Social safety net? Heck no! Women must pay for sex!

Some responses to my post on losing faith in the pro-life movement have been thoughtful. Others have not. “No, Pro-Lifers Are Not Making Children Too Expensive to Let Live,” written by Calvin Freiburger and published on Life Action News, is one of the latter.

I’ll be addressing Anne’s argument that pro-lifers actually encourage abortion because the other policies of pro-life politicians make it more expensive to have children.

That’s not actually a bad summary of what I said in my post. My point was that since raising children is extremely expensive today, putting programs in place to help people afford children has the potential to cut the abortion rate. However, pro-lifers are generally politically conservative and thus in opposition to those exact programs. For full clarity, let me quote myself:

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

Okay, so back to the post on Life Action News:

(Naturally, left unmentioned is the ghoulishness of deciding whether to kill a child based on finances, making abortion the only area of life where liberals aren’t instinctively repulsed by the thought of putting money above basic human compassion. But I digress.)

Okay, wow. See, I’m the one saying that we need more social and financial support for raising children so that women aren’t forced to terminate pregnancies due to lack of a funds. How in the world is that “putting money above basic human compassion”? And beyond that, many women who abort for financial reasons are doing so because of compassion – they don’t think it would be right or fair to a child to bring him or her up in their situation or environment. Sure, that argument only works if you don’t consider a zygote, embryo, or fetus a person, but it’s important to remember that women who abort for financial reasons aren’t necessarily thinking “I want to be able to afford that new coach purse” but rather something more along the lines of “I don’t want bring a child into this world who will have to worry where his next meal will come from.”

The Effects of a Social Safety Net

Freiburger challenges the idea that a greater social safety net would lead to a decrease in abortion. He argues that abortion rates for poor women differ between ethnic groups (as though I said that poverty were the only factor) and that state to state the abortion rates don’t universally bear out that conservative states with lower social safety nets have more abortions while liberal states with higher social safety nets have fewer (as though I said that the strength of a social safety net were the only factor). Freiberger also turns to conservative political talking points, arguing that conservative policies actually make life less expensive by cutting taxes, that welfare is fraught with abuse, and that we need to differentiate between a “hand out” and a “hand up.”

So. Let’s move from from the abstract to the concrete for a moment. I have two children and am in graduate school. If I were to become pregnant now, without substantial savings to live off of I literally could not afford a third child. Let’s walk down the expenses involved here. First, there is maternity leave. While the U.S. requires that women be given six weeks of leave, it does not require that it be paid, so I could potentially be talking about six weeks without pay. Second comes the medical costs. Maternity care and birth runs $6000 to $10,000, with no complications, and many types of insurance coverage don’t cover maternity. Similarly, adding a child to your healthcare plan generally means an increase in costs, and that has to be considered as well. Third is daycare. Depending on where you live, daycare for a baby runs from $200 a week to $400 a week (I wish I were kidding).

Now, fortunately, my work would give me six weeks of paid maternity leave. If I worked at Walmart I would not be so lucky. Similarly, state medicaid (part of that social safety network I was talking about) would cover my maternity costs and, because my income is low enough, it would cover the baby’s healthcare costs as well. What would really be a problem for me is daycare. And simply quitting to be a stay at home mom isn’t an answer either, as we couldn’t afford to live on what my husband makes. If I were to have an unintended pregnancy, I don’t know for 100% sure what I would decide. But I do know that if I didn’t have paid maternity leave and medicaid, I would likely – indeed, almost certainly – have an abortion. I really wouldn’t have any other option. I also know that if I didn’t have to worry about daycare costs, I likely would not have an abortion. However, in reality I would have to worry about daycare costs, and those are exorbitant.

I suppose Freiburger would say that in making considerations like that I would be “putting money above basic human compassion.” But I’m not really sure the alternative Freiburger would have. Would he want me to carry the pregnancy to term and then find myself unable to make rent or feed the children I already have? Freiburger also speaks against maternity leave in his piece, because, he says, it would just make employers cut benefits elsewhere, and indicates that programs like medicaid just enable people to make irresponsible decisions. When I look at what Freiburger’s world would look like for me, I see a spiral that leads to me dropping out of school, my family going into debt, and me worrying about keeping the heat on. I see the potential of my children growing up in grinding poverty.

What is my point here? My point is that it’s all fine and well for Freiburger to argue in the abstract that whether or not things like maternity coverage, paid maternity leave, medicaid, or subsidized daycare would reduce the abortion rate, but when it comes to real women in real situations, whether or not these programs exist matter a great deal. And don’t think women with unexpected pregnancies don’t think about these things. They do.

Sometime last year there was a comment left on my blog by a woman who told about becoming pregnant in grad school, while single. She initially thought of abortion, but looked around to see what programs were available to potentially help her raise a child on her own, and on a low income. She found that her state offered subsidized daycare as well as medicaid, and therefore choose to carry the pregnancy to term. If she had found otherwise, she said, she would have aborted. In her case, her state’s decision to offer subsidized daycare to low income families prevented an abortion that would otherwise have taken place. I’m really not so sure why this sort of thing is so hard to grasp.

Women Must Pay for Their Decisions

After all of that, though, Freiburger’s final section reveals that he doesn’t really care so much whether or not a social safety net decreases the abortion rate. In this section, he first quotes from my post and then responds in what is his final paragraph:

I want to say I’m surprised, but I’m really not, because I’m remembering rumblings underneath the polished surface of the things I was taught. This idea that women shouldn’t “spread their legs” if they’re not ready to raise the results of their promiscuity, that the government shouldn’t be expected to pick up the tab for some slut’s inability to say no.

Actually, Anne has just alluded to the ultimate refutation of her point: pregnancy doesn’t just happen. The women she’s talking about presumably know they can’t financially handle parenthood, yet have chosen to bring the possibility of pregnancy into their lives. All of them could have chosen to say “not tonight,” and it wouldn’t have cost them a cent. Why isn’t it reasonable to expect people to factor basic responsibility into their decision-making? Why isn’t your preparedness for children something you should consider before having sex? And once you’ve brought about a situation you’re not ready for, why should the burden for alleviating it automatically shift to the rest of us? Most importantly, why should your child pay the ultimate price for costs you’ve incurred?

The weird thing is that I’ve seen other pro-lifers argue that my characterization in that quoted paragraph is a strawman, an imagined stereotype that doesn’t exist. But that’s not what Freiburger does here. Instead, he steps right into that supposed strawman like it’s a suit made just for him. Freiburger argues that women should have to foot the full financial bill for children they bring into this world because, well, if they couldn’t afford children they shouldn’t have had sex, and if they couldn’t refrain, well, then they have to pay for their decision.

But my whole point was that if it’s really about saving babies and not about making sure women face the full consequences of having sex, then the focus should be on finding a way to bring down the number of abortions that occur, not on forcing women to bear the entire “burden” of their choice to have sex. Perhaps the most astounding thing about the comments on my post on losing faith in the pro-life movement is the number of people who stepped in to confirm exactly what I said – that the pro-life movement is about ensuring that women face consequences for choosing to have sex.

Freiberger argues earlier in his piece that a greater social safety net for parenting, including things like maternity leave, subsidized daycare, and medicaid for pregnant mothers and children, does not decrease the abortion rate, and now I’m wondering why he even bothered to make that argument, because it appears that whether or not a social safety net brings down the abortion rate does not matter to him. What matters to Freiburger is that requiring others to pay for the consequence incurred by a person who can’t afford children having sex is wrong. Subsidized daycare? Pregnancy medicaid? Paid maternity leave? No, nope, and nada. Women who have sex when they can’t afford children have to pay the full price for that decision. Asking anyone else to share those costs would be wrong.

What was that about “putting money above basic human compassion”?

Some commenters on my original post argued that I was wrong, that pro-lifers did care about the women, and that that’s why there are crisis pregnancy centers and that’s why pro-lifers set up funds to help poor women afford to keep their pregnancies. I’d like to believe them, but the more things I read like this one, the more I realize that I can’t. You can’t show compassion to women while condemning them like this. You just can’t. And besides that, Freiburger seems to think that showing compassion just enables irresponsible choices.

But it’s not just that. Pro-choicers often accuse pro-lifers of being pro-fetus but anti-child. As a pro-lifer I thought the accusation was ludicrous, but I understand it now. You see, by requiring a poor woman to bear the full consequences of having sex and refusing to support any programs that might help her handle those costs, pro-lifers doom her child to a life of utter poverty. Programs like medicaid or Head Start aren’t about enabling lifestyle choices pro-lifers find abhorrent. Rather, they’re about helping poor children. And yet, Freiburger seems to see these very children as simply a form of punishment meted out to poor women for having sex when they couldn’t afford children. The statement that pro-lifers value children until they are born may seem inflammatory  but then I read things like this:

Most importantly, why should your child pay the ultimate price for costs you’ve incurred?

Freiburger is talking about a fetus. Once he starts talking about a child – and the costs involved in raising a child – he absolutely thinks that that child should have to pay for her mother’s decision to have sex when she couldn’t afford children. Because, you know, programs to give that child a better life than grinding poverty would be shifting “the burden for alleviating” the situation the mother wasn’t ready for “to the rest of us.” Fetuses shouldn’t have to pay, but children should.

Conclusion

But now that we’ve finished the piece, let’s review what Freiburger would suggest for my situation – married, two kids, and graduate school.

Actually, Anne has just alluded to the ultimate refutation of her point: pregnancy doesn’t just happen. The women she’s talking about presumably know they can’t financially handle parenthood, yet have chosen to bring the possibility of pregnancy into their lives. All of them could have chosen to say “not tonight,” and it wouldn’t have cost them a cent.

