to say “oh ill jusy have an abortion” because its a microscopic organism that you dont physically see being killed. But that still does not save you from your title..murderer. and i say “you” speaking generally. My cousin has lupus and was told by her dr it was dangerous for her to have children but it was still possible. Working together and taking care of herself she now has two wonderful children. But she took care of herself to not end up pregnant unless it was working w her dr. It is possible. Women who say it was anccident they got pregnant..thats bullshit..excuse my language. Im 25 and have been sexually active since 19 and working and communicating w my significant other we have managed to control not gettingnpregnant. It just talekes dedication and not being lazy.
    And abortion is expensive too..im sure if u could afford many abortionsyou could afford getting your tubes tied. And abortions have risks too. Health risks and emotional risks..although i have found femanists seem to have no heart or emotions.
    If u get pregnant..its the couples fault not the childs. A child should not be killed for your stupidity. Say you are 15 and tour motger doesnt want you anymore or cant afford to have you….can she then kill you to iliminate the responsibility and lower the population? You mat say she could send u to an adoption agency. Same w a baby. Bear the child and give it to a family to love and care for . “Oh but the pain and suffering”. Well woman it up..if u were woman enough to spread your legs and gey knocked ul then u can be woman enough to bear the child not take the easy way out. All feminists think og is themselves and their own gains..the wolrd does not revolve around you. We r all put here on earth to share it and do our part.
    Btw..im not a teenager. Have you not heard what happens when you “ass-u-me”??

    • fiona64

      Um, could someone parse this giant block of mis-spelled ranting into English for me? I lack the desire to read this much text-speak and factual inaccuracy.

      • Jennifer Starr

        I’m stuck. I’m still trying to figure out what ‘tour motger’ means.

        • fiona64

          Maybe it’s a travel recommendation for a tiny, little-known country … you know, like Andorra or Lichtenstein. “Tour Motger! Visit our winery and restaurant! Stay at our hotel!”

          • Jennifer Starr

            And you could also visit the picturesque little hamlet of ‘Gey Knocked Ul’ :)

          • fiona64

            I’m pretty sure that’s in Northern Ireland. ;->

            Will you be my new best friend? :-D

          • Jennifer Starr

            :-D I have a feeling that before too much longer we’ll be treated to yet another wall o’ text speak. And she still won’t comprehend a thing.

    • Jennifer Starr

      Still don’t think you read the same article where this mother loves and very much wants her child? Point out to me anywhere in the article where this woman says she did not–you can’t. Frankly I don’t even believe that you read it. I think you just read a couple of sentences and jumped to the wrong conclusion. Just because she says that pregnancy and childbirth is difficult does not mean for one second that she did not want this pregnancy. Again, read the article.

      • fiona64

        Frankly, if that post is anything to go by, I don’t think she *can* read. :-(

        • HeilMary1

          If she can’t read medical labels and follow their instructions, I think there is as a surprise very expensive pregnancy or two in her future.

    • Lynnsey

      Your cousin’s experience obviously negates that of every other woman…

      Further, adoption is not the opposite of abortion. It is the opposite of parenting and completely ignores one of the primary points of this piece, that pregnancy and childbirth are difficult and potentially dangerous or even deadly.

    • HeilMary1

      Will you feel this way when your contraception fails and childbirth causes you life-ruining bladder and bowel incontinence, face- and breast-rotting cancers, bankrupting autoimmune diseases and humiliating divorce for the hot teen babysitter?

      • vanessa

        Is that what happened to you?
        That negativity and way of thinking…thats why that shit happens. Dont blame it on childbirth. Balme it on yourself.

        ——————————

        • fiona64

          That’s right, Mary. Your friend’s pregnancy-related illness? “Balm(e) it on yourself.” I think that Vanessa is telling us that moisturizer will prevent pregnancy complications.

          • vanessa

            You know..its funn that you all focus on one statement “blame it on yourselfs” as if your stalling to think of a clever “comeback”..hmm..

            ——————————

          • fiona64

            ^^ I rest my case in re: English classes. Res ipsa loquitur.

        • Jennifer Starr

          Oh yes. If health difficulties occur during pregnancy, it’s because we all didn’t put on our happy faces that think positively.And we should ‘balme ourselves’, whatever the hell that means. Why didn’t anyone think of that before? It’s all so simple. Obviously Miss Vanessa sees herself as a doctor who knows better than real doctors–she’s our expert, right? *snort*

          Excuse me now, while I’ll go bang my head on something for a couple of minutes….and moisturize. Can’t forget to moisturize.

          • fiona64

            Take deep breaths and thinking of our upcoming trip to Motger. ;->

          • vanessa

            You obviously wanted a child correct? So stop whining.
            We all eventually get old, our bodies shut down, we shrivle up and die..it inevitable. At least you could say u left a legacy behind (children) and it wasnt all for nothing. Yes childbearing os hard on the body..but that is wat we are made for. You can be a smartass all you want apparantly thats your way of defending yourself thats fine. No im not a doctor. I dont believe in doctors. Its science..its bullshit. Its crap upon crap. We r not meant to be kept “perfect” forever. We are meant to thrive and succeed and procreate (if at all possible) Now whether you do it w a negative POV (point of view) thats your choice.

            ——————————

          • fiona64

            No im not a doctor. I dont believe in doctors. Its science..its bullshit.

            Apparently, you also don’t believe in English class …

          • vanessa

            Again…assuming..seems you like to be an ass
            But if you must know..im on my cellphone which is in no way the best device to correctly type. And again..focusing on my spelling errors because there is no other comeback you could think of..yet..

            ——————————

          • fiona64

            Sweetie, you are such a walking cesspool of deliberate, delighted ignorance that it’s almost impossible to know where to start.

          • vanessa

            Uh huh…and again..whats your point?

            ——————————

          • Jennifer Starr

            There is no comeback. Your posts are so devoid of anything approaching intelligence, insight, fact or anything that has to do with the actual article posted above (did you even read it?) that I’m starting to think this must be some kind of joke, because no one could be this dim on purpose.

          • vanessa

            Yea…so your views are correct and the only truth..oh dear Im so sorry for doubting you. I bow to your greatness..
            Now this was fun…but I have a life to get back to..you women enjoy your sorrow and lothing of the world. God bless all of you. :-)

            ——————————

          • fiona64

            “Lothing-of-the-World”? Is that another travel recommendation? I’m guessing it’s somewhere in Devonshire, myself.

          • Jennifer Starr

            It must be next to ‘Gey Knocked Ul’. I bet they’re twinned.

          • fiona64

            I was wrong, BTW; ‘Gey Knocked UI’ is in Cornwall. ;-> It’ll be an easy day trip between there and Lothing-of-the-World.

          • fiona64

            I’ve responded to your screed above in great detail, little girl. Get an adult to help you with the big words if necessary.

          • vanessa

            I chose to waste my time old woman. Goodnight

            ——————————

          • fiona64

            Exactly the level of discourse I’ve come to expect from a young woman of your obvious erudition.

          • vanessa

            Damn does your husband really put up with you?

            ——————————

          • Jennifer Starr

            Do you mind getting off that fly paper and giving the flies a chance?

          • vanessa

            Haha…oh gosh u women are funny!

            ——————————

          • fiona64

            Why don’t you go color while the adults talk, Vanessa?

          • goatini

            Women are not livestock, and life-threatening diseases are not caused by a “negative POV”. You must have mistaken this for notorious perjurer Stanek’s slut-shaming and victim blaming cesspool.

          • vanessa

            Who said women are livestock? Did you not read the part that says “thrive and succeed”? Or did you choose to skip over that part to make some null poin just to say something?

            ——————————

          • goatini

            Who said women are livestock? Um, that would have been YOU.

            (quoted verbatim)
            “Yes childbearing os hard on the body..but that is wat we are made for.”

          • vanessa

            If you had any common sense..
            In “idiot” terms..it means childbearing is difficult but our bodies are made to withstand it. I thought I was conversing with smarter women here.

            ——————————

          • fiona64

            By which you actually prove Goatini correct in her assessment.

            I’m guessing that you’re blissfully unaware that the USA has one of the highest maternal mortality rates amongst first-world countries? (Greece has the lowest.)

            If “our bodies are made to withstand it,” how can that possibly be?

          • goatini

            You know, it just makes you look completely ridiculous to post illiterate bafflegab, misspelled and with enough typos so as to be utterly incomprehensible, then attempt to defend your ignorance by projecting your shortcomings on others.

          • vanessa

            Obviously you chose not to read when I posted that im on my cell..hence the typos…
            And no worries…i expect hostility and attacks from a group in which i am the only one defending myself against a group of ignorant women…sorry..”feminists”

            ——————————

          • goatini

            I post on my smartphone all the time and don’t make typos. You’re sloppy and reckless in your postings, which tells us a lot about you.

          • vanessa

            Yea..that im one person against many trying to answer all your responses…unless u prefer i ignore you then thats fine with me..

            ——————————

          • Jennifer Starr

            Yes, it’s quite obvious that you don’t believe in science, medicine, reading, writing, correct spelling, constructing legible sentences or education in general. Have you gone to school or college? Were you home-schooled in a shack somewhere by someone equally illiterate?

            You apparently believe we’re put on this earth to have sex, breed and die, all the while seeking no medical help whatsoever. Doesn’t strike me as very positive, Vanessa.

          • vanessa

            Man you guys love to assume my life and beliefs!

            ——————————

          • Jennifer Starr

            You haven’t given us reason to believe otherwise. You haven’t even given us reason to believe that you read the article that you’re posting about. It’s like talking to Lauren from the Catherine Tate Show–only Lauren is much more intelligent.

          • goatini

            Let’s visit some recent utterly false assumptions posited here on this forum by you, about the life and beliefs of others (all comments verbatim):

            “But that still does not save you from your title..murderer.”

            “All feminists think og is themselves and their own gains..”

            “i have found femanists seem to have no heart or emotions.”

            “u were woman enough to spread your legs and gey knocked ul”

            “you women enjoy your sorrow and lothing of the world”

            “Damn does your husband really put up with you?”

            “a group of ignorant women”

            “I thought I was conversing with smarter women here.”

            I’d continue, but I think the above suffices to adequately illuminate your projections of your shortcomings onto others re: assuming the life and beliefs of others.

          • fiona64

            We only know what we see, sweetie …

          • Jennifer Starr

            And incidentally, while we’re at it, do you realize that this ‘science’ that you so denounce as ‘crap’ and ‘bullshit’ is responsible for this author’s little boy being alive? Do you? Think about that a little and get back to me.

          • vanessa

            Ok thought about it and I have one word

            GOD

            ——————————

          • Jennifer Starr

            So you think she should have just forgone any medical interventions and just prayed. Know what she would’ve had then? Dead baby.

          • fiona64

            I’ve used that word several times whilst reading your posts; I rolled my eyes when I said it, too.

          • goatini

            “Religion began when the first scoundrel met the first fool.” – Voltaire

          • vanessa

            You assume Im religious cuz i believe in God? Wow…shows how ignorant you are.

            ——————————

          • Jennifer Starr

            Well, yes, generally believing in a god means that you hold some kind of religious belief.

          • fruitsalad620

            I was just reading over this thread, and laughed out loud that this had to be pointed out :-) thanks for bringing some sunshine to this terrible discussion.

          • Jennifer Starr

            You are very welcome :)

          • malkavian

            Yeap, God did real wonders for Dale and Shannon Hickman, and a bunch of other idiots who decided to leave their children’s health in Gods hands rather than the hands of doctors.

          • Ella Warnock

            If you don’t believe in science, I’m sure you’ll refuse antibiotics the next time you have an infection. You could die from a severe infection, but since it falls under the category of “bullshit,” you wouldn’t want to be tainted with a cure, right? The internet is also a result of all that science bullshit. Perhaps you should abstain?

          • vanessa

            I dont take antibiotics..I use organic natural methods and am healthy as can be.
            The internet does not affect my health..well mauby mental health..but I rarely use it anyway. And whenthe world is evolving its inevitable

            ——————————

          • goatini

            Another sloppy, reckless mess of a post.

          • vanessa

            Why because i like many others have survived without getting shot up w man made crap?

            ——————————

          • fiona64

            By your own admission, you’re using a smartphone … you know, “man-made crap.” So, please. Stop using any “man-made crap.” Like the Internet. Or cars. Or houses.

          • Jennifer Starr

            You know the cleaner air you breathe and the cleaner water you drink? You know how you can put your food in a fridge or freezer to keep it from spoiling? That cold air blowing on you in your air-conditioned place? The fact that you can turn on a tap and get hot water and go to the toilet? Science made all that possible.

          • jennyschecter

            If you don’t believe in science, when you find yourself in a hospital bed or an icu, tell them to send you home. refuse all medial treatment of any kind. do not use medicine, do not vaccinate your kids. If you have a heart attack, do not call the ambulance. all these treatments were created by doctors, biologists, biochemists, scientists.

            When you find yourself dying, you can simply pray. Stay true to your word. Remember this when you need something thats very basis is science.

          • vanessa

            Yes mom.

            Now seriously this was a great passtime but i have to get bacl to my life now. I bid thee farewell!!

            ——————————

          • jennyschecter

            oh, I’m not your mother. I would have aborted you asap. scum from hell should stay in hell.

          • fiona64

            If I were that one’s mother, she would most assuredly have been kept in summer school … yikes.

          • Jennifer Starr

            Going back to Tour Motger, I expect. Every village needs its idiot.

          • fiona64

            Baci? Are you Italian now?

            BTW, when you are speaking to more than one person, particularly people you do not know well, the correct form is the plural ‘you.’ “Thee” is for when you are speaking to one person with whom you are very familiar.

            See? English class *is* important.

            You’re welcome.

          • vanessa

            Obviously Im responding to you (one person) dumbass

          • Jennifer Starr

            Surely it’s past your bedtime now.

          • fiona64

            Actually, you were replying to Jenny. But that’s not really the point …

            I wouldn’t go around calling other people “dumbass,” given your proven record here …

          • Ella Warnock

            Ah, no, people don’t usually take antibiotics on a regular basis. They’re prescribed for infections, which anyone can get, healthy or not.

          • goatini

            When you contract an aggressive infection, let me know how that “I don’t take antibiotics” thing works out for you.

          • Katherine Walton

            “I dont take antibiotics..I use organic natural methods and am healthy as can be.”

            Oh, my. Good luck when you get an actual infection. How old are you? 16?

          • Rachel

            I’m confused – I thought you told us you’ve been sexually active for 6 years. Why haven’t you not had half a dozen babies by now if the whole point is procreation? You’re not following your own rules.

        • HeilMary1

          Hey, I was a blank slate of hopefulness when my childbirth-ruined Catholic extremist mom disfigured me as her permanent abstinence excuse. The cruelty and blame by fetal idolaters have made me cynical.

        • cjvg

          Are you really going to claim that any woman who has a life threatening condition caused it herself and wanted that to happen?!

          So what do you suggest, she should just think the complication away and she will be fine and no one will die?!

          I’m sorry, but someone so mind-numbingly cruel and dishonest as you does not deserve an answer or to be acknowledged

    • fiona64

      First, you presume a great many things. The first is that you presume that this article is about abortion. It is about a woman who has a wanted child — a woman whose wanted pregnancy went wrong, and has resulted in some costly complications that she *knows she is lucky to have the resources to manage.*

      *You* are exactly the kind of person she is talking about, with your cavalier attitude of “just have the baby,” when you don’t know the first thing about any woman’s circumstances other than your own. I’ll talk about this again in a minute.

      You also presume that a woman is able to obtain a tubal ligation; I suggest you read down a little further, to see that I (and other women) have experienced tremendous challenges when trying to do that very thing … and things have only gotten *worse* in that regard since I got mine 20 years ago.

      Your slut-shaming is duly noted as well, with your comment about “spreading your legs.” That tubal ligation you touted as an option can fail, as can any other form of contraception.

      Now, let’s get back to your “just have the baby” comment — where you talk about adoption. This still requires gestating a pregnancy that may cause life and health risks … and there is no guarantee that the child will be adopted anyway. Have you ever talked to a kid who aged out of the system without ever having a permanent home? I have; it’s not a pretty story.

      You talk about feminists and say that the “wolrd” (as you put it) does not revolve around us? Well, I’ve got news for you, sweetie. I’m old enough to be your mother, and that means I’ve seen one helluva lot more of the “wolrd” than you have. The “wolrd” doesn’t revolve around you — and you obviously think it *does,* since you think that your barely literate self should be allowed to make medical decisions for people you don’t even know.

  • SisterBenedict

    I’m pro-choice for other women because I have a wild libertarian streak and believe that it’s none of my damned business what they choose to do with their bodies. I trust women enough to know that they will make the best decision for themselves without government interference.

    I’m pro-life for myself because I know I would not be able to go through with an abortion. Even so, I also know that because I am tokophobic (pathological fear of pregnancy and childbirth) I would never be able to carry a child to term and still maintain my sanity.

    I’ve practiced celibacy for the lion’s share of the past two decades and when I have had relationships we always used three forms of birth control and yet I still was living in total fear. As soon as I was able, I got sterilized with the Essure procedure so I would never have to worry about this again. This costs about $6000 and therefore many women can’t afford that without health insurance. Also, a lot of doctors refuse to sterilize women because they’re “too young” or “you might change your mind” so even if they can afford it they still might not be able to receive care.

    There are many reasons that a woman might not be able to continue a pregnancy. I don’t need to know them all to have compassion for them all.

    For me, if it comes down to the right for someone to survive and thrive, I will choose the person who already exists over the person who hasn’t been born yet and who therefore wouldn’t know the difference.

    • fiona64

      What you’ve posted here is the essence of the pro-choice position: each woman decides what she can handle, whether it’s gestation, adoption, termination, etc.

    • Katherine Walton

      I just want to let you know that my respect for you knows no bounds.

  • jennyschecter

    When you become pregnant, your body changes. Things stretch and sag. Your risks of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and diabetes go up. “The hospital bill was over $24,000. The anesthesiologist’s bill for the epidural was over $9,000. The presiding obstetrician’s bill was around $4,500. The complete bill for the baby’s first three-night NICU stay topped $23,000.” Then the hormones released make you feel a strong, emotional attachment to the child you must now give up. It’s not as easy as “just have the baby” or “just put it up for adoption.

    • MJ

      YEAH SO JUST KILL IT THEN, THAT WILL SOLVE YOUR PROBLEM, IDIOT

      • jennyschecter

        It’s not killing it because it was never alive to begin with.

        • MJ

          WOW, HAVE YOU STUDIED BIOLOGY? SCIENCE? ITS VERY MUCH ALIVE. IT HAS A HEART BEAT. ITS ALIVE.

          • fiona64

            So, if a heart beat is all it takes to be alive, that fetus at six weeks’ gestation (when the heartbeat is first detectable) should be able to exist outside the uterus, yes? It takes more than a heartbeat for a fetus to be viable.

            I’m thinking *someone* here didn’t study biology … and it wasn’t Jenny.

          • goatini

            Cardiac cells in a petri dish have a “heartbeat”.

          • Poop

            Yeah believe whatever you wanna believe baby killing whores

          • goatini

            You’ll need to confess bearing false witness when you go to Reconciliation tomorrow afternoon, if you want to receive the Eucharist in a state of grace on Sunday.

          • Gemini68

            From the Oxford American dictionary:
            whore(n) : a prostitute or promiscuous woman

            So – a woman who becomes pregnant either by rape or incest was just asking for it?

          • fiona64

            “And they will know we are Christians by our love, by our love …”

          • Judy Jackson

            My aunt thought she was pregnant. She went to the doctor for an examination. The doctor heard what he thought was a heart beat. She had a tubal several years previously so was confused. They did some more tests & what she actually had was a massive tumor in her abdomen. No baby & thankfully, the tumor was benign. Was that tumor alive? Not according to medical science.

        • MJ

          YOU CANT JUST SHRUG OFF LIFE AND SAY ITS NOT ALIVE BECAUSE ITS AN INCONVENIENCE FOR YOU. SELFISH ALL OF YOU.

  • jennyschecter

    It’s interesting to view the intelligence levels of “pro-lifers” trolling in this discussion. It seems they always have a lackluster education, poor grasp of grammatical structure and of language, and are generally illiterate. I think it really says a lot about the opposition and the reason why they believe what they do.

    • Fr0sty

      I’m curious as to what you think the pro-life trolls believe. Kindly elucidate.

      • Jennifer Starr

        I take it that you didn’t read MJ/Poop’s scatalogical and profanity-filled tirades or Vanessa/Guest’s barely literate rants? And what is really interesting about them is that they never address the actual article– from the conclusions they draw it’s obvious that they never even read it.

        • fiona64

          But that’s okay, see, because all of their nonsense translated to “just have the baby.”

    • fiona64

      I have noticed that same correlation in approximately 95 percent of cases.

  • dalancroft

    Good thing he wasn’t brown, otherwise… /snark.

    My wife and I were lucky enough to have two healthy ones … but we’re in a tax bracket that ostensibly helps out those less fortunate. And I don’t mind a bit.

  • Deb

    To be fair, the alternative to “just having the baby” also carries mental and physical risks for the mother. The implications for the baby go without saying, but I suppose it’s easier to pretend like that doesn’t matter.

    • fiona64

      The US has one of the highest maternal mortalities rates in the first world (Greece has the lowest). Childbirth carries far more physical risk than early abortion, by a long chalk. But, you know, don’t let the facts get in the way of anything.

      • Deb

        The physical risks associated with abortion are pretty damn high for the child. But don’t let the facts get in the way of anything.

        • fiona64

          A fetus is not a child.

          Do they not teach biology any more?

          • Deb

            Abortion will not make childbirth less risky. Do they not teach common sense anymore?

          • fiona64

            If there is an abortion, there is no childbirth. And you want to accuse *me* of lacking common sense? Really, madame, I am somewhat less than impressed at your level of discourse.

            I’m also guessing that, like the vast majority of anti-choicers I’ve seen on this thread, you have not bothered to read the actual article. It is a woman talking about how her wanted pregnancy, and her wanted child, have proven far more problematic than she imagined. And that’s to say nothing of the costs involved — which she acknowledges she is fortunate enough to be able to manage, where other women in the same situation might not.

            She is saying that “just have the baby” is a simplistic position not supported by reality in all cases. And, as your position is “just have the baby,” you may draw your own conclusions at whom she is addressing.

          • Deb

            HA! Thanks for clarifying! By your logic — that the “cure” for physical risk — is that we should do nothing that carries a physical risk. Don’t drive (car accidents), don’t eat (choking), don’t swim (drowning)… talk about throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

          • fiona64

            Your straw man fallacies are duly noted.

            Would you like to try “no true Scotsman” and “appeal to authority” next? Those are great fun as well.

            In the mean while, your bumper sticker sloganeering-as-discourse is nothing new. In fact, it’s really rather dull and unimaginative.

            Other people’s medical decisions really are none of your business. Why is that so hard for you (and your fellow travelers) to grasp?

          • Deb

            The only straw man is the one the author of this article created: the theoretical wag who goes around saying childbirth is no big deal and carries no risk. I know no such person. I’ve had two kids and i know it is a big deal. However, using gestational diabetes to legitimize abortion seems a tad cynical to me.

            And for the record, my opinion is every bit as valid as yours. Trying to frame me as some kind of stereotype only shows the weakness of your arguments. You, however, have made your disdain for opposing viewpoints quite clear to everyone, which is quite telling.

          • fiona64

            I suggest, madame, that you read some of the comments on this article. The author’s position is not theoretical: it is reality.

            Go stand outside a Planned Parenthood building and listen to the self-proclaimed “sidewalk counselors;” their cry is nothing but “just have the baby.”

            If discussing the real risks of pregnancy and child birth is “cynical,” well, I guess I’m a cynic. Pregnancy is not a state of wellness. There are many health situations that make continuing a pregnancy impossible … and others that make it “merely” dangerous. Only the pregnant woman can decide what risks she is willing to assume when those situations come to light; other people saying “just have the baby” are the cynics, because they don’t care about the pregnant woman at all. And, most of the time, they likewise don’t give two shits about the infant … so long as the woman is forced to remain pregnant.

            Sure, your opinion is valid. And you’re welcome to gestate all of the pregancies you so desire. No one will try to stop you. However, you would quite obviously not allow the same courtesy of independent thought and bodily autonomy to others.

            What I have disdain for is the dismissive attitude that infants and pregnancy are all rainbows and light, and that any woman who dares to say that she didn’t like being pregnant or had an ailing infant should be treated as though she is exposing said infant in the woods like the Spartans.

            The author of this article is very clear that she had a *Wanted* pregnancy and a *wanted* child and it still wasn’t all chocolate ice cream and parties. That she was lucky to have the resources to handle the insane expenses that resulted in premature delivery and a NICU stay. And that she is fully aware that other women in identical circumstances are not that lucky.

            Medical bills account for the majority of bankruptcies in this country; did you even know that? If she’d been uninsured, or had a job that didn’t allow her time off, she’d be homeless. Do you even get that?

            That’s why she’s saying “just have the baby” is a ridiculous and deliberately disingenuous thing to say to someone. You aren’t that other person and don’t know their circumstances. IMO, it’s the height of hubris to be so dismissive as that.

          • Deb

            You’ve created another straw man: the person who wants to see women forced to care for sick babies that they don’t want. No one wants that. Not even the pro-lifers you think you know so well (and clearly hate).

            Is it so hard to believe that many people see a child conceived and see a gift, even when the circumstances aren’t ideal? Yes, there are risks associated with childbirth, as there are risks associated with abortion. NO ONE denies that (although you cavalierly dismiss the risks associated with abortion). I do not dispute that there are extreme circumstances where a pregnancy is a clear and present danger to the life of the mother. Few would deny her access to an abortion as a life-saving measure. But you seem hell bent on making this a black and white situation abortion for every circumstance or no abortion at all. It doesn’t have to be that way.

            For the record, I’ve never had a bumper sticker on my car, just the mascot from the well respected university from which I graduated, madame.

          • Jennifer Starr

            That’s just it. No where in this article does the author say that she doesn’t regard her child as a gift or that she didn’t want him. But the ‘pro-lifers’ are still jumping all over her.

          • Deb

            The entire premise of her article is that those who say “just have the baby” don’t understand what an ordeal that having a baby is. My argument is that most people do understand that pregnancy is a big deal; it’s not like she’s the first person to have a baby or have a difficult pregnancy. I am very sorry this woman had a tough time with her pregnancy and childbirth. If she thought childbirth was all sweetness and light, she was severely misinformed. But that has nothing to do with the pro-life movement, they are just an easy target.

            My guess is that she is angry that she’s had a difficult time. She’s tired. She’s hurting. She’s scared. She wants to find an enemy: someone to be angry at. So she created a straw man so she could TAKE HIM DOWN. That’s fine with me. I hope it makes her feel better. But that doesn’t mean honest debate should be thrown out the window for the rest of us.

          • Jennifer Starr

            I’m sorry, but I don’t think this author is really ‘angry’. Tired, stressed, wanting to have her little boy home and healthy, grateful for the advantages she has regarding health benefits and other things but acknowledging that others don’t always have these advantages. But I don’t see anger or wanting to ‘take someone down’. And have you even read some of the comments from some of the people who have been trolling on this site? They accuse this woman of being selfish, thinking only of herself, finding her child an inconvenience and a whole host of things that show they haven’t even read it.

          • Deb

            Look, I can’t speak for the author, but I could see how someone would be angry in her situation and her tone comes across as angry to me. If you faced a difficult pregnancy, would you first reaction be to write an article attacking pro-lifers? Seems like there’s a story there. I am guessing the childbirth wasn’t a dramatic re-aligning of her fundamental beliefs on the pro-life/pro-choice debate. More likely, she had a difficult situation, and now she’s using that to justify/fortify her previously held beliefs. It’s sort of a spin on confirmation bias. We see the world around us according to our beliefs. Every situation confirms what we already know.

            In my mind, once a child is conceived, we should do everything we can as a society to give that life a fair shot. Risk of bankruptcy, lack of health insurance or other adversity is no reason to abort in my mind. There is support out there. Adoption is actually a very real and loving option if it comes to that. I do not speak from a place of ignorance.

            I do find this article cynical in many ways, not least that she seems to think those without her societal advantages couldn’t POSSIBLY make it through what she just went through. Give me a break; that’s more condescending than anything I’ve ever heard a pro-lifer say.

            I haven’t read the other comments, but it’s no shock to me that civil discourse is lacking. I’ve been insulted several times myself already for daring to wade into the discussion. I’m okay with that.

          • fiona64

            In my mind, once a child is conceived, we should do everything we can as
            a society to give that life a fair shot. Risk of bankruptcy, lack of
            health insurance or other adversity is no reason to abort in my mind.

            And guess what? No one would force you to terminate, for those reasons or any other. But the fact of the matter is that you want to force other women to gestate (‘just have the baby’) because you don’t think that those reasons should matter to some other woman you’ve never even met.

            I don’t hate you, no matter what you think .. but I am kind of dumbfounded by your hubris. There’s no other word to describe the kind of person who believes themselves so omnipotent that they should be permitted to make medical decisions for other people.

          • Deb

            I am simply challenging the attitude that a life in the womb is completely meaningless. Pretending that life has no value whatsoever, that it can and should be terminated at any time for any reason…simply because it’s possible to do so. I find this callous. The biological fact is that once you conceive, you are responsible for two lives, not just your own. The decision to end one of those lives shouldn’t be taken lightly.

            You know, you are quite nasty to people. You’ve labeled me and tried to stereotype me, accused me of all manner of horrible things, called me names and ridiculed me — all for trying to have a thoughtful discussion on a comment thread. You express such disdain for those around you; it’s people like you who have taken public discourse completely to the sewer. And it’s really not a shock that you have no regard whatsoever for the life of a “fetus” when you find it impossible to treat those who cross your path with any respect at all. And hurling nastiness at people who have opposing viewpoints is not exactly the way to win people over to your side, madame.

          • goatini

            How many items of pure projection by “Deb” of his/her own behavior can you count in this post?

            * callous
            * nasty
            * labels others
            * stereotypes others
            * accusations of “all manner of horrible things”
            * name-calling
            * ridicule
            * disdain
            * takes public discourse to the sewer
            * lack of respect

            Projection: It’s what the extreme right-wing does best.

          • fiona64

            People who try to pretend that facts do not exist are unlikely to be “won over” by, you know, facts.

            I have pointed out the factual inaccuracies your statement and, yes, I have complete disdain for people who think that they should be able to make medical decisions for people other than themselves. If it’s not your pregnancy, you should just (to be blunt) butt the fuck out of the whole matter.

            You want to gripe about my attitude, whilst simultaneously pretending that women are too goddamned stupid to make medical decisions? Give me a break. You show nothing but disdain for the author of this article, and any other woman who makes the decision to terminate her pregnancy because, according to you, she should “just have the baby.

            I’m curious, Deb: how many unwanted children have *you* adopted?

          • Katherine Walton

            Stop with the tone argument. You don’t get to decide *anything* for anyone else. The fact you think you should? Hubris. Look it up. Your discussion isn’t “thoughtful”. It’s arrogant.

          • Katherine Walton

            You should be insulted many dozens of times for the hubris you display.

          • Deb

            I know, Jennifer. The pro-lifers are just crazy. Thank goodness the calm, reasonable, kind and tactful pro-choice crowd is here on the thread to provide a good example of respectful debate.

          • Jennifer Starr

            I take it that you’re trying for sarcasm? You’re not doing a particularly good job of it.

          • fiona64

            Where the hell do you get the idea that realism = angry?

            I swear; the more I read, the more convinced I become that the anti-choicers are not too tightly wrapped.

            No one created any straw men in the article, but the anti-choice nutters in the comments are doing a fabulous job of it.

          • Katherine Walton

            I think maybe you need to look up the term, “projection”. No, seriously.

          • malkavian

            “Is it so hard to believe that many people see a child conceived and see a gift, even when the circumstances aren’t ideal?”

            Yeah, sure. But if your kid is sick or needs special help, or if your pregnancy is rough, loving your kid doesn’t make the situation easy, and there are often not policies in place that would help. For example, if you have a hard pregnancy and can’t work, it’s fairly likely you might end up losing your job, and there are no structures in place to prevent that. If you have a C-section or hard labor and need extended recovery time, there’s nothing to keep you from losing your job there too. If your infant is sick and you lack access to medical insurance, loving your kid isn’t going to save them. If your kid has special needs in any manner, loving them won’t get you the extra support you might need to take care of those needs.

          • fiona64

            But you seem hell bent on making this a black and white situation
            abortion for every circumstance or no abortion at all. It doesn’t have
            to be that way.

            I’ll thank you to cite a single instance of me saying anything even remotely like that.

            Otherwise, you’re just creating another straw man.

            Or, you know, you could just be a liar.

          • Katherine Walton

            No, but your thoughts are bumper sticker politics at its finest. Shame on you. Pro Choice is not black and white. It means that women have the power to make their own decisions about their situations. It means government keeps its nose out. It means *you* keep your nose out. It means abortion if she wants it, and it means adoption if she wants it, and it means raising the baby herself is she wants it. That’s what the word “choice” means in this context.

