The Normalization of Abortion

This much seems apparent, that if something is normal it needs no justification. As far as I am aware, there are few parades in support of sleeping, falling in love or eating bread, and fewer websites in flagrant support of wearing clothes. Normal things are either self-evidently normal, or they ain’t normal.

Thus making an effort to change public attitude towards abortion, as the new campaign My Abortion My Life is doing, fails from the very outset. If abortion were ”a normal and necessary part of women’s reproductive lives and health”– i.e. if the creators of the website were telling the truth — there would be no need for their website.

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  • http://sociallysacred.blogspot.com David

    Classic case of the bandwagon fallacy. After taking a few lessons on public debate, I can’t listen to the arguments that the pro-”choice” crowds are putting out because they are often full of these sort of fallacies. Granted, sometimes the pro-life crowd has these fallacies too, but we have science on our side so I am willing to forgive the occasional slip up.

    • http://www.facebook.com/ray.dubuque Ray Dubuque

      David, you’re living proof that it takes more than “a few classes in public debate” to make you an authority on the difference between truth and falsehood. You say,” Granted, sometimes the pro-life crowd has these fallacies too, but we have science on our side so I am willing to forgive the occasional slip up.” Funny, but how can that be true when most people with a scientific background are pro-choice and it’s “people of faith” who are most certain that human beings are created the moment a sperm meets an egg?
      And while you’re in a forgiving mood, do you consider it a forgivable “slipup” when your pro-life partners in Maine try to pass off a picture of a massive Obama rally as a picture of one of their pro-life rallies? (They took it down after Rachel Maddow exposed ths deceit of theirs, but you may still be able to find it in her show’s archives.)
      As a former professor of logic, I ask you why pro-lifers “who have science on our side” feel a need to resort to deceit to argue for their “truth”.
      As a former R.C. priest, I think I can asnwer that. Roman Catholics think that because “God is with us” (the motto on the belt buckles of the soldiers of the Third Reich, by the way), you don’t have to abide by the rules of logic or morality.

      • http://sociallysacred.blogspot.com David

        Ray, the “slip ups” I was referring to are in terms of logical fallacies, not outright lies such as the example that you provided. I agree with you that using a picture of an Obama rally and claiming it is a pro-life rally is not right. The ends do not justify the means in any situation, and this is no exception. It is unfortunate that the majority of the pro-life groups who recieve media attention do not understand that concept. Morals cannot be thrown to the side in order to achieve a political victory, no matter how many lives are saved in that victory.

        I think I’ve shown quite clearly that I disagree with the answer you provided to your own question, and that I am not one to jump on the bandwagon with the pro-life movement either. I test everything and make sure it is worthy of my trust; it is, after all, in my nature as a physics student to do so.

        • http://www.facebook.com/ray.dubuque Ray Dubuque

          I can’t spead for ALL “pro-choice” advocates, but I challenge you to study my http://LiberalsLikeJesus.Org/ChristianChoice and to find any “logical fallacies” in my arguments.

          • Anonymous

            Heinlein’s Razor requires that I ask: are you deliberately disingenuous, or just risibly historically illiterate?

            Because “Gott mit uns” was the motto on the belt buckles of all German soldiers for 200 years at least. It goes back to Frederick the Great’s army, if not further.

            But way to invoke the Hitler Ate Sugar fallacy, and therefore also Godwin’s Law.

            If we’re going to talk about things the Nazis did, though, how about those German churches that prostituted the Gospel to the political aims of the regime?

            Tell me, please, how that’s any different from you, prostituting Christ to the agenda of—by your own admission—Left-Liberalism?

  • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

    “This much seems apparent, that if something is normal it needs no justification. As far as I am aware, there are few parades in support of sleeping, falling in love or eating bread, and fewer websites in flagrant support of wearing clothes. Normal things are either self-evidently normal, or they ain’t normal.”

    This is an interesting statement, since it suggests very strongly that you think mixed-sex marriage is “not normal”, as you have spent so much time trying to justify it. The Catholic Church spends an awful lot of time justifying their political support of banning same-sex marriage in order to “defend” or “promote” mixed-sex marriage – plainly, from this point of view, mixed-sex marriage “ain’t normal”, as if you believed it was normal…. you see my point?

