It’s about Compassion

Compassion. For me, being pro-choice is about having compassion. This is one thing my time spent volunteering as an escort at Planned Parenthood each week has really impressed on me. Every woman is an individual with her own story, and every woman deserves compassion and access to the tools she needs to build her life as best she can.

The other week I stood by a car as a woman crouched behind it, begging for a way into the clinic that didn’t involve having to walk by the yelling protesters. We told her that they couldn’t get near her, and could only yell, but that was still too much. Finally she walked between us into the clinic as the protesters yelled at her, and by the time she got inside she was so overcome that she almost broke down sobbing. Did I mention that she wasn’t there for herself? It was her teenage daughter at her side that she was there for. She was trying so hard to be strong.

Compassion. It’s about hugging those who are crying and helping those in need. It’s about extending an arm to the hurting and a lifeline to those who are falling. It’s about affirming every woman’s dignity to make her own decisions and forge her own life. It’s about being there for her. I often talk with the other escorts—there are always two of us, though just who it is changes—and I’m amazed by how many of them are active in other social justice work. Several of them also volunteer at the local women’s shelter.

This past week, as I walked one woman in, one of the protesters yelled “Don’t kill your baby! There is hope!” The woman laughed bitterly and responded by saying “No there isn’t.” Women who come to Planned Parenthood for abortions are often in the middle of trying circumstances. They have a job that doesn’t make allowances for pregnancy, they are already struggling to get out of poverty, they want to be able to give adequate time to the children they already have, they weren’t able to get the long term contraception they wanted because they don’t have health insurance, and on and on it goes. Every woman’s story is individual, and some women come to the decision to abort easily, and for others it’s difficult and complicated.

For me, being pro-choice is more than just a single issue. It’s not just about abortion rights, or about contraception, or about a social safety net. It’s something much bigger. It’s about putting an arm around the hopeless and offering help to those who need it. It’s about hoping for a better world, one with not only reproductive justice but also economic justice. It’s about wanting every child to grow up healthy, happy, and loved. It’s about reaching up, about embracing possibility, and about dreaming of something more. And, it’s about compassion.

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.

  • NeaDods

    There was a woman one winter who was afraid to come out of her car, despite my telling her much the same as you – they have to stay on the sidewalk, they only yell – in the end, because she was afraid of them taking her photo and putting it on the Web, I pulled off my vest, unzipped my coat, and held it wide open as a shield while she walked behind me, clinging to my shoulders and keeping her face down.

    I will never forget that. This is “pro life” – no “baby” got saved, only a woman scared into contortions while people screamed at her. Just as we’ll doubtless see in Texas today, Perry overriding the wishes and efforts of thousands of women, because he’s so “pro-life”… despite the blood of Texas’ 500th execution still wet on his hands.

    It’s not about life. It’s about harassing women, plain and simple.

  • Jolie

    I like describing myself as “pro choice in the strong sense of the word”: that is, I not only believe any woman should have the legal right and the actual means to terminate a pregnancy if she so chooses, but also that any woman should have the actual (as opposed to purely formal) choice of keeping a pregnancy; by which I mean I believe in strong safeguards against workplace discrimination for pregnant women and mothers with small children; in policies such as paid parental leave (to be either taken by one parent or share among the two), state-subsidised daycare, and, furthermore, in ending the shaming culture around familial arrangements that happen not to be centered around a monogamous heterosexual couple.

    It makes me genuinely angry when the same people who oppose abortion and shame women who made this choice are the same ones who silence and resent the stories of girls who, becoming pregnant at a young age and unmarried, chose NOT to have an abortion, raised kids that turned out alright, eventually managed to get an education and a career-and in the long run, albeit difficultly, managed NOT to end-up as miserable failures.

    • Alice

      Absolutely, and how they want abstinence education instead of sex education and fight against people being able to obtain birth control products easily and inexpensively, and how they are anti-welfare, the list goes on. They’ve got an entire firing squad to shoot themselves in the foot!

    • Jayn

      It does bug me how the people who are most vocally ‘pro-life’ are often the same ones most adamantly against measures that would prevent women from wanting an abortion. There are women who want to be mothers but who don’t have the support–emotional and/or financial–to actually have a child. Sometimes they can get money from family for the abortion, but not for raising a kid. Better access to birth control and policies that make it easier to raise a child would be far better ways (both in effectiveness and compassion) of lowering the abortion rate than restricting access, and they’re more frequently advocated for by those of us on the pro-choice side of things.

      • MyOwnPerson

        It’s because in the end the pro-life movement is mostly about preventing sex. Pregnancy is seen as a legitimate deterrent, so making pregnancy and child-rearing easier would take away the disincentives for sex.

      • Miss_Beara

        Also, the ones that are “pro life” are often the ones adamantly against paid parental leave (looking for a handout), daycare (freeloaders), welfare (leeches) and health care for sick children (not their problem). They do not care about children or families at all. It is just another punishment for women who dare to have sex, married or not.

      • pennyroyal

        also, domination, power, control, and confining women to the home….

      • Beth Clarkson

        It also bugs me that the ‘pro-life’ position is frequently combined with a pro-capital-punishment position. I think to be consistently ‘pro-life’ rather than simply anti-abortion would require condemnation of the killing of convicted criminals as well.

      • Miss_Beara

        And pro-war.

      • Renee

        Well, brown babies dont count, dontcha know…
        /snark

      • tsara

        And pro-’if someone raped my baby girl he’d better watch his back *cocks gun*’ (at least in theory)
        (pronouns because that’s the only type of rape this type of person seems to acknowledge.)

        EDIT: that’s maybe an unkind stereotype, and I have no idea how accurate it is. But the people who are pro-guns-for-self-defence do tend to be pro-life (the irony), and I’m really bitter about that.

      • Mishellie

        I want a bumper sticker to slap on their cars: “Pro war, pro death penalty, pro guns, anti welfare, anti healthcare… Pro LIFE?! “

      • Nurse Bee

        Not all us of are unreasonable. I really wish both pro-life and pro-choice camps could work together on a common goal of reducing the number of abortions (because I would hope that even most pro-choice realize that abortion is a horrible choice to have to make) and that would include better access to birth control, comprehensive sex ed, etc.

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

        Pro choice people already do this, look to your own eye, here.

      • LizBert

        I do support reducing abortions. I support organizations like Planned Parenthood which does sex education, health screens, and distributes affordable birth control. I support public policies that mandate comprehensive sex education in schools. I support Obamacare which will make contraception more accessible. I believe that welfare programs should be expanded. I think that inner city schools should be just as good as those in the suburbs. I work with groups on my campus to do quality sex education and distribute condoms. What do you think those of us on the pro-choice side need to do to decrease abortions that we aren’t already doing?

      • Trollface McGee

        It should be treated like other health issues. Like with heart disease – we have programs to encourage exercise, healthy eating, smoking cessation – all reducing the incidence of heart disease, but we still have cardiologists and heart surgeries available should someone need it.

      • Renee

        If you just want to reduce abortions by reducing the number of unplanned pregnancies, that is great. Most pro choice people want this too. NO ONE wants abortion if the whole pregnancy can be avoided in the first place.

        I don’t know your political views, but it is possible to be pro life and NOT want to ban abortion. Banning abortion doesn’t reduce them, it just makes them more deadly.

      • Renee

        They are called FORCED BIRTHERS. There is NOTHING pro LIFE about those people. I think if they were called this instead, it would help clarify their beliefs. Pro LIFE would be pro safety net and social programs, and pro LIFE of the MOM too.

        Forced birthers are MORE invested in trying to force their standards than they are helping moms or babies To them, a baby is a punishment to be bourne for all women not participating in their patriarchial family structures and beliefs- aka, married Christian women who stay at home.

    • http://fundamentallyopposed.blogspot.com/ Linnea

      Yes, this is happening in Texas right now–our governor has just vetoed a Fair Pay for Women Act while simultaneously forcing through an anti-abortion bill that will result in the closure of most abortion clinic in the state. And he has the arrogance to say, “The louder they scream, the more we know we are getting something done.”

      • Baby_Raptor

        That’s not arrogance. That’s taking pleasure in someone else’s (or in this case, lots of someone elses) pain and misfortune.

      • Olive Markus

        That should be the Republican Motto:

        “Taking pleasure in everyone else’s pain and misfortune.”

      • Sophie

        Or “Taking pleasure in and making profit from everyone else’s pain and misfortune.”

      • Olive Markus

        Definitely! Much more accurate description, actually.

      • Nancy Shrew

        Schadenfreude?

      • pennyroyal

        sadism and fascism

    • Christopher Hubbard

      i’m curious . . . does the woman who engages in unprotected sex and gets pregnant as a result make a choice too?

      • tsara

        Why does it matter how the person got pregnant?

      • Christopher Hubbard

        why does it matter HOW the person got pregnant? are you blanking kidding me??? do you not see the difference between one who was impregnated because of rape or incest and one who did so because of a lack of birth control?? the HOW makes all the difference in the word. one can take your illogic and run a marathon with it. do you not understand the essential principles of causation and free will? i would expect such trivialities on a lefty, atheist or junior high school site, not patheos and by supposedly committed religious peoples who proclaim to believe in and live their life according to universal principles.

      • tsara

        First of all, this is the atheism channel of Patheos. Surprise?

        Second: I’m saying, if abortion is murder how is it not murder if the pregnancy is a result of non-consensual intercourse? And what if the birth control was sabotaged?And, further, how are you to tell the difference?

      • Christopher Hubbard

        i take it you’re not a lawyer or familiar with the law. i am and i do. if a pregnant woman is murdered it’s double murder, of both the woman and the unborn baby. this is true in all 50 states and has been so for A LONG time. it’s also uncontroversial, except maybe to people who think like you. in the very small percentage of cases where the pregnancy is not consensual, i.e. because of rape or incest (less than 5%), the choice to abort belongs to the woman not just legally but morally because she had no say or contribution to her fate. to hold otherwise is to render her beneath her own agency. where you and your pro-abortionists go oh so very wrong is when you bring up this fact as if it is salient. even the guttmacher institute, a pro-choice, pro-abortion organization has found and published that 95+% of all abortions post roe aren’t because of any such exigent circumstances but is an after-the-fact form of birth control. sorry, but if the woman who is impregnated by a sex act against her consent can’t be denied her own agency as a human being than by the very same logic one who becomes pregnant because she was careless is no such victim but one who made a poor choice (so too did the man by the way) and neither should be let off the hook but made to take equal responsibility along for the life he and she both created.

      • victoria

        Leaving aside the fact that it would be highly unusual for an attorney to be admitted to the bar in all fifty states and know the vagaries of all the states’ laws, and leaving aside the fact that it would be highly unusual for an attorney to make factual statements about the law on a blog post without some sort of disclaimer about the comment not being legal advice, almost everything about your statement on fetal homicide statutes is blatantly false.

        Not all states have fetal homicide statutes on the books (CT, DE, HI, MO, MT, NH, NJ, NY, OR, VT, and WY do not). In many states that do have feticide laws the charge of fetal homicide can only attach to another crime (like rape, murder, or DUI). A number of states — WI, RI, and AR, for example — apply the fetal homicide laws only to crimes that occur after viability or after the embryonic stage. Most fetal homicide laws explicitly exclude otherwise legal abortions from those laws. And by and large these statutes haven’t been there for a “LONG time”; most were enacted after 2000.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        one need not make any disclaimers about “legal advice” when the comment isn’t per a client seeking an answer to a legal problem but a general comment. if 11 states don’t have fetal homicide statutes (i live in CA and we do) then that means 39 other states do and do you really have a problem with one being charged with a double homicide when he kills a pregnant woman and thus takes not one life but two?? abortion is a non-issue in said circumstance and of course the crime against the fetus can only attach to another crime . . . the crime of murdering the pregnant woman. you are making this WAY MORE COMPLICATED than it need be.

      • victoria

        I’m not making anything complicated. I was simply pointing out a blatant, shameless lie.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        a lie is the deliberate telling of an untruth. a mistake is an assertion of fact that one believes to be true but isn’t. if your facts are right, i stand corrected. even if, that doesn’t take away the fact that in the vast majority of states (39/50) killing a pregnant woman is a double count and not one. what is shameful is that you seem to think that that is 39 too many. should the killer (almost always a man) in these admittedly few but horrible cases only face one life sentence and not two?

      • Rosa

        You’re on the internet. Check your facts.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        you’re replying but not responding to me . . . homicide of a pregnant woman should only count for one or two??

      • victoria

        Sometimes.

        Do I think that someone who murders a nine-months-pregnant woman or assaults her with an intent to cause a stillbirth deserves legal punishment? Absolutely. (Murder is one of the cases where feticide statutes are least justified, actually, because the difference between one life sentence and two is academic when parole is off the table. Assault is a much more relevant issue, legally.)

        Do I think that someone who kills a woman who just found out she was a couple weeks pregnant (and whom the killer could not have known was pregnant) deserves an extra life sentence due to that fact? Nope. The only justification for that would be prosecutorial zeal.

        Do I think a pregnant woman who attempts suicide due to severe antenatal depression and causes a miscarriage should receive a life sentence for murder? Nope, but people have been prosecuted under that framework.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        you keep changing the facts (because you probably don’t want to confront the fact that an unborn fetus has legal rights at some point and in certain circumstances, like this one). whether she’s nine months pregnant or nine days, the fact that a pregnant woman is killed counts for two not one. you are confusing the issue when you bring up parole and whatnot for those are secondary issues of punishment and sentencing after the fact of guilt. simple question . . . is it double homicide or one?? punishment never precedes guilt.

      • victoria

        I am only changing the facts if you assume that ensoulment or conception is the bright line for personhood. Or if you’re operating from a Jainist perspective (i.e., it is immoral to kill all living things, from insects on up). I do not share your assumption.

        If you looked further down the comment thread you’d see a long discussion from earlier today about why I believe construing life as beginning at conception is ethically problematic (it includes decidedly nonperson collections of cells like hydatidiform moles and excludes certain organisms that should have human rights). It also involves a weird sort of gymnastics in which you’re saying that an embryo is exactly the same as a born child, yet the criteria that would determine brain death in the born child somehow do not apply to the embryo.

        In order to be a living human in any meaningful sense you need a cerebral cortex. If a child or adult doesn’t have one they’re brain dead. Without one it’s biologically impossible to think, feel, or experience the world. I have no problem with withdrawing life support from a brain-dead infant or adult; thus I do not think that abortions before 22 weeks (when the structures in the brain under discussion develop) have any moral valance whatsoever.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        you keep dodging the question. insects aren’t a protected class of persons (they’re not persons under the law) you don’t have to share my assumptions, just simply answer the hypothetical (which although rare, isn’t merely a hypothetical), is the killing of a pregnant woman double homicide or single??

      • victoria

        After the fetus has an intact cerebral cortex I would be OK with treating it as a double homicide under some circumstances.

        Before that it is morally equivalent to an already born brain-dead person and it is definitely one homicide.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        but if the woman has decided to keep the baby, she’s made her choice, to have the baby and give it life. whether this happens at month 7 or day 7 her choice has been made. in other words, is it not her choice that controls (what the pro-choicers always argue) and therefore a double homicide and not one? but for the killing of her she would have lived (homicide #1) and gone on to have the baby as she chose and intended (homicide #2)?? you people can’t even apply your own logic!

      • Christopher Hubbard

        “before that it is morally equivalent to an already born brain dead person???” one who is brain dead was once alive, born and procreated at some point. they are at the end of the life sequence. a fetus is at the beginning so your comparison if false. were you the moral and legal equivalent of a brain dead person when you were still in your mother’s womb?

      • victoria

        It’s not an analogy or a comparison.

        I am saying, we have set medical criteria for what constitutes a living human being. Those criteria are vitally important because at times we need to distinguish between humans that are alive and humans that are dead, as when people are in comas. And a criterion is only useful if you can use it to determine which things meet the criteria and which don’t.

        An early-term embryo does not meet the criteria we use to distinguish living and dead humans. If an embryo really is a baby, then it must meet exactly the same criteria for being alive that a baby would have to meet.

        (So yes, I was the moral and legal equivalent of a brain dead person for
        most of the time I was in my mother’s womb, because I didn’t have the
        brain structures to not be. Why on Earth would you think that question would be a ‘gotcha’?)

      • Mogg

        A quick internet search tells me that only 35 states of the US have feticide/double murder laws, and even then only in a situation where another felony has taken place. Also, I’ll let you in on a little secret: The US is not the only country in the world.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        stipulated. so what. i live in the united states. the laws we are discussing are state and federal laws not international laws. is the killing of pregnant woman one homicide or two? it’s not that hard to answer.

      • Mogg

        You didn’t up until now request an opinion of me, but sure: No. It is potentially murder of an aggravated type, or homicide with some other crime/s attached, but it is not double homicide.

        Why restrict the discussion only to the US? Are foetuses in other countries different?

      • Christopher Hubbard

        no, i think the moral standard is the same all around the world. but since legal standards are particular to countries and jurisdictions and since i have no idea what those are on this issue in brazil, india and russia i’m limiting my discussion to the united states for legal purposes. why are you so hung up on not wanting the killer of a pregnant woman to face two counts instead of only one? are you that afraid that giving any legal protections to an unborn fetus (and in the case where the mother has decided to keep and is going to give birth to) means the logic and rationale in favor of recognizing the fetus will lead to other legal standards for the fetus you don’t like and are pre-emptively cutting off in order not to get there. i think so. letting the guy off with only one victim and not two seems pretty cold hearted to me. and i don’t even believe in the death penalty. two life sentences, served consecutively and not concurrently is good enough punishment for his wicked deeds.

      • Mogg

        I’m not particularly hung up on it, actually – you were the one that brought it up and demanded I answer. And the US is often a socio-political trendsetter for other countries, including my own, so I think it is relevant for Americans to think about implications outside of the US and for those in other countries to have opinions on what happens there.

        The reason I say it isn’t is because a foetus is not the same as a born human, and therefore the legal penalty for killing it should not be the same. It can’t suffer, it can’t feel pain, it can’t anticipate, it can’t fear, definitely not up to a certain point of development and possibly not for the entire duration of pregnancy. Even if I thought that a foetus should be granted full human rights, I would also have a problem with automatically describing the death of a foetus incidental to the murder of its mother as murder on the basis that if we were talking of a mother who was murdered and her born child starved as a consequence, that would not be murder. The death of the child would be tragic and criminal, but it wouldn’t be murder, and so the law would be inconsistent.

        That doesn’t mean a foetus killed because its mother was murdered isn’t valuable as an entity if the mother and/or family valued it and its death caused additional distress apart from that of the mother’s death, so I would personally be comfortable with some penalty or other criminal charge being attached in such cases.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        lol. wow! yes we are a trend-setter for much else that one finds in this world. when i travelled all over western europe a few years ago not a single day went by when i didn’t hear, almost exclusively american music. and the english/american versions, not translations into spanish or german or italian. america in so many ways powers and imagined the world, you are quite right. but we do so not because we take into consideration what other people outside our country might think, as if we have to get their permission first, but because we are the closest thing on this earth to a universal society (meaning if aliens from outer space came to earth and wanted to see one place, for purposes of time and economy, where a representation of all that the world had to offer could be found, they would go to the united states. perhaps they would go to new york. perhaps they would prefer warmer weather in florida or california but i’m pretty sure they wouldn’t go to say sweden, japan or egypt). that so many continue to come here from other countries tells me all i need to know about my country. immigration is a wonderful thing. emigration is not.

      • Elvenfoot

        Morality is not dictated by the government. Whether or not the woman got pregnant on purpose, she is still responsible for her actions (except in cases of force).

      • Christopher Hubbard

        morality comes from our creator and not government. you are quite right foot and anyone who doubts that might want to reread mr. jefferson tomorrow in between the barbecues and the fireworks. stating that morality precedes the state however means two quick things; (1) first it means that there is a higher power than the state and that can only be god of some kind or another and to all right thinking atheists (many of those commenting here) that is anathema to what they believe and they won’t have it and (2) believing in a god or higher power of some kind or another means that the state is not the ultimate arbiter of what is moral and right and just and that means that the ability of the statists to get their way is going to be challenged. and they don’t like that either which is why all good statists go after the church and believers first. what else or better explains the fact that the first clause of the first amendment doesn’t address speech or assembly or arms or searches and seizures or double jeopardy or the right to counsel but the free exercise of one’s religion. because without it, no people is ever truly free. there can be no happiness without the pursuit. their can be no pursuit without liberty. and their can be no liberty without life.

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

        I thought you were agnostic? You sound pretty theist to me. Christian-y, even.

        Didn’t Jesus say to render unto Caesar and all that? That means, follow the laws of your country; God doesn’t trump the law. Of course the state is not the final arbiter of what is right and moral. People are. We always have been. We’ve made the rules, we’ve broken them, and we’ve decided several times to change what is and is not acceptable behavior. Overall, we do a lot better today than arbitrary, 2000+ year old books written by Bronze Age goat-herders.

        I have read Jefferson. I’ve also read Washington, Paine, and Madison. None of them were overly fond of religion, though they were deists, except Paine who was atheist. They all explicitly rejected the idea that God’s laws trump state laws. And even if they didn’t, who cares? They died over 250 years ago. They lived before electricity, the railroad, and steam-power. They died before the Industrial Revolution even started. Their insights into society, while interesting, don’t actually mean a lot when they were written for a small, primarily agrarian society while we are a very large, mostly urban society.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        don’t think things about me of which you don’t know. i consider myself a christian agnostic if that helps you out. i have a christian value system but still am not sold on god. i want to believe. i hope one day i will. i want to go there. but as of today, i haven’t. that said, so what?? i speak about abortion, it’s ethics and morality all from a legal and ethical basis for that is my education and occupation. i’ll leave the preaching to the pulpit.

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

        If you believe there is a Creator and that he endowed us with certain inalienable rights, and you use that argument in a debate, I have a hard time calling you agnostic. Agnostic, see, means you don’t know if there’s a god. Why would you use arguments invoking that god’s authority if you understand why those arguments are not convincing at all? If you argue that ethics and morals are based on a god, you’re preaching. I’m glad you recognize that it’s not effective, though, and are willing to engage on purely secular ground.

        Abortion, or right thereto, is based on ethics and morality, yes. The right to abortion is based on empathy and bodily autonomy; we understand the position of the mother who does not want to be a biological host for for nine months, and we acknowledge her right to control who uses her body and when. She alone gives permission to use her body, and she alone can revoke it. No one else can ethically force her to give up control over her body- not for sex, and not for procreation.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        you couldn’t be more wrong about the founders and god. what their particular religion or church was is secondary. that they believed in a higher power is clear. re-read the declaratioin in celebration tomorrow and you’ll come across references to “god”, “their creator” and the “supreme judge of the world” no less than 5 times. and if read the bookend to the declaration, the gettysburg address, celebrating its 150th anniversary tomorrow no less, lincoln’s language comes directly out of the declaration and references and mentions god multiple times too. your attempt to read a higher power out of the constitution as the basis for natural rights, which are where “equal protection under the law” comes from is projection only. it has no basis in fact.

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

        I prefer the Constitution, myself. At no point does the constitution reference any gods or higher powers. Equal protection under law comes from the 14th Amendment; God had nothing to do with any of it. The argument was that all men were equal to one another under the law, though still superior to all women, because humans have no inherent reason to value one more or less than another. I don’t know where you get off reading God into that. And I did mention that most of the major founding fathers were deists. That means, by definition, they believed in a higher power. So what?

        What’s your point about Lincoln? That he was Christian? We knew that. What does Lincoln referencing God say about the actual existence of that god or the idea that God actually has anything to do with human rights? Not one thing.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        lol. the constitution is a legal text. the declaration is more philosophical. perhaps a better way to say it is that the constitution is the how of america but the declaration is the why. the declaration articulates everything that is america and what is an american. equal protection does come from the 14th amendment as applied to the states but it’s found in the 5th amendment first. and where did that come from? probably from the words “we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal. . . ” the problem with your lazy thinking is the same problem with your denial about lincoln referencing god and that is this; if there is a higher power, or since none of us knows in the here and now, but if we/many believe there to be one than the state is not the ultimate arbiter of right and wrong and all that is moral, just and unjust. the state’s role is merely to apply and enforce those principles, admittedly one that is far from perfect but name me a society on earth where they do this perfectly or flawlessly? the state is therefore merely the creation of the people, by the people and for the people for their natural, i.e. god/creator given natural rights are inherent at the moment each life comes in to being which is why the protection of life is the foundational principle upon which liberty and the pursuit of happiness rest on.

      • NeaDods

        Jefferson would weep to hear that he is being cited as a reason to put god over rational government.

      • tsara

        I’m not a lawyer, but I am familiar with the law — I get legal lectures at the dinner table. Not American law, which is not applicable where I live, but the law in evil lefty-socialist Canuckistan (heh, I wish).
        And here, if a pregnant woman is murdered, it’s one count of murder.
        (Also, what law school did you go to? What was your score on the LSAT? Because I tutor people in LSAT-writing, and your reading comprehension thus far inspires doubts.)

        “very small percentage of cases”
        Less than five percent can still be a lot. Do you know how many that is in raw numbers?
        Again: how are you to tell the difference?

        “where you and your pro-abortionists go oh so very wrong is when you bring up this fact as if it is salient.”

        We bring up this fact because most people who haven’t thought about the issue realize the problems with their position when we do.

      • victoria

        Not to mention that there’s not a member of the California bar by that name…

      • Rosa

        it’s true in the US only if the murder is a federal offense, since 2004. Most murders aren’t federal jurisdiction, unless they cross state or reservation lines.

        More than half the states have extra charges for murder of a pregnant woman, but it’s not universal and I think it’s a minority that use any personhood language – some use a definition of hate crime or domestic violence or terrorism that specifies pregnant women as in need of special protection because of the higher likelihood of their partners killing them when they are pregnant.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        fine. you’re giving me statistics about oklahoma and minnesota and vermont that i’m not interested in . . . in your world, you get to be the judge and jury, is one who kills a pregnant woman guilty of one homicide or two? he did the act. the only question is the number of victims. and your answer is????

      • Anat

        In my world: Killing a pregnant woman: 1 count of murder. Attacking a pregnant woman such that she miscarries: 1 count of assault.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        you don’t even know what the word assault means. what you think of as assault is actually a battery (an actual touching or harmful contact). assault is an attempted battery that doesn’t touch or make contact or the creation of apprehension. a harmful contact plus intent to cause apprehension is “assault and battery”. next time you want to use legal terms, do a quick google check on findlaw or something.

      • Anat

        Well, thanks for reading. But you get the drift.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        nope. i sure don’t. you might want to check up on fetal homicide or “feticide” as it is sometimes referred to. and if you click here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_pregnant_women) you’ll see just how pernicious domestic violence at the hands of an abusive man can be.

      • Anat

        Can a fetus be killed against the wishes of the woman carrying it without attacking her in some way? Whether physically or chemically? I don’t see how that can be done. In my universe a fetus can never be a victim, but anything done to the fetus by necessity involves doing something to the woman. If that action isn’t wanted by her then it is a crime of some sort and should be prosecutable based on the level of impact on her (including denying her a wanted pregnancy and a future child).

      • Christopher Hubbard

        click on the link and get outside of “your universe” i don’t get to run through red lights because i want to either, there’s laws against that just as in the overwhelming majority of states, killing a pregnant woman counts not for one murder but two. and the killer is usually the father. i doubt you think of yourself as soft on domestic violence but if you’re going to let him off the hook and only charge him with one count instead of two, your world is in a parallel universe from mine. it’s double murder, served consecutively and not concurrently and even in states that don’t have the death penalty may he rot in prison for the rest of his pathetic life here on earth.

      • Anat

        I don’t see how charging a person with a serious crime is ‘letting him (sic) off the hook’. I also like to remind myself that engaging in revenge fantasies is unhelpful and immature. I don’t believe the role of the legal system should be to serve as a mechanism for revenge by proxy.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        so you were on the side of scott peterson then and think he should have only been charged for killing his wife lacy and not their unborn son of 7.5 months even though when she died, the unborn baby died too?? why do i highly doubt that.

      • Mogg

        Given that Scott Peterson’s “side” was that he was innocent and shouldn’t have been charged with killing anyone at all, I’m not sure how you get to that particular interpretation of what anyone would think of that particular case.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        so scott peterson got railroaded then?? wow! is he gonna follow oj and search for the real killer?? oh wait, he’s awaiting appeal on death row.

      • Mogg

        Scott Peterson is, from what I understand of the case, fairly obviously a murderer. Had I been on that jury I would have found him guilty. That was not what you were saying, though – you were framing the situations such that the only two possible opinions are that he is guilty of two murders (his wife and the foetus she carried), or completely innocent. That is most decidedly not the case. As it happens, he was found guilty of two murders, and I don’t agree that he should have been. The killing of his wife was of the worst kind; premeditated murder. The death of the foetus was unlikely to be murder, in that it was secondary to his mother’s death and therefore foeticide, not murder. He was not an individual, independant human being at the time of death, so finding his death to be murder is, to me, wrong.

      • Anat

        Huh? Nobody (but possibly Mr Peterson) is saying he shouldn’t have stood trial for killing his wife.

      • Anat

        He should only have been charged with the death of his wife. I don’t care who else holds this view. And I am against the death penalty as a matter of principle.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        you’re entitled to your own opinion. you’re not entitled to your own facts. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laci_Peterson) first degree murder for lacy and second degree for unborn baby connor. you can believe what you want. you are in a minority so small all 3 of you can fit inside my closet.

      • Anat

        I am not disputing facts, I am expressing my moral position. I find your position at least as hideous as you appear to find mine.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        since my position is shared by 99.9999999999999999999% of the public what is it about protecting the vested rights of a named but unborn baby that you find so repulsive?? are you so afraid that GIVING ANY LEGAL STANDING to an unborn fetus means we’re just a hop, skip and a jump away from overturning roe and back to back alley abortions??? CA has one of the most liberal abortion laws in the country and even this case and these horrible facts are a no brainer.

      • Anat

        I don’t see any logic to giving a fetus any legal standing, except as part of a woman’s body. A fetus can be damaged but can’t be harmed. It’s death means something to people, but not to itself.

      • Anat

        I’m pretty sure that at some point there was a response by Christopher Hubbard here. I have prepared a response to it but my browser failed to post it, and now I can no longer find the post I replied to. I have saved my intended posting, so I can post it (or an edited version of it) here or anywhere else. Libby Anne?

      • Mogg

        Statistics. Learn some. And a foetus that is wanted should have some legal standing in that its destruction against the will of the mother or as part of the injury or death of the mother should be taken into account, just not the same standing as a born human.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        i’m curious . . . at what point (save for medical reasons or jeopardizing the life of the mother) does a fetus become protected for purposes of the law? even justice blackmun who wrote the roe v. wade decision drew the line at 13 weeks. that’s far too modest for you isn’t it?

      • Mogg

        For me, 24 weeks – the point at which neural development is advanced enough that the foetus may be able to feel pain. And even then, I think there is a case for abortion where allowing pregnancy to continue risks greater pain and suffering to either mother or foetus than if abortion were to occur.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        connor peterson was 7.5 months or 32 weeks. that’s well beyond 24 weeks. checkmate.

      • Mogg

        Hardly. 32 weeks gestation is still foetal if he hadn’t been born, therefore foeticide.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        he wasn’t born, his mother was murdered and when she died (against her consent), SO DID HE (against her consent). so then you don’t believe in 24 weeks. you believe right up until the woman’s water breaks. just call yourself an apologist for infanticide because that’s what you believe in.

      • Mogg

        Pay attention. I said SOME rights, not FULL HUMAN rights, and those rights to be considered under those of the mother’s. And no, infanticide is the killing of a born baby, which I do not agree with.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        some rights equal legal standing . . . legal standing equals legally protected interests . . . legally protected interests equals not being taken without baby’s or mom’s consent (THE VERY ESSENCE OF CHOICE!) . . . being taken against consent equals at a very minimum homicide. that’s not me talking that’s CA penal code.

      • Mogg

        No. The only entity which has the capacity to own anything in this situation is the mother, so she is the only one with a legally protected interest. The foetus may have life, but it is only because it is maintained at the mother’s interest, not its own. And if you’re going down the consent route, you’re likely to run into trouble when you then consider consent in other situations involving bodily autonomy.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        you’re in another world. here’s the CA penal code section defining murder itself (http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=pen&group=00001-01000&file=187-199) at the very top “187. (a) Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being, or a FETUS, with malice aforethought.” emphasis mine. here’s fetal homicide laws state by state with relevant code sections (http://www.ncsl.org/issues-research/health/fetal-homicide-state-laws.aspx) come back to earth please!

      • Mogg

        The whole point of this particular little conversation is not that California’s law defines murder in that way (which it does, I never disagreed with that), but that I disagree with that particular legal definition, as do many legal jurisdictions. If California, or indeed the US, were the entirety of the real world I’d be very disappointed, to say the least.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        no, the whole point of this extended (not little) conversation is that for the pro-abortionists, not pro-choicers, for you aren’t pro-choice (if you were you would instantly recognize that laci made her choice to have the baby, had already named it and was well on her way, per her decision to have her first child and would be happy and not disappointed that laws on the books (look at sec. 187(b)(3) distinguishing fetal homicide from therapeutic abortion based on the LACK OF CONSENT by the mother are there to protect her and her unborn baby to be) and wouldn’t be carrying on for 3 hours about a non-controversial statute in one of the nation’s most socially liberal states in order to demonstrate that you won’t give an inch lest ANY legal standing be accorded to a developing fetus for that slope is a little too slippery for you isn’t it?

        don’t take my word for it, the summary at the top of the national conference of state legislators (the 2d link) states in as neutral a way possible what pro-abortionists fear no matter how irrational it is “Those on the other side feel that laws to protect a fetus could become a “slippery slope” that could jeopardize a woman’s right to choose an abortion. Pro-choice advocates say such laws grant a fetus legal status distinct from the pregnant woman – possibly creating an adversarial relationship between a woman and her baby. They are also concerned that the laws could be interpreted to apply to a woman’s behavior during her pregnancy (such as smoking, drinking or using drugs). They prefer criminalizing an assault on a pregnant woman and recognizing her as the only victim.” the ncsl has you and your kind down cold.

      • Mogg

        My kind? You mean people who think that women should be able to choose whether to donate their body to the life support of a foetus for 9 months rather than be forced to if they don’t want to?

