Pro-Life Clinics Reject Pro-Life Volunteer… Because She’s An Atheist

Atheist Sarah Terzo, a member of Secular Pro-Life, writes about how religious pro-life groups want nothing to do with her, even though she agrees with them on the issue at hand:

Even worse was the reaction I got when I tried to volunteer at the local crisis pregnancy center. They were open and friendly when I told them I wanted to work there. They listened when I told them I had had a great deal of experience discussing abortion on the internet, and had helped numerous women choose life. Then I told them I was an atheist. “Sorry, we are a Christian ministry” the woman said. “We don’t have atheists or nonchristians working here. But you are free to give a donation.”

I asked them if I could have a position where I wouldn’t be called upon to counsel women. Could I do paperwork or answer the phone? The answer was no. They wanted no help from me.

As an experiment, I took up the phone book and called nine crisis pregnancy centers. I did not find a single one that would allow an atheist to volunteer.

Huh. That boggles my mind. Our sides seems to have no problem with religious leaders (at least in name) who run church-state separation groups. It’s also hard to imagine an LGBT group that would reject a Christian ally.

So why are pro-life groups seemingly unable to look beyond their faith? I mean, even for self-serving strategic reasons, you would think they would *love* to get someone like Sarah on their side. It would show that their position isn’t purely based on religion; it’s one that even atheists can get behind.

I’m not saying that Sarah’s position makes any sense to me — it doesn’t — but I can’t understand why pro-life groups would reject help from someone who agrees with them on their core issue but disagrees with them on another (unrelated?) one.

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.

  • WoodyTanaka

    “…but I can’t understand why pro-life groups would reject help from someone who agrees with them on their core issue but disagrees with them on another (unrelated?) one.”

    Because they don’t see them as unrelated.

    • Ryan Jean

      This. Precisely this.

    • The Captain

      Which just shows that for most of the anti-abortionist movement what they are really doing is using the rule of law to force another person to practice part of their religion.

      • WoodyTanaka

        Perhaps they do, (but I don ‘t think this demonstrates it. There’s no indication this center was doimg anything legal-wise. but I would imagine they’d favor it being illegal.)

    • 3lemenope

      Or they’re afraid of a Trojan Horse. Actually, given the generally abysmal opinion that Christians have of atheist moral capacity, I bet this is actually the primary reason; they assume that the atheist is lying about being pro-life, regardless of bona fides, and then once on the staff would either sabotage or embarrass the work they do.

      • Cake

        LOL. Lying about being pro-life but honest enough to tell the truth about being an atheist. That’s christian thinking for you.

      • WoodyTanaka

        I think it unlikely but perhaps.

      • Blacksheep

        I think often it’s not about an opinion on moral capacity (“all have sinned,” etc.) but more about fear of atheist influence on faith. Christians tend to empasis the “why” a person is acting a certain way as much as the action itself.

        Personally, I would never turn down a person who was like minded to my cause unless they were actively opposed to me as a person, which it does not sound like she was.

        • cary_w

          The fact that they don’t want her working there, not because of her views on the work they are doing or her ability to do the job, but only because she is an atheist, says to me that they are “actively opposed to her as a person”. It sounds like they are actively opposed to an atheist working for them. I don’t quite understand how you interpret this differently.

          • Blacksheep

            I said that I prsoanally would want her working there.

            My main point was to 3lemenope specifically regarding the “moral capacity” idea.

            • cary_w

              Sorry, I think I was reading your post wrong. I was reading it as the pro-life people were not actively opposed to her as a person, and that’s not what you were saying.

            • 3lemenope

              In thinking about what you and others have said about the Trojan Horse hypothesis, I think that the problem is more one of the “why”, as you point out being the salient part for Christians, being something they neither understand nor put trust in. If a person’s why for “why oppose abortion” is “because I think God wants me to”, it is sometimes hard for that person to place faith in another person’s why that hews closer to a social criticism or baroque philosophical arguments and caveats than it does to a clear statement of belief. As I mentioned to SeekerLancer below, there seems to be particular discomfort with atheist beliefs, however they are arrived at, not being rooted in something shared and objective; this leads to a presumption that such beliefs are easily changeable and the people who hold them mercurial, and so unreliable for a cause.

      • Red

        Yet, they also reject non-Christians. Not just atheists.

        They are just using the whole “like others who share your religion, hate everyone else” thing.

      • SeekerLancer

        I was thinking about that too but I would think an actual Trojan Horse wouldn’t have told them about their beliefs. Why lie about one thing and not the other?

        Not that paranoia has to make any logical sense.

        • 3lemenope

          Perhaps “sleeper” is a better metaphor than “trojan horse”. The discomfort that religious people have with atheistic morality, if I were to pick out a theme, is its changeability. What I suspect they have no confidence in is an atheist who is anti-abortion rights today will still be that tomorrow. And if that change comes, they will suddenly have an enemy embedded in their lines.

    • JET

      And remember… the devil wears many disguises.

  • new_atheist

    “We don’t have atheists or nonchristians working here. But you are free to give a donation.”

    They don’t want her help. But, they’ll gladly take her money. Typical.

  • Sacks Romana

    There are basically no ethical arguments in favor of outlawing abortion or not letting women decide what to do with their bodies. But I believe there are ethical arguments against abortion.

    As someone who is very in the middle on this issue, the pro-life advocates do themselves and their cause a disservice. I am very pro-adoption. I think anyone who is pro-life should dedicate themselves to improving access to adoption services, improving adoption services, and educating people about adoption. Many religious pro-lifers struggle with this because, similar to their position on abstinence-only education, they can’t discuss sex and unwanted pregnancies honestly.

    I also find that many pro-choicers occasionally make very ridiculous arguments that abortion should be the first and last choice for an unwanted pregnancy. While we agree that the woman needs to be the ultimate authority and decision-maker, I wish more pro-choice people would strongly think about adoption as a viable alternative, rather than think of it as a pro-life apologist argument. As is usual with American politics, the broad issue is defined by the most insane of the religious right, and so good arguments on all sides tend to get distorted through that lens.

    • C Peterson

      There is nothing here to suggest that the pregnancy center is engaged in political efforts to outlaw abortion, nor that Sarah believes abortion should be illegal.

      Ethically, there is nothing at all wrong with believing that abortion is wrong, and it is morally acceptable- actually commendable- for a person who believes this to volunteer at a center that seeks to provide alternatives.

      It is important not to conflate “pro-life” with “anti-choice”. It is perfectly possible and reasonable to be both (it sounds like that might describe you).

      • 3lemenope

        The general ethical problem with “crisis pregnancy centers” is that they deliberately conceal their anti-abortion mandates in advertisements and outreach to pregnant women. So even if it is morally praiseworthy to pursue a belief that there are morally better options than abortion, it does not follow that working at such a center would fulfill that moral need.

    • Baby_Raptor

      Adoption is not a viable alternative.

      First off, it doesn’t solve one of the main problems abortion does: That the woman does not want to be, or cannot be for any number of reasons, pregnant.

      Second off, what good does pressing adoption really do? There are thousands of children already in the foster care system. Find homes for them before you go encouraging even more children to be dumped into the system. And that’s before you go addressing the myriad of issues that can come from actually going through with an adoption.

      Third, “Just give them up for adoption” doesn’t take into consideration the fact that pregnancy still puts women at risk. Pregnant women can lose their jobs. Their health is at stake. And even with a perfect pregnancy, their life is altered.

      Pushing adoption still encourages the “Women are meant for breeding, so shut up and give birth” mantra that the pro-forced birth crowd espouses. It just does so under a different guise.

      • UWIR

        Unless you think that the lack of newborns will push prospective adoptive parents into taking in foster kids, and you think that value of this strategy outweighs the value in bringing fetuses to term and putting them up for adoption, the number of kids in foster care isn’t a compelling counter-argument to the adoption argument.

        • Baby_Raptor

          I don’t think a fetus has any value until around viability, when it is clearly an alive person. A first trimester fetus, when most abortions take place, is nothing more than a clump of developing tissue. It is most certainly not worth forcing women to go through a pregnancy they do not want and that could have any of a myriad of negative affects on them.

          Will a lack of newborns push *a lot* of people to adopt older children in foster care? Probably not. Will it encourage some to do so? Yes. And it also leaves more room/resources to focus on getting those already alive children into stable families. I’m all about prioritizing the already alive person over the potential person.

    • 3lemenope

      I agree with the thrust of your comment, but the reason why the adoption argument is generally not taken very seriously has to do with the sheer numbers involved. Abortion rates in the US fall in the range of 16-20 per thousand women of childbearing age; adoption could never even make a dent in that, regardless of how it were promoted or incentivized.

    • Miss_Beara

      There are hundreds of thousands of children already in the foster system. Women are not stupid, we know about adoption. Nobody can use someone’s body against their will. We all have bodily autonomy. People cannot use the organs from a corpse without consent before death, even if it will save lives. Same goes for women who refuse to carry a fetus to term.

      • Frank

        If you have a problem with being pregnant don’t get pregnant. However if you engage in actions that cause pregnancy and pregnancy results, woman up and don’t make the innocent unborn child pay for your choice. How selfish can someone be?

        • Sacks Romana

          And as my likely last post on this thread today, I would like to point out that this comment is a misogynist, afraid-of-women-having-sex position that I do not agree with. Comments like this do a disservice to the pro-life cause, and will convince no one to consider adoption as a viable alternative in appropriate circumstances.

          • Frank

            You are welcome to view this through your own bias. Maturity and morality requires that when people make choices they deal with the consequences themselves and not make another life pay for it.

            • C.L. Honeycutt

              Begging the question some more. Do yourself a favor and mature enough to read up on a subject before yammering about it.

              • Frank

                Most likely I know as much as anybody could on this subject but please point out what I don’t know.

                • Miss_Beara

                  lol.

                  You will never have to experience an unwanted or wanted pregnancy. You will never have to make that choice to abort or keep the pregnancy. You will never have to go through 9 months of pregnancy with chances of complications. You will never have to go through hours upon hours of labor. You will never have to experience the debilitating effects of post partum depression. So please, stop acting like you know more about our bodies and experiences than us wimmenz.

                • Frank

                  Yes I am not a woman. A brilliant observation.

                  So i gather you never speak about any subject that is outside you actual experience?

            • Miss_Beara

              What about the life of the woman?

              • Frank

                What about the life of the woman? Since all life is precious her life counts too! The difference is the woman makes choices the unborn child does not and should not have to pay the price of the woman’s poor choices.

                • Miss_Beara

                  What about the life of the woman? Since all life is precious her life counts too!

                  Aww, how sweet. Still can’t use our bodies without our consent. Also, having sex is not a “poor choice.” People have sex. Birth control is used. Sometimes it fails. Sometimes a woman terminates a pregnancy. It happens to single women and married women.

            • Mario Strada

              And on some fucking planet in a distant galaxy I am sure there are beings that are able to abide by that moral law.

              Here on earth not so much. We call it “reality”.

              • Frank

                I agree living a moral life is challenging. Does that mean we give up on it because is boo hoo too hard?

            • http://confessionsfromthepeanutgallery.blogspot.com/ YankeeCynic

              Pregnancy used to have a far higher mortality rate prior to modern medical advances. Yet we developed technology to compensate for that higher rate. We mitigated those consequences. I don’t see you objecting to those consequences being mitigated, despite being a natural part of human reproduction for millennia.

              You’re making a massive naturalistic fallacy as you refer to human reproduction.

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          Consent to have sex is not consent to have a child.

          An embryo is not a “child”. Learn what a dictionary is.

          Calling it “selfish” is begging the question. Your arguments are the actual children; that is, they’re infantile.

          You are the one displaying selfishness in your insistence that other people do with their bodies as you demand.

          Your insipid, smug dismissal of the decisions that women have to make is very typical of a theistic narcissist. Why are you a narcissist, Frank?

          • Frank

            Wow bias certainly removes peoples intelligence doesn’t it. Wow!

            • tsara

              Bias: I do not think it means what you think it means.
              It definitely does not mean ‘disagrees with Frank’, which seems to be how you’re using it.

              • Frank

                I am using it correctly. Your bias is that if someone stands up for an unborn child and challenges people to be mature and deal with their choices in life without making an innocent life pay they are a misogynist. .

                • tsara

                  Erm, no. You stopped being worth listening to when you said “How selfish can someone be?” to Miss_Beara. Assuming that even most reasons for abortion are selfish is what is misogynistic, not the fact that you morally oppose abortion.
                  EDIT: and that’s not the main thrust of what anyone here is saying to you. They’re saying that your arguments are emotion-based and, frankly, ridiculous.

                • Frank

                  Most reasons for abortion, 97% i fact are reasons of convenience and comfort.

                • tsara

                  [citation needed]
                  [proof that this makes them selfish also needed]

                • Frank

                  Convenience and comfort is thinking of self therefore selfish. Wanting something without consequences is selfish.

                  The stats are from Guttmacher institute

                • tsara

                  Economic reasons do not count as ‘convenience’. Dislike of pregnancy does not count as ‘comfort’. Give me the study and a more thorough breakdown of what’s actually hiding in those numbers and I’ll go into more detail.
                  Selfish applies if and only if they are not thinking of, say, their other children or prior obligations when they choose abortion. (I mean, I don’t think abortion at the embryonic stage is even slightly morally challenging regardless of whether or not the reasons the person has for getting one can be accurately described as ‘selfish’…)
                  Sex is a thing that some people do and there is every reason for them to be able to do it without consequences. In a just world, there would never be any unwanted consequences to consensual sex.
                  Unfortunately, we do not live in that world. Shit happens, and we just have to deal with it.

                • Frank

                  If they were thinking then they would not get pregnant in the first place.

                  As I said 97% are for reasons of convenience and comfort.

                  You are living in a dream world if you think sex does not have consequences.

                • http://confessionsfromthepeanutgallery.blogspot.com/ YankeeCynic

                  No no no! You don’t get to just blindly assert assert that with a vague reference to Guttmacher.

                  If you’re going to quote a suspiciously neat number like 97%, show the specific report.

                • tsara

                  “If they were thinking then they would not get pregnant in the first place.”
                  I’m asexual (as in, I have no interest in having sex), I have an IUD, and I’m very skinny. It is highly unlikely that I will ever be pregnant. But, d’you know what? It could happen. And that would be bad.

                  “As I said 97% are for reasons of convenience and comfort.”
                  And you didn’t address anything I said challenging that. I’ve already told you why I disagree.

                  “You are living in a dream world if you think sex does not have consequences.”
                  I said that sex should not have consequences, not that it does not have consequences. It’s fucking cruel to say that it should have consequences.

                • Goape

                  “If they were thinking then they would not get pregnant in the first place.”

                  Unless “they” were impregnated by god—apparently that happens. By the way, did Mary ever give her consent for that one?

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  My health and well-being are not matters of “comfort and convenience,” Frankie. They’re a matter of life and death — MINE.

                • Frank

                  When you get pregnant and you won;t survive the pregnancy its not a matter of comfort or convenience. I am not talking about the 1.5% or so who have abortions for this reason.

                • pRinzler

                  Guttmacher Institute does not say that, not that I could find. Please be specific as to where that 97% statistic comes from.

                  Here’s a direct quote from the Guttmacher Institute (http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_induced_abortion.html):
                  “The reasons women give for having an abortion underscore their understanding of the responsibilities of parenthood and family life.”

                  If you interpret *that* as being the same as “convenience and comfort,” what *wouldn’t* count as being for “convenience and comfort?”

                • Baby_Raptor

                  Anything short of “The mother will die” is ‘convenience and comfort’ to these people. So what if she suffers? So what if her husband or her other children suffer? She got pregnant, and there are a myriad of ways to shame and corral her now!

                • UWIR

                  “Your bias is that if someone stands up for an unborn child and challenges people…”
                  First, you’re presenting her alleged position, not her bias, and second, that’s not her position, either. “Bias” does not merely mean “what someone’s position is”.

                • Frank

                  Bias is having a preconceived opinion. I used it correctly.

