What do the purple people want in PRRI’s abortion poll?

This is the Public Religion Research Institute’s Graphic of the Week:

“In an exceedingly complex debate over abortion,” PRRI asks, “what do the labels ‘pro-life’ and ‘pro-choice’ actually mean to average Americans?”

That’s not addressed in this graphic, but their data on “overlapping identities” points toward one possibility.

There’s a lot of purple in that graphic — the portion of each graph representing those who identify as both “pro-choice” and “pro-life.” White evangelicals and Catholics, unsurprisingly have the largest share of adherents who identify exclusively as pro-life. My guess is that this share — those who refuse any association with the identifier pro-choice — reflects those who want to see abortion criminalized, those who view abortion as immoral and also (or therefore) want to see it made illegal.

But more than half of Catholics and more than a third of white evangelicals identify as both pro-life and pro-choice. My guess — and this is only a guess — is that this suggests a moral opposition to abortion along with a perhaps-reluctant acknowledgement that it nonetheless ought to remain a legal option. My guess is that these purple people would be approximately in favor of the old Clinton formula: safe, legal and rare — perhaps with an emphasis on the “rare.” Some might prefer to pursue making abortion more rare by introducing an increasing number of legal hurdles, obstacles and hindrances, but others may prefer to pursue making abortion more rare by empowering women to have a wider menu of viable, meaningful choices (living wages, health care, day care, etc.).

Again, I’m just guessing — the graphic doesn’t actually tell us anything about what the purple people want or what it means, to them, to choose both of those identifiers of pro-life and pro-choice. It may only indicate that many Americans find these identifiers both to be inadequate on their own — as Taja Lindley recently wrote, the polarizing politics of abortion present a stark binary view that doesn’t capture many people’s actual experience:

In today’s binary political system, however, abortion has become oversimplified. Although fraught with social, economic, cultural, and political meaning, abortion has been reduced to a singular and isolated issue in the political arena. And yet, just below the surface of political silencing, those of us whose experiences with abortion do not fit neatly into didactic sound-bites and talking points for pundits and policymakers in their public debates about our bodies, the waters of human experience still run deep.

But if my guess above is correct — if the “pro-life only” category represents those who want to see abortion outlawed, while the purple people lean toward safe, legal and rare — then this graphic shows us something interesting: Earlier surveys have found that about a third of white evangelicals want abortion to be legally available in their communities. Yet this survey finds 48 percent of white evangelicals identifying themselves as pro-choice. This may indicate that allowing respondents to qualify their answers — to say they are pro-choice but also pro-life — resulted in a greater number of white evangelicals being willing to state that they do not wish to see abortion criminalized. And if my guess is correct about what this graphic is showing us, then it would suggest that a greater number of white evangelicals wish to see abortion remain a legal option than wish to see it banned completely.

  • Jim Roberts

    I’m in the purple and, yes, it’s the “safe, legal and rare” thing. I’m not interested in putting up any obstacles for a woman who chooses to terminate, though. I am interested in being out back and coming along side any woman who leaves such a place alone and offering a cup of coffee and a listening ear. I know too many women who had to make these choses with no one to support them, and, however wise a choice they may have made, it tore them up.

  • Dave Mabus

    they didn’t survive Armageddon

    s1.zetaboards.com/LooseChangeForums/topic/4979676/1/ 

  • Münchner Kindl

    Probably because the extremes: pro-life who don’t want to allow abortion no matter what circumstances, esp. in case of health issues of the mother, rape, minors sexually abused – and pro-choicers who consider a baby of 1 day before birth “just tissue” that can be aborted without any qualms or consideration at all – are appalling to any half-way rational and emphatic person?

    Technically, being pro-choice doesn’t mean “I want an abortion all the time without 5 minutes of thinking about it”, but since it’s often portrayed that way by the pro-lifers, I can understand people saying “When it’s necessary, it should be available, but nevertheless, the woman in question should spend some time thinking about it and have neutral counseling, and help for all options – child-care, maternity leave, giving birth without hospital costs for keeping it, adoption for not keeping it, safe and available places for abortion -  should be available.

