While we’re on the subject of abortion politics …

A link-dump of recent articles on the politics of abortion.

Steven Brill: “Stories I’d Like to See

2. How many years up the river for an abortion?

While we’re on the subject of questions reporters might ask on the campaign trail, here’s another that I can only remember NBC’s Tim Russert asking various anti-choice candidates: “Once you outlaw abortion, how much prison time would you sentence a woman to who has an abortion? What about her doctor? If abortion is murder, then isn’t the woman guilty, at least, of conspiracy to commit murder, and isn’t the doctor a murderer?”

With the Republicans candidates competing to be the most anti-choice, their answers ought to be interesting.

Maria Cheng: “Abortion Rates Are Higher in Countries Where Procedure Is Illegal

Abortion rates are higher in countries where the procedure is illegal and nearly half of all abortions worldwide are unsafe, with the vast majority in developing countries, a new study concludes.

Experts couldn’t say whether more liberal laws led to fewer procedures, but said good access to birth control in those countries resulted in fewer unwanted pregnancies.

Sarah Kliff: “2011: The year of the abortion restrictions

Eight states now bar any private insurance plan from covering abortion and five more will limit such coverage on the exchanges, the new health insurance marketplaces that are scheduled to launch in 2014.

That’s a big shift from just two years ago, when only five states barred private insurance plans from covering abortion.

This, too, is class warfare — a way of ensuring that those who can afford to pay out of pocket have access to choices forbidden to those with less money.

Joan Walsh: “Today’s GOP makes Mississippi look liberal

Their target is no longer just abortion, but contraception as well. At Tuesday’s “tele-town hall,” Bachmann lied about President Obama’s Plan B stance, insisting the president is “putting abortion pills for young minors, girls as young as 8 years of age or 11 years of age, on [the] bubblegum aisle.” Of course, Obama backed HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ decision to override the FDA and refuse to allow Plan B to be sold on drugstore shelves, specifically citing concerns about young girls. Personhood legislation would make the IUD illegal, as well as any measure that interferes with a fertilized egg attaching itself to the uterine wall, including some fertility treatments.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach: “Why American Religion Isn’t Refining American Values

Watch the Republican debates on television and you would think that America faces not a single social challenge other than stopping gays from marrying and women from aborting fetuses. America is a religious nation whose religious convictions have been hijacked by these twin issues, even though they have little to do with most Americans.

Ed Kilgore: “Tiller’s Killer

Such an examination might have begun with some consideration of why late-term abortions have become such a lightning rod in the first place. After all, according to orthodox life-begins-at-conception true believers, George Tiller was no more of a “mass murderer” than any other abortion provider, or, for that matter, a technician discarding frozen embryos at a fertility clinic or a pharmacist dispensing Plan B contraceptive pills (a practice dubbed “abortifacients” by virtually all right-to-lifers).

See also:

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Donald Trump did not know the Standard Answer on criminalizing abortion
Hand me down my walkin shoes
Seems like a thousand years to go
Postcards from the culture wars (4.12)
  • http://www.metagalacticllamas.com/ Triplanetary

    Such an examination might have begun with some consideration of why late-term abortions have become such a lightning rod in the first place. After all, according to orthodox life-begins-at-conception true believers, George Tiller was no more of a “mass murderer” than any other abortion provider

    Very good point. It’s a bit difficult to unpack why they get angrier over late-term abortions. It could have something to do with the fact that, despite their “life begins at conception” logic, anti-choicers also put a lot of stock in the fictional notion that a four-week-old fetus has, for example, fingernails and a fully developed brain and stuff like that. So even anti-choicers seem to have some conception that there’s a difference between a clump of undifferentiated cells and a human baby; otherwise they wouldn’t need to lie about that.

    I don’t know. Like I said, it’s hard to unpack, especially in light of the fact that anti-choice politics isn’t actually born of concern for babies.

  • piny

    “Watch the Republican debates on television and you would think that America faces not a single social challenge other than stopping gays from marrying and women from aborting fetuses. America is a religious nation whose religious convictions have been hijacked by these twin issues, even though they have little to do with most Americans.”
    His point about the many other moral concerns facing the nation remains valid, but speaking as a sexually active, fertile woman who would, barring divine intervention, need to conceive with a sexually active, fertile man:

    Did he seriously just say that abortion isn’t important to most people?  It’s of vital importance to roughly half the population, and arguably pretty goddamn important to the other half as well.  

    Just saying.  

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NR2MMC4EJXJWJMLH6IF457XL64 Alex B

    I would say that the issues underlining abortion: Privacy, freedom, a woman’s right to do what she pleases with her own body, etc. are Very Important. However most Americans won’t ever have to face that choice themselves.

  • Anonymous

    However most Americans won’t ever have to face that choice themselves.

    The irony is — and I keep hammering this home these days — that, given the least excuse, most people choose to abort. 92% of all fetuses with Down’s Syndrome are aborted. That means that (being generous here) at least something like 30% of all Americans are hypocrites.

  • Dan Audy

    However most Americans won’t ever have to face that choice themselves.

    Maybe a majority of American’s won’t ever directly have to face that choice themselves.  After all 49.8% of the population is male and 18% of women never bear children (though it doesn’t have info on what percentage of that never conceive vs have abortions to end any pregnancies they have) which means that only 32.2% of the population ever directly have to choose whether or not to have an abortion or not.  However the vast majority of that non-birthing population have a profound stake in abortion and will be faced with influencing that decision because their girlfriend/wife/friend/sister/daughter/mother is contemplating whether or not to have an abortion or give birth when they are pregnant.  Simply because they aren’t the one making the final decision doesn’t mean that men and women who care about the pregnant woman and are involved with her life and support aren’t faced with the difficulty of the decision merely that in the end they are relieved of that responsibility.

  • piny

    Most Americans, if we’re talking strict percentages, will never be arrested.  A large percentage of Americans are living with and within our penal system.  Most Americans will not need abortions–only a bare majority of America is capable of terminating a pregnancy, period.  

    But abortion is very, very common.  

    A large percentage of women will need to get an abortion during the course of their adult lives–about three in ten.  Nearly half of all women will experience an unplanned pregnancy.  Many more than that will experience pregnancy scares.  Most women seeking abortions are already mothers; that means that abortion affects their families, and that many of those decisions probably involve male partners.  You almost certainly know several women who have obtained abortions.  
    And all women live in the shadow of disappearing choice–really, all of my economic, professional, and personal freedoms flow from that single freedom to not have to suddenly bear and raise a child.  

  • http://www.metagalacticllamas.com/ Triplanetary

    It’s personally important to lots of people, but it’s only politically important because it’s under constant threat from wingnuts. The health of my genitals is also important to me, but we don’t have national debates about it, because as a middle-class man I can take it for granted that I’ll always be able to get healthcare for my genitals.

  • http://www.nightphoenix.com Amaranth

    Then there were the charming comments Mr. Santorum made, basically telling women who are raped and impregnated that the baby is “a gift from God” and that keeping the baby is the best way to “make the best of a bad situation”.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/23/rick-santorum-abortion-rape_n_1224624.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009

    Yep, rape and forced impregnation is just a bad situation, right up there with getting a flat tire or forgetting your wallet. Women just need to get over it.

    Gag-worthy.

  • Kim

    Re: “Do you trust women”:

    “then what you are saying is that your discomfort matters more than an individual woman’s ability to assess her own circumstances. That you don’t think that women who have abortions think through the very questions that you, sitting there in your easy chair, can come up with. That a woman who is contemplating an invasive, expensive, and uncomfortable medical procedure doesn’t think it through first”

    No, that’s not what people are saying. Good fucking grief. Put the straw-man down and step away from the silencing procedure. People can devote a lot of thought to a subject while still making poor decisions, and disagreeing with someone’s choices does not take the ability to make those choices away from them. People who say “X should never be legal” without having experienced X or thought about X or presented damn good reasons why it should be illegal do not, as a group, overlap totally with the people who disagree with the decision a woman makes. It is not a clear cut situation: some women regret abortions, others regret not aborting, some women have objectively harder lives because they didn’t abort. Trusting women with their bodies involves having legal access to abortion. Recognizing that anyone and everyone can make poor, faulty, or dangerous decisions is not being sexist. Nor is it being anti-choice.

    Is it sexist to tell a man that he ought to be using condoms during sex in order to prevent STD transmission, and that he’s being risky by not doing so? How is being uncomfortable with his decision not to being sexist? How does it take away his ability to choose not to? Do you physically have to be the exact same person in order to make moral judgments?

    Choosing whether or not to abort can be a huge decision. Why is Osell making it the exception to discussing the values of other huge decisions? No, I can’t guess how Mary will react to aborting or not aborting, but again, without physically being Mary the same is true of any other large decision. Unless Osell puts up another post about how no one should ever dare argue in favor or against people’s marriage choices, or choice of citizenship, or decision to skip college and go right into the military, this is just a really poor argument.

    EDIT: “Osell” not “Ossell”.

  • Anonymous

    Agreed – Osell is engaging in some serious excluded middle here.

    For that matter, I simply don’t share her horror of not trusting people to make moral judgments. There are many matters about which we do not trust people to make the right decision on their own, from insider trading to murder to air pollution.

  • Anonymous

    Agreed – Osell is engaging in some serious excluded middle here.

    For that matter, I simply don’t share her horror of not trusting people to make moral judgments. There are many matters about which we do not trust people to make the right decision on their own, from insider trading to murder to air pollution.

  • Lori

     
    For that matter, I simply don’t share her horror of not trusting people to make moral judgments. 

     

    How nice for you that you don’t have to worry about other people preventing you from making your own major life choices. 

     
    There are many matters about which we do not trust people to make the right decision on their own, from insider trading to murder to air pollution.  

    Abortion. Insider trading. Murder. Air pollution. 

    One of these things is not like the others. One of these things does not belong. 

    Someone apparently failed Sesame Street.

  • Lori

     
    For that matter, I simply don’t share her horror of not trusting people to make moral judgments. 

     

    How nice for you that you don’t have to worry about other people preventing you from making your own major life choices. 

     
    There are many matters about which we do not trust people to make the right decision on their own, from insider trading to murder to air pollution.  

    Abortion. Insider trading. Murder. Air pollution. 

    One of these things is not like the others. One of these things does not belong. 

    Someone apparently failed Sesame Street.

  • Anonymous

    Recognizing that anyone and everyone can make poor, faulty, or dangerous decisions is not being sexist. Nor is it being anti-choice.

