The Real Message of the Kermit Gosnell Story

The conservative media is having a field day with the Kermit Gosnell trial. If you read their coverage, you would think that pro-choice activists and journalists want everyone to ignore the Gosnell clinic and forget what happened there, and that saying the name “Kermit Gosnell” is some sort of winning pro-life argument. But here’s what I don’t understand: Why do conservatives think that pro-choice activists or journalists should be afraid of covering the Kermit Gosnell story? Do conservatives seriously think that this grisly story is an argument against ensuring that every woman has access to safe and legal abortion? In what world does that even makes sense?

For those of you who don’t know, Kermit Gosnell ran an illegal and off the grid abortion clinic in Philadelphia, providing insanitary and dangerous abortions mostly to poor and minority women. Reports indicate that he performed (very illegal) late term abortion in which he delivered babies alive and then cut their spinal cords, and that he kept fetus parts as souvenirs. At least one of his patients died as a result of his gross negligence and incompetence. There were numerous reports against the clinic, including reports by local doctors who had referred their patients to Gosnell’s clinic, but the local health department fell down on its job and never investigated. The entire situation was a travesty, especially for the vulnerable women he preyed on.

But this isn’t a story of what happens when you legalize abortion, as claimed on Ladies against Feminism or asserted by Brietbart.com. It’s about race, and the fact that the victims were predominately black women without the resources to retaliate. It’s about a local health department more interested in playing politics than in protecting women’s health. And finally, it’s one more piece of evidence that, as Dianna Anderson so eloquently points out, “making abortion harder to get does not solve the problems facing a person who finds themselves pregnant when they do not want to or cannot afford to be.”

Abortion will exist whether it is legal or not. If it is banned, as pro-life activists would like to see—or even further restricted by TRAP laws (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) designed by pro-life activists to shut down abortion clinics—the result will be more Gosnells, not fewermore “houses of horror,” not fewer. Why? Because women who are unable to find access to legal abortions—whether because all of the clinics within easy driving distance have been shut down, or because they are minors and subject to draconian parental consent laws—may find themselves forced into seeking out illegal clinics like Gosnells.

Further, that the local health department failed to intervene is reflective of a general lack of care about women’s health—and especially for minority women’s health. Abortion clinics should be held to the same basic health and safety standards as other medical clinics (not more, not less), and the desire for abortion to be safe has long been a pro-choice rallying cry. It’s not just pro-life activists who are appalled by this case—I am appalled too. These women deserved more—they deserved access to safe and legal abortion, and the damage wreaked on the health of so many women in the Gosnell clinic was a travesty.

But what baffles me is that in its coverage of the trial, conservative media outlets would have you think that illegal and unsafe abortion is the result of Roe v. Wade, and that if we could only overturn Roe illegal and unsafe abortion would disappear. For me, all this case does is point out how important it is that we work to ensure that abortion is safe, legal, and accessible.

For some interesting recent coverage, read: 

We Need to Talk about Kermit Gosnell

The Real Kermit Gosnell Story?

There Is No Gosnell Coverup

The Real Gosnell Conspiracy

Race is the Elephant in the Room

Why Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s Trial Should Be a Front-Page Story

14 Theories for Why Kermit Gosnell’s Case Didn’t Get More Media Attention

For coverage from when the story first broke last year, see: 

Kermit Gosnell and the Reality of Late Term Abortion

Philly Abortion Clinic Horror Highlights Need for More Access

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.

  • Nathaniel

    Something I’ve wanted to ask the bloggers who are up in arms about this, but can’t due to self serving moderation policies:

    Why were these women willing to get abortions in such a place, despite the risks? And how would banning abortion change that?

    • stacey

      Exactly.
      You know how very desperate you would have to be to use this clinic?
      Horrible, for all involved.

    • tedseeber

      Banning abortion wouldn’t change that.

      Creating a culture where *every* child is valued and *nobody* has sex without considering the consequences, would.

      • Anat

        People consider the consequence of sex, and decide that if the consequences aren’t what they wish for, to abort. It’s called having a back-up plan in place. Just like we treat other risks in life – take reasonable means to avoid the risk in the first place and do some damage control if things didn’t work out as intended.

      • tedseeber

        It is called murder and narcissism. Children are given to us to teach patience and virtue.

        To avoid that is just childish.

      • Kirk Steel

        Wow – that is such a puritanical and naive response. Did you grow up in a convent? We are talking about people who need safe options and resources. You want to save babies? Support sex education and free birth control.

      • fiona64

        Yep, because children are a woman’s punishment (“consequence”) for having sex.

  • http://jivinjehoshaphat.blogspot.com JivinJ

    Libby Anne,
    Have you read the Grand Jury report? I ask you this because your post on this subject comes off as a lot less knowledgeable than your posts on homeschooling.

    Why would you describe Gosnell’s clinic as “off the grid?” He operated his clinic on a fairly main street (Lancaster) in West Philadelphia and openly advertised his services.

    You write “There were numerous reports against the clinic, including reports by local abortion doctors” – I may be mistaken but I don’t remember any reports from other abortionists. I remember other abortion providers claiming they encouraged Gosnell’s patients to complain but I don’t remember them making official complaints themselves. When the National Abortion Federation representatives visited his clinic, she didn’t file a report with the state.

    The state health department also failed to do its job because pro-choice politicians concerned about access to abortion implemented a policy which discouraged the inspection of clinics.

    Abortion clinics should be held to the same standards as other medical clinics (not more, not less), and the desire for abortion to be safe has long been a pro-choice rallying cry.

    Which standards are those? The majority of pro-choice commentaries I’ve seen regarding Gosnell have been opposed to abortion clinic regulations and have even claimed they could cause more Gosnells.

    Would you be opposed to Gosnell performing 28 week abortions if his clinic was clean and 28 week abortions were legal?

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

      Why would you describe Gosnell’s clinic as “off the grid?” He operated his clinic on a fairly main street (Lancaster) in West Philadelphia and openly advertised his services.

      What I meant by “off the grid” is that Gosnell wasn’t following standard medical procedures or even using licensed employees. He was operating outside of medical standards and state regulations.

      Which standards are those? The majority of pro-choice commentaries I’ve seen regarding Gosnell have been opposed to abortion clinic regulations and have even claimed they could cause more Gosnells.

      Really? Show me these commentaries. I said that abortion clinics should be held to the same standards as any medical clinic, and I don’t know any pro-choice individuals or feminists who disagree. There are certain medical standards, including cleanliness, using licensed nurses and doctors, etc., that every clinic that does medical procedures has to follow, and abortion clinics should absolutely be held to these. The whole point of Roe v. Wade was that if abortion was legal, it could be safe and not dangerous or unsanitary—why in the world would I want there to be no regulations ensuring that abortions are safe and proper medical procedures are followed?

      I, and others who are pro-choice, are against regulations that target abortion clinics in an attempt to shut them down—such as a regulation in Indiana that is about to shut down a clinic in Lafayette because it doesn’t have the facilities to do surgical abortions, even though it doesn’t do surgical abortions. But I have yet to meet a single pro-choice individual or feminist who thinks that abortion clinics should be allowed to operate without common medical standards, and I challenge you to find me one.

      Would you be opposed to Gosnell performing 28 week abortions if his clinic was clean and 28 week abortions were legal?

      Absolutely not.

      • Paul

        You don’t know of any pro choice individuals who disagree? How about say Cecile Richards, NARAL, or Gosnell himself?

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

        Paul, show me where any of these individuals have said that abortion clinics should not be held to basic cleanliness and safety standards. Show me where any of these individuals have said that nurses working in abortion clinics shouldn’t be required to be licensed, or that clinics shouldn’t be required to clean their equipment. And Gosnell doesn’t count, because I was referring to JivinJ’s comment about pro-choice commentaries on this topic—and because he’s the one on trial here. Seriously, the idea that you honestly think that those who are pro-choice and those who are feminists want abortion to be unsafe, when the entire point of Roe v. Wade was so that abortion could be safe, baffles me!

      • http://jivinjehoshaphat.blogspot.com JivinJ

        Really? Show me these commentaries. I said that abortion clinics should be held to the same standards as any medical clinic, and I don’t know any pro-choice individuals or feminists who disagree.

        Well, there have been numerous commentaries attacking legislation which regulates abortion clinics like ambulatory surgical facilities (ASFs). – http://www.thedailybeast.com/witw/articles/2013/04/25/abortion-s-foes-twist-logic-in-gosnell-case.html – Numerous commentaries (some of which you’ve linked to above) ludicrously claim Pennsylvania’s unenforced abortion clinic rules help create Gosnell. Jill Filipovic’s column is especially poor.

        I’m not claiming you (or other pro-choicers) are in favor of letting clinics be dirty or unsanitary. I’m trying to understand which specific regulations pro-choice favor. What regulations should they meet besides being clean and having licensed doctors/nurses (that’s basic stuff but other medical clinics are more regulated than that)? Should they be regularly inspected? Should the hallways be wide enough to fit a gurney (when medics arrived and attempted to save Karnamaya Mongar it took them a long time to get her out because of the architecture of Gosnell’s clinic)? Should they have malpractice insurance? Should there be certain rules on how they dispose of fetal remains?

        I really haven’t seen a pro-choice advocate explain which regulation they’re okay with and which they’re not. They typically oppose treating abortion clinics like ASFs, say they favor some regulation but provide no specifics.

        The problem with the argument that Roe made abortion safe isn’t that didn’t really happen. Gosnell, Robert Alexander, Alberto Hodari, Reginald Sharpe and Stephen Brigham, etc. etc. are all evidence of that. 40 years later and there are a good number of shady abortionists. I think we can agree it takes some level of regulation to ensure that abortion clinics are clean and sanitary and are less likely to injure women.

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

        Interesting, the Daily Beast article you cite here actually backs up my point, not yours.

      • http://jivinjehoshaphat.blogspot.com JivinJ

        So then what regulations are you in favor of? Can you name some besides being clean and have doctors/nurses with licenses? Or are you like all the other pro-choicers who claim they favor regulation but then won’t name any besides common sense ones?

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

        The same regulations as other medical clinics that do the same sort of procedures. In other words, regulations that are the ones required for medical purposes, not ones that are passed by pro-lifers in an attempt to shut clinics down. It’s true that I don’t know what exact regulations and standards are required for medical clinics that do simple procedures like first trimester abortions (or for some, the more complicated later ones), but then, I am not a doctor or a medical professional, so I don’t see why I would be expected to know that. I simply want the focus of the standards and regulations to be on health and safety, not on promoting ideology. It’s really not that complicated.

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

      You write “There were numerous reports against the clinic, including reports by local abortion doctors” – I may be mistaken but I don’t remember any reports from other abortionists.

      I read that information on a post by a blogger I trust. I contacted her for her source, and she cited the Grand Jury Report and clarified that she’d meant OBGYNs who send their patients to Gosnell’s clinic. She pointed me to this part specifically.

      A doctor from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia hand-delivered a complaint, advising the department that numerous patients he had referred for abortions came back from Gosnell with the same venereal disease.

      I will amend my post to make that clear.

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

      Also, lest you miss the point, women don’t wait until 28 weeks to have an abortion if they can help it. The majority of women who have abortions in their second trimester do so because something prevented them from doing it in the first trimester. If it were easier to have first trimester abortions—read, if insurance covered it, if low income individuals could access some form of subsidy, if people had clinics locally, etc.—there would be fewer second (and third) trimester abortions.

      • stacey

        Once again, its the forced birthers very own rules that make these situations occur: no federal monies for abortion, limited access, rules about age, and constant harrassment and even murders that make all the the most dedicated, or the most criminal, willing to do abortions in the first place.

        There is a reason Canada and Europe have lower rates of abortions, including birth control, available early abortion, and a social welfare system that helps support unplanned pregnancies. But they are SOCIALIST! AARRGGHH>

      • Niemand

        Also, lest you miss the point, women don’t wait until 28 weeks to have an abortion if they can help it.

        This point is worth emphasizing. Abortions at 28 weeks happen because the woman didn’t have access earlier or found that the fetus was not viable then (possibly because she waited hoping against hope that her baby would be the “miracle” that did better than expected) or because she has become too ill to continue the pregnancy and for one reason or another delivery of a live baby was not possible or because the abortion is happening whether she wants it to or not but something has happened to stop it from completing (i.e. what happened to Ms. Halappanavar, but later in the pregnancy.) The woman who just decides one day that she doesn’t want this pregnancy she’s invested 7 months in is rare to nonexistent.

      • http://jivinjehoshaphat.blogspot.com JivinJ

        Also, lest you miss the point, women don’t wait until 28 weeks to have an abortion if they can help it.

        Can you prove that this is true of all women? I think it was Baby Boy B who was aborted at approximately 28 weeks at Gosnell’s clinic. The Grand Jury report reveals that the really late-term abortions happened on Sunday at Gosnell’s clinic and the only people there for those were Gosnell and his wife so we don’t even know what happened there. I struggle to believe that people who couldn’t come up with $330 for an abortion from 6-12 weeks could come up with around $2000 for an abortion at 28 weeks.

        The majority of women who have abortions in their second trimester do so because something prevented them from doing it in the first trimester.

        Do you have evidence for this assertion?

        If it were easier to have first trimester abortions—read, if insurance covered it, if low income individuals could access some form of subsidy, if people had clinics locally, etc.—there would be fewer second (and third) trimester abortions.

        A lot of insurance plans do cover abortion. http://www.guttmacher.org/media/inthenews/2009/07/22/index.html

        Sure, if abortion was subsidized some women would have abortions earlier but that doesn’t prove that all women would.

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

        I’m trying to imagine a scenario in which a woman would wait until the second or third trimester to have an abortion when she had easy access to abortion in the first trimester, and besides fetal abnormality or maternal health, I’m not coming up with any. I’ve been pregnant twice, and the idea that a woman with an unwanted pregnancy would go through morning sickness, food cravings, the switch to maternity clothes, etc., and wait months to have an abortions she could have earlier strikes me as some sort of pro-life fantasy. If you’re actually interested in the things that delay women and keep them from having first trimester abortions, though, that information does exist.

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        Yeah, and a 28-week abortion pretty much only happens when the fetus has terrible defects that mean it will suffer and die soon after birth, or if the woman’s life is at stake.

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

        I’m glad to hear that so many health care plans do cover abortion. That’s a higher number than I had thought.

      • http://jivinjehoshaphat.blogspot.com JivinJ

        What we can imagine is hardly evidence. I can’t imagine women would actually have abortions at Gosnell’s clinic but it happened for 30+ years.

        If you read the study you link to, you’ll see that numerous women had later abortions for a variety of reasons which had nothing to do with access – for example – women didn’t know they were pregnant until late, it took a long time to make a decision, or were waiting for their relationship to change.

        Also, if you like to further research how pro-choice organization and individuals are often opposed to basic clinic regulations and inspections, I’d suggest William Saletan’s The Back Alley series at Slate – http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/the_back_alley.html

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

        If I remember correctly, you’re male. That might help explain how you can’t imagine that. That said, I am aware that what I can and can’t imagine isn’t evidence.

        As for the study I linked, did you notice that a full 67% said they were delayed because it took a long time to make arrangements—money, travel, etc? As for the 36% who said they didn’t know they were pregnant, this is why I support more comprehensive sex education—something most of those who are pro-life oppose. That said, the study looked at second trimester abortions—the majority of which are done very early on in the second trimester—not at third trimester abortions, which is the example you cited. If you have any studies on why women have third trimester abortions, feel free to share.

      • JivinJ

        I noticed the 67% but I also noticed that of that 67% – 18% said some “other difficulty” postponed abortion, 13% said they couldn’t get an earlier appointment and 16% said they didn’t know where to get an abortion. Now maybe you think those fall into the “something prevented” them from doing it earlier. 50% also said it took them a long time to decide and 36% said it took them a long time to know they were pregnant.

        I think you need to be more careful when you make broad generalizations about second trimester abortions (remember – you made the assertion that “most second trimester abortions”… not me) . You seem to have internalized this idea that everyone would be like you (know they were pregnant early and be able to make up their mind quickly) when there are large numbers of women who that isn’t a reality for. I’m not aware of any 3rd trimester abortion studies.

      • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

        Gee, maybe it’d be easier to decide to obtain a 1st trimester abortion if we didn’t live in a shaming culture?

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        Dude, some things are just a matter of common sense. Women do not subject themselves to a physically taxing process that changes their body, sometimes forever, frequently makes them feel ill and carries health risks for 28 weeks, then undergo an involved, surgical process and subsequent recovery to end it for shits and giggles or because they were just lazy and absent-minded. Would you do that? This is not like “Oh shit, I forgot to put my rent check in the mail and, oops, all of a sudden it’s the 5th! Silly me!” Okay? I can’t believe I’m even having to explain this. You don’t need studies to show what anyone with a lick of sense could figure out.

        But if you want information on when abortions generally take place, what women’s motives are for getting them, and what their reasons were for not getting them earlier if they got them later, the Guttmacher Institute is an excellent resource.

    • Niemand

      The majority of pro-choice commentaries I’ve seen regarding Gosnell have been opposed to abortion clinic regulations and have even claimed they could cause more Gosnells.

      Have you read these commentaries carefully? They’re not talking about not requiring clinics that provide abortions to meet JCAHO standards or demanding no monitoring of clinics. They’re talking about laws written that regulate clinics that provide abortions and ONLY clinics that provide abortions and contain regulations like that the closets must be at least 34 inches deep but no more than 34.5 inches deep and similar ridiculous regulations. Or laws that require physicians to lie to their patients and talk about a non-existent link to breast cancer or severely unproven (or, in some cases, disproven) risk of fetal pain. I haven’t personally read any pro-choice writings that oppose routine regulation of clinics that provide abortions (and pap smears, pregnancy care, etc) in the manner usual for medical clinics.

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

      One more thought: I think we need to be clear about what we mean when we say “regulations.” When I have used it here I mean medical standards and requirements, such as having sterile equipment and having employees with proper licensing. When others have said that the problem is “too much regulation,” this is not what they’re talking about—what they’re talking about is the limits on access to late term abortions, the limits on minors accessing abortion, waiting periods and scarcity of clinics (which result in making first trimester abortions harder to get), and insane nitpicky regulations designed to shut down specific clinics that are completely safe by—like the regulation I mentioned above that is going to shut down the Lafayette clinic in Indiana. I think getting wires crossed on what is meant by “regulation” is what is creating the confusion here, because even as I’ve said abortion clinics should be “regulated,” I am not okay with any of the stuff in that second list.

      • http://criticallyskeptic-dckitty.blogspot.com Katherine Lorraine, Tortue du Desert avec un Coup-Boulon

        Those are called TRAP laws, Targeted Regulations at Abortion Providers.

      • JivinJ

        When I said regulations I wasn’t referring to various restrictions on abortion (waiting periods, etc.). I’m trying to understand what regulations (besides the clinic being clean and having licenses) you’d be in favor of. For example, should clinics be inspected on a regular basis? What’s insanely nitpicky and what’s reasonable in your opinion? It seems to me that regular inspections would be a basic necessity to make sure clinics are clean, etc. The lack of inspections probably has something to do with why this Planned Parenthood clinic in Delaware is temporarily closed. http://www.udreview.com/news/wilm-abortion-clinic-temporarily-closes-due-to-ongoing-investigation-1.3038313

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

        That’s easy. If all free-standing medical clinics have to do it, it’s probably fine. If it’s a regulation targeted only at abortion clinics, it requires a whole lot of salt and skepticism before it should be accepted as a legitimate regulation.

        So if every medical clinic must be inspected every six months, that’s fine. If only abortion clinics must be, something fishy is almost certainly going on.

  • Lizzy

    Thank you so much for talking about this. I hate that the narrative around this has somehow been twisted to say that this is the fault of people who want to keep abortion legal. That could not be further from the truth. Those of us the reproductive rights community want women to have access to safe legal abortion. Safety is of the utmost importance. Every woman should be able to access healthcare where she feels respected and safe, Gosnell disgusts me because he is the antithesis of what women’s healthcare should be. More restriction on abortion will not make people like him go away, it will make them become the norm. Abortion clinics of course need to be operated as any other medical clinic, with properly trained and licensed employees and appropriate sanitation. My concern is that as safe clinics are forced to close due to absurd TRAP laws in states across the country women will feel that they have no other option but to visit clinic like this.

    • Lizzy

      Sorry for the double post, it told me I was posting too fast and I didn’t realize that the first went through.

    • Carl S.

      I agree that making abortion illegal would accomplish very little. At the same time it is not even slightly fair to the unborn that we all turn a blind eye to their quest for life itself. Selfishness has no pity. Especially to the helpless.

  • Lizzy

    Thank you so much for talking about this. I hate that the narrative around this has somehow been twisted to say that this is the fault of people who want to keep abortion legal. That could not be further from the truth. Those of us the reproductive rights community want women to have access to safe legal abortion. Safety is of the utmost importance. Every woman should be able to access healthcare where she feels respected and safe, Gosnell disgusts me because he is the antithesis of what women’s healthcare should be. More restriction on abortion will not make people like him go away, it will make them become the norm. Abortion clinics of course need to be operated as any other medical clinic, with properly trained and licensed employees and appropriate sanitation. My concern is that as safe clinics are forced to close due to absurd TRAP laws in states across the country women will feel that they have no other option but to visit a clinic like this.

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

      I’ve found that with most anti-choicers (not all), as soon as you point out that you ARE for better oversight and you DO want women to be well cared for, they just start asking you why “killing babies” should be made safer. They say they want women to be treated well, but of course for them being treated well really just means that you should be denied abortion as one of your options. As far as they’re concerned, and many do admit it, there’s no difference between Gosnell and any other abortion provider.

  • saraquill

    When actions or words by the HSLDA, the Pearls, or quiverfull/patriarchy adoption mills lead to tragedy, it’s an anomaly. When a man practices medicine without a permit, taking advantage of women who are quite desperate, it means that what he does is bad, and by extension all actions that sort-of-vaguely resemble his should be banned.

    How does that make sense?

  • Jolie

    This is not what happens when you keep abortion ligal. This is what happens when it is illegal. The country where I came from (Romania) ha been there (before I was born); under Ceausescu’s communist dictatorship, abortion was illegal and any form of contraception was practically impossible to find. Hundreds of women have died having illegal abortions.

  • Nurse Bee

    I think it does present some problems for pro-choice who advocate for late term abortions. Employees describing babies screaming in pain as they were killed and (the Atlantic article shows) a picture of a baby aborted by him that his very clearly a baby, not a lump of tissue.

    And the fact that because it was an abortion clinic there was a disgusting lack of oversight.

    • Petticoat Philosopher

      Well, if you ever meet any pro-choicers that “advocate” for late-term abortions, you can take it up with them. I haven’t met any though, and I’ve met a lot of pro-choicers.

      Nobody advocates late-term abortions. They advocate for the right of women to be able to terminate pregnancies that are doomed or that pose great risk to their bodies and health and lives. That is when late-term abortions are performed and they are generally a grueling, emotionally draining, painful experience for the woman. And they are most certainly NOT performed in the horrible, unethical way that Gosnell employed.

      Late-term abortions are a completely separate issue from the routine, first-trimester abortions that make up the fast majority of abortions performed.

    • Rosa

      I don’t think anyone advocates for late-term elective abortion – pretty much everyone advocates for elective abortions to be as early as possible. Other ethical issues aside, it’s much safer for the mother.

      Easier access – by financing, especially public financing since so many of these women were very poor, and by making abortion available through regular care providers instead of shunted off to specialized clinics – would have made most of these abortions into much earlier abortions.

      Medically-necessary late term abortions are done either because the woman or the fetus is in great danger – the gore factor doesn’t change the ethics of that.

    • Anat

      A woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy does not necessarily equal a right to abortion. Past viability a pregnancy can be terminated by inducing birth.

      • Yazikus

        And your point is? As has been pointed out numerous times, the majority of 2nd and 3rd trimester terminations are because of health issues with the fetus or mother. I can’t even fathom your straw woman, who is beleaguered with a pregnancy for 5 or 6 or 7 months just up and decides to abort. Do you not understand what happens when you are pregnant? The health risks? The changes you have to make in your consumption ( no lunch meat, FYI) ? So the “Sure you can terminate this pregnancy! Just have the baby! ” falls super flat with me.

      • ashley

        no. past viability a pregnancy can be terminated however the woman wants it to be terminated, because it is still her body and not the state’s.

      • minuteye

        People who make this argument never seem to acknowledge that induced labour and birth are a whole lot more dangerous and difficult than a late-term abortion. If you want to advocate making abortion illegal after the point of viability, that’s your right, but don’t talk about it like it’s nothing because it doesn’t involve waiting six months for it to be over. Outlawing abortion at any stage in the process means forcing women to give birth, and that has to be part of the discussion.

      • Anat

        Yet this is what doctors consider standard practice. While philosophically I agree abortions should be possible post viability for non-strictly medical reasons, you are going to have trouble finding a doctor who would perform them.

      • Anat

        Yazikus, my point is that viability is not a sufficient reason to force a woman to carry a pregnancy to term.

        Women decide to abort late for an assortment of reasons, including not being able to abort earlier because of lack of access, or a worsening of economic position or family situation (job loss, relationship break-up). No need to exclude these women because they weren’t suffering enough.

  • http://teethofthebuzzsaw.blogspot.com Leo Buzalsky

    I saw one person on the Raw Story comments imply that these women wanted an illegal abortion as he(?) was claiming that they could have gotten a legal abortion some place just down the street. My assumption has been that he is full of himself because that’s just too crazy to believe (Seriously, he was suggesting that women would put their life at great risk for…what? The pleasure of getting an illegal abortion?), albeit I did not research his claims.

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

      My understanding is that the majority of Gosnell’s client were either minors unable to get parental consent (and thus a legal abortion) and women who had passed the point at which local clinics were willing to perform abortion (and thus without the ability to get legal abortions). And if I may point out, from the little I’ve read it appears that at least some of those in this latter category were from out of town, and in areas where they may have had trouble finding access to first trimester abortions (which would have been legal).

