She Left the ‘Pro-Life Movement’ and Now She Explains Why

Libby Anne has an amazing post about how she went from being a part of the pro-life movement to someone who passionately opposes it, and she explains how she made that transition in a powerful way that may appeal to a lot of people who are currently on the fence about the abortion issue:

I grew up believing that abortion was murder, and when I stopped identifying as pro-life I still believed that. Why, then, did I stop identifying as pro-life? Quite simply, I learned that increasing contraceptive use, not banning abortion, was the key to decreasing the number of abortions.

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

Read it and pass it along to someone.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • https://twitter.com/OffensivAtheist Bismarket

    Perfect. I wish i had more of an opinion on this (i’m rarely without) but this lady seems to have said it all. Luckily i look upon the state of Sex-ed in the US from the UK where, (to be honest) there just doesn’t seem to be the same hyperbole surrounding Abortion.

  • http://www.laughinginpurgatory.com/ Andrew Hall

    I have respect for people who are Pro-Life and choose to adopt. They may be wrong, but at least they are putting their money where their mouth is.

    • Patterrssonn

      I have no respect for anyone espousing the views of the pro forced pregnancy movement. Read Libby’s post, all that comes of their movement is death and misery.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke, Blonde

      zactly.

      how many babies have you adopted, “pro” lifers? how many babies who have HIV, or are developmentally disabled and who require 24/7 care? how many runaway teens have you taken into your homes, who are pregnant as a result of the incest they suffered and had to escape? how many ADHD kids have you provided health care and medication to, because their moms can’t afford it? 

      i’m waiting…

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QPVVPRJ7QKLPU6TF5B4IZTENTI No

        Which is the massive flaw in the anti-choice “there’s options!” argument. Adoption? OK, fine, we’ll just stock each state’s CPS facilities with unwanted babies. I assume these conservatives (and that is who comprises the majority of the anti-choice crowd) want to then make sure their tax money goes to keeping these kids properly fed, clothed, housed, cared for medically, etc. Oh wait, they don’t? You mean they’d rather keep the money for CPS down to skin-of-the-teeth levels because the voters all want cheap property taxes?

        One really does wonder if any of those people ever seen what an orphanage or children left in the care of the state are like. A good deal of those children have mental problems from being left in there and not taken. Many of them end up on the street well before and after the age of 18 if they aren’t taken in by a loving family at a very early age. The older ones (ages 3-teen) have already developed mental and social problems (never mind the education gap) that VERY FEW new parents want to even think about dealing with. Thus there is a bias and a waiting list to get the youngest child possible, leaving the rest to twist in the breeze or be moved in and out of homes on a regular basis because the adoptive parents find out quickly that they can’t handle their newly adopted 6 year old masturbating in public or reacting violently when they don’t get what they want.

        The anti-choice position is patently immoral because it necessarily reduces womens’ rights to a tertiary consideration, and makes them hostages of their vaginas even if they aren’t pregnant. It tells women that their worth is only so high that children need be born, and that if you’re pregnant, they are merely a vessel to carry the unborn, without rights or say, because the unborn’s rights trump theirs at any second, for any reason. And I’m not going to give quarter to the “we don’t all believe in doing away with contraception or forced pregnancies from rape/incest”; if that slightly more reasonable voice were the norm, why are we seeing numerous anti-choicers at the federal level openly expressing atrocious, immoral views on this topic?

        • Mynameis

          Thank you! Don’t tell us you’re not like that, pro lifer (sic). Tell your base. Tell the ones who tell others what being pro life means, not those who respond.

          It’s been said before, but adoption is the alternative to parenting, not pregnancy. Ergo, adoption is not a solution to abortion.

    • C Peterson

      There’s no way that people who are anti-abortion can be considered wrong. It’s as valid a philosophical position as any other. It is only if they are also anti-choice that a robust argument can be made that they are both wrong and unethical in their views.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/A37GL7VKR3W6ACSIZPH7EID3LI rlrose63

        I’d guess that all people are anti-abortion.  No one wants to round up pregnant women and give them abortions.  No one is in favor of abortion.  It is the choice that matters.  I know we say anti-choice but when they say pro-abortion, it really gets under my skin.