                • UWIR

                  “Preconceived” means “conceived before”. Before what? Just because someone doesn’t bother waiting until you show up to come to a conclusion regarding a category that you belong to, does not mean they are biased. If someone has a reasoned position that they apply to you, that is not bias.

        • Miss_Beara

          Consent to sex is not a consent to pregnancy. You are using a fetus and forced motherhood as punishment for women who partake in sex. Birth control is not and never was 100%, even if used correctly. Women have bodily autonomy. You cannot use organs from a corpse if they are not an organ donor, even if it will save multiple people. What you are essentially saying that a corpse has more right to bodily autonomy than women and that is incredibly misogynistic.

          • Frank

            Bias is so boring.

            • Mario Strada

              No Frank, you are boring. You are the embodiment of all that was wrong with the religious institutions that locked up unwed mothers and stole their children for adoption and the other terrible things done in the name of religion in Spain, Ireland, Italy and many other places.

              You don’t get to accuse others of “bias”. This is my last post here. Respond if you like. Waste of time.

              • Miss_Beara

                I will translate his “bias” excuse for you. “I am not listening to what you are saying. I am standing by my convictions that women are nothing more than baby making machines. Women make poor choices, like having sex and I want to force them to carry their punishment for the consequences for having dirty filthy sex.”

              • Frank

                Yes talking at ignorance can be an incredible waste of time but those innocent lives deserve better so I will waste my time if I have to. Bye bye,

                • Baby_Raptor

                  A first trimester fetus is not an innocent life. Until you can definitively contradict current proof, keep your opinions of what other people should do with their lives to yourself.

            • Miss_Beara

              You use the bias argument when you have no argument to give.

              • Frank

                I use the bias argument when its appropriate.

                • Miss_Beara

                  When people don’t agree with you.

          • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

            If Frank ever had a healthy, civilized outlook on sex, his religion killed it long ago.

            He doesn’t quite get that consent is never implied, and that it can be withdrawn at any time, for any reason.

        • cary_w

          This is exactly why we need comprehensive sex ed in high schools! It is absolutely shocking and appalling the amount of false information that is floating around in high schools, and the fact that most pro-lifers oppose education too. You can’t expect people to “avoid action that could cause pregnancies” without giving them the information necessary to know what that means. And while you’re at it, how about giving them affordable access to ways to prevent pregnancies too? Oh, I forgot, pro-lifers are against that too.

          And finally, NEWS FLASH, it takes a woman AND A MAN, to make a baby, so quit it with the “woman up” and take care of your kid. The man is half of the problem and half responsibility for the results, so he needs to “man up” and wear a damn condom or be prepared to take care of his kid.

          • Frank

            So then you would be ok for the father to have equal say in what happens to his future child. Great!

            Men need to man up as much as woman need to woman up!

            • cary_w

              Yup, transplant that embryo into his body and he can take over from day one.

            • tsara

              And what do genderfluid, agender, genderqueer, etc. people need to do?

              • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                Oh silly tsara, those people don’t exist! We are all cismen and ciswomen in Frank’s little world. I’m surprised he recognizes any sexualities other than hetero, though he’d probably be surprised by the sheer variety of sexual orientations out there too (asexual, bisexual, pansexual, polyamorous, etc).

                I mean, he could listen to people’s lived experiences. But then he might have to listen to women talk about women’s lives, and that’s just too hard and tedious when he can fire up his little menzbrains instead.

        • Baby_Raptor

          Look whose talking about selfish. You’re so convinced of your own superiority that you’re sitting around trying to dictate other peoples’ life choices and insulting them because they follow the facts, not your view.

          Actually taking responsibility means going for the *best* solution to the problem. And for some women, that means terminating the pregnancy. A first trimester pregnancy is not an “innocent unborn child.”

          Until you actually have to face this decision, keep your opinions to yourself. You’re doing nobody any favours with posts like these, even the so-called “unborn children” (which isn’t even a real thing. One is not a child until after it is born.)

        • Nancy Shrew

          Yeah, I suppose I am biased as a woman with a uterus and the ability to get pregnant when she never wants to. Unlike you.

        • Cake

          The next time you get in a car wreck, we’ll just leave you to die on the side of the road so you can pay for your choice.

          K?

        • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

          Nowhere near as selfish as a largely-asexual guy who is trying to tell women what will and won’t violate their bodies.

        • Spuddie

          Frank, until you become pregnant, its a safe bet to ignore anything you have to say about the subject.

          Your ignorance and malice is too stupifying to warrant a response under even the most favorable consitions.

      • Sacks Romana

        Please see my reply to myself in response to some of the other comments. Your entire argument is directed against a misogynist pro-lifer, which I’m not. I already agree with you, and don’t want to force anyone to have a baby.

        I will point out that adoption and the foster care system are not synonymous. The vast majority of the public does not have a good understanding of modern adoption, and there is cultural stigma associated with it from every political and religious perspective that runs as deep as misogyny. That’s what I’d like to change, and what I think pro-lifers should do as well if they’re serious about children and not just afraid of sex.

        • Spuddie

          “The vast majority of the public does not have a good understanding of modern adoption”

          I would put you under the same definition.

          Adoption is not a major option for a number of reasons having nothing to do with lack of understanding. If anything the public believes it to be much easier than reality.

          Adoption is generally a costly process out of the range of much of the working and middle class. There are no orphanages in this country. Foster care is not designed to place a child in a loving permanent home as a precursor to adoption. It is designed as a stopgap measure prior to uniting a child with existing family.

          Most couples do not want to adopt children beyond pre-school age out of fear of the inevitiable developmental delays associated with living outside of some form parental care. Adoption of a newborn is generally a prohibitively costly procedure fraught with uncertainty since laws discourage what can appear as “baby selling”.

          International adoption adds extra layers of bureaucracy to the mix plus the general animosity nations have over sending children overseas who can’t be cared for at home.

          The culture is actually fairly accepting of adoption but the procedure is just difficult for a variety of reasons. There are no easy fixes here.

          • Anna

            I would actually disagree that the culture is accepting of adoption, but I think your other points are valid. Private domestic and foreign adoption have a lot of problems, which often include coercion and exploitation of poor and uninformed women.

            There’s a large religious element to this, too. Have you read Kathryn Joyce’s The Child Catchers? It’s a pretty thorough examination of the topic, although I did find the book to have the same anti-adoption bias that I often enounter elsewhere.

            By the way, there is a foster-adoption system in the United States, and it’s possible to get babies that way. You don’t have to be rich to adopt through the public system, but it does come with the risk that the placement might fall through.

            • Spuddie

              The foster child system is very difficult because as I stated before, it is not designed to facilitate adoption.

              Foster care is intended to be purely temporary while the family is able to get themselves in a position to care for the child. In many cases the family refuses to sever parental/guardiship rights but keeps the child in foster care. Sometimes it works out. But it is messy.

              Much of the cost of private adoption comes from the costs of doing everything safely and legally. Internationally there is a ton of legal red tape. Much of it involving ensuring parents severed parental rights legally, adherence to Hague Convention on child trafficking, background checks on parents, plus assorted dilatory issues of medical history of parents, general avoidance of “special needs” children.

              Domestically the costs come from the near compulsory “gift” to the expectant mother for her pre-natal care and fees asked for plus legal fees to ensure it is not baby selling. All done with the understanding that no assurance exists for the adoptive couple that the procedure will go through as planned. Plus the trend of “open adoption”, where the birth parents still maintain contact with the child tends to turn many off.

              As I said, its a messy system.

              • Anna

                It is very messy. Frankly, I think the whole system needs a massive overhaul. I do know that adult adoptees are overwhelmingly unhappy about things like permanent anonymity of birth parents, not having access to their original birth certificates or medical history, etc.

                Even open adoption, which is currently the norm for private domestic adoption, comes with its own host of problems, chief among them the fact that in almost every state, it is not legally enforceable. Apparently many adoptive parents cut off contact, leaving their birth mothers (who may have preferred to parent and were persuaded to place by the promise of continued contact) at a loss. Joyce mentioned in her book that having this happen can be more painful and traumatizing than almost anything else.

                Foreign adoption, too, is constantly being shut down in one country after another, due to accusations of deception, baby selling, human trafficking, etc. There’s a lot of corruption. Most of the children who come here aren’t orphans at all, and many of those have families waiting back home who did not fully understand that they would never see them again.

                • Spuddie

                  Foreign adoption has gotten better in recent years, but also more expensive and time consuming.

                  Adoption through countries which have adopted the Hague Convention against child trafficking are very careful these days to ensure children do not have parental ties before releasing them for international adoption. Likewise CIS (Citizenship & Immigration Services, US immigration) closely scrutinizes applications for it here.

                  One of the chief causes for delays in foreign adoption is ironically the economic growth of the other countries. With a developing middle and upper class, adoption by those within the country becomes a growing “market”. This limiting the supply of children cleared for international adoption.

                • Anna

                  Well, The Child Catchers just came out this year, and even countries which are known to be reputable have a lot of problems. The author explored the situation in South Korea, for example. Legally speaking, there’s no problem. Socially speaking, there’s a lot of pressure for single women to place their babies. The cultural stigma resembles America in the 1950s, when few women actually felt like they could make a free choice.

                  Agencies that have highlighted South Korea’s Confucian heritage as the reason that so many mothers must relinquish did nothing to challenge the stigma . . . but instead used the stigma to justify continued adoptions . . . agencies even helped perpetuate that stigma by reinforcing the status quo.”

                  And in developing countries with a lot of corruption, it’s easy to get officials to look the other way. The fact that countries are routinely shut down is worrisome because it means that abuse of the system is ongoing, and who knows how many families or children were affected before people decided it was enough of a problem to close the adoption program.

                  Anyone considering international adoption should do research into the practices of the country in question, and even then there’s a fair amount of thought that should go into whether it’s appropriate to remove a child from his or her home culture and extended family. This is true even if the child resides in an orphanage, because orphanage care does not mean that a child is an orphan, only that parents or other relatives may be too poor to care for the child in their own homes.

                • Spuddie

                  I will check it out. Thanks.

                • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

                  Haiti is one country where parents routinely put their kids into orphanages with the expectation that they’ll come get them when things improve at home. Idaho saw a scandal after the earthquake there when a Christian woman tried to open an “orphanage” in the DR with Haitian orphans and apparently didn’t realize this social custom existed (or didn’t care). She ended up stealing a bunch of kids from their rather shocked parents and it was quite the international incident.

                • chgo_liz

                  Just so you know: open adoption is NOT currently the norm. It’s not legal in any state. Telling a pregnant woman who you hope will relinquish her baby after birth to you that you agree with having an “open adoption” is currently being used as a selling point – and agencies will teach you exactly what to promise – but the cruel reality is that in the vast majority of cases, there is no further contact after leaving the hospital, and in only a tiny number of cases is there contact past a few letters or emails in the first year.

                • Anna

                  That’s why I mentioned it is only legally enforceable in one state (that I know of). The others do not have legally binding agreements, so the birth mother is trusting the word of the adoptive parents.

                  Where are you getting your numbers about the “vast majority of cases,” though? All of the families I know who have done private domestic adoptions have ongoing relationships with their birth mothers.

                • chgo_liz

                  In which state do you think it’s legally enforceable? Because that’s news to me.

                  The difficulty in getting accurate statistics about openness in adoptions is that the current data includes any contact between the pregnant woman and the prospective adoptive parents as putting them on the “open adoption” side of the tally sheet, but relinquishing mothers are becoming more vocal about the fact that in a large number of cases the adoption becomes closed at the time the paperwork is finalized, or shortly thereafter. In some cases, adoptive parents are moving away and/or changing their names to block any further communication between birth family members and the adoptee. Some adoption agencies are party to this deception, even teaching prospective adoptive parents what to say prior to the adoption and then how to break things off afterward.

                  Basically, there is no law protecting open adoption agreements: they are entirely dependent on the honesty and integrity of the adoptive parents and the adoption agency.

                • Anna

                  Actually, it’s two states. Both Washington and Oregon allow birth parents and adoptive parents to enter into a legally-binding agreement.

                  As far as statistics go, I believe it’s important to be accurate no matter what side of an issue you are on. I don’t think there is evidence to suggest that “the vast majority” of open adoptions become closed, although that in no way cancels out the experiences of birth mothers to whom this has happened. Some birth mothers have a horrible experience, and some adoption agencies simply are not honest or trustworthy. Women considering adoption have good reason to be cautious, and I would support laws protecting birth mothers who wish to have open adoptions.

            • Sacks Romana

              I bet I would have gotten a lot more kudos from my OP if I had chosen my rant to be about how annoying it is that many big C Christians dominate the adoption world rather than complain about feeling squeezed between the pro-life and pro-choice sides.

          • Sacks Romana

            “I would put you under the same definition.”

            Sigh.

            “Adoption is not a major option for a number of reasons having nothing to do with lack of understanding. If anything the public believes it to be much easier than reality.”

            I basically agree with you. Let’s move on.

            “Adoption is generally a costly process out of the range of much of the working and middle class.”

            Yes, the expense of adoption is a huge barrier. The federal tax credit was barely saved despite “the culture” being so open to adoption. It was also made non-refundable, which hurts middle and lower income families even more. My point is that I’d rather see pro-lifers work on issues like the adoption tax credit or other pro-adoption legislation rather than slut-shaming and protesting abortion clinics. I want more pro-choicers to be advocates for improving adoption services and access to adoption rather than using the many existing problems with our systems as an argument against it. I believe in improved access and services for abortion. I want the same consideration for adoption from my own side of the abortion issue.

            “There are no orphanages in this country. Foster care is not designed to place a child in a loving permanent home as a precursor to adoption. It is designed as a stopgap measure prior to uniting a child with existing family.”

            Yep, never said or implied otherwise.

            “Most couples do not want to adopt children beyond pre-school age out of fear of the inevitiable developmental delays associated with living outside of some form parental care.”

            We’re getting into some big issues here. First of all, there’s no inevitable delays for all children. I know that’s a quibble, but sentences like that convey the sort of negative bias towards adoption I’m talking about. Yes, everyone thinks adoption and people who adopt are wonderful, but it’s often viewed as something “for other people, but not me.” Yes, many families want a healthy child in all respects, and there are many children with severe disabilities that can’t find a home. None of that is an argument against women being more informed about adoption as one of their choices. I’m not against women having access to any and all information about adoption, including the negatives.

            “Adoption of a newborn is generally a prohibitively costly procedure fraught with uncertainty since laws discourage what can appear as “baby selling”.”

            Sort of a repeat of an earlier point. I want adoption to be more affordable. I hope everyone else does too.

            “International adoption adds extra layers of bureaucracy to the mix plus the general animosity nations have over sending children overseas who can’t be cared for at home.”

            Yep. Most international aid organizations are starting to oppose international adoption. I don’t necessarily disagree with them, although it’s a complicated issue. In my mind, that’s an argument for improving our domestic adoption culture and services.

            “The culture is actually fairly accepting of adoption but the procedure is just difficult for a variety of reasons.”

            Like I said above, the culture is fine with labeling people who engage in adoption as heroes, but generally think of it as something for other people. The negatives associated with it – the uncertainty, the loss experienced with giving up a child, developmental delays, attachment issues – are common thoughts and emotions. But, there’s also a lot of amazing positive emotions and outcomes from adoption as well – for birth mothers, adoptive families, and most importantly, the children. That last statement, in and of itself, should not be seen as a threat to pro-choice people. Better adoption services and access to adoption are not a threat to abortion rights. We can do better as a society for everyone involved. Adoption can and should be a better choice.

            “There are no easy fixes here.”

            No argument here. Let’s just agree that I’m not using adoption as a justification for weakening abortion rights, and you won’t use the inherit complexity of adoption as an argument against improving it.

            • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

              Two things about adoption that need improving:

              1 — let’s nix international adoption, at least until we don’t have so many AMERICAN children waiting for a family. ‘Cuz really? We ought to be taking some responsibility for our own, first.