      • Yazikus

        North Dakota. That is where we are going to see a repeat of this. No sex Ed, difficult access to health care, no abortions after six weeks. I am in a pretty liberal state, and the grocery store I frequent keeps pregnancy tests behind the pharmacy counter, due to theft issues. We also sell booze in the grocery stores. I joked with the pharmacist the other day that they could solve their booze theft problem by housing it with the pregnancy tests. He laughed, and then related that the store had done an inventory, that of over a thousand tests ordered, when they checked, only one had been paid for. The plumbing issues they had been having in the ladies room were due to stashed used pregnancy tests. The toilet basin was stuffed full. That is so messed up. Not only are women struggling for contraception, but for pregnancy tests that they can’t afford, leading to delays in treatment, because they aren’t sure they are pregnant, and late abortions with montsers like gosnell, because the system literally failed them in every other way. It’s shitty.

      • tedseeber

        We’re already seeing a repeat in New Mexico, New York, and Oregon- where there is no viability law at all and nobody from government has inspected abortion clinics in decades.

      • fiona64

        For those who may be reading and not commenting, these are falsehoods. all states have viability laws, and all health clinics are subject to inspection by the health department.

  • Hippie Gramma

    I didn’t see anyone mention lack of availability of prenatal care as a reason for later term abortions. Imagine if just a fraction of the pro-life lobby money went instead to provide comprehensive women’s and family healthcare for low income populations… something that would actually reduce abortions.

  • ArachneS
  • Gretchen Sellen

    Oh Libby,
    I am so sorry you and your siblings were put through this. This was horrifying child abuse.

  • Rebecca Horner

    exactly! i was mulling over this last week here: http://meaningofmetamorphosis.blogspot.com/2013/04/gosnell.html
    it’s really too much to see all the comments saying “THIS IS WHY ABORTION SHOULD BE ILLIGAL!” how blind.

  • Christine

    I don’t know if the other comments are coming back, so I’ll assume it’s ok to comment now (apologies if this screws the threads up).

    I’m not in favour of using “regulations” in lieu of a ban (is this where the fear of gun regulations comes from? People are used to claiming that their regulations aren’t intended to ban, so don’t believe people who actually don’t intend to ban?). However, looking at the “horrible” regulations, I’m disturbed. Parking spots? What a/c systems to use? Hallway width? Are these not already regulated? I mean, it’s one thing if people pretend that it needs to be legislated or there are no regulations (We get that in Canada – “it won’t help to not reveal sex until after 20 weeks, because you can get an abortion any time for any reason”, ignoring the fact that there are non legislative restrictions.) But the articles imply that these are shutting clinics down because they’re new. These are basic. The fact that abortion clinics are having these set is significantly less disturbing than the fact that, clearly, there are other surgical facilities that aren’t having to meet this kind of standard.

    • Jayn

      In the case of regulations affecting building structure, new or changing laws can force a choice between a large renovation expenditure or shutting down. This has happened in several instances, where such regulations shut down facilities because they simply couldn’t afford to meet the new standard.

      Also, if other types of medical facilities aren’t being held to the same standard, why not? The answer is quite possibly ‘because it isn’t actually related to ability to provide care’. Holding abortion providers to a higher standard isn’t inherently better, depending on the standard. It might simply be making it harder for them to operate/stay in business, without positively affecting patient care. If it is beneficial to the operation of the facility, why limit it to just one type of medical provider?

      • Christine

        I’m not saying that abortion facilities should be held to higher standards. My point is that all surgical facilities should have been held to those standards. I agree that parking spaces aren’t really relevant – those are standard “this building exists in a city” regulations. But specific HVAC requirements, and hallway widths? Those are related to the ability to provide care. Part of care is making sure that things don’t go wrong, and if they do go wrong anyhow that they can be fixed.

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

        Sure, then they should pass laws covering all medical clinics, not laws just covering abortion clinics.

        I think something to remember is that what Gosnell did was illegal. It’s not a matter of passing new laws, in his case, but a matter of enforcing standard medical requirements. Any medical clinic that doesn’t follow proper medical standards and requirements should be caught and shut down, period.

        As I understand it, a real part of the story in this case is that local health officials ignored complaints in part because most of Gosnell’s patients were black. If it had been white women complaining, this probably would have been different.

        Another part of the story is that women went to this clinic, even though it was obviously unsanitary, because they had nowhere else to go. If I got a new doctor and went for a checkup and things were filthy, and materials were being reused, and teenagers were working as nurses, I would leave the clinic immediately and find a new doctor. These women didn’t have that option, because of restrictions on women’s ability to access abortion—especially minors and women who need second or third trimester abortions.

        In other words, we really can’t turn this into a “we need new safety regulations on abortion clinics” conversation, because that’s not primarily what this case shows.

      • Christine

        I agree that these should be required for all medical clinics. Not necessarily that they have to be spelled out in the law – as someone who once considered becoming an actual engineer this is abhorrent to me – just that they be required. To me, the fact that only abortion clinics are required to have this sort of standard, in addition to saying that people at trying to shut down abortion clinics, says that there is far too much of a “caveat emptor” attitude towards this.

        Sure, it’s great to say that people can choose to take risks, but we’ve just put the poor (or otherwise disadvantaged) at a double disadvantage – not only are they less likely to have the background to be able to differentiate safe from unsafe, but they’re less likely to be able to choose.

        It really backs up the idea that the fact that the patients were poor black women is why this was allowed to happen.

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

        Something to bear in mind is that our medical system has huge problems right now, and also that the disadvantages black people, and especially poor black women, face are huge. That all sort of came together in the case of Gosnell to create a perfect storm.

        If it were easier to have abortions in hospitals—most hospitals have out patient surgery centers—or in doctor’s offices—many of which are totally equipped for this sort of thing—things would be a whole lot better. But as long as there is stigma the way there is today, this won’t and can’t happen. I mean, there was this huge thing in New Jersey last year about some nurses who were upset that their hospital did abortions and that they might have to provide after abortion care (not even assisting in the actual abortions, which those with conscientious objections were already exempt from), and there was a huge lawsuit over it. So yeah. I don’t see that happening in the current climate.

      • Frank

        There should be a stigma to killing an innocent born child.

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

        Frank, you might find this post interesting.

      • Frank

        It was interesting. An investing study in the semantics needed to justify an immoral and unethical selfish act. Very interesting indeed.

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

        Frank—Wow, that was fast. Did you read the whole thing or just the first paragraph?

      • Frank

        I read the whole thing but to be fair I had read it before so I could skim it this time.

      • Kirk Steel

        Frank, you are exactly the kind of closed-minded sanctimonious dick that no one wants to listen to. You are just another man who wants to control women. You ever been laid?…. I thought not.

      • Carl S.

        Let’s see here…..pulling an unborn babies legs off. Sucking out his/her insides…..crushing the babies head and sucking it out. What part of barbaric is this? I hope I never have to go through that utilitarian lack of person hood.

      • taizegoose

        No “stigma” necessary; killing born children is illegal.

      • Kirk Steel

        It’s ok – born children can’t be aborted.

      • Niemand

        It should be noted that the Gosnell practice had multiple complaints against it and multiple citations. The state never followed up on them or even demand payment of fines. Why? Maybe they were ok with poor, mostly minority women being at risk? Or they would rather women who sought abortions went to Gosnell’s dangerous clinic than the safer ones that Planned Parenthood runs? Maybe Gosnell contributed to a lot of re-election campaigns.

      • Niemand

        Not necessarily that they have to be spelled out in the law – as someone
        who once considered becoming an actual engineer this is abhorrent to me
        – just that they be required

        Required by whom or what, if not by law? A requirement with no enforcement is not a requirement. And if they aren’t spelled out, how is anyone supposed to know whether they are following them or not?

      • Christine

        I’m not suggesting that the law not back up the requirements. But it’s perfectly reasonable to state that “Facilities must meet the requirements as laid out by ASHRAE/ASME/AIA at the time they are constructed”. Yes, this gives private industry a lot of control, but they have that control anyhow (see also: drop side cribs). You can even cite the standard that you want them to follow – but that standard will be updated a lot more frequently than the law would.

      • Niemand

        JCAHO. I don’t think that they’re a legal requirement, but I’d stay away from a hospital or clinic that didn’t meet their standards. But I’d also like some at least minimal legal standards. What are we paying the government for if not to help keep us safe? More US-Americans die of iatrogenic issues than foreign invasion so, IMHO, monitoring of hospitals should be better funded than the Pentagon. But that’s probably wandering WAY off the subject.

      • Christine

        Well the original reason I posted on it was mostly because it doesn’t surprise me that complaints were ignored, given that there was no care put into keeping people safe in the first place.

        I personally would define making JCAHO a legal requirement to be a legal standard. I’ve seen too many problems arise from a legal standard, as they are often simply whitelists of what solutions are acceptable.

      • fiona64

        JCAHO is a paperwork drill that doesn’t really prove anything beyond a hospital’s ability to document things. If you had spent the same number of hours I had running up and down halls to have doctors counter-sign and back-date verbal orders (as they are supposed to do immediately), you’d know why it’s kind of a sham. It’s more about crossing Ts and dotting Is, especially with the current system of “patient tracers” that was implemented a while back.

        I am not saying there should be no clinical standards — there are, and there should be. But JCAHO doesn’t prove *anything* about standard of care. It just proves that a hospital can do its paperwork.

      • Christine

        So it’s a medical version of ISO 9000. Gotcha. I’m glad to hear that there are standards, I just wish they were a little more mandatory.

      • fiona64

        Yes, that’s *exactly* what it is.

      • fiona64

        JCAHO is an entirely voluntary (and expensive) process. And really, all JCAHO is at the end of the day is a giant paperwork drill. I worked in the Quality department of two different major medical centers that are JCAHO-certified. JCAHO certification is required to accept Medicare reimbursement, and it really is more about how processes are documented than anything else.

      • Rosa

        so one way to ensure high-quality care at clinics would be to have Medicare reimburse for abortions.

      • fiona64

        Yes, because so many elderly people (age 62 is the minimum enrollment age) on Medicare need abortions. @@ <– Those are my eyes rolling.

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

        I think she meant Medicaid. A lot of people get the two programs mixed up.

      • fiona64

        To be honest, I did wonder whether she knew the difference.

      • Niemand

        People who have chronic renal insufficiency and are on dialysis are eligible for medicare at any age, so there are some women who could receive abortions paid for by medicare if medicare covered abortions (which I think it doesn’t.) Medicare should cover abortion since any woman able to become pregnant and receive medicare is decidedly high risk.

      • fiona64

        Medicare does not cover abortions … nor does MedicAid. (That Hyde Amendment business …)

      • Niemand

        But both should. Who thinks that a woman on dialysis with a pregnancy she doesn’t want should be forced to remain pregnant? No one sane or decent. Likewise for women with other chronic medical conditions such as sickle cell disease, severe diabetes, lupus, etc who are more likely to end up on medicaid because they are too ill to work and obtain private insurance that way. The Hyde Amendment is one of the reasons that US maternal and neonatal mortality is so high–and that US survival for hematologic cancers is so low.

      • fiona64

        I agree with you on all counts, please be assured of that.

      • Niemand

        Yeah, I’m just doing the emphatic agreement thing. Sorry if it came off as arguing.

      • fiona64

        No worries; this is not a perfect medium for communication.

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

        THIS. Someone mentioned having hallways wide enough for gurneys earlier—if that’s something that’s standard to require for all medical clinics doing simple procedures, I’m all for requiring it. But if it’s not, then no, I’m not okay with passing laws requiring only abortion clinics to have wide enough hallways. I mean, if there is no such requirement but there should be, for health reasons, then we should indeed pass such a law—for all such medical clinics. (This would probably include dentist offices where oral surgery is performed, among others.) But just targeting abortion clinics? Look, either it’s a needed medical standard that should be in place at all medical clinics, or it’s not.

  • lori0718

    I see I’m not the only one posting in the “alternate” site where all the other comments have disappeared. There were over 20 comments on this article here yesterday.

    … and I can edit and I have an avatar and user name I don’t want…(I do like the edit).

    • Andrew G.

      You can edit the real name and the avatar via the “edit settings” link (under the cogwheel icon to the right of “share”)

  • Frank

    State by state more and more innocent unborn children’s lives will be saved. The harder an abortion is to get the better.

    • Niemand

      Frank, I suggest you google the Romanian experience on banning abortion. You might find it enlightening.

      • Frank

        I am under no illusion that banning abortion is possible in our self guided and selfish culture. However over 21,000 innocent children are killed each week mostly for reasons of convenience and comfort. Any life saved is a victory. State by state more and more innocent unborn children will be given the chance at life. The tide has turned.

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

        Comfort and convenience? In my experience, the most common reason women have abortion is that they put the needs of their family first—most especially the needs of the children they already have. Comfort and convenience? Really?

      • Frank

        Firstof all they should have considered that before they got pregnant. Second of all, yes convenience and comfort. “It would be inconvenient and uncomfortable for us to have another child we have to support.” Yes really!

      • http://profiles.google.com/emasters7 Elizabeth Hiatt

        How about, it would be impossible for us to afford to feed, clothe, provide medical care, and child care? That would be far more accurate. Of course it would be better to not get pregnant in the first place, but that’s not the reality these women are facing.

      • Frank

        If that’s true then make sure that pregnancy doesn’t happen. If it does and its a mistake why should an innocent unborn child pay the price?

      • http://profiles.google.com/emasters7 Elizabeth Hiatt

        Why should anyone pay a price? At the point when the vast majority of abortions occur the fetus does not have a working neurological system. It cannot think, feel pain, or sense its environment, let alone have consciousness why should anyone feel qualms about aborting it?

      • Frank

        And therein lies the moral and ethical difference. I would not be proud of your position ?

      • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

        No one says you have to be “proud”, we are only saying you get no say in the matter.

        I for one am very proud of that position. Judgement is a two way street.

      • Frank

        By that logic men should not have been allowed to vote to give women a vote. Non minorities should not be able to vote or work for protections for minorities. See how silly your position is? Probably not.

      • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

        We are saying that you, as an individual, man or woman, has no say over what a woman does with her body. You logic is insane troll logic.

      • Frank

        Well I don’t care what you are saying if its wrong and incorrect. When you get pregnant its not only just your body anymore. There is another body and life inside that has no capability to have a voice. Someone has to speak for them if their own mother refuses to.

      • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

        A zygote has the same “life” that my toenails do, and they don’t have a voice either, should I consult you before getting a pedicure?

      • Frank

        I get it… you don’t value the unborn child’s life or even believe it is a child. Believe me I get that!

      • Christine

        Frank, if you accept that the pro-choice position is based on not believing that a fetus is a child, why would you argue from a position which only makes sense if everyone in the discussion agrees that a fetus is a child? No one here has chosen to (or argued that it’s ok to) “kill an unborn child”, and yet, despite understanding that they made no such choice, you seem to have found it perfectly acceptable to get upset with them for that.

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        Maybe because for conservatives, especially religious ones, the mere existence of points-of-view that differ from theirs is a subject worthy of unending incredulity and rage?

      • Frank

        What people believe and reality are not always the same. The unborn child deserves a voice and protection. So sorry if that’s inconvenient to you.

        Start by state more and more unborn children will be protected.

      • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

        Would it boggle you to know I HAVE a child? That I know and understand that it’s unacceptable to take a child’s life?

        Do you know the difference between my first and second pregnancies? The first, I KNEW it wasn’t my child, and the second, I KNEW it was. That THIS was the child I was meant to have. My situation wasn’t much different, still young, still with a man who didn’t want kids, still broke. The only difference, was me and how I felt about it. No amount of moralizing will ever change that, it will only make you feel superior.

      • Anat

        People have no obligation to allow others the use of their bodies to survive. This is held true for organ donations and this applies equally to pregnancy. We let people control what happens with their organs even after they are dead, even though people die waiting for donated organs. Is a CF patient waiting for a lung transplant or a leukemia patient awaiting bone marrow transplant not an innocent? Yet they don’t get to co-opt anyone’s organs without the donor’s consent. Even if the would-be donor is a parent. Or already dead. Bodily autonomy is too dear that we prefer that innocents die rather than give it up. And in the case of abortion those that die don’t even have the awareness to know they exist. Life or death means nothing to them – they don’t know what either is.

      • Frank

        I am curious as to how you can prove that the unborn child has no awareness. Good luck with that.

      • Anat

        Actually very easy: Until midpregnnacy an embryo or fetus lacks the structures necessary for even the most basic sensation. Past that at some point sensation develops. but not awareness in any higher sense, because even newborns lack that. They can experience sensation but it takes months past birth for more complex understanding such as understanding the flow of time from past to future or even identifying objects as discrete entities or recognizing oneself as a separate entity.

      • fiona64

        One word: science.

      • http://profiles.google.com/emasters7 Elizabeth Hiatt

        You don’t seem to understand that most of us here think there is a big difference between a non-sentient entity, a fetus, and a sentient entity, women, minorities, etc.

      • Frank

        I understand which is why we have over 21,000 innocent unborn children killed each week mostly for reasons of convenience and comfort.

      • http://profiles.google.com/emasters7 Elizabeth Hiatt

        Except that most of us don’t agree that they are children. And even if they were, no human being has the legal right to use another human’s body. In the same way that I cannot be forced to give up my kidney or blood or bone marrow, I cannot be forced to give up my body during pregnancy. There is one sentient human involved in pregnancy. That is the woman.

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

        So Frank, are you in favor of comprehensive sex education and mandating that insurance companies cover birth control?

        Also, you have a strange definition of convenience and comfort.

      • Frank

        Yes on education and yes on free condoms.

        My definition of convenience and comfort are the same as everyone else’s.

      • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

        When was the last time you needed an abortion Frank?

      • Frank

        I never had as I cannot get pregnant. This is irrelevant to the morality an ethics of abortion.

      • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

        So the issue does not affect you on an individual level, is an issue you will never have to face, yet we’re the ones seeking comfort. Seems to be like this is you seeking comfort to be a moralizing asshole.

      • Frank

        You assume I have not been affected by abortion. I do not need to get one myself to be a victim of it.

      • http://profiles.google.com/emasters7 Elizabeth Hiatt

        How are you a victim?

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

        Any man who can’t control all aspects of women’s reproductive rights is a victim, clearly. The fact that we can even leave the house unescorted is oppressing every man in America right this very minute. Especially Frank.

      • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

        Pro-tip, if it’s because some woman refused to let your sperm monopolize her body for nine months, that’s not being a victim, it’s being a controlling asshat.

        If it is so important what happens to your sperm, be more careful where you put. That’s the only option biology offers you.

      • Frank

        It takes two to tango. Men should be just as responsible, including having a legal say in what happens to their unborn child.

      • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

        When you can carry a fetus to term, when you have to sacrifice your fully functioning and able body, come talk to me. Until then, what a woman chooses to do with your sperm is NOYB until there is a child.

      • Jayn

        Your ‘responsible’ is my having my body co-opted for someone else’s ends. Nothing gives you the right to determine what happens to my body, or to determine what medical procedures I do or don’t undergo.

      • Niemand

        So you’re in favor of giving rapists further control over their victims’ bodies, this time with legal blessing. Good to know.

      • Frank

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

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

        That wasn’t Niemand’s point. Her point was that if you allow a rapist to have equal say over the outcome of the pregnancy, you’re allowing that rapist to control the body of his victim—and potentially the child that is born as a result as well. That the vast majority of abortions have nothing to do with rape doesn’t affect the validity of her point at all.

      • Frank

        In the case of rape or incest I concede it gets murky. I focus on the 97%

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

        So would you say that men should have legal say in what happens to their unborn child, unless the pregnancy is a result of rape?

      • Frank

        I think that if a man, through violence, forces sex on a woman he gives up his rights to fatherhood and any consideration. I still don’t thin the child should have to pay the price but neither should the mother. It’s a very imperfect situation will no real good answers which is why I’d rather focus on the 97%.

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        Where exactly does your “3%” stat come from, Frank? I am eager to know your source since only about half of rapes are even reported at all.

      • Frank

        Guttmacher institute as well as The Johnston archives. The stats are easily found.

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        I’ve read Guttmacher stats many times. They hardly say anything about rape because the numbers are so hard to get and very unreliable for many reasons. They know that, I guess. You don’t.

      • Frank

        Well then your problem is with them as they have published those stats. Less than 3% of abortions are due to tape, incest or the life of the mother. Facts are facts no matter how inconvenient to your position.

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        Have they? I have never seen that stat. I actively searched for it in Guttmacher’s material and could not find it. You have not given an actual link to it. Is that bullshit I smell?

        And stats and facts are not the same thing, especially not stats that rely on self-reporting. And even if they were, and even if this were a stat that you could actually produce instead of vaguely allude to, it would not be remotely inconvenient to my position because my position does not rest on rape, incest and pregnancy-related health problems being super prevalent. (Although they are, especially the first one.)

      • Frank

        I cannot post links for soem reason.

        guttmacherDOTorgSLASHpubsSLASHjournalsSLASH3711005DOTpdf

      • Frank

        Here’s another:

        johnstonsarchiveDOTnetSLASHpolicySLASHabortionSLASHabreasonsDOThtml

      • Lady Tenar

        Despite you making it as much of a pain in the ass as possible to actually follow these links, I did look at them. Oops! I’ve seen that Guttmacher study many times. The 3% stat is not in it. What it does say is that only one woman in their sample reported rape as the reason. Which does not mean she was the only woman of whom that was true, as I have said. At any rate, nothing about 3%

        Your second link just takes me to a very general website about abortion, not stats. Like I say, my views do not hinge on this issue but I just think it’s funny that you continue to pull stuff out of your ass and think nobody will notice.

      • fiona64

        Frank does not seem to comprehend that no woman is required to reveal the reasons for her abortion — no matter how many times or how simply you point that out.

      • tedseeber

        True enough- and yet, we don’t have 800,000 rapes a year.

      • fiona64

        Actually, no one knows the number of rapes we have per year. We only know the number that are *reported.* Every two minutes, someone in the US is sexually assaulted. Last year, there were 207K *reported* sexual assaults. http://rainn.org/statistics. Per that same link, law enforcement estimates that 54 percent of rapes are not reported, so you can readily double that number and tack on a few to boot.

        The number of abortions has decreased year over year — but it remains steady or increases in states where it is more difficult for young women to obtain contraception or where abstinence-only “education” is the norm. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss6108a1.htm?s_cid=ss6108a1_w

        I assume, since you are against abortion, that you are in favor of comprehensive sex education and ready availability of all forms of contraception? After all, those are the two things most likely to prevent abortion.

      • tedseeber

        I am against contraception because contraception is primarily about reducing genetic diversity in the species.

        I am in favor of comprehensive true sex education- that includes a full history of the morality of sex through the ages, including the fact that ONLY monogamous heterosexual marriage shows respect for women.

      • tsara

        “…contraception is primarily about reducing genetic diversity in the species.” [citation needed]

        “ONLY monogamous heterosexual marriage shows respect for women.” [CITATION REALLY, REALLY NEEDED]

      • tedseeber

        For the first:
        http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Margaret_Sanger

        For the second- you need to understand where I am coming from. In my worldview, the NORMAL human behavior is to get married and *become a parent*. Since only heterosexuality can create life, and since *every* woman deserves the *full* attention and help of her husband in parenting and household chores- that is where the monogamy comes in.

        Anything less, is intensely disrespectful and misogynistic- in the original meaning of the word, disrespectful to mothers.

      • tsara

        For the first:

        Quotations are not evidence. Give me well-supported anthropological or sociological papers, or give me data.

        (I should warn you: your words imply that you were talking about the purpose of birth control, not the function [which is much easier to prove]. In my world, purpose is defined by humans, so the evidence required to support the assertion that contraception is not, in fact, primarily used for the purposes people say it is [you'd also have to figure out what those reasons are] is evidence of cognitive dissonance.)

        For the second:

        i. Misogyny. My definition of the word (when not referring to a whole structure of things) is this: dehumanization of women because they are women or dehumanization of non-women by comparing them to women.

        Your assertion of your definition of the word being the original one does not seem to be supported by evidence. Searching the root “gyn” (γύν) on the perseus database gave ‘woman’ or ‘wife’ for every relevant entry; ‘mother’ did not appear once.

        The relevant search string is: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/resolveform?type=substring&lookup=gu%2Fn&lang=greek

        ‘Misogynist’ (in Greek) is used by Menander, c. 342-290 BCE, and appears to be used in the sense of ‘woman-hater’. It is used by later writers as well, and appears to keep the same meaning.
        (references:)
        http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0057%3Aentry%3Dmisogu%2Fnhs
        http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0058%3Aentry%3Dmisogu%2Fnhs

        ii. If I need to understand where you’re coming from, you need to understand where I’m coming from. In my worldview, it is profoundly selfish and irresponsible to have children just because you think that that is “the NORMAL human behaviour.”

        In my worldview, giving birth or taking in a child is a decision that should not be left up to God or nature, but should only be undertaken by those who have given the matter some serious thought and are prepared and willing to accept the responsibility of a dependent human being.

        In my worldview, the purpose of your life is whatever you decide it is — reproduction doesn’t have to be the point.

        In my worldview, defining someone’s role in the world by their genitalia (i.e., woman as mother) is not called “respect.” It is called “dehumanization.”

        (there are a few other assumptions going on there, but I’m getting too tired to unpack them all.)

        In my worldview (from my perspective), sex, marriage, and children are all things best left to other people.

        I would kill myself rather than be stuck in that role.

      • fiona64

        So, what you’re really in favor of, so far as I can tell, is women not being allowed to decide for themselves on what happens to their bodies … or with whom they do things.

        Got it, loud and clear. There is a simple word for that, Ted: misogyny.

      • tedseeber

        Nope, that’s the word for the person who wants to kill 7000 women a week. In other words- you.

      • Anat

        Huh? What are you talking about?

      • fiona64

        Really? I want to kill 7000 women a week? Gosh, where will I find the time? I clearly need to rearrange my schedule. @@ <– Those are my eyes rolling.