        • C Peterson

          True enough. The ambiguities of English might lead someone to believe that the opposite of “anti-abortion” is “pro-abortion”, but that obviously isn’t the case. The question is whether one is anti-abortion on ethical grounds (these are usually religious folks) or on more pragmatic grounds (abortion is invasive, carries risks, is usually avoidable in principle, is expensive…)

          For me, abortion is ethically equivalent to an appendectomy. I completely support access to appendectomies. I’m certainly not “pro-appendectomy”!

          • IHaveAName

            Abortion in the first trimester is not invasive, especially when a medical abortion is possible over a surgical procedure. The problem there is states like Ohio that restrict the safer off label dosage for inducing a miscarriage. So the woman takes more pills over a longer period of time than what’s recognized as effective. The physical risks of a safe abortion are many times less than pregnancy and what originally prompted repeals of late 19th century bans. ‘Avoidable in principle’ sounds absurd considering the span of abortion in human history. Abortion is around $200 in the first trimester. Frivolous laws decreeing mandatory waiting periods, counseling, extra ultrasounds, etc. those add on transportation/living costs while delaying abortions.

            But yeah… I just don’t want to concede to prolifers that zero abortions are desirable AND possible. She talked about that too. Abortion bans kill more people.

            • C Peterson

              Any surgical procedure is invasive, including a first trimester abortion. The term is usually not used for medical procedures, but even a medical abortion carries more risk than contraception. And $200 is expensive.

              “Avoidable in principle” is just that. Not an argument to limit abortion, just a recognition that the number of abortions is reducible given good medical practice and good social standards (neither of which have been common or even existent during much of history), and any sensible person ought to prefer the least expensive, least invasive, safest, and simplest approach to avoiding the birth of unwanted and unplanned children.

        • Ibis3

          No. I think abortions are great. I think we should encourage abortion as a moral choice for anyone who has an unwanted pregnancy–provide funding and access, so that procuring an abortion has the same level of availability as having a broken arm set, a level of social approbation similar to, say, getting a mammogram, and the full funding enjoyed by flu vaccination programs. I think that makes me pro-abortion.

          I’m also pro-choice, so no, I’m not in favour of rounding up pregnant women to force them to have abortions, any more than I’m in favour of rounding up pregnant women and forcing them to give birth.

          • lefty

            thank you so much for saying this, we need more people being straightforward. many pro-choice people pussyfoot around the issue so much, squirming and saying “well i’d PREFER if there were NO abortions.” whatever, dude, i’d prefer if i didn’t have to get my wisdom teeth out but it was a medically sound decision and it had to be done. i hope my sisters have the same option. 

          • C Peterson

            I still think you are anti-abortion in the sense that you would prefer if one can be avoided in the first place. Certainly, effective contraception is much safer and much more pleasant for a woman than an invasive surgical procedure or forced miscarriage through a medical procedure.

            We’re all for heart bypass surgery, right? But we also think that taking care of your health so you never need one is a much better solution.

            There are all manner of medical procedures that sensible people would like to see used less… not because of any ethical issues, but simply because we’d like to see medicine advanced to the point where they are not necessary.

            • Ibis3

               But I’m not anti-abortion. I’m pro-abortion. I’m also pro-contraception and pro-choice and pro-sex-education and pro-public-health-care. I’d never say I’m anti-heart-surgery or anti-insulin or anti-eye-glasses or anti-knee-replacement or anti-x-ray or anti-chemo-therapy, or anti-vaccination. Why would I say that I’m anti-abortion? If people need medical procedures, I’m all for them.  Why treat abortion as some especially horrid thing to be avoided at all costs? I don’t want young women and girls pressured by society into thinking that abortion is an evil, something they ought to feel guilty about, something they ought to be ashamed of even considering. How many women ruin their opportunities and their happiness by giving birth to more children than they can afford in far from optimal circumstances because even the “pro-choice” people keep telling them that abortion should be used less? And why? What’s so bad about abortion? It’s more pleasant and less expensive than giving birth, but I don’t see a bunch of people calling for labour and c-sections to be “rare”. What do you gain by upholding the stigma?

              If a person is really concerned with invasive, expensive medical procedures that could be mitigated by better preventive care, they should devote themselves to encouraging exercise, not vilifying abortion.

              • C Peterson

                Play whatever semantics games you want, but I think you’re not pro-abortion. That’s a lousy word to use for somebody who supports cheap, easy, and safe access to abortion for all women.

              • Russian Alex

                It seems that you both are arguing for the same position, but choosing to use different terminology. Just let it go. We have enough to argue about already.

