Did R. C. Sproul Jr. Incite Anti-Abortion Violence?

Let me tell you a story of two seemingly unconnected events. Both took place in Bloomington, Indiana, in early April of this year.

Event #1:

The first event took place on April 5th on the campus of Indiana University. It was that evening that Clearnote Campus Fellowship, the student outreach arm of Clearnote Church, brought in R.C. Sproul Jr. as a guest speaker. Sproul Jr. is a popular conservative pastor and theologian. This same group, Clearnote Campus Fellowship, brought Douglas Wilson as a speaker last year (that event drew a large student protest). While Wilson spoke against homosexuality, Sproul tackled abortion.

The above image, which advertises the event, reads:

Abortion: America’s Holocaust

Two Lectures by R. C. Sproul Jr.

Friday, April 5th at 7 p.m., Ballantine 013

Below is a description of the talks from the group’s website:

“The Jews are undoubtedly a race, but they are not human.” –Adolf Hitler

With this lie, Hitler justified the cold-blooded murder of 6 million innocent Jews. Today, we feel superior to the Nazis because of our racial tolerance, but we are no better. Instead of calling Jews inhuman, we sentence our own children to death by declaring them to be disposable. Since Roe v. Wade, 55 million babies have been aborted in America under the protection of law.

Though abortion has become a political debate, it’s not a matter of liberal vs. conservative. Those on the political and religious left are not the only ones getting it wrong. In fact, many who oppose the evil of abortion are just as culpable for its continuation.

The Format

Lecture 1: How the Left Gets Abortion Wrong
Friday, April 5 at 7 p.m.
Ballantine 013

–Intermission–

Lecture 2: How the Right Gets Abortion Wrong, Too
Friday, April 5th at 8 p.m.
Ballantine 013

Open-Format Q&A

While the group has audio of last year’s lectures by Wilson on their website, they don’t yet have audio from Sproul Jr.’s talks, so I don’t know what exactly was said. From the advertisement and description it appears that Sproul Jr. drew a strong comparison between abortion today and the Holocaust. An article posted on the group’s website the following Sunday began as follows:

Last Friday, Clearnote Campus Fellowship sponsored an event called Abortion: America’s Holocaust. In her Friday IDS article, Casey Farrington questioned comparing abortion to the Holocaust. I agree with Ms. Farrington in two respects.

First, abortion to the Holocaust is hardly an apt comparison to make.

Six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust pales in comparison to 55 million children slaughtered in the US since Roe v. Wade. Actually, 55 million dead babies dwarfs the number of victims killed in the Holocaust, in the Atlantic slave trade, and under Stalin’s regime combined.

If only we had a stronger word to describe this evil, we could use it.

The description of the lectures also suggests that Sproul Jr. castigated his listeners for not doing enough to stop “the evil of abortion,” going so far as to call them “culpable,” and the remainder of the article excerpted above appears to confirm this.

Event #2:

The second event took place in the same town early the following Thursday, April 11th. That morning a man attacked the Bloomington, Indiana Planned Parenthood with an ax.

BLOOMINGTON, IND. — A man broke into a Planned Parenthood clinic in Bloomington on Thursday morning and used an ax to damage the facility, police said.

Police arrested Benjamin D. Curell, 27, Ellettsville, said Capt. Joe Qualters of the Bloomington Police Department.

“The suspect made statements indicating the facility was targeted due to abortions being performed there,” Qualters said. “He stated his intent was to damage the building because they ‘kill’ and ‘murder’ babies. He attributed his actions to his religious beliefs.”

This act of vandalism caused thousands of dollars in property damage, but fortunately took place early in the morning before the clinic was open. As a result of the violence, no abortions were performed at the clinic that day. Benjamin Curell may well have felt that this justified his actions—he had, after all, prevented the “killing” and “murdering” of “babies” and temporarily shut down this particular “abortion mill.”

Connecting the Dots

These two events—the guest lectures drawing a comparison between the Holocaust and abortion and the vandalism of the local Planned Parenthood clinic—took place within the same week in the same Midwestern college town. That does not, of course, prove that they were related. Indeed, Indiana Right to Life released a statement condemning the act of violence. This is a pattern that repeats time and again—pro-life leaders and Christian speakers use strident and vivid rhetoric about the heartless murder of infants and draw comparisons between the horror of the Holocaust and what takes place in abortion clinics, and then they act surprised when a random individual somewhere takes the rhetoric to heart and responds by shooting an abortion doctor or vandalizing an abortion clinic. The condemn the violence and assert that they had nothing whatsoever to do with it—because they don’t support violence!

But in this case there is a factor that connects the two incidents. Benjamin Curell was a deacon at Clearnote Church, the organization whose college outreach arm brought Sproul Jr. to speak. In fact, Curell’s father is the church’s associate pastor. In other words, it’s almost certain that Curell heard Sproul Jr. speak the previous weekend, whether he attended the lectures on Friday or sat through the guest sermon on Sunday. While we can’t know what motivated Curell to attack the clinic at this particular time, I don’t think it’s a stretch to suggest that Sproul Jr.’s talks painting a vivid abortion/Holocaust comparison and calling out the Right on not doing enough to “end the evil” played a role.

In the wake of the violence and arrest, Clearnote Church released a statement (Benjamin Curell has since been removed from the list of deacons on Clearnote Church’s website).

Yesterday morning the pastors and elders of Clearnote Church learned that Ben Curell, a deacon of the church, had been arrested for vandalizing Planned Parenthood. No one in the church knew about his plans. We are convinced Ben’s actions were not justifiable civil disobedience. The elders and pastors have met with Ben and admonished him.

Throughout history faithful Christians have confessed that from conception children bear the image of God. Therefore, we at Clearnote Church have encouraged and will continue to encourage Christians to peacefully and lawfully witness against the great evil of abortion.

We have counseled Ben to repent and submit to the civil authority that God has placed over us for our good. This authority reflects and points to the judgment of God before Whom we all one day must give an account.

Not surprisingly, this statement fits the pattern I identified above: a man vandalizes an abortion clinic and his zealously anti-abortion church immediately distances itself and said they never advocated that. They want abortion banned without exception, and believe that abortion is the murder of babies, but they would never call for or condone violence. How could anyone suggest a connection?! I’m sure that R. C. Sproul Jr. would do the same, if asked—and because I’m sure he never actually called for violence, he has plausible deniability.

The problem is that you can’t go telling people that abortion is ten times worse than the Holocaust without the chance that at least a few people will really take that to heart and act on it. I don’t think the leaders of the pro-life movement properly respect the simple reality that their rhetoric will naturally lead some people to responding with violence. How could it not? You can’t tell people that babies are being barbarically murdered, chopped to pieces and left bloody in buckets of waste, without at least a few of them deciding that violence is justified to save the lives of the innocent.

It’s almost certainly the case that Sproul Jr. didn’t call for violence against those who provide abortion services, but it’s also almost certainly the case that his inflammatory rhetoric stirred up one of his audience, Benjamin Curell, to violence.

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.

  • Mornacale

    Anyone who believes that abortion is even remotely similar to the Holocaust would be an absolute monster if they did anything BUT call for violence. These statements deny not just a connection to the crime, but also an authentic belief in their own rhetoric. Those who give them make it clear that they wish to wield power over others, not risk their comfort and privilege to make a real change.

  • JLB82

    “The problem is that you can’t go telling people that abortion is ten times worse than the Holocaust without the chance that at least a few people will really take that to heart and act on it.”

    You make a good point, Libby. I’ve always wondered how anti-choicers can compare abortion to the Holocaust and then say that they oppose violence against abortion providers in the same breath. I don’t think it would have been morally unjustifiable to kill Hitler or other concentration camp officers to save people from being slaughtered, but many anti-choicers balk at the idea of killing doctors and nurses who offer reproductive services that include abortion. I am very, very thankful for this inconsistency, of course, but it’s an inconsistency nonetheless. I’ve always wondered if it was because, deep down, they know that first trimester embryos and fetuses aren’t people in the sense that the victims of the Holocaust were and are.

    • http://www.facebook.com/paul.grimm.14 Paul Grimm

      Not true at all. We just believe that we are to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us

      • Beutelratti

        Who is persecuting you then?