        And yes, I think there is legitimate reason for women and men who support women’s right to choose whether or not to maintain a pregnancy to be afraid. Look at Ohio. Look at Texas. The anti-choicers make no secret that are trying to induce a slippery slope. It’s a concept that doesn’t work in all situations, but in this particular situation those who believe an unfeeling, unthinking being is more important than the woman who carries it are openly, blatantly trying to make it work. I think we should be afraid, but rather than let fear roll us as a society back to a time where the need for fear was even greater, we get out there and resist people with abhorrent, badly-thought-out opinions like yours.

      • tsara
      • Guest

        so what? links without explanation or some kind of comment as to why you’re citing it is meaningless.

      • tsara

        You quoted:

        “Those on the other side feel that laws to protect a fetus could become a “slippery slope” that could jeopardize a woman’s right to choose an abortion. Pro-choice advocates say such laws grant a fetus legal status distinct from the pregnant woman – possibly creating an adversarial relationship between a woman and her baby. They are also concerned that the laws could be interpreted to apply to a woman’s behavior during her pregnancy (such as smoking, drinking or using drugs). They prefer criminalizing an assault on a pregnant woman and recognizing her as the only victim.”

        (emphasis mine)
        The story at the link shows that, yes, this is happening.

      • Guest

        you didn’t answer my question. so what about your link to a book? the quote i selected was from the nat’l conference of state legislatures, about as neutral an analysis as you’re going to find and one devoid of an opinion (the summary is descriptive, not proscriptive).

      • tsara

        I linked to an article about a woman being charged with murder for attempting to commit suicide while pregnant.

        I have no beef with the analysis; I agree with the section I quoted. I’m just pointing out that those advocating for reproductive freedom are right to be concerned that the laws could be interpreted to apply to a woman’s behaviour during her pregnancy.

      • Guest

        what on earth does that have to do with fetal homicide and what scott peterson did?? that’s like saying since i’m so afraid of getting a speeding ticket, we’re going to stop posting speed limits so therefore nobody will ever get caught for nobody can ever violate a speeding law if they no longer exist. there’s a simple word for people who think like you (and to be fair, they can be found on the pro-life side too) and it’s that you are letting “perfect be the enemy of the good.” stop it!

      • Guest

        there’s no misinterpretation. ca penal code sec. 187 is pretty straight forward regarding what murder is and what it isn’t. subsection (b)(1), (2) and (3) anticipate your concern and define right there in the statute what is a therapeutic abortion and what is not, and the circumstances in which women and their doctors can have one and cannot. it’s not at all ambiguous. your parade of horribles has never come anywhere close to happening. you can come out from your dark imagination and back to reality now.

      • tsara

        from the article I linked, which I do not think you read:

        “”When Angel died, the coroner indicated the cause of death as the rat poison taken by Shuai, despite the fact that cerebral bleeding is a common condition in babies born before thirty-four weeks gestation. In addition, Child Protection Services had immediately been alerted when Shuai entered the hospital. Based on these actions, the Indianapolis police arrived at the hospital shortly after Angel’s death to conduct interviews to determine whether they would charge Shuai with murder or feticide. In 2009, in response to a robbery that caused a pregnant woman to lose the twins she was carrying, the Indiana house had voted unanimously to strengthen the state’s “feticide” law to include any action that causes an unborn child to die, excluding abortion. The law was meant to add additional punishment to crimes that involved pregnant women, with a sentence of up to twenty years in prison if a pregnancy ended as the result of an illegal act. No one had considered that the law could also be used on a pregnant woman herself, especially not one who had committed her own “crime” as a result of mental illness.[...]At first, the police believed that Shuai had taken the poison in an attempt not to kill herself but to terminate her pregnancy.[...]What is most puzzling, however, was why, once it became clear that Shuai was indeed trying to end her own life and that the death of Angel was not her intent, prosecutors refused to drop the charges. In fact, the longer the investigation went on, and the more people and groups who came to Shuai’s defense, the more the state seemed to dig in its heels. [...]The judge also denied a motion to dismiss the case, despite a friend-of-the-court brief filed by more than eighty pregnancy, women’s and civil rights groups—including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists—in support of Shuai.”This was a depressed, seriously depressed woman who acted out of an irrational despair and tried to kill herself and, unfortunately, the fetus was harmed,” Dr. David Orentlicher, a law professor at the Indiana University School of Law and an adjunct professor of medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine, told the local ABC news affiliate. “She had no intent to harm her fetus. That was not the reason she did this.”[...]The basic argument of the prosecution was that the murder and feticide charges were appropriate because the same laws were being applied to Shuai as a pregnant woman that would be applied to anyone else who had caused the death of a fetus past viability. Shuai’s attorneys and supporters, on the other hand, countered with the claim that the law was being applied to her differently as a pregnant woman, as her actions couldn’t be separated from the events that may or may not have caused the death of her baby. Was Shuai in fact being held to a different standard by virtue of being pregnant? After all, if she had not been pregnant, the state would not have charged her with attempted murder for trying to kill herself, as suicide is not a crime in Indiana. [...]In refusing to dismiss the charges against Shuai, the state of Indiana was in essence saying that unborn children had rights and that those rights outweighed those of the mother. “Prosecuting women based on the outcomes of their pregnancies violates their constitutional rights and is cruel and unusual punishment. And yet, this is what is happening,” wrote author Soraya Chemaly, who followed the Shuai case closely. “In this environment, and with no confidence that their rights will be respected and protected, pregnant women will continue to be jailed, in ever increasing numbers, in unexpected ways that violate their rights. Fear of imprisonment will result in women compromising their health and the health of their fetuses by avoiding pre-natal care, treatment for addiction and medical help if they fear they are miscarrying. They will have more abortions to avoid penalization.”“”

      • tsara

        Replying here, because Disqus isn’t letting me respond to Christopher Hubbard’s response to me (it says that the comment is awaiting moderation).

        It is relevant.
        You say:
        “states in as neutral a way possible what pro-abortionists fear no matter how irrational it is”

        I say that it is not irrational, because it is already happening that laws are being applied to the behaviour of pregnant people.
        Charging someone with murder for killing a fetus is so many buckets of wrong I couldn’t count them all in a month.

        I’d never heard of these cases that you’re bringing up. I still don’t know all that much about them.
        But, you know what? The pregnant person’s opinion only gives the fetus emotional personhood. Not legal personhood. And I think, as I’ve already said, that it is totally and unacceptably wrong to give legal personhood to fetuses.

      • Guest

        so you’re joining scott peterson’s legal defense team i take it?

      • tsara

        If that’s what you want to call ‘having an opinion on the application of murder laws to fetuses that means dude-I’ve-never-heard-of-and-don’t-really-care-about would be convicted of one murder charge rather than two under my ideal laws’? Then, yes.

        “”buckets of wrong” was what scott peterson did to his pregnant wife and unborn son of 7.5 months.”

        Why, yes. Yes, it was. But two wrongs don’t make a right, and I don’t believe in punishment for the sake of punishment.

      • Guest

        what was the 2d wrong?? the first wrong was killing his wife laci. the 2d wrong in inherent from the first in that by killing his wife, he killed his/her unborn baby along with. i would think a woman would intuitively understand the link between being a woman and being a mother. my mom sure does!

      • tsara

        The first wrong is what he did. The second wrong was charging him with two murders. You’ve explained the law; the law is an ass.

        And, what? I’m not a woman.

      • Guest

        the law is an ass?? i have no idea who or what you are. your avatar is blank (mine’s not). your profile is private and inaccessible (mine’s not). there’s no links to facebook, gmail or twitter (mine does). it’s like you’re hiding in secret afraid to reveal the slightest little thing about you (i don’t and i’m not!). your name with a t in front of it could be a name, the first letter of your first name, a middle name. it could be any number of things. you could be a robot for all i know that knows how to process words and recite platitudes and thinks strumming them together is an argument. a real thinking, feeling, caring person doesn’t need to double check legal codes to know that killing a woman (his wife no less!) who is 7.5 months pregnant, who knows the sex of her baby boy to be, has already given it a name (connor) and an identity and has family eagerly anticipating becoming a grandmother or grandfather or aunt or uncle to her first child isn’t one offense, but two. whomever you are . . . your moral compass is broken!

      • tsara

        …so you admit your argument is an entirely emotional one?
        Excellent.

        If that excessive use of punctuation after your repeating of ‘the law is an ass’ was meant to be an expression of confusion rather than incredulity at the sentiment, there is a handy explanation of the phrase available here:
        http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/the-law-is-an-ass.html

        And my ‘nym could also be a reference to this:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsar
        (my ‘nym was not actually chosen to mean anything, but making things up is fun.)

        And if this: “i would think a woman would intuitively understand the link between being a woman and being a mother.” wasn’t directed at me, then my apologies.

      • Guest

        what part of the sequence “thinking, feeling, caring” don’t you understand?? i think therefore i am. you emote therefore you . . . whatever. and you still hide your identity. perhaps it’s a form of self-hatred or self-loathing.

      • tsara

        …And that’s enough indulging your speculation about me, I think. Come back when you want to talk about the issues at hand.

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

        Banned. Sorry about that, stars.

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

        Darned autocorrect! I meant tsara!

      • tsara

        No worries :)
        And I’m fine, thanks. He was mostly annoying.

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

        Nope, still one count of murder. A prosecutor could maybe stretch it to one count of illegal abortion as well, but that would be a hard charge to make stick.

        Killing a pregnant woman (whom one knows to be pregnant) could be an aggravated murder; we have lots of things that add additional penalties to crimes already, including the age, race, sexual orientation, and career of the victim. Assaulting a pregnant woman with intent to cause her to miscarry should maybe be a charge of aggravated assault, with additional penalties due to the intent (just like hate crimes). As a fetus is not a legal person, however, one cannot murder it.

      • phantomreader42

        So, you’re reduced to whining about anonymity on the Internet under the name “Guest” and wielding Laci Peterson’s corpse as a bludgeon against anyone who doesn’t share your bizarre fetish for fetuses. I’ll take that as your admission that you never had anything that even remotely resembled a legitimate argument.
        YOU are the Scott Peterson Defense Team. You can’t bring yourself to recognize his victim as a human being, because you’re too busy trying to use her dead fetus as a human shield.

      • tsara

        Actually, he was under his real name, but Libby Anne banned him, possibly for directing that above thing at me, but he added to that later.

      • Guest

        “buckets of wrong” was what scott peterson did to his pregnant wife and unborn son of 7.5 months. until casey anthony came along, he was probably the most hated criminal defendant in recent american history. and for good reason! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Laci_Peterson)

      • Guest

        there’s no misinterpretation. ca penal code sec. 187 is pretty straight forward regarding what murder is and what it isn’t. subsection (b)(1), (2) and (3) anticipate your concern and define right there in the statute what is a therapeutic abortion and what is not, and the circumstances in which women and their doctors can have one and cannot. it’s not at all ambiguous. your parade of horribles has never come anywhere close to happening. you can come out from your dark imagination and back to reality now.

      • phantomreader42

        At least that link actually GOES somewhere, unlike so many of yours…

      • Christopher Hubbard

        let me guess, you oppose laws prohibiting pregnant women from smoking, drinking, etc. too don’t you?

      • Anat

        I’m not Mogg, so my response should not be taken as Mogg’s position. As much as I hate that some pregnant women take actions that are likely to harm the child they may have once s/he is born, I am opposed to laws forbidding such actions. There is a difference between what I consider immoral behavior and what behavior I consider to be such that it should require legal intervention. Are you willing to keep pregnant women under arrest for months on end to make sure they never do anything that might endanger the fetus? Or the child the fetus may become? Because there will be women who will smoke, drink, or eat a suboptimal diet, or exercise just a tad too much, or rollerblade, or go outside while there is smog in the air or do demanding work. So what are you going to do with us reckless women?

        Counsel women about the risks. Support decisions to quit. Offer support to help women stick to these choices. Counsel their partners about quitting. But keep the law out of it.

      • Guest

        sorry, your position makes little sense. i can explain it by way of what a former college instructor of mine said, “rules without consequences, are merely good advice.” you can “hate” what some pregnant women do all you want but if you’re not willing to hold them to any consequences for their bad choices and irresponsible behavior, your hatred rings hollow. it’s meaningless.

        the nat’l conf. of state legislators neutral description can sum up your position much shorter than you “Those on the other side feel that laws to protect a fetus could become a “slippery slope” that could jeopardize a woman’s right to choose an abortion. Pro-choice advocates say such laws grant a fetus legal status distinct from the pregnant woman – possibly creating an adversarial relationship between a woman and her baby. They are also concerned that the laws could be interpreted to apply to a woman’s behavior during her pregnancy (such as smoking, drinking or using drugs).” and i can even shorter. you oppose giving fetuses ANY legal standing because that gets you onto the SLIPPERY SLOPE where you don’t and won’t go.

        i promise you. if we pass laws against women from smoking crack while pregnant it’s not going to lead to back-alley abortions tomorrow. your all or nothing position is as absolutist (and indefensible) as the rigid pro-lifers who take the opposite position with equal fervor. most americans reject both extremes.

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

        rules without consequences, are merely good advice.

        Yeah, pretty much. Quitting smoking, drinking, eating tuna, etc are good advice. It’s just far, far to intrusive on personal liberty and autonomy to make those laws, though. We know that those activities impair men’s fertility through damaging their sperm, too. Should we ban all men from smoking, drinking, working with potentially mutagenic chemicals such as pesticides and a great many solvents for all men, since if their sperm get damaged their future offspring might suffer?

      • Guest

        you can’t be this stupid can you?!?

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

        How stupid is that? Stupid enough to think that if it’s an infringement of liberty for men, it’s also an infringement of liberty for women? Stupid enough to think you might actually care about the humanity and personhood and liberty and bodily autonomy of women as much as of men?

        We know a lot of things damage men’s future fertility and can damage their sperm in ways that are unhealthy for future children they might sire. Is it reasonable to police all men’s actions for the good of future fetuses? If not, why is it reasonable to police women’s actions?

      • Mogg

        How is that in any way stupid?

      • Guest

        you have no moral compass you know that. good advice doesn’t hold accountable people whose bad choices inhibit the rights of others. smoking crack while pregnant isn’t just good advice for the woman, but a clear and present danger to her unborn baby. you can stand up and defend her right to endanger her baby all you want. i’ll happily lend my efforts to the lawyers who will then sue her for wrongful birth and all the medical expenses the child is likely to incur because of her inability to tell the difference between advice and consequences. and you will be kept off that jury i can assure you.

      • Anat

        Yes, I agree. I want the women to be given advice. I do not want them to endure legal consequences. Many people actually respond to advice if they are in a supportive environment and are given tools to help them stick to healthier lifestyle choices. Few women want to actively harm their future child once they decide to keep a pregnancy and bring it to live birth. Some do not care, or don’t care enough. But mostly, they have a hard time dealing with physical and/or mental addiction. They need compassion more than threats.

        There is more to my position than ‘slippery slope’. It is part of a greater philosophical position about what makes life worthy of protection and when can people make their own decisions. This is not just about when we become persons but also when we stop being such. And whether non-human entities can become persons. (OK, in the US corporations are people, so it has already happened. Though that wouldn’t be the kind of entities I would include.)

      • Guest

        thank you for admitting the truth at the bottom of this entire post and just about every comment when you give the game away by saying “i do not want them to endure legal consequences.” you must think women are forever infants and minors and unable to conform their behavior to that of an adult and take responsibility for oneself. i take it you’ve never seen or met a crack addict or worse a crack baby. they don’t need compassion and advice. they need to get sober ASAP and their kid deserves more responsible parents. clearly you wouldn’t be one of them.

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

        You are violating my comment policy. This is your second violation (your first involved callin someone “stupid.” Please take the time to read my comment policy. If you violate it again I will ban you

      • Anat

        And how do people who are addicted (whether physically or psychologically) get ‘sober asap’ without compassion, advice and support, with only the threat of legal action? The ‘tough on drugs’ approach has been failing US society for years. When you threaten people with legal action you run the risk of people avoiding agencies that can help them out of fear of incarceration. That’s a lose-lose situation.

        It is you who is infantilizing women by sticking your nose into their private affairs and subjecting them to special laws that don’t apply to others.

        Also, what’s with all that about me ‘admitting’ one thing or another? It’s not such a big deal for me to work out what I believe and why and to state it.

      • Guest

        okay, so according to your logic the next time a man points a gun at an older lady and demands her purse we’ll simply charge him with theft and not robbery. and we’ll tell him don’t do that again rather than arrest him, charge him, try him, convict him and sentence him.

      • Anat

        How does this follow from my logic?

      • Guest

        you stated in response to my quote about rules without consequences being merely good advice that you don’t like legal consequences. so following that same logic, telling a thief who stole via gunpoint not to do it again (“bad man!”) instead of taking legal action against (“you have the right to remain silent . . .”) him is giving advice instead. my guess, is that approach will only lead to more crime for the single best way to have a high crime rate is to enable criminal behavior. and the best way to do that is not to condemn, prosecute and sentence it.

      • Anat

        I don’t like legal consequences for where addiction is involved. Read for context. The War On Drugs has been a failure, time to do something else.

      • Guest

        the war on drugs has NOTHING to do with crack babies! it’s this simple . . . a woman who is not pregnant does harm only to herself by taking crack. a woman who is pregnant does potentially great harm to not only herself but her baby (who didn’t consent to mommy lighting up). and the difference between harm only to oneself and harm to another MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE in the world. and regarding the harm done to another, yes, the law absolutely can impose consequences for that.

      • Anat

        Why does the War on Drugs (and similar punitive attitudes to the medical problem of addiction) have nothing to do with your approach to crack babies? The attitude that people can be threatened out of addiction underlies both. Or perhaps you are not interested in solving problems, you just like to get vindictive and punish people? It is all about controlling people, isn’t it?

        Also: FYI we are discovering so many ways people can be harmed by conditions before their birth, even before their parents’ birth. If you are going to punish women for everything they do that may harm their future children no pregnant woman will go unpunished because nobody lives a good enough lifestyle. Work overtime? Stay on your feet too much? Eat peanuts and your eventual child turns out allergic? Overeat/starve – both predispose your child to diabetes and cardiovascular disease. And so on.

      • Guest

        the war on drugs has NOTHING to do with crack babies! it’s this simple . . . a woman who is not pregnant does harm only to herself by taking crack. a woman who is pregnant does potentially great harm to not only herself but her baby (who didn’t consent to mommy lighting up). and the difference between harm only to oneself and harm to another MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE in the world. and regarding the harm done to another, yes, the law absolutely can impose consequences for that.

      • Guest

        good advice doesn’t hold accountable people whose bad choices inhibit the rights of others. smoking crack while pregnant isn’t just good advice for the woman, but a clear and present danger to her unborn baby. you can stand up and defend her right to endanger her baby all you want. i’ll happily lend my efforts to the lawyers who will then sue her for wrongful birth and all the medical expenses the child is likely to incur because of her inability to tell the difference between advice and consequences. and you will be kept off that jury i can assure you.

      • Mogg

        Of course. Anything else is treating a pregnant woman as less than an adult human being. It may be irresponsible and risky, but if something is legal for an adult it should not be otherwise just because of pregnancy.

      • Niemand

        I’d be fine with a law prohibiting pregnant and non-pregnant people from smoking. That shit’s dangerous. Get your drugs via some other less toxic delivery method. I’m not usually much of one for prohibition, but if we’re going to have prohibition type laws, they should at least be rational. Drugs should be delivered via a non-toxic mechanism, in a safe setting, and with a trip sitter to watch for problems. (/derail)

        Back to the subject: Why should we presume that pregnant women are not able to make their own judgements about the safety of drinking or smoking as much as any other adult?They should, of course, be made aware of the additional risks (if they don’t know already) at their first free pre-natal visit at the same time as they have their thrombophilia screen, their genetic counseling and discussion of the risks of pregnancy and what they can expect as the pregnancy progresses. Oh, wait. There is no free prenatal care in the US, we certainly don’t do routine screening for thrombophilias and genetic illness and no one’s ever going to discuss the risks and benefits of continuing a pregnancy in an honest manner. That would be just too expensive and we’re only interested in “saving babies” when it doesn’t cost the millionaires any additional tax money.

      • Mogg

        I did reply to this but it seems to have been lost in the ether. Yes, I do oppose such laws, for the reasons Anat describes.

      • Mogg

        Incidentally, if that is the level of your argumentative skill, you’re going to make a crappy lawyer in any jurisdiction. I hope I never have to employ you as one.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        #1 you don’t live in the united states. #2 if you have to come out and say that it means you know the exact opposite. i don’t make these legal arguments up. and most of all #3 i would never have a client like you. EVER.

      • Mogg

        Bwahahahaha! Lovely! I haven’t heard #2 since I was in primary school!

      • tsara

        He’s doing an excellent job of convincing me of his skill at logical reasoning and logic games.
        /snark

      • Mogg

        I feel a bit like Westley listening to Vizzini’s reasoning in The Princess Bride. Truly, he has a dizzying intellect ;-)

      • Christopher Hubbard

        so you make no moral distinction, forget the law for a second, between one has an abortion because of rape or incest and one who engages in consensual sex and simply doesn’t want to have the baby?? wow! i didn’t know you thought so little of rape victims. let’s try another way, and one that any first year criminal law student can distinguish, is the act of a man who shoots his attacker in self-defense no morally different than one who shoots not in self-defense but after the fight was over and walking away from him?? the former is justifiable homicide. the latter is murder. the difference between pregnancy by rape or incest and one by consensual sex isn’t as stark but even non-lawyers can understand the distinction and that it’s a BIG difference.

      • tsara

        “so you make no moral distinction, forget the law for a second, between one has an abortion because of rape or incest and one who engages in consensual sex and simply doesn’t want to have the baby?”

        *shrugs*
        The effect is still the same on the fetus.

        And doesn’t it occur to you that a fetus (or even embryo) can be an attacker just as much as an actual human being?

      • Christopher Hubbard

        if the effect is the same on the fetus than what does it matter if that fetus is female or male??? you can’t have it both ways and argue that a fetus has no legal or moral standing and then say that killing female fetuses at a rate much higher than male fetuses is wrong.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        “that a fetus is an attacker???” sorry, you’re going to have to give an example of that one for me.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        if you’re an lsat tutor than you know as well as i do tsara that the writing portion of the lsat counts for squat. it’s merely to prove you took the whole test, to fill out the 5 or so hours and can put a pen to paper at the end of a demanding entrance exam. at that point, simply writing coherent sentences is all that is expected. in my kaplan lsat prep course our instructor didn’t even get to the writing sample until the last hour of the final day. and she said not to worry about it. the logical reasoning and logic games part of the lsat is where the ball game is.

      • tsara

        To be more clear: I tutor people who want to write the LSAT, and I tutor people who want to write other standardized tests. I do what I can to prepare them for those tests. I’m not officially licensed for anything (except driving cars); I’m just good at standardized tests (>90th percentile on every one I’ve ever written, and I’ve written quite a few) and have a lot of tutoring experience.

        Are you done being condescending and dismissive? Are you going to actually start addressing people’s points anytime soon?

      • Mogg

        The issue when it comes to how to deal with an unwanted pregnancy is not how it was conceived, but what to do with it. Your outrage is irrelevant.

      • Wren

        You don’t actually explain why you think it matters. You just keep saying that it is obvious. I don’t think it matters at all.

      • Mogg

        Sometimes. Probably not an informed choice, a good choice, or an unpressured choice, but yes, choices are made. In the same way, people choose to live in San Francisco or Naples or Tokyo, knowing that they are places likely, at some time, to suffer a catastrophic seismic event. Should we just leave everyone who lives in those places to suffer the consequences of an earthquake or volcano? Supply no aid, provide no education on safety and mitigation, build infrastructure with no regard to the reality that people actually like or need to live in those places?

      • Christopher Hubbard

        ma’am i live in southern california about 25 miles from the san andreas fault and know full well about the fact and danger of earthquakes. i’ve experience by my count three of them of significance and they are no fun. am i assuming the risk of having to endure one by living here? i sure am. that doesn’t make me responsible or at fault for it of course for it is an act of god or of nature if you will but it is a foreseeable one and not something out of the blue. even as i assume the risk i am in no way at fault for when one trembles but a person who engages in unprotected sex is not a bystander to their own actions, they are a party to it. your logic fails. i find it almost breathless that you can be so obtuse to understand such basic logic.

      • Mogg

        To use the logic you are trying to force onto sex and pregnancy, you are absolutely at fault. You choose to live there. It doesn’t matter why you live there, or even if you know the possible outcome – you are making a choice and are therefore party to any possible outcomes.

        To be clear, I’m not saying that I believe this is true, just following your logic to its obvious end.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        no ma’am. you are confused. fault goes one step beyond assuming the risk. one assumes the risk regarding things that could happen TO THEMSELVES. one cannot assume the risk for another. when people, and the law, talk about fault, and assign blame, it isn’t about what happened to them, but what they are responsible for TO OTHERS. that’s a big difference. the earthquake, or hurricane, or tornado or whatever when it is an act of nature or god is completely out of yours or my control when it happens. all we can do is react to it. one who consensually engages in unprotected sex and gets pregnant is not an tragic though innocent bystander who assumed the risk but is not at fault. both the woman and the man, and only the woman and the man and not the rest of society are responsible for the unborn baby and forgive me if i think people should take responsibility for their actions rather than write screeds to alleviate their consciences of any moral agency their own actions caused.

      • Mogg

        Pregnancy is inherently something that can only happen to the woman involved, and to no-one else. Using that definition, she is not at fault, she has merely taken a risk, whether or not it was an informed and free choice.

        Abortion of an unwanted pregnancy *is* taking responsibility. It is taking the responsibility of not inflicting a future child with the disadvantages of being unwanted and, given the circumstances in which most women seek abortion, likely to be deprived of wht is needed for a good life, and not inflicting society with having to pick up the pieces which are in most cases long-lasting and expensive. Sounds responsible to me.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        did your mother take a risk when she got pregnant with you? if she had chosen to abort you would that have been a responsible thing to have done?? she made a choice too didn’t she? it’s not who makes the choice, or the making of the choice that ultimately matter BUT WHAT CHOICE THE WOMAN MAKES. for you, for me, for everyone of us who didn’t meet the other end of a vacuum tube i would say that’s a pretty big difference. one i’m thankful for (to my mother) every day

      • Mogg

        Yes, my mother assumed the risk of pregnancy when she chose to have me. If she had not wanted me or if her situation had changed so that she felt unable to support a child or otherwise provide for my care, then yes, it would have been responsible of her to abort me. It would also have been responsible for her to choose to abort one of my siblings when she found a lump in her breast during her pregnancy, and I think it was damn well irresponsible of her to conceive my youngest sibling as a “marriage glue” child. That doesn’t mean I’m not infinitely grateful that she chose to have all of us, just that I am quite aware that aborting any of us before we became breathing human beings could *also* have been responsible choices. It’s not an either/or.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        “it would have been responsible for her to abort me???” hmm. i don’t know whether to credit you for honesty (i think i do) or feel utter pity for you for you seem to have such low self-respect for yourself and think little of your right to live. i would defend you more than you seemingly would. i certainly don’t know you or your mother or your siblings but my guess is he or she (funny you say sibling and not brother or sister as if they have no identity and speak of them in such clinical terms) thinks its most definitely not an either/or. either one is dead or one is alive. and as almost all reasonable, rational and decent people intuitively know, that makes all the difference.

      • Elvenfoot

        This makes her a victim, when she is not. When I had my “accidental” children (whom I desperately love anyway), I knew full well what the possibilities were. Nothing “happened” to me. It sure is my fault I got pregnant. I am no victim. What I read here seems so twisted, making something wrong sound good.

      • Mogg

        Maybe she is, maybe not. No case is the same. And if you had “accidental” children and love them and chose to keep them, good for you, I think that’s wonderful. The point is that that is not possible for some people who end up in the same situation, and pretending that it is doesn’t actually change reality. Society has to be able to cater for all kinds of situations, not just yours.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        sometimes?? how is it not all the time?

      • Mogg

        Because if the girl or woman had poor or no sex education and contraceptive options, or are in a culture which actually lies to you about sex and contraception, is in a situation where the sex is coerced or manipulated, or has other psychosocial factors which contribute to poor decision making, then the girl or woman’s decision making agency is reduced.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        stop making excuses for people who make bad choices! why not have the baby and give it up for adoption? whatever happened to “safe, legal, and rare??” and you too keep dodging my original question that got you all hot and bothered and that is where at all in the abortion decision does compassion for the unborn baby factor in? they certainly aren’t at fault are they? and if not/since not, why should they bear the ultimate consequence??

      • Mogg

        I am not making excuses, merely stating reality. If you want to make abortion available only for those women who are, in your opinion, not at fault, then you need to analyse what exactly is the fault. A 12 year old from an ultra-conservative and repressive Catholic background, say, may have chosen to have unprotected sex because she didn’t know what sex was. We don’t refuse medical services in other situations where “poor choices” may have been made – our hospitals would be much emptier if we turned away all of the smokers, overeaters, speeding drivers who wrecked their cars and so forth.

        “Safe, legal and rare” is a wonderful goal, and it is possible if anti-choicers don’t keep simultaneously reducing social support systems, medical aid and access to safe abortion. What isn’t possible is total elimination of abortion.

        In an abortion decision compassion for the embryo or foetus is in one sense central, in that forcing it to be born into a situation where it can’t or won’t be raised well is cruel. In other ways it is irrelevant, first because it’s the woman’s body integrity which is of most importance, and second it doesn’t have any features which inspire compassion until well past half-way through gestation, and in the situation you are describing abortion would normally occur months earlier. Its existance is not its fault, but neither will it suffer from the ending of its existance. It hasn’t any capacity to.

        Edited to add: why not have the baby and give it up for adoption? Because it is of known higher risk to the mother than abortion, and adoption is not necessarily good for either the mother or the child.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        “safe, legal and rare” is the bill clinton standard. i voted for bill clinton. i don’t hear the barack obama’s or the planned parenthood’s of the world say anything of the sort anymore and it’s not because of “anti-choicers” it’s because they don’t want abortion to be rare. why do you let perfect be the enemy of the good? this is what pro-lifers do too and why i am not simpatico with them either. abortions actually have been going down in america for 20+ years. i count this as progress. there are many reasons for it, not least of which is the invention of the ultrasound and the very visual proof that a fetus is most definitely emerging life and not a clump of cells. take a look at a 2-month old fetus, a 5 month old and an 8 month old and tell me that isn’t a baby growing inside. it most definitely is. and more women are coming around to that fact than men. and if you want to continue this discussion, i have a pretty good reason why i think that is.

      • Mogg

        Why on earth would anyone want abortion to become more common when birth control and extensive sex education is far cheaper, easier and safer? And if Barak Obama wanted to increase abortion surely he wouldn’t have made the manoeuvres he did to ensure that Catholic employers couldn’t deny their staff access to insurance which covers contraception. Perhaps you might like to ponder on the difference between not reusing someone else’s slogan and disagreeing with someone else’s slogan.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        you aren’t american are you? first off, his name is barack with a c and you know next to nothing regarding the status of the “contraception” mandate. it’s been withdrawn by HHS because of the outcry from (mostly) the catholic church in america and their members. and if you haven’t heard, there’s a case (hobby lobby, google it) making its way through the federal courts where a non-church employer who is very religious is challenging the mandate to provide birth control to their employees and as per the 10th circuit last week, their request for an injunction was granted. the bottom line on birth control is this . . . PAY FOR IT YOURSELF!

      • Mogg

        Thank you for correcting my spelling of Barack. And the status of the contraception mandate at this time doesn’t change the fact that President Obama did, in fact, use some moderately deft political manoeuvres to achieve it in the first place in the face of protest from the groups you mention. I think the US system of insured medical care is inefficient and by its nature prone to encouraging unethical practices, but that was what he had to work with. I’m vaguely familiar with the Hobby Lobby case, and think it vile. It is no business of an employer how an employee manages their health. When the overwhelming evidence is that birth control options allow women better control over their own health and fertility, then in a system where health insurance is covered by the employer there should be no option but for the employer to provide suitable coverage. It is indescribably, radically unethical to do otherwise.

        And how, if you wish for women to pay for their own birth control, are you going to provide for those who are so poor that they cannot afford it?

      • Christopher Hubbard

        you are only vaguely familiar with the hobby lobby case yet you think it vile? why do i suspect you know very little about it? you can learn about it here (http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2012-09-12/hobby-lobby-sues-over-morning-after-pill-coverage) and based on this recent case here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hosanna-Tabor_Evangelical_Lutheran_Church_and_School_v._Equal_Employment_Opportunity_Commission) why they will ultimately prevail. you’re quite right it’s no business of an employer how an employee manages their health but here’s what you omit or don’t know . . . the employee ISN’T PAYING FOR THEIR HEALTH INSURANCE, THE EMPLOYER IS VIA OBAMACARE AND THE EMPLOYER MANDATE so in circumstances like this the employer is being compelled with the threat of huge fines to pay for something that violates their conscience and is in violation of their free exercise of religion per the 1st amendment.

      • Mogg

        Once again, your links lead to pages that either can’t be found or don’t have any information on them. The word “vaguely” would indeed imply that I think I know very little on the topic – my knowledge is based on reading one article linked on Facebook by a friend last week, so I would happily classify that as knowing very little. That, however, doesn’t mean I can’t have an opinion on the situation according to my knowledge of it, and yes, like I said, vile. I am completely aware that the employer is paying via Obamacare for their employees’ insurance, which is, to non-American me, weird and problematic in itself, but like any other mandatory benefit, if it isn’t being paid the company should be penalised. If they weren’t paying wages they would be penalised, and they can’t withold wages on the basis that they may not approve of what the employee buys with it. This is no different and the idea that a secular, for-profit company could be granted status as a religious person in order to avoid paying a mandated benefit is more vile than pond scum.

      • phantomreader42

        Since you’ve made it painfully obvious that you have no idea what you’re talking about, and refuse to learn, I’ll say this loudly: HEALTH INSURANCE IS PART OF AN EMPLOYEE’S COMPENSATION!!! MY BOSS DOESN’T GET TO TELL ME HOW I CAN SPEND MY PAYCHECK, SO HE DOESN’T GET TO TELL ME HOW I CAN USE MY HEALTH INSURANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
        In this fantasy world you live in where employers have absolute control of health care, does your boss decide for you what medical treatment you and your family can have, and when? If your boss were a Jehovah’s Witness, and you needed a blood transfusion, would you have to pay for it out of pocket or die? If your boss were a Scientologist, could he deny you coverage for psychiatric treatment? If your boss decided you’d be a better worker without the distraction of children, could he force you to get a vasectomy aganst your will, or just refuse to cover the thousands of dollars worth of expenses for your wife’s pregnancy and deny your children medical care until they die? Why is it that you want only members of the cult that agrees with YOU to be allowed to enforce their idiotic dogma on their employees? Oh, yeah, because you’re a self-centered, controlling, stupid, dishonest, misogynistic asshole!