Ah, yes. I see. Freiburger would have me simply say “not tonight” to my husband, tonight, tomorrow night, the next night, and so on for the next three to five years until we’re in a position where we can financially handle having another child. I should have figured.

Why isn’t it reasonable to expect people to factor basic responsibility into their decision-making? Why isn’t your preparedness for children something you should consider before having sex? And once you’ve brought about a situation you’re not ready for, why should the burden for alleviating it automatically shift to the rest of us? Most importantly, why should your child pay the ultimate price for costs you’ve incurred?

And then, if I have sex with my husband even though we’re not financially prepared to have a third child and we end up pregnant, well, it would be wrong to ask for any public aid to help in raising that child (or even the associated medical costs) since we, you know, chose to have sex, so, say hello to poverty. I sure hope Sally, Bobby, and little imaginary baby Gene are ready for the ride.

For more on what I’ve written on abortion, click here

About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.

  • Sarah-Sophia

    I’ve noticed that it’s mainly the female partner who is to not have non-marital sex or suffer the consequences, you hardly hear someone telling the male to not “put out your dick unless you can afford a baby.” Also I can’t help but believe that he thinks that only in marriage can you have sex where emotional/physical intimacy is real. I find it BS to believe that piece of paper changes the quality of sex. Many women can attest that being married does not automatically give you intimacy.

    • http://www.texannewyorker.com jwall915

      I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. Marriage doesn’t automatically make sex good, or intimate, or safe, or whatever. This is actually one of my pet peeves about the purity culture. Anyway…

      But yes, these people think that only marriage can give you good sex, but they go a step further and think that marriage GUARANTEES good and safe sex. Fundies and pro-lifers believe that yes, it’s fine to have sex during marriage, but they also believe that marriage = prepared for a baby. They seem to believe that being married means you can handle having a baby in every way, even if that is clearly not the case for a couple. And no, they do not advocate waiting for marriage until one is done with school, financially stable, closer to age 30, emotionally mature, etc. They just believe that a marriage license fixes everything and suddenly a baby is a blessing.

      I think this conversation I had with my mom once illustrates their viewpoint perfectly. I was 20 at the time, in the middle of my college degree, dating a good guy.
      Me: Mom, hypothetically speaking, if I got pregnant by my boyfriend, what would you want me to do?
      Mom (who is very anti-abortion): I’d want you to carry the pregnancy to term and give the baby up for adoption.
      Me: Why?
      Mom: because you’re both still young, you’re both in school, you have your whole lives ahead of you, you don’t have much money, and you both need to finish school.
      Me: so you say this even though we’re in a committed relationship and would both love the baby?
      Mom: love is not enough. Babies need a lot more than love. (Accurate statement!)
      Me: so you would say the same thing if we were married and then got pregnant. You’d want me to still give the baby up for adoption.
      Mom: no, of course not! If you’re married why would you not keep the baby?
      Me: because nothing would be different except a piece of paper in my scenario. We’d still be in the middle of school, we’d still have no money, we’d still be young, we’d still have our whole lives ahead of us. The only difference is that we signed a piece of paper.
      Mom: well, you’d be married. That means you should keep the baby.
      Me: Why? We couldn’t give it a good life. Being married doesn’t mean anything other than you signed a piece of paper. It doesn’t make you financially stable, it doesn’t make you emotionally mature, it doesn’t magically grant you a college degree or a good job. All it means is that you had a ceremony and signed a legal document. It doesn’t mean you can handle having a baby.
      Mom: silence…

      This perfectly illustrates their viewpoint and why they will not answer any of Libby Anne’s hard questions about her own situation. She’s married, so what’s the problem? They aren’t saying that a married couple shouldn’t have sex; they are saying that a married couple getting pregnant is no problem, simply because they got married.

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        “And no, they do not advocate waiting for marriage until one is done with school, financially stable, closer to age 30, emotionally mature, etc. They just believe that a marriage license fixes everything and suddenly a baby is a blessing.”

        In fact, quite the opposite, it seems. A lot of advice I’ve read that’s geared towards young evangelicals actively encourages early marriage. (Tie the knot before you give in to your urges and defile your precious purity!) And in this day and age of education inflation, terrible economy etc., I know precious few people in their early 20s–hell, precious few people in their 20s, period–who are in a financial position to have children, married or not. Part of that is because I move in circles where people tend to do low-paid work (read: teaching, arts, humanities, helping professions etc.) and there are plenty of exceptions but I think it’s pretty widely acknowledged that young people are needing more and more time to achieve the stability that past generations were able to achieve at a relatively young age. Their whole outlook just makes no sense in so many ways.

      • http://ripeningreason.com/ Bix

        That’s a revealing anecdote. My brother’s girlfriend said her mom suggests they elope, even though she (the mom) would doubtless like a wedding, because it would make their relationship more legitimate in her eyes, and because it would make it “OK” for them to have kids. They said they’re not even considering kids for another few years because they’re not financially able right now, but in the mom’s eyes getting married would make it feasible, even though being legally wed wouldn’t change their financial situation. So yeah, I think this is a very common train of thought.

        Also, do people like Freiburger think contraception doesn’t exist, or that married people don’t use it or get abortions? (Well, I think Fox News commentators proved the existence of that train of thought, too.) Telling women to say “not tonight” to avoid pregnancy only makes sense in a world where people don’t or can’t avail themselves of the myriad options to substantially mitigate the risk of an unintended pregnancy. And it only makes sense in a world where couples are willing to remain abstinent for a period of years, which is not a desirable or tenable solution. Saying no to consensual and desired sex isn’t taking responsibility, it’s shooting yourself in the foot. Most people want sex and most people consider sex an important part of their romantic relationships. Fortunately, we live in a time when we can have sex AND use contraceptives to reliably avoid pregnancy. Yay, science! Unfortunately, there’s still a serious lack of education about the contraceptive options available, and not everyone has good, affordable access to the full range of options. Boo, people who spread misinformation and attempt to restrict access to reproductive technologies!

        But maybe this is all predicated on the belief that women don’t really want sex? Or that the world is divided into uncontrollable sluts who deserve to be punished and good, chaste women who only have sex for procreative purposes? Or: sexually uncontrollable working class women and chaste middle class women? And/or: sexually uncontrollable women of color and chaste white women? Because I think that if you scratch the surface, you’ll find those tropes and prejudices lurking beneath. I certainly think you see them in conservative responses to the election.

        Anyway, this further proves the point that it’s more about condemning other people’s sex lives than it is about helping children, because if it was the latter, they’d support Head Start.

    • http://AztecQueen2000.blogspot.com AztecQueen2000

      Moreover, according to many evangelicals, aren’t you not allowed to turn down your husband? How does saying “not tonight” work when you’re married and your husband can override your veto? (Of course, this doesn’t refer to any specific marriage, but the whole idea is stupid–especially since many birth control and abortion consumers ARE MARRIED!)

    • Alice

      Yeah, evangelicals tell women not to have sex if they don’t want to get pregnant but almost never tell men that. It’s because they have the stereotype that men are sex-crazed beasts with no self-control, so women always have the responsibility of hitting the brakes.

  • http://atheistlutheran.blogspot.com MargueriteF

    I don’t know about Freiburger specifically, but I think a point you’re not mentioning is that a lot of these people would frown on the fact that you work and are in graduate school. Many of these folks really believe that all women should do is stay at home and pop out babies, while the husband works and supports his family. They also believe that couples must have all the babies that God “gives” them (never mind that most guys can’t make enough to support the eight or nine children that are the inevitable result of not using birth control) . Often these people don’t just feel women must pay for sex, but for the evol feminism that leads them to think they shouldn’t be arranging their entire lives around home and baby production.

    • Carys Birch

      I don’t know about other people’s situations, but I don’t think my last boyfriend could have supported me and even one child. We’d have needed two incomes if we had had even one child. And if we didn’t have any incomes there wouldn’t be an impediment to us both working. It’s an aggravating loop. But the point being… even if you DON’T have a lot of kids, one income just is not enough for many many people.

      • Carys Birch

        *if we didn’t have any CHILDREN there wouldn’t be an impediment to us both working.

        That was one hell of a typo. Whoops!

  • Saraquill

    I don’t know why that person calls him or herself “pro life” if s/he views children as a righteous punishment for coitus. Children are people, women are people, and viewing them as wicked abstractions does a disservice to them.

    • Frank

      The only people who see children as punishment are those who would kill them before they are born.

      • Azura

        The only people who see uteruses as punishment are those who condemn those who have them to starvation, homelessness, death, and rape*.

        *Penetrative rape is the forcing something into a person’s body without consent. Vibrators, dicks, hair brush, or fetus; the object itself doesn’t matter, but the complete disregard for control over one’s body and disrespect for consent does.

      • Frank

        Yeah that’s whats happening! :rolleyes

        Seriously tone down the fallacious rhetoric and maybe, just maybe there might be a coming together to solve the problem that over 21,000 innocent unborn children are killed each week mostly due to reasons of convenience.

      • Azura

        Fallacious eh? Well you explain how forcing a woman to have something inside her against her will is not an example of non-consent and I’ll agree it’s fallacious. Oh, and there’s an easy way to stop abortion, and Libby Anne already told you; easily accessible birth control, sex-ed, and safety nets that help women care for those babies. Do you support your local Planned Parenthood? They help prevent the unwanted pregnancies that lead to abortions, make birth control affordable, and teach women about their bodies so they have the information to prevent pregnancy. Do you vote for social progressives who support welfare, subsidized daycare, and student meal programs?

        True story, a woman at my school is on exchange from the UAE. Her and her husband had no idea that you had to penetrate to make babies. The thought sex was literally sleeping together naked and that God made babies. How would she have known what to do if she was raped? What about another girl from her country who moves here and doesn’t want a baby?