      • JLB82

        Paul, I understand that many Christians believe that they can love and pray for their enemies, and I realize that many of them can also be pacifists who oppose any kind of violence. That wasn’t really my point, though, and perhaps I should have been clearer. I realize that not all Christians and all anti-choicers hold the exact same views.

        Do you believe that killing in self-defense or to defend others is morally wrong? Do you believe that it would have been morally wrong for people to fight back against Hitler or concentration camp guards, even using deadly force if it was necessary to save lives? If not, then why do you think it’s wrong to kill abortion doctors and nurses?

        I am very glad that you realize that it’s wrong to kill abortion doctors, but I am curious about why there seems to be a difference to many, if not most, anti-choicers. I used to be very, very anti-choice, and I realized this issue even then, though I tried not to think about it at the time.

      • Niemand

        How does comparing people to the Nazis enhance your “love” for them?

      • Baby_Raptor

        lol Hilarious.

        A woman wanting to make her own choices is persecuting you? The government listening to science instead of your religion and allowing everyone to live their lives by their own beliefs is persecuting you?

        Right…Get off the cross. We need the wood.

  • NeaDods

    Of course he did. Ad now he’s running from it the same away Limbaugh ran from his culpability in the murder of Dr. Tiller, because a constant drumbeat of horrible names, sound effect screams, horror movies sounds, and complaints that the law isn’t stopping him add up. Even when Mr. Personal Responsibility refuses to take his for incitement to riot.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sheila.on.la.palma Sheila Crosby
    • Sally

      Looks like this is exactly it- especially the part about being in denial about what they’re doing. You don’t have to be honest even with yourself for it to still be this kind of act.

  • herewegokids7

    “You can’t tell people that babies are being barbarically murdered, chopped to pieces and left bloody in buckets of waste, without at least a few of them deciding that violence is justified to save the lives of the innocent.” This is true. Unfortunately, the actions you describe are actually taking place. Turning the other way does not change that. I assume you’ve heard of Kermit Gosnell? I hope all lovers of justice will be as intent on seeing that abortion clinics are subject to the same health guidelines, inspections, and oversight that any other medical establishment would be. It IS a women’s issue. Shoddy and reprehensible treatment is being given in many of these facilities which does result in loss of life for the mother as well all too often (and consequently covered up). A sad result of the well-intentioned (or not) efforts to offer abortion to minors (personally I think it’s far more often about the money) is that perpetrators of sex crimes such as incest or rape of a minor are able to get rid of a big chunk of the evidence of what has occurred. So, no, violence is not the right response…on the other hand, I have friends who have stood outside clinics going on 25 years now, almost every day, and I’m always amazed that they have the fortitude to keep doing it, the peaceful demonstration, when day in and day out they have to watch women, in the last months and days even of pregnancy, going in to have just what you have described perpetrated on them and their child. And then stand there and have the ashes of the babies fall on them after the crematorium is fired up. Day after day after day, while we go about our business. I think there is definitely a correlation to be made there, especially as regards the German citizens who turned away from the reality of what was happening in their midst. And mind you: I am the opposite of a fan of Wilson, or Sproul for that matter.

    • jemand2

      Last days of pregnancy?

      Liars.

    • http://amavra.wordpress.com/ MotherDemeter

      Libby has written an article about Kermit Gosnell so I won’t go into it much again, it is only a few days old you can find it on the front page.

      Abortion clinics are held to the same guidelines and outpatient medical clinics and often times even higher ones – Gosnell’s was not at those guidelines but the guidelines are there. Additionally clinic’s like his (and worse) would become the norm if abortion was made illegal – far more advanced stage abortions would take place in dangerous conditions.

      And you and your friends have no idea why each individual woman is going into the clinic they stand outside of every day.

      Do you believe the aborted fetuses go to heaven? I am always just generally curious about the answer to this question because when I was pro-life I was not adament about it in law because I did believe they went to heaven and I rather envied them.

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism Libby Anne
    • http://patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism Libby Anne
    • http://twitter.com/TrollfaceMcFart Trollface McGee

      Babies are precious….as a punishment for women having sex…as evidence. For all the blathering the anti-choice movement does about teh baybeez, they sure don’t value them very much.
      Also comparing abortion to the Holocaust devalues and insults every single living, breathing human being that was killed in the Holocaust.

      • Little Magpie

        eleventy billion x THIS.

    • Kubricks_Rube

      I assume you’ve heard of Kermit Gosnell?

      Well sure, he’s on trial for some pretty serious crimes.

      Shoddy and reprehensible treatment is being given in many of these facilities which does result in loss of life for the mother as well all too often (and consequently covered up).

      Many of these facilities? Name names then. As Gosnell’s arrest and trial show, these crimes will be prosecuted.

    • Niemand

      Shoddy and reprehensible treatment is being given in many of these
      facilities which does result in loss of life for the mother as well all
      too often (and consequently covered up).

      It’s worth noting at this point that the mortality rate for abortion is at least 14X lower than that of completing a pregnancy. And that’s probably an underestimate since women who obtain abortions tend to be higher risk than women who complete pregnancies. Shoddy care does indeed contribute to some of this statistic: for example, the care that Savita Halappanavar received.

      And it’s hard to cover up a death. If someone dies in your clinic, it’s going to be noticed. Maybe not treated appropriately, as the Halappanavar case demonstrates all too well, but it will be noticed.

    • Baby_Raptor

      You know that one of the main reasons that the pro-forced birth side is rapidly shrinking is because you guys cannot stop lying, yeah? Everything out of your mouths is some level of a lie, and you’re doing it here.

      Women do not get abortions in the last months/days of their pregnancy. It’s illegal, unless the woman’s health is at risk or the fetus has a severe defect. There aren’t women out there just randomly deciding “Hey, this pregnancy is inconvenient, Imma go get rid of it.” Yet pro-forced birthers claim this happens all the time.

      Further, if the pregnancy is past viability, the doctor will induce labor to save the mother’s life instead of aborting, if labor doesn’t increase her chance of death.

      You know you don’t have a legit argument, so you lie constantly to get people to think you’re actually right. And people are starting to see it. That’s why the Republicans are having to lie their way through campaigns and then ram through abortion bills while the public is distracted by other things. They, and I bet you do too, know full well that the public isn’t on your side, nor is the law or the truth.

  • Niemand

    Calling abortion “America’s holocaust” also ignores America’s actual Holocaust, namely, the intentional genocide of the various American Indian tribes. It’s insulting to those who were murdered for their race to say that they are of no more importance than an undifferentiated zygote or embryo (remember, the majority of abortions take place in the embryonic phase of pregnancy, before there are even stationary neurons, much less cortical activity.)

    • http://www.facebook.com/zebulon.stenman Zebulon Stenman

      Agreed … indeed, I seem to remember something about Hitler drawing from the reservation system when he was working out how to carry out his bloody purpose. Though I’m sure that more than a few of these screwballs are racist enough that in their minds one potential white person is worth the lives of several POC.

    • Saraquill

      I was thinking about that myself as I was reading the quotes. My guess is that since they are not caucasian (and being of all ages, not so cute or cuddly as a whole,) they don’t count.

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

        Until you need a Magical Native to parade around as “evidence” that you’re “not racist”…

      • The_L1985

        “I’m not racist! Look, I have this piece of Navajo art!”

  • Kevin

    If you believe force was justifiable in ending the Holocaust, that abortion is worse than the Holocaust, and that force isn’t justifiable in ending abortion, then your views are internally inconsistent.

  • Frank

    How unstable people respond to the truth and reality of what abortion really is does not change the truth and reality of what abortion really is nor should it change people from telling others the truth and reality of what abortion really is.

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

      He was a respected church deacon. What makes you think he was unstable?

      • Frank

        Anyone who believes its their responsibility to dispense justice through violence is unstable. What job he held is irrelevant to his mental stability.

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

        Nice No True Scotsman you’ve got there.

      • Frank

        If you want to believe violence like this is done by stable people go ahead. It doesn’t make it true and sounds kind of silly.

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

        Dietrich Bonhoeffer was involved in attempt to assassinate Hitler in WWII, motivated by the horror of the Jewish Holocaust. Was he “unstable”? I ask because in the evangelical home where I grew up, Bonhoeffer was treated as a hero. Granting the Holocaust/abortion comparison, I fail to see how Bonhoeffer’s actions are practically different from those of Benjamin Curell or Scott Roeder. Shy why are Curell and Roeder “unstable” while Bonhoeffer is a hero?