    More rationally – I know you find this difficult – where a normal human behaviour has been made culturally to appear abnormal, it becomes necessary to make sure people are not harmed by pointing out that their behaviour is normal: is the right, ordinary thing to do.

    It is normal for two people who fall in love to want to commit their lives together – whether they are a mixed-sex or a same-sex couple. The Catholic Church foolishly and self-defeatingly tries to pretend otherwise, but eventually this will become as detached from reality as their committment to claim masturbation is a mortal sin.

    It is normal for both women and men to have sexual desires, and to fulfil those desires with consenting partners. Despite the Church’s crusade to make marriage appear abnormal and to try to kid people on that consensual and mutually pleasurable sex outside marriage is something horribly wrong, everyone knows they’re bonkers; it’s normal.

    It is normal for a woman who gets pregnant and does not wish to have the baby to decide to have an abortion. It is abnormal and horrifying that the Catholic Church takes the position she should be forced against her will, and regardless of the damage this does to her health or even to the death, to have her body used to grow the fetus and give birth.

    • Marc Barnes

      Make sure you read the whole post:

      “normalcy is no indicator of goodness or evil. Democracy is abnormal. A lasting family is increasingly abnormal. A child who hasn’t seen hardcore pornography by the time he is 16 is abnormal. What needs be discussed is not whether these things are normal, but whether they are good.”

      Cheers

      • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

        “What needs be discussed is not whether these things are normal, but whether they are good.””

        I read your whole post here, Marc: you don’t want to discuss it?

        How about discussing whether it’s good to advocate for legal discrimination against a minority?

        • Anonymous

          Because it’s not like he spends the whole rest of his blog arguing this stuff or anything…

          • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

            I’ve paged back to November so far: I’ve seen no posts in which Marc argues that it’s good to treat everyone fairly and equally, and several where he vehemently argues for legal, systematic discrimination against a minority.

          • Anonymous

            It is just to discriminate, when membership of an office is discussed, against those incapable of performing the office.

            Marriage is about sex. Masturbation into one or the other end of the digestive tract, is not sex. “Homosexual sex” is a legal fiction invented by straights so they could charge men with rape for nonconsensual sodomy.

    • Anonymous

      In addition to Marc’s comment, I would only add that we were not the ones that started that argument, and that we only feel the need to justify our notions because they are trying awfully hard to justify theirs.

      • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

        “we were not the ones that started that argument, ”

        Who else do you blame for starting the argument against same-sex marriage? I concede there are other right-wing religious groups that are also arguing for systematic discrimination against lesbian and gay people: but “They started it, we just joined in!” isn’t much of a defense.

        “we only feel the need to justify our notions because they are trying awfully hard to justify theirs. ”

        Equality and fairness justify themselves.

        The notion that Marc thinks mixed-sex marriage is normal is completely blown away by his belief that he has to “justify”, “defend”, “advertise” it. I appreciate this insight – it applies to everyone who tried to attack lifting the ban on same-sex marriage by claiming it’s necessary to legally discriminate against same-sex couples – and their children – in order to “defend” mixed-sex marriage.

        • Mahondennisj

          Equality and fairness justify themselves.

          No, they don’t; equality often impinges heavily on liberty, and fairness and justice are not one in the same.

          • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

            “equality often impinges heavily on liberty”

            No, not really. Equality ensures everyone has the same liberty. Marc ought to have the right to rant as much as he likes about how lesbians and gays need to be banned from marriage, or women ought not to be allowed to choose for themselves, or whatever his thing-of-the-week is. But he ought not to have the right to interfere with a couple who want to get married, or the right to stop a woman from getting access to contraception or choosing abortion. From Marc’s perspective, the equality of his inferiors impinges heavily on his liberty to do as he likes with them: but from their perspective, their equality preserves their liberty.

            “and fairness and justice are not one in the same. ”

            They’re not identical, but they are overlapping concepts.

  • Babs

    This just gets me juiced up. Oh yeah, let’s all ignore the massive impact this choice has on a person and possibly her partner. Look, I have people in my life who have had abortions, support legal abortions, and still have needed some help to get through their emotional turmoil. The one thing we all agree on is that this is a HUGE moment in a persons life, and there can be unexpected fallout from that.