    I don’t ever believe that having an abortion is a bad choice, because I don’t ever believe that anyone who even remotely thinks while they are pregnant they don’t want a child should have one.

    Ever. In fact, I think that every woman who *doesn’t* have an abortion if she even remotely doesn’t want the child is immoral and committing a horrible (for lack of a better word) sin. I also think that even those women who *do* want a baby should be forced to take a hard look at the statistics, and, if those statistics suggest their potential child will not contribute sufficiently to society, they are immoral for not having an abortion.

    Note that I am not saying that giving birth under those circumstances should be illegal. I just think that I have a right to contribute to their decisions. I think that I have a right to require OB-GYNs to read statements about the way that unwanted children hurt society (through dropout rates, crime rates, etc.) and to show them pictures of (for example) murders committed by grown-up children and homeless shelters and tell them about the chances that their children will turn out like the people in those pictures. I think they should also be informed about the ways in which our society doesn’t support them (e.g. the terrible public school systems, the lack of after-care, etc.). I think they should be told about the carrying capacity of our planet (sustainably, around one billion and shrinking) and about the societal problems they are contributing to by choosing to have children.

    I think every pregnant woman should have an appointment with a genetic counsellor, during which she is tested and told — in brutal detail — about every possible genetic disorder her child might wind up with or could be a carrier for.

    I think we should have editorials in the paper condemning women who give birth under such circumstances (note: not women who get pregnant — there’s often not a lot of choice associated with that — but women who actively CHOOSE to give birth). I think we should have protests outside of OB-GYN facilities and yoga studios with pregnancy classes which feature pictures of brutal murders committed by people whose parents did want them.

    I don’t think my tax dollars should contribute to labor facilities. I think women who want birthing facilities or doulas or even an operating table for an emergency c-section should have to pay for it out of their own pockets. I don’t even think those facilities should be part of hospitals. I think they should be free-standing facilities subject to rigorous rules about closet sizes and janitorial staff.

    I don’t think that giving birth should be illegal. No. I just think it’s highly immoral, and, after all, our society has a right to contribute to other people’s decisions.

  • Kim

    “I just think that I have a right to contribute to their decisions. I think that I have a right to require…”

    No you don’t. I am talking about a friend saying to someone “you could be making a bad decision because…”, not instances where women’s access to abortion is cut off, impeded, or otherwise procedurally challenged. Stop putting words and policies into my mouth.

  • Anonymous

    I am talking about a friend saying to someone “you could be making a bad decision because…”,

    You know, most people who try to say that to a pregnant women who wants an abortion aren’t really friends.

    Again: do I have the right to question — to her face — a friend of mine who chose to give birth during grad school? She wasn’t married. She’s in a field where getting pregnant basically means you can’t do work for nine months. She had major life plans which were largely destroyed by choosing to give birth. Do I have the right to tell her to her face that I think she was making a bad choice?

    Perhaps that’s the wrong question. I have the right to tell her whatever I want. She also has the right to never speak to me again.

  • Kim

    Maybe you consider a friend someone who never makes statements about your decisions and responds warmly to each choice you make. I consider a friend someone who’s not afraid to step in and tell me that they’re concerned with what I’m doing and out of love for me will try and help.

    It’s not okay for a friend to bully another into a specific decision. It is not okay for them to reduce that person’s ability to engage in a legal right. And that’s not what we’re talking about. If you and your friends don’t ever have disagreements over life choices because you either a) have the exact same opinions or b) don’t ever want to question those opinions, fine for you.

  • Anonymous

    I consider a friend someone who’s not afraid to step in and tell me that they’re concerned with what I’m doing and out of love for me will try and help.

    Would you consider it morally acceptable for me to do the reverse: to try to encourage a woman who wants her pregnancy to abort it?

    If not, then why?

    And, no, forced birthers aren’t restricting themselves to ‘lovingly’ talking with friends. They’re talking with strangers.

  • Kim

    Yes. If you thought that having a baby would be a bad decision and knew that the woman wasn’t against abortion, then you could say that you thought it might be a better choice for her.

    EDIT: A friend of mine told me about her abortion once. I thought it was the right decision because she wasn’t morally opposed to abortion, wasn’t secure financially, wanted to have children only in a relationship with a married partner (and wasn’t at the time) and didn’t want to have a baby. She thought about it, and did it. And I thought that was the right decision for her. Because I’m not anti-abortion.

  • Anonymous

    …and shouting at strangers, and throwing things at strangers, and posting strangers’ information on the internet both as a threat in itself and as a way to point deniable “lone nuts” in the right direction…

  • Anonymous

    …and shouting at strangers, and throwing things at strangers, and posting strangers’ information on the internet both as a threat in itself and as a way to point deniable “lone nuts” in the right direction…

  • Anonymous

    …and creating “Crisis Pregnancy Centers” that, generally speaking, exist for the sole purpose of ‘lovingly’ talking to strangers while offering few actual services.

  • Kim

    Maybe you consider a friend someone who never makes statements about your decisions and responds warmly to each choice you make. I consider a friend someone who’s not afraid to step in and tell me that they’re concerned with what I’m doing and out of love for me will try and help.

    It’s not okay for a friend to bully another into a specific decision. It is not okay for them to reduce that person’s ability to engage in a legal right. And that’s not what we’re talking about. If you and your friends don’t ever have disagreements over life choices because you either a) have the exact same opinions or b) don’t ever want to question those opinions, fine for you.

  • Lori

     
    No you don’t. I am talking about a friend saying to someone “you could be making a bad decision because…”, not instances where women’s access to abortion is cut off, impeded, or otherwise procedurally challenged. Stop putting words and policies into my mouth.  

    We’re not talking about one friend speaking to another and you know it. Stop being so defensive about your own beliefs that you deny reality. 

    Beyond that, if you’re sticking your 2 cents in where it’s not wanted, friend or not you may very well be over the line. Being someone’s friend doesn’t give you a free pass to judge and comment on all their choices.

  • Kim

    That’s twice you’ve said that I’m denying reality because I don’t hold your view. Take a deep breath and step back from the monitor if you can’t handle it when other people disagree with you.

    Yes, you CAN be. But Osell is saying that you always are, by making a judgment about someone’s choice, and that this is also a sexist move on your part. That somehow abortion is unlike any other personal, potentially life-changing decision such that no one can offer advice.

  • Lori

     
    That’s twice you’ve said that I’m denying reality because I don’t hold your view. 

    No, this is twice that I’ve pointed out that you are conflating different issues.  

      Take a deep breath and step back from the monitor if you can’t handle it when other people disagree with you. 

     

    Why don’t you take your own advice. 

  • Kim

    I’m not the one who keeps saying my partner has distorted views because they don’t coincide with mine.

  • Lori

     
    I’m not the one who keeps saying my partner has distorted views because they don’t coincide with mine.  

    Again, I’m not specifically arguing with your views, although I do disagree with you. I’m arguing against the fact that for 2 or 3 days now we’ve been talking primarily, if not exclusively, about people who are attempting to make abortion illegal. You keep coming in with comments about how unfair the conversation is to people (apparently including you) who aren’t specifically working to make abortion illegal, but who don’t like it and want to get in people’s business with their disapproval. 

    Wanting to make abortion illegal vs not want to make abortion illegal are two different issues. Conflating them is not helpful. 

    Couching one’s one beliefs in general terms in an attempt not to have to own them, while at the same time being very defensive about them, is also not helpful. 

    This is why I keep disagreeing with you. 

  • FangsFirst

    Beyond that, if you’re sticking your 2 cents in where it’s not wanted,
    friend or not you may very well be over the line. Being someone’s friend
    doesn’t give you a free pass to judge and comment on all their choices.

    There’s a half typed comment below where I also tried to respond to this sentiment, and couldn’t figure out the phrasing.

    The important part of this, I think, is you are conceiving a situation where Friend A is considering an abortion and Friend B thinks abortion is wrong. Unless Friend A has been living in a bubble or is seriously dumb as a rock, “Abortion is wrong” is not going to be a revelation. If it is a revelation, it amounts to bullying: it says, “Don’t do this, it will make you a bad person,” which leaves one without an alternative option other than to follow the person saying it.

    If Friend A is already considering an abortion, they have clearly done enough weighing to at least not think it’s never, ever an option. They see it as a possibility, even if they decide against it.

    That’s not helpful. It’s not loving. Most importantly, it’s not useful. It’s self-aggrandizing. It’s like going around talking about your religious beliefs instead of showing them and letting people ask. Or most anything where you just inject your belief without solicitation, or on a basis that does not invite a place. Talking about your religion doesn’t help people see the value in it, they just see that you have it. Very–“…okay? And…?”

    There’s plenty of discussion to be had about the value of that viewpoint in a personal context,¹ but that methodology has no practical usage or value. A unary statement on a binary decision doesn’t achieve anything at all. And telling someone that, from your belief system–religious or more specifically personal–doesn’t bring anyone toward that viewpoint.

    ¹Generalities, now, not abortion-specific. Religion, for instance, might turn out to be a good thing for a person, or helpful to them. But saying, “Jesus is awesome!” is unlikely to convert anyone. Even if they aren’t uncomfortable or offended.

  • Lori

     
    Is it sexist to tell a man that he ought to be using condoms during sex in order to prevent STD transmission, and that he’s being risky by not doing so? How is being uncomfortable with his decision not to being sexist? How does it take away his ability to choose not to? Do you physically have to be the exact same person in order to make moral judgments?  

    The analogy doesn’t really work, but I’ll go with it any way. 

    Show me someone who wants to make it illegal for men not to use condoms, but does not want to place any legal restrictions or imperatives on women’s use of birth control and safer sex practices and I’d say yes, that person is being sexist. 

     
     Unless Ossell puts up another post about how no one should ever dare argue in favor or against people’s marriage choices, or choice of citizenship, or decision to skip college and go right into the military, this is just a really poor argument. 

    We’re not talking about arguing with women’s decisions, we’re talking about legally restricting them.

    Even if we were only talking about arguing, people who think they have a right to pass judgement on the choices of  total strangers when those choices, as the saying goes, neither pick their pocket nor break their legs are on damn shaky ground. 

    The reason Ossell is writing about the assholery of the anti-choicers and not of other buttinskis is that the anti-choicers have made their opinions into a supposedly morals-based crusade. When other opinions cross over into crusades people complain about them too. As an example I could find you some articles about what people say about attempts to restrict access to foods deemed unhealthy, but I figure you can probably operate Goggle and I don’t feel like doing your work for you. 

