What if Abortion Were Illegal?

If abortion were illegal, women forced to keep unwanted pregnancies would sink below the poverty level and find themselves stuck in abusive relationships.

If abortion were illegal, women who miscarry would be viewed with suspicion, and if it was determined that the woman played any role in the miscarriage, they would be jailed, and perhaps even prosecuted for manslaughter. The rest of the western world would look on in horror.

If abortion were illegal, profiteering doctors would set up shop and perform unsafe abortions without the safety of medical regulations. Women would die.

If abortion were illegal, a few kind-hearted doctors concerned about meeting women’s needs would perform abortions even with the threat of criminal sanction and in the face of death. Some might make the ultimate sacrifice, dying for their desire to help women.

If abortion were illegal, women with unwanted pregnancies would seek out home remedies. They would try to induce abortions using methods they had heard on the grapevine, passed from person to person, or order abortion-inducing pills online and take them at home. Some would take the wrong amount, or at the wrong time in the pregnancy, and end up hospitalized.

If abortion were illegal, women would travel to Mexico to buy abortion-inducing drugs, and seek out abortions in Canada.

If abortion were illegal, women with health conditions or nonviable pregnancies would be at risk of receiving sub-optimal care. Women with ectopic pregnancies, or women who are miscarrying, might find their health set aside as doctors consider the fate of their nonviable pregnancies. Even health care providers who authorize abortions to save a mother’s life might face consequences.

What if I told you that every one of these things is already happening in the United States as a result of increasing restrictions on legal abortion, the efforts of the “pro-life” movement, and the Catholic Church’s involvement in the American healthcare system?

These things are not hypothetical. These things are happening now.

If abortion were banned or further restricted, these trends would only accelerate. There would be more shady clinics, more solo chemical abortions and home remedies, more women jailed, more miscarriages investigated, more pregnant women seeing their health take second seat to that of their fetuses. Let’s keep that from happening.

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.

  • Rach

    Where I live, this isn’t a ‘what if’, it’s a reality…It makes me so angry that women who are already in a very difficult position are forced to leave the country to gain access to an abortion. And our government is still dragging it’s heels to legislate 20 years after the x case. It’s just awful that a woman had to die for them to finally start to tackle the issue…

    • Rosa

      not where I live now, but definitely where I grew up, where even though abortion was legal and accessible underage girls were under the control of their religiously-motivated parents.

      And the awful thing was, many were then tossed out into the street with babies, after “choosing life”.

  • Maria Lima

    You are describing my country. I know women who, despite the law, had abortions. Some of them really risked their lifes, others had money and safety in private illegal clinics. There is a lot of hypocrisy and women are suffering a lot in consequence.

  • http://allweathercyclist.blogspot.ca/ JethroElfman

    In Freakonomics, economist Steven D. Levitt posits that the drop in the crime rate of the 1990′s is largely attributable to Roe v Wade making abortion legal 15 years earlier. It’s not that young women don’t have the same numbers of children; they just have them later when they can do a better job of raising them.

  • Yoav

    The sad thing is that there are people like Paul Ryan, frothy Santorum, Mike Hakabee and other in the so called ‘pro-life’ movement who will read this list and won’t be horrified but would rather consider these outcomes to be desirable.

    • Kay

      Spot on – Just scroll down and see the dozen or so comments posted by Frank. As long as those precious 21,000 babies are saved each and every week, who gives a damn what happens to the women who conceived them (or potentially miscarry them). Those skanks get exactly what they deserve for being skanks, and the precious little baybiiiiiez get to survive, and will be born into absolutely perfect Christian lives! Hooray!! Because remember, it’s all about the baybiiiiiez. Nothing. Else. Matters. Period.

      (PS – I am a long-time lurker, first time poster…Love your blog, Libby Anne!!)

  • Rosie

    Being an herbalist, my first inclination when I discovered I was pregnant was to turn to herbal remedies. When I realized that the one that appealed to me the most was poison hemlock (which is very abundant in my area), because if it didn’t cause an abortion at least it would kill me…I called up Planned Parenthood. I kinda hate to think what might have happened if they hadn’t been at least relatively convenient.

  • Pteryxx

    The link that’s supposed to go here is a duplicate of the following, Mexico one: “Some would take the wrong amount, or at the wrong time in the pregnancy, and end up hospitalized.”

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

      That’s because that same New York Times article covers both women going to Mexico, and women taking the wrong amounts and ending up hospitalized.

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

    The right would be in a state of shock and confusion, as they can no longer blame all of society’s ills on abortion. However, they regain some sense of composure after finding a new way to punish women for having sex, by demanding that the female orgasms be made illegal. After all sex is for Adam’s reproduction and not for Eve’s pleasure.

  • Frank

    If abortion were illegal the over 21,000 unborn innocent children killed each week mostly due to reasons of convenience would have a fair shot at the precious gift of life.

    If abortion were illegal people would be forced to have personal accountability in their lives.

    If abortion were illegal we would be one giant step closer to being a nation of ethics and morals.

    • plch

      Abortion was illegal/ is still illegal in many places and none of the above never happened, think about it.
      For istance I do not think that Ireland or Poland are more moral than any other European countries, they are just more strongly influenced by the catholic church (as Italy, where getting an abortion is getting more and more difficult, for political reasons, not moral ones)

      • Frank

        There is nothing moral or ethical about terminating a life you helped created.

      • plch

        To Frank: in many cases not terminating it may be immoral too (rad the many blog entries Libby Ann wrote about the matter) .
        Moreover, making abortion illegan does *not* help eliminating it (if this is your goal) it just makes the matter more tragic: those 21000 aborted feti? who says that are going to be born? maybe they will die with their mother when she drinks a strong parsley tea, maybe the woman instead decide to visit a famous ‘angel maker’ and she just becomes just infertile, or they could be born in poverty and die of overdose at age 14… look at the grim reality not at your idealized version of the world: where and when abortion is illegal it still does exist it’s just more expensive and unsafe.

      • plch

        rad = read, and sorry for the many mistakes

      • Frank

        I don’t buy that argument. Its simply an attempt at justifying something that cannot be justified. Making excuses simply makes the immorality even more immoral.

        Maybe some of those innocent lives won’t come to term but at least they will not be murdered.

      • Niemand

        Maybe some of those innocent lives won’t come to term

        The death of an infant is extremely sad. A normal person is horrified by it. Frank, however, is not. He is willing to dismiss the deaths of “babies” as long as they aren’t aborted or “murdered” as he says. Either he doesn’t really believe that they’re babies or he simply is ok with letting small children die as long as they die of “natural” causes. Fortunately, most people aren’t like him and are willing to spend a lot of money and time to keep children alive. Thus, for example, do 95% of children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia now survive, whereas virtually none did half a century ago. Yet the “pro-life” movement has no interest whatsoever in funding medical research to prevent miscarriage or even to implement treatments that could reduce the rate of miscarriage. There simply is no “innocent” explanation for this finding: it’s either that they don’t believe that embryos are babies or that they don’t mind babies dying. Or both.

      • Christine

        Frank, did you read Libby’s article? The abortions are going to happen either way. The data is very clear that changing the law doesn’t help prevent abortions. Focus your energy on something that does.

    • Niemand

      If abortion were illegal people would be forced to have personal accountability in their lives.

      But it’s not about punishing women for having sex. Really. Not at all. Ignore that man behind the curtain…

      Seriously, Frank, you give yourself away so easily. “Personal accountability” indeed. How about putting your money where your mouth is? Here’s my idea: Abortion becomes illegal in a country if a certain percentage-maybe 30%-of men agree to sign up to be in registry of men against abortion. Then, every time a woman dies in pregnancy or childbirth, including from an illegal abortion, a random man from the registry is killed in a manner that as closely as possible emulates the woman’s experience. How about it? Ready to be held accountable for your beliefs and the damage they do?

      • plch

        *applause*

      • Frank

        I guess I cannot expect a rational or intelligent rebuttal. I suspected as much.

      • Niemand

        I take it that that’s a “no”, Frank? I’m not surprised. Anti-abortion activists are nearly universally cowards. That’s why they prefer to shoot people when they’re coming out of church or bomb clinics remotely.

      • Frank

        If your suggestion were serious you have more problems then you are aware of and should not be taken seriously. Or you are trying to make a point and failed miserably.

      • Niemand

        So you’re not even willing to theoretically, in an internet discussion which clearly has no chance of resulting in a law change, say that you’d be willing to risk your life to save what you say you consider to be babies. That says either you’re an abject coward who doesn’t care who dies as long as it’s not you or you don’t really care about embryos. You don’t even have the spine to pretend to be willing to take responsibility for your beliefs. Yet you’re so big on “accountability” for others.