    Here in Germany, there was a long discussion about §218 (which concerns abortion) and the final decision was to keep it illegal – because the fetus/ embryo/ baby is not “just tissue” – but to not prosecute it if the woman has a neutral counseling before with all options. (No invasive screening or anything). I think this reflects the ambiguity about a difficult choice.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    Is making an act illegal but selectively prosecuting it only for communities that fail to meet some standard of seeming sufficiently respectful of the ambiguity or whatever a routine legal practice in Germany, or is §218 a special case?

    It’s a pretty routine legal practice in the U.S., where it leads to a lot of abuse. But,  of course, that’s not to say it necessarily leads to abuse in other countries.

  • AnonaMiss

    What do the purple people want in PRRI’s abortion poll?

    Presumably, not to be eaten.

  • other lori

    It’s true that being “pro-choice” doesn’t mean that, but there are some very vocal pro-choice factions, especially on the internet, who consider anything less than unqualified celebratory zeal for abortion to be treachery to the cause.  It’s not enough to believe abortion should be legal. If you suggest it might be regrettable or would be, in an ideal world, rare, you are a horrible slut-shamer who just wants to make women feel bad about their sexuality. If you acknowledge that many women do feel ambivalent about their abortion experiences, and that some even feel regret, you are the problem, the person who makes women feel bad. Because no woman would *ever* feel ambivalent feelings about abortion–or regret, or grief, or sadness, or guilt, or remorse–if we all toed the party line and were 100% celebratory about it. There are absolutely pro-choicers for whom being in favor of legal abortion access isn’t enough.

    The internet: proving there are awful people on both sides of every issue since the mid-1990s.

  • Carstonio

    My guess — and this is only a guess — is that this suggests a moral
    opposition to abortion along with a perhaps-reluctant acknowledgement
    that it nonetheless ought to remain a legal option.

    I’ve been saying that “pro-choice” and “pro-life” should refer only to once’s stance on the legal status of abortion, but obviously many others define these differently. To me, the poll reveals the futility of simplistic terms in capturing different positions and the reasons people hold them.

    I’m curious about the ethnic profile of the Unaffiliated group and the gender breakdown for all the groups. As Fred has described, the abortion issue in the US is largely a proxy for larger battles over privilege, particularly the role of women in the family and in society.

  • other lori

    I’ve generally thought that “in favor of legal abortion access” and “opposed to legal abortion access” would be much more accurate terms. But, they’re not pithy.

  • http://twitter.com/upsidedwnworld Rebecca Trotter

    I’m too lazy to look it up now, but there’s a lot of research which has found that there’s a small core of true believers at each end – those who thing abortion should be legal throughout pregnancy, without restrictions and those who think it should be illegal in all circumstances. About 13% at each end. There are also people who call themselves pro-choice who would severely restrict abortion and people who call themselves pro-life who would allow abortions in most circumstances in which it’s already allowed. 

  • Münchner Kindl

     I didn’t say that at all. The law says http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/stgb/__218.html