  • Kim

    “We’re not talking about arguing with women’s decisions, we’re talking about legally restricting them.”

    Can you show me where that’s made clear? The “you are being sexist/wrong to judge women’s choices” is in reference to people who state they are “uncomfortable” with certain decisions being made. Maybe I’m missing something, but then so were a lot of the commenters on the post, and I didn’t notice any spot where Osell flat out said “this is not about moral judgments: you are free to say a woman is making the wrong decision, this is about impeding/making illegal certain reasons for or situations where abortion should be made illegal”. At some point a discussion of sex-selective abortion cropped up, but it wasn’t clear that that was what the original post was centered upon.

  • Lori

     Can you show me where that’s made clear?  

    It’s right in the opening paragraph of the post you’re complaining about

     
    The bottom line about abortion is this. Do you trust women to make their own moral judgments? If you are anti-abortion, then no. You do not. You have an absolute moral position that you don’t trust anyone to question, and therefore you think that abortion should be illegal.  

    emphasis mine to help you out

    The comments about being uncomfortable are made within the context of the legal issue. It’s all of a piece and it all involves thinking that one’s own judgement is better than, and even more important than, the judgement of the woman making the decision.

    Anyone who goes to another person and says, in effect, “I know better than you do what is good for you” is on thin, thin ice when it comes to the notion of speaking with love.

    ETA: Let’s suppose that I have a male friend who is contemplating a medical procedure that only men can have. Let’s use circumcision as an example. Let’s suppose that I go to him and say, “I think you may be making a mistake. Do you really think you should be messing about with your penis like that? A penis is a very important thing after all and you may regret it. It’ll reduce sensation and therefore damage your sex life. I’ve always preferred uncut men and even though we never have been and never will be lovers I think you should weigh that into your decision. Once you do it you can’t undo it. Have you really thought this through?”

    I’d be a jerk and a bad friend and yes, I think it would be sort of sexist for me to be trying to substitute my no-penis-having judgement for the judgement of a person who does have one. It would be especially sexist if I believed that in general, men can’t be trusted to decide what to do with their penises and need my input to explain to them why they should do what I think is best.

  • Kim

    Did you miss the second paragraph? Where Osell talks about pro-choice people? And how their feeling uncomfortable is “sexist”?

    The first paragraph deals with anti-choice people. The second deals with pro-choice people who don’t agree with each and every abortion for each and every reason possible. I’m asking you to show me where Osell says “oh, when I mean ‘pro-choice’, I actually mean people who restrict/ban abortion”…which is not what pro-choice means.

  • Kim

    “Anyone who goes to another person and says, in effect, “I know better
    than you do what is good for you” is on thin, thin ice when it comes to
    the notion of speaking with love.”

    Good lord, I hope you never take that view when someone says “I’m going to kill myself”. For someone who seems damn sure I’m wrong and is quite willing to spend time telling me that’s so, you sure like to be hands-off about other people’s choices.

    “The comments about being uncomfortable are made within the context of the legal issue.”

    Where is that? Where in Osell’s text do you see that? Where is the “pro-choice people who are anti-choice in the LEGAL sense in certain contexts”? The only thing Osell says is “uncomfortable”. She doesn’t clarify in the comments that she’s talking about the legality/other measures to reduce access.

    Regarding circumcision, if you ask your friend why he’s doing it, who is doing it, when it’s happening, and you get poor answers like “I’m doing it because my family is pressuring me into it because I’m Jewish”, “I’m just going to whatever doctor my parents have picked; I haven’t really thought about it”, then yeah, it could be the wrong decision. The question is, is this best for him? Is it safe? Are you being a good friend by accepting any decision he makes? I don’t think so. I think a good friend is one who tries to find out what you’re doing and why, and then offers advice and help concerning your decision.

  • Lori

     
    Good lord, I hope you never take that view when someone says “I’m going to kill myself”.   

     

    Saying “on thin ice” doesn’t mean “never OK” and deciding what to do about a pregnancy is not at all the same thing as contemplating suicide. Which I’m sure you know very well, you’re just so anxious to defend your own righteous interference that you’re really over-stretching. 

      
     For someone who seems damn sure I’m wrong and is quite willing to spend time telling me that’s so, you sure like to be hands-off about other people’s choices. 

     

    And for someone so anxious to pass judgments on other people’s life choices you sure do get defensive when someone disagrees with your opinions.

  • Kim

    “Saying “on thin ice” doesn’t mean “never OK””

    Thank you for finally agreeing with me.

  • Lori

     
    Thank you for finally agreeing with me.  

    I’m not agreeing with you. You know I’m not agreeing with you. You can stop now and not bother with this ish ever again.

  • Kim

    You’re agreeing that there are situations where it is acceptable to make moral judgments. That’s what I was saying. That’s what Osell was denying.

  • Anonymous

    Good lord, I hope you never take that view when someone says “I’m going to kill myself”.

    Is that what you think abortion is? Akin to suicide? Something that friends should ‘lovingly’ talk someone down from, because, after all, that’s what a good friend would do?

    The question is, is this best for him? Is it safe? Are you being a good friend by accepting any decision he makes? I don’t think so. I think a good friend is one who tries to find out what you’re doing and why, and then offers advice and help concerning your decision.

    That’s lovely. A good friend decides s/he knows your situation better than you do and decides what you should do for you through “advice and help”. A good friend probes at subjects you may feel sensitive about and then expresses opinions about what you should do. A good friend is ‘concerned’ that maybe you’re making a choice for the “wrong reasons,” whatever those are — and believes that s/he can talk you into a better decision.

  • Kim

    No. I wanted to see if Lori’s as hands off about important decisions as she seemed to be.

    Like I said, bullying someone into accepting your view is not what a good friend does.

  • Anonymous

    No. I wanted to see if Lori’s as hands off about important decisions as she seemed to be.

    Oh, so you’re intentionally trolling.

    Good to know. I’m going to bed.

  • Kim

    I love how cynical and dismissive the Internet makes people. :/

  • Lori

     
    I love how cynical and dismissive the Internet makes people. :/  

     

    It’s not the internet. Your repeated assumptions that people who don’t agree with you are “cynical” is a fine example of what makes people dismissive though.  

  • P J Evans

     tl;dr.

  • Anonymous

    I love how cynical and dismissive the Internet makes people.

    Right. Because you weren’t trolling by comparing abortion to suicide.

    Unless you actually do think the two are comparable.

    (FWIW, most studies have shown that people who *tell* you they plan to commit suicide are actually asking you to talk them down.)

    And, IMHO, the problem with saying “abortion is an important decision” is that so is giving birth. It’s not like suicide — the decision *not* to commit suicide means that one’s life continues as normal. The decision *not* to have an abortion leads to major life changes.

  • FangsFirst

    Right. Because you weren’t trolling by comparing abortion to suicide.

    In fairness, that wasn’t a comparison. The original text she responded to was:

    “Anyone who goes to another person and says, in effect, “I know better than you do what is good for you” is on thin, thin ice when it comes to
    the notion of speaking with love.”

    This is in general terms, and does not say, “barring extreme circumstances in other situations” or anything of the kind. The question Kim asked was to verify that incredulity at this was unfounded: that suicide, for example, would at least be an exception.

    Honestly–I had the same reaction, albeit less immediate and less emotionally charged.¹ I mostly just wondered–“Does she feel this principle applies universally? Would that extend to anything *definitively* harmful? Suicide? Self-harm? Abusive relationships? Or possibly harmful, like a bad career choice? Aren’t those situations where we would agree that saying something can be or is acceptable? If saying something can be acceptable, what is the qualifying factor? And could abortion not, without moral implications, be a possibly bad decision for someone in a specific situation? What, then, would forbid its discussion?” <–this, in a more emotional, frustrated and lashing out sort of way is the thread Kim is running on. It's not that any of the things I just listed were comparisons to abortion, it's just, "Surely this principle isn't universal, so why would abortion be permanently and completely verboten, unlike most other things that at least allow for solicited, or sometimes implied, discussion?"

    She also does go on to suggest giving birth should be discussed as well. And mentions a specific, real instance in her own life where she agreed with the decision.

    She's speaking in hypotheticals about specific situations–where the situation itself would be real, and is only hypothetical because it is not currently occurring for her and a friend. Which, yes, is not what the original article was about, but I (hopefully) clarified that above.

    So, no, it wasn't trolling. An unfortunate choice to be made under an inflammatory subject…but not one intended as comparison. This is, of course, again, why I loathe how readily that word is dropped around here…though, of course, I understand that this IS an inflammatory topic and leaves people on the defense because it's often not responded to well by anyone who takes issue with the pro-choice stuff.

    (For the record, I say this because a while back a semi-regular just flat out accused me of lying, repeatedly, and technically was accusing someone very important to me of lying, by proxy, and would not accept "It might have been a mistake, but I cannot verify the details that led to that conclusion at this juncture" as a legitimate explanation. So, I don't particularly endorse the experience, but understand that it usually stems from strong emotions and the feeling that defense of any statement remotely in contradiction to those feelings can come off as an attack on them.)

    ¹I have the worrisome (to me) habit of taking something like that and detached-ly wondering whether it applies to suicide, and then whether I can really have grounds to criticize it if it doesn't and oh hey by the way how do I actually feel about the morality of suicide? So if I don't know that, can I really ask about that? Is it a matter of "I think people should be allowed to make their own decisions that don't harm others"? And is that a principle with which I disagree, or would I only argue on the basis that few things only hurt the person performing them? Do I have any legs to stand on if I ask this question? My final answer was: “I don’t know the answers to half the questions I just asked myself, so I’m not saying anything. I imagine those exceptions are there, but I’m not sure how to reconcile it with that text…nor am I sure I’d be seen to have solid moral grounding in asking.”

  • Anonymous

    It’s not that any of the things I just listed were comparisons to abortion, it’s just, “Surely this principle isn’t universal, so why would abortion be permanently and completely verboten, unlike most other things that at least allow for solicited, or sometimes implied, discussion?”

    If we lived in a world where women weren’t judged for having abortions — where the choice to have an abortion wasn’t one that was so fraught with problems (who is going to drop $500+ for no reason, anyway?) and restrictions, where the choice to have an abortion wasn’t so *moralized* — then yes, abortion *might* allow for *solicited* discussion. (Heck, even now, it might allow for solicited discussion: if someone comes to someone and asks what they should do, then, yes, it would be permissible to offer an opinion. [1,2])

    But we don’t live in that world.