      • fiona64

        And PS: “monogamous heterosexual marriage” reduces genetic diversity in the gene pool far more than the use of contraception. You clearly don’t know much about biology.

      • fiona64

        His source is his backside.

      • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

        One rapist getting that control is one time is too many. That what happens when you ignore the women involved in the situation.

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        Why, because you think that everything must be peachy with the father as long as the pregnancy didn’t involve rape? Frank, there are plenty of other things a man can do that should disqualify him from parenthood, even if none of them directly resulted in a conception.

      • fiona64

        In 30 of the 50 states, rapists can claim parents’ rights for visitation and more. But Frank doesn’t care about that.

      • Niemand

        So, you’re saying that you’re only 3% of a rapist supporter? I guess that makes it all better.

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        Ah, okay, so only abusers should be able to control their victims bodies through pregnancy–and their child’s once that pregnancy turns into one! Btw, if someone is abusing his wife or girlfriend in other ways, there is a fair chance that rape is going on too, even if the woman is not reporting it.

      • Tracey

        Wrong. The vast number of rapes (possibly up to 75%) are never ever reported. Look at the violent response of Steubenville and you’ll see why most women don’t even report a rape. Therefore, your figure is not accurate.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001411188910 Lucreza Borgia

        The problem with that is that gives a person the right to enforce medical decisions on another person. What if the woman eats something that the man feels will harm the fetus? Should she be banned from eating that substance? Should the man be allowed to ban the woman from taking vital medication if it has a chance of harming the fetus? Just exactly how far do you propose to go with this? Pregnancy is not a 9 month vacation.

      • fiona64

        As soon as you can gestate a pregnancy, Frank, you’ll have a legal say.

      • fiona64

        It’s always easy to be an anti-choice male; Frank never has to worry about his health or life being endangered about pregnancy, but he sure wants to force *women* to experience that.

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

        No, it’s not irrelevant. If it actually were irrelevant, no one would ever mention it.

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

        Yes on education and yes on free condoms.

        Oh interesting! Then you are at least somewhat consistent.

        A couple more questions:

        1. How about free IUDs and other such long term birth control? These methods are a lot more reliable than condoms. And unlike condoms, they are also methods that women fully control and that are hard to sabotage.

        2. When you say education, are you talking about comprehensive sex education, that covers birth control, STDs, etc.? Because that’s what I was intending to ask about.

        3. How do you feel about covering maternity care on the public dime for women who don’t have insurance to cover it, and about government-sponsored medical care for children and subsidized daycare, to defray the costs of raising children and thus help lift the burden on low income women who find may find themselves with an unwanted pregnancy?

      • Frank

        I like it! It’s money better spent than on the waste our government spends money on.

      • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

        You do know we could fund all of that, and provide parental stipends, and people would still have abortions, right?

      • Frank

        I do know that some people are so morally and ethically bankrupt that they would still choose to kill an innocent unborn child rather than be inconvenienced or made uncomfortable despite outside help.

      • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

        And I know some people are so morally and ethically bankrupt they would demand all women put their life and health and future at risk so they can maintain some illusion of moral superiority and not be made uncomfortable by the reality of the world we live in.

      • Frank

        I understand that’s the lens you see things through but its not reality.

      • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

        HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

      • Frank

        I knew it was just a matter of time before you would be forced to resort to immaturity. It happens when you can no longer intelligently defend yourself. I’ll pass on the playground antics.

      • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

        No, just found the thought that I’M the one not living in reality very amusing. There really isn’t a response to that, that ISN’T playground antics, which of course is why you make some a baseless and irrefutable assertion.

      • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

        So to get back to your assertions.

        Are you aware that desiring motherhood is not an immutable condition for women? That there are women who, no matter how many safety nets, no matter how much support, will never ever want children?

        Now I, as a person who respects that all people should be allowed to participate fully in all aspects of the human lived condition, expect that these women still have sex. And that sometime, BC fails? What should these women do?

        Now, my guess is that you’ll say they should participate in adoption. So I ask are you aware of the volumes of study that shows how damaging that is to women? And that they show that abortion is so much less damaging.

      • Anat

        And who made you the dictator of what reality is or isn’t? There is no such thing as an unborn child. Fetuses have no right to force women to keep them alive at the expense of the respective women’s health. Neither does society have that right.

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

        You are probably the third pro-lifer I have met, ever, to answer thus. How would you explain the fact that so many pro-lifers are against comprehensive sex education, free birth control, and a social safety net that would offset the cost of pregnancy and child rearing?

      • Frank

        Good question. And I am not sure I know. One guess is that people are fed up with a taxpayer supported welfare state and they mistakenly lump these things in as contributing further to it. But that’s just a guess.

        One thing I do know is that the pro-life side must be more consistently pro-life. It’s the only way to make real progress.

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        You seem very confused, Frank. The “taxpayer supported welfare state” is an integral part of being truly “pro-life.” It helps poor parents raise their children (although it would do this much better if it hadn’t been nearly dismantled). You agree with Libby when she suggests that methods of birth control like the IUD and the pill should be subsidized but then, a second later, you’re back to “Why should my taxpayer dollars be paying for some whore’s birth control! Use a condom!” Which is it? Do you actually have any thoughts on this besides “ZOMG EMBRYOS!!!!!” or do you just kind of throw shit at the wall and see what sticks?

      • Frank

        You know you do nothing to help your cause by putting words into my mouth. That simply encourages me to ignore you completely.

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        Well, I’m not helping my cause by talking to you in any way. It’s just funny. But fine, here are your own words.

        To Libby’s suggestion of free birth control (BESIDES condoms), and publicly funded maternity care etc., you responded: “I like it! It’s money better spent than on the waste our government spends money on.”

        To another commenter who said: “Just condoms? What about free hormonal contraception, the most highly effective forms of birth control are things like the implant and the IUD. If you want to prevent abortions you need to prevent pregnancies,” you responded, “If condoms are not someone’s preferred method they can spend their money on their preference. Taxpayers shouldn’t subsidize someone’s preferred choice.”

        You gave two opposite answers to two different people who said essentially the same thing. And now you are banging on about the welfare state. Again, I say you seem quite confused.

      • Frank

        Libby presented a good point and I conceded that. Its a good thing and something we need more of if we are ever going to make progress on this issue. You would do well to emulate Libby Ann. Right now your voice is simply white noise.

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        I think it’s reasonable to ask someone to clarify their position when they make a statement and then also make the opposite statement. But sure.

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

        Well, yes, except for the fact that in attempting to ignore her you responded to her. Multiple times.

      • Christine

        Libby, in fairness, those of us who take a more holistic view of the problem are also less likely to be commenting on pro-choice sites for shit disturbing purposes.

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

        But all of the major pro-life groups are against comprehensive sex education and free birth control or else refuse to touch the issue because they know that much of their following is against it. So if there are really so many of you out there taking “a more holistic view,” you really need to take back your movement, because right now it’s not yours.

      • lfox

        Very easily. There is NO evidence that making birth control free reduces pregnancies – ALL Medicaid recipients can get free birth control, but their pregnancy rate has actually increased.

      • http://profiles.google.com/emasters7 Elizabeth Hiatt

        Western Europe?

      • Anat
      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001411188910 Lucreza Borgia

        Chicken or the egg? IE, most women get on Medicaid because of a pregnancy, not after it. Does any study delineate between the two groups?

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

        By your logic, then we should just go ahead and ban it. Unavailability will certainly result in fewer pregnancies, I suppose.

      • fiona64

        Citation needed. Thanks in advance.

      • http://profiles.google.com/emasters7 Elizabeth Hiatt

        Just condoms? What about free hormonal contraception, the most highly effective forms of birth control are things like the implant and the IUD. If you want to prevent abortions you need to prevent pregnancies.

      • Frank

        If condoms are not someone’s preferred method they can spend their money on their preference. Taxpayers shouldn’t subsidize someone’s preferred choice.

      • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

        Oh, so the only acceptable one is the one easily controlled ad sabotaged by the person who will not ever have to face the reality of pregnancy? Got it.

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

        Wait, what?! Why do you pick condoms as some sort of default?! What in the world is your justification for that?! Are you aware that condoms are (a) the least reliable method and (b) the method that most necessitates male cooperation? (What I mean by that is that a male rapist can choose not to use a condom, and if a female rape victim had an IUD or was on the pill she probably wouldn’t get pregnant, but if she only has access to condoms, she can’t control that.)

      • Frank

        Because they are the cheapest and most widely available. If someone needs glasses and glasses are free but they don’t like glasses and they want LASIK surgery why should someone less pay for that?

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

        Oh, I see the mistake you are making. An IUD can last for five or ten years, depending on the type, so while it is more expensive up front it actually ends up being cost effective. The same is true of other long-term methods. The other thing is that an IUD is a much more effective type of birth control than are condoms, so if your goal is to prevent unplanned pregnancies you would be better off investing in IUDs and other long lasting and more effective methods even if they were more expensive than a less effective method like condoms.

      • Frank

        Well that’s a good point.

      • tedseeber

        I’m for comprehensive sex education that tells the truth- that the only safe sex, is monogamous heterosexual sex in a sacramental marriage without the possibility of divorce. EVERYTHING ELSE is dangerous.

        Especially the POISON they peddle as birth control without revealing the side effects.

      • Niemand

        the only safe sex, is monogamous heterosexual sex in a sacramental marriage

        Savita Halappanavar and Beatriz had monogamous heterosexual sex in marriage. Beatriz was almost certainly even married in the Catholic Church. And yet one is dead and one is dying of pregnancies that went wrong. Not so safe then.

      • tedseeber

        The difference being that they had the marriage- and everlasting life, something you’ll never understand in your narcissism.

      • Anat

        Evidence that everlasting life is a possibility?

      • Niemand

        I think that we can conclude that “everlasting life” was one thing that they distinctly didn’t have since one is dead and the other is likely to die soon. Halappanavar died in agony because the Catholic doctors refused to give her a very simple, life saving treatment, preferring to kill her for their own comfortable delusions. Beatriz is being slowly tortured to death by judicial murder for the same reason. A person who supports this can not be said to be a good person. If there were such a thing as a just god, he/she/it/they would agree.

      • tsara

        I just have to point out re: this ["...the POISON they peddle as birth control without revealing the side effects."]: all data about effectiveness and about side effects are published. The vast majority of published medical/pharmacological papers are available online. They can be expensive, true (at least for now; I’m hoping for free access for everyone within a few years), but you can at least read a few abstracts.

        As far as I’m aware, prescribers do give out a fair amount of information on any drugs they prescribe. It’s up to anyone who’s worried to take that information and verify it.

      • tedseeber

        How many birth control manufacturers advertise the fact that their product is a class 1 carcinogen?

      • Anat

        There are ample warnings about side effects of hormonal birth control. But since pregnancy and childbirth are serious health risks, overall the balance is actually in favor of hormonal birth control, at least for non-smoking women.

      • anonforthis

        Not to mention that while hormonal birth control seems to raise one’s risk of breast cancer, it seems to have a somewhat protective effect against the development of ovarian and endometrial cancers.

      • Andrew G.

        Alcoholic beverages are also a class 1 carcinogen.

      • Niemand

        Oh, for…not this one again.

        Yes, estrogen containing OCP increase the risk of breast cancer. They also decrease the risk of ovarian cancers and are recommended for cancer prevention in certain populations with a high risk of ovarian cancer. Saying that they’re “class 1 carcinogens” and leaving it at that is technically true, but so deceptive as to be worse than completely false.

      • Niemand

        I would also note that any woman who receives a prescription form of birth control does so only after evaluation by a gynecologist complete with discussion of risks and benefits of various methods of birth control and the risks of pregnancy for that specific person. After the information and a recommendation is given then the woman in question can decide, using the information and advice she received, what method works best for her.

        That’s how it works now. In the “pro-lifer’s” ideal world, there would be few gynecologists and no ethical gynecologists since he’d have every one who had ever performed an abortion, even on a non-viable fetus to save the mother’s life, executed. And women would all be forced to bear children whether they wanted to or could do so safely or not. Abstinence doesn’t go very far in the “pro-life” world because they are also pro-rape.

      • http://www.facebook.com/catherine.gearhart Catherine Vanderbilt Gearhart

        Nobody asked YOU

      • Anat

        Considering that roughly half of pregnancies in the US are unplanned your position is bankrupt. The women seeking abortions were not intending to be pregnant in the first place.

      • Frank

        So in others words irresponsible behavior resulted in pregnancy and now lets kill the child instead of man and womaning it up. Yeah.

      • Anat

        Seriously, if you think these women are irresponsible why would you want them to be parents?

        You are simply using babies to punish them. You have no love for the babies you are ‘saving’.

        (BTW some women get pregnant even while using contraception correctly. So your ‘in other words’ is wrong too.)

      • Alix

        some women get pregnant even while using contraception correctly

        My sister, for one. She ultimately decided to go through with the pregnancy, but it was a very tough decision for her – she was not, and still is not, in a good financial position, and having her son has meant she’s had to stay with the boy’s father a lot longer than she otherwise would have, because of finances.

        And even then, she could only afford this because she managed to find a cheap place to live near to our father, and other members of her support network, so she could get the financial and material support she needed.

        I watched her work through all the possibilities. I went with her to the doctors’ visits, while they tried to figure out if she was even pregnant in the first place. (That … was weird. For some reason, they couldn’t tell initially.) I helped her pore over her financial documents, so she could figure out if she could even afford a kid. I sat up with her at nights while she screamed and cried about how unfair it was, that she’d been doing everything right and yet still got pregnant, that if she kept the baby she’d have to totally restructure her life and goals.

        She ultimately decided she wanted the baby, and while it took her a while to adjust, she’s ultimately happy with that decision. But it was her decision, and she’s given up a lot in choosing that, and almost couldn’t have afforded to.

        And she is a healthy, young woman who had no complications in the pregnancy or birth, and had a perfectly healthy baby.

        Not everyone is that lucky. And that’s why abortion needs to be legal.

      • Niemand

        Alix, is there any chance that your sister’s boyfriend sabotaged her birth control somehow? Because this sure sounds like that sort of a situation: a woman wants out of a relationship and suddenly becomes pregnant, forcing a prolongation. Who benefits?

      • Alix

        I suppose it’s possible. There’s no real way for us to know, unless he admits to it (if he did). And, yeah, it’s something I’ve wondered, especially since he’s also the one who would go posting dramatic declarations of love to Facebook whenever she’d try to end the relationship, and pulled similar emotionally-controlling stunts.

        All of which, fortunately, have backfired in terms of keeping them together as a couple – they are still living together, but she has a new boyfriend and the arrangement with Old Boyfriend is purely out of financial necessity; she and New Boyfriend are getting things in order and looking to move out probably within a month or two.

        But yeah. We’ve wondered.

      • anonforthis

        A member of my extended family found out during a routine prenatal ultrasound at 20 weeks along that there were some serious medical problems with the child. The doctors told her that until the lungs developed fully they couldn’t give her a firm diagnosis, but the ultrasound indicated one of three diagnoses. Two were incompatible with life and would result in either a stillbirth or preterm labor and a quick death. The third might be survivable with either prenatal or neonatal surgery — they couldn’t give her a firm prognosis, but the chances of survival were somewhere in the 10% range, and would require her to move away from her preschooler and husband for about three months to live by a university hospital out of state. Estimated medical costs would be in the seven figure range.

        This story has a happy ending: her child turned out to have the third condition and, unlike most kids with it, didn’t have any other major problems. (He was born in a hospital unit that specializes in this condition. Every single other child whose time in that unit overlapped with his birth and surgeries died.) They paid thousands out of pocket for her to live there for months before and after, but because their health insurance covered the medical costs it didn’t bankrupt them.

        Had they not had that insurance, could you honestly have condemned them if they’d chosen to have an abortion when they got the diagnosis? They would have been not just “inconvenienced’ but likely homeless and destitute for life, with an existing child to think about, all to try medical treatment that had a very, very slim shot at working.

      • fiona64

        The facts have been presented to Frank many times; he doesn’t care. He has his anti-choice source that calls it “comfort and convenience,” and thus has his little bumper-sticker slogan. (He also willfully fails to comprehend that all contraception, including surgical sterilization, has known failure rates — or that wanted pregnancies go wrong.)

      • tedseeber

        If they were putting the needs of their family first, they’d know that there is NOTHING more valuable to a child than a sibling. Food, clothing, and shelter don’t even come close to the value of a brother or sister.

      • Anat

        People without food, clothing and shelter die. I don’t see how a sibling can compensate for that.

      • Niemand

        So, suppose I have one child. I know a nice gay couple with two children. Perhaps I should let them adopt my only child so that he’ll have a sib. Because nothing is more valuable to a child than a sibling, so presumably two opposite gender parents is not as important. This is not what I thought you thought, but whatever.

        Myself, I’d value having physical needs met, a parent or parents who love the child and want to spend time with him or her, and a stable, happy home environment more than a sib, but that’s just me.

      • fiona64

        Clearly, Ted has never had a sibling whom he could not stand. Many people do … and saying that a sibling is more important than the basic necessities of survival is mind-numbingly ignorant.

      • tsara

        Yup. My mother’s sister has (undiagnosed) borderline personality disorder — it’s blatantly obvious (and confirmed by a family member who is a psychiatrist), but testing and treatment for personality disorders was not really much of a thing in northern Canada in the sixties and seventies — and she is really not fun to be around for any length of time.

        One episode (of many) that I’ve heard of is the time she stole antibiotics that my mom was prescribed to treat an infection, took them all, and called emergency services, saying that my mother (age twelve, and not reliably mobile at the time) was trying to kill her.

        Fortunately, my grandmother had seen enough to know what had happened and the police responder happened to be my grandfather, so my aunt and my mother were both taken to the nearest hospital with minimal fuss. My aunt was given appropriate medical (though not psychiatric) treatment, and the antibiotics were also replaced, no problem (don’t know the specifics of health care in Canada pre-universal health care, but I think it was all covered under my grandfather’s benefits; my mom’s family was pretty poor).

        My mom, who has actually been in a situation where her access to the basic necessities of survival was jeopardized by a sibling, would definitely agree with you.

      • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

        How many of these children are you planning on adopting? How many family members are you prepared to donate your body to sustaining?

      • Frank

        Sorry I don’t participate in red herrings and straw men.

      • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

        That is what you are asking women to do. Donate their bodies to the sustenance of another life separate from their own. We won’t make you donate kidneys to your kids, why should I have to donate my body parts to mine?

      • Frank

        Because you choose in one way another to create a life. Now its time to take responsibility for your choices.

      • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

        You chose to have kids, why should you not be mandated to give them blood.organs? Time to take responsibility Frank.

      • Frank

        I think any parent who doesn’t do whatever it takes to save their child’s life is a terrible parent. Of course you simply introduced another red herring.

      • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

        Of course they are. But the question was not put there for your moral judgement, it was to ask, SHOULD THEY BE MANDATED BY THE STATE TO DO THAT?

        What if it would kill you to provide life saving care to your child? Would you not also have an obligation to other children to stay alive? What if you had to remain hospitalized for long term to provide this care, and you were the sole source of income? How would you be able to provide for your other children?

        There are a whole host of reasons as to why we don’t mandate these things, because every family is different, and one size fits all solutions don’t work in that context. If you could view women as something other than potential incubators for the potential children you were “promised” and as the human beings they are, whose lives already have value, a more intrinsic lived value than any “potential” life, you would understand that.

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        I would suggest that you participate in looking up “straw man.” What is it with trolls using this term at anyone who says something to them that they don’t like? It’s becoming quite the thing.

      • Frank

        Apparently its you that needs to be schooled in that terminology.

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        lol! Why not just go with “I know you are, but what am I?” because that’s essentially what you just said. I’d ask you where this supposed “straw man” is but I don’t actually care that much about arguing terms with someone who doesn’t know them.

      • Niemand

        Translation: “That question is too hard. It cuts through the BS and reveals the moral bankruptcy and hypocrisy of my position. I’m going to try to take the moral high ground by pretending its a red herring and hope no one notices.”

      • fiona64

        He only “participates in red herrings and straw men” when he creates them.

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

        Or adoptions either, it seems. As evasions go, that one is fairly clumsy. Adoption would probably be somewhat inconvenient and uncomfortable for you, though, so I understand.

      • Niemand

        Frank, quite seriously, are you in favor of making blood, tissue, and organ donation mandatory, regardless of the health of the donor? If not, how do you justify giving a right to a fetus (and embryo and zygote) that you are not interested in giving to any living person, i.e. the right to use another’s body for their own needs? It is not at all uncommon for a person needing a marrow transplant to have ONE donor who matches and if that donor refuses then the person will die. Should donation be mandatory? Or at least mandatory for everyone who voluntarily allowed themselves to be tissue typed?

      • Frank

        See my response below. You are making a false equivalency.

      • Niemand

        Your response below was, to put it most kindly, an evasion. And it is not a false equivalence, it is exactly the same. Even accepting the rather ridiculous and self-serving “pro-life” definition of personhood as starting at conception, there is, in the US at least, simply no other situation in which one person is required to allow another to use their body or tissue. None. There is a specific court case stating that a marrow donor is NOT required to go through with it if he or she does not wish to. The only difference is that a consistent law, one which demanded everyone’s body be at equal risk, would put you at risk. And we can’t have that, can we?

      • Alix

        You’re right. Pregnancy’s far more complicated and traumatic than blood or organ donations.

    • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

      State by state more and more innocent women’s lives will be destroyed. The harder a safe abortion is to get the better.

      FTFY

      • Frank

        Only if they choose. And how sad that you believe a blessing is a destroyer.

      • http://profiles.google.com/emasters7 Elizabeth Hiatt

        Why do you assume that all humans are blessings? There are 2 million people in prison in the US alone. Are all of those people blessings?

      • Frank

        Yes.

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

        I read an article on freerepublic.com recently about hunger in Haiti. Many of those compassionate pro-lifers thought that there should be fewer Haitians, and didn’t seem too particular about “how” that would be achieved. So, it seems that every life is precious; but every life IN HAITI is not precious. It’s interesting how they tell the truth to each other when they think the rest of us aren’t looking.

      • Frank

        The are immoral and unethical positions on both sides.

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

        Yes, well, the very immorality in your own ranks is equal to – or exceeds – that of pro-choicers. Most of you ignore it, and it isn’t often that any of you hold your own responsible for their hypocrisy.

        Anytime I mention the reality of, say, rape and what happens if it is immediately reported, the crickets chirp very loudly. Most women take Plan B, so who knows if there was a conception? And what reason could you possibly give for her to wait around for a few weeks to find out whether or not she’s pregnant? The answer that is so uncomfortable for your side is that there isn’t one good reason for her to have to go through such a thing, and I think most of you actually do realize that it sounds pretty heinous.

        “Wait a minute, don’t take that!” “Why not?” “You need to wait and see if you’re pregnant!” “Why would I do something stupid like that?” “Umm . . . well, because I would be very upset if the blastocyst that possibly exists (Schrodinger’s zygote) in your uterus fails to implant, and you really will be so much happier if you have a rapist’s baby. Nine months of pregnancy will totally be a healing time for you.” “Seriously? Get outta here, you loon. *gulps down pills*”

        Hospitals have been offering emergency contraceptives for many years now, and that availability has saved countless women from dealing with yet another indignity of rape.

      • tedseeber

        I bring up my friend Anna Fife, who owes her life to a rape and a mother who didn’t listen when they suggested abortion. Her mother, Barb Lescher, died this past January, I helped Anna with the funeral- but Barb survived to see not only a daughter from that rape- but two grandsons.

        It wasn’t just the 9 months of pregnancy that was healing for Barb- it was the 30 years of family life after that which was the real blessing.

        So stop insulting the children of rape by suggesting they deserve nothing more than the death penalty for the crimes of their biological father.

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

        No one’s suggesting that children of rape deserve death. Your friend’s mom made a choice. That’s all anyone is suggesting should happen: a woman’s choice.

        Your friend’s mom saw her pregnancy as healing, as making something good come out of something awful. Many women do. There are many other women, however, who see the pregnancy as yet another violation of their lives and their bodies, who watch their bodies distend and see him (or in especially bad cases, them), wrenching their lives out of shape in yet another way. Their pregnancies are traumatic, not healing, and they have every right to end them. No one is saying children of rape deserve to be aborted; we are saying that women have the right to choose for themselves when, and whether, they will have children.

      • tedseeber

        “No one’s suggesting that children of rape deserve death.”

        Except, of course, those who suggest that the only right choice is Plan B abortion pills.

        “There are many other women, however, who see the pregnancy as yet another violation of their lives and their bodies, who watch their bodies distend and see him (or in especially bad cases, them), wrenching their lives out of shape in yet another way.”

        Could the experience of women like my friend, suggest that those women are actually wrong and have been brainwashed into this opinion?

        “Their pregnancies are traumatic, not healing, and they have every right to end them. No one is saying children of rape deserve to be aborted; ”

        Except you just did. May I suggest you get your argument logically consistent *before* attempting to debate it? Oh yeah, the choice to kill a child can never be logically consistent- because it is insane.

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

        Do you even know how Plan B works? IT PREVENTS OVULATION. It stops conception. It prevents the baby from ever existing at all. It is not an abortifacient. For fuck’s sake, 10 seconds of Google research will tell you that.

        No, the experience of women like your friend suggests women react like people to traumatic events, in all sorts of different ways. I’ve met children of rape who truly feel they ruined their mothers’ lives and would prefer never to have been born. Their existence was the source of pain and suffering to their mother, and they know it, and they live with that on their conscience every day of their lives. Does their existence invalidate your friend’s existence, or do you admit that different people are different?

        Women get to make the choice. A woman should get an abortion when she feels she should; rape is not a special case. It’s like you’re pretending women don’t even exist right now, and rape babies just magically spring into existence absent the participation of a traumatized woman. I’m saying that woman gets to decide for herself whether she wants to abort or not. It’s not that a fetus deserves it or not; that doesn’t even enter the picture. There is no question of deserve, just what the woman wants to do. That is entirely logically consistent, you just don’t like it.