      • Frank

        Is it not someones will to engage or not in activity that produces children without adequate protection?

        I would support PP if they stopped performing abortions. They are the biggest provider of abortion.

        I agree that there are cases where there is no easy answer so lets focus on those that are easy, like stopping abortion for convenience. I know there is disagreement on what is considered convenient but I bet we can find common ground.

      • Anat

        Is it not someones will to engage or not in activity that produces children without adequate protection?

        What is adequate protection? If enough people have enough sex some of them will get pregnant even if in the couple in question the woman had her tubes tied and the man had a vasectomy. Nothing short of hysterectomy actually ensures no pregnancy ever no matter what.

      • http://www.facebook.com/lucrezaborgia lucrezaborgia

        What if I don’t accept your reality? Is my reality, one where fetuses are not children, any less valid?

        Why are fetuses = innocent children? What do you base that on? You keep saying over and over that it’s murder but you have yet to put forth a single argument. Screaming at us all “murder” DOESN’T DO ANYTHING.

      • Frank

        Use multiple methods of birth control or if you want to be sure go ahead and have that hysterectomy or limit your sexual activity or find other ways to please your spouse other than intercourse. There are solutions out there.

        Either way you go into knowing the facts but you don’t want to be held accountable for your choices and would rather simply kill an innocent life to pay for your choices.

      • Frank

        It is your choice to believe that an unborn child is not really a child. I mean that is really the only way to make a case for abortion. It certainly is convenient to that way.

      • http://www.facebook.com/lucrezaborgia lucrezaborgia

        That’s not an answer. Why do you believe that a fetus is the equivalent of a child?

      • Frank

        I am sure you have heard the reasons before and I wont be saying anything new. So if you were not convinced before I am not going to convince you now. I could easily ask why you think that its not a child but I have heard all the arguments and I find none of them compelling.

      • Anat

        Frank, I disagree. My position on abortion does not rely on the capacities of the fetus. The only fact about the fetus that is relevant to my position is that it resides within the body of a person, deriving its nutrition and otherwise depending on that person’s body and infringing on that person’s life, health and freedom. Therefore the person incubating the fetus always has a say in whether the fetus should be let to continue occupying and exploiting her body. No matter what the fetus is, as long as it is also a biological parasite it has no rights.

      • http://www.facebook.com/lucrezaborgia lucrezaborgia

        So if you think that we won’t change our minds and that you won’t change your mind no matter what is said…what exactly is your purpose here???

      • Frank

        I stopped reading after you said the unborn child was a “biological parasite”. How wonderful!

      • Frank

        I am here simply to give the unborn a voice that they do not have because people look at them as “biological parasites,”

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        You know Frank, the idea that a fetus, embryo etc. is a being with personhood and the same rights as other persons is a relatively new argument. Its newness doesn’t automatically discredit it, of course, since all Human Rights arguments were new at some point–the idea of Human Rights is itself a relatively new idea, historically speaking. But it does mean that you have to actually lay out an actual logically sound argument to defend that idea, instead of merely assuming that it’s common sense or instinctual and that anybody who disagrees does so merely out of denial or for “convenience.” I can assure you that no rights battle was ever won by the defenders of those rights being too high and mighty to actually explain their reasoning as to why they should be granted. The only reason any class of beings besides straight, white, land-owning males is considered to have personhood and the rights associated with it is because people were willing to make the case over and over again for why they should be considered as such. So enough with the pearl-clutching and OMG-ing over how we can POSSIBLY not understand that embryos are the same as children. If you seriously believe that you are engaged in a fight on behalf of an oppressed class whose rights as persons are being violated, let’s hear your case. If you’ve actually got one. So you think it’s ridiculous to have to actually defend the idea that embryos are persons with equal rights to born persons? Well, I’m sure Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony often felt it was pretty damn absurd to have to spend a lifetime defending they idea that THEY THEMSELVES were persons with equal rights but they still did it. And you’re not above them, that’s for sure. So if you’ve got the goods, show them to us.

        And that’s all the troll-feeding I’m going to do because it seems to me that other commenters on this thread and others have kept you more than well-fed.

      • ButchKitties

        I can’t even find a doctor willing to tie my tubes due to my age, and this is despite the fact that a pregnancy is likely to cripple if not kill me. I couldn’t even get an IUD until my neurologist called my GYN and told her I was at high risk of stroke and needed to stop taking birth control pills immediately. And Frank thinks I can just go get a hysterectomy.

        If I was pregnant, I’m pretty sure I just laughed hard enough to miscarry.

      • Frank

        Oh stop putting words in my mouth. It makes you look foolish. I said there were options to not killing an unborn child and still have sex. And there are.

      • ButchKitties

        I’d defend myself against the accusation of putting words in your mouth, but I don’t have to. Your words are right there for anyone to read.

      • Liberated Liberal

        Honestly, Frank, the fact that you refuse to look at the hard questions and only look at what you consider the “easy” ones is exactly why you and your positions don’t deserve an ounce of respect. The world is full of the hard questions, and many of us have lived them. You, on the other hand, think because you personally are too narrow-minded to look at the vast, difficult, complex and colorful array of questions and problems they therefore shouldn’t exist and the world should be legislated based on your inability and lack of desire to have intellectual integrity. That makes you an ass, it makes you willfully ignorant, and it makes you completely incapable of the empathy required to put yourself in a woman’s shoes. The fact that you willfully admit that you are closing your ears, eyes and mind to the difficult, nuanced arguments AND that you think you will convince anybody of your position is astonishing.

        I know you think you are giving a voice to the “unborn children,” but all you are doing is reinforcing everybody’s knowledge that the “Pro-Life” camp doesn’t have a leg or an intellectual argument to stand on.

      • Judy L.

        Oh, Frank, I just love how you refer to fetuses (unborn children) as ‘innocent’. Fetuses aren’t capable of conscious thought or action, which means they are incapable of guilt or innocence (when you make the plea that ‘the fetus hasn’t done anything wrong, why punish it with death?’ does this mean that if a fetus were capable of doing something wrong it might then be okay to kill it?).

        Women’s bodies belong to them, not you and not unborn children. Sex isn’t a contract to have a child; conception may be a consequence of sex, but continued pregnancy and childbirth is not. Your construct that women who choose abortion aren’t taking responsibility for their choices and that aborted fetuses are made to ‘pay for’ those choices is ridiculous (i.e., worthy of ridicule). You’re right that children aren’t a punishment for having sex, but that’s because sex doesn’t require punishment; women don’t have abortions to absolve themselves of having sex; women have abortions to absolve themselves from having to remain pregnant and give birth to a child, which is every woman’s right. Your argument that ‘most abortions are done for reasons of convenience’ just shows that you disregard women’s experience and you regard their decisions about their bodies and their lives as frivolous. In case you were wondering, this is what we find so insulting.

        Your position at is most basic is that unborn babies have a right to be gestated and born and that those rights supersede the rights of a woman to not be forced to remain pregnant and not be forced to give birth. Here’s the thing, though, Frank, you only get to decide what do with your own uterus, you don’t get to decide what other people do with theirs, regardless of how many unborn babies you claim to be giving voice to. You’re not the fucking Lorax for embryos (“I speak for the fetuses! Whether they like it or not!). Oh, you don’t have a uterus? Well, then, your opinion counts for precisely nothing. (Yes, if you’re a man, or a woman without a uterus, your opinion about abortion doesn’t matter, because you’ll never have one. You’re only opinion about abortion that matters is your opinion about any abortions you have had or might have. Even if you’re a woman, your opinion about other women’s abortions counts for precisely nothing too.)

      • Azura

        “Is it not someones will to engage or not in activity that produces children without adequate protection?”
        - Who said there isn’t adequate protection? Birth control can fail, even sterilization can fail. Poor people cannot afford birth control a lot of the time let alone just willy nilly get their uterus removed, and even if they could you’re essentially saying if you’re too poor for a kid now you should never have one ever. So, should all girls at the moment of puberty face forced sterilization? All boys too? For free/at the cost of the state?

        “I would support PP if they stopped performing abortions. They are the biggest provider of abortion.”
        - So you won’t help prevent abortions. Good to know.

        “I agree that there are cases where there is no easy answer so lets focus on those that are easy, like stopping abortion for convenience. I know there is disagreement on what is considered convenient but I bet we can find common ground.”
        - Let’s ignore all the cases where you’d have to actually think about the moral consequences of your position? Let’s not. The only case where I consider it convenience is when a woman can afford birth control and uses abortion instead, and even then I support abortion because someone that dumb shouldn’t be responsible for a child (and that almost never happens anyway). The vast majority of abortions are for financial reasons.

        “Use multiple methods of birth control or if you want to be sure go ahead and have that hysterectomy or limit your sexual activity or find other ways to please your spouse other than intercourse. There are solutions out there.”
        - So incur multiple costs for birth control that you already have trouble affording, have your uterus removed in an expensive and life threatening major surgery that isn’t provided to people under 35-40 anyway, be celibate despite any negative effects this has on your relationship or mental health and pray you aren’t raped, focus on outercourse even when you or your partner can only get off from intercourse while ignoring any effects this has on your relationship or mental health and pray that you are not raped… none of these are valid real-world options, Frank. Someone seems to forget that every woman in North America faces a very real threat of sexual assault. I’ve been molested 3 times in the past year, though luckily none involved vaginal penetration.

        Oh, and strictly by the definition of parasite (an animal or plant that lives in or on another (the host) from which it obtains nourishment. The host does not benefit from the association and is often harmed by it (from the World Dictionary)), a fetus is one. It fits all criteria if unwanted.