            You may not have had a bumper sticker on your car, but you sure as hell have a bumper sticker on your soul.

          • nnyl

            What’s funny about their yells at me, is I was walking towards Planned Parenthood, to reach the food truck parked in the back. All I wanted was a pastie and they harassed me.

            Have never even been pregnant.

          • Jennifer Starr

            Read a ‘pro-life’ article called ‘Chill, it’s not a Winnebago’, if you want to see how cavalier some of these people can be about pregnancy and motherhood. I’ve also heard ‘pro-lifers’ say things like “It’s just nine short months” or a “minor inconvenience”–or a ‘pro-life’ woman named Alexandra who claimed that the developing fetus didn’t require anything from the pregnant woman other than to be allowed to stay in the uterus, which is bollocks. Or “Why not just give birth and put it up for adoption?” And if you give birth and then have the temerity to admit that it’s less than perfect, they jump all over you and accuse you of not loving or wanting your kid. So you see, it’s really not a straw man at all.

          • Deb

            Yes, there are some extremists. But even the most hard-core pro-lifer will admit that pregnancy isn’t all rainbows and light. That’s like a Hollywood thing or something.

            For most opposing abortion, they believe you should have a child despite the risks, which are, to be clear REAL. However, there are risks with many things we do in life. They see a child as worth the risks.

          • malkavian

            I’ll start believing that once I see these people lobbying for more protections and support for parents and kids, including but not limited to: mandatory paid maternity leave, childcare programs, single-payer healthcare or an equivalent to protect expecting moms, sick parents and sick kids, mandatory paid sick days (because no one should have to chose between eating and taking care of their sick kids), domestic violence/reproductive coercion prevention programs, and enhanced special needs programs for kids and adults with disabilities.

          • Deb

            There are many, many programs out there to support women and children; we live in a very generous society. No, it’s not perfect. Yes, some women aren’t able to access the resources they need. We will never live in a perfect society. But it’s dishonest to ignore the fact that for many women, abortion is simply the easy answer (or at least they are convinced that it is).

            Arguing that because the federal government doesn’t provide every need for every woman and child isn’t in my eyes a valid reason for the millions and millions of abortions that take place in this country every year. Given all the good in our society, the relative high level standard of living we enjoy, I find the sheer numbers of abortions barbaric. Whatever happened to “safe and rare”?

          • malkavian

            Actually there aren’t very many, especially compared to other countries which offer up to a year of paid maternity and paternity leave, free childcare for all citizens, and healthcare for all citizens and even non-citizens. We have some of the worst matrnal mortality rates of the developed world (ranked 50th) and ranks 26 out of 29 countries in a UNICEF study on infant mortality. Not to mention the ridiculous healthcare burdens here if your kid happens to have a chronic illness or ends up in the hospital. We do not, in fact, live in a generous society.

            I’m going to ignore your comment about abortion as ‘simply the easy answer’ because in most cases that’s absolutely ridiculous.

          • Katherine Walton

            Fuck you for this. Fuck you and the horse you rode in on. “Pro-life” assholes are only “pro-life” until the fetus is born. *THAT* is reality.

          • fiona64

            No one gets to decide which risks someone else should be forced to assume.

          • Katherine Walton

            Thing is? NO ONE should be allowed to decide who gets to take risks EXCEPT THE PERSON FACING THE RISK! Is that clear?

          • Ella Warnock

            Natasha didn’t write the article you wanted to read. We get it.

          • Katherine Walton

            No, Deb. Your opinion is *not* every bit as valid. Your opinion on this topic should only apply to *you*. But, hey, carry on with your bad self. I’ve had *four* kids. Does that trump your two?

            Nope. Thing is? I don’t get to make your decisions for you. What part of you don’t get to make anyone else’s decisons DO YOU NOT GET?

          • Valde

            Here’s the thing dumbass: we don’t FORCE people to do things that carry physical risk.

          • Katherine Walton

            Please look up the definition of “obtuse”. Then look in the mirror.

          • Katherine Walton

            No, it won’t. Except for the women who terminate their pregnancies before they are carried full term. But don’t let common sense get in the way of your agenda.

        • jovan1984

          Childbirth is anywhere from 11 to 14 TIMES MORE DANGEROUS than abortion. But don’t let a pesky thing like facts get in the way of your rant against abortions.

        • Katherine Walton

          Hey, Deb? There is no child. It’s a zygote or a fetus. But don’t let the facts get in the way of anything.

  • LisaC

    Okay, this is going to be a total waste of my breath, but here goes…

    Heads-up to the “pro-lifers:” there is a genuinely prolife way to respond to this column. That way is to recognize that the problems described in the article are real, and then try to resolve those problems. Try these sentences on for size: “The law must guarantee paid maternal leave to all new mothers in the US.” “Laws protecting pregnant women from discrimination must be strengthened and enforced.” “We should have a real, legitimate* support network for all pregnant women and new mothers.” “Could the US adopt something like France’s visiting nurse network for new parents?”

    The reason that many people think that abortion opponents don’t care about women and children is that none of these questions ever cross your minds.

    *Notice that I said “real, legitimate,” so please don’t start whining about CPCs.

    • Daniel Savio

      Well, it wouldn’t certainly be better than the forced transvaginal ultrasounds they seem to love.

  • malkavian

    First off, thank you for being brave enough to share your story, and I hope your son’s health is continuing to improve. Having such a little guy be so sick must be stressful and terrifying beyond what I can imagine, and you have my sympathies.

    This article covers a bunch of hard conversations about pregnancy and childbirth that no one seems to want to have. For one, that it’s not always sunshine and rainbows, and for some people it’s damned miserable even if they really want a baby. I feel like the lack of these narratives can make women who want a baby but hate being pregnant, or are scared, feel like there is something wrong with them even though it’s not so uncommon.

    The other is the lack of societal support given to expectant mothers in the forms of health coverage, maternity leave, care for special needs kids, and other protections. And of course, the lack of support for impoverished women that want their children, and want to keep them. Considering 40 percent of women getting abortions are moms concerned about the welfare of their existing kids and their inability to support another, I think having more support available would drastically decrease the number of abortions (especially for women who can’t afford kids but would otherwise want them), something militant pro-lifers don’t seem to see.

  • Jennifer Starr

    I still don’t understand how “pro-lifers” are reading this article and making the assumption that this woman doesn’t love and didn’t want her little boy. I’m beginning to think that some people here must have read a completely different article, assuming they read it at all. Apparently in the ‘pro-life’ mind, admitting that pregnancy and childbirth and motherhood is not always a breeze, that it’s not all perfect rainbows and fluffy white clouds is tantamount to saying ‘I don’t love you?’ Could someone just explain this to me, because I don’t get it.

    • fiona64

      They’re reading the headline and thinking they know what the article is about. They aren’t bothering to read it at all, so far as I can tell.

  • jovan1984

    Diabetes is yet another risk due to pregnancy that the mainstream media refuses to talk about, because the MSM is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the National Right to Life Committee.

  • Victoria

    I’m sorry you went through all of this. People saying “just have the baby” has always bothered me. Also, “Just have the baby and give it up for adoption,” like it’s a pint of blood or something that doesn’t take incredible commitment and sacrifice. Thank you for sharing this.

  • Ann Parker Crawford

    I am a little sad that all of the rude comments have been deleted. It appears that many of you made your points though, I can only imagine the small mind that produced the deleted comments.

    Abortion. SAFE. LEGAL. RARE.

    We can only get to the rare part by educating our children and providing birth control for anyone who wants to be sexually active. Why is that concept so difficult for so many to comprehend?

    • John Platts

      Some of the women and teenage girls who get abortions had already been using birth control around the time that they got pregnant. Providing birth control will not stop unwanted pregnancies or abortions from occurring since birth control is not foolproof protection against pregnancy. Abstinence from sexual activity is the sure way to prevent unwanted pregnancies and abortions from occurring.

      • sasareta

        Abortion takes care of unwanted pregnancies just fine, actually.

      • fiona64

        Shorter John Platts: If you don’t want a baby, keep your legs together.

      • HeilMary1

        Another sex hater!

  • Powkat

    Pro-choice IS the moderate position. Abortion is legal – no one makes anyone have an abortion. If your religious views tell you it’s a sin, don’t have an abortion. But I can tell you from my experience escorting at a women’s clinic, a woman can be screaming on the sidewalk one week, and coming to the clinic the next. Human beings are capable of great rationalization. As to these male politicians who pass bans and restriction, most of them don’t give a damn about ‘babies’. It’s just an easy (for them) way to keep the religious voting base in line at no cost to their corporate masters.

  • kittyschwanitz

    Also Medicaid only takes care of a new mother for 3 months for most people who qualify for it. I don’t have health insurance. I had twins. When the twins were 8 months old my gallbladder kicked the bucket. I was stubborn and lived with the incredible pain for 5 days before my kids pediatrician said she was walking me over to the ER. She saved my life. If I had shooed her off I would of passed out behind the wheel not more then 20 minutes later probably killing myself and my babies. It’s startling to think I was almost another statistic of someone who doesn’t have health insurance dying.

    • HeilMary1

      There are millions of you, and if the fetal idolaters get their way, the U.S. will be as bad off as the overpopulated, impoverished pedophile priest haven of the Philippines.

  • Margo

    I love the expression on her baby’s face. So determined and so trusting. Welcome to our world. Try to let him enjoy his innocence as long as possible.

  • Valde

    Testing to see if this works

  • Sean Mathis

    My friend linked to this article on facebook. I dunno. Maybe
    I don’t understand the forum for this piece, but it and a vast majority of the comments seem to make having a child such a drag. I recognize and agree that
    medical costs are prohibitive and absurd, but that’s the way it rolls. Fight against it or sell-out and take the professional steps to assuage the financial weight. I don’t understand
    why so many lack the foresight to appreciate the immense responsibility
    involved with the task of giving birth & parenting. One sensual act results in a
    lifetime of undertakings. It’s not a mystery. Having a stellar companion
    would ease the burden, and perhaps ignorance of being in your 20s
    compounds the issue, but I’m missing the boat on the point of this
    article.

    I can already hear the “What do you know about childbirth?!” remarks
    brewing, but not until the fifth to last paragraph does this woman say
    anything that stirs my empathy. I kept reading, thinking certainly
    something more profound and visceral would come
    along. Nope. She complains about the cost of this, the size of that,
    etc. I get it: having kids is expensive, more than it needs to be given
    our absurd costs, but I refuse to buy into the ignorance argument.

    I’m wondering if anyone expects their newborn to painlessly ejected while they sleep, or has an army of pro bono doctors at their disposal. Why’d she even bother getting
    pregnant? I don’t get it. All she does is complain about not being able to look and act professional. If her finances define her existence, why interrupt the fruits of her corporate ascent with the drain of motherhood? There’s nary a drop of compassion for her child or how she looks forward to him growing up, etc. Either she needs an editor to add some levity, or
    she’s a miserable person seeking sympathy that I can’t muster. Sorry this little infant was such a surprisingly inconvenient financial burden to her.
    Hopefully this kid can grow up and impart some bit of worth to its life
    that the mother seems unlikely to discover. I already feel sorry for the little guy.

    • Unicorn Farm

      “Maybe I don’t understand the forum for this piece”

      This much is obvious. Your reading comprehension skills need some help. For example, you wrote “If her finances define her existence, why interrupt the fruits of her corporate ascent with the drain of motherhood?” I don’t know how you translated point- that pregnancy can cause unpredictable and serious financial drains- into Chart saying that money is her number one priority.

      The purpose of her article was to shed light on the myriad physical, emotional, financial burdens that can attend even a very much wanted pregnancy, in particular, as a rebuttal to the implore of anti-choicers to “just have the baby.”

      In addition, women are allowed to write about the not-so-rosy aspects of pregnancy and parenting without being required throw in simpering reassurances to anti-choicers or sexists like yourself that that she wants to Be A Mommy More Than Anything. Acknowledging that birth is hard work does not mean that women love their babies any less.

      • Sean Mathis

        No need to underestimate my reading skills. They are precisely what helped me deduce my point. You should also be careful with your hasty assertions. I know how to digest what I read, I’m not anti-choice, and I’m far from a sexist. If dissent with her writing style alone causes you to pull those cards so hastily, you need to relax a bit. Good grief.

        I’ll slow it down and expound for you:
        My point is that if she’s trying to win the sympathy of her audience, perhaps tools like humor, metaphor and humility might help me get on her side quicker. She may be a fine person in the flesh, and yes, she can write about whatever she wants, however she choose. But in this article she comes off as humorless and self-centered; glum and frigid. If you step back a bit and notice her dearth of verbalized concern for the infant himself (until the end), combined with her propensity to use words like “hassle” and “risk” and constant mention of finances, desire to look professional, (she spent two paragraphs spent on her inability to fit into her clothes and shoes) you might understand how I arrived at my conclusion. Again, I don’t know how this came as a shock to her. Maybe the child she’s “stuck with” (sarcastic empahsis is mine) can make her smile in the future.

        I’ll reiterate for you: not until the end does she reveal any level of compassion or humanity for others (her nurse and other infants who get pricked with needles). As I said commented on another post, what she writes is only a sterile breakdown of unexpected costs and her personal
        pains. I get it. I’m not asking for
        a descent into zany antics or scatological humor, but perhaps some sign
        of the humanity you defend as being present in her would have triggered more
        empathy in me. Nearly everything she says seems to be laced with the least rosy aspects of childbearing and rearing. Some obvious optimism, mention of how it might be worthwhile one day, or expressed compassion for the plight of child (wonder about what he
        is experiencing now or what he might one day appreciate in her sacrifice) would have also highlighted the bubbly personality you suggest she must have.

        • fiona64

          Nearly everything she says seems to be laced with the least rosy aspects
          of childbearing and rearing. Some obvious optimism, mention of how it
          might be worthwhile one day … would have also highlighted the bubbly personality you suggest she must have.

          So, it’s entirely possible that I’m reading you wrong … but what you really appear to be pissed off about is that Ms. Chart realistically discussed pregnancy and childbirth, and the challenges of dealing with premature delivery, without pretending that infants shit chocolate ice cream and it’s all one big party.

          I concur with the other poster: you’re going to be in for a surprise if your wife becomes pregnant.

          • Valde

            Seems to me – and this seems quite common – that he is indeed pissy that childbearing isn’t as pleasant as he’s been lead to believe, and he’s upset that the SELFISH woman dared to tell the truth.

            If a woman doesn’t automatically love pregnancy and motherhood, then she is not living up to her role as a woman. That’s the message I am getting from him.

        • Unicorn Farm

          You sound like a sexist to me.

          So here’s what you want. You want a woman to make light of her experience with potentially developing gestational diabetes to appease some man’s rhetorical preferences. Cool. Women SHOULD make light of what they experience to make MEN more comfortable. (sarcasm off).

          The fact that you can’t empathize with a woman who becomes sick during pregnancy or has a child in a NICU because she didn’t use a metaphor (did you just finish a college class in oral speaking or something?) says more about you than her.

        • Jennifer Starr

          Silly me, I didn’t realize that women had to be bubbly and upbeat all the time. Apparently being less than hap-hap-happy, with a big smile on your face, makes this man deeply uncomfortable.

        • Jennifer Starr

          And if you can’t comprehend the fact that spending three nights sort of half-sleeping in a recliner in the NICU while your body is still recovering from a pregnancy (incidentally, did you realize that many pregnancies involve tearing, stitches, and an incision having to be made during labor to facilitate delivery?) because you’re worried about your baby–and even when you go home and your husband takes over you still can’t relax until you know your son will be okay–if you can’t see how those actions SHOW love more profundly than any pretty words and bubbly language could ever say, then I just don’t know have any words for you.

        • Ella Warnock

          It’s not all sunshine and unicorn farts, and every woman doesn’t necessarily enjoy the newborn stage. She’s a first-time mom who at a month postpartum is likely tired and feeling somewhat overwhelmed. I’ve never wanted, or had, kids and I’m able to cut her some slack; so, why don’t you give it a go as well. Or not. I don’t think you’re going to get anybody around here to jump on the hate-the-new-mom bandwagon, anyway.

        • Jennifer Starr

          I mean, you’re talking about a first time mom who has a child in NICU more than a couple of times now going through a very difficult period in her life and here you are going “Sorry, love, but it’s depressing me. Could you make this a bit more cheerful?” If your wife was going through this and you said that to her I wouldn’t be surprised if you had something thrown at you.

        • Katherine Walton

          As I said above… Oh fuck it. You’re hopeless.

          • Sean Mathis

            If this is the best you have to offer, then yes, I’m hopeless. Great job.

          • Katherine Walton

            No, that reply should go to you. Great job, Sean. You’re hopeless *and* tone deaf. But I don’t expect a whole lot of self-awareness from what I’ve read of you. Self-absorption does not equal self-awareness.

      • Ella Warnock

        Looks like we’ve picked up a little traffic from the flying monkeys over at Live Action. Good job on your reasonable posts over there, Unicorn. But you’re casting your pearls before swine!

    • Jennifer Starr

      Yet another one who thinks that admitting the reality, that pregnancy and childbirth are hard and that they aren’t always sunshine and rainbows must mean that a mother doesn’t love and didn’t want her baby. You seemed to have missed that this was a planned and a much wanted pregnancy and that this woman loves her son very much. My parents loved and wanted me very much, but my mom will be the first to tell you that pregnancy and labor was far from pleasant and easy. Do you think that means that she doesn’t love me? I’m so sorry that reality offends you, and that you feel that we have to describe it through rose-colored glasses to make you feel better. I prefer reality myself, thanks.

      • Sean Mathis

        Yeah, I missed that…because it wasn’t in there. Perhaps it was implied, however the bulk of this article dealt with her, her, her. If I’m to take it as a whole, I cannot help but find a general mention for the concern of her child other than from an objectified, clinical standpoint. It’s laced with words like “hassle,” “risk,” and a general sorrowful, exasperated overtone.

        As it stands now, it’s only a sterile breakdown of unexpected costs and pain. I get it. As I noted, some bit of levity and humanity may have helped her deliver the message you suppose she meant. I’m not asking for a descent into zany antics or scatological humor, but perhaps some sign of the humanity you defend as present in her would have triggered more empathy in me. Some compassion for the child—some wonder about what he is experiencing now or might appreciate as he ages—would have also illustrated the complexity you say this issue deserves.

        • Jennifer Starr

          Yes it was in there. I agree with Unicorn Farm–your reading comprehension could use some work. And if you ever have a pregnant wife, you are going to be in for quite a rude awakening, even if it’s a fairly easy pregnancy. And if you ever have to spend any time in NICU, watching your child being subjected to constant medical procedures, you’re going to understand what this woman is going through and how she feels. Again I am sorry that reality doesn’t wear rose-colored glasses. Hey, maybe watching some Barney will make you feel better.

        • fiona64

          I guess the parts where she talks about how worried she was about her child … and how she knows she’s lucky to have the resources she does — and in which she acknowledges that other women who experience similar complications are not always so fortunate — was missed in your reading.

        • Unicorn Farm

          “f I’m to take it as a whole, I cannot help but find a general mention
          for the concern of her child other than from an objectified, clinical
          standpoint.”

          Again, why is a woman required to mention “the concern of her child” in a piece about the struggles women face during pregnancy?

          “this article dealt with her, her, her.”

          So fucking what? Why on earth do you have an issue with a woman writing about her own experience in being pregnant giving birth?

          You also appeared to have totally ignored her paragraphs discussing the plight of neonates in intensive care. Sounds like humanity to me.

          • Sean Mathis

            I will never give birth, so I cannot be an expert on what you deem the requirements to be. I’m saying it would have been effective in winning me over. I guess my attempts to learn about her plight were overshadowed by the tone of her delivery. Apparently, I shouldn’t have read the article in the first place, gvien that you think my own opinion is immaterial. You’re the one getting all worked up here. There’s no point in addressing you anymore if dismissing the crux of my argument with “So fucking what?” is the best you can conjure. it demonstrates what I’m up against.

            I’ve said from my first line that I have no beef with her sharing her difficult experience; it’s her inability to garner my empathy in what would seem like a situation ripe with potential for doing exactly that. She stoically ran down a laundry list of complications (as common as they may be) and revealed very little of the qualities that make a woman the most brilliant beings in the universe until the last few paragraphs.

            You don’t know me, you have never met me and you have no ability to see beyond your reactionary hatred for a dissenting opinion, or comport yourself with any decorum in what could otherwise be quite a wonderful discussion. Again, if the purpose of this section is to merely illuminate the myriad financial strains that accompany births, she wrote a great article. However, I feel, no, I KNOW, motherhood consists of so much more than that. I would have liked to have known more about what those human elements may have been, even if they weren’t backed by a chorus of glorious angel voices, or whatever you assertions are about my misguided ineptitude.

          • Valde

            I suggest you re-read the article, and pay closer attention to bottom half. She spends quite a bit of time talking about the infants, and you can feel the pain she is in, thinking about all that the suffering they have to endure – through no fault of their own.

          • Sean Mathis

            No, I did. I’ve been the recipient of so much rancor that I went back and did just that, but honestly it only bolsters my (singular) point. I did see that I’d missed a few revelations about her maternal grace. I just wish I’d caught it sooner, or heard about it throughout. I think I could have stayed more engaged and empathetic. I suppose it’s just a stylistic divergence.

          • Ella Warnock

            Yes, that must be it.

          • Sean Mathis

            Thanks for at least being civil.

          • Unicorn Farm

            So basically you’re just pissed that she didn’t write about material grace. Why?

          • Ella Warnock

            She wasn’t writing an article about the “so much more than that” that motherhood is, though, was she?

          • Sean Mathis

            Clearly not.

          • Unicorn Farm

            “I’ve said from my first line that I have no beef with her sharing her
            difficult experience; it’s her inability to garner my empathy in what
            would seem like a situation ripe with potential for doing exactly that.”

            As we’ve all said, her “inability to garner your empathy” seems like more of a reflection on you than the author.

            “….if the purpose of this section is to merely illuminate the myriad financial strains that accompany births, she wrote a great article.”

            Yes! Very good! The point of the article WAS to discuss the hardships that accompany birth! And she succeeded in that! Not to wax philosophic and create some human interest piece that would satisfy your bizarre desire to learn about “the human elements” of being a mother.

            “you have no ability to see beyond your reactionary hatred for a
            dissenting opinion, or comport yourself with any decorum in what could otherwise be quite a wonderful discussion.”

            You came in here, guns blazing, insulting the author, calling her a miserable person, and claiming you felt bad for her son. And I’m incapable of a wonderful discussion? Mine isn’t a reactionary hatred of a dissenting opinion, its an irrational hatred of an ill-thought opinion.

            “However, I feel, no, I KNOW, motherhood consists of so much more than [the financial strains that accompany births]. I would have liked to have known more about what those human elements may have been.”

            Even if she wrote about “those human elements,” how would that have changed her point about the struggles of pregnancy and birth? Oh, right, it wouldn’t.

        • Ella Warnock

          “complexity you say this issue deserves.”

          We “say” the issue deserves? So, it isn’t really complex, we just claim that it’s complex.

        • Katherine Walton

          Fuck you. It’s not *about* *you*. And, no, you *don’t* get it. Not one iota.

          • Sean Mathis

            Yeah thanks for your stellar input there, Katherine. You’re a real sport for chiming in with such elucidating wisdom and charm. And asterisks.

          • Katherine Walton

            Yeah, thanks for your mansplaining Sean. I will have nightmares because my impression of you didn’t please you much. Not.

          • Katherine Walton

            And also? Fuck you.

        • Valde

          ” Some compassion for the child—some wonder about what he is experiencing now or might appreciate as he ages—would have also illustrated the complexity you say this issue deserves.”

          From the article:

          “None of the babies in the NICU has done anything to anyone in their short lives that could justify what they go throughbeing there every day. Every NICU nurse we’ve met is kind, gentle, and even loving to their tiny patients. But they still have to put them through painful medical procedures, and they can’t make up for a baby’s
          need to be held and to bond with the people who’ll take care of them as they grow up.”

          ————————

          CLEARLY, SHE HATES BABIES

          • Sean Mathis

            Way too late. What, five paragraphs from the end? She couldn’t wait to launch into her own endless account of the expense and misery involved. That’s my point. I never insinuated that she hates babies, but I appreciate your sarcasm. I just got the idea that she wants everyone to know how hard her life is. And, oh yeah, that she also gave birth to a child that she’s supposed to love and care for the rest of its life. But that’s clearly a secondary feature to address in this missive.

          • Valde

            How dare she, the nerve!@

          • Ella Warnock

            Oh noes, now she addressed her concern in the WRONG place in her article! Is there nothing this woman can do right?

          • Sean Mathis

            Oh good grief. If you see no validity in my point, then so be it. We can’t all be Michael Crichton or Agatha Christie, but seriously, here’s her riveting intro:

            “My husband and I just had a baby.

            My first two trimesters weren’t easy (though they could have been worse)…”

            followed by paragraphs of self-pity. Clearly she relents and demonstrates some genuine humanity near the end, but I realize that whatever I say here is going to be wrong, so go ahead… Now’s your chance to parry with whatever overwrought, hyper-dramatic literary tool you wish.

          • Ella Warnock

            I was being sarcastic, Sean. Settle down.

          • Sean Mathis

            Yeah, that wasn’t lost on me. I’m not riled up. I’m actually chuckling about how the tally of my “down arrows” accrue slowly. Or quickly. Nobody will every believe me, but I’m a solid guy, with a fleet of amazing women (most of them mothers) as friends, but only now am realizing that a maternity blog (or whatever this is) is the worst place to drop any form of critical dissent. And frankly, I’m still floored that nobody else sees any validity in my point. Whatever. We’re all strangers so it makes the off the cuff blasting incredibly easy. I got myself into this, and I’m taking the time to address everyone’s points, as taxing as it may be. Not sure how much longer I’ve got in me though.

            Be well.

          • Ella Warnock

            I’m not down arrowing you. I usually don’t bother.

          • Sean Mathis

            You got an up arrow for that, even if you didn’t really want one.

          • Katherine Walton

            Aw, what a guy! Y’know what? You can be all pissy about the way your opinion has been received all you want. What I hope is, in the midst of all your butthurt, some tiny little voice in the back of your head will make you think that maybe, on some small scale, the fact that very few here, if any, found validity in your points, will make you think that your points may not be so valid. And that maybe, *maybe*, you ought to consider the points of view of the people, who actually experience what you cannot, have a voice that you should listen to.

            Yes, I’m harsh. I’m old enough to have lost my patience. But I and nearly every other person here has tried to show you that you are wrong, and you absolutely refuse to listen. I suggest you step back, let go of your ego and your certainty, and entertain the fact that many of us have experiences you will never have, and that we can teach you, rather than you trying to teach us. Look back on your previous posts and understand how they have come off as condescending and arrogant.

            I resent, mostly, having to offer up my bona fides. That said, I’m a 56-year-old woman who has given birth to four children and is the grandmother of four. I have no desire to be lectured to by anyone, much less a person who has no dog in the fight, who can never experience, nor understand, what women go through when they carry a pregnancy to term, when they give birth. No matter how close you are, no matter if you’re in the delivery room or witness or hold the hand of, you can never, *never* know or experience what it is to carry a child, to give birth to a child. Please, at least, admit that.

            And that, Sean, is all I have to say to you. Take it or leave it as you please. I just hope that, at some level, you’ll hear what I and many other women in this forum have had to say. And that you’ll understand that we know what you do not, and that we can teach you, if you’ll only be open to the learning.

          • Valde

            At least his points were well-written, right?

            right?

            lulz

          • Valde

            In case you missed it, this site is primarily concerned with women’s reproductive health.

            Just sayin’.

          • Sean Mathis

            Yeah, I get it. I appreciate your understated clarity. No sarcasm. I guess I didn’t know what I was getting into evidently, and my ignorance to that fact has been thrown in my face at every turn. I thought that, naturally, that a natural extension of that reproduction might also be the actual child who is reproduced. Hence my claim from the start about her failure to reference Linus sufficiently.

            I’m a fool for sticking my toe in the pool of this blog and not being unsure of whether to dive in or not, as the majority of women on here have certainly made my presence unwelcome. If that’s the way you choose to keep it, good luck to you all. I had no idea that my opinions would be considered such worthless drivel, or that every word would be twisted back on itself to portray me as some elitist with impossibly high literary standards.

            It’s been a truly unforgettable experience, and I suppose everyone can rejoice with the idea that I’ll never come back. I suppose I expected more civility and less condescension. My bad. I don’t know what that says about the modern world, but I understand the tendency to go berserk in comment sections. This just seems surreal however. Most of you have come to appreciate my stance, even if you disagree, and I admit that perhaps I did come on a bit strong, but with some on here… Well, I’ve seen more manners on Beiber’s YouTube comments.

          • Unicorn Farm

            “I suppose I expected more civility and less condescension”

            You didn’t start out with civility, so I don’t know why you think you can expect it in return.

          • Sean Mathis

            Oh I suppose it’s because after rereading the piece, I later modified my opinion (somewhat) to recognize the modest humanity she showed later, and because the only person I had an issue with was the author herself, not those who later attacked me with strawman arguments and unfounded claims or misunderstandings, at the very least. It’s a lions den in here, I don’t understand how people can treat each other with such overt hatred and let it pass as substantive discourse. Nothing gets accomplished. I can’t imagine people actually engaging one another like this in person, and I can’t seem to justify it in here. It’s staggering. Maybe it’s just because I have a penis.

            Since I know where you’ll probably take this, it differs from keeping the discussion topical, i.e., related to the original piece. Instead, it just descends into name calling, assuming your fellow interlocutors are satanic morons, and retaliating with adolescent invective. Even with you, it just doesn’t stop. Be well, and good luck.

          • Unicorn Farm

            ” I don’t understand how people can treat each other with such overt
            hatred and let it pass as substantive discourse. Nothing gets
            accomplished.”

            Cool. Maybe next time you’ll not begin your points with ” the author is a miserable person and I feel sorry for her baby” and people will show you a little more respect in return.

            I don’t give a shit whether you have a penis. Women can be sexist too. Maybe the way you were treated wasn’t because of your dick, but rather that you came off like an illiterate asshole. Something to think about.

          • Jennifer Starr

            Yes, because clearly women are not allowed to demonstrate any negative feelings–we must all be saintly and self-effacing and sacrificing and meek and mild and even if it gets hard we must always be cheerful and uncomplaining–well you know what? Screw it ! We’re not saints and we shouldn’t have to pretend to be to satisfy someone’s illusion of what he thinks motherhood should be.

          • Sean Mathis

            I say again, good grief. When have I ever insinuated that you must all be well-behaved, non-history making subservient dolts? If the finest argument anyone here has to offer is write me off as some misogynistic creep who lives in a Disney movie, you’re selling both of us short. You and your minions can be as be as verbose about every worldly ill that affects you for as long as you please. You should also be aware of how ineffective that is, both in an article and in any social gathering. Be as brash, lewd, and bold as you wish. Just know that it wears people (not just insufferable jerks like me) out. You every stood next to a person like that in a bar? You leave in a hurry.

            If you still haven’t figured out that I’m only addressing her ability to
            keep me hooked from the start, then you’re not reading what I write. Clearly, I had a mother. I saw all the bruises and turmoil that accompany the complexities of the undertaking. The repercussions of staying devoted to a functional alcoholic until the day he dies doesn’t always bring sunshine and roses gardens.

            Thanks for at least not calling me a ________ or a ________. That seems to be the standard now.

          • Jennifer Starr

            Minions? Wow, I have minions. Who knew? And I really don’t get how you equate being allowed to express negative feelings with harassing strangers in a bar–not that I’ve actually been to many bars, but I digress. No, what we’re saying is that we’re allowed to step off the pedestal and be, you know–actual human beings.

          • Sean Mathis

            Yeah that wasn’t my best metaphor, but I’ve been running out the last few responses. My point was (and forgive me if I’ve already mentioned this to you earlier) that I felt the author lost my empathy with every successive paragraph as she bemoaned so many aspect. It is much like the self-loathing drunk who lingers at the bar, waiting for the next unsuspecting patron, so they can unleash their misery in hopes of winning sympathy. Meh.

            I’m running out of steam on this. I seek women—no, PEOPLE at large—who do not expect to be treated as if they were on a pedestal. I never said I was surprised that she actually had negative emotions. It’s almost impossible to switch the sex roles and find a similar analogy, but had a man written a similar article about, I dunno, something exclusive to men (?), and then pined about how hard it was for them when there was actually another inextricably relevant party involved (still with me?)…I would feel the exact same way.

            People continue to overlook on the fact that I said her emotional display came WAY TOO LATE in the article, at least for my tastes. She can complain about the pain and cost of childbirth or the inevitably arduous road ahead for as long as she wants. However, if a writer (man or woman) of any piece (novels, scripts, plays, or blogs like this) can’t establish and maintain our sympathetic interest early on, then the small window of objective curiosity we allowed them will close. Boredom, apathy or antipathy set in, and we check out. After a few paragraphs, I did just that, exactly as I would politely do to the barfly. It led me to believe something was odd about the way she focused all her energy on how things were affecting HER—rather than her poor, unhealthy child—until the article was nearly complete. I went back and reread the piece 3 times, and I am still waiting for anyone to at least see how I could have arrived at that conclusion, rather than attacking a peripheral (at best) point that I never really said (like when I didn’t say “women should just suck it up,” “women should only ride on sunshine and play with puppy dogs,” etc).