      • Frank

        Why would you even suggest that someone else pay for someones choice? That’s pure foolishness.

      • Niemand

        Why would you even suggest that someone else pay for someones choice?

        You mean like making a woman pay for a man’s choice to rape her? Quite right you are.

        But I wasn’t proposing forcing anyone else to do anything. You would make the choice to enter or not enter the hypothetical registry completely of your own will. If you decided that you regret the decision, you could even exit it. But if fewer than 30% of men in the population are part of the registry, abortion becomes legal under all circumstances again. Are you willing to take a little responsibility for your views or aren’t you?

      • awakingsleep

        Hi, Frank. I’m curious if you believe there to be a rational or intelligent rebuttal possible. You later say this ” Someone who tries and justifies murder has no moral ground to stand on.
        Abortion is a necessity if you don’t value life and just want to live selfishly.” Those statements combined imply that you’ve got your mind made up and don’t believe it’s possible that anyone here can contribute to your understanding of the nuances of an issue that involves theology, law and medicine.
        However, I’m going to take a chance that your passion is coming across differently than you intend and that you’re here in good faith.
        While Libby has stated elsewhere that she is pro-choice, the arguments she’s positing above are not intended to convince you that abortion-as-birth-control is morally good; their primary purpose is to point out the unintended consequences of legislation.
        This is a lesser evil, but let’s make an analogy to adultery. We can all agree that it is a sleazy thing to do to go behind the back of a trusting spouse and have sex with someone else. Now imagine if adultery were a jailable offense. This might stop some cases of adultery, and it might feel good to see people punished for doing something that awful, but if adultery were a felony we’d also have to worry about being investigated for carpooling with members of the opposite sex, colleagues who ran into each other at the coffeeshop could be suspect, every single interaction no matter how innocent that occurred alone between a man and a woman (or two men, or two women in states where same-sex marriage is legal!!) could be called into question. By the state. With police and lawyers and judges and jail. And if people were still determined to commit adultery, it makes it so much less likely that they’d get an STD panel afterwards to protect their spouse, because that would raise a red flag at the doctor’s. It’s even plausible that if one were, say, in a car wreck with his/her co-adulterer, one would flee the scene and cause a delay in emergency care so as to not be found out. Innocent third-parties would suffer because of a law designed to stop evil from taking place, with no guarantee that much of the initial evil would be stopped.
        We can all agree that adultery is an bad thing to do, it’s in the 10 commandments for goodness sake! But we don’t see fit to make it a jailable offense because that would do more harm than good.
        Some people are pro-choice, not because they like abortion at all, but because they view the intrusion of the state into what could be a potentially agonizing personal or medical problem as an incredible overreach of its authority.

  • plch

    The fact that you don’t buy that argument does not change reality: making abortion illegal because you think it is immoral (others can think otherwise) does not make it go away, history shows us this: Roe & Wade did not invent abortion.

    • Frank

      Lets be truthful abortion will never be illegal but Roe V Wade may be overturned which would simply toss it back to the states where it belongs.

      So I am under no illusion that it will go away. People will always make selfish and immoral choices, its in our nature.

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

        Libby Anne has posted more than enough on why abortion is necessary. The fact you drum up the same arguments she’s debated proves you care little about her opinion and more about shoring up some kind of moral kudos in the end.

        Abortion is a necessity. If not just to save women’s lives (Savita Halappanavar would be alive if abortion were legal in Ireland) but also to make lives of children better. How is forcing a woman to bear a child into poverty fair for the child? How is forcing a woman to have to re-write her life because she can’t afford a child and college fair for the child? How is forcing a woman who will never be able to love that child fair for the child? I can go on.

        You talk about personal accountability for actions – which is largely used as a slut-shaming condemnation. Having an abortion is taking personal accountability – it’s taking a responsible action to prevent an unwanted pregnancy.

      • Frank

        I have read what she wrote. Its empty and not compelling at all. Someone who tries and justifies murder has no moral ground to stand on.

        Abortion is a necessity if you don’t value life and just want to live selfishly.

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

        No! You’re dead wrong if you think people who have abortions don’t value life. You’ve built up this strawperson of a hand-wringing Snidely Whiplash character “eheheh, I’ll have an abortion today, maybe two!”

        You’re talking about women who have to take into consideration their status in life. These are women who have to question whether they can care for a child – emotionally or financially. These are women who have to question whether they want a child right now – they may be going to school, not ready to have a child, or unable to continue with a pregnancy.

        It is up to these women – smart, capable women – to make their decisions regarding their own lives. No one should be allowed to stand between them and that choice.

        And I see you fail to mention Savita Halappanavar – who DIED because of abortions being illegal (although technically they were legal under her circumstance – yet she STILL died. Funny how “illegal except for cases of life of the mother” turn into “illegal, period.”)

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

        And I just realized I called them “people” twice when I meant “women” and “strawwomen.”

        (Although now I’m curious what a genderswapped Snidely Whiplash would look like…)

      • Niemand

        Although now I’m curious what a genderswapped Snidely Whiplash would look like…

        Sarcasma Whiplash twirls her underarm hair* as she contemplates her third abortion this year. “I’ll need a pick-me-up afterwards,” she thinks. “Perhaps I’ll go castrate some men.” She practices her evil laugh and surgical technique on the way to the abortion mill…

        *She’s a radical feminist, right?

      • Frank

        “You’re talking about women who have to take into consideration their status in life. These are women who have to question whether they can care for a child – emotionally or financially. These are women who have to question whether they want a child right now – they may be going to school, not ready to have a child, or unable to continue with a pregnancy.”

        So make sure you don’t have a child. Simple really. This is consideration that should be taken seriously BEFORE someone gets pregnant.

        “It is up to these women – smart, capable women – to make their decisions regarding their own lives. No one should be allowed to stand between them and that choice.”

        Smart capable women should be able to make this choice BEFORE they get pregnant. There is nothing smart or capable in killing an innocent life.

        Any death due to negligence is a tragedy. Including the over 21,000 innocent unborn children who are killed weekly mostly due to reasons of convenience.

      • Niemand

        Any death due to negligence is a tragedy.

        You didn’t think so earlier. In an earlier comment, you completely blew off the “tragedy” of spontaneous abortion (aka miscarriage) or failed implantation.

        But maybe you didn’t mean it that way or I misinterpreted your remark. Maybe you really are interested in preventing fetal death. How much do you care? Do you want the NIH’s budget redirected towards researching ways to prevent miscarriage (with the understanding that that will take funding away from the study of medical problems you may have or may contract later in life)? Are you willing to pay higher taxes to fund a new division of the NIH to allow it to study miscarriage as it deserves and still have some money left over for other diseases? Have you contributed to a private foundation to study miscarriage? Or maybe even started one? If you really believed that embryos were babies, you’d do that because vastly more embryos die spontaneously than are aborted. No one in their right mind would ignore a pandemic that killed infants in their first two weeks of life just because there some infanticide cases. Where’s your interest in the embryo pandemic?

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

        You clearly didn’t read much of what Libby Anne posted – cause this was all discussed already. She talked about birth control. She talked about methods of birth control with failure rates less than 0% (every method of birth control (and I’m leaving abstinence on the table) will have a chance to fail.)

        So should a woman have to contend with a random roll of the dice? I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but you do know that even married women have abortions? Should a woman just not have sex? Is that it? Are you merely slut-shaming?

        What of the women who are raped? Or the women who will die? Do you even CARE that a young woman lost her life because of abortion restrictions? Is it a tragedy that Savita Halappanavar’s preventable death wouldn’t have happened if abortion access were legal in Ireland?

        It’s about unborn children to you – not about children whose lives will be miserable. It’s all about unborn children and making sure women can’t enjoy sex.

      • Frank

        Yes that’s it exactly!

        :rolleyes.

      • Frank

        Miscarriage and abortion are two very different things. We have little choice about whether a miscarriage occurs but we have 100% choice about whether an abortion occurs. Are your best arguments simply deflections?

      • http://eschaton2012.ca Eamon Knight

        Including the over 21,000 innocent unborn children who are killed weekly mostly due to reasons of convenience.

        You keep saying this. It is a lie. But you’re a fanatic who cannot discuss one of the two central issues in this debate (the other — and arguably the more crucial — one being women’s bodily autonomy).

      • Frank

        Eamon its a fact. Look it up. Only 3% of a abortions are due to reason of rape, incest or the life of the mother. And each week ~27,000 abortions occur. Denying facts does not help your argument.