    “1) Wer eine Schwangerschaft abbricht, wird mit
    Freiheitsstrafe bis zu drei Jahren oder mit Geldstrafe bestraft.
    Handlungen, deren Wirkung vor Abschluß der Einnistung des befruchteten
    Eies in der Gebärmutter eintritt, gelten nicht als
    Schwangerschaftsabbruch im Sinne dieses Gesetzes.(2)
    In besonders schweren Fällen ist die Strafe Freiheitsstrafe von sechs
    Monaten bis zu fünf Jahren. Ein besonders schwerer Fall liegt in der
    Regel vor, wenn der Täter 1.gegen den Willen der Schwangeren handelt oder2.leichtfertig die Gefahr des Todes oder einer schweren Gesundheitsschädigung der Schwangeren verursacht.
    (3) Begeht die Schwangere die Tat, so ist die Strafe Freiheitsstrafe bis zu einem Jahr oder Geldstrafe.
    (4) Der Versuch ist strafbar. Die Schwangere wird nicht wegen Versuchs bestraft.”1). Who terminates a pregnancy, will be punished with prison up to 3 years or a fine. Actions which effects take place before the impregneted egg has attached to the uterus do not count as abortion for this law. [So the pill after is not illegal.]2). In severe cases the punishment is prison from 6 months up to 5 years. A severe case is usually given if the perpetrator1. acts against the will of the pregnant (woman) or2. carelessly causes the death or a serious health damage to the pregnant woman.3) If the pregnant woman does the deed, the punishment is prison up to 1 year or a fine.4) The attempt is punishable. The pregnant woman will not be punished for attempts.The exceptions are listed under 218a  http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/stgb/__218a.html(1) Der Tatbestand des § 218 ist nicht verwirklicht, wenn 1.die
    Schwangere den Schwangerschaftsabbruch verlangt und dem Arzt durch eine
    Bescheinigung nach § 219 Abs. 2 Satz 2 nachgewiesen hat, daß sie sich
    mindestens drei Tage vor dem Eingriff hat beraten lassen,2.der Schwangerschaftsabbruch von einem Arzt vorgenommen wird und3.seit der Empfängnis nicht mehr als zwölf Wochen vergangen sind.(2)
    Der mit Einwilligung der Schwangeren von einem Arzt vorgenommene
    Schwangerschaftsabbruch ist nicht rechtswidrig, wenn der Abbruch der
    Schwangerschaft unter Berücksichtigung der gegenwärtigen und zukünftigen
    Lebensverhältnisse der Schwangeren nach ärztlicher Erkenntnis angezeigt
    ist, um eine Gefahr für das Leben oder die Gefahr einer schwerwiegenden
    Beeinträchtigung des körperlichen oder seelischen Gesundheitszustandes
    der Schwangeren abzuwenden, und die Gefahr nicht auf eine andere für sie
    zumutbare Weise abgewendet werden kann.(3)
    Die Voraussetzungen des Absatzes 2 gelten bei einem
    Schwangerschaftsabbruch, der mit Einwilligung der Schwangeren von einem
    Arzt vorgenommen wird, auch als erfüllt, wenn nach ärztlicher Erkenntnis
    an der Schwangeren eine rechtswidrige Tat nach den §§ 176 bis 179 des
    Strafgesetzbuches begangen worden ist, dringende Gründe für die Annahme
    sprechen, daß die Schwangerschaft auf der Tat beruht, und seit der
    Empfängnis nicht mehr als zwölf Wochen vergangen sind.(4)
    Die Schwangere ist nicht nach § 218 strafbar, wenn der
    Schwangerschaftsabbruch nach Beratung (§ 219) von einem Arzt vorgenommen
    worden ist und seit der Empfängnis nicht mehr als zweiundzwanzig Wochen
    verstrichen sind. Das Gericht kann von Strafe nach § 218 absehen, wenn
    die Schwangere sich zur Zeit des Eingriffs in besonderer Bedrängnis
    befunden hat.”1) The case of $218 [punishment] does not apply if1. the pregnant woman demands the abortion and showed to the doctor a certificate according to §219 break 2 sentence 2 that she had a counseling at least 3 days before the abortion2. the abortion is done by a doctor [so homemade abortions are punishable - because they are a greater danger to the health of the woman]3. no more than 12 weeks have passed since conception [see 218 for "doesn't count before attachment in the uterus"]2) The abortion with agreement by the pregnant woman done by a doctor is not against the law if the abortion is indicated by current medical knowledge to prevent danger to life or health of the pregnant woman [the usual medical indication stuff in legalese, which is not limited by time]3) The conditions of break 2 also count as fulfilled for an abortion done by a doctor with the agreement of the pregnant woman if according to medical knowledge an illegal deed according to § 176 to 179 Criminal Code [I assume that refers to rape] has been done to the woman, urgent reasons let one assume that the pregnancy is the result of this deed and no more than 12 weeks have passed since conception4)The pregnant woman is not punishable according to 218 if the abortion was done by a doctor after counseling according to 219 and no more than 22 weeks have passed since conception [so the no-punishment time for the woman is greater than for the doer]. The court can wave a punishment according to 218 [if more than 22 weeks have passed] if the pregnant woman at the time of the abortion was in serious problems.§219 http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/stgb/__219.html then explains how counseling must look like1) Die Beratung dient dem Schutz des ungeborenen
    Lebens. Sie hat sich von dem Bemühen leiten zu lassen, die Frau zur
    Fortsetzung der Schwangerschaft zu ermutigen und ihr Perspektiven für
    ein Leben mit dem Kind zu eröffnen; sie soll ihr helfen, eine
    verantwortliche und gewissenhafte Entscheidung zu treffen. Dabei muß der
    Frau bewußt sein, daß das Ungeborene in jedem Stadium der
    Schwangerschaft auch ihr gegenüber ein eigenes Recht auf Leben hat und
    daß deshalb nach der Rechtsordnung ein Schwangerschaftsabbruch nur in
    Ausnahmesituationen in Betracht kommen kann, wenn der Frau durch das
    Austragen des Kindes eine Belastung erwächst, die so schwer und
    außergewöhnlich ist, daß sie die zumutbare Opfergrenze übersteigt. Die
    Beratung soll durch Rat und Hilfe dazu beitragen, die in Zusammenhang
    mit der Schwangerschaft bestehende Konfliktlage zu bewältigen und einer
    Notlage abzuhelfen. Das Nähere regelt das
    Schwangerschaftskonfliktgesetz.(2) Die
    Beratung hat nach dem Schwangerschaftskonfliktgesetz durch eine
    anerkannte Schwangerschaftskonfliktberatungsstelle zu erfolgen. Die
    Beratungsstelle hat der Schwangeren nach Abschluß der Beratung hierüber
    eine mit dem Datum des letzten Beratungsgesprächs und dem Namen der
    Schwangeren versehene Bescheinigung nach Maßgabe des
    Schwangerschaftskonfliktgesetzes auszustellen. Der Arzt, der den Abbruch
    der Schwangerschaft vornimmt, ist als Berater ausgeschlossen.