            So, that’s it in a nutshell. A really large coconut shell. I learned a valuable lesson tonight. At all costs, avoid public forum debates on anything regarding new mothers.

            Goodnight Jennifer.

          • Katherine Walton

            Poor Sean. He *still* thinks this is all about him. I’m amused, really, about that kind of self-absorption. Sean dear? Take your “tastes” and go away. Your tastes, your empathy (if it ever existed in the first place), your boredom, your analogies? Ohmigosh, I still feel the urge to say, “fuck you”.

            The valuable lesson you should have learned tonight was that you need to shut your mouth and listen and hear and not make it all about you. Clearly that didn’t happen. So if that means you’ll avoid public forum debates from now on?

            Well YAY! Good. Get off your keyboard and get out in the sunshine and oh, I dunno, experience actual life for a while. It might (and I mean *might* <–uh oh asterisk!) give you a bit of perspective and a bit of the empathy you're lacking. Just saying.

            Goodnight, Sean. Sleep well and contemplate.

            xo
            Katherine

          • Unicorn Farm

            “It led me to believe something was odd about the way she focused all her energy on how things were affecting HER—rather than her poor, unhealthy child—until the article was nearly complete.”

            That is because the purpose of the piece was to describe the ways that pregnancy affects a pregnant person. Your inability to see the very clear point of the article is astounding. You still haven’t explained why it is ODD for a woman to write a piece about how pregnancy effects a woman.

            The fact that you don’t care as much about women as you do about “sick babies” does not change the fact that the author’s piece was effective. The fact that she didn’t discuss her baby enough “for your tastes” just makes you sound like a sexist prick who doesn’t care about women.

            And its not that she’s a “new mother,” its that she’s a mother, a woman, and a person.

          • Sean Mathis

            OMG. You just keep writing, so I will as well. (It’s “affects” a woman, btw. AFFECT is most commonly a verb, unless you change the stress to the first syllable. EFFECT is a noun.) It’s not ODD for her to do write the piece as you state; I just found it oddly exclusive for her to spend so much time only talking about herself, especially since pregnancy also affects the baby she’s got in her.

            I think I don’t know how to argue about who I care or don’t care more about, especially when you frame it like you just did. Should I not care about her “sick baby”? I’m confused. If the article was informative for you, great. I thought she came of as vapid and self-centered, and that’s my right. I’m not suggesting she actually IS, but again, humility compels me to say that perhaps every article on here is “mother centered” and never addresses the child, however ironic that may be.

            If you think I’m insinutating anything negative by calling her a “new mother,” (which it sounds like she is, in fact) then you’re reading way too far into my word choices looking for a way to imply that I meant to brand her anything other than a lousy author, at least in my opinion. Stating that she is a mother, a woman and a person is, with all respect, redundant. She is, most specifically, a human person who is a woman, who also recently became a mother. To a baby. A human baby. I knew all that, I just didn’t think I had to say it, for fear of looking like a sexist prick again.

            You are impossible.

          • Ella Warnock

            Pffft, Unicorn is the impossible one? Hee heee, I have to admit that made me snork out loud. And don’t be pedantic about word usage, Sean. It’s beneath you.

          • Katherine Walton

            No, darling. *YOU* are impossible. Go away. Go to bed. The adults are talking.

          • Unicorn Farm

            I keep writing because you keep missing my point. I don’t know if it’s on purpose or you just can’t figure it out what we are trying to say to you.

            First, yes, I know the difference between affect and effect; it was 3 am, cut me some slack. Especially because your next sentence contains a typo. You know, people in glass houses and all.

            Second. What I am challenging you on is your position that it is “vapid and self-centered” that a woman would write about her experience of pregnancy. Do you understand? I think that it is offensive, for you, especially as a man, to come in here and state that you think a woman is offensive and self centered for describing the challenges she faces during pregnancy. I think it’s offensive that you cannot generate any empathy for women who struggle to give birth UNLESS AND UNTIL they mention their baby.

            It’s your right to hold an offensive opinion, for sure- but would you think the same thing if a man wrote a piece about the unexpected struggles he faced while getting his prostate cancer treated? If not, why not?

            Your string of comments here plays into the author’s original point- that anti-choicers (and much of society) disregard, will not empathize with, dismiss, downplay, etc, etc the struggles women go through to give birth when they command them to “just have the baby.” Like you, they call a woman who acknowledged the dark sides or birth selfish, self-centered, and vapid. Her piece was written SPECIFICALLY to challenge these attitudes, and you just played right in.

            You STILL haven’t acknowledged my actual challenge to you- to explain your attitudes above. I expect you can’t.

            I did not intend to say you were insinuating something negative by calling her a new mother- you said you wouldn’t comment on anything regarding a new mother. I wanted only to point out that the vitriol you received has nothing to do with the fact that she’s a new mother. Her points are being defended on their merit.

          • Katherine Walton

            Darling Sean,

            No one cares how you feel about the article. That’s the point. If it’s ineffective to you? Oh well, too bad, so sad. If she didn’t “keep (you) hooked”? That’s your problem, and you, hey, sorry, get to speak for no one except *you*. <—omg, look, ASTERISKS!!!!

            And, yes, dear, that's me being sarcastic. Uh oh.

            I'll say it again, in words that you might consider more "ladylike"? It's not about you. Really.

            And, seriously? We don't care about your mother or father issues, either. No, really, we don't.

            Love and kisses,
            Katherine

          • Sean Mathis

            I’ve been polite and considerate with everyone on here, even reactionary fools like you. You however, are just embarrassing. For as educated and experienced as you claim to be, you sure do resort to swearing an awful lot. Good luck with all you do in life, assuming there’s more to it than troll this site.

          • Katherine Walton

            That’s all you’ve got? Okay, then. Note that in my reply to you above, there’s nary a swear word. And I may be embarrassing you? But I am not, in any way, embarrassed.

            You have not been polite and considerate. You’ve been condescending and arrogant. I’ll say it again; No one cares about how you feel about the tone of the article. Really, google “tone argument”. Then educate yourself.

            Love and kisses and really, I hope you grow up some day,
            Katherine

          • Sean Mathis

            Whatever. Not that you are worth my time or care about any word I write (other than to provide fodder for your diatribe) but given your erudite appreciation of nuance, you should have no problem spotting the restraint and conscience I’ve demonstrated, despite the vitriol. I actually engage, listen and respond after some consideration.

            It wasn’t her tone so much as her tactical polemic decisions, but for you to invoke logical fallacies, Ms Ad Hominem, I’ve found a new definition of preposterous. Get some sleep, hot stuff. You’ve got a lot of hating to do tomorrow, and the rest of your life, I suppose.

          • Katherine Walton

            Oh, honey, If I weren’t worth your time, you wouldn’t reply. And I really suggest you look up the Freudian definition of “projection”. And I don’t hate. I only disdain. Happily, in your case. As I said, I hope you grow up some day. In the meantime, you only embarrass yourself. Nighty night.

          • fiona64

            Oh, boohoo. An editorial decision about the order of her narrative upset Sean.

    • fiona64

      You’re right: you missed the point of the article.

      • Sean Mathis

        I guess I just read between the lines, or took it as a whole. I’m also realizing that any dissent whatsoever with this woman is viewed as snide, sexist, hateful, ignorant, anti-choice, etc. My critique is of her tone and focus in the article, not the issues she faced, the physical pain she went through or her essential character. Those are all abundantly clear. It’s hard having a baby. Sometimes you can’t even predict it. Ok great. I get it. If you’re going to make those knuckleheads in Congress sympathetic to a collective and worthwhile plight, it would be wise to employ comprehensive arguments that span the emotional gamut, regardless of the forum in which argument resides. Otherwise, one risks sounding like this woman: embittered and distracted by everything but her newborn child’s potential to reshape her life, or heck, even the rest of the world’s. If you care to read the more comprehensive defenses of others’ remarks, you may see what I’m talking about. Or not.

        • fiona64

          I address this very point down-thread. It seems to me that you’re pissed off that she didn’t pretend it was all sweetness and light. Maybe that’s because it wasn’t all sweetness and light?

          • Sean Mathis

            I’m not pissed at all. I’ve stated that over and over. I understand that birth and its immediate aftermath are delicate and complex in nearly every facet. I have also repeated that peppering her perspective with a clear and vocal concern for her child might have won me over to both her plight and her narrative skills.

            I was clear from the start that my beef was with her spinning of this yarn, not with anything else. The disconcerting irony is that I’m the one being assailed as insensitive, but did you notice how the only time Linus is identified by name is in a caption to the photo? To me that speaks volumes. However, as I’ve said in other responses, if her intent was to stoically address the excessive and unforeseen costs of giving birth, then she nailed it. Unfortunately, that came at the cost of my empathy for what she faced. Had she been able to at least incorporate the ambivalence of what idiots like me foolishly perceive as rainbows and twinkly stars (or whatever the euphemisms have been), I may have been a convert. This didn’t work. She blew her chance to demonstrate the expansive emotional ranges that obviously accompanies being a new mother.

          • Valde

            Why in the fuck are you so very very concerned about her writing style and her ability to conjure up empathy in the reader?

            Are we to believe that you are truly concerned and OH SO worried that she isn’t getting her point across and you want to help because you’re OH SO pro-woman?

            I call bullshit.

          • fiona64

            Had she been able to at least incorporate the ambivalence of what idiots
            like me foolishly perceive as rainbows and twinkly stars (or whatever
            the euphemisms have been), I may have been a convert.

            Well, at least you admit that your whole beef is with the fact that she didn’t blow smoke up people’s asses and had the audacity to speank frankly about her experiences. Quelle horreur. Do you need counseling to deal with the trauma you’ve experienced as a result of her direct, frank writing?

          • Sean Mathis

            You’re right. I was just so disenfranchised by the time I got to that section that it didn’t register with me. I don’t never said she’s a monster. I just don’t like the way she writes. Maybe I should have just kept that to myself, because defending my self with some semblance of civility is exhausting.

            I do appreciate your wit and clarity though. My girlfriend is actually a somatic psychotherapist who also happens to have a Master’s in creative writing, so you’re closer to hitting the nail on the head than you probably imagined.

          • fiona64

            Thank you. I have been guilty myself sometimes of misreading things, or missing pertinent points … and, frankly, appreciate it when someone shows me.

            I don’t see anything wrong with saying “I don’t like the way she writes.” As an author (yes, I am one), I fully get that not everyone is my audience — as much as I’d always like to fantasize otherwise, LOL. In any event, I do appreciate your ongoing civility as well. I don’t always manage that nearly as much as I might like to do.

          • Jennifer Starr

            Understand what you’re saying, and yes, you’re free to not like the way she writes. If I was bombastic or harsh I do apologize. Thank you for this post and for being polite in your discussions. Really do appreciate it.

          • Katherine Walton

            You understand squat. And the sooner you realize that, the better off *you* will be.

        • Unicorn Farm

          “:.,..embittered and distracted by everything but her newborn child’s
          potential to reshape her life, or heck, even the rest of the world’s”

          And why is she required to address this in a piece about the struggles women face during pregnancy? Because it will please your rhetorical senses?

          • Sean Mathis

            No, she doesn’t have to do anything you don’t want her to. It’s a common device, however, to engage an unfamiliar reader’s sensibilities on numerous levels, and in my eyes, she failed. That’s all.

        • Ella Warnock

          She didn’t write the article you wanted to read.

          Okay.

    • Maine011

      You can’t get pregnant and appear to have very little capacity for empathy. Perhaps it is you who should avoid having children, rather than making snide comments about those who both have had them and can see and articulate so well an understanding of what that burden would look like without health insurance, a supportive employer, and when things go wrong. Good luck to you, let’s hope you grow up a bit before having kids of your own.

      • Sean Mathis

        Contrarily, yes you can. Most females can get pregnant over the course of their lives. I also know that in most cases, an ineffably emotional bond grows as the fetus matures, and well beyond. Admittedly, yes, I’m jealous of knowing what it must feel like to have
        another human grow inside of you, much less knowing the infant is
        directly dependent on you. I will never comprehend, but there’s no need
        to insult my take ON HER PIECE, not her identity or her plight. However, empathy is not a biological prerequisite for fertility, nor is it guaranteed during or after. Whatever. That’s a moot point.

        The vast majority of the contentions I’m reading are that, to paraphrase you,
        “empathy goes hand in hand with motherhood,” etc. That may be the case,
        but I simply didn’t see it in her piece. Again, perhaps this entry is
        only meant to dispassionately highlight the emotional woes that
        accompany unexpectedly expensive labors. I’m not being snide; I’m remarking upon her choice to omit empathy for the child in the way she recounts her experiences. I can’t believe I’m the only one who noticed the length of time it took her to even cite him up as anything beyond a money drain and source of misery.

        My point is lost on everyone, clearly, and I now realize that the majority of this bunch of readers is as humorless, superficial and angst-ridden as the author herself appears to come across. Unless apathetic, sexist, callous, and ignorant guys like me get to hear about (at least the potential for or slivers of) the magnificence of giving birth and forever being the maternal source of love, we will remain all of those hideous adjectives everyone has embraced to describe my perspective.

        I write. I know I’m good at it, regardless of the vitriolic response I’ve received. She had a great forum for expressing the complexity of her experiences, and it became a one dimensional pity piece. That’s my unwavering contention. I will not lower myself to claiming none of you should be parents or are femi Nazis or whatever the hip conservative insult of the week may be. I’m wise enough to realize there are actually smart, sensitive people behind these detached impersonal remarks. Most are just doing a poor job of spotting my ability and right to critique her, but the message I’m getting louder than the rest is that a new mother’s literary creativity is beyond reproach, especially from a man.

        • fiona64

          I’m remarking upon her choice to omit empathy for the child in the way she recounts her experiences.

          Except she didn’t do that. I suggest you go back and re-read the article. Or, perhaps, see where I responded to you with a specifically highlighted point that negates your assertions.

          • Valde

            And he did!

            However, she spent too much time talking about HERSELF.

            I mean, it’s not like RH Reality Check is about women’s reproductive health issues or anything, is it?

          • Ella Warnock

            And Sean’s critique of her self-centeredness seemed to be all about . . . well, Sean, of course!

        • Unicorn Farm

          “I write. I know I’m good at it, regardless of the vitriolic response I’ve received.”

          “Most are just doing a poor job of spotting my ability and right to
          critique her, but the message I’m getting louder than the rest is that a new mother’s literary creativity is beyond reproach”

          Again, this piece is not about “literary creativity.” It’s not a short story. It’s not a birth memoir. It’s not an epic poem. This isn’t some fluff piece about the joys of being a new parent. This entire space is dedicated to reproductive justice issues, which is a serious topic.

          I write for a living. I beg to differ on your ability to
          express yourself well and clearly. If we are all just “doing a poor job” of spotting your critique, maybe you should reconsider how you’ve presented it. You certainly have reading
          comprehension issues as you’ve missed the major point of this piece spelled out over and over again.

        • Maine011

          “My point is lost on everyone…” “I know I’m good at it…” “my ability and right to criticize…”

          If, when criticized so roundly for your own judgmental, unsympathetic take on this piece, you perceive that everyone but you has a problem with your literary brilliance, then you are indeed beyond taking seriously. Some of the commenters, here, are former Catholics, women who have experienced – and welcomed – multiple pregnancies, and who are now raising children as the single most vital and valued thing to them. Your theoretical notions of any of this is laughably uninformed by reality, and your strident insistence on judging what you have neither experienced nor understand, nor are willing to learn about, says much about you. It’s not commenting on her literary creativity you’re getting called out for, it is your clear incapacity to relate to or empathize with her experience because all you want to validate are pro-life arguments, requiring rejection of her perspective as a full human being, not merely some vessel living in the expectation of natal grace. Begone from me, cretin! You are blind to your own faults, and do not deserve further consideration.

        • malkavian

          Really? The emotional pain this woman experiences when her newborn is sick in the NICU, and screaming in pain, and she’s distressed because she can’t help him isn’t empathy?

    • Katherine Walton

      Okay, before I went to bed (as you encouraged me to do, you beast! :)), I went back and read your first comment. Seriously?

      You really are an asshole of the first water. I think (but obviously don’t know) that you must be a *child* in this world to be so obtuse, so unaware, so, oh, I have to say it, STUPID. I almost hope that Life doesn’t kick you in the teeth the way she does most people, because you seem so innocent and untouched by reality. On the other hand? Your judgmental bullshit makes me hope that Life kicks you square in the balls when you least expect it. Like she does most of us.

      You strike me as an engineer type. Lots of intellectual-speak but not a lot of empathy. And pretty obtuse, to boot.

    • Lynnsey

      Wow. Just above a “Shawn” told me how ridiculous it was that I said we needed to make it safer for women to voice their negative response to the more unpleasant parts of pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting without being scolded with something that amounts to “why did you even have kids, you selfish bitch.” Despite the 150+ upvotes on that comment he seemed dismissive that it happens. Perhaps you two should converse…

  • fiona64

    Pregnancy is not now, and never has been, a state of wellness. In the US, we have one of the highest maternal mortality rates amongst first-world countries (Greece has the lowest). The list of complications is lengthy, and far from obscure, ranging from hypertension and gestational diabetes (either of which may become permanent conditions) and carpal tunnel syndrome at the low end to hyperemesis gravidarum (which can be fatal), eclampsia, pre-eclampsia, placentia previa and death at the high end. And that’s to say nothing of fetal complications and anomalies that can arise.

    You can do everything right, have a much wanted pregnancy … and still have things go awry … as happened to the author of this article. The American Pregnancy Association, at americanpregnancy dot org, has an extensive list of pregnancy complications that can arise

    Anyone who thinks that pregnancy is a simple, healthy state is ignorant of the facts. And I find that both sad and frightening.

    • Valde

      I think I have figured it out. Pregnancy has side effects. And those side effects can lead to serious and sometimes life threatening complications.

      Just like obesity has side effects. Do we tell people that ‘obesity isn’t a health problem’ until it fucking kills them? No, we don’t. We tell them it’s a health problem because it causes side effects that can kill them!

      I think that these people I have been arguing with, and Sean Mathis here, really really want to ignore reailty and pretend that pregnancy is all unicorns and rainbows. And they RESENT women for not loving every second of pregnancy, childbirth and child-rearing.

      I think it comes down to this idealized view of motherhood, and their entire worldview is threatened when you break that down. And it is also related to the moral panic over contraception and Plan B. The idea that a woman would want to be anything but a loving happy mother at all times regardless of what pregnancy does to her or how painful child-rearing might be is truly threatening to them.

      It all comes down to a wish to keep women in a box – and in that box, women are moms first and foremost.

      • Valde

        Addendum: I also think it scares them a bit because maybe, just maybe, their mothers didn’t enjoy every second of pregnancy. And that feels like a personal attack.

  • Carolyn Gall AAHCC

    That cab driver should have sued the crap out of that hospital. My blood is boiling right now after hearing that. Medical students? wtf? WHY did this happen?

  • Justin

    This is very awful. Too bad you
    didn’t qualify for Medicaid or that either of you have health insurance. Good
    thing that’s about to change for everyone, so the financial piece won’t be as
    big of an issue. However there is a lot more than just financial
    stress.

    One
    thing I think is missing from the article
    is any mention of responsibility. When someone gets married and is open to
    having children, it would be the responsible thing to make sure one can adequately
    care for them. Of course there are always situations where everyone has the
    best of intentions but….

    My
    wife and I have been married for just over 7 years and have had 5 children, 4
    living. We’ve been through the NICU experience and plenty of ER visits and
    we’ve done it all on an income that is less than what 2 teachers make right out
    of college.

    I
    don’t know your situation and I won’t judge you either. I think there is
    always more to any story. I would question: did you do everything you could
    to prepare for this, to look for other options out there, or were you like so
    many in our generation with an entitlement attitude and unwilling to make the
    tough decisions our grandparents had to make? Do you think it was wise to
    have 9 jobs since 1999 (as your LinkedIn profile states)? Could that have
    something to do with not having insurance or extra money? Does your
    husband Chris Bowers just have a title of “Director” but not the
    income to back it up? Is he not offered
    insurance? There are a lot of issues about your story that just don’t add
    up for a young 30 something couple to be in such financial distress. As for the
    difficult pregnancies – join the club.
    How do you think woman (and men) endured them without modern medicine?

    Lastly, “forced pregnancies” –
    Really? How can anyone force you to get pregnant outside of rape?
    If one is willing to have sex then one must accept the natural consequences of
    those actions, kind of like switching jobs 9 times in 3 years.

    • Jennifer Starr

      They did have insurance, Justin. They were lucky to have insurance that has mostly covered all of this. You might try actually reading the article before opening your mouth and inserting your foot.

      • Justin

        Jennifer, Mea Culpa. You are correct. Her line, “Then I found out on a pharmacy trip that a pack of 25 test strips, which
        I was supposed to use at the rate of four a day, cost $138 without
        insurance.” led me to make a bad assumption.

        • Jennifer Starr

          Thank you for at least admitting that.

        • Katherine Walton

          You made more than one bad assumption.

    • Valde

      “How do you think woman (and men) endured them without modern medicine?”

      They suffered, and they died.

      • Justin

        Really – you think so. Then you should really spend some time with older people who actually went through it instead of making up your mind based on fact-less and biased information.

        Suffer – yes. But I don’t know of any woman who would say they didn’t suffer during child birth, except maybe those women who chose to have an elective C-section delivery. But then again, they have 4-6 weeks of pain and suffering after the fact.

        • fiona64

          Buddy, I hate to break it to you, but the US has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the first world (Greece has the lowest) at #50, per the World Health Organization. That means that 49 countries are better at keeping women alive during pregnancy than we are. So, yes. Women *die* of pregnancy complications in this country. It happens every single day.

          “Fact-less” and baseless? Not even remotely.

          • Justin

            Fact-less and baseless yes! The statement that they suffer and is and was meant to be absolutist. I know too well that women die from pregnancy but it is not an epidemic and it certainly doesn’t happen in every case. Are other countries better than us – I’m sure they are. Not sure where modern American medicine got the notion that the best thing for a woman in labor is to sit on a bed. If you were to travel the world, work in clinics where the women are that your static speaks to – you would find that they do so not in a hospital room, not with a doctor but with a mid-wife with the encouragement to move around and be active. Of course – this is a generalization – there are always exceptions.

          • Valde

            Well as long as only a few hundred women die, or a few thousand develop diabetes, or go blind, or get cancer…well then, it doesn’t matter does it?

            What would women do without fine men such as yourself to make health/risk decisions for them, Justin!

          • Justin

            Whoa – that comes from left field (pun intended):) My wife would say a better America :) Not sure how your response fits mine or how I advocate for, “only a few hundred women die, or a few thousand develop diabetes, or go
            blind, or get cancer…well then, it doesn’t matter does it??

          • Valde

            Justin wrote; ” I know too well that women die from pregnancy but it is not an epidemic and it certainly doesn’t happen in every case.”

            It’s not an epidemic. How gracious of you to decide, for women, how much risk they should expose themselves to!

          • fiona64

            And that’s aside from the fact that he’s wrong …

          • Justin

            Just a statement of fact – no need to make it personal. Do you have information to dispute the fact or do you grant the point and just want to try to personally disparage me?

          • Katherine Walton

            Okay, here’s something personal: Fuck off until you can actually make a factual argument.

          • Justin

            Once again you resort to merit-less post in which you attempt to inflame the audience rather than talking about the merits or facts. Your experience must truly be vast as you posted earlier. I just can’t see it with your foul mouth, poor logic, and continual lack of respect and rational discourse.

          • Katherine Walton

            Yummy tone argument. I say again: Until *you* can become pregnant and face that? You have no *right* to make decisions that will never affect you. Agree or disagree? (And quit making the tone argument. I’m angry and justifiably so.)

          • Katherine Walton

            Or are you going to continue to put your fingers in your ears and sing “La la la la la I can’t hear you because you’re being disrespectful!!!”

          • Katherine Walton

            I mean, seriously, poor darling, is it that you’re not used to being challenged? Or is it that you’re not used to the women in your life using strong, delicious, punchy language? Or both? My goodness, I’m so *ashamed* of my “foul mouth”. (not) But I’m here to tell you that my logic is far from poor. And I give respect where it is merited. And my discourse is perfectly rational.

          • Katherine Walton

            Thing is? You’re posting “facts” as if there is an acceptable death rate as long as women aren’t given the right to an elective abortion. If I’m wrong? Say so. Elucidate it in clear and comprehensible sentences. Because the *fact* is that elective abortion in the first (and into the second) trimester has a much lower maternal death rate than carrying a pregnancy full-term. Them’s the facts.

          • Justin

            Death is natural. However we should try to prevent it as much as possible, long with pain and suffering. The answer however is not more death.

          • Katherine Walton

            Okay. Here I go. Fuck you. Until *you* can become pregnant and face that? You have no *right* to make decisions that will never affect you.

          • fiona64

            Yeah, actually, Justin, it is an epidemic … and it is getting worse year over year instead of better.

            But hey, who cares, right? As long as they’re havin’ them-thar baybees, the wimmenfolk can just die like Martin Luther intended them to.

          • Justin

            Really – I had no idea it had become an epidemic. I searched and could find anywhere that it is listed as an epidemic! Please post your citation so I can be accurately corrected.

            Resorting to mockery only shows your true colors and character and lessens the merit of your position.

          • Valde

            Maternal and infant mortality rates have been rising mainly due to poverty, and lack of pre-natal care.

          • Justin

            Valde – I agree with your last post. Not sure how that validates fiona64’s assertion that it is an epidemic. I can only conclude by the silence and lack of evidence that it is indeed, NOT an epidemic.

          • Valde

            The point is, even if millions of women are not dying each year due to pregnancy, no one else but the pregnant women has the RIGHT to decide how much risk she should expose herself to.

          • Justin

            OK – she can always not have sex to ensure there is no risk if she is that concerned about it. There is always a risk of pregnancy. But to kill a child to avoid that risk doesn’t make it right.

          • Valde

            A fetus isn’t a child.

            Consent to sex isn’t consent to pregnancy.

            No more than swimming is consent to drowning, or eating is consent to choking. And we don’t deny people medical treatment because they chose to ‘take a risk’.

          • Katherine Walton

            Wow. Stupid and clueless.

          • Justin

            “Wow. Stupid and clueless.” I’m not surprised – not really. Most people who don’t have any merits rely on personal attacks

          • Katherine Walton

            No, Justin. I characterized your reply as stupid and clueless. But I guess taking it personally absolves you from actually replying with an argument with merit?

          • Justin

            I didn’t take it personally. I simply responded to the response that had no merit hence not a response to the post. If there is nothing your post to which is of merit – then the above post stands. There is nothing to comment when nothing of merit is said. Make sense?

          • Katherine Walton

            No, you pretty much replied with a fact-less and baseless something, which was stupid and clueless.

        • Valde

          I guess high infant mortality rates due to lack of any obstetric care whatsoever don’t bother you one bit!

          I mean, I get that you don’t give two fucks for the women, but you can at least shed a tear for the infants that don’t make it.

          And btw, women are having babies, without a choice in the matter, in the third world, and they are suffering and dieing from it – along with their babies.

          500k+ women die from childbirth every year, and most of those are from the very countries where women who ‘do it the old fashioned way’. Highest rates of infant mortality too.

          • Justin

            First, They bother me quite a bit. Poor and inadequate nutrition and health care contribute greatly to this as well as many other factors. We need to make it as safe and easy for women who choose to have children (get pregnant).

            Second, No need to judge my heart (you’re wrong btw) and no need to bring a foul mouth to a rational discussion. It only displays your true colors and character.

            The article was not about the third world – it was about babies in the US. That is a whole different discussion – and I would agree that there are a lot of rapes happening in the third world too ( and int he US for that matter). Plus they too need adequate nutrition and health care. No disagreement from me there.

          • Valde

            You implied that the old way, without doctors and modern medicine, was just great, so, I gave you an example of where ‘the old way ‘is in practise today, and it has resulted in hundreds of thousands of dead women and dead infants.

          • Justin

            I did not. I asked a question to which I received an absolutist response not an answer by any reasonable reading. .

          • Katherine Walton

            You received a response that you didn’t find reasonable. That does not mean that it *wasn’t* reasonable. Perhaps your reaction was a bit… absolutist?

          • Justin

            Reactions cannot be absolutist. Nice try. Just reread it and it was factual not absolutist in the slightest.

          • Katherine Walton

            Oh, yay. False sympathy + the tone argument.

          • Valde

            Yep.

            People who swear are bad.

            People who have sex for recreation, without the purpose of procreation, are bad.

            But if a man has procreative sex with his wife, knowing that a future pregnancy will kill her, well, he isn’t a sinner, at all, because he is having sex the gay ‘god’ intended.

          • Justin

            You assume it is false. It’s ok to judge actions, arguments, etc.. but not a person heart because often – we’re wrong.

            Thanks for trying:)

          • Katherine Walton

            Thanks for trying yourself. Your words belie your assertion.

          • Justin

            OK – believe what you want.

          • Katherine Walton

            Thanks, I will. According to my experience, which is vast.

        • Katherine Walton

          Hey, asshole? You don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about. Shut up.

          • Justin

            More rational thoughts from the educated:)

          • Katherine Walton

            I’m more educated than you can imagine. And more experienced. But people like you have no interest in learning from their elders and betters.

          • Justin

            I can tell, “Hey, asshole? You don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about. Shut up.” Speaks of at least a 1st grade vocabulary. Maybe 2nd.

            I spend a lot of time with older people. Ever take care of someone dying from ALS? Ever changed the diapers of a 60 year old? Ever volunteered to work with a assisted living facility for over 3 years?

            I have – so I think I know a thing or two from my elders and many other’s elders!

            Whew – made it threw without by 1st grade mouth:)

          • Katherine Walton

            Try, “Whew – made it through without.. ”

            You have *no* idea who I am or what I’ve gone through in this life, and I don’t care to present my bona fides to you. I still think you’re an asshole and that you don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about. I *adore* strong language! I’m pretty much at that point in life where I do not worry about pleasantries, and you can use the tone argument all you want, but that doesn’t make you any less of an asshole. Just sayin’.

            Bully for you for whatever the fuck you’ve done. Thing is? It doesn’t make you better than anyone else, whatever you think. It doesn’t give you a pass. You still don’t know what you’re talking about.

        • malkavian

          In places where modern medical care isn’t available, there are higher rates of complication and maternal death associated with pregnancy and delivery. For example there’s a high incidence of obstetric fistula in rural Africa, a condition easily prevented with modern medical care.

    • Ella Warnock

      We get it, Justin. Natasha didn’t write the article you wanted to read. Move on.

      • Justin

        Are you afraid of talking about the points or just trying to move on?

        • fiona64

          If you’d made any points, I’d be delighted to address them … but you didn’t. You spouted a bunch of bumper-sticker nonsense.

        • Ella Warnock

          What points are those, Justin?

          “There are a lot of issues about your story that just don’t add
          up”

          You apparently think she hasn’t given a truthful account. I have no reason to doubt that she has. If you’ve made any other point than that, I must have missed it. So again, she didn’t write a story that you find agreeable.

          • Justin

            I just posted my points again. Thanks for the discussion.

          • Ella Warnock

            That was actually the first time you posted your points. Thanks.

          • fiona64

            Exactly.

          • Justin

            My previous points were not clear and not charitable. Thanks.

        • Katherine Walton

          Actually, *you* are afraid of talking about the points. Reality sucks, pal. Try again.

    • Jennifer Starr

      I could also additionally mention that digging up information online about her and her husband and then posting it here is kind of creepy-stalkerish , Justin. Wouldn’t happen to be from Live Action, by any chance, would you?

      • Ella Warnock

        That’s exactly where he came from.

        • Justin

          That’s the problem with today’s “Liberals” and “Conservatives” – instead of rational discussion and searching for the truth and talking about the points of an issue they prefer to go for the personal attack as if that is of any merit. I guess that is where people go who don’t have any points of merit to argue with right?

          • fiona64

            The truth is that this woman’s very much wanted pregnancy went wrong, and her very much wanted infant is ill. The truth is that these things cost money that the author of the article has clearly cited that she knows she is fortunate enough to have — while at the same time acknowledging that lots of other women who have the exact same complications occur do *not.*

            Oh, and there’s another truth: internet stalking is fucking creepy, Justin.

          • Jennifer Starr

            What exactly are the points? Natasha told the truth–that pregnancy and childbirth isn’t always candy and gumdrops and certain people are jumpling all over her for not being all saintly and uncomplaining. That’s what I’m basically seeing.

          • Ella Warnock

            You haven’t made a point, Justin. Feel free to engage at any time.

          • Katherine Walton

            Hey. Give me some “rational” discussion, then we can talk. What I’m seeing up there? Bullshit and more bullshit, with a bit of horseshit to season the whole thing.

          • Justin

            I have posted it over and over again and the typical response from you and only a couple of others has been foul language, irrational emotional “bumpber sticker” talk as one person accused me of.