      • Niemand

        We have little choice about whether a miscarriage occurs

        Actually, “we” as a society have quite a bit of choice about how often miscarriages occur. Some could be prevented currently with greater prenatal and early pregnancy testing. Others are likely quite soluble, except that we’re not spending money on testing right now. If embryonic death is as bad as the death of a newborn, why don’t we have campaigns encouraging women to get prenatal testing to see if they have, for example, a hypercoaguable state that puts them at risk for miscarriage (and also demand that all insurers cover the testing and that any uninsured women be covered automatically for testing by the government)? Why don’t we make miscarriage a high priority research area the way, say, childhood leukemia is?

      • http://eschaton2012.ca Eamon Knight

        Congratulations on missing the point, Frank-the-Fanatic. The fetuses are not “innocent unborn children”, and will not magically become so just because you repeat your mantra over and over. Now either attempt to support that claim honestly, or admit you’re just here to preach.

      • Twist

        “We have little choice about whether a miscarriage occurs but we have 100% choice about whether an abortion occurs.”

        We also have little choice about whether childhood cancer occurs. Childhood cancer, like miscarriage, is totally natural. I guess we shouldn’t bother to try to cure childhood cancer either, since we have little choice about whether it occurs. No? So why so blase about miscarriage, if you really believe in the innocent baybeees spontaneously aborting.

      • machintelligence

        (Although now I’m curious what a genderswapped Snidely Whiplash would look like…)

        http://blingee.com/blingee/view/95040139-Natasha-Fatale-the-brutal-villainess
        Perhaps?

      • http://dream-wind.livejournal.com Christine

        Frank: while you’re falling all over yourself insisting that it’s all the woman’s fault for getting pregnant and she should face the consequences of your actions, remember this – conception needs 2 people, a woman AND a man. And the woman doesn’t have to be consenting, or enjoying herself, when conception happens. She doesn’t even need to be conscious. So when are you going to insist that all those men take the consequences of sticking their dick into women, eh?

      • Frank

        I hold men accountable for their selfish actions as well. Is there a legitimate argument that does not depend on straw men or red herrings?

  • Niemand

    Someone who tries and justifies murder has no moral ground to stand on.

    I quite agree with you there. Unfortunately for you, it’s your side that is insisting that murder is moral. Halappanavar’s life was sacrificed to the altar of fetus worshiping-or at least to pretend fetus worshiping, since, as you and other “pro-lifers” make clear, you have no interest whatsoever in saving fetal life. She is just the best known recent example. There are numerous others. Do you enjoy advocating murder, Frank? You do it with apparent glee.

    • Frank

      This is your best argument? Yes what happened was a tragedy. So is the over 21,000 innocent unborn children who are killed weekly mostly due to reasons of convenience.

      • Kaboobie

        You keep trotting out “mostly due to reasons of convenience”. Please provide the evidence.
        Also, you conveniently avoid the subject of rape. If a woman becomes pregnant as a result of rape, how is is her “choice”?

      • Frank

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

        http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/3711005.pdf

      • Twist

        Firstly Frank, most people here don’t consider fetuses to be children, so you can call them children until you’re blue in the face and you will fail to get the response you are looking for. They are not children. In some cases they have the potential to become children but they are not children any more than ann apple seed is a tree. Secondly, even if they were human beings with full human rights, in a moral society abortion would still be legal because nobody is obligated to let another person have use of their body at any time, for any reason.

        You can bleat about selfishness all you like, in many cases an abortion IS the more moral choice, that is, if you care about human beings – actual living human beings rather than potential ones. How is it moral to force a sixteen year old girl to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term, quite possibly be disowned by her family and outcast by her friends, to spend the rest of her life living in poverty, unable to finish her education and stuck raising a child she never wanted to have, who she knows has ruined her life. How is it moral to force the birth of a child who is unwanted and unloved, who will know perfectly well that it’s very existance has ruined it’s mother’s life? How is it moral to force women to have to be tied forever through the existance of a child to a man who has abused them? How is it moral to have hundreds of unwanted children languishing in state care, to be abused and exploited? How is it moral to prioritise the life of a fetus above the life of the woman, an actual human being who feels and thinks, and has hopes and dreams and a life, unlike the cluster of cells inside her. How is it moral for “doctors” to tell a woman like Savita that she has to sacrifice her life in order to give her doomed fetus an extra couple of days in the womb?

        How is it moral that a contraceptive failure can completely ruin someone’s life? How is it fair that because a condom slips off or a pill is missed a woman’s life and body are no longer her own? How is it fair that this is something that one half of the population has to spend so much more of their time worrying about than the other? Sex, Frank, in case you haven’t noticed, is something men and women do. Yet it always seem to be women who people like you think should be facing consequences, who would rather see us as the mindless property of men than equal human beings. In order for women to function as equal members of society abortion has to be legal and easily available.

        You make it clear with your “consequences” remark that really, for you like for so many others, what this is really about is your inability to think about women having sex without being somehow punished for it without starting to froth at the mouth with rage. Let me make this clear. WHAT I DO WITH MY BODY IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. NONE.

        It appears from your name that an unwanted pregnancy isn’t something that you will ever have to personally deal with. Do not presume to tell those of us that have dealt with it or who could have to deal with it at any time how we should have handled the situation.

        If I hadn’t had an abortion I would have a seven year old now. A seven year old that I never wanted, yet would have been pressured by my family into not giving up for adoption. I wouldn’t have my degrees, I wouldn’t have met my partner, I would have a lifelong tie to someone I hope never to set eyes on again, I would be poor and miserable with no oportunities. And there would be an unwanted, unloved kid in the middle of the whole desperate mess. And that’s if I’d got that far. I’d been planning to kill myself in the event of being unable to have an abortion. Instead, the kid never existed. Having an abortion was definitely the best choice, don’t you dare presume to know my situation, and the situations of other women better than we do.

      • Frank

        I guess we all have to deny reality to sleep at night sometimes.

      • Twist

        Well someone’s in denial Frankie, but it certainly isn’t me.

      • Kaboobie

        So, you take “The decision to have an abortion is typically motivated by multiple, diverse and interrelated reasons. The themes of responsibility to others and resource limitations, such as financial constraints and lack of partner support, recurred throughout the study.” and reduce that to “convenience”. You have confirmed my opinion that you are not worth taking seriously.

  • smrnda

    So Frank, how many unplanned pregnancies have you had to contend with in your time? If you happened to end up pregnant, or happened to get raped and found out you were pregnant, how would you deal with the situation?

    You also haven’t dealt with the fact that just recently, there was the case of Savita Halappanavar who actually did die because she couldn’t get an abortion. The baby wouldn’t have survived anyway, and now she’s dead, her family is without her, and she won’t live to possibly reproduce again. Was she being selfish?

    • Frank

      I focus on the 97% of innocent unborn children killed for reasons of convenience, not the 3% due to rape, incest or the life of the mother. You might want to focus on the 3% as some justification but the reality of the 97% takes precedence.

      • J-Rex

        Not wanting to risk your life, not wanting to live in poverty, not wanting to bring a child into an unhealthy relationship, not wanting to have a child when you still are a child, wanting to wait for children when you can provide them with the best possible life = reasons of convenience. Got it.

        Why don’t you stop focusing on the tiny percentage of abortions that are due to (actual) convenience and focus on the vast majority of abortions that happen for very good reasons. Those abortions will never stop even if abortion is outlawed. If you are against abortion, please do everything you can to provide financial support to poor women, easy, affordable access to birth control, better sex education in middle schools and high schools, affordable health care for pregnant women, and help for women with young children. These are the best ways to prevent abortion, not outlawing it. I suggest you get to work.

      • Frank

        I am already at work. Are you?

        And yes we live in a culture with no personal responsibility. Where people act first the wonder how they are going to deal with the consequences later. Selfish. And over 21,000 lives each week pay the price for it. How proud you pro-choice people should be.

      • ButchKitties

        My health, educational opportunities, and financial future are not issues of “convenience”. My right to medical self-determination and ownership of my body is not an issue of convenience. My reproductive future is not an issue of convenience.

        An inconvenience is the office vending machine running out of diet soda. Losing the ability to walk, suffering debilitating migraines, becoming diabetic, going into kidney failure, or having a stroke (all things I’ve been told are likely to happen to me should I carry a pregnancy to term) are not inconveniences; they are examples of major, possibly life-ending damage that could be inflicted by a pregnancy. Having to drop out of college and take lower paying jobs are not inconveniences; doing so will affect the options available to me for the rest of my life. Being emotionally, physically, and financially responsible for the well being another person for 18 years is not an inconvenience; it is the most serious and challenging responsibility one can undertake.