                • http://profiles.google.com/julielada Julie Lada

                  But I think the distinction is significant. As Ibis3 pointed out, this “pro-” and “anti-” language is only ever used in terms of abortion, and not any other medical intervention. The people who make a big fuss about how we ALL anti-abortion because of course we’d prefer that no one had to get one are kind of pandering to the anti-choicers by feeling the need to reassert our humanity.

                  I’m with Ibis3. I’m as anti-abortion as I am anti-splenectomy. I’d prefer that no one ever had to have one due to pain, cost, time off of work, etc. But as far as any ethical consideration goes, the two procedures are equivalent in my mind and I shouldn’t need to pussyfoot around with this, “Well, of course I’d rather no woman received an abortion…” crap.

                • Russian Alex

                  What I mean is this. Referencing C Peterson’s post above, if there were an excellent way to reduce need for bypass surgery, or chemo, wouldn’t we all support it? Of course! What kind of messed up human being would you be not to? Does that make us opposed to surgery or chemotherapy, though? Well, that depends on your interpretation. Both surgery and chemo are expensive and traumatic. So is abortion — admittedly, less so than chemo, but still, often damaging both physically and emotionally. Contraception is a much more efficient method of birth control, and yes, in my opinion it’s a good thing that it reduces number of abortions. So yeah, in that sense you can say I’m against abortions, too: as in, it’s not the perfect solution.

                  That being said, I do agree with you that we don’t need idiotic restrictions on abortion out of consideration of “sacred” human life, which is, for some reason, only sacred God’s gift until it’s born (or not!): then, God wants you to be on your own. Or something like that. So, yeah, I do support access to abortion to all women as well.

                • Ibis3

                   I think the terminology matters. Not only do I want women to have the choice and access to exercise that choice, but I want there to be NO STIGMA attached to choosing to have an abortion. That won’t happen as long as pro-choice people denigrate abortions as something all people of good conscience would rather avoid at all costs. As Julie says, we* don’t do that for any other medical procedure.

                  It’s also judgemental. There are women who, for reasons of their own, would prefer to use abortion rather than, say, hormonal methods, as their primary birth control. So what? Whose business is it? There’s a lot more waste in the system treating hypochondriacs or extended palliative care for people who would rather die quickly and inexpensively or people who didn’t get their flu shot. If you’re really all about medical costs, go after any one of those issues and leave women alone.

                  *Yes, there all people whose job it is to manage health care policy and come up with less costly or less invasive procedures for things, but that’s not what’s going on here.

  • jdm8

    I think religion is the only reason the US pro-life movement is the way it is. The moralizing aspect of the movement is the main reason I don’t like it.

    If they were consistent, they would would be a lot more vocal about banning IVF because of the higher implant failure rate, and the leftover embryos either must be thrown out, “adopted as snowflake babies” or left to rot in the freezer. If there wasn’t an IVF, the politics about embryonic stem cells might not have been a problem.

  • Gaelrmurphy

    Pro-lifers seldom adopt.  They have too many children already.

    • NotSurrendering

      First you dehumanize the victim, label them as some class of subhuman and so forth.

      Then you kill them.

      Abortions kill more females than males in the womb.  Thats a real war on women,

      Abortion kills more minorieties than whites.  As David Duke said, if not for Roe v Wade, there would be 20 MILLION MORE blacks in this country than there are now.

      Admit it, deep down you think that is for the best.

      • Patterrssonn

        If David Duke said it it must be true.

        Keep at it NotSurrendering ToReality, keep at it. Let the truth of your holy cause shine through.

      • jdm8

        David Duke is also an anti-Semitic person that thinks abortion is a conspiracy by extremist Jews. He’s not really the kind of person I would look to for facts.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6OE7LEYELE4MZTVXGZUSVTBFUI julie

         Admit it, deep down you think that is for the best.

        You said it. Project much?

        And I think it’s for the best that people don’t have children they don’t want or can’t afford. We’d have millions more people who were beaten and unloved as kids or who didn’t receive adequate nutrition or education. You want millions more poor people?

         First you dehumanize the victim, label them as some class of subhuman and so forth.