      • tedseeber

        Sorry, it is an abortificant, France proved it.

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

        Um, citation?

      • anonforthis

        Not all compounds sold as plan B. Mifeprestone can potentially disrupt implantation (though its main mechanism of action when used as EC is to delay ovulation) and ulipristal acetate might.

        But there is no reason whatsoever to think that levonorgestrel could interfere with implantation. It induces no physiological changes in the endometrium and in vitro studies in other mammals show that blastocysts implant normally after levonorgestrel administration.

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

        You’re suggesting that, not I. Your friend’s mother made her choice and was content with it, obviously. Why that should be any of my concern is perplexing, to be sure.

      • tedseeber

        It is proof that abortion need not be the cure for rape- and in fact, isn’t.

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

        Well, it really isn’t proof if you can’t prove it.

      • NeaDods

        One anecdote fails to prove that not allowing a woman her choice whether or not to remain pregnant is the right thing to do. You know perfectly well that just as many “I know a person who ran for an abortion and never regretted it” stories are out there. Your friend chose the right action for her. That does not make it the universal medicine for all.

      • tedseeber

        Abortion isn’t medicine for anything. An abortionist kills 50% of the patients on his table *every time* and *on purpose*.

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

        Actually, abortion’s a pretty awesome medicine for ectopic pregnancies. Also pre-eclampsia and eclampsia. And incomplete miscarriage. Also gestational diabetes, infection of membranes that will kill the mother if left untreated, infection of fetus that will kill the mother if left untreated, a dead fetus with other living ones in utero, malformed uteri that will cause hemorrhage if a fetus is left inside (I’m talking total exsanguination in 10 minutes bleeds, not small spurts of blood here). I’m not an OB, I don’t even know that much about childbirth, and those are the life-threatening complications I came up with off the top of my head!

        That doesn’t even get into suicide risk some women face. Or “losing my job, getting evicted, and starving”, which is life-threatening and health-threatening all on its own. I’d call abortion a pretty damned good medicine for all of those!

      • tedseeber

        You seem to be stuck in the dark ages of the 1980s on reproductive science:

        http://inashoe.com/2008/06/ectopic-pregnancy-and-the-sanctity-of-life/

        As well as on suicide prevention- because your best way of preventing a suicide is to encourage murder.

      • http://www.facebook.com/catherine.gearhart Catherine Vanderbilt Gearhart

        Dude, you lost the argument. You aren’t convincing anyone of anything … other than that you are totally creepy. So, do everyone a favor and go away. Bah bah!

      • Niemand

        Chemotherapy isn’t a medicine for anything. A chemotherapist kills 50% of his patients every time and on purpose.

        Ok, so that’s not completely true. Actually cancers often have multiple sub-clones with unique mutations so chemotherapy kills several “patients” (entities with unique human DNA) at once. Also, sadly, it often doesn’t actually manage to kill the cancer. At least, I think it’s sad. Perhaps the “pro-life” movement rejoices at the miracle by which god has saved these “lives” (again, if there DNA weren’t different from that of the host, they wouldn’t be cancer. There simply is no way to say that cancer is not a person if any entity with unique human DNA is a person.)

      • NeaDods

        Except when the fetus is non-viable. Or is already dead. Or the woman has already miscarried and the OB-GYN is clearing out placental remains. No matter how many nasty talking points you spray around, Ted, all of these things are facts too. Heck, I’ve never been pregnant and I’ve still needed a D&C – uterii can be willful organs.

        I’m also the one who stands outside the clinics in the orange vest, making sure women get past the men who shout nasty taking points at them and I’m very, very proud of that, Ted. I stand between the likes of you and the women who make their own choices.

      • Niemand

        I bring up my friend Anna Fife, who owes her life to a rape

        So what? I have a friend who owes her life to the Holocaust. That doesn’t make it a good thing. I have another friend who owes his life to a one night stand. That doesn’t mean that he should go out and have sex at random either.

      • fiona64

        And that was for her mother to decide.

        BTW, in 31 states, rapists are granted parental rights if their victim chooses to bear the child. I’m sure that’s fine by you, being the good MRA type that you are. Who cares about repeatedly traumatizing the woman, right?

      • tedseeber

        Knights of Columbus has been shipping food to Haiti for decades, and after the earthquake, started a multi-million dollar fund to provide artificial limbs to children. So I guess this is just yet another lie from freerepublic.com.

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

        I didn’t say freerepublic.com lied. I said “commenters” didn’t really care how Haitians reduced their numbers.

        “Many of those compassionate pro-life commenters thought that there should be fewer Haitians,” and didn’t seem too particular about “how” that would be achieved.”

      • lfox

        Yes, they are.

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

        I’ll bet their victims aren’t very happy about encountering these “blessings.”

      • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

        The destruction comes from moralizing people like you who refuse to look allow women the autonomy to know what’s best for themselves, who put women in the situation where their only option is a man like Gosnell.

      • Frank

        I beleive in personal autonomy completely. But when pregnancy occurs there are now two lives that deserve autonomy . Someone has to speak for the child if the mother refuses to.

        And no there is another option: choose personal responsibility and not kill your unborn child.

      • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

        Hate to break it to you Frank, but whoever taught you biology was seriously lacking.

        There is no child. If it’s unborn, that immediately disqualifies it for “child” status.

      • Frank

        Once again I wouldn’t be proud the lack of morality and ethics of your position.

      • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

        I’m sure you would. That does not distress me as you think it should.

      • Frank

        i know. :(

      • lfox

        Whoever taught YOU biology was seriously lacking. It had the DNA of a human, that makes it a human.

      • Beutelratti

        Cancer has human DNA, too. Your argument again?

      • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

        In the sense that ALL cells that belong to humans are human cells, sure, just like human skin cells and human hair cells.

        But do the cells of a zygote have more inherent value than the loving breathing person required needed to sustain it? No.

      • fiona64

        It’s human, not *a human.* Tumors have human DNA as well, you know.

      • fiona64

        Frank hates women; he’s perfectly happy to enslave them to the contents of their uterus.

      • tedseeber

        Or at least, so claim the Malthusian Eugenicists. The geneticists say differently.

        Trouble is, only one of those is biology. And it ain’t your side.

      • tsara

        Um… I’m currently working in epidemiological oncology, and for the last three years I’ve been working in pathology labs looking at gene expression in cancers (mostly HER2 expression in breast cancer, using FISH and IHC, in case you’re wondering).

        I can say with some authority: You’re wrong. Human tumours have human DNA. Sure, there are some mutations, but it’s mostly the placement (not the number) of mutations that distinguish cancerous cells from normal cells. And if you’re drawing lines limiting what makes DNA ‘human’ that finely? There are a whole lot of people with genetic abnormalities who would probably like to know why you don’t consider their DNA to be ‘human’.

      • tedseeber

        We weren’t talking about Cancer- which mostly has the *same* DNA as the person who the tumor came from. We are talking about a zygote, which *always* has different DNA than either parent- related but never the same.

        The question is, when does that *individual’s* DNA form?

        If you answer anything other than conception, I have to ask why you are working in science at all.

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

        So identical twins are only one person then? I mean, they have identical DNA (well, very nearly, but probably closer than a tumor and its originator).

        And chimaeras are two people, since they are a patchwork of two different DNA codes.

        Also, hydatidiform moles are clearly people, since they have unique DNA. So are ovarian teratomas.

        Or maybe DNA isn’t actually the measure of a human being.

      • tedseeber

        Identical twins are unique DNA at a high enough resolution. So are chimaeras.

        But you just want to deny personhood based on your personal racism and bigotry.

      • Anat

        I think you contradicted yourself. The difference in DNA between a human cancer cell and the normal cells of the human in whose body the cancer resides is much greater than the supposed high resolution differences you claim between identical twins. So if you value the protection of living entities based on how unique their DNA is, cancer takes precedence over one of each pair of twins.

      • tsara

        Either I posted in the wrong place or Disqus ate the comments that were talking about cancer. *shrugs*

        I dunno, I’ve had a couple irregular moles biopsied and there was more of a difference between the cancerous one’s DNA and my DNA than there was between the DNA of this one little girl and her identical twin.

        I find DNA to be …lacking, as a marker of personhood. It’s just a molecule (or, y’know, a bunch of them); out of context, it means absolutely nothing. There’s nothing particularly special or noteworthy about the joining of sperm and egg; even frogs can manage that much. Hell, single-celled organisms swap genetic information all the time.

      • Niemand

        Not only human DNA, but UNIQUE human DNA. Per the argument that the “pro-life” movement makes, that makes them more human than identical twins whose DNA is shared with another.

      • Rosie

        The fetus deserves autonomy? Then I’m sure it will be happy to leave the womb at any time, and not have to wait an entire nine months to get free so it can go its own way.

      • fiona64

        Yep; it can move out and get a job and a cute apartment.

      • Beutelratti

        No, there are not two lives that deserve autonomy. The one that deserves absolute autonomy is the one that is actually a person and has a life of its own. The zygote/embryo/fetus does not have that. It completely depends on a fully developed person’s life. There is no child in this equation, there’s a zygote or an embryo or a fetus and neither of those deserve more rights than a woman does. Because if you grant the zygote/embryo/fetus the right to live off a woman against her will than you are taking away her autonomy and giving the zygote/embryo/fetus rights that no other person has: To make use of another person’s body against their will.

        One of the many ways to be responsible is abortion. Just because you do not accept it, doesn’t make it any less responsible.

      • Niemand

        Was it hard enough for Savita Halappanavar to get an abortion to make you happy?

      • Niemand

        Sorry, Aeryl. That was supposed to be in response to Frank’s post, above. Haven’t got the hang of this system yet.

      • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

        Oh, okay, I didn’t even see who responded, just assumed til my disqus notification show me it was you. Don’t worry about, I’ve been using disqus for months. It SUX

      • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

        Dude, that was a play on your words, not mine.

        FYI, FTFY stands for Fixed That For You. Since it’s what you mean to say.

    • http://twitter.com/JasonOfTerra PhiloKGB

      Except the difficulty of obtaining an abortion occupies a sliding scale, doesn’t it? Unless abortion is made illegal worldwide, there will always be someone rich enough to go where abortions are legal. Your desire for increased difficulty is idealistic in principle but elitist in execution.

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

      Oh, women with resources will travel or obtain black market abortifacients, so the abortion rate in that category will change very little.

    • http://www.facebook.com/catherine.gearhart Catherine Vanderbilt Gearhart

      That’s right Frank! We need to force those sluts to pay and pay and pay for their sins

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Theodoor-Westerhof/100002550312151 Theodoor Westerhof

    “Do conservatives seriously think that this grisly story is an argument against ensuring that every woman has access to safe and legal abortion?”
    No, but it is a good demonstration that the USA is not doing that, that NARAL, NAF, Planned Parenthood and the likes are not doing that. That instead, the abortion industry is allowed to tolerate things like this.

  • http://profiles.google.com/jvangeld Jeremy VanGelder

    Libby Anne, I think you are barking up the wrong tree. Conservatives aren’t trying to argue against “safe, legal and rare.” They are using this opportunity to ask, “Does the baby care whether it is killed by a coat hanger or a suction tip?” Or, in this case, scissors. The legal definitions are arbitrary and demented. Why is it illegal to kill something outside the womb, but legal to kill it inside? It is as if it were legal to kill your mother in the family room but not in the kitchen. That is the kind of thing that conservatives want to talk about.

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

      Why is it illegal to kill something outside the womb, but legal to kill it inside?

      Because in the first case it is inside of and living off of the woman’s body, and in the second case it’s not. That’s really not that hard to explain. Your analogy falls flat.

    • Petticoat Philosopher

      Um, whether or not the embryo cares (it doesn’t, it is not sentient), I’m pretty sure the WOMAN cares about whether or not it’s a coat hanger or a suction tip. Because one of those things puts her life and health in danger and the other does not. If this is the conversation conservatives want to have then you’re doing a much better job demonstrating that you don’t consider women to be people whose lives have intrinsic value than I ever could.

    • anonforthis

      Without a cerebrum you’re not alive. Period. If someone removed an adult’s cerebrum they’d be considered brain dead even if they could respire and their heart could beat.

      The *precursors* of the cerebral cortex don’t develop until the 7th week of gestation, and there’s nothing in the way of differentiation in that structure until about week 22. (Not sure if you’ll have access to this paper, but here’s a good introduction to what we know about brain development in the fetus: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18209730).
      If you want to make the argument that an embryo or fetus is a baby, you’re more than welcome to make that argument, of course, but it’s not an argument that is favorable to pro-life activists. Because until the very end of the second trimester, the objective standards you’d use to determine whether a baby is dead or in a coma would tell you that a fetus is not alive.

      • anonforthis

        Noticed that hyperlink isn’t working — just remove the close parentheses at the end. Sorry.

    • http://twitter.com/SallyStrange Sally Strange

      Because once the fetus is removed from the womb, it can be cared for by someone besides the biological mother. In other words, it no longer has to rely on her willing donation of her blood and organs to survive.

      Nobody can force another person to donate blood or organs against their will–except, apparently fetuses. Why the inconsistency?

      • http://profiles.google.com/jvangeld Jeremy VanGelder

        Not quite, in fact, not at all. The blood flowing in a fetus is the fetus’ own blood, not the mother’s. It flows through the umbilical cord to the placenta, where oxygen and nutrients are absorbed from the mother’s blood, in the same way that the mother’s blood absorbs oxygen in her lungs. The mother does not give any organs to the fetus, the fetus grows those organs from the nutrients that it receives through this exchange process. Read this article on wikipedia, it is fascinating!

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fetal_circulation

        We do force parents to provide nutrition to their born children, why don’t we force them to provide nutrition to their unborn children?

      • anonforthis

        There is no contradiction in terms between what you said and what Sally said.

        She did not claim that the blood flowing in a fetus was the mother’s own. She claimed that the fetus relies on the mother’s donation of blood. She is absolutely, 100% correct. Look in any embryology text. If she weren’t you could remove the fetus plus the placenta at any time during a pregnancy and end up with a baby, but you can’t.

        We actually don’t force parents to provide nutrition to their born children. We force children’s *legal guardians* to provide nutrition to the children for whom they are responsible. A mother who gives her child up for adoption is not liable for neglect if the adoptive parents fail to feed the child. Which is exactly the point she’s making: that we don’t require any specific person A to meet the needs of another specific person B, even if that means B will die. Even if it’s much less of an imposition on A’s autonomy than pregnancy!

        Some conditions are treated with allogeneic blood, marrow, or stem cell transplants — certain types of leukemia, multiple myeloma, etc.. Under some circumstances, the only potential donor may be the biological mother (this is most likely to be the case if there are no siblings and few other relatives, and an unusual HLA subtype). We don’t legally require the mother to donate in this situation, even if it guarantees the death of the child — and here we’re actually talking about a child who is inarguably alive. Why is abortion different?

      • anonforthis

        Actually, I should clarify something I said here that’s not quite right as written. We determine people’s legal obligations to one another based on their fiduciary relationship, not their biological relationship. And we allow people to relinquish their fiduciary relationships at will under most circumstances. If I work at a bank, I have a fiduciary responsibility not to give you incorrect information about the bank’s products and services for as long as I work at the bank. But I can quit working at the bank anytime and my fiduciary responsibility vanishes immediately. So A may have an obligation to B, but only so long as A chooses to put himself in a position to maintain that responsibility.

        Fiduciary responsibility never inheres in a person’s identity, only their role. If I am the biological mother of a child I can quit mothering at any time by relinquishing my parental rights. And I can’t be forced to provide any direct care for the child whatsoever. (If the biological father parents the child I would be liable for child support in this scenario.)

  • Noor

    I live in a country where abortion is illegal and hear these horror stories all the time.The reality is that sometimes there is no other option for women.Ban abortion and cases like this would be very common and the sad thing is that the poor women will bear the brunt of it.

  • tedseeber

    Why not a different response? Why not remove every possible cause of abortion that we can?

    Let’s make sure EVERY woman who becomes pregnant has the support she needs to become a mother. Let’s make sure EVERY man who has sex has the understanding that pregnancy may result, and he is responsible for the child that he brings into the world. How about we give up some of those obscene corporate profits to make sure we still have a workforce 20 years from now?

    Or is that too hard for you pro-choicers to accept?

    • http://profiles.google.com/emasters7 Elizabeth Hiatt

      Yes, let’s do those things. And still make sure that abortion is safe and legal. No method of birth control is perfect, especially when used by imperfect people who don’t always have the foresight they should. Some women will get pregnant and not want to be no matter how good the system is. No woman should be forced to bear a child she does not want.

    • Noor

      What should we do in the meantime?

    • anonforthis

      I could handle another child relatively easily — as easily as anyone could, I suppose. My husband and I celebrated our tenth anniversary last year and we may be the happiest couple I know. I have great health insurance. We both have unusually stable jobs that are flexible enough to handle anything that comes up. I could quit or cut my hours down no problem. We even have a spare room we’re not using for much of anything. Heck, if my husband really wanted to adopt another kid I’d be totally on board.

      And if I got pregnant right now I would have an abortion. Granted, it’s not likely to happen. We’ve done everything short of a hysterectomy to make sure it doesn’t. But if it did, yes, I’d abort.

      Why? My first pregnancy was the worst experience I’ve ever gone through and I had major health problems directly resulting from that pregnancy for about five years. Another child wouldn’t compromise my ability to take care of the child I already have, but another pregnancy like that certainly would. If I believed life began at or near the time of conception I’m sure I’d think bringing a pregnancy to term would be the more moral choice, but I don’t.

      • Christine

        And if I wasn’t required to pretend that you having an abortion was morally the same as someone who decided that condoms were a good method of birth control having an abortion, I would be more inclined to be pro-choice.

      • http://profiles.google.com/emasters7 Elizabeth Hiatt

        Why is it different? If having an abortion is truly murder, how can it ever be moral? It sounds like you just use abortion as an excuse to police other people’s lives and decisions. Color me surprised…

      • Christine

        Yes, I do. Should I also pretend that it’s not disgusting to buy a new smart phone every year? That whether or not you have enough money is a good basis for deciding if you can get more clothes? That we can legislate until things are actually safe?

      • http://profiles.google.com/emasters7 Elizabeth Hiatt

        Why is it any of your business? I know this is a crazy idea, but other people don’t care what you think about their lives. Truly, you may think I’m a horrible human being, but I don’t care. You don’t get to live my life, make my choices, or make laws telling me what to do with my life. I recommend spending more time working on your own life than judging the woman with a pile clothes in the check out line or the guy with a new iPhone, you may even find yourself happier when you let go of your self-righteous superiority.

      • Christine

        I know that other people don’t care. But that doesn’t remove my guilt. If our society is set up to screw everyone over, it’s everyone’s fault. No one person killed those people in Bangladesh. That doesn’t mean that I’m not at fault. I would like my child to have the chance to grow up to be an adult, preferably in a world where she has an option to have children of her own. Short-sighted destruction of the world because it makes things easier is wrong, no matter what.

      • http://profiles.google.com/emasters7 Elizabeth Hiatt

        If that’s your stance you should celebrate abortions, particularly in the United Sates where each individual consumes an enormous amount of resources compared to people born in pretty much every other country. If you’re so worried about how somebody’s smartphone may be a waste of resources I can’t fathom why you would want more humans to be born, especially in the nation that consumes more resources per capita than any other. Having a child and encouraging her to have children in the US will contribute far more to problems around destruction of this planet than an individual buying new clothes or an iPhone.

      • Christine

        Elizabeth, I can’t tell whether you’re deliberately pretending to know know the deaths that are caused by overconsumption of resources, especially mineral ones, or you just feel that murder at one remove is a small enough problem that it’s ok to trivialize it. Because “somebody’s smartphone may be a waste of resources” is enough of an oversimplification that it completely ignores the problems.

        And I do not believe that the only way to get people to stop killing each other is to stop having people.

      • Anat

        Christine, the resource consumption of a person in the USA or Canada is such that if everyone in the world consumed as much we’d need 9 earths to provide for them all. This means that we need to reduce our consumption by a factor of more than 9 to reach sustainability. We don’t get there by buying fewer electronics, we get there by completely revolutionizing our lifestyles and reducing population.

      • Christine

        To both Anat and Elizabeth – I agree that we need to reduce the population. And Anat, you’re quite correct that we can’t do it without revolutionizing our lifestyles. I see abortion, particularly “we need fewer people, therefore abortion is good” as being symptomatic of the problem though. It’s a quick surgical fix for an easily preventable problem.

        As an analogy (this time): if you don’t schedule your time well (and I’m aware that there come circumstances where this isn’t possible, although not as many as people think, and they come about more when there are other, very obvious, human rights violations) and run out of time to get where you need to be, many people will just resort to driving there by car. That is very obviously an inappropriate use of resources. Does that mean that cars are never necessary? No. But saying that “you agree that people need to get from point A to point B, therefore you have to support everyone having cars” is a completely and obviously fallacious argument (aside from the obviously exploitative aspects).

      • Anat

        Christine, you are coming across as sanctimonious to the nth degree. Using condoms with spermicide consistently is reasonable contraception. As long as our society isn’t engineered for car-less living owning a car isn’t an offense against humanity. While it is better to reduce our population by getting people to realize that’s what they should be doing and use long-term contraception, when there is a pregnancy that is unplanned for whatever reason, even if it’s ‘I didn’t realize I could get pregnant that way/at this timing/etc’ I don’t see why abortion isn’t the best thing to do to solve the immediate situation. Life is hard enough for children who are wanted and who get raised by parents who love them. Forcing unwanted children to be born, especially when we agree population should be reduced is beyond pointless.

      • Christine

        Anat – saying that abortion is a bad thing and saying that every pregnancy must be carried to term are two entirely different things. You are putting words into my mouth.

        I will, however, own up to refusing to accept that we must say that bad things are ok just because we have no other choice. If we continue to pretend that everything is fine we will not change. Unless we accept that we are doing harm we have no incentive to stop. There is not always a right answer, but that doesn’t justify pretending that the best answer is right.

      • Anat

        I did not accuse you of saying every pregnancy must be carried to term. But you seem to be saying that some pregnancies should be carried to term against the wishes of the woman involved? Because otherwise I don’t understand why you keep on about the contraception decisions of people whose lives you know little about.

        IMO abortion is a good thing the way heart surgery is a good thing. The use of both in the population can be reduced by lifestyle changes, but once needed they both improve people’s lives, and in many cases the need would exist despite efforts on the lifestyle front.

        Also, I don’t think there is a single contraception method that is universally suitable or practical. So how about letting people make those decisions with their care providers and staying out of their business?

      • Christine

        My issue is that health care providers don’t always help. My midwife said nothing when I said we were going to use condoms for birth control (I didn’t feel like having to have the ‘yes, we really aren’t going to have vaginal sex’ conversation.) My issue is that we are putting people in situations where they don’t see any other option.

        The comment on using less effective contraception was intended as a comment on the fact that a lot of people see abortion as something that’s going to have to happen, and what are you going to do about it? It’s not like you can just not get pregnant. It was intended as a throw-away example, not as a “condoms are evil and therefore no one should use them”. (i.e. illustrative, not prescriptive).

        I’m sure it’s not your intent, but what I’m hearing from you is that I need to stop feeling guilty for us screwing everything up. Not by actually fixing anything, but just stop caring, pretend I’m not at fault. And while I’m aware I’m a jerk, I don’t want to be that much of a jerk.

      • Anat

        On the contrary: Those of us commuting by bus and living frugally have no reason to be pleased with ourselves because compared to the average consumer in our societies we are only a teensy bit more sustainable.

        And yes, there will always be demand for abortion, one way or another. A bit less, but still.

      • Christine

        Anat, I hear what you are saying, and you may well be correct that it is not possible for us to make the change to an ethical society. But, if that is the case, and if abortion is to remain at least a free a choice as it currently is, it is all the more important that we admit that a lot of abortions which happen represent a failure of the system, rather than a good use of a safety net.

      • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

        I don’t understand this whole “Only responsible people should get abortions”.

        Um, if someone is irresponsible enough to forgo using BC, how in the WORLD does anyone expect them to be responsible enough to raise a damn child?

      • http://profiles.google.com/emasters7 Elizabeth Hiatt

        I fully realize that there are many atrocities directly linked to consumption of material goods. I simply find it fascinating that you’re so concerned about it that you judge complete strangers for their purchases but have no qualms about personally bringing another human into the world who will consume massive quantities of resources, especially if you live in the United States. It further boggles my mind that you want others to bring more humans into the world, particularly humans that that they have no desire to bear. I also find it interesting that you feel that “murder at one remove” is acceptable in some circumstances that you approve of but not in others you personally deem unworthy. It appears that you enjoy judging other people’s lives and feel superior to them, and I find that rather distasteful.

      • fiona64

        Oh, there it is. The completely stupid “murder” argument. Allow me to explain the numerous ways in which this fails. First, murder is the unlawful (illegal) taking of a person’s life with malice aforethought. Abortion, on the other hand, is a legal medical procedure. Since that which is legal cannot simultaneously be unlawful, your argument fails prima facie. However, the additional factor is that persons are born entities (reference 14th Amendment to US Constitution). Thus, a zygote/embryo/fetus is not a person — and so your canard fails *again.* And before you bring up fetal homicide laws, I hasten to point out that they are only special circumstances that attach if harm is done to the actual person who is a victim of a crime: the pregnant woman.

        You’re welcome.

      • Christine

        What the hell does that have to do with my comment? I am complaining that we kill each other all the time because we think that there is an easy answer to everything. And you respond with “abortion isn’t murder”. Great. And that means that the minerals in my computer aren’t covered in blood how? And it does what for people who die in flooding or droughts that we are causing?

      • fiona64

        You’re the one who referred to abortion as “murder at one remove,” not me.

