Christian college fires woman for not getting abortion

San Diego Christian College allegedly fired an employee for not getting an abortion.

The school says its “community covenant” forbids employees from having extramarital sex, but the school also seems to want everyone to know it doesn’t actually care about that.

See, what happened was an unmarried employee of San Diego Christian turned up pregnant, so they fired her, allegedly for violating the “community covenant.”

But then they allegedly offered her old job to her fiancé — the expectant father-to-be.

So if a woman has sex and gets pregnant, SDCC says she must be fired, because people can see that. But if a man has sex and gets his girlfriend pregnant, that’s fine, because penis.

If this woman had gotten an abortion, she’d still have her job. That’s what San Diego Christian College apparently wanted her to do. That’s certainly the incentive they’ve built into their “community covenant.” And that incentive is doubly reinforced by the double-standard in how that “covenant” is enforced for women as opposed to for men.

The lesson here is to be careful taking a job with those “pro-life” Christian types. They really mean it when they say they’re not pro-choice. They’ll fire you for choosing not to get an abortion.

It’s fascinating to contrast the Feministing post linked above with the coverage of the same story from Christianity Today.

Feministing understands the key to the story:

The real kicker here is that the very same school that fired [the employee] once she became visibly preggers, offered a job to her then fiancé (the two are now married and he said no) who was, presumably, engaging in the very same premarital sex.

Christianity Today chose not to notice that. They focus, instead, on the fact that the former employee is being represented by “high-profile lawyer Gloria Allred.”

CT readers are expected to boo and hiss at the mention of Allred’s name. Hence the title of the CT piece, “Gloria Allred’s Latest Target: Christian College That Fired Pregnant Employee.” She’s one of those feminists, you know, and it’s always “Target: Christian” with those people.

CT’s reflexive anti-feminism leads them to side against Allred and her ideas about women having the right to control their own bodies. And so, just like San Diego Christian College, CT ends up siding against a woman due to her choosing not to have an abortion.

Given the chance to choose between “saving babies” and controlling women, both the magazine and the college instinctively opt for controlling women.

Women who have sex must be punished. Men who have sex — the very same sex — can be rewarded.

And what about all that “saving babies” business? Meh, whatever — as long as the women who have sex get punished, that really doesn’t seem to matter to these folks.

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

    If hypocrisy was like an oil well, this instance of it would be like Oil Creek in terms of the sheer output.

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

    is there a single step in the actions taken by that school that isn’t 100% repugnant? this is like some sort of double hat trick of shitbaggery

  • Wingedwyrm

    There’s a TVTrope that applies here.  Let me find that link…

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/LawfulStupid

    It’s a common rp problem, when players of Paladins or Paladinical* characters either accidentally or purposely cause unnecessary problems due to a strict application of a moral code with absoltuely no practical consideration.

    One of the things about the Lawful Stupid is that it doesn’t code behavior for goals, at least not above and beyond the goal of being personally adherant to the code.  It only codes for the rules.  Under situation X, you are to do duty Y.  The purpose behind duty Y and whether or not the doing of duty Y, in this case, achieves that purpose is irrelevent and, in fact, assumes that the purpose of duty Y is anything above and beyond the bare obedience to duty Y.

    So, are they hypocrites that know that this puts a pressure on female employees to abort rather than admit to having become pregnant out of wedlock?  That would presume that they’ve thought through the consequences of their actions.  They haven’t.  The consequences aren’t the point.

    *Paladinical: Having purpose or duty based around strict moral rules and the enforcement thereof, similar to the D&D Paladin…  And also a word I just made up.

  • http://mordicai.livejournal.com Mordicai

    I think you’re over-stating the case; these people are pretty clearly just Neutral Evil.  Uneven application of authority, check, with ill intentions & malicious outcomes?  Check.  Yeah these are the kinds of “paladins” who murder orc babies & pat themselves on the back.