            I can see now why you can see the rational discussion.

          • Katherine Walton

            Ah, I so *love* the tone argument. No, you haven’t. You’ve posted anecdotal arguments that apply only to *you*. Thing is? *You* and your wife are not the center of the universe. So, give us some rational discussion that pertains to people generally, and not only to you and your privileged position in the world. (And, yes, I mean that. 5 pregnancies in 7 years, with a child in NICU and you’re not bankrupt? You, despite your “income that is less than 2 teachers make”, have some nice insurance, employer insurance, or help. Because your experience, if true, ain’t the experience of most people, even those with great insurance. In this country of the United States of America, it is beyond atypical.)

          • Justin

            If you can’t see facts for what they are – I can’t help you.

            Regards to our 4 kids and 5 pregnancies, NICU and all that. We did have pretty good insurance. 2 kids only cost us $500, 1 cost us $2,000, and the other costs us $1,000.

            We had to make hard choices, it was easy. We couldn’t afford to go to starbucks, have a honeymoon, buy a nice house (in the beginning), buy a lot of junk we didn’t really need. But all that saving and trying our best to stay our of debt has paid off! We still own our first home, but rented it out (started renting it our when we became missionaries). Bought our second home and a year later took a different position within the Church in another state and are currently renting it out too. We aren’t rich but by the grace of God we are relatively debt free (except for the houses) and I get to take my lovely wife to Barbados for a long over due Honeymoon.

            It’s not easy – but I’ve come to learn that little in life is unless it was hard to accomplish. Just as my grandma and grandpa used to say:)

          • Katherine Walton

            Oh, wow! Bully for you! And, yes, you had insurance that is beyond most people in this country, if the NICU cost you what? $2000? Hey, Justin? I’m educated on this beyond most people. So I’m calling bullshit on your figures up there.

            And if your figures are true? You’re rich beyond the telling of 90% of the people in this world. Missionaries? To whom? And what do you give? What do you sacrifice? How hard did you work? Damn, I’m *sick* of privileged people who have *so* *much* talking about how *little* they have, how *hard* they have it, how *much* they’ve *sacrificed*!

            You are so full of it.

          • Katherine Walton

            Hey, Justin? Your “facts” just don’t add up. I don’t only call bullshit. I call you a liar.

          • Petticoat Philosopher

            If your own original comment wasn’t a personal attack on the author, I don’t know what is. Searching her and her husband’s histories in order to engage in nasty speculation about the professional and financial difficulties of two strangers would be cruel and callous enough as it is, but to do it for the purpose of blaming them for one of the most harrowing, heart-wrenching experiences anyone can ever go through make me wonder if you have any compassion in you at all.

            And how did women endure difficult pregnancies before modern medicine? Seriously? Well, for one thing, they frequently died. Can you seriously be that ignorant of basic history?

      • Justin

        When you write and live in the blogoshpere that is exactly what you open up. After all – where do you think all the research comes from for blogs?

        And no – I’m not from Live Action. I’m aware of them as they’ve made the national news a few times by using undercover cameras to expose Planned Parenthood’s illegal actions as well as their immoral (to some) actions.

        • fiona64

          Um, Justin? Your pants are on fire there, buddy …

        • Katherine Walton

          Yeah, okay. You’re not from Live Action. I believe you. Thousands wouldn’t. You are *so* full of shit.

          • Justin

            OK – believe what you want. Not that it really matters as I deal in facts not opinions or foul language.

            It’s hard to have a rational discussion with someone who has a vocabulary of a teenager.

          • Valde

            Well Justin, you can rest easy knowing that the RCC pedophile priests probably never uttered a swear word ;)

            They are classy people, of sound character, after all :)

          • Justin

            Oh not – not the red-herring. Sorry I won’t get distracted or off point.

            OK maybe just a little:)

            Pedophiles (of which there are more in the Protestant tradition than the RCC) are not classy, of poor character, and in major need of repentance and a lot of others things:)

            Uttering a swear word is one things – having that as one’s main go to vocab words is another:)

          • Valde

            Yeah, I am going to go to that – because swear word usage tells you NOTHING about character. Actions do.

            And I have known people who were slick sociopaths – and they would admonish me for swearing – while stealing their wife’s inheritance and trying to diddle the 15 year old niece.

            So no, ‘bad language’ tells you NOTHING about a person’s character, or lack thereof.

          • Justin

            That’s your opinon. I just know from working with inmates in prison that swearing is their second language. I’ve seen a lot of character in there!

          • Valde

            So you are suggesting that everyone here is a potential criminal?

            lulz

          • Katherine Walton

            omigosh. That’s hilarious.

          • Valde

            And most prisoners identify as Christian.

            Therefore, Christians are of poor character and are all murderers, rapists, and thieves.

          • Katherine Walton

            Yeah. Still waiting for actual facts.

          • fiona64

            You haven’t posted a single, solitary fact *yet,* Justin. Everything you’ve posited has been debunked, with references. You are posting your opinions and *pretending* they are facts, and that is not nearly the same thing.

          • Justin

            Care to point out my facts that have not been backed up?

          • fiona64

            Oh, every single time you post. You make an assertion (with no sources) and then tell people to look it up. For example, your assertion re NFP. I did what you said, looked it up, and proved you wrong.

            If you’re going to make an assertion of fact, be man enough to provide your sources (you know, like everyone else here is doing when we prove you wrong?) so that they can be examined.

            Unless, of course, you’re willing to admit that the ‘source’ you’re using is your backside, which I strongly suspect to be the case.

          • Katherine Walton

            You haven’t actually posted any facts. When you do, we’ll expect you to back them up.

          • Katherine Walton

            oh my gosh. I used “foul language”! How HORRIBLE!!!

            Justin? Fuck off.

    • LisaC

      and I won’t judge you either

      Of course you will.

    • fiona64

      Wow. What a creepy and blatant admission of internet stalking.

  • mueizzathecat

    ..the most terrifying two days of my life was when my Grandson was born to my “ONLY DAUGHTER”…I love him, but…I love HER TOO! When I had her and her Brother, people acted as if it was “Nothing” even after the infection set in, and I almost “Died” after both of them was born..I was “lucky” with “My Little Girl”…my Grandson was healthy and strong and she was okay…and now he is in High School…we were just lucky, and she worked for the Eureka Coop, and didn’t lose her job..

  • Jennifer Bleemel

    Lady you sound extremely selfish and uncaring. Not once did you mention anything in your article about ” I’m glad my babies ok” or that the love of your child was worth the misery. All you did was complain about your misery and your bills. You didn’t want that kind of responsibility then you and your husband shouldn’t have gotten pregnant or choose to adopt.

    • Ella Warnock

      Aaaand another flying monkey from Live Action.

    • Jennifer Starr

      Another dimwit who didn’t bother to read and comprehend the article.

      • Ella Warnock

        Jennifer knows all about life and stuff, because she’s 24 years old.

        • Jennifer Starr

          Oh the ripe old age of 24–yep, you think you know eeevverything at that age–and you’re apparently perfectly comfortable with judging other women without having the slightest idea of where they’re coming from.

          • Ella Warnock

            One does have to wonder if Jennifer has experienced the miracle of childbirth herself.

          • fiona64

            And, apparently, she’s not experienced any complications thusfar.

            It must be nice to be so cavalier about other people’s situations …

        • Jennifer Bleemel

          For your information I am 26, and pregnant myself. I don’t even have the options and insurance that the woman that wrote this does, but am I complaining about the impending bills or possible trauma’s. No, because I knew what would happen when my husband and I had unprotected sex. Make fun of me if you want, my opinion on this article stands

          • Ella Warnock

            We get it, Jennifer. Natasha didn’t write the article you wanted to read. Move on.

          • Jennifer Starr

            You apparently missed the part where this woman and her husband very much planned and wanted this baby.

          • Valde

            And if you die and/or your infant dies due to lack of pre-natal care, well, what better way to show your love, right?

          • Jennifer Starr

            Jennifer, if I was going to have a baby–and it’s not out of the question–if I was pregnant, I’d feel a whole lot better hearing reality from Natasha than rose-colored-you-better-never-complain-and-must-always be-cheerful from you and and all the rest of the ‘Live Action’ crew.

          • Ella Warnock

            They’re kind of like the Borg, aren’t they? Women must be assimilated!

          • fiona64

            So, would you rather people blow smoke up your ass than talk about reality? Wow.

          • Katherine Walton

            I take comfort from the fact that life and reality are going to kick you right in the teeth. Good luck.

          • Valde

            Or perhaps she is one of those people who thinks that she’ll end up a saint if she martyrs herself in childbirth.

            I don’t know why people think that dying in childbirth and leaving your new child, and older children (if there are any) is a kind and loving thing??/

          • Ella Warnock

            They say it’s selfless. If you’re leaving behind a husband and other children, it’s pretty damn selFISH. That’s a situation in which the fetus not only became more important than the woman, it became more important than a number of already-born people, as well.

          • goatini

            The Roman Catholic Church – the vile Wojtyła, specifically – canonized a mentally ill woman who suicided herself in a highly compromised pregnancy.

          • Unicorn Farm

            Cool, glad that I get to pay for all of you and your baby’s medical bills as a taxpayer. How selfish of you.

          • Katherine Walton

            Big deal. You think you’re a special case?

    • Jennifer Starr

      And if you think that spending three nights in the NICU sleeping in a chair to be with your baby until your body finally gives out is selfish and uncaring, then lady, have you got a whole lot to learn.

    • fiona64

      The only selfish and uncaring people I see posting here are anti-choice dimwits like yourself …

    • Katherine Walton

      Oh, fuck right off, you judgmental asshole. And this is me being kind. I want to be much stronger in my condemnation of you.

    • Unicorn Farm

      Another illiterate internet user. Sigh.

  • Valde

    Lemme guess, these fools from Live Action – they are the sort of people who believe a woman is ‘selfish and uncaring’ if she doesn’t cheerfully die in childbirth, right?

    I bet they think Savita Halappanavar was selfish and uncaring too!

    • Ella Warnock

      You got it. If a woman so much as frowns during pregnancy, they’ll string her right up.

      • Valde

        I have been lurking here for a good year, and this is one of the LONGEST comment threads I have seen in like, forever.

        It must really piss off the pro-lifers when women talk about the reality of pregnancy and childbirth.

        • Ella Warnock

          It also pisses them off – or maybe it just confuses them – if women don’t have children at all and just plain aren’t interested.

        • HeilMary1

          They also go ballistic on abuse survivors like me who wish we weren’t born, even though they wish we’d starve to death.

    • Unicorn Farm

      The idiots over at live action are some of the worst- the writing is abysmal, the logic and facts are even more flawed. And of course, the ban pro-choicers who make decent points. And generally, they hold the most extreme positions, ie, that “abortion is never medically necessary.”

    • Victoria

      I’ve actually heard anti-choicers rewrite Savita’s story to say that she “chose to die for her child.” Um no. But points for living in such denial that they feel compelled to change the facts rather than be accountable. Actually, not.

  • Ans

    “I do not know the full range of what happens when you get a set of
    bills like that and you have no health coverage or little to no income,
    but it can’t possibly be good.” – Why would anyone have a child if they had no income?

    And if you’re “living in a household that has a hard time affording things like diapers” – maybe people shouldn’t have kids if they can’t afford to have them.

    • fiona64

      I think you really missed the point of the article if that’s all you got out of it. The author was pointing out that she knew she was fortunate to have resources to deal with the complications of her pregnancy and her infant’s health, whilst acknowledging that other people who run into the same problems are not always similarly situated.

      Your post smacks of privilege; you presume that every woman has access to a full range of health care options, including prenatal care, a job that allows her time off, etc. This is simply not a realistic view.

    • Valde

      “Why would anyone have a child if they had no income?”

      If you are ant-choice, women won’t have a say in the matter if you get your way and abortion is banned.

    • Ella Warnock

      Let’s not forget that a growing number of your fellow travelers want to ban some forms of birth control, namely the kinds that are most effective. If they get their way, a whole lot more people with limited income will be having children.

      • Justin

        People could use NFP instead of contraceptives. It’s better, safer, more effective and won’t increase your risk of cancer! My wife and I have had 5 pregnancies, all planned. We like to do things organic!

        • Ella Warnock

          Well, “better” is subjective, I’m sure. If that’s what people choose to do, that’s great. If they want to do something else, the choice should, of course, remain theirs.

          • Justin

            NFP has a higher effective rate than any other method of
            contraception. NFP = .04% unplanned pregnancies, all other
            contraceptives = 0.06%. Do the research, it’s easy to find.

            Throw in the fact that you don’t have the increased risks for
            multiple types of cancers and viola – my point is not only valid, but
            better :)!

            I agree – others have a choice to practice whatever method they want. But if they are trying to avoid pregnancy they might want to consider the most effective method that also doesn’t increase the risk of various cancers. If they choose another method then they should also embrace the consequences of those decisions like grown ups. Hence my point.

            We all have a choice – it’s a question of whether or not we accept the consequences of those decisions.

          • fiona64

            Your “do the research” directive has resulted in your own assertions being debunked. You might want to try a little harder next time on that front.

            (A viola is also still a musical instrument, not an indication of astonishment.)

            Yes, we all have choices. And guess what? People get to make choices of which you might disapprove. Isn’t life wonderful?

          • Justin

            Actually the research does bare out that NFP is more effective than contraceptives – dig a little deeper and pull up the studies:)

            “Yes, we all have choices. And guess what? People get to make choices of which you might disapprove. Isn’t life wonderful?” That still doesn’t make it moral to murder someone. The Boston bombers have a choice to, would you say to their sympathizers, “People get to make choices of which you might disapprove. Isn’t life wonderful?”

            Seriously – you should consider what you put down before you post it.

          • Valde

            In the real world, not everyone can manage NFP.
            Practical usage is what really matters, and it’s not practical for your average person.

            That’s like saying ‘abstinence is the best birth control’ – yeah, abstinence is 100% effective, however, people have a reallly reallly hard time with abstinence. This is why teen pregnancy rates are highest in abstinence only states.

          • Justin

            Really? Practical usage consists of taking ones temp every morning and checking for mucus. Charting those two things along with any sexual activity. It takes all of maybe 5 minutes. Reading the charts is pretty simple for most, but my wife and I had to get help from an expert as her cycles were not identical every month. After about 6 months of charting we were able to identify her fertile period (which is 3-5 days). We know when her fertility is near and we abstain for 6-7 days. We’ve helped countless other couples with this method and reading charts etc… Like I said earlier, it take discipline and will power. That’s it – it’s not hard, burdensome, etc.. It also forces men and women to talk to one another:) and truly care for the well being of the other. It’s the opposite of selfishness – it’ all about selflessness.

            It’s actually the opposite of abstinence only – it’s not about saying no, it is about saying yes in the proper circumstances and time!

            Very very few people have sex more than 23 days a month so it’s not really tat mush of a sacrifice.

          • fiona64

            Once more, deciding what is or is not easy for people other than yourself.

            Dude, your hubris is kind of mind-boggling.

          • Unicorn Farm

            That routine sounds miserable, and ineffective for many people. Your sick obsession with other women’s sex lives is alarming.

            “Very very few people have sex more than 23 days a month so it’s not really tat mush of a sacrifice.”

            That’s not your decision to make.

          • fiona64

            I know, right? Talk about destroying spontaneity. It is, however, fairly obvious that this is the method which Justin and Mrs. Justin use to *get pregnant.* I rather imagine foreplay looking like this:

            ::Justin looks at day on calendar:: Brace yourself, Tracy!

            /obscure Britishism

          • Unicorn Farm

            “Justin looks at day on calendar:: Brace yourself, Tracy!”

            AHHH *Runs and hides* What a nightmare. The whole “not being chronically pregnant” think has been a major source of happiness in my life.

          • Katherine Walton

            Are you fucking kidding me? I’ve been married for 35 years, and we, my husband and I, have sex at least 20 days/month. Imagine how often we had sex when we were fertile? You are *such* an asshole, and have no idea of the real word.

          • Katherine Walton

            Justin? Shut the fuck up.

          • fiona64

            I did pull up the studies, dimwit, and even cited a source.

            Can you even read?

            If you know of anyone who has committed murder, contact the police at once.

            In the mean while, please be acquainted with this simple fact (you said that you only deal in facts): murder is the unlawful (illegal) taking of a person’s life with malice aforethought.

            Abortion is a legal medical procedure. That which is legal cannot simultaneously be unlawful, so your canard fails on that level alone. Then there’s the fact that persons are born entities (as per the 14th Amendment to the US constitution). A fetus, despite your emotional appeal to the contrary, is not a person … so you’ve failed there as well.

            And before you even bother to bring up fetal homicide laws, be advised of this fact as well; they can only attach as special circumstances to a crime committed against an actual *person,* the pregnant woman.

          • Justin

            Still didn’t answer the question. But resorted to name calling. You’re mouth is getting cleaner. Thank you.

          • fiona64

            I did answer the question. It’s really not my fault you lacked the intellectual capacity to understand my response. I’ll paste it in again, just for you:

            Um, someone else already posted the facts, but I’ll do it again: The American Pregnancy Association (americanpregnancy dot org) cites a failure rate of NFP of 25% with typical/average use and 10 percent with perfect use. “Perfect use,” as I already stated, depends on everything being 100 percent accurate/identical from month to month.

            I don’t give a fuck what you think about my “mouth being cleaner.” My vocabulary is just one more choice you *don’t* get to make for me.

          • Katherine Walton

            Okay, here you go. Fuck off.

          • Katherine Walton

            Hey Justin? It’s past 4AM here and I’m going to bed. But I wanted to say to you, just one more time? Fuck the hell off. xoxo

          • Katherine Walton

            Bear!!! Not bare! God damnit, at least get the grammar right Seriously – You should consider what you put down before you post it.

          • fiona64

            He really is, to paraphrase Steel Magnolias, too stupid for color TV.

        • Valde

          From LibbyAnne’s blog, and I won’t link it because the post will go into moderation, let’s see:

          “According to the Guttmacher institute, the typical use failure rate of NFP is around 25%. Of course, Catholics have taken issue with this number,
          insisting that it is way too high. So I looked around and another
          number sometimes used for NFP’s typical use failure rate was 12%. One Catholic writer suggested that it was 2% to 5. Note that even that last number shows that the typical use failure rate for NFP is higher than IUDs and implants.

          The thing about NFP is that you really do have to practice it perfectly. If you break the rules when you use NFP you will get pregnant.
          After all, the rules of NFP are this: figure out when you’re fertile,
          and don’t have sex during that time. If you break the rules, you are
          having sex when you are fertile – a perfect recipe for getting pregnant.
          In contrast, if you skip using a condom once there’s is a decent chance you’ll be okay, since you only ovulate during a certain period of the month. Similarly, if you miss just one pill, you’ll probably be fine. But if you break the rules of NFP, even just once? The chances are pretty high that you’ll end up pregnant.”

          • Ella Warnock

            I’ve personally found tubal ligation for me AND vasectomy for the hubs very safe and effective. A culture that limits birth control is going to make both of those options difficult to obtain, especially if you don’t already have kids.

          • fiona64

            Replying here to Justin’s assertion that is in moderation:

            0.04% failure rate compared to 0.06% failure rate when
            other contraceptive methods are employed

            When other contraceptive methods are employed in conjunction with NFP (you left that part of the sentence out when you did your cut-and paste job, but I highlighted it for your reference anyway), that is the case. You are trying to make out that NFP alone is that effective, and IT IS NOT.

            Dude, your confessor is going to be very busy tomorrow, with all of the false witness you have been bearing here tonight.

          • goatini

            The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists asserts that so-called “NFP” has a success rate, at best, of 75%.

          • Ella Warnock

            Wot, it’s not the bestest and most effective family planning of all time after all? Oh, what does that bunch of old farts with medical degrees know anyway? God makes the babies around here, and don’t you forget it!

          • fiona64

            Yep. A known 25 percent failure rate with typical usage, and 10 percent with *ideal* usage. It increases the efficacy of other methods, but does not, despite Mr. Justin’s protestations to the contrary have a failure rate that is statistically less than surgical sterilization.

            Someone really drank the Kool-aid if he believes the nonsense he spouts.

        • fiona64

          NFP is only useful if you want to be a parent. It’s the *least effective* and most invasive form of contraception in that the woman’s menstrual cycle must be 100 percent identical from month to month (most women’s are not) and only have intercourse at certain times anyway. It also presumes that you employ only certain types of foreplay (frottage is right out) because it is possible to be impregnated as a result.

          NFP is not a way to keep from having unwanted pregnancies.

          Bully for you that you and your wife had five planned pregnancies this way. I rather imagine that you are practicing Roman Catholics, given your admission that this is your method of “planning” … which also explains why you take the “just have the baby” position that the author of this article talks about.

          You know, there is another great alternative that you could try that is specifically related to this story; worry about your own family planning and stay out of other peoples’ medical decisions! I know, it’s tough when you think you should be allowed to make medical decision for other people whom you’ve never even met, but I promise you can do it if you just apply a little effort.

          It is ever-so-easy to be an anti-choice male. After all, it’s never your life or health being endangered by a pregnancy, wanted or not …

          • Justin

            Then why make medical decision for a life you haven’t met either?

            “It is ever-so-easy to be an anti-choice male. After all, it’s never
            your life or health being endangered by a pregnancy, wanted or not …” – That’s pretty harsh. I would be greatly grieved if my wife died during pregnancy or delivery. Not to mention our 4 kids. If you think that won’t affect my life or my health you are seriously jaded.

            You’re understanding of NFP is also incorrect. You should get the facts before you show your ignorance.

            NFP has a higher effective rate than any other method of contraception. NFP = .04% unplanned pregnancies, all other contraceptives = 0.06%. Do the research, it’s easy to find.

            Throw in the fact that you don’t have the increased risks for multiple types of cancers and viola – my point is not only valid, but better :)!

          • fiona64

            Um, someone else already posted the facts, but I’ll do it again: The American Pregnancy Association (americanpregnancy dot org) cites a failure rate of NFP of 25% with typical/average use and 10 percent with perfect use. “Perfect use,” as I already stated, depends on everything being 100 percent accurate/identical from month to month.

            So, you’re right. The research is very easy to find. Too bad that it doesn’t say what you claim.

            Grief, Justin, does not endanger your life or physical health — and you are being deliberately disingenuous when you try to pretend that is the case.

            The only person involved in a pregnancy is the pregnant woman. It’s quite apparent to me that you don’t really think women are people who are capable of a) discerning their own medical situations and b) making their own medical decisions and thus need some paternalistic stranger like yourself to tell them what to do. However, as with your claims about the efficacy of NFP, you are incorrect here as well. We’re pretty smart people.

            Please feel free to gestate any unwanted/unplanned/dangerous pregnancies that you may now or ever carry, Justin.

            PS: A viola is a musical instrument. Voila is the word you were seeking … and you were wrong, as already noted, anyway.

          • Katherine Walton

            Viola? That’s a stringed musical instrument. Just sayin’.

        • Ella Warnock

          My very effective method of birth control doesn’t increase the risk of any cancers. I took HBC before that. I wouldn’t do anything differently, other than obtain a tubal ligation much earlier. Of course, it’s not like I didn’t try.

          I’m not sure why you think people “aren’t” accepting consequences of their decisions, but you seem very certain that they aren’t.

          • fiona64

            Because, like every other anti-choicer, he doesn’t really care about the child; he cares about punishing pregnant women I remain flabbergasted by the number of people who claim to love teh baybees soooooo much, and then refer to the as ‘consequences’ for ‘women who didn’t keep their legs shut.’

          • Ella Warnock

            Consequences, yes. It’s almost as if there’s an awareness there that children aren’t always an unalloyed joy . . .

          • fiona64

            But don’t let any actual mother dare mention any such thing … as previously noted, women should just smile and accept our ‘punishment.’

            It really is astonishing.

          • Valde

            And it also explains why Beatriz should have died – after all, she knew the risks! They showed the same attitude after Savita died – ‘she spread her legs, it’s all her fault!’

            I mean, even IF the woman CHOOSES to become pregnant, it’s as if, by merely consenting to sex, even if it’s to have children, the woman has sinned in some way.

            /boggle

          • Ella Warnock

            If consenting to sex is consenting to pregnancy, then I suppose consenting to pregnancy is consenting to death.

          • Justin

            Not quite. I believe that people use abortion as a failsafe and that it is wrong to murder a child just because he or she has not been born yet.

            If contraceptives don’t work then we should also be willing to accept the natural consequences of our actions – pregnancy.

            As to the birth control method – if it is a hormonal system then yes it does increase the rick of cancer. Care to share the brand?

          • fiona64

            Care to keep your nose out of other people’s medical decisions? You’ve already admitted to internet-stalking the author of the article, and now you want to snoop into what kind of birth control people are using?

            Some people might consider your behavior voyeuristic; I’ll just settle for creepy.

            The American Cancer Society (cancer dot gov) states that there is only a slight increase in cancer risk for women who use oral contraceptives, and that it levels off 10 years after cessation of use.

            Keep your creepy nose out of other people’s medical decisions, and stop telling lies about things. I hope you’ve booked a long spot for yourself in the confessional booth, because you’ve been awfully busy bearing false witness this evening.

          • Ella Warnock

            I’m sure he just wanted to know so that he could tell me what all kinds of cancers I can expect to be afflicted with, AND to tell me that I deserve every one of them. Or something. I’ve apparently just avoided too many things that all women should be delighted to experience. I could still PAY for that, you know!

          • Justin

            First, it is not internet stalking to look someone up to gather some information. If that was the case – there are lots of internet stalkers out there! So you can throttle it down a bit.

            Second, So you grant my point – it does increase the risk of cancer. Why increase it at all if there is a natural way that is even more effective?

          • fiona64

            You made some pretty creepy statements as a result of your “information gathering,” dude. Most people don’t brag about their “information gathering” that way.

            Your point is only partially correct … and it’s the closest you’ve come to being correct with anything you’ve said. A slight increase that goes away is not an “ohmigod, if you take birth controls, you’ll get cancer — so don’t use any contraception at all, because that totally works when you don’t want to get pregnant!” How stupid do you think people are, Justin? Really?

          • Justin

            You really are stretching it a bit aren’t you. Did I say don’t use contraceptives at all? No. Again – more emotion and irrational thoughts clouding your formulation of arguments. I said why “Why increase it at all if there is a natural way that is even more effective?” Wouldn’t you want to use a more effective method, especially if it has 0% increase chance for risk of cancer?

          • fiona64

            Telling people to use NFP *is* telling people not to use contraceptives at all. Do you even think about the things you type?

          • Ella Warnock

            Don’t remember, that was a long time ago. I was willing to accept the consequences, to be sure. Not in the way you would prefer, though.

        • Katherine Walton

          Oh, Justin. Go away.

        • goatini

          hahahahaha “5 pregnancies, all planned”

          Herein lies the tortured “logic” of so-called “NFP”: If the active practitioner of mucus voodoo becomes pregnant, the pregnancy is classified as “planned” – because in the “NFP” cult, the concept of “failure” does not exist. The practitioner “planned” her sexual activity, and if pregnancy results, it was “planned”.

          Don’t believe me?

          “If a couple conceives despite their best efforts not to, however, they can then trust that God is telling them, in no uncertain terms, that His will for them has changed… Really, however, there are no ‘failures’ with NFP because even children whose conception completely surprises their parents are specifically willed by God.” – from Catholic Natural Family Planning Perspectives, a Catholic Mom Column by Sara Fox Peterson

    • footnotegirl

      If everyone waited until they were monetarily independent with 6 months of salary socked in the bank before having a child? Then you’d get to watch society basically go kaboom within 20 years. And there is a difference between ‘no income’ and ‘some’ income. The expenses of having and raising a child can be very, very surprising, even to someone who thinks they have enough.
      But the point of the article is that, you know, one of the arguments that ‘pro life’ people frequently make is that rather than an abortion, women should ‘just have the baby’ and give it up for adoption. But for a lower income woman, just having the baby can mean being sent even further into the poverty spiral even if she does give the baby up for adoption, and even for a woman of means, the health risks of carrying a child to term and giving birth are certainly there. Women who can’t monetarily or physically have kids shouldn’t HAVE to have them.

    • Katherine Walton

      Oh, for fucks sake, Ans. People have babies when they have income, but an outcome like this can *bankrupt* a family. Then, of course, there are the people who have children when they have an income, then suddenly, without warning, *lose* that income.

      Let’s not forget the religious right, who *insist* that if birth control fails (which it does, and I know that because it failed *me*), there must be a child, no abortion allowed.

      Your clueless, mindless, blind privilege is showing all over the damn place. Get a clue. Get out of your bubble. Try and learn the meaning of “sympathy”. (No, I’m not going to ask you for “empathy”. Baby steps.)

  • Ella Warnock

    Based on the degree of butthurt from anti-choicers today, I think the title should be changed to “Just Shut Up and Have the Baby.” Literally, women, if you’re thinking about saying anything truthful about pregnancy and childbirth, just shut up.

    • fiona64

      You win the entire internet for this post.

      • Valde

        I was reading something recently, about CPC’s I think it was – and they are in the habit of lying to women about the risks associated with pregnancy.

        Condoms, birth control, abortion, all incredibly dangerous!

        But pregnancy and childbirth, well, nothing could be easier!

        I’m sure that this is not new information to you guys, but, it is part of the larger pattern whereby forced birthers want there to be birth AT ALL COSTS.

        And they don’t care if women die, and the fact is, they really don’t care if infants die either. It’s all bout the forced birth@

        • Ella Warnock

          They even try to tell you that tubal ligation and vasectomies are harmful. They do come with risks, as any medical procedure does, but that’s something that is apparently too weighty a consideration for either women OR men.

          • HeilMary1

            They actually told me at the pedophile priest-protecting USCCB that band-aide sterilization is “mutilation” compared to the face-eating pregnancy-caused cancer that killed my best friend.

  • Justin

    The issue at hand is not whether or not child birth has risks. Only a very naive person would believe otherwise. The same with it being expensive.

    The issue at hand is whether woman should have “forced pregnancies.” A term that tries to make Pro-Life people appear as if they are forcing something on women. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

    Let’s use the term Pro-Voice. Everyone should have a voice right? We wouldn’t deny a woman’s voice in politics would we (we have and it was wrong). Then why not give a voice to the smallest most vulnerable class of people in the US – the unborn?

    No pregnancy is forced unless it occurs through rape. This is very rare but I have encountered it recently on a college campus. The woman had the baby and her reasoning was that the child did not choose to be raped so she would not choose to murder the child. All other pregnancies are a choice. Every method of “contraception” runs the risk of an “unwanted” pregnancy and the chance increases if the user fails to use it properly.

    So the point – Why is it that we should avoid the very natural consequence of our actions (knowing full well what they might be) to satisfy our own desire to avoid suffering (physical, emotional, spiritual, financial, etc..)? Why is it ok to take the life of a child and not hear her or his voice?

    I greatly apologize for the remarks made about Natasha and Chris and their income etc… I’m grateful they choose life and endured like so many couples before them.

    For those who cannot afford it there are programs out there that will take care of the financial burden for those wanting to adopt, and for those who wish to keep the child as well. A simple good search will help anyone find one in any of the 50 states.

    • Valde

      Aw, the old ‘consent to sex is consent to pregnancy’ gambit.

      lulz

      • Justin

        We’re aren’t playing chess:) You say gambit but I say conseuence. Let’s see which is a valid statement shall we?

        If one has sex, even protected sex, one consequence of that action is pregnancy.

        If one has sex, even protected sex, one gambit of that action is pregnancy.

        Oops. Doesn’t fit the definition. Nice try.

        • fiona64

          If one has sex, even unprotected sex, one consequence of that action is pregnancy. Another potential consequence is abortion.

          See how that works? Your gambit is dismissed.

          • Justin

            “If one has sex, even protected sex, one consequence of that action is pregnancy. Another potential consequence is abortion.” – True. And for that we should not have abortion as an option. It kills the child and allows the parents to avoid the natural consequence of their actions.

          • Valde

            You talk as if sex is some sort of crime!

            Well, a crime for which only the woman must be punished, natch ;)

          • Justin

            Not at all. Sex is beautiful! I’m sure there would be no argument with me on that note:)

            Women shouldn’t be punished for having sex – how you get that from my words is quite mind boggling.

            Getting pregnant is not a punishment – it is a gift.

          • Valde

            I would rather kill myself than be forced to undergo a pregnancy against my will.

          • Justin

            I would hope that you wouldn’t when that time comes. Your soul is more precious than your opinions. You were made for more than this world has to offer.

          • fiona64

            Because, hey! Valde should just risk her mental and physical health to satisfy some anti-choice goon on the internet, right?

            Gawd.

          • Unicorn Farm

            Oh, shut up. I’m a rape survivor as well and your heinous and dismissive attitudes towards women who don’t want to be forced to bear children against their will like slaves, coupled with this faux concern over our souls is unbelievably offensive.

          • Katherine Walton

            Truly, you need to get off the drugs you’re on. Truly.

          • Katherine Walton

            Also? Fuck off.

          • fiona64

            Getting pregnant is not a punishment – it is a gift.