    The counseling serves the protection of the unborn life. She [the counseling] is to be aided by the attempt to encourage the woman to continue the pregnancy and show her perspectives for a life with the child; she shall help her [the woman] to make a responsible and conscious decision. The woman must also know that during each stage of pregnancy the unborn has a right to life against her, too, and therefore the law allows a termination of pregnancy only under exceptional circumstances, if carrying the child to term is a burden for the woman which is so big and unusual that the usual border has been passed. The counseling shall through aid and advice help to solve the conflict connected to the pregnancy and avert an emergency. Details are laid out in the Law for Pregnancy conflicts.
    2) The counseling has to follow the rules of the Law for pregnancy conflicts through an approved counseling place.  The place has to issue a certificate [..]. The doctor who does the abortion is excluded from counseling.

    Now, in current US culture, a lot of these terms are very loaded and code words. But that’s not the case in German culture and law. These words mean what they say without codes.

    And no, there are no laws which are selectivly enforced. That violates the principle of the Rechtsstaat (which people are a bit proud of, no matter how often you call it chauvinistic). One of the practical consequences of Rechtsstaat means that old outdated laws are stricken from the books, so the laws are regularly revised. Letting old laws stand in the books and then rely on the courts to not enforce them is not how we consider laws to work. Laws and courts must be reliable, not wild.

  • Münchner Kindl

    Disqus ate my formatting. *shakes fist at disqus*

  • http://www.facebook.com/tomstone Thomas Stone

    The idea of abortion makes me profoundly uncomfortable, for various reasons, but it’s one of those situations where a.) as I don’t have a uterus, it’s really not my call, b.) the opposition to legal abortion is so consistently and so clearly oriented far more towards shaming and punishing women than towards reducing the number of abortions that occur and c.) my recollection is that criminalizing abortions doesn’t significantly reduce the frequency with which they happen.

    Thus, I guess you could say that on a personal level, I’m somewhat purple- I can’t really justify abortion as something that I would ever be comfortable being part of, and if I were ever to get a woman pregnant, I would absolutely offer to take full custody of the child or provide whatever other support was in my power to make it easier to make a different choice- but as far as I recall, there is not a single legal restriction or circumscription on abortion that I thought was just or defensible.

  • Fusina

    I am in the purple. I don’t particularly like abortion, but I believe it should be legal. I also think that contraceptives should be available and inexpensive. I think abortion is a riskier form of birth control than oral contraceptives, by that I mean that any time you do an “operation” there are risks. But life itself carries many risks.