        “Fetus” is a medical term along with zygote and embryo. Deal with it.
        And I would say subperson, not subhuman. They are not fully developed. They won’t know what’s happening to them. The majority of them won’t feel pain. The more developed the brain is, the more these things need to be taken into account, which is why late-term abortions are illegal except if it threatens the mother’s life. But when you have something that’s less than a half an inch long with no understanding of the world or it’s own existence, sorry, I don’t call that murder any more than I’d call someone killing a shrimp murder. And if that shrimp was going to grow up and change your body, your hormones, your finances, your relationships, and your health, I bet you wouldn’t hesitate either.

        • Patrice

           Really? Have you seen an ultrasound @ 7 weeks? The heart is beating. Have you seen an abortion being performed? I was a nurse for decades. Why does the baby flinch and retract from the instruments during the abortion? If people could see an abortion performed on ultrasound they might change their minds. Spent decades as a Labor and Delivery nurse. Saw babies delivered at 1 lb and live. And yes I had 4 of them who did affect my body, hormones, finances, relationships and health and it was worth all of that. I grew up a poor person but still managed to graduate from college and become a contributing member of society. Child abuse has gone up since abortion was legal in 1973. The value of human life has gone down by making something morally wrong legal. Slavery was wrong but it was legal. I would bet you have never had children

      • Octoberfurst

         Wow could you be more of an arrogant, self-righteous jerk?  First of all zygotes are not human beings no matter what you say.  They are potential human beings.  And how do you know more females than males are aborted each year?  Evidence please.  And even if that were true your comment that this is the “real war on women” is ludicrous. No one is deliberately killing female zygotes.
           And finally your implication that we are all really racists at heart is particularly offensive.  No we don’t “think it is for the best” that Black babies get aborted. That comment says a whole lot more about you than it does about us.

        • C Peterson

          Careful. Biologically, a zygote is a human being, simply because “human being” is the name we give to organisms of our species. That it is undeveloped is certain. That it isn’t a person is about as close to certain as any philosophical opinion can be. But it isn’t a potential human being, it’s a potential person (although I question if that concept has much meaning).

      • Baby_Raptor

        Luna’s moaning mareheat, projection much?

        I don’t even know where to start on this.

        • Coyotenose

           I’ll go with the “more women than men” part where he isn’t aware that America and China are two separate countries.

          *singsongs* SOME-body’s a VIC-tim of NO Child left Be-HI-IND!

      • Yotey

        Lets see the work you’ve done to help expand resources and opportunities for single mothers and young minority children in low economic neighborhoods before you pat yourself on the back. Lets see the work you have done in helping young women get access to affordable birth control and sex education so they can avoid the issue of abortion all together.
        Of course that would be a rational course of action, and from your above display of hysterical tin-foil hat ‘logic’ and ability to casually ignore the context and contributing sociological factors of your uncited, statistics, rationality is not your strong suit. 

        How about you get back in your bunker and let the grown ups talk. Responding further to anything you say would be a clear waste of finite time. 

      • DougI

         You are so right, we should provide free abortion for those pregnant with White males.  That way there won’t be so much injustice in America.

      • Liberated Liberal

        The abortion rate among blacks has way more to do with economics than it does about their race (specifically).  It is a very unjust, complicated issue, where blacks tend to be poor and marginalized, which leads to situations where abortion is more prevalent.  My guess is that your same religious lunatics who are screaming about this issue are also demonizing the poor (and blacks) for being poor and black.  If there were 20 million more, they would probably be fighting that much harder against their rights to a better quality of life.

        So your argument is bullshit and David Duke is a racist.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=705066677 Desiree Bell-Fowlks

        Black women like me are perfectly capable of making the decsion on whether to have a child or not.  Maybe our rates are higher because we do not have the stigma people like you would want to us to have regarding abortion.  Stop treating black women like animals that abortion is being done to.  We are intelligent people and want to control our bodily autonmy that was taken from us for a long period of time in this country.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke, Blonde

    she’ll get there when she starts using “anti-choice” instead of “pro-life.” propaganda is insidious, and it’s important to learn to resist it, and stop using it.

    the definition of “pro-life” would mean that a person who claims that label also opposes, in addition to opposing the termination of pregnancies no matter what caused them or the wishes of the woman who is forced to endure it, opposition to *everything* that causes the end to a human life. that list begins with: the death penalty. wars of choice. not giving health care to the sick and poor. not feeding the starving or denying them the right to grow their own food on the land where they live. etc. 

    i can go on and on. if believers and “christians” want to prove their faith, they’ll start doing the above, and stop wasting their money, time and effort on political causes solely devoted to denying gay people like me the right to enjoy one of many rights that supposedly are enshrined in the constitution. because Wut Wood Jeebus Doo: prevent two gay men from kissing in front of a priest in a church, or feed a starving child who just lost his home and family to a drone attack?

    step up, “Christians.” if you do, i’ll be nice to you.