      • Frank

        One persons hero can be another persons criminal. One persons terrorist can be another persons freedom fighter. Bonhoeffer for all the good he did was unstable, at least at the time of considering violence.

        Would you have assassinate Hitler if you had the chance?

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

        Would you have assassinate Hitler if you had the chance?

        If assassinating Hitler would have stopped the Holocaust from happening, then yes, I would have done so given the chance. In fact, I rather think that there would be a moral imperative to do so.

        Question: Are soldiers who enlist to defend the country unstable?

      • Frank

        If you were a Christian then I would call you unstable in your thinking on this issue. Or at the very least confused.

        If you want to talk about the morality of war we can but this is a post on abortion.

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

        So you would call a person who would kill one man to save the lives of six million people “unstable”? Wow. This almost certainly means that the majority of Americans are “unstable.” Given that, is Sproul Jr. really justified in ratcheting up the rhetoric as he does, knowing that most of his listeners are “unstable” people who may be prone to using violence in defense of the innocent? I mean, I know that I would be careful what I said if I knew that the majority of my listeners were “unstable.”

      • Frank

        Suggesting the pro life people are unstable is just foolish Libby and I suspect you are better than that.

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

        I didn’t suggest that—you did. I am fairly confident is saying that the majority of pro-lifers would kill Hitler if doing so would save SIX MILLION lives. You’re the one who called that unstable.

      • Frank

        Come on now Libby. Read your above comment. You suggested that RC Sproul should know that the prolife audience is unstable implying they are unstable to begin with. The thing about bias, anger and resentment is that it often blinds us.

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

        Drop the condescension. Seriously.

        Look, you said that someone who would kill Hitler if given the chance is “unstable.” All I said is that the majority of pro-lifers would kill Hitler if given the chance, if they knew that doing so would save six million lives, and I stand by that. This means that by *your* definition (not mine) the majority of pro-lifers are “unstable.” If you want to combat my assertion that the majority of pro-lifers would kill Hitler if given the chance, go ahead. I readily admit I have no evidence to back that up, but to be honest, I think anyone who *wouldn’t* kill one monstrous man to save six million lives is morally broken.

      • Frank

        I see that you are unwilling to admit what you said. That’s fine we all see what you said whether you admit it or not. I am glad that you do admit you only have an opinion.

        You support the killing of over 21,000 innocent unborn children each week mostly for reasons of convenience and comfort so what you consider moral is immediately suspect.

        Btw there was no condescension in my comment. That you experienced it that way should reveal something to you about yourself.

        Is this where you ban me from commenting here?

      • Composer 99

        Frank:

        You said to Libby Anne: “I see that you are unwilling to admit what you said.”

        This is false.

        You are the one who stated “Anyone who believes its their responsibility to dispense justice through violence is unstable.”
        Libby Anne pointed out that, by your definition, potentially a vast majority of Christian Americans would be “[mentally] unstable”, assuming that, given the opportunity to kill Adolf Hitler in, say, 1935, they would take it.
        Attempting to pin your claim on Libby Anne is not exactly the height of good argumentation, here. However, it certainly is condescending behaviour.

      • Frank

        I did read Libby Ann post incorrectly. I stand corrected.

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

        “I suspect you are better than that” and “Come on now Libby” were both condescending. As for banning, do you want to be banned? Is that what you’re gunning for, to be banned so that you can brag of yet another pro-choice site “censoring” your views? As for my morals, if you seriously would not murder Hitler even if doing so would save six million lives, you are the morally suspect one, not me.

      • Frank

        I want the unborn children to have a voice so no I don’t want to be banned.

        One of the criticisms of the prolife movement is that they are inconsistently pro life. And yet when we are consistent, not even wanting to end an awful life, we are still criticized. Pitiful.

        And no one should go to you for moral advice it seems. You support murder both inside and outside the womb.

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

        Yeah, because my physical and mental well-being (and continued existence) are a matter of “convenience and comfort”.

        Fetus-fetishists are all the same — reducing women to walking incubators…

      • Frank

        If you are so concerned with your well being then I would think you would do everything possible to not get pregnant.

      • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

        If you were concerned about women’s well-being, you’d forget harmful and ineffective abortion bans and instead be working for better sex education, universal health care, strong parental leave laws, and child care subsidies. Not only are such polices far more effective at reducing abortion rates than abortion bans, they don’t have the unfortunate side effect of killing women like Savita Halappanavar.

      • Frank

        There is every reason to do all of the above.

      • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

        Great. Now stop trying to take away women’s rights bodily autonomy and start doing those things.

        I think the most frustrating thing about the anti-choice movement is that it’s not half as effective as the pro-choice side when it comes to reducing abortions. There are exceptions, but for the most part anti-choice organizations are consistently opposed to comprehensive sex ed, and they’re consistently against universal healthcare. It’s almost as if saving babies is just a front for their real goal: punishing women for having sex.

        Your average Planned Parenthood clinic prevents more abortions in one year than Clearnote Church has prevented in its lifetime. And PP could do an even better job if it wasn’t stuck fighting the same legal battles over and over and over again.

      • Frank

        The unborn child needs an advocate. That will always be a part of the solution. PP can continue its great work without having to perform abortions. The work to federally defund PP as long as they do abortions will continue.

      • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

        The “unborn child” does not need an advocate because it is not the one whose rights are under attack. It has no more right to live in a woman’s body without her permission than I have a right to take your bone marrow without your permission. Even if I need it to live, even if it’s your fault I need the transplant, and even if you initially volunteered to be my donor but changed your mind before the actual procedure (McFall v Shimp) your right to ownership of your body comes first.

        Federal funding for Planned Parenthood is used for the things that prevent abortion. If you take that funding away, abortions will increase. Maybe you think it’s a good idea to cut off your nose to teach your face a lesson, but I personally think it just makes you look like a hypocrite more concerned with punshing women than doing real good int he world.

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

        Uh, I DO. But the fact is, birth control can, on occasion, fail.

        Again, my health and well-being are of primary importance — if I’m not 100%, how can you expect me to care for a baby?

      • Frank

        That’s the risk you take. Making an innocent life pay the price for your risk is an atrocity.

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

        You really are a heartless bastard. Not one iota of concern for the living, breathing women…

      • Frank

        Please. I have more respect and concern for women than you do or anyone that supports this atrocity does. If your concern and respect includes encouraging/ condoning them to kill their own child you the one who is being heartless.

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

        Yes, yes, so us walking incubators should just shut up and be happy to sacrifice our LIVES for moar babbies.

        No. Thanks.

      • http://www.facebook.com/ella.warnock.7 Ella Warnock

        Correction: You have more respect and concern for women who will behave in ways that you find acceptable. Actually, I think it’s something less than respect and something more like tolerance. This respect and concern does not extend to women like, for example, me; a woman who will make reproductive decisions based on what’s best for my life and not whether various and sundry people I don’t know and will never meet approve of them or not.

      • http://www.facebook.com/sarah.eilerson Sarah Eilerson

        No, not really. It’s unfortunate, as many things in life are, but it’s not an atrocity. Born people don’t get any guarantees in life, either.

      • Rosie

        I don’t think my husband will be happy to know that you think I must divorce him (or at least not have sex with him for the next ten years, until I reach menopause…which he would probably consider grounds for divorcing me), since I don’t want to get pregnant and will not carry a pregnancy to term for any reason.

      • The_L1985

        “Convenience and comfort?”

        How about “I wish I could have this baby, but my husband just got laid off and we can barely afford to feed the child we have”?

        Or “My baby is going to be born without a brain, doomed to die, and will probably feel intense pain without any sort of relief. It would be better for him to die quickly now than to slowly die in agony later”?

        Or “My baby died in utero, but my body didn’t flush it out. I need to have the dead baby surgically removed (yes, technically this IS an abortion) so that I don’t die of infection”? (This one is what happened to Savita Hallapanavar.)

        Yes, clearly these are reasons of convenience and comfort, and the abortion wasn’t a hard choice for any of these people at all.

      • Frank

        3% of all abortions are due to rape, incest or the life of the mother. You are speaking of statistically small incidents.

      • The_L1985

        1.Where did I say anything about rape or incest?

        2. 2 out of 3 of those examples had nothing to do with the immediate survival of the mother.