            Only if you want to be pregnant. There are any number of reasons why a woman might not want to be pregnant … and really, unless you are that woman, 100 percent of them are none of your business whatsoever.

          • Justin

            If it is my child – it is 100% my business. If it is any other child who people will deny their right to be heard, their basic right to life – then it too is 100% my business.

          • fiona64

            In which of your medical decisions should *I* be allowed to interfere, since you have now announced your right (and intention) to interfere in mine? Maybe we should force you to donate a kidney to someone without your consent? After all, there is someone on this planet who is in need of a kidney, and we wouldn’t want their voices to go unheard.

            Oh, wait. We don’t allow for that under the law, do we? That’s considered enslavement.

            (And, since I wouldn’t sleep with you if you were the last man on the planet, you may rest assured that my medical decisions, whatever they may be, are 100 percent none of your business.)

          • Valde

            If you read what Justin wrote, it almost sounds as if he could be standing up for a rapist’s parental rights!

          • fiona64

            I don’t think there’s any “almost” about it. He’s pretty clear that a rapist should just be forgiven. Well, at the risk, of offending Justin’s apparently delicate sensibilities: fuck that noise.

          • Jennifer Starr

            Yes–kind of sick. Actually very sick.

          • Ella Warnock

            If it happens to be located in my body, it is most assuredly not your business, and I wouldn’t have any trouble making that crystal clear to anyone trying to interfere. Up to and including involving law enforcement.

          • fiona64

            Of all the blatantly stupid, nonsensical hubris Justin displayed tonight, that statement was the one that really took the cake for me.

          • Ella Warnock

            I do wonder how long it’s going to be before we see antis attempting to physically restrain women, which will do nothing more than earn them a free ride to a police station, but I suppose they’d think it was worth it. I think a lot of them realize that their emotionally overwrought and manipulative language isn’t really that effective, so I can see an escalation on the horizon.

          • fiona64

            I wouldn’t be at all surprised, myself.

          • goatini

            LIE Action has an article recently, in which it was recommended that when males impregnate any female who wishes to safely and legally terminate the pregnancy – because SHE does not wish to be a parent at that time – should obtain a restraining order to force the female into gestational slavery!

          • Ella Warnock

            Yeah, I read that too. That would have been a grave mistake for any man to make with me.

          • Katherine Walton

            Except, no, It is NOT your business. Get a life, asshole.

          • Ella Warnock

            For you and your wife, certainly. Everyone else, not necessarily.

          • Unicorn Farm

            It isn’t a gift if you don’t want it.

            We “get that” from your argument because you keep harping on women having to endure the “natural consequences of their actions” which I’m pretty sure is a principal you do not apply to men who seek medical treatment for injuries resulting from their actions.

          • fiona64

            I know, right? Why, I’ll bet if Justin here blew out a knee playing football, he wouldn’t just be “enduring the natural consequences of his actions.”

          • Katherine Walton

            yeah? How many times have you been pregnant? Just asking.

          • fiona64

            A fetus is not a child. Did you skip high school biology class?

            In any event, you are continuing to prove my hypothesis correct: you believe that children are punishments for women … especially women who dare to have sex without intent to procreate.

          • Justin

            Maybe you should go to college and learn the real thing. A fetus is a child according to science. Why do you think it is illegal to harm, destroy, etc.. eagle eggs in the US? Because it is an eagle.

            When do you think life begins exactly?

            Children are a gift to women and men, to all in a family.

            If you are having sex, there is always a chance of procreating. Trying to deny that is to deny a scientific and natural fact. It may not be your intent but it sure is a natural consequence. Which proves my point – men and women want to have sex without consequences.

            Don’t you think that this attitude (women treating their bodies as personal property) has continued to led to more and more men looking at women as only mere property, a means towards which gratification is simply an end, not a means.

          • Ella Warnock

            Are women’s bodies their personal property? If not, to whom do they belong?

          • Justin

            Are we talking about a woman who is already born or a woman who is in the womb?

          • fiona64

            You are now being deliberately fucking stupid. There is no “woman” in anyone’s womb. Women are born entities: people. No matter what YOU think.

          • Ella Warnock

            If there are any “women in the womb,” my suggestion would be that she stay there. It’s the only time a lot of people are going to recognize her as a free agent.

          • fiona64

            Heh. That’s probably more true than I’d like to think …

          • Ella Warnock

            Well, Justin, I would have expected a more honest answer than that. Disappointing, it is.

          • Valde

            Eagle eggs contain potential eagles, and since eagles are endangered, we want more eagles to be born.

            Last I checked, the human race isn’t endangered. Also, eagle eggs are not infringing on anyone’s bodily autonomy. are they?

            PS I have heard the ‘eagle eggs’ meme about 10x in the last week – they must all visit the same pro-life site for those slogans@

          • Justin

            So it’s a matter of whether or not they are wanted or endangered? I thought we were talking about biology here?

          • fiona64

            You’re being deliberately obtuse. My body is my property, no matter what some dumbfuck antichoice Catholic dude on the internet thinks.

          • LisaC

            PS I have heard the ‘eagle eggs’ meme about 10x in the last week – they must all visit the same pro-life site for those slogans@

            The next time you hear it, point out that eagle nests, feathers, hatched shells, and dead birds are also all protected. (I noted this upthread, but it’ll probably get lost in the shuffle). Even if they think there is no difference between a dead eagle and a live eagle, they presumably will be able to understand that a nest is not a bird.

          • fiona64

            Why do you think it is illegal to harm, destroy, etc.. eagle eggs in the US? Because it is an eagle.

            No, eggs are potential eagles. Eagles are an endangered species. Not all eggs hatch, in any event … perhaps *you* should go to college and learn the real thing.

            I’m a physical anthropology major, Justin. I guarantee I have studied human development and biology in far greater depth than you have.

            Thanks for admitting that you think of children as a punishment … not that it wasn’t blatantly obvious already. “Men and women want to have sex without consequences” is just dogwhistle for “without procreating.” When you refer to an infant as a “consequence,” your meaning is clear. You don’t mean “result,’ you mean *punishment* for non-procreative sex.

            My body *is* my personal property, Justin. Period, end of report. That you would think otherwise reveals you for the worst sort of chauvinist.

          • Justin

            It’s too bad you feel that way and think that way too. I’ve never thought of a women’s body as property but I keep hearing that from people who are supposed “liberals”. Good luck trying to convince chauvinist men to not treat your body like property when you do.

          • fiona64

            Um, you were the one who said this (emphasis added for the apparently memory-impaired): Don’t you think that this attitude (women treating their bodies as personal property) has continued to led to more and more men looking at women as only mere property, a means towards which gratification is simply an end, not a means.

            Only chauvinistic men treat women as though they, and their bodies, are property. My husband, fortunately, is not such a man. Pity that your wife’s husband is …

          • Ella Warnock

            I’m still unclear about who my body belongs to? And exactly who are the chauvinist men that view my body as property? I’ve been happily married for 26 years, so it’s all a bit confusing, you see.

          • fiona64

            That’s easy, Ella: *Justin* is a chauvinistic man who views your body as property, and public property at that! He takes issue when women view their bodies as personal property. That’s why he thinks (by his own admission) that he has the right to insert himself into your medical decisions — he has said that they are 100% his business.

          • Ella Warnock

            I have to admit I really have no idea what he’s talking about. I’ve never come across anyone in real life who talks this way, going on about women’s bodies being or not being their property. I guess my self worth just wasn’t derived from whatever source he thinks it should have been.

          • Unicorn Farm

            I’ve lurked (ie, read almost everything on) this site (wonderful site), Jill Stanek’s blog (and attendant crowd of truly simpleminded followers), live action, and sometimes lifesite, concerned women for america, etc, etc. for the past 7 years or so now.

            I’ve seen a lot of the fundies express the belief that people don’t really own their bodies, but rather that god does (my guess is this is what Justin means?), or, if you’re a married person, you and your spouse own each other’s bodies.

            I’ve even seen the argument that a fetus owns the uterus because it is “put there” for the baby. Of course, these are all obviously meritless.

          • Ella Warnock

            You know, it’s only been in the last year or so that I’ve gotten sucked into this whole choice/anti-choice thing. I really did think that it was a settled matter in most rational peoples’ minds. Stanek, liveaction, et al, have been real eye openers in a pretty horrifying way. It all boils down to the fetus, and everything else in life is peripheral.

          • fiona64

            Back in the days of AOL, there was an abortion debate board .. and it *really* lit up during the days of the Scott Peterson murder trial, with lots of anti-choicers bringing up “poor Connor Peterson” and how he was murdered, whilst not talking too terribly much about the pregnant woman, Laci. That’s one of the reasons that I always jump on the fetal homicide law … because it’s almost inevitable.

            I remain astonished that people really do take this “just have the baby” attitude, to be honest. They accuse post-abortive women of having been cavalier in their decision-making, but it is more cavalier by far just to wave a hand in the air and declare it as easy as pie to gestate a pregnancy (wanted or unwanted).

            My mother had an illegal abortion in the 1960s. She contracted rubella during a crucial phase of fetal development. Her obstetrician was very frank with her: the fetus had a 99.9 percent chance, at that point, of being so damaged that the resulting infant would be blind, deaf and mentally disabled. He told my mom and dad that they could think about it, but that they should also think about the baby they already had at home (me … I was around 9 months old) when they discussed it. He also told them that, if they needed, he knew of someone who could (as he put it) help them.

            Obviously, I did not know about this until much, much later — when my mom talked to me about it, she did so because I was a ranting, bible-thumping anti-choicer who said that anyone who had an abortion was a murderer (sound familiar)? Well, suffice it to say that this got me thinking. A blind, deaf, mentally disabled infant would have grown up to be a blind, deaf, mentally disabled adult. Neither that infant, nor that adult — nor the rest of the family — would have *ever* had any quality of life. It is quite likely that said infant’s care would have bankrupted our family.

            The decision my folks made was more humane by far than “just having the baby” ever would have been.

            Not that people like Justin care about that, of course … who cares about anyone’s quality of life *outside* the uterus, eh?

          • Ella Warnock

            I’m sorry your parents had to go through that, but I’m glad your mother had an OB who was compassionate and reasonable. Your assessment of the reality of a profoundly disabled child is spot on, and it’s something that anti-choicers hand-wave on a regular basis. That situation can and does ruin families. and it should only ever be up to the family in question, most especially the mother, whether or not to play the martyr.

          • fiona64

            Thank you, and I am likewise grateful; a lot of doctors during that time would have taken Justin’s attitude. After all, there might have been a miracle, right? That 0.01 percentage might have come true, maybe if they just prayed really hard or something?

            Knowledge of fetal development, good science, and a compassionate doctor who was willing to (much like the author of the article on which we’re commenting) have a frank discussion about hard facts with my mom and dad are necessary to not only save lives but to keep families together.

            I mean, think about it. I’ll be 50 on my next birthday; had that pregnancy been brought to term, my folks would be dealing with a 49-year-old infant in an adult’s body … and no one should be forced to do that against their will.

          • Valde

            A suffering child is a gift, don’t forget that!

            This is why they want anencephalic babies to be born – through their suffering, we learn ‘compassion’ dont’cha know!

          • Unicorn Farm

            “Scott Peterson murder trial, with lots of anti-choicers bringing up
            “poor Connor Peterson” and how he was murdered, whilst not talking too terribly much about the pregnant woman, Laci”

            Ughgh, how completely vulgar, and how totally unsurprising. I feel like a lot of it comes down to an empathy problem- these people are profoundly unable to empathize with a woman who has complex feelings and desires, and who may have “sinned.” Much easier to muster up compassion for the blank slate of a fetus.

            I’m so sorry your mother had to go through all of that, but I’m so glad the experience got you thinking. These stories are so important to hear- especially for people in my generation. I don’t think anyone in my family had to suffer through an illegal abortion (or at least, they haven’t told me). My mother was born in the ’60s and abortion has been legal for our reproductive lives. I feel so privileged to have always had choice (and the resources I needed to access it) but I recognize that so many women don’t and that this choice is being rapidly undermined.

            “I remain astonished that people really do take this “just have the baby” attitude, to be honest.

            Completely agree. It just totally blows my mind- especially because we all know that these anti-choicers aren’t demanding this kind of bodily sacrifice for men. I’m convinced it’s one part sexism, and one part willful ignorance because if they acknowledge the extreme sacrifices their position demands, it begins to fall apart on a logical and emotional level. So it’s crucial for them to paint the abortion debate as a selfish woman not wanting to get fat v. the Life of the BAybee!1. Because it’s a lot harder to argue with a straight face that a woman should undergo major abdominal surgery, develop life long complications, and lose her job, all for the sake of a non-sentient 8 week fetus.

          • Unicorn Farm

            Yep, pretty much. Most people don’t realize how extreme the anti-lifers are, until you read what they say when they think they’re among friends. I comment rarely because I get sucked in… see… right now :) Live action banned me (of course), and I until recently I’ve been careful about revealing details about myself that could get me found out when commenting (had a job where I was not allowed to voice opinions on politically charged issues).

          • Unicorn Farm

            The chauvinist is the man who tells me I am required to gestate a fetus against my will. (ie, you).

          • Katherine Walton

            Darling, you really need to, oh, I don’t know. Shut up and walk away?

          • Ella Warnock

            If a woman has a man’s children, is there not a possibility that he would view her and the children as his property? That “is” how some men do view their families, as I’m sure you’re aware. There’s a risk for abuse on either side of the issue.

          • fiona64

            Not only is he aware, I’m sure that his experience is *primary* at this point … as the property owner, of course.

          • Unicorn Farm

            “Which proves my point – men and women want to have sex without consequences.”

            And? Why is this bad? I want to eat hamburger without consequences too, that’s why I cook it. Why aren’t you pro-e.coli, as a consequence for my actions?

            My body IS my personal property. Who else do you think owns it?

            BTW, I don’t know where on earth you got the idea that men looking at women as “mere property” is a RECENT invention.

          • fiona64

            It’s been going on from time immemorial. I thought about bringing that up, but since he’s obviously a science denier, I’m fairly sure that pointing out scary things like *history* would be a waste of time.

          • Unicorn Farm

            Oh, of course it has. I’m sure there won’t be a response from Justin that demonstrates the most basic critical thinking skills, much less a satisfying response. Weep/sigh.

            Probably wise not to waste your breath, especially since he still seems stuck on the concept of whether people *own their own bodies.*

          • Ella Warnock

            What Justin never said, but I suspect he was thinking, is that “god” owns all of us.

          • fiona64

            Yep … and that “god” (where “god” equals the god that Justin has created in his own image, since “god” conveniently shares all of Justin’s opinions) will decide when and how many children a given woman will have, whether she wants them or not.

            I mean, I get it. They apparently had five wanted pregnancies and four infant deaths. If anyone should get that this is not all chocolate ice cream and fairy farts, it should be him. Instead, it feels to me as though he wants to punish every single woman by forcing her to have children because he and his wife have only one of the five children that she bore (in seven years; yikes, but that’s got to be hard on the body. Her choice and all, but still … ).

            *That* is what I don’t understand. You know from primary experience what problems occur in *wanted* pregnancies, and you want to force a woman to go through it against her will? As a survivor of sexual assault, I seldom say this … but in my opinion, that really is tantamount to rape.

          • Ella Warnock

            Yeah, it is. There’s some sort of weird idolatry going on there, for sure.

          • Unicorn Farm

            Concur.

          • Katherine Walton

            Wow. You really are twisted, aren’t you. You might want to seek therapy for that. In the meantime? I don’t want the likes of you having anything to do with my personal life.

          • LisaC

            Why do you think it is illegal to harm, destroy, etc.. eagle eggs in the US? Because it is an eagle.

            It’s also illegal to harm or destroy an eagle’s nest. Does that mean that the nest is also an eagle?

          • Unicorn Farm

            If one eats cheeseburgers, one potential consequence of that action is e.coli.

            I do hope you’ll forsake medical treatment for your e.coli so that you stay strong in your principals of not avoiding the consequences of your actions.

        • Katherine Walton

          Stop with the smileys, asshole.

    • fiona64

      Then why not give a voice to the smallest most vulnerable class of people in the US – the unborn?

      Why should the non-existent rights of the fetus trump the rights of the actual born, sapient, sentient woman? Why should she be enslaved to the contents of her uterus?

      Because that, Justin, is what you are saying.

      Your adoption canard is duly noted. Some women choose it, and that’s great for them. However, you’re suggesting it be the only option, and that’s absurd prima facie. For one thing, it still requires the woman to assume the health risks of pregnancy. This does nothing to solve the problem for a woman who cannot continue a pregnancy, for whatever reason.

      Second, it’s not a failsafe option. I am pretty sure you are blissfully unaware that there are in excess of 100 thousand children currently available for adoption in this country, per the Dept. of Health and Human Services. The vast majority of those children will, unfortunately, age out of the system without ever having permanent homes. You are suggesting that, to satisfy your “just have the baby” agenda, we should warehouse even more children? Really?

      Have you ever spoken to a kid who aged out that way? I’ll bet not. I’ll also bet you’ve never spoken to any adoptees; I have, on many occasions. I was engaged to an adoptee at one point in my life. To a one, they have anger and abandonment issues as they try to work through why their mother didn’t want them — even while acknowledging the love they have for their adoptive parents.

      That you consider your position to be even remotely compassionate boggles my mind.

      No pregnancy is forced unless it occurs through rape. This is very rare but I have encountered it recently on a college campus.

      RAINN estimates that someone is sexually assaulted every 24 seconds in this country. The vast majority of those victims will be women. All it takes is for sperm to meet egg during the 72-hour fertile period that is typical for most women; the type of sex (forced or welcomed) is irrelevant to human biology.

      Your argument boils down to this: consenting to sex is consenting to pregnancy. And you, sir, are flat-out incorrect. I do note, though, your use of the word “consequences.” You make very plain that you think that an infant should be punishment for those women who dare to have sex of which you, personally, do not approve. Don’t even try to pretend otherwise; it’s writ large in your remarks.

      • Justin

        The “contents of her uterus” is a living human being. That is where we differ. You treat it simple like a lump of cells – I, as well as science, treat it like a life.

        Again – we should bare the natural consequences of our actions. Your eugenics approach, because there are a lot of children waiting to be adopted we should kill off the youngest before they are born and flood the system – is not the answer. We should fix the broken system. I’ve known of too many people who have tried to adopt or couldn’t because it costs in excess of 25K. So let’s not use another problem as justification for an evil.

        As a Catholic missionary in the US – I’ve actually come across many adoptees and even been a Big (Big Brothers Big Sisters) for one. Yes I know they have issues but again – let’s fix that problem. Not try to kill people before they get into it. After all – people will always be entering the system. Let’s make it a great experience for them and a lathery one.

        Your RAINN estimates doesn’t say anything about pregnancy rates. Regardless (they are quite low compared to how many women are raped) – I shared a story of someone I know. On this issue I myself struggle but would lean to her position and love. It’s not the young child’s fault, so why should we kill the child and punish it for the father’s (or mother’s) crime?

        • fiona64

          Since I’ve never taken a “eugenics approach” or, in fact, any other approach than that each woman should make her own medical decisions, I’ll just remind you to confess to your priest about how you bore false witness before you take the Eucharist tomorrow.

          A fetus is a *potential human being.* The pregnant woman is an actual one. And there, Justin, is where you and I differ; you don’t think the woman is an actual person.

          • Justin

            No need to – your statement is eugenics. Same as Margaret Sanger, same as Hitler, same as the Rockefellers.

            You are in some bad company there. I will pray for you and your soul tomorrow when I receive the Eucharist.

            You definition of fetus doesn’t match science, only your personal agenda.

          • fiona64

            “I’ll pray for you.” Is that anti-choice speak for ‘fuck off’? It certainly seems like it.

            I don’t want your prayers, Justin. Save them for someone who needs them.

            Let each woman make her own medical decisions is not eugenics, asshole (and yes, I’m going to call it like I see it). It’s assuming that each woman knows her circumstances and can make informed decisions without my input or anyone else’s.

            How many of your medical decisions is it okay for strangers to make on your behalf, Justin? None? Yeah, that’s pretty much what I thought.

            Since you appear to be a science denier, I’m not sure why I’m bothering with this. However, I’m going to fill in a gap in your education. All mammalian biology follows the same stages of development. In order, they are: conception, zygote, blastocyst, embryo, fetus. After *birth,* those stages are infant, child, teenager, adult. There is no child until it is born. Science is in agreement with this, regardless of your assertions to the contrary. As you are wont to say: do the research. It’s very easy to find.

            As a former Catholic missionary, I’m betting your Latin is at least as good as mine: Abi in malam crucem.

          • Justin

            I will still pray for you.

            So it is not a child until birth. Thanks for clarifying your position. Will you please honor me and petition all the states that have fetal-murder laws to retract those laws since there is no murder since it is simply a lump of cells. Will you also please wrote to all those victims of such heinous crimes that they should “woman-up” and get over it. It wasn’t a child. No – you won’t because you have just seen the natural consequence of your position.

            Maybe you should go to college and get back into science.

          • fiona64

            The fetal homicide law issue was already addressed, but I’ll repeat it here for the terminally stupid. Fetal homicide laws can only attach as special circumstances when a crime is committed against the pregnant woman; you know, the actual person? They are not stand-alone laws, as you and your ilk like to pretend Every. Single. Time you bring this up?

            Maybe you should go back to high school and learn how to fucking read.

          • Justin

            For the terminally stupid as you say there cannot be a murder of a fetus without harming the mother in some way so of course it’s a special circumstance. LOL – that was pretty weak.

            Love the language to punctuate your vast knowledge!

          • fiona64

            Must really piss you off that you can’t fucking force me to damned well choose words of which you approve, eh?

            You were the one who tried to behave as though fetal homicide laws were independent of anything else. And trust me, little man, that’s not even remotely new or original out of your ilk.

          • LisaC

            They are not stand-alone laws

            They are, actually, because they’re used to punish women who purportedly cause the death of their fetus in utero.

          • fiona64

            Could I see a citation for that? Thanks. I don’t disbelieve you; I just want to see some documentation of a case where that actually happened.

          • LisaC

            My reply seems to have gotten caught in the spam filter because of the hyperlinks. The National Advocates for Pregnant Women is the best resource on this. Google their report to South Dakota’s task force on abortion (which was, of course, ignored).

            Names to Google are Bei Bei Shuai, Christine Taylor, and Melissa Rowland.

          • fiona64

            Thanks.

          • Katherine Walton

            Maybe you should pray for yourself. Arrogance is a sin, you know.

          • fiona64

            And, he’s been bearing an awful lot of false witness … and sitting in judgment. The scriptures are pretty clear on those matters … but I bet he won’t confess to them, any more than he will to arrogance/pride.

          • fiona64

            I’m going to acquaint you with some facts about Hitler that you probably don’t know. Like you, he was a forced-birth advocate … for the “right kind” of women. Don’t believe me? Look up Lebensborn. As you like to say, ‘Do the research; it’s very easy to find.’

            Then there was the other side of Hitler’s coin: forced abortions for the “wrong” kind of woman.

            So, please, tell me: how is anything about my approach that each woman should make her own decisions about her medical care anything like this?

            Oh, and one other thing: Godwin’s Law. Godwin’s Law states that as an online argument grows longer and more
            heated, it becomes increasingly likely that somebody will bring up Adolf
            Hitler or the Nazis. When such an event occurs, the person guilty of
            invoking Godwin’s Law has effectively forfeited the argument.

            Of course, you’ve been wrong about everything you’ve posted anyway. This is just icing on the cake, from my perspective.

          • Justin

            Eugenics is what links the supposed “liberal” minded pro-abortionists to Hitler. Even if this was offline – it would still be true. That’s because the names I mentioned all believed in eugenics as a way of preserving society for the social and educated elites.

            Godwin’s law doesn’t apply if the facts are true:)

          • fiona64

            Except that you haven’t posted any facts. I promise, I’ll acknowledge them when you do (just like I did your partially correct statement about oral contraception).

          • Katherine Walton

            Justin – According to your mindset? You will burn in hell. Contemplate theat.

          • fiona64

            That’s because the names I mentioned all believed in eugenics as a way
            of preserving society for the social and educated elites.

            And, once again, I have not taken this position at any time. So, once again, you are a liar.

          • Jennifer Starr

            No one on this thread or even on this board, to the best of my knowledge, has ever supported eugenics.

          • fiona64

            Exactly. It’s just more of Justin’s increasingly desperate attempts at emotional blackmail. After all, you wouldn’t want any facts to get in the way of a good logical fallacy …

          • Katherine Walton

            Go to hell.

        • fiona64

          A PS to your assertion that a rape victim who is impregnated should not “punish” the child for its father’s crime (after all, the woman was not impregnated in a vacuum … do let’s be realistic here). In 31 states, rapists can legally claim parental rights and *visitation* should their victim choose to continue the pregnancy. Again, as I always say, it is the woman’s choice to do so if she so desires.

          However, your position here would continue to re-victimize the woman Every. Single. Time. her rapist came over to visit the child, and force her to be in contact with the man who committed a crime against her. This position on your part proves to me even further that you do not see women as human beings; no one who does so, and who claims to have an iota of compassion, would suggest that a woman be forced to undergo this kind of treatment against her will.

          It’s really rather disturbing that you think this way.

          • Justin

            Well Sarah, the rape victim I know would disagree with you on the re-victimization.

            I’m not sure how to feel about the 31 states argument. Part of me says, “They shouldn’t have a right at all!” and the other part of me says, “We should be willing to forgive. no matter how painful”.

            The baby could always be put up for adoption too.

          • fiona64

            And I have already addressed why adoption is not always a viable option — but that I support a woman’s right to make that decision (which you conveniently skipped over in your tremendous hurry to compare me to Hitler. Ever heard of Godwin’s Law, Justin? Your comparing me to Hitler because I think a woman has the right to make her own medical decisions is tantamount to admitting that you’ve lost the argument).

            Honest to god, Justin, I’m beginning to think you’re a little slow.

            Your friend made her decision, and I support it — because it is a choice that only the pregnant woman has the right to make. And I (unlike you, I rather suspect) would have been equally supportive if she had made a different one, including adoption or abortion.

            You are writing to a survivor of sexual assault, Justin, and you are suggesting that I should *forgive* the man who took away my right to bodily autonomy in a crime of power? I guess I’m not even surprised; after all, you advocate a different sort of removal of bodily autonomy with your forced-birth position. Believe me, buddy, if I’d gotten pregnant from that rape, there would have been an abortion so fast that your silly head would have spun right off. I could *never* look at a daily reminder of that crime against me and feel anything even remotely like affection for a product of said crime. I know myself too well. Nor would I put my life and health at risk to shove the child into what amounts to a warehouse.

            And those decisions, Justin, would have been mine and mine alone to make. I don’t give two shits what you think about that, because it’s the truth. Rape survivors don’t “get over it,” Justin. We just learn how to live with what happened to us.

          • Ella Warnock

            I’m sorry you went through that, Fiona. Every woman has the right to CHOOSE who the father of her children will be.

          • Valde

            I wonder if he is going to dismiss your comment because you used the word ‘shit’.

            I guess that would save him the effort of actually trying to refute your points.

          • fiona64

            No, he called me the mother of a dead child and an executioner for stating that I would have terminating a pregnancy that happened after I was raped. He didn’t dismiss it; he just tried to use emotional blackmail. Which worked about as well as you might expect it to have done.

          • Ella Warnock

            It’s not really troublesome to me if they call me a murderer, as that’s what they’re wont to do. Consider the source and all that.

          • fiona64

            He’s revealed himself as a rape apologist along with everything else … and he wants to talk about women as though we’re criminals for even daring to suggest that ::gasp:: women we don’t even know should be allowed to make their own medical decisions, let alone that we should do so ourselves?

            I’ve reached one ultimate conclusion about him: he’s a sick fuck.

          • Justin

            I’m truly sorry for your suffering.

            If you had gotten pregnant and hard the abortion the fact is that you would just me the mother of a dead child. And its executioner.

            The names mentioned all support eugenics and made the same statement you did – fact. No lost argument there.

          • fiona64

            You aren’t sorry for anything. Stop telling lies. You haven’t posted any facts; in fact, now you’ve put up nothing but desperate attempts at emotional blackmail. And, like so many other things I don’t fall for, that kind of bullshit doesn’t work on me.

            If there is no pregnancy, there is no child And accusing a woman of being an “executioner,” most particularly in discussion of a crime committed against her? Unbelievable.

            You are cordially invited to go fuck yourself. Hard.

          • Unicorn Farm

            I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. You aren’t sorry, you don’t care about what women go through when they have pregnancies they don’t. You show no true compassion for other human beings. Your primary interest in women is making sure that they gestate, not that they care for themselves.

            I too am a rape survivor and while I don’t speak for Fiona, I can damn well guarantee you that if I’d been pregnant I’d have aborted that fetus so fast your head would spin.

          • Ella Warnock

            I would have as well, Unicorn. If I didn’t even want to have a child with my own husband, why would I carry and birth the child of a rapist? Outrageous. Oh, I forgot, pregnancy is a “gift.” Even if it’s the result of an assault, apparently.

          • Katherine Walton

            “I’m truly sorry for your suffering.”

            No you’re not.

          • Jennifer Starr

            You don’t sound truly sorry. You sound truly cruel.

          • fiona64

            The only thing he’s sorry for is having his ass handed to him last night by a bunch of women.

          • Katherine Walton

            Oh, bullshit, Justin.

          • Katherine Walton

            Also? Your opinion shouldn’t and doesn’t matter a damn.

          • Jennifer Starr

            You don’t even appear to be thinking about how the rape victim might feel about a rapist getting visitation rights and even access to and control over her and her child via visitation. And you mention adoption–these days most adoption agencies require consent from both parties.

          • LisaC

            and the other part of me says, “We should be willing to forgive. no matter how painful”

            All of me marvels at the conceit in this statement. You can forgive as many rapists as you like, but you are profoundly irrelevant to the situation.

          • Unicorn Farm

            “Well Sarah, the rape victim I know would disagree with you on the re-victimization”

            Wait wait wait- hold the phone! You mean different women have different opinions about what would be the best for them in regards to their pregnancies?! WOW. That’s the whole point, jerk. I won’t force your rape victim acquaintance to have an abortion against her will and you don’t force me to have a child against my will.

            “”We should be willing to forgive. no matter how painful”.”

            Screw you. Let’s chat about forgiveness when you get raped.

        • Unicorn Farm

          “It’s not the young child’s fault, so why should we kill the child and punish it for the father’s (or mother’s) crime?”

          It’s not about punishment, it’s about returning the control of the woman’s body to the woman and letting her decide what she wants to do with her pregnancy. It’s this simple- the fetus doesn’t have the right to use my body without my consent. Just like its rapist father didn’t.

        • Ella Warnock

          Yeah, that “mother of a dead child” business is meant to invoke feelings of guilt and shame. I don’t know how often it actually works for them. Anyone with an ounce of self-respect should be immune to that type of manipulation.

        • Katherine Walton

          NO, the contents of her uterus is *not* a living human being. It is a potential human being. The woman with the uterus, on the other hand *is* a living human being. And her rights, whether you like it or not, trump that of a “potential human being”. And I will fight for that with my last breath.

        • LisaC

          I’ve known of too many people who have tried to adopt or couldn’t because it costs in excess of 25K.

          Well, I guess your claim that “there are programs out there that will take care of the financial burden for those wanting to adopt, and for those who wish to keep the child as well” has just gone up in smoke.

    • Unicorn Farm

      “The issue at hand is whether woman should have “forced pregnancies.” A
      term that tries to make Pro-Life people appear as if they are forcing
      something on women. This couldn’t be further from the truth.”

      By removing her right to an abortion, you would force her to continue gestating against her will. Forced gestation was, literally, part and parcel of slavery in the antebellum south. Forced gestation today is still slavery.

      “Why is it that we should avoid the very natural consequence of our
      actions (knowing full well what they might be) to satisfy our own desire
      to avoid suffering (physical, emotional, spiritual, financial, etc..)?”

      Let me know the next time you get into an accident and refuse medical treatment.

      “Why is it ok to take the life of a child and not hear her or his voice?”

      Because it doesn’t have a voice. And because it doesn’t have the right to use a woman’s body without her consent.

      • Victoria

        “By removing her right to an abortion, you would force her to continue gestating against her will. Forced gestation was, literally, part and parcel of slavery in the antebellum south. Forced gestation today is still slavery.”

        Forced gestation is also used as a tool of war/genocide/totalitarian regimes. It has been classified as both a war crime and a crime against humanity.

    • Katherine Walton

      Go away. Go far, far away. There is no issue. Women get to decide. Period.

  • Valde

    I’m not sure these trolls have even read the article, or if they have, they are deliberately misrepresenting what the author meant to convey.

    The bottom half of the article is concerned primarily with her feelings of empathy for the poor infants who are suffering. I mean, it couldn’t be more clear!

    • fiona64

      I have previously observed that they’re not reading beyond the headline. It’s blindingly obvious.

    • Jennifer Starr

      I am pretty sure they haven’t read any of it–it’s like they’re simply parroting the same exact thing. And I don’t understand why admitting that pregnancy, childbirth and yes, even motherhood is not always easy and having a good honest gripe about it (and who doesn’t love a good gripe?) suddenly makes you a bad person or an unloving mother.