        If you think abortion is a matter of convenience, you quite simply do not know what you are talking about.

      • Frank

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

        It sounds like you should not get pregnant.

      • ButchKitties

        I use very reliable birth control, but even the best birth control can fail. If that birth control fails, I will do the responsible thing for myself and my family. I will get an abortion.

      • Frank

        You have the legal choice right now whether to murder your unborn child for convenience. You must be so proud.

      • Kay

        Frank – Have you ever personally known a woman who had an abortion? If so, was it for this “convenience” reason you keep harping about? If not, what was the EXACT reason for her choosing abortion? And while we’re on the topic, what exactly do you define as “convenience”? Just waking up one morning and going “Lah-di-dah, I think today I’ll have an abortion! Whoooopie!!!”…Because that’s really not what happens, although I’m sure it’s easier for you to think it IS what happens.

        But I’m willing to bet you don’t know a single woman who’s had one – You wouldn’t associate with a “murder”, now would you??

      • Twist

        Yeah, proud. It means that a significant proportion of people see women as human beings rather than breeding machines. It means that women have the right to bodily autonomy, to make their own decisions about their lives and their bodies. It means women don’t have to become slaves to their biology but can take their rightful place in society rather than being barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen. Who wouldn’t be proud?

        Also: Not wanting to go through pregnancy (which is extremely tough and risky, even in the best circumstances) =/= convenience. Not wanting to have your career that you’ve worked hard for wrecked =/= convenience. Not wanting to bring a child into an unstable situation =/= convenience. Recognising that you cannot afford either emotionally or financially to have a child =/= convenience.

      • Twist

        Also, bleat about 3% all you want, but the second you start restricting who can get an abortion and why, we’re on a slippery slope leading to women like Savita, who arguably could legally have obtained an abortion, dying because doctors would rather cover themselves than take the risk that someone might have condisered her situation not dire enough to warrant an abortion and prosecuted them. Drawing lines to decide when abortion is acceptable and when it isn’t pretends that the situation is black and white when it’s not. The line will always fall somewhere arbitrary and unfair. There will always be disagreement over which side of the line a particular case falls. The only moral approach is to have no line. Keep abortion for any reason legal, and trust women to make the correct decision.

        How would a rape exception work? Would the rapist need to be arrested and charged? Would they need to be convicted? Would trials of alleged rapists be rushed through to allow women to get abortions before nine months was up? What if the police can’t catch anyone? What if they suspect that the woman wasn’t actually raped, but just really wants an abortion? What if they’re a misogynist scumbag who thinks all women who report rape are either lying ot did something to deserve it? Does it count if the rapist was the woman’s husband or boyfriend, or ex? Or a friend? Or someone she trusted enough to get into a car with?

        Or a life of the mother exception? Does death need to be imminent, within the next few minutes? Hours? Days? How about if a woman is suicidal because of the pregnancy? What if she actually tries to kill herself? I could go on, but you can see that the situation is anything but black and white.

      • ButchKitties

        It’s already been exhaustively demonstrated that abortion is not about convenience. I have the legal right to make decisions about my body. I’m very proud of that right; it’s the mark of a civilized country.

      • Frank

        Yeah killing innocent unborn children is quite civilized. Pitiful!

      • Twist

        I like how he ignores every argument against his ridiculous position to further wail about killing children. Bull, Frank. Give a logical, consistent argument as to why I ought to consider a fetus a human being, and then give me a logical, consistent argument as to why it’s rights ought to trump mine. I dare you.

      • Niemand

        I like how he ignores every argument against his ridiculous position to further wail about killing children.

        Well, to be fair, he kind of has to. Given that there is no intellectually and morally consistent argument for the “pro-life” position, he really doesn’t have much else to work with except emotional exploitation.

      • Twist

        True, but just once I’d like to see one of them admit that really, they just want to control women and punish them for unsanctioned sex.

      • Niemand

        Again, to be fair, he kind of did admit that. That’s what the “accountability” dogwhistle is all about. He sure isn’t interested in keeping embryos alive. He admitted as much several times. So, it’s not about embryonic life, it’s about “accountability”, i.e. punishing women for having sex.

  • J-Rex

    Frank, until you can prove that a few dividing cells is a person, you have no argument.
    Life does begin at conception, but what kind of life? If it has no brain, it cannot think or be aware of itself or feel any pain. It is life, but it is a developing life. Your religious beliefs may point you to believe that it is a full person with a soul, but there is no evidence to support that. That is just your belief. PETA believes that animals are morally equivalent to people and that eating meat is the same as murder. But what right do they have to force everyone to practice the same? What right do you have to force a woman to go through a pregnancy when you believe that she is carrying a person and she believes that she is carrying a developing human that wouldn’t suffer if it was ended? Until you can prove that a zygote, embryo, or fetus has personhood (self-aware, capacity to suffer) that remains to be your personal belief that not everyone has to share, meaning that giving people the choice is the best option, not demanding that your beliefs be observed.
    Ending the life of something without awareness and without the capacity for pain is not murder, especially when it has the potential to cause physical, mental, and financial harm to a real person.
    Now please stop refuting everyone’s valid arguments by insisting that it’s murder when you have not yet proven it to be murder.

    • Niemand

      Life does begin at conception

      No it doesn’t. Life began (on earth) a few billion years ago. Since then (as far as we know and certainly in the case of eukaryote reproduction) all life has come from other life. The oocyte is alive. The sperm is alive. The intestinal lining cells you’re digesting right now are alive-but won’t be for long. And so on. That’s part of what makes the self-proclaimed “pro-life” movement so biologically ridiculous. You’ve neatly articulated quite a lot of the rest of what makes it absolutely ludicrous from a biological point of view.

      • Karen

        Yes!

    • Frank

      Not this tired old argument again.

      • J-Rex

        Really? That’s your only response?
        I would think that if you knew for a fact that a zygote has a soul and that killing this zygote is murder that you would have a lot more to say. After all, if you could prove us wrong and show us that this is genuinely murder, and if some of us got pregnant someday, we would keep the pregnancy because we know now that it’s murder, I would think you would be thrilled to explain why it is murder, knowing that you could be preventing future murders by people who read this and are convinced.
        So you can prove that it is murder, right?
        Or is that just your opinion which you expect us to follow, just because?

      • Frank

        You cannot even prove that you exist so your criteria is an impossibility.

        Whatever you need to do to justify the over 21,000 innocent unborn children killed each week mostly due to reasons of convenience right? How wonderful for you.

      • http://eschaton2012.ca Eamon Knight

        Ah, thank you for implicitly acknowledging that the nature of the fetus is one of the points under debate. However dismissing it as “this tired old argument again” doesn’t actually address the question does it, Frank-the-Fanatic? Also, ad hominem @59 noted.

      • J-Rex

        If you have to go that far out there and ignore what I mean by “prove,” you obviously know you don’t have much to stand on.
        If a teacher was grading a test and the question said “Prove that x is adjacent to y” and you answered “You cannot even prove that you exist so your criteria is an impossibility,” you would get an F because the teacher would see very clearly that you had no idea what the answer was. You’re just trying to avoid us seeing that.
        Now, dealing with the world we live in (and yes, making some assumptions that we all exist. You were fine with assuming we all existed until you were stumped by my questions), with observations and data we can all agree on, can you prove that a zygote has personhood?
        And don’t try to derail it into philosophical “How do you know you exist?” questions again. It just makes you look really stupid.
        Remember, you do need to prove this to have any sort of argument. I don’t need to “justify the over 21,000 innocent unborn children killed each week” because I don’t believe they are people. You have not proven this to anyone.
        It’s like if you squished a bug and I argued that you had just murdered someone. You would look confused and point out that it’s not a person and that it had bitten you and was annoying you. And I would say “Well, whatever justification you need to murder someone…I hope you feel proud.” My response is pointless because you don’t believe you have killed a person and I won’t prove that you have.

        Now seriously, tell us your arguments. If they’re convincing, you could be preventing future murders, right?

  • MI Dawn

    So, Frank, you’d rather I’d died and left 2 small children than terminate my ectopic pregnancy? My patient who was dying from cardiomyopathy die rather than terminate the pregnancy? (She was a tubal ligation failure who got pregnant, as was I). It’s OK to let the woman die, that’s what you are saying? Will YOU care for all the unwanted children/motherless children/abused, unloved, unwanted children?

    Until YOU can get pregnant, you have no right to pontificate whether it’s moral or ethical. Don’t like abortion? DON’T HAVE ONE. Pro CHOICE is exactly that – the woman’s right to choose whether or not she, herself wants an abortion. Not whether someone else thinks she should or should not. And why should a non-Christian be forced follow Christian ethical beliefs? Why not follow their own religious beliefs, if they have any at all? What gives you the right to impose your beliefs upon ME?