  • Jim Roberts

    If we’re applying abstract alignment systems to real-world morality, you can justify almost any alignment for any action. This is, by the way, a feature, not a bug, based on what the designers of D&D have said.

    This isn’t Evil – something done by fiends and monsters to degrade creation and make it as vile and fallen as they – it’s evil. People collectively and individually choosing to take a wholly selfish approach to how they interact with others, but justifying it by saying it’s moral.

    Baby orc killers you can deal with. Your roll your turn in initiative and you drain their hit points until the DM removes the mini from the table. Problem solved, one baby orc killer at a time. Defeating Evil is just a matter of attrition. Defeating evil? A mug’s game, or possibly a muggles, because it’s everywhere.

  • http://mordicai.livejournal.com Mordicai

    Moral relativism, oh goodness gracious me, oh my stars & garters!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jess-Goodwin/28602067 Jess Goodwin

     Hank McCoy, is that you?

  • http://mordicai.livejournal.com Mordicai

    MONITOR DUTY IS SO BORING! JARVIS BRING ME A SANDWICH I AM ENGAGED IN WHAT I BELIEVE THE STUDENTS CALL “TROLLING.” YOU KNOW I MET A TROLL ONCE. NICE FELLOW.

  • Jim Roberts

    (The Beast was involved in an altercation that involved Asgardian trolls, but in that case, I believe he was primarily involved in punching them in the face repeatedly, and trying to free Iceman.)

  • http://mordicai.livejournal.com Mordicai

    (I mean I definitely assumed he’d met Asgardian trolls at some point; I’m kind of bummed it was violent, though. I’d dig Beast being all “oh do people prejudge you based on your appearance? Well gentlemen, let’s have a frank discussion about it!” or some such.)

  • flat

    Hey christian college you know what I wrote about me being principally against abortion and helping people who are pregnant in the first place?

    YOU ARE NOT HELPING!

  • Eric Eves

    It’s just so… idiotic.

    Like, I was reading an article about that, and thinking “Yeah, that’s technically sex discrimination, but that’s hard enough to win without a retaliation claim, and they’ve got an alternate reason that may not actually be true, but it’s got a beat and you can dance to it.”

    But then I read the part about how they offered the job to the fiancee, and I get a sudden vision of their defense lawyer drinking whiskey straight from the bottle.

    This sucker may make it into the casebooks if it doesn’t settle.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Riastlin-Lovecraft/100000678992705 Riastlin Lovecraft

    It had better.

  • hidden_urchin

    I think they’re going to have to settle because I don’t see them winning on the “well, she violated her contract” front if they then turned around and offered the job to a guy who would also be in violation of the contract.  I am not, however, a lawyer.

    May I offer everyone some pie while we watch this unfold?

    **Off topic**

    Has anyone else seen this?  I don’t know if the film will be funny or not but the trailer alone had more action than Left Behind.  When a comedy outdoes a supposed thriller, you know there’s a problem somewhere.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     My wife pointed out something. The fiance was obviously having premarital sex, but he was not contractually obligated not to. From a technical standpoint, there’s no problem with them hiring him. They tell him “Once you sign this, you’re not allowed to have premarital sex.” and he says “Okay,” and all is well. There’d be no way to demonstrate that he was in violation of the contract if he were — his fiancee isn’t going to get any more pregnant, and I’m pretty sure it would actually be illegal for them to use “Well obviously he had sex with her before so he’s probably having sex with her now” as grounds*. So he wouldn’t be in violation of his contract, certainly not in any way that could be legally established.

    At least in principal, they could fire her for having sex, then immediately rehire her on the promise that she wouldn’t do it again. Except that I imagine “was previously fired by us for breach of contract” would disqualify her.

    (*I hardly need point out that not every couple chooses to have sex while one partner is pregnant, particularly if she’s far enough along to be obviously pregnant. And I don’t think that it’s a stretch to guess that the folks writing that contract probably assume a man wouldn’t want to have sex with a heavily pregnant woman.)