        3. “The life of the mother” is generally only counted when the mother would die as a direct result of childbirth. What about women who are emotionally unstable and commit suicide due to postpartum depression? What about women whose abusive husbands have threatened to kill them if they have another kid? Nope. Not counted in the 3%.

      • Frank

        They should call the police or a mental health expert.. Making an innocent child suffer the consequences of their inaction is irresponsible.

      • The_L1985

        OK, what about scenarios 1 and 2 in my post above?

      • Frank

        Scenario one is about convenience and comfort.

        How many abortions are done because the baby has no brain? Pointing extraordinary circumstances does not answer the 97%.

      • The_L1985

        1. “I don’t want my other children to starve” is NOT about mere “convenience and comfort.” It is about children’s LIVES. If I have to choose between one quick death, and 3 slow, painful deaths due to starvation, wouldn’t ONE death be less cruel than THREE?

        2. Yeah, I’ve also heard that cleft lip and palate are extremely common in fetuses that were aborted for “fetal abnormalities.” Oddly enough, I’ve never seen a single statistic yet on whether those were the only abnormalities. I’ve read more than enough pro-life literature to last a lifetime. I used to be Catholic–and you can’t GET more anti-abortion than the Roman Catholic Church.

        3. Where, exactly, did you get that 97% from? Catholic pamphlets? Because I’ve read those, and they’re entirely untrue.

      • Frank

        I doubt any loving parent would let their child starve. A good parent will let their child live and make sacrifices to care for the child.

        The stats are from PP’s guttmacher institute. I posted links before. Its easy to find.

      • Tracey

        The term “convenience” is an anti-choice dogwhistle that conveys the absolute disdain with which fundies value women–you know, the actual living people in this equation.

      • http://www.facebook.com/ella.warnock.7 Ella Warnock

        Just so you’re aware, convenience and comfort are not in and of themselves something selfish or evil. My not adopting children is very much related to convenience and comfort. I’ve yet to encounter anyone who insists that I must adopt or I’ll suffer and be sad and broken for the rest of my life. Yeah, sometimes it absolutely is about comfort, and I for one won’t go along with anti-choicers’ narrative that there’s anything particularly wrong with that.

      • Frank

        Thre is nothing wrong with convenience or comfort unless its used as an excuse or justification to kill or hurt.

      • JLB82

        You’ve yet to prove that an embryo is a child. Also, you have to be conscious to actually suffer.

      • tsara

        Can you please define “innocent”?
        My understanding of the word is that it isn’t one that is generally applied to people who are inside of other people when those people don’t want them there.

        I thought that was that other word. Starts with an ‘r’.

      • http://www.facebook.com/sarah.eilerson Sarah Eilerson

        Ah, yes, I’m seeing your “love and concern” for women so clearly in this statement! Abused or very ill women with few resources are simply guilty of “inaction.” Well ain’t that a kick in the pants. All this time, it turns out ol’ Frank had the answer to ALL women’s problems. Someone should really alert the media!

      • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

        There’s no such thing as an abortion of convenience. Pregnancy, childbirth, and child-rearing are not matters of convenience. They are all major, permanently life altering processes.

      • Jayn

        The more people you talk to, the greater the chances that someone listening will think, “Hey, this guy is killing hundreds of people, I’d be dong a great thing if I took him out!” That’s not bias, that’s statistics. And it’s not an illogical a position to take, even if you don’t agree with it.

      • Frank

        I don’t argue with what you say. But thinking the end justifies the means doesn’t make it so,

      • Jayn

        That’s not really the point. The point is that no one is saying that pro-lifers as a group are more prone to being unstable in the way you describe than any other group. They don’t have to be. The number of people who would actually go to this length is quite small, especially compared to how many people identify as being pro-life, but the second group is so large you pretty much have to assume that the first is there, and the type of rhetoric that some conservative Christian commentators use allows them to justify those actions. Even if the people speaking don’t think violence is justified, it’s entirely predictable that someone else will, and that’s what makes some of these speakers dangerous.

        If you haven’t already, I’d suggest reading the Daily KOS article linked earlier.

      • Frank

        It’s an opinion wrongly attempting to shift the blame away from personal responsibility. I could easily say that every pro choice person is complicit in every death of every unborn child due to abortion.

      • http://www.facebook.com/sarah.eilerson Sarah Eilerson

        Easily, huh? Like that’s not what you actually are saying. Just own it.

      • Frank

        i suspect that all those that say they would assassinate Hitler would never go through with it if faced with the reality of the situation. That’s why hypotheticals are problematic.

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

        A teensy nitpick. The Holocaust killed about 12 million people. ~6 million were Jews, and the other 6 million were political prisoners, gypsies, the mentally ill, homosexuals, and other “undesirables” like Poles.

        That means assassinating Hitler would save even more lives than you thought!

      • Guest

        I grew up on stories of the Holocaust- it’s left a giant scar across the psyche of Jews everywhere. Anne Frank’s story has nothing on the stories I heard and read growing up- the Polish maid who kept 20+ people alive in her Nazi employer’s house at the cost of him raping her constantly, the woman in the camps who traded precious food to get her kids religious education, Hannah Szenes who parachuted behind enemy lines in Hungary after having escaped once only to be captured and tortured to death. I’d try to find an alternative to Hitler’s death, but once he was in power, you can damn well believe I’d kill him in cold blood in order to prevent those stories, that suffering, from happening. It would be far better to take one murder on my conscience, along with associated nightmares, probable PTSD symptoms, and cognitive dissonance with my usual pacifist leanings.

        I don’t have to make that choice. I’m glad I don’t. Pro-lifers are told they do have to make that choice. Is it any surprise that some of them make the choice I would make? How can we call them unstable, just because they were lied to? Wrong, certainly. Criminal, unquestionably. But unstable? Color me unstable then too.

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

        Disqus screwed up. This was me and supposed to be in response to Frank above.

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

        Yes, I thought of this, but Frank doesn’t seem the kind of guy to care so much about LGBTQ individuals, so I stuck to the conventional discussion of the six million Jews who met their ends. Thanks for pointing this out!

      • Niemand

        Not to mention the secondary damage due to the wars they started. And the subtler but deep damage done to people due to gender essentialism. Prior to the 1930s, Germany had an active feminist community. Part of the “traditional values” the Nazis were pushing was making women’s only possible role that of the mother and homemaker. As part of their push to make sure women had no opportunity to be anything else, they banned abortion. Their views were, in short, not so different from those of the average fundie.

      • Niemand

        If assassinating Hitler would have stopped the Holocaust from happening, then yes, I would have done so given the chance.

        I’m sorry, but I’m unable to resist. Watch your timing if you ever get that time machine.

      • Frank

        If you are asking if war is immoral I would say yes it is.

        Comparing a soldier to someone who on their own commits violence is a false equivalency.

      • JLB82

        So, you think all the war and killing in the Old Testament was immoral?

        Why the distinction when both are killing for reasons of defense?

      • Niemand

        Would you have assassinate Hitler if you had the chance?

        Would you not?

      • Frank

        No but I would find others way to fight him and his regime.

      • Niemand

        zB?

      • Frank

        I don’t what that means.

      • Niemand

        It means you don’t know German. I suspect it also means that you don’t know much about the history that led up the the Holocaust or how it was fought, sometimes futilely sometimes effectively, within and without. And who did not fight. Ever heard the term “premature anti-fascist”? It was what the western powers sometimes called Communists: people who were against fascism too soon and therefore were considered suspect, because the west wasn’t entirely sure that they didn’t like these “strong leaders”. Both the major Christian churches were happy with the Nazis, at least initially. Traditional values, you know. Would you be willing to go against what your priest was telling you?

        It is also short for “zum Beispiel”, that is, “for example”. As in, what would you propose to do to fight Hitler’s takeover or to mitigate the damage? How much danger would you be willing to put yourself in? Would you join the White Rose society? The Rosenstrasse protests? The passive aggressive resistance of the Danes? When/if that failed, your next step would be…

      • JLB82

        Like how? And what would you have done if that had failed?

      • Composer 99

        In response to a question asking if Frank would assassinate Hitler, Frank answers: “No but I would find others way to fight him and his regime.”