      • Frank

        So in other words no one can actually justify their selfishness. Thanks for affirming what I already knew! You support killing babies and I am the bad guy. It’d be funny if it were not so sad and tragic.

      • Azura

        I still don’t understand how I’m being selfish? I’m taking responsibility for my situation (poverty, disabilities, not wanting a child) by taking birth control. It is unreasonable to expect all women to be celibate until they can carry a child to term, and for someone like me to never have sex as I will never be able to do that. So, I have sex, yes, but I have reduced the risk of pregnancy to as low as I can get it (I actually want to be sterilized via tubal ligation BUT I CAN’T at my age). However, birth control can fail and that failure doesn’t change my situation. I can’t even really chose to remain celibate even if I wanted to because RAPE happens. Like I said, I’ve been molested 3 times this year, and it could very easily happen again. There is nothing more I can do to stop being “selfish” without risking my life. Many women can’t afford birth control beyond condoms (which are provided free of charge), but condoms break and require the cooperation of the male (keep in mind that there is still a rape culture where some men feel entitled to sex and don’t want to wear condoms).

        For the last time, an embryo is not a baby. A fetus is not a baby. A baby is a baby. In any case, I will never support forcing one person to non-consensually sustain another. If you disagree, then you can donate one or all of your vital organs to the Aperture Science Self-Esteem Fund For Girls (it’s true!). Or donate your blood and bone marrow. Donate your money to charities that save lives of the post-born. Donate to help women afford to keep the pre-born or not conceive unwanted pregnancies at all. Can’t afford to donate? Why do you put your financial convenience above basic human compassion?

  • jose

    That’s a good array of questions at the end. One by one:
    1. And why do you love drowning kittens and kicking puppies so much? Nice loaded question.
    2. It is, that’s why we use birth control, duh. Also, I’m not buying into the implication that everybody who doesn’t want children is because they don’t have enough preparedness. We’re prepared to be parents, we just don’t want children. No, they’re not a blessing for everybody, not a gift, either.
    3. Because I pay so you can mail anti birth control letters to the local newspaper and pick up creationist books at the library and have firefighters save your dog when your house is on fire. I paid so you could invade Iraq and I bailed out your bank.
    4. Because you voted against healthcare for poor kids, public education and every other measure that could have helped the kid have a decent life.

  • Maleekwa

    Sometimes I wish I had time to debunk all the conservative bullshit that I hear throughout the day. Instead I just read your blog. Nicely done.

  • Anonymouse

    So, a married woman saying, “Not tonight” to her husband is going to magically solve all their financial realities? What about that preshuss BAYBEE that’s conceived the following night…or following week, or following month? The financial picture hasn’t changed for the couple.

    This also leads to the fundy hypocrisy. Fundy leaders demand the women always say “yes” to their husband’s sexual desires; it’s their wifely duty. However, when they do say yes, they’re filthy, selfish sluts who DESERVE to be plunged into poverty?

    • Rosie

      The fundies, by their definitions of “good” and “woman”, have made it impossible for anyone to be a “good woman”. I just feel sorry for all those who think they still have to try.

      • Anonymouse

        The fundies, by their definitions of “good” and “woman”, have made it impossible for anyone to be a “good woman”.

        Very true. It appears their “good woman” is a childlike, simpering idiot-savant who simultaneously births and homeschools a quiverfull and runs a household single-handedly.

      • Wendy

        Well stated.

      • Frank

        The only thing that makes it impossible to be a good woman or good person is killing a child they helped created because it would not be financially comfortable to have the child.

      • RowanVT

        So Frank, it’s better for the potential future infant to starve to death, or die from a preventable disease, or be in abject poverty its whole life rather than be aborted?

        Why do you hate children so much Frank?

      • Frank

        Oh good grief. Is your argument really that sometime in the future, potentially the child may or may not be poor and suffer? Do you really think its intelligent to put forth an argument that what may or may not happen in the future is more important than whats happening right now? That a future hypothetical trumps a present reality (over 21000 innocent unborn children are killed weekly)?

        There are much more logical and compelling arguments out there than this I’d stick to those. I mean should we kill offspring if we have family history of cancer so sometime in the future, if the child gets cancer they won’t have to suffer? What about countries in war?

        If that’s the case you make a great argument to stop procreating completely or to abort every child.

    • BabyRaptor

      @Frank-

      Shut the hell up until you’re actually in the position. You sit around and throw insults, and talk like you actually know these folks, and you actually have any vague idea what you’re carrying on about…All you’re doing is showing what an uneducated ass you are. A fetus is NOT a baby, and birthing a child you cannot afford to raise does NOT make you a good person. Take your self-righteousness elsewhere. Nobody here is buying into your delusion.

      • Frank

        How wonderful. Not only morally bankrupt but illogical and ignorant. Well done!

      • Azura

        So genetically disabled people like me should never have sex? Genetic means it’d be life long celibacy and denying a natural biological urge for 60-80 years. Or should I carry a “baby” to term, despite the fact that I’m already starving levels of poor, become bed ridden for 6 months, never be able to walk again, give birth to a baby who will have issues with mobility as well, and have us both starve or freeze to death within a month? The safety nets in Canada would allow me to go through the pregnancy without financial worry, but welfare here is still not enough to really live on and if somehow we didn’t starve and found housing for ridiculously cheep, we would still be in poverty until we died.

      • Frank

        I didn’t say that. If you have a serious medical condition than I would think that you would be extra careful to not get pregnant but there is still a risk, You can choose whether to take that risk or not. Also there are other ways to satisfy sexual urges apart from intercourse.

      • Sarah-Sophia

        Not to mention about 90% of abortions are done during the first trimester, when it is an embryo, not a fetus. Also a large majority of abortions are not done at Planned Parenthoods, most are done at independent women’s clinics. Also masturbating is not an adequate replacement for sex. Like I said sex is also about intimacy, not just scratching an itch.

      • Frank

        If you think masturbation is the only choice I suggest you get out more.

        And you are right PP does not provide the majority of abortions but:

        In 2009, Planned Parenthood performed 332,278 abortions, the highest number ever, and an increase of 2.5 percent over 2008.
        In 2009, they provided pre-natal services to just 7,021 women.
        In 2009, Planned Parenthood made just 977 adoption referrals.

        It has gone from committing 9.3 percent of all abortions in the United States to committing 27.5 percent.

      • http://www.facebook.com/lucrezaborgia lucrezaborgia

        “If you think masturbation is the only choice I suggest you get out more.”

        Any sex act that includes sperm has a risk of pregnancy. It’s low but it’s there.

      • Azura

        Yes, I can choose whether or not to risk pregnancy through intercourse. I use the birth control pill and condoms together. I do utilize outercourse for my pleasure as I only get off from specific stimulation. In order to continue bonding with my chosen mate, I also utilize intercourse in my sexual relationship. Of course, he could use a strap-on but that doesn’t feel the same at all, doesn’t help bonding, and feels terrible for him as the dildo would be sort of mushing him. He can’t get off from oral, and I can’t give handjobs well enough to get him off (I’m disabled remember), so he’d be stuck with masturbation for the rest of our time as a couple (assuming monogamy which we aren’t, but that doesn’t really address the main point of us bonding or his being able to orgasm with me). So in our situation, the only option according to your rules is to never have him come again beyond masturbation, or risk pregnancy and force me to go through a pregnancy that will ruin the rest of my life and will result in a severely disabled child that I wouldn’t be able to care for from my bed while in extreme pain. Oh, and if I happen to have the more severe form of my genetic problem (my doctors don’t think I do, but it’s a distinct possibility) I will die pretty quickly from multiple organ collapse. Or the kid could have that version of it and face even more agony than me by having organ collapses and detached retinas until their likely death before 35. Would mine be the one situation you’d allow Plan B or an abortion? Or do you recommend I break up with my boyfriend to spare him sharing my life long celibacy.

        PS. I’m still ignoring the risk of pregnancy from rape, which is much higher than sex with the boyfriend because rapists don’t often use condoms for the victim’s sake.

    • Lizzy

      Hey Frank, have you ever been to Planned Parenthood for an abortion? I have, you might be interested to know that they offered me information on adoption. I didn’t accept it because I’m a well informed adult woman and knew what it was that I wanted. That’s why I was there in the first place. I wasn’t confused about my options. Do you what the long term effects of adoption are? For both the mother and the child they can be life-long and not easy to deal with. Your team likes to play up how depressed and suicidal women are after abortions, interesting you never talk about what the numbers are like for women who give their kids up for adoption.

      • Rosie

        “Your team likes to play up how depressed and suicidal women are after abortions,”
        So true, and I find it ironic because I was depressed and suicidal BEFORE I had the abortion, but felt much better after. I’ve never seen a pro-lifer admit that as a possibility, either, but it obviously is one.

      • http://patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism Libby Anne

        To actually study how thinks like depression or suicide play into this, what you’d have to do is compare women who have abortions with women who wanted abortions and then were prevented from getting them. But too often the comparison is made between women who have abortions, and women in general, or between pregnant women who have abortions and pregnant women who carry a wanted baby to term. I’ve never seen a study comparing women who got abortions with women who wanted them and were denied them. Now THAT would be interesting.

      • Niemand

        There are some decent studies of abortion and mental health effects. Not surprisingly, they find that abortion is not a risk factor once issues like pre-existing mental health issues and domestic violence are taken into account.
        A few links:
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21486261
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19014789

      • Anat
  • Karen

    He, and all who think like he does, object to anyone who isn’t wealthy having any pleasure at all. You want education? Why weren’t you born with a trust fund? The only righteous purpose for those of us not in the 1% is to make the 1% feel good.

  • Karen

    Also, can anyone address this?