      • fiona64

        One other theme I’ve noticed is the virgin/whore thing.

        “Good women” will think that childbirth is all wonderful and marvelous, even when it’s difficult, because that’s what good women *do.* They are supposed to have smiles pasted on their faces even while they’re in so much pain they can’t sit up … and by god, they’d better have dinner on the table when Mr. Man gets home.

        The other side of the coin are those nasty sluts who want to “take the easy way out” by terminating a pregnancy that they can’t afford to continue, or that will endanger their lives, or whatever else has gone into the decision-making process. This is, of course undergone with no more thought or concern than picking out a luncheon entree at the local eatery, because that’ just how nasty such women are. And, of course, if they were taking precautions to prevent pregnancy, well that just proves they were nasty, because “good women” will always welcome pregnancies … and never, ever, ever admit that it’s not always the equivalent of a birthday party at Disneyland.

        I don’t think I’ve ever seen such an absurd lack of nuance in one place before. It’s all black-and-white. It’s “selfish” to admit that sometimes being a mother sucks — especially when you’re scared that the baby you love might not make it? Really? Who the hell *are* these people?

        • Valde

          I touched on this earlier.

          It’s as if they are offended that a woman might not enjoy every second of pregnancy and childbirth.

          I also suspect that their ‘primal ego’ is being threatened here – there is the implicit threat that their mother, at any time, could have aborted the pregnancy – and the threat of non-existence scares the bejezus out of them.

          No, women are supposed to exist primarily for others, and when they don’t, they are selfish and uncaring.

        • HeilMary1

          “Who the hell *are* these people?”

          Child abusers like my crazy family!

  • Valde

    I love to ‘debate’ anti-choicers all over the web and I still cannot get over how they ALL SOUND THE SAME.

    Not only do they have the same arguments from the same playbook, but they do the same tone trolling, the same ‘you don’t know science but I do’ and the same flouncing off in a pout if you defeat their arguments.

    Justin and Sean and Deb and that one really stupid ‘guest’ from earlier could be carbon copies of any of the hundreds I have come across in the past year.

    My favourite though, is when they run out of arguments, they just type BABY KILLER and ABORTION IS MURDER, over and over again. When you’ve lost the argument, all you’ve got is your moral righteousness!

    • fiona64

      They don’t have any actual arguments or facts; they just have bumper-sticker sloganeering. It would almost be humorous if it weren’t so sad.

  • Justin

    Thank you all for the lively discussion.

    Many people on this forum have resorted to profanity, irrational
    thoughts, and mockery and all sorts of childishness.

    If we are ever going to come together and heal from such divisive issues –
    then we must have open dialogue that is rational, cool headed and
    respectful. To do otherwise is to entrench the opposition into their
    position more and decrease it’s legitimacy.

    That is one of the main reasons the pro-abortionist agenda continues to loose ground.

    Good night, God bless and you are in my prayers.

    • fiona64

      then we must have open dialogue that is rational, cool headed and
      respectful.

      Sure. As soon as the anti-choicers are able to accept that women are people, and have something other than bumpersticker sloganeering, that’ll be great. You are, after all, the guy who brought up all of the usual things; eagle eggs, fetal homicide laws, accusations of commission of crimes (murder), told us that rapists should all be forgiven. And that’s your idea of “rational, cool-headed and respectful”? Dude, you got every bit of respect that you earned.

      Until the anti-choice stop this kind of stupidity (for that’s all it is), it’ll be impossible to have the dialogue you describe — because the rational folks, with information and facts, are spending all of our time refuting your crap.

    • Ella Warnock

      I don’t think we’re ever going to come together on any of these issues. And I’m okay with that.

    • Unicorn Farm

      “If we are ever going to come together and heal from such divisive issues –
      then we must have open dialogue that is rational, cool headed and
      respectful.”

      We don’t need to “come together and heal.” We need you to stay out of our reproductive decisions and treat women as people, mmk?

      I don’t owe open dialogue to anyone who thinks I should be enslaved to a fetus.

      Save your prayers for yourself; you need them.

    • Katherine Walton

      “loose”? It’s lose. And keep me out of your “prayers”. Seriously.

    • Katherine Walton

      I don’t owe you a damn thing, much less an “open dialog”. Just stay the hell out of my personal business and I’ll stay the hell out of yours. What part of that do you not get??? Seriously? If you want a dialog? Answer that question.

    • Katherine Walton

      Liar.

  • grgreene

    This
    will go absolutely NOwhere toward convincing ANYone. The other side
    always has 2 unanswerable arguments: 1) SO WHAT if these protections for
    reluctant mothers have not been adopted, or are NEVER adopted? Every
    reluctant mother KNEW IN ADVANCE that these protections were not there.
    If their absence were going to be a problem for her then SHE SHOULD
    NOT HAVE GOTTEN pregnant! Rape is the only legitimate exception to
    that. 2) SO WHAT if anti-choice policies would force reluctant mothers
    to endure discirimination or lack of support? All such endurance IS
    BETTER than getting MURDERED, which is what is happening to the baby in
    the alternative. The anti-choice side has 2 fundamental VALUES
    conflicts with the pro-choice side, and values conflicts cannot be
    addressed by policy debates. The conflict in 1) is that the anti-choice
    side thinks that having sex should have consequences, whereas the
    pro-choice side thinks people should be free to have sex. The conflict
    in 2) is that the anti-choice side thinks (or claims to think) that a
    fetus is a person and that therefore abortion is murder. Even the
    reluctant mother HERSELF would RATHER be put through the discrimination
    and the non-support THAN be MURDERED, so there really is just nothing
    to argue about. The actual attack (from the pro-choice side) has to be
    NOT on the values but on the hypocrites who claim to hold them. If
    protecting the life of the baby/person WERE ACTUALLY important to them,
    then right-wing policy-makers wouldn’t be so anti-WELFARE. As Barney
    Frank put it best, “The Republican party thinks the right to life begins
    at conception and ends at birth”.

    • Jennifer Starr

      I don’t really think you read the article. And doing all caps on every fifth word or so does not give your sentences more emphasis, it just makes you annoying.

  • Nada Szczepanski

    I am so glad the author wrote this. It drives me crazy when people positively romanticize (especially men) about how your life will change after you have a baby. I’m sure it will…but the toll it could possibly take on my body is not worth the risk as I was told by doctors. Regardless, people always seem to insist that this motherhood needs to be planned into my life. It drives me nuts that cultures seem to only venerate the child bearing aspect of a woman instead of the other properties she can bring to the table.

  • Wendy

    People need to consider these issues before even THINKING about trying to have a baby. Yes, there are extremely serious risks to both mom and baby (the LEAST of which I would consider having to buy new clothes- ever heard of Goodwill??). And anyone who has- or has the potential to develop- a serious problem during pregnancy should consult with their doctor about it FIRST. So what exactly is the point of this article? Should we support abortion because people were irresponsible enough to create human life without thinking about it first? Here’s a solution: don’t have unprotected sex (or sex at all) if you’re not ready and willing to accept the possible consequences of that action. I have two beautiful children, and during both pregnancies I ended up in the hospital and my midwife’s office many times due to different issues that arose. I was put on bed rest and medications. I went through extremely painful back labor with both labors which had me literally screaming at the top of my lungs for over 12 hours because the pain was so bad. But you know what? I fought through it. I fought FOR it- for my children, who I loved from the second those pregnancy tests read positive (even though our first was a complete surprise). People just don’t realize that this is a HUMAN LIFE you are carrying. From just 5 weeks from conception, the time that most women are just finding out they’re pregnant, that “lump of cells” or however people like to call it, already has a beating heart and recognizably human form. If you don’t want the weight gain and the health risks and the finiancial issues and everything else this author is whining about, DON’T HAVE A BABY. Simple as that. Wear a condom, take a birth control pill, whatever. Take responsibility for your own actions.

    • fiona64

      Shorter version of your post: if you don’t want to be pregnant, keep your legs shut. And if you do get pregnant, just have the baby. You’re exactly the kind of person this article talks about.

      An article, BTW, that you clearly did not read. This was a planned and wanted pregnancy that went wrong. The author is speaking frankly about the physical, financial and emotional complications that arose — and why simpletons who say “just have the baby” (rather like you did in that gigantic block of text) are being rather cavalier in their thought processes.

      You appear to think women are awfully stupid and, frankly, also appear to be very upset that the author talked about the very real issues she faced. She was also very clear that she knows she is fortunate to have support systems in place like health insurance and a more flexible job situation than lots of other women do. Another woman in the same situation might be bankrupted, lose her job, and find herself homeless with that desperately ill infant. But hey, none of that matters, right?

      How about if you actually read past the headline and see what the author actually wrote instead of, like every other LiveAction troll who’s been here since the article was published, *assuming* what it’s about? It would be a novel approach at this point …

      • fiona64

        PS: recognizable human form? Bee-ess. At five weeks’ gestation, a human embryo (because that’s what we’re talking about at that point) is indistinguishable from other vertebrates at similar stages of gestation. Don’t believe me? Go here and have a look: http://www.exploratorium dot edu/exhibits/embryo/embryoflash.html (URL deliberately altered due to moderation). I think you’ll be in for a surprise.

        And, cardiac cells in a petri dish have a “heart beat.” It takes one helluva lot more than a heart beat for a viable fetus to be present.

      • Katherine Walton

        “Shorter version of your post: if you don’t want to be pregnant, keep
        your legs shut. And if you do get pregnant, just have the baby. You’re
        exactly the kind of person this article talks about.”

        The Irony Meter has just been *bouncing* on the right side of red throughout this entire comments section. Seriously, do these people experience a shred of self-awareness?

        • fiona64

          Yours is still working? Mine gave up the ghost!

    • Jennifer Starr

      Again, I don’t think you read the article where this was a much planned and wanted pregnancy? That this is a woman who is dealing with a little boy who has been in the NICU more than two times now? Who spent three nights sleeping in a recliner, her body still recovering from pregnancy, in the NiCU just to be close to her child? But because she dares to address the often less than idyllic realities of pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood–that it’s not the Blessed Madonna perfection all the time, you rake her over the coals. Please take the time to actually read the article instead of the out-of-context bits that the twit from Live Action posted.

    • Jennifer Starr

      Not reading the article must be the reason why you and every other anti-choice twit keep treating this woman as if she was somehow irresponsible, didn’t think about it, and that this was not a planned and much-wanted pregnancy. And guess what? No matter what you think you might know, no matter how meticulously you think might have planned everything, things still go wrong and you won’t actually know what it’s going to be like until you experience it. I’ve yet to encounter a perfect pregnancy. And knowing and willingly taking the risks doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to complain about them. We don’t have to be saints and ‘patiently endure’–that is crap. We are human beings and we are allowed to complain with the best of them and actually it’s healthier to vent then to pretend to be a saint about it. Honestly, Wendy, this woman is a first-time mom who has just been through a very rough patch and all the so-called ‘pro-lifers’ can do is rip into her for daring to admit that it’s not always candy and roses. Tell me, is this what you mean by ‘loving and supporting the woman?’ Because it sure as hell doesn’t feel like it.

    • Valde

      “Here’s a solution: don’t have unprotected sex (or sex at all) if you’re
      not ready and willing to accept the possible consequences of that action”

      Yeah, women, and, couples, DON’T EVER HAVE SEX IF YOU DON’T WANNA GET SICK.

      I mean, that’s like, totally realistic, isn’t it?

      And it all falls on the woman, naturally!

    • Ella Warnock

      And everyone knows that they have the potential to develop problems BEFORE they ever get pregnant? Hardly.

      Again, you seem to be a detractor who didn’t actually read, or perhaps didn’t comprehend, the actual story. Yes, we get it; she didn’t write the article you wanted to read. Move on.

      Oh, and YOUR story of martyred motherhood is not anywhere near as compelling as you might have hoped. Glad you’re doing what you want to do. Don’t worry overly much about what others are doing. One of the most RESPONSIBLE things anyone can do, actually, is to mind their own business. So, get responsible, Wendy.

  • Kathleen

    This is a great piece that could be about any chronic/catastrophic illness also. I don’t think people who haven’t been touched by illness have ANY idea of all the implications of disease and illness. I appreciate your honesty in writing!

  • Mandi Vanover

    This is an excellent article, however, the same problems physically have always existed. Secondly, (unless you were raped/abused), then you had sex knowing you could get pregnant. I’m not saying what is or isn’t right, but if you get pregnant, than fully admit that you are responsible for the condition you are in, and the expectations that need to be met. Our parents and grandparents always said, kids aren’t easy, and kids are expensive. I love how people forget that until afterwards, and then want to b&*%$ about it. My pregnancies were equally as hard, and I had no money either. However, I knew it was MY DOING that I was pregnant, and adoption is always a choice unless your life is in danger.

    • Valde

      Well if you ever get into a car accident, it’s your fault, you should have KNOWN you were taking a risk – and we can hope you take responsiblity for your actions by refusing medical treatment.

      • Mandi Vanover

        Actually, yes, you are more likely to die or get hurt in a car wreck than even in a plane. Life happens, accidents happen, shit happens. Deal with it.

        • Valde

          Yeah, and an abortion for an unwanted pregnancy = dealing with it.

          BTW, you’re so ‘tough’, it’s just sooo cute :)

          • Mandi Vanover

            I am personally not for abortion at all. I just said it is a woman’s choice. I also think it is wrong to be used as birth control, but should be an option if the mother’s life is in danger.

          • Ella Warnock

            Oooh, should be an option if a woman’s life is in danger. Well that’s damn skippy of you, Mandi. You’re a generous sort, aren’t you?

          • fiona64

            No one uses abortion in lieu of contraception, except in the fevered imaginings of the anti-choice.

        • Ella Warnock

          And everyone won’t agree with you, Mandi. Deal with it.

    • Jennifer Starr

      This was a planned and wanted pregnancy. I don’t understand why people keep missing that fact.

      • Mandi Vanover

        Okay, so it was planned. Then just like the rest of us women in the world, there are risks with pregnancies. Did you really think there wouldn’t be? I’m not saying that stuff doesn’t suck, I’m just saying that you deal with it. It is a child, even worse now, a planned child. What isn’t worth that?

        • Ella Warnock

          Where in her article did Natasha state that her wanted child was not worth it? How did you get the impression that by simply writing an article about what isn’t all sunshine and unicorn farts that she isn’t “dealing” with it? I do believe I must have missed those particular parts of the article, even after having read it, oh, more than once!

          • Mandi Vanover

            Then why the article?

          • Valde

            Wow, Mandi is a few bricks short of a full load!

          • Ella Warnock

            Mandi, that question doesn’t even make any sense. You must know that. And, hey, looky looky, you didn’t actually answer either one of my questions, either.

          • Jennifer Starr

            Is there something wrong with discussing the less than perfect aspects of pregnancy and childbirth? Honest discussion of feelings not allowed? Suck it up and shut up? Is that what you’re telling us?

          • Ella Warnock

            Yes. Mandi has spoken, and her word shall be law in all the land! She’s got it all figured out, you see.

          • fiona64

            Well, Mandi, maybe if you’d fucking read it, you’d know that.

          • Ella Warnock

            Oh, fiona, read it? Mandi just stomped over here in a huff from Live Action, you can’t expect her to have done a shred of due diligence! Apparently got pwned then ran away, too. ;->

        • Jennifer Starr

          So you’re admitting that you didn’t read the article itself, just the taken out of context crap from Cassy Fiano’s mean-spirited attack piece.

        • fiona64

          She *IS* dealing with you, you nit. /Violet Beauregarde

          And she is talking about the facts that go with “dealing with it.”

    • Valde

      OH, I just noticed this one: “However, I knew it was MY DOING that I was pregnant, and adoption is always a choice unless your life is in danger.”

      Yeah, so when the healthy pregnancy SUDDENLY GOES TERRIBLY WRONG, she can just get an abortion. And maybe, just maybe, she’ll live. Or maybe, she won’t. Perhaps she’ll just end up maimed.

      • Mandi Vanover

        Pregnancy is a risk. Period. Who doesn’t know this? You must have grown up in the spoiled world where everything bad that happens is someone’s fault. Yes, healthy pregnancies do go horribly wrong, and I am not saying abortion isn’t an option at all. That is up to the woman. Pregnancy is a very hard and trying time for many, a bad pregnancy or a miscarriage, etc. is devasting as well. Not saying that. Just quit pretending that pregnancy doesn’t carry risks with it. Do all pregnant women eat perfectly? Only organic, non-processed foods? There are many ifs and whats and concerns. It is called life. Duh.

        • Valde

          Way to miss the point.

          • Ella Warnock

            Word.

        • Ella Warnock

          I think I know who’s grown up spoiled, and it ain’t Valde.

    • fiona64

      Oh, really? You had placenta previa and a child in the NICU?

      How does adoption help if your life is in danger from pregnancy complications, Mandi? After all, you’re still pregnant.

      Is anyone really this big a simpleton?

  • American Vet

    It is sad that it cost so much. I hope that all the unmarried women and men out there read this before they think about having sex and married couples think about the importance of insurance for their family and really think if they can afford the possible results. Having sex is a choice unless raped or molested after all.

    • fiona64

      Shorter: “if you don’t want to be pregnant, keep your legs shut.”

      Once again, a reader seems to miss that this is a wanted pregnancy and a wanted infant. The pregnancy went tragically wrong and a much-loved little boy is medically compromised. What the author of the article is asking people to think about is how cavalier they are in saying “just have the baby.”

      You know, rather like you were just now.

  • http://ctrlrz.com Shawn Gordon

    Although I generally agree with your sentiment and empathize with the trials and tribulations you and your family have endured throughout your pregnancy. It is true that many factors go into starting a family and cost is a growing concern for those with and without children. But I think that too often, husbands and fathers are neglected in the remarkable trials.

    As a father of two, and husband to a woman that has medical conditions (epilepsy) there are additional concerns. For example, the onset of labor with our first son triggered her seizure and was the cause of an emergency cesarean. Later, with our second son, many nurses and doctors attempted to warn us about he complications of a VBAC, which is what my wife desperately wanted so that she could experience “being a woman.” I’m not going to pretend what it is to “be a woman” and I won’t pretend it is easier or harder than being a man, but I will not equally pretend that being a man, especially in the position of a father is any easier on any front.

    From my own experience, I was afforded medical leave for the birth of my second son – but not paid, but my wife was given paid maternity leave. In reflection upon what can be seen as a gender inequity from a financial standpoint (only), was that right? I’m not certain. However, the act of becoming a parent in this country is typically an optional one. Whether there was forethought involved is beside the point. I was afforded 4 weeks unpaid FMLA time. It simply meant I could return to work without fear of being fired, but I also had to prove there was legitimate need to leave.

    Would I want any government help in raising a family? No. Personal preference is to run on my own steam and I understand this is unrealistic of all people in the parenting situation – more so for parents that discover through the process that there may be greater financial commitment than originally thought (i.e. medical complications, etc.). This however, does not remove the requirement to think and plan for such instances – some kind of preparation based on a hypothetical contingency (as shallow as that might sound to some).

    I won’t say that if I can do it, so can “you” (generally speaking). I know that’s not true – we’re all equally people but there’s inequity in capacity among the group. For example, I can’t bench press 300lbs and my genetics haven’t favored the ability for me to do so. I know others who can. I can’t solve math problems very well, but I can drawn freehand, an almost “perfect circle.” It’s a trade off at some point.

    Where I think you might be misled in your article here is that while it is true ther’es no “just having a baby” there’s the unspoken hardship that I (and I assume many if not most) fathers go through from the very same social expectation – to provide and be stronger than we may actually be. As a father and husband, I worry that if something happens to my wife or my children, how I’d handle that. I am human. I cry sometimes. I hurt. I bleed. I am sometimes weak. My two greatest fears in life are dying in a fire and outliving my wife and children; both are unlikely yet very real fears.

    When I speak with people (friends and strangers alike), there’s a projection that my humanity is somehow unacceptable, yet confusingly shared between us all. I do not believe that women have to endure the constant pressure of provision to more than themselves and their children – and though I understand that for decades women have fought hard and proven they’re capable of much more than they’re credited with, But, again, we’re all human and I often wonder that even though we generally agree that there are certain rights shared among the group and that they should be equally granted, whether part of the problem we face is how we meddle in the affairs of a natural and genetic state of things.

    Years ago I questioned why it was if medical advances have come so far in the past 200 years, globally, we still struggle with a growing number of problems. First, I think that the problems we face are manufactured. In that, I mean that some people just genetically shouldn’t live through certain events. That’s not to imply people should die or that we should pick and choose – but that certain things simply amount to genetic limitation. Should my wife be alive? probably not. I’m happy she is and I’m proud of her strength, but 200 years ago, she’d be dead. It’s harsh, but so is the realization that becuase she and my children are alive, there is not a greater opportunity for genetic malfunction within my bloodline.

    No, I’m not preaching eugenics. No, I’m not stating that people with genetic disorders should not breed or should die. That’s not it at all. I’m merely making an attempt at an objective observation that (myself included) perhaps the reason there is a need for all of these medical treatments and higher cost of them, is because we tampered with the very complex order of nature. I mean, if we look back to the AIDS epidemic in the US during the 80’s – what did we do? We stalled for one – and for two, we didn’t segregate the infected. In hindsight I would have opted to do just that because the situation boiled down to two very difficult and egregious scenarios: tell an infected they can’t be free – tell a small child years later that they’re going to die, no matter what anyone does, wants, or tries – for something they didn’t cause or participate in.

    I think there are many parallels, in principle, here.

    I’m adopted and though I personally have a difficult time comprehending the concept of aborting – obviously, I wouldn’t want to force anyone an action for lack of option. It is a very complex and conflicted topic for me, abortion. I’m fortunate in that I’m the result of two very difficult choices – one – to allow someone a path they could otherwise never take – two – to be carried part-way of my life down the path of someones choosing. I had no say in TWO sets of choices (three if you really want to get technical). And yet, I hear some women argue they shouldn’t be forced into ONE.

    Anyway, I understand your argument and point. I don’t disagree, but I don’t totally agree. I appreciate your position, and accept your share different experiences and have made your own informed choices.

    • Jennifer Starr

      This woman has a husband who is incredibly supportive and they’ve been taking turns sleeping nights in the NICU for their child. So there is an involved father here who was lucky enough to be able to take the time off to support his wife and their son. . Sorry, I really don’t know what you’re trying to say here and forgive me if I’m off base, but please-please-just read the article before replying.

      • http://ctrlrz.com Shawn Gordon

        I did read it, twice actually – her article contains both personal account and general statements, and addresses a general audience. I approached it from the “general audience” standpoint and am in no way discrediting her experience, opinion, or anything entailing her family (specifically the support they’ve given).

        What I’m saying – is multi-layered and multi-directional but addresses many of her points (whether she intended to make them or not). Her points are, as they can only be, from her perspective as an individual and as a woman – two very narrow points of view, as are mine.

        I don’t think you’re off base for asking I read it or not gleaning from my response all that was intended. It was admittedly written very stream-of-consciousness and a bit tangential in parts. However, I did read it before responding. I would ask that you don’t say you’re not sure what I am saying and then make veiled claim I didn’t read it – it could be argued you’re guilty of the same regarding my comment (you didn’t really read it thoroughly prior to responding).

        • Jennifer Starr

          Apologies –yes it was stream of consciousness but it was also very well-written–did actually read it twice–been a crazy Sunday morning so apologies if I misconstrued or failed to grasp. Appreciate your prompt response.

          • http://ctrlrz.com Shawn Gordon

            Hey – we’re human. I can’t say I’ve never misconstrued things either. It’s a hot button topic and judging by the other comments on here, it’s natural to assume most replies, especially by men, would be…. shall we say… under-educated and narrow minded. It’s difficult to write a piece like this and be removed from politics, and it’s difficult to respond and keep them out.

            I think part of the problem with a situation like the authors is that she’s also combating the mindset of a previous generation. For example, my generation (I’m 36) are generally aware that pregnancy is difficult. Evidence of this lies in the numerous women praising their husbands or partners for being thoughtful and doting. My father’s generation (he’d be 65 this November were he alive) – while loving their wives, still had a heavy injection of a purely patriarchal system in place. Prior to that, well… it was a “mans world.”

            I remember the first time I became a dad – unfortunately that child was put up for adoption because I had to realize neither myself or the mother were “in love” and… our maturity wasn’t where it needed to be to raise a child (in our opinion). However, those books people read on parenting did detail the hardship women face during pregnancy. We’re (as men) very aware. But I think because we live in an ‘instant’ society, there’s a social upheaval that occurs when it realizes that the changes it would like aren’t instantaneous. From there, it simply compounds the mis-communication between both parties and then there’s this.

            Additionally, men struggle with self-identity. In a world where there are a growing number of single mothers, we deal with what our peers consider “strong” and what our mothers teach us in way of compassion. This isn’t to say women aren’t strong – they are. But it’s a different kind of strength much like the difference between strong will and strong muscle. What is “a man?” I guess it depends on what women define us as? Clearly we have a difficult time agreeing upon that ourselves, no?

        • fiona64

          Well, yes; it’s a narrow perspective. She’s giving a first-person account of her experiences.

          A whole slew of people have been posting here recently who *quite obviously* did not read the article. My apologies for you having been tarred with the same brush.

      • http://ctrlrz.com Shawn Gordon

        Hm… reply didn’t post. I’ll try it again – sorry if it appears as a double post:

        Yes. I read it. I read it twice. Both time prior to writing the admittedly sometimes tangential response. However, just because you didn’t discern the overall point doesn’t mean there wasn’t one. I know that’s not your direct point, but it’s implied in a way that skirts actually saying it. I can’t say I’m a fan of passive agressive responses, but that’s only my opinion.

        I know she’s got a husband. I know he’s supportive. I know she made the choice to have a baby. I know she’s not opposed to having another one. I know she feels that few people realize it’s a difficult process that isn’t fun and exciting as people (primairly men) seem to believe. My response addressed her article from two very narrow positions – as a male and as an individual within the general audience – which fits well since her article was written from an equally narrow viewpoint (a woman and individual). What wasn’t addressed was an objective rational scope from a neutral point or justification to how or why she feels…well, anything, let alone what she actually feels.

        It’s not a bad piece and I appreciate the opinion and its origin, but it’s clearly written for a very specific audience despite the efforts to appeal to a broader group with subversive undertones to combat a opposing opinion and solidify people who already share her opinion. In short – it’s not a fluff piece, and it’s not a baited piece – it’s genuine and honest, but it’s not persuasive as much as it is something with appeal to people who already agree with her. And, in that, it will automatically invite en extreme opposite viewpoint being voiced in the comments (as you’ve seen). If you were to search out an article that said having babies is easy and say number of other untrue or unfounded opinions, the same would be true.

        I get it – having babies is hard – there’s physical, emotional, mental, and financial stress involved. Perhaps more on women than on men – and I appreciate hte author acknowledges the hardship her husband has endured through it – but her focus on on her hardships, which is fine. It’s something few people realize until its upon them and once that choice is made and underway, well…. anything unforeseeable becomes additional weight. I applaud the women who make the choice, and applaud the ones who do not. Hell, I applaud the fact there’s a choice at all – despite my origins. Not all women should be moms and not all men should be dads. I’ve met my fair share of both, and admittedly, I’ve met more men that shouldn’t be dads- but I’m also more attuned to the nuanced meanings behind male actions and gender-culture than most women (and the opposite is true as well).

        What this piece really lacks for clarity is the delineation between loving the idea of something versus loving the reality of it – I think she’ started to get to that point and realization but never quite made it. I read it – twice.

        • fiona64

          What wasn’t addressed was an objective rational scope from a neutral
          point or justification to how or why she feels…well, anything, let
          alone what she actually feels.

          I guess I’m wondering why she should have to rationalize *why* she feels what she does, especially since she outlined it pretty clearly. Can you help me understand your perspective here?

          • http://ctrlrz.com Shawn Gordon

            First, I’d just like to clarify that to be rational and rationalizing, are two different things. Rationalizing is a fancy way to say “make an excuse” – to be rational, is to participate in reason. My idea behind both is that an excuse is a reason without result. That said, In no way would I prefer any author to rationalize anything they’ve written (or how they’ve acted).

            However, I guess what I was looking for was starting point from a central position – evidence of understanding of an opposing view rather than a straight in viewpoint from a singular personal position. It wasn’t “wrong” per se, of her to start in any way so long as it was how she honestly felt and what she truly believes. It was just my personal opinion regarding how I think addressing an audience that will flock from polar opposites to converge. I wanted to know she understood how and why the opposing view is generated and what it entails before I could really find myself understanding her opinion – in short, I wanted to see she knew the entire argument, not just her own. But, it isn’t a requirement of any kind by any means… just… what I would have liked to see, that’s all.

          • Valde

            Even if she did do just that, and spent 3/4s of the article waxing poetic about how much she loves babies – the crazy pro-lifers would have jumped all over her regardless.

          • http://ctrlrz.com Shawn Gordon

            True – which is why I feel that it wasn’t a persuasive article so much as it is simply a unification piece designed to appeal to those who already have a similar opinion. It’s not wrong or bad – just… that’s how I take the piece. BTW – I’m personally pro-life. Iv’e given a child to adoption, and I’m adopted. I however, am political pro-choice. It gives me a very…. difficult position to justify to both parties.

          • fiona64

            So, because you weren’t personally persuaded by the cold, hard facts, it wasn’t a good article? Really? Well, okay then.

          • http://ctrlrz.com Shawn Gordon

            Fiona64 – Yes – TOTALLY misread it. I didn’t say it was a bad article – in fact I don’t even imply it wasn’t good or that it was bad. That’s your perception and I’m sorry you have it, but I can’t change it.

            What I said was that a lack of presented understanding of why other views exist or still exist, was absent. She is trying to convince people that an opposing view is wrong or at least unjustified – but to do that effectively you have to also demonstrate you know what their view is and work it from that end.

            I can tell you that I like vinyl records all day long, but if I’m trying to convince someone set on CDs why 4 tracks are justified, I have to make counter arguments to their claims, not just make a bunch of claims to my own opinion from experience. Do that make sense?

            So, yes, I was unmoved but to move someone or challenge an opinion, you’ve got to push against them. This was “this is my experience, this happened and here’s how. Here’s how I feel.” If that was the objective, great – mission accomplished. I understand yet another single point of view. What I didn’t understand was why it was important to her to share it or what she actually intended to convey other than a point reference; what was the direction and intended destination. I don’t think it’s wrong to have that opinion about what’s been written or to challenge it in a response based on how I think it would have been better or more effective. I tend to go into things with a degree of expectation based on things like… I don’t know, being an author with a title of “director” on a website that is designed to challenge flase perceptions.

            I’m terribly sorry that you consider that hand-waving, but I’m also sorry you confused “objectivly rational” with “rationalization.” Just as I’m also sorry you seemed to miss that on numerous occasion that I very clearly stated it was not bad. I’d appreciate few strawman arguments, please.

          • fiona64

            She is trying to convince people that an opposing view is wrong or at
            least unjustified – but to do that effectively you have to also
            demonstrate you know what their view is
            and work it from that end.

            Oh, I think she’s very clear on that. The opposing view is “so what, just have the baby” — which is very cavalier if you’re not the person who is going to have to deal with all of the issues.

            Perhaps if I highlight this particular paragraph, which it seems that you missed, it will help you:

            Just have the baby? Only if you want to. Because no one else can take on any of the pain or risk, and it’s rare that you’ll be helped significantly with the costs—something I think anyone capable of becoming pregnant understands all too well and that forced pregnancy activists work very hard not to acknowledge.

            That, Shawn, is the opposing view — and why it’s wrong — all in one handy location.

          • http://ctrlrz.com Shawn Gordon

            Ok. She’s right – the opposing view she’s combative against is a single and rather uncommon viewpoint among most “real” men. I actually don’t know any man who thinks that way. I’m sorry some of you do, but it is still a very narrow band to attack. Maybe the author knows men like that, I won’t presume to know.

            Any extreme viewpoint is generally wrong, that’s a given and really doesn’t need an argument against it because it’s an inherent fact. And, her point is good but not well structured. Like I said, it appears geared toward people with a formed opinion that is the same as hers. And, it’s not persuasive, which is what people are trying to tell me it is. I guess what I’m not getting is why someone with the viewpoint she’s arguing against would be inclined to change their view. It’s not my view, but I’m also not compelled to really deeply consider the scattered points if I did.

            It’s her article, she’s a right to express how she sees fit. I was just hoping that both the article and certain discussion participants didn’t approach it from a generally sexist point of view – it’s part of why a divide of opinion exists and to argue that the view should change for X reason dictates that you shouldn’t simply say “you’re Wong, this is what happened to me” and we’re it the case, I should expect to write an article on why it’s a terrible idea for women to be front line soldiers – it would making a generalization about a group based on a singularly narrow experience, regardless of how similar others may feel or how “like” an experience was had.

          • fiona64

            WTF makes you think she’s talking about men (“real” or otherwise) being the only ones who hold the “opposing viewpoint”? That’s pretty much the *last* thing I think she was getting at.