      • Mogg

        I just re-read the thread, just for the lulz, and realised that this is actually where you show your true colours. It is, like with so many others, about controlling women’s sex lives and being in deep denial about the fact that sex is extremely important to people for reasons other than procreation. You want less abortion? There is ample evidence out there that just telling women to cross their legs doesn’t work. Get in the real world, stop blinding yourself to the reality that people want, need and have sex even if they don’t want or can’t have children, and start doing what is shown to prevent the outcome that is so obnoxious to you. Support public subsidy of women’s health and contraception and funding of poor families so that their children have a chance of growing up well. Oppose abstinence-only sex education and support and fund thorough sex education, including sexual ethics and decision making classes, in schools. Get behind the concept of health insurance and leave entitlements catering for the employee’s reasonable needs, not the employer’s hangups.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        “adoption is not necessarily good for either the mother or the child??” so it’s better for the baby to be aborted and never come to being and experience the miracle of life and the chance to be adopted by loving foster parents???? sorry, you got it exactly backwards.

      • Mogg

        It might be better, depending on how high the chances are of being adopted by loving parents. However, there are many cases of adopted children who resent having been adopted, and adoption more often than not has long term negative consequences for the mother, apart from the risk of pregnancy and childbirth. And I don’t consider never experiencing life as a negative – it’s a neutral. So it’s up to an individual woman to make the decision, weighing up the pros and cons of all options in her specific situation – maybe FOR HER adoption is a good choice, maybe FOR HER the overall negatives of adoption would outweigh any positives. The whole point of choice is exactly that: choice.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        oh, so now it MIGHT be better. well, absent a particular set of facts or hypthetical that is merely an academic argument. you dont’ consider never having experienced life a negative?? if you are an atheist or don’t believe in god that makes perfect sense to me for people who believe in nothing special and that all the world is random, you are random, i am random, everything and everyone is random and has no purpose and perhaps that is why you/they have such feelings of emptiness. i’m agnostic myself and i do believe in evolution but i would much rather be a skeptic or even a non-believer amidst believing religious peoples than a believer amidst non-believers. most religious people i know all things being equal, are nicer, happier people. the fact that they believe in something bigger than themselves has everything to do with that.

      • Mogg

        Yes. “Might be” is catered for under the term “not necessarily”. Your understanding of language seems quite poor for a lawyer. And as I said in another comment, no, I don’t consider never having experienced life as a negative. It is neutral. That absolutely doesn’t mean that everything is random and meaningless, just that the scale at which order, purpose and meaning occur is smaller than infinite. Personally, my life became fuller when I considered the possibility that the meaning and purpose of my life wasn’t infinite, cosmic or eternal. I find religious people no happier or nicer than anyone else, often (not always) a bit too unable to recognise the real world for my liking, and a firm belief in something without proof and even contrary to evidence baffling and off-putting, but clearly your preferences are otherwise. Nothing wrong with that.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        so if god forbid you don’t wake up tomorrow is that neutral? nobody believes their life is infinite or eternal. they believe (or those who do believe) that the NEXT LIFE is eternal and infinite. and because they believe this life to be more than just for the here and now they do act happier, are kinder towards others (if they are not than that will determine their ultimate fate on judgment day) for that very reason.

      • Mogg

        I won’t know, so I won’t care. At least, as far as I know, and I haven’t found any evidence to convince me otherwise. As far as I know what I think of as “me” is a function of my brain, and when it doesn’t work there will be no more me. So the only chance I have to be happy, kind and have meaning is this life, and I will do my utmost to have it now rather than pretend that it will occur later.

        Edited to add: I think I read that badly and need to add that if I don’t wake tomorrow it won’t be good for those whom I mean something to, and I’d be disappointed if I knew that tomorrow I won’t wake up because I still have lots left to do in life. My life has meaning to me, and to many others, as they have meaning to me. But any bad attached to my not existing is not because I won’t exist per se, but only because, well, I haven’t finished yet and my not existing will make existence more empty, sad and difficult for some others.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        thank you for proving my point. you’re right you wont’ know so you won’t care but i’m willing to guess that you have people who love you and will miss you and will care. do you not take into account the fact that each of us, yourself included is an autonomous human being yes, but isn’t a solitary one devoid of human contact and effecting the quality of life of others?? why do i suspect that your mother or father or siblings probably don’t think of your passing n the same clinical manner that you do? and if that’s how you think of yourself than what does that say about how you think of others? if people close to you died tonight, they wouldn’t care either and wouldn’t know about it but you sure would. that’s pure utter selfishness is what that is and i find A WHOLE LOT OF NON-BELIEVERS are the most self-centered, selfish people there are for that very reason you perfectly articulated, because if nothing comes after this life and if all life is random, what do you care what impact your loss or not being here has on others. you’re a total narcissist!

      • Mogg

        Read the edit. As I said, I read that badly and added to my answer when I re-read your comment to answer more fully, addressing exactly this point.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        what edit? the last post of yours in time i see (other than the one directly above ^^^ which i am replying to) is the one i responded do two posts above about how none of us, not even you, are solitary beings devoid of people who care about us

      • Mogg

        I edited my comment regarding whether my not existing tomorrow would be bad, currently two posts above, while you were replying to it. You might have to refresh your page to see the edit.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        so you concede that life has value in and of itself. this is progress. so therefore, absent a medical or health or genetic deformity or something that would render a particular life more of a burden than a blessing your edited logic leads to the same conclusion as mine . . . that being born and given up for adoption is 99% of the time better than not being born at all. because life has inherent value, and because we all have the capacity to love and bond and care for others, even one who is given up by his or her mother and father can be adopted by loving, committed parents who do want him or her and who do value his or her life and by doing so, literally change that person’s life. i’ve seen it with my own two eyes. and who are you or i to play god with the life of another person. here’s my position boiled down to three words if you will, ADOPTION, NOT ABORTION. it’s short enough and catchy enough it can even fit on a bumper sticker!

      • Mogg

        Even if I conceded such a thing, which I don’t, it still doesn’t lead to that conclusion. We destroy life all the time because we make judgements about whether that life is as important as our own, a danger to our own or even in order to sustain our own. My breakfast oatmeal died to give me life. I fed brine shrimps to my fish, which I keep for purposes of entertainment. I cut my toenails. I put some dishes in the dishwasher, thereby killing any bacteria growing in the food scraps on the plates. All of these actions killed life for my wellbeing. I doubt that any of the life killed suffered, because none of it had the capacity to do so with the possible exception of the brine shrimp. In the same way, having an abortion and thereby destroying an embryo or foetus with no capacity for experience or suffering is not a great existential crime. It won’t know. It won’t feel it. But in the kind of circumstances where I might make that choice, it will make a hell of a lot of difference to me, my partner, my family, my friends, my community, my society. I absolutely would not give up for adoption except to immediate family, because I know it would have far greater overall negative effects on all of those people than an abortion would.

      • pennyroyal

        that is a bogus argument. It’s clear you know nothing about adoption, which often comes with it’s own set of problems.

      • pennyroyal

        I was wondering when you’d start bashing the secularists. Freethinkers, humanists, atheists. I know plenty of them and they are as moral and ethical as anyone.

        The ancient Greeks and the Confucians in China had highly developed ethical systems without god, way before Christianity introduced it’s sin obsessed male god.

      • pennyroyal

        If you are an agnostic CH, do you believe in an afterlife? I have more of a Buddhist outlook. I have no memory of where and ‘who’ I was before I was about 3 or four. And I don’t believe in heaven or an afterlife, so I’m not worried about death and dying. I won’t be conscious because I won’t ‘be.’ That makes me more focused on living with integrity and mindfully in the here and now.

        I honestly think the anti-abortion freaks are afraid of their own deaths. Face up to your own mortality and you won’t be so obsessed with trying to get every single conception adopted by good parents, cause that’s absurd. We have millions of children who die in the world every year. Do you care about these children who are living and breathing and can’t get enough food, fresh water, healthcare, have no family and no love?

      • Sophie

        Considering that there are over 400,000 children in the foster system in the USA, what do you think are the chances of a child being adopted by those loving foster parents you speak of?

      • Christopher Hubbard

        a lot better than if the child is aborted. you can’t win the lottery if you don’t buy a ticket. you can’t get adopted if you aren’t born by your mother. i’m curious . . . when did adoption become a dirty word for the pro-choice set? i remember hillary clinton, when she was first lady, taking up the cause, and as an alternative to abortion no less. i agreed with her then and should she or another do so now i would support them 100%. why do so many on the pro-abortion side seem to value death more than life??

      • Sophie

        We don’t think it’s a dirty word, being pro-choice is about being open to every option and supporting women in whatever choice they make about their pregnancy. What I object to about the way the pro-life movement talk about adoption is that you all seem to think it’s the panacea for every unwanted pregnancy. Got pregnant through rape? Give the baby up for adoption! Can’t afford another child? Give the baby up for adoption! Got your contraception sabotaged by your abusive partner? Give the baby up for adoption! Pregnancy could kill you? Well then the baby will be available for adoption, won’t it?

        Going through a pregnancy and then giving the baby away for adoption is a hard thing to do, you have be incredibly strong to able to do that. And there will be emotional fallout for the woman and for the child. You have this incredibly naive idea that all children put up for adoption end up in perfect homes, which isn’t even remotely true. A lot of them end up going from foster home to foster home until they age out of the system. And even the ones who do win the lottery (thanks for that comparison, it’s very accurate) and get the perfect loving parents, they can still have problems. They will still know that their biological parents gave them away and most will never know why. 

        My other BIG problem with the pro-life stance on adoption is that you all seem to think that women owe you babies. That women seeking abortions should instead endure 40 weeks of an unwanted pregnancy, which will cost her money, may cost her job, will cause her emotional trauma and then at the end she should give the nice Christian couple the baby they were owed. I applaud women who give babies up for adoption, I think it is an incredibly selfless thing to do. But I cannot stand the fact that the pro-life movement bullies and emotionally blackmails women into doing it, that they falsely advertise their services at crisis pregnancy centres and then shame women who are at one of most vulnerable times of their lives.

        In the case of a lot of unwanted pregnancies, abortion is the responsible and compassionate thing to do. A ball of cells, which is what is destroyed during an early abortion, cannot miss something it never experienced nor can it actually understand the concept of missing something nor can it actually understand anything since it doesn’t have a brain. It cannot suffer, but the woman who’s uterus it’s in can. I suppose those of us on the pro-choice side value her life over something that hasn’t lived yet.

      • tsara
      • pennyroyal

        the fetus would never grow and be born and grow to consciousness. There would be no child born to grow up and make a conscious decision. There was, before an abortion, a potential for a human life, and as I said above, some 20% of conceptions fail to implant and pass out of the uterus.
        Again your terminology gets you off track CH. It’s not a baby while it’s still in the womb. Look up Nepesh, the Jewish word for breath. You do know that other religions are okay with abortion, don’t you? And that many religious groups support abortion rights? It’s only the obsessed and the control freaks who keep this absurd farce going.

      • Elvenfoot

        I know you don’t mean it this way, but this sounds like the epitome of American entitlement and selfishness. I guess I come at this topic from an entirely different perspective.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        pro-abortionists are too self-absorbed to get the inherent selfishness and entitlement mentality that lies at the heart of their project. which is why way back up top my assertion that the author of this post who speaks of abortion in terms of compassion only for the woman and not at all in consideration of the baby-to-be are narcissists. considering the number of replies and responses i’ve gotten over the past 3 hours, i take it i’ve gotten in their craw and under their skin. if so, i’m only happy to do it =) well said foot.

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

        I assume, then, that you are a living organ donor? You donate blood every three months, plasma as often as possible, you’re on lists to donate a kidney, liver lobe, lung, and/or bone marrow if you are a match to someone? You’ve promised that no matter your work and family situation, no matter your own personal health, you’ll donate parts of your body to those in need? Furthermore, you support having this be the law and requiring everyone to do this. After all, it would just be selfish and entitled to want to control your own body when your donations could save other innocent people’s lives.

        What? No? Whyever not?

      • Christopher Hubbard

        you need not assume with such animus when you can simply ask a question. i don’t like needles and don’t give blood but yes will be, should i do young and healthy an organ donor. absolutely. if my kidney or heart or liver or what have you can help save/extend the life of another, i sure do. why do you assume that i don’t?

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

        There is no animus in my question. I merely wanted to be sure you understood the ramifications of organ donation on demand, at whatever time.

        Should you be required, by law, to donate your organs to save another’s life? Are you morally obligated to do so?

      • Christopher Hubbard

        no, but it should be encouraged. encouragement and education lead people to make better choices no?

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

        Banning something isn’t encouragement. Haranguing and shaming people isn’t encouragement nor education. Do I shame you for your lack of compassion for others? Do I tell you that you’re a murderer for not donating your organs? Do I tell you that your wants, your desires, your dreams, and your hopes, that would be shattered by major surgery right now, are unimportant next to the life you could be saving? Do I tell you to ignore the job you will lose, the children who will lose their home, if you have major surgery right now? Do I tell you it’s just too bad you’ll be tied to an abuser, because you’ll be too weak to care for yourself for awhile after the surgery? No. I do not. I respect your choice because it is your body and I do not know your situation, so I don’t know why you’re not donating your organs. Maybe you just don’t want to, and that’s perfectly fine. Furthermore, I’m not trying to make it legally required that you do so.

        If you are not legally or morally obligated to donate so much as a drop of blood to a dying person, why is a woman obligated to do a full-body donation to a fetus?

      • Christopher Hubbard

        i’ll go slow because i know logic is hard for you to comprehend. you nor i am legally or morally obligated to donate so much as a drop of blood if you nor i created the peril or the need for such a medical intervention in the first place. one can make a good argument that if they created the circumstances why the other person is bleeding and needs blood that they have an obligation to do so, but if they didn’t create the peril, THEY HAVE NO SUCH DUTY. one who has consensual sex and gets pregnant is not duty free the way the man/woman who didnt’ create the peril is regarding the donating of blood. both the man and the woman who consensually have sex and create emerging life DO HAVE SUCH A DUTY to that life in being not because it is in peril but because it is wholly dependent upon them to come into this world. one who is raped or the victim of incest similarly HAS NO SUCH DUTY for she did not consent and it is the fact of consenting or not consenting that is determinative. look up the word consent in the dictionary or on dictionary.com. i promise you’ll be enlightened.

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

        Consent to skiing is not consent to break a leg. It’s a known risk, sure, but we don’t tell skiers, “sorry, you knew the risk, we can’t treat that”. Instead, we treat the broken leg and maybe try to teach the skier to be more careful next time. We certainly don’t yell at the skier and tell hir how stupid ze is while ze is in pain, clutching at hir leg, and try to talk hir out of getting it splinted since really, it’s all hir fault and ze deserves to suffer for being dumb enough to go skiing.

        Consent to sex is not consent to pregnancy. Just as the treatment for a broken leg is a splint, the treatment for unwanted pregnancy is abortion.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        lol. no we don’t tell skiers sorry you knew the risk but i doubt there’s a ski run in this country that doesn’t make their guests sign consent forms in order to waive liability for that very purpose! because as long as your consent is voluntary and you understand what you are doing, you are assuming the risk. i’m not proposing we make people sign consent waivers before they engage in unprotected, consensual sex but the concept applies similarly.

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

        Yes, you’re assuming the risk. My point is that we treat it anyways. The treatment for unwanted pregnancy (you assumed the risk of it, it happened) is abortion. You’re suggesting we refuse to treat the broken leg (pregnancy) because the mother consented to go skiing (sex). That’s absurd. The concept does, indeed, apply similarly. We treat people’s ailments even when they are the result of behavior that has known risks, whether that be pregnancy or broken limbs.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        no . . . i’m saying the person who breaks their leg pay for it. why should you or i pay for it? WE DIDN’T ASSUME THE RISK! are you going to pay for my broken leg when i ski and fall? that’s unfair of me to ask, err, demand of you. and likewise it is of you for me, but what those who engage in consensual sex and get pregnant want is for the easy way out rather than to accept responsibility for the choices they made. forgive me if i have contempt for them. a much better way is to have you pay for you and i’ll pay for me, for we all make better choices when it’s our own money at stake and not others. margaret thatcher said it best, the problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people’s money. look it up!

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

        You’re not making sense. When you have an argument that is coherent, get back to me. Having an abortion is taking responsibility for one’s actions. No one is paying for anyone else.

      • pennyroyal

        in some states without helmet laws, taxpayers get to pay for a lifetime of care after the risk taker gets into an accident.

      • phantomreader42

        Are you familiar with the concept of health insurance? What color is the sky on your planet?

      • The_L1985

        According to that argument, insurance should not exist.

        After all, by paying into an insurance policy, I am paying for things that happen to other people. My car insurance money helps cover damages if I’m in a wreck, but also if someone else is in a wreck. My health insurance money helps pay for medication and doctor’s visits for me, and also for other people.

        Insurance, by definition, is a money pool that the many donate to so that a few of them a year can pull money out from it.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        consent to sex is not consent to pregnancy but it assumes the same risk. when and if said risk materializes, it is the parties who consent who bear that risk, not the rest of us and not society.

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

        Precisely. So it is the person who bears the risk who decides if she wants to do that or not. If she decides not, she goes and gets an abortion. Otherwise, she keeps the pregnancy. You can always change your mind on organ donation, you realize; there’s even a legal precedent. A man promised to donate an organ, was found to be a match, then changed his mind. The court ruled that he didn’t have to donate his organ, as he had the right to change his mind at any time, because anything else was an illegal imposition on his bodily autonomy. So even if a woman decided to take on the risk of pregnancy at one point, she can always change her mind.

        The rest of us and society have no bearing on, and bear no cost for, her decision. Society is more likely to bear costs if the baby is born, actually- many young, single mothers require significant government aid in the form of CHIP, Medicaid, SNAP, WIC, TANF, and other programs.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        yes. and the bearing of that risk is what compels the taking of responsibility for the choices that one makes. if one doesn’t want to have to confront unpleasant choices, DON’T PUT YOURSELF IN THAT SITUATION IN THE FIRST PLACE. this keeps getting back to the larger issue, it’s larger than abortion even and that is people are responsible for their actions and not the state and not society. you aren’t at fault for the stupid things i do, and shouldn’t have to pay for my mistakes just as i am not responsible for yours and am not obligated to pay for yours. failing to let people learn from their own mistakes only ensures that they’ll keep making them. pardon me if i think this neo-socialization or socializing of so many problems simply makes them worse.

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

        Abortion is taking responsibility for an unwanted pregnancy. What makes you think it’s not? The woman and man made a mistake, they don’t want to bring an unwanted child into the world, so they make sure they don’t. That’s kind of the definition of taking responsibility for one’s actions.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        yes, abortion is taking responsibility for an unwanted pregnancy. seeking taxpayer funding to pay for it is not. the best way to take responsibility is to bring the child into this world, give it up for adoption if the mother or father is incapable of raising it, and giving it the same chance at life that you have. was your mother more responsible for having your than aborting you?? i think she was. and you should thank her for it.

      • tsara

        Would you rather pay for someone else’s abortion or someone else’s pregnancy?

        Abortion costs around $800 CDN.
        http://abortionincanada.ca/funding/
        Hospital birth costs a minimum of roughly $8800 US.
        http://www.parents.com/pregnancy/considering-baby/financing-family/birth-hospital-costs/

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

        We pay taxpayer money for all sorts of ailments and diseases and medical treatments for people who can’t afford to pay for them. An abortion costs ~$250-800, depending on how early it is and how complicated it is. It costs at least $20,000 for prenatal care and labor and delivery, and can rise up to the $1 million mark if things go very wrong (ICU and NICU care is pricey). If all you’re worried about is cost, subsidizing abortions and making them easily accessible is way cheaper than forcing women to carry pregnancies to term. Seeking taxpayer funding for abortions is incredibly responsible to the taxpayers, as the alternative is far more expensive.

        You missed my screed about the risks of pregnancy, didn’t you? Having a baby is not risk-free. In the US, 15/100,000 women will die from it (~10,000). ~30,000 will almost die from it each year, and millions will be permanently injured. It is 100% the woman’s choice to take on that risk or not. Abortion is the “or not”. Many women also don’t want to bring an unwanted baby into the world- some will be adopted, but many won’t, and life “in the system” is really shitty. They would rather not bring a child into the world only for it to suffer, and they’re not wrong to make that choice. To give a fetus a chance at life, a woman has to risk her life and well-being; if she chooses to do so, that’s fine, but if she chooses not to do so, that’s fine too.

        My mom wanted me (well, a baby, she couldn’t know it was me specifically!). I was a planned pregnancy. If I hadn’t been and the circumstances had been wrong, she’d have had an abortion. I wouldn’t ever have known better; I never would have existed. Why should the prospect of my never-existence bother me? I wouldn’t know about it. If she’d still been in college, or would have lost her home and/or job for having me, I think the responsible choice would be to abort me. I wouldn’t want to be the cause of that much suffering to anyone, and it’s not like I would lose anything by it- I’d just never have existed. I like existing, granted, but that’s only because I do exist. If I never had existed, I (obviously) wouldn’t care.

      • pennyroyal

        give up, CH. Your arguments have been stated repeatedly. They are rigid, biased, incomplete, and unethical. A fetus is not a child. You focus on responsibility to the exclusion of reality and common sense.
        Thankfully, wiser heads have prevailed and abortion remains a legal procedure. You want to see a Revolutionary War again? That’s what you will get if Rowe v. Wade gets overturned. I don’t think the SCOTUS is that stupid, even if the anti-woman wingnuts and their obsessive nitpicking on abortion keep pushing for criminalization.

        Me: I want to Abort Theocracy. That’s a site on Women In Sexularism who want to abort this whole ‘abortion’ (disaster) of women hating.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        give up?? give what up? you do realize don’t you that each and every one of your comments (i lost count after 20) came a day or two after mine was made and that you are essentially talking to yourself. maybe you need to say it over and over again to commit it to memory or something. i don’t know. i asked one simple and fair question and drew (not unexpectedly) responses ranging from critical to unhinged. each and every response to me i responded in kind. and then it came to an end. i went to bed. the next day was independence day and apparently you had little better to do on america’s 237th birthday than spend much of it writing non-responsive peons to strawmen. if you had no BBQ’s or fireworks or festivities to attend, i truly feel sorry for you. if you want to one-on-one dialogue in something resembling a constructive manner, you can click on my picture and send me a message on twitter or facebook. i’ll get it. if not . . . fairly well. good (grief) day!

      • pennyroyal

        give it up cause you are convincing no one, just being a pain in the tush. And then you act like a spy and make up a story about my day. Who’s the one living on speculation and imaginings?

      • The_L1985

        …Who in this thread said anything about using taxpayer money to pay for abortions? “Legal” and “federally-funded” are two very different things.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        no, accepting responsibility for one’s actions means accepting the burden by which you created in the first place, not taking the shortcut and exterminating something out of existence. so when a man can’t pay back his loan, it’s better to default than to work out newer terms with the creditor? i doubt it. when the student gets behind in his or her class and work, it’s better to drop the class and have to take it all over again (and pay for it all over again) rather than suck it up and do the work? no. when somebody promises to pick their kid up from soccer practice and is running late, it’s best to go home and hope their neighbor picks up their kid along with the neighbor’s kid and give him a ride home? of course not. taking the easy way out cheats you out of an honest remedy, fixing our own mess is a great teacher, and doesn’t extinguish the problem, it merely disappoints the other people involved in it. and there’s nothing honorable about running away from problems instead of solving them.

      • pennyroyal

        what, you never made a mistake? or regretted something you did in the heat of the moment?
        You sound perfect perfectionist over this. Women have the right and the human agency on their own behalf. And they can’t be forced to so something (continue a pregnancy) if they so decide based on all factors. how dare you substitute your judgement for another person’s judgment?

      • Rosa

        that’s right! You better stop leaving the house, you could get hit by a bus and some public servant would have to scrape you up off the pavement. I’m not helping pay for that! I only pay for fire and ambulance service for me!

      • phantomreader42

        (content note, the following link mentions gross injuries, assorted ways to die horribly, rape, spontaneous human combustion, and Fox News)

        Your kid can get salmonella from his new pet turtle.
        Buckle your seatbelt or through the windshield you will hurtle.
        You can choke on anything not bigger than your head!
        Everything is dangerous, so how come you’re not dead?
        You might poke your eye out with any given toy.
        You might die from allergies to peanuts, wheat, or soy.
        All these deadly circumstances we cannot improve
        Everything is dangerous so please try not to move.

      • Anat

        Sorry, I am not going with the ‘mistake’ narrative. Having sex is, among other things, a fun activity that has some risk attached. Just like going for a road trip. An unwanted pregnancy is not more of a mistake than a road accident is. Sometimes it is (knowingly not using contraception in freely chosen sex, not leaving enough distance from the driver ahead of you). Sometimes one takes reasonable precautions (using contraception of high effectiveness correctly, following rules of the road) and unwanted stuff happens anyway (unwanted pregnancy, getting hit by falling rocks). Neither the woman that got pregnant against her wishes nor the driver made a mistake. And the best thing for society is to give both the treatment they need.

        As for women who get pregnant while not using contraception (or misusing contraception) – do you really want women you consider irresponsible to raise a child? And if that child ends up in the foster care system – you’ll be paying for her irresponsible action a lot more that the price of an abortion. How does that fit with your desire not to pay for other people’s mistakes?

      • Christopher Hubbard

        your nice little attempt to discuss contract law leaves a key fact out. if you or i promise X (to deliver an organ say) and nobody else relies on that promise to their detriment, yes it’s unenforceable. if i promise to donate my organ to somebody else and they rely on my promise, IT IS ENFORCEABLE. promises are only enforceable when they are made to ascertainable persons and those persons rely on them. promises in general to nobody in particular aren’t enforceable because they aren’t promises at all.

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

        Um, no. The man signed a contract and the donee relied on it to his detriment (he stopped looking for alternate donors). It was ruled not enforceable. Nice try, though.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        the judge is mistaken then. that’s a bad ruling for the very fact that one relies on another’s promise to their detriment binds the other person to the contract and makes their promise enforceable.

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

        Nope! Contract law has some limits. One of those limits is you can’t sign yourself to slavery, indentured servitude, or gross bodily injury. No matter how willing someone is to sign up as an indentured servant, the contract is automatically rendered null and void by being illegal. The justices (it was a SCOTUS case) ruled that organ donation fell into the same category as indentured servitude or slavery- you can never, ever sign an enforceable contract to do that.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        if the person is legally considered a donee than he didn’t rely on the contract. if one does rely on it and assents to it, they are no longer a donee but an intended party and that change in their status is what makes the contract enforceable. donees generally don’t have rights to enforce contracts. creditors and intended beneficiaries do.

      • phantomreader42

        The things you keep saying are simply not true. This has been explained to you repeatedly, but you continue to repeat known falsehoods. Since you obviously don’t give a flying fuck whether or not what you say is true, why should anyone believe you?

      • pennyroyal

        or if you have a black, retarded baby who is otherwise moderately healthy, then your life has little value. In TX just such a child was refused life-saving surgery. That was like a post-birth abortion, one might say.

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

        That’s … really quite awful. I don’t have the words to describe it; even curse words aren’t sufficient. People make value judgments about human life all the time that make no sense- I hate it that TX is still so racist and religious. The combination is just brutal. How much do you want to bet the child’s mother was encouraged to not get genetic testing and/or told to keep the baby even if genetic testing showed anomalies?

      • pennyroyal

        well said, Feminerd.
        CH the fetus is like a parasite on a woman’s body. It uses her kidneys to clean its waste. It draws oxygen provided from her heart and lungs and blood vessels. If the mother has diabetes or any number of other diseases, her risk of complications and even death higher than average and carrying a fetus to term has higher risks than abortion in any case.

        Do you know who the biggest abortionist is? The god you probably believe in and base all your nonsense on. 20% of morula/fetuses fail to implant and are flushed out of the body with the woman’s next period. You want to sit in women’s bathrooms and check their menses?

        Already women have been locked up until they deliver, months at a time. That is not sex slavery. It’s making women into mere incubators or brood mares.

      • The_L1985

        Actually, the failure-to-implant rate can’t be pinned down with any certainty. It could be anywhere from 20% to as high as 75%. :)

      • pennyroyal

        you mean dictate your choices in their stead.
        Only one person is empowered to make choices,
        unless they are a minor: the person herself.
        I’m all for education, encourament, mentoring,
        spiritual leadership (I’m a minister, and belong to the
        Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice in Mass.
        and so does my husband).

        Each person has dignity and worth and the right to make
        their own choices. The opposite of that is tyranny and
        force

      • Mogg

        There are cases where women choose abortion because having another pregnancy or child would deprive her already existing children of their mother through death or disablement or exhaustion from too much physical strain. An abortion for a teenaged girl may be the difference between her badly raising one child and going on to be educated enough to raise several future children well. Choosing to birth a child with a fatal birth defect detected during pregnancy because “abortion is selfish” is not only twisted, it’s forcing that infant to suffer to relieve the mother’s conscience. How are any of those abortion choices the more selfish choice?

        And you haven’t gotten into my craw, I’m just having an interesting time contemplating the issues, and I’m home sick and have nothing else to do today :-)

      • Christopher Hubbard

        yes, and like the rape or incest cases they make up less than 5% of abortion cases. like i said somewhere else above (because i’m not a purist) i’ll let the 5% of cases which are admittedly hard go in exchange for focusing on the 95% of cases where abortion isn’t because of exigent or incredible circumstances but merely an after-the-fact form of birth control.

      • Mogg

        According to this site, 66% of women seeking abortion fell into my second scenario. Do you have a reference for your 5% figure?

      • Christopher Hubbard

        i clicked on your link and saw general statistics breaking down by education, age, income, etc. nothing regarding the circumstances of said abortion. that’s the most important statistic of all.

        wikipedia (click on reasons for abortion) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_in_the_United_States#Reasons_for_abortions)

        ny times here (not 5%, but 1%) (http://www.nytimes.com/1989/10/13/us/rape-and-incest-just-1-of-all-abortions.html)

        taken from the guttmacher institute (http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/policy/abortion/abreasons.html)

        a pro-lfe group based out of uc san diego (http://www.realweb.ifastnet.com/stats.html)

      • Mogg

        To quote: “…Many feel that the most responsible course of action is to wait until their situation is more suited to childrearing; 66% plan to have children when they are older, financially able to provide necessities for them, and/or in a supportive relationship with a partner so their children will have two parents…” the reference was to a peer-reviewed publication of the Guttmacher Institute. If you add up the percentages quoted on Wikipedia, the reasons “too young”, “would disrupt education or job” and “want to postpone childbearing” (in other words, too young) accounted for just under 50% of the reasons given, which is a less but still a huge percentage, and probably accounted for by being a study across multiple countries. “unable to afford a baby” accounted for another 21%, and “problem relationship” another 14% so that’s 84% too young, too poor, too unsupported or too uneducated to, in their opinion, give a child a good upbringing.

        What was that about selfishness, again? These women are generally seeking abortion to prevent suffering, not just for themselves but for the foetus they carry and the future children they may have. That. Is. Not. Selfish.

        FYI, your last two links went, respectively, to a “page not found” and a squatter site.

      • tsara

        So, if we’re talking about legal restrictions, here, how rapey does something have to be for me to qualify for an abortion? How much evidence of rape will be required?

        Does it count as a non-consensual pregnancy if the condom breaks or the birth control fails through no fault of anybody? (Do I have to bring in the condom, or get witness testimony saying that I took my birth control pills or that my cervical mucus readings should have been too high/low for pregnancy?)

        Does it count as a non-consensual pregnancy if somebody intentionally sabotages my birth control (eg: poking holes in the condoms, replacing medicated pills with sugar pills, etc. Not that this is a fairly common tactic with abusers.)? What kind of evidence do I need to present in order to obtain an abortion?

        Does it count if I technically consented to the sex, but I was under emotional duress or abused?

        Does it count if I was drunk, drugged, or asleep and have no idea what happened?

        Does it count if I was date raped?

        Does it count if I should have been able to fight my rapist off?

        Does it count if my rapist is charming and well-respected?

        Does it count if you think I’m lying?

        Do you have any idea what the reporting (to the police) rate for victims of rape is?
        Do you have any idea what the prosecution rate of those cases brought to trial is?
        Do you know how many unprocessed rape kits are sitting in storage in the US?
        Do you know what the conviction rate of those accused of rape is?

      • Christopher Hubbard

        you are overthinking it. if one makes a decision due to duress, fraud or abuse . . . that’s not consent! if you were drunk, or incapacitated, or insane, that negates the mental state and no . . . that’s not consent. my goodness, if you were date raped, you were raped . . . and that’s not consent. take a basic course in criminal law and you’ll learn all about mental states and what conduct is voluntary and what is not. each of the above is an example where free will is lacking. do you not therefore recognize the opposite or in cases where the pregnancy is the result of free will s/he therefore DOES count and s/he CAN be held responsible for it. none of your parade of horribles changes the fact that less than 5% of cases of abortion are because of any and all of the above factors. why are you more interested in fighting on behalf of a nickel instead of 95 cents on the dollar???

      • Mogg

        Hang on, you called duress an excuse when I mentioned it! And tsara is not overthinking it – if you make the allowable reason for abortion rape, you have to be able to precisely diagnose rape. You have to somehow remove the tendency of police officers and the rest of the legal system to blame the victim and make the rape at least partially her fault (and seeing as we are talking of pregnancy, I won’t include male rape victims). And you have to have a way of determining how those blurry cases of coercion, diminished capacity and so forth affect the outcome of the decision to determine whether the abortion can go ahead or not. That’s a hell of a lot of thinking to do while the pregnancy progresses and makes the procedure more difficult and dangerous.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        no i didn’t. cite me saying that or you are making it up. duress is always a defense to X for the very reason that it negates consent. nice try. you are overthinking it too. the vast majority of abortions aren’t due to the infinite parade of horribles you raise, but simply because the mother, and even more so these days the father doesn’t want to become a parent at that particular time and place in their life. it’s also called taking the easy way out.