        Frank, ultimately, open warfare was the only means by which the Nazi dictatorship could be ended – and then only through the coalition of the United States, United Kingdom (& empire), European governments in exile, and the Soviet Union. Perhaps if Germany hadn’t insisted on expansion via conquest, or had been deterred by Anglo-French resolution in the fall of 1938, other means could have been found. But this seems unlikely as Hitler and other leading Nazis were bent on war, even when the professional military leadership was cautioning against it.

        So what difference is there between killing Hitler in, say, 1935 to prevent the war & Holocuast, and killing millions of German soldiers, sailors & aircrews, and hundreds of thousands of German civilians, in order to end it, as actually happened? Either route requires violence.

      • Frank

        there were many that fought the regime but never killed anyone. I would be one of those.

      • Composer 99

        OK so who did stuff like that unrelated to supporting the Allied war effort (that is, direct violent action against Germany & its armed forces) and appreciably shortened the duration of the Nazi government?

      • Frank

        You tell me. I am just answering a hypothetical. They are always problematic to engage in which is why I usually avoid them. I should have avoided this one as red herrings and strawmen are constantly introduced.

      • Composer 99

        Well, it certainly couldn’t have anything to do with the fact that it was “pro-lifers” who brought up the Holocaust in the first place, and likened legal abortion in the US to it, could it?

      • JLB82

        That’s BS. Quote some examples of red herrings and strawmen from Libby’s article or from the comments.

        You’re claiming that you would have been among those who used non-violence, but you’re completely missing the point that sometimes violence is necessary as a last resort when non-violent protest is futile.

        You seem to be saying that violence is always wrong, but you didn’t answer my questions above as to whether you believe killing in self-defense or to defend others is wrong. At any rate, your view actually seems to be quite rare among Christians.

      • KarenJo12

        You did notice that WWII, in which many people fought Hitler, did involve quite a lot of killing? Some of that being bombing Berlin?

      • JLB82

        I second everything Niemand and Libby wrote, but I’d like to add another question for Frank: How do you define mental instability?

      • Frank

        Thats a big question. It depends on what culture defines as mental stability.

      • Jayn

        You’ve just made the term useless. You can’t say that anyone who would commits violence is by definition unstable, and then say that being unstable is a relative term. Either the term has a fixed definition, or your unstable is another person’s perfectly sane.

      • Frank

        I come from a Christian perspective so anyone who thinks its their job to dispense justice is unstable.

        It’s all relative if God is not in the picture.

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

        What if Curell felt that God had called him to dispense justice? Or Roeder? It wouldn’t be that odd—God ordered the Israelites to slaughter entire Canaanite cities, after all.

      • Frank

        God says vengeance and justice is mine so I wouldn’t believe if Curell said that and would certainly be evidence of instability.

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

        Wait, why wouldn’t you believe it if Curell said that? God frequently uses others to enact vengeance and justice, all through the Bible. Remember how I mentioned God commanding the Israelites to slaughter the Canaanites? Objecting because only God enacts justice and never uses humans to do so is silly ant anti-Biblical.

      • Frank

        When God appears to you as a pillar of fire or anything like that and commands you to kill please let us know.

      • Composer 99

        Who are you to say whether other people’s claims about direct commands from God are genuine or not? Do you have access to Curell or Roeder’s inner world – or that of any self-identifying Christian who kills? If we assume the existence of an interventionist deity has commanded humans to kill in the past, on what basis are we to accept your authoritative pronouncements that, when some person today declares they have received a similar command from the same deity, such a person’s claims are not to be trusted or that they are mentally unstable?

      • JLB82

        “When God appears to you as a pillar of fire or anything like that and commands you to kill please let us know.”

        Whether someone was directly commanded by God doesn’t really matter. Do you believe that killing is wrong for some arbitrary reason, or do you believe it’s wrong because it takes life from someone? If you believe that *all* killing is wrong, and if God commanded people to kill others, then it follows that God commanded people to do wrong. After all, the end result is always the same. I am also curious about how you’d explain Exodus 22:2, which seems to allow killing for defensive purposes.

        That brings me to another point. God supposedly appeared to people like that in the Old Testament, but if someone claimed that God appeared to them and told them to kill people today, we’d (rightfully!) wonder if they’re mentally ill … and they probably would be, too! If a man told you that God commanded him to, say, sacrifice his son, would you believe him, or would you try to stop him?

      • JLB82

        What if they’re not doing it to “dispense justice” or vengeance? What if they’re doing it out of defense of innocent people?

      • JLB82

        Also, Frank, you said that anyone who thinks it’s their job to dispense justice is unstable, but where does the Bible say that? If you think that they’d be acting in a morally unjustifiable way, that’d be one thing, but there’s a big difference between acting immorally and acting unstably.

      • Brightie

        I don’t follow.
        Is this supposed to mean that God has never asked people to dispense justice, or they have never interpreted Him as having done so?
        The Biblical “judges” in the Old Testament come to mind.

      • JLB82

        I’m asking how *you* define it, since you’re the one who brought it up. You said that anyone who would have attempted to kill Hitler to save people would have been mentally unstable, so I’m trying to figure out how you define mental instability and *why* you’d think they’d have to be mentally unstable to do so. When do you believe that killing is justified?

      • Niemand

        Anyone who believes its their responsibility to dispense justice through violence is unstable.

        So you think members of the various resistance movements in Nazi occupied countries were all unstable people?

      • Frank

        I am confused by this line of reasoning. Are you suggesting that violence is appropriate if you believe that abortion is mass murder?

      • Niemand

        I’m suggesting that if you really felt that abortion were mass murder that you wouldn’t be arguing that people who violently oppose it are necessarily unstable. I would argue that nonviolence is the best first position to take even in the presence of mass murder, but I wouldn’t argue that, for example, the French Resistance movement was made up of only unstable or insane people.

      • Frank

        If a Christian considers violence that Chrîstian is not thinking straight. Whether we call it unstable or confused or overcome by emotion, violence by a Christian as a solution to a problem is not Christian.

      • JLB82

        Do you believe that a Christian who shot someone who tried to attack him/her would be mentally unstable? Where do you draw the line? Do you believe it’s okay to kill in self-defense? Do you believe it’s okay to kill to defend others?

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

        <– M, this is my general disqus account.

        Why do you think that Christianity and mental instability are incompatible? Note I'm not saying I agree with your assessment, but even if you're right, so what? These people are giving public talks; that means the public, which includes an unknown but inevitable number of mentally unstable persons, will hear them. As a speaker, one must take responsibility for one's rhetoric. If one's rhetoric has a predictable negative result, then you change the fucking rhetoric!

        Unless, of course, one approves of that predictable negative result. Also, as an aside, you're calling Batman, Superman, Spiderman, the Avengers, and every other superhero everywhere mentally unstable. They're all violent vigilantes, but most people don't consider them crazy.

      • Frank

        I didn’t say they were incompatible. There are plenty of crazy and unstabłe Christians out there.

        As I said before how someone reacts to the truth and reality of a situation does not change that truth or reality or should not stop people from communicating that truth or reality.

      • Sally

        The problem is how it’s done.

      • Sally

        Wow, the above comment (“This problem is how it’s done”) makes no sense here. This was supposed to refer to the idea that someone can object to abortion out loud if they think abortion is wrong and that they’re not responsible if someone goes off the deep end. I was trying to say that the problem is not that they object out loud to abortion. The problem is *how* they do it. If they do it in a way that incites violence in even one person, then *how* they did it was not OK. It’s also not OK to say it’s not the speaker’s fault; they didn’t swing the ax or set off the bomb. Libby Anne’s whole point (as I understand it) is that the person is responsible not because they objected to obortion in a speech, but because how they did it incited violence in even just one person even if they didn’t intend to.

      • Frank

        That means every pro choice person is complicit in every killing of every unborn child. There is nothing more violent then tearing apart a baby or using a vacuum to suck them out.

      • Beutelratti

        *embryos and fetuses

      • Sally

        No, words matter. And who speaks them matters. When you put yourself in a leadership role and use words that incite violence, you have a different level of responsibility than the average person, say, on a discussion board. I don’t think every pro-life person is complicit in someone smashing up the clinic with an ax, for example,- just the person in leadership using the violence-inciting words.

      • http://www.facebook.com/carol.lynn.710 Carol Lynn

        The truth is that abortion is NOT MURDER. It is, instead, a Supreme Court of the USA constitutionally guaranteed RIGHT that a woman can choose for herself and it is none of your business. Stop being un-American as well as un-Christian.