    Expecting someone to be convinced by a friend’s ‘loving’ persuasion is like expecting someone to be convinced by a Jack Chick comic — the only people who are going to be persuaded are those who are already on the fence. There’s no new information available.

    She’s positing a hypothetical situation that isn’t going to happen in America. Not now, not in twenty years. Quite possibly not ever. And then insisting that *that’s* the situation that people are referring to, even though everyone is pointing out that that situation has never happened and never will.

    [1] IMHO, though, that (a clear two-choice situation) is still rarely an example of someone genuinely wanting advice — that’s often an example of someone who knows what they want and wants it confirmed. (Sarte pointed this out: he cited the example of a man who wanted to leave his sick mother to join the French Resistance. Yes, that man can ask for advice — but whether he turns to his priest or to the leader of his cell is going to determine the answer he’s given. And he *knows* that when he asks for advice.)

    [2] In most situations where advice is clearly warranted, it’s a case where one person has information that the person making the decision doesn’t have. Most people in an abusive relationship don’t realize that the relationship is abusive. Most people making a bad career choice don’t realize it — even though someone else (e.g. a coworker or superior) might. Every woman who gets pregnant knows that she could continue the pregnancy. (The *only* exception I can think of is if a woman cites external circumstances that *mandate* an abortion: “I can’t have this child because I’m on this medication.” — “Well, have you considered [this other drug]?”) But even there, the solution isn’t persuasion — the solution is giving that person the relevant information and then letting them make their own decision.

  • FangsFirst

    If we lived in a world where women weren’t judged for having abortions
    — where the choice to have an abortion wasn’t one that was so fraught
    with problems (who is going to drop $500+ for no reason, anyway?) and
    restrictions, where the choice to have an abortion wasn’t so *moralized*
    — then yes, abortion *might* allow for *solicited* discussion. (Heck,
    even now, it might allow for solicited discussion: if someone comes to
    someone and asks what they should do, then, yes, it would be permissible
    to offer an opinion. [1,2])

    this is what I was first posting about–Kim’s referring to your parenthetical. Yeah, there are problems with it (your [1] and [2]) but she was under the impression that the idea was, “Your friend decides on an abortion, if you say anything to them at all, you’re a horrible person who doesn’t trust them.”

    As I say, no, that isn’t what the article is referring to, but if you parse her comments (especially her clarification to me earlier, where she “corrected” my encapsulation by the addition of modifiers that made clear she meant particular, specific, etc–and in the “Hey, Susan, you are currently going through ____, so have you considered how a medical procedure might affect you?” sense, not the “Two’s the limit, c’mon, don’t be one of those evil women!!!” sense) that’s what she’s talking about.

    That hypothetical situation–the one she is positing–is going to happen, does happen, and will continue to happen, whether a society is accepting of abortion or not. Because, again, the situation she’s talking about is one on one¹–yeah, especially when it’s illegal or seriously shamed, plenty of women will run out and avoid contact and try to sweep it under the rug because society in many places suggests that’s the best way one can do it, if one is going to do it. But some people can, will and do talk to friends or family or authority figures of some kind. Sure, some of those people will have expected responses based on who they are or what someone already knows about their views.

    But I don’t think it’s fair to say “There’s no new information available.” In general? No. In specific? Might be. Maybe Friend A comes to you and says “I don’t know what to do. I can’t have a child, but I don’t want to increase the risk of breast cancer.” Some people hear that stupid garbage and, because it’s not personally relevant at the time, they never find out it IS garbage. No new information in the world doesn’t mean no new information to every person out there.²

    As far as [1]–yes, of course, which applies to most situations. As noted, someone mentioning suicide is most likely looking to be talked out of it. Sometimes with other things, people are looking for affirmation. Like–“Please confirm I am not a horrible monster for considering an abortion.” Someone says that, no, you sure as hell don’t say something contradictory.

    But [2]? Yeah, every woman knows she could continue a pregnancy, but everyone knows they “could” (ha ha.) get a different job, or not take that one, or what have you, or that they could stick with that plan. That’s a really weird way to approach that and I’m not sure what you’re getting at. In the end, though, I think [2] just turns into more of the same: she’s not advocating for persuasion, necessarily. She’s said repeatedly she’s pro-choice and stood by the decision the friend of hers made. There is still information to give.
    But even then: information is designed, generally, to persuade, and is going to be informed by personal perception of it.
    If a friend comes to me and says, “I think I might take up this job,” I’m not going to just ask them about comparative pay and work scenarios and leave it at that. “Okay, you would be paid X more/less, and environment would change by Y, a completely objective and unbiased descriptor.”

    The last person who asked me about a job change was partly looking for a way out of a horrendous job environment that, well, I’ve described anecdotally before. I wasn’t going to just “give information”–I was going to say (and did), “Yeah, I’m pretty sure you should get the hell away from those filthy, disgusting excuses for human beings and their repellent treatment of you.” My view on the matter, if I’m asked, is necessarily going to be involved. This is the mentality Kim is referring to. Not, “It’s automatically bad,” but “In context…”

    A bad relationship is much the same. It takes more care, to be sure, but even if you are simply robotically stating facts, it’s to point out something you perceive–“Have you noticed how he/she does X?” Why are you bringing up X and not one of the comparatively tiny number of good things that person does? Obviously, because you think X is part of defining their SO as a bad and abusive person, which is the salient point in context.

    Yes, it’s more likely that, “Have you considered an abortion?” is going to be relevant information. Because it’s cheaper, it’s less time and it’s less…well, most everything. But that doesn’t mean it’s always the best option for any given person just because they’re considering it. Nor that it’s the wrong one. Information can be of a more personal nature, most pertinently.

    ¹I’m typing this and suddenly finding it amusing that she missed the specifically general language of the original post, and you seem to be missing the…dammit that sounds condescending. I don’t mean it to be. But, in any case, you’re missing the specifically specific language she’s using. I haven’t gone back and carefully combed over her posts to be sure there’s not room for misinterpretation, so you may not be missing it, she may have left out language that would clarify this, actually.

    ²And, again, we’re back to, “I think you’re talking about general, societal or community level discussion, which isn’t what she’s talking about, whether she has said that in a clear way or not, I find it clear that that’s what she means.”

  • Anonymous

    I honestly don’t believe I’m missing *any* language. I think that Kim last night repeatedly changed her story — going from “well, I don’t see why objecting to something is sexist” to “well, I’m *only* referring to a good friend who is ‘lovingly’ advising another good friend” — when people pointed out flaws in her scenario.

    I’m not missing her scenario. I just think it’s disguising a general distrust of women. (Her example — “well, I’m going to have an abortion to get back at him” — would trigger in *me* a response of “this woman isn’t mature enough to have a child.”)

    Then again, that (my response to her example) is my default reaction. My original post to her (the one that I think triggered her changing her story, since she realized what she was saying wasn’t defendable) wasn’t entirely satire. I *do* believe that abortion should be a default position — a woman should *justify* why she wants to have a child, not just give birth by default.

    In the end, though, I think [2] just turns into more of the same: she’s not advocating for persuasion, necessarily. She’s said repeatedly she’s pro-choice and stood by the decision the friend of hers made. There is still information to give. But even then: information is designed, generally, to persuade, and is going to be informed by personal perception of it.

    She’s *explicitly* said that the role of a ‘true friend’ is to obtain all the information, evaluate the situation, and then ‘lovingly persuade’ the other person into making what the first person has decided is the right decision. IOW, she’s *explicitly* argued for persuasion. And she’s pretty much said she’s only contextually ‘pro-choice’ — she is somehow qualified to make the appropriate decision and then talk a friend into making the correct decision. That’s incredibly condescending.

    All of her examples — suicide, self-harm — relate to cases where the response is generally intervention, not persuasion. ‘Loving persuasion,’ in such cases, involves dragging the friend to a therapist or checking them into the hospital. (The same goes for most abusive relationships: all these examples are cases where people are concerned about the other person encountering physical harm.)

    Information, IMHO, involves pointing out flaws in the reasoning that’s gotten someone to a specific conclusion. It doesn’t involve judging a situation and then telling someone what they ought to do — no matter how non-bullying one claims to be when doing so.

  • FangsFirst

    Let me do what I did with the original article:

    People can devote a lot of thought to a subject while still making poor decisions, and disagreeing with someone’s choices does not take the ability to make those choices away from them. People who say “X should
    never be legal” without having experienced X or thought about X or presented damn good reasons why it should be illegal do not, as a group, overlap totally with the people who disagree with the decision a woman makes.
    It is not a clear cut situation: some women regret abortions, others regret not aborting, some women have objectively harder lives because they didn’t abort. Trusting women with their bodies involves having legal access to abortion. Recognizing that anyone and everyone can make poor, faulty, or dangerous decisions is not being sexist. Nor is it being anti-choice.

    more importantly, from the same, first post:

    No, I can’t guess how Mary will react to aborting or not aborting, but again, without physically being Mary the same is true of any other large decision.

    It’s not as explicit as the language I found in Osell’s article, but it does lend to the idea that, from her very first post (which is what I quoted) she was talking about specific situations.

    Her first response to you very clearly addressed that she was talking about specific situations. At the least, that is easily taken as clarification, not “changing a story.” I do agree that “a woman” can easily be mistaken as intended to mean “women”–I think the usage, however, is a more general form of “Friend A.”

    ‘lovingly persuade’ […] IOW, she’s *explicitly* argued for persuasion

    Now that is just misleading. Those are not her words, and explicitly is blatantly false

    I consider a friend someone who’s not afraid to step in and tell me that they’re concerned with what I’m doing and out of love for me will try
    and help.

    If you assume (and it is assumption) that “try and help” means “make them do what I think is right,” then, yes. However, I think that’s a pretty loose interpretation.
    Which is only made more clear as that very same post goes on:

    It’s not okay for a friend to bully another into a specific decision. It is not okay for them to reduce that person’s ability to engage in a legal right.

    I realize this is a seriously inflammatory topic, as I said before. And I know that leads to a feeling that any question (much like Kim’s initial response to feeling attacked) of the original post seems like it’s endorsing not trusting women with the decisions over their own bodies. But, much like Kim’s interpretation missed some things here and there that you or I feel were clear, I think you’re missing some language she has been consistently using that, maybe not as clearly, but clearly, imo, is about that.