    I am also against capital punishment. I dislike intensely what our prison system has become. I would like it to be a place where people have access to classes and may study for careers that don’t involve breaking the law. The problem is, as I pointed out to my children, you can’t make people do things. I, as a parent, can impose conditions on my kids lives that cause them discomfort, but I cannot make them do a thing. All I can do is put choices in front of them and make the rewards for what I deem good choices more attractive than the rewards they would get from what I deem poor choices.

    as it is written in Deuteronomy 30.19, “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live”

    Err, not that I have promised them death, just loss of the use of my electricity to power their electronic gadgetry.

  • aunursa

    My guess — and this is only a guess — is that this suggests a moral opposition to abortion along with a perhaps-reluctant acknowledgement that it nonetheless ought to remain a legal option.

    My guess would be that (many of) those respondents who identify as both pro-choice and pro-life have different positions depending on the time point in the pregnancy.  My guess would be that they support the right of the woman to choose abortion for any reason in the first trimester, and they oppose the choice of abortion for almost any reason* in the third trimester.

    They identify as pro-choice for the first part of the pregnancy, and as pro-life for the last part.

    * The exceptions being: if the mother’s life is in danger, and for most, rape and incest. (Presumably few victims of rape or incest would wait until the third trimester.)

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    pro-choicers who consider a baby of 1 day before birth “just tissue”
    that can be aborted without any qualms or consideration at all – are
    appalling to any half-way rational and emphatic person?

    I think you exaggerate.

    I purposely choose the label “pro-abortion” because I am pro access to abortion at all stages of a woman’s pregnancy.

    It HAS to be available.

    Things can and do happen that are no fault of anyone’s, but which nonetheless could kill a pregnant woman unless the fetus is safely aborted.

    Banning abortion in the name of some kind of moral-warriorism is the equivalent of conspiracy to harm women.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    One of the practical consequences of Rechtsstaat means that old outdated laws are stricken from the books

    Oh you mean like Paragraph 175

    which wasn’t struck off the books until 1969?

    That’s an old and outdated law as of 1945 if you ask me! Don’t blow your own horn too hard there, buddy.

  • Carstonio

    My principle is that a woman shouldn’t be forced to either carry a pregnancy to term or to have an abortion.

    The idea of “legal without restrictions” is misleading. First, for all practical purposes there’s no such thing as elective abortion late in the pregnancy. The concept of “partial-birth” is propaganda that obscures the fact that late-term procedures are almost always done out of medical necessity.

    Legal restrictions don’t work if one’s goal is to reduce elective abortions. They work great if one’s goal is to punish women who don’t want to be mothers. Or in the case of exceptions for rape or incest, punishing women who want to have sex without becoming mothers.

    I hear far too many pro-lifers insist that laws against abortion are about “standing up for the unborn,” as if we were talking about issuing proclamations. Perhaps many of the people who favor some restrictions on abortion make a similar philosophical mistake. They might oppose elective late-term abortions and believe that these should be illegal, not considering the purpose of law and the consequences of this type of law for women. 

  • Carstonio

     

    Banning abortion in the name of some kind of moral-warriorism is the equivalent of conspiracy to harm women.

  • Münchner Kindl

    Okay, short version of the law wall of text:
    218 says Abortion is illegal and will be punished.
    218a says Abortion will not be punished if the woman
    1. had counseling, is no more than 12 weeks after conception (and the termination was done by a doctor with consent by the pregnant woman)
    2. Medical indication, no time limit: to avert health or death from the woman
    3. Rape exception
    4. Court can waive punishment if pregnant woman was under severe stress/ duress/ problems at that time.
    219 explains how the counseling has to look like and refers to a specific law that gives the details, called “Pregnancy conflict law”.

  • The_L1985

     Wasn’t a condition of your release from prison that you not be on the Internet?  Are you sure you want to go back to jail, David?

  • Isabel C.

    Right. And even without the threat of death to the mother, I support late-term abortion being legal because otherwise women end up having to give birth to infants that are already dead, or brain-dead, or similarly horrific things.

    The usual song and dance, which I’m getting pretty tired of performing by now: Pretty much nobody casually decides to get a third-trimester abortion. They happen either because of medical problems or because lack of access, mandatory counseling and “time to think about it”, or parental-consent laws prevented them from getting a first-trimester abortion.

  • The_L1985

     It took me a minute, but…wow.  People still remember that song!

  • Baby_Raptor

    Well, you can stop worrying. 