      • The_L1985

        I hate when people forget that the definition of “murder” is “a CRIME in which a person is killed.”

        Abortion is killing, but it isn’t murder because it is legal.

      • http://www.facebook.com/sarah.eilerson Sarah Eilerson

        “Out there,” eh? Not on this thread, though, surely . . .

      • amycas

        I love the reference to superheroes being considered crazy, because a good deal of them actually are a bit mentally unstable.

        Note: I agree with your argument. I just think it’s fun to call into question the mental stability of comic book characters

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

        Oh, a lot of them are definitely not entirely sane. They’ve been through a lot and/or their powers also mess with their minds. I picked ones that usually seem more sane for a reason :)

      • Beutelratti

        Funny you should say this though. I believe the one being that most often dispensed justice through violence (and still does if we believe this whole Hell-rhetoric) is the Christian god.

        Justice is putting all women through painful labour because of the wrongdoing of one woman.
        Justice is drowing all of humanity except for one family.
        Justice is nailing a person to the cross to atone for sins that could have been forgiven non-violently by an omnipotent being.

        I could go on for a bit, but I guess you get my point? The Christian god dispenses justice through violence all. the. damn. time. So by your definition he is unstable and it’s irrelevant to his mental stability that his job is that of the almighty creator of the universe™.

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

        Frank, this is the link various people have suggested you check out. It explains how a person inciting violence is responsible for the violence, even if they didn’t intend it.

      • Frank

        If this is true then every pro choice person is complicit in every unborn child’s killing.

      • Composer 99

        Blastocyst =/= child

        Embryo =/= child

        The outstanding majority of abortions are performed in the first trimester, and remainder are performed almost entirely before 20 weeks’ gestation (see here for data from 2005 – it is extremely unlikely that this will have changed much since then).

      • Frank

        An unborn child. Its definitely more convenient to fall back on clinical and sterile medical terms to justify an atrocity.

      • Beutelratti

        No, Frank, not an unborn child. An embryo, a fetus. You are degrading children by comparing them to non-sentient fetuses. It is not convenience, it is respect for people that can suffer their own loss.

      • Composer 99

        False, Frank.

        Blastocyst =/= child
        It’s as simple as that. Facts don’t change just because you want them to.

        Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and an undifferentiated clump of cells is an undifferentiated clump of cells.

        —–
        Edit: Added the final paragraph and cut out what was probably going too far in taking Frank to task.

      • The_L1985

        This is a human blastocyst:

        http://www.sarahwray.com/USERIMAGES/blastocyst.jpg

        It has no organs, and has barely begun differentiating any of its cells at all. It’s just a fluid-filled ball of cells. The alimentary canal, which is the first organ system to develop, isn’t there yet.

        To call a blastocyst equivalent to this baby:

        http://www2.hiren.info/desktopwallpapers/babies/almost-new-born-baby.jpg

        is an insult, both to the newborn, and to the mother whose own body nourished and formed the child from the blastocyst.

        Furthermore, if a blastocyst is a child, where is the outrage about the 50-75% of blastocysts that fail to implant in the uterus?

      • Sally

        No, just the people who take on leadership. Leaders are responsible on both sides to avoid inciting violence, intentionally or unintentionally. Words matter.

    • belgianchic

      the truth and reality of what abortion is? a legal medical procedure that allows women to control their fertility and reproductive health?

      • Frank

        …by killing their own innocent unborn child, a life they created with their own choice, mostly for reasons of convenience and comfort.

        Now its complete.

      • Sophie

        Women do not have abortions for comfort and convenience! Have you ever had a pelvic exam? Had something pushed through your cervix? No because you are a man. It is excruciatingly painful even with local anaesthetic. As is the cramping that comes afterwards.

        I have never had an abortion but I have had a miscarriage and recently a coil fitted, so I have experienced the pain I described above. If I ever got pregnant again I would have to have an abortion for health reasons. I have a spinal deformity which causes chronic pain in my back and pelvis which causes me to be in a wheelchair. I couldn’t carry a baby to term, my physiology is too messed up. Do you think an abortion in those circumstances would be for comfort and convenience? Do you think I should have to go without my pain meds for months, have a c-section at 30 weeks and then try to raise my likely very sick child whilst being disabled myself?

        You never know anyone’s story. You do not know why they have made the decision that an abortion is the right thing for themselves and their family. You have no right to judge women for choosing abortion. They have the right to be make the decision without guilt and without judgement.

      • Frank

        Thats where you are wrong. Killing an innocent life should always bring guilt and judgement. There always should be consequences. Now there is also forgiveness available no matter what the circumstances.

        Only 3% of all abortions are due to rape, incest and the life of the mother. I am focused on the 97%.

      • Sophie

        Where are you getting this 3% statistic? I’m interested because earlier you claimed that only 3% of abortions were performed for rape and incest and now you are adding life of the mother to that.

        You also didn’t answer my question. I didn’t say that pregnancy would kill me, I said it would exacerbate my existing condition and also my baby would be likely have complicated health problems. I took care of babies born from 24 weeks and most of them had short painful lives. I would not wish that on any child. Which is the main reason I would have an abortion, not my own health but the life of that possible child.

        And that is the reason that a lot of women have abortions, they may not have the same health problems as me but for other reasons they are not able to provide a good life for their possible child. Maybe they are poor, maybe they already have children, maybe they are single, maybe their partner is abusive. Those women are looking out for the best interests of that possible baby. And they are making the responsible decision. So no you do NOT have the right to judge them.

        By the way using the word consequences in a debate about abortion makes you sound like someone who believes that children are a punishment for having sex. Every child born into this world deserves to be loved, very much wanted and to have a family who can give them every opportunity to be what they want to be. We don’t have that world yet, so yes women should be allowed to make the decision that they can’t give a child the life that child deserves and let them have an abortion without judgement and without guilt. And that also includes women who just don’t want children. As a Christian I am sure that you are familiar with Christ’s teaching on judgement of others? So how about you stop throwing stones?

      • Frank

        If you are so concerned then you will do everything necessary to not get pregnant.

      • The_L1985

        Newsflash: Sometimes people get raped. Sometimes birth-control methods fail. Sometimes women forget to take their special pills at the wrong time.

        Pregnancy is NOT a fucking punishment. For ANYTHING. EVER. PERIOD.

      • Frank

        I agree and its so tragic that the pro choice side view pregnancy as such.

      • The_L1985

        Oh, really? We’re not the ones saying that women need to face the “consequences” of having sex–as if a BABY were a consequence instead of a person.

        And, oddly enough, I rarely hear of any pro-lifers support food stamps, welfare for people with children, better sex education, or anything else that would decrease the number of abortions or increase the quality of life of children born into poverty. You’d think if y’all actually cared about children, you’d actually want them to survive longer than birth.

      • Frank

        I said that in response to people claiming no personal responsibility for their actions. Consequences can be good or bad but every action has a consequence.

      • Sophie

        No you said that in response to me explaining that women who have abortions are being responsible. Also most people view and use the word consequence as meaning a negative result to an action.

      • Frank

        No most people use consequence in the proper way without qualifying it.

      • Sophie

        Only your pro-life cronies do that, whilst you all rub your hands in glee at the idea of controlling women through their reproductive system.

      • Composer 99

        Frank, why didn’t your computer short-circuit instead of allowing you to type that pile of BS?

        (The above is an adaptation of a passage from Terry Pratchett: props to anyone who correctly guesses the book.)

        —–
        Edit: Since this response is ‘downstream’ of the comment it is replying to, the comment I am objecting to is “I agree and its so tragic that the pro choice side view pregnancy as such.”

      • Frank

        My statement stands. It the pro choice side that looks at babies as a punishment for their actions.

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

        My gods, but you’re stupid! The pro-choice side says that ALL pregnancies should be wanted and planned, and all children are entitled to a safe, supportive, loving family.

        How in the hell does that equate to “babbies r punishment”?

      • Frank

        Ask your side because that what they are saying. If they viewed babies as the special gift they are they would do everything to keep them and raise them.

      • amycas

        “they would do everything to keep them and raise them.”