    But I think this conversation is MOST unproductive because everybody is responding to people who said things other than what they said, due to variances in interpretation, expectation and perception.

    Yeah, a lot of people do back down from arguments and change perspectives, and a lot of people are arguing from the point of view that you feel Kim is. But she isn’t.

  • Anonymous

    It’s not as explicit as the language I found in Osell’s article, but it does lend to the idea that, from her very first post (which is what I quoted) she was talking about specific situations.

    No, it doesn’t. Nothing about her phrasing even remotely suggested that she was discussing specific examples of friends who were considering getting an abortion. *Nothing*. It was only when I pointed out that judgement *is* making someone else’s decision that she started insisting she was ‘only’ talking about her right to interfere in her friends’ decisions.

    Her exact phrasing, in fact, is as condescending as it is stupid:

    I think a good friend is one who tries to find out what you’re doing and why, and then offers advice and help concerning your decision.

    IOW, she’s not referring to someone who comes to you for advice. She’s referring to someone who already has made her decision — and Kim thinks that she has the right to step in *then* and offer unsolicited advice.

    But that’s beside the point. Why are you spending so much time attempting to rationalize the words of a woman who (1) willfully misread an article, (2) decided it was intruding on *her* right to interfere with the lives of her friends, and (3) refused to back down when people repeatedly pointed out that she was dead wrong?

  • Anonymous

    double post deleted.

  • Lori

     
    ²And, again, we’re back to, “I think you’re talking about general, societal or community level discussion, which isn’t what she’s talking about, whether she has said that in a clear way or not, I find it clear that that’s what she means.”  

    This still comes back to my question of why, in the context of a general conversation, someone goes straight to “What about my specific right/need to offer my opinion in this specific case?” and keeps on that and keeps on that. 

    I could speculate, but since I have no actual information I think that would be inappropriate. I will say again that I think it makes for a really unhelpful, unproductive discussion. This isn’t Ask Prudie (thank FSM), so unless someone asks for input on a specific situation we’re usually talking at the level of policy, especially when it comes to hot button topics like choice. 

  • FangsFirst

    This still comes back to my question of why, in the context of a general
    conversation, someone goes straight to “What about
    my specific right/need to offer my opinion in this specific case?” and
    keeps on that and keeps on that.

    Her interpretation of Osell’s original comments were a condemnation of anyone who says anything to any woman ever about an abortion. The reaction is to the feeling of being attacked on a very basic level: that Kim has or would discuss with a friend whether an abortion was the right choice for a given situation, and so Osell was saying she was an awful sexist who doesn’t trust women.

    In the grand scheme of things: no, it’s not as important, and it’s unproductive. But we are talking about an internet comments section, where numerous threads and topics and ideas are going to crop up, and some are tangential and personal and don’t necessarily relate. It was Kim’s response to the original article, placed, webcode-wise, as a response to the article itself, rather than as part of a continuous conversation.

    So, yes, everyone else is talking policy, she read the article as a blanket condemnation, and so she responded to that, which was the “conversation” she was having–if you will. Starting one over the concept she had read in Osell’s article.

    I’m not saying the right is more important or anywhere near AS important, but it wasn’t really part of the conversation about general policy. Or rather, she did not perceive it as such because of how she interpreted the original article.

  • Lori

     
    Her interpretation of Osell’s original comments were a condemnation of anyone who says anything to any woman ever about an abortion. The reaction is to the feeling of being attacked on a very basic level: that Kim has or would discuss with a friend whether an abortion was the right choice for a given situation, and so Osell was saying she was an awful sexist who doesn’t trust women.  

     

    This did not start with Osell’s article. As you noted in your other post, right from the start she was taking the general discussion as a personal attack. If she sees all discussion of pro-choice policy as an attack on her right to have a conversation with a friend that I have no idea what anyone else is supposed to do with that.

  • FangsFirst

    This did not start with Osell’s article. As you noted in your other
    post, right from the start she was taking the general discussion as a
    personal attack.

    Her very first post starts:

    Re: “Do you trust women”:

    and follows it with a quote from Osell’s article.
    She says at the end:

    Why is Osell making it the exception to discussing the values of other huge decisions?

    And even the edit (that was there since I first saw the post) is correcting the spelling of the author of the article.

    My post was because I read the article as you did, so I thought the “conversation” (here defined as “response to and interaction around the article”) was all in response to the article as I read it. So, I thought that someone reading the article would understand that the article itself–as source of conversation–was about anti-abortion viewpoints. She didn’t. She responded to it as an attack on any conversation about someone having an abortion.

    So she wasn’t in that conversation, and there is a fault in my choosing to suggest it that stems from my misunderstanding what exactly she was responding to.

    *Nothing*.

    If you assume that anyone who takes anyone’s consideration of an abortion as anything other than absolutely and definitively the right choice–yes. I could see that interpretation. Otherwise, no.
    Her very first post says legal access is good and is what defines trust. The usage of “anyone and everyone” and “decision a woman makes”–especially compared to a description of people who universally disagree with abortion, which she prefaces it with, again, in her first post–says she means that any given person can make bad choices. I mean, literally, that’s what it says.

    IOW, she’s not referring to someone who comes to you for advice. She’s
    referring to someone who already has made her decision — and Kim thinks
    that she has the right to step in *then* and offer unsolicited advice.

    “what you’re doing,” she said. “getting an abortion” could be something someone is doing. “deciding whether or not to get an abortion” could be something someone is doing. If you assume what “what you’re doing” means, then, yes, it refers to someone who has already made her decision. But that’s an assumption.

    And yeah, you know–I told the person I know to get the hell out of her job before she was considering it. Because it was bad and was making her upset a lot. She didn’t solicit advice, and I don’t think I’m some horrible person for suggesting she should get the hell out of there despite that. Because it was upsetting her, and thus, regardless of my opinion of whether she can or can’t handle it or trusting her, she was already expressing to me that the place upset her, without asking me where she should work instead, or whether she should quit.

    (1) willfully misread an article,

    I’m going to guess this comment is a result of your anger and frustration with her and the ideology you seem to believe she represents. Because to suggest someone willfully misread something is the kind of stupid shit I loathe, as you have no evidence to support such a claim. Nevermind that it contradicts the spirit of everything else you’re saying, because if she misread it, then I’m right and she’s responding to an incorrectly perceived version of the article and has been talking about exactly what I said. If she’s doing what you said, no misreading was involved, as she takes issue with the concept itself and misreading would in fact harm that intent.

    I’m not doing this anymore. If you want to refuse to believe that maybe, just maybe she misread it unintentionally (the language of posts saying “No, it says this, as far as I saw” suggests that it was both unintentional and allowed for the possibility of being wrong–and you will note that since I showed her the language that contradicted her belief in it, she hasn’t responded) then there’s no point to this. I get that you are very, very defensive and considering the way many people address the issue, I can kinda understand that, and get where you are coming from to some extent. But it’s not going to engender any kind of conversation at all, as you will allow for no possibility except that you are and have been correct about what someone else intended to do and what their underlying beliefs are, despite absolute contradictions of them being stated.

  • Lori

     
    The question is, is this best for him? Is it safe? Are you being a good friend by accepting any decision he makes? I don’t think so. I think a good friend is one who tries to find out what you’re doing and why, and then offers advice and help concerning your decision.  

    Bottom line? He doesn’t owe me an explanation of his reasons, not even if we’re friends. If he wants to talk to me about it then I’m absolutely willing to do so, but if he doesn’t then I’ll accept that. 

    If he tells me about his plans my initial assumption will be that he’s open to talking about it and I’ll ask what made him decide to do it. Because I’m interested in him, not because he owes me an explanation or because I think it’s my job to make sure he’s doing things the “right way”. I’d also ask who was doing the procedure and if it sounded sketchy I’d ask more about it, but if he shuts down the conversation there’s only so much I can do. He’s an adult and I’m his friend, not his mother.

  • Dan Audy

    Are you using those quotation marks as scare quotes or quoting Kim’s words?  I can’t tell if you are being serious or sarcastic here.

  • Anonymous

    Er, mostly quoting Kim’s words from above. It’s sarcasm — a good friend doesn’t make decisions *for* you.

  • Kim

    “We’re not talking about arguing with women’s decisions, we’re talking about legally restricting them.”

    Can you show me where that’s made clear? The “you are being sexist/wrong to judge women’s choices” is in reference to people who state they are “uncomfortable” with certain decisions being made. Maybe I’m missing something, but then so were a lot of the commenters on the post, and I didn’t notice any spot where Osell flat out said “this is not about moral judgments: you are free to say a woman is making the wrong decision, this is about impeding/making illegal certain reasons for or situations where abortion should be made illegal”. At some point a discussion of sex-selective abortion cropped up, but it wasn’t clear that that was what the original post was centered upon.

  • Kim

    The important part of this, I think, is you are conceiving a situation where Friend A is considering an abortion/birth and Friend B thinks that that particular abortion/birth is wrong/personally damaging.

    Fixed.

  • FangsFirst

    The important part of this, I think, is you are conceiving a situation
    where Friend A is considering an abortion/birth and Friend B thinks that
    that particular abortion/birth is wrong/personally damaging.

    If that’s what you are sincerely discussing, then this entire argument you’re having is stupid. That has nothing to do with abortion being right or wrong (PS: that was not an attempt to later say, “Ha! So you would even tell the victim of incest the same thing!”) and everything to do with circumstances. It has absolutely nothing to do with being anti-abortion under even very loose terms. So why are you debating under the banner of anti-abortion?

    Lest we get distracted, this is how the article you first responded to begins:

    The bottom line about abortion is this. Do you trust women to make
    their own moral judgments? If you are anti-abortion, then no.

    So it’s talking about people who are inherently against the concept. If you are pro-choice, you are not “anti-abortion,” because that terminology in pretty much every context means “legal ones,” and also “moral objection to it in all but extreme contexts.”

    I personally think it would be awesome if women could have sex and guarantee the risk of pregnancy was eliminated and have this a reversible thing so that if/when minds were changed, physiology could accomodate in the reverse. Or guarantee all pregnancies were viable and did not involve anencephalic fetuses or anything else that would lead to the desire/need for an abortion.

    I’d prefer it not BE a procedure to deal with at all. Moral or not, it’s extra cost and time and currently possible social stigma when compared to magical happyland where the need/desire never arises. In that respect, you could technically suggest I am “anti-abortion” but it’s irrelevant because the need/desire does arise.