    • C Peterson

      I also like “anti-choice” to describe many of these people, although it’s possible to be anti-abortion and still be pro-choice.

      • Baby_Raptor

        That’s why “pro-forced birth” works out best, IMO. You can personally be against abortion and not feel the need to force that view on everyone. 

      • Ibis3

         Yep, and I don’t really care if you’re anti-abortion. Just don’t try to take away my choice to make my own medical decisions. If you’re anti-abortion, you can always not have one yourself. 

        • Patrice G

           Because someone has to defend the innocent baby who cannot defend itself. It has its own DNA. If is fully human and helpless Someone has to be its voice

          • C Peterson

            Being genetically human and being a person are different things. A fetus isn’t a baby, and most people don’t think fetuses are persons with rights. They are nonsentient, and the very idea of a nonsentient thing having rights is questionable. We might as well grant rights to rocks.

    • Russian Alex

      As somebody succinctly put it, by religious social-conservative definition, life begins at conception, ends at birth, and resumes at death by lethal injection.

  • Mandocommando23

    I don’t see how this could possibly persuade anyone not to be pro-life. You can’t expect someone to change their views by villainizing an entire movement. No one who is pro-life has as their main goal to punish women, even though this may be other people’s perception. The Thinking Atheist did a very interesting blog post about this not too long ago: 
    http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/blog/30/The-Anti-Abortion-Movement-Hates-WomenP.S. You can be in favor of comprehensive sex-ed, free contraception, and social programs for single mothers and still be pro-life. 

    • unclemike

      Then why aren’t “pro-life” people in favor of those things? Why does “pro-life” and “anti-contraception” seem to always go hand-in-hand?

      • Octoberfurst

         I always wondered about that too. It seems to me that if your goal is to have no abortions then making contraception easy to obtain, providing a strong social safety net for those who want to keep their babies and making sex education mandatory in schools would be the way to go.
          But the so-called “Pro-life” movement is against ALL those things. In fact many in the movment would like to ban birth control too. It makes no sense to me.  They want women punished for being sexually active.  I heard one pro-lifer once say, “Sex has consequenses. Deal with it!”  So if a women has sexual intercourse and accidently gets pregnant she must carry the baby to term as her punishment?  Apparently so.

        • Ay

          Then they will yell at you for calling a child a punishment and absolve themselves from cruelty. But one only needs to listen to what anti-choicers had to say during testimony in favor of invasive and unneeded transvaginal ultrasounds to see they believe “those women” are whores and others reveal their true character by denying rape victims consent to medical procedures. There’s other political punishment like denying poor women access to gynecological (and more) care by excluding Planned Parenthood from the Texas Women’s Health Care Program or even Susan G. Komen denying donations for breast exams and other cancer screenings. They love punishing women with the audacity to control their motherhood, really, the be all end all in religious literature. Punishment is the passion that lets them ignore all the ways you listed to reduce unwanted pregnancies and thus, abortions.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QPVVPRJ7QKLPU6TF5B4IZTENTI No

          It’s all part of the patriarchal piece. It’s about subjugation of women for *what* they are, full stop. 

          I told my own anti-abortion mother that, and before I could even finish the last syllable of the sentence, she performed what was probably the first finger-in-ears-like LAH-LAH-LAH! reaction I’ve ever seen from her, to her adult son’s face. She is not against contraception or instances of rape/incest, but she is generally all over the “life is a miracle” trope, and sees abortion as a bad thing, though she isn’t a 1-issue voter that way. Nonetheless, it was telling how she reacted to what I said.

          • Russian Alex

            Oh, I love that line. A miracle indeed. Especially when it’s stillborn, brainless or otherwise with no chance of survival, horribly deformed, or threatens to kill itself along with the woman. Precious, precious miracle.

            • Obz0cky

              I always loved the line “7 billion miracles is enough!”

      • Mandocommando23

        I can’t speak for other people, but I am, and I agree with the original poster who realized that these are the only ways we are going to get numbers of abortions reduced. 