      • Christine

        You’re going to have to tell me where. The only place I see myself using that phrase in this conversation is referring to a lifestyle that denies the concept of finite resources. Specifically, I see in in the comment where I am expressing frustration that Elizabeth pretends that I should just not care about the fact that we are overconsuming at the very obvious expense of others.

      • fiona64

        Well, there are the anti-choicers who think that The Only Moral Abortion Is My Abortion

      • anonforthis

        Why wouldn’t it be the same morally?

      • Christine

        Why not? Because you have recognised that pregnancy would be a problem and taken steps to deal with it. I will accept that sometimes abortion becomes necessary. Does the fact that sometimes it is necessary lead to “it’s always ok”? I don’t see how it would. It would be like saying that sometimes it’s necessary to take antibiotics means that it’s always ok to take them if you’re ill. Or that because some people benefit from non-nutritive sweeteners that they’re perfectly healthy to eat.

      • Anat

        Christine, how about not wanting to have (yet another) child? Why isn’t that a good reason to have an abortion? Why should a child be born that isn’t wanted? Assume for a moment the woman in question is using reliable contraception as medically recommended for her individual situation.

      • Christine

        Anat – that is an edge case. I am well aware that the majority of unplanned pregnancies occur to people using birth control, “people using birth control” includes “typical use” of condoms, oral contraceptives, diaphragms, etc. Given the significant gaps in the theoretical and as-used effectiveness rates of pretty much every birth control method, that doesn’t actually mean much. “Typical use” of condoms includes not always using them. That really doesn’t count as birth control.

        As I’ve said before – if we get to a point where a majority of the abortions that happen are more like the ones that get argued as why abortion is a good thing, I’ll accept that. And yes, I’m sure that a lot of this is just moral gymnastics on my part to morally justify going off birth control for long enough to have a child. I know the miscarriage count as well as everyone.

      • Niemand

        It should be noted that the safest method of contraception, on the population level, is barrier protection (condoms or diaphragm) with abortion as a backup in case of failure. The single most dangerous method for a nonsmoker under age 40 is no method at all. (Smokers age 40+ start to have higher risks with some hormonal methods, but only if they are both smokers and over 40.) Pregnancy kills. Statistically, your chances of dying as a result of pregnancy in the US are higher than your chances of dying would have been if you’d had a plane ticket for some random flight on 9/11/01. Removing the abortion backup makes barrier protection A LOT riskier.

      • anonforthis

        The other thing to note is that in some cases it’s the only option available to you.

        I can’t take hormonal birth control. At the time I was first married IUDs were considered contraindicated for women who hadn’t had at least one child. We were on the fence about kids in the future, which ruled out a tubal or vasectomy. Which left condoms/spermicide, diaphragms, and fertility awareness methods as the only methods that were even possible for us to use.

      • Christine

        Ok, I’ve seen drastically different statistics. I’m used to seeing 95% theoretical effectiveness rate for traditional condoms, with other barrier methods being lower. Granted, the only time my womens’ studies class looked at condoms it was in the context of how amazing the female condom was, so if they want to make it look good they’ll pick the worst reasonable statistics for the male condom.

      • anonforthis

        I should be clear that another pregnancy wouldn’t kill me. Had I been pregnant 150 years ago I almost certainly would’ve died during my pregnancy but in this day and age and in a First World country none of the medical issues I had are likely to be fatal. We are not talking about a life of the mother situation here.

        Nevertheless, I am not seeing why there’s a moral difference between someone who’s had a tubal and/or whose partner has had a vasectomy having an early term abortion or someone who used a less reliable form of birth control (or none at all for that matter).

      • Christine

        I suspect that seeing any sort of difference would require that abortion be seen as a bad thing (not necessary the BAD thing) in the first place. The abortion itself, I guess, would be seen similarly, but nothing can be judged out if its context. Not intended as an analogy, just an example of how context matters: someone rides their bike down a busy city street and gets hit by a motorist. If they’re riding legally it’s a tragedy. If they’re riding on the sidewalk without a light it’s still a tragedy, but it’s also a Darwin Award.

      • anonforthis

        Thanks for clarifying. I think I can kind of understand where you’re coming from. You’re right that I don’t see early-term abortions as a particularly bad thing. I view them more like…getting a root canal. I can see why someone would want to avoid it, but I don’t see it as having much in the way of moral valence regardless of the circumstances.

        Now I have a question for you. You said earlier that if you felt like most people having abortions were in circumstances like mine — people with known health problems affected by pregnancy and who have taken affirmative steps to prevent a pregnancy — you’d be “more inclined to be pro-choice.”

        Am I correct, then, in understanding that your position is that abortion should be illegal in order to prevent people who haven’t been responsible (however you’d like to define that term) from having them, even if it means that people who have been “responsible” or whose circumstances change massively after becoming pregnant (a cancer diagnosis, a tragic prenatal diagnosis, their spouse becomes abusive because of the pregnancy — sadly not a terribly uncommon scenario) are denied abortions?

      • Christine

        Nope, I am not in favour of that. And not just because it won’t work. I just don’t see any reason to privilege the “as long as you don’t believe that abortion should be illegal you’re pro-choice” voices over the “you can’t be pro-choice and then be judgemental” or similar ones. It’s as nonsensical as people calling themselves pro-life, and advocating for the death penalty.

      • Mogg

        Do you advocate for someone who gets hit by a car while riding illegally to be refused treatment? Because that’s pretty much what you’re saying about abortion here.

      • Christine

        Mog, as I said, it wasn’t intended as an analogy. I couldn’t come up with one (and due to my theory of mind issues I felt it would make the problem worse to try).

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

        But who decides when it’s necessary? If it’s anyone other than the woman, that’s a problem. And I’m not saying that you think “you” should decide, but you’re suggesting that somebody (other than the woman) should. Who could I trust to know my life’s circumstances better than I? What if instead of my being wrong, it’s the decider who is? The decider will experience neither the possible risk nor the possible reward. That’s some dangerous thinking, and I’m certainly not willing to hand over my rights so heedlessly.

    • Beutelratti

      But that is exactly what the pro-choicers are doing!

      Many pro-lifers are the ones who work against everything you just listed.

    • Niemand

      Let’s make sure EVERY woman who becomes pregnant has the support she needs to become a mother.

      I need a couple of paradigm shifts in medical care to be able to become a mother again if I should become pregnant again. Otherwise, my choices will be abortion and death long before the fetus is viable. Is serious funding of the NIH and equivalent institutions in Europe part of your agenda? It’s part of mine. I’ve seen a number of women who had abortions in the second trimester. None were happy about it but did it to save their lives and often to prevent their real, living children from losing their mothers. Find a way to prevent those abortions through better medical technology and everyone will be happy. So, ready to put your money where your mouth is and support more medical research?

    • Saraquill

      Not all pregnancies go smoothly. It might be ectopic, the woman may be on medicine that causes birth defects, but is too ill to stop taking, or there may be a horrific birth defect that would result in a very short, very painful life

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=824256543 Tepintzin Huehueocelotl

      I agree. Let’s remove all the possible causes of abortion. So I expect you will stand with those who want to create better and more effective birth control?

      No, of course not. You’re a conservative Catholic and a hypocrite.

    • Anat

      Pro-choice people support social policies to make the raising of children easier. But I can tell you that in the unlikely case that I get pregnant I will seek abortion. For the simple reason that I do not want to raise another child. I am looking forward to my empty nest days if you don’t mind.

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

      I’m not arguing that we couldn’t remove some causes of abortion by making it easier for any woman who WISHES to keep a child. The problem here is that EVERY woman who becomes pregnant is not going to carry that pregnancy to term no matter what you offer her, because she doesn’t consent to remain pregnant or give birth. But what you’re saying is that every single woman who becomes pregnant should or will WANT to have a child if we just offer her the “right” things.

      • tedseeber

        Every healthy woman wishes to keep a child. Motherhood is the purpose of being female, just as Fatherhood is the purpose of being male.

        There will always be the 1% of abortions that are really not abortions at all, but triage; a decision made by a doctor in the emergency room to terminate a pregnancy to save a woman or a child or both.

        Incest is also a problem, especially with the youth of some victims, but that’s less than .05% of abortions currently.

        Rape- pregnancy can be the beginning of recovery. Bringing something good out of something so evil can be therapeutic.

        But economic abortion, which currently kills 799,000 children EVERY YEAR in the United States (down somewhat, but not much)? That is completely avoidable. And I consider the Republican Party to be a major cause of it.

        Instead of canceling WIC, how about cancel those Monsanto subsidized agriculture payments, and transfer those to WIC to insure *every child between conception and five years after birth has food and medical care*, and that *every woman with children under age 5 has home health nurse support and food, clothing, and shelter*? What’s so hard about that?

      • Niemand

        Every healthy woman wishes to keep a child.

        This is clearly untrue. Certainly every healthy woman doesn’t want every child she could have.

        Instead of canceling WIC, how about cancel those Monsanto subsidized agriculture payments, and transfer those to WIC to insure *every child between conception and five years after birth has food and medical care*, and that *every woman with children under age 5 has home health nurse support and food, clothing, and shelter*?

        Sounds good to me though I don’t see what’s magic about age 5-there’s still 13 years to go to get to adulthood, but you’ll have to stop voting for “pro-life” politicians if you want that to happen. This isn’t 100%, of course, but in general a politician who is “pro-life” will also be pro-business and anti-welfare and all about getting that “lazy 47%” to do some work and so on. Which do you care more about? Making sure every woman is forced to bear children or making sure children who are born have the resources they need?

      • tedseeber

        I care about both, and am willing to sacrifice Capitalism and Fiscal Liberty to do it. Are you willing to sacrifice Sexual Liberty to the value that *every* human being deserves to live, regardless of personhood under the law?

      • Niemand

        That’s nice, Ted, but it can’t be done, at least not now, not in the US. You’ll almost certainly have to either vote for someone who wants to enslave women or for one who wants to increase welfare. You can work to try to move your political party more towards your point of view, but if you’re in the voting booth choosing between, say, Romney and Obama, are you going to go for the one who is definitely going to reduce public health spending and work to make sure that women’s lives are limited as much as possible or the one who MIGHT increase public health spending just a tiny amount and doesn’t believe in reinstituting slavery?

      • tedseeber

        I don’t vote for political parties, and certainly not any member of the major two. I refuse to cooperate with evil. I voted for Will Christensen in the Presidential election. I will NOT reduce true health spending, nor will I allow some stupid idea of “unlimited lives” or “freedom” to justify murder.

        Besides, enslaving the US public to the Health Insurance companies doesn’t help the situation.

      • Niemand

        Will Christensen’s economic platform is all about cutting government spending. In short, eliminating the sort of programs you say you would favor. I see no evidence that he would support the sort of programs that you claim you would value, i.e. WIC, health insurance for pregnant women and young children, etc. So in practice, you value the reinstitution of slavery more than you value keeping your slaves healthy.

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

        I’m all for more financial support for women and children. That’s still no guarantee that “every” woman will want to complete a pregnancy because the reasons for abortion aren’t limited to the financials. And if she doesn’t, then she doesn’t.

        Oh, and I know a lot of childfree women, including myself. If motherhood really was the “purpose” of a woman, all of us would be embracing it with joyful abandon, no? And before you go blaming the mean ol’ feminists, keep in mind that I knew I didn’t want to have kids long before I knew what feminism was.

      • tedseeber

        The anti-child message is so deep in American culture, it is a wonder that we even have a 1.3 child per couple rate anymore. It’s subliminal- children are no longer blessings, but cost, and the incredible bigotry against motherhood is nearly absolute. You don’t need to have heard of feminism to be affected by it.

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

        I’m sorry, what? Are you aware that it is *feminists* who are working for things like universal daycare and paid maternity leave, and anti-feminists who work against them? How in the world is working toward things to help mothers and help children “bigotry against motherhood”? And have you ever even read any of my articles about parenting? I have two children, and I’m a feminist. Yes. Really.

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

        Nono, it’s not an anti-child message. It’s a message that women can do other things than be mothers and still be fulfilled, happy people.

        The purpose of women is to do whatever they want to, whether that’s paint or write or research or build things or doctoring or lawyering or whatever. They can choose to be mothers or not. The purpose of men is to do whatever they want to, whether that’s paint or write or research or build things or doctoring or lawyering or whatever. They can choose to be fathers or not. The purpose of people is to live happy, fulfilling lives. For many people, that includes children. For others, that does not. Neither way is superior. You are the one essentializing people as potential breeders, which is disgusting.

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

        Nono, it’s not an anti-child message. It’s a message that women can do other things than be mothers and still be fulfilled, happy people.

        The purpose of women is to do whatever they want to, whether that’s paint or write or research or build things or doctoring or lawyering or whatever. They can choose to be mothers or not. The purpose of men is to do whatever they want to, whether that’s paint or write or research or build things or doctoring or lawyering or whatever. They can choose to be fathers or not. The purpose of people is to live happy, fulfilling lives. For many people, that includes children. For others, that does not. Neither way is superior. You are the one essentializing people as potential breeders, which is disgusting.

      • Niemand

        It’s a message that women can do other things than be mothers and still be fulfilled, happy people.

        Or, alternately, do other things AND be mothers. I have a kid. The kid has me. Neither of us is the entire life and purpose of the other.

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

        Er, yes. I meant to say that you can do all those things and parent too. Somehow that didn’t make it in.

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

        I wasn’t negatively affected by it, certainly not from my point of view. It made succeeding in my chosen field more rewarding, of course. I can see where you’d think choosing not to have children equals being anti-child, although they’re not quite the same thing. I can see where you believe that not having children is the wrong choice, but I’m probably older than you think I am and have yet to feel any regret. Other women might, although what other women experience is neither here nor there in terms of how I feel about it.

        I can see that you’d like to steer society, and motherhood in particular, back to where it “used to be,” but I don’t know any practical way to make that happen. It seems that even outright bribery doesn’t even work too well, which also might tell you just how dearly a woman holds her freedom, even though you may believe that really isn’t freedom and that women don’t need to decide much of anything for-and need to be protected from-themselves.

        Is there a way you think women could be persuaded to embrace a more domestic role; or do you simply favor legally tightening the social, economic, and political boundaries to such an extent that women are discouraged from participating in life the way they choose to?

      • Composer 99

        Quoth tedseeber:

        Every healthy woman wishes to keep a child. Motherhood is the purpose of being female, just as Fatherhood is the purpose of being male.

        Can you provide some justification for this set of statements? It appears to be on its face incorrect. In particular, you need to establish that you are an authority capable of accurately determining what every healthy woman wishes.

        Most people who are pro-choice are political progressives, so I don’t imagine you would see much disagreement with reducing subsidies to large corporations and increasing support to mothers. Indeed, I don’t imagine you would see much disagreement with the notion that reducing the number of abortions performed because women have more support and therefore feel they can go on to delivery & parenthood is a good thing.
        It doesn’t change the fact that the basis for arguing for choice viz. abortion is women’s bodily autonomy.

      • tedseeber

        If it was false, the species homo sapiens would be extinct. The instinct for reproduction is a healthy part of any successful species.

        I find most progressives, when pressed on the matter, hate motherhood far more than they hate capitalism, thus the support for subsidies to large misogynistic corporations like Planned Parenthood that peddle poison to remove fertility with little or no warning about the damage to the environment and to women that this causes.

      • Ariel

        If it was false [that every healthy woman wishes to keep a child], the species homo sapiens would be extinct. The
        instinct for reproduction is a healthy part of any successful species.

        Wrong. To sustain a species, you don’t need every healthy person to have babies. You need a substantial fraction of them to have babies. A fraction of people who don’t want kids won’t cause the species to go extinct any more than a fraction of infertile people will.

        Even in your ideal world with total support for pregnancy, there will still be a number of women who simply don’t want to be pregnant, and the pro-choice position is that these women have the right not to be.

      • tedseeber

        Species that artificially limit genetic diversity, end up dying of diseases that affect the inbred.

        And we’re not talking a fraction here- Margaret Sanger wanted to put contraceptives in drinking water and have people apply to the government for a license to have a child.

        You genocidal maniacs can’t fool me anymore. Your 55 million deaths prove that you don’t care one whit about women or children; and you aren’t for choice, you are for genocide of the unfit.

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

        You have a special needs son. Do you think that might promote a predilection to view birth control and abortion as “genocide of the unfit”? Is that the message that you’ve perceived throughout your son’s life?

        “At which my wonderful special needs son, proceeded to find a permanent
        marker . . .”

      • tedseeber

        “o you think that might promote a predilection to view birth control and abortion as “genocide of the unfit”? Is that the message that you’ve perceived throughout your son’s life?”

        Not just his life. I lived undiagnosed Asperger’s as a white male through the 1970s. That is the message feminists have been giving me my entire life.

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

        Ted, I’m sorry you were undiagnosed, and I’m sorry that you’ve experienced so much pain. My brother also has Asperger’s. it’s a rough road and my heart – even though he’s doing well – still aches for him so much. I don’t think it’s feminists, though, who are responsible for making people feel that they’re not valued. Some societies are kinder than others, but most of them are pretty hard on those who are different.

      • tedseeber

        The feminists- unlike many, many others- weren’t against me because of my Asperger’s though. They were against me because I’m white and male- the ultimate devil.

      • Niemand

        Species that artificially limit genetic diversity, end up dying of diseases that affect the inbred.

        So you’re arguing against monogamy then? Because monogamy certainly reduces species diversity and undoubtedly results in a loss of some genes.

        Abortion and birth control don’t intrinsically limit diversity. They reduce the number of offspring and increase the investment in each offspring, but don’t reduce diversity. A couple with a lethal recessive who have two children together are taking only a mildly higher risk of loss of any “good” genes they may have as the same couple having 20 children together. OTOH, if they have only one child together and then have other children with different people, who may not harbor the same gene, the chances of their children dying early goes down significantly.

        So congratulations. You’ve made an excellent argument against monogamous marriage and in favor of promiscuity.

      • tedseeber

        I am talking about the specific marketing of contraception to minority populations in a bigoted way. I am talking about YOUR racism.

      • Niemand

        Ooh, a claim of racism from a man who talks about how oppressed he is because he’s white. Yeah, that’s real credible.

      • Mogg

        Just trying to figure out how Planned Parenthood can be defined as mysogynistic when their aim is to help women make their own choices… Also, progressives hate motherhood???!!! Erm, that’d be why they advocate for evil things like childcare, parenting leave, equality for women and so forth.
        And as Ariel said, you don’t need every adult in a species hell-bent on reproduction. There are many species, humans included, where a system of non-parents contributing to the raising of the offspring of relatives or others in the community (or pack, or flock, or troop) is a highly successful survival strategy. There’s more than one way to make sure your genes carry on, and my nieces and the children of my cousins each carry some of my genes – my helping to raise them to successful adulthood will be just as benificial for that purpose as if I had my own children.

      • tedseeber

        “Just trying to figure out how Planned Parenthood can be defined as mysogynistic when their aim is to help women make their own choices”

        That isn’t their aim. Their aim is “More children for the fit, fewer for the unfit”- a genocide. A secondary aim, like most corporations, is profit- and abortion in the service of pimps and prostitutes is extremely lucrative.

        “Also, progressives hate motherhood???!!! Erm, that’d be why they advocate for evil things like childcare, parenting leave, equality for women and so forth.”

        They would rather fund Planned Parenthood than WIC, so no.

        “And as Ariel said, you don’t need every adult in a species hell-bent on reproduction. There are many species, humans included, where a system of non-parents contributing to the raising of the offspring of relatives or others in the community (or pack, or flock, or troop) is a highly successful survival strategy. There’s more than one way to make sure your genes carry on, and my nieces and the children of my cousins each carry some of my genes – my helping to raise them to successful adulthood will be just as benificial for that purpose as if I had my own children.”

        But you aren’t raising them to successful adulthood if you are progressive and pro-choice.

      • Mogg

        “That isn’t their aim. Their aim is “More children for the fit, fewer for the unfit”- a genocide. A secondary aim, like most corporations, is profit- and abortion in the service of pimps and prostitutes is extremely lucrative.”

        Ah, so now the weird conspiracy theories come out. Pray tell, where is your evidence that this is their aim? Also, what is it about “not for profit” that you don’t understand?

        “They would rather fund Planned Parenthood than WIC, so no.”

        Er, what??!! WIC is administered by PP in some places, according to a quick Google search – which makes perfect sense, given that PP is exactly what the packet says – about parenthood. If you want to be a parent, they’ll help you do it as well as possible. If you don’t want to be a parent right now or at all, they’ll help you do that, too. I can’t imagine any liberal/progressive not wanting pregnant women, nursing mothers and young children to have good health and nutrition. I can certainly see conservatives wanting to cut back on such a “socialist” program. My goodness, it’s publicly funded health care! We can’t have that!

        “But you aren’t raising them to successful adulthood if you are progressive and pro-choice.”

        Sorry, come again? I completely fail to see how that follows.

      • tedseeber

        “Pray tell, where is your evidence that this is their aim?”

        The Teen Outreach Program, which is specifically aimed at non-white teenagers.

        ” Also, what is it about “not for profit” that you don’t understand?”

        When a not-for-profit corporation shows a profit of $84 million, largely off of abortion (in fact, since they give away so many of their other services, mainly off of abortion).

      • Mogg

        So a program which is about teaching teenagers decision making, goal setting, communication skills, information about their own bodies and about appropriate relationships, and helps them to not get pregnant as a teenager, not father a child as a teenager, stay in education longer and participate in community service is all about eugenics. Riiiiight. Because letting all those non-white kids drop out of school and become trapped in the cycle of low education, welfare dependency, poverty and violence is *so* much better.

        And where do you think those profits are going? It wouldn’t be to *gasp* making all those other services free or cheaper so people can reduce their likelihood of needing an abortion in the first place?

      • tedseeber

        Murder doesn’t help.

      • Mogg

        Murder is not what is under discussion.

      • Niemand

        If it was false, the species homo sapiens would be extinct.

        Your logic and math are both badly off. Humans can produce dozens of children in their reproductive lifetimes. Almost all children in the “first world” live to reproductive age themselves. Even if the majority of people chose not to have children, the species wouldn’t go extinct.

        Nor does every woman want to have children in every situation. She may not want children while she is pursuing her education but plan to have them later. She may have had two or three already and not want any more. She may not want a child that will know nothing but suffering in its short lifetime and decide to terminate a specific pregnancy because of that.

        If women wanted every child they could possibly have, no woman would ever say no to sex or willingly be abstinent between menarche and menopause. No woman would ever willingly become a nun. You wouldn’t have women, on being told that they were pregnant, saying things like, “I was hoping it was cancer.” (An actual quote from a pre-Roe woman.) When the first birth control pill came out it was approved only for correction of “menstrual irregularities”. Suddenly, thousands of women presented to their gynecologists complaining of “menstrual irregularities” they’d never noticed before. Why would that happen if every woman wanted every child she could have?

        Your argument is so clearly false that I can’t help feeling that you’re not arguing your real point. Perhaps you’d like to admit what your real claim is?

      • tedseeber

        I was talking about healthy people vs unhealthy people. Mentally healthy people want to reproduce, it is built into the species. Only the mentally insane don’t want to reproduce.

        If you want to bring up the problem of suffering, well, everybody will have a headache in their lives, so I guess we should shoot them all.

        There are plenty of mentally unhealthy people in society, insane people.

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

        Heh, well, you’ve got that much right.

      • Niemand

        Mentally healthy people want to reproduce, it is built into the species.

        This is a classic “heads I win, tails you lose” statement. If I say, “but X doesn’t want to reproduce” then you can simply classify X as a “mentally unhealthy” person (whether he or she has any mental illness at all) and write them off. The only ones left are the ones who want to reproduce…and thus is your thesis “proven”.

        Humans are K limited, not r limited in their reproduction. Healthy K limited animals DON’T want to reproduce when conditions aren’t favorable. There’s simply too much effort invested in the act of reproduction to do it when conditions are wrong. Healthy insects want to reproduce continually. Healthy humans, whales, and elephants only want to reproduce when conditions are such that they’ve got a decent shot at being able to rear the child.

      • tedseeber

        There is more than that. But you’re so against reality that I have no reason to believe anything you say.

        In modern society, we all have a decent shot to rear the child.

      • tsara

        “If it was false, the species homo sapiens would be extinct. The instinct for reproduction is a healthy part of any successful species.”

        Actually, you don’t need a drive to reproduce — the drive to have sex (i.e., pleasure principle) very neatly and effectively takes care of reproduction in populations without reliable contraception.

        And (anecdata, I know) I don’t hate motherhood. I hate the idea of having it forced on me, specifically. As soon as I find a sympathetic doctor I’m getting a hysterectomy and/or tube-tying.

      • tedseeber

        No it doesn’t- the pleasure for sex lasts a few minutes. Proper reproduction in civilization takes between 18-35 YEARS.

        And yes, if you hate motherhood for yourself, then you hate motherhood in general and are extremely misogynistic.

      • tsara

        In populations without reliable contraception, a drive that has a reasonably high rate of getting sperm into vaginas (like, for example, the sex drive) is sufficient for conception. After that (again, at sufficiently high rates of conception) ignorance, inertia (here meaning ‘the tendency of people to continue doing what they are doing’), brain chemicals, and probably social pressures (also, the desire not to die from eating that thing that might get rid of the weird but might kill you instead) would be likely enough to keep a pregnant early human pregnant.

        During birth… the pregnant early human probably has a fifty-fifty chance. And the fetus, if it didn’t make it, well, it was probably a stillbirth. But who’s to know the difference?

        Infanticide was much more common in societies without reliable birth control or abortions, and this is despite the adaptations that’ve stuck around to compensate (e.g., the massive wave of brain chemicals triggering bonding after giving birth).

        (not seeing an instinct for reproduction yet.)

        Once all the blood’s cleaned up, well, the main theories are feelings of d’aaaaaaaawww (from babies and small children), nepotism, and in-group dynamics. Altruism generally in humans is something that has been researched and written about for a very long time (as these things go).