              2 — Reunification. Yeah, I know keeping families together is the “priority” of the state system, but for the love of fuck, when a child is in a situation that is abusive or neglectful (or otherwise dangerous), stop giving the kid back to the parents! They didn’t shape up the last ten times, they aren’t gonna do it this time, just get the kid into a stable, loving home!

              • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

                Beyond the physical risks, enormous pain, and lifelong complications I’d be risking by carrying a pregnancy to term, the idea that I would be forced to confront my future child 18 years from adoption would stop me from wanting to adopt out a child I’d borne. I realize this is Amurka and we have this big ole Cult of Motherhood going on here where all women are considered baby machines who love love love babies and coo and gurgle baby talk every moment of our days and certainly are not allowed to not want kids or like being around them for extended periods of time, and I know we all love the Disney ending where the adopted kid finds her or his “birth mother” and everybody is totally wonderful and happy forever, but without ironclad safeguards that the adoption would be the end of my involvement, I’d never even consider it.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  I think, at the very least, an adoptee should have the right to family medical history.

                  It should be up to the individuals involved as to whether or not they want to search (or be found).

                • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

                  Absolutely. A medical history is invaluable nowadays, especially if/when the adoptee goes on to want children. But a personal contact against the birth parent’s wishes? Talk about a second violation… and unfortunately, while it should indeed be up to the birth parent, it isn’t always. Forced-birthers ignore that part in their rush to force non-solutions on pregnant women.

                • Anna

                  I wonder if even the medical history will become less important as genetic testing improves.

                  Incidentally, I don’t know one side of my medical history, although I’ve never given it much thought. I suppose if I wanted to get pregnant, I’d have some tests done to make sure I’m not a carrier for some horrible genetic disease. That would probably be a good idea, anyway.

                • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

                  That’s a good point.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  That’s why I went into my search with eyes wide open.

                • Anna

                  That would definitely be a huge problem for some women. I’m not sure, but I think safe-haven laws provide that protection.

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safe-haven_law

                  But I can think of many reasons why adoption is not a viable option for women who do not want to be confronted later in life with their offspring, for their own mental health or for other reasons entirely.

                  Adoption is also not a viable choice for women whose male partners will not consent to the adoption. While the man can’t stop an abortion, he can stop an adoption from going through. I saw this happen on an episode of True Life once.

                • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

                  I cannot even imagine such a nightmare. I’ve read a lot of stories online–for what that’s worth–about women who have been confronted later in life by children they’ve given up for adoption. I knew a young man who’d been adopted who searched out his birth mother, who he realized was just trying to be polite and was actually rather horrified he’d found her. It was simply devastating for him. We have a lot of shared imaginings in our country about finding one’s “real” dad or mom. And adding to that the idea that a partner could intrude on such a deeply personal subject is just awful. So I really get pissed off when I hear forced-birthers chirp “OH JUST GIVE IT UP FOR ADOPTION!” like that’ll fix everything. No, it won’t. It really won’t. Not for everyone.

                  Regarding stopping an abortion, I’ve heard plenty of MRAs say they want to have “a say” in their partner’s decision to abort, and I’ve been on the receiving end of an ex-partner who wanted such a veto vote over my bodily autonomy. It ain’t a lot of fun. Misogynists really don’t like the idea that they can’t control the most intimate decision a woman can possibly make.

                • chgo_liz

                  Several states – Utah being number one – support various legal alternatives to get around the problem of men wanting to parent their own children. It’s very easy to do. Men almost NEVER (despite the odd TV show) get their babies back if the mother relinquishes to adoption.

                • Anna

                  Yes, I’ve heard that about Utah. But a woman who is honest with the birth father about wanting to place (without fleeing to a different state) can have him refuse consent, which is another reason why adoption isn’t the cure-all that religious conservatives believe it is. A woman can be very much in favor of placing her baby, only to have that option taken away from her. The only choice which is totally under the woman’s control is abortion.

                • chgo_liz

                  “The only choice which is totally under the woman’s control is abortion.”

                  Agreed….in theory, since in practice it is almost impossible in most areas to find a safe, legal, affordable abortion option thanks to the anti-choicers.

                • Anna

                  That’s true. Many women seem to be stuck in the unfortunate position of having no good options at all.

            • Spuddie

              All I am trying to say here is that adoption is a very messy system in ways which most people are not familiar with unless they have gone through it personally in one form or another.

              I was not really trying to link it to the issue of abortion any further than saying that it is hardly the alternative to abortion that is the knee-jerk mantra of anti-choice people. Issues unique to adoption make it impossible to make it an easy process. It will never be a reasonable alternative to abortion for the majority of women.

              The developmental delays are acknowledged as a given by adoption professionals and pediatricians who specialize in international adoptions. With American foster care, studies are rife on the subject. Your issues with my statement show a lack of knowledge on the subject. Its not bias informing my opinion here. Its simply the facts as given by people involved in adoption. It is a hurdle when choosing to adopt or put a child up for adoption. One which can’t be waved away and dismissed.

              Things need to be vastly improved when it comes to adoption, but I sincerely doubt the anti-choice crowd will lift a finger to work towards such ends or even cares much about it. For the most part, their concern for children ends after their birth.

      • Len

        Women are not stupid, we know about adoption. Nobody can use someone’s body against their will. We all have bodily autonomy. People cannot use the organs from a corpse without consent before death, even if it will save lives. Same goes for women who refuse to carry a fetus to term.

        I must disagree. Not with your first sentence, which I included for context. But (as far as much of the US goes) it’s all downhill from there… Sadly, the forced-birthers do use someone’s body against their will, if the pregnant woman is denied an abortion that she wants. In that sense she has less rights than the dead person you speak of.

    • Sacks Romana

      @daf2335999abd273bbfc3a4d6ce22c68:disqus Yeah, I sort of went on my own rant, and wasn’t commenting much on the OP. Volunteering at a pregnancy crisis center is a great thing, and the religious right are fools for turning Sarah away. Knowing nothing else about her, I would agree that Sarah is likely not engaged in activism to outlaw abortion.

      @Baby_Raptor:disqus and @3lemenope:disqus I may have staked out a stronger position than I was actually advocating for. Many, many, many abortions are necessary, and I’m generally fine with that. I’m not actually arguing that every abortion that is performed should instead be a pregnancy that’s brought to full term.

      Baby Raptor – Your first and third points are very similar, and I think I addressed it above. I’m absolutely fine with medically necessary or even potentially medically necessary abortions. In any case, I don’t want to force anyone to have a baby.

      However, your second and fourth points reek of ignorance and harmful biases against adopted children, birth mothers, and adoptive families. I’m comfortable with women making an informed choice about abortion, adoption, and keeping the child, but you clearly have pre-determined thoughts about what adoption is, and they appear to all be negative. There are real positives associated with adoption, but I’m not going to write an essay here. There is a wealth of information online if you want to educate yourself about modern adoption and the foster care system (which are not synonymous). I’m not even saying the choices are equivalent, but this isn’t a false alternative like ID and evolution.

      3lemon, there are over 100,000 adoptions in the US every year (foster, domestic, and international), and so given a better domestic system and better cultural attitudes, I believe that another 16,000-20,000 unwanted children could be absorbed into that, but that’s a much STRONGER position than what I’m actually arguing for.

      Dismissing adoption as a choice for some women does a disservice to the pro-choice movement. I believe the pro-choice movement is too well-defined by the awfulness of the pro-life movement.

      • C.L. Honeycutt

        Volunteering at a pregnancy crisis center is a great thing

        I don’t think you’re familiar with “pregnancy crisis centers”. They intentionally deceive pregnant, scared, usually poor girls into coming in so that they can pressure, intimidate and frighten them with lies into carrying their pregnancies to term. They’ve been well exposed, and have been active a long time. I’ve known about them for around twenty-five years. Any time, ANY time a business calls itself something like that, it is built around lying to scared women.

        • Sacks Romana

          Maybe there’s a specific term or operation I’m not familiar with. Both my sisters-in-law, one pro-choice, one pro-life, have worked at pregnancy resource centers. Neither institution was there to counsel the women on what to do with the child, but to provide tangible benefits, services, and assets to the pregnant women. If that, in and of itself, is enough to stop a woman from having an abortion, then so be it. I live in a large metropolitan area where there is easy access to abortion for all income levels. I understand that’s not the norm in a lot of states.

    • WingedBeast

      A few years back, there was a news report (I think by 20/20, but I’m not sure) on the Snowflakes organization, who wanted to adopt out every embryo created through IVF.

      In the couple taking on the embryo, the woman felt that adopting a baby would be, in her own words, “giving up”.

      Now, there’s more to make a couple that wants a child choose IVF over adoption, being the large costs in time, money, and energy that goes into the whole process that, by contrast, makes pregnancy the better alternative.

      But, there’s a definite view that an adopted child isn’t as much the child of the adoptive parents as a home-grown child would be, even when the embryo is still the genetic result of a completely unrelated couple.

      Pro-lifers can’t credibly present adoption as a viable option until they’ve altered the culture so that everybody eliminates the mental divide between adoptive parenting and “real” parenting.

      • Sacks Romana

        Exactly. Society at large has a stigma against adoption. Most pro-lifers can’t take on the culture because they can’t honestly talk about sex and unwanted pregnancies. Their POV may dominate a segment of American politics, but they’re generally clueless when it comes to the larger culture. That generally leaves the educated left who are afraid to sound like pro-life apologists when discussing adoption (and, like the rest of society, are likely to have their own negative biases).

        • Anna

          Yup, religious conservatives are actually the most pro-adoption. They shame abortion and single parenting, but laud girls and women who are willing to place their babies as heroes.

          This shows that their priority isn’t actually getting babies born, but ensuring that they are placed in “suitable” homes, which for conservative Christians always means with a heterosexual married couple. There’s a lot of pressure in the Christian world for women and girls to choose adoption.

          Adoption shaming, meanwhile, is rampant among feminists and others in mainstream society who feel it is inherently coercive and/or equate placing a child for adoption with abandonment. A lot of girls on 16 and Pregnant, for example, when asked why they had not considered adoption, equated adoption with not “taking responsibility” for their actions.

          From my perspective, the pressure to place is just as bad as the pressure to abort or parent. In an ideal society, women would know all of their options, and those options would be free of judgment. I think a lot of women are prevented from making the choice that is right for them because of negative reactions from others.

          The thing is… adoption is hard. Very few women actually choose to go though with adoption unless there are extenuating circumstances, precisely because it’s incredibly hard. Going through 9 months of pregnancy and being exposed to hormones that promote bonding with the fetus make it difficult for most women to place.

          Even in a society with no stigma attached to adoption, it’s likely that only a minority would place. It’s the same reason most women don’t choose to be surrogate mothers. Some women can do it, and do it well, but the majority simply find it too difficult.

          • WingedBeast

            It’s worth noting that religious conservatives tend to be pro-adoption from the angle of putting one’s offspring up for adoption. My response to Sacks Romana is about how they are still heavily wedded to the notion adoptive parenting not being as holy as “real” parenting.

            They’re happy to present adoption as a viable first resort option for somebody with an unwanted pregnancy. But, they don’t do the same for efforts to become parents.

            This is why you tend to get a lot of appropriation of couples facing infertility for the pro-life crowd, because even in their arguments for adoption, they’re still viewing it as an avenue of last resort after the “real” version has failed.

            • Anna

              This is true, and there’s also a sense of entitlement to it. Once the “real” attempt has failed, many infertile couples become convinced that they are entitled to an unhappily pregnant woman’s offspring. “How dare she consider aborting,” they think, “since we’re right here waiting for a baby.” Thus they attempt to shame the woman into making the choice that most benefits them.

              • WingedBeast

                It’s also worth noting that you rarely see actually infertile couples making this argument. “I’m facing a lack of children to adopt” is rarely a statement made.

                Infertile couples are made into an invisible icon and not treated as real people.

                So, it’s very much an invisible view of adoption in general, ignoring issues from all angles, meant to be an invisible patch to make the issue of unwanted pregnancy go be invisible too.

                • Anna

                  I’m not sure how rare it is. Those people are definitely exploited by the anti-abortion movement, but I have seen lots of examples of infertile couples saying those things themselves. To the point that some infertile couples even seek out women who are considering abortion in order to persuade them otherwise.

                  Depending on what issue you’re talking about, at least one member of the adoption triad is often invisible or discounted. It’s more uncommon, I think, to find situations in which all three are respected equally. Which is problematic because the experience is often negative for at least one party.

          • wombat

            “A lot of girls on 16 and Pregnant, for example, when asked why they had not considered adoption, equated adoption with not “taking responsibility” for their actions.”

            See, I found this attitude more with the Christian groups that I had contact with than in mainstream/feminist ones, and I find it even now, ten years on. My child was my punishment for sinning, and if I didn’t raise her I was getting away with it. There was some divide, some thought I should have adopted her out, but in general, the punishment theme stood out. The feminist-type people that I had contact with, on the other hand, were very focussed on supporting me in whatever my choice was. They weren’t out to shame me the way the Christians were.

    • Joe_JP

      I think it pretty rare that pro-choicers, other than maybe atypical knee-jerk types, really think that abortion “should” be the first/last choice for an unwanted pregnancy. Many actually turn out giving birth. I did read a book by Leslie Cannold that some (even some pro-life) think adoption is wrong, since you are delegating your moral duty (abortion at times moral here) regarding the child. But, do many really think adoption shouldn’t even be an option? Put aside, as a reply notes, realistically, it is rare largely because human nature makes it so hard to give up the child after the pregnancy. It is not really a “viable” means to seriously lower the abortion rate in practice.

    • chgo_liz

      Babies are not blank slates. You can’t just take them from one family and put them into another and assume everything will be hunky-dory. Just because some babies might do fine with a new family doesn’t mean it’s a pathway we should be encouraging to happen more often.

      And that’s AFTER they’ve drained their mother’s body for 9 months, causing temporary or even permanent medical issues.

  • Cake

    I’m finding it real hard to muster sympathy for someone who, while remaining unconvinced of the religious reasons for pro life, still seeks to enslave women to the unwanted growth of tissue within their bodies incapable of thought or the perception of pain.

    • Blacksheep

      “Unwanted growth of tissue…”

      This. Precisely this.

    • WoodyTanaka

      “unwanted growth of tissue”

      Well, “tissue” is incorrect because at all stages of pregnancy, you have a complete organism (developmental-stage appropriate)

      • Spuddie

        But not an autonomous being capable of life outside of the will of the mother who is letting it gestate.

        • WoodyTanaka

          True. And utterly irrelevant to the question of whether it is tissue.

          • Spuddie

            My point is your question is utterly irrelevant to the issue.

            I don’t have to care if it is “tissue” or a “complete organism”.

            Abortion rights are not based on issues of “when life begins”. Its based on issues of autonomy. Autonomy of the mother and the lack of such for fetus.

            Too much of the abortion argument is set in irrelevancies brought up by the anti-choicers. We don’t have to debate “when life begins” or “is it a baby or clump of cells”. As long a fetus is in the mother’s womb and incapable of independent existence outside of her, the mother’s will keeps it alive and must always have the greater interests than the fetus

            • WoodyTanaka

              “My point is your question is utterly irrelevant to the issue.”

              I didn’t pose a question, I made a statement. And your response was wholly irrelevant to that statement.

              And further, I don’t really care what your opinion is on this issue. The people who oppose abortion do so for reasons they favor, those who favor its legality do so for reasons they favor and there is no objectively correct answer.

              But what is true is that regardless of whether it can live autonomously, a fetus is not a tissue. Which was my only point.

              • Spuddie

                Why should you care if a fetus is tissue or not? As I said, its not actually relevant to the issue of abortion’s legality. It won’t advance arguments on either side.

                • WoodyTanaka

                  Because saying it is, is factually wrong. And beside the value that truth has in and of itself, those who favor the continued legality of abortion should take care to express thing factually, lest they fall prey to someone disfavoring their position on the belief that it is not well thought out, as evidenced by, for example, a false statement describing a fetus as mere “tissue.” “If the factual foundation is so faulty,” this person might reasonably ask, “how correct are the policies that are being advocated?”