    • phantomreader42

      Yes, Frank would rejoice at your death, because Frank is a delusional sociopath whose only desire is to murder women for the glory of his imaginary friend. He pretends to care about fetuses, but the instant they’re born he’s ready to toss them in the garbage as no longer useful for his goal of reducing women to breeding machines.

    • Frank

      Everyone keeps talking about the 3% and ignoring the 97%. How terribly sad. And yes I am a delusional sociopath. Anything to justify the unjustifiable right? Pitiful!

      • phantomreader42

        You keep babbling moronic nonsense and refusing to honestly address anything anyone says. Of course, that’s because you’re incapable of any honesty, all you can do is regurgitate preprogrammed phrases from your sick death cult.

  • smrnda

    Frank, first, after taking a course that covered embryology I didn’t come away thinking that a zygote/embryo or fetus was a child any more than I think it was wrong for the doctors to take my brain dead, 98 year old grandfather off life support. In the issue of human life, we’re dealing with a concept that goes beyond just the presence of some sort of life process. If my grandfather had been much younger and showed the same lack of brain activity, perhaps they would have treated the situation differently (also, everything that went on was in accordance with exactly what he laid out in his will.)

    I notice Frank, that you didn’t bother to answer my question on how often you happened to end up pregnant and didn’t intend to, or else how you would handle the situation. I mean, if we’re going to discuss what people ought to do, if the situation doesn’t really affect you your judgment is going to be questioned.

    The other thing is you never mentioned religion, but within the Christian belief system, Christian apologists have said it’s wrong for us to think it’s horrible that god commanded the killing of children, since they would all just go to heaven instead of growing up to be horrible pagans and be rejected by god in the end. So, what’s the problem with abortion, theologically there (if the issue is relevant to you?) I mean, the end result is babies go to heaven for sure.

  • mythbri

    I’m sure that Frank, in his pursuit of saving “unborn children”, would be completely in favor of forcing every male-bodied person to undergo a vasectomy at the onset of puberty, and only allowing it to be reversed with a notarized document containing the explicit consent of the female-bodied person who has agreed to let him attempt impregnation. See? No more unwanted pregnancies, only pregnancies that are planned and wanted.

    Whaddaya say, Frank?

    • Twist

      And the funny thing is, is that even in this world abortion would still be needed sometimes, for the health and life of the mother or to prevent babies with severe health problems being born only to die in pain after a few short weeks of life. Barring some fairly extreme medical breakthroughs, there will never be a world with no abortion.

      • mythbri

        I completely agree with you – I just think it would be refreshing to start framing this discussion in a way that restricts the rights of men instead of women. Like, say, if abortion were illegal, and a woman did seek an abortion and was subsequently sentenced to death, the man who caused the pregnancy should also be put to death. He’s the root cause of the crime, you see? And if he caused the pregnancy through rape, then it’s justice served times two.

    • Frank

      Sounds ok to me. If you want the men to have responsibility then they should also have 50% legal say in what happens to their their unborn child. Lets do it!

      • Twist

        The problem with that is that to use your term, their “unborn child” is in somebody else’s body. Nobody has the right to use anybody else’s body without their consent at any time, for any reason.

      • Twist

        Also, how would a 50% say work? What if he wants an abortion and she doesn’t? Does she have to get like, half an abortion? Try harder, please.

      • mythbri

        You first, Frank. Snip snip.

      • Niemand

        Are you willing to truly take half the responsibility? As in if the pregnancy causes damage to the woman’s body, will you agree to have the same damage inflicted on you? Are you willing to take low dose cisplatin for 9 months to simulate pregnancy induced nausea and immunosuppression? Are you willing to undergo phlebotomy in order to have your hemoglobin drop to that expected during pregnancy? It’s only fair. Take responsibility, Frank.

      • Frank

        You mean like killing someone elses body? Like an unborn child’s body?

        Its tragic to see everyone simply dancing around the issue to justify the unjustifiable. But then again what else have you?

      • Twist

        Tell you what Frank, you research and develop a technique for removing live embryos from one person and implanting them into someone else. Then you can carry all the unwanted pregnancies to term! Won’t that be great!

      • Kay

        Ain’t no one here “dancing around the issue” except you. We’ve already told you in numerous different posts that we do not believe that aborting fetuses = murder. Continuously saying “abortion is murder, you’re killing baybiiiiiiez, how pitiful, you must be so proud” does absolutely *nothing* to persuade us any way, shape or form, because we disagree with the entire basis of your argument right from the start.

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

    I’d be horrified if that many children died per week. Good thing they aren’t children!

    • Niemand

      Actually, if every zygote is a child, then about 280,000 children die per week. Most of them die of “natural” causes, a few die from abortions. Frank claims that we can’t do anything about the 260K or so “natural” deaths, even though that is demonstrably false. Nor has he expressed even vague concern about the fate of the “children” who die in miscarriages. Almost as if he knows that they aren’t children at all. Or he’s cool with child deaths, including due to social neglect.

    • Frank

      Good thing you deny reality to make your untenable position tenable. Pitiful!

      • Niemand

        A perfect example: Frank doesn’t explain why he thinks my position untenable, he just asserts that it is and expects everyone to believe him because…hey, look over there…DEAD BABIEZ!!! With ad hom for extra credit. It’s a typical “pro-life” argument: keep saying “dead babies” long enough and maybe people will not notice that you’re advocating slavery and murder. Which, of course, the “pro-life” movement is. And the average person involved in the “pro-life” movement knows that. As Frank has amply and repeatedly demonstrated, the average person in the “pro-life” movement, certainly in the leadership, has no interest in actually reducing the number of fetuses that die-in abortion or otherwise. OTOH, hurting, murdering, and enslaving women, they have a great interest in that.

      • http://www.facebook.com/lucrezaborgia lucrezaborgia
  • http://raisinghellions.wordpress.com/ Lou Doemch

    Frank! Baby! Long time no see, how’s the wife and kids?

    Frank is a troll folks, if I’m not mistaken he’s one of the few who have been banned from Slacktivist. He thinks all abortion is widdle baby murder and pregnancy/childbearing/ child rearing/ possible maternal mortality are “inconveniences”. You may continue to argue with him, but he’s pretty much in brick wall territory when it comes to actual dialog. I’d ban him if it were me.

    • Niemand

      I did notice that he has two essential arguments that he trots out again and again:
      1. DEAD BABIES!!!!
      2. “You’re wrong.” Without, of course, any explanation of what he thinks is wrong with the argument, but sometimes accompanied by a little ad hom.

      I do think it’s worth arguing because the lurkers can see how little interest someone who identifies with the “pro-life” side shows in the lives of women, children who have been born, or even embryos and fetuses at risk of dying from miscarriage. And how poorly supported the whole “pro-life” movement is intellectually. Frank I don’t expect to change.

      • Steve

        Also: “21000!!!!” and “3%!!!”. Endlessly

    • Frank

      Yes banning is one way the weak eliminate the truth.

      • Twist

        Which is amusing, considering the multitudes of strong arguments on the pro-choice side, and you’ve yet to give us one.

        (Hint: Repeating “But BABIEZ, also selfish ebil wimminz, but mostly BABIEZ” again and again isn’t an argument)

      • Kay

        And ignoring the actual debate & rebuttals at hand in favour of constantly screaming “murder, murder, murder, murder, MURDER – all for CONVENIENCE” is also a way the weak ignore the truth.

        Clearly, you are just a troll. I bet you don’t even believe your own tripe, you just like to get everyone else all riled up with it.

      • Frank

        If I wasn’t speaking truth no one would care or get riled up. Deep down you all know you are wrong Too bad innocent lives have to die for your ignorance and stubbornness.

      • spidergal

        Just a suggestion to all the intelligent, open minded people on this wonderful site. DON’T FEED THE TROLL. We can already see he has an argument based purely on his/her own flawed view of the world and is desperate to argue his/her point to death rather than being a productive member of society.
        P.S Nice article Libby :-)

      • Twist

        You misunderstand. People are getting riled up because a misogynist scumbag thinks he can impose his twisted, backwards worldview on the bodies of women, make their decisions for them, take away their rights and autonomy while dismissing the very real difficulties, problems and tragedies they face as inconveniences, and relegate them to little more than walking wombs. I honestly feel sorry for any women in your life.