    If we are hellbent on treating fetuses as expendable, can both sides at least agree on treating the woman like a complete human being who may have mixed feelings about her abortion? Can we at least help her?

    • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

      “If we are hellbent on treating fetuses as expendable, can both sides at least agree on treating the woman like a complete human being who may have mixed feelings about her abortion? Can we at least help her? ”

      I doubt it. Not unless you’re totally behind supporting a woman’s right to choose.

      Telling a woman who made the decision to have an abortion – maybe she has a job at a Catholic school and knows they’ll fire her once she starts to show and she can’t afford to lose that job: maybe her boyfriend just dumped her : maybe the condom broke and the prolife pharmacist wouldn’t let her have Plan B – anyway, she’s got mixed feelings about her decision but she knows that the decision to have an abortion was the right thing to do. How can a prolifer support a woman when the prolifer believes that she ought not to have the right to make that decision?

      Especially if you’re taking the attitude that a woman who’s decided to have an abortion is therefore “hellbent on treating fetuses as expendable”. That’s not exactly an empathic or compassionate frame of mind.

      Prolifers can’t be stopped from picketing clinics and screaming threats and abuse at the women going in. But that’s as near to a woman trying to make a complex but necessary decision as any prolifer should be allowed to get. Whether she decides to have the baby or terminate the pregnancy, it’s her decision, and she deserves to be helped and supported in either case, not abused and vilified.

      • Anonymous

        I resent that. I’ve been at those vigils and far from “screaming threats and abuse,” everyone there was calm and friendly and we were the ones who actually helped the young girls who were unceremoniously dumped at the corner by the “security escort”; we were the ones who offered them a chair to sit in, water, some of the ladies had even given them rides home. One woman said she’s seen girls pass out on the sidewalk with no one by them. You’d think the people in the clinic would want to look compassionate or at least like they give a crap. We were the ones who gave them the free ultrasound and the clothes and shoes and hats and gloves and diapers and baby blankets and carseats, etc. etc. You would think, you would just think, that maybe that might factor into their complex decisions and have the potential to make them less complex, but noooo, we can’t have that.

        On the other hand, I was cussed at and called a “retard.” We got the one-fingered salute more times in a week than I had probably witnessed in three years of driving in New England. The vigil veterans there had been spat upon. In other locations our own have been attacked with keys to the scalp, drawing blood, or even deliberately hit by a driver (who reportedly laughed).

        I can only speak from my own experience and what I have heard, but your comments are severely lacking in balance.

        • Katie

          Reality doesn’t figure into the pro-abortion narrative, enness. It’s completely irrelevant to them what actually happens at anti-abortion vigils.

          • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

            It sounds like Enness is a thoroughgoing fantasist, actually.

        • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

          “I’ve been at those vigils and far from “screaming threats and abuse”

          I imagine your screaming looked kind of different to the women whom you were abusing as they went in.

          “and we were the ones who actually helped the young girls who were unceremoniously dumped at the corner by the “security escort”; ”

          Oh, I get it: you’re a prolife fantasist.

      • Anonymous

        I guess I fit what you call a “prolifer”, but I have never met one who would be ugly to a woman who has had an abortion. In reality my friends who have told me of a past abortion have also found that when they needed support the people who supported her choice were resistant to the idea that she may struggle with it after it was done.

        On a personal level, I have always and will always respond to women with love. I have not once brought up that a baby died, unless she specifically wanted to talk about that. As far as I am concerned, God loves all of us so completely and He doesn’t want us to spend our lives feeling unworthy to the point of distancing ourselves from that love. And truly, most of the people I know who are prolife are of the same opinion.

        • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

          “I guess I fit what you call a “prolifer”, but I have never met one who would be ugly to a woman who has had an abortion.”

          Well, good. I’m glad you don’t know any of the kind of prolifers who hang around outside clinics being ugly to the women going in.

          • Anonymous

            My mother “hung around outside clinics” for a good 15 years, and if anyone doing it with her had been “ugly to the women going in”, she, and her compatriots, would chase them off.

            But we both know you have neither direct experience nor actual study of the pro-life movement; you spout rhetoric and myth, what you feel “must” be true. And you call others thoroughgoing fantasists?