    The hypothetical woman who uses abortion as birth control is a pro-forced birther strawman. It’s one of the things they use to convince the crowd that women who have abortions are evil, by putting forth the idea that women do it casually and all the time.

    Much the same way that they say things like “Imagine a woman deciding to abort just a few days before she’s due!” but that not only never happens, but isn’t even an option. Women who develop health issues in the last ~8 weeks are delivered, not given an abortion. 

  • banancat

    I also wonder how many people think “pro-life” has nothing to do with abortion.

  • The_L1985

     So basically, Germany allows Plan B, and abortions performed by a doctor during the first trimester, only?

  • Carstonio

    The issue is whether the law should prevent women from having third-trimester abortions, not whether individuals believe that abortion is the wrong choice at that point. I would apply my principle against forcing women to give birth equally to all trimesters.

    If one’s goal is to reduce abortions, in one trimester or in all of them, the criminal justice system is the wrong route both morally and pragmatically. I’ve said that someone who opposes all abortion should take seriously the reasons why some women choose them, and favor measures that change the circumstances behind those reasons. (Economic opportunities, sex education, contraception access, support for mothers…did I miss any?) I would say the same thing to someone who opposes only late-term abortions.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tomstone Thomas Stone

    “My principle is that a woman shouldn’t be forced to either carry a pregnancy to term or to have an abortion.”
    I get the feeling a fair number of anti-abortion zealots are motivated more by the prospect forcing women into uncomfortable situations (as punishment for sex) than any concern for their children, whom they certainly don’t seem to worry about much after they’re born.

  • banancat

    It’s just a little but patronizing to assume that women who have abortions alone would need or benefit from the sympathy of a random stranger.

  • The_L1985

     Thank you.  That’s a lot more clear. :)

  • The_L1985

     Is that even possible in the US?  This is kind of a high-profile controversy.

  • The_L1985

     True, but I can also see someone who’s had an abortion, whose family and friends were all very strongly against her having one, possibly benefiting from someone saying “You did what you had to do, and I don’t judge you harshly for it.”  It’s good for someone to tell you you’re not a monster when everybody you know is trying to tell you that you’re a monster.

  • Münchner Kindl

     Yes, exactly like that*. It was introduced because of religion – those clobber verses – and therefore kept through Weimar; the Nazis made it more strict because they also considered it deviant; after 1945, Adenauer lead the restitution movement back to the old values of the 1930s so it stayed on, but after the 68 protests freed sexuality from outdated moral issues, the legislative followed the “normative kraft des faktischen” – the norm-giving power of facts.
    (East Germany could strike it earlier because as nominal atheists, they had little official reason against it, although in many other sexual areas, communist countries were still prudish.)

    But do tell me about how outdated it is considering it’s still illegal in some US states. (If you are from Canada, they didn’t change the law in 1945, either, but only in 1969 so I fail to see where your country does it better. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_history_in_Canada)

    I didn’t say that outdated laws are stricken “immediatly” from the books. It takes some time until the majority of people see reason and then some years to work through the legislature. There are several laws that I’m astonished and ashamed about how late they were kept on the books, here, too (wifes needing the consent of their husband to work or have their own bank account; complete corporal punishment of children being forbidden, including slaps in the face; no rape in marriage – blocked by consies for a long time…)
    But I still consider this system, even when it takes time, to one where laws about shooting Welshmen or carrying a gun into church still stand because “as long as its selectivly enforced it’s no big problem”. Obviously, you think different.

    * §175 was the old law that forbade homosexual acts. Today it only forbids sexual relations to minors.

  • http://www.facebook.com/WingedWyrm Charles Scott

    “What do the purple people want in PRRI’s abortion poll?”
    “Presumably, not to be eaten.”

    You know, as much as that is a joke, it’s probably also true.  They probably self-identify as both out of a stance that they’re not as extreme as one side and not as extreme as that one side makes the other side out to be.  But, they also self identify as not-the-enemy.

    They don’t want to be the promiscuously and thoughtlessly selfish enemy of the pro-lifers.  They don’t want to be the oppressive and thoughtlessly spiteful enemy of the pro-choicers.  They just don’t want to be caught up in that fight.

    A part of what they could be saying is, when being asked which group of flying-purple-people-eaters do they want to offend, “Don’t eat me, bro!”