          • http://ctrlrz.com Shawn Gordon

            What makes you think she wasn’t directing it at men in general? Surely you didn’t assume about whom she was talking, or did you take her article to be generalized (which is immediately a logic flaw). In either case, perhaps I assumed she was directing it at men, just as you assume she is not, but there’s no real context given I am the article and it becomes narrower still. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

            To this point, I do believe I’ve been more civil for much longer than some others, but that is wearing very thin.

          • fiona64

            So, now you are asking me to prove a negative to satisfy you? Really?

            She was addressing the article to *anyone,* regardless of gender, who thinks that pregnancy is a simple state of wellness and that “just have the baby” is all sunshine and flowers.

            You were the one who made assessments about the gender of the audience, based on absolutely nothing whatsoever in her text. ::shrug::

            Your civility or lack thereof is not the point here. What’s wearing thin for *me* is explaining the same thing, over and over, to a guy who thinks that a woman daring to address her personal experience with a wanted pregnancy going wrong, from items easily managed to items not so easily managed, has to present “the other side” (by which you apparently mean the “real man” perspective, to borrow your own term). I will be the first to admit that I fail to comprehend your reasoning for this. It’s her first-person story.

            You didn’t like it. We get that. You think that she didn’t have good enough reasons, or something, for writing her first-person story about the challenges she faces as a first-time mom of a much-wanted, medically compromised infant and how this situation has further entrenched her belief that “just have the baby” is simplistic nonsense. We get that, too.

            What *I* don’t get (while admitting that I do not speak for anyone else) is why you assume that she thinks “real men” need convincing of the fact that motherhood is not all sweetness and light. I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but “Leave it to Beaver” is fictional.

          • http://ctrlrz.com Shawn Gordon

            Prove a negative? hardly – I’m asking you to assert what makes you think she was talking about someone other than men. It’s a counter question. If she had addressed it to “anyone” then we agree the premise is already a broad generalization concerning both audience and defaco, opinion. Out of the gate, it’s a flawed argument because it makes a character assumption she cannot know and an assumption about their mode of thinking based on the former assumption. That alone makes the piece nearly useless. Framing it in a tidy stream-of consciousness mish-mash of personal feelings from experiences after the fact doesn’t make a good support structure.

            You asserted that I wasn’t satisfied with “cold hard fact” yet there are none beyond the scope of what she’s observed. It’s called a perception based model. That’s a fact. It can be boiled down to “these statements are her reality, FOR her it is true.” This si false logic. Nothing if “FOR” anyone, but rather “TO” them. If “FOR” was true, then I could say that when I remove my glasses, the world is out of focus FOR ME, and it would imply that the world changes. No, TO me, the world is out of focus. Her article isn’t written based on any facts outside her perception, which many agree with – but it doesn’t justify a generalized opinion about something toward non-specifics. It’s an example of technically bad writing. But, her point wasn’t to have good writing (her title might imply otherwise, but that’s not the point of debate here, so I’ll leave it alone)

            You write:

            “You think that she didn’t have good enough reasons, or something, for writing her first-person story about the challenges she faces as a first-time mom of a much-wanted, medically compromised infant and how this situation has further entrenched her belief that “just have the baby” is simplistic nonsense. We get that, too.”

            Incorrect assertion. I think that she had a very goods reason to write about this topic – what I think is that it was poorly presented and projected on certain groups, a character trait that she did not sufficiently substantiate to justify the projection. In other words, she speculated from a series of disconnected assumptions and jumped from point to point with minimal coherence, and cohesiveness. If, in reading it I make baseline assumptions based on what I THINK she means to say, it makes sense. If I read it to an actual standard of writing, not so much. Again, I’m not judging her writing – only the method and presentation as very lacking to stress an otherwise much needed point, but to whom?

            And, although you say that you’re not presuming to speak for anyone, you use “we” enough to countermand that point as well. “WE” who? “we” women? “we” everyone? “We” my cat, my neighbors bird, and I? “We” the People of these United States? WE who? Apparenlty, “WE” includes you and someone who isn’t me – so explain how “WE” think this isn’t divisive.. wait…. sorry… to refrain from making you/ them/ we/ they think I’ve asked to prove a negative – explain how “WE” think this IS constructive.

            To that point, I didn’t say “real” men needed to have it explained – in fact, I said that they didn’t.

            I believe everything can be somehow managed because when we bring our children into it – there’s not an option. Whether it is easy is not for anyone to say because that’s an entirely subjective term reliant upon the unknowable personal capacities of others – maybe you missed it but I delved in to that in a rare moment of succinctness.

            Why or if, you wear thin explaining anything is beyond me. I didn’t ask you to explain it once let alone more than once. That was a choice you made of your own volition. You obviously think it’s important enough to attempt, and facing a self-standard of failure, continue. Yet, I’m apparently the one that has a problem. I know motherhood and all it entails isn’t sweetness… I made that acknowledgement in my original post – but at least now I know you can read.

            Fin.

          • fiona64

            “We” equals everyone who has already gotten the point of your rather verbose statements that amount to “Waah! Waah! I don’t like the way she wrote the article.”

            You’re right; I chose to engage with you, on the evidently erroneous premise that you wanted dialogue. What you apparently want is a stage on which to wax on at tremendous length about how wrong it is of Ms. Chart to talk about the difficulties she faces because, you “believe everything can be somehow managed because when we bring our children into it — there’s not an option.”

            Now, perhaps you’ve missed the point, despite it having been mentioned repeatedly, in which she says she is *fortunate to be able to manage the things she talks about* and acknowledges that other women in the same situation might not be able to do so, for any number of reasons.

            Medical bankruptcy, homelessness, job loss … those are all real possibilities when talking about the things Ms. Chart experienced. I guess those could be seen as having “managed” everything somehow.

            Good-bye.

          • fiona64

            PS: What makes me think she wasn’t directing it to men in general? Three little words, right in the paragraph I highlighted for you: forced pregnancy advocates. That’s who she’s directing it at, and not all of them are men.

          • http://ctrlrz.com Shawn Gordon

            really? because there are two subjects in that sentence – the other, first, and comparatively placed against your pick – “anyone capable of becoming pregnant.”

            Which as has been made violently obvious – is “not” men.

          • fiona64

            It’s fairly clear to me that you have no idea what a straw man is, since I haven’t posited any.

            Good-bye.

          • http://ctrlrz.com Shawn Gordon

            Too funny. You’ve done EXACTLY that. You’ve misrepresented my position and argued against the misrepresentation. Well, among a list of things such as avoid seeking substantive discourse and instead post to placate other like minded people for the purpose of acquiescence. I’ve got better things to do than sit around and let you feel good about yourself and rationalize egocentric modes of thought. Simply put – fuck off. I you’ve worked very hard at twisting the discussion about you or your world view, asking few u n prompted questions to qualify anything said. You’re not here to discuss, you’re here to vilify and feel good about it.

          • fiona64

            I quoted you directly when you claimed you hadn’t said things that you quite plainly did. Please, tell me how you were “misrepresented” by your own words? Oh, wait. You can’t.

            And, while I appreciate your invitation, I’m sorry to disappoint you: I only fuck men.

          • http://ctrlrz.com Shawn Gordon

            You quoted me evidencing what I admitted – the woe is me attitude which is in fact there. The other allegations you have y to support but you fell back to “it sounds like that is what you meant, therefor perception is context (a false argument also).

            Lady, I didn’t make an offer, there was no question mark. Again with assumptions. I get you might think you’re pretty enough or have enough worth, and, great – but you assume I don’t respect my marriage. Again your self absorption abounds. And yet, I’m given the impression that you still have to bait your sexual prey. . .

          • fiona64

            And yet, I’m given the impression that you still have to bait your sexual prey. . .

            Like I told you, I’m not interested in you. Your sexist bullshit has been noted (again). I’m sure my husband would find your remarks amusing, but really, what you are is a pitiful little boy who’s mad because he’s had is ass kicked by a collection of pro-choice women.

            Now, why don’t you take your mansplaining, ridiculous self back to LiveAction?

          • Ella Warnock

            That is a difficult position, to be sure. I’ve found it a difficult position to be a woman in a society that s-t-i-l-l behaves in a paternalistic fashion toward me, as though my thoughts and feelings, as well as my practicality and good, old-fashioned research were so much dandelion-like fluff to be mowed over. I want to be clear that I’m not attacking you for that, I’m just pointing out that there’s still the tendency for men to discount my almost 50 years’ experience because it hasn’t been lived in a tradition manner. It’s somewhat abrasive that Natasha’s experiences are also being discounted.

          • http://ctrlrz.com Shawn Gordon

            I don’t think she’s being discounted (at least by me). I’m discounting the method by which she’s expressing it, but not her thoughts, feelings, or reason to have either. I think there’s something lost in the translation of my words here. To be clear, I’m not necessarily paternistic toward women (it’s sexist if done BECAUSE the person is a woman – but don’t confuse pateristic behavior with general respect – If I hold the door and say “after you” it’s not because you’re a woman), and I don’t feel I’ve been dismissive of the author or her experience – and if I were, I think it could be understood because her experiences to me are literally unknowable and there’s no real attempt to provide total clarity in a universal manner.

          • Ella Warnock

            I think Natasha didn’t write the article that you would have written. Understood.

          • http://ctrlrz.com Shawn Gordon

            That’s not what I said or am attempting to say, but it’s also irrelevant to the topic and not worth further address either.

          • Ella Warnock

            Okay, Shawn. Thanks for stopping by.

          • Katherine Walton

            Wow. It’s like someone put “sexist mansplaining tone-arguing condescending paternalistic concern troll” into a text generator and out popped you.

            Not that I haven’t seen your ilk before (check out Sean from yesterday – coincidence?), you’re a dime a dozen. I just wonder if you actually think you’re being original.

          • http://ctrlrz.com Shawn Gordon

            No. I don’t wonder if I’m original. I do wonder if you think you made any sense in that gibberish output from what I hope is that brain. I agree with what the author said, most of what she conveyed, understand her point, but not with the way it’s presented, not with the woe is me tone and, bam, because a handful of people either can’t or won’t read for comprehension, I’m Satan. Sorry ladies, I’ve too many extra parts and unwilling to blow fruity kisses all over everything for your equally materialistic pro “you” false sense of self gratified entitlement.

            I get it pregnancy is hard. It’s generally also a choice and often entails several other harder life changing decisions. There are flaws in the system, they should change. Life is equally unfair for us all. No one here is special. Have a cookie.

          • fiona64

            I’ll take “Katherine was right about the man-splaining” for $1000, Alex …

            We read for comprehension just fine, Shawn. We got what you were saying, loud and clear: Ms Chart didn’t slap on her happy face and pretend that having a medically compromised infant was all sweetness and light. And, apparently, you are so traumatized by this authorial decision on her part that you are in need of psychiatric intervention or something.

            Keep your cookie, sweetie. I think you need it more than I do.

          • http://ctrlrz.com Shawn Gordon

            .. . No…. It’s got to tough to be consistently that wrong about what I said, but please – post a dire t quote where I state she should have been happy, take it in stride, “just have the baby” or that pregnancy and birth was easy and she was just being hypersensitive. Show me that, and at the same time defend your rampant (apparently hypocritical) sexist remarks

          • fiona64

            You were the one who wrote this: I agree with what the author said, most of what she conveyed, understand her point, but not with the way it’s presented, not with the woe is me tone

            And this: I’m discounting the method by which she’s expressing it,

            And this: I wanted to know she understood how and why the opposing view is generated and what it entails before I could really find myself understanding her opinion – in short, I wanted to see she knew the entire argument, not just her own.

            And this: I know she feels that few people realize it’s a difficult process that isn’t fun and exciting as people (primairly men) seem to believe. (This is the first time that you make the, yes, sexist assumption that this article is addressed solely to men, but not the last.)

            And this: Where I think you might be misled in your article here is that while it is true ther’es no “just having a baby” there’s the unspoken hardship that I (and I assume many if not most) fathers go through from the very same social expectation – to provide and be stronger than we may actually be. As a father and husband, I worry that if something happens to my wife or my children, how I’d handle that. I am human. I cry sometimes. (Wherein you equate your tears to a woman’s physical suffering …)

            I could go on, but I think I’ve shared enough of your own words (at your own request) to cement my opinion that your position is just what I said: “Waah! Waah! I don’t like the way she wrote the article.”

            Every single word you write implies that she was “just being hypersensitive” … because you are getting all kinds of snotty and dismissive about how she chose to tell *her own story.*

          • http://ctrlrz.com Shawn Gordon

            and how is “I disagree with presentation but not the point” synonymous with “she’s wrong” and or any other reaction you’ve projected? Again, discounting a method of conveyance is not discounting the result or conclusion. And the author does have a woe is me tone – it’s how she attempts to draw sympathy to direct her point. It’s not wrong, I just think it devalues an objective process to reach out to people who would disagree with her point.

            II never said she was being hypersensitive but your inferences as such do make YOU hypersensitive. You’re looking for things that are not there and then concocting justification to call things something they’re not. That’s border line delusional and blatantly intellectual laziness

          • fiona64

            II never said she was being hypersensitive but your inferences as such
            do make YOU hypersensitive.

            So, now that your own words have been put up, you’re going to play the projection game? What’s next, Shawn? “I know you are, but what am I?”

            You have made your position blatantly clear. Just because you have not used the specific words “she is just being hypersensitive,” doesn’t mean we can’t understand your verbose renditions of the self-same concept.

            Oh, and of course the “border line delusional and blatantly intellectual laziness” nonsense. Yeah, that’s a great intellectual gambit right there: “You saw through my bullshit, so I’ll try to call your intelligence and mental health into question.”

            I’m sorry that you’re disappointed by my failure to appreciate your self-proclaimed brilliance, and how you as a man should be allowed to dictate the tone in which women are permitted to tell their stories in order to gain your approbation. My best advice to you at this juncture would be to get used to it.

          • http://ctrlrz.com Shawn Gordon

            I’m sorry you’re used to people implying rather than directly stating things. I generally state exactly what I mean. If I meant to say she was hypersensitive, I’d have said so. Why that is so difficult to believe defies logic. Of the two, you’re the on dictating what a gender should do, and have failure to recognize that IS intellectually lazy. Failure to be critical of yourself and admit you might be wrong without supposing my stance is not gender based IS intellectually lazy.

            This is the second time you’ve asserted I dictate “as a man” – yet zero times have you shown where I have actually said that. You do, however cower behind implication that doesn’t exist.

            At no point did I say anything about what a woman should or shouldn’t do. I did remark about what I expected an individual should do in context to presentation. It is YOU that keeps attempting to draw upon my words to mean something other than what they do. That IS intellectually lazy.

            Generally, when someone says “goodbye” it means they’re bowing out, and for as much complaining as you’ve done in an argument ad homeneim, you simply return again and again. You’re living to mentally mastrubating and revel in the acquiescence of your tiny peer group. Again, herd mentality. You’ve yet to dispute any real points, only what you think I meant without a single question to qualify your opinion or perception. Magically, you believe yourself beyond reproach in your assertion to my character without qualification. Now, either make good on your parting words or come out with your actual intent.

          • Katherine Walton

            Gods, I love it when I’m right.

          • http://ctrlrz.com Shawn Gordon

            No dear, being right is inherent. If you have to tell someone, you’re not.

          • Katherine Walton

            And… right on cue. The pat on the head. Sweetie Darling, you’ve lost this one, bigtime. You’re like Monty Python’s Black Knight, flailing around without limbs, insisting you’re going to prevail.

            Let me put this in simple terms: You don’t get to say how anyone, except yourself, presents anything. If you do as you did here, swanning into a comments section and giving the classic tone argument (look it up, it’s pretty straightforward), you’re going to be mocked unmercifully. For bonus points, look up the term “mansplaining”, because, buddy, you’ve done that in spades. This ain’t my first rodeo with this crap, but, as you may have gathered (or not), I’m pretty much fed up with teaching Respect 101. We comprehend just fine, thanks. But I’m long past hoping that someone like you will take even five minutes out of the day to comprehend what we’ve been saying to you, or to have the nous to do a little self-examination in the face of so many people trying in so many ways to give you some insight into what it’s like to be on the receiving end of your kind of condescension and arrogance.

            Thanks for the offer, but I think you need the cookie a lot more than I do. Tata and Have a Nice Day.

          • fiona64

            Ah, so like another fellow yesterday, what I think you’re saying is this: you’re not pleased with the tone of her article, because she failed to treat her wanted pregnancy gone wrong and her medically compromised infant as though the situation were a birthday party at Disneyland.

            How and why was the opposing view generated? Well, it’s pretty easy to understand that. Please, I ask of you, go through and read a good selection of some of the 700 comments here that translate to nothing more and nothing less than a cavalier hand-wave and a directive to “just have the baby.” The entire point that the author was making is that she was fortunate to have resources that other women facing the identical problem might not have. That another woman in her same situation could face medical bankruptcy, job loss and even homelessness — and still have a medically compromised infant.

            I’m sure you would have liked to have seen the sunshine, lollipops and rainbows part of the story … but the author isn’t quite there yet, from the looks of things. She’s a first time mom dealing with a medical crisis in a much-loved and much-wanted little boy.

            Believe me, Shawn … any woman who’s been alive long has heard “the other side” of the argument (the “just have the baby” side).

            I’m sorry if I’ve misread you, but that seems to be what you’re saying: because she didn’t slap a happy smile on her face during a horrible tragedy, it’s not a good article.

      • fiona64

        Well, one message I got was that people with HIV/AIDS should live in concentration camps (“be segregated”). Beyond that, I’m not sure.

        Oh, and a man crying is the same as a woman’s life being endangered by placental abruption. I got that, too.

  • Valde

    BTW, anyone notice how Justin was lecturing us on maternal mortality, and how it ‘ain’t a thang’ yet, right above the comments section, is a link to an article ‘The Cost of a Woman’s Life’.

    Yeah, maternal mortality tears families apart and has deep reaching effects that negatively impact quality of life. However, he knows some old people in the old folks home who did just fine ‘back in the day’ so eh…I guess we should take his word for it over the WHO?

  • Jennifer Starr

    People, please–if you were directed here from Cassy Fiano’s dishonest piece of crap–aka her so-called ‘article’–please take the time to actually read the whole entire article above before inserting your two cents and jumping to conclusions. That’s not asking too much, is it?

    • Valde

      I just searched ‘Cassy Fiano’ on google.

      Wow.

      So she has a blog with the tagline ‘smokin’ hot commentary’ and has a photo of herself holding a gun, abundant cleavage on display.

      Yet she spends most of her time criticizing women for being s**ts.

      Yeah. Ok Cassy.

      • Ella Warnock

        Well, there ya go.

      • goatini

        * Publicity photo is Cassy showing off her tits and her 9mm. Did I mention her tits? (Other photos of her carry on this repetitive theme… of her tits, that is.)

        * Writes for LIE Action.

        Yeah, no cognitive dissonance going on there. SMFH

        • Valde

          It’s like when Ann Coulter lectures on purity and chastity while wearing a skintight mini and 6 inch heels.

          • HeilMary1

            Does anyone believe middle-aged Coultergeist is still a virgin?

      • Victoria

        She is vocally NOT a feminist, yet spends time tell feminists how they are doing feminism wrong. Ugh. I wish I hadn’t wasted my time googling her.

    • fiona64

      I guess she’s taken the article down; it wasn’t on her “blog” when I went to look just now.

      • Jennifer Starr

        I wish, but it’s still there on Live Action’s Blog, misleading dishonest title and all. This woman also wrote a libelous article about Sandra Fluke. Telling lies seems to be Ms. Fiano’s stock in trade.

        • fiona64

          Ah. I went to Fiano’s site, not LA. I’ll have to look.

          • fiona64

            Well, wasn’t that a fabulous wallow in the mudhole of stupid?

          • Valde

            I went to the LA site but I could only read the first few comments – the stupid was too much for me.

          • fiona64

            And their “moderator,” Calvin, is a giant pile of dumbass to boot. Wow.

      • Ella Warnock

        I finally had to break down and look her up.

        Erm, well, hmmm. Stay klassy, Cassy.

        • fiona64

          Yeah, words kind of fail me. She spends a lot of time slut-shaming women, and um … yeah. That photograph? Enough said.

  • Danielle

    I Understand That Having A Child Isn’t Rainbows And Unicorns Due To The Back Injury, Clotting disease, gall bladder removal, and hiatal hernia i had to deal with after having my only son, but at the same time this article isnt really teaching society anything because teens are just going to turn around and say something like my little niece just did “Oh that doesnt happen to everyone, besides isnt she to old to have a baby?” kinda aspect. Ive tried telling my younger siblings, and younger family members the same concept that not only the expenses are high, but the bodily damage and constant worry/burdens are high… but they refuse to listen… My husband and i are trying to have another child even though we went through this struggle before with surgeries etc. postpartum with my son, and who knows, maybe because of my previous bodily injuries we wont get pregnant again, but this^ is not to much of a reality check, people choose to have children because we want to expand our families. even though i went through all of the pain and surgery and medications, doesnt mean im going to put my life on hold and not try to have another child… Idk if im the only one, but thats my honest opinion

    • fiona64

      Um, I guess you did miss the point that this was a wanted pregnancy and a wanted infant. The pregnancy went wrong, the infant is medically compromised … and the woman knows she’s fortunate to have the resources to deal with these things that another woman might *not.* She is pointing out that some people wave their hands in the air and demand that women “just have the baby” without recognizing the very real risks and burdens that may result … she is *not* saying “put your life on hold and don’t have another baby.”

      Good grief.

  • Valde

    This was posted on Rawstory, from Pandagon, I am going to paste it here:

    I am a 57-year-old Christian conservative grandmother who lives in NY
    State and has until recently been solidly a pro-life supporter. A few
    months ago my daughter and son-in-law became pregnant with their second
    child. At 24 weeks, a sonogram showed that the baby has no chance of
    survival. He is afflicted with a genetic disease of the kidneys. His
    kidneys are covered with cysts and no longer function. His lungs cannot
    develop. Due to a lack of fluid around him in the womb, he is becoming
    severely deformed with the condition known as Potter’s Syndrome.
    The
    doctors at the hospital agreed that my grandchild has 0% chance of
    survival. My daughter and her husband were told that they could either
    carry the child full-term, or they could have labor induced and deliver
    the baby then. They were both devastated by the fact that this child
    will not survive, but since the outcome will be the same however long
    they carry on the pregnancy, they decided to have labor induced and the
    child delivered. The procedure needed first to be approved by the
    hospital’s ethics committee, and after several days their approval was
    given and plans were being finalized to go ahead. Unfortunately, for
    some reason, lawyers became involved at this point. They made the
    decision that, according to NY State law, labor could not be induced
    because the mother’s life is not at risk. This medical procedure, which
    was being done for the good of both mother and child, had suddenly
    become an “abortion” under NY State law, and could not be done.
    Since
    then, my daughter has suffered more than any person should be forced
    to. She is at 31 weeks and in pain much of the time. With no fluid
    around the baby, he rests against the walls of the uterus and on very
    sensitive nerve endings. He is very active and the pain is at times
    severe. Little can be done for this. Taking strong pain-killers is
    not an option. My daughter refuses to spend her pregnancy in a
    drug-induced fog and unable to function as a mother. She is now also
    having contractions every day for at least an hour or two — more pain
    which might well have been avoided. Add to this the grief, not only of
    my daughter and her husband in carrying full-term a child they have had
    to make burial plans for, but the grief and confusion of their
    3-year-old daughter.
    The baby, who has already been named Sam, is
    no doubt in considerable discomfort as well. He is crowded into a small
    area with no fluid around him. He has developed club feet and deformed
    hands. His face is shoved up against his body and becoming misshapen.
    His obvious discomfort is as painful to his parents as their own. He
    is loved beyond words by all of us. His being forced to suffer like
    this is inhumane at best. In my opinion, it is exceedingly cruel. His
    mom and dad talk to him, read to him, play music for him – anything to
    ease his distress at least a little.
    As I stated at the start of this
    letter, I have always been pro-life. Watching my kids and grandkids
    suffer due to a “pro-life” law has changed that. Induced labor in a
    case such as this should be a medical decision, not a legal one. A law
    written with the assumption that ANYONE getting an abortion in the third
    trimester is doing it for the heck of it, is ridiculous. I am totally
    against abortion in the case of women doing it because the baby is a
    “mistake” or “inconvenience”. But the laws need to be changed to
    differentiate between those cases and those of a pregnancy where the
    baby has absolutely NO chance of survival.
    I would ask if you can
    see the need for a change in this law, and what you will consider doing
    to prevent other women and families from going through this nightmare.
    Until the pro-life movement shows some common sense concerning
    situations such as this, I can no longer be a supporter.
    Sincerely,
    Karen

    • Valde

      There is a link on rawstory where this PRO LIFE woman is taken to task by even more EXTREME forced birthers who think that:

      1) the pregnant woman’s suffering ain’t a thing

      and

      2) that fetal suffering, apparently, is GOOD as long as God has willed it, and the fetus is kept alive as long as possible to, you know, suffer some more!*

      These people have absolutely NO empathy for this woman, or the fetus, all they care about is their own fanatical ideology, Sick fucks.

      *So they oppose fetal suffering if it’s from abortion, but they fucking LOVE it if it is ‘natural’ and they believe that anything that would put an end to such suffering = evil.

      • Jennifer Starr

        Sick, sick people. Woman and fetus are both suffering and they don’t give a damn because apparently their god has ‘willed’ it. This is why I am, and always will remain, pro-choice.

      • fiona64

        Some dumbassed woman on LiveAction, when I said something about anencephaly, said “How do you know that the baby would have a short, painful life? Who says?” Her response to me putting up a NIH pamphlet on anecephaly was to tell me that the baby still had a right to be born.

        Yeah, because an infant that is stillborn or going to live in pain for a few brief hours should trump the woman’s right to preserve her health and future fertility.

        You would think I would long ago have ceased to be surprised at the deliberate, delighted ignorance of the anti-choice … but they continue to lower the bar on a regular basis.

        • Valde

          OH yeah!

          I’ve also heard them say, in relation to Beatriz’ case, that the ‘doctors are often wrong’ – cuz you know, anencephalic babies always MAGICALLY grow a brain at the last moment!

        • PH Student

          They just do. not. know. Jessica Valenti had a wonderful piece in The Nation that I read yesterday. She discusses how anti-choicers essentially believe that what they believe is true, based on nothing else other than that is what they believe. No amount of evidence, science, or reason can persuade them. I have found this to be true over and over again and it never ceases to amaze me.

      • HeilMary1

        Such theothugs with Fetal Idolatry Derangement Syndrome also are committing Munchausen by Proxy abuse against mothers and suffering fetuses.

        • Valde

          The most extreme forced birthers, the true fanatics, are sociopaths, I am sure of it.

          What else could explain such fanatical behaviour and lack of empathy?

  • ProLifeMama

    Wow…”pregnancy isn’t easy” so glad someone just made the world aware of this.

    Everyone deserve the right to pursue happiness, but when your happiness is dependent upon ENDING the life of another human being – guess what – the right thing to do might not be easy, or comfortable – but that’s the way life goes.

    If you don’t want a baby, or go through pregnancy, then you better do anything and everything to not conceive in the first place.

    The majority of women who abort babies cite that they do want a baby, but that it was the “wrong time” for that woman. Talk about selfishness.

    Why don’t you address the fact that abortions over 20 weeks often require the woman to experience, usually up to 2 days, of labor. Or the percentage of women that experience complications and or death from abortions, not to mention depression.

    Sad, sad world we live in when we can convince ourselves and others that it is better to end an innocent life so that we can live the life we want. Sad.

    • fiona64

      Christ on a bicycle. Did you even *read the article*? This woman is talking about a much wanted pregnancy that went wrong, and a much-loved little boy who is medically compromised. She is talking about the very real challenges faced by women in her situation, and acknowledging that she is fortunate to have resources that another woman *in the identical situation* might not.

      If you want to talk about the other things you listed, how about if we address the fact that the USA has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the first world (#50, according to WHO), or the number of women who suffer post partum depression? Or that pregnancy carries far greater risk than early abortion, by a factor of almost 500?

      And that’s all aside from the fact that abortions after 20 weeks’ gestation do not happen absent medical necessity; the majority of fetal anomalies cannot be detected any earlier. At that point, it’s a wanted pregnancy gone wrong. Most women are going to seek second opinions, all the while dealing with the emotional turmoil of what they’re experiencing.

      The issues Ms. Chart describes are beyond mere “discomfort.” Another woman who experienced the same things, without her resources, might well end up facing medical bankruptcy or homelessness.

      You are kind of the person she was talking about in the article … the very cavalier person who says “just have the baby,” as though it’s all a walk in the park. Pregnancy is not a state of wellness.

      No one should be forced to carry a pregnancy against her will. No one. Nor should someone *else* be allowed to determine how much risk that pregnant woman should be forced to assume. If you are not the pregnant woman, you simply do not have enough information to think you know what is best for her.

    • HeilMary1

      Why don’t YOU mention that such abortions are much safer than the deaths guaranteed by some childbirths and that these pregnancies were planned and wanted, but too deadly to continue?!

      • ProLifeMama

        The bill protects a woman’s right to abort if there is a risk to her health. Have you read the bill?

        • fiona64

          Um, this article is not about a bill? It’s a woman’s first-person experience of a wanted pregnancy going wrong.

        • HeilMary1

          Most of you fetal idolaters oppose saving mothers in those cases as well.

        • fiona64

          This article is not about SB5; no wonder no one knows WTH you’re talking about.

          • Jennifer Starr

            I’d be willing to bet that even she doesn’t know what she’s talking about.

          • fiona64

            If you look at her comment that’s in moderation, you’ll see just how right you are …

    • Jennifer Starr

      Why don’t you actually take the time to read the article. Not the hit piece by Cassy ‘Liar’ Fiano that misrepresents everything this woman says, but the actual article? I am honestly sick of hearing these stupid inane comments that have nothing to do with the actual article.

  • Ginger Holm

    I have never heard anyone say carrying, birthing nor raising children is “easy”. But if this woman thinks it is so horrible and conti nuing to complain now about the financial cost, I absolutely think she should put the baby up for adoption into a family who will cherish every moment to experience the joy being a parent brings – despite the sacrifices we have to make along the way.

    Instead of murdering the next baby she conceives to avoid this inconvenience, she should sterilize herself so she doesn’t have to risk it.

    • HeilMary1

      So you have $100,000 – 1,000,000 petty cash in your cookie jar to cover for childbirth complications and neonatal emergencies in case all your time off from work makes you lose your job, insurance, spouse and housing? How selfish of you not to consider the life-ruining disruption and devastation caused by deadly but planned pregnancies!

    • fiona64

      Right, because there is such a lengthy line of people waiting to adopt medically compromised children.

      Did the part of this being a wanted pregnancy and a much-loved little boy escape your notice? Maybe reading past the headline (or Fiano’s nonsense on LA) would help.

    • Jennifer Starr

      I think you’ve honestly missed the point of everything. And not just in one comment, but in several. Will you people actually read this article instead of the piece of crap put out by so-called ‘writer’ Cassy Fiano? Please?

  • Ginger Holm

    I wonder if this article is going in the baby book for the child to see, how “mommy” felt about him/her….. nice!

    • fiona64

      Since she’s never said anything other than that she loves her little boy and that it was a wanted pregnancy, I wonder if you actually read the goddamned story.

    • HeilMary1

      I wonder if you get it that you brood mares are just throw-away necessary evils to pedophile priests?

    • Jennifer Starr

      Right, because stating the sometimes less-than-rosy aspects of pregnancy and motherhood must mean that you don’t love your baby. Honestly, where do you come up with this crap?

    • Jennifer Starr

      And I think they might see that Mommy and Daddy took turns spending the night in the NICU so their much-loved and much-wanted little boy would never be alone. But you seem to have missed that–wow. Maybe next time you’ll actually read the article.

      • Amy Altum

        Obviously she read the article. Otherwise she wouldn’t have come to an opinion such as hers on it. Maybe next time you’ll actually let others give an opinion without shutting them down automatically when they’re opinion doesn’t match yours.

        • Jennifer Starr

          She didn’t read the article–she probably read the dishonest piece by Cassy and headed over here. And someone who wrote what I read above, you know about your bathroom habits? Has no business lecturing me on being nice, because that is definitely not what you are.

  • Ginger Holm

    You know, most parents would be focused on the welfare of their child, but this woman’s baby is in the hospital and she can’t stop complainign about the pain of childbirth and the expense of a sick child. It’s all about her. I pitty this child growing up in her home, the baby isn’t the problem, she is.

    • fiona64

      Right, because watching her baby suffer and not being able to do much about it is something that should cause a first-time mother to celebrate like it’s a birthday party at Disneyland.

      • Valde

        Perhaps if the author had praised ‘god’ for teaching her that a suffering baby can be a beautiful and compassionate thing Ginger’s nose wouldn’t be so out of joint.

    • HeilMary1

      Mother killer, you just livid that she isn’t as suicidal for pedophile priests as you are!

    • Jennifer Starr

      And yet another person fails to miss the point entirely.

      • fiona64

        Oh, no. I think she managed to miss the point just fine. No failure whatsoever. ;-)

        I think your edit messed up.