  • Lori

     

    and I’m pretty sure it would actually be illegal for them to use “Well
    obviously he had sex with her before so he’s probably having sex with
    her now” as grounds*.   

    No it wouldn’t. It would be perfectly legal for the school not to hire him because they know that he had had premarital sex and would most likely continue to do so. People who have premarital sex are not a protected class, there is no right to be hired and employers can decided not to hire an applicant for any reason or no reason, as long as it doesn’t bump up against a protected class.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     It’d be legal for them to refuse to hire him, yes. But it would not be legal for them to fire him for breach of contract, because “Well he had sex in the past so he’s probably doing it now” does not constitute a violation of the terms of the contract.

  • Lori

    In the counterfactual case where they hired him (instead of him turning down their offer) and then changed their minds and decided to fire him for the sex he had before he was hired, yes I presume that would be illegal. In the actual case, there was no good reason for them to offer him the job.

    To me the interesting counterfactual involves what the school would have done had both the man and woman been employed at the school when the woman’s pregnancy became known. In that case would they have fired both of them or just the woman?

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     I imagine they would have pressured him to resign, but if he didn’t, they’d have only fired him if he insisted on making a big public point of the fact that he was the father instead of allowing them to pretend that they really believed that he hadn’t had sex with her.

    After all, making a big public point of breaking their rules is nearly as bad as being a woman.

  • Alicia

     Here’s the thing though —

    If she had had an abortion before she started working there, and the college found out about it somehow, would they have hired her then? I think not — even though they didn’t have any contractual relationship with her, they would have still preferred to hire someone who lived up to their moral codes over someone who didn’t. That’s why the fiance bit is so bizarre — they could have picked anyone else, but they didn’t.

  • Wednesday

     It depends. If she had an abortion and then changed her mind and declared that abortion is evil, and also she is an ex-lesbian, and started working to deny other women access to health care she herself had sought, she’d probably be their darling. (See also: Norma McCorvey)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ann-Unemori/100001112760232 Ann Unemori

    Has there ever been a case like that? Still trying to wrap my mind around the concept.

  • Wednesday

    MaryKaye already explained (and included a great link!), but I do want to elaborate a bit. The reason I mentioned McCorvey claims to be an ex-lesbian is that for years, I knew “Jane Roe is now extremely anti-legal-abortion”, and I wondered to what extent it was a genuine change of heart, a case of “the only moral abortion is my abortion”, or if it was just a matter of survival (given the existence of anti-legal-abortion terrorists in the US.)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2CUJHSQSQYTYT4DPZSKTVESYNQ B

     So basically, it’s horribly sexist, since it proves beyond doubt that they don’t actually think men having premarital sex is a very big deal but that women having premarital sex is a shocking sin.

    But it may be legal horrible sexism.

    Gah.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    I think the most we can actually say is that the thing they actually don’t want is the appearance of premarital sex. It’s not “It’s okay for men to have premarital sex, just not women” — it’s “We don’t actually care who has premarital sex, so long as we can convincingly claim that as far as we know, you’re not having premarital sex.” Which basically means that a woman who gets pregnant gets fired once she’s showing, while a man just has to avoid singing his exploits from the rooftops. The misogyny doesn’t exist in a vacuum — it’s not the point, it’s a consequence of the fact that what they really care about is keeping up appearances.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2CUJHSQSQYTYT4DPZSKTVESYNQ B

    I guess I can see that, although in this case, the claim is that not only did they offer him a job, but they did so knowing that he was the baby’s father.  So at that point they really can’t claim they didn’t know he was having premarital sex.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Yeah. but the point is, the contract doesn’t say “You can’t be A Person Who Has Had Premarital Sex At Some Point”, it says “While you work for us, you can’t have premarital sex.”

  • frazer

    Right. But obviously they disapprove of premarital sex. And I would think “moral character” or whatever they term it would be a consideration in whether they hire someone. So while technically he wasn’t violating any contract with them, it’s hard for me to think the converse of this would have happened–that they would have fired a male employee if they learned he was having sex with his fiancee, and then turned around and hired that pregnant fiancee.