    • Niemand

      Point one: Gosnell only had a patient base because of “pro-life” laws that made it difficult to impossible for some women to get abortions in a safe setting. His existence as a practitioner is evidence that “pro-life” laws kill, not that they save. He was, essentially, an example of a “back alley abortionist.” Expect more like him as the laws change.

      Point 2: The stats are clear. Even with the occasional Gosnell, abortion is about 10-100X safer than completing pregnancy. Early abortion is the one on the order of 100X safer side. The safest thing to do is to encourage abortion as quickly as possible for unwanted pregnancies. It also has the least moral and social ambiguity. Few people except the really hard core anti-woman and anti-child contingency worry too much about the death of an embryo. More feel uncomfortable about the death of a fetus “for convenience”. Make the abortions “for convenience” (for example, the convenience of continued housing and regular food) happen earlier and everyone will be happier and healthier.

    • Rosie

      Gah! I haven’t even read it all yet and it’s already making me sick. First, the “pro-lifers” push for laws that don’t allow abortions to be performed in hospitals, and then they criticize the clinics that can and do provide abortions for not being hospitals!

  • Niemand

    Freiburger would have me simply say “not tonight” to my husband, tonight, tomorrow night, the next night, and so on for the next three to five years until we’re in a position where we can financially handle having another child.

    But shouldn’t your husband not be asking or be saying “not tonight” to you for the next 3-5 years as well? He may not be the one getting pregnant, but you share finances and surely he’s at least as responsible for them. More, if the implicit “pro-life” statement that women are inferior beings is true. Why should you ever have to say “not tonight”?

  • Anonymouse

    Another point: one reason the abortion rate in Western Europe is so much lower than here is that pregnancy and child-raising doesn’t plunge women into poverty. It’s much easier to say “yes” to having a child when you know the medical costs will be covered, that you will receive paid leave, and your child will be welcomed into an affordable and safe daycare if you choose to go back to work.

    Why fundies fight so hard against this way of life is a mystery.

    • Karen

      See my comment above. All of those things reduce misery and make the rest of us feel equal to the privileged, who cany enjoy their perks if the rest of us have anything to enjoy. The Abomonable Fancy, where the favorite activity of the blessed in heaven is watching the damned be tortured is this idea projected into the afterlife.

    • http://equalsuf.wordpress.com Jayn

      Some people practically make individualism into a cult. Don’t pay for ‘undesirables’ in any way shape or form. Don’t work towards laws that make things easier for people, even (or especially) those with little power to act for themselves.. Don’t build communities, unless they’re the ‘right’ kind of communities. Do everything for yourself that you can, because you shouldn’t trust others. It’s like they’re upset they’re not the only people on the planet. Maybe they are, because you know no one is as Good and Important as they are and so asking them to do anything for other people is just plain Wrong.

      Some days I hate living in this country.

      • Carys Birch

        That’s exactly it.

        This summer I had to listen to my mother rant about how horrible it was that a convenience store clerk gave an elderly homeless man a cup of water on a hot day. Because apparently it’s lazy and disrespectful of him to be thirsty.

        I… can’t believe people think these things. It horrifies me to the core.

  • dj pomegranate

    “Freiburger is talking about a fetus. Once he starts talking about a child – and the costs involved in raising a child – he absolutely thinks that that child should have to pay for her mother’s decision to have sex when she couldn’t afford children. ”

    Nailed it.

    (Also, loved the inclusion of imaginary baby Gene!)

    • Judy L.

      I’m on way too little sleep – I didn’t get the Baby Gene joke till I read it just now in your comment. :)

  • Sid

    Re: the crisis pregnancy bit, it makes me rage when people dare to pretend “crisis pregnancy centers” are compassionate toward women. They’re not. At all. There is nothing “compassionate” about lying to a woman about how far along she is, or about abortion laws, in order to trick her into not taking advantage of a legal, valid, useful medical procedure until she’s legally bound into a forced pregnancy. There’s nothing “compassionate” about attempting to trick women who don’t speak English into believing the CPC is an abortion clinic. Or lying about what services are offered. Or lying about the way the female reproductive system works. CPCs are set up with the intention of preventing abortions, NOT helping women. And they will do anything within their legal rights (which is basically anything, as attempts to regulate CPCs have pretty much all failed) to do so. Doesn’t matter how much it hurts women, doesn’t matter if it violates their basic human rights, doesn’t matter if it ruins their lives. Doesn’t matter if they trick a woman out of an abortion she realizes, too late, that she absolutely must have in order to have any quality of life, and she decides risking death from an illegal abortion is better than continuing the pregnancy. Zygotes are people; women are vessels who are worthless unless filled.

    • Anonymouse

      A lot of CPCs are also huge money-makers, because they also function with adoption agencies that charge hefty amounts to couples looking to adopt. I learned this when a guy in my office came in crowing about how he and his wife were finally going to get “their” baby because they contracted with (name of CPC). The baby was “guaranteed” in nine months or less. I was completely ignorant of the whole thing, and asked how they could be sure there would be a baby with their name on it. His response? “Those sluts” (yes, he actually used that word) “have to give up their babies to good Christian couples like us”.

      • wanderer

        Wow, I volunteered for a Crisis Pregnancy Center for a while and none of these things were my experience. We truly wanted to help women. I never once lied to a woman. We gave away clothes, diapers, formula, baby furniture, etc. as fast as we could get it donated. Definitely no money making happening in that center, that was for sure.
        I don’t have the same perspective now that I did then, but I still respect that they were trying to help women, not shame & punish them.

      • Saraquill

        Alas, those are drops in the bucket. I’m not calling you a liar, Wanderer, and the occasional bag of free diapers does help, but what about when the child is 5 years old and the mom can’t afford both rent and afterschool daycare? The needs do not end after infancy. (I am aware I may be preaching to the choir now, but I wanted to say this.)

      • http://www.facebook.com/lucrezaborgia lucrezaborgia

        That’s definitely not always the norm. There are many women who have blogs online who feel that CPC’s coerced them into giving up their children.

  • http://puddinsilovemylife.blogspot.com/ Tonya Richard

    The hardest thing for me in becoming pro choice is the fact that I grew up in a truly pro life home. My mother volunteered at the local crisis pregnancy center when I was a sophomore in high school. She met a young Colombian woman while there who was pregnant and had been told by her doctor father that he would not support her anymore because she was pregnant. The asshole father told her he didn’t want the baby and she had to have an abortion. She didn’t want to have an abortion, but saw no other way. Well, my mother took her in to live with us, my parents finished paying for her college while my mother took care of her baby boy. She is like a sister to me. She is now a therapist with her masters degree, happily married for over 20 years and that baby boy is going to law school and is married and the father of a little boy and a little girl. All of this, because my parents actually cared about the mother and child! The sad thing about this is my mom had to go against the director of the crisis pregnancy center. She told my mom that if she took this woman in she couldn’t volunteer anymore. The center wanted the mother to give her baby up for adoption, even though she wanted to keep her baby. They pretty much said this was her only option, they would not help her keep her baby. My parents were the odd Christians, they actually cared about people, especially people who needed help. Of course, I am now pro choice, but I do think we should do all we can to help women keep their babies if at all possible. I know this can’t always be the case, and I wouldn’t want a child brought into a home where it wasn’t wanted, but I am sickened that the so called pro life movement can’t see their blatant disregard for human life. I honestly thought all pro lifers were like my parents were, I was sad and shocked to find out that this is not the case, not even close.

    • http://www.facebook.com/lucrezaborgia lucrezaborgia

      CPC’s are notorious for being connected to adoption agencies

      http://www.thenation.com/article/shotgun-adoption.

    • Niemand

      It sounds like your mother was compassionate and cared about the woman who was pregnant but the center was not. It sounds, from your description, like the woman in question did NOT want an abortion, but felt forced into one. Your mother gave her a way out of that trap, helped her through a hard time, and gave her a path that did not involve a coerced adoption agreement that would almost certainly have been bad for her physical and mental health. Good for her!

    • Sarah-Sophia

      The ideology that women who have unwanted pregnancies deserve to be punished is what made her father abandon her in the first place. That the mother had to go against the director and that the CPC would not allow her to keep the baby speaks of it’s real nature.

    • Liberated Liberal

      Your parents seem like exceptional people. Period. Wonderful, wonderful story.

      I sort of feel like all “Pro-Lifers” should be this way, though, and if they are not, do not deserve to be taken seriously at all. If they are going to fight tooth and nail to take away a woman’s rights to her own body (which I think should never be done) and scream and cry (like Frank here does) about all of those precious little babbiiiiiieeeezzzz, they should step up to the plate and put in all of their resources to help everyone involved. But they do not. They do not care. Their number one goal is police the sex lives of women, and otherwise, they couldn’t care less about what happens. Until they behave in the way your extraordinary parents did, I will never believe that they care about babies or women.

      And I’m disgusted by the CPC telling your mother that she could not help this woman out. That pretty much proves that they are only out to score themselves some babies to sell for massive amounts of money. One more reason the pro-lifers don’t have a leg to stand on and don’t deserve an ounce of respect.

      • http://puddinsilovemylife.blogspot.com/ Tonya Richard

        Yes, my parents are and were exceptional people! I just lost my father to liver cancer, and know the world lost a wonderful human being. Finding out that the whole pro life movement wasn’t like my parents were was quite a shock. The fact that the CPC wouldn’t help this woman who desperately wanted to keep her baby is very telling. The director, who was a woman, and my mother got into a screaming match over this. My mother was shocked and appalled that she wasn’t fully behind her trying to help. My mother never did go back to that CPC and still has a bad feeling about them in general. She is still anti-abortion, but I feel she has truly earned the title pro life. She is also strongly pro contraception and does understand that sometimes abortion is the only answer to a very difficult situation.