        (even if you were to decide that any component of altruistic behaviour was the ‘instinct for reproduction’ you’re theorizing you’d have to explain [because once the baby's born it doesn't require the woman who gave birth to it; it just needs human support] why any woman would voluntarily submit to pregnancy if she didn’t want sex and she just wanted to look after kids.)

        On my misogyny: please see my reply to your other comment.

      • Composer 99

        See, when I ask for justification, I mean more than just some ridiculous assertion like “the species homo sapiens would be extinct” [italics mine].

        Also, your assertions about Planned Parenthood are also false on their face without additional justification.

        You can assert all the BS you want. What you need to do is back it up with references to independently-verifiable evidence.

      • tedseeber

        Planned Parenthood is a misogynistic, racist organization, because Margaret Sanger was a misogynistic, racist person.

      • Composer 99

        That’s not independently-verifiable evidence. It’s, surprise surprise, yet another unsupported assertion.

        First, you haven’t even demonstrated your claim about Sanger is true.

        Second, even if you do that, it’s a non sequitur. Whatever Sanger’s attitudes were, you would need to show that current policy-making by Planned Parenthood is “misogynistic, racist” all on its own.
        Some authoritarian, Glenn-Beck-style “six degrees of separation” game isn’t going to cut it.
        (Suffice to say, I’m not holding my breath.)

  • Shayna

    Full disclosure before I begin: I am a progressive Christian, I have a BS in BIology and am pursuing a Master’s to become a Physician’s Assistant, I am personally opposed to abortion but think it should be legal.

    We live in an imperfect world, and there will always be abortion. There will always be women whose lives, livelihoods, fertility, and health are threatened by pregnancy. There will always be genetic defects in some fetuses that are incompatible with life. There will always be women for whom abortion is the best/least damaging option they can see for themselves.

    Some of these factors we can affect on a societal level. Comprehensive sex ed, full backing/funding for women’s health concerns (including birth control options), support for women and families in poor economic circumstances, support for women in abusive familial or romantic relationships. We can reduce the number of abortions by making it easier for women to choose to continue their pregnancies, but we will never eliminate abortion because the world we live in is far from perfect.

    Whatever my personal opinion is about abortion, I cannot know another woman’s circumstances or motivations unless we are close enough that she tells me. I do not feel that I can dictate to her (personally or legislatively) what she must do. So…I will do whatever I can to make her feel comfortable with continuing her pregnancy and to keep abortion legal until the world is perfect and it is never again necessary.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rebecca.duncan.7359 Rebecca Duncan

    The mainstream media was not covering the trial. The only reason they started covering it at all was that pro life people started twittering it like crazy and putting it on other social media until the msm finally started to cover it a little bit. They didn’t want to cover it because they know it’s a story that shows that LEGAL abortion is in many cases just like this clinic was. Planned Parenthood knew the clinic was dirty and disgusting and did nothing. The local government knew it and did nothing. The MSM knew about the story and did nothing until it was pushed in their faces. Just about a month ago a Planned Parenthood representative in Florida said flat out that born alive infants could be killed or left to die if the woman decided it just like what happened at this Gosnell clinic. Obama voted against protecting babies born alive after a botched abortion more than once.

    Why don’t you address the fact that it is a problem that pro abortion people want it to be ignored or put into law that infanticide (when the baby is born alive in an abortion as these babies were in the Gosnell clinic) should be a decision left up to the woman and her doctor, as the Planned Parenthood spokeswoman in Florida declared, along with President Obama.

    I think that’s the big, glaring issue that pro lifers are concerned the most with and which you manage to side step. “These women deserved more—they deserved access to safe and legal abortion, and the damage wreaked on the health of so many women in the Gosnell clinic was a travesty.” Yeah, the murdered babies with their necks snipped don’t really merit attention here when you’re talking about the biggest travesty of the whole thing. Right.

    • http://twitter.com/SallyStrange Sally Strange

      Citation for either Obama or a PP spokesperson calling for legalization of infanticide will not be forthcoming, of course, because you lie. Just like all Pro-Forced-Birthers.

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

      Why don’t you address the fact that it is a problem that pro abortion people want it to be ignored or put into law that infanticide (when the baby is born alive in an abortion as these babies were in the Gosnell clinic) should be a decision left up to the woman and her doctor, as the Planned Parenthood spokeswoman in Florida declared, along with President Obama.

      Intrigued by your suggestion about the Planned Parenthood spokeswoman in Florida, I looked it up. I watched the video and read the interpretations by conservative media cites. And then I looked for the other side, for explanation, and I found it (http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/04/04/1824201/right-wing-fake-planned-parenthood/). Would you believe that the law already states that infants born alive must be given medical care? Would you believe that abortion is not performed in Florida past the point of viability? Would you believe that the Florida law would have stripped an abortive woman of parental rights if she were to have a baby born alive? Would you believe that these are the reasons the Planned Parenthood representative opposed the bill, as she stated in the very video clip you reference? You would know all of this if you bothered to look up what the other side had to say about this episode rather than just reading the conservative spin machine. I generally find that it helps to read what both sides are saying on an issue—and don’t try to say that’s ironic, because I have read what the right has to say about Gosnell.

    • Niemand

      Obama voted against protecting babies born alive after a botched abortion more than once.

      As you already know, babies born after an attempted abortion in a legal and well run clinic or hospital are severely ill infants who are going to die no matter what is done. If a baby is born with multiple birth defects at 24 weeks via “natural” premature labor, we would let the parents decide whether to pursue aggressive care in an attempt to keep the baby alive or to let it die peacefully if they felt the chances of life were too low to justify potentially painful interventions that might simply drag out the baby’s death. Why not allow the same consideration for parents already grieving a pregnancy gone wrong and a baby that is extremely unlikely to survive. If they want to try for aggressive therapy, so be it. But why force them to watch their baby go through painful and futile medical treatments if they and their doctors agree that they are, indeed, futile? We don’t force any other person to go through that: withdrawal of care or non-initiation of care is accepted for terminal illness. Why is it ok to force a premature, damaged baby to die a lingering death but not an adult with terminal cancer?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001411188910 Lucreza Borgia

        You would think DNR orders were only for babies that survived abortions by her logic.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001411188910 Lucreza Borgia

      I’m still utterly confused as to the assertion that this story wasn’t covered until anti-choicers got involved. A simple google search proves otherwise.

  • lfox

    Far from being desperate young women who will find another clinic, however back-alley, some of the not-yet adults were coerced into their abortions by parents or the father of the baby. Their wishes were ignored by the staff, including the doctor, and they were aborted against their will.

    Not only the local health authority ignored the MANY violations, so did the local hospitals – who had to treat the butchered patients. Funny how they could see the sub-standard care, but not make it their mission to get him closed down earlier.

    He got the referrals from Planned Parenthood and other women’s clinics. Don’t even try to tell me they didn’t know about his clinic – they knew, they just didn’t care.

    After all, the victims were ONLY Black women and girls.

    No, I don’t agree with you about the “need” for abortion services. I’ve personally known too many women who were coerced, threatened, forced, whatever term you want to use – into having abortions they did NOT want. It’s commoner for the one pushing the abortion to be the parent of the mother-to-be, than for the girl to actually want the abortion. I’ve seen this in my friends, family, acquaintances, of many different faiths (and some with none). I’ve seen it in a college friend, who was formerly active in a Students for Choice group on campus. When she got pregnant, her boyfriend told her to get rid of “it”. She did, and he promptly dumped her.

    Who wants abortions to continue? Mostly those who would be inconvenienced by the mother’s decision to keep the child – the child’s father, the mother’s parents.

    They can talk about the “blob of cells”. They don’t have to live with the consequences of their decision.

    Let’s spend our time, not fighting to keep abortion, but to change those options for women.

    • Niemand

      Not only the local health authority ignored the MANY violations, so did the local hospitals

      Because hand delivering a complaint to the department of health in a different city definitely counts as “ignoring” the problem.

      They don’t have to live with the consequences of their decision.

      There’s been a fair amount of research on the effects of abortion on women’s lives. Most women report relief after an abortion. Quite a number do report sadness, but the vast majority report feeling that they made the right decision. Other studies looking at women who were denied abortion find that they don’t do as well. Particularly if they were forced to put their child up for adoption. Relinquishing a child is virtually guaranteed to screw up a woman’s life.

      So save your crocodile tears. There is no “post-abortion syndrome”. And as for the fathers, well, abusers often sabotage birth control as a way of keeping control over their victims. So congratulations on being on the side of abusers. But you knew that already, didn’t you?

      • http://profiles.google.com/emasters7 Elizabeth Hiatt

        It’s also entirely valid to feel some mix of emotions. Few things in life are black and white and it’s entirely possible to feel sad but also relieved.

      • Niemand

        Totally. And feeling sad about a decision doesn’t make it the wrong decision. I sometimes feel sadness for the children I never conceived. Does that mean it was immoral of me to not have had sex with, for example, my early college boyfriend? Neither of us were in any way ready for children, but I sometimes think of who those children might have been and feel sad. Post-nonconception syndrome?

      • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

        In addition, welcome to being human in America, where you have every right to make a decision you might regret later, and no one should have the right to stop you for your own good.

      • Alix

        Freedom is the freedom to make mistakes. Yes.

    • http://twitter.com/spiffy74 Ron Turner

      How dare you cloud the issue with the facts!

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

        Well, yes, except that she didn’t.

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

      Let’s do both. Let’s change the options for women such that keeping an unexpected baby isn’t a catastrophe to future plans. Let’s increase TANF and WIC payments, support teen moms who want to finish high school and go to college, have subsidized daycares, have mandatory parental leave, and many other policies that support mothers. Let’s also make abortion safe and legal so that no woman ever has to have an unwanted child.

      No one should ever be coerced into an abortion she doesn’t want. The whole point of pro-choice is, after all, that women control their own bodies. That means if a woman wants to be pregnant, she can keep the pregnancy, and if she doesn’t want to be, she can abort. It is just as bad to force a woman to have an abortion as it is to force her to birth a child. That is one of the worst violations Kermit Gosnell committed- he performed abortions on women who didn’t want to, who had changed their minds.

      So let’s change the culture. Let’s make a world in which women’s choices, no matter what they are, are respected as her choice. Let’s make a world free of sexual and reproductive coercion of all kinds. Abortion has an important place in that world.

  • Erin

    Are you’re only appalled at how the women were treated? Or do you have any similar response to how those babies were killed?

    • Mogg

      The foetuses and born infants should not have been killed in the manner they were. Their manner of death was disgusting and inhumane, and those who oppose easily available early abortion should hang their heads in shame that they made getting an abortion so difficult that these foetuses were put in a position where they could suffer. Had they been aborted earlier and in proper conditions with correct techniques there would have been no suffering.

  • Meleah

    Interesting article. This has been bothering me for some time and I’m glad to see Gosnell is beginning to be addressed.

    Just wondering if anyone else has thought of this, and maybe has a better response than I can come up with- In America, were there “houses of horror” before abortion was legalized?

    • Anat

      There were ‘Back-Alley’ abortions.

      Before and After Roe

      And for personal stories see When Abortion was Illegal: Untold Stories

      • tedseeber

        Most of those stories are faked. The doctor that invented them admitted to it decades ago.

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

        Right. There’s a conspiracy of ONE doctor who created thousands of individualized, fake stories in order to pretend there was a problem that there really wasn’t.

        Man, if this is the best the conspiracy-mongers can do, that’s sad. Where’s a good Roswell-style ET conspiracy theory when you need one?

        TL;DR: [citation needed]

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

        Nono. Credible citation needed. Sheesh, you’d think obvious propaganda sites would be right out as citations, but apparently you have to make that clear.

      • tedseeber

        How much more credible than you need other than a confession?

        I guess if you doubt personal confessions, I might as well doubt that you are anything other than a Malthusian Eugenicist who would murder all the poor to save them from “suffering” if you could. Because the only proof I have to the contrary is your confession that you aren’t that way.

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

        I read his confession, and I must say that it’s not believable. People lie all the time, and while I have plenty of reasons to want him to lie, it also reads like … well, like a brainwashed prisoner writing a confession for hir guards. A list of declarative statements; We did this. We did that. No evidence, no proof (which polls were faked? We don’t know as they go unnamed).

        That he lied about the numbers of women having illegal abortions? Then why do current polls of women alive back then back up the original numbers, not his new ones? Besides, we know that we don’t know the numbers very well; estimates range from 200,000 per year to 2 million per year, which is a very wide number. Lots, yes, but an unknown number of lots. A claim of 1 million per year basically splits the difference and is a legitimate claim to make. That he overestimated the number of women dying per year? The ~250 women dying per year by 1972 is widely known and reported by the Guttmacher Institute; I don’t know that this claim of tens of thousands of deaths was ever made. It’s certainly not currently made. Thousands did go to the hospital with life-threatening complications; one hospital in New York had over 1,600 women alone come through with complications in 1962. 10,000 women per year harmed by illegal abortion was the likely actual claim, and it was probably low.*

        As for the Catholic Church being the primary anti-abortion mover, in 1973 it was. The Protestant Evangelical movements didn’t go all anti-choice until the Moral Majority of the 1980s, as even their own history states. However, by the time this doctor converted in 1996, the evangelicals had so erased their previous pro-choice stance that his claim seems reasonable in light of historical ignorance.**

        As for his final claims, he believes life begins at conception. That’s fine, he can totally believe that. Whether that is human life with full human rights, the relative rights of the mother and the fetus, and so forth, are legal and philosophical questions that doesn’t even begin to touch. “It’s ALIVE!”, he cries, which is true. It’s also irrelevant to the abortion debate, because no one denies that a blastocyst/zygote/embryo/fetus is alive. The question is whether it’s a person, and if it is, does that person’s rights trump the rights of the person it’s feeding off of.

        *http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/tgr/06/1/gr060108.html
        **http://www.religiondispatches.org/archive/sexandgender/6801/

      • tedseeber

        So I am right. You are just another Malthusian Eugenicist into genocide and hatred of children, because I find your claim to be pro-child and pro-choice to be equally inconsistent and unbelievable.

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

        Personal attacks are a violation of mt comment policy.

      • tedseeber

        You attacked first, Libby Anne, better delete the whole thread.

      • Anat

        Whom did she attack? Do you understand what a personal attack is?

      • tedseeber

        Better than most- I’ve been attacked as a white male by feminists my entire life.

      • Anat

        So if you are such an expert, how about quoting where you were personally attacked? Being disagreed with does not equal being attacked.

      • fiona64

        And now the truth comes out: a pissed-off “men’s rights activist” who’s angry that his hegemony has been challenged.

        I’m crying for you. No, really. Great big tears.

      • tedseeber

        No, you’re attacking me, no different than any other terrorist.

      • fiona64

        Hyperbole? Check.

        Thanks for proving my point, little boy. :-)

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

        *clapclapclap* Not quite a Godwin, but damned close.

        Evidence, sir, is a beautiful thing. Your doctor’s confession is belied by the facts, so clearly unsubstantiated allegations are the proper way to respond. Bravo, sir, your trolling, non sequiturs, and ad hominems are beautiful to behold.

      • tedseeber

        And your confession is worth nothing because you’re just another genocidal maniac, no different than Stalin or Pol Pot.

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

        Yes, clearly I have murdered thousands of people as the head of state in a nominally Communist country. Or I would do that, had I the unlimited power they did? Muahahahahaha! That is obviously the message you should be taking away from this, not that making stupid, unsubstantiated claims means I’m going to tear them apart and then make fun of you for ignoring that.

        EDIT: Also, what confession? The one where I merely declined to answer your absurd, provocative accusations?

      • fiona64

        That’s right; every post-abortive woman is just like a brutal dictator.

        What a dimwit.

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

        Heck, every pro-choice woman. I’ve never had an abortion, as thanks to a combination of birth control and good luck I’ve never needed one. Clearly the US is chock-full of brutal dictators.

      • fiona64

        Who knew? I’m so glad we have subject matter experts like “tedseeber” to help us. ;->

      • tedseeber

        No, just you.

      • fiona64

        I’m going to hazard a guess: you consider yourself a “good Christian,” don’t you?

      • Niemand

        How much more credible than you need other than a confession?

        I hereby confess that I killed Abraham Lincoln, 16th president of the United States. Booth was framed! It was me all along!

        How credible was that confession?Do you think that a court would likely take it seriously?

      • tedseeber

        I can’t take you seriously anyway because you’re an idiot.

      • fiona64

        Nathanson admitted that he faked something, all right: “The Silent Scream.”

      • tedseeber

        Apparently you can’t read either. Right now, you’re proving to me that women are stupid.

      • fiona64

        Yep, angry little ‘men’s right’s advocate.”

        The Facts Speak Louder than the ‘Silent Scream’

        You’re welcome.

      • fiona64

        And of course you have a citation to back up your assertion …

      • tedseeber

        Yep. Already posted, I’m not going to post it again because your female brain can’t figure out google.

      • fiona64

        Angry little misogynist boy …

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

        Congratulations! You’re banned.

      • fiona64

        ::applause:: Wish I had gotten to this post before I responded to any more of his posts.

  • http://twitter.com/spiffy74 Ron Turner

    There was nothing “illegal” about the “clinic”. What was illegal was what was done in the “clinic”. The truth is the baby killers want to bury this story, because legal or not, they do not want the public to become fully aware of the horrors that happen in abortion chambers.

    • Mogg

      Nobody wants to bury the story, Ron. The whole point is that what happened in this case was what should NOT happen in abortion clinics. Nobody wants the kind of things that happened in this particular clinic to happen anywhere, either – which is why those who failed to investigate what was happening in this case should also be held accountable, and those who make getting an early abortion needlessly difficult should be ashamed.

      • http://twitter.com/spiffy74 Ron Turner

        Tell, me O Wise One, who in Pennsylvania stopped the inspection of abortion chambers? One side wants the truth to come out. One side is too cowardly to even say the word “abortion”.

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

        Abortion.

        No shrinking violet here.

        Abortion.

        So, you were saying . . . ?

      • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

        Now, I wanna take that clip from The Big Leboswki, of Julianna Moore saying vagina, and loop it saying abortion.

      • anonforthis

        I agree: it would be much better if more hospitals provided elective abortion as part of their women’s health services so that stand-alone clinics like this one would have no reason to exist. Then we’d have the oversight you’re calling for, and because there are hospitals with OB-GYN services all over it would take care of a lot of the access problems to boot.

      • http://ourgirlsclub.blogspot.com/ Ginny Bain Allen

        How incomprehensible it is that in the same hospital, on the same floor, two babies the same age are born alive. The difference is, for one of the babies everything possible is being done to ensure the baby will survive and thrive, while the other baby’s life is snuffed out as if he/she is a piece of garbage. Convoluted much?

      • Niemand

        Ginny, consider two babies born in a hospital, both at 23 weeks gestation. Let’s say that they both have similar prognoses-similarly grave prognoses. One set of parents, on hearing the news that their baby has no more than a 10% chance of survival and a 0% chance of survival without major health issues throughout life, says, “Let’s just keep the baby comfortable and let it die naturally.” The other says, “Let’s take that 10% chance. Do everything you can!” Which of them is right? Does the answer to the question depend on why the baby was born prematurely?

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

        Also, hospital patrons, many of whom are very ill or recovering from surgeries, would not ever put up with an anti-choice circus going on outside. As someone who spent a couple of years in the recent past having a lot of treatment at a hospital, if that kind of thing had been going on I would have complained loud, long, and constantly until the nuisance was eliminated. Hospitals would be a much less target-rich environment for harassers.

      • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

        The idiots who disregarded the many complaints made about Gosnell’s clinic, because only poor women were being hurt.

      • Mogg

        Erm, I used the word ‘abortion’, it’s right there. I also know the word ‘termination’ if you prefer that. Also a selection of medical abbreviations, if you’re interested. I also know that the word ‘chamber’ is a word only used by anti-choicers in this particular context, and surgical abortions occur in procedure rooms or surgical theatres. How would I know who stopped something in Pennsylvania? It does however appear that there was no oversight for some reason – I’d need to read further to find out if it was because the entire clinic was illegal, or because that particular clinic was being overlooked for some reason, or inspections are lax or non-compulsory in that state. Somehow I doubt there was a conspiracy specifically to aid Gosnell, though. If there was no oversight then that was deplorable, all medical and surgical facilities should be inspected regularly to ensure they meet standards.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001411188910 Lucreza Borgia

    My colleges anti-abortion group is camping out in the main hallway of my college and showing non-stop Fox news coverage of the supposed infanticide comment by PP and the Gosnell case. I just got into an EPIC argument with a young woman who clearly does not understand how to make a sound argument. I thought she was going to puke or faint!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001411188910 Lucreza Borgia

      In the tunnels on campus by the writing center, the anti-abortion group on campus has a big video screen up and they are showing Fox news coverage of the the Gosnell case. Instead of walking by and ignoring them I decided to say something, why? No sleep makes you do crazy shit…anyways. What really pissed me off was Megyn Kelly on Fox discussing a PP representative advocating infanticide. Wait…what?

      Me: *pointing to the screen* You do realize that is standard procedure, right?
      Chick: …excuse me? I don’t understand what you are saying.
      Me: The decision to allow a child to live or die is done every day by doctors and parents. Besides, Florida law doesn’t allow abortions past viability, how would a baby even be able to be born alive or survive long?
      Chick: *stammers* Well…well…it’s not about Florida law. It’s about protecting babies in all states.
      Me: No….the PP representative was specifically discussing Florida law so let’s focus on that…
      Chick: But…but…that’s not the point of the discussion *points to the tv*
      Me: You are evading. Do you not know what a DNR is? Do you not know that if a child is born and the parents and doctors decide treatment is not appropriate that care can be denied? How is a law requiring all children born, no matter what the circumstances of the birth or abortion, to be given medical treatment? What if a baby is born without a brain?
      Chick: Well…well *hands start shaking and visibly looks ill* a doctor can’t put a brain back into a baby. That’s just nature! Abortion is unnatural and the PP representative is saying that abortion clinics should be exempt!
      Me: …but you are saying that all babies should have medical treatment regardless of the circumstances.
      Chick: *shaking harder* You don’t understand…all human life should be given medical treatment…
      Me: …but you said earlier that if the circumstances were natural than death was OK. Does that mean if the condition is natural it’s OK to allow the child to die?
      Chick: *barely holding it together* NO! Think of it this way…imagine a child born without an arm and a leg. Now imagine it as an adult. Would we kill them just because they were missing an arm and a leg?
      Me: Wait…why are they missing an arm and a leg?
      Chick: A D&C chops up the baby!
      Me: Um…I’ve actually had a D&C and I’ve known several women who either had a miscarriage or later-term abortion. There is no way a fetus will be born alive at a stage that a D&C is applicable. Don’t you mean later term abortions? You do realize that most of those are pushed out the old fashioned way? Either way, it’s not a common procedure for later term abortions unless the labor is dangerous. On top of that, you don’t give me a reason as to why the abortion was being performed in the first place.
      Chick: It doesn’t matter and I’ve taken natal development classes on campus and you don’t know anything about abortion procedures…
      Me: *interrupts* If the child has severe defects or no brain, yes, it does matter. On top of that, you are not understanding that the PP representative was merely discussing standard procedure for all infants. Shouldn’t a parent have the right to decide what treatment their child receives, especially if there is no compatibility for life?
      Chick: It doesn’t matter! All human life should be given the chance to live and you should watch these other videos we have…
      Me: Yeah…no…I have a paper to write.
      Chick: But you need to see this!
      Me: Honey, I’ve got about 10 years on you and have lived life a bit more. I don’t need to see anything you have to show.

      • tedseeber

        Viability shouldn’t matter- but in the case of infanticide and Florida Law, may I suggest you read this?
        http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/planned-parenthood-still-opposes-florida-bill-protect-infants-who-survive-attempted-abortions_714592.html

        There are always mistakes made predicting how old a fetus is, sometimes on purpose. D&Cs are done up to 25 weeks- a whole month past viability.

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

        Kind of. We have saved 22 weekers, but not often. It’s incredibly expensive (over $1 million NICU bill, guaranteed) and still only saves about 10% of them. The ones that do survive always have pretty awful health problems. There’s a reason we allow parents of extremely premature infants to refuse medical treatment for them and just hold them until they die a few hours later.

        28+ weeks is the time frame for likely survival. We’re getting pretty good at 26- and 27- week survival. Anyone born before that has less than a 50% chance to survive even with maximum medical care in a Class III NICU.

      • tedseeber

        We have now saved 20 weekers. You’re a bit behind the science.

        And since there is a +-3 week margin of error in even the *best* estimates, that says for viability you shouldn’t allow abortion past 17 weeks.

        And it is going down every day.

        One day, the viability argument will be as dead as the birth or the new Philidelphia “First Breath” argument that has been used to throw out several counts of murder in the Gosnell case.

        The ONLY sane line is conception- because that is when the new human being receives their DNA that makes them a unique human being.

        Anybody else, is just accepting the same idea as the Nazis- that the government, rather than science, can define who gets the right to life. For the Nazis, that didn’t include the disabled, or Jews, or Catholics, or homosexuals, or Romany.

        You just draw the line in a different place, but morally, you are EXACTLY THE SAME, except, your genocide is 55 million instead of a mere 8 million.

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

        Are you an organ donor, Ted?

        Are you ok with being an mandatory organ donor? You only need one lung and one kidney to survive just fine. Your liver regrows if we only take one or two lobes. Blood can be donated every three months, and plasma quite often, without any detriment to you. Clearly, if life is the most important thing, every person must be legally obligated to be a living donor.

        What’s that? It’s an infringement on your bodily autonomy? You might miss work from surgery and lose that paycheck and get evicted, and might even have complications and/or die? Your kids don’t have another primary caretaker while you’re recovering? That’s too damned bad, another person’s life is more important that your convenience.

        If you wouldn’t accept that (and I assume you wouldn’t, it’s pretty horribly dystopian), then why do you try to force it on women? Stealing another person’s organs is a major crime, as is paying for them because even that is deemed too coercive. We have so much respect for bodily autonomy that we don’t even force dead people to donate, preferring to respect their wishes in life, even though someone else will die because of it. How is abortion any different from refusing to donate my blood marrow or my kidney?