        Yeah, because the money, time and physical well being it takes to raise children will just magically appear if we love babies enough…

      • http://www.facebook.com/ella.warnock.7 Ella Warnock

        The anti-choice side looks at babies as punishment for women who don’t want them. You may have an unalloyed love for babies, but you’re well aware that not everyone does yet those are the very people you wish to “suffer” the “consequence” known as a baby. You know very well that a baby is a burden and something less than welcome to a woman who doesn’t want any, or doesn’t want more.

        These are the women you love to castigate for not only unsuccessfully preventing pregnancy and having abortions, but you also love to attempt to make them feel guilty or ashamed for not being the “kind” of women you think all women should be. You’re not always successful with that, though, so I’m glad there are so many women out there who are much stronger than to let themselves be intimidated by such blatant emotional manipulation.

      • Frank

        Only someon who is trying to justify an atrocity would equate personal responsibility for the life or death of their own child as emotional manipulation.

      • Composer 99

        “Only someon who is trying to justify an atrocity would equate personal responsibility for the life or death of their own child as emotional manipulation.”
        … says the man who is trying to impose tyranny on women.

      • http://www.facebook.com/ella.warnock.7 Ella Warnock

        Nah, you know exactly what I’m saying. Don’t be trying to deflect, now. It’s not like I didn’t notice.

      • amazonfeet

        Thank you. I take every possible precaution, locking doors, outside lighting, but someone intent on rape will have no problem breaking in and getting to me anyway. I have a somewhat rare medical condition, and due to medical and personal reasons, am celibate by choice. Pregnancy from a rape would have killed both me and the fetus before viability, from a ruptured aorta – MINE. No way in hell would I deserve capital punishment for being the VICTIM of a brutal and violent crime. Thank Frank’s god, I ended up with precancer of the uterus and had to have a hysterectomy. It’s not about life of a child, it’s about having the power of life and death over women. The total lack of understanding and compassion, coupled with their totally slicing the social safety net to ribbons drove me from the christian church years ago. I am not eligible for any help at state level, and it took me 10 years after nearly dying 3 times in 11 months to get SSDI and Medicare. Forced pregnancy kills women, and I could have been one of them…

      • Sophie

        I do, I mentioned earlier that I have a coil fitted. Which is actually more effective than having my tubes tied. However I live in the UK where we have our wonderful welfare state and free healthcare. Women in other countries aren’t so lucky. They have to rely on cheaper and less effective methods of contraception. So accidental pregnancies happen, as do pregnancies through rape and pregnancies through contraceptive sabotage.

        By the way I think you meant it’s tragic that the pro-life side view pregnancy as a punishment. You lot are the ones always talking about children as consequences.

        And you have once again failed to answer my first question about an abortion in circumstances like mine and you have failed to answer my question about where you are getting your stats from.

      • Frank

        I answered both. Guttmacher Institute and your situation is a rarity. Its the pro choice side that views pregnancy as punishment to be eliminated.

      • http://www.facebook.com/katherine.hompes Katherine Hompes

        Not that rare, Frank. I have the same issue. I have a 5yo daughter, and I would not damage her quality of life, nor mine, for a child that would cripple me, and that I could not physically care for.

        I value my actual child too much to do that.

      • Frank

        I respect your desire to want to give your one child what that child needs and also not wanting to have another child that may cripple you. You should do whatever is necessary to not get pregnant but killing your unborn child as backup is reprehensible.

      • http://www.facebook.com/katherine.hompes Katherine Hompes

        Not reprehensible, Frank- responsible. I fervently hope that I will never have to use that backup (I’m single at the moment, and on depo due to other medical reasons, so it is unlikely). I do, however, need that option to be there.

      • Sophie

        Where in any of your comments to me have you mentioned the Guttmacher Institute? And if you are referring to the study that you linked to in a previous comment thread, other commenters have already told you that the study doesn’t include that statistic.

        As for my situation, it isn’t that rare. Lots of women have medical reasons for having abortions. And the ‘life of the mother” clause does not just cover the risk of death, or risk of medical complications it also covers risk to mental health. Which covers every abortion because being forced to continue a pregnancy that you do not want and being forced to give birth to a child that you cannot care for is catastrophic to a women’s mental health. It causes post-natal depression and can cause post-partum psychosis. My mother had the latter after my birth, she failed to bond with me and subjugated me to a life of emotional abuse and neglect. And I was a planned and very much wanted child.

        As for your assertion about the pro-choice movement’s view on pregnancy, that’s just hilarious! The clue is in the name pro-CHOICE; we want every women to be able to be able to CHOOSE when she has a child. We also want every child to be very much wanted, very much loved and be born in a family that can give that child every opportunity. That is not the reality of our world, which means that abortion is necessary. Pro-choice people also support many programs that will help women to continue their pregnancy if that’s what they choose to do. Programs that the pro-life side vote down and call welfare handouts. I believe you have already criticised the government for it’s welfare programs. So don’t you dare say that it’s our side that views pregnancy as a punishment, it’s your side that wants to keep women constantly popping out babies so that they have no career, and no control over their own life. It’s your side that wants to keep poor women poor by making them have more children than they can afford. And it is your side that refers to children as the consequences of having sex.

      • http://www.facebook.com/sarah.eilerson Sarah Eilerson

        Antichoicers view pregnancy as a punishment for women who have sex, even when they’re married and thus are having “legal” sex.

      • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

        I’ve been trying to get sterilized for ten years. No one will do it because I’m childless, and this despite having multiple medical issues that make pregnancy very risky for me. I had to have my neurologist send documentation to my gynecologist saying that birth control pills could kill me (the aforementioned medical issues mean I’m at high risk for stroke) before I could get so much as an IUD, which cost me about a grand. Fortunately I had the money in my HSA. Many women can’t afford long-acting reversible contraceptives.

        What are you doing for women to increase their access to long-acting reversible contraceptives like IUDs and implants? What are you doing to remove the many roadblocks to permanent sterilization?

      • http://www.facebook.com/ella.warnock.7 Ella Warnock

        It took NINE years after I got married to get a tubal ligation, but of course that was 16 years ago. Looks like things haven’t improved much since then, but at least you were able to get an IUD, which I also couldn’t get. I’m sorry you’ve had to go through that.

        You know, it isn’t childless by choice women who ever regret sterilization anyway. It’s usually women with 2, 3 or 4 who hook up with somebody new and now they must have “one of their own.” Their reproductive indecisions and whims are one of the biggest barriers to women like us being taken seriously.

      • The_L1985

        The 97% aren’t about “oh hey, I changed my mind. Let’s kill this thing and get McDonald’s.”

        Seriously. Imagine someone offering to reach up your rear end and remove a cancerous abdominal growth through your intestines, for the sake of a somewhat easier life. (That’s the closest medical equivalent I can think of to what abortion does to the woman’s body–that a man could also experience.) How many people do you HONESTLY think would do such a thing on a whim?

        75% of women who have had abortions since 2008 are already married with children. They sacrificed the fetus so that their other children might live. Being able to eat is WAY more than just a “convenience.”

      • Frank

        So a child is a cancer to you? Pitiful!

      • The_L1985

        That is not what I fucking said, and you know it.

        I was making a comparison between the effects of an abortion on the body of the mother, and only the mother; and the effects of the hypothetical intestine-surgery on a man.

        Whether you believe that a fetus is a person or not, surgically entering a uterus is NOT a simple procedure, nor is it the kind of thing anybody chooses on a whim. THAT was my point. Stop ignoring my point.

      • Frank

        So then I would think people would be super careful and do whatever is necessary to not get pregnant of they don’t want to.

        The language is unnecessary and detracts from your credibility.

      • Composer 99

        Your obscene misrepresentations of others are far less civil than any “bad words” others have used against you.

      • The_L1985

        I take birth-control pills (for medical reasons, but the contraceptive properties don’t hurt) AND use condoms. The probability of me getting pregnant anyway, while very small, is still not ZERO. It’s about as rare for someone on both forms of birth control at once to get pregnant as it is to get struck by lightning. I don’t personally know anyone who’s had either happen to them–but the fact that the probability is greater than zero, however infinitesimally so, means that it does happen somewhere in the world. So…yeah, it is possible to be extra-super careful and STILL end up pregnant/impregnating someone.

        Also, people swear on this blog all the time. I treat you with as much dignity as you have earned through your prior comments to me. Also, the number of F-bombs dropped isn’t exactly relevant to how factual a claim is.