  • Daughter

    it’s important to remember that women who abort for financial reasons aren’t necessarily thinking “I want to be able to afford that new coach purse” but rather something more along the lines of “I don’t want bring a child into this world who will have to worry where his next meal will come from.”

    Exactly. So many right-wing pundits and politicians always describe people’s financial challenges as ones of not wanting to give up luxuries, not about not being able to afford necessities. They’ll say things like, “Just like a family that’s struggling won’t take that Disney World vacation or buy a new car, we have to cut XX social safety net program to pay for our budget shortfalls.” I assume they’re all so wealthy that they don’t realize that struggling families today are worried not about not being able to afford a luxury, but about being foreclosed upon or evicted, about getting the utilities cut off, not being able to go the doctor, or not being able to feed their kids. (Or maybe right-wing politicos are just lying to make their heartlessness sound better). And I really don’t get those who follow or vote for them, many of whom are face the same financial difficulties the rest of us do.

    I do have to dissent, however, in that I had a very good experience with a crisis pregnancy center.* I was married and conceived a wanted child, but ended up in a high-risk pregnancy that prevented me from working. That same year, my husband had emergency open heart surgery and was also unable to work, and our car was totaled. We had no idea how we were going to make it, and a crisis pregnancy center helped us a lot, with both moral and financial support. (It also helped that both of us were able to go back to work shortly after our daughter was born).

    Yes, we wanted our child, and I’m sure they tried to discourage people who were seeking abortions, but to my knowledge, this center didn’t push adoption. One of their programs had Christian families open their homes to pregnant homeless women so that they could keep their babies. A teen program they had promoted abstinence, but also gave teens information about where they could go to learn about birth control options if they chose not to be abstinent. And at the end of the year my daughter was born, they had a Christmas party for all the families and babies that were born that year – it was about 30 babies. My husband and I were one of three married couples in the group, but all the rest were single moms who had kept their babies – none had given them up for adoption.

    * I will also add that although that experience made me feel very positive about crisis pregnancy centers, I also became more pro-choice at that time. Going through what we went through that year, my husband and I knew coming out of it that we could never go through another pregnancy, because we wouldn’t recover either physically, emotionally or financially. We haven’t conceived since then, but we knew that if we had, we would have had to consider abortion.

    • abra1

      That is what the “ghoulishness of deciding whether to kill a child based on finances” quote tells me — that the person saying it has very limited to no comprehension what it actually means to be poor.

      I’ll admit, I also have limited comprehension, having always lived a very comfortable middle class life but I went to a training for people (I was evaluation the program, so I am a step removed) working with individuals living in generational poverty – Bridges out of Poverty – and it was eye opening. Anyway, it really eye opening as to why people living in poverty (generational poverty) don’t – can’t – make the same decisions someone with even slightly more resources would/can.

      Since then, I’ve had a lot more experience living near/working with people living in those circumstances and, while I was always predisposed to this, I have become much more about shaping policy, etc. to maximize people ability to achieve rather than mandate what people can(not) do. If it is something you’d rather avoid because it is inherently unpleasant (even the most ardent pro-choicers would agree that having one may be the best choice but isn’t something one *wants* if the options include avoiding an unwanted pregnancy altogether), it is probably safe to assume that others would too and if they aren’t they probably have a decent to good reason for it.

      • Twist

        “That is what the “ghoulishness of deciding whether to kill a child based on finances” quote tells me — that the person saying it has very limited to no comprehension what it actually means to be poor”

        I’d put money on Frank being one of those charming individuals who thinks that poverty is a lifestyle choice, and all people in poverty are just too lazy and stupid to realise that if they just worked harder, they wouldn’t be poor. You know, becuase people totally love choosing whether to eat or heat their homes. It’s the same mentality with which Frank dismissed every reason to abort other than imminent death and rape as inconveniences on the other post Because losing your job and potentially your home is an inconveniece. Being disowned by your parents because you’re 17 and unmarried is an inconvenience. Not being able to feed the three kids you already have is an inconvenience. Being stuck in a relationship with someone who abuses you in an inconvenience. Being bedridden for months is an inconveniece. Giving birth to a severely disabled baby who will live a few short months before dying in pain is an inconvenience.

        The absolute lack of consideration for human beings is astonishing. As soon as it’s born, they stop caring.

      • Emmers

        Limited comprehension — yes, this is exactly it. I grew up very privileged, and many of my worldviews shifted when I met actual poor people. (I wish I were joking or exaggerating in this – I really do.)

    • Karen

      I want to know why it’s wrong to prefer taking a vacation to having another kid? Right wingers never deny themselves any pleasures — witness their reactions to Michelle Obama’s childhood fitness programs or Bloomberg’s (admittedly really dumb) soda laws. Why is it necessary to be absolutely desperate before seeking help?

      • abra1

        Ummm, it depends on your perspective. Even if you aren’t of the “unborn child” perspective, a pregnancy is a potential life and people have varying degree of respect that that potential demands — even if you are 100% pro-choice, you may be somewhat with the equivalence of baby~=vacation. And that is exactly why anti-abortion activists evoke that imagery. But more to the point, the choice between having a(nother) child vs. not is not the difference between a coach purse or another vacation — if only!! Instead, it is a life-long financial (unless you opt for adoption) and emotional commitment and pretty radical life-style change if it is a 1st child.

  • http://exconvert.blogspot.com Kacy

    Freiburger’s arguments reveal the problems with radical individualism. He simply cannot think on a social level to realize that children are the future of our society and are in some way everybody’s responsibility. Further he grants unique and individual status to the zygote who is viewed as a person deserving protection. A person who kills a zygote is a murderer, deserving punishment under the law. Such a view lacks a big-picture understanding of reality.

    Even worse, this radical individualism spills over into the way he thinks about women and sex. A woman’s poverty and her difficulties to raise her current children are her own fault, and her sexual decisions should be made based on her material circumstances–not based on love or devotion to her partner. This makes sex a class prerogative and a luxury that should be granted to those in the middle and upper classes.

    • http://ripeningreason.com/ Bix

      That’s a really good point. I think class is a big factor here.

  • Niemand

    Ah, Frank is back, still with the inaccurate 21K figure and still unable to address any argument with anything other than a cry of “dead babyz” and ad homs. Perhaps he’ll go back to the previous thread and answer some of the questions left for him…

    • machintelligence

      Once Frank shows up I pretty much quit reading the comment thread. But feel free to argue with him, if you can call it that.

    • Frank

      My figures are accurate. You either cannot perform a simple google search or you are willfully ignorant. Either way you look like a fool for saying that.

      • http://www.facebook.com/lucrezaborgia lucrezaborgia

        Since Frank won’t actively engage anyone, can he have the honor of being the first commentator to be banned?

      • http://AztecQueen2000.blogspot.com AztecQueen2000

        Wow, either-or fallacy combined with ad hominem. Nice fallacies!

      • http://www.facebook.com/lucrezaborgia lucrezaborgia

        We could create an epic drinking game out of his logical fallacies. Of course, we’d all be dead of alcohol poisoning…

  • Pingback: Helping People is Harder Than Condemning Them. Also, Contraception is Awesome. | Ripening Reason

  • J-Rex

    Libby, would you be willing to write more in the future about your last point?
    I feel like this is always a gaping hole in the puzzle that no one seems to want to talk about. Pro-life people will say “Women should not have sex unless they can afford the consequences.” Pro-choice people will respond with “Do you really expect married women to not have sex with their husbands?” That’s a great response, but I don’t think it’s enough.
    No one ever wants to talk about the pleasure of sex and the bonding experience of it when we’re talking about abortion. It’s the same sort of debate that we face when we talk about abstinence-only vs. comprehensive sex education. Not having sex might work on an individual basis, but for the most part, people are going to have sex no matter what, because their bodies are drawn to it and constantly telling them to do it. It’s like trying not to eat when you’re hungry. This is a fact of life that pro-choice people seem to understand very well, though they’re unwilling to talk about it and I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because it’s a bit personal and to defend why someone might want to keep having sex, they have to mention how pleasurable they find it and how hard it would be for them to stop. Maybe it’s because pro-lifers would naturally take the moral high ground and insist that theirs is the more responsible position and that avoiding sex is actually easy and there’s something wrong with you if you don’t find it as easy as they do.
    They constantly shame people for having sex because to them, it is a lack of responsibility. But for most people, it is about enjoying life and enjoying their relationships. It’s about feeling the needs of your body and satisfying those needs. And of course, you have written before that if we can separate sex from its natural consequences, why shouldn’t we? It seems strange that people who see sex as a holy connection between two people who will spend the rest of their lives together seem to also think that it’s a disgusting, selfish act if you can’t afford it and that even though sex is this amazing, perfect thing, it is totally easy to just not have it.

    • Frank

      It’s not possible to separate sex from its natural consequences although many try . That’s why we have so many problems like HIV, STD, unwanted pregnancies, broken hearts, cancer and dead babies.

      • Twist

        Except it is. With easily access to birth control, and as a back-up, abortion, unwanted pregnancies cease to be a problem.

        A lot can be done to limit the risk of STDs, and people make up their own minds the level of risk they’re willing to tolerate.

        However, monsters such as yourself insist on attempting to drag everyone back into the past by insisting that sex must have consequences. And thinking of children as a consequence of having unsanctioned sex is an absoutely hateful way to think of children, especially coming from someone who’s apparently so concerned about “innocent babies” that you want to inflict on their mothers as punishment.

        I want every child to be a wanted child, one of the many reasons that I am pro-choice.

      • Rosie

        It’s certainly POSSIBLE to separate sex from its “consequences”, but as with most technological advances, it can be expensive. And the surer you want to be, the more expensive it gets. So all your arguments about “morality”, Frank, really come down to economics.