      • Mogg

        I said: “…if the girl or woman had poor or no sex education and contraceptive options, or are in a culture which actually lies to you about sex and contraception, IS IN A SITUATION WHERE SEX IS COERCED OR MANIPULATED, or has other psychosocial factors which contribute to poor decision making, then the girl or woman’s decision making agency is reduced.”

        And you replied: “stop making excuses for people who make bad choices…”

        The vast majority of abortions are because the mother doesn’t want, can’t afford, or can’t deal with a pregnancy or child at that particular time in their life. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. And why should people take a hard, more expensive, more costly to society way just to make *you* feel better?

      • pennyroyal

        ah, the infamous ‘abortion for convenience”
        where do you get your factoids? Cause they are very unconvincing.

      • tsara

        If I’m seeking an abortion when abortion is highly restricted, I have a lot of incentive to lie.
        In fact, I’ll tell you flat out, I, personally, would lie to get an abortion. I, personally, would visit Kermitt Gosnell to get an abortion. I, personally, have no idea what I would or would not do in order to get an abortion.
        Now, pretend I’m in a country with your ideal laws on abortion, and I visit a doctor and tell them that I was raped and would like an abortion. Neither you nor the doctor knows anything more about the situation.
        What now?

      • Christopher Hubbard

        kermit gosnell is going to spend the rest of his natural life behind bars. the man is a multiple murderer. sticking scissors in the back of a live newborn baby and snipping their spines isn’t even abortion, IT’S INFANTICIDE. if you support that, you are living on another planet. i’m glad i don’t know you.

      • tsara

        I don’t support that.
        (EDIT: seriously, that’s what you got out of what I wrote? Do you know where rates of infanticide and newborn babies being left on doorsteps and in dumpsters are very low? Canada.)
        My point is, I would be desperate, and searching for escape holes from the second I found out. I would risk my own life. I would take dubious medications. I would use a coathanger. I would drink alcohol. I would try herbal mixtures. I would visit a butcher. I would keep trying either until I was no longer pregnant or until I was dead.
        Now, can you answer the question?

      • pennyroyal

        I have known adult women whose mothers were so desperate not to have yet another child, that they tried to self-induce an abortion. They grew up to be prochoice. Just as I am an adoptive mother and pro-choice.
        Please stop with the absolutist arguments.

      • Olive Markus

        There is not ONE pro-choicer who supports Gosnell. Not one. He deserves to be prosecuted and rot in jail.

        If you have your way and somehow abortion is made illegal, clinics such as Gosnell’s will pop up all over the place, because desperate women will seek whatever help they can find.

      • pennyroyal

        CH, your argument above is fallacious. It’s a red herring fallacy, designed to muddy the waters. The question is, do women have the right to a legal, safe abortion, or not?

      • Mogg

        Er… the only person mentioning Gosnell here is you. Nobody supports the kind of things he did, and the only reason he had the opportunity to do them is because his clients were in general unable to get a safe abortion elsewhere. Pro-choicers support a situation where nobody would ever feel the need to put themselves into the hands of a Gosnell.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        if that’s the case i truly feel sorry for you. you mean to tell me you have no friends and family enough to support you and help get you through it? if the circumstances of your hypothetical pregnancy are not your own doing, i would stand with you. if it was your doing, i have no sympathy for you. you determine your actions and your behavior. just as i do mine.

      • tsara

        This is a hypothetical situation. (though my emotions on the subject of abortion are real.)
        The case is this: Abortion is prohibited except in cases of rape or incest (with maybe some clause about the health of the mother). A patient unfamiliar to the doctor walks in to the doctor’s office, and says that zie was raped and needs to terminate the pregnancy.
        In this imaginary country wherein you determine the laws, what would the law allow or require the doctor to do next?

      • Mogg

        It doesn’t matter if tsara has a family and friends as plentiful and sweet as flowers in springtime. If she doesn’t have the desire, or the psychological or physical capacity to carry a pregnancy to term and then give the baby up for adoption, it is not in anyone’s interests to force her to, which is effectively what you are advocating.

      • pennyroyal

        in South America the catheter is passed hand to hand. Women can’t refuse sex with their husbands, the Church says so. The RC Church also says, no birth control. People have used abortifacients and your arguments are based on a theology and a sanctifying of life that is only 150 years old.

        Women who are refused abortions will seek out illegal means. And they will die because of it. That’s hardly prolife! And their children will be motherless. Your blanket condemnation of abortion is inhuman, contingent, and totally biased against women as moral agents.

      • pennyroyal

        again, where are your statistics? Why do you assume one has to take a ‘basic course in criminal law” to understand this. I’m going to be in jury duty and may get called to sit on a rape case. The judge and criminal court don’t require me to have taken a course in criminal law!!! They just want an upright citizen to be part of a jury. You argument is bogus.

        Also, anytime women are told they think too much, it’s because the male antagonist is in the wrong and knows it. You’re ‘argument’ is hot air and homespun, illogical arguments. Go home and learn how to do critical thinking. We had to. That’s why we shoot down every bogus ‘thrust’ of an argument you try to make. Come back in a few years when you grow up sonny boy.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        yes i do know that the prosecution rate for rape is VERY LOW. do you know why that is? because unless the woman comes forward to the police and sooner after the incident than later, it becomes next to impossible to PROVE it. he said, she said cases are the hardest of all to prove. what part of PROOF BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT don’t you quite get. if you want greater prosecutions and convictions of rapists, then GO TO THE POLICE IMMEDIATELY and don’t feel sorry for yourself to the point that you feel helpless and do nothing. because that more than anything else will ensure that the rapist is never caught. you seem to want it both ways.

      • Mogg

        Because telling a person in psychological distress how to feel is *so* useful. @_@

      • Christopher Hubbard

        that may very well be but it’s a sure fire way to all but guarantee he will never be caught.

      • Mogg

        Maybe, just maybe, the system should be changed so that rape victims find themselves supported instead of revictimised by the legal process. Just sayin’.

      • pennyroyal

        “Why can’t a woman, be more like a man?”
        My Fair Lady.

      • Beutelratti

        “…and don’t feel sorry for yourself to the point that you feel helpless and do nothing”

        Wow, now aren’t you a gem?

      • Christopher Hubbard

        if you want to feel sorry for yourself and dwell in your misery, you are free to do so but realize that unless there are eyewitnesses to the rape, the rapist will never be caught if you say nothing or do so too late and there is no evidence of a crime. i know that sounds harsh but that’s reality. if it’s getting the guy who rapes (and probably has before or will again as many rapists are repeat/serial offenders/sexual predators) get a hold of yourself enough to go report it to the authorities. know a better way? i’d love to hear it.

      • Mogg

        Because rapists so often commit rape in front of witnesses. You’re getting more and more charming as you go on…not.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        you’re right! of course they don’t. which is why it is all the more important to report it?!? no. what other way here on earth is there to prove/catch the people who do these things if the woman for understandable but inexcusable reasons don’t want to report it???

      • Mogg

        So, we have Norn from Looking Glass World where everything is backwards, and now you, from Simplicityland, where the only colours are black and white and problems never have multiple, complicated factors like those in this world which contribute to women not reporting rape.

        Who said there weren’t alternative universes?!

      • pennyroyal

        what state is it where, if you go to the ER, you have to pay for the rape kit?
        10 days ago some idiot US senator said women don’t get pregnant due to rape. If women go to ER “they clean you out.” This is your attitude and it’s an ugly one. Ignorance and hate speech.

        How many men who are abused by their wives report it?? A tiny %. Why? Because they are ashamed. More of that shame you are so fond of.

      • Niemand

        If women go to ER “they clean you out.”

        Wha? It’s true that a reputable ER will offer post-exposure prophylaxis, aka the “morning after pill” to a woman of childbearing potential who has been raped. But I thought that that was just the sort of thing the pro-rapist movement opposed. Did this senator just have no idea at all what he was talking about or what?

      • victoria

        You can see a clip of that in this Daily Show clip (which is worth watching for other reasons): http://www.hulu.com/watch/505509#i1,p5,d1

      • pennyroyal

        here’s the link. There is so much ignorance about women’s bodies among these legislations. They think the penis goes into the uterus and not the vagina. They are just ridiculous and incompetent to be legislating on this issue.

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/24/jodie-laubenberg-texas-rape_n_3493220.html

      • Beutelratti

        “if you want to feel sorry for yourself and dwell in your misery,…”

        That is so horribly insensitive it’s not even funny. Mansplaining at its best.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        it’s not funny nor insensitive, it’s the truth. if you want to catch rapists (most of whom are repeat offenders) the best way to do so is to report it immediately. no?? tell me, absent an eye or ear witness that can vouch for your story, what other evidence than a he-said, she-said does a prosecutor/jury have to go on?? we don’t convict people by osmosis. grow up!

      • Beutelratti

        Oh really? How about you grow the fuck up and stop with your insensitive crap. Of course the ideal is that the victim reports the crime immediately. That is not the problem. The problem is your arrogance in assuming she is not doing so because she feels sorry for herself. You have absolutely no idea why victims don’t report rapes and assuming it is because they feel so sorry for themselves and telling them to get over it already shows an absolute lack of compassion and a huge amount of arrogance from your side. Incredible.

      • Olive Markus

        It is blaming the victim. Stop It. NOW.

      • pennyroyal

        oh, are you out in the streets protecting women? This whole argument of yours is insuffrably arrogant and condescending.

      • phantomreader42

        What kind of gem? Maybe a coprolith? Or a piece of trash covered with the diseased secretions of a dying mollusk?

      • Olive Markus

        I hope someday you grow up and realize that your attitude about women is the very attitude that fuels rape culture and a woman’s incredible fear to come forward in cases of rape.

        The shame and judgement of women that you are so good at dishing out is why these cases are so hard. Have you been watching the news lately? Cases of rape in which women dared to come forward, ALWAYS result in the sympathy for the men who were [maybe] convicted and ALWAYS result in the hatred, harassment, and demonization of the women who survived the rape. Suicide of rape victims after they came forward is a disturbing trend. Coming out when you know that most people won’t believe you, when most people will hate you for it… it isn’t easy. Many women are so conditioned by purity/patriarchal culture that any rape is their fault that they don’t even process the situation for a long time.

        Please, grow up sooner rather than later. You are a hateful person and people like you are responsible for rape culture.

      • pennyroyal

        that’s not how it work. Many women are so ashamed and feel so violated and physically need to recover from the attack that they take time. You complete lack of understanding is just as appalling as your complete lack of compassion for another living breathing human being.

      • phantomreader42

        Ah, multitasking! You managed to do some slut-shaming AND blame rape victims, WHILE dodging the question, all in a single comment!
        So, would you require a conviction before allowing a rape victim to remove the parasitic growth the rapist placed in her uterus? Do you have any idea how long trials take? I doubt it, you’ve shown that you know as little as possible about subjects you keep bloviating about, and you like it that way. As an example, I served on the jury for a simple DUI, tried AN ENTIRE YEAR after the alleged crime. On the assumption that you’re ALSO woefully and willfully ignorant on the subjects of developmental biology and kindergarten-level time measurement, a pregnancy takes approximately nine months, while a year is twelve months. So, how would your plan work in the REAL WORLD, with REAL, LIVING, BREATHING WOMEN? Oh, what do you care, you’ve never spent any time in the real world in your miserable life!

      • victoria
      • pennyroyal

        got statistics?
        guttmacher.org

      • pennyroyal

        statistics?

      • Niemand

        Less than 1% of abortions occur at >20 weeks GA and >50% occur at 8 weeks or less. If we want to talk statistics and focus on the norm instead of the exception.

      • Beutelratti

        No, no and no. You are really the epitome of selfishness and entitlement mentality if you think you have any say in what other people do with their bodies and if you think you should in any way restrain their right to bodily autonomy. The sheer arrogance you display here is also the epitome of mansplaining.

        My body is mine. My children will know that I freely and voluntarily granted them the right to use my body and that I brought them into this world out of my free will. My children will know that they are very much wanted and my daughters will know that no misplaced sense of righteousness or religious entitlement will take away their right to bodily autonomy.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        you shouldn’t make assertions about people YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT. if i ever impregnate a woman (not my wife) i won’t take the easy way out but take responsibility for the child that i am the father-to-be too. that is the EXACT OPPOSITE of entitlement and selfishness. i don’t impose my mistakes or bad choices on others and i don’t deny them when i do. you have a caricature in search of somebody else. maybe guys you’ve dated. but certainly not me. NOT ME.

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

        Really? You’ll host the child in your body? You’ll take the hormone swings, weight gain, and nausea? You’ll take on the risks of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke, squished bladder, permanent muscle dystonia, and more? You’ll deal with the food and beverage restrictions, the people offering unwanted advice, the invasions of private space as people pat your belly without asking? You’ll spend six months restricted in where you can go, what you can lift, what exercises you can do? At the end, you’ll go through the ~6-66+ hours of excruciating pain or have the major abdominal surgery to get the baby out, then the two-week recovery afterwards?

        That’s awfully nice of you. If you aren’t offering to do that, though, you really should be supporting the mother in whatever her choice is- to have the baby (and then support said baby for its entire life) or to terminate the pregnancy. And why is your wife any different? People don’t marry and then magically have the resources or desire to have a baby. Any woman, even your wife, gets to make that choice.

      • Rosa

        don’t forget the higher risk of being murdered by your male partner, and much higher risk of being fired or not hired at a job.

      • Mogg

        That’s generous of you, given that it’s not your body that’s going to be pregnant, with all that implies. You would indeed be imposing your mistake and bad choice on someone in that situation, and if ever I had the (unfathomably!) bad fortune to have accidentally gotten pregnant to someone like you, you would very quickly find out that your presumption of control over my body was not welcome.

        What makes you think that you have any right at all to comment on the relationships of any other person posting here, or fantasize on their effects? It’s irrelevant and rude.

      • Beutelratti

        Sometimes I really want to tell some men this: Just look at your penis, look at it. The opening of a vagina can accommodate a penis, but mostly only after having been stretched out and even then some vaginas cannot accommodate some penises. And yet here you are, looking at your penis, that might or might not fit into my vagina, and think you can tell me that I just gotta take responsibility and squish a friggin head out of my vagina that might or might not accommodate something with the size of your penis.

      • Beutelratti

        “What makes you think that you have any right at all to comment on the
        relationships of any other person posting here, or fantasize on their
        effects? It’s irrelevant and rude.”

        And wow, I didn’t notice until now that he wrote that. I called him out for being a sexist pig somewhere else already. It’s like in his mind a woman’s actions and opinions are only centered around men. And one wonders why we still need feminism.

      • Mogg

        I forgot “condescending”. Urgh.

      • Niemand

        if i ever impregnate a woman (not my wife) i won’t take the easy way out
        but take responsibility for the child that i am the father-to-be too.
        that is the EXACT OPPOSITE of entitlement and selfishness.

        On the contrary, that is a completely selfish and entitled statement to make. You won’t “take the easy way out”? What about her? Don’t her wishes have anything to do with the decision? What if she wants an abortion? What if she wants the child but doesn’t want you to have anything to do with it (or her)? What if she wants to have the child and give it up for adoption and doesn’t want your “responsibility” messing with that?

        And then there’s your wife and family, if you have any. What will they think of your diverting time and money to your second family? Did you think of them for even a second before declaring yourself so responsible?

        You seem to have little interest in the wants and needs of your sexual partner(s), only in your own. And those you project onto an embryo that, having no brain of its own, can’t argue with you or insert its own desires.

      • Niemand

        if i ever impregnate a woman (not my wife) i won’t take the easy way
        out but take responsibility for the child that i am the father-to-be
        too.

        Are you? Suppose the woman who was pregnant said that she absolutely didn’t want to be pregnant but she was willing to help you raise the child after it was born. And it just so happened that she knew of a way that this was possible! She’s friends with a research obstetrician who has found a way to transfer an embryo from a woman’s uterus to a man’s intestinal lining, where it will grow and be delivered in 9 months via c-section. Of course, there are certain risks: it’s no safer for a man to be pregnant than for a woman and maybe riskier. But let’s say that, oh, 100 men have already undergone this procedure, none have died, only one was irrevocably brain damaged, and a mere 50% reported significant changes in bodily function of any sort 1 year later. Would you do it? (I should make clear that this is an entirely imaginary scenario. As far as I know, no one is working on making it possible to transfer an embryo to men and I’m absolutely certain that no one has a 100 person series.)

      • Christopher Hubbard

        mansplaining?? sorry, i’ve never heard that one before. my position is actually on the side of women more than men and particularly on the side of younger women (my age cohort) (http://www.gallup.com/poll/118399/More-Americans-Pro-Life-Than-Pro-Choice-First-Time.aspx) and there’s a good reason for that that if you want to have an honest conversation about that.

      • Beutelratti

        Yes, mansplaining. Go look it up. You just did it again.

        Before we go into any “honest conversation” as you so nicely put it, you need to explain to me how it is okay to deny women a right that even corpses have? Tell me just that one thing.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        no. it’s your silly word. you tell me.

      • Beutelratti

        Silly word, eh? It’s not mine either. I’m not responsible for your lack of knowledge. I would not ask you to explain words to me that I don’t understand. I look them up. Duh.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        you brought the word up. tell me what it means. it’s not an official word but the vernacular of some kind of subculture i obviously don’t know as much about as you. tell me what it means. are you afraid?

      • Beutelratti

        Nope, what would I be afraid of?
        Look: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=mansplain

        Was that really so hard?

      • Christopher Hubbard

        i’m not clicking on your silly links to look up words you refuse to explain to me in your own words. you can’t do it can you?

      • Beutelratti

        I can. I simply refuse to serve your ignorance and arrogance. :)

      • Christopher Hubbard

        i’m not ignorant. i could care less what it means. it’s your silly word you’re trying to communicate to me not the other way around. if you have any confidence in it’s meaning or your ability not just to describe it but articulate it you would have done so four or five posts above. you haven’t. because you don’t and you can’t. i could care less.

      • Beutelratti

        tl;dr

        See response above.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        speaking in acronyms and code doesn’t make your case. you made the offer of proof. for what purpose only you can state. and the burden of proof is on you.

      • Beutelratti

        I made my case in this very thread. You did not reply to that and instead decided to lecture me here and try to make me explain words to you that you could have easily looked up yourself if you cared enough.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        you keep stalling. just tell me what it is and be done with it.

      • Beutelratti

        No. The discussion about the word is done for me. I did more than I had to with providing you a link. You still refuse to answer the actually important points about bodily autonomy and instead focus your attention on trying to prove that I’m “stalling” or that I don’t actually know what I’m talking about.

      • pennyroyal

        CH reminds me of the scientist who discovered the microscope and tiny little cells. His critics called him a fraud and yet they, at the same time, refused to peer through the microcope.

      • NeaDods

        It’s not a case of refusing to see. It’s a case of refusing to AGREE, and it’s very offensive when the response to a rebuttal is “you are stupid/ignorant/ignoring my argument/refuse to admit I’m right because I say I am.” CH’s “gotcha” arguments are not convincing and couched in insults many is that supposed to sway us?

      • pennyroyal

        if you were a toddler, this would be a tantrum….

      • pennyroyal

        you are really without defenses on this one. Your refusal to use words that at least three of us know, leaves you…wordless or silenced. How does it feel. Women have had centuries of being silenced.

      • Mogg

        *clapclapclap*

      • Mogg

        And yet you’re happy to post links and expect others to follow up. Double standard, much?

      • The_L1985

        Fine, asshole. “Mansplaining” is when a man assumes that a woman doesn’t know something that’s either common knowledge or required for someone in her line of work, because she’s only a woman, and explains it in a condescending manner. The word “mansplaining” applies whether the man is correct or incorrect; the point is the condescension.

      • pennyroyal

        you could look it up. But I guess you get a woman to do it because women are here to serve you. Typical.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        what right is being denied women that “even corpses have???”

      • Beutelratti

        Bodily autonomy?! Does that ring a bell? If you don’t want your body to be used for science or your organs to be used to save other people’s lives then no one and really no one can use your body or take your organs even after you’re dead. That is called bodily autonomy and it extends after death. No one gets to use your body against your will. No one.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        yes. that makes sense. how are women being denied rights that even corpses have? you still haven’t explained that. when a woman dies and becomes a corpse her estate or her heirs have the same right to protect her dead corpse every bit as much as the heirs of a man regarding a male corpse do, so i don’t follow.

      • Beutelratti

        “No one gets to use your body against your will.”

        If you grant embryos and fetuses the right to personhood that also entails that they do not get to use someone else’s body against their will. Simply by growing they are very much using the woman’s body. They are living off her body. Do they choose to? No. They still do not have the right to use any person’s body against their will. Nobody and really nobody has that right. By giving it to embryos and fetuses you are very much giving them rights that no human being has and you are denying the woman her right to bodily autonomy and so you are effectively denying her rights that even corpses have.

      • pennyroyal

        the man goes on and on about responsibilty and doesn’t even take responsibility to add a word to his vocabulary.

      • pennyroyal

        look it up in urban dictionary. I’m probably way older than you and I’ve had to put up with mansplaining my whole life. And people like you who antagonize just make people like me work all the harder to protect people from the shameless frauds passing anti-abortion legislation.

        ‘Splain to me why you are any better than Governor Ultrasound of VA who steals things from the Gov. mansion and got a business friend to pay for his daughter’s wedding, including the dinner and use of an expensive car. That’s corruption, bud. Try ‘splaining away that one.

      • pennyroyal

        Now you have shown your true colors CH.

        3 hours of judgementalism and moral arrogance. Women are not narcissist or selfish? No! women will no longer automatically sacrifice themselves for a tiny little zygote. Their life, I hate to tell you, is paramount, not as the Catholic Church would have it, that even a fertilized egg has a paramount right to life.

        I also have to tell you that you haven’t gotten in anyone’s craw. Here again, you show your true aims, to antagonize and foment more of the endless wrangling. Why don’t you get a life of your own. Life is hard enough without people like you with your pseudo-high mindedness and dogma. Haven’t you got something productive to do with 3 hours. How about volunteering at a women’s shelter. If they’d have you.

      • The_L1985

        I don’t want abortion to be legal just for ME, dimwit. If I get pregnant, I want to keep the child if at all possible. I want abortion to be legal for the sake of other women who aren’t as fortunate as I am. How on earth does that make me selfish?

        Also, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Elvenfoot is being civil. You are not. You can disagree without acting disagreeable, you know.

      • Mogg

        I’m not sure how it could sound American, seeing as I’m not :-) It is inherent in entitlement that one has great difficulty in seeing one’s own biases, though, so could you please clarify why it sounds entitled and selfish? I’m not saying it isn’t, just that as far as I can see the same conditions apply whether a foetus has an American mother or one of any other nationality. Access to family planning, including abortion, is vital for women in developing countries as well as western.

      • NeaDods

        Because women elsewhere in the world don’t get abortions? Or have different reasons? It’s a woman’s issue, not an American one.

      • http://preciousscars.wordpress.com/2012/06/page/2/ pi31415

        Ever been pregnant? You make it sound so easy: “Why not have the baby and give it up for adoption?” Any woman who has ever spent half her pregnancy on bedrest, been threatened with losing her job or suffered life-threatening complications or a difficult delivery would laugh at the very idea. “Why not have the baby?” Because it’s not always that easy or simplistic. And YOU are not the best judge of what’s best for someone else’s life.

      • Niemand

        why not have the baby and give it up for adoption?
        I would have a high chance of dying in a pregnancy. That’s why not. In my case. Others have other motives that are none of your business.

      • pennyroyal

        are you a troll or just being antagonistic?

        There is no such thing as ‘unborn” or a ‘baby.’ Legally it’s a fetus. In most cultures, if a fetus has not drawn breath, it is not the equivalent of a living, breathing human being. Stop with the evangelical rhetoric. We’ve heard it all before.

      • The_L1985

        Oh wow. You seriously think that every person who wants an abortion is unmarried? Newsflash: 72% of the women who have had abortions since 2008 were married. The majority of women who have an abortion already have other, wanted children at the time. Or do you believe that if a married couple doesn’t want children right now, they should be expected to have a sexless marriage?

        As for the adoption option, I agree that it is a wonderful choice–but bear in mind that the choice isn’t “adopt, give birth, or abort.” There are 2 different decisions there: first, you choose whether to abort or give birth, THEN if you choose birth, you also decide whether to keep the child yourself or adopt it out. “Adopt out” is a subset of “give birth.” Some women are in situations where they can’t give birth.

        The way to make abortion rare is not by making abortions harder to get. It is through education (so people know that birth control is an option if they want to have unmarried sex) and making sure there is a social safety net in place for pregnant women, so that they can afford to have and raise the baby in the first place.

      • The_L1985

        Well, if the woman is raped, she didn’t choose to have that unprotected sex, now did she?

  • Baby_Raptor

    I’ve been on the receiving end of that yelling. It’s…Not fun.

    It’s just a bunch of uneducated people who think that their religion gives them the right to torture people for making a decision they don’t agree with. That their religion gives them the right to try and dictate the choices of others despite not knowing the situation or being in any way responsible for the outcome.

    It all comes down to ego. It takes a real sense of self-importance and self-pride to presume to intrude on another’s life, no matter what the intruder’s motivations.

    The women who’ve had to make that walk, and the volunteers like Libby who helped, are more humane and “pro-life” than anyone in the pro-forced birth lobby will ever be.

    • LizBert

      Yes. It is exactly this. I doubt that the protesters ever convince women to not have an abortion. Shouting baby killer at someone is oddly enough not very convincing. It does, however, make a hard situation even harder. I had an abortion and it was a damned hard decision, I don’t regret it but I’m also not going to claim that I feel good about it either. I hurt for months afterward, sometimes I still feel teary about it. Having people call me the mother of a dead baby did nothing but cause me pain, which doesn’t help convince me that these people give a crap about life or that they would have supported me if I chose to have the baby. They don’t know anything about my life, maybe they shouldn’t presume to tell me what is right and wrong.

  • Norm Donnan

    What would change if you believed it was people being marched into a facility to be exterminated for any reason you can possibly imagine,lets say first degree murder to make it easy on you….thousands of them???What would your response be???Throw in retarded, druggies,religious zelots….fill in your own pet hate. It would be fair enough right…they deserve it eh….justice fullfilled yeh. You certainly wouldnt go down there and speak out for the scum bags would we now??? So if people who believe what science removes all shadow of doubt is being killed is a human being of the most pure and innocent kind,are they wrong to go to facility to call out STOP,DONT DO IT. Should they care that it upsets some people or is it the most basic human response to ,as they see it,to the wholesale slaughter of children???

    • http://deird1.dreamwidth.org Deird

      Personally, if I was watching people being murdered, I’d try to stop them in a way that works.

      Screaming at people going into abortion clinics is not only hateful, incompassionate, and unloving – it’s also ineffective. Which means you’re going out of your way to make people feel horrible and not getting the result you want. Not something I’d recommend, really.

    • Saraquill

      If you wanted to save the lives of the unborn, it would be more effective to campaign for better quality, affordable health care, day care, public education and so forth. It would also be great to fight for safe affordable housing, and increased services to help women train for and find jobs that pay a living wage.

      Screaming at women who can not afford to raise a child, or even carry it to term when the cards are so heavily stacked against them is hardly fair.

      • Norm Donnan

        Oh please,why dont we just ban poverty. Im pretty sure banning abortion would be much more effective in saving the lives of the unborn than waiting until utopia appears.

      • Mogg

        That’s amazing. You must live in Looking Glass world, because that’s exactly the opposite of what actually happens here in this world, where banning abortion a) doesn’t prevent abortion and b) contributes to increased poverty.

      • Sarah Eilerson

        Waiting around for abortion to be eradicated from the earth IS waiting for utopia to appear.

      • Stev84

        Some other countries seem to be managing it just fine. You need to look beyond your “Amurika is the greatest!!!!” bubble.

      • Saraquill

        What is wrong about wanting people to be born into a decent quality of life, rather than grow up cold, hungry and homeless?

      • Norm Donnan

        Is that your reasoning for killing them,I pity the poor in the world

    • The_L1985

      “Retarded?”

      I have family with mental disabilities, you inconsiderate ass.

      And quite frankly, the terrorists who bomb abortion clinics are actually the only ones who I believe are actually responding appropriately to what they believe is “the wholesale slaughter of children.” After all, if you honestly believe that hundreds of murders are taking place there, standing on the sidewalk with a sign saying “Don’t do that!” isn’t exactly going to change anything.

      • Seeker

        Except that by bombing clinics, anti-choice terrorists are killing any number of INNOCENT BAYBEEEZE whose mothers are there for prenatal care.

        That completely overlooks the hypocrisy of so-called “pro-life” people maiming and killing complete strangers.

      • Norm Donnan

        And so have l….so all the woman who are routinelly tested for down syndrome and choose to abort are all ass’s right? So what do you think they are actually doing at abortion clinic’s,giving a massarge maybe? And yes people do change there mind at the last minute and when their child is born realise exactly what it was they were going to abort.

      • Mogg

        Knowing ahead of time so you can prepare to raise a Down’s Syndrome child is also a helpful use of prenatal screening. Not everyone chooses to abort under those circumstances – after all, it’s a choice. And a newborn child is not the same as a foetus at the gestational age where Down’s can be diagnosed – it develops from it, but it isn’t the same.

      • Norm Donnan

        The result is the same for the baby no matter what the age

      • Niemand

        Have an abortion, pledge celibacy: the result’s the same for the “baby”.

      • Norm Donnan

        except one doesnt involve a baby

      • Niemand

        Neither involves a baby. Both involve a potential baby. The result’s the same for the imaginary baby in either case.

      • Mogg

        You are conflating two separate comments, there, and managing to make a false statement that had not much to do with either. To address that statement: age, in the sense of development, does make a difference. If the mother decides she can’t or won’t continue the pregnancy, it is medically best for her to end it as quickly as possible, and the earlier the pregnancy is aborted the less likely it is that the foetus has any capacity for awareness or suffering to consider. Abortion is still an option when those things are a factor, but it complicates things in the view of some, and certainly it complicates the procedure and is more risky and painful for the mother.

        However, a foetus is not the same as a newborn, in the same way that I am not the same as I will be as a geriatric, should I ever make such an age. And I am definitely not the same as if I become a geriatric with severe Alzheimer’s. I sincerely hope whoever has my power of attorney allows me to die, should I ever get to that.

        And much to the surprise of certain pro-lifers, it is actually possible to make the choice to have a child which was diagnosed with Down’s early. In such cases, it is certainly good to know ahead of time and be prepared, and in any case, Down’s is by no means the only thing checked for in pre-natal screening. Some of the things which can be diagnosed early can be the difference quite literally between life and death for both mother and foetus, and some can be corrected or monitored and managed during pregnancy to increase the chance of a healthy birth, so anyone not being screened on the basis that they would never have an abortion are (imo) downright foolish.

      • The_L1985

        “And yes people do change there mind at the last minute and when their child is born realise exactly what it was they were going to abort.”

        This is, quite frankly, the stupidest, most condescending sentence I’ve read in a while (even ignoring your spelling errors*). And that’s really saying something. Everybody knows that when you have an abortion, you are ending the life of a human embryo or fetus. When you say things like this, you are implying that grown women are somehow stupid enough to not know what pregnancy is.

        Abortion is a difficult choice, and yes, some women who were going to have an abortion end up changing their minds and not having one. But this also happens in the other direction. Imagine you are pregnant with a baby. You want this baby very much. You’re so happy to become a mother. Then you find out the baby has Tay-Sachs, an extremely painful disorder which always kills in infancy. The baby is going to die either way, so you choose an abortion so that the child’s life ends quickly and with very little pain. This is not an easy choice for a mother to make. Do you honestly think that every woman who has an abortion hates children or something?

        By the way, I am very proud of people who choose to raise a child with Down Syndrome or other such disabilities. However, I personally know that I lack the patience to raise a child with severe cognitive disabilities in a way that would assure the child’s health and happiness. It would also be cruel to put such a child up for adoption, because children with disabilities are rarely adopted and end up being shuffled around the foster system–to say nothing of the implication that “Mommy got rid of me because I wasn’t good/healthy enough.” So if I were pregnant with a child with Down’s, I would abort because I consider it the most compassionate thing to do for the child. This is not the right choice for every person, but it would be the right choice for me in that situation.

        Pro-choice folks aren’t stupid. We know what’s in a pregnant woman’s uterus. Everybody knows what’s in a pregnant woman’s uterus. However, abortion is a very big decision which already carries a heavy moral weight without legal burdens added on to it. All pregnancies carry some risk. Different people have different ideas of what level of risk is acceptable to them. It is not my place as a US citizen to tell other people which reasons and risks are and are not good enough.

        ——————————————————
        * Routinely. Asses. Clinics. Massage. Their. </pedant>

      • Sophie

        Not that I want to defend Norm at all, in fact I am quite reluctant to do this but my pedantic side is making me, realise is a perfectly valid spelling. It was spelled with s first, :-)

      • The_L1985

        Thanks! I’ve removed it from the list.

      • tsara

        ‘realise’ is the British spelling.

      • The_L1985

        Ah. Mea culpa; I hadn’t seen that particular British spelling before. Editing!

      • Conuly

        Interestingly, and a lot of people do not know this, there is a rare version of Tay Sachs that is not as lethal. It kills in the teens, but still.

      • Niemand

        So what do you think they are actually doing at abortion clinic’s,giving a massarge [sic] maybe?

        This statement is particularly hilarious to me because the clinic that I went to for my last birth control fitting provided a number of services. Among them abortion and therapeutic massage.

    • Conuly

      Can we start with the people who can’t spell and don’t know what the comma is for? We aren’t the ones responsible for the murder of the English language!

    • Baby_Raptor

      “Pet hate”? Got some projection issues going on there? Disagreeing with someone does NOT equal hating them, even if you do so with less than prettyful words.

      How is a bunch of tissue “pure” or “innocent”? Even if it *were* a person, how would they be pure or innocent? These are feelings that the protesters are projecting onto a bunch of tissue; a bunch of tissue, mind, that’s currently ruining another person’s life and that they will never in any way be responsible for.