            I know you’re all rabidly anti-Semitic in the UK but there’s a Yiddish word you oughtta look up, “chutzpah”.

          • http://twitter.com/yonmei Yonmei

            “My mother “hung around outside clinics” for a good 15 years, and if anyone doing it with her had been “ugly to the women going in”, she, and her compatriots, would chase them off.”

            Your mother was a clinic escort who fought against pro-life picketers? Cool!

        • http://www.facebook.com/ray.dubuque Ray Dubuque

          Babs5,
          Since you are such a model of Christian charity, maybe you can explain to us why it’s so hard to find a “pro-lifer” who wants “pro-life” legislation which would punish women who commit premediated infanticide of their own flesh and blood.
          Why do they ONLY want to target the service-providers, when the only reason that such service-providers exist is the tremendous demand for such services?
          Targeting the service-providers, without going after the women going to them for their services, makes as much sense as targetting prostitutes while ignoring the Johns who demand their sexual favors and pay handsomely for them.
          What this phenomenon tells ME is that not even the “pro-lifers” who decry abortion as murder or “infanticide” BELIEVE THEIR OWN RHETORIC !
          See my http://LiberalslikeChrist.Org/ChristianChoice/

      • Daniel Sheehan

        “Whether she decides to have the baby or terminate the pregnancy, it’s her decision…”

        I see. It’s only a baby if she decides to have it. Otherwise it is merely a “pregnancy” that can be “terminated.”

        I know it sends feminists into fits of foot-stamping petulance, but it is always worth mentioning that pregnancy involves three people, mother, father and child. I’m sorry, EdinburghEye, that nature has perpetrated a cruel trick on women by making them the physical carriers of the children, but this position does not exclude the rights of the other parties in the matter, particularly the child whose very life is at stake.

        The name of this campaign sums it up. My Abortion, My Life — My my my my my.

        • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

          “I see. It’s only a baby if she decides to have it. Otherwise it is merely a “pregnancy” that can be “terminated.” ”

          Fertilised egg develops into conceptus which develops into fetus / placenta : fetus develops into baby. In common terminology, a woman may decide to refer to her fetus as a baby at any point in pregnancy, and that’s her choice: biologically, a fertilised egg is not a fetus, a fetus is not a baby.

          A pregnancy is always terminated, in one (or more) of four ways: by abortion, by miscarriage, by the woman’s death, or by childbirth.

          “it is always worth mentioning that pregnancy involves three people, mother, father and child.”

          It’s always worth pointing out what utter nonsense that is. Except in extremely specialised circumstances, men don’t get pregnant.

          • Daniel Sheehan

            Don’t be cute about what you meant by termination. You were talking about abortion and only abortion, not about other ways pregnancy ends. (Childbirth, incidentally, is not the “termination” of pregnancy but the blessed fulfillment of one.)

            I am puzzled by this: “Except in extremely specialized circumstances, men don’t get pregnant.”

            Are you referring to the woman who got pregnant and took enough testosterone to grow a mustache and billed herself as the pregnant man? Because something is stated as fact in People magazine doesn’t make it so.

            It is hardly nonsense to suggest that fathers and children have rights.

          • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

            I was referring to the trans man who decided to have a baby, yes.

            Thomas Beatie decided that he would have a baby because his wife Nancy couldn’t. So from now on we have to say that mostly men don’t get pregnant.

            http://www.thomasbeatie.com

          • Daniel Sheehan

            On this I stand by my previous statement.

          • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

            Well, that shows your ignorance or your transphobic prejudice. I’m willing to assume the former, if you’d like to be less ignorant, I have some useful links for you: you could even start here.

          • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

            “It is hardly nonsense to suggest that fathers and children have rights. ”

            It is nonsense to say that the man is pregnant just as much as the woman, Daniel. Men don’t usually have uteruses.

            It is obscene to declare that a man has the right to control and use a sexual partner’s body against her will. Yet prolifers claim that he should be allowed to, using the cutesy circumlocation of “fathers have rights”.