      • tedseeber

        Yes, I am an organ donor, and I am fine with the idea of organ donation.

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

        That is not the real question. Everyone is fine with the idea of organ donation. Are you fine with legally mandated organ donation by all people? Organ donation is a fine and commendable thing to do, no question. The question is are you willing to see it forced upon everyone, including children?

      • tedseeber

        Yes, actually I am. If the person is already brain dead- or has a 2nd organ of the same type- we should celebrate and reward such behavior even when it is involuntary. ESPECIALLY when it is involuntary.

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

        Just to confirm: you support and encourage a world in which people are required to be living organ donors. They must have all their sero-typing done, and if anyone who is a match for their organs needs one, that organ is removed without the consent of the person? I’m not talking brain-dead people. I’m talking you, and me, and your kid, and your mom, and your uncle, and everyone else. If tomorrow someone who was a match needed your lung, you are totally fine with having to drop everything and get your butt to a hospital for surgery to remove a lung.

      • tedseeber

        Yes.

      • Anat

        You might find it hard to understand, but I consider your position at least as monstrous as you consider mine. I don’t think communication is even possible with you.

      • http://www.facebook.com/catherine.gearhart Catherine Vanderbilt Gearhart

        This is the same guy who just referred to Nazi horrors. Don’t let this idiot bait you.

      • fiona64

        You are one sick bastard.

      • tsara

        Are you okay with being required to consider the safety of a rapist before removing it from your body? Or do you think that any kind of ‘yes’, once given, cannot be revoked?

        (because that’s kind of disgusting)

      • tedseeber

        Yes, my commitment to the common good is total. Why, isn’t yours?

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

        Oh hell no. The ends do not justify the means; “the common good” has been used to justify a whole lot of really, really bad things, especially things done to minorities. Tuskeegee syphilis studies, injecting Guatemalan women with plutonium, the concentration camp medical experiments, and the Japanese disease experiments all advanced our understanding of medicine and the human body a lot. They were also atrocities that should never have occurred, and the knowledge we gained is not worth the pain inflicted. A total commitment to just about anything is a terribly dangerous thing.

      • tedseeber

        And yet, you’re totally committed to killing 15,000 human beings a week.

      • tsara

        I’d really like to know how you define “common good.”

        Please note that I didn’t ask whether or not you’re okay with not being allowed to shoot a rapist in the head in order to remove it from your body.

        I asked whether or not I should have to put the safety of a rapist ahead of my own. If I am being raped, I consider myself to be morally entitled to push the rapist off of me without first having to take note of the piece of LEGO on the floor that zie could step on after being pushed, the stone chest zie could stub hir toes on after being pushed, the backpack zie could trip over, and the glass coffee table zie could hit hir head on — and without having to judge myself to have a reasonable chance of getting the rapist off of me without causing any harm to the rapist before acting (and without being required, if it doesn’t look likely, to suck it up and let the rape go on), and without having to potentially sacrifice power or effectiveness in order to be absolutely certain that the rapist will not so much as stub hir toe.

        If I am being raped and I react by pushing the rapist off of me, and that push results in the rapist stepping on the LEGO, kicking the stone chest, tripping backwards over the backpack, and smashing, head first, through the glass table and then dying, I would go to jail if the law demanded it, but I would not consider myself to have done anything morally wrong.

        In that scenario, I reacted to a physical violation of my body with a degree of force that was appropriate to end that violation as quickly as possible and with as little damage to myself as possible. It isn’t my problem that the rapist hit hir head and died. My actions were reasonable. The violation of my body was not.

      • Anat

        Total commitment to the common good the way you describe it is something that belongs in dystopia.

      • Niemand

        Are you fine with the idea of mandatory, forced organ donation? What about donors whose situation changes and makes them no longer wish to donate. Should they be forced to donate anyway?

        Suppose you agree to donate your kidney as a living related donor to your sibling or child or parent. During the workup for the donation, it is found that you have a tumor on one kidney. It is not metastatic and removal of the diseased kidney will probably result in complete cure, but, of course, then you’ll only have one kidney. Should you be forced to give up the healthy kidney anyway because you previously agreed to? No one forced you to agree to donate and your relative will be in big trouble, probably die soon if you don’t donate. Should the state make it illegal for you to decline donation just because you had a change in your health?

        Or supposing you refused to donate in the first place. Should the state jump in and force you to donate to save your relative’s life?

      • tedseeber

        I would anyway- because no greater love has any man for his neighbor, than to give his life for them.

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

        That’s not the question. Do you, or do you not, advocate legally mandated, forced organ donation as a societal good? Whether you would or not, do you think it’s a good idea to force everyone to do so?

      • tedseeber

        Yes I do. to both.

      • Anat

        I’m an organ donor too, but this wasn’t a full answer to the question you were asked. The question is whether you are OK with someone capturing you and taking one of your kidneys or lungs by force, without asking you.

      • Anat

        What various entities ‘deserve’ is a matter of philosophy, not science. Science brings important input about what things are, and what the likely outcome of an action is going to be, but it cannot determine if the action should be done. For that one needs moral philosophy.

        Science can tell the likelihood that an embryo or fetus at a given stage can experience anything. Science can tell the likelihood said embryo or fetus to survive if removed from the womb at that particular stage in a particular technique. The conclusion of whether one should remove the fetus intact with the intention to support its survival or whether it should be destroyed does not immediately follow from the scientific answer.

        My moral philosophy is based primarily on causing the least harm. An embryo or early fetus, which lack the capacity to sense – cannot suffer and thus cannot be harmed. Therefore they are not part of the equation at all. The pregnant person, OTOH has the capacity for suffering. She knows the consequences of continuing the pregnancy. If she does not wish to host the embryo or fetus any longer it is her choice that matters.

      • tedseeber

        “My moral philosophy is based primarily on causing the least harm.”

        55 million murders isn’t least harm.

      • Anat

        A being that can’t experience being alive can be killed but cannot be murdered. It can be damaged or destroyed, but can’t be harmed.

      • tedseeber

        Bullshit, Anat. You’re a liar.

      • Anat

        That you have problems understanding and using normal language does not make me a liar. Do you not understand the difference between damage and harm?

        An embryo or a fetus until about mid-pregnancy lack the capacity for basic sensations. Therefore they most certainly lack the capacity to suffer. How can they be harmed?

      • tsara

        ‘Liar’ tends to mean perjury or false witness. Saying what you believe to be the truth does not make you a liar.

      • fiona64

        No, she’s 100 percent correct. The definition of murder is the unlawful (illegal) taking of a person’s life with malice aforethought. Your position that abortion = murder fails on two counts at a minimum. The first is obvious: abortion is a legal medical procedure. That which is legal cannot simultaneously be unlawful. The second is that persons are born entities (see the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution if you’re not sure about that).

        And before you bring up fetal homicide laws, please understand that they can only attach as special circumstances when a crime has been committed against a pregnant woman — an actual person, as opposed to a potential one.

      • fiona64

        Abortion is not murder, sweetie.

        Of course, it’s easy to be an anti-choice guy. After all, it’s never *your* bodily integrity, life or health being put on the line by someone making medical decisions for you …

      • tedseeber

        I am anti-choice for men too. Any man who fathers a child should be forced to marry the mother, and any affairs should be treated as rape and forced labor to support the children.

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

        Oh no, the horrors! Why, the rapist must marry the woman he raped and impregnated, and doesn’t even have to pay her father 50 shekels of silver! Why, exactly, are you punishing the woman again and again and again? Doesn’t what she wants matter at all?

      • Anat

        Well, at least you want to spread the misery in all directions. Have a cookie?

      • fiona64

        Oh, that’s beautiful. And so biblical. Tell me: are 50 shekels enough to pay the rape victim’s father for damage to his property?

      • fiona64

        Correction: http://www.nytimes.com/1989/04/18/science/survival-of-the-fetus-a-barrier-is-reached.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm. Quote from article: But neonatologists, pediatricians and many scientists say that have yet
        to see a 20-week-old fetus that survived. They say they suspect that the
        length of pregnancy in the cases Dr. Willke cites may have been
        miscalculated and that the fetuses he referred to may have been closer
        to 24 weeks.

        There is no sanity whatsoever in calling a zygote a “person” from the moment of conception; given that more than half of zygotes exit a woman’s uterus in a given year without implanting (hence, her never actually being pregnant), are you arguing that “people” are being flushed down the toilet with feminine hygiene products? How patently absurd.

      • tedseeber

        Check that date- 1989. Almost all of the 20 week fetuses that did survive were born after 1999.

      • fiona64

        Citation needed. I worked in a hospital. There have been *no* 20-week fetus survivals. So, if you have evidence, put up or shut up.

      • tedseeber

        And yes, I am arguing that.

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

        Then I have nothing further to say to you. Your position is extremely immoral. No one deserves to have their body hijacked and ripped apart for the benefit of another without their consent, and to advocate for stealing organs is … I don’t even have the words to describe how wrong it is.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001411188910 Lucreza Borgia

        That has already been covered in the comments.

  • http://ourgirlsclub.blogspot.com/ Ginny Bain Allen

    An abortion is definitely NOT safe for the unborn baby,
    developing in what was created to be his/her safest haven on earth. Due
    to death ROE, it has become the most dangerous! Just because it is
    legal does not make it right! We are barbarians killing the most
    defenseless among us, sacrificing them on the altar of narcissism,
    convenience and uninhibited sexual freedom! Contrary to what Obama
    recently said to his bosom chum, Planned Barrenhood, It is definitely
    NOT rare either. Au contraire, Planned Barrenhood’s mission is to keep
    it frequent! That is because it is a very lucrative business, and this
    has been true from it’s inception. Within a few years after abortion
    was made a constitutional right, the number of abortions skyrocketed.
    Planned Barrenhood ( a tax exempt organization) has over $951 million
    in total assets. The average income for an abortion doctor far exceeds
    the annual income for an ethical surgeon – from three to ten times more,
    and they work way fewer hours! They are also less likely to be sued
    for malpractice. Abortion is NOT safe for the mother either,
    spiritually, physically, mentally or psychologically. It is a wound
    that will NEVER be forgotten, unless the mother has no conscience.

    In
    100% of abortions the baby already has a detectable heartbeat.
    Doctors will not even perform abortions until six or seven weeks into
    the pregnancy – in order to protect the health of the mother. The
    doctor wants to be able to account for, and remove, all of the baby’s
    body
    parts because if a fragment of the baby remains in the mother’s
    body, it could cause a deadly infection. Doesn’t sound very safe, does
    it? Every abortion is intended
    to end the life of a defenseless human baby. There is nothing safe
    about that! Precisely what is it about committing murder in a sterile
    environment that makes it OK? The fact that babies are killed in a
    sterile, well-lit environment does not make them any less dead. What
    exactly about killing a baby is health care? What part does the
    Hippocratic Oath play in performing abortions?

    Those
    who are abortion proponents insinuate that abortion prevents child
    abuse. Isn’t abortion child abuse – the most severe kind, where the baby
    ends up dead. The very idea that we should murder children to prevent
    child abuse, which usually takes the form of simple battery, is
    convoluted, dishonest thinking. How ludicrous to say that abortion is
    an effective means of stopping child abuse. Excluding abortion from the
    cases of child abuse, in 1973 there were only 167,000 reported
    instances of child abuse. By 1982, reported instances of child abuse
    had risen to 929,000. That is an increase of over 500 percent in less
    than a decade, the first decade after death ROE was enacted. In truth,
    when our culture views abortion as a “right,” we care less about all of
    our children, feeling much more free to abuse all of them, as well as
    everyone else, especially those who are disabled, infirm or elderly.

    The
    feminist movement fights against parental notification laws because
    there is a very good chance that parents will be opposed to their twelve
    year old CHILDREN getting an abortion. Such opposition would cut into
    the lucrative profits of the billion dollar abortion industry. The same
    CHILD that feminists hope will have an abortion without her parents’
    consent, cannot get an aspirin from her school nurse without the prior
    approval of her parent! Convoluted much? Children need the guidance
    afforded them by their parents, for they are not capable of making
    responsible decisions on their own, due to their childish inexperience
    and the fact that their frontal lobes are not finished developing until
    after age 25!

    Speaking of unwanted babies –
    ALL babies are wanted by someone! Due to abortion, there are not enough
    babies for couples to adopt.

    Since the progressives
    believe it’s fine for a woman to end the life of her baby if she can’t
    afford to keep it, why don’t we kill poor people as a means of
    eliminating poverty? Should it be permissible to kill any person simply
    to alleviate financial stress?

    • anonforthis

      Presence of a heartbeat doesn’t determine whether a newborn or adult is alive. (A newborn or adult can be on total heart bypass and still be alive. Similarly, it’s possible for someone to be brain dead but still have a beating heart.)

      • anonforthis

        You know, I feel like I should explain myself further.

        When I hear people discuss abortion as murder I always wonder by what criteria they’re defining life. Almost always it looks as though people have decided that they think abortion is bad, or they think people should live their sex lives in a certain way, or their preacher or catechism told them live begins at conception, and then they work backwards from there to say that a zygote or an embryo is a living thing, equal in moral status to a living child. Therefore, abortion is murder.

        To that I say: Not good enough.

        A criterion for something being alive is only useful if someone can look at an organism (under a microscope, with the naked eye, using blood tests, whatever) **without any context whatsoever** and determine whether it’s alive. And if it’s a good definition, a valid definition, then it would apply not only to an embryo in the uterus but also to a chimera created in a lab, or to a baby on a respirator. To everyone and everything.

        There might be some criteria someone could come up with by which early-term embryos are alive and cancerous tumors or hydatiform moles aren’t, or by which a cell is actually two organisms and not one *before* it twins. I’m not ruling that out, but I’ve looked a lot at the problem and never seen anyone put forward an workable definition of “this thing is alive, this thing is not” that would include an early-term embryo but not include, say, a cultured cell line.

        What I keep coming back to whenever I look at the problem is that our humanity is seated in our brains. If you’ve got something better and you’ve got evidence for it (which means it’s got to be something other than ensoulment) I’m all ears.

      • http://ourgirlsclub.blogspot.com/ Ginny Bain Allen

        “Each of us has a unique
        beginning, the moment of conception. As soon as our program is written
        on our DNA, there are twenty-three different pieces of program carried
        by the spermatozoa and there are twenty-three different homologous
        pieces carried by the ovum. As soon as the twenty-three chromosomes
        carried by the sperm encounter the twenty-three chromosomes carried by
        the ovum, the whole information necessary and sufficient to spell out
        all the characteristics of the new being is gathered. Inside the
        chromosomes is written the program and all the definitions. Chromosomes
        are the table of the law of life. When the information carried by the
        winning sperm, out of thousands vying for the special position, and by
        the ovum has encountered each other, then a new human being is defined
        because its own personal and human constitution is entirely spelled out.
        It is a personal constitution which is entirely typical of this very
        one human being which has never occurred before and will never occur
        again. The information which is inside this first cell obviously tells
        to this cell all the tricks of the trade to build herself as the
        individual, this cell is already, to build that particular human person
        we will call Sylvie or Hannah or Lily; it’s already there, but its so
        small that we cannot see it. It’s what is life, the formula is there;
        if you allow this formula to be expanded by itself, just giving shelter
        and nurture, then you have the development of the full person. A first
        cell knows more and is more specialized than any cell which is later in
        our organism. When we split at the beginning of our life, it is at the
        three cell stage that a message goes from one cell to the two other
        cells, comes back to the first one and suddenly realize we are not a
        population of cells. we are bound to be an individual. At the very
        beginning of life, the genetic information and the molecular structure
        of the egg, the spirit and the matter, the soul and the body must be
        that tightly intricated because it’s a beginning of the new marvel that
        we call a human. The first cell is knowing how to differentiate the
        progeny, the cell progeny. If we take one cell of a chimpanzee embryo,
        of a human embryo, of a gorilla embryo and give it to one of my students
        in the Certificate of Cytogenetics in Paris, and if he cannot tell you
        this one is a human being, this one is a chimpanzee being, this is one
        is a gorilla being, he would fail his exam; it’s as simple as that. The
        amount of information which is inside the zygote, which would if
        spelled out and put in a computer tell the computer how to calculate
        what will happen next, this amount of information is that big that
        nobody can measure it. You have to realize that this enormous
        information which makes a man is enormous compared to the information
        which makes a computer, because it’s a man who has made the computer;
        it’s not the computer which has made the man. Surely it’s much more
        complicated to build a human being, to determinate on one cell the
        wiring of his brain so that he will some day invent machine to help his
        own brain to understand the law of the universe. There is something
        peculiar to the human beings compared to others. What defines a human
        being is: He belongs to our species. So an early one or a late one has
        not changed from its species to another species. It belongs to our
        kin. And I would say very precisely that I have the same respect, no
        matter the amount of kilograms and no matter the amount of
        differentiation of tissues. The duty is not to kill, and that duty is
        universal. And I would say that if by technique I as looking at the
        chromosomes of this baby, and I see the chromosomes abnormal, say for
        example, he has a trisomy twenty-one, I would say that this is the
        disease. But if I look at the other forty-six chromosomes that are
        normal I would see the mankind of the baby, and I don’t condemn a member
        of my kin. If I was convinced that those early human beings are, in
        fact, piece of properties, well, property can be discarded, there is no
        interest for me as a geneticist. But if they are human beings, which
        they are, then they cannot be considered as property. They need
        custody.” ~Jerome Lejeune, M.D., Ph.D., professor of fundamental
        genetics on the faculty of Medicine of Paris, held the Kennedy Prize for
        being first to discover a disease caused by chromosomal abnormality –
        Down’s Syndrome, a member of a number of prestigious medical and
        scientific organizations

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001411188910 Lucreza Borgia

        Oh look copypasta…I’ll totes take you seriously…

      • http://ourgirlsclub.blogspot.com/ Ginny Bain Allen

        What is the problem with copying and pasting from my own file, that I typed out myself about Jerome Lejeune,
        genius? What’s wrong with copying and pasting at all? I don’t want to be in the midst of typing something here, simply to lose it. I’ve never heard of that type of pasta before. It’s your loss if you refuse to read my post simply because you don’t care for copying and pasting.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001411188910 Lucreza Borgia

        Because it isn’t engaging what people are saying. You are merely spouting what us pro choice people have been hearing for the past 20 years. Stick to one point and defend it. Copypasta is not debate, it is sermonizing

      • http://ourgirlsclub.blogspot.com/ Ginny Bain Allen

        I bet you never before heard what I posted about what Jerome Lejeune said, Lucreza.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001411188910 Lucreza Borgia

        Yes, I have. Dozens of times.

        TLDR version: we’re special snowflakes that should be protected at all costs. It begs the premise tho…I don’t believe that a fetus has the same rights, feelings, and thoughts as a born person merely because of genetics. If life is so special, why are there billions of us? What about Chimeras? Twins? It’s a simplistic view of genetics that doesn’t take into account fetal development or the circumstances surrounding why the abortion would be had in the first place.

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

        While all the science is lovely, I suppose, it wouldn’t be included in the criteria I would consider if I were aborting. Either side can fan-wank the science all they want. If my b/c fails and I really am not up – for whatever reason – to having a child, science isn’t on the table, or even in the room.

      • anonforthis

        It’s a pretty quote but it doesn’t have anything to do with the question. The question is, what precisely distinguishes something that is alive from something that is not alive?

        It’s not the fact that it has forty-six chromosomes that come from its
        parents’ meiotic products, because lots of things that are clearly not
        alive have those: tumors have those, teratomas have those, hair
        follicles have those. I agree that it is easy to tell a gorilla
        karyotype from a human karyotype, but looking at the karyotype you can’t
        tell whether the tissue from which the DNA was derived comes from a
        biopsy of a living human or from a tissue culture. Or, for that matter,
        from a body you dug up from a cemetery.

      • http://ourgirlsclub.blogspot.com/ Ginny Bain Allen

        How about a soul and a spirit? Oops, not an answer you like.

      • anonforthis

        Sure. If you can 1.) show that a soul is the thing that distinguishes living humans from other collections of cells with human DNA that are not living humans, *and* 2.) you have a way of distinguishing things that have a soul from things that don’t, without already knowing the context of where the collections of cells are derived, then it’s relevant and useful.

      • Beutelratti

        That requires that you believe in a soul and spirit. You obviously do, you cannot prove they exist though and so they are a mere concept of your personal religion. In order for soul and spirit to be recognised as a legal reason for a prohibition of abortion, you would have to give proof that embryos and fetuses indeed possess a soul. If you cannot do that (and no, you can’t), you don’t have anything to go on to prohibit those who do not believe in souls and spirits from getting an abortion.
        You are perfectly within your right to never have an abortion because you believe that embryos and fetuses have souls. You cannot impose that on other people though.

      • Niemand

        How about a soul and a spirit?

        Show me a soul or spirit and prove that it is in a zygote from the moment of conception and we’ll talk.

      • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

        So you believe in God? Do you think honestly think that if there is a JUST God, that souls only get ONE chance to be born? Cuz I sure as fuck don’t.

      • http://ourgirlsclub.blogspot.com/ Ginny Bain Allen

        All that matters, Aeryl, is what God determines.

      • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

        Ok, but you follow a religion that explicitly tells you that you can never know what God determines. So what’s with the certainty of your own beliefs over other people’s lived experiences?

      • Niemand

        So why not leave it to god? If god wants no abortions, then they’ll stop. The very fact that they haven’t should be a strong indication that god thinks they’re ok. Stop disobeying god this way.

      • Niemand

        Do you think honestly think that if there is a JUST God, that souls only get ONE chance to be born

        If there is a just God and an afterlife (and, apparently, a before life), is being born all that important? Wouldn’t the soul of an aborted embryo (if embryos have souls) simply go back to the afterlife saying, “Well, that experience was…short” and go back to whatever it is that unborn of dead souls do?

      • Alix

        In my religion, the soul enters the body along with the first breath. So, y’know, my belief in a soul doesn’t contradict my belief in abortion – the unborn baby’s a potential baby, not an ensouled person yet.

      • fiona64

        Please let us know how one sees a soul or spirit under a microscope. I’m keen to know.

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

        See, no one’s arguing that zygotes aren’t potential human beings. They’re definitely human, and definitely alive. What they are not is full human beings with the rights and privileges of human beings.

        Blastocysts, zygotes, and embryos don’t have to be considered property for abortion to be completely ethical. We force no one to donate blood, tissue, or organs to another person. Not even if the other person will die without it. Not even if it won’t hurt you at all to donate. Not even after you’re a corpse- your bodily autonomy and wishes while you were alive trump the concerns of a living person even after you’re dead, that’s how highly we value bodily autonomy.

        Except for pregnant women. Isn’t it fascinating that the only time life trumps bodily autonomy is when it affects women only? In every other circumstance, personal control of one’s body trumps another person’s right to life.

        EDIT: Also when you cut and paste, seriously, format it. This is almost impossible to read. It’s just common courtesy.

      • http://ourgirlsclub.blogspot.com/ Ginny Bain Allen

        Forgive me. I’m not sure how to format it, other than to do it line by line here, which would take too long. I simply type it on gmail and transfer it over. I’m certainly not trying to be rude.

      • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

        Line by line is the only way to do it, if you can’t take the time and consideration to do it, may I recommend not posting?

      • Frank

        Keep posting the truth Ginny! Don’t let any fool distract you!

      • http://ourgirlsclub.blogspot.com/ Ginny Bain Allen

        Believe me, I refuse to be silenced, Frank! I appreciate the encouragement.

      • Frank

        Well done good and faithful servant!

      • Composer 99

        For an Orwellian value of “the truth”, Frank. Very Orwellian.

      • Guest

        Is Lydia Fairchild one person or two?

      • Eamon Knight

        I call this the Fallacy of DNA Essentialism: that personhood inheres in our genes. It’s perhaps not surprising that LeJeune would fall for it — it’s not uncommon for people to have a sort of tunnel vision which defines the whole world in terms on their particular specialty. A priori, there’s no good reason to define one’s individuality in term of the “information” in our DNA — we are each and every one of us, so much more than that. It’s a terribly reductionist view of the person (which makes it ironic that so many religious people would resort to it).

        But if you wish to assert personhood on the basis of genetics, then how do you handle the following cases:

        1) Identical twins: same DNA, two organisms (or even more blatantly: conjoined twins).

        2) Chimeric individuals: one organism with two sets of DNA distributed among different tissues (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimera_%28genetics%29#Human_chimeras).

        In all these cases, we routinely ascribe individuality based, not on genetics, but on social presentation, ie. on the number of faces we see, the number of minds we appear to be interacting with.

      • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

        Cancer’s alive too lady. Should we not try to kill it?

        And before you start acting all shocked*, no I am not comparing cancer to a fetus. I’m just saying, alive is pretty low bar to set for whether something has value and rights, especially a value greater than that of the person carrying the fetus.

        *Not that it’ll matter. You’ll play the poor martyr because that’s what forced birthers do.

      • Alix

        So. Women don’t matter because baby. Never mind that the “baby” is far more akin to a parasite and that pregnancy and birth are bodily traumas, and often psychological ones as well. BABY, so THERE.

        Sorry, but the rights of the already-alive trump the imaginary rights of the not-yet-alive. My right to bodily autonomy, to self-determination, to not undergo physical and psychological trauma (and for me pregnancy would indeed by psychologically traumatic) – that trumps the rights of anything or anyone trying to use my body to their own ends any day.

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

        Of course it’s more of a parasite. If it weren’t antis would not spend So. Much. Time. trying to convince people it’s not. I’ll trust my own observations and experiences over their airy-fairy-all-babies-are-blessings-from-heaven treacle, thanks just the same.

      • Alix

        I’ve never mentioned this publicly before, but: speaking personally, I am freakin’ terrified of being pregnant. I have nightmares that I might end up pregnant someday, so yes, from my perspective, a fetus is a horrible parasite, pregnancy is an unwanted trauma, and pregnancy would be a major psychological trauma for me, too. I have a very hate/hate relationship with my uterus, and frankly wish I could afford to get rid of it.