      • http://www.facebook.com/katherine.hompes Katherine Hompes

        I already do what is necessary to prevent pregnancy. However, sometimes, contraception fails. I need a legal backup if that were to ever happen.

      • belgianchic

        there’s no actual child. its a fetus. also, the idea that women have abortions for comfort and convenience is laughable and very unsettling.

    • Baby_Raptor

      You’re a man. You have no idea “what abortion really is.” Nor will you ever. So keep your Fucking mouth shut and let those of us who actually have to deal with it live our lives. The fact that you believe god made you special and gave you the truth means nothing.

      • Sally

        I think Frank’s comments are constructive in that we’re having a good discussion here. We’re fleshing the issues out. If we tell people to keep their “fucking mouths shut,” then all we have are a bunch of people posting that they agree with Libby Anne. Some of her comment threads are pretty much like that (almost entirely agreeing). I think the threads where there’s real discussion are the most interesting and valuable.

      • Nancy Shrew

        How is it constructive? He’s just repeating the same bullshit rhetoric over and over again.

      • Sally

        This thread is incredibly difficult to follow. At the time that I made my comment (about “constructive”), there was less repeating. More time has passed and a lot more repeating on both sides has taken place in what appears to be “upthread” but which was added later than my comment.

        That said, let me be clear. I’m not saying I agree with Frank. I’m saying if we tell people who disagree with us to “shut the fuck up” (if we really mean that), then there’s little to no discussion. There’s just comments that generally align with each other.

      • Composer 99

        Sally, I would be inclined to agree, up to a point.
        However, I suspect that anyone who has been around this block a few times will find Frank’s lines of argument, his rhetorical games, and so on, tiresomely repetitive.
        To them, re-hashing it all again (and again, and again…) would be as unproductive as you find comment threads where almost everyone is generally in agreement.

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

        Yep, so constructive, just telling us stoopid wimminz that we’re murdering whores who should just crap out baby after baby because some man says so.

      • The_L1985

        It’s even more offensive to me, because I want children once I’m married, AND I had an experience once that may or may not have been a very early miscarriage.
        Pregnancy and childbirth are risky, even with today’s modern medicine. Women examine these risks, and some decide that, in their situation, a baby is not work the risk. Since different people have different ideas of how much risk is too much, it is extremely hypocritical to decide for someone else that her reasons for aborting weren’t “good enough.”

  • Fina

    Note that people get assassinated – by the United States no less! – due to doing exactly the same thing these abortion opponents do: rhetoric to urge action against a great evil that will surely bring ruin over civilization.
    The only difference is that the people who get assassinated are muslims, rather than fundamentalist christians.

  • Beutelratti

    A comparison between abortion and the holocaust raises so many problems.

    If abortion really was mass murder, why are people only protesting in front of abortion clinics? Why are they not throwing their bodies in front of the doors, in front of the women entering, in front of the doctors entering? Why care about arrest and prosecution? You are fighting against mass murder, they can arrest you, but they cannot hide what you did, they cannot stop you from making your voice heard.

    If abortion really was mass murder, why should one not try to do everything in one’s power to stop every person contributing to this crime? The holocaust came to an end with the death of Hitler, why should abortion not come to its end by the death of those who perpertrate this apparently horrendous crime? Think about the numerous murders that can be prevented by killing one single person.

    If abortion really was mass murder, why stop at outlawing it? Why not ask for the death penalty for doctors that perform abortions? Not once laws that outlaw abortion have been implemented, now, right now. After all, how are these doctors any different from those that shoot school children? They did not kill 20 children, they are killing by the thousands!

    If abortion really was mass murder, why stop at punishing the doctors? Shouldn’t the people that support it be held equally accountable? After all, they are enablers. They are making this terrible crime possible.

    Even if violent protest is the last option, haven’t all other options already proven to be futile? How could anyone seriously blame someone for hurting one person to protect thousands of others?

    I’m guessing the answers to a lot of these questions would just be “Violence is never an option” and I agree. I wholeheartedly agree. However, if violence is the only option to stop something horrendous from happening that will kill thousands of people, even I would think about backing away from that position.
    If these people truly felt that abortion equals holocaust, they would do more than they do now. They would call for violence, they would call for the last option. The fact that they are not doing it just proves that they do not actually believe what they are saying. They do not actually think the killing of millions of people equals the abortion of non-sentient fetuses.

  • Niemand

    Another problem with the abortion=the Holocaust analogy: The consequences of resisting. People who resisted the Holocaust, whether violent or not, risked being sent to concentration camps or outright killed without the intermediate step of being starved for a bit first. People who protest abortion risk…what exactly? They might have a slight risk of having a police officer politely ask them to step back a bit if they get too close to the clinic door or too aggressive about harassing the patients. What do they risk from putting up a web site listing the names and addresses of doctors who perform abortions with encouragement to harass and/or kill them? They MIGHT be asked to take the web site down.

    It is ONLY when violence or at least the threat of violence (i.e. blocking access or surrounding a patient and harassing her) is used that they risk even arrest. And, expectedly enough in our misogynistic society, even that risk is small.
    If those who supported abortion were really anything like the Nazis or even like, for example, the US’s friend Pinochet, there would be significant risk to protesting it. Where is that risk? It simply doesn’t exist. Another strike against the analogy.

  • Pingback: Faith Seeking Understanding » deep thought of the day: on stochastic terrorism

  • CloseToHome

    this is not my usual commenting name.

    I am an IU alum. My family did not approve of teenagers being on birth control so I walked my butt to this very Planned Parenthood as soon as I got settled in to college. My health has been my own ever since.

    On one of my visits there, I sat in the waiting room next to a couple other college students. One was filling out paperwork and her friend was helping. She was there to have an abortion. She was nervous. Her friend was making her laugh. I have no idea why she chose abortion or what her circumstances were, all I know is that she was facing a fork in the road and she chose what she thought was best.

    It was my fork in the road too. I am now a pro-choice advocate for women’s health, in training to enter the medical field. This makes me angry and sad, but it will not make me give up or run away.

  • Niemand

    I notice a pattern in the comments. “Pro-life” person comes in and says “Dead babies!” Pro-choice people respond with comments about embryonic and fetal development, bodily autonomy, and the risk of pregnancy. Anti-choicer responds “Dead babies!” They have to make that response. They have no argument. Embryos aren’t babies and even if they were, there is no legal precedent for forcing someone to allow another person to use their body, even if the other person would die without it. There simply is no case for abortion restrictions. So the only thing the anti-choicer can do is repeat “dead babies” and hope someone believes it.

    • anonforthis

      This is a really insightful comment.

      On a related note, I don’t think anyone comments in these discussions because they have illusions of changing the minds of true believers on either side of the debate. People do change their minds sometimes, yes, but that’s the exception. But I think it’s valuable to have the discussion nonetheless because it’s worth seeing which of your beliefs are based simply on moral intuitions. (I have rarely seen any case for personhood of pre-viability embryos/fetuses that was based on something other than the moral intuitions of the person putting it forth.) You’re right, it’s telling that no one in this thread or the other one has put forth a coherent defense of *why* they believe abortion is murder — not one that was really trivial to dispel (e.g., because there’s a heartbeat!).

      Many people opposed to abortion seem to assume that it’s impossible for anyone to come to another conclusion honestly. I’ve seen people make comments (here and elsewhere) that people are only pro-choice because they’re ignorant or evil or craven or guilty or promiscuous or irresponsible. Or, in fairness, that people can only be pro-life because they’re ignorant or malicious or uncompassionate.

      I think when you have people saying, “I have this belief that’s different from yours and it’s for ethical reasons and here they are,” it forces you not to demonize the other side anymore which is only to the good. If people can acknowledge, “Yes, my beliefs are based on my religion and I hold them dearly, but I accept that people can sincerely search for truth and come to a different conclusion,” I think that goes a long way towards opening a dialogue that can be more productive.

  • AnotherOne

    Clearnote church has scared me for a long time. The pastor’s blog is a window into an uber-fundamentalist Reformed universe whose denizens make the hyper-conservative homeschooling evangelicals of my childhood look like paragons of kindness and open-mindedness. It’s basically a series of rants on the evils of “sodomy” and feminism punctuated by absurd, interminably long ramblings on the minutiae of calvinist theology: http://baylyblog.com/

  • JA

    “Faithful Christians throughout history have condemned abortion”?

    Yeah, no…


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