        • Ibis3

          By identifying as “pro-life” you’re giving aid and comfort to those who do see pregnancy as God’s just punishment for being a slut. It’s like saying you’re a Catholic because you like the ritual and you think Jesus was a nice guy, but you don’t like their doctrines about women, gays, celibacy,  Hell, and the coverup of child rape by the Church. You do know that you can be anti-abortion *and* pro-choice, right?

    • C Peterson

      Nonsense. You have only to look at the sorts of people you find in the “pro-life” movement and it’s patently obvious that many of them maintain their views on precisely the basis described by Libby Anne: fear of women, hatred of women, the need to control women, the desire to punish women for being sexual. Does that define all of them? Of course not. But it’s a major factor.

      I use this test for “pro-lifers”: if they are simply opposed to abortion, that’s just fine; if they feel the need to impose their philosophy on others by force of law (anti-choicers), they are unethical and I expect their views are largely based on the above described character flaws.

    • Ay

      Republicans in the House of Representatives passed a bill October 2011 that would have changed conscientious objection requirements for physicans. Currently, a physician must refer a patient in need of a life-saving abortion to someone else. The erroneously (and egregiously) named Protect Life Act would’ve let the physician refuse to stabilize and transfer the patient. This passed with only two nays from conservatives.

      Let me spell this out for you: women with wanted pregnanies would die preventable deaths to prevent their morally opposed doctor from finding another to perform a therapeutic abortion. Not wanton sluts or however the anti-choice movement characterizes women who get elective abortions, but desiring mothers, their role model of femininity, who happens to find herself in an emergency situtation and doesn’t see their logic in the honor of dying unnecessarily beside her fetus.

      The United States has a maternal mortality epidemic you NEVER hear anti-choicers mention. They could be great pregnancy advocates but they think a zygote deserves higher legal standing than a reproductively mature female and can’t be reasoned with.

      How can you say they don’t hate women with all the callous things said this year about rape victims and stillbirths (see: Women as Farm Animals Act, Georgia)?

      • Mandocommando23

        Because their views are fundamentally different than yours. They’re coming at the problem from a completely different angle. It’s similar to how the anti-gay marriage advocates think they are protecting children and the traditional family. They’re not evil people. To villainize an entire group of people just because they have a different perspective than you do isn’t going to accomplish anything positive.

        • Ay

          Please look up the definition of “concern troll” if you want a rational discussion here. Anti-choicers have endorsed dangerous, spiteful legislation that even harms women who keep their pregnancies. It’s not mere ignorance of science and history. Best to acknowledge their hypocrisies and emotional manipulation like Libby Anne so the ones who aren’t “evil” like her understand how to reduce the abortion rate without compromising the dignity of women to lethal extents.

        • Coyotenose

           It doesn’t matter how much of their life they spend thinking of themselves as good people if they are intentionally harming others to no benefit.

        • ImRike

           Goodness, Mandocommando23, do you realize what you are saying or are you just copying things in a language you don’t understand?
          “To villainize an entire group of people just because they have a
          different perspective than you do isn’t going to accomplish anything
          positive.”
          You are saying exactly what we are trying to tell you: For christians to villainize an entire group of pregnant women or an entire group of gay people just because they have a different perspective than they do, isn’t going to accomplish anything positive!

        • Russian Alex

          You know, I actually agree with you that you can be pro-life and support all those things you have listed. But before you go further in your defense of the so-called Pro-Life movement, please understand that they are not “villainized” for simply being wrong. Hell, there are thousands of freshmen every Fall who are both wrong and obstinate, and you don’t see professors throw profanity at them right off hand (okay, perhaps some do, but that’s not the common trend ;) ), but rather patiently explain to them that they are indeed wrong, and, more importantly, why.

          Rather, the people in question are despised for their stubborn and hypocritical refusal to think critically about their position. Those who plug their ears when hearing the word “evolution” and yell that “you simply need to start with the Bible” without explaining why, or those crying about evil vaccines causing autism, even though the only study detailing that has been exposed as fraud, have a fundamentally different point of view, too. It doesn’t become any more valid, though.

          The movement is not so much pro-life as holier-than-thou: how many of their popular pundits advocate for universal health care with contraception coverage? How many of them oppose death penalty and wars? How many of them stop and consider for a minute what happens to all those “saved” children once they climb out of their proverbial good-for-nothing “slut” mothers? While you personally may be indeed both “pro” and “life,” I’m pretty sure you distance yourself from what is commonly understood as the “Pro-Life movement,” perhaps for the very reasons the author of the article does.