        If by some freak occurrence I got pregnant, it would. not. matter. if I and the fetus were healthy, if I could financially afford a kid, if I could fit a kid into my life. I’d get an abortion, and do so happily.

        None of this is to say I don’t like kids – I do. I even want kids someday, if I can afford the cost. But not kids of my own body, thanks to my psychological hangups.

        There’s nothing “wrong” with me, in the way forced-birthers sometimes concede as cases where abortion might be allowable. It’s all irrational fear/body horror, all in my head. And yet I should still be allowed to have an abortion, because psychological trauma is still trauma, and because it’s my body, dammit.

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

        Yeah, I get where you’re coming from, and of course there’s nothing wrong with you. I too had a hate/hate relationship with my uterus. Just way more trouble than it was ever worth. That’s why it has always been so annoying to hear about the special majikality of the wooooomb. It’s just another body part, people.

      • tsara

        I’m with you on that. My options would be abortion, suicide, or having every semblance of rights and autonomy stripped from me by people trying to keep the fetus alive.

      • http://ourgirlsclub.blogspot.com/ Ginny Bain Allen

        Something even more beautiful from Jerome Lejeune, M.D., Ph.D.:

        “We know by the
        human observation, that there is a specialization of information carried
        by the sperm compared to the information carried by the ovum. And I
        would say I was wondering, not surprised, but wondering that we were
        discovering at this extraordinarily tiny level of information built into
        the chromosomes, that paternal duty was to build the shelter and to
        make the gathering of the food, to build the hut and the hunting. And
        that the maternal trick was household and building of the spare parts so
        the individual can build himself/herself. And it’s a kind of
        admiration that we have for nature that since we have seen in the grown
        up that the man is going hunting and the mother is doing the kitchen, it
        is just the same deeply written inside our own chromosomes at the very
        beginning at the moments the first human constitution is spelled out.” ~
        Jerome Lejeune, M.D.,
        Ph.D., professor of fundamental genetics on the faculty of Medicine of
        Paris, held the Kennedy Prize for being first to discover a disease
        caused by chromosomal abnormality – Down’s Syndrome, member of a number
        of prestigious medical and scientific organizations

      • Doe

        This is nonsensical and means nothing scientifically. The sperm and the egg carry the exact same sets of chromosomes (unless the sperm has a Y). I highly doubt he is talking about epigenetic modifications since he died in 1994 and epigenetics in humans didn’t become a thing until the late 80s/early 90s, and even now there is considerable disagreement over the function and meaning behind maternal and paternal imprinting. (I’m not expecting anyone to defend this scientifically, just pointing out that this is not an actual fact regardless of how “beautiful” it may be.)

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

        He is going from genetics to evolutionary psychology. While he’s clearly qualified to talk about genetics, he is NOT qualified to be considered an expert in sociology, psychology, neurology, or evolutionary psychology. Except for evo psych, which is widely recognized as being very full of pseudo science and bullshit, all the other fields say that he’s wrong. Men are not inherently more “hunting and building the hut”, and women aren’t more inherently “build spare parts and cook things”. Thus, he couldn’t possibly have figured that stuff out from a sperm or an ovum, because it’s simply not there to be figured out.

        Plus, our understanding of genetics even today isn’t nearly that advanced. Seriously, we’re just now figuring out genetic markers for predispositions to some diseases, and even then we don’t usually know why they’re markers, just that they are. Complicated behavior like building things, hunting, gathering, and cooking is waaaay outside our current understanding of genes, which has advanced quite a lot since Dr. Lejeune died, but we are pretty sure those are all socially mediated and not instinctual, genetic behaviors. Who does them differs across time, place, and culture, after all.

      • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

        And gender essentialism shows up as well.

      • Alix

        First, crack an anthropology textbook sometime. If anything shoots gender essentialism (and a lot of other so-called “immutable facts” about humans, society, and culture) in the foot, it’s that.

        Second, some of us aren’t men or women. Am I programmed to hunt AND cook my own food, or do I get stuck with raw forage?

      • fiona64

        Considering that Lejeune passed away in 1994 (almost 20 years ago now) and was most active as a pediatrician in the 1950s, I think it’s safe to say that we know more about matters now than we did at the time. Lejeune was a product of his time, when we taught that women “naturally’ preferred to be homemakers — despite all manner of evidence to the contrary.

        What’s next? Newt Gingrich’s assertion that men are genetically programmed to hunt giraffes and women can’t be in combat because we get “infections” once a month? Citing Lejeune is just as laughable.

    • Niemand

      abortion is definitely NOT safe for the unborn baby,

      Abstinence is definitely NOT safe for the unconceived baby.

      Due to abortion, there are not enough
      babies for couples to adopt.

      And…bingo! The aspect of slavery is never far beneath the “pro-life” position, but here it is overtly: The commenter here overtly worries about there not being enough babies to sell on the open market.

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

        Women with unwanted pregnancies are not obliged to provide infants for those who can’t make their own. If these people wish to actually “parent,” there’s no shortage of older children that need good, stable, loving homes.

      • Niemand

        Indeed. My cousin adopted two of them. One was 3 at adoption, the other 11. There is, unfortunately, no shortage of children needing loving homes. But if you want to demand a white infant with no known health problems, that’s when the supply starts to decrease–and the pressure on young women to provide a “product” increases.

      • http://ourgirlsclub.blogspot.com/ Ginny Bain Allen

        Many children from countries around the globe are adopted by loving U.S. heterosexual married couples all the time, but not everyone in the U.S. can afford that large expense. My niece was adopted from China when she was seventeen months of age, and her parents were required to stay in China for three weeks during Hope’s costly adoption process. She’s not the only adopted child in our family.

      • Niemand

        Who said anything about international adoption? One of my cousins’ children was originally from the same neighborhood as her new family. There are quite a number of children in the US who need fostering or adoption.

        And it’s not only heterosexual couples and not only married people who adopt. Indeed, gay and lesbian couples are often more willing to help children in need and less likely to demand “perfect” infants than straight couples who are used to getting their way in everything. And adoption by single parents is not unusual either: many people find that they wish to have children but not necessarily a marriage partner. If they have the resources to support and nurture a child, why not?

        Again, you seem interested only in supplying a product-healthy infants-to a particular market-married straight couples.

      • Frank

        All children deserve both a mother and father. its in their best interests.

      • Niemand

        Actually, it’s not. There is ample data demonstrating that children raised by gay or lesbian couples do at least as well on all measurable outcomes as children raised by straight couples. They’re also less likely to be abused. All children deserve a loving home and parents who are competent and want to raise children. The parents’ gender is irrelevant to that.

      • Frank

        Gender is very relevant and there is very little data over a short period of time. Not enough to draw any credible conclusions. After several generations of data with a large enough sample set we may have a legitimate picture.

        Even if they do children still deserve both a mother and a father, a man and a woman to raise them. Its in their best interests and its the ideal we should always hold up.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001411188910 Lucreza Borgia

        So you would rather have children languish in foster care than live in a loving home?

      • Alix

        Its in their best interests and its the ideal we should always hold up.

        Citation needed.

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

        So all the biblical children were totally screwed up, because they had a daddy and a mommy and a mommy and a mommy and a mommy?

      • Frank

        They had parents of different genders, just like it should be as its in their best interests.

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

        Wow, you’re an asshole. There have been a lot of studies done on this- the children of gay or lesbian couples did just as well as children of opposite-sex couples. Actually, the children of gay and lesbian couples did better- they were all planned, which not all children can say, and the children were more tolerant.

        Besides, even if you were right (you’re not, you’re 100% wrong, but for the sake of argument), even if I were to grant you that one male and one female parent were the best family configuration ever, so what? We have “non-ideal” family configurations all the time. Children live with a single parent, or shared custody between divorced parents, or grandparent(s), or cousins, or siblings, or foster parents, or any number of options that aren’t their biological male/female parents. Why is this family configuration soooo awful it has to be banned?

      • Frank

        There is simply not enough data to come to the conclusions that you come to. In several generations maybe there will be enough data. I hope not because children shouldn’t be an experiment. They deserve to have their mother and father not some fake family.

        Until then….

      • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

        Yes, there is a enough data. People have been raised by gay families for awhile, it just wasn’t as obvious.

        You keep harping that there is no data, but there is, you just don’t like what it says(that your a bigoted asshat who can’t handle the world on it’s own terms).

        My half sister was raised by lesbian, but she’s too good of a Christian to tell you to stick your “fake family” where the sun don’t shine, but I will.

      • Niemand

        Frank, seriously, what do you think of children raised by the Pearls or using the Pearls’ methods? Is it in their best interest to continue to be beaten (sometimes to death) by their parents or would they be better off being raised by parents who would not beat them, even if those parents had matching sex chromosomes?

      • Frank

        There are good and bad people out there so there are good and bad parents out there. We have laws to protect kids from abusive parents. That has nothing to do with the fact that children deserve both a mother and a father.

      • Niemand

        Frank, you’re straight up lying again. There is no evidence, none, nada, zilch, ganz und gar nichts, zippo to suggest that children raised by gay or lesbian parents have ANY issues.

        But again, do you agree that the Pearls are bad parents, regardless of their gender? Would you trust them with a child, knowing that they will abuse that child, including if it is a baby?

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

        Adopted families are fake families. Blended families are fake families. Single parents are fake families. Widows and widowers are fake families. Got it. The science doesn’t matter, because it doesn’t say what you want it to say. I mean, we have a whole 1-2 generations here; we’ve certainly made social policy on less data before, but for THIS, when it is about fundamental rights and getting children into loving homes, we “need more data”.

        How dare you? How dare you take people’s lived experience, their lives and loves, and dismiss them as trash, as fake? In the end, have you no sense of decency? Have you no shame?

      • Frank

        Do you? Would you further degrade the family and whats best for children just so someone enslaved by sin can feel justified? Pitiful!

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

        I care about love. I care about harm. Gay people love their children, really all “alternate” families love their children. The only harm done is when families are hurt because people like you try to stop them from loving their children.

        Sin, on the other hand, is a made-up concept to justify how you feel about people who have sex that makes you feel icky in your pants. I bet you feel just as awful about people who commit the equally horrific sins of eating shellfish and pork, lifting things on the Sabbath, cutting their hair and beards, and wearing cotton/wool mixes. Seriously, it’s all in the same section of Leviticus, and it’s all there as “abominations”.

      • Niemand

        Sorry, but the most cursory search of medline or google scholar refutes this claim. There is quite a bit of data, including studies of long term outcomes in adults raised by gay and lesbian parents. They do fine. It’s in no way in the best interests of children to demand that they have parents of a particular gender, especially to the exclusion of other considerations. A child raised by Dan Savage and Terry Miller is likely to do far better than one raised by the Pearls or the Schatzes. Ability to support a child, interest in raising a child, empathy, and understanding of child development are far more important than gender.

      • anonforthis

        You do realize you’re responding to a comment that *explicitly* said that even if kids do as well (or better!) with gay and/or lesbian parents, being raised by a man and a woman is still in their best interests, right? :)

      • Niemand

        Good point. Logic has never been Frank’s strong point. Perhaps I misunderstood the pronoun. Maybe Frank is saying that it’s in the best interests of straight couples that children be raised only by them. Decreases the competition for babies, you know. And that’s so important in this competitive market. (/snark)

      • Frank

        I wouldn’t trust Dan Savage with a plant let alone a child.

        You can disagree all you want but my statement stands: children deserve both a mother and a father.

      • Composer 99

        Frank:
        Evidence trumps baseless assumption. Every. Single. Time.
        Your statement stands… on what basis, exactly?

      • Niemand

        In short, you’re unable to name a single reason why children do any better with parents of a different gender than with parents of the same gender, but you’re hoping if you repeat your unsupported statement often enough, people will believe you.

        Congratulations on a classic use of the “big lie” technique. Does your god approve of lies and slander?

      • http://ourgirlsclub.blogspot.com/ Ginny Bain Allen

        AMEN!

      • fiona64

        Married, straight *Christian* couples. Ginny is very clear that no other religions are valid. ::eyeroll::

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

        Yes, but didn’t you mean there were not enough infants in the U.S., specifically? And as I said, there are plenty of American non-infant children who would like to have a home and family of their own, too.

      • http://ourgirlsclub.blogspot.com/ Ginny Bain Allen

        Many Christians do adopt older children.

      • Niemand

        And many of them abuse their adopted children. Ask Lydia Schatz how grateful she is to have been adopted by heterosexual Christians. Oh, wait, you can’t, they murdered her.

      • fiona64

        Again, what do you want? A cookie? Many gay couples adopt older children, or kids of different ethnicities, or kids with severe health problems. But you don’t want gay couples to be able to do that.

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

        That still doesn’t explain why women with unwanted pregnancies need carry them to term because “there are not enough babies for couples to adopt.” If they can adopt older children, then they shouldn’t need to adopt babies in particular.

      • http://www.facebook.com/norman.donnan Norm Donnan

        My sister has 3, all handicapped, 2 in wheelchairs,and after having 5 of her own. Thankyou Ginny for being out spoken over the killing of children.You debate very well keep it up the kids need you

      • http://ourgirlsclub.blogspot.com/ Ginny Bain Allen

        Thank you for your uplifting words of encouragement, Norm. I will not be silenced!

      • Anat

        Again, why are the wants of people seeking to adopt an issue that women who are pregnant but wish not to be should consider?

      • anonforthis

        I’d be really curious to see an answer to this question but I don’t think you’ll get one.

      • fiona64

        What do you want, a cookie? Overseas adoptions oftentimes are nothing more than baby-selling …

      • http://ourgirlsclub.blogspot.com/ Ginny Bain Allen

        I’m not the parents of Hope, so I deserve nothing. Hope lived a sad life in an orphanage before her parents adopted her.

      • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

        Yes, the orphanage. Where you all us other sluts to put our babies too. Sounds like, if the orphanage was SO SAD, you’d want us to keep our babies out of them, by say terminating the pregnancy?

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

        I think that’s as wonderful for your cousin as it is for those kids. I wish more people saw these kids as . . . people.

      • http://ourgirlsclub.blogspot.com/ Ginny Bain Allen

        I wish everyone KNEW that the unborn are people, because they are!

      • Niemand

        What do you mean by that? In what sense are the “unborn” “people”? Your statement is meaningless as it stands.

      • http://ourgirlsclub.blogspot.com/ Ginny Bain Allen

        In what sense are the unborn NOT people?

      • fiona64

        Persons are born entities.

      • anonforthis

        The legal sense. And the scientific sense. We’ve been through this already.

        You’ve been given numerous reasons in this discussion for why personhood doesn’t begin at conception. You’ve refuted precisely none of them. Not one.

        It’s 100% fine for you not to change your mind when faced with information. Honestly, it is. Really and truly. But you seem indignant that other people don’t automatically accept your claims when you don’t have anything to back them up. Why?

      • http://ourgirlsclub.blogspot.com/ Ginny Bain Allen

        Perhaps it’s time for me to stop casting my pearls before swine?

      • anonforthis

        You’re the one who asked the question. (In response to another question that you didn’t answer, I might add.)

        Speaking just for myself, this is an issue I’ve changed my mind on several times over the course of my life, both in the broad strokes and the specifics. I’m open to persuasion. But not to rhetoric.

      • Niemand

        People who disagree with you are swine? Good to know.

      • fiona64

        The minute you’ve cast a pearl, I promise to acknowledge it. Really.

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

        Well, if we’re using animal metaphors now, perhaps it’s time you stop beating a dead horse.

      • Niemand

        The brain does not physically develop until long after the average elective abortion occurs. There are physiologic reasons to suspect that the in utero environment is not conducive to cortical activity so it is likely that even a late fetus-even one that would be considered term if it were born-does not have cortical activity. Brain death is considered definitive for death. Therefore, brain activity must be a bright line for what is considered a person or not a person. Embryos don’t have it (most abortions are performed in the embryonic stage and more would be if “pro-lifers” didn’t put up road blocks that result in more abortions in the late first and early second trimester.) Anencephalic fetuses don’t have it (a large fraction of late abortions are performed for anenchephaly). Early fetuses certainly don’t have cortical activity worth talking about even if they do, during the second trimester, start to express brain stem activity (much like Tom Delay’s father when he was taken off life support by his son).

        Unless perhaps you have some alternate definition of what a person is which is completely at odds with the current legal and medical definition, I don’t see any way to consistently say that a fetus or especially an embryo is a person.
        And that’s not even counting the…odd…things that happen during the zygotic stage…chimeras, twinning, etc.

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

        They can’t live independently, outside of another person’s body. They don’t have brains. Until about week 20, they can’t feel pain. Why do you think they’re people? I’ve answered your question, now answer Niemand’s.

        Unacceptable answers:
        1) Human DNA: Yes, well, cancer, hair, and nails all have human DNA too. They obviously aren’t people, so the mere possession of human DNA isn’t enough.

        2) Unique DNA: Cancer is mutated cells, so it too has unique DNA. Further, hydatidiform moles have unique human DNA and are clearly not people. Twins with identical DNA are two people, not just one, while chimaeras with two sets of DNA are only one person. Clearly there’s something else going on.

        3) Souls: The idea of a soul is a religious one with absolutely no scientific backing. It’s just not a compelling argument.

        As a bonus question: if fetuses are people, are women also people? If yes, do fetuses have more rights than already-born people? If no, why do you consider women sub-human?

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

        Since couples “need” more infants to adopt, clearly the “unborn” are more human than older children are. Or women.

      • http://ourgirlsclub.blogspot.com/ Ginny Bain Allen

        If those older children had been aborted, they would not be available for adoption!

      • Niemand

        And if their parents hadn’t had sex, they’d never have been conceived. Abstinence is evil!

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001411188910 Lucreza Borgia

        They probably wouldn’t have been neglected or abused if they had not been born either.

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

        Yes, well, I think the point you’re missing is that completely OUTSIDE of the abortion issue, people are overwhelmingly NOT adopting these older children. People want healthy infants, so children who aren’t quite so healthy or have more complicated issues languish and grow older and older in foster care.

        Meanwhile, the demand for newborns and infants remains as high as ever. Women choosing adoption over abortion will not do anything to remedy this disparity. Contrary to what seems to be popular belief, everyone is not “entitled” to a baby.

      • fiona64

        Do you have to take yoga classes in order to make that kind of a stretch?

      • Conuly

        Well, sure. That’s kinda the point, ducky.

    • Niemand

      100% of abortions the baby already has a detectable heartbeat.

      100% of heart donors had a detectable heartbeat just before their hearts were shocked into fibrillation, removed, reimplanted into someone else and restarted. Does that mean that the donor was alive up until the shock? Also, 100% of survivors of V fib did NOT have a detectable heartbeat at some point. Are they all zombies?

    • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

      Planned Parenthood is a non-profit.

      3% of it’s services are abortion. The majority of there services are in family planning. That’s pretty stupid, if abortion were so lucrative for them, to do their damndest to prevent them.

      The illogic necessary to maintain the pro-forced birth position boggle me.

    • Alix

      An abortion is definitely NOT safe for the unborn baby

      That’s … sort of the point of an abortion.

      parents will be opposed to their twelve year old CHILDREN getting an abortion

      If a twelve-year-old is pregnant, that’s rape, statutory at least. And the most likely culprit is a family member. Hence my opposition to notification laws.

      Abortion is NOT safe for the mother either, spiritually, physically, mentally or psychologically.

      Being forced to give birth is even more traumatic, spiritually, physically, mentally, psychologically, and financially.

      unless the mother has no conscience.

      Well. Can’t speak for everyone, but no, I don’t have a conscience. I have self-developed ethics, but not an instinctive knowledge of “right” or “wrong,” which are culturally determined anyway. For the record: I have no strong automatic aversion to war, the death penalty, killing someone in self-defense, suicide, or even human sacrifice*, so I am … possibly not human, in your opinion, but I find I do not care.

      *I feel I should note that I also have no inclination towards actually killing anyone, nor am I automatically pro-war, etc. So I’m not a budding serial killer waiting for the right victims, thanks.

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

      “It is a wound that will NEVER be forgotten, unless the mother has no conscience.”

      I know several women who’ve had abortions, and they have quite well-developed consciences and zero guilt. The fact that you, in particular, would find it to be some sort of life-ling trauma of course doesn’t mean that all women do, or should. Many women have enough strength of mind and character to resist being “sold” the notion that they must justify, explain, or defend their personal and private reproductive choices to anyone who might take it upon their busybody selves to presume that it’s any of their concern.

    • fiona64

      Due to abortion, there are not enough babies for couples to adopt.

      One does grow dreadfully tired of seeing this lie over and over again. Per the most recent AFCARS report, there are in excess of 400 *thousand* children available for adoption in this country *right now.* Most of those kids will age out of the system at 18 years old, without ever having a permanent home. Those “loving couples” to whom you refer are clearly not as desperate to have a child as you maintain. http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/resource/afcars-report-19

      Mind your own backyard.

      • http://ourgirlsclub.blogspot.com/ Ginny Bain Allen

        Actually, I prefer to garden in my front yard where all can view it.

      • fiona64

        Well, if you want to be in the front yard, be prepared for lots and lots of people to point out that what you think are glorious flowers are actually weeds. (See? I know how to use metaphors, too.)

  • http://ourgirlsclub.blogspot.com/ Ginny Bain Allen
    • Beutelratti
    • fiona64

      Making hay (and $$$) of the fact that your daughter got to choose abortion — and now wants to prevent others from having the same right. Nice.

      • Beutelratti

        Yes, it’s the same old “I had the choice, so you shouldn’t!”-line of thinking. I know a person like that and I subsequently cut contact with her on social networks because I could no longer tolerate how she blindly shared every bit of factually untrue and sensation-seeking pro-life material.

        She was raped, she considered abortion, but kept the child. She exercised her right to choose and now runs around and screams murder.

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

        There’s an anti-choicer who’s a regular over on Some Other Blog who constantly refers to her daughter being an abortion survivor. Now, from what I can tell, some of her family wanted her 18-year-old self to abort, the father did, but no one FORCED her. They just weren’t particularly supportive which does not equal strong-arming you into the clinic and strapping and locking you into stirrups. Since when does, “Have you really thought this through. Are you sure you’re ready for your dreams to be put on hold in this way?” become a personal attack on a woman OR her fetus? What, when it comes to having kids we all of a sudden can’t ask the hard questions anymore? Both because the questions AND the answers can both prove to be very uncomfortable?

        But I can also tell that she’s got a very strong will and personality and nowhere in her story did she say that SHE ever actually considered abortion, either. So, the “survivor” story seems a little melodramatic. She knew she was going to have this child no matter what anyone else thought about it. It’s a fine story of making your OWN choice, everyone else be damned, which is what the whole point of choice is.

        She had the choice to listen to all those other people, dismissed their advice, and went with her own desire to have this unexpected child. Given her background with her family and ex-husband, looks like choice worked out very well for her and her daughter.

      • Beutelratti

        Glad that it turned out okay for her and I hope her family came around to accept her choice.

        I just cannot understand this whole “It was good for me, so it must be good for you”-mentality. It is really condescending and it avoids the problematic of why the ambiguity is there in the first place.

  • Kennedy

    He ran a legal abortion clinic until it was investigated and shut down. It was not “off the grid”. The takeaway from this is the absolute horror that all abortions are. Abortion is simply the murdering of a child. Wrap it however you like, it is still murder.

    • Alix

      If abortion is murder, then it’s self-defense.

      But for it to be murder, one must be killing a person. And a fetus is not a person. Not everybody defines personhood in the self-serving way you do.

      • fiona64

        It also must be the unlawful taking of a person’s life with malice aforethought. Since abortion is legal, “Kennedy’s” little canard fails on *that* level as well.

    • TheMechanicalAdv

      Abortion by Gosnell’s technique is murder. Abortion by D&C is murder. But abortion the simple way, by induction, is not murder. And if a fetus is viable, a legal hospital will not let it die.

      • Niemand

        But abortion the simple way, by induction, is not murder.

        I’m having trouble following your logic here. If a fetus is induced at, say, 11 weeks it is not “murder” but it is if a D & C is performed instead. Why?

        Also, your definition means that cases of twin pregnancies with fetal demise of one twin will spell inevitable death for the surviving twin because the only way to get rid of the dead twin (and avoid the death of the mother as well as the living fetus) is induction. Why is that better than a D & X that has the best chance of preserving the pregnancy for the living fetus?

        And if a fetus is viable, a legal hospital will not let it die.

        That very much depends on the circumstances and the wishes of the parents. There’s something called a “DNR order” which is used in a number of situations to avoid futile care and unnecessary suffering. Including premature birth, induced or otherwise.

      • TheMechanicalAdv

        D&C is material harm to the fetus and doesn’t follow ethically from the right to terminate a pregnancy. But a D&X of an already dead fetus isn’t killing anything.

        And “futile” here would simply be the opposite of “viable”, regardless of how the determination is made.

      • Niemand

        Actually, an early D & C will simply remove all uterine contents. There’s a good chance that the embryo or fetus will come out intact with its membranes also intact. No more material harm to the embryo/fetus than induction of labor.

        The D & X procedure was banned by the “pro-life” movement in all circumstances, including twin pregnancy with fetal demise of one twin, a circumstances that one of the bill’s coauthors acknowledged was a situation in which it was the safest way to preserve the still viable fetus. There is no exception for the fetus being already dead. In any case, as the Halappnavar case demonstrates, sometimes a living but doomed fetus can kill the mother and any co-gestating sibs as well.

        “Futile” is one of these interesting concepts. A fetus born at 23 weeks or so, whether due to induced or spontaneous labor, will have, at the very best, a less than 10% chance of survival and a 0% chance of survival without major disability. Some parents might decide that they’d rather take that chance and do all they can for the baby. Others might decide that they’d rather make sure the baby is comfortable for its brief life and not tortured with respirators, IVs, and other interventions. Who but they should decide which of these approaches is right?


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