                • Spuddie

                  It sounds like you are just rambling on semantics here for its own sake.

                • WoodyTanaka

                  Then feel free to go away. I don’t expect everyone to understand.

                • Spuddie

                  Or anyone for that matter. Did you have an original point to make relating to the subject?

  • Gus Snarp

    Is that the sound of the world’s smallest violin? Maybe she ought to consider what this says about the people she’s found common cause with and maybe reconsider her position.

    • Miss_Beara

      “I don’t believe in God, but I still believe that women shouldn’t have control over their reproductive rights.”

    • joey

      And that is what is called an ad hominem fallacy.

      1) I’m in favor of laws against drunk driving.
      2) There are Christians who also are in favor of laws against drunk driving.
      3) Christians are bad people.
      4) Therefore, I should reconsider my position on laws against drunk driving.

      • Gus Snarp

        And that is what is called a false analogy fallacy.

        Try this: The overwhelming majority of anti-choice people are extremely religious. The vast majority of reasons given for being anti-choice are religious ones. The majority of the remainder of reasons are dishonest.

        Religious people in the anti-choice movement discriminate against people who are equally anti-choice, but not religious.

        Therefore she should reconsider whether the reasons she opposes choice are really what she thinks they are, and where they really come from and reconsider her position. Your analogy is quite a different situation.

        But even granted that, I’d accept that it was an ad hominem fallacy. If the argument were: most anti-choice people are religious bigots, therefore anti-choice people are wrong about abortion. But that’s not the argument. The argument is most anti-choice people are religious bigots, therefore you ought to think a little more closely about the area where you agree with them and the source and quality of the arguments you’ve accepted. I’d say that it’s always reasonable to look closely at what you believe, right? So all I’m saying is there’s a little more reason to do so when your compatriots show really awful behavior.

        Well, mainly what I’m saying is that I don’t care about anti-choice atheists being discriminated against by religious organizations. What did she expect from moral reprobates like that?

        • joey

          “Therefore she should reconsider whether the reasons she opposes choice
          are really what she thinks they are, and where they really come from and
          reconsider her position.”

          Well, if you put it that way…

          I agree that she SHOULD reconsider her position…

          …on atheism. ;)

      • cary_w

        1) I’m in favor of laws against drunk driving.
        2) The organizations who also are in favor of laws against drunk driving are full of nutcases who want to control every aspect of my life, push for all kinds of insane liquor laws that do nothing to curb drunk driving, and don’t seem to understand that someone can have a glass of wine with dinner without getting sloshed and killing someone on their way home.
        3) Therefore, I should reconsider my position on laws against drunk driving.

        There, does that makes a little more sense now?

        • TCC

          No, it doesn’t. In fact, you’ve introduced nothing novel to the syllogism.

      • TCC

        I’m going to agree with Gus Snarp that this isn’t strictly an ad hominem fallacy for the reason he mentioned, but I think the problem here is worse: The above syllogism isn’t logically valid because it is missing a very contentious premise, namely, “I should reconsider my views on subjects where others who share those views are odious or despicable.” That’s baldly guilt by association, and no one is required to reconsider their view on a subject because of who also agrees with that view. If there is good reason to reconsider one’s view, then it will be good reason regardless of who is for or against a position.

  • Sven2547

    A short rant:

    “Pro-life” is a frustrating misnomer. It’s really about being anti-choice. Bear with me here, and let’s conduct a thought experiment:

    Let’s say that, next year, every single pregnancy in the United States results in a live birth of the woman’s choosing.

    The pro-choice crowd would be totally cool with that, because hey, it’s their choice.

    The “pro-life” crowd, in contrast, will still be angry, and still be taking to the streets in protest, because they’re upset the women had the choice to begin with. That’s why I call them anti-choice: it’s what defines their position in the debate.

    Add to that, Libby Anne’s excellent column on the fact that “pro-life” positions don’t even save the “lives” they want to save.

    • Edmond

      I agree. I’m “pro-life” in that I support living. I don’t want anyone to die. The opposite of “pro-life” is “anti-life”, and they do not get to put that label on me just for respecting a woman’s autonomy.

      • Sven2547

        Indeed, “anti-life” are the people who opposed Ireland’s new measure to allow life-saving abortions. “Anti-life” is the Catholic hospital staff that let Savita Halappanavar suffer and die needlessly.

        • Chuck Farley

          Anti-life are those that support the death penalty.

          • tsara

            There’s a significant amount of overlap.

          • Miss_Beara

            And war.

        • Miss_Beara

          Anti-life is also letting millions of children around the world live in poverty, even in the Great Ole’ U S of A, without education or healthcare.

      • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

        Agreed. I’m also not “pro-abortion”. I’ve never encouraged anyone to have an abortion. (Okay I’ve also never tried to talk a woman out of having one either. I just sat and listened. They already knew what they were going to do by the time they talked to me and just needed to talk to someone.) I hate these labels and sometimes think they are set up to inflate poll numbers when people are asked questions like “are you pro-life?”

    • Miss_Beara

      I never call them “pro-life.” They are anything but. Anti choicer, forced birthers, pro control, etc. The “pro life” politicians are cutting services that would help the former fetus because their so called job is done then. They made the woman pay for her consequences for having sex and now they don’t care.

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

        “If you’re pre-born, you’re fine; if you’re pre-school, you’re fucked.” — George Carlin

      • Kristine Kruszelnicki

        Please don’t lump all pro-lifers in to the same barrel. Those politicians and religious nut-jobs don’t speak for all of us. I’m pro all life, children, women, unborn… All deserve better choices than the ones current society provides. Abortion is a band-aid solution to the real social problems women face and that make a pregnancy so problematic in the first place.

        Some of us are pro *better* choices, we simply don’t think that killing a developing preborn child is a choice worthy of being condoned. And that’s why we’re pro-life.

        http://www.prolifehumanists.org

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

          And never mind the physical and mental health of the woman, never mind her financial situation, never mind that she may have been raped, or her partner is abusive, you just gotta save that teeny tiny innocent “baby”.

          Sometimes the better choice IS abortion, and your refusal to accept this is disturbing and rather anti-woman.

        • Katerina

          Don’t you support charging women, even rape victims, that have abortions with murder?
          You’re not pro life. You just want women that have abortions to be punished.
          And didn’t you say on secularprolife that a woman that has been raped was reponsible for putting the embryo in position of dependency by virtue of being fertile and a victim of sexual assault?

          • http://www.facebook.com/kruszer Kristine Kruszelnicki

            First of all, if the unborn are biologically human beings worthy of protection as such, then would it not be consistent to charge someone who takes their life? Penalties for murder of born people take circumstances and motives into account and I would expect that in a society in which the unborn are already recognized as persons that this would also be the case when an unborn child is killed. It would inconsistent to argue otherwise.

            I don’t think the rape victim is responsible in terms of the ultimate responsibility if pregnancy was forced on her against her will. Nevertheless, by basic biology of reproduction her body initiated and welcomed a new life into existence even if she didn’t choose or will it. Both a rape victim and a child conceived through rape are victims of the rapist. The fault is entirely the rapist’s but she has become the defacto guardian of this dependent second victim/bystander and thereby has a defacto responsibility toward him or or her as a dependent human being.

            • tsara

              *gag*

            • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

              You’re sick.

    • Blacksheep

      “The “pro-life” crowd, in contrast, will still be angry, and still be taking to the streets in protest, because they’re upset the women had the choice to begin with.”

      The thought experiment works in pointing out that the hypothesis makes no sense. The “Pro life crowd” would not be unhappy if there were no abortions.

      • Sven2547

        You think so? You think they would spontaneously stop protesting, stop trying to defund Planned Parenthood, and stop trying to stack the Supreme Court? No, they would still be raging against the choice.

        Contraception and comprehensive sex-education are the most effective tools to reduce abortion rates, yet the vast majority of the “pro-life” movement is against those things. Why? Because the choice still exists, and they are largely defined by their opposition to the choice.

        • 3lemenope

          Because the choice still exists, and they are defined by their opposition to the choice.

          There is no reason whatsoever to believe this is the salient feature of the belief and not the simple desire for there to be no abortions.

          • Sven2547

            There is no reason whatsoever to believe this is the salient feature of the belief and not the simple desire for there to be no abortions.

            Libby Anne’s column covers this point pretty well: the “pro-life” movement’s agendas and policies aren’t even conducive to preventing abortions. Even if abortion prevention was their motive, their actions have been a campaign against the choice.

            • 3lemenope

              That they are almost comically bad at achieving their desired goal doesn’t make it not their goal. History is replete with people adopting self-defeating strategies for their goals.

              EDIT: It would also be wise to separate the “leadership” and mouthpieces of a movement from the rank-and-file, as the reasons why people join or work for a cause are diverse and never precisely or neatly match either the leadership’s platonic ideal of a member nor the fevered dream generated depravity assumed by the opposition.

              • Sven2547

                That they are almost comically bad at achieving their desired goal doesn’t make it not their goal. History is replete with people adopting self-defeating strategies for their goals.

                A fair point, but I will continue to call their movement what it is, and not what it isn’t-but-possibly-wishes-it-was.

          • Gus Snarp

            Except for the fact that evidence strongly shows that when women have access to affordable birth control, abortion rates are dramatically lower, yet many anti-choicers are also anti-birth control. It at least works for the Catholic view.

            • 3lemenope

              This is a really bad argument, because it involves lateral beliefs. There are many things I want to achieve that I eschew pursuing because the means by which I might achieve it violate my other moral beliefs.

              • Gus Snarp

                Interesting point. I suppose I have to concede that your logic makes sense. On the other hand, the moral belief they’re unwilling to violate is yet another attack on choice. So they’re willing to allow more babies to die rather than allow women to have the choice to prevent the pregnancy before it happens.

                • Kristine Kruszelnicki

                  I agree. That’s one of the problems with the pro-life movement being integrated so tightly with religion – and something pro-life atheism can help overcome, since we operate from a human rights standpoint and don’t have any issue with sex. Those who are pro-life and anti-contraception operate within a different paradigm of sexuality, which is why their views seem to conflict when it comes to achieving the goal of fewer abortions.

              • CottonBlimp

                I’m sorry, but this is really obtuse. When I call pro-life people “anti-choice”, it’s not just because of the extreme correlation of anti-abortion views with anti-contraception views. It’s also in the context of a pro-life movement that is proudly misogynistic, proudly religious, and proudly apathetic towards mothers and infants. It’s also in the context of pro-life people I know who think abortions are suddenly okay if it’s them or their daughters.

                The pro-life movement is entirely about punishing people (especially those of certain races) for sex, regardless of whether the rank-and-file have the self-awareness to realize it. Don’t go out of your way to blind yourself to this.

                • Miss_Beara

                  It’s also in the context of pro-life people I know who think abortions are suddenly okay if it’s them or their daughters.

                  But, but, but, their abortion is the only moral one because their daughter isn’t like those other girls.

                • CottonBlimp

                  Exactly this. When it happened to them, it wasn’t their “fault”.

                  I forgot to even bring up how much “fault” plays into the whole debate. Like how does it make sense for abortion to suddenly be okay in cases of rape? From the pro-choice perspective, women deserve autonomy regardless, from the anti-choice perspective, a baby dies regardless. Literally, the only difference is that people are more likely to balk at punishing women for the crime of being victims. And even then, Republicans are going out of their way to cast rape victims as willful sluts.

                • Kristine Kruszelnicki

                  Not everyone in the movement. Thanks. http://www.prolifehumanists.org

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  You can try to sugar-coat it all you want, cupcake, but the fact remains that “Pro-Life” is feel-good code for “Anti-Woman”.

                • Kristine Kruszelnicki

                  Anti-woman? That’s dangerously close to an emotional argument and an adhominem, which are both irrelevant to a reasoned discussion.

                  Nonetheless I will respond that as a woman I don’t think it’s “anti-woman” to suggest that women deserve better options than merely: legal surgery to kill your prenatal child, illegal surgery to kill your prenatal child more dangerously, or else you’re up a creek while your ass is being paddled and you’re flat out screwed if you have the kid. As I said above: women and children deserve better.

                  P.S. Don’t we all use feel-good terms to describe what we’re doing? No one is evil. We all want better options for humanity. Let’s try to be civil as we debate how we’ll get there.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  How, exactly is it a “better option” to dictate to women what we can and cannot do with our own bodies, just because YOU don’t approve of the choices OTHER WOMEN make?

                  How is that not anti-woman?

                  Abortion, often enough, IS THE BETTER OPTION. Stop denying that fact, stop denying women our agency, stop trying to make decisions FOR us, and stop trying to take away our choices.

                • Kristine Kruszelnicki

                  Just because something is a choice does not mean it’s a choice that one should act upon. If the unborn is a dependent yet developing member of our species (biologically, though not in current law) they deserve the chance to grow up and make their own choices too. Not every choice of action we can do with our own body toward an other body is a good choice that everyone should respect. Some choices are wrong.

                  Barring life-saving necessity, why is abortion ever a better option than birth? What circumstances make a child such a terrible thing? What if we addressed and eliminated those circumstances, rather than the child in question?

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  It would be best if we did both, actually. Address the circumstances that make some children terrible things- make sure no child and no person is unhoused, unfed, working shitty jobs that never pay enough or have enough hours, and make sure everyone has access to good education and so forth. Make sure that contraception is widely available and that everyone has had good sexual education, including information about affirmative consent.

                  That will drop abortion rates mightily (see, Western Europe). And then, keep abortion legal and accessible for women whose lives are threatened, or whose birth control failed, or who were raped, or whose fetuses have horrible birth defects, or who don’t want to have a baby. Not every choice we make with our bodies is a good one, but we allow people to make bad choices all the time (I mean, have you seen some of the tattoos people get? *shudder*). No one, and I do mean no one, has the right to use another person’s body without that person’s permission. A fetus has a right to grow up if and only if we develop an artificial womb to put it in and a process to remove it from a body that isn’t dangerous to the woman. As long as it needs another human’s body to survive, it has no right to survive.

                • http://www.facebook.com/kruszer Kristine Kruszelnicki

                  We don’t allow people to make bad choices with their bodies if those choices harm or kill another person’s body.

                  Ordinarily I’d agree that no one has the right to use another person’s body without their permission, which is why forced organ donation would be unjustified even if required by one’s child. But there’s another argument to be factored into this equation and that’s that parents have an obligation to their dependent children to provide *basic care*, especially if they were involved in the actions that led to this dependency in the first place.

                  Since in-body protection is the only way a parent can provide the basic care of food and shelter to their offspring at that highly dependent stage of human development, I don’t see that a parent’s rights necessarily must trump the rights and obligations owed to one’s dependents.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  So parents are required to donate organs to their children? That’s news to me. I can’t imagine calling organ donation *basic care*.

                  There is a world of difference between donating body parts and having to feed, clothe, and not-beat a child. A child whose parents are failing at that can be removed and handed to other people, even from the moment of hir birth. A fetus can’t. The fetus is merely removed from the body of the woman- if it dies thereafter, well, that’s because no one else can become its host yet. Work on getting artificial wombs or fetus transplants researched, donate money to it and march for it and lobby for it, because without that, fetuses are going to die outside their hosts.

                  Remember, we don’t even take a corpse’s organs without permission from the dead person because we value bodily autonomy so highly; it’s not like losing organs will hurt the dead person any, but we still don’t do it. What you’re saying is that women have less bodily autonomy than corpses. Think about that and tell me that’s not totally fucked up.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  Point the First: The unborn does not have any kind of inherent right to use my body without my explicit, ongoing, uncoerced consent.

                  Point the Second: Why is forcing a woman to remain pregnant and give birth a better option than abortion?

                  Point the Third: It’s not even about abortion, per se — it’s about my right to control my own body, to make my own medical decisions, to make the choices that are right for me. Who the fuck are you to take that away from ANY woman?