      And yes, they should care. If they were decent human beings at all, they would, no matter what they believe about abortion. They would stop to realize that maybe the person they’re harassing isn’t even there for an abortion, because abortion is less than 3% of what Planned Parenthood does. (Not that pro-forced birthers actually believe this fact.) And if the woman in question IS actually there for an abortion, then these jerks are throwing still more hate and other negatives on an already horrible situation. They’re *making it worse*. Yes, they’re wrong. And yes, they would care about this if they were actually decent people. They would find a way to do their self-serving moral grandstanding that doesn’t compound hurt on someone else.

      And, like Deird said before me, they would find a way that actually accomplishes something. Standing around harassing people entering the clinic does nothing except cause more damage and give these people an “I’m a great hero!” fix.

      Instead, they would support things that reduce the need for abortion, or things that help women to be able to raise children. They wouldn’t be out there lying about birth control, lying about what Planned Parenthood does, and blocking bills that help poor/middle class families.

      They would care about what science actually proves, instead of claiming that “science proves birth control is abortion.” They would care about being honest, instead of twisting words so that their “beliefs” can supposedly align with reality or straight up just lying.

      And they would care about something other than their belief. They would care about the woman involved, instead of just erasing her. They would care about the other children that some of these women have already. They would care about the fathers. They would care about the fact that some women abort because they cannot, simply cannot, give a child a good life, and ending a pregnancy before that life starts is better than a child being raised in hell. Or they would care about the fact that the fetus is severely damaged, would have no quality of life, or will die within hours of birth anyway. They’d care about something, anything, other than their personal feelings of being superior.

      • phantomreader42

        How is a bunch of tissue “pure” or “innocent”? Even if it *were* a person, how would they be pure or innocent?
        Well, you’ve got to understand that one of the core tenets of their religion is that ALL people are depraved sinners who deserve to be burned alive forever (except themselves when it’s convenient, because jeebus made them special). Therefore, since the fetus isn’t actually a person yet, it can be pure and innocent, and is not tainted by the sin of the world until it’s actually born, at which point they can safely abandon it to starve and suffer while looking for more sluts to shame.
        So, yeah, the babbling about teh poor innocent widdle babbys blatantly contradicts their theology and behavior, but then no one in their right mind would expect consistency from these idiots anyway.

      • smrnda

        As I know others have said before, if that’s the case, then abortion leaves the fetus in a state of moral purity, and letting the child be born leaves open the possibility that it will reject the One True Faith for secular humanism and be damned forever. Famous Christian apologist William Lane Craig already defended killing young children in the OT on these grounds.

    • Anat

      What would change? I’d feel much sadder, but support the women’s right to choose anyway. Because those are their bodies still, and their right not to donate the use of their organs against their wishes.

    • RowanVT

      You know, what’s amazing is they care so much about abortions of things that look like mutant elephant seals without facial features (5 week old embryo) but don’t seem to give a flying rat’s hooey about miscarriages.

      10-25% of all pregnancies end in miscarriages, with most of these miscarriages happening within the first trimester.

      Where is the uproar over this? Where is the funding of medical sciences to prevent miscarriages? Oh, that’s right. SCIENCE BAD! Must make women who can’t financially care for a child, are emotionally unable to care for a child, are physically unable to carry and care for a child, or simply dislike children and so know they’d be terrible parents, feel like crap!

    • Sophie

      It may come as a shock to you but most people who are pro-choice are also anti death penalty. So no we wouldn’t think it was alright. However I very much doubt anyone would bomb the building, since that would be rather counter productive with it killing the people we’d be trying to save. However your metaphor of a fetus as a killer was rather apt, considering how many women die in pregnancy and labour.

      Also no one is denying that fetuses are human, we just don’t believe that their rights trump those of the women who’s bodies they are in. But if you believe so strongly that humans have no right to bodily autonomy then I know some people who would like your organs.

    • Trollface McGee

      Seriously just shut up with the Holocaust analogy. It is insulting to every person who suffered in the Holocaust. It is disgusting and disgraceful. If you really see no difference between genocide and reproductive health care then you have some serious issues with your morality.

  • Saraquill

    There’s also the matter that these screamers are likely stigmatizing women who are there to get treated for miscarriages, or are carrying someone who is bound to have a very short, very painful life if born. Making these hard circumstances even worse, without bothering to understand these women, is disgusting.

    • Jayn

      I’ll be honest, I was somewhat nervous about going to PP for freaking birth control because of protesters. (Fortunately, they were quiet and on the sidewalk–I didn’t have to walk past them or hear anything) No difficult situations, I just didn’t want to have to deal with that sort of crap.

  • Divizna

    I don’t know how gynecology is organised in your country, so maybe this won’t apply there, but what pisses me off the most about abortion protesters is this: Where I live, abortions are usually performed in the same building as the deliveries and pregnancy care. You probably know by now what I’m getting at: There are women in the rooms inside who have been hospitalised because of pregnancy complications and high risk of miscarriage – and then some idiot with a megaphone comes to stand under the window and yell for hours, worsening their condition. The staff try to make him go away – in vain. The police say that as he is outside the building, they can’t do anything about it. So an abortion protester is actually a miscarriage inducer.

    Myself, I’m strongly opposed to abortions. I wish their number were reduced to minimum (zero is obviously unachievable: there will, unfortunately, always be unviable foetuses endangering the mother’s life, or rape victims whom the psychological trauma would destroy completely). But to ban it or shame those who are forced to undergo it clearly doesn’t do the trick. I think Jolie and repliers made a lot of this point. What works is… education of the young (in time). Wide availability of contraception means. Economic and social safety for mothers, and all forms of help they need. Raising boys towards respect for women and responsibility (emphasising boys because too often there’s much less required from them than from girls). And… No shaming. No shaming of unmarried couples who make love, no shaming of single mothers, no shaming of unusually young mothers. And what’s a real issue over here – no shaming of parents of disabled children! Because, you see, whenever a test shows there is an increased, even if still very small possibility that the kid might not be hundred percent healthy, there’s immediately pressure on the mother to seek abortion. And if the child is actually born disabled, in addition to all the difficulties of raising a disabled child, there’s a great load of hate towards the whole family from the society for bringing into the world a “worthless, uncontributing and source-consuming parasite”.

    I like the way Jolie put it – pro-choice, as in for the choice of keeping. I feel really sorry for those who seek abortion just because they weren’t given another option. To call them murderers? They’re victims.

    • Niemand

      What works is… education of the young (in time). Wide availability of
      contraception means. Economic and social safety for mothers, and all
      forms of help they need. Raising boys towards respect for women and
      responsibility (emphasising boys because too often there’s much less
      required from them than from girls). And… No shaming.

      I fully support reducing abortion by these methods. As long as the education is based on real facts and not propaganda. Abortion does not cause breast cancer. It is not associated with depression (though unplanned pregnancies are). It does not cause infertility. Both medical and surgical abortions do have risks and preventing unwanted pregnancies is vastly superior, but stick to the data. Sorry if this is an unwarranted rant, but so many people who oppose abortion are willing to lie about the consequences to discourage women from having abortions so I’ve gotten a bit cynical about the term “education”.

      I have another suggestion: How about we spend a little money to find out why some pregnancies go wrong. Maybe some abortions for medical issues won’t be necessary in time. That would be a win for everyone involved.

    • Gillianren

      I had genetic testing with my pregnancy. (I’m thirty-six and due any minute now.) I was asked before the results came back what I would do if they showed signs that something was wrong, and one of the people who asked tried to talk me out of my decision.

      I knew I would not keep the pregnancy, because my own health issues meant that I couldn’t be a good parent to it. And I wouldn’t give it up for adoption, because keeping a pregnancy when I knew I couldn’t keep the child, while something I’ve done before, seems cruel when the reason you can’t keep the child because of its flaws. It’s literally telling the child, “You’re not good enough.” No one would have shamed me for choosing to keep it; you might want to consider the reasons I would not have.

      • Hilary

        Good luck – here’s to a healthy delivery for both of you. Mazel Tov! (congradulations)

  • Beth Clarkson

    Were you lacking in compassion when you were pro-life? Somehow I doubt that.

    It seems to me it’s more about who you feel deserves your compassion and support, the pregnant woman or the fetus.

    • Gordon

      It seems to me anti-choice people do lack compassion.

      • kisarita

        it’s not about character, its about beliefs

      • Rosa

        Also what you’re encouraged to think about. A person – especially a young person – who’s been told to “think of the babies” but never had to confront the reality of pregnancy – the health risks, the emotional changes, the physical changes – will have much more of an emotional connection to the imaginary baby than to the woman.

        Given things pro-lifers have said to me – for instance, that pregnancy doesn’t really kill anyone, that you can’t get pregnant from rape, that my own personal health effects from pregnancy (some of which are still visible – I have a lot of broken blood vessels in my face and very fair skin) are not possibly from pregnancy, that the risk of repeat pregnancy I found in peer-reviewed medical literature is “exaggerated” or faked – I think a lot of the lack of compassion is based on lies people are being taught by people they trust.

      • The_L1985

        That’s just sick. I consider it deeply morally wrong to continue to hold a belief that clearly contradicts all available evidence.

        You cannot do the right thing if your idea of what the right thing is is based on lies. You simply cannot.

      • Rosa

        There has been a lot of effort put into silencing women on this topic, for a very very long time – back in the 19th century and early 20th, in most cities abortionists were tolerated as long as they didn’t become too well known, and the earliest reproductive rights fights in the US were against the Comstock Laws, which suppressed not just birth control devices but birth control information.

        Death threats are still pretty common against anyone sharing personal abortion stories.

        So this is a topic where the lies have been really hard to counter. I think the internet is changing that, and Libby Anne has been doing amazing work being part of that change.

    • belgianchic

      anti-choicers absolutely lack compassion.

    • Makoto

      Those of us who are pro-choice say “it’s a choice, to be made by those who have all the information”. That is, I don’t know you. I don’t know your circumstances, your finances, your health, the fetus’ health, or anything else. I acknowledge that I don’t know these things, and don’t want to stand in the way of your choice to do the right thing for you at that time.

      A pro-life person appears to say “doesn’t matter, have baby”. This can be seen in a number of ways – the shouting at the clinics like “Just have your baby, we’ll find an adoption service”, laws requiring harsher and harsher punishments for women seeking abortion (ultrasounds that are not medically required, just legislatively mandated, longer waiting periods, shutting down clinics based on janitor closet sizes).

      So yes, I would say that pro-life folks seem to lack compassion. I support any decision those involved decide to make.

      • Beth Clarkson

        So Libby Anne was lacking compassion for others prior to her changing her mind about abortion? I have to disagree

        I think pro-lifers have compassion, they simply feel compassion for the unborn child rather than the pregnant mother.

        BTW, I am strongly and adamantly pro-choice myself. I just think it’s wrong to claim that those who are pro-life are lacking in compassion. That seems false to me; a disparagement of those who disagree simply because they disagree rather than being an accurate assessment of their morals and motivations.

      • Anat

        But even their compassion for the future-baby is limited if they don’t support social policies to help the child survive once it is born.

      • Beth Clarkson

        I agree.

      • Makoto

        I guess I’d call it misplaced compassion, personally (ED – false compassion?). I see what you’re saying, and I do think many of the pro-life crowd are doing what they do because they have been lead to believe it’s the right thing.

        I don’t try to say they lack compassion simply because they disagree with me, it’s because of what they do.

      • Gillianren

        Exactly this. I’m sure they have compassion for the women (though not enough to do anything really helpful), but they have the wrong idea about what many of those women need. They have compassion for the fetuses, but they have no idea of what’s best for them, because they don’t know the circumstances.

      • Beth Clarkson

        I don’t feel comfortable judging their actions as an indication they lack compassion. While that is one possibility, it is not a convincing argument to me. I find a more compelling explanation to be that they have normal human compassion, they are simply focusing their compassion on the fetus rather than the mother.

        Did Libby Anne lack compassion when she was protesting? I don’t think so. Unless you are willing to condemn her previous actions as indicating she lacked compassion then and developed it only later, when she become pro-choice, then you cannot judge pro-life protesters as lacking compassion based on their actions either.

      • Michael W Busch

        Doesn’t that fall under the heading of “intent is not magic” ?

        To a large extent, it doesn’t matter if someone thinks they are being compassionate or not when their actions are causing harm.

      • Makoto

        Except protesters are causing harm – this is part of why many abortion clinics need escorts like Libby. Just look at the story above, a woman terrified by the protesters, and she wasn’t even the one getting an abortion!

        Yes, if someone is causing terror, fear, or other negative emotions in a target, especially one they know nothing about, I’m fine judging their actions as lacking compassion. Same with lawmakers making it more difficult to get an abortion simply because they don’t believe in it, or the way they spread proven false “medical” information about a link between abortion and breast cancer or depression.

      • Beth Clarkson

        The harm vs. benefit of such actions is a very subjective judgment that is based on the value system of the individual.

        While I happen to agree that such protests cause harm without providing benefit, but I also recognize that those people who are protesting clearly feel otherwise. I am not comfortable judging them as lacking compassion when they clearly are weighing the harm and benefits of their actions differently that I do.

      • Nate Frein

        If you read her posts about her shift from pro-life to pro-choice, you’d find that the most accurate way to phrase it is that Libby Anne’s compassion lead her to do real research and truly learn about the issues surrounding abortion, which then lead her to become pro-choice.

        She remained compassionate by listening to the science and adjusting her views and goals to those which supported both the lives of the women involved as well as the lives of the pregnancies brought to term.

        To say that the difference between a pro-choice and a pro-life attitude is where the compassion lies is a false dichotomy. I have compassion for potential lives…I don’t want them brought to actuality in a world where they will be unwanted and neglected. And I submit that a pro-lifer has compassion…up to the point that they are required to adjust their views and thinking to match real facts. Compassion that quits when real thinking involved…just isn’t as good as compassion that adapts to the realities of life.

      • tsara

        +10 000.

      • smrnda

        Compassion or the unborn is just a convenient way of exerting control over women, and that becomes incredibly obvious once you realize a huge % of pro life people could care less about the welfare of a child once it’s born. If the kid is born, compassion entails providing meaningful help, not just denying women control over their bodies.

      • Mogg

        if pro-lifers have any knowledge at all about the circumstances which may lead to a woman seeking an abortion, then at best their compassion is misguided. I personally don’t think it’s too far a stretch to say that they lack compassion, given that theirs clearly doesn’t stretch far enough to encompass both foetus and woman. As many people have pointed out in this thread and various others, there are plenty of ways to reduce abortions that involve compassion for women as well as their potential and existing children – parental and family leave, child and parenting benefits, subsidised health care, thorough and accurate sex education for children, and so forth. If they truly had compassion, they would be standing outside courts and government buildings shouting and waving placards to bring these about.

      • Lucreza Borgia

        I flat out asked a pro-lifer at my campus who was trying to explain to me why we should ban abortion why the hypothetical woman in her example was having the abortion. Her response? “It doesn’t matter.”

      • Baby_Raptor

        I’d be inclined to agree with you, Ms. Clarkson, if they showed any attachment to reality.

        They way they’ll say just anything to advance their agenda, the way they utterly deny long-proven facts, the way they gloat, the way all their “compassion ” is focused solely on the fetus…I don’t buy it.

        If they had any compassion, surely a small amount of it would manifest for the woman. But we never see that.

    • AnyBeth

      It may have been true that Libby Anne once thought the unborn were more worthy of compassion than their incubators (though she wouldn’t have though it in those terms). As per her post “How I Lost Faith in the ‘Pro-Life’ Movement” (most popular by far), she’d been mislead by the pro-lifers. After seeing an article explaining how banning abortion doesn’t reduce it but contraception does, she explored more outside the rhetoric of the pro-life movement that had lied to her. That lead to what you might describe as more compassion for the woman than the fetus. But remember, these things that are “having more compassion for the woman” actually work better at decreasing abortion than strict abortion laws and societal disapproval.

      • Beth Clarkson

        I think the solutions you indicate here work much better at actually decreasing abortion rates than protests do. I am in favor of all them as well as in favor of abortion on demand for all women at all stages of pregnancy.

        I agree that when someone does the research to discover how to effectively prevent most abortions, they will arrive at those same strategies.

        All I am disagreeing with is the idea that because someone holds the pro-life position, they are necessarily less compassionate than those who are pro-choice. That does not follow logically anymore than the claim (made by the opposite side) that if someone is pro-choice, then they are uncaring individuals who support the murder of innocent children.

      • phantomreader42

        The “pro-life” position, as it is actually promoted in the actual real world, leads to dead women and sick, deformed, motherless, or dead children. It does not save babies, it only makes women and children suffer and die.

      • Beth Clarkson

        I agree. My point was that agreement with that sentiment doesn’t imply that pro-life protesters lack compassion.

      • Rosie

        I think I hear what you’re saying here. That pro-life isn’t necessarily a lack of compassion, but often what I consider a misplacement of it.

        Most pro-lifers are religious, and value “innocence” over almost everything else. Thus the potential life, which is certainly “innocent” because it hasn’t had a chance to do anything or make any choices yet, is valued over any actual life, which after the first choice, or maybe even the first breath, cannot possibly be purely innocent any longer. (See also teachings about total depravity and original sin.)

        Though I think a good argument could be made that valuing what should be over what is is by definition not compassionate.

      • Anat

        How does ‘innocence’ fit with belief in Original Sin though?

      • Rosie

        As I understand it, a human being is generally considered “innocent” (as in, will go to heaven automatically) until it either draws its first breath or reaches the age of reason (which is, I think, pre-puberty in most traditions that subscribe to the notion). Of course, if you take a hard look at it either way, the most loving thing to do in either case would be to abort all fetuses and send them all straight to heaven. Most pro-lifers don’t seem to be particularly concerned about having a consistent theology around it though; they just have a sentimental fuzzy feeling for “innocence” and all “innocents”…and women who want to abort for any reason are by definition not innocent, because they want to make the “wrong” choice. Therefore they are undeserving of compassion or consideration.

        I’ve been trying for some time to make this all a coherent stance, and I’m not sure it can be done. But I was raised with the notion that I deserve every bad thing that happens to me and don’t deserve any good at all (due to my inherent sinful human nature), and it seems a reasonable extension of that to believe that my worth is only in being what God wants me to be, which is, apparently, an incubator for the sweet little innocents. If I rebel against or resist that plan, well then it’s me giving over to my sinful nature, and I’m fair game to be enslaved at will by the “righteous”. And while that statement would rather horrify most believers, many nonetheless subscribe to a massive set of often fuzzily-stated surrounding beliefs and ideas that add up to that if looked at thoroughly. And that’s what I internalized.

      • Beth Clarkson

        Thanks Rosie. You have accurately expressed the point I was attempting to communicate. I agree with Libby Anne and you.

        It’s not actually the main reason I support being pro-choice, but I do agree with the evaluation that it is a more compassionate approach for all involved.

      • Rosie

        I just came across this over at Camels With Hammers and I think it speaks to the topic at hand as well. Different things tend to matter to the religious than to the secular. In my experience, ideals and the way things “should” be matter more to the religious, while the secular tend to be more concerned with what actually is, and what demonstrably works. I don’t know if it can still be called “compassion” if it’s demonstrably making people miserable, but as many religions are pretty dependent on the sort of “compassion” that does just that (coming from a deity), it’s no surprise that religious folk would not experience excessive dissonance about it in this context either.

      • The_L1985

        It’s even more complicated when you consider that many religions consider pragmatic forms of compassion to be better than just blindly following the rules.

        Most religious Jews believe that if a woman’s life is in jeopardy from a complicated pregnancy, abortion is the morally-correct choice.

        As a Pagan, my religious beliefs lead me to the conclusion that whether abortion is right or wrong depends on the circumstances and on the woman and fetus involved. In fact, I turned to Paganism when I felt that something was “off” in Christianity’s portrayal of compassion, but couldn’t quite put my finger on it. For me, religion IS compassion, and using the deities as a source of moral and mental strength by learning from their stories.

        Religion =/= just Christianity and Islam, and certainly isn’t just the fundamentalist forms of those religions. Please bear in mind that we religious minorities often see things from a totally different perspective than other religious people. :)

      • Hilary

        L’s right. I don’t know if we’ll ever get around to it, but the standard Jewish line is that an existing life takes precedence of a potential life. The more traditional view is that am abortion is either required, or forbidden. Required if the woman’s life is at stake, or the well being of already existing children is at stake, forbidden to use casually as general birth control, or if there no mitigating factors. I’m sure the farther you go down the spectrum of orthodoxy and into fundamentalism, the more controlling the religious pressure gets, but even in the Talmud there are passages stating that a woman can protect herself from a pregnancy that would kill her, even to the point of a partial birth abortion.

    • The_L1985

      “It seems to me it’s more about who you feel deserves your compassion and support, the pregnant woman or the fetus.”

      Not necessarily. In the case of anencephaly, I feel that an abortion is the most compassionate choice for both.

      An anencephalic baby only has a hindbrain. It will be aware of being in pain (from having the inside of its head EXPOSED TO THE AIR), but won’t be conscious. It will die within a year (I have never once heard of an anencephalic baby surviving past its 1st birthday; if you know of one, please send me some form of evidence, because I’m totally open to more knowledge on this).

      An abortion makes the death quick and much less painful for both mother and child–because the mother won’t have the experience of giving birth to a baby, bonding with it, and then watching it die an unavoidable death without even being aware of the mother who cared for and fed it.

      • Beth Clarkson

        Most “pro-lifers” are okay with abortions under those circumstances. Also under the circumstances of rape, incest, etc. Not all pro-lifers certainly and as their numbers dwindle, such extremists make up a larger proportion of those who identify as ‘pro-life’. But just because someone is a pro-life protester, you cannot assume the person would be against an abortion under those circumstances and hence, have little compassion even for the child.

      • Niemand

        Most “pro-lifers” are okay with abortions under those circumstances.

        In terms of people who call themselves “pro-life”, I think you’re probably right. However, the politicians and leaders of the “pro-life” movement often don’t hold this position. Consider the case of Beatriz. Or the anonymous woman in a Catholic hospital in Arizona who the leaders of the Catholic Church said should have died rather than have an abortion and live. Or Gov Perry who overtly talks about how much he loves making women suffer and how he knows he’s doing something right when women suffer more.

        So no matter how much the average “pro-life” person may believe that it’s ok to have an abortion if you’re going to die otherwise or if the fetus has no chance of living, if he or she votes for politicians like Perry or the ones who run Nicaragua or El Salvador, the fact of the matter is that s/he is promoting suffering and death in pregnant women. And for newborns with severe anomalies. I’d advise any sincere pro-life person who values compassion for the fetus and the mother to look carefully at the exact position that the politician you are voting for holds. You may find that the “pro-choice” politician’s position is closer to your own than the “pro-life” politician’s.

      • ZeldasCrown

        I would consider “pro-life with exceptions” to be somewhat of a pro-choice (mostly they’re just making the choice be outsiders, rather than the choice come from the woman) and I would also consider it to be a logically inconsistent position (plus I don’t think it’s actually enforceable-what would be enough proof to earn a person a rape exemption? I guarantee that the word of the woman isn’t going to be good enough). If one believes that a fetus is a person, then it doesn’t matter how it was conceived-a fetus is a fetus, and none is more or less special or more or less human than any other. People who are the product of rape (where their mother decided against an abortion) or people who have disabilities aren’t considered to be sub-human, nor is it legal to murder them, so if fetuses are people, the same should apply. Personally, I think it’s an opinion formed to assuage one’s guilt over a policy that would punish rape victims and cause the death of woman to protect a fetus that’s doomed anyway, and the lack of rebuttal to the pro-choice’s point with regards to these specific situations.

        The problem, as Niemand has mentioned, is that the people in power (who the folks with this mindset have elected) don’t think that way, i.e. they want abortion to be illegal across the board. It’s in the party platform, and if most of the party’s members don’t think that way, then the platform needs to change. Sure, somebody (or event the majority) may think things like abortion or gay marriage are totally ok, but when they’re putting people into office who believe the opposite, they’re effectively supporting those opposite positions.

      • Beth Clarkson

        I agree with what you’ve said here. I think being ‘pro-life’ and willing to allow exceptions is inconsistent, just as I find it inconsistent to be ‘pro-life’ and support capital punishment. I agree that they are supporting politicians who vote for more extreme measures than they personally hold.

        The disagreement I have is with people being condemned as lacking compassion because they are pro-life protesters. They don’t always agree with or fit into our definitions of pro-life and pro-choice so it is inaccurate to assume that they would be against abortion in all circumstances or that they lack compassion for the mother.

      • tsara

        If they feel strongly enough about the issue to be protesting, and yet they haven’t done the emotional work of trying to understand where the people who get abortions and/or want to keep them legal are coming from (and I have yet to see any evidence that someone can have that understanding and still support criminalizing abortion), then compassion is exactly what they are lacking.

        EDIT: and if they’re protesting in support of something without having done research into exactly what it is that they’re supporting, they’re being irresponsible.

      • ZeldasCrown

        I would agree that there are those in the pro-life movement who’s hearts are in the right place, but have been taken in by leaders who are from a strictly “pregnancy as a punishment” standpoint. And I’ve seen those who state they are pro-life, but that they would never presume to make that decision for other people (which I would say actually puts them in the pro-choice camp. There are many pro-choice people who wouldn’t personally have an abortion themselves for a variety of reasons). A lot of the problem is with the leaders/most outspoken members.

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        I would also agree that there are “pro-life” people whose hearts are in the right place. But I don’t agree that they’re the ones harassing and bullying women outside clinics.

      • ZeldasCrown

        Oh, absolutely. If someone is a compassionate person, part of that would be not harassing people, particularly when they are going through what could be a very tough time in their life (or at the very least, when they’re going through a medical crisis).

        There are pro-life people who do support all of the things that would reduce the number of abortions (such as birth control, better sex education, etc). It’s just that their voices are completely drowned out (to the point of seemingly not existing) by those who are in the “I’m just going to tell you not to have sex and that will fix everything” camp. If this is truly how the majority of pro-life people feel, then they need to step up and be more vocal and challenge/oust the loudest segment of their cohort. Just saying that “well, nobody actually thinks that way, so it’s not an issue” isn’t good enough, because it ignores the fact that those in charge and at the head of the movement do feel that way and act accordingly. By doing nothing, they are essentially supporting the opinions they claim that they don’t agree with.

      • The_L1985

        Not to mention, many of us actually did think that telling people not to have sex would solve everything.

        I was one of them. The fact that I was also a virgin at the time is not a coincidence. Sex is a big part of (non-asexual) people’s lives, and to insist that other people simply not have sex is cruel. Especially when the couple is too poor to afford children–is sex supposed to only be for those who are well-off?

        It’s one reason why I respect the late C.S. Lewis. Someone asked him why the temptations in The Screwtape Letters didn’t include gambling or homosexuality. He said that since he, personally, had never felt the urge to gamble or engage in gay sex, he didn’t feel right using them in his book. Screwtape was supposed to be about “stumbling blocks” common to all Christians, and if he didn’t struggle with these things, then clearly they weren’t universal!

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        What on earth is anybody who believes in exceptions doing protesting at a clinic? Do they think that none of those women walking in there are rape victims, none are endangered by their pregnancies, none are pregnant with fetuses that have fatal defects? If they believe that exceptions should be made for such women, but that bullying them–women who are most likely traumatized, grieving or both–is just the price you have to pay for the important work of haranguing women who are merely, say, poor, then they are even more monstrous than they seem. Which is hard.

      • Rosa

        Some pro-life people actually believe that you can’t get pregnant from rape. I never knew that, but when it came up in the news I learned that people I actually know believe it. So they really think they are more likely haranguing women who are being forced into an abortion than women who were raped.

        Of course, the option of ASKING women why they’re there and believing them doesn’t seem to come up much.

      • Hilary

        Mm-Hmm. Which is why I can tell pretty quickly who is African and who is African American on the bus. Because women don’t get pregnant from rape. /snark, full frontal sarcasm/
        Honestly, do those people think they come from an unbroken line of consentual sex going back a thousand years? Sheesh.

      • Rosa

        It is not a belief that stands up to much scrutiny, but people don’t scrutinize a lot of what they “know” without a reason.

        I was never pro-life and I didn’t grow up Evangelical, but I managed to grow up “knowing” that birth control pills worked by preventing fertilized eggs from implanting. I have no idea who told me that (probably multiple peers, given the number of secretly sexually active Evangelical girls I knew growing up) and I always used condoms instead, so I never had any reason to examine that “knowledge” until it came up in a political context.

      • Amethyst Marie

        Pretty sure that statement could be made of any group of people regardless of color. :/

      • Hilary

        Yep, it can. One thing my mother told me is that I come from an unbroken line of survivors. Everybody does, because we can only be descended from people who at least survived long enough to reproduce. And survival ain’t always pretty. I’m reading a mystery series set in 1830′s New Orleans right now, and the main protagonist is a free man of color, Benjamin January. One of the reoccurring themes is the extremes people will go to, in order to survive in an unjust society. (Really good books, btw. google Barbara Hambly & Benjamin January to find the series. Yes, I was a librarian in a past life.)

        By ‘those people’ I meant the idiots who think women’s bodies have ways of shutting down if they are raped. While I don’t think all of humanity is descended from an unbroken line of rape, neither is any person alive descended from an unbroken line of consensual sex either.

      • The_L1985

        Yeah, the “women don’t get pregnant from rape” argument falls apart pretty quickly when you talk about the harsh realities of slavery in the antebellum South.

        The fact that white male slaveowners often bought female slaves as “breeding stock” (and I highly doubt that those slaves consented) shows that they knew rape could get you pregnant, and they wanted that outcome. You cannot claim that rape doesn’t cause pregnancy without seriously re-writing history. It’s dangerously close to Confederate apologetics.

      • smrnda

        I cannot imagine how anyone who understands even just the basics of how reproduction works could hold this view.

      • The_L1985

        Simple. You just don’t examine the things you are told by authority figures, on the (in this case, faulty) assumption that they have no good reason to lie to you.

        I was taught that birth control “doesn’t always work.” I was an adult before I really examined failure rates and what they mean. I was taught that when birth control works, it compromises future fertility. I was taught that abortion can somehow increase future rates of ectopic pregnancies, miscarriage, and breast cancer. I was taught these things by the Catholic Church, and because the Church was supposed to be a bastion of morality, I accepted them without question.

        When the child-molestation cases came to national attention in 2003, it shook my beliefs in a way I didn’t fully understand until later. I started listening to people who were criticizing the Church. I realized that I couldn’t logically defend the Church’s actions WRT pederasty without becoming a monster, and this led me to wonder what else I’d been taught that was morally wrong.

        Since abortion and birth control are hot-button topics, it seemed logical to me to research them. I was disgusted by how much I “knew” that was completely fabricated. I had similar revelations about GBLTQ issues and women in the clergy at about the same time. The combination of all of these factors, combined with the excessive guilt I felt every time I set foot in a church, caused me to leave.

        The existence of a deity is an unfalsifiable assertion, and I have no qualms with people who do or do not believe in gods. However I will not be a member of a religion that deliberately lies to me about things that can be logically and empirically disproven.

      • Scott_In_OH

        This is buried in a long thread, The_L1985, but I hope people find it. It’s pitch perfect, as far as I’m concerned.

        I was reading it and thought to myself, “The sex abuse scandal started to break in 2003? What the hell is taking me so long?”

        The answer is two-fold: (1) a long, long time of believing (and having that belief support my generally progressive approach to politics; Christianity doesn’t have to make you into Rick Santorum), and (2) being married to a Catholic woman and raising Catholic kids. Do I blow that up by utterly rejecting the Church, or do I tell my kids the priest was full of shit when he was complaining about threats to religious freedom? So far I’ve chosen the latter.

      • The_L1985

        Thanks. :) I’ve put it on my LJ so I can link to it the next time it’s relevant, since I seem to be repeating myself a lot lately.

        I understand that different people have different views on this, and I respect your choice to remain Catholic. It just…doesn’t work out for me.

      • Scott_In_OH

        It’s not working too great for me, either. Your post gave me a chance to think about why I am where I am.

      • Hilary

        Good luck, which ever way you choose. There are Catholic people I’ve known and loved with great respect, like my mother’s parents and some of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. I can even respect the rituals of Catholic liturgy and Mass, even though they are not anything that would ever work for me. But at this point I have nothing but contempt for the Catholic hierarchy and politics.

        Something to think about: is there room in your life and soul to separate what you still respect about the Catholic religion and culture from the politics of the Vatican?

  • LizBert

    For supposedly representing a god of love, anti-choicers sure seem hateful. Telling a woman who has had an abortion that she is the mother of a dead baby does nothing to reduce abortions, it is just cruel. On the other hand, the employees of abortion clinics are some of the most compassionate, kind people I have dealt with.

  • Gillianren

    I keep seeing bumper stickers that say, “Aren’t you glad your mother was pro-life?”

    Well, here’s the thing about that. My mother isn’t. She’s Catholic, but she’s one of those American Catholics who still supports contraception and is pro-choice. Similarly, I’m thirty-eight weeks plus pregnant, and you’d better believe that I’m pro-choice. However, I chose at this time to have a baby. Pro-choice doesn’t mean pro-abortion. It means understanding that not everyone is in a place where they can keep a child. It means understanding that not every fetus is viable. It means understanding that not every woman is physically or psychologically capable of being a parent. And it means accepting that, sometimes, the answer to that is abortion.

    Oh, also, when it isn’t? It means making it possible for people to raise children with all the benefits of a civilized society, such as medical care, food, and shelter.

    • Jayn

      Agreed. I’d hate to think that my mother only had me because she didn’t feel there was another option. (Like yours, mine’s Catholic, but I know she used birth control) And I’ve also exercised my choice, both by using BC when I didn’t want to get pregnant and by choosing to stop using it when I was ready to have a child–just shy of 22 weeks now myself. And frequently the element of CHOOSING to have a child is glossed over by the ‘pro-life’ side, almost like it isn’t anything you opt for, just something you deal with if it happens. The terms they use to portray having a child–”take responsibility for your actions”, “It’s your own fault”, etc–are rather horrible when you stop to think about it.

      • Gillianren

        My son will know he was wanted. Isn’t that better for him? I’m glad my mother is pro-choice, and I hope he will be, too.

      • Renee

        My Mom DID have me because she felt it was the only option. And I was adopted.
        I wouldn’t suggest this choice for anyone, let alone force it.

      • Mogg

        My grandmother had my mother because she felt there was no other option. There’s nothing like growing up the unwanted youngest of five children in six years, growing up so poor that you don’t even have your own bed until your oldest sister gets married, being told that you’re named after someone your mother doesn’t like and that if you had to be born at all you should have at least had the decency to be born a boy.