  • Münchner Kindl

     

    I think you exaggerate.

    Yes, that’s why I called it the Extremes of both positions.

  • banancat

    I’ll give my usual song and dance too. A pregnant woman isn’t automatically a mother and it’s exclusive to refer to them that way. It’s inclusive and easy to say “life of the woman”.

  • Münchner Kindl

     No. If Plan B is the pill after, it doesn’t count because pregnancy starts with implementation/ attachment, not before.

    Germany makes an exception from prosecution if (all done by a doctor with consent by the pregnant woman)
    1. it either happens during the first trimester (12 weeks) and after counseling
    2. medical indication: no time limit
    3. Rape: during first trimester
    4. Court can waive (no time limits) if pregnant woman was under severe stress / duress during abortion.

  • Isabel C.

    Oh, good point, and thank you–sorry, early morning posting. 

    Also, as I’m posting again: I would find it offensive and condescending to have to sit through counseling about a procedure I’m certain I want. Making counseling available, sure. But making it mandatory? Fuck that noise. 

  • Carstonio

    Yes. That’s the same reason that mandatory ultrasounds are repulsive. Both seem to assume that women really don’t want abortions or are massively ignorant about the subject. I hear “counseling” in this context and I imagine that the law’s authors intend for counselors to emotionally manipulate the women into keeping the pregnancies. (Isn’t that what the “pregnancy care centers” do?)

  • Münchner Kindl

     Making counseling mandatory – but neutral and not invasive; and actually providing help for all options – is a good compromise between the rights of the unborn and the rights of the pregnant woman.

    And just because you might be well-informed about all options and help, and have made the decision on your own, doesn’t mean everybody does. A lot of pregnant women don’t know all the legal resources available to them. A lot of pregnant women are wrestling with their conscience to keep or to terminate and are glad to have a sympathetic voice without pressure understanding that the decision is difficult because it’s not clear-cut.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     > And no, there are no laws which are selectivly enforced.

    Ah, OK.

    The “keep it illegal but to not prosecute it as long as X” wording confused me; I understood that to mean something different from “make it legal as long as X”.

    I am delighted to hear about the routine elimination of outdated laws; I’ve endorsed the U.S. doing something like that for a long time.

  • Isabel C.

    Right, and even neutral counseling, if it’s mandatory, is paternalistic and condescending. I’m over eighteen, I know what I’m doing, and I’d like to get it over and done with before it gets more complicated, thanks. I ran the risk (though, to credit both my obgyns, it didn’t materialize) of that shit quite enough when looking into sterilization.

    I think that’s why there’s a lot of push-back against the whole regret-and-remorse thing. (Also? Anyone can regret *any decision* they make. It doesn’t mean everyone does, or that other women need counseling, or whatever.) Because no, fuck you, I do know what I’m doing, and if I regret it later, then…I’ll deal with it later, with resources. 

  • Carstonio

    What’s the basis for making even neutral counseling mandatory for abortion and not for other procedures? Why shouldn’t have I had mandatory counseling before having a vasectomy?

  • Isabel C.

    Second paragraph first: fine, so give them a brochure and tell them “hey, here’s where to go if you want to talk to someone.” I have no problem with making counseling available. I’m all *for* making counseling available, advertising it, and so forth, for pretty much any situation that comes up. I was raised in SoCal: we do counseling like, I don’t know, the Midwest does horrifying food in Jello.

    First paragraph: …and this is why I get snippy and extremist. Because I don’t really feel that anyone’s justified in compromising my rights for the sake of a blob of tissue with less brain activity than the cow that went into my roast beef sandwich. 

  • LL

    I think it reflects the fact that the label “pro life” is deliberately misleading. Few people want to be labeled as “anti  life,” so those who fancy themselves as protectors of innocent little babies call themselves “pro life.” 

    But it also reflects the fact that most people are really kinda self-serving and hypocritical. “Well, I want to protect innocent little babies, or I want people to think I do, so I’ll call myself pro life, but if I or anybody I care about ever need an abortion, I’d sure like it to not be one of those unpleasant, dangerous, back-alley kinds.”

    So I put everybody in the purple area under “pro choice.” Because that’s really what they’re saying. They just don’t have the guts to admit it. They really like having the weaselly choice of “both,” even though it represents a compromise that actual “pro life” people find unacceptable. It’s like calling yourself a vegetarian, but still eating fish or chicken.