                • http://www.facebook.com/kruszer Kristine Kruszelnicki

                  Who the fuck am I? Who the fuck are any of us to grant or deny rights? As atheists we live in a universe that doesn’t understand “rights”. We create rights as a society. I am one member of society (and I’m not the only one) daring to suggest that maybe we need not take away rights from dependent prenatal offspring while elevating and respecting women. Maybe women and children can co-exist within society, as evolution apparently thought we could.

                • tsara

                  “Barring life-saving necessity, why is abortion ever a better option than birth?”
                  Mental health issues triggered by my body doing things I don’t want it to be doing.

                  “What circumstances make a child such a terrible thing?”
                  The ‘child’ is not the relevant part. The relevant part is the fact that it’s inside of me, changing my body.

                  “What if we addressed and eliminated those circumstances, rather than the child in question?”

                  What magic do you have?

                • http://www.facebook.com/kruszer Kristine Kruszelnicki

                  What magic do I have? It’s called Humanism. Daring to challenge status quo and shoot for better, without falling back on “this is just the way it is”

                • tsara

                  No, see, the circumstances that would make me want to have an abortion would be the presence of something inside of me that I don’t want there. The magic required would be that which could brainwash me into being a different person (which would be killing me, so) or that which could remove the thing inside of me without killing it. Granted, that could probably be accomplished with technology, but still: I’m not talking about socioeconomic and political things. I’m talking about the fact that pregnancy is something that I have nightmares about.
                  See this:
                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YiMTno50JxY

                  EDIT: see my previous comment. I mentioned mental health issues. I self-harm when I get my period.

                • chgo_liz

                  I was one of those terrible things. My mother’s life was ruined because of unwanted pregnancy. My life was ruined because of it. How dare you presume to speak for people like me?

                • chgo_liz

                  News flash: not all women want to be pregnant and give birth. And even those who do want to, once or a few times in their lives, do not want to always do it.

                • CottonBlimp

                  For the record, anyone seriously suggesting that the pro-choice side is “ageist” against zygotes is an irredeemable moron.

                  More importantly, all the self-indulgent arguments in the world won’t change the fact that the pro-choice side is working to decrease abortions and the pro-life side is working to increase them. If you actually give a single fuck about the unborn (to say nothing of their mothers), joining the pro-life movement is just about the dumbest thing you can do.

                  Your “reasoned arguments” page just cavalierly dismisses the fact that illegalizing abortions DOES NOT DECREASE ABORTIONS. Do you not understand how that invalidates everything that you’re about? If abortion was totally banned, you would not save a single zygote; you’d just kill millions of women, their actual children, and severely hamper our nation’s intelligence, culture, and economy.

                  You can claim to not be a part of the misogyny, but we have a right to judge your proposed policies by their actual effects, the crux of the matter is, you are part of a movement looking to cause the deaths of millions of women. Fuck you.

                • Kristine Kruszelnicki

                  I’m not sure how much time you spent considering Pro-Life Humanists arguments, but we’re not interested in merely banning abortions. Women deserve BETTER than abortion and if women without legal abortion would be left feeling they have no other recourse but to endanger themselves to abort their preborn offspring, then perhaps abortion isn’t the end of the road solution.

                  How about working to create a world that out of respect for women and for their prenatal children make abortion not merely illegal but unthinkable – and better still: unnecessary.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  How about you stop trying to dictate to us what choices are “better”, and stop trying to take away choices you disapprove of, yeah? We deserve better than self-loathing women like you working against our rights, our options, and our health-care decisions.

                  You are ANTI-WOMAN.

                • Kristine Kruszelnicki

                  Some choices are wrong. If rape was legal, I would be extremely amiss if I didn’t try to take away a choice that I saw to be in violation of another human being.

                  Incidentally, there’s no such thing as absolute rights. Society evolves, and it takes all of us to shape the course of a better and more egalitarian society. I happen to want to see the youngest of us included, and I’m sorry that makes you so angry.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  But what about the fact that the “unborn” is, by it’s very presence, violating another human being? If a woman is pregnant, and does not want to continue the pregnancy, you are violating her by forcing her to continue the pregnancy.

                • http://www.facebook.com/kruszer Kristine Kruszelnicki

                  Parents are “forced” to do all sorts of things against their will, including feeding and protecting the child until they are independent enough to be released into the world or until someone else can take over the care. The more dependent the child, the higher the obligation.

                  Even non-parents, if a child were suddenly thrust upon them and dumped on their doorstep in the middle of nowhere, would be responsible for that dependent being at least until another adult could take over – simply by virtue of that child’s dependence.

                • Cake

                  I didn’t see a lot of positive arguments for pro life made on the article you wrote. Just a bunch of “If this is true” questions and fallacious comparisons of a fetus to a bunch of green bananas and a sick person who can’t lift their limbs.

                  Parts of the woman’s body don’t really belong to her!?! Seriously WFT? Does this mean I can lay claim to someones vagina as they really don’t need it when it’s not being used? No, because that would be even more disgusting than your claim.

                  I’ve read your defining personhood section. In the 1st paragraph you’ve already decided its a being, in the 2nd paragraph you’ve already called it a small person, in the last paragraphs you handwaive away the problem of consciousness because seems to be inconvenient to your “argument” and instead conjure up some airy “whole human entity” bullshit.

                  What a colossal load of junk. It looks like you are stuck chanting “human life, human life, human life” as if its some kind of magic spell. Wake me up when you actually have some arguments that clears the hurdles of violating a woman’s right to bodily integrity in favor of their enslavement to a scrap of tissue incapable of thought.

                • tsara

                  I’d get an abortion no matter how awesome the support system I had was. I’d get the thing out of my or die trying.

                • CottonBlimp

                  How about working to create a world that out of respect for women and for their prenatal children make abortion not merely illegal but unthinkable – and better still: unnecessary.

                  And look, the countries where this is the most true are the least pro-life. Abortion is least common where it’s most legal.

                  As long as you’re “pro-life” you are an enemy to the unborn.

          • chgo_liz

            Facts, experience….there are lots of reasons to know it really doesn’t have anything to do with a desire for no abortions.

            Especially considering the fact that many anti-choicers sneak in the back door with their daughters/sisters/selves to GET an abortion before being back on the picket line shouting hellfire the following day.

            It ain’t abortions they’re really against.

        • Stev84

          They certainly won’t stop at abortion. I think it was Pennsylvania where a so-called “pro-life” group was protesting against same-sex marriage. The goal is nothing but complete ecclesiastical control over every aspect of people’s lives.

    • 3lemenope

      The “pro-life” crowd, in contrast, will still be angry, and still be taking to the streets in protest, because they’re upset the women had the choice to begin with.

      Following Blacksheep’s intuition, I’m really not sure that’s true. There seems to be a great danger of projection in engaging in what assumes must well be the reaction of people of a given position given some other (barely plausible) state of affairs.

      Certainly a few anti-abortion folks would be peeved. But as likely as your suggestion, most would just declare it a goddamn miracle and move on.

    • Gus Snarp

      There can be no doubt that they call themselves pro-life for one reason, and one reason only: clever marketing.

      It is quite one thing to be pro-choice, but still oppose abortion as a rule. There are many people who feel this way: they want women to have the right to choose, but they’d certainly rather the women chose not to have abortions. So being “pro-abortion”, in addition to being bad marketing, is not an accurate representation of their views.

      Anti-abortion, however, is a perfect representation of the views of the anti-choice crowd. But “anti” ties you to a negative connotation, it’s bad political messaging, although anti-choice may be a better representation, since their actions in what policies to back in terms of education and birth control would tend to increase abortion rates, indicating maybe it’s the choice they care about more than anything.

      So they needed a “pro” label for marketing, so they went with pro-life. But that’s in no way accurate. The majority of anti-choice advocates have no problem with the death penalty. They’re politically tied to the party that opposes food aid to needy children, welfare, and other policies that give children born to poor mothers a chance at a better life.

      In no way are they pro life. Anti-abortion if you want to be strictly accurate, anti-choice if, like me, you consider the wider ramifications of their attitudes.

    • JET

      They’re “pro-life” of the unborn. After that… well, fuck you!

    • rwlawoffice

      I call the “pro choice” crowd “pro abortion” because what is the choice they want- the choice to abort. The pregnancy is already there and will lead to a born human if it progresses normally. So the only “choice” is whether the woman wants to choose to abort it, thus pro choice is really pro abortion.

      • Sven2547

        When a woman chooses to keep the baby, the pro-choice crowd supports that 100%.
        That’s not “pro-abortion”, that’s pro-choice. It’s about supporting the choice to keep it every bit as much as the choice to do otherwise.

        • rwlawoffice

          The choice that the pro abortion crowds fight for is not the choice to keep the baby, it is the choice to abort the baby. A mother who wants to keep her baby doesn’t have to do anything. There is no choice that needs to be made. The choice comes in when she wants to end the pregnancy. If she wants to abort the baby, she wants the choice to do so, the pro choice crows is really the pro abortion crowd in my book.

          • tsara

            If there’s only one option, it’s not a choice.

            • Miss_Beara

              I don’t know why this is so hard to understand.

              I saw an anti choice sign that said “Protect Women – Protect Life.” Yeah, protect women by taking away all of their options. :-P

              • Darth Kilth

                It’s the same way religion locks up women into their own homes or forces them to wear certain clothing, it’s all for their ‘protection’

          • Sven2547

            The choice that the pro abortion crowds fight for is not the choice to keep the baby, it is the choice to abort the baby.

            For starters, there is no organized movement to stop moms from having babies in the US, so it’s pretty much a given where the attention is focused.

            A mother who wants to keep her baby doesn’t have to do anything.

            You never met a pregnant woman, have you?

            There is no choice that needs to be made. The choice comes in when she wants to end the pregnancy.

            To quote the band Rush, circa 1980: “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.”

            • rwlawoffice

              That is why the pro choice movement is really a pro abortion movement

              Yes I have been around a pregnant woman. When I said there was nothing to do, I meant to no choice to make, the pregnancy is already there.

              • Sven2547

                You’re making no sense. You acknowledge that the pro-choice crowd supports choosing to keep the baby, yet you call this position pro-abortion, despite the lack of abortion.

                “I can explain this to you, but I can not comprehend it for you.” — Ed Koch

              • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                See, the pro-choice movement also fights for poverty alleviation. One of the big reasons women abort is they simply can’t afford to have a baby; we fight for paid parental leave, breastfeeding support, welfare, subsidized childcare, living wages, food stamps, better public education, more subsidized housing, and things that actually help women make a true choice about whether to have a baby or not. We want all women to truly make the choice to have a baby or not based on whether they want to or not, and not be forced by circumstance or law to either abort or carry to term. We want each and every woman to be able to make a free and uncoerced choice that is right for her.

                Every day, a pregnant woman makes the choice to keep carrying that zygote/embryo/fetus to term. She can, at any time, change her mind about her status as walking life-support system.

          • Benjamin Horter

            Your book is a pretty closed one. That’s clear at least. Listen, to have a choice, there must be options. That’s why we call ourselves pro-choice. We want options. We don’t prefer one or the other, and even if some of us do have a preference, that”s not what we struggle for. We struggle for women to have options, and the autonomy to make their own decisions. So you can call it whatever you like “in your book” if you’d like. You’re still just wrong.

          • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

            Nope. Plenty of women have to decide and some decide to have an abortion and others don’t. That’s still a choice.

        • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

          It’s amazing how often an anti-abortion spokesperson will be perplexed that someone who is pro-choice (Wendy Davis, for example) chose to have children. The whole idea of choice seems to confuse them.

          • wombat

            They define pro-choice as pro-abortion (as seen above). Then it makes no sense for pro-abortion women not to have an abortion, because it’s what they want for all women. There’s no point in having a child when you can just have an abortion. And then my brain explodes from the twisting it had to do for that.

          • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

            My mom was pro-choice. And she had two kids, and loved us both. She was a wonderful woman. And there are a lot of women like her. The forced-birth side tries very hard to keep pro-choice women demonized and vilified so their gullible sheep don’t realize that.

        • kaileyverse

          About 2/3s of women who have abortion already mothers – meaning that they made the choice at some point NOT to have an abortion.

          • Sven2547

            And supporting that choice is what the pro-choice movement is all about.

      • cary_w

        “…if it progresses normally.”

        To me the “choice” part come into play when things don’t progress normally. If we all had intelligently designed bodies then nothing would ever go wrong in a pregnancy and I would gladly join the pro-life crowd. I agree with you that ethically it is wrong to abort a healthy pregnancy. But things do go wrong, and then who gets to decide how life-threatening the pregnancy gets before an abortion can be preformed? You? Are you the all powerful master of the universe who get to decide how much I risk my life? My doctor, who is afraid of being charged with murder if he makes the wrong decision? Congress, with it’s current 17% approval rating? Who? Me? Well then what happens if you don’t think it was as life-threatening as I did? Are you going to charge me with murder?

        A much as I personally believe that some abortions are murder, this is the issue that I just can’t get past. This is the reason that I will always support and vote for the pro-choice side. And don’t give me that crap that life threatening pregnancies are rare and doctors will do the right thing. That didn’t work out so well for the woman in Ireland, did it? Even one woman facing this is too many, imagine if it were you, your wife, or your daughter.

        If you what to end elective abortions in this country then go after the cause, unintended pregnancies. With proper sex ed, universal healthcare, and better access to affordable contraceptives we could dramatically drop the number of unintended pregnancies in this country. With federal workers rights and maternity leave, universal healthcare, more support for adoptions, and a better welfare system we could dramatically reduce the number of unintended pregnancies that end in abortions. If you are truly pro-life that’s what you would do.

        • tsara

          There’s also the issue of how to define ‘normally’. For instance, I’m genderqueer and have some pretty heavy dysphoria and a history of anxiety and self-harm associated with that dysphoria. The idea of my being pregnant feels so abnormal and unnatural, it’s like the alien pregnancy thing from Prometheus.
          *shudder*

          • cary_w

            Ok… I actually have no clue what you are talking about, but that’s my point. Your condition is unique to you, so you alone (with some consultation from your doctor, I hope) get to decide if it’s severe enough that you can’t continue a pregnancy.

            • tsara

              I was mostly saying ‘mental health issues: complicating things since forever’, as an addition to what you said.

          • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

            Yeah. My instinctive reaction to the idea of hosting a proto-human?

            “KILL IT WITH FIRE!”

            And there are people out there who want to force me to grow a human being.

            • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

              They ain’t even shy about it, or about considering you less than fully “female” if you refuse to do so.

      • Nancy Shrew

        Honestly, I don’t really care if I’m referred to as a “pro-abort” because I am pro-abortion for anyone who wants one. I know it’s intended as an insult and implies that I believe that abortion should be the one and only option for every pregnant person ever, but whatever.

        • burpie

          I am pre-abortion, or whatever option a woman chooses.

    • http://religionsetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Joshua Zelinsky

      Curiously, similar logic is used by the “pro-life” groups to claim that the “pro-choice” are really “anti-life”. Both terms are essentially PR attempts. You can, of course make substantial arguments for why the “pro-life” people are wrong, or confused, and Libby Anne’s column doesn’t a decent job of parts of that. But that’s not a good reason by itself to control labeling if one is interested in actually understanding people or having anything like a productive dialogue.

      • Sven2547

        Pro-choice folks support a woman’s choice to have her baby. That’s not anti-life.

        It’s not similar. Your false-equivalence is bogus.

        • http://religionsetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Joshua Zelinsky

          Do you have an actual argument here? Simply calling something “bogus” isn’t an argument. In particular, Sven’s claim was that if every women chose not to get an abortion, the “pro-life” groups would still be deeply unhappy because what really bothers them is the choice. That’s probably false. Moreover, if you talk to “pro-life” people they’ll make an almost identical claim about “pro-choice” people- that those people would be really unhappy in that situation. The bottom line is that both groups are using in this context strawmen of the other’s position.

          • Sven2547

            Do you have an actual argument here?