    • tsara

      My friend’s mother wasn’t pro-life or pro-choice (she was a teenager who hadn’t really thought about it), but she was surrounded by pro-life people. She ended up regretting that she had the baby, and spent sixteen years telling my friend that she (my friend) was the worst thing that ever happened to her (the mother), and that she (my friend) was responsible for everything wrong in her (the mother’s) life.

      Not a good way to grow up.

      • Olive Markus

        Exactly this. I’ve seen it so many times, and I just cannot stand it.

        SO MANY babies are born that aren’t wanted and are abused/neglected/resented. I have no tolerance for it. Forcing people to carry babies they actually know they don’t want is only going to make this problem exponentially worse.

      • Arakasi_99

        My mom came right out and told me one day that if I was conceived post Roe v. Wade, she would have had an abortion. I don’t know if she meant that, or she was using it as ammunition for her “Democrats are evil” rant (I wouldn’t call it an argument, since she wasn’t interested in what i had to say).
        In either event, that was the end of civil conversation between the two of us

      • realinterrobang

        I was born before abortion was legal and given up (don’t know how voluntarily) for adoption. I basically therefore know I was somebody’s accident.

        I know the whole adoption thing was great for my adoptive parents, but I really wonder about my birth mother. There’s an awful lot of evidence out there contradicting the whole forced-birther “adoption is sunshine and roses!” narrative.
        I am *hardline* pro-choice.

      • Gillianren

        I’m actually a birth mother, but I’m a birth mother in a time of open adoption. If my daughter wants to know, she can ask. I think the reason she’s having such a hard time adjusting to the idea of an upcoming much-younger half-sibling is at least in part the idea that I’m keeping this one. I won’t love her any less, but I’m not sure she knows that.

      • Renee

        As an adoptee let me say-

        She doesn’t know you love her the same, and will probably never feel that you do. Seriously- what would YOU think if your MOM gave YOU away and then went on to have kids she KEPT? Hard time adjusting? Thats the bare minimum here. Come on now….

        She will ALWAYS have conflicted or bad feelings about your keeping the other kid(s), and not her. This is reality. It doesn’t mean she won’t love you, but it really, really hurts to be the one that was given away. Even if the situation that forced/made you choose adoption was totally understandable, it STILL HURTS. A LOT. And can devastate your ability to love yourself and accept love, as well as feel secure (already an issue w adoptees).

        I KNOW about this. I have 4 younger half siblings, that my bio mom went on to have TWO YEARS after my adoption. As soon as she found a man to marry. My oldest sis jokes that she was the “replacement baby” and I know there is truth to that. Doesn’t help. Really doesn’t help to see the happy, loving family either.

        I think of myself as the “sacrifice pawn”= the one that had to be gotten rid of, in order for my bio mom to have the life and family she wanted (one with a husband, and legitimate kids). Once I was out of the way, she could go on and marry, and have 4 more kids. This is EXACTLY what adoption is suppose to do *for the bio mom*. I am happy she is happy. I know she loves me.

        But it still hurts. Deeply. To my very core.

        EVERY single happy family pic she posts on FB shows me what I missed, and am missing, and am not a part of. No matter how much they reach out, no matter how much they include me, I will ALWAYS be an outsider. They are family, but not MY family, and it is horrible. KNow that the jealousy is brutal. It can make her not want to see you, just to ease the pain- out of sight, out of mind. I can’t tell you how many times I curse ever meeting them, the jealousy is so powerful.

        (And I got a happy, loving family too. So this really is best case scenario here. It would be much worse if my adopted family was awful.)

        The best you can do is make her feel that she was very much wanted, and loved, but that you were simply unable to care for her. That you can now care for a baby will bother her, but may also help. Highlight what has changed between the pregnancies- for example: if you gave a baby up because of addiction, but kept the next one because you were sober, highlight this difference in circumstances. ***It helps so much to know it was circumstances, not lack of LOVE.***

        She needs to feel like you WOULD have kept her if you COULD have. If you cannot succeed there, then just accept that this will be painful, and work through it with honesty and love. NEVER, EVER, demand she to have sympathy for you. This is not appropriate. YOU had a choice, SHE did not. Respect this.

        ***Also know that she may NEVER admit any of this to you, maybe not even to herself. Adoptees are trained to never upset either family, and deny any ill feelings towards the adoption. Any negativity towards adoption is taboo from an adoptee! You can help stop this by encouraging honesty. You should read adoptee forums and understand how she feels. It took me 35 years to be honest with myself about the pain I felt regarding my adoption, and it has colored even aspect of my life. Don’t let this fester. There is a shame involved that is so destructive. If you love her, you need to know how to help.

        Adoption IS pain, for all involved, and the sooner this is realized, and the more honestly it is dealt with, the better. YOu CAN have a good relationship, but please, be honest and understanding about her situation.

      • Gillianren

        I’m not sure she thinks of me as family at all. She knows it intellectually, but I know that, the last time we saw each other, she relaxed a lot when I told her that our relationship would be what she wanted and only what she wanted. As far as she’s concerned, they’re her parents, and I’m just a person she’s always known.

        She also knows what’s changed in the last sixteen years. She’s met her father, but she doesn’t remember him, and she’s met my current boyfriend and knows he’s still around. Her father wasn’t even around at this stage in my last pregnancy. She knows where I was educationally, financially, and so forth. She knows about my mental health problems and that I have treatment options now that I didn’t then. And goodness knows she knows that her parents are much better off financially than I am even now. I’ve always been as honest with her as I can without giving her information she probably doesn’t want.

        I sent a letter to her mom a few months ago telling her about my concern for her feelings. I’ve made clear to them both that my concern for her matters more than how I feel. A few years ago, she went through a time of not being interested in contact with birth family, and as long as that was in place, I didn’t try to contact her. It has always been her choice, and I’ve made sure that she knows that–but also knows that, if I had my choice, I would be even more a part of her life than I am now.

        I do worry that she’ll be hurt because I’m keeping this baby and not her, even though I also know that she knows intellectually how different my situation is. What she knows intellectually and what she feels aren’t going to be the same thing, and I’m trying to give her information and respect her feelings at the same time.

        I believe that she is happy most of the time. I also believe that, well, she’s fifteen now, and fifteen is just a miserable age for everyone no matter what. I believe that open adoption is healthier than closed adoption, and I believe that she has a happier family than she would if she’d stayed with me. I even believe she knows that. Even right now, we’re not entirely financially stable, and if I’d kept her, it would have been in abject poverty. She’s a world traveler, and she loves her parents very, very much. I don’t think she will always have the resentment you seem to, and if she does, she will have all of our support–theirs and mine–to get therapy.

      • Renee

        Forget about them- how is adoption for YOU? I ask because few people ever ask, or care to hear the answer.

        We adoptees are always expected to consider everyone elses feelings in the abortion triad, but not our own. We are suppose to be “lucky” for getting a “better life” and “being wanted by someone”. Too many adoptive parents are martyrs, and spend lifetimes telling you how much they did for you. Besides adopted kids bear the brunt of the MOST abuse- much more than kids w their biological parents do.

        I met my bio mom, and the other 4 kids she had after me- once she was married. It is super depressing.Sure, they include me, and love me, and it could have been worse.

        (I do feel for my bio mom. She was pretty destroyed by the whole thing.)

    • Niemand

      My mother isn’t “pro-life”. Neither was my grandmother. Neither am I. Yet all of us had children. Wanted children. Some of us grew up poor but none grew up neglected. Almost as though deciding to have a child gave one a greater commitment to caring for that child.

    • NeaDods

      At the March for Women’s Lives, I was asked that question point-blank. My response was “My mother is pro-choice, so I know it was her choice to have me.” The protester literally didn’t know what to say next, just stood there looking confused. Then he went to his next talking point, obviously unable to grasp that a woman would bear children even when not forced to.

      • onamission5

        I am pro-choice and have four kids. That really throws the anti-choicers for a loop, I think because they honestly believe that pro-choice women just hate kids and that’s why we want to kill all the babies. I have repeatedly been told that I could not possibly hold the opinions I do about abortion and be a mother.

        My go-to line is that I know how hard parenting can be, I know what it’s like to feel in over your head and I know what kind of damage it can do, I also know what a monumental responsibility and how rewarding it can be when done well, which is why I could never in good conscience force parenthood upon someone who was not ready. Every child should grow up being wanted and knowing it.

      • Rosa

        I don’t get why reality is so difficult for these people.

        I used to think it was that the protesters were all just the crazy fringe of the anti-abortion movement, but now I know a bunch of people whose parents dragged them to these protests as kids, and their parents aren’t irrational like this about everything. But how do they look a fact in the face – the existence of the person they’re talking to – and decide their beliefs trump that fact? it’s so bizarre.

      • onamission5

        Yeah, I was one of those kids. Our church had anti-choice propagandists come and give intimate little talk sessions with the youth group about how there was a war on children and lookit these pictures of (supposedly aborted) dead babies, isn’t it terrible? A war on me? By people who hate children? This was pretty much my entire introduction to the topic of abortion. As a young teen I was marching in the anti choice rallies every time they came to town. Had to fight against the awful people who didn’t want me to be alive, you know.

        Then in my later teens someone close to me had an abortion. I saw her struggle, I realized how she would have been reviled by our old church community if they knew, I felt awful at my reaction to her news and the way I rejected her, I heard her reasons for having the procedure, her perspective gnawed at me and I started to think about it differently. I started to learn about abortion on my own. Within a couple years I was out there protesting the protesters.

      • Mogg

        For me, the thing that started my deeper investigation and change of mind was working at a specialist women’s hospital. I was seeing every situation you can possibly imagine with pregnancy and newborns from the rape and sexual assult support centre, to the drug addicted and teen mothers’ clinics, to the fertility and multiple miscarriage patients, to the NICU and special care nurseries. We had two very controversial cases associated with the hospital while I was there, and several not-so-public but incredibly complicated ones, which were of the sort that would cause anyone to think very hard about the ethics of pregnancy, abortion and childbirth, maybe even Christopher Hubbard.

      • Renee

        “My mother is pro-choice, so I know it was her choice to have me.”

        + 100

    • Katherine Hompes

      My mother is pro-choice. I know for a fact that she considered aborting me- my parents were both teenagers, unmarried (not that marital status mattered to them), and I was definitely an accident! The story goes that they were drunk at a party…

      The fact that they CHOSE to have me means a lot. I was chosen, and I am loved. I CHOSE to have my daughter, and she is loved. It’s worth knowing that, rather than being a burden forced upon someone for acting “immorally”.

    • Amethyst Marie

      The intended message of those slogans, “Aren’t you glad you were born alive and lived to adulthood?” is a very privileged one. Do they ever consider that some people truly are not grateful for a life of disease, abuse, or poverty? Do they stop and think that maybe there are people out there who feel like, all else being equal, abortion would’ve been the kindest thing their mothers could have done for them? Do they remember that even Job, who was praised for his faith and his patience, wished he was never born, and that this wasn’t seen as cursing or defying God?

      • Gillianren

        I’m bipolar. I have myself had times when I wasn’t glad to have been born alive and lived to adulthood, and while I was poor, it was suburban American poverty, which is hardly the worst kind out there. I was neglected, but it wasn’t deliberate, and I certainly wasn’t abused. I’ve had things relatively lucky, and I’ve still had times where I wasn’t happy to be born. So yeah.

    • Nate Frein

      My response is that my mother (and any children she might have had later) would have been much healthier if she’d aborted me and worked out her co-dependency issues before having children.

      I was wanted by my father, not my mother. My father, who was in the military, and therefore gone 50% of the time (and I know it could have been worse), and when my father was gone my mother’s reaction was to curl up on the couch and sleep.

      • persephone

        My husband deliberately got me pregnant with our first. (I was out of birth control; he promised to pull out, but decided, as he told me, that this was the perfect time.) I was still getting over a lot of losses in my life, and my parents had been pro-birth control but anti-abortion. He was in the ER with me when I found out the reason I’d been throwing up non-stop for days was because I was pregnant. He practically ran out of the room and called his family. I felt trapped. And it was a trap, a common one used by abusers.

        I had a birth control failure three years later. By then the abuse had started. He went into a downward spiral. It was 12 years before he was finally arrested.

        In the meantime, I’m trying to raise two kids who need more time and support than I can give them. Sometimes I love them so much I would do anything for them, dying for them seems no big deall. A lot of the time I imagine how much easier and better my life would be if they had not been born.

        I will never, ever tell them.this. But I’m sitting here crying from stress.

      • Mogg

        I wish there was something I could do but offer my heartfelt sympathy for your situation :-( I hope things become more manageable for you.

      • persephone

        Thank you.

      • Nate Frein

        You have all my sympathies. I cannot ever know how trapped you feel and I certainly do not wish to cast aspersions on your choice.

        My mother loved my father. My father loved being a father figure to my mother. My mother only really started dealing with her depression issues after I left the house. When my father wanted two children, she gave him two children. When he went on deployment, she shut down. She kept us fed (on hamburger helper and popeye’s chicken) and kept us clothed (in hand me down sweatpants so she could afford her toys).

        I’m not saying I wish I were dead (that’s a different issue I have entirely), but I do feel the need to recognize that my mother (and therefore her children) would have been healthier if she had worked out her issues before having them.

      • persephone

        No no, no, no aspersions. You deserved better than you received. I wish my mother had not married when she was 17 and swept off her feet by the guy in the Air Force uniform who was completely broken. She was divorced when I was a baby.

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

        *Hugs* I’m sorry to hear all of that. I hope things get better soon.

      • persephone

        He’s out of the house, and I have a criminal protective order. But his legacy is something we’re all working through.

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

        Good. I’d send you good vibes if I thought they were real. As it is, I can just throw you Internet support, for whatever that’s worth.

      • Rosa

        Persephone, you’re doing amazing things under very bad circumstances. I wish there were something we could do to help.

    • Whirlwitch

      My mother was and is not pro-life. She herself explained to me when I was 12 that pro-choice does not mean pro-abortion. It’s an easy concept, sad to see grown adults refuse to grasp it.

    • Mishellie

      Can we just put retaliation stickers? “My mom supports the right to chose. She and I wish your mom had chosen abortion”

      This might be bitterness talking, but between abortion laws in Tx and OH and student debt federally… I’m just fucking pissed off. Though proud of the women of TX.

      • Gillianren

        I have to confess that, once, many years ago, I saw a car with a bumper sticker that said, “Don’t blame me. I voted Republican.” I left a note explaining that it was exactly why I was blaming him.

  • brbr2424

    Thank you and Wendy Davis for standing up for women. A box of earplugs would be handy to have as a clinic escort.

    • Mishellie

      Noise canceling headphones playing respect on repeat.

  • Beutelratti

    I’m curious. If a woman planning to enter the clinic were to be convinced by the shouting (i.e. she doesn’t want to get that abortion anymore), would she be able to actually get any advice from the protesters on the spot? Would they immediately know where to send her to get good pregnancy care? A good OB/GYN? Would they be able to tell her which adoption agencies are reliable and where they are located? How she could contact them?
    Are there actually protesters that are prepared for the case that they actually convince a woman? Because if there are not, then those protesters are really just about shaming, shaming and more shaming.

    • Rosa

      No. They would send her to a Crisis Pregnancy Center, and that would definitely refer her to an adoption agency if she wanted, but almost by definition an adoption agency that is referred that way is not going to be one of the ones that is most ethical in its treatment of women considering relinquishment.

      • Mishellie

        Honestly, I think if I chose adoption , I’d either search out a secular agency, or failing that, leave the baby at a safe haven ( probs never take it from the hospital.)

    • NeaDods

      It has been my experience that the women who are ambivalent – watching them struggle to choose is heartbreaking – end up one of two ways. 1) Drive off clinic lot, taking brochures shoved at them but not talking to protestors. 2) Walk back into clinic and have the abortion. It’s about a 50/50 mix.

      • Beutelratti

        Hmm, okay. I’m really curious. Did you ever get a look at those brochures? I’m just really wondering how the protestors are trying to “sell” the alternatives.

      • NeaDods

        I try not to read them because it’s bad for my blood pressure. I was handed a DVD called “Blood Money” one, and I know there are IRMAs (I Regret My Abortion). I know I’m supposed to take the latter as “Don’t let this happen to YOU” but to be honest, someone who publicly mourns their bad decision making should not use that failure as a reason to force their bad decision making into my life. If they can’t do it right for themselves, how does that translate into the authority to usurp my autonomy with their mistakes?

      • Niemand

        I’ve always found the IRMAs rather Kafkaesque. If I make a decision that I regret later, does that mean that that choice should be outlawed so that no one can ever make that mistake (if it was a mistake) again? For example, I sometimes regret not being more sexually adventurous, especially when I was younger. Should it be illegal to not have sex as a teenager? Then there are these situations…I have friends who regret not going to college. But I also have friends who regret going to college, feeling that it was a waste of time. So…should college be compulsory or banned? So difficult…

        And by the way, anyone who believes that no one has ever regretted having a baby…probably doesn’t actually know any people.

  • Rilian Sharp

    “It’s about wanting every child to grow up healthy, happy, and loved.”

    The ones who are aborted don’t grow up at all. I don’t have a problem with it, but I *do* have a problem with people pretending that gestating humans aren’t “really” alive. There isn’t a discrete point at which one suddenly becomes a person. Why are you ok with calling a human a “child” the instant after they come out of the womb, but not the instant before? They don’t have a right to live off of someone else’s body, of course. But if someone hooked me up to your kidneys because I had kidney failure, I wouldn’t cease to be a person. Being physically dependent on another person doesn’t eliminate the possibility of the fetus/embryo being a person too. I’m not saying it IS a person, I’m just saying that being physically attached to someone else does not PROVE they’re not a person.

    We use the word “child” to refer to people of all post-birth ages. You never cease to be the child of your parents. And we have the euphemism “with child”. It’s perfectly correct to call a human in the womb a child. A similar argument applies to the term “baby”.

    Calling them a child or a baby doesn’t make abortion wrong.

    It’s not that it’s ok to kill them because they’re “not a child” or “not a baby” or “not a person”. So denying that those words can, in some of their meanings, refer to gestating humans is a bad argument.

    If abortion were about compassion for the fetus, you could use the same kind of argument to justify killing a born human. You could say you should kill a 2-year-old because they’re not wanted and their life will just be suffering. There’s no reason the validity of such an argument would be dependent on the age of the one to be killed. I’m not saying that “mercy killing” is never valid, but just that it doesn’t depend on the age of the person.

    So, generally, abortion is NOT about compassion for the baby/fetus/whatever, and that’s OK. It’s about compassion for the woman, and it’s about each person having control over their own body.

    • NeaDods

      There isn’t a discrete point at which one suddenly becomes a person

      Yes, there is. It’s called birth. As for the rest of your comment, you do realize that every single point has been made and refuted dozens of times? The bit about hooking up to another person’s organs is called “the famous violinist.” And the bit about “what’s different between a born child and a fetus?” is another old chestnut. Here’s a hint — which one is hooked involuntarily to a woman’s organs? You know – like you yourself talked about in the previous paragraph?

      • Rilian Sharp

        “Yes, there is. It’s called birth”. No, because everyone is not developed to the same point when they’re born. And I explained why being physically dependent on another person doesn’t mean I’m not a person with that kidney failure example, which was an intentional reference to that essay.

        Every point I made has been refuted? My points:
        1. The words “child” and “baby” are commonly used to refer to gestating humans.
        2. Personhood isn’t precluded by being physically dependent on another person.
        3. Abortion being OK is not dependent on the fetus not being a person/child/baby.
        4. Abortion being allowed is about compassion for the woman and about the rights of the woman, rather than the fetus.

        Show me a refutation of these.

      • Rilian Sharp

        Whoever downvoted, show me the refutations. Show me. Type it out yourself or give me links.

        I’m waiting to be proved wrong. Please do it!

      • Mogg

        Your definition of ‘person’ is suspect. What makes up a person, in your view?

      • Rilian Sharp

        I didn’t define it, except to say that being physically dependent on another person doesn’t take away one’s personhood. I mean, I don’t know, maybe it does. But I don’t see that it does, so I’m assuming it doesn’t? If anyone has an argument that it does, I wish they’d post it.

        I guess a person is someone who has emotions and desires. But…

        Whether a fetus is a person isn’t relevant to abortion, which is why I think it’s stupid for people to bring it up in abortion debates. And a fetus IS a child and a baby, according to how speakers of english use those words.

      • Mogg

        But your whole point started off with: “The ones who are aborted don’t grow up at all. I don’t have a problem
        with it, but I *do* have a problem with people pretending that gestating
        humans aren’t “really” alive. There isn’t a discrete point at which
        one suddenly becomes a person. Why are you ok with calling a human a
        “child” the instant after they come out of the womb, but not the instant
        before?” How, then, is the issue of personhood not relevant to your argument?

        You appear to be confusing personhood with life. There are very few people, I would think, that don’t consider a foetus or embryo alive. It’s the…I’m trying to think of a good term… essense? quality? of that life that is important to many people in this discussion, and what you have opened your comment with. A baby and a child are definitely persons under law and in general language usage. If a foetus doesn’t have the capacity for personhood, should it be called a baby or a child? Or should we seek to use language more precisely? Remembering, of course, that a term like “with child” is archaic, and language changes, or can be used incorrectly in some contexts. Look at the word ‘theory’ for another example – should we give up on the technical meaning of theory in a scientific context because most people use it to mean something else?

      • Rilian Sharp

        The word “theory” has a different meaning in common usage. The word “baby” has many different common usages that are usually distinguished by context. The word “baby” isn’t a technical term, though, so I find it particularly stupid to say “it’s not a baby, it’s a fetus.” It’s a baby which is in the fetus stage. I don’t know if “child” has a technical definition regarding human development.

        I wasn’t asserting that fetuses are people, but it’s true that the fetuses who are aborted don’t grow up at all. Saying you want every child to be wanted makes as much sense as saying you want every adult to be wanted, implying that you could kill them any time before they reach adulthood and it counts as “preventing” a life rather than ending one. I’m pro-choice and abortion ends a life. Denying that weakens the arguments in favor of choice, I think.

      • Mogg

        Hmm, interesting. I personally think of it more in terms of ending a life before it can suffer from the ending, or where the suffering of ending is less than the probable suffering of allowing it to continue. I certainly can accept the argument that you are making, just trying to clarify why you raised the point of ‘life’ in the first place!

        Incidentally, I can’t find a definition anywhere on the various online dictionaries that specifically encompasses the unborn into “child” or “baby”. So I don’t think the comparison to the word ‘theory’ is invalid – it’s a word which may be used colloquially to include the unborn, but that is not necessarily a correct usage, and encouraging precise use of language may help to avoid some of the emoting pro-lifers use.

      • Norm Donnan

        This is a ridiculous statement that pro abortionists think has merit. A 150 years ago black people wernt considered fully human either.This is purely only your personal definition of humanity and is totally irrelevant.

      • Mogg

        How is it ridiculous? I’m just trying to get Rilian to clarify what she means by ‘person’, as she seems to be conflating it with ‘alive’ and ‘human’, both of which have different meanings to ‘person’. You and Rilian agree that personhood is irrelevant, but she has made comments about personhood which don’t seem to make sense to me. On the other hand, lots of other people involved in the abortion debate think personhood is relevant, which is why many countries restrict abortion after a certain point of pregnancy. I haven’t commented here at all as to what my position is.

      • Rilian Sharp

        I’m a guy. And rilian is a boy’s name. People get it wrong a lot; I wonder why.

      • Mogg

        Oh, sorry about that! Pardon my assumption. The only other use of the name I’ve seen was a male fantasy character, but for some reason it “sounds” female to me, and I’ve never seen you specify your gender. Which is an argument for having and using non-gendered language.

      • M.

        From a comment of yours earlier: “TBC, I’m pro-choice in ALL circumstances, and if I were pregnant I would get an abortion.” <- That might be part of the reason why it was assumed you were a women. Generally speaking, men don't get pregnant. ;)

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        Well, transmen can get pregnant.

      • Rilian Sharp

        I can still discuss it hypothetically.

      • The_L1985

        Probably because it’s not a very common name. Also, the character Trillian (very similar name) in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series was female.

        If I ever got your gender wrong, I’m sorry.

      • Nate Frein

        I honestly assumed it was a made up name.

        Mea culpa.

      • The_L1985

        Admittedly, it is really cool-sounding, and would be an awesome screenname even if it weren’t his real name. :)

      • Sophie

        Actually it can be a girls name too.

        http://www.birthvillage.com/Name/Rillian/rilian

      • Norm Donnan

        Because Ive been through this all before where individuals determine in their own minds what one has to achieve to be granted “personhood”….and thus the right to life.

      • Mogg

        So you jump in and call someone’s opinions ridiculous based on a statement they *haven’t* made? Nice tactics there.

      • Norm Donnan

        I dont do tactics Mogg,sorry if l failed to properly comprehend your comment

      • Mogg

        Of course you use tactics – they’re a basic tool of any action where you are trying to change things to achieve a desired outcome, and there’s no way you can deny that you have goal to change behaviour and opinion on the topic of abortion. In blog/forum format you are trying to change opinions and ultimately behaviour, and the tools you use to do that are the tools of language. You just haven’t developed your language toolkit beyond a very basic level, apparently don’t even recognise your tools for what they are, and don’t use the simple tools you do have in a way which will achieve your ends – quite the opposite, in fact. The tactics you don’t realise you are using are being so badly used that you cannot possibly do anything but turn people away from your goal.

      • Norm Donnan

        True my “tools” are basic and yet they go right over the heads of most here,some might be able to spell better but with the logic of a teenager.My “tactic” is to say things straight and true which l know scores many goals because they play the victim card with,”women are just your incubators” BS,and “oh your grammer and punctuation”and poor “tactic” crap.

      • Mogg

        Dude, the only goals you are scoring are own goals. Running around the field congratulating yourself for that just makes people embarrassed for you.

        Back to the topic of fundamentally misunderstanding tools of language, none of the examples you cite are victim cards. Try again.

      • Norm Donnan

        Thats why l laugh when atheists call themselves freethinkers,none here are and if you have another point of view all the hard done by women whine about misogynist men,Julia was a good example.And you call it logic,ha

      • Mogg

        And yet again, a demonstration of either inability or refusal to understand the meaning of the words “freethinker” and “logic”. Words, what do they mean?

        I assume you refer to Julia Gillard, recently deposed ex-PM of Australia? She was not whining, she was pointing out a specific, powerful person who has an extensive track record of behaving in a way which is certainly mysogynist and promoting of mysogynistic political policy, and she herself stated in her outgoing speech that gender was by no means the only explaination for the negatives of her term as PM. On that score, I agree with her assessment. I won’t get into a big discussion on it here, though; this blog is an inappropriate place to discuss the minutiae of Australian federal politics, and I’m sure most readers here either aren’t familiar or aren’t interested in what you refer to.

      • Mariana

        Your argument implies that there is no difference between a black person and a fetus. (In that way it’s similar to the slippery slope argument for gay marriage – if we let gay people get married, people will marry dogs! If we let women abort fetuses, white people will go around killing grown black people!)

        The reasons why black people and fetuses were not considered people are distinct. One was a justification for racial slavery that comprised a huge part of our nation’s economy; the other is a legitimate open question in science and philosophy.

        Knowledge and civilization advances, and we learn from our mistakes (mostly). Thank god.

      • Norm Donnan

        No Mariana there is no difference between a person and a fetus no matter what the colour the skin is,only time.The excuses used to justify slavery and abortion are the same,not truly human,doesnt fit my opinion of what personhood consists of.There is no Philosophy to be discussed and science leaves no doubt what,or who it is your aborting. You might call that an advancement in civilization but not me.

      • The_L1985

        Actually, there is a very important difference. I am not drawing my sustenance and the very substance of my flesh from another human being. A fetus does just that, through the umbilical cord. This is why we say that a pregnant woman is “eating for two.” It’s not just “time” that makes an embryo into the beautiful baby Mom takes home from the hospital–it’s a uterus. Embryos that fail to implant in the uterus (which is a common occurrence) DIE. The woman’s uterus is a vital part of the equation, and to say that the only difference between a zygote and a newborn is “time” is to completely erase the woman, and the uterus that the embryo/fetus is in, from the equation. You cannot do this, because the abortion issue is about the pregnant woman just as much as it is about the embryo/fetus.

        “The excuses used to justify slavery and abortion are the same.”

        No, they’re not. Here is my argument for choice:

        - A fetus is not legally considered a person (citizenship is conferred at birth).

        - To declare fetuses and embryos legal citizens would render every miscarriage an act of manslaughter (which is a crime). Thus, a large percentage of women-who-have-been-pregnant would go to jail. Jailing a woman for having a miscarriage is ridiculous; ergo fetuses and embryos should not be considered legal citizens.

        - Even in this modern age, childbirth carries the risk of complications–sometimes fatal ones. The degree of risk is different for each and every pregnancy.

        - Women, like all other human beings, have subjective ideas of which levels of risk are or are not worth the rewards.

        - There are some people with severe birth defects who greatly fear the possibility of passing said defects on to the child, thus burdening the child with a disability which the parent also has, and forcing the other parent to take care of BOTH of them.

        - There are some people who do not believe themselves capable of properly raising a child (generally due to serious psychological disorders or childhood abuse). These people are terrified of the thought of having a child and then harming it.

        - There are some people who want a baby, but cannot afford to raise one. Without a social safety net (fair wages, welfare, food stamps, etc.), these people cannot start a family.

        - Some women have a deep visceral horror of pregnancy itself. Said women are likely to sink into a deep depression should pregnancy happen. They are also very likely to commit suicide, which would also kill the baby. Surely a dead fetus is still less horrible than a dead fetus AND a dead woman?

        By the way, I find it absolutely disgusting that someone who doesn’t have a uterus is mansplaining about what’s in a pregnant woman’s uterus. This shit ain’t cool, man.

      • Norm Donnan

        Oh dear where do you start,or do l bother.Seen as lm on holiday lets do it.1)well lets just kill all those illegal immigrants..their not citizens either.2)Everyone else who dies,citizen or not,someone should be charged with murder,God maybe.3)Driving a car carries complications,your point is???4)womans subjective ideas are subject to cause and effect,like us all,your point is???5)So dont have children. 6)So dont have children.7)Go to poor countries,they have children,no they dont have a 60inch TVs but they have children.8)So dont have children.9)Having a uterus in no way allows you to kill your child,if you need a woman to explain why that is there are plenty.

      • The_L1985

        OK, now that I’m back from my vacation, I can address each of your points.

        1. Illegal immigrants are citizens of someplace, even if it is not the country in which they currently reside. As far as I know, citizenship has never ONCE been conferred on a person who was not born. You have to be born to be a citizen of any country. My cousin is pregnant. The child she carries isn’t a citizen of any country yet, but will be within a couple weeks when it is born.

        2. So…if someone dies in an accidental car crash, or of a disease, whom exactly should be charged? And how exactly do you intend to enforce a murder charge against a deity? We can’t exactly force God to stand trial, or imprison him, or execute him.

        3. Why, yes, there is a chance that I could die someday as a direct result of driving a motor vehicle! However, you’ve failed to take into account that some people don’t feel safe enough driving to get behind the wheel (I know several older relatives who no longer feel that they’d be able to drive well, so they never drive), and that there are some people who just plain CAN’T drive without killing someone (there’s a reason blind people have a special ID instead of a driver’s license).

        4. Are you fucking kidding me? If I don’t feel safe on a certain carnival ride, nobody should ever force me to ride it. People’s subjective risk-assessment MATTERS. You cannot discount it without objectifying and infantilizing them.

        5-8. Well, no shit, Sherlock. But pregnancy can happen through rape or birth-control failure. Once you are pregnant, you cannot undo the pregnancy. Either you will give birth, you will miscarry, or you will have an abortion. Exactly ONE of these three things must happen. The only way for a woman who is already pregnant to just “not have children” is to abort. (By the way, I’m not talking about “I can feed myself, but can’t afford luxuries“-level poor, I’m talking about “I am forced to choose between paying the rent this month and being able to feed myself”-level poor, and yes, this level of poverty DOES exist in the United States.)

        9. I am a woman, you idiot. And…yeah, do you know what women did before abortion if they didn’t want a child? They didn’t “suck it up” and raise the kid anyway–they committed infanticide. Furthermore, a fetus may be a distinct human being, but it is not a child until after it is born.

      • Niemand

        there is no difference between a person and a fetus no matter what the colour the skin is,only time.

        There is no difference between a sperm and a zygote except the utterly trivial act of merging with an oocyte. I call it “trivial” because it’s so easy we’ve been able to do it in the lab for 30+ years. It’s absolutely the simplest part of making a baby. So, about all those babies you’ve been killing by not having unprotected sex every 4 days…

      • Norm Donnan

        Sperm will never become a baby,so do you think your period is a miss carriage as well??

      • Niemand

        Sperm will never become a baby

        Sure it will. All it takes is the trivially easy step of merging with an oocyte, the much more difficult step of initiating mitosis and implantation correctly, and the more difficult steps involved in gestation and delivery for the sperm to become a baby. Really, the transition from sperm to zygote is the easiest and safest one. If a zygote is a baby then surely a sperm is too: its DNA is unique, its function is to make a baby, it will do so given the right circumstances…the arguments line up perfectly. Why do you deny the mass murder in your genitalia?

      • Ella Warnock

        Some periods do contain miscarriages, in the event that a zygote fails to implant. Happens all the time without a woman being any the wiser and is hardly anything to worry about.

      • Mariana

        No one says embryos and fetuses aren’t human. They are clearly human, just like cells growing in a culture flask are clearly living and clearly human.

        But they are also clearly not _people_. You haven’t argued convincingly why a fetus is a “person” rather than a “potential person” just like eggs and sperm are also potential people.

        The “time” difference you mention is not trivial, and actually misleading as a word. It’s not “time” itself, but rather “development” that is key. An embryo develops from not-a-person into a person.

      • Norm Donnan

        And why do you think any human being can be killed because they cause another disappointment,economic stress,inconvenience,whatever the reason???,because they dont tick your box on an irrelevant requirement of “personhood”.Neither sperm or egg are potential people,they are a waste product until they are successfully combined.The development you speak of requires nothing from a woman other than time,thats why most say get rid of them early.You might think by naming a person different names at different stages of their lives,fetus toddler teenager ect, it does not make them less of a person.