          • Daniel Sheehan

            Fathers indeed have rights. To state the obvious, babies don’t come into existence without them. And fathers (apart from anonymous sperm donors, of course) are expected to aid in their rearing, or at least to provide for their material support if they are not going to be there as parents. So this idea of paternal rights is not so easily dismissed as you’d like it to be.
            In any case, “Fathers have rights” is certainly not a “cutesy circumlocution.” (If you are looking for an example of circumlocution, I would nominate “disarticulating a fetus” to describe the process of dismembering a child in utero. The choice crowd is simply masterful at euphemism).
            I didn’t say men are “as pregnant” as women. The physical burden is borne by the woman. But the child is part of the father as well. In your view, my daughters were exclusively my wife’s concern until she delivered them. Obviously I don’t think this is so. More to the point, my wife doesn’t think so either. But she recognizes there are other people in the picture.

          • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

            “To state the obvious, babies don’t come into existence without them. ”

            To state the obvious, a man usually contributes sperm, one of which might make half of a fertilised egg: an action which carries zero risk, takes very little time, and is not generally regarded by anyone as a difficult or laborious job.

            A fertilised egg does not grow into a baby unless a woman (or a man with a uterus) labours for intensive and dangerous months and months, risking her life and her health, using her blood and her bones and every organ in her body.

            And mothers (apart from anonymous egg donors, of course) are expected to do the main part of the child’s rearing, and provide for their material support.

            “In any case, “Fathers have rights” is certainly not a “cutesy circumlocution.” ”

            It is when you’re using it to claim that a man who’s had sex with a woman therefore has a right to own, use, and control her body – ie, to make the decision about whether or not she has an abortion.

            “In your view, my daughters were exclusively my wife’s concern until she delivered them. ”

            Nope. In my view, your wife’s daughters were always your concern – but when she was pregnant, the decision about how much to involve you in her thinking about whether to terminate or keep the fetus was always and only hers. (Certainly, given your ravings, I’d expect that if your wife has ever had an abortion, she would never tell you.)

          • Daniel Sheehan

            I know we disagree, Edinburgh, but I don’t think I’ve been guilty of raving. I simply disagree with this notion that men can’t have any say in the lives of their children until the very moment they exit the womb.

            I also disagree that people who oppose abortion regard women as “sub-human,” as you state below. My point is that we regard unborn children as fully human, too.

            Anyway, this debate always gets ugly fast. And I have too high a regard for Scotland to upset one of its daughters, so I’m out.

          • Anonymous

            Sigh. You’d think I’d have grown used to hearing the pro-choice splitting-hairs rhetoric of saying “it’s not a baby, it’s a fetus” as if somehow using medical jargon changes the essence of the human being to which the reference points. Taken from Merriam Webster Dictionary, the word fetus means “an unborn or unhatched vertebrate especially after attaining the basic structural plan of its kind; specifically : a developing human from usually two months after CONCEPTION to birth.” A developing HUMAN. Origins of the word fetus: “Middle English, from Latin, act of bearing young, offspring; akin to Latin fetus newly delivered, fruitful.” Okay, I just wanted to get that out of the way first to clarify that no matter what terminology is used when referring to the unborn, be it “baby” or “fetus,” we are talking about a human being. Not a lump of cells, not an arbitrary entity with an indiscernible or mysterious genotype; we are talking about a human being. (If two human beings have sex and the act results in procreation, the offspring created is also human. Simple biology). So now, without taking into account all the circumstances and situations that surround any particular pregnancy, what emotional or financial state a woman might be in when she learns that she is pregnant, let’s take an objective look at pregnancy. Any embryology textbook can tell you that at the moment of conception (or fertilization, or sperm meets egg) an entire human being is formed. 23 pairs of chromosomes. A complete human being, with completely unique DNA from either of its parents. What happens from this point forward? The human being grows, develops, and takes in nutrients; it can then be stated, then, that the human being is alive, for if it were not, it would not be capable of performing those functions. So now we have established that when an act of sex results in the production of offspring, that the offspring created is both human and alive. At this point we have to make a determination: do human beings have a right to life? Do human lives have value? If the answer is yes, then abortion becomes unthinkable, because human lives do not derive value from the circumstances in which they are created. If the answer is no, then truly there is no reason to prevent any human being from taking the life of another human being, if lives are insignificant. Six inches. SIX. That is roughly the length of the birth canal, and the width of the arbitrary line some elect to draw in the life of a human being and determine that those six inches separate human lives from having value and from being wholly dispensable. To me that seems imprudent. Does it truly make more sense to draw an obscure line in the life of a human being and say “at point A you have value, and at point B you have none?” or perhaps does it make most sense to say that the moment a human being comes into existence, value and the right to life ascribed to all of us exist inseparably at that moment as well? Look at what has happened in the past when one or more groups have decided which attributes allow a right to life and which attributes do not. African Americans were at one point deemed to be sub-person because of skin color, and their lives were considered valueless by many. The Holocaust resulted in the slaughter of millions because those victims were deemed sub-person by the group in power. It is tragic to form an obscure line in the lives of human beings by determining which attributes or qualifications must be met in order for their lives to have value, and the result of drawing that line is the same: one or more groups of humans fall short of making the cut and it becomes acceptable to treat their lives without the regard or respect that all human beings deserve.

          • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

            Anon, my position on pro-choice is not based on “Is a fetus human” but “Is a woman human?”

            Sixty thousand women die each year because prolifers do not wish women to have access to safe, legal abortion.

            Only someone who regarded women as sub-persons, their lives valueless, would think that denying women free access to safe legal abortion could be a good thing.

          • guest

            “Sixty thousand women die each year…” Would you mind citing your source for this statistic?

          • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

            The World Health Organisation. Their exact figure is 66500 deaths due to illegal abortion worldwide for 2003: they note that this is a conservative estimate and the actual figures are likely to be higher.

          • Daniel Sheehan

            Only someone who regarded unborn children as sub-persons, their lives valueless, would think that abortion could be a good thing.

          • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

            So you don’t regard saving women’s lives as a good thing at all? Do your wife and daughters know you think it’s not worth saving their lives?

          • Anonymous

            I certainly do not rejoice in the loss of any human lives. I’m confused at your question regarding whether a woman is human; of course she is, as are the unborn, and both women and the unborn alike have a right to life. I assume your statistic of 60,000 women who die each year refers to “unsafe” abortion? Firstly, abortion is never safe for the unborn: worldwide, approximately 42 million abortions take place each year. But aside from that, I am not attempting to say that the unborn are more human and therefore have more of a right to life than women, nor that women are more human and therefore have more of a right to life that the unborn, but that all human beings, equally, have value and a right to life. I don’t want any human lives lost, be they of the unborn or of the mother, from abortion. One is one too many. But how to fix that? You may remember the Susan Smith incident from years ago, in which she killed her two children by drowning them inside her car, which she guided into a lake. What if that wasn’t an isolated incident? What if more and more women began drowning their children, by driving their cars into lakes? What if those women were unable to escape their cars in the act of drowning their children, and they ended up dying as well? What message would a society deliver that began offering classes and courses on how women can escape their cars safely in the act of drowning their children? What if that society even legalized the drowning of children, because women needed safe ways to kill their kids, and because they were going to “do it anyway?” Driving one’s children into a lake for the intention of their death may seem a long way off from abortion, but ultimately, is the end result different? Abortion is the act of one human being ending the life of another, just as in the act of the intentional drowning of one’s child. Obviously, no one (or I would hope, at least) would advocate for the right of women to drown their children; why is abortion different? Please note, I do not think of women who have had abortions as hateful or as murderers; I believe for the most part they have sadly fallen victim to a popular lie, being that their unborn child (or baby, or fetus) is not in fact a child (or a baby, or a fetus) and therefore an abortion is a termination of a “pregnancy” and not the termination of a life. It’s so sad to see that truth constantly ignored instead of accepted; the unborn are human, too, just as their mothers are. Especially in situations of crisis, like perhaps what those 60,000 women experience each year, I’d say that women need love and support and to know that the choice to abort is not a solution, but a tragedy, because it ends a human life. There are humane solutions and options available for crisis or unintended pregnancy; abortion is not it. Women and the unborn deserve better. The goal should not be to incriminate women, nor women who have had abortions, but to incriminate abortion itself.

          • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

            “I’m confused at your question regarding whether a woman is human; of course she is”

            Then it’s impossible to justify enslaving her, using her, abusing her, forcing her to risk her life against her will: in short, it’s impossible to justify anything short of safe legal abortion freely available to all women.