    So all that is really left is moral opposition, which isn’t very circumstantial. Moral opposition leaves, “Well not if the alternative is you being dead, Friend A!” and similar extreme exceptions (if even those). So…everything I said continues to apply.

    Unless you’re seriously just talking, “Hey, Friend A, I know well enough how you react to things and I think this could be damaging to your particular psyche and perhaps adoption would be a better option for you. Friend C, she tends not to have that particular type of attachment, so she will be fine.”
    In which case you’re getting pointlessly semantic as that would never be described as “anti-abortion”

  • Kim

    “So it’s talking about people who are inherently against the concept. If you are pro-choice, you are not “anti-abortion,” because that terminology in pretty much every context means “legal ones,” and also “moral objection to it in all but extreme contexts.””

    Read the second paragraph, where it talks about “pro-choice” people. If you’re “pro-choice”, then you aren’t against legal abortion. The first paragraph is likely meant to compare pro-life and pro-choice attitudes, and the piece is meant to show that Osell thinks that anyone who is pro-choice but disagrees with a woman’s decision for an abortion is being sexist/judgmental. She does not clarify that no, she’s only talking about pro-life people. That’s the problem.

  • FangsFirst

    As I quoted…it’s the first thing she says…”If you’re anti-abortion, then no.” That pretty much sets it up as a response to those who are “anti-abortion”

  • Kim

    If you’re anti-abortion, then the rest of the post makes no sense. Why would you care that it’s a tough decision? You’re unequivocally against it. That’s why she’s talking about pro-choice people who are, in her words, “uncomfortable” with decisions women make. That’s what the rest of the post is about. The first paragraph is there to draw a comparison between pro-life views and pro-choice views, but then she goes on to critique certain views of pro-choicers.

  • Kim

    “In which case you’re getting pointlessly semantic as that would never be described as “anti-abortion””

    If you’re reading the entirety of Osell’s post, then that’s what several commenters interpreted that to be, and Osell did not clarify that that was not what she meant, and as far as I saw just continued to defend it.

  • Lori

    If you’re reading the entirety of Osell’s post, then that’s what several commenters interpreted that to be, and Osell did not clarify that that was not what she meant, and as far as I saw just continued to defend it.   

    Osell is not talking about disagreeing with a specific person in a specific case. She is not talking about disagreements between friends about the particular life circumstances and decision-making process of one of the friends. She’s talking about people who call themselves pro-choice but have one or more categories of abortion of which they disapprove. 

    Read this again:

     Let me unpack a bit, because I know this sounds polemical, since I am clearly stating a bottom line. When pro-choice feminists like Wolf, or liberal men, or a lot of women, even, say things like, “I’m pro-choice, but I am uncomfortable with… [third-trimester abortion / sex-selection / women who have multiple abortions / women who have abortions for “convenience” / etc.]” then what you are saying is that your discomfort matters more than an individual woman’s ability to assess her own circumstances. 

    Note that she does not say,  “I’m pro-choice, but I am uncomfortable with… the decision my friend made to have an abortion because I don’t think it was the right choice for her.”  

    If your issue is truly with the particular choice that a particular woman makes and you do not attempt to substitute your judgement for hers in her life, then you’re just two friends disagreeing. If you’re uncomfortable any time anyone has a _______ type of abortion because you think “those” abortions are wrong or a bad idea then what you’re saying has nothing whatsoever to do with being a friend and I agree with Osell that you’re not really pro choice.

  • FangsFirst

    If you’re reading the entirety of Osell’s post, then that’s what several commenters interpreted that to be, and Osell did not clarify that that was not what she meant, and as far as I saw just continued to defend it.

    Due to sheer force of need to function in society and a personal desire to not be an unintentional ass (or at least, reduce the number of times I do it) I have an ingrained habit for seeing alternate interpretations. It means I get in a lot of disagreements with people with whom I otherwise agree. Sometimes it means I’m doing the kind of thing you’re doing here, too. Some people I have to remind myself will not, for instance, accept that anyone on the side they disagree with could ever, ever have a valid point–in more general arenas.

    With that in mind: it would take skimming and generally incautious reading to take that from Osell’s post. In carefully parsing it to be sure I’m not missing something that could mislead, I found it was even stronger than my initial read through had suggested.
    It begins with what I first quoted, goes on with:

    then there is no ground whatsoever for saying that there should be
    laws or limitations on abortion other than that you do not trust women.

    then it continues with what Lori just quoted:

    “I’m pro-choice, but I am uncomfortable with… [third-trimester
    abortion / sex-selection / women who have multiple abortions / women who
    have abortions for “convenience” / etc.]

    None of those relate to “specific circumstances” or anything like a friend talking to a friend about whether their job/income/relationship status/age/etc affects their decision to have an abortion. They say, “No, it’s too late,” or “No, you’ve had two and that’s the limit,” or “Isn’t this just about convenience for you?”

    After that:

    Your judgment of some hypothetical scenario is more reliable than
    some woman’s judgment about her own, very real, life situation?

    And finally:

    The fact that abortion is even a debate in this country demonstrates that we do not trust women.

    This is very clearly saying “the idea of abortion period” because the country (barring random, sensationalized instances that catch the eye of someone in the media) does not debate Friend A’s abortion unless the country is talking about whether Friend A should be allowed one in general terms.

  • Kim

    “who aren’t specifically working to make abortion illegal, but who don’t
    like it and want to get in people’s business with their disapproval.”

    I’m pro-choice and don’t believe that abortion is immoral. I think, depending on the situation, it, or giving birth, can be the wrong decision. I don’t believe that women always make the right decisions, even when it comes to abortions. I understand that outsiders and friends can have valid points when discussing important decisions. I do not believe there should be legal impediments to abortion. I also believe that saying “I’m pro-life” is not the same as saying “I’m pro-war, anti-contraception, pro-woman hate”, etc. etc.

    You were conflating “pro-life” with “the worst of the pro-lifers”, and you were willing to do so without asking each new person who said “I’m pro-life” why they were so. I’m not against picking apart people’s arguments: I’m against assuming things about them.

    Does that clear things up?

  • Lori

     
    I don’t believe that women always make the right decisions, even when it comes to abortions.  

     

    Nope, they don’t. Men don’t always make the right decisions either, even when it comes to ________ (fill in the blank with hobby horse of choice). 

    That doesn’t mean that it’s OK to try to substitute your judgement for theirs. Part of being an adult is that sometimes you do the wrong thing. If all you’re really talking about is the kind of discussions friends have when they disagree about lots of other topics, then why do you sound so defensive and feel the need to make such a big deal about it because the issue is abortion?

    If we were talking about choosing a college or a career or a spouse would you be making anywhere near this big a deal about how it’s totally valid for one friend to tell another that she’s wrong or making a mistake or not thinking clearly? Would you even tell a friend something like that in the kind of terms that you’ve been discussing telling a friend she’s making a mistake by having an abortion?

    If someone was talking about disagreements over schooling or work or romance and people kept saying that it was more valid to tell a woman that she’s wrong about one of those things than to tell a man the same, would you be so all up in arms about the injustice of referring to that as sexist?

    I’m not the label police and you can, should and will call yourself whatever you want to call yourself, but your reactions on this issue make me think that your views are not what I would call pro-choice. 

  • Kim

    “feel the need to make such a big deal about it because the issue is abortion?”

    Why does Osell say that any disagreement with the woman’s choice is being sexist? Why is abortion singled out? If the argument was that you “don’t trust women” because you disagree with them in terms of deciding the military over college or vice versa, then yes, I’d be saying that that’s wrong. You do not have to physically be the person in a situation with a choice in order to say that said choice is wrong.

    “by having an abortion?”

    You keep assuming that I’m always against abortion. That’s not the case. But yeah, if my friend said to me “I’m considering an abortion” and her reasoning was “My boyfriend dumped me and he’d be the father, so in order to get back at him I’m going to abort”, then my immediate question would be “is that the best decision?/shouldn’t this be about you and your body?” I’m not saying that this is the most common reason or that it happens a lot. I’m saying that people DO make big decisions for poor reasons and that trying to push aside concerned people from giving them advice and counsel by saying they’re being “sexist” is just wrong.

    “more valid to tell a woman that she’s wrong about one of those things than to tell a man the same, would you be so all up in arms about the injustice of referring to that as sexist?”

    That is sexist. But people with male parts can’t be pregnant, and so can’t have abortions. That’s why my response to your circumcision example shows that my problem is not that it’s a woman making a decision. Anyone can make a poor decision, and friends are not bad friends when they counsel you on decisions.

  • Lori

     
    You keep assuming that I’m always against abortion.  

    Because you keep arguing about negative assessments of things that are in fact anti-choice. 

     
    That’s not the case. But yeah, if my friend said to me “I’m considering an abortion” and her reasoning was “My boyfriend dumped me and he’d be the father, so in order to get back at him I’m going to abort”, then my immediate question would be “is that the best decision?/shouldn’t this be about you and your body?”  

    If this is a specific case, talking to a specific friend then I think it’s fine to discuss the issue with her. If the issue gets broadened to “women who have abortions because they aren’t with the father any more are making a mistake”, then IMO you’re over the line. 

  • FangsFirst

    Timidly–I would put forth that Kim read the article without realizing it was indeed specific in the ways I just outlined above, and does not actually disagree much with the sentiments expressed, but feels that you are responding to the article as she read it, and you are taking her as responding to it as you read it.

    (and yes, I did just address the fact that your interpretation is more in keeping with the language Osell chose).

    I’m writing this because I have a lifelong frustration with watching people talk around each other, which I feel is the case here. The other thread I’m less sure of (which is why I never said boo over there) but this one, from what she’s writing:

    She means “People should be allowed to give advice to friends on abortion as they do on other matters,” and does not mean “People who just say ‘RARGHABLARGH: IT’S WRONG'” are included in that, so she’s arguing because she doesn’t think it should be exempted from friendly advice that is literally friendly and advice (not unfriendly directive).

    At least, I’m charitably (as I think the best of people most of the time, so I don’t mean that as condescending or sarcstic) guessing she does not include the “BLAHRHGHH YOU ARE A SINNER” variety of “advice” as “friendly.” Hoping, one might even say…

    This, too, would be why I suggested the argument is stupid. As evinced above, you, too, would be willing to give advice in some contexts–solicited, anyway. Which is a fair criterion.