            See:

            Pro-choice folks support a woman’s choice to have her baby. That’s not anti-life.

            Your repeated blindness to those two sentences does not an argument make.

            • http://religionsetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Joshua Zelinsky

              You seem to be missing the fundamental point though: the central accusation made here was that the “pro-life” group was really “anti-choice” under the basis that they’d be just as unhappy if women had a choice and no abortions occurred. The point is that that’s likely false and that it is in fact absolutely parallel to a claim made by the “pro-life” groups that the “pro-choice” actually want to have abortions. Yes, it is true that the “pro-life” people making that claim are wrong. What that doesn’t seem to make you realize is that the symmetric claim about those who are “pro-life” is also wrong.

              • Sven2547

                What that doesn’t seem to make you realize is that the symmetric claim about those who are “pro-life” is also wrong.

                But it’s not wrong. All their legislative efforts have been towards eliminating the choice.

                Ask anyone in the “pro-life” movement: should abortion be illegal? Practically by definition, they will say yes. Why would that change? If everyone started keeping their babies, do you honestly think they’ll up and change their minds to “Oh well, I guess it shouldn’t be illegal after all?” Yes or no, do you honestly think that’s what they would say?

                • http://religionsetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Joshua Zelinsky

                  Sure, the want abortion to be illegal because they think abortion as such is wrong. In a world where it was an option but almost no one did it they’d care about it more. As to why they focus on making abortion illegal rather than other responses, it may help to keep in mind that in general, religious people are much more likely to be deontologists where the less religious are consequentialists. See http://spp.sagepub.com/content/early/2013/06/13/1948550613492826.abstract

                • Sven2547

                  As to why they focus on making abortion illegal rather than other responses, it may help to keep in mind that in general, religious people are much more likely to be deontologists where the less religious are consequentialists.

                  This really just supports my point, thank you. The deontological approach is to oppose the choice, (anti-choice) rather than to focus on the consequence.

                • http://religionsetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Joshua Zelinsky

                  What? No. That’s not what’s going on here. They are opposing specific types of actions. If no one were to choose to do those actions they wouldn’t end up trying to outlaw that choice.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  Exactly — the “pro-life” nutters want to ensure that women sluts are punished for having sex!

  • joey

    Yay for pro-lifers, atheists or non-atheists!

    • Kirika

      Nope.

    • Beutelratti

      Yay for the enslavement of women!

    • Carmelita Spats

      Joey attends funerals for miscarriages and he weeps over every soggy menstrual pad since it may contain “a baby”. Joey wants big government to treat every miscarriage as a potential homicide. Ladies, Joey would inspect your vaginas in case you are using an IUD because the IUD might affect the lining of the uterus and cause a fertilized egg to be unable to implant itself. The day Joey comes ANYWHERE near my vulva is the day his pro-life balls come face-to-face with my pro-choice weed whacker. ¿Comprendes pendejo o te lo tengo que meter por la jeta?

      • Spuddie

        Do not use an electric weed whacker. Especially the cordless ones. They don’t have the power of the gas powered models.

        • aaa

          Maybe electric is the way to go.

          Guy of Gisborne: Why a spoon, cousin? Why not an axe?
          Sheriff of Nottingham: Because it’s DULL, you twit. It’ll hurt more.

  • Kingasaurus

    “…but I can’t understand why pro-life groups would reject help from
    someone who agrees with them on their core issue but disagrees with them
    on another (unrelated?) one.”

    Because, Hemant, the “core issue” is almost always JESUS. It’s not being anti-abortion. They don’t like abortion because they think JESUS doesn’t like it.

    They even call themselves a “ministry”. What does that tell you?

    Certain “creation science” outfits call themselves “ministries,” too. it’s a dog-whistle word which tells you the real purpose of the organization. They almost always admit it if you read the fine print.

  • StealthBadger

    Largely those ministries are ministries first, and “crisis pregnancy centers” second (or tenth).

  • NewEnglandBob

    Very simple answer to tie question.

    The Christian group is only pro-life because their religion tells them to, not because they actually think.

  • WingedBeast

    To answer your question, stopping abortions from happening is not the purpose of these crisis centers or of many pro-life organizations.

    If it was, you’d see less calls to pregnant women seeking or considering abortions as either selfish, lazy, or the nigh mindless victim of a domineering man. There wouldn’t be as much overlap between groups and organizations that believe in traditional gender roles.

    Instead, what you would see is an effort to understand the pressures that lead a woman to consider abortion and a systematic response to those pressures. Those Pregnancy Crisis Centers would rely less upon outright falsehoods and be able, instead, to offer employment assistance, education assistance, legal assistance in dealing with employers that might fire, harass, or otherwise penalize the woman for getting pregnant.

    When women were getting fired from positions (such as positions that included heavy lifting or other strenuous physical activity) because they could still work during the pregnancy but not lift *as much*, leaving a segment of pregnant women pressured to abort, you’d have seen a groundswell from the pro-life organizations in support of changing the laws specifically so that women would not face that pressure.

    These Pregnancy Crisis Centers, along with many other pro-life organizations, don’t want to win their fight on secular grounds. They want the end of abortions to be an expression of the power of their “side”, a conservative side, a side that believes in strict gender roles with the power dynamics strictly maintained. They want this, even for those members that are aware that this would not work out in their favor.

    They want this so their boot can be on the head of mankind for eternity.

    For the vast majority of pro-life organizations and people, it’s about their party winning and their purity running the world (or at least however much of it that they can manage). Allegiance with an atheist would sacrifice that.

  • Frank

    I certainly welcome anyone who stands up protecting innocent unborn children from being killed mostly for reasons of convenience.

    • tsara

      So, you’re pro-life. Is that a personal or a political position for you? (i.e., do you want legislation that makes it harder for people to get abortions?)

      • Frank

        Personal. I do not work towards more restrictive legislation although I welcome them.

        • tsara

          Oh, wait. I saw your other comment to Miss_Beara. You’re pro-shaming, demonizing, and vilifying people who get abortions, and basically telling them that they can’t fight back against rape — which is what hosting an embryo or fetus when you don’t want to is.
          Fuck you.

          • Frank

            I love it when someone exposes themselves for who they really are. Well done!

            • tsara

              I stand by what I said. What’s your point?

            • C.L. Honeycutt

              You mean like when you exposed the fact that you value a grown woman less than you do a zygote? Yeah, you did give away that you’re pretty uneducated and slimy. Good job there.

            • FaithIsGlorifiedDelusion

              After reading your posts, I second what tsara said:

              FUCK YOU.

    • Smiles

      How is it both unborn and a child? Furthermore, it is disingenuous to call a fetus “innocent” when it lacks the capacity for guilt (and conciousness, self-awareness, pain, etc).

      • Frank

        Ok lets call it a human life if that makes it more comfortable for you.

        Innocent as that the human life did not ask to be created, did not participate in the human life’s creation and has made no choices at all in life.

        • Miss_Beara

          Still can’t use a woman’s body without her consent.

          • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

            Doesn’t matter if it’s a probe, a penis, or a fetus. I’m allowed the right to consent over each and every use of my body. And I’m allowed the right to withdraw that consent at any time for any reason I like, even no reason at all. There’s no such thing as “implied consent” when it comes to one’s body being violated and used in such a manner. Courts have already upheld that idea. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McFall_v._Shimp )

            • http://irrco.wordpress.com/ Ian

              [Absolutely no agenda on this comment, except to learn - genuine question asked respectfully with my gender privilege in as much check as I can muster]

              What do you do with the moral aspect of that case. Shimp’s position was found to be ‘morally indefensible’. I understand and agree that you’re talking about *rights*. But I rarely hear (and don’t tend to think) of pro-choice folks seeing abortion being ‘morally indefensible’, at most some express that it is ‘always a tragedy’ or some such. Do you disagree with the judge’s opinion of Shimp, or are you just using that case to establish a minimum legal baseline, and your moral judgement is separate?

              • tsara

                Jumping in: IMO, it should absolutely be the pregnant person’s legal right to end the pregnancy in whatever way they feel is best at any time and for any reason, but the morality of abortion (again, IMO) depends on a lot of different factors. I have no moral problem with the abortion of an embryo and consider it to always be zero bad — there isn’t enough of the nervous system present in an embryo for it to carry moral weight.
                I do grant fetuses some moral weight — roughly the same amount as I grant cats. It is, obviously, morally indefensible to kill cats for no reason. But from my point of view as an outsider, I just plain don’t have enough information to judge the morality of any given case. The particular factor I can never have enough information about is the psychological impact on the pregnant person.
                I would expect that forcing someone to remain pregnant and give birth when they really do not want to would tend to result in psychological damage comparable to that of rape or torture, and I’d pick removing a cat from its human life support system over being complicit in something I consider to be morally equivalent to rape or torture any day.
                To make it even easier, though, the vast majority of abortions are done in the embryonic stage (particularly when abortion laws don’t make people seeking abortions jump through ridiculous hoops in order to get them), with the vast majority of exceptions being a) people who are some combination of young, mentally ill, poor, uneducated, abused, and/or cognitively impaired and/or b) for health complications.
                /unsolicited wall o’text

                • http://irrco.wordpress.com/ Ian

                  > /unsolicited wall o’text
                  A much appreciated one! Thx

              • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

                I appreciate the disclaimer. <3 That was really respectful of you to take the time to make your position clear. I'll apologize in advance for a somewhat lengthy reply.

                I don't think abortion's a tragedy at all, except when it's not voluntary (forced on a woman, or else done for purely therapeutic reasons). It's a medical procedure in my opinion. I don't give it moral weight. It means only as much as the woman involved thinks it means.

                I guess my moral judgement would be separate, and necessarily so. I think that a lot of times we might not agree with *why* someone wants to do (or did) something. But we still recognize that the person has the right to do that thing. I don't disagree that the judge in this case has full rights to personally make a value judgement about how he personally feels about this case. It was rough on me to read about as well. But to continue the quote on the Wiki article I posted: "Judge Flaherty also stated that forcing a person to submit to an intrusion of his body in order to donate bone marrow "would defeat the sanctity of the individual and would impose a rule which would know no limits, and one could not imagine where the line would be drawn." Except that yes, actually, I see exactly where the line is getting drawn–in Texas and in countless other legislatures around my country.

                Even in cases where we might not feel comfortable with *why* an abortion is happening, that the woman in question has the absolute right to decide what violates her body, when, how, for how long, etc., is still more important than our personal comfort level with why she's exercising her autonomy. Some people might not agree with why a woman is refusing sex, either, or why a woman is using her right to free speech or a number of other rights she has been granted. But her rights to do these things is still there regardless of how we feel about why she seems to be doing it. Though I do NOT compare abortion to the repressive parade that is the Westboro clan, I CAN draw some comparisons there–to why we must get over our personal squeamishness with the vehicle of expression of a right and concentrate on the value of the right itself.
                To add to Tsara's point, if her cat needed to draw upon a random stranger's body fluids and organs to heal itself of some injury, certainly some strangers would volunteer. And we'd consider them nice folks. But we would not chain them to chairs and force them to donate their bodies to this cat's cause. Even moreso we wouldn't go on to single out one particular human and volun-tell that person what they're going to be doing for the next almost-year! If there's only one human body available that can be volunteered for violation, and that one human owning that body doesn't want to be violated, then that human is the only one whose opinion matters. Nobody else can help out or take over–as with post-viability fetuses. Nobody else can endure the pain, risks, and complications for that one human or assume the costs and fallout for her. It's not fair or right for anybody else to demand that one human undergo those things and deal with the costs and risks just to assuage their own moral discomfort.

                • http://irrco.wordpress.com/ Ian

                  *Really* appreciate the length of the response, and the content. Thanks Cassidy!

        • tsara

          If it’s inside of me and I don’t want it there, I ask it to get out. If it doesn’t get out, I am justified in taking whatever action I feel is necessary to get it fucking out of me.

        • Gus Snarp

          Human life is no better. It’s basically meaningless. It is intended to have the connotation of human being, but it’s not a human being. It’s an emotionally loaded term without real technical meaning.

          It’s a fetus.

          • Frank

            Its a human life and if left alone will be a child. I understand the need to remove the humanity from this life so when its killed you can sleep better at night.

            • Gus Snarp

              It has no to minimal brain function. It does not think or feel, let alone feel pain. Just because it has the potential to be a human being does not make it a human being.

              I understand the need to give emotional weight to the clump of cells, or the developing organism that you couldn’t distinguish from a fish embryo if you looked at it in order to make an emotional point.

              • C.L. Honeycutt

                Oh yeah, been a while since I asked an anti-choice god-botherer if they’re aware that embryos have gills, tail, and coats of fur. That must be part of the Devil’s plan to make it look like the subject is complex or something and that they should read a book.

            • C.L. Honeycutt

              If it’s left alone it will die in minutes. Try to keep up, angrums.

              • Frank

                Cognitive dissonance at its finest! Well done!

                • tsara

                  …how is there any cognitive dissonance demonstrated in that comment?

            • tsara

              My sleep is very important to me. I get suicidal when I don’t sleep well or enough. If I were pregnant, I think that would be counterproductive.

              • Frank

                I am glad you can make light of this. Very telling.

                • tsara

                  Actually, I’m being about 90% serious. I do have mental health issues, and pregnancy would exacerbate them to the point where I probably would kill myself.
                  Snarky tone, serious point.

                • Frank

                  Ok I am sorry that I made an assumption.

                • baal

                  Which is why these blanket anti-abortion bans are such a problem. Lots of individuals would be in the same or similar serious positions. They are then faced with having serious mental health issues or seeking an illegal abortion. They may even have been working quite hard to avoid the pregnancy in the first place but condoms break and your side doesn’t even want the birth control available.

                • Frank

                  Don’t make the assumption that I am against birth control. If that saves an innocent life I am for it.

                • baal

                  Then I wish you were all we had to deal with. The (R) legislators this last session (2013) went hog wild all over the map in their war on women including rollbacks or stopping birth control. Stopping funding of PP in Texas alone spiked up the # of pregnant teens.

                • Goape

                  Frank, here is an honest question: given that sex, if uninterrupted (“left alone”) can lead to fertilisation and, according to you, at that point “Its [sic] a human life and if left alone will be a child”, then what demarcates the boundary of acceptable interference in the process of human procreation? It appears that your stance here has become a bit fuzzy to me. In other words, how can you be so sure about a pro-life stance and still insist that it is possible to save a life by preventing it?

                • Miss_Beara

                  So do I which is why a pregnancy is not going to happen, period. The mental health issues pregnancy will bring on is serious enough, the inevitable post partum depression is something entirely different and incredibly more scary.

            • Rachel

              If left alone, it’s over. If allowed to siphon the woman’s bodily resources, and use her womb for its continued development, then it will eventually become a person. But if left alone, that zygote, fetus or embryo is absolutely nothing. That “human life” is toast.

            • Glasofruix

              Every sperm has a potential of becoming a human being, yet i don’t see people like you crying about it…

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          Arguing that a woman is morally required to carry a pregnancy to term is arguing that a man is morally required to donate blood, bone marrow, and organs to help carry a pregnancy to term. And since the fetus didn’t ask to be conceived, both parents would then be morally required to theoretically continue donating body parts to aid that fetus, to no end.

          Turns out that when your argument ACTUALLY means that women are less important than embryos. And you probably wonder why people roll their eyes when you talk.

          • Frank

            Trust me no one is rolling their eyes more than me. And if people like you are rolling their eyes at me its absolute confirmation that my position is the morally correct one. So thanks for the support!

            I agree that fathers should be held more accountable and also should have a say in what happens to their future child,

            • Smiles

              “…absolute confirmation…”

              You don’t science good, do you?

              • Frank

                Reading comprehension is not your strong suit is it? Where are the smart atheists? Where?

                • FaithIsGlorifiedDelusion

                  Why do you FAIL so much?

          • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

            Nobody ever wants to talk about forced organ donation, but that seems like the natural way to go when discussing forced birthing. I mean, forcing everybody to donate organs would save thousands and thousands of lives, lives of people who are already born and standing here, but for some reason we never talk about that. Even if I cause a car accident that puts someone in serious need of my blood or organs, I am not required to give those things up if I don’t want to.

            But because a woman’s body is public property, it’s okay to violate her if it’s for a good cause.

    • Carmelita Spats

      Convenience? Tell that to a nine-year-old in Brazil who would have been forced to birth her rapist’s semen demon…I guess that it was due to an issue of “CONVENIENCE” that the third grader’s mother decided that her child should NOT be “INCONVENIENCED” with a pregnancy and C-section and thereby end up with a permanent SCAR across her vagina so as to remember her rape…

      http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1883598,00.html

      BTW, would you outlaw the IUD and the pill if chemical contraception were shown to affect the lining of the uterus and “endanger” a fertilized egg/child by preventing implantation? Al Mohler, the former head of the Southern Baptist Convention, believes in outlawing chemical contraception:

      http://www.albertmohler.com/2011/11/17/were-all-harry-blackmun-now-the-lessons-of-mississippi/

      • Frank

        Only 3% of all abortions are due to saving the life of the mother or incest or rape.

        • baal

          And yet your side still wants that 3% to literally die or suffer.

          • Vicq_Ruiz

            “My side” wants women who are rape/incest victims, or who make a decision in the first trimester, or whose child will be born with life-destroying congenital conditions, to have the right to an abortion.

            But “my side” also says “Twenty one weeks??? Healthy with a good clean ultrasound?? That’s a baby, and no, you can’t just do away with it.”

            “My side” doesn’t seem to get much attention though, being drowned out by the hard-core ranters to our left and our right.

            And btw I have been an atheist all my 50+ years.

            • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

              “Your side” apparently doesn’t know that people with clean, healthy ultrasounds and plenty of money don’t wait until 21 weeks to have abortions. The only people who try to get abortions that late are people who are A) going to die or be severely injured if the pregnancy continues, B) carrying a fetus that is severely deformed, C) unaware until very late that they were even pregnant at all, or D) couldn’t scrape up the money and time to get an abortion before this time even though they tried.

              So what does banning abortion past 20 weeks do? It kills women, forces them to birth infants who then die in agony, penalizes very young girls and women with irregular periods, and forces poor women to have babies they don’t want. Your side is less wrong than anti-choice extremists, but it is still wrong.

              • Vicq_Ruiz

                Well, as someone who’s been a (libertarian flavored) conservative as well as an atheist all my life, I’m used to dealing with fellow atheists who find me a political troglodyte as well as fellow conservatives who declare me hell-bound. No offense taken…..

                • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

                  I’m not sure “libertarian” means what you think it means. I’m pretty sure it does not mean “using laws to invade women’s bodies and try to dominate their most intimate decisions.” Or at least didn’t originally. I’m hearing from it seems quite a few libertarians who find nothing dissonant whatsoever in holding libertarian ideals with at least some flavor of forced-birthing.

                  There is no evidence whatsoever that denying women the right to a late-term abortion will do anything but kill more women and cause more fetuses to die in agony. When you deny *any* abortion, what you really do is destroy the right to access a legal, safe, therapeutic abortion as well. Women don’t tend to get late-term abortions without there being some serious problem. They don’t skip to the hospital singing TRA LA LA LA LA LA YAY ABORTION! like it took them 6 months to decide one way or the other. Making the procedure illegal will only cause hospitals to dither about whether or not a presenting woman is virtuous enough to “deserve” an abortion–like that lady in Ireland who died. Remember her? Abortions were actually legal in life-threatening cases, but they weren’t *quite* sure this was life-threatening enough, and so she died while they debated it back and forth. And a woman near my state got to carry a dying fetus for two weeks inside her body until it naturally died because late-term abortions are bad, but the fetus was getting nowhere near enough oxygen and the ultrasound showed serious developmental problems. Because late-term abortions are outlawed in my country and her state, she got to deal with it dying inside her all that time because she was not allowed to get one. She *wanted* that baby, and it majorly screwed with her head that it was suffering that whole time just because some crusty old white dudes thought she did not deserve an abortion even in that situation.

                  It’s not women who have clean ultrasounds who are going to suffer under a late-term ban. It’s women who need therapeutic abortions to save their lives and to prevent needless physical suffering in their fetuses. Stop imposing your moral judgement on other people and let them make their own decisions. THAT’S libertarianism… I thought.

                • Vicq_Ruiz

                  In emotional tone, this is not much different from the comments I get from fundamentalists who are determined to SAVE THE LIVES of those eggs implanted three hours ago.

                • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

                  Tone trolling is always a good dismissal tactic. If I’m a good little girl and talk exactly as pretty as you’re comfortable with and I’m as sweet and appeasing as you like, will you listen to me then? Please, daddy? Please?

                  Just think about it, is all. When abortions get criminalized, women who need them therapeutically are the ones to suffer. I get that you’re making a moral statement about precious babies and whatnot. You’re making a moral judgement about women who get late-term abortions; you think that women will use those rights frivolously even though there’s not an iota of evidence that you’re correct. You want to ban the procedure in certain cases because those cases aren’t virtuous enough for you to tolerate. You’re okay with me controlling my body… but only up to a point. You’re under the mistaken impression that any serious need will be adequately addressed with such a ban in place. You think there’s some valid compromise that will make enslaving me okay in some situations. I get that. But if you weren’t paying attention a bit ago when Savita died in Ireland because of exactly the ban you want to put in place in America with all your “libertarian” ideals, if you didn’t notice when Danielle Deaver was forced to carry a dying fetus for weeks because her state has such a ban in place (or that various other states are trying to introduce laws forcing women into similar horrific ordeals, like in Georgia), and you didn’t connect those cases with a late-term abortion ban’s fallout, then you’re not a hell of a lot different from any protesting forced-birther in front of any Planned Parenthood in our country.

                  http://abcnews.go.com/Health/20-week-abortion-ban-nebraska-oklahoma-fetus-feel/story?id=13116214

                • Vicq_Ruiz

                  Well, your diametric opposites on this issue are equally as capable of tearing a strip off me as are you, the main difference being that they use loaded words like “murder” instead of loaded words like “enslaved”.

                  In the final analysis, the abortion issue is going to be determined by when the American people decide that life begins, and nothing else. I’m perfectly willing to abide by their decision on that.

                  Personally, I believe that life begins when the fetus is capable of surviving to a healthy life outside the womb. Your mileage may, of course, vary and I don’t challenge your right to your opinion.

                  If someone assaults a woman in such a way that her seven-month fetus miscarries, has any crime other than simple assault taken place?

                • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

                  You’re talking apples and oranges. It doesn’t matter “when life begins.” Even if life began at conception, you’re still talking about enslaving one human being to another human being’s will. A fetus does not get more rights than you do, and you’re not allowed to rape me even if there were a situation that suggested that raping me would save your life. You are a grown person and you’re still not allowed to force me to donate blood or organs to you. You are a person who is already here, whose personhood is not in any doubt, and you are not allowed to violate my physical body in any way against my will. I get the right of consent when it’s a man threatening to rape me, but not when a fertilized egg implants in my uterus? Sorry, but no. So either it’s not a person till it’s viable, in which case who cares what a woman does with it, or else it’s a person, in which case the woman’s rights to consent and self-determination outweigh whatever it needs from her. It’s a red herring completely, and does nothing but derail.

                  A 7th-month fetus is viable, so the laws and situation are very different. At that point, the fetus does not strictly require one person’s enslavement to survive. Our government has expressed its interest in maintaining such fetuses if its parent does not desire it to be inside of her body. Should a fetus make it to 7 months, it gets the rights granted to any other person. Apples and oranges, again. Given that late-term abortions are vanishingly rare and that usually they happen in the case of great physical need, you’re legislating a problem that doesn’t actually exist, and you are doing nothing but threatening the lives and safety of women who need those abortions. Women do not dither for six months trying to decide if they want a baby or not and then skip down to the abortion clinic. Most abortions happen before a fetus even classifies as a fetus–before 9 weeks, in other words, and in those cases when an abortion happens after 9 weeks, in way too many cases the reasons involve a poor woman’s financial and logistical problems in obtaining the service.

                  I think you’d have an easier time with late-term abortions if you understood more about why they happen and what happens when a therapeutic late-term abortion is needed in an area that has outlawed non-therapeutic late-term abortions. Women die then, and fetuses suffer unimaginably. I’ll never put a fetus’ rights over a woman’s rights, but even I don’t want to visit suffering upon anything unnecessarily.

                  Ah, modern libertarianism. Get the gubmint outta your life–unless it’s a woman’s ladybusiness. Then get yourself right in there, because her rights ain’t gonna violate themselves!

                • Vicq_Ruiz

                  If someone assaults a woman in such a way that her seven-month fetus miscarries, has any crime other than simple assault taken place? If so, what charge should be brought?

                • tsara

                  Not murder, that’s for sure. I think where I live the charge is aggravated assault.
                  EDIT: and I’m pretty happy with that being the charge. I’d also be okay with assault plus criminal negligence causing death, but not manslaughter or murder.
                  EDIT II: Seriously, why is this a thing that people think will change minds? People keep asking like it’s a ‘gotcha’ thing, and that makes no sense to me.

                • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

                  First, this question has *NOTHING TO DO* with elective abortion. It doesn’t even halfway compare. That you’d even go there puts you right up there with those twits who think that gay people are pedophiles. Second, I already answered; I realize I can get lengthy with replies, but I’ll try to be more succinct now:

                  A 7-month-old fetus is a viable fetus, and therefore can survive outside the womb, so therefore is a person, so the laws that apply to assaulting any person apply to that fetus. We already have laws applying to these situations.

                  It’s hard to give a charitable read on a loaded red-herring of a question like that. I can see where you think you’re going with it, but the analogy is flawed right out of the gate. It doesn’t go where you think it goes. If you’re that convinced that we need to restrict late-term abortion, you’re the one who needs to demonstrate that non-viable fetuses should get more rights than already-born people get with regard to overriding women’s consent to the use of their bodies, and you’re the one who needs to demonstrate that your proposed ban will not hurt women or cause undue suffering to doomed fetuses. Good luck with that quest, since there’s already ample evidence to the contrary (I’ve only cited two cases, but it doesn’t take much research to turn up lots more). You’re just another one of those guys who is terribly uncomfortable with women owning their bodies and making decisions about those bodies that you don’t like. You’ve tried to paint yourself as Not Like Those Other Guys by proudly proclaiming that you’re cool with early-term abortions (YAY AREN’T YOU OH SO VERY NICE), but you are very much one of those guys if you are willing to rip that control away from them and force them to gestate against their wills at other points. You need to learn a little more about what late-term abortions are really like–who gets them, why, and how often they happen. And you need to think a little more about what your society would look like if fetuses got more rights than actual people get.

                • Guest

                  If you do not think independent life begins until natural childbirth, by all means continue to advocate for a position based on that.

                  I happen to differ with you by about 90 days, and I will advocate for a position based on that.

                  If you can’t help but getting seriously wound up about my position (which we both agree would restrict a vanishingly small percentage of abortions) then so be it. I’ve said things that have gotten people wound up in the past, will do so in the future, and I still sleep pretty well at night.

                • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

                  I did not say that, do not say that now, and would never say that. You are making a straw man. I wonder if I’m just too wordy for you or something. Reading can be so hard!

                  It’s astonishing to me that you’re this inept at comprehending and engaging with dissenting opinions, yet still insist you have the wherewithal to make decisions for other people about the most intimate functions of their bodies. If you can’t even understand the basic arguments *against* late-term abortion bans, then you should be in no position to make decisions for other people’s bodies regarding what they will and won’t allow to violate them.

                • Vicq_Ruiz

                  One more thought. If your position is that the seven month fetus is a baby if the mother wants it to be, but an appendage if she does not, then there is nothing left for us to discuss.

                • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

                  Are you having trouble reading? For the THIRD TIME:

                  A 7 month fetus is a viable fetus in most cases, so therefore not an appendage. Until it is viable it exists only because it is building itself out of her body; it is not much different from any other organ in her body, and exists only at her sufferance and with her consent. But the rules change dramatically once it’s viable. Even if a woman withdraws consent at that point, if someone else wants the fetus they are welcome to have it, and the law has expressed that it wants that fetus once it’s viable and that it is willing to shelter and provide for that fetus after viability.

                  You’re sure having a lot of trouble with this false analogy you’ve so lovingly constructed, aren’t you? A person attacking a pregnant woman is NOT analogous to her getting a late-term abortion. It’s more like someone forcing an abortion on a woman. A late-term abortion is not typically done for reasons other than therapeutic necessity; post-viability abortions are even rarer and even more likely to be done for purely therapeutic reasons. And you still have not demonstrated that a ban on such abortions would do anything but hurt the women and fetuses you’re making the moral judgement about and and trying to control with your oh-so-very Libertarian ideals. Is it more important to make a moral statement and control women? Or is it more important to make therapeutic abortions accessible, safe, and as non-traumatic as possible for both the mother and fetus?

              • Vicq_Ruiz

                If someone assaults a woman in such a way that her seven-month fetus miscarries, has any crime other than simple assault taken place?

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  It’s probably aggravated assault, but no. If there are specific laws forbidding forced abortion, those could potentially apply, but it might be a stretch. If it is not already a crime, it should be a crime to cause a woman to miscarry who doesn’t want to- it is a graver assault on her person than not causing a miscarriage. However, any upcharges or additional crimes are due to harm caused to the woman, not her fetus.

                • chgo_liz

                  According to the Bible, the criminal owes her husband a small fine for the loss of his potential chattel.

                  Sadly, I’m not making that up.

            • tsara

              In addition to what Feminerd said, ‘your side’ also penalizes people who are mentally ill and/or cognitively impaired. To make it even more horrifying, remember that those people are considerably more likely than average to be the victims of abuse of all kinds.

            • Cake

              I’ve never heard an argument, from a non religiously motivated person, that clears the hurdles of violating a woman’s right to bodily integrity in favor of their enslavement to a scrap of tissue incapable of thought; that doesn’t involve chanting “human life, human life, human life” like it’s some sort of magic spell.

              Care to take a shot?

              • Vicq_Ruiz

                Surprisingly, a large number of Americans’ (not all religious fundamentalists by a long shot) views on abortion are at least partially determined by their interpretation on when independent life begins. (I say “surprisingly” because this may not necessarily be true in the circles in which you travel.)

                And I do not have a problem with that. As far as I am concerned, my niece was born at 28 weeks and I have not an iota of doubt that she was an independent human being. Anecdotes do not policy make, but then I’m only using this anecdote to substantiate my opinion and my vote.

                • Cake

                  I would hope you would have something more than it just feels right to you to go with the option of giving a fetus more rights to a woman’s body than she herself has. More rights than actually born, thinking, existing people. More rights than corpse has.

                  I guess you’re just going with the magic spell option.
                  Sad.

        • FaithIsGlorifiedDelusion

          Your ass must be real big to pull out all of those numbers like that! What else is up there?

          • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

            Nah, that’s an accurate statistic. It’s just an irrelevant one.

        • Japooh

          15% of all abortions in the US are performed for women who are married. We can trade statistics all day long.

          I actually have a file of them on my desktop, for exactly these conversations. Do you really want to do this? I’m fully prepared to make my case – are you?

    • Spuddie

      No you don’t. She is an atheist. You think she is going to hell in a handbasket.

      Then again you are so craven that you would probably be able to hold your nose when speaking with her.

      • Frank

        If she has rejected Jesus until the end of her life, she has chosen herself to be seprated from love for all eternity.

        • Gus Snarp

          Ah, well, good. At least we’re clear on what kind of a morally reprehensible philosophy you live by.

          Those fetuses must be born, so they can suffer horrific torture for all eternity.

          • Frank

            Ignorance can be so tiring… sigh!

            • RobMcCune

              You could try accepting knowledge and reason into your mind, you’d have much more energy.

              • Frank

                I have but obviously many here do not.