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

        Nothing more than time, you say?

        Pregnancy bring with it many risks. They include nausea, with chances of hyperemesis gravidarum (such severe nausea that the only options are hospitalization or death). Stress on the heart, kidneys, bladder, and pancreas; if a woman has any issues with them, pregnancy will probably make it worse. It’s extremely dangerous for a woman with heart disease to get pregnant. Chance of gestational diabetes. Chance for high blood pressure, stroke, pre-eclampsia, and eclampsia. As a woman’s balance changes, she more easily can trip and fall, her activities are restricted (can’t fly, can’t do all sorts of exercises, can’t lift heavy things, etc). Oh, and don’t forget all the medications for various ailments that don’t play nice with developing fetuses, among them many anti-depressants. Pregnancy is also terribly dangerous for anyone with an auto-immune disorder.

        The woman will gain weight, and she will need a new wardrobe- women who are barely getting by can’t easily afford that many new clothes, especially with the additional expenses of prenatal care and increased food intake. Then, of course, there’s the time off work for delivery and recovery; many jobs simply won’t let you take time off, so there’s the risk of losing your job, which can easily lead to homelessness and starvation; an even bigger risk if the woman already has children.

        Now let’s talk about the risks of labor and delivery. These include hemorrhage (a bad one can empty all the blood out of a woman’s body in less than 10 minutes), infection, ruptured uterus, tears in the perineum (the skin right at the edge of the vagina) that can go all the way into vagino-rectal fistulas (the flesh between vagina and rectum torn open, including muscle, such that the anal sphincter can’t close anymore. Immediate surgery is required to fix it). Permanent pelvic floor damage. Organ prolapse, where the muscles can’t hold the bladder or uterus in place because they got too stretched out, so they collapse into other things; requires surgery to fix. And even if everything goes perfectly, a woman still has a fairly long recovery time while her organs all squish back down to normal size and she stops bleeding; this all hurts quite a lot.

        So yeah, nothing but time. Sure.

      • Norm Donnan

        While that is all true,what does that have to do with a fetus not qualifying for “personhood”??

      • tsara

        because nobody should be forced to go through all that.
        And it’s your argument that “nothing but time” is the difference between a fetus/embryo/zygote and a born human — this is flatly false.

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

        Your argument was that it doesn’t matter if a fetus is a person or not, women shouldn’t ever be allowed to get abortions because it just requires time before a fetus turns into a baby. My response is that’s bullshit; it requires a lot more than time. It requires risking one’s life and health every time, and often risking one’s livelihood and living children.

        As for personhood- of course this whole discussion is relevant to personhood. If I could take a zygote and put it on a shelf for 9 months, abortion probably would be immoral. Given that a woman’s body is intimately involved, however, we have to weigh the rights of the woman to not risk everything above against the rights of a potential-person. Even if a fetus was a person, there is no possible ethics that give the state the right to force anyone to take the risks above for the life of another.

        I honestly don’t care if a fetus is a person or not. The whole “when does personhood start” debate is a blind alley and an unproductive debate. We don’t allow anyone to steal your blood, your bone marrow, your kidney, your lung, or part of your liver. The right of other people to live is less than your right to control your body. A fetus doesn’t get to use my uterus and my blood without my permission, any more than you get to use my blood without my permission. Hell, we don’t even take organs from corpses without prior permission, preferring to respect their bodily autonomy from when they were alive over any “right” other people might have to live. Why do you think corpses should have more rights to control their bodies than women?

      • Rosa

        “only time” is the difference between a currently living citizen and a future heap of compost, and a road into a meadow, as well. That’s taking your argument to the extreme absurd.

      • Norm Donnan

        Absurd is a statement like,”its only a clump of cells”.If you deny what your really carrying,wait a few weeks and you wi ll have living proof who it is your killing.Then you can take her for a drive to a nice meadow and look at the compost heap you were going to confine her too.Then you might get how absurd abortion really is.

      • Niemand

        Ok, I’ll bite. In what way is this not a clump of cells?

      • tsara

        Clearly, it’s a sprout that came from a mulberry.
        /has a dead languages hobby

      • Niemand

        Groan!

      • Trollface McGee

        No, the difference is that a foetus requires the use of another human being for its survival.
        Oh, and stop with the strawman argument. The only people who say that women are too stupid to understand that they are aborting a pregnancy are anti-choicers who think we wimminz are too dumb to be able to make choices about our own bodies.

      • Norm Donnan

        what 5 year old doesnt require another human being for its survival not to mention a lot of adult people aswell,stop acting dumb with your own “strawman”because its not your body your making the choice over ,its your babies.

      • Trollface McGee

        I see you are as well versed in logic as you are in grammar.
        A five year old does not require someone else’s organs to survive. In fact, a parent is not legally required to give their child a blood transfusion even if doing so will save their child’s life, even if they are the only one who can.

        Oh yeah, it’s not my body. I forgot, men are people, foetuses are people, women are incubators.

      • Niemand

        A five year old does not require someone else’s organs to survive.

        Except, of course, when they do. But when they do we don’t demand those organs from anyone, not even their parents. We may think that a parent who refuses to donate blood or marrow or a kidney to their child is a jerk and a bad parent, but we don’t force them to give up their tissue.

      • enuma

        The only difference between a healthy person and heart donor is time, and it is far more certain that every healthy person will die than it is certain a fertilized egg will develop into a baby.

        Does that mean I can go ahead and take your heart out now, since the only difference between living-you and dead-you is time?

      • Norm Donnan

        A serious philosopher in the making,you will fit in here real well.

      • tsara

        Can you explain whatever problem you see with enuma’s logic? Because that sounded snarky to me (apologies if it wasn’t meant that way), and I don’t see why.

      • Norm Donnan

        Yes it was snarky tsara,you dont seriously think her comment was meant as anything other than silly

      • tsara

        …erm, well, it seems to me that it actually rebuts your argument.

      • enuma

        I was taking YOUR logic to its natural conclusion, so yes, it was exceedingly silly.

      • Niemand

        If her argument was silly then so was yours since you both used the same argument. In fact, enuma’s made more sense since, as she pointed out, it is far more certain that a living person will die than that a fertilized egg will become a baby (as few as 20% of fertilized eggs become babies, 100% of living people will die.)

      • Anat

        Personhood is a philosophical and legal term. In the US, legally the fourteenth amendment defines birth (regardless of developmental stage) as the beginning point of personhood, IIUC. Philosophically one may argue for other points.

      • victoria

        And it’s worth mentioning that personhood is one of the oldest philosophical problems there is. Certainly philosophers were trying to figure out what made people human before they had any scientific knowledge about embryonic development. It is definitely not a concept that has its origin in bioethics, let alone abortion ethics.

        Ironically, the paper that convinced me the “personhood begins at conception” argument was completely untenable had nothing to do with abortion and was, in fact, arguing in favor of human rights for organisms that don’t currently have them.

      • Niemand

        If embryos have human rights it’s certainly untenable not to grant human rights to organisms with more cognitive capacity and potential for self-awareness than embryos. Unfortunately, that includes all animals and probably a fair number of the more advanced computers out there. To deny them equal rights simply because they don’t have the magic 46 chromosomes is surely racism or speciesism of the most obvious sort and the use of animals in any way must end-it is slavery at best, massacre at worst. In short, if the pro-life movement is right, how can we possibly say that PETA is wrong?

      • victoria

        That’s one of the major arguments in Singer & Mason’s The Way We Eat. (Starting from the premise that it is immoral to kill any organism that can anticipate the future and feel pain, you end up with a vegan diet plus mollusks.)

        I wish I could find that paper, but the main thrust was considering human-nonhuman chimeras, and trying to determine how you could determine which organisms created from recombinant combinations of human DNA and nonhuman DNA (either human neural DNA injected into animal cells or vice versa) should be entitled to human rights protections. The tricky issue there is that it’s not possible to tell at the time of inserting the recombinant DNA what the results will be. There would be huge issues with granting personhood presumptively to all human-nonhuman hybrids but at the same time there is the possibility that you could end up with an organism that is indistinguishable in terms of mental functioning from a human being, and to deny it rights based on how it was created is problematic too. Ultimately the authors made a very persuasive case that the determination needs to be made based on brain capabilities to the best of our ability to determine those. This isn’t the paper I’m talking about, but it gives a pretty good summary of the issues involved.

      • Niemand

        This is why I think brain function and only brain function is the logical determinant of who/what is a “person” and what is not. A transgenic mouse with a human beta-globin gene is clearly not human. It thinks like a mouse, it acts like a mouse, it is a mouse. With partly human hemoglobin. Conversely, a person who injects themselves with pig derived insulin is not other than human even though one of their proteins is being replaced by a similar one derived from pigs.

        If, for whatever reason, people made a true human/nonhuman animal hybrid or an AI or met with non-human aliens and they were capable of understanding concepts like freedom, autonomy, and consciousness then they clearly should be entitled to the same rights and protections as human type people are. But, according to the “pro-life” movement, they would be non-people because they lack human chromosomes. While clearly non-sentient beings with human chromosomes are considered people. How could that be right? (Yes, I know this is a theoretical concern now, but will it always be?)

        Also, embryos and zygotes can’t anticipate the future. It’s extremely unlikely that fetuses can either and eggs and milk certainly can’t so I don’t see an argument against abortion or ovo-lactovegetarianism here.

      • victoria

        Singer is very pro-choice (many/most would say aggressively so). His only problem with eggs and milk, IIRC, have to do with ethical issues inherent in factory farming, not with the eggs and milk per se. I doubt he’d have a problem with, say, a family keeping a cow for milk so long as they didn’t kill the calves or the cow.

        I’m with you on brain functioning in ways that we view as uniquely human (or at least having the biological capability for that functioning) as a bright line between human beings and other organisms or collections of cells that aren’t human beings.

      • Mariana

        1. Common usage of language is not an argument. The Texas Horned Toad is still scientifically a lizard, regardless of the fact that everyone calls it a toad.

        2. I agree – being physically dependent does not diminish your personhood if you are already a person (e.g., your kidney example). However, that doesn’t really inform the question of when personhood begins in a fetus. I think most secular people would say that that some level of consciousness is required for personhood (e.g., a baby born without a brain is not a person, regardless of viability – “soul” does not factor in, because we are not a theocracy, and “soul” is not a legal term or entity.) So then the question of what level of brain development constitutes personhood is up for discussion.

        3. I don’t understand exactly what you mean by this, but I think many pro-choice people would disagree with each other about the statement.

        4.Yes, as a fetus is not a full person with all the rights that entails (see #2), abortion is about valuing women over a clump of developing cells or fetus.

        Just because we cannot declare an exact day in which a developing fetus becomes a person in the womb, does not mean that the only alternatives are the day the zygote forms or the day the birth occurs. These are difficult questions with fuzzy answers, which is why we fall back on things like viability.

        When you act like you have all the answers to difficult questions, you just look overconfident and foolish. Only fools are certain; wise people know that they cannot know everything.

      • Niemand

        1. The words “child” and “baby” are commonly used to refer to gestating humans.

        The word “baby” is often applied to dolls and pets as well. “He’s my baby” a person might say of a beloved pet or a child might say of his or her doll. Does that make the pet or doll a person?

        2. Personhood isn’t precluded by being physically dependent on another person.

        Personhood, at least living personhood, is defined by brain activity. No brain activity, no living person. How can a fetus that literally has no brain be a living person?

        3. Abortion being OK is not dependent on the fetus not being a person/child/baby.

        Agree with you there. Even if it is a person in some sense, people are not allowed to force other people to donate their body for the recipients good. It’s been legally established.

        4. Abortion being allowed is about compassion for the woman and about the rights of the woman, rather than the fetus.

        Disagree. Human rights are not granted based on “compassion” but rather on ideals of fairness and justice. You do not have free speech because the government feels compassion for you. You have it because society has decided that it is a basic human right. Bodily integrity is a basic human right as well.

      • The_L1985

        “The word “baby” is often applied to dolls and pets as well.”

        Oh indeed. My miniature poodle is my “baby,” and he knows it. Follows me around like my shadow. But while I love him as much as I would love a son, he’s still an animal, and he still has to be treated differently than you would treat a human child.

      • Trollface McGee

        Yep, exactly. My cat is “my baby” and listed as my “son” on Facebook and I love him to pieces. I often joke how my maternal instinct only kicked in when I got him. But that does not make him a human child nor do I treat him like I would if he were a four year old human.

      • Sophie

        Defining personhood as beginning at birth works, as it is at that point that a baby (I use that word because it is born) becomes a separate entity from it’s mother. It doesn’t matter what developmental stage that baby is at when born, whether it is born exactly on it’s due date or born at 24 weeks gestation, it is now separate from it’s mother and it’s a person

      • Trollface McGee

        Biologically, yes we develop at different times. Legally, no we don’t. In order for the legal process to not be an unmanageable mess, you develop differently legally than biologically. A really immature 18 year old can sign a contract and go into the army, a really mature 17 year old can’t. Legally, personhood starts at birth and there are a whole host of good reasons for that.

        Personhood isn’t precluded by dependence. But regardless of personhood, you do not have the right to force someone to support you. If I stab you and lacerate your kidney and we both have some freakishly rare blood type so I am the only possible match – you still can’t compel me to give me your kidney.

        Abortion can be compassionate to the foetus. Growing up unwanted or in some of the hellish adoption/foster care situations can be a less compassionate choice than abortion. I had the unfortunate situation of driving on a road yesterday where two kittens had been run over – that is why spaying/neutering is compassionate – to the mother and to the potential children. Abortion can also be in some situations.

    • tsara

      Each individual gets to define hir own experiences. What goes on inside my body is something I get to define.
      Legally or medically speaking is a different story, but sex I do not want is something I am entitled to call rape, whether or not a court would agree with me. I can decide whether or not a psychiatric condition or psychological weirdness makes me disabled or disordered in my personal interactions, and I can decide what gender my subjective experiences lead me to identify with. Similarly, something that does not have an existence independent from my own (i.e., if I committed suicide, it would be dead) is subject to my interpretations of my experiences.
      To someone who doesn’t want to be pregnant, a fetus is a parasite, a problem, or a violation. To someone who does want to be pregnant, a fetus is ‘sweetheart’ or something.

      • Rilian Sharp

        I agree with all of this. Are you arguing against something I said?

      • tsara

        “”I *do* have a problem with people pretending that gestating humans aren’t “really” alive. There isn’t a discrete point at which one suddenly becomes a person. Why are you ok with calling a human a “child” the instant after they come out of the womb, but not the instant before?””
        My point is, the pregnant person decides whether or not the fetus is a person. Nobody pretends that fetuses aren’t really alive; they’re living and they’re human, but that doesn’t make them human beings.

      • Rilian Sharp

        I wouldn’t tell someone that the fetus was a person or a baby if they were going to get an abortion. But pro-choice people DO tell others that their baby is “just a fetus”. And I’ve talked to people who do insist that fetuses aren’t really alive, likening them to cancer.

        TBC, I’m pro-choice in ALL circumstances, and if I were pregnant I would get an abortion. But I don’t justify it by saying the fetus is just a parasite, because that’s not (necessarily) true.

      • Mogg

        Cancer is alive, as are parasites :-) That is why the personhood/suffering discussion is valid and the distinction between life and personhood is relevant, at least to many.

      • tsara

        I’ve only ever seen pro-choice people telling others that babies are ‘just fetuses’ in the context of abortion debates, which doesn’t mean that they’re necessarily talking about any specific fetus. (Also, strictly speaking [medical definitions] it probably is a fetus.) The context of abortion debates means, though, that they are primarily talking about people who do want to abort, and don’t consider fetuses to be persons. That said, I would call out anyone who tried to define another person’s experiences for them. (Or, at least, I hope I would.)

      • Rilian Sharp

        I read about someone telling someone else that their baby was “just a fetus”, but such douchebags are hopefully rare.

      • tsara

        That person would, indeed, be engaging in douchebaggery and/or asshattery.

      • Mogg

        Urgh! That said, I have a friend who has the same reaction to pregnancy that tsara has, who would pretty much say that to anyone who was pregnant, particularly if it was someone of whom she didn’t approve, which is almost the entire population of the world. She told me years ago that if ever I have a child she will never see me again. Given that she doesn’t like my partner and we are considering having a child, this is quite likely. To which I shrug, and say “that’s your choice, this is mine.”

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        Likening a fetus to cancer is not the same thing as saying it isn’t alive. In fact, both fetuses and cancers are alive. The argument is not that they are not alive but they are not persons, as in having personhood. Lots of things are alive. Most of them are not persons. I’ll give you that lots of people freely conflate these concepts (ie. “when life begins”–it drives me nuts! Not the question, folks, and also not open for debate. The sperm and the egg from which the zygote etc. was made were alive. It was always alive.) but you don’t have to.

      • tsara

        My own personal definition of “person” excludes fetuses, and does so primarily because an unwanted fetus, if considered a person, becomes a rapist (and I’m not comfortable with that).

      • Rilian Sharp

        I see. I didn’t say that fetuses are necessarily people, just that they aren’t necessarily not people.

        I don’t think they’d be a rapist anyway, because they aren’t there voluntarily. Like in that episode of star trek where kirk and uhura were used like puppets and made to kiss each other? It wasn’t their choice so not their moral responsibility.

      • tsara

        I agree that the personhood issue is a red herring in the abortion debate, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth discussing.

        It irritates me when pro-lifers go on about how black people were not persons (for some reason, it’s always black people or Jewish people in Hitler’s Germany they bring up, never women), because being physically inside of me (and therefore subject to my interpretation of my experiences) is a substantial and salient difference. It (birth) is the least arbitrary line possible (for legal matters), and allows for individuals to draw different lines of personhood, and therefore control what goes on inside their bodies.

        In the Kirk and Uhura example, the (proto-)rapist(s) would be the Platonians. And this is why I’m not comfortable assigning personhood to fetuses: If a rapist is a person who is inside or altering my body when I do not want that, then not wanting a fetus inside of me or changing my body makes the fetus a rapist. I dislike removing the element of moral responsibility from rape.

      • Rilian Sharp

        Red herring, that’s the term I was trying to think of.

        Birth is a good line for legal differences, but I’m not talking about “legal personhood”.

        I still don’t see how the fetus would be a rapist. They didn’t get there on purpose. It was just caused by nature. It’d be like saying someone assaulted you when there was an earth quake that caused them to fall and knock into you.

      • tsara

        “I’m not talking about “legal personhood”.”
        I know you’re not.

        “I still don’t see how the fetus would be a rapist.”
        You don’t have to; a hypothetical fetus inside of me is subject to my interpretation of my experiences.
        If it helps: I am a person who has a very visceral reaction to the idea of being pregnant. I find it horrifying, revolting, terrifying, etc. Occasionally, the thought of being pregnant makes me throw up.

      • Rilian Sharp

        I wish you would explain what’s wrong with my explanation of why the fetus is not a rapist.

        They didn’t get there on purpose. It was just caused by nature. It’d be like saying someone assaulted you when there was an earth quake that caused them to fall and knock into you.

        I’m not saying you wouldn’t feel raped or that that feeling would not be valid. I’m just saying the fetus is not the rapist.

        I find pregnancy horrifying too. I would never ever ask someone to go through that.

      • Valde

        I would rather die than be pregnant.

      • Niemand

        I still don’t see how the fetus would be a rapist.

        A rapist is using your vagina without your consent. An unwanted fetus is using your uterus without your consent. It may not be the fetus’ fault-it’s not always the rapists fault either (consider acts of war terrorism in which men who were forced to rape female relatives), but fault or not it’s still a violation of your bodily integrity.

      • Lucreza Borgia

        Cancer got there naturally. Would you keep a cancerous growth in you? It’s technically life…

      • Mishellie

        I had to shut down my twitter b/c I sad getting death threats for the parasite comparison.

      • tsara

        That’s terrible. D:
        I’m very sorry you had to deal with that.

    • Gillianren

      Oh, Gods, I hate the “but you can kill a born person” argument. Because you know what I did with the child I didn’t feel capable of keeping? I gave her up for adoption. Once she was born, I had that option. Before she was born, I didn’t, so it was my choice to stay pregnant. Before she was born, she was completely and totally dependent on me specifically. Other people who are dependent on a person can depend on any person. My daughter sixteen years ago and my son now share in being completely dependent on me until birth.

      So yes, the moment when my son will achieve full personhood, the moment when my daughter did, is the moment when someone else can take over caring for them without it killing my son/daughter. And if we ever invent uterine replicators, which I fervently hope we do, we’ll revisit the personhood discussion then.

      It is also possible that my son does not yet have thoughts and emotions; we don’t know. It is possible that he just reacts to stimulus. And last week, I filled out paperwork saying that if I reach that state, I not be kept alive, because that isn’t, to my thinking, really living.

      • Rilian Sharp

        My point about killing a born person is that IF killing them were about “mercy killing”, THEN it would be the same kind of action to kill them at any age, regardless of whether they are still in the womb.

      • Gillianren

        No, it wouldn’t. After they’re born, they have the agency to contribute to the choice. In utero, they do not.

    • Baby_Raptor

      Words have definitions. And they have definitions for a reason. You don’t get to change those definitions, and the facts that they’re based on, because you think some analogies make it okay. A fetus is called a fetus because it’s still attached to and reliant on the woman’s body. It is NOT a baby while it still depends on the mother to do everything for it. That’s the meaning of the word. Please stop insisting that calling a fetus a “baby” is okay. It’s incorrect, and it feeds the pro-forced birther side’s ability to tug heartstrings.

      There’s not one defining characteristic that makes one a person. That’s another pro-forced birther argument. Everyone has their own opinion of when personhood starts, but pro-choicers tend to look at something other than “Oh, it has human DNA therefore it’s a person.”

      And, yes. When the entire argument that the pro-forced birth side makes is “Abortion is murder, because person,” then saying “That’s not a person” is a relevant counter-argument. Further, if you’re denying that the fact that it’s supposedly a person is what makes abortion wrong, then what is it that makes it wrong to you?

      And, no. No, you couldn’t. Because there are a bunch of factors that the supposed killer of a two year old has to take into consideration that a woman ending a pregnancy doesn’t. They are entirely different situations.

      Your last paragraph is you pontificating. You may personally think that you could never see abortion as about compassion for the fetus, but you do not speak for every woman ever. You are not the sole decider of what is and isn’t about anything. The fact that someone else sees something differently than you does not make their view invalid or impossible. You should consider this before you start to erase other people next time.

      • Rilian Sharp

        “You don’t get to change those definitions,” I didn’t change definitions, I’m going by common usage. Words can have multiple meanings. Fetus is a subset of baby.

      • Baby_Raptor

        I’m sorry, I’m not even sure what you mean by that?

      • The_L1985

        He’s saying that a fetus is a type of baby; specifically an unborn one at a certain stage of gestation.

    • Niemand

      The ones who are aborted don’t grow up at all.

      Neither will the ones who are not conceived. Or who are miscarried. Or whose parents never met. Again, why should we even worry about that? No one ever called me a murderer for not celebrating my first period by going out and sleeping with the first fertile and willing guy I could find so that I could have a baby at 14. Yet that baby is just as much not here as if I had done same and had an abortion instead of a baby. What’s the difference to the potential child? Never existed=never existed. And an aborted embryo has no brain to lose so it is as much a “never existed” as a never conceived baby.

    • LizBert

      I have a hard time truly considering an entity which has no consciousness a person. In the first trimester when most abortions take place, the neural development necessary for thoughts and sensations does not exist. I cannot equate an embryo or young fetus with no ability to sense or think anything with person.

      When I was a teenager one of my friends was in a serious car accident and had severe head trauma. When I went to see him in the hospital he had already been declared legally brain dead but was on life support so that his organs could be harvested. His cells were alive, his heart was beating, his skin was warm, but what was laying in that bed was not my friend, he was gone. What was laying there was the shell of a person, not an actual person. In the same way that it wasn’t wrong to remove life support from him, I don’t think it’s wrong to remove life support from a fetus.

  • sunnysidemeg

    I live in Ohio and I am sick to my stomach over what’s going on right now – I hope to have children in the next few years and it scares me to think of doing so without the possibility of an abortion. I consider abortions to be a medically necessary procedure – in the case of saving my own life or saving my child from a life of only pain and suffering, I would absolutely choose to end a pregnancy.

    Women who are alive now are going to die with these changes and that is much more important than hypothetical persons.

    And I hate all this discussion of “killing babies” – what person would continue a pregnancy for months after discovering it, allowing family, friends, and employers to notice, then just decide “nah” and pay over $1k for a medically invasive procedure at 3+ months along? Like, no one. The highest concentration of abortions is within the first six weeks at 32% with another 32% before 8 weeks – that’s 64% of abortions happening before brain birth! A total 88% of abortions occur within the first trimester. People aren’t dragging this out – they act quickly.

    Despite Governor Kasich’s attempts to rewrite language surrounding prenatal development a fertilized but not implanted egg is a zygote (NOT a fetus), an implanted and developing fertilized egg is an embryo (first 8 weeks, NOT a fetus), and a developed embryo is a fetus (this occurs 8 weeks or so after implantation).

    • Niemand

      The term zygote is usually used in the first 2 weeks, before differentiation and organogenesis start. A zygote is seriously very undifferentiated. Some form cancers instead of babies. Some don’t develop into anything at all. Calling them babies is beyond ridiculous.

  • Karen

    I’m adopted; happened at birth. I found out just a few years ago that the Good Catholic Family who created me were poor, had children already, and simply couldn’t afford another child. Much as I like living, much as I loved my parents when they were alive (and I really did luck out with the Adoption Gamble!) if that same woman were considering my abortion today, I couldn’t help but totally support her.

    • Karen

      Which doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate her choice. Thanks, Mom, wherever you are!

  • Anat

    And you just had to use a gendered insult here.

    • Conuly

      Hilariously, one that doesn’t even apply.

  • Sophie

    That would be quite an interesting birth defect…

  • wren7

    I live in Texas where our abortion battle in the legislature has made national news in the past week. I am beyond frustrated with our right-wing Republican dominated legislature and our idiotic governor Rick Perry who pander to the most virulent conservative wing of their party and will do anything to keep women from having access to safe, legal abortion. A courageous Democratic senator, Wendy Davis, tried to stop the current horrible abortion legislation in a special legislative session last week by standing for hours in a filibuster, but when the bill failed Perry called another special session which started yesterday just to pass the abortion bill. This time it will certainly pass, and women in Texas will have just 5 abortion clinics in our huge state — all of them located in large cities — down from over 35.

    I listened to some of the filibuster, and one of the conservative Republican senators (a physician and co-sponsor of the bill) stood and questioned Ms. Davis, asking her why she opposed a bill that was “aimed at keeping women safe.” What a load of crap. The bill will outlaw any abortion past 20 weeks, but more importantly, it forces ALL abortion clinics in Texas to be “ambulatory surgical centers” (a ridiculous and incredibly expensive requirement) and for the physician performing the abortion to have admitting privileges at a hospital located within 30 miles of the clinic. These last 2 requirements are what will force most of the abortion clinics in Texas to close. Many of the clinics are in rural areas where there isn’t even a hospital within 30 miles (and how often does a woman getting an abortion have a complication that requires her to go immediately to a hospital?!), and even if there was one, it’s a huge requirement for the doctor to have admitting privileges there — the hospital might not need that doctor’s expertise.

    This is on top of the restrictions passed in the last legislative session — that all women wanting an abortion must have a trans-vaginal (yes, you read that right) ultrasound — let’s make it as difficult and embarrassing for the woman as we can, right? — before-hand and she is forced to listen to the fetal heartbeat (maybe they can even keep her from singing to herself or wearing earplugs to drown it out, I don’t know; I’m not sure if they can force the woman to look at the ultrasound screen); and then she has to wait 24 hours before obtaining the abortion, and the same physician who performed the ultrasound has to perform the abortion. This makes it extremely difficult for women living far from a clinic or who can’t take two days off from work or can’t afford the gas for two long trips … on and on.

    What blows me away is that it has been proven that the many live births, many of them to women on Medicaid, that will occur in Texas due to the crackdown on Planned Parenthood clinics here and on women’s healthcare in general, not to mention the current crackdown on abortion, will cost this state MILLIONS of dollars. The same idiots in our legislature who are behind all of this are also in many cases opposed to women having access to contraception. Yes, it’s all about controlling women and their sexual lives, not about saving babies. What total hypocrites.

    I keep hearing that it’s a matter of time before Texas turns blue and Democrats take control because of the growing Hispanic population here. I can’t wait. It happened in California and it will happen in Texas. But thousands of women will suffer the consequences before that happens.

    • tsara

      Is there anything non-Texans/non-Americans can do to help with the situation?

      EDIT: especially if it doesn’t involve money, because I’m a minimum-wage working student.

      • wren7

        I really wish there was. I can’t think of anything. If the Democrats in our legislature can’t stop this bill (and they will do practically anything to stop it) I think it’s hopeless. Unfortunately it will force many women into dangerous illegal abortions, perhaps even in Mexico.

      • tsara

        It’s too bad Texas isn’t closer to Canada. :(

    • Jayn

      the hospital might not need that doctor’s expertise.

      Or deny admitting privileges specifically because ze provides abortions.

      I’m not sure hearing the heartbeat will have the effect they’re looking for anyways. When I’ve heard my child’s heartbeat, it hasn’t had the distinct ba-DUMP you think of, it was more like a fan whooshing (or maybe a series of deadlines flying past). It certainly didn’t have the “OMG there’s a child in there!” element that they seem to think will happen. Maybe some women do react like that, but it didn’t help me start thinking of it that way.

  • Niemand

    Anyone remember this case? Perhaps someone who is “pro-life” could tell me how delaying the treatment of a teenager with acute leukemia in order to protect an embryo that has no chance of making it to term and watching said teenager die of leukemia is compassionate, moral or pro-life? It appears to have incidentally destroyed the life of the young woman’s mother as well. More cases like this are occurring. This is just the one that got attention.

    • Trollface McGee

      The embryo was “innocent” and potentially male. The teenager? She was already born, therefore no longer valuable (also female).

  • Conuly

    Look, if you have so little self respect that you don’t care the impression you make, don’t blame me.

  • Beutelratti

    There’s something called British English, fyi.

  • tsara

    “Yes woman are incubators you poor victim,over it.”
    What the hell?

    • Beutelratti

      At least we have someone that admits it and doesn’t try to weasel out of what he really thinks of women, eh?

    • Niemand

      I think it’s an attempt at sarcasm that didn’t come off particularly well. Not Norm’s fault that he’s not as good a writer as you or Libby Anne.

      • tsara

        I still can’t figure out what he meant if he didn’t mean what he said. Even sarcastic statements should mean something and not just be dismissals, especially in a written (as opposed to oral, which allows less time to modulate reactions) medium.
        But maybe I’m expecting too much from Norm.

  • Beutelratti

    No, I’m telling you that “foetus” is the correct spelling in BE.

  • enuma

    Trollface, your use of the British variant spelling is fine, but I imagine you already know better than to worry about spelling corrections from someone who incorrectly uses apostrophes to pluralize his nouns.

  • maureen clarke,

    The un born child deserves compassion Why not admit that some women murder their own children so that they can have the life they want All this empathy with women who abort is misplaced Admit it for what it is selfish murder I would have more respect if you did

    • tsara

      Killing is not the same thing as murder. If you believe in castle laws, it is despicable to support legal measures to restrict abortion.
      Abortion is self-defence.

    • Niemand

      You haven’t read a single word of either Libby Anne’s post or any of the comments here, have you?

    • NeaDods

      Why would I want your respect?

    • Rosa

      women who murder their children go to prison, generally – Susan Smith, Andrea Yates, you could find a bunch more.

      Women who get abortions are not murdering children.

    • onamission5

      For the last time (oh how I wish that was true) fetuses, embryos, and zygotes =/= children.

      Or when you pick up an acorn, do you say “Hey, cool oak tree!” and when you make an omelette do you tell people you had chicken for breakfast?

    • belgianchic

      a fetus is not a child. And there is nothing wrong with exercising your right to choose in order to live the life you want. women are allowed to live the lives they want too, you know.

    • Ella Warnock

      I had a tubal ligation 20 years ago so that I could have the life I wanted, Maureen. Women can make those decisions now, and it’s not anymore selfish than any MAN having the kind of life he chooses to have.

  • Christopher Hubbard

    where in your entire screed does compassion or concern for the innocent, unborn life emerging inside come in to play? or do you pretend this issue is a one-way morality tale with no regard for the consequences of an aborted action? compassion?!? you’re a narcissist!

    • tsara

      Why don’t you try reading a bit more on this blog before calling the writer a narcissist? One of her most popular posts is called “How I Lost Faith in the Pro-Life Movement.” That’s a good place to start.

      You can read it here:
      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2012/10/how-i-lost-faith-in-the-pro-life-movement.html

      • Christopher Hubbard

        i read her entire post. and enough of the comments to reaffirm my belief. i don’t care what she thinks about the pro-life movement, for the ultimate issue isn’t about this or that “movement” but about truth. she mentions the word compassion at least three or four times in regard to compassion for the pregnant woman and why she is pro-choice. i know that this is just one post but she makes no mention at all about the emerging life that is the 800 pound gorilla in every discussion/context about abortion. failure to mention that, and to acknowledge it, deliberately, so as to pretend it isn’t there is to know the gorilla is right there and to say nothing. where’s any sense of compassion for the unborn life? crickets is all i hear. i would love for any of you to prove me wrong.

      • tsara

        Really? The fact that restrictive legislation on abortion is not actually correlated with lower abortion rates, and the fact that the pro-life movement tends to be dishonest and ineffective doesn’t matter to you? Doesn’t show you that Libby Anne has, maybe, thought this through? Or the fact that she’s gone through and calculated how many zygotes are lost when people are on birth control vs. when they aren’t? Is that what shows you that she doesn’t have any compassion for the unborn life?

      • Christopher Hubbard

        come again?? you’re just jumping around now and have yet to (now for the 3d time) in any way answer or address my original comment regarding the compassion for the unborn life. do you not factor in the developing boy or girl inside the mother at all? if not, i don’t identify with your value system and find it reprehensible. i can’t think of a better way to get on that road to cruelty and wickedness where we start categorizing and classifying which human beings are disposable and which aren’t and even a somewhat smart pro-choicer should realize it goes well beyond abortion? babies with birth defects or down syndrome? ? special needs children??? this is of the same diseased mindset that the margaret sangers of the world and the one-child policy proponents live in. no wonder we got to gas chambers and totalitarianism. unconscionable!