      • Kay

        Oh puh-leeeez! People get riled up ALL THE TIME about things they feel strongly about. That does not mean at all that they “know” the other side is “right”. Look at the election that just passed – whenever there was a Dem vs Repub debate, each side got VERY heated and passionate about their position. Does that mean they all knew “deep down” that the other side was “right”? Hardly.

        I still think you’re full of it, and are just posting your comments to be an annoyance. Prove me wrong – you could start by actually addressing any one of the dozens of rebuttals that have been posted by the other posters here.

      • Niemand

        Frank, you seem more than a little riled up. Does that mean that deep down you know we’re right?

      • phantomreader42

        What would you know about truth, Frank? You couldn’t tell the truth if your life depended on it.

      • Rosa

        shooting and pouring acid on people is another, and that’s all on your side of the debate, Frank.

        Not that you’re open to argument, but if the argument is “people use power when their arguments are weak!” then the depraved violence that has come from the US antiabortion movement over the last 30 years is a clear sign they are in the wrong.

  • http://thechurchproject.me Tracey

    Frank, take a chill pill. If you’re going to actually change anyone’s mind you have to listen when when people say that you misconstrue their motives. Then consider you might be wrong about their motives. These stories strike me less as ‘selfish’ and more as ‘stuck’. Maybe we should focus on ways to get them less stuck instead of just calling them murderers?

  • Iggy

    So, on this personal accountability thing, how does that work out? Last time I checked it takes a male and a female to create said fetus. Women don’t just *poof* get pregnant. Let’s pretend that making abortions illegal makes them disappear altogether. So, women are forced to be pregnant. We’ll force them into welfare, poverty, lost wages, lost opportunities to provide for themselves & family, and maybe even death (YES! Those immoral hussies have it coming! ) But what about the men who contributed the sperm? What about them and their personal accountability? I’ve looked at the staggering number of men who aren’t paying court ordered child support and the mind-blowing amount of that number and I must say, we’re not exactly keeping men accountable as is when it comes to their offspring. Let’s compound the problem? And the unwanted offspring, what becomes of them? State agencies are struggling to find foster homes and foster parents and adoptive parents as is so I assure that there is no shortage of children without homes. There is no need to create more. Morals and values are subjective. Pro-choice doesn’t mean pro-abortion. I know that I’m not willing to make the reproductive choices for strangers and not willing to financially support their unwanted offspring which I actually would think I would be obligated to do by making their choices for them. If I get to decide who can and cannot have sex or decide who is forced into pregnancy then I’m going to have to take up the financial responsibility of these choices as well. Personal accountability. If I get to have that power over people, I have to accept the responsibility as well. But seriously, what is this pro-life plan to make men accountable for their baby-making?

    • http://abasketcase.blogspot.com Amelia

      “Women don’t just *poof* get pregnant”
      Awww, come on… What about the “Virgin” Mary?? :P

      • Niemand

        If one takes the story in the bible literally then Mary was raped by god. She didn’t just poof become pregnant, she became pregnant because the male god decided that she should. Without asking for her consent.

  • MI Dawn

    But Frank: you didn’t tell me what I should have done. Or my mom – who had an abortion back in the day when they were REALLY hard to get (and hers was also medically indicated, at 5 months of pregnancy). And your 97% is a number pulled from your nether regions. Or from Pro-Life literature, which has as much basis in reality as Narnia. All lies. How about some truth? But obviously you have no truth. Only your beliefs which you wish to place upon everyone. And you still haven’t told me what gives you the right to enforce YOUR view of ethics and morality upon ME.

    • Frank

      Facts are facts. Look them up or deny them its your choice. You celebrate the right to choose right; ignorance over reality, lies over truth, selfishness over responsibility.

      At least you are consistent.

      • smrnda

        Who is being selfish? I mean, you’re only addressed one issue (abortion.) What about the employers unwilling to offer accommodations to pregnant women, or who are willing to sneak around any legislation meant to keep a woman from just being dismissed from her job for happening to get pregnant? What about educational institutions who just assume no students have children? Are they not being selfish in only providing educational opportunities to certain types of students?

        Personal accountability is something that privileged jackasses pull out in order to make themselves feel that they deserve what they have, instead of the fact that they just got lucky. Want to know how I know that? Because I got lucky, and my good fortune in life was entirely due to the wise choice of having been born to affluent, educated parents with a small family. I mean, I’d have to have made some terrible choices to *not* end up a success, and somebody might have made far better choices who started out with disadvantages and ended up worse off than I’d have been if I’d done everything I could to screw my life up. Privilege, ain’t it something?

        Frank, because it is an issue of concern to me, since abortions are sometimes performed because of birth control failure, why don’t you work on making better birth control? If you really want to fix the problem, start there.

  • http://thechurchproject.me Tracey

    I love straw men and red herrings! There’s a junior high near me that has straw men on the school lawn during fall. Those guys are so festive. And I guess I’ve never had a red herring, but I tend to like seafood. So I bet they’re tasty.

    • Jim Roberts

      Tracy: “And I guess I’ve never had a red herring … I bet they’re tasty.”
      Indeed they are! It’s a disadvantage of where I live now that they’re not available.

  • Paige

    I’m just curious what frank and other pro-lifers mean by personal accountability in terms of an unwanted pregnancy, for both the man and the woman. When I hear personal accountability, I think of having the person who graffitied a fence spend their time repairing the damage or at the least community service . How does carrying an unwanted pregnancy to term achieve the same effect for the man and the woman? I really don’t see the man think more carefully where he ejaculates next time just because he now has an unwanted son. In Japan, there’s been a fair number of new borns being found in rivers and lockers so it’s pretty clear that carrying an unwanted pregnancy to term does not necessarily save babies in the long run either and certainly personal accountability didn’t kick in anywhere.

    Excuse me for the wall of text. Typing from a small phone!

    • http://abasketcase.blogspot.com Amelia

      And then there is the “personal responsibility” where the woman (and her partner) have BEEN responsible and used birth control and had it fail. Why should a woman then be punished with being forced to carry a pregnancy she does not want when she has taken all steps (except celibacy, which I assume Frank is not suggesting is suitable in marriage) to avoid it?
      Oh, wait, Pro-lifers would come back and say thats too bad, we all got married to beget children, so should always be open to the opportunity. Sod that!

  • Karen

    I’m adopted, was adopted at birth. I don’t know much about my biological parents, but I do know that they were too poor to support a third child (me). So an infertile couple got me. (They were terrific parents, by the way.) If this had happened today, I’d probably have been aborted.

    And you know what? I’m totally OK with that. If I’d never lived, how would I have known about it? I wouldn’t have been one of Dawkins’ Lucky Ones, but neither would I have made some poor woman carry me to term and perhaps risk her life in the process.

    • Niemand

      You didn’t make your birth mother do anything. You didn’t exist yet. Others might have made her do it, or she might have genuinely wanted to carry you to term and give an infertile couple a chance at raising a child.

      I was the second child of two born close together. My parents never said that they weren’t happy to have me but they did urge their children to not have children so close together, saying that it was hard on them and not really fair to either child, since neither got as much attention as would be ideal. So I suppose if my parents had thought things through properly I wouldn’t exist. I’m happy enough to be alive, but if they had decided to wait another year and I was never conceived or if they’d decided 12 weeks after I was conceived that it was a mistake and my mother had an abortion, it’s not like I would suffer in some way. I wouldn’t exist and maybe they’d have a different child. The idea causes me no existential grief.

  • Azura

    So what I understand from the comments is that I, a 22 year old genetically disabled and mentally ill woman should be celibate for the entirety of 6 to 8 decades I have left on this earth and never even go outside. If I get pregnant I will abort because I will in all likelihood give birth to a child with chronic joint problems and risk for major depression and diabetes (all of which I have). I should never have sex because birth control can fail and I should never go outside because I could be raped. Oh, and since rape is most often committed by men known by the victim I can never speak to another man in person again, because that’s too much of a risk because ZOMG a murder of a parasite – I mean baaaaabyyyy – might occur. Oh, and I’m extremely poor and can barely afford rent, but as long as I bring the baby to term, who cares if the two of us are homeless. I live in Canada but in any of the Northern States with weather like we have here the two of us would die of exposure pretty quickly, especially since I’m pagan and hardly any Christian charities will take someone like me in.