            “I don’t want any human lives lost, be they of the unborn or of the mother, from abortion. ”

            Well, you can – if you’re minded – set out to campaign to greatly diminish the number of abortions by ensuring that everyone everywhere learns that consensual sex is an intrinsically normal part of human life but that when two interfertile people are having heterosexual intercourse, both partners should be using contraception.

            Most prolifers do not appear interested in preventing abortion so much as denouncing women who have abortions.

      • MikeM

        EdinburghEye, I decided to delete what I wrote the first time on the whole “if you don’t have anything nice to say…” premise. I hope this time I can write something a little more constructive. My experiences have been much like enness’s.

        For two years I went to abortion vigils almost every week. Most of us silently prayed while others quietly and respectfully offered literature about social services for pregnant women so that those who felt like they had no other options would see what else is available. We also had Rachel’s Vineyard literature for those who talked to us. Quite a number of women who went through with their abortions later called people from our group back to ask for help when they were feeling suicidal due to post-abortion trauma. No one yelled, screamed or intimidated anyone… not only was it not what we were about, but it would have been counterproductive as we could only be effective if we were approachable. Of course, the abortion clinics constantly tried to have us arrested (only to be repeatedly told that, no, standing on the public sidewalk politely telling people about women’s shelters, providers of free pre-natal care, etc., was not illegal). Several of the clinics we went to shut down due to the reduced business when word got out among the poor women in their neighborhoods that there were people willing to help them get out of bad home environments, find new jobs, buy formula and diapers and all that… no wonder they wanted to have us removed.

        I also volunteered for awhile with another pro-life group that offered poor mothers free diapers and baby formula, helped them find housing, etc. They would make agreements with pregnant women, promising to provide a certain amount of some childcare necessities so that they could plan what they would need to do financially if they went forward with their pregnancy. The organization had a very clear policy against bringing up anything abortion related with the women since we didn’t want women to feel intimidated walking in if they were still considering an abortion (which many were). Time magazine smeared that group, claiming that the place was filled with graphic images of abortions and that they sought to bully women into keeping their child. There were no abortion photos at all, and I never once heard abortion mentioned at all to the women who came in.

        Disagreeing with someone’s decisions is not the same as lacking respect for the person. In fact, it’s because I respect most of these women that I find their decision so abhorrent. And the fact that I disagree with their choices does not make it impossible for me to work with them in other areas. It’s the supposedly pro-choice organizations that continue to try to shut down anyone who offers women other choices, treating pregnant women as nothing more than an opportunity for profit.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1434900034 Marty Sullivan

      I don’t agree that it’s a HUGE part of a person’s life. It might be, and it might not be. Different women react to abortion in different ways.

  • Mary Jo

    Hey Marc the My Abortion My Life site seems to be pretty excited about their bus ads. :) Shouldn’t we have Silent no More bus ads? Particularly in Cleveland, since that’s where My Abortion My Life is getting “anti abortion complaints.”

    I wish I was a millionaire… I would totally make some bus ads.

  • Anonymous

    “fewer websites in flagrant support of wearing clothes”

    Well actually, since you mention it, there *is* an Ann Taylor ad appearing to the right of my screen…point taken, though. :)

  • http://twitter.com/yonmei Yonmei

    Abortion is normal and natural: “1) Abortion. This one is a no-brainer. Anti-choicers claim abortion is unnatural, but as PZ’s writing explains, it’s actually perfectly natural. Women’s bodies go through a lot of unconscious processes to determine if now is a good time to have a baby. Biologically speaking, the idealized reproductive strategy for a woman is to have babies when she’s in the best possible state to raise them. The unconscious body does some of this work, but what makes human beings awesome is that we have these large brains that can supplement our natural processes and make them more efficient. “I’m not ready to have a baby” is an equally valid message coming from the brain as from inside the uterus. Unless, of course, you believe that women are inherently inferior creatures who should be constrained from self-care and family care in order to satisfy the desires of mostly strangers who have psychological issues around sex. To which I say, you have an entirely different argument to prove then. ”

    Attempts to force women to have babies against their will may also be natural, but hey, I’m humanly judgemental about people who justify slavery and abuse with “it’s natural”….

    More importantly, supporting a woman’s legal right to access abortion on demand is just the right thing to do.


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