    • Ay

      And what people forget to ask when wondering how many children from accidental pregnancies anti-choicers take care of, is who’s taking care of the woman they first dehumanized and stripped of her rights to force birth? With all the serious and sometimes fatal complications of pregnancy, not to mention the psychological trauma of mandatory gestation, who’s paying her medical bills and related expenses? Who’s making it easier for her to work or go to school or take care of her other children? Who stops to think that consequences start before labor?

      You can oppose abortion and hope education and healthcare access benefits women to not rely on the procedure, but you can’t align yourself with anti-choicers and think you won’t be held accountable to their anti-woman mentality. Any disruption of bodily autonomy and medical privacy is an attack on her no matter how much you purport to care about DNA that isn’t yours and won’t be provided for by you.

      The Thinking Atheist was wrong, but he’s not medically trained, is he?, and has never gotten pregnant.

    • Baby_Raptor

      You cannot be pro-forced birth and not be anti-woman. The so-called “pro-life” stance completely ignores the woman in favour of the clump of cells inside her. If one were to truly be pro-life, they would be siding with the one who is inarguably a person: The living, breathing, right in your face woman. 

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QPVVPRJ7QKLPU6TF5B4IZTENTI No

        Right, but that’s where the religion takes over. That’s the woman-as-descendant-of-that-temptress-harlot-Eden-who-F’ed-everything-up talking. And they’ve convinced many women of that crap, so they have a built-in Stockholm Syndrome effect, where the captive defends the kidnapper. This is reinforced by the paradox of telling women what they do is divinely ordained, while shackling them to their birth canal should they feel a bit randy every now and then.

  • ortcutt

    Pro-life positions depend on non-scientific views of the embryo that claim that God has implanted a soul into it that give it moral status from conception rather than developing moral status as a human being develops mental functions in and out of the uterus.  Don’t be fooled when religious folks talk about biology in this context.  Their concerns have everything to do with theology and nothing to do with biology. 

    • C Peterson

      Philosophical views are inherently non-scientific. “Pro-life” positions may depend on explicitly anti-science ideas, but not necessarily. It is perfectly possible to be anti-abortion without any religious beliefs, without any belief in “souls”, without any mythology, superstition, or anti-science attitudes at all.

      But you’re absolutely correct: when anti-abortion people attempt to justify their views using science (or more accurately, pseudoscience) it’s a sure sign that bogus thinking is present.

      • ortcutt

        If someone claims that some organisms have moral status and some do not, then he/she needs to give some non-arbitrary account of that.  Any account that stipulates that human zygotes have moral status but chimpanzee zygotes do not would be arbitrary within a non-mythological world.  If someone claims that all organisms have moral status, I would wonder
        who he/she eats or does anything, since all activities kill some
        bacteria.

        What we inevitably get is the claim that human beings a special because God has implanted souls in us.  The problem with such a claim is that either souls are causally efficacious or they aren’t.  If they are then science should observe them, but it doesn’t.  If they aren’t causally efficacious, then they are epiphenomenal and theoretically otiose. 

        • C Peterson

          Morality is inherently arbitrary. As humans, why should we not place more value on our own species than others? Why should we not value a human zygote over a chimpanzee one? I don’t think we need invent a god to understand why our ethical systems place higher value on humans than other animals, or other life forms.

          No, I can’t complain if people share different morals than I do, but I’ll sure stand up to fight if they try using bogus science to justify their opinions.

          • ortcutt

            No moral system which is arbitrary could justify why I ought to follow it. 

            • C Peterson

              No moral system can absolutely justify why you should follow it. You define your own ethics, you create your own justification. There’s no requirement that ethical ideas be based on some sort of rational decision, other than whether or not they work for a society, and most can’t be justified except arbitrarily.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/A37GL7VKR3W6ACSIZPH7EID3LI rlrose63

    I love reading Libby Anne’s blog.  I’ve explored so much of it.  Her entire story is fascinating to me.  She is a smart lady and brave to have left all of that behind.  Kudos to her.

  • Yotey

    The way I see it, pregnancy is one of the few cases where people will argue for allowing one human being to hijack another human’s body without permission. I don’t see it as all that different from consenting to organ donation, yes the other person may in some cases certainly die from not getting your (kidney, marrow, blood etc) but that fact does not over ride your ability to refuse. 