    Frank, do you not see how ridiculous that sounds? Don’t act as if that is not what a ban on abortion and cries of “responsibility” mean. When you say you want women to “be responsible before they get pregnant” you mean “don’t have sex unless you can carry a baby to term”. Slut shaming and complete ignorance as to what women face. Some women literally face themselves and other children of theirs starving if they carry another child. Some women have been raped and get pregnant. Yes, yes, rape exceptions except then you have to prove you were raped, and does that mean just an accusation or a full on arrest and trial? Court proceedings are rarely up before 6 months, so that’s not really fair. Life of the mother exceptions are all well and good, but at what point of risk does the woman have to be at before it’s considered enough? Just be honest, you think women should be forced to be either barefoot and pregnant and serving a man in order to not starve to death or completely celibate until she can afford/care for a child. The classism, sexism, and ableism reeking from you is a stench that is unbearable.

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

      The thing about life-of-the-mother exceptions too is that they’re ignored anyway.

      Ireland has a life-of-the-mother exception. Savita Halappanavar still died.

      • Ms_Morlowe

        The problem is that the life-of-the-mother exception was only a ruling from the Supreme Court: it was never legislated. So doctors and hospitals can still technically be prosecuted. It wasn’t ignored, it just doesn’t properly exist in law. We’re trying to legislate it at the moment, with huge opposition from both within the Dáil and from pro-life groups.

  • HelenaTheGrey

    Lurker here, but just wanted to say that having come from the evangelical, Pro-Life banquet attending, abortion is murder camp, this comment thread and blog post has been very interesting to me. I can say that my mind has been changing a bit ever since reading a post about Christian feminism on Rachel Held Evans’ blog. But reading through these arguments, especially seeing the avoidance of a certain poster to all arguments and questions leveled at him, really sealed the deal for me. I tried to think about how I would have responded to such questions back when I was a kid and immersed in that world, and truly, all I could come up with was that it is murder of babies and God doesn’t approve so stop having sex you sluts. Ok…maybe I wouldn’t have said sluts specifically, but I was only 12 or 13. But that would have been the gist. Having carried a pregnancy to term in which I suffered severe morning sickness for 9 months, and which could have resulted in major medical issues for me (and does kill some women), I can’t imagine someone telling me that I HAD to go through it because I was slutty enough to sleep with my husband and should therefore pay the consequences. Obviously, I am fine and my baby is fine and I am certainly happy with my decision, but the reality is, can I really judge someone for not wanting to put themselves through that? It was so traumatic to me that I have panic attacks now whenever I feel nauseous for any reason….scared out of my mind that 9 more months of vomiting on the bathroom floor await. It really isn’t black and white and that is the big issue with the movement is it teaches people that the issue is clear as day and there really is no white side to it….it is all black. All abortion is murder. Period. Going back to my pregnancy, I had a very hard time bonding with my baby while I was pregnant, who I very much wanted. What if I had never wanted him? What if I had to suffer that and never even wanted the baby in the first place? Could I love that child? Maybe…but maybe not. Maybe I would abuse him because he was forced on me and in my eyes it was his fault that I had to go through 9 months of hell. How is that more just and loving than terminating the pregnancy? It is not black and white. You cannot pretend to care about all human life by proclaiming that abortion is murder, and then not extend that care to the children who are born into this world. Even if you don’t give a rat’s behind about the *sluts* who created the babies and how their lives are ruined, you should care about the children that you were so zealous in protecting up until they took their first breath. That is my biggest issue with the pro-life movement. It doesn’t really seem to care about children at all.

    • Anonymouse

      My very-much-wanted pregnancy very nearly killed me (HELLP syndrome first diagnosed as “all pregnant women are hysterical–there’s nothing wrong with you, ignore your yellow eyes and lips, ignore the fact you’re seeing double and can’t speak in complete sentences–go home and have some ice cream, dearie”). My liver and kidneys crashed, filling my lungs with fluid and causing brain damage from lack of oxygen and also taking my pancreas along for the ride. I gave birth in a coma and spent 8 weeks in the CCU, with another 6 months in various wings of the hospital. I lost all my hair, was fed through tubes in my chest for 14 hours/day for nearly a year, and am now insulin-dependent diabetic (pancreas never returned to functioning state).

      I got pregnant willingly, carried the baby willingly, and was willing to be a parent. I can’t imagine going through what I did against my will. That is torture.

    • Sophie

      I would love to have a baby, I have always wanted children desperately. Unfortunately around the time that I was finally in the right place to have a child, an abnormality of my spine deteriorated to the point that I can no longer walk or to be honest, care for myself. I have had two major spinal operations in 2012, I may need more and I will never be able to carry a pregnancy to term safely. My skeleton would not take it. The very best scenario I could hope for would be to make it to 8 months max to then have a c-section and that would be with me on bedrest and in agony from being off my pain meds from conception. And then I would not even be able to take care of that very much longed for child. So it really really pisses me off when people like Frank talk about personal responsibility because the most responsible and loving thing I could do if I ever get pregnant is have an abortion. Thank you for sharing your story, I hope that accounts like yours will help other people in doubt over their pro-life beliefs see how hard pregnancy can be on a woman’s body and maybe that will make them give more thought to the life of the mother.

  • thalwen

    What I don’t understand is – why is having sex selfish? How does the risk of pregnancy make it less selfish? I’d think bringing a kid into the world for no reason other than your own personal moral vanity is pretty selfish. Are infertile people being selfish every time they have sex. knowing they won’t have “consequences?”
    I mean, this is one of the main foundations of the anti-choice argument. That sex is selfish and that the only way to be responsible is to have a baby. I’ve heard it over and over and over and it doesn’t make a bit of sense.

    • Rosie

      Ahh, this I think I do understand. It’s a remnant of Puritanism, wherein everything enjoyable, everything that might meet a human need, is selfish and therefore evil. They rather reconciled themselves to the need to eat, so long as it wasn’t enjoyable (enjoying food would be sinful selfish gluttony!). And maybe they reconciled themselves to sex being necessary for procreation, but they never did care for the idea of it being enjoyable for anyone.

      • machintelligence

        Puritanism: the haunting fear that someone, somewhere is having a good time. – H.L. Mencken

  • Barbara Worden

    Back in the ’50′s when I was a teenager, a Protestant growing up in a largely Catholic neighborhood, our devoutly Catholic neighbor had a baby in her 40′s. Her equally devoutly Catholic husband insisted that she go to a Protestant obstetrician, a vestryman in our church, and a secular hospital because he feared that if the pregnancy ran into trouble, a Caholic doctor and hospital would choose the fetus’ life over his wife’s. As Doctor Phil says,how people treat you in the past is the best guide to how they will treat you in the future.

  • hannahbanana

    DO NOT FEED THE TROLL.

    *eye roll*

    Savita’s story still makes me cry. I cannot imagine being in that position – sick, exhausted, in ridiculous pain, losing the PRECIOUS LIFE that she planned for, hoped for, bought baby clothes for & prepared a nursery for, possibly even already NAMED. She knew her baby was as good as dead, and wanted to put him/her and herself out of their collective misery. She was denied that choice, and both her life and the potential life were lost. Who won in this situation? The Catholic Church? The doctors who covered their own asses? The lawmakers of Ireland, who can now pat themselves on the back for doing the “moral” thing and refusing to “murder” a nonviable, already dying unborn child? The winner was certainly not Savita, the baby, or even her husband- a man who was also denied any say in the matter and now faces life without his wife or child.

    Now, thanks to this article, I can see that her story is not a single isolated event in a country across the ocean. The ability to make these incredibly hard decisions is being denied to parents in my own country. Thanks for the article, Libby. I’m now a terrified of ever getting pregnant.

    • Twist

      “But reading through these arguments, especially seeing the avoidance of a certain poster to all arguments and questions leveled at him, really sealed the deal for me.”

      This comment from someone above demostrates why refuting the non-arguments of trolls can be a good thing. It allows anyone out there who might have agreed with the likes of Frank see how weak his position actually is.

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

      I’m now a terrified of ever getting pregnant.

      I do understand the feeling. The biggest thing is to avoid Catholic hospitals, and to remember that it’s only for nine months!

  • Bria

    Dear Frank,

    I am not sure where you are getting the “21,000 per week” number, as the CDC reports that, in 2008 (the last year for which statistics are available), the number of abortions performed for the entire year was 825,564. So let’s do a little math:

    - 825,564 /52 = 15876.23076923077 abortions per week. We’ll round up to 15877 since you can’t have two-tenths of an abortion.
    - If we use your statistic that 3% are due to rape, incest or life/health of the mother, then 15877 x .03 = 476.31. Again, rounding up, that means that 15877 – 477, or 15400 are done for the sake of what you call “convenience”.

    So chin up, buttercup! I just saved 6,000 babies right there!

    But, since you seem so focused on the “convenience” factor, let’s dive into that a bit, shall we?