      • http://puddinsilovemylife.blogspot.com/ Tonya Richard

        Are you not listening to anything anyone is saying? Are you even married, do you have any children? I am the mother of 8 children. It was my husband’s and my choice to have these children. We take full responsibility in every way for these children, but it is in no way easy. Pregnancy, taking care of a newborn, heck parenting a 20 year old are all difficult things to do! I can’t imagine being forced to do it in extremely dire circumstances. I am blessed, I have had an extremely privileged life compared to most, I have no right to judge someone who has had a harder time than me. I have no way of even knowing what it feels like to be poor and have to make hard decisions. But I can empathize and try and put myself in their shoes before judging them like they have had all of the opportunities that I have had. I find this is the worst thing about the pro life movement and the Christian religion in general. They have no empathy for other people and don’t even care to try. We do not live in a utopia, stop trying to pretend we do.

    • Twist

      “No one ever wants to talk about the pleasure of sex and the bonding experience of it when we’re talking about abortion”

      I think it’s difficult because of the typical mentality of the people you end up debating. It sometimes seems that the only way to make headway is to assure the pro-lifer that you are married, you are monogamous and you just aren’t able to have kids at the moment because to tell them anything else and it would pass through some kind of right-wing crazy filter and the only thing they would see is “I’m an evil selfish slutty slut slut who sluts around and expects other people to pay for it! I’m off to get a late term abortion now, then I might buy some shoes! Did I mention I’m a slut? Slut slut slut!”

      If I were to say, for example, why the hell shouldn’t I have sex? It’s fun, it’s pleasurable, it’s an innate urge for most people, and I know how best to protect myself. Sure there’s some risk involved, but there’s some risk to anything and I want to live my life, not spend it wrapped in cotton wool. I’m an adult, I own my body and I can choose what to do with it and how many other people I share it with. And all a typical babies-as-punishment pro-lifer would see is “I’m a SLUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUT”.

      • http://www.facebook.com/lucrezaborgia lucrezaborgia

        My time between serious relationships (I’ve had 3 and married #3) were spent having a lot of sex. I used a lot of condoms (smart people buy in bulk and online!) and had some packs of plan B for emergencies but didn’t need to use them. My two pregnancies as a teen were from broken condoms and a lack of access to Plan B…hell I didn’t even know it existed! But since then I managed to not only stay baby free but disease free via religious use of condoms.

        The only time I didn’t use them so carefully tho was when I was in a relationship. It’s a bit harder to be serious about it when you have much more access to your partner. A false sense of security slips into your head that just this one time won’t get your pregnant. One time becomes two, three or four. Luckily I didn’t get pregnant but I know this happened to many of my friends who didn’t have access to hormonal birth control just like me and relied on condoms. Ah, I’m rambling…

      • Kaboobie

        I too wish we could be frank about the importance of sex to a healthy relationship, whether the couple is married or not (or even monogamous or not) without being branded as sluts. It would help if more men spoke up, but there’s still that double standard that men who enjoy sex are normal and women who enjoy sex are sluts, nymphos, etc.

        I’ve been married for 7 years to my monogamous partner of 12 years. We do not want kids, and it’s not just for financial reasons. Anyone who would claim I have only two choices – be open to pregnancy or abstain from sex – deserves only ridicule.

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism Libby Anne

      I honestly feel a little bad harping on the whole “I’m married, I already have two kids, I can’t afford more, what exactly do you want me to do here” angle. I mean, it shouldn’t matter whether someone is married or not or whether they can afford kids or not. There is no reason with modern technology that someone shouldn’t be able to have sex without having children, whether they’re married or not, and there is no reason anyone should be denied an abortion, whether or not they can afford a child. Being married, monogamous, and the mother of two does not make me somehow more worthy of sex or something. But I think pointing out my case does punch a hole in popular anti-abortion narratives, since those who oppose abortion generally prefer to think that the entire issue is “sluts” who “can’t keep their legs closed” and would prefer to buy designer shoes and coach bags rather than pay to raise a child. My point is not that single women who want to buy designer shoes should be denied abortions, but rather that framing the debate in this way is misleading and ignorant and doesn’t actually represent the much more multidimensional reality.

      • http://AztecQueen2000.blogspot.com AztecQueen2000

        What about the woman who can’t say no? As in, how many states even recognize marital rape? What should she do then?

      • http://dukesofearl.blogspot.com Joy

        I actually came across one guy on Christian Forums who actually stated that he thought only married women should be allowed abortions because unwanted pregnancy is really about punishing women for premarital sex*. That’s about the time I realized that he was just openly saying what the other antiabortion people were attempting to talk around.

        *the idea that a married woman might use abortion to conceal adultery apparently escaped him.

        That said, as a married monogamous, etc. woman who doesn’t want a lot of children, I have found that birth control itself–finding a method practical and reliable and side-effect-free enough for a good sex life has been tricky. Periodic abstinence was probably the worst for our sex life and relationship, so, yeah, just “don’t have sex if you don’t want to get pregnant” isn’t practical advice for those who actually care about their marriages or relationships (and btw I completely support the choice of alternative sex acts as a form birth control, but you can run into a lot of hangups and dissatisfaction with those practices too,).

      • J-Rex

        I see what you mean and what Twist says about the crazy-right wing filter. They need to understand that what they want would restrict the choices of many people who have done things the “right” way. Married people are allowed to have sex by their standards, but that doesn’t mean they can afford children.
        I just mean that in the same way they don’t see the flaws in abstinence-only education, they also don’t see what’s wrong with telling adults not to have sex. It confuses me sometimes because it’s like I’m arguing with people that aren’t even human. Do they not like sex? I just don’t see how they could possibly say that’s a practical solution.

  • emjb

    Wait, contraception causes cancer? Do you kiss your mom with a mouth that lies that much, sir? Because that is a flat-out, make-Jesus-cry lie. Shame on you.

    On the other hand, thanks for illustrating so thoroughly that your desire for truth, along with your grasp of basic facts, is untrustworthy. Now you can be ignored, as you deserve.

    • Niemand

      No, he’s almost got a point there. OCP with estrogen in them do increase the risk of breast cancer. However, they decrease the risk of uterine and ovarian cancer, so it’s a bit of a wash on average. Depending on a given woman’s specific risks, she may be advised to avoid estrogen containing pills. Or she may be advised to take them to decrease her chances of ovarian cancer. Unfortunately, these not-so-subtle distinctions are lost on the anti-contraception movement.

    • Twist

      I figured the cancer bit was a reference to cervical cancer caused by certain strains of HPV (which of course we have a vaccine for now anyway).

      And I’d actually rather risk a tiny increase in my chance of developing breast cancer (one of the most treatable and survivable cancers) 20-30 years down the line if it means I don’t have to spend the next 20-30 years terrified that I’m going to get pregnant. But then I live in a country with free healthcare…

      • Niemand

        Fun fact about breast cancer: Women diagnosed with post-menopausal stage I breast cancer have a higher probability of surviving the next 5 years than the average woman of the same age and race. This is, presumably, because being diagnosed with stage I breast cancer implies that you go to the doctor and get your screening tests done and so have your high blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, etc under control as well. But it also demonstrates that the “cancer=death” meme is partially obsolete. Breast cancer is highly survivable if caught early. (Of course, a few cases will turn nasty no matter what you do, but some people die of ear infections and liposuction too.)

        HPV transmission is somewhat reduced by use of condoms (though not as much as transmission of most STDs) and, of course, there’s the vaccine. But that would be (gasp) escaping the consequences! And we can’t have that, can we?

  • Highlander

    See, poor women, even if they are married, are not supposed to have sex (those dirty sluts). The same thing does not apply to a poor man though, that makes him a stud, after all he can talk women out of their clothes even without bling bling, (those dirty sluts) we should admire him. It’s just common sense. Sex isn’t a basic human drive after all (dirty sluts), it doesn’t lead to stable and fulfilling relationships with one’s spouse (dirty sluts). Self actualization and good relationships like that are only for those in the middle class or higher. Poor people making poor choices to make babies need to be taught a lesson, and we should teach that lesson to their poor babies too. MORE POVERTY! That’ll show ‘em We should ban marriages between poor couples as well as marriages between same sex couples. Anyone who thinks any different is a Nazi.

    *whew… Poe’s law and Godwin’s law all in one post.

  • dux

    Why so sour Frank? If fetuses have souls,then Abortion is the only known 100% effective way of getting babies to heaven. This might piss off God, if he had planned to put them to hell. If fetuses don’t then they don’t matter. Face it, you are not concerned about little children, you are concerned about making God angry.

    • Niemand

      Too bad he’s going about keeping God happy all the wrong way. I’m an atheist, but the god I don’t believe in would be mad as anything at Frank for the harm he is intentionally and willfully doing to women and children with his words and actions. Frank, are you really ready to face God with all that sin on your soul? You can lie to us and claim it’s all about dead babies all you want, but you can’t escape your own awareness that you’re doing this because you want to rape, enslave, and murder women and that you don’t give a crap about babies or even about fetuses. Look in your heart, you know it’s true. If there’s a God, she knows it’s true. Repent, Frank, before it’s too late!

  • LeftSidePositive

    I sure hope Sally, Bobby, and little imaginary baby Gene are ready for the ride.

    I’ve been wondering since you started referring to Bobby if you were intentionally pseudonymizing your children after Mad Men characters, but I always felt too silly to leave a comment to ask–I’m strangely pleased to see I was right!

    • http://Patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism Libby Anne

      Yep! :-)

    • http://puddinsilovemylife.blogspot.com/ Tonya Richard

      Until the baby Gene comment, I thought Sally and Bobby were Libby Anne’s childrens’ real names LOL And I am a huge Mad Men fan! Duh!