  • Nathaniel

    As detailed in a thread a few posts down, I don’t feel the need to engage “pro-lifers” in debate because for the most part they are not operating in good faith.

    Their policy prescriptions and views are utterly inconsistent with protecting teh precious fetus babies. They are quite consistent with having the government, and therefore themselves dictate women’s sexual practices, and punishing them if they step out of line. And damn the consequences*.

    *Such consequences may include nausea, weight loss, wieght gain, bleeding out of your vagina, fevers, your uterus falling out, permanent injury, or even death. If you seriously consider babies as proper “punishment” for a woman having sex, consult with your frying pan and apply directly to the forehead.

  • Kirala

    Let me unpack a bit, because I know this sounds polemical, since I am
    clearly stating a bottom line. When pro-choice feminists like Wolf, or
    liberal men, or a lot of women, even, say things like, “I’m pro-choice,
    but I am uncomfortable with… [third-trimester abortion / sex-selection /
    women who have multiple abortions / women who have abortions for
    “convenience” / etc.]” then what you are saying is that your discomfort
    matters more than an individual woman’s ability to assess her own
    circumstances.

    I’m going to delay my initial response, because I realized I haven’t seen this quote in context. So perhaps, in context, the “I’m pro-choice, but I am uncomfortable with…” continues on to where the hypothetical speaker implies that serious barriers ought to exist between a woman and abortion. Perhaps, in context, the author was referring to people who create a multitude of hurdles between a hurting woman and her painful best option. If so, disregard anything following. Stop reading, because what follows would be inflammatory and unfair.

    If, however, the article was disapproving of people who simply express discomfort… dear goodness. I am uncomfortable with elective tonsillectomies; can’t I express at least that level of discomfort with a purely elective abortion? Wouldn’t it be fair to, say, have the exact same sort of informed consent procedures that one has before any other surgery? Granted, an early-term abortion isn’t that major a procedure, but neither is the tetanus shot I needed pages of paperwork to consent to. (I had a very lawsuit-phobic student health clinic.) Sex-selection is also sexism; can’t I express discomfort with that? I would express discomfort with third-term abortion if I thought it were ever undertaken lightly, but since it probably isn’t, I won’t waste my space – but it seems awfully silencing to be unable to even express discomfort.

  • Mary Kaye

    And even women who would not choose to have an elective abortion are hurt by the disappearance of safe, trained abortion providers who could help them if, for example, their baby dies and labor doesn’t immediately ensure.  _Ms._ had a first-person account of this happening, and it’s hard for me as a woman to imagine anything more terrible than being told you have to continue with a dead baby inside your body because no one with the training is available to remove it. 

    They are also hurt by disappearance of facilities to deal correctly with ectopic pregnancy–and some of the fetal-rights laws may actually make dealing correctly with ectopic pregnancy *illegal*.  If you can’t get prompt correct treatment for ectopic pregnancy it is quite likely to kill you.  Every US woman who gets pregnant is in risk of her life from this if treatment facilities aren’t available to her.  19.7 pregnancies out of every 1000 are ectopic.  2% chance each time you get pregnant.  I didn’t know this till I looked it up just now, but while not all cases require surgery, the alternative treatment is drugs that try to kill the rapidly dividing fetal cells, and that would equally be disbarred by restrictive laws–those drugs are obvious abortifacents.

    There is not going to be a baby from an ectopic pregnancy.  It needs to be treated.  The hollowness of “pro-life” claims is evident when this is ignored or pushed aside.

  • Nathaniel

    Your concern is by no means theoretical. In Argentina, where the Catholic Church essentially wrote the abortion laws, doctors are forced to wait until the woman has experienced permanent injury from an ecotopic pregnancy bursting before they can operate. So permanent at minimum, death at maximum.

    But its all about being pro-life you see. The ones that matter.

  • Lori

    Given all the crap women go through with regard to their reproductive health and reproductive choices why is it that some people seem to think that their opinions and their sacred right to express those opinions are somehow the point?

    A woman who is in the position of needing to consider terminating a pregnancy is inundated with information and opinions. She’s also quite likely facing some serious legal and access barriers should she decide that she wants an abortion. Given that, why would reassuring people that of course they have a right to their opinion and to express it be on the list of important things to do? 

    This has been my problem with this whole, multi-thread conflict. What is going on with a person whose response to a discussion about attempts to make abortion illegal, or people who feel the need to express their disapproval of categories of abortion, is to basically say, “But what about meeeee and my all-important opinion?”

    Certainly we all have conversation with those close to us that we would not have with strangers. Input from a close, caring, trusted friend can be incredibly valuable when making any significant decision. Ultimately however, the decision belongs to the person whose life it is. We can go around and around with hypotheticals, but that remains the bottom line. Assuming that the person is mentally competent the decision , whatever it is, is hers. I just don’t see how reiterating that isn’t far more important than reassuring bystanders and “friends” that their opinions and good intentions (magic!) are really, really important. 

  • Kirala

    A woman who is in the position of needing to consider terminating a
    pregnancy is inundated with information and opinions. She’s also quite
    likely facing some serious legal and access barriers should she decide
    that she wants an abortion. Given that, why would reassuring people that
    of course they have a right to their opinion and to express it be on
    the list of important things to do?

    Lori, I agree with you broadly. I posted about this because I’m sensitized to being told my opinions on this topic [that I disagree with interfering with a woman’s right to choose] are worthless or evil; the quote I quoted would be insulting in the sense I perceived it because I have had to cut ties in my fight to allow a woman her own dignity, and I dislike being told that I’m guilty of the very sin I’m trying to avoid. That doesn’t mean that a woman experiencing a worse abuse – say, what Nathaniel describes in Argentina – wouldn’t deserve more sympathy or be more important. But I’m not sure the topic is at a point where it’s one or the other.

    Incidentally, I’m concerned about the information/opinions thing on the front of those who are not women who might consider an abortion – namely, teens. I know the teens at my school are inclined to avoid researching any topic associated with shame; I would not find it hard to imagine one trying to grab an abortion without information; the only solution I can think of (parental consent) has too many problems for me to like. This is the sort of person I want to make sure has an informed consent/education hurdle to jump before getting an abortion.

  • Lori

     
    I would not find it hard to imagine one trying to grab an abortion without information;  

    Where are they going to “grab” an abortion? It’s not like they can shoplift one from Walmart. This is one of the things Planned Parenthood is for. If I’m close enough to a teenager for her to come to me about a pregnancy then I’ll do my very best to see to it that she has all the information and support she needs to make the decision that’s right for her. If I don’t know her that well then she doesn’t need my opinion, she needs trained help. 

    The only people trying to put any woman in the position of having to “grab” an abortion without proper information are the folks who want to make it illegal and therefore take away responsible providers and leave women at the mercy of back alley quacks and dangerous self-treatments. 

  • Kirala

    Where are they going to “grab” an abortion? It’s not like they can
    shoplift one from Walmart. This is one of the things Planned Parenthood
    is for. 

    They aren’t. They can’t. I’m sorry; I tend to read this:

    A woman who is in the position of needing to consider terminating a
    pregnancy is inundated with information and opinions. She’s also quite
    likely facing some serious legal and access barriers should she decide
    that she wants an abortion.

    … as a call to also remove the sort of educational barriers that are present. (I’m in favor of removing most of the legal and all the financial barriers.) However, it was wrong for me to assume that you’d want all barriers gone.

    If I don’t know her that well then she doesn’t need my opinion, she
    needs trained help.

    Agreed. I just want to make sure it’s legally requisite for her to get trained help before being allowed to get an abortion.

  • Anonymous

    I just want to make sure it’s legally requisite for her to get trained help before being allowed to get an abortion.

    Do you have any idea how condescending that is? Why on earth should a woman need to “get trained help” before being ‘allowed’ to get an abortion? Because someone else should — what? — tell her lies about the support offered to her by the state or the non-existant child support she could get from her deadbeat boyfriend?

    Let’s face it: if she got honest trained help, that trained help would be encouraging her to have an abortion. Between the lack of child care and child support, the lack of health insurance, the lack of support for disabled adults, and the impact to her future career, there is no reason for a woman who is considering an abortion to not get one.

  • Lori

     
    Let’s face it: if she got honest trained help, that trained help would be encouraging her to have an abortion. Between the lack of child care and child support, the lack of health insurance, the lack of support for disabled adults, and the impact to her future career, there is no reason for a woman who is considering an abortion to not get one.  

    Assuming that everyone who got honest advice would want an abortion is every bit as condescending as assuming that no one who really understood the situation would kill her baby. 

    You’re entitled to your opinion, but acting as if your opinion is fact is not helpful to a truly pro-choice position. 

  • Anonymous

    Assuming that everyone who got honest advice would want an abortion is every bit as condescending as assuming that no one who really understood the situation would kill her baby. 

    You’re entitled to your opinion, but acting as if your opinion is fact is not helpful to a truly pro-choice position.

    Er, first of all, the women who are getting the advice are *explicitly* the women who want to get an abortion.

    Second of all, my point is not that she’d want to get an abortion: it’s that the material facts are that, in this society, there is no functional structure to support a woman should she choose to have a child. In other words, “trained help” — if it’s honest — isn’t going to be able to say much to talk a woman out of having an abortion.

  • Anonymous

    Assuming that everyone who got honest advice would want an abortion is every bit as condescending as assuming that no one who really understood the situation would kill her baby. 

    You’re entitled to your opinion, but acting as if your opinion is fact is not helpful to a truly pro-choice position.

    Er, first of all, the women who are getting the advice are *explicitly* the women who want to get an abortion.

    Second of all, my point is not that she’d want to get an abortion: it’s that the material facts are that, in this society, there is no functional structure to support a woman should she choose to have a child. In other words, “trained help” — if it’s honest — isn’t going to be able to say much to talk a woman out of having an abortion.

  • Lori

     
    Er, first of all, the women who are getting the advice are *explicitly* the women who want to get an abortion.  

      
    No, the women who are getting this information are considering abortion. There are people who consider abortion and ultimately decide against it. 

      Second of all, my point is not that she’d want to get an abortion: it’s that the material facts are that, in this society, there is no functional structure to support a woman should she choose to have a child. In other words, “trained help” — if it’s honest — isn’t going to be able to say much to talk a woman out of having an abortion. 

     

    It’s not the job of the “trained help” to talk the woman into or out of having an abortion. The job is to give her information and allow her to make her own decision. Millions of people, fully aware of the lack of structure to support motherhood, still opt to have children, so that’s obviously not decisive for everyone.