    About 61% of abortions are obtained by women who have one or more children. This means that a majority of people who obtain abortions know what it takes to care for a child. We then need to look at reasons cited for obtaining an abortion: three-fourths of women cite concern for or responsibility to other individuals; three-fourths say they cannot afford a child; three-fourths say that having a baby would interfere with work, school or the ability to care for dependents; and half say they do not want to be a single parent or are having problems with their husband or partner. This means that a significant portion of the population of people getting abortions know what it takes to raise a child and they have decided they cannot do it properly right now. Is having to weigh the quality of life for a thinking, feeling, sentient, autonomous child vs. a non-thinking, non-feeling, non-sentient, dependent child simply a matter of convenience?

    For that matter, how are you helping all of those people out there who, if the circumstances were different, would choose to keep their child? Are you voting politicians into office that support things like WIC, SNAP (food stamps), and access to affordable, high-quality childcare? Or are you voting for people like Paul Ryan, who wanted to cut several billion dollars from the SNAP program, which would have forced low-income children to go hungry?

    Because , see, I honestly have zero problem with the fact you think abortion is murder. Absolutely zero. We are privileged enough to live in a country where we are (for the most part) free to express our opinions and debate with others who may not share our views. My problem will forever and always come in when you try to turn your opinions into my laws, or you actively work against the very people you say you want to save and protect. Because, see, Frank, I am a mom. A single mom. One whose child was conceived as the result of a rape by a stranger. I CHOSE to carry and parent my son because it is the choice I felt most at peace with. (Side note: My choice what just that – my choice. I will always, always support whatever choice a person makes regarding a pregnancy, no matter their circumstances or reasoning.) And, for the most part, I am still at peace with that choice, just as I know people who had abortions who are at peace with their choices. My son is the most beautiful and perfect thing I have ever done with my life, and I love him with that fierce, explosive, never-ending love that threatens to crack my heart in two from its sheer magnitude.

    But the love I have for my son does not negate the fact that our life is hard. Very, very hard. I have no college degree, which means I am the bottom of the barrel when it comes to the job market. My last job paid me $8 per hour. Eight. Dollars. Per. Hour. (And I have been unemployed and unable to find a new job since August.) Do you know what $8 per hour gets you? Not a whole hell of a lot, Frank, that’s for sure. And it’s not like I can just stick my kid in the attic and water him every few days. Last time I checked, he needs food, shelter, clothes, and a crapload of other things that all cost money.

    Frank, I am in no way exaggerating when I say that if I were not receiving SNAP and TANF, my son would be malnourished, and we would be living under a bridge. I have $600 in my bank account (which is dwindling fast) and SNAP and TANF are how I feed my son and keep a roof over his head. As it is, he is wearing clothes that are slightly too small for him and will be getting very, very few Christmas presents this year, as I had to sell what little I had gotten him to avoid eviction.

    Would it be a matter of convenience for some one in my situation to choose abortion, knowing how hard it is going to be to raise a child, and knowing that the life that child is going to face is not going to be an easy one? This is not “this baby might interfere with my vacation plans in Cabo”. This is “this child may have to face malnutrition, homelessness and sickness”. Please explain to me how any of that is a matter of simple “convenience”.

    (Note: I used Guttmacher for all of the abortion-related statistics because you yourself used them upthread, so I am assuming you count them as a reliable source.)

    • Thomas Burton

      Bria. I love you. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

  • Lizzy

    Oh Frank, how single minded you are. I find people like you infuriating and also baffling. Why believe something if you have no ability to support it? Why insist that the way that you feel about something is the only right way to feel? You know what, I had an abortion for what you would consider convenience. I don’t regret it all. My life is better for not having had a child. Do you know whose life isn’t so great? The three children of a drug addict that I know. She says that she loves her kids more than anything else in this world. She says that she could never think of having an abortion. I also listened to her explain to her kid that she left him home with a drunk, abusive boyfriend to go to the bar because it was the best thing to do for him and his siblings. I may be selfish, but at least my selfishness doesn’t create dysfunctional people who will likely struggle the rest of their lives to deal with things like childhood trauma.

  • Meghan

    Someone near and dear to me had an abortion in 2003. She recently told me about her experience since I’m older now. I’ve always been pro-choice but her story made me even more firm on my belief that abortion is a woman’s choice and no one else especially not wealthy white male politicians.

    Her fiance was killed in a drunk driving accident. She made the decision to move back into her mom’s house. Partially to save money and partially to help her mother who was dying of cancer. When she found out she was pregnant she made the agonizing choice to get an abortion.
    I totally understand why she did it. The father of her child is dead. Her mother is dying of cancer and she was a waitress. How could she support and afford a child?
    I’m proud to be a pro-choice woman.

  • Scuba06

    It’s really quite simple. If you don’t want to get pregnant, keep your legs closed. Why should the public have to pay for YOUR mistake ? Take responsibility for your decisions and own up to the consequences of your actions. Society is a more screwed up place because abortion exist, because there is no accountability for making bad decisions. How many times do you get a do-over in life ? You don’t want to have to go through abortions, teen pregnancy, absent fathers, sexual diseases and broken homes, then treat you body with more respect and, don’t have unprotected sex with any idiot who buys you a drink. Find someone who really appreciates you for who you are, and will be by your side regardless of whatever comes your way. You want a stable lifestyle than make coherent and rational decisions, and grow the f up.

    • Anat

      Really? Is that what you say to people who got into road accidents? ‘Why did you get into the car? Why did you cross the street? Didn’t you know the risk? No medical care for you, nuh-ah!’

      Also: finding someone who appreciates you and stays around no matter what is only partial protection from poverty (ever heard of unemployment? underemployment?) and no protection whatsoever from congenital defects and rape. Married women seek abortion too.

      • Scuba06

        Getting into an auto accident or losing your job is not something you can control. Unless you are being sexually assaulted, which only accounts for 2% of unwanted pregnancies, the decision to engage in sexual intimacy with someone else, however, requires you to consent to the use of your body, something no one other than you can do. So no, they aren’t the same. Of course any women who’s health is at risk or who had a sexual crime committed upon her should be afforded safety nets to protect her well-being, none the less, those who present no such issues and seek to simply rid themselves of their unwanted ‘problem’ on tax payer dollars should not granted permission to use these procedures.

      • victoria

        “Those who present no such issues and seek to simply rid themselves of their unwanted ‘problem’ on tax payer dollars should not be granted permission to use these procedures”

        The Hyde Amendment prevents public federal tax dollars from being used towards abortion in cases not related to rape/incest/life of the mother, and a large majority of states do not allow state taxpayer dollars to fund abortion either. The vast majority of people who have abortions fund their own.

        What we do allow nationwide, however, is for people who have low incomes and get pregnant to get on Medicaid and WIC. The cost of that for a mother-child dyad is far higher than the cost of an abortion (generally $1000 or less out of pocket). If the primary argument is taxpayer dollars, are you honestly saying that poor married couples should not have sex (because every act of sex could result in a pregnancy even with birth control) but it’s OK for rich single people to have abortions?

        And anyone who is in favor of restrictive abortion policies with rape exceptions hasn’t really thought through what they’re suggesting.

    • victoria

      I am a married woman in an stable and happy marriage. I have perhaps twenty more years of fertility left. Another pregnancy like my first one would leave me disabled and unable to properly care for my existing child for a period of years, and could kill me.

      I suppose I should abstain for the rest of my married life?

      • Scuba06

        So you would rather go through a horrific procedure that will leave you in great physical and emotional pain and could have potential complications, rather then just asking your husband to use protection ? Wouldn’t you rather take your chances with birth control ? I would never oppose an abortion where a women’s life was in danger, but if you would have examined my statements more clearly, you would see that they are aimed specifically towards those who carry their sexuality in a reckless manner, and don’t want to own up to the consequences of their poor decisions. Honestly, I’m really more interested in preventing unwanted pregnancies than giving a fetus an opportunity at life.

      • victoria

        My husband has had a vasectomy. But the only way I can guarantee that I don’t get pregnant is to, as you so eloquently put it, “keep my legs closed.” Vasectomies fail sometimes. Rarely, but it happens.

        And as it happens, I’ve been through a horrific procedure that left me in physical and emotional pain and had complications that rose to the level of disability for about five years. It was called “pregnancy.” You might be familiar with it?

        The fact that I am happily married and relatively privileged in many ways doesn’t mean that my sexuality is OK and other people’s isn’t. People don’t need to be punished for choosing to have sex. And you’re still not explaining why I, as a married woman, should “take my chances with birth control” while other people should “keep their legs shut.”

  • Moses

    LOL I like how Frank trolled everyone ,I needed to good laugh.blog , People make it sound as though this blog will change anything .Most people will never see this

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