  • Monika

    “making abortion the only area of life where liberals aren’t instinctively repulsed by the thought of putting money above basic human compassion”

    And making abortion the only area where conservatives do place basic human compassion above money? Is that what he is trying to say?

  • thalwen

    Banning abortion and cutting off the social safety net is an effective solution to the anti-choicer’s real goal – punishing women. However, a platform of “punish the sluts” is not going to win them much support, so they frame it in terms of saving teh baybeez. However, if you want to help babies, even if you imagine foetuses to be babies, the anti-choice solution is one of the least effective ways you can do so. If babies really matter, then they matter after they are born – and once they’re born they need stuff like food, shelter, parental attention and money and in order for most babies (and children) to have those things you need to have family planning and a social safety net.
    For a lot of the anti-choice movement (the leadership at least) it isn’t about the babies at all, the babies are just “consequences” that must be endured which, to me, is a pretty hateful view of life.

    • Niemand

      Heck, if babies matter and fetuses are babies then maybe you should start doing things that will help fetuses. Like making sure all women have access to competent obstetric care. And that pregnant women have places to live that are safe and free from domestic abuse. And that research into ways to prevent birth defects, miscarriage, and maternal complications is well funded. Along, of course, with all the things you mentioned to help actual, real, born babies. It is a rare “pro-lifer” who is interested in ANY, much less all, of these things. Hence my claim that they have no interest in babies or even fetuses. It’s really all about punishing women.

      • http://criticallyskeptic-dckitty.blogspot.com Katherine Lorraine, Chaton de la Mort

        You can’t do that! It’s socialism!

      • Niemand

        You can’t do that! It’s socialism!

        …So?

  • http://mymusingcorner.wordpress.com Lana

    The part that makes me mad is when they keep saying “women” over and over again. Women should have to pay the price for their sex. When should have to keep their legs closed. Odd part is, the conception of children requires a man, too.

    • Rosie

      And it makes me wonder how any of these men claiming that women should keep their legs closed plan to get laid. By any woman. Ever.

      Unless they’re ace or gay, in which case I don’t suppose they’re interested in getting laid by a woman.

    • http://puddinsilovemylife.blogspot.com/ Tonya Richard

      Exactly! It is like men don’t figure into the equation at all! WTF?!

  • ScottInOH

    Fetuses shouldn’t have to pay, but children should.

    Nicely said! A good, new version of “Life begins at conception and ends at birth.”

  • A. D.

    Sarah Sophia are you effing kidding me? We don’t hold MEN to the same standards? We don’t tell men that if they don’t want to raise a child then they should just abstain? EVER? If you think that’s the case then you NEED to get out more. Yeah, I forgot that if women do not want to have a child they cannot be legally prevented from escaping said responsibility as long as they have a right to abortion. BUT, if a man doesn’t want to raise a child that the women CHOSE to bring into the world, he gets to just opt out of that responsibility. There isn’t this thing called mandatory child support. Oh yeah I forgot about that!

  • A. D.

    Azura please explain to me how PP prevented 329,445 abortions that it performed in 2010 alone? Somehow I stink at math. And since you pro-aborts are clearly mentally superior to us “antis”- enlighten me will ya?

    • Azura

      Yes, because a defunded PP can totally give the proper access to birth control and sex ed. necessary to reduce abortions. PP is totally the ones who have removed many financial options that women needed to keep an unplanned fetus. Besides, PP totally helped me get birth control I otherwise was unable to get and thus prevented me from getting pregnant in the first place. PP provides abortions, yes, because that is the last option a woman has and many are forced to that point.

      Also, that’s 329, 445 women who did not end up forced to spend 6-9 months facing threat of death and lifelong poverty against their wills. I consider that a great moral good. There is a large proportion that either conceived against their wills or had the option of birth control taken away from them by financial circumstance. Women don’t get abortions for fun.

  • A. D.

    Niemand- please explain to me how Poland, and Chile have the LOWEST maternal mortality rates if “prolife laws supposedly all kill”.

    • Brian Lynch

      Usually it’s because they list cause of death as something other than pregnancy. Like they’ll cite that a woman died of internal hemorrhaging, but not not that it was a result of her pregnancy, so she won’t show up on the “Maternal Mortality” lists. That’s how they do it in Ireland.

  • A. D.

    No an embryo is not a baby. A fetus is not a baby. A baby is not a toddler. A toddler is not an adolescent. An adolescent is not an adult. Someway somehow the species to which we are referring hasn’t changed… Hmmmmm….

    • Anat

      So? Some of these entities above are born and exist without biological dependence on another, some aren’t. The latter infringe on the rights of one of the former.

    • smrnda

      Would you call an egg a chicken? Is a caterpillar or larva a butterfly? Is a seed a flower? At what stage during construction does a building become a house? Better yet, what’s the best measure for determining if someone is dead? You really can’t be sure until they start to rot. There’s always a problem with finding exact boundaries for things that go through stages of development.

      • Rosie

        In some really unpleasant cases, the rotting can happen while the organism is still alive and conscious, so even that’s not 100%.

  • A. D.

    Petti Philosopher, so the idea that blacks and women are human beings and/or persons would not have been obvious if Susan B Anthony ( who was also “anti choice”) didn’t spell it out for you?! Also, the concept of personhood is philosophical and subjective not scientific and objective like the concept of belonging to the human species. So it’s funny how something SCIENTIFIC is not enough grounds to lay the case that human beings shouldn’t be killed, but we must rely on a PHILOSOPHICAL instead to justify killing innocent human beings. And OMG children being better off dead than poor?! How could you not see this as compassionate?! Mind you, I do support social safety nets for mothers and their children, but while I disagree with those prolifers that oppose government programs, I don’t believe it invalidates the notion that the unborn shouldn’t be killed. Many if them just believe that private charity can do a better job at this than government. Many would support these programs if they could be reformed to be efficient and not make people dependent in the system forever. I just wish they would propose ideas for how to bring this about instead of just slashing the programs and then going, “Oh well.”

    • Anat

      Whether the unborn should or shouldn’t be killed – or should or shouldn’t be let to live – should be up to the very born person in whose body they reside. Her life matters, her story matters, her hopes and goals matter. The unborn are living, but they have no more story, hopes or goals than a cancerous tumor (which is also alive, and if of human origin is also human).

  • A. D.

    Brian Lynch, the same thing is done to lower the risks of abortion. When a woman dies during an abortion procedure (yes it happens) some other “health reason” is cited as causing the death and not the complications of the “procedure”

    • Twist

      Really? Care to provide a shred of evidence?

  • A. D.

    Anat, a tumor doesn’t have it’s own unique DNA, it doesn’t have brain waves, it is not SCIENTIFICALLY designated a separate HUMAN BEING. Yes, it is a remnant of a human being but not a unique human BEING itself. Please stop hiding behind artificial semantics to avoid acknowledging this FACT. Also, did you not read what I wrote? I never said the WOMAN DOESN’T matter. She does. That doesn’t require me having to support her right to kill another human being.

    • Twist

      No, it doesn’t require you having to support it. You don’t have to have an abortion, nobody will make you. However, other women are not you. You can not make that decision for them. A fetus is not a person. It has the potential to become one, but it is not a person. The woman it is residing in is without doubt a person and their right to do what they please with their own body trumps whatever rights you think the fetus ought to have, unless you think that pregnant women should not be subject to full human rights.

      Simply, even if fetuses were people, even if they were self-aware and concious in the same way that adult humans are, abortion should still always be legal because to make it otherwise is to force women to be life support machines against their will. Which we don’t do, we don’t do it with organs, blood or marrow. We don’t even take organs from the dead without their express consent and the consent of their next of kin. Why are pregnant women the only ones forced-birthers think should be legally mandated to provide life support to others against their will? Nobody is entitled to the use of anyone else’s body, ever. Whether they will die without it is irrelevant.

  • A. D.

    Anat- biological dependence has no bearing on the humanity of the unborn. Functionality also doesn’t determine humanity. I’m human wether I Have thoughts, dreams, experiences or NOT. Pointing this out doesn’t mean I think the woman is not important.

    • Twist

      It means you think that what she wants is less important than whether an unwanted fetus becomes an unwanted child. It means you don’t trust women to make decisions regarding their own health and bodies. You think that a cluster of cells ought to have rights trumping those of the person they are growing in. You don’t think women are important except as breeding machines.

  • A. D.

    I can tell Im going to have the same talking points thrown at me no matter how many times I address them. So if you guys want to keep talking in circles and then causing me to respond in a similar fashion, I will let you have the last word bc I am done here. Nana nana poo poo you enlightened, open- minded, folks win.

    • Twist

      You mean, you can’t actually come up with an argument that holds up to logical thought, or defend your position, so you’re going to flounce. Congratulations.

  • grumpygirl

    I hope many of you have seen this article.

    If you want to prevent abortion and teen pregnancy, make contraception free!

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-204_162-57526550/study-free-birth-control-leads-to-way-fewer-abortions/

  • Lindsay

    what I find fascinating about the pro-life movement and the critics of Ms. Anne (COLOSSAL FAN BTW) is their complete silence on the role men play in these unintended pregnancy. Why is there no mention of husbands making sure they don’t ejaculate in their wives? Of men refusing sex with any woman they aren’t interested in rearing a child with? Or making sure their partner is protected? This silence only further proves Anne’s points.

  • Lauren

    It’s a shame that the person responding to your article seems to think the only type of sex heterosexual couples can have is vaginal penetration. Bummer.

    Ps great response. Good to see someone actually admitting to wanting to punish women and their children.

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