        • Jennifer Starr

          LOL–thanks for catching that :)

    • Amy Altum

      Exactly. There are so many people on here who are commending her for standing up and pointing out that parenthood is hard and expensive. Because most people once believed contrary to that? Obviously being pregnant and giving birth is not a fun experience. And yes, hospital visits do actually cost money (imagine that). But, at the end of the day, no real mother would write an article pointing out that motherhood is not something to be cherished and the “cost” far outweighs the rewards, which is exactly what this woman did. I have two boys. I am farted on, yelled at, even at times physically abused by wanna-be ninjas lol. But they are awesome, and I’d do anything for their well being. I could never look a beautiful baby in the eyes and still be pro-abortion, especially after becoming a mother myself. And I can’t imagine the kind of mother that could do that.

      • Katherine Walton

        Thing is, Amy dear? You don’t get to determine who is and isn’t a “real mother”. And, as we will keep saying and saying and saying (and saying and saying): You obviously didn’t read the article. Take your self-righteous twaddle shove it.

        Oh! I’m sorry. Was that crude?

        Tough.

        • Amy Altum

          Wow. Self righteous twaddle? Didn’t read the article? Aww, did I hit a nerve? :)

          • Katherine Walton

            *yawn* No, darling. Try again?

          • HeilMary1

            Perhaps you can get a pedophile priest to babysit your sons while you sign annulment papers, so your husband can have another Catholic wedding to the hot teen babysitter who doesn’t suffer from the stinky childbirth incontinence that invalidated your marriage!

      • HeilMary1

        Can you imagine having no nose on your face, no lips, no upper and lower palates, no left eye and ear, and always breathing through your TUMOR-FILLED mouth because you nave NO NOSE? — that is what a face cancer-causing female fetus did to my best friend BEFORE KILLING HER.

    • Ella Warnock

      Whoosh – flew right over your pointed little head, didn’t it?

  • fiona64

    For ProLifeMama, whose comment is in moderation (I’m not sure why):

    Since this article is not about SB5, I’m ignoring your nonsense about it. However, your last paragraph about Planned Parenthood is a falsehood. All providers are mandatory reporters.

    I worked in hospitals for seven years, and am still in the medical field. I have been a mandatory reporter; my source is primary.

    • Jenny Sue

      Mandatory reporters LOL I was 16 when I went in with my 21 year old boy friend. They did not bat an eye. Time after time people have gone undercover to planned parenthood and found that not only do they not report child abuse, they don’t even report 13 and 14 year olds being forced by pimps to get abortions.

      • Katherine Walton

        You had a forced abortion when you were 16?

      • Jennifer Starr

        I’m a little disturbed that you seem to know 13 and 14 year olds with their pimps. Why haven’t you reported it?

        • HeilMary1

          She doesn’t rat out PRIESTS!

      • fiona64

        Sixteen is the age of consent in the majority of states, “Jenny Sue.” That’s why it wasn’t reported. Unless, of course, you’re making shit up. And surely you wouldn’t do that, now would you?

  • lorimakesquilts

    Thank you for sharing and so eloquently explaining what one would think is patently obvious but clearly isn’t.

    I’m very glad to hear your son is home. My son spent seven weeks in the NICU, it was torturous. Even though he became more and more likely to make it home with no long-term effects it was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. I can’t imagine undergoing that with a sick child, you have my greatest sympathies.

    • Jennifer Starr

      Lori–thank you so much for your wonderful post.

  • SurplusMama

    You are absolutely correct that there is no “just” in “just have the baby” – any mother knows that and all fathers should. You write, however, “Just have the baby? Only if you want to” as if a mother’s “want” is all that should be factored in to the equation. As stinky as it is to have an uncomfortable pregnancy, painful delivery, and exorbitant medical bills, it’s pretty rotten to be pulled apart limb from limb in your mother’s womb as well. Here’s a newsflash: pregnancy isn’t just about mom! As a mother who has given birth several times I can attest to how challenging pregnancy can be. I know the high cost of maternity care. I also know that you cannot excuse a child out of existence. No matter how challenging pregnancy is, abortion is not about “ending a pregnancy” – it’s about ending the life of an innocent human being. As rotten as gestational diabetes is, as ridiculously expensive as maternity care is, these very large inconveniences never justify taking the life of another human being.

    • XKCD

      Here’s some statistics for you:

      22-week-old preemies have only a 5% chance of survival.
      80% of preemies born at 23-weeks will die.

      These are not highly developed organisms, as much as you may want to view them as such. That something still so highly dependent on a woman’s womb is equal to a newborn baby is a purely emotional stance. Even something as basic as fetal pain at 20 weeks has never been scientifically proven. You are allowed your emotions, what you shouldn’t be allowed to do is force them on every single woman in America. By forcing your emotions onto women, you may be forcing them into exactly what the author described. Shortening the life of the mother, forcing a child either into an orphanage or into an impoverished home…not to even mention the many who are immorally both against abortion rights and any sort of financial aid for single mothers and poor homes, such as food stamps.

      Then you have regulations like in Ohio that make it illegal for a woman with medical complications from abortion to be transferred to a public hospital, force her to pay $200 for a completely medically unnecessary ultrasound, defund the largest health care provider for women, and restrict the free speech of rape crisis centers – making them unable to mention abortion to a woman who may have become pregnant from rape….and those who create these laws have the gall to deny that they are anti-woman (here’s an idea: if you’re for women, why not give them a vote on these measures?)

      • SurplusMama

        XKCD, this isn’t about stage of development. A human being is a human being. When we start determining the value of a human being based on their stage of development, we are on a very slippery slope. (For instance, the human brain is not considered fully developed until a person is in their 20s.)

        You believe that women should vote on measures that make it harder for women to obtain abortions, but since when is the value of human life up for a vote? Do you think we should vote on whether or not men can put an adulterous wife to death? Would you suggest we allow rapists to vote on onerous laws that make rape more difficult? If abortion is the ending of a human life (and no reasonable person argues that it is not), then why in the world would we put that up for a vote?

        You claim that I am making an argument from emotion, but it is pro-abortion arguments that are rooted in emotion. Since we all know that the life that is taken in an abortion (regardless of when that abortion occurs) is a human one, and since most human beings agree that taking an innocent human life is reprehensible, it is merely an appeal to emotion to try to justify it.

        • XKCD

          Wow, more random rape references from anti-choicers? I wish you were a politician with a public platform, to be honest.

          Pro-choice is an appeal to common sense. A fertilized egg is not an embryo is not a fetus is not a newborn baby. That’s why science has different terms for different stages.

          I find it shameful that you can read articles like this one and so easily dismiss the experiences of women, regardless of the traumatizing things they go through. A 20-week-old fetus has never survived if birthed at that stage, even with modern technology. Not once in history. You can argue that something clearly dependent on a woman’s body to survive should be treated as equal to a fully-developed newborn, but that is an emotional viewpoint, not one backed by science. What you want to do is force your emotions on all of America’s women, and that is wrong.

          Explain to me: since when does “having the potential to become” equal “being”? Something is not equal to something else because it has the potential to become that thing, and saying otherwise (and basing laws around the notion) would create a horrific legal standard.

          Slippery slope arguments are what people use when present standards don’t back their argument.

          • SurplusMama

            “Pro-choice is an appeal to common sense. A fertilized egg is not an
            embryo is not a fetus is not a newborn baby. That’s why science has
            different terms for different stages.”

            Fertilized eggs, embryos, fetuses and newborn infants are ALL human beings. THAT is what matters – not what level of development they have attained, or whether or not their mother “wants” them to exist.

            “I find it shameful that you can read articles like this one and so
            easily dismiss the experiences of women, regardless of the traumatizing
            things they go through.”

            Oh, please. I have no doubt that I have been pregnant far more times than you have. I have no doubt that I have experienced far more pregnancy and birth trauma than you have. Does that make my experience more meaningful – my perspective more important? Of course not. Yes, this woman had a tough time of it – that is important. Is it more important than the life of another human being? Of course not. We do not kill other humans because they happen to be inconvenient. That’s barbaric.

            “You can argue that something clearly dependent on a woman’s body to
            survive should be treated as equal to a fully-developed newborn, but
            that is an emotional viewpoint, not one backed by science.”

            You can argue that it’s “something” but that is completely emotional and quite convenient. That “something” is a human being – and, as such, it should be afforded the same rights as any other human being. Dependency should never be the deciding factor in who lives and who dies. So…who is wanting to force their emotions on others? The emotion for which you advocate has cost over 55,000,000 humans their lives.

            You ask, “Explain to me: since when does “having the potential to become” equal “being”?” I have never claimed that the fetus has the *potential* to become anything: it IS. It IS a human being. It IS a human life. It IS a distinct and unique human. I don’t argue for potential, I argue for the reality of the situation.

            “Slippery slope arguments are what people use when present standards don’t back their argument.”

            True: Now we’ve covered the fact that development and potential are not factors – they are slippery slopes. Let’s deal with reality: decent people do not kill innocent human beings because they’re inconvenient. Why do you disagree with that statement?

          • Valde

            You and I contain much, much more information, both
            genetic and otherwise, than a blastocyst. That’s why I can write this
            column and you can read it, whereas a blastocyst just.. .sits
            there. Indeed, that is the exactly the point of stem cell research:
            the stem cells in the blastocyst have not yet acquired the
            molecular programming required for differentiation, and so they
            remain pluripotent, awaiting the necessary molecular
            signals (the information) that will tell them whether
            to become nerve or muscle, skin or bone.

            Yes, once upon a time we were blastocysts, too. Nothing
            more than a little clump of cells, each of them a snippet of DNA
            surrounded by cytoplasm. But that DNA was later transcribed into RNA,
            and that RNA was translated into proteins. And some of those proteins
            were transcription factors that told other cells in the blastocyst
            what to do, when to divide, where to migrate. Transcription factors
            regulated the expression of still other transcription factors. Genes
            were turned on and off with clockwork precision. Some genes were
            methylated, so they could never be turned on again.

            In other words, the genome and the proteome of the blastocyst were
            changed as the embryo accumulated molecular information that the
            blastocyst did not have.

            The embryo became a fetus, with complex orientations of
            tissues–loaded with spatial, genetic, biochemical and mechanical
            information that simply did not exist in the embryo.

            The fetus became a child with a nervous system, and that nervous
            system sucked up information about the world, hard-wiring pathways
            for vision and movement, learning to make subtle distinctions between
            this and that, accumulating information that simply did not exist in
            the fetus.

            In other words, the blastocyst launched a genetic program that both
            extracted and acquired information. It didn’t start out
            as a human being. It became a human being, with a
            personality, feelings, attitudes and memories, by accumulating
            information that was not there before.

            Equating a blastocyst with a human being is like equating a brand new
            copy of an inexpensive spreadsheet program with the priceless
            databases that you’ll eventually build up with that program. It’s no
            less ridiculous than saying that a blueprint has the same value as a
            skyscraper–that it is the skycraper.

            No. They are not the same.

          • Valde

            We can certainly grant
            that a blastocyst and a fingernail contain the same genes.
            However, in 2013 we can no longer agree with his assertion that a
            fingernail can never become a baby. Clearly, it is quite within our
            grasp now to create a blastocyst from almost any cell of the body.
            Your hair follicles contain thousands–no, millions of potential
            human lives. Every cell in your body (save the erythrocytes) contains
            a nucleus, and that nucleus could be extracted and
            processed, and it could be placed in an enucleated
            oocyte, and you could implant that oocyte in a woman
            whose endometrium might be at the right stage for
            implantation, and that woman might carry the pregnancy
            to term.

            And so two of your three criteria for what constitutes a human
            being–viability and possession of a human genome–have just been
            extended to nearly every cell in your body, by virtue of the very
            sort of biology that created the stem cell debate in the first place.

            So, when we use a depilatory, or take a skin graft, or pull a tooth,
            or masturbate, or use a condom, we are, by Sullivan’s logic,
            “treat(ing) human life purely instrumentally. I know of no
            better description of evil.”

            That’s right–we’re evil when we clip a toneail. We’re
            discarding thousands of cells which each have the capacity to become
            human beings, simply because it suits us to do so.

          • SurplusMama

            “And so two of your three criteria for what constitutes a human
            being–viability and possession of a human genome–have just been
            extended to nearly every cell in your body, by virtue of the very
            sort of biology that created the stem cell debate in the first place.”

            Good grief! The contortions one goes through to try to justify the taking of a human life. We all know that the fingernail is not a human being. A blastocyst is. A fetus is. A newborn is. A child is. A teenager is. An adult is. An elderly person is. None of them are fingernails, they are human beings in a particular stage of development. These bizarre acrobatics might make you feel better, but you and I both know the difference between a human fingernail and human offspring.

          • Valde

            A fingernail, a blastocyst and an embryo are all potential human beings.

            A newborn a child a teenager an adult and an elderly person are all actual human beings.

            Potentiality is not actuality.

            And you should actually try reading, and comprehending what I wrote about embryological and fetal development.

            We don’t start out as human beings -we become human beings.

          • SurplusMama

            “We don’t start out as human beings -we become human beings.”

            Gee, what are we before we’re human beings?

            You should check out a book on the stages of human development. You will see that, yes, a blastocyst is a stage of human development – it is a human being. It might not be recognizable to you as a human being, but that does not change the fact that it is.

            If there is any such thing as a “potential human being”, I imagine that would be sperm or egg. As you can see from a quick glance at human development, a blastocyst is not a “potential” human being – it is one – just very early in its development.

            By the way, most aborted blastocysts are aborted via actual birth control measures. By the time a woman finds out she is pregnant, the human inside of her has attained the embryonic stage.

          • Valde

            ou and I contain much, much more information, both
            genetic and otherwise, than a blastocyst. That’s why I can write this
            column and you can read it, whereas a blastocyst just.. .sits
            there. Indeed, that is the exactly the point of stem cell research:
            the stem cells in the blastocyst have not yet acquired the
            molecular programming required for differentiation, and so they
            remain pluripotent, awaiting the necessary molecular
            signals (the information) that will tell them whether
            to become nerve or muscle, skin or bone.

            Yes, once upon a time we were blastocysts, too. Nothing
            more than a little clump of cells, each of them a snippet of DNA
            surrounded by cytoplasm. But that DNA was later transcribed into RNA,
            and that RNA was translated into proteins. And some of those proteins
            were transcription factors that told other cells in the blastocyst
            what to do, when to divide, where to migrate. Transcription factors
            regulated the expression of still other transcription factors. Genes
            were turned on and off with clockwork precision. Some genes were
            methylated, so they could never be turned on again.

            In other words, the genome and the proteome of the blastocyst were
            changed as the embryo accumulated molecular information that the
            blastocyst did not have.

            The embryo became a fetus, with complex orientations of
            tissues–loaded with spatial, genetic, biochemical and mechanical
            information that simply did not exist in the embryo.

            The fetus became a child with a nervous system, and that nervous
            system sucked up information about the world, hard-wiring pathways
            for vision and movement, learning to make subtle distinctions between
            this and that, accumulating information that simply did not exist in
            the fetus.

            In other words, the blastocyst launched a genetic program that both
            extracted and acquired information. It didn’t start out
            as a human being. It became a human being, with a
            personality, feelings, attitudes and memories, by accumulating
            information that was not there before.

            Equating a blastocyst with a human being is like equating a brand new
            copy of an inexpensive spreadsheet program with the priceless
            databases that you’ll eventually build up with that program. It’s no
            less ridiculous than saying that a blueprint has the same value as a
            skyscraper–that it is the skycraper.

            No. They are not the same.

          • SurplusMama

            Just because you define a human being as one with “with a
            personality, feelings, attitudes and memories, by accumulating
            information that was not there before”, does not make it so. Biologically speaking, a blastocyst is a human being. You would like to add qualifiers – but these qualifiers are subjective. After all, a newborn has accumulated less attitudes and memories than a child – who has less than a teen – who has less than an adult. Does that mean a newborn is less of a human being than an adult? Of course not. Are we really going to use such subjective quantifiers to measure the humanness (or is it the being-ness) of a human being?

            That is a slippery slope that is convenient for proponents of abortion, but it’s bad biology – and bad reasoning for sure.

          • Valde

            “Biologically speaking, a blastocyst is a human being.”

            Wrong. Biologically speaking, a blastocyst is human DNA – as I explained, twice already.

            Human beings – persons – are not stem cells, neither are they genetic blueprints for the creation of a placenta.

            And a zygote/embryo can split, form twins, then recombine, then split again…then reform…and so on.

            A human being is a viable, sentient, sapient individiual. A human being is capable of consciousness. A human being is NOT a genetic blueprint for the creation of a human being.

          • SurplusMama

            “A human being is a viable, sentient, sapient individiual. A human being
            is capable of consciousness. A human being is NOT a genetic blueprint
            for the creation of a human being.”

            And, as I have pointed out several times, this is your opinion. Blastocyst is a stage of human development.

            Also, I did notice that you did not address my point that very few abortions (in fact, likely none of those listed in statistics) are performed on blastocysts. Pregnancy is usually not confirmed for those seeking an abortion until the embryo stage. Not only are you incorrect that a blastocyst is not a stage of human development, but you are making quite a production about a stage of human development that is rarely aborted. As you know, the vast majority of abortions kill embryos and fetuses.

          • Valde

            Might be a stage of human development, and contain human DNA, and be capable of cellular respiration, but that doesn’t MAKE IT A PERSON – due to the non-sentient non-sapient thing, which isn’t a minor niggle.

            91% of abortions are before 13 weeks, and 61% are before 9 weeks.

            All 1st trimester, all at embryonic and early fetal stages.

            You wrote:

            “By the way, most aborted blastocysts are aborted via actual birth control measures”
            “Pregnancy is usually not confirmed for those seeking an abortion until the embryo stage.”

            Blastocyst is also a ‘stage of human development’ as you keep telling me. A blastocyst is a “human being”. Should birth control be illegal because blastocysts are killed? *When* an abortion happens shouldn’t matter, should it? If you consider a blastocyst to have the same moral value as a newborn/adult/elderly person?

          • Valde

            “By the way, most aborted blastocysts are aborted via actual birth
            control measures. By the time a woman finds out she is pregnant, the
            human inside of her has attained the embryonic stage.”

            So? You consider a blastocyst to be just as much a human being as a newborn.

            So why make the distinction? It shouldn’t matter *when* a woman has an abortion, if a zygote has the same moral value as a newborn.

            Should I assume that you oppose birth control, Plan B, IVF and stem cell research?

          • Valde

            A blastocyst is a stage of human development, but it is not a human being.

            And if you consider a zygote to be a human being, then it shouldn’t matter WHEN a woman aborts – be it by Plan B/birth control* or during the embryonic stage.

            Should I assume that you oppose IVF and stem cell research as well? Should the use of birth control and plan B be a capital crime, since after all, human beings are being murdered?

            *Pro life lie that the pill and plan b abort widdle baby blastocysts – they do not.

          • Valde

            Do we give a newborn the same rights as an adult?

            After all, by your logic, the *potential* to be something IS the actuality.

            So, therefore, a zygote should have the same rights as a newborn, and that newborn should have the same rights as an adult.

            And you have the potential to be a corpse some day, therefore, we should treat you as if you are already dead.

            POTENTIALITY IS NOT ACTUALITY

          • fiona64

            If the embryo is a complete, separate, unique human being (as you opine), why doesn’t it move out of the uterus and get a job and a cute apartment?

          • fiona64

            I suggest you take your own advice …

          • fiona64

            Please, feel free to have as many children as you wish. Breed until your uterus prolapses; I honestly don’t care. I support your right to make that decision.

            I also support a woman’s right to make any other decision regarding pregnancy.

            If it’s not my pregnancy, you see, it’s really none of my business. And I expect the same courtesy from others.

        • fiona64

          Yeah, actually, it is about stage of development. But hey, don’t let the facts get in the way of your way off-topic rant.

          I think what you’re all pissed off about, to be perfectly honest, is this: the author of the article told some cold, hard truths about pregnancy complications and medically compromised infants … she didn’t blow smoke up anyone’s ass about what she was going through. And you’re also pissed off that she feels that no one should be forced to go through this against their will. As this was a planned and wanted pregnancy for her, trying to make it all about abortion is really kind of ignorant.

    • Amy Altum

      Your comment was one of few that was actually written well, factual, and with heart. Thank you:)

    • Jenny Sue

      There is no just support yourself or just get a job or go to school. Life is messy but that does not mean you can kill another person because your lives intersect for a time.

  • Amy Altum

    Just have a shit? My first two stomach pains were tolerable (it could have been worse), and then it got more and more painful the longer I stayed away from the toilet. So I have a lot more to say about the many reasons why this shit has further revealed to me why it’s wrong and inhumane to make light of how difficult it is to “just have a shit,” as anti-choice extremists say everyone should have to do. It started with Taco Bell. Even though I knew what eating Mexican food would do to my body, I still ingested those 3 delicious burritos and 2 gorditos. But my ignorance in not thinking ahead is not my fault. Just because eating “could” lead to shitting, doesn’t mean that it should. No one should ever be inconvenienced or pressured into giving a shit. After my mindless ingestion of the Mexican food, I started noticing that my clothes didn’t fit so well afterwards. My feet even swelled up, and my body started making random “noises”. I’m so glad I didn’t have anywhere important to go to, because if I had to entertain an audience that didn’t contain characters that resembled Larry the Cable Guy’s manners, I would probably be shit out of luck. Nearly a month after I gave way to my Mexican food fetish, I still couldn’t fit into my own clothes comfortably. Shop at goodwill you say? Exercise you say? Screw that. I’m too good for those things. There were also worries about chronic constipation. Studies show that chronic constipation can be caused by a number of things, including physiological issues that can trigger it. Such issues can include being sexually abused as a child. Great, now I’m wondering if I have ever been sexually abused. Then there were other worries. The treatment of this insistent shit that wants to come out but now it can’t. One way to help is to eat a good diet.
    When was the last time you picked out your lunch based on how many servings of meat, starches, fats, vegetables, and fruit it contained? And then there is also suppositories. Have you ever had to find the time to stick a suppository up your ass? Its totally annoying. And then you have to constantly clean your hands? Ain’t no one got time for that. Then, there are the costs. Just one doctor’s appointment can cost around $10,000 just to talk about shit. Even though my insurance will pay for almost the entirety of the bill, I’m still going to whine anyways. So here’s some more risks of shitting. The cost of constantly flushing my toilet each year is right around $12. $12 whole dollars! Who has the money to keep up with that? Not to mention I’m wasting water. And what happens if my shit clogs up the toilet? It would cost me on average around $200 to have a plumber fix it, that’s what would happen. And I’m not even going to try and calculate the cost of toilet paper per year. Taking a shit is just expensive. On Friday, May 24th, I had my preshit checkup where everything seemed fine to my doctor and he was unconcerned about my frivolous trip to New York (yet I couldn’t afford clothes to fit my fat taco-eating ass…. I don’t know how that happened!). On Monday, May 27th at about 3 a.m. (which is totally inconvenient to me) I suspected that my shitter had broken. The medical advice hotline had directed me to go to the nearest toilet available and not try to get home to Washington D.C., something I would have never figured out without their help. The doctor in the labor and triage unit doubted that my shitter had broken because I wasn’t wearing shit on me, but an ultrasound confirmed that there was indeed no shit left in my stomach. They told me that if I didn’t start shitting, that they would have to induce my pooper. They also told me that I was in the wrong wing of the hospital and that I was scaring the wonderful women in the maternity ward that chose life. I was outraged at them telling me to shit. How dare they! This is America (fuck yea!!!). It is legal to not shit. I should be able to eat whatever I want and not have to shit, gain weight, or face any other consequences as a result of my choices. I remember reading a story where the reader had read a story about a little boy who died from a tooth infection. As in my story, there really was no relevance as to why that story was brought up, it just added to the “things cost money” shit. And things do. They really do cost money. If you want a service done, no matter what it is, you have to pay for it. I can’t imagine how people get money to do anything these days. They can’t all have jobs. I think I’ll ask one of these many people who are whining about how much things cost and whining about having to choose between taking their child to the hospital, or paying for their internet how they “earned” their money. Long annoying story short, to say “Just have a shit” is to tell someone they should just casually take on what can be an experience where you’re thrust into both love at first sight and devastating fear, anguish, and possibly heartbreak in a very short period of time. A time, no less, when you may be at the very end of your physical and emotional endurance, all the while sitting on a toilet. There’s no “just” about having a shit. And not necessarily any justice, either. Just have the shit? Only if you want to. Because no one else can take on any of the pain or risk, and it’s rare that you’ll be helped significantly with the costs—something I think anyone capable of eating tacos and burritos understands all too well and that forced shit activists work very hard not to acknowledge. This is the end. Go, and rest your eyes now lol:)

  • Katy David

    This woman is completely devoid of a human soul. First of all, her personal concerns, such as weight gain, are frivolous. More importantly, and shockingly, she fails to acknowledge, let alone address, the fact that more family friendly policies at work are needed in the US. Basically, what she is saying is that you should go ahead and kill a little kid because your employer won’t let you take a real fucking maternity leave or provide health care coverage. Outrageous!! Oh, and I am a mom of a 14 month old, an entrepreneur, and I had a C-section and PPD so I know a thing or two. Yes, having a baby is the hardest thing you will ever do and the most rewarding and for any new mom to think abortion is even remotely OK is just the saddest thing ever.

    • Jennifer Starr

      No, if you’d actually bothered to read the article instead of the dishonest and poorly written piece of junk by so called-writer and supposed human being Cassy Fiano, you’d see that’s not what she’s saying at all. And I don’t think a woman who’s just spent three nights sleeping in the NICU so that her baby boy wouldn’t be alone is devoid of a human soul. Do you?

      • Amy Altum

        How many comments like this are you planning to write? Its becoming annoying. Stop it:)

        • Katherine Walton

          As many as it takes.

        • fiona64

          Oh, boo-hoo. Someone pointed out that you guys are frothing at the mouth over things that aren’t in the article, or pretending things are there that aren’t. Waah! Waah!

        • Jennifer Starr

          No. I’m not going to stop. Sorry. :)

      • Katy David

        I do take back the human soul bit, I was a bit upset and tired. But I stand by the rest of what I said: women deserve family friendly work opportunities and universal health care. Not the right to kill their kids. The writer of her article didn’t learn much from her parenting experience if she could write what she wrote.

        • Jennifer Starr

          Thank you for taking that back. Very decent thing to do and thank you:)

        • fiona64

          We all deserve universal health care and supportive work environments.

          If you know anyone who has “killed their kids,” please contact the police.

          • Katy David

            Just a few weeks ago someone told me that she killed her kid because she didn’t feel ready to be a mom (whatever that means, nobody is ever really ready). Unfortunately my hands are tied from calling the police because Canada doesn’t have any laws protecting children until they are born. Put yourself in my shoes for a second and imagine how hard it must be to hear about this happening and not being able to call the police.

          • Valde

            An embryo isn’t a ‘kid’.

          • Katy David

            Yes it is.

          • Valde

            Only in your fevered mind is a microscopic organism a kid.

          • Katy David

            No need for personal attacks, Valde. Different people have different feelings about when life begins.

          • Valde

            Yes, and you want to force your beliefs on others, because you believe that a non sentient non sapient microcrsopic organism is a ‘kid’ and that a woman is nothing more than a whiny selfish broodmare if she doesn’t enjoy every moment of a pregnancy and birth gone wrong.

            And stop stone trolling.

          • Katy David

            What is stone trolling? I don’t know the term, seriously. I know what trolling is but not “stone trolling” And you are putting words in my mouth that I am not saying.

          • Valde

            Tone trolling I meant.

          • Katy David

            I still don’t know what “tone trolling” is. If I am doing something wrong, sorry. Actually this whole discussion is getting out of hand. I feel that I have a legit opinion and wanted to express it in response to the article. Can we agree to disagree?

          • Valde

            Your ‘legit opinion’ is that ‘after reading and disagreeing with ever single word’ you came to the conclusion that the author has no empathy whatsoever for babies and instead wants to kill them because she doesn’t like the fact that pregnancy makes women fat.

          • Katy David

            Actually I didn’t even speak to her concerns about weight because they are so trivial but yes, I feel that she is lacking in empathy for babies if she supports abortion for socioeconomic reasons.

          • Valde

            yeah, so that would apply to a rape victim as well, wouldn’t it?

            and to teenage rape victims, and young victims of inceset

            or women with multiple children who can’t afford to feed more

            right?

          • fiona64

            “tone trolling” is when you don’t have any real point to make, so you say things like “stop using swear words” or similar (which is not what I’m saying you said, it’s just an example).

          • fiona64

            No, it isn’t. It’s a potential child.

          • Valde

            Abortion
            is by definition not infanticide. If
            an infant and a fetus were the same thing, then abortion wouldn’t be an
            issue – The “infant” could be removed and put up for adoption.

          • fiona64

            Abortion is not infanticide. Good lord, could you quit with the histrionics?

    • Katherine Walton

      What’s stunning is that you don’t even pretend to have actually read the article. But that’s SOP.

      • Katy David

        Katherine, I did read every word. I would never dream of posting otherwise.

        • fiona64

          Somehow, I don’t think you did … or you wouldn’t have posted such complete and utter nonsense that is easily debunked by ::gasp:: actually reading the article.

          • Katy David

            I read every word. In detail. I just disagree with it.

          • Valde

            Yes, so clearly, you disagree with the parts where she said she feels immense sympathy for the babies in the NICU who are struggling.

            You don’t think she should feel bad for them, do you?

          • Katy David

            You are distorting my argument. I think that her sympathy is misplaced if she thinks the babies should have been aborted instead.

          • Jennifer Starr

            She never said any such thing about any of those babies, and you know it.

          • Katy David

            She implies it. Clearly the article overall is saying that pregnancy and motherhood and their attendant complications are justification for abortion access. My comments were about the article as a whole, not snippets of it.

          • fiona64

            No, she’s quite clearly saying that pregnancy and motherhood are not a fucking walk in the park, and that forcing it on someone is inhumane.

          • Valde

            She didn’t say that, here is what she said:

            the author wrote: “None of the babies in the NICU has done anything to anyone in their short lives that could justify what they go through
            being there every day. Every NICU nurse we’ve met is kind, gentle, and
            even loving to their tiny patients. But they still have to put them
            through painful medical procedures, and they can’t make up for a baby’s
            need to be held and to bond with the people who’ll take care of them as
            they grow up.”

            TELL ME WHERE SHE IS ADVOCATING ABORTION AND INFANTICIDE HERE

          • Katy David

            If you take those words of context, of course it doesn’t. But clearly the article overall is saying that pregnancy and motherhood and their attendant complications are justification for abortion access. My comments were about the article as a whole, not snippets of it.

          • Jennifer Starr

            Oooh out of context. You mean like someone who entitles their article “We Need Abortion Because Pregnancy Makes You Fat”? Because that’s about as out of context as it gets.

          • Valde

            You stated that she said that she wanted those babies aborted instead.

            LIAR

          • Katy David

            Valde, there’s no need for personally attacking me, implying I don’t care about preemies, and calling me a liar. I am trying to respectfully disagree with the premise of her article and call attention to the fact that women need support, health care, mat leaves etc, NOT abortion access. Abortion is not a good fix for these social issues.

          • Jennifer Starr

            She does actually mention those kind of things in her article, support–maternity leaves, health insurance, etc–particularly how lucky she and her husband were lucky to have those things and that it is important for fathers to have those things as well if they need to support their wife and help care for a sick child.

          • Katy David

            Yes, but she implies that because other families are not as fortunate as she and her husband, they should have access to abortion instead. Does this not seem really unjust to you?

          • Valde

            Only if you think suffering is a noble thing, and I guess you do!

          • Katy David

            I don’t think it’s noble. I don’t think anyone should suffer. I just think women deserve better than a short-term expedient ‘solution’ Instead of calling for abortion access, we should be calling for support for moms and families. Real support.

          • Valde

            Do you think that rape victims should be grateful for the gift of a pregnancy that could kill and maim them?

            And free healthcare can’t prevent or even assuage certain pregnancy complications.

          • Katy David

            Actually I think there are times when it is medically necessary. My real beef is with the justification for socioeconomic reasons or personal preference.

          • Valde

            Do you think that rape victims should be grateful every time they are impregnated by a rapist?

            Yes Or No

            Is a rape victim selfish if she refuses to go through with the pregnancy, and all the attendant complications.

            Yes or No

          • Katy David

            No and no. You are attempting to portray me as a troll, Valde. I am a real person you know. Just on the other side of the issue.

          • Valde

            Well, so far you have stated that children are a gift, and women are whiney and stupid if they don’t want to remain pregnant.

            So surely, rape victims are just as whiney and stupid for not loving the ‘gift’ of an unwanted pregnancy, are they not?

          • Katy David

            You are putting words in my mouth that aren’t there, Valde. I am not going to respond to you anymore as you are failing to debate this in an above-the-board way.

          • Valde

            You don’t want to debate it further because I have taken your words to their logical extreme.

            Everything you have said also applies to rape and incest victims.

            You can’t NOT discuss them.

            You are refusing to discuss it because your entire argument falls apart if you do.