      • tsara

        *looks at what I wrote*

        *looks at what Christopher Hubbard wrote*

        …did you respond to the wrong person?

      • Christopher Hubbard

        nope. i keep replying to you and you have yet to say or even approach the idea of what compassion is owed to emerging life. that is the title of the post correct? she writes at length about compassion regarding the pregnant woman and society and leaves out completely the unborn baby fits in the equation. that’s not by accident but a deliberate attempt to write/see what is clearly emerging AND INNOCENT life out of the picture so as not to have to face the permanent consequences of such an act. will you respond about the compassion for the unborn life? can you??

      • tsara

        1. You came in here, read a post, decided you knew the author, and started insulting her and pissing on the rug.

        2. You were wrong. Libby Anne has already written extensively about her compassion for, as you put it, “the unborn baby.” A small part of that is included at the link I gave you, and I gave a few examples of the kinds of things she has thought and written about.

        3. My thoughts and feelings on the subject are not Libby Anne’s. I give a fetus about the same moral weight as a cat. I love cats, but it’s humans over cats every time.

        4. Fuck INNOCENCE.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        you give fetus’s the same moral weight as a cat? that explains much. (blank) innocence?? so the unborn baby is at fault for being procreated??? you honestly make no sense. i’m curious tsara, when chinese women have abortions of unborn female fetuses at rates much higher than unborn male fetuses because of their one-child policy (and if a chinese family can only have one child, my goodness, it’s GOING to be a boy) is that just fine with you? after all, it’s akin to a cat right???

      • tsara

        1. On the subject of innocence: you want the ethos, the logos, or the pathos argument?

        2. On sex-selective abortion:
        I am pro-choice for reasons of bodily autonomy. I find it abhorrent when people are pressured or coerced into keeping pregnancies, and I find it just as abhorrent when people are pressured or coerced into aborting. If we want sex-selective abortion to stop, we must change the culture that calls boys more valuable than girls and makes the realities of raising a girl in China so different from those of raising a boy.

        3. “so the unborn baby is at fault for being procreated???”
        Where’d you get that from? Generally speaking, there’s no “fault.”

        4. 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 terrifying)

        EDIT: On cats: if it helps, I’m a vegetarian.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        1. you aren’t as smart as you want to believe you are. innocence in this context isn’t about ethos, pathos, logos or whatever other greek etymological word you want to intervene in a simple, and straight-forward analysis. if the man and the woman who create the fetus are responsible for it then the fetus is a consequence of their action and not one on it’s own. a fetus, unlike the man and the woman has no agency of any kind at all and certainly not regarding its coming into being. are you responsible for your being procreated or are your mom and dad?? and since they are, you (the fetus) has done nothing wrong and is therefore the innocent byproduct. the fetus certainly isn’t at fault is it?? 2. if you are pro bodily autonomy and don’t think that a fetus is innocent (per #1) than the fact that female fetuses get aborted much more than male fetuses is irrelevant, right?? if it’s not innocent, than there is nothing to feel bad about. and if it’s all about bodily autonomy, then it’s her 100% her choice and not yours or mine. i don’t agree with that but that’s your logic, not mine. 3. is the fault argument and dovetails with the innocent argument in #1 since fault and innocence are opposite sides of the same coin. 4. i’m sorry but i don’t understand. you’re comparing a woman who is raped (against her will) with one who engages in consensual sex (not against her will)?? THE WHOLE POINT is to distinguish between one who has sex against her will and therefore isn’t at fault or responsible for her actions as the one who does. certainly you understand the rape-as-victim and against one’s will argument, why don’t you comprehend the non-victim whose consensual act has consequences after the fact??

      • tsara

        1. Insults. My favourite.

        The word “innocence” means different things. I was asking what sense you are using the word. Except I wasn’t being very nice about it, because I know very well you’re trying to use the logos argument.

        2. “if you are pro bodily autonomy and don’t think that a fetus is innocent (per #1) than the fact that female fetuses get aborted much more than male fetuses is irrelevant, right??”
        I don’t find the word “innocent” to be very useful. I don’t use it. And yes, the fact that female fetuses are aborted at a higher rate than male fetuses is irrelevant to the abortion debate. That topic belongs in a discussion on misogyny and external control of fertility by oppressive regimes.

        3. “opposite sides of the same coin”
        So I ignore both.

        4. No, I am comparing unwanted pregnancy with rape. If I consent to sex, I do not thereby consent to pregnancy.

        EDIT:
        4, cont’d: And even if I did consent to pregnancy, I can revoke that consent at any time and for any reason.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        if a woman (or man) consents to sex and pregnancy results they both assumed the risk no? is she an innocent victim? is he?? between the three, the woman, the man and the unborn baby, who is most innocent, or perhaps a better way of describing it who is least at fault or responsible??

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

        Why does innocence matter? If someone “innocent” needs my kidney or they’ll die, I still don’t have to give it to them. Why do I have to give them my uterus but not my kidney?

        P.S. Sorry for horning in, tsara. I’ll butt out if you want to toy with CH some more.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        “why does innocence matter??” why then shouldn’t we just find some poor guy off the street who resembles the unsolved murder, charge him, try him and sentence him. one murder victim deserves one convicted right? what does innocence have to do with it? your logic is as wrong as it is scary.

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

        Well, is our goal justice or vengeance? If it’s justice, then clearly justice has not been served if we nab the wrong guy. If it’s vengeance, it’s been partly served- we’ve punished someone, but it’s the wrong person, and part of vengeance is punishing the wrong person.

        Innocence matters in the case of criminal conviction because we want to see justice done; it’s not the innocence of the non-perpetrator, but the guilt of the perpetrator, that we care about.

        You still failed to answer my question. Why do you not have to give me a kidney, but I have to give a fetus a uterus?

      • Ella Warnock

        What you’ve just described actually happens a lot more than you’re aware of.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        i know it does! i went in to law school being very pro prosecution and came out much more skeptical (this whole farce of a trial taking place in florida v. george zimmerman and the practice by prosecutors of overcharging criminal defendants) and at least on process and evidentiary matters, on the side of criminal defendants, at least through trial unless and until the facts prove otherwise. the whole point of my brining that example up is to say that what matters most, for purposes of criminal law or abortion or what have you is to prove that innocence and guilt are always part of the equation. and unborn fetuses in the case of abortion, are always innocent.

      • Lucreza Borgia

        You went to law school yet you can’t use the shift or enter key?

      • Christopher Hubbard

        your illogic knows no bounds. an “innocent” person who needs a kidney doesn’t necessarily need your kidney, s/he needs A kidney. a baby-to-be NEEDS in particular his or her mother. finding a donor won’t do. and nobody is forced to give up vital organs to another when it would place them in peril. having a baby in 99+% of cases places no woman in jeopardy, for child birth is not a threat to life but the fullest expression of giving it.

      • Beutelratti

        Please cite a reliable source for your “99%”.

        Childbirth also rips the vagina apart in most cases or requires an invasive surgery in others. That is something women should only have to go through if they choose to. Your magical world of childbirth does not represent reality. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t threat the life of the woman either. It is the woman’s body and her body only. She is the one to decide who uses it and who doesn’t. By robbing her of that agency you are effectively giving a woman less rights than a corpse and you are giving an embryo/fetus more rights than any human being has. That is not an affirmation of life.

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

        Wrong again. There’s always a best-match, and there’s always very few good-enough matches. If you’re a good-enough match, you are probably the only one findable in time. You are effectively the other person’s only hope; yeah, there’s theoretical other kidneys, but the chance of finding them is slim-to-none.

        Pregnancy bring with it many risks. They include nausea, with chances of hyperemesis gravidarum (such severe nausea that the only options are hospitalization or death). Stress on the heart, kidneys, bladder, and pancreas; if a woman has any issues with them, pregnancy will probably make it worse. It’s extremely dangerous for a woman with heart disease to get pregnant. Chance of gestational diabetes. Chance for high blood pressure, stroke, pre-eclampsia, and eclampsia. As a woman’s balance changes, she more easily can trip and fall, her activities are restricted (can’t fly, can’t do all sorts of exercises, can’t lift heavy things, etc). Oh, and don’t forget all the medications for various ailments that don’t play nice with developing fetuses, among them many anti-depressants. Pregnancy is also terribly dangerous for anyone with an auto-immune disorder.

        The woman will gain weight, and she will need a new wardrobe- women who are barely getting by can’t easily afford that many new clothes, especially with the additional expenses of prenatal care and increased food intake. Then, of course, there’s the time off work for delivery and recovery; many jobs simply won’t let you take time off, so there’s the risk of losing your job, which can easily lead to homelessness and starvation; an even bigger risk if the woman already has children.

        Now let’s talk about the risks of labor and delivery. These include hemorrhage (a bad one can empty all the blood out of a woman’s body in less than 10 minutes), infection, ruptured uterus, tears in the perineum (the skin right at the edge of the vagina) that can go all the way into vagino-rectal fistulas (the flesh between vagina and rectum torn open, including muscle, such that the anal sphincter can’t close anymore. Immediate surgery is required to fix it). Permanent pelvic floor damage. Organ prolapse, where the muscles can’t hold the bladder or uterus in place because they got too stretched out, so they collapse into other things; requires surgery to fix. And even if everything goes perfectly, a woman still has a fairly long recovery time while her organs all squish back down to normal size and she stops bleeding; this all hurts quite a lot.

        No one is forced to give up organs to another when it would place them in peril? A worthy goal. As long as we force women to remain pregnant, it’s simply not a true statement.

      • Valde

        I HATE the pro-life dimwits who pretend that pregnancy is not a health issue. They act like, or truly believe, that pregnancy is just a natural healthy state for women.

      • Niemand

        an “innocent” person who needs a kidney doesn’t necessarily need your kidney, s/he needs A kidney.

        An unfortunately common misconception among lay people. There are antigens on every human cell* and matching the most compatible donor with the most compatible recipient is extremely important in getting a transplant that is safe and effective.

        Kidneys can sometimes be transplanted across MCH lines. Bone marrow almost never can. Bone marrow makes immune cells (obviously) and if you transplant the wrong marrow it ends up rejecting the body it was transplanted into and…it’s bad. And gross. So it’s not at all unusual for a person needing a marrow to have ZERO matches and common for a person needing a marrow to have only one potential match. Yet if that match refuses to donate, the law does not force him or her to. Do you disagree with this legal ruling? (This is an entirely real and non-rhetorical question. A consistent pro-life person would disagree with McFall vs Shimp.)

        *With the partial exception of red blood cells, which is why blood transfusion is MUCH easier than any other form of tissue transfer.

      • tsara

        Nah, have fun. I do have things I should be doing…

      • Christopher Hubbard

        then go do them.

      • Ella Warnock

        And sex-selective abortion isn’t really an abortion problem; it’s a cultural problem.

  • Shayna

    To Christopher Hubbard and Maureen Clarke – I am copying a comment I made on one of Libby Anne’s previous posts, because I am curious to see how (or if) you will respond.

    “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.”

    • Christopher Hubbard

      what is your question? that reads more like a comment than a question. and what, best you can describe, is a “progressive” christian??

      • Shayna

        I didn’t say I had one. A response can be to a statement or comment just as easily as a question.

        In this case, ‘progressive Christian’ would mean someone who self-identifies as a Christian and who tends to view social and economic issues from the (US) political left. Examples would be the folks at Red Letter Christians or the author of The Slacktivist (Fred Clark).

      • Christopher Hubbard

        you said you were curious how or if i would respond. i did. my response is what is your question.

      • Shayna

        Agree or disagree? Discuss. It seems to me while reading the exchange between you and Tsara that you two were talking each other in circles. Consider this an opportunity to collect your thoughts and express them concisely.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        there can be no opportunity without a question first counselor. or a comment specifically directed to me.

      • Shayna

        You could always take it as an opening statement, rather than an examination. What I think about the subject is out there in black & white, I am curious what you think about the issue as a whole. A springboard for examining other ideas, if you will.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        stipulated. what is your opening statement trying to prove counselor? mine is simply this. i don’t believe women and doctors should go to jail for having/performing abortions after a certain number of weeks. where that number should be is for honest debate, and even though roe is no longer governing law, planned parenthood v. casey is and the trimester approach has been discarded for the far more vacuous “undue burden” test i’ll go with the majority of americans who support abortion rights in the first trimester, not in the second and not in the third. what i would like to see, one day, is for abortion to be safe, legal and rare meaning what i am most interested in IS NOT THE LEGAL ISSUE OR QUESTION for unelected lawyers are not doctors or clerics BUT THE MORAL ONE and for me that is this . . . i’m much less interested in who gets to make the choice on abortion. i’m much more interested in the choice the woman makes and that is where this discussion should go to. fighting the legal battle is a non-starter for most people. trying to persuade and convince both mothers and fathers to be to value their baby to be AND TO CHOOSE LIFE is what i would like to see. a culture of life. and so for that reason, yes i consider myself pro-life even though i am not a purist on this issue

      • Shayna

        So if I am reading you correctly, you do not think abortion should be illegal though you favor restrictions based on trimester. Based on earlier comments, I’d say you are OK with rape and incest exceptions to those restrictions. Your main interest seems to be encouraging women (and men) not to abort based on your beliefs about the morality of the act in question. Am I getting it right so far?

        If you allow for rape/incest exceptions, what about life/health of the mother or inviability/deformity of the fetus? If these restrictions and exceptions are in place, who should be making the final decision?

        How do you propose to foster the ‘culture of life’ you would like to see?

      • Christopher Hubbard

        no shayna, I WANT WOMEN WHO CHOOSE TO HAVE UNPROTECTED SEX AND GET PREGNANT TO HAVE THE BABY. is that so hard to figure out?? i want the men and women who procreate to choose life! like my mother did with me. because i believe that every life is precious and unique and if given the chance to live has the capability to do something special and make this world a better place than if they had never lived. even a secular humanist can agree with that no? and enough with the rape/incest canard. it’s less than 5% of all pregnancies. i’ll forgive those 5% for having an abortion if i/we can focus on the other 95% who choose to have sex that leads to pregnancy for the very reasons i stated above. and i say it again, CHOOSE LIFE. that’s a choice too. and in just about every case it’s the better one.

      • Shayna

        “I WANT WOMEN WHO CHOOSE TO HAVE UNPROTECTED SEX AND GET PREGNANT TO HAVE THE BABY
        i want the men and women who procreate to choose life!”

        We will leave off the fact that you can have protected sex/be using birth control and still get pregnant. Let me repeat my last question – what do you plan to do, or what policies do you support, that will lead to that outcome (choosing life)?

      • Christopher Hubbard

        you foster a culture of life by engaging other people on such difficult, emotional and contentious issues. you do so over and over and over again and try and persuade. people who change their mind on such issues, or say the death penalty or other weighty issues of life and death, do so only after great reflection and deliberation. i have. it doesn’t happen overnight. it may never happen. but just as times change, people’s attitudes and values can and do change. my beef with the pro-lifers who just want to change laws or overturn roe is that that comes last. first you win the argument. then you change laws. because, and this goes for any contentious issue, if you want not just to win the day or win the argument but to change hearts and minds permanently you have to make the argument and change hearts and minds. i’ve found that comes only one person, one conversation, one discussion at a time. and usually over time.

      • NeaDods

        So tell me – how many hearts and minds have you changed with your insults, goalpost moving, and tone arguments in this blog, hmmm?

      • Christopher Hubbard

        most “progressive” christians i know are like most “progressive” jews i know or “progressive” catholics i know and while they may have different religions in common, they are all lefties. and since i was once on the political left and have happily left it (even as i still consider myself proudly a classic liberal but sadly learned that there is little liberal about lefties, for they are very illiberal) i can say with a straight face that for most lefties, the one religion they have most in common is their political identity. which is to say they are leftists before they are christians, jews or catholics.

      • Shayna

        Or it could be that their reading of Scripture leads to a similar political conclusion.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        who said anything about scripture? i don’t quote scripture for purposes of these kinds of discussion, and particularly when it involves abortion.

      • Shayna

        You said “the one religion they have most in common is their political identity. which is to say they are leftists before they are christians, jews or catholics.”

        My claim is basically the reverse – that being Christian, Jewish, or Catholic (which all share a significant portion of their Scripture) leads them to positions that are currently considered ‘leftist’.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        like what? even most leftist catholics and christians i know are on issues of economics and fairness. they also tend to be pro-life and culturally conservative. if one is both socially and economically on the left their religion is leftism and not christianity, catholicism or judaism.

    • Hilary

      Standing ovation!!

  • Elvenfoot

    Ugh. Compassion is essential from all sides, but society must come up with other solutions for helping them. Legalized and rationalized murder is not the way.

    • Mogg

      *sigh* see comments below for discussion on why abortion is not and should not legally be considered murder.

    • Niemand

      Legalized and rationalized murder is not the way.

      Indeed. As Halappanavar and “Esperanza”s families as well as Beatriz and the anonymous woman in Arizona would no doubt agree: Slowly murdering someone by refusing medical care because you value the (literally) brainless embryo in their uterus more than them suggests an extremely diseased society.

      • Niemand

        I should also point out that one reason Beatriz didn’t leave El Salvador to have an abortion was that deaths due to pregnancies gone wrong are occurring daily in El Salvador and she hoped that her case would open the door to a policy that allowed abortion at least in cases where the fetus was doomed and the woman’s life in danger. Where is the “compassion” for these women?

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

    1) You responded to the wrong comment. You meant to respond below.

    2) Every post you’ve made has been about shaming and haranguing women who might get abortions. You’ve said they’re murderers, you’ve said they must choose life even if it breaks their dreams for their futures, you’ve said that other than rape and incest there’s no legitimate abortions. That means you think losing one’s job and home is not enough reason to have an abortion; neither is trying to leave an abusive partner. Neither, for that matter, is just not wanting to be pregnant and have a baby.

    All I did was substitute “organ donation” or “major surgery” for pregnancy. What you’re doing here is not encouragement or education. You claim you want to do that, but that’s not what you’re doing, and I’m calling you on it.

    • Christopher Hubbard

      i hit reply and the comment goes where it goes. blame patheos.

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

        Blame Disqus, but yeah. They do get misplaced sometimes. Care to respond to the actual meat of the comment?

    • Christopher Hubbard

      no, you are confused. i have said repeatedly that one who kills a pregnant woman is a double murderer, not that those who get abortions are committing murder. they are extinguishing emerging life and that is sufficient for the definition of killing, but it isn’t murder. murder is a legal definition. killing is more than just a legal definition. what’s wrong with shame? in the right context it sure beats the heck out of laws and cops and prosecuting attorneys doesn’t it? if people behaved morally more often we wouldn’t need as many laws and police in the first place. count me as one who thinks that’s a better way! and you aren’t calling me out on a damn thing, organ donation and surgery and pregnancy are meaningless without any context.

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

        Externally imposed shame is a terrible, horrible, no good reason to do or not do anything. If that’s your morality, you have a pretty bad one, honestly. Why don’t you see that people who have abortions or support abortion rights are behaving morally according to their own moral codes, which may or may not be superior to your own?

        If you do not believe that refusing to donate organs is killing, then ending a pregnancy is not killing. We acknowledge the right of people to control their bodies, even if it kills someone else. We even let people control their corpses- if they don’t want to donate organs, we respect those wishes even after they die. That’s how high our respect for bodily autonomy is.

        Except for women. Women are being requested and required to donate their uterus, blood, and nutrients to another, against their will and without their consent. Why do you think women should have less rights over their bodies than corpses?

      • Christopher Hubbard

        “externally, imposed shame is a terrible, horrible no good reason . . .” rendering guilty verdicts is a form of shame is it not? a very public form of shame i would argue. she may have been acquitted but dont’ you think casey anthony (being shunned from civil society) is getting in the court of public opinion what she deserves? in the proper context shame is A VERY GOOD THING for it reserves for we the people the right to express our lack of assert or consent to behaviors we don’t like and dont’ want to accept. so long as it doesn’t turn into a mob and vigilantism, SHAME CAN BE A VERY GOOD THNG. you dislike shame because you dislike standards and norms of behavior.

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

        If Casey Anthony is truly innocent (not found not-guilty, but didn’t do what she’s accused of), what would you have to say about all the shit she’s been through? When the shame tidal wave hits the wrong person, do you shrug and say, “oopsies”?

        Rendering guilty verdicts is a question of fact, not shame. That’s not to say trials always get it right, but that’s the goal. We have public trials not to shame the defendants, but to try to reduce prosecutorial shenanigans that prevent fair trials. The guilty verdict says that a judge or jury believes the defendant committed the crime and thus deserves punishment for it; it is a preliminary step towards punishing a crime and making sure we’re not punishing people who have committed no wrong, not a public shaming spectacle.

        I’m all for standards and norms of behavior. I just think your standards and norms are pretty bad; bad for people, and bad for society. I’d love it if your shaming, haranguing, and denigration of women were considered unacceptable modes of behavior, for instance.

      • pennyroyal

        please look above on healthy shame and toxic shame.
        Your last sentence is just bizarre. Shame harms and hinders people’s lives.

        Please read up on this. The Culture of Shame by Morrison. Toxic shame goes with blame. The blaming and shaming in our culture, esp. the two political parties, is tearing this country apart. And the anti-women anti-abortionists keep plugging away at the hot buttons.

        Shaming is like a nuke when you could have used a flyswatter.

      • pennyroyal

        there is a difference between healthy shame and toxic shame. Healthy shame tells you you did something wrong, so you can make amends or change your ways. Toxic shame is intended to humiliate a person and make them want to crawl into a hole. Toxic shame destroys even a healthy personality.

        Many a so called ‘prolifer’ acts without shame when s/he tries to impose her theology, political views, and morals on another. Rick Perry, gov. of TX is shameless when he tries to stop all abortions in his state and his administration fails to support employment, healthcare, and housing opportunities for women. If he had any (healthy) shame he’d realize governments are supposed to help people. Not act like grand inquisitor, judge and jury on people who make a mistake and then take responsibility for it by getting an abortion.

  • Beutelratti

    “is this your trick to try and pick up guys ‘cuz i can tell you it’s a real turnoff.”

    Wow, sexist pig does not even begin to describe you and it really is an insult to the pig more than to you. Do you want an explanation on why you are being sexist an misogynistic? Because you assume that anything I do or say I do with the purpose of picking up guys. Asshole. Now I’m really done. I pity any woman who dates you.

    • Christopher Hubbard

      all you have done is play coy about a word i admit i don’t know and simply asked you to explain for me. if i had mentioned the word and was passing it off on you, you would be correct but i didn’t. both in a professional and a non-professional setting if i use a word the other person doesn’t know or understand i don’t play games with them and tell them to pull out their phone and look it up. THAT is arrogant, but that is exactly what you’ve done for the past hour. after the second time it’s not cute. it’s rude! and there’s not a man alive who would disagree with me. you fake outrage in order to avoid discussion not facilitate it. and yes it’s a real turnoff. based on your behavior, so are you!

      • pennyroyal

        “coy”–how quaint. That’s the last thing Beutelratti is doing. You had the chance to engage further in the discussion but refused to look up a new word out of pique. The ‘fake outrage’ is all yours.

  • pennyroyal

    if the Right, religious and political, can take the right to an abortion from us/US, then women will be officially second class citizens, such that judges, priests, lawmakers, lawyers, ministers, and zealots of all stripes are allowed substitutionary judgment for any individual women/women as a class.

    Women have human rights that cannot be taken from us. We are heading for a kind of sexual slavery that usually only pertains in theocracies. TX, VA, etc. This blitzkreig of attacks and anti-choice laws have to stop!

    • Norm Donnan

      Any person who would even contemplate aborting a fetus over 12 weeks is a second class person,male or female.I think a fertilized ovum is a person but for purely emotional justification Im willing to be lenient because they dont look cute and conger up maternal instinct but after that they are undeniably a human being. Women in America can easily obtain contraceptives,there is no “sexual slavery”and if people fall pregnant unexpectedly they need to take responsibility for their actions,not be allowed to kill their child.Criminals are second class citizens and people who kill others regardless of their age are as well.

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

        So in order to make sure that as many abortions as possible are before 12 weeks (there will always be some later than that- life and health of the mother, and fetal abnormalities incompatible with life that just don’t show up until the 20 week ultrasound), you’re willing to make sure there is cheap, accessible abortions available to every woman in the US, right? None of this transvaginal ultrasound crap, no waiting periods, end mandatory counseling and giving out false information, cheap or free to obtain, no more than an hour’s drive away, they don’t have to be in surgical centers, and doctors don’t need to have hospital admitting privileges?

        One of the reasons women wait so long is the cost. If you’re scrambling to pull together a few hundred dollars for the abortion, arranging childcare, figuring out when you can take off work, figuring out where to get the money for a motel room, and arranging a ride, that can easily take more than a month. Take those barriers away, and the after-12-week abortion rates will drop precipitously.

        Fetuses aren’t even remotely viable until ~24 weeks, and even then a lot of them die. Until such time as a fetus can live outside a woman’s body, there isn’t even a tiny bit of a question that abortion should be legal and is entirely moral. Remember, abortion is taking responsibility for one’s actions; it’s choosing not to bring an unwanted child into the world. That’s being responsible. Why do you see babies as negative consequences for their slut-mothers? That’s such a horrible way to look at both the women and the babies.

      • Norm Donnan

        What child is viable once born for many years.They are much more demanding and draining on the mother once they are born,yet they are exactly the same person as when they were 24 weeks old,or 2 for that matter.Abortion is taking NO responsability for ones actions,it’s fixing a problem.Babies are never a negative consequence and getting pregnant doesnt make you a slut either.Aborting a child is a horrible way to look at a baby.

      • Niemand

        They are much more demanding and draining on the mother once they are
        born,

        I can’t speak for anyone else, but my personal experience was just the opposite. Taking care of a newborn is MUCH easier than being pregnant. Orders of magnitude. And I had a colicky baby. Not even to mention the fact that a baby can be handed off to a partner or parent or babysitter for a few hours. Or given up entirely for adoption.

      • belgianchic

        babies are never a negative consequence? i love babies and kids, but don’t actually want one of my own for a very long time, if ever, so yes, a pregnancy would be negative.

      • Norm Donnan

        And thats fine,so dont get pregnant,simple.

      • belgianchic

        oh yes, its so simple. glad to see you’ve got it all figured out. birth control is not 100 percent. so abortion will always be an option.

  • Whirlwitch

    That is not at all what Niemand said. You missed the point in favour of a ridiculous cheap shot.

    Your ignorance of basic biology is amazing, especially considering you’re trying to make points about it. Starter point: menstruation is when the uterine lining sheds in the form of blood. An unfertilized ovum leaves the body about 10-12 days before menstruation occurs. A fertilized ovum might leave the body along with menstrual flow. In that case, a miscarriage would be occurring.

    You don’t even know what you’re talking about, and you’re complaining about other people’s comments?

    • NeaDods

      He’s a troll, that’s been obvious for days.

      • Mogg

        He’s been trolling various atheist blogs on Patheos for at least a year now. There was an epic thread on Unreasonable Faith, I think in the forums. Don’t bother to go and find it though; he’s just as boring and ill-reasoned there.

    • Norm Donnan

      Cheap shot eh…”if a zygote is a baby then a sperm is too”…. “the mass murder in your genitalia”,oh please.Then you think you need to explain a miss carriage and the mod removes my comment…again. And Im the ignorant one.

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

        Sperms (might) become babies with the addition of an ovum and nine months of gestation inside a woman’s body. Zygotes (might) become babies with the addition of nine months of gestation inside a woman’s body.

        You really think it’s the addition of the ovum that makes the difference? We can do that in test tubes, as Niemand pointed out.

  • Mogg

    Where I live, both spellings are acceptable but foetus is the preferred. Not all of the world is the US, remember? And if you read my comment, you will find that I do not at all think he got screwed. He is a murderer of the worst sort. What he isn’t, in my mind and in most legal jurisdictions, is a double murderer. He a murderer and killer of a wanted foetus, which makes him a murderer plus… I would consider foeticide, aggravated murder, something like that, but not murder as the acceptable charge unless he actually removed the foetus from his wife’s body still alive and killed him – which the forensic evidence was not able to establish.

    • Christopher Hubbard

      HE IS A DOUBLE MURDERER! why is it so hard for you to admit a fact that has been very public for going on ten years?? “murderer plus?” “unless he actually removed the fetus from his wife’s body???” you’re just making stuff up now. what you think IS IRRELEVANT for purposes of your exercise in revisionist history. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laci_Peterson) first degree murder for lace and second degree for unborn baby connor. so said the jury. you can go take up his appeal as he sits on death row.

      • Mogg

        Certainly, he has been found guilty of two murders. I don’t believe he should have been, and was giving you some idea of what I personally think the law should be. And given that the foetus’s body was found before his wife’s dismembered body was, it is vaguely possible that the foetus was alive when dumped, or individually killed like what Gosnell did. There’s no way to know because the bodies were in too bad a condition by time they were found.

        I have no intention of joining any such appeal, even though I think the death penalty is abhorrent. But he can’t be killed twice – why does having him guilty of two murders make you feel so righteous? One is bad enough for me.

      • Anat

        It isn’t a matter of Mogg and I not admitting a fact. It is disagreeing with feticide laws. He also destroyed a being which under US law is not a person. And which would fail several philosophical definitions of person even if the legal definition were to change. There is such a thing as ‘crime X under aggravating circumstances’ (or whatever the English terminology is, I’m translating) which is what Mogg appears to be arguing for.

  • Anat

    Foetus is legitimate British and Irish spelling. See relevant Wikipedia page.

    • Christopher Hubbard

      in her majesty’s court that may be well and good. in stanislaus county, ca. and everywhere else in the united states, where SP was tried and convicted, and where patheos is based out of by the way, it’s f-e-t-u-s.

      • Mogg

        And where I live, foetus is spelled foetus. Deal with it.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        patheos isn’t based out of where you live. accept it.

      • Mogg

        I do. I’m perfectly happy to accept your “incorrect” variant spelling because I know where you are, that’s how it is. I know what you mean, you know what I mean.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        it’s not my “incorrect” variant, it’s the american usage of the word.

      • Mogg

        And yet you find I don’t complain about it or mock people for using it. How about that?! :-)

      • Christopher Hubbard

        not mocking. just stating facts per custom, usage and law. when i go to england (and i’m a big fan by the way) i don’t think i’m still in the united states and drive, say, on the right side of the road. i assimilate to their laws, norms and culture. this is an american web site, you should do the same.

      • Mogg

        I’ve heard England is very nice. I have no intention of changing my spelling to American variant to please you, though. If Libby Anne asked I would consider it, given that it’s her blog, but you are as much a guest here as I am.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        maybe you’re a guest. i’m a subscriber.

      • Mogg

        Well, bully for you. It’s still not your blog.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        it’s a public forum. and you still haven’t answered my question about why a named but unborn baby shouldn’t have any legal standing whatsoever. if you truly are pro-choice and not pro-abortion as it sure seems and the mother (as per laci’s case) CHOOSES to have her baby and not abort it, when something beyond horrible happens to her and she is murdered the unborn baby dies just as much as she does and it’s two lives lost and not one. how do you square her choice which was violated and taken away from her as much as she herself with your juvenile insistence that it’s something other than the obvious??

      • Mogg

        I did answer it, but I’ll repeat it here if you wish. I think a foetus should have legal standing insofar as its destruction is an aggravation of a criminal injury or death of the mother. It should not, however, have the same standing as a born human. If it was wanted and anticipated, then losing a pregnancy is terribly sad and the loss devastating. And I agree that two lives are lost, in that the foetus is alive. It is still a part of its mother, though, not an individual, so to my mind the only murder which occurs if the mother is murdered is hers, aggravated by the death of the foetus.

        Whether it has a prospective name is beside the point, because the name cannot be legal until the baby is born and registered with Births, Deaths and Marriages (or whatever the local version of that particular registry office is called). It indicates, along with other evidence, that the pregnancy was wanted adn that therefore the death of the foetus was criminal and worthy of some charge, but it doesn’t make the foetus more a human with full rights than if no name had been decided or announced yet.

      • Mogg

        Now that my spelling has been discussed, would you care to tackle the question I asked? Why are you so invested in having this particular nasty individual legally guilty of two murders, when the one murder we agree on is heinous enough that under local law he would probably still be executed anyway?

      • Christopher Hubbard

        because he took two lives in being.

      • Mogg

        We had the discussion the other day about “life” not being synonymous with “human person”.

      • Christopher Hubbard

        “why am i so invested?” the state of california charged (and convicted) him with two counts of murder not me. why are you so invested in denying the factually and legally obvious?? laci’s family CERTAINLY disagrees with you and your dismissal of her unborn baby. why else did he already have a name??

      • Mogg

        Laci’s family have every right to disagree with me if they want, and what they have been and are still going through is devastating – almost as sad and difficult a thing as I can imagine. That doesn’t mean I have to agree with them, or with the law under which the death of her foetus was considered murder. Legally, Laci’s husband was found guilty of two murders. In reality, which is not always in accordance with law, I believe he is guilty of one murder aggravated by foeticide.

  • Guest

    now that i seem to have gotten your attention libby anne, i have a single simple question (for you) since this is your post after all that i hope you can answer. you mention the word (indeed have it in your title) compassion a lot throughout regarding much when it comes to abortion, pregnant women, etc. all i wanted to know, way back to my very first comment that got many of you hot and bothered was when or where at all does compassion come in to play for the unborn, innocent fetus? if not, why not??

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

      Compassion for the fetus doesn’t exist for me, because it’s not a person, and even if it was a person, the woman has the right to decide who uses her body and for what purposes.

      I do feel bad for the people who die waiting for organ transplants, but I don’t advocate forced organ donations as the solution, and those are unquestionably full persons who are dying.

      Why don’t you feel any compassion for women? Can you answer that one?

      • Anat

        Thinking about what awaits in life for people who are unwanted as children makes me doubt that forcing more children into such situations is in any way compassionate.

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

    I’m banning you for violating my comment policy numerous times, but I wanted to say first that the technical medical spelling of fetus DOES have an “o” in it, and also that I agree that Peterson should have been charged for one murder, not two. I think it might be a good idea to come up with a way to charge someone for killing a wanted fetus, because a wanted fetus does matter—to the person carrying it. If someone kills my pet, he can be charged for that. In contrast, if I take my pet in and have it put to sleep, that’s legal. So some charge, yes, but a murder charge? No.

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