                • RobMcCune

                  Good, if only Frank, rwlawoffice, and Blacksheep would follow suit.

          • Stev84

            If they actually cared or followed their theology to the logical extreme, they’d abort them because that would guarantee them a place in heaven:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-mB27_YA6w

        • Spuddie

          You hate her guts because she has rejected Christ. But you are too desperate for support to be impolite about it to her.

          Christian mendacity at its best. Smile, be friendly to anyone useful, never betray your utter contempt for them openly.

        • UWIR

          How does one “reject” someone who does not exist (or, at the very least, someone for whose existence there is no reasonable evidence)?

          • Frank

            You have the choice to reject the existence of God.

            • UWIR

              I am not aware of God’s existence, therefore it makes little sense to say that I have chosen to reject God’s existence. If I produce an obscure tropical fruit that you are unaware of, would it make sense to say that you have “rejected” it?

        • FaithIsGlorifiedDelusion

          When you’re dead, you’re pretty much separated from everything.

        • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

          Prove it.

    • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

      You don’t understand what the word “convenience” means, nor how disrespectful, dismissive, and vastly judgmental your use of the word is. Keep that Christian love flowing, there, Frank.

      • Ella Warnock

        Oh, he understands it quite well. That’s why he’s using it to be as disrespectful, dismissive, and judgmental as possible. I would say that he’s “wielding” the word, but it’s more of a clunky, awkward and inelegant clobbering. Graceless and without wit or a scintilla of self-awareness.

        • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

          Hey, every time a toxic Christian mis-uses big words s/he doesn’t understand, another person sees through the illusion of Christlike “love.”

    • Sk3ptec

      Abortion is a crime against humanity. At some point people that facilitate and/or promote it will be brought to justice.

      3500 people are brutally slaughtered per day – every day. That’s a twin towers, 9/11 event… every… single… day. Even the crimes of the Nazis pale by comparison.

      People – stop killing your children!

      • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

        Fetuses aren’t children. You know, forced-birthers would be taken more seriously by rational people if they didn’t so frequently misuse big words they don’t understand.

        • Sk3ptec

          Just because you can’t HEAR them scream, doesn’t mean they don’t.

          • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

            If it’s inaudible, and can’t be detected by science, it isn’t a “scream”. (In addition to which, a fetus is categorically unable to scream.)

            • Sk3ptec

              I don’t know how you can sleep at night. Barbarian. Yours is probably the most heartless comment I’ve ever read. Making a casual frivolity out of human suffering on a grand scale. Your thought process is absolutely vile (or maybe just underdeveloped).

              But to your point, you validate my statement. Yes, it technically takes air-filled lungs passing the vocal chords to make an actual sound. But the convulsions, as the baby is cut into pieces and/or ripped apart, should be proof enough that they’re trying to scream. It’s inhumane.

              Mother’s who are coerced into doing this are perhaps naive and being swindled – I’ll grant them some grace. But the cold greedy knowing doctors and the corporate dung-piles making billions on this sick genocide should be arrested and tortured in Guantanamo. Even that would be letting them off easy. (NOTE: This solution will never happen as the GOV makes too much money taxing the huge profits generated by mass slaughter. It’s a win-win for them.)

              • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

                Are you serious? That was such a load of cockswallop I can hardly even begin to take it apart. You do realize that the mechanism for pain doesn’t even exist for fetuses, right? Most abortions happen well before a fetus even has a nervous system. And no, actually, providing abortion services doesn’t make a lot of money at all compared to providing neonatal services all the way up till delivery and beyond, any more than vaccines provide more money than treating lifelong illnesses like polio.

                Poor, poor women. We’re such stupid little sluts. We don’t know anything about our bodies or what’s best for us. We keep trusting real medicine and real science to tell us what’s going on in our bodies instead of dogma handed down by old white farts in power. We keep insisting on owning our own bodies and having the right to consent over each and every violation of our bodies. How foolish and deluded we are. How very, very fortunate we are to have a BIG WONDERFUL PERSON LIKE YOU to decide all these hard things for us and force us into slavery. Once you get going, why, we’ll probably start liking it. Eventually. Abortion bans always result in fewer abortions and women getting back in the kitchen and embracing their natural functions as breeders. Always.

                For a person whose username sounds a bit like the word “skeptic,” you really have swallowed the Kool-Aid, haven’t you? This is why your side is losing, by the way. You’re not just lying. You’re pants-on-fire lying. And we know it.

              • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                Whatever, woman-enslaving misogynist troll.

              • MercuryCrest

                I’ve never read more manipulative drivel than the crap you just spouted with this comment.

                You are lying to advance an agenda. Stop it.

                • Sk3ptec

                  People that kill babies are sick. No agenda there buddy.

          • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

            Delusional bibble-babble. Manipulative word twisting. Unscientific horseshit. Is that seriously what led you to adopt the forced-birth mindset? Because wow, that is pathetic.

  • Mario Strada

    I would suggest to the Atheist pro-life woman subject of this article not to try to work for these centers. I am sure they help some people, but their focus is way too narrow and their philosophy is one I could not get behind as an atheist even if they were doing wonderful work. And they are not.

    Here is an idea: you are a pro-life believer. So am I incidentally. I am just a realist that understands that if abortion is not available, safe and affordable, women will get abortions anyway; only in unsafe and possibly deadly conditions.

    Why not invest your time in caring for new, low income mothers that have kept their babies but are abandoned by everyone else?

    Why not devote more time to the babies that are alive but are going to grow up without hope, education and jobs?

    That’s what life is. It’s not just a beautiful concept. Life it’s a reality and after the babies are born, the real fucking work begins.

    Save the babies that are alive and leave the religious nonsense for these organizations that really don’t give two shits about their precious babies once they are out of the mother.

    • cary_w

      I agree with you, but i would also add, why not get involved in things that have actually been shown to reduce the numbers of abortions? Such as becoming an advocate for comprehensive sex education? Or supporting access to health care and affordable contraceptives?

    • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

      If they really wanted to reduce the number of abortions, then they would work with groups like Planned Parenthood towards a goal of better sex education and access to birth control. The problem isn’t abortion. The problem is unwanted pregnancies. There would still be reasons for abortion, but the number would be greatly reduced. I don’t know anyone on the pro-choice side who would be opposed to better education about reproductive health. It shows that it’s not really just about abortion that the “pro-lifers” also don’t want good sex-ed taught.

      • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

        I’m sure it’s only the wildest coincidence that a forced-birther’s solution to the question of unwanted pregnancies is to just not have sex. The goal is making unapproved sex scary and risky, not actually giving people the tools they need and want to control their fertility.

    • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

      Or, you know, do stuff that actually lowers the rates of unintended pregnancies. Free birth control distribution, sex education seminars, and donations and volunteer work with the local feminist groups would go a lot further than volunteering for a bunch of manipulative liars whose sole goal and focus is spreading the “good news.”

  • Beth

    There are a lot of lies in those centers. I would suggest that she works towards a degree in social work then work with a doctor’s office or set up her own practice..

    • UWIR

      One of the lies being the lie by omission of not being upfront of their being “ministries”.

  • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

    Boy, she has has it rough. First the christian pro-lifers will have nothing to do with her, and now the pro-choice atheist want nothing to do with her. Between telling people that their fundamental core belief is wrong, and her draconian desire to have the government control the women’s bodies, you think she would have more friends.

  • Gus Snarp

    Maybe, just maybe, Christian pregnancy crisis centers are more interested in winning souls for Jesus than in doing anything useful whatsoever.

  • Lori

    I suspect that one reason Christian pro-lifers want nothing to do with Ms Terzo is that she’s a living counterargument to the idea that you need God to come to the “right” moral positions. That’s a huge problem for authoritarians.

    • meekinheritance

      Interesting idea. I agree it could very well be part of the reason.

    • Mark Gordon

      I think its just because they are bigoted.

  • Jim Charlotte

    This just goes to show they are all about pushing religion and using fetuses and pregnant woman as footballs in their games.

    • Miss_Beara

      They don’t even care about the fetus. In Texas they voted against prenatal care for low income women. All they care about is control.

      • viaten

        That’s quite telling. I can see their “logic”. Leave it all in God’s hands, no intervention in any way. What ever happens was meant to be.

    • Bdole

      It makes more sense to use the fetuses as footballs, you can get a real spin on them and they go further.

  • badgerchild

    Years ago, my mother was fired from a secretarial position with a Southern Baptist Church-based agency, not because she wasn’t a Christian (she was, in fact, a Christian, and a full member of a fundamentalist church at the time, though it wasn’t SBC), but because she was of Jewish ancestry. There was no attempt to gloss over or justify the decision, just a simple case of “we don’t want your kind here”.

  • Dave The Sandman

    Hear that tiny barely audible tinny scratching noise Sarah?

    That’s me playing “Hearts and Flowers” for you on the microscopic Stradivarius I own.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnXOr8GvKcQ

    Its about the same size as the amount of pity I have for you and all other atheist anti-choicers when you get rejected by both atheists and god botherers alike.

    At least a god botherer can say “Because Jeebus!”. You and all the rest of the secular anti-choicers just have “Because! Thats why!”

    • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

      I knew a secular forced-birther once. I told her that her entire argument boiled down to “slavery for a good cause is perfectly fine, and if someone small and cute wants to violate your body, you have to allow it.”

      • Michael Albright

        Babies aren’t cute; they look like Winston Churchill. I mean, more accurately, Winston Churchill looked like a giant baby, but the resemblance is uncanny in either direction.

  • Guest

    Being pro-life usually means supporting convicted criminals, rapists, child molesters and murderers for the rest of their life sentence and causing more unwanted and unnecessary births, usually ensuring a life time of suffering for all of those involved.

  • Rachel

    “Pro-life” is what saps and clever cynics have labeled the religious-right’s movement to control women’s reproductive abilities and, ultimately, lives. That’s why almost all of the “science” they use is cherry picked at best, psuedo-science generally. That’s why most of what they feed their followers is sentimentalism (“ohhh, the babies! Who would want to hurt an innocent angel?!” Obviously, no one. No proof needed; you hit ‘em in the emotions, show a picture of an 8.5 month old miscarriage or a doll masquerading as a fetus, and there you go, case closed). That’s why they do not want “outsiders” in their movement — because it’s a form of imposing their religious ideals on other people. It doesn’t make sense, when that’s the end goal, to embrace non-religious people.

  • Joe_JP

    The separationist cause can have various personnel, but if a group is specifically Christian in nature, I can understand (though it is rather bad policy) if they want the foot soldiers to be Christian too. There are places for her to go.

    ETA: For instance, if the group uses prayer & other techniques to promote its cause, it might wish to have someone who cannot do that sort of thing.

    I saw a reference that some might assume bad faith on the part of a godless sort. Maybe; if the group thinks it is necessary to be a believer of God to be moral, not believing in God might be seen as a major weakness for the group. I think this misguided as would those who actually are “pro-life,” but given you would have to think using their mind-set.

  • SphericalBunny

    Woman who wants to tell other women what they should do with their bodies is rejected by people who want to tell other people what they should do with their minds. Cry me a fucking river.

    • Just Me

      Best comment!

  • SJH

    The answer may lie in what the worker told the applicant. They said they were a Christian ministry and they only hired Christian volunteers. She would probably respond the same way if a Muslim person tried to work there.
    I do think it is unfortunate. I would agree that they should probably find a position for her. I’m sure there is something she could do for them.

  • Ryan Hite

    That sounds typical and highly hypocritical on both sides.

  • JA

    In a sad sort of way, I found this amusing. Some theists are unable see past their own prejudices to recognize an ally, it seems.

  • DougI

    Anti-choice clinics are there to promote religion, but they like to hide that fact up front. The anti-choice clinic that operated next to Dr. Tiller’s (before a pro-lifer from Operation Rescue assassinated him), is officially registered as a Christian ministry but they don’t advertise that fact. One woman, five weeks pregnant went in there. They played back a heartbeat pretending it was her fetus’ (not likely), then when she left they gave her a Jesus DVD and a New Testament. Why? Because they’re in the religion business.

    Naturally they don’t want an Atheist there, an Atheist has no purpose when it comes to their religion agenda.

  • Garret Shane Brown

    “We don’t have atheists or nonchristians working here. But you are free to give a donation.”

    I find that hilarious. “Oh, I fucking hate people like you, but feel free to give me money.”

    • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

      Sounds like Florist Christian.

  • Carmelita Spats

    Jumping Jesus on a pogo stick…If Sarah wants to work for a crisis pregnancy center, she needs to step up her game as a liar so she can fit right in with the usual pile of liars for Jesus. The first step is to LIE about your credentials just like all the other creepy crisis pregnancy stalkers. It seems that Sarah already has this under control since she was willing at one point to pimp herself as a “counselor” solely on her shrill Internet cat fights arguments. Credentials? Professional ethics? An LPC number? A licensure board? Liability? Hell, who needs them high falutin’ thingies when you have years of experience at “winning” Internet cat fights arguments. Planned Parenthood is under strict scrutiny but any crisis pregnancy jackass who can claw out an Internet argument is qualified to defecate JEEEEZUS all over somebody else’s MENTAL health. If Sarah has no qualms about LYING to women and portraying herself as a “counselor”, she should have no problem strapping on a big-ass glittery cross dildo around her neck, muttering “Come Lord Jesus” as she sticks a sonogram wand into a rape victim’s vagina and hollerin’ “I’m a goddamn Baptist” when asked about her religious affiliation.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Adding you to my Follow list because I dislike missing even one of these rants. ;-)

      Imagining them in Mandy’s voice is even better.

    • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

      My ex-husband, a fundamentalist preacher, volunteered for a CPC. I can flat out tell you they are nothing but a piss-soaked bag of liars, and I know this because I read their very own training/operations manual.

  • Logic Hurts

    Religion is poison

  • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

    Why, it’s almost as if they’re not interested in saving babies but rather in advancing a dominionist agenda whose primary function is to get people into lockstep with their religious ideals.

    It’s shocking to me that secular people ever sign off on the forced-birth agenda. Nothing those groups do actually lowers abortion rates. Everything they want is designed to advance a Christianist agenda by rolling back women’s rights and controlling their sex lives. They want to make sex ultra-risky and burdensome so women will quit having sex they don’t like. That’s it. That’s all. They do not advocate a single tactic that actually works to prevent unplanned pregnancies, and it ain’t hard to figure out that the reason for that is because their goal is not actually lowering abortion rates like they say it is. I don’t get how a secular person could be so blind as to want to help those misogynists.

    Though I will say this: I don’t know how *anything* would snap a forced-birther out of that lunacy faster than volunteering for a CPC. Seriously. Their entire thrust is lying to women (look it up–they get in trouble constantly for pants-on-fire lies told to women), and they are very quick to claim they do all this stuff to help women and babies when in fact they absolutely do nothing of the sort.

  • Sk3ptec

    “I did not find a single one that would allow an atheist to volunteer.” I agree, this is a strange phenomenon. Not what I would expect. Probably fear, like it’s a trap or something.

    But seriously??? “…Our sides seems to have no problem with religious leaders (at least in name) who run church-state separation groups. It’s also hard to imagine an LGBT group that would reject a Christian ally.” I mean… you’re joking right.

  • Kristine Kruszelnicki

    As a pro-life atheist, the same thing happened to me, almost verbatim. It’s why I’ve had to start my own group. I share some of my story here on the repost of Sarah’s story: http://www.prolifehumanists.org/on-being-a-pro-life-atheist/ I’ve been repeatedly told that I couldn’t be hired by pro-life groups on account of my atheism. Even groups that publicly use only secular arguments. :P

    • Spuddie

      “I’ve been repeatedly told that I couldn’t be hired by pro-life groups on
      account of my atheism. Even groups that publicly use only secular
      arguments.”

      Which should tell you about how seriously anyone takes secular anti-abortion rights arguments.

  • Paula M Smolik

    Huh. Anti-abortion atheist.

  • Michael McVey

    I agree. The babies need all the help they can get.


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