  • Münchner Kindl

     In what way is it paternalistic? You can consider it an advocate for the unborn child who also has a right to life – you believe in the antagonstic system, right, so one advocate for the child and one for the pregnant woman is fair.

    And neutral counseling (Planned Parenthood would be close, I think) is not about regret-and-remorse. It’s about considering all the ramifications, exploring all the options of the decisions.

    And what has being over 18 to do with condescing if given advice? When getting surgery (if not emergency) or looking for a job or making any big decision, people usually get together with friends, mentors or relatives because making the right decision is hard. Another voice/ viewpoint, or just simply a sounding-board to figure things out loud and make them clear is valuable.

    If you were to insist that because you’re over 18 you no longer need or want or take any advice, you would be showing yourself to be immature.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=687121933 Carrie Looney

    “Banning abortion in the name of some kind of moral-warriorism is the equivalent of conspiracy to harm women.”

    and

    “Pretty much nobody casually decides to get a third-trimester abortion. They happen either because of medical problems or because lack of access, mandatory counseling and “time to think about it”, or parental-consent laws prevented them from getting a first-trimester abortion.”

    Those.  Yes.

    I’m in the purple because an abortion is a failure, somewhere along the line – a failure of education, of birth contol, of keeping women safe from unwanted access to their bodies, of medical technology, etc.  And one single woman at a time should never have to bear the burdens of any or all of these societal/systems failures.
    So an abortion is not a good thing, but that is absolutely, utterly not a reason to deny women access to safe and legal abortions.  The problem of abortion is one to be addressed at a root causes level, not at a hurt-women or shame-women or deny-women-some-degree-of-autonomy level.

    Oh, and I’m not a fan of wars or guns or capial punishment and I’m a vegetarian, but that doesn’t seem to be part of ‘pro-life,’ for some reason.

  • Münchner Kindl

     Well, as many of the more legal-trained US-Americans on the Internet have told me multiple times, throwing out old laws is not necessary under the English system because the courts won’t enforce it.

    That they can be selectivly applied against minorities (gays, blacks, uppity women) by any small-town sheriff/ mayor/ cop is apparently an added bonus.
    And of course, the curious system in the US of single Representatives sponsoring bills and thus getting media for their voters doesn’t give any incentive to review old laws, even if it would make things efficient.

  • Münchner Kindl

     As the law says, the counseling considers the life of the unborn child. Having a vasectomy it is strongly recommended to get a medical counseling and maybe a second opinion to weigh the risks, but no other life is directly involved.

  • http://flickr.com/photos/sedary_raymaker/ Naked Bunny with a Whip

    Probably because the extremes: pro-life who don’t want to allow abortion no matter what circumstances, esp. in case of health issues of the mother, rape, minors sexually abused – and pro-choicers who consider a baby of 1 day before birth “just tissue” that can be aborted without any qualms or consideration at all

    I was going to say that this is like comparing the Pentagon and Code Pink as equal but opposite extremes, but my analogy is flawed because I’ve actually seen Code Pink advocates. I’ve never seen your “casual abortion until birth” advocates. Where are these people? They never seem to show up at the abortion debates I see.

  • Münchner Kindl

     

    fine, so give them a brochure and tell them “hey, here’s where to go if
    you want to talk to someone.” I have no problem with making counseling
    available. I’m all *for* making counseling available, advertising it,
    and so forth, for pretty much any situation that comes up. I was raised
    in SoCal: we do counseling like, I don’t know, the Midwest does
    horrifying food in Jello.

    So because counseling is easily available in SoCal, it’s easily available in other states?

    And you don’t see a problem with giving women a brochure for such a difficult decision? You don’t see how a woman could be pressured by her surrounding to say “yes, I thought about it”, if neutral counseling was not mandatory?

    …and this is why I get snippy and extremist. Because I don’t really
    feel that anyone’s justified in compromising my rights for the sake of a
    blob of tissue

    And this of course feeds right into the extremist strawman the pro-lifers paint of the other side: calling it a blob of tissue and being callous and unthinking about it. You’re not doing the pro-choice side any favours by being extremist instead of accepting rational compromises.


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