    It seems to me that their right to life does not mean that they can drag you to the hospital and force you to give up a part of yourself, even if that part is not essential to you. 

    Heck, dead bodies full of perfectly good organs are buried every damn day when we have a huge list of living people waiting for them. 

    If someone moves into your home because you left the doors open, you are within your legal right to eject them even if they have no where else to go. 

    To get back on topic, yes, the child is not purposefully impacting the mother, but she still should have full say on what and whom uses her body even if it means that child dies. The government should not be telling anyone they HAVE to donante organs or HAVE to house strangers or that they HAVE to remain pregnant. Especially when the child in question is not fully developed, cannot feel pain, and is not even aware of its own existence. 
    Your right to life does not trump the autonomy of another human being. 

    That said, child neglect and murder after birth is no longer a body autonomy issue because the child can function on its own, and you still have the options of adoption and so on. Once the child is born and you have agreed to become a parent, you are held accountable to the responsibilities you agreed upon. 

    That is my perspective anyway, I would be glad to discuss it with rational, thoughtful folks.

    • Sarah

      I’ve heard an argument that, unlike kidney donation or squatters, you specifically did something to cause the dependence of that fetus on your body (have sex).

      I don’t agree with it. Consenting to sex is not consenting to pregnancy. The lack of conciousness, pain, etc. also makes this argument irrelevant for me anyway. It does, however, differentiate the situations a bit.

      • Baby_Raptor

        Okay. By that logic, the person in the car accident specifically caused the car accident by driving. Or walking across a road. 

  • DougI

    The moral of this story is, when Anti-choicers get common sense they become pro-choice.

  • Email

    This was an interesting article, thanks.

    I remembered reading something about this in an introductory genetics course last year. According to that textbook, 85% of implantations result in live births (0.6% of which have chromosomal abnormalities) and 15% result in spontaneous abortions (50% of which have chromosomal abnormalities).

    If the various developmental stages that eventually result in a baby are so precious, how do pro-lifers explain miscarriages? Especially when the parents are righteous Christians who desperately want a child?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=705066677 Desiree Bell-Fowlks

    I’m a proud pro-choice woman that trusts women to make their own choice on whether to terminate a pregnancy.  I have no respect or good will toward the current “pro-life” crowd.  These people just want to punish women for having sex not within their standards.  These fetus worshippers do not give a damn about the woman wants and treats her as an incubator.  If they actually cared about lowering the abortion rate, “pro-lifers” would stand with comprehensive sex education, affordable or free contraceptives, and stand against abortion restrictions that only lead to more back alley abortions and dead women.  But of course they will not.  Pregnancy for them is punishment that a woman deserves even if it kills her or she can not take care of her child.

  • HughInAz

    The reality is that so-called pro-life movement is not about saving babies. It’s about punishing women for having sex.

    This can’t be said often enough. The Compulsory Childbirth brigade thinks the right to life begins at conception and ends at birth. Anyone who  is against abortion and also against birth control has zero credibility.

  • Alessandro Federici

    From a thing I wrote last year and you can still read on my blog (if any of you care ):

    “The ‘pro-choice’ stand is not about making abortion a ‘one cure fits all’ solution.
    It’s not about “one less thing to worry about” or supporting promiscuity.It is not so and never was.It’s about the extreme cases and giving few unlucky individuals a real choice when they need it.It’s about respecting women and reassuring them they won’t be stoned if they are raped (Deuteronomy 22:13-29), regardless of how loud they scream or if they scream at all.
    It’s about quality rather than quantity and trying to give the best to your kids, not just something.”

    http://alessandrofederici.blogspot.com/2011/08/pro-choice-or-pro-life-question-simply.html

  • http://twitter.com/VoipCommunicati Voip Communications

    I think we have found a new story and also have a little fun on it. Life means moving on and you did the same.Great

    http://www.stockdonator.com/

  • AbigailT

    More “Pro-lifers” anti-abortionist, god’s favorite person, etc whatever they want to call themselves should remain focus on already born suffering people:
    children/teens/young adults/adults/elderly

    What baffles my mind is that these same hypocrites can care less about children being kidnapped and sold to prostitution, these same ARROGANT self righteous assholes don’t even care about the fact the freshwater is RUNNING OUT along with other resources

    The only issue in the world to them is punishing women/girls for having sex


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