  • Anonymous

    Millions of people, fully aware of the lack of structure to support motherhood, still opt to have children, so that’s obviously not decisive for everyone.

    How many of them (IRL, not in the movies) go to an abortion clinic, however?

    My point is, the trained help is going to be pretty much useless if they’re stuck giving facts rather than the opinions of politicians. “Educational information” — rather than counseling to make sure that this is in fact what the woman wants — is not going to do much.

    And the implications of the original post were quite clear: the “trained help” was supposed to reduce the number of women who wanted abortions.

  • Lori

     
    Er, first of all, the women who are getting the advice are *explicitly* the women who want to get an abortion.  

      
    No, the women who are getting this information are considering abortion. There are people who consider abortion and ultimately decide against it. 

      Second of all, my point is not that she’d want to get an abortion: it’s that the material facts are that, in this society, there is no functional structure to support a woman should she choose to have a child. In other words, “trained help” — if it’s honest — isn’t going to be able to say much to talk a woman out of having an abortion. 

     

    It’s not the job of the “trained help” to talk the woman into or out of having an abortion. The job is to give her information and allow her to make her own decision. Millions of people, fully aware of the lack of structure to support motherhood, still opt to have children, so that’s obviously not decisive for everyone.

  • Kirala

    Do you have any idea how condescending that is? Why on earth should a
    woman need to “get trained help” before being ‘allowed’ to get an
    abortion? Because someone else should — what? — tell her lies about
    the support offered to her by the state or the non-existant child
    support she could get from her deadbeat boyfriend?

    I don’t know if you noticed, but I was speaking specifically of teen pregnancies – minors – and trained help being required instead of requiring that someone inform the teen’s parents. I don’t think it’s condescending in that context.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know if you noticed, but I was speaking specifically of teen pregnancies – minors – and trained help being required instead of requiring that someone inform the teen’s parents.

    Er, maybe you should make that clear, then? Because you said referred to “educational barriers” and then to the fact that women should have “trained help”.

    And what exactly is the “trained help” going to tell them, anyway?

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know if you noticed, but I was speaking specifically of teen pregnancies – minors – and trained help being required instead of requiring that someone inform the teen’s parents.

    Er, maybe you should make that clear, then? Because you said referred to “educational barriers” and then to the fact that women should have “trained help”.

    And what exactly is the “trained help” going to tell them, anyway?

  • Kirala

    What I initially said (bold added):

    Incidentally, I’m concerned about the information/opinions thing on the
    front of those who are not women who might consider an abortion –
    namely, teens.
    I know the teens at my school are inclined to avoid
    researching any topic associated with shame; I would not find it hard to
    imagine one trying to grab an abortion without information; the only
    solution I can think of (parental consent) has too many problems for me
    to like. This is the sort of person I want to make sure has an informed
    consent/education hurdle to jump before getting an abortion.

    What Lori replied (bold added):

    Where are they going to “grab” an abortion? It’s not like they can
    shoplift one from Walmart. This is one of the things Planned Parenthood
    is for. If I’m close enough to a teenager for her to come to me about a
    pregnancy then I’ll do my very best to see to it that she has all the
    information and support she needs to make the decision that’s right for
    her. If I don’t know her that well then she doesn’t need my opinion, she
    needs trained help.

    My reply:

    Agreed. I just want to make sure it’s legally requisite for her to get trained help before being allowed to get an abortion.

    was in this context. I want educational barriers to exist for teens; I
    want educational barriers (in the sense of informed consent) to exist
    for women. Of course these barriers already exist and beyond. I misread
    Lori earlier as saying that all barriers ought to be removed and I was
    arguing in favor of those I want to stay.

    I’m not quite sure how I can be clearer without recapping the entire discussion within each post.

  • Kirala

    The trained help would be psychological for someone who’s going through a Big Scary Life Event (at least, I’m told that even wanted pregnancies are scary as well as whatever else) without having reached adulthood or having other adult support. I don’t know enough about teen pregnancy or safe teen abortion to know whether there should be default advice for the situation – perhaps any default would be bad – but advice, support and guidance there should be. The pregnant teens I’ve encountered in my school badly need support and advice but often don’t know where to turn and won’t proactively seek help.

  • Anonymous

    Ok, that wasn’t clear from my reading of your statement, and most trained help in the past has been directly aimed at discouraging women from getting abortions. I agree that pregnant teens should get some sort of directed information, although “educational barriers” wouldn’t be exactly how I’d phrase it.

  • Kirala

    The trained help would be psychological for someone who’s going through a Big Scary Life Event (at least, I’m told that even wanted pregnancies are scary as well as whatever else) without having reached adulthood or having other adult support. I don’t know enough about teen pregnancy or safe teen abortion to know whether there should be default advice for the situation – perhaps any default would be bad – but advice, support and guidance there should be. The pregnant teens I’ve encountered in my school badly need support and advice but often don’t know where to turn and won’t proactively seek help.

  • Lori

     
     I just want to make sure it’s legally requisite for her to get trained help before being allowed to get an abortion.  

      

    And this is where we hit the wall, because attempting to mandate this never leads anywhere good. 

    What I’m in favor of is making abortion safe and legal for any pregnant women who needs one. Part of abortion being safe is that the service will be offered by people who know what they’re doing. People who know what they’re doing will make sure that a woman has the information that she needs, in the same way that patients are given information about other procedures. 

  • Kirala

    And this is where we hit the wall, because attempting to mandate this never leads anywhere good. 

    What
    I’m in favor of is making abortion safe and legal for any pregnant
    women who needs one. Part of abortion being safe is that the service
    will be offered by people who know what they’re doing. People who know
    what they’re doing will make sure that a woman has the information that
    she needs, in the same way that patients are given information about
    other procedures.

    I agree; like I said, I apologize for misreading your barrier-removing comment as implying that you didn’t want informed consent.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Two links which I think are relevant here:
    The UK is considering a bill that would require girls, and only girls, to receive extra sex-ed classes on the importance of abstinence.  (Personally, I do not get why someone who thinks that kids are not getting the message that abstinence is a valid choice would think sex-ed classes would help. My recollection of my youth is that the only place you EVER got the message that there were valid choices _other_ than abstinence was from your peers).  I rather like the bit where one of the opponents was all like “What is this, the US? We don’t put up with that kind of shit here.”

    Also, there’s a fantastic article by Amanda Marcotte which analyzes a picture of the Duggars and realizes that the fight over abortion and the newly reinvigorated fight against contraception is really about wanting to treat women as men’s pet dogs.

  • Emcee, cubed

    And this is where we hit the wall, because attempting to mandate this never leads anywhere good.

    To add to this, I have yet to see any “informed consent” laws that actually deal with informing. They don’t say that a patient must be advised of the dangers of the procedure (which are pretty similar to the dangers of any other invasive procedure). What they do do is force providers to read a very specific script that includes non-factual information designed to induce fear and play on emotions in vulnerable people. That isn’t helping people to make an informed decision, it is emotional blackmail used to shame or scare people.

  • FangsFirst

    EDIT: RE: why?
    Because I don’t like it when people are accused of things in error. Because she provided for being wrong on a few occasions, and then when she was told she was wrong, it was over things she agreed with but was not stating clearly. Correcting herself only earns her, “Oh, you just changed your story,” and “You willfully misread it,” and all sorts of other delightful things that I don’t think help anyone do anything except vent frustration. I didn’t like someone here calling me a liar over and over, and I can see the things she’s saying right in front of me–and you can see that originally I was standing on the same points, in fact, so I’m not just “on her side”–so it frustrates the heck out of me to see someone railroaded and given no alternatives but to be definitively wrong. Not making a poor choice of words, or mistaken, or miscommunicating, but a lying, belligerent, stubborn jerk. When she isn’t the one saying people are willfully this and trolling that.

    What she went off on was silly, most of all because it wasn’t what was said. Also because it would be silly for someone to say it, and because it isn’t the most important thing. But crapping on someone for that doesn’t sit well with me, especially when said person does, I think, actually share your views. It grates on me when people fight over something they agree on, because of a semantic disagreement, or, worse, a misunderstanding. And because there are trolls, but the word loses meaning when it starts meaning “Person I disagree with,” “person the majority here disagrees with,” or “Person who said something that came out wrong, but the wrong version is offensive as hell.” There can be plenty wrong with any of those, but it’s not trolling. Her language has been way more respectful, and considering I don’t think she IS saying what you think, I don’t think it’s inappropriate to point that out. I’m not defending the person who said “Go make your friends not have abortions ’cause it’s wrong,” I’m defending the person who said, “Woah, saying I can’t talk to anyone about the decision to have an abortion without saying I fail to trust women?”

    If you don’t believe that’s what she said, there’s no point to this conversation, because you’re not going to convince me and I’m not going to convince you.
    And since you’re talking about a person who you feel is saying “I think you should be able to go make your friends not have abortions,” I can’t say your tone or response to THAT is inappropriate.

  • Anonymous

    so I’m not just “on her side”–so it frustrates the heck out of me to see someone railroaded and given no alternatives but to be definitively wrong. Not making a poor choice of words, or mistaken, or miscommunicating, but a lying, belligerent, stubborn jerk. When she isn’t the one saying people are willfully this and trolling that. 

    Except that she was. She kept stubbornly insisting she had the right to intervene in other people’s lives — and that, in fact, her role was to judge other people’s situations and then intervene in their lives.

    Given the way she took it personally, I seriously think that either she’s trolling or she’s tried that sort of shit IRL and not had it work out very well.

    Either way, Kim was a worthless contributor, and we’re well rid of her.

    Don’t bother defending someone who didn’t do anything good for anyone and (hopefully) isn’t coming back.

  • Anonymous

    so I’m not just “on her side”–so it frustrates the heck out of me to see someone railroaded and given no alternatives but to be definitively wrong. Not making a poor choice of words, or mistaken, or miscommunicating, but a lying, belligerent, stubborn jerk. When she isn’t the one saying people are willfully this and trolling that. 

    Except that she was. She kept stubbornly insisting she had the right to intervene in other people’s lives — and that, in fact, her role was to judge other people’s situations and then intervene in their lives.

    Given the way she took it personally, I seriously think that either she’s trolling or she’s tried that sort of shit IRL and not had it work out very well.

    Either way, Kim was a worthless contributor, and we’re well rid of her.

    Don’t bother defending someone who didn’t do anything good for anyone and (hopefully) isn’t coming back.


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