  • http://twitter.com/Didaktylos Paul Hantusch

    The woman may not win at trial – but she can sure cause the institution a bulk-carrier load of embarrassment.

  • Wkyoung1

    I’m not sure if the institution is capable of embarrassment

  • Sgaile-beairt

    ….happens at catholic colleges too….

  • Mary

    You know this college could have chosen to use her as a positive role model. A single Christian woman makes a mistake and gets pregnant, yet refuses to give in to societal pressure to get rid of her baby.

    Come on, there are worse crimes than premarital sex! Or are we not far from the biblical dark ages where a woman (and her unborn baby) were killed for her “sin”?

    Personally I don’t see anything wrong with premarital sex, however within a conservative Christian context it seems like the whole thing could have been handled in a more sensitive manner to say the least.

  • banancat

    This reminds me of my friend’s abusive boyfriend. He would be really pissed if she had an abortion, yet he’s the one who insists on not using birth control. He also frequently drives drunk. I’m sure he doesn’t care about potentially killing someone, but maybe if he killed a pregnant woman in a crash he would at least feel remorse about the fetus. Nah, probably not.

  • Andrea

    My alma mater had a policy that they would not discipline a pregnant (unmarried) student if she stepped down from any leadership positions and had not had an abortion; I’m pretty sure they’d expel her if she had. Which, uh, why would one tell them if they had? Or were they relying on students to snitch on each other?

    I don’t know if this policy is still in effect; I doubt it’s gone, and if anything it’s probably more severe by now.

  • AnonaMiss

    The fiance bit is a little too perfect. My Snopes sense is tingling.

  • histrogeek

     I sympathize with your suspicion. Thing is that, while CT would totally print something based on freaky rumors and questionable sources, they wouldn’t print something that so badly undermines their cause. Madelyn Murray O’Hair and Christopher Hitchens sue Christian parents for psychological abuse and brainwashing, they’d print it in a heartbeat (I know they’re both dead but this crowd never seems to have got the news). Christian college fires a pregnant woman and tries to give her job to her fiance, not so much.
    I think this is like the Chinese mass stabbing that happened the same day as the Newton massacre. It’s just a really weird coincidence.

  • Jim Roberts

    I took a class on the gospels in college, and when we got to the story about the woman caught in adultery, the professor took some pains to explain that when the leaders brought only the woman, still unclothed, before Jesus and never even mentioned the guy, it wasn’t because they were super-evil or actively, consciously sexist. They sincerely believed that they were doing what was just and what their interpretation of the law required.

    Same crap, different century.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2CUJHSQSQYTYT4DPZSKTVESYNQ B

     I tend to agree but every news source I looked at mentioned the bit about offering to hire the fiance (although not all of them specify that it was to replace her).

  • Carstonio

    If this woman had gotten an abortion, she’d still have her job.

    Assuming that she had the abortion and the college never found out about it. I had to read the post in its entirely, and the original article, to make sure the college hadn’t tried to force the woman to have an abortion. Which was obviously Fred’s point – “saving babies” is a rationalization for controlling women. Most likely she would have been let go if she had the abortion and the college learned about it.

  • The_L1985

     Yep.  But remember, folks, abortion is murder.

  • misanthropy_jones

    this type of behavior goes a long way towards explaining my particular choice of an internet handle…

  • Carstonio

    So apparently the college opposes premarital sex or premarital parenthood only for its female employees. I would love to watch a reporter confront the dean about the double standard.

  • Lalouve

    I entirely fail to see why anyone’s private life is their employer’s business – but then, I’m not American. As long as I don’t run a competing business, bring my profession into disrepute, or spend so much time doing something else that I ignore my actual job, my employer does not care at all what I do in my free time.

  • Arakasi

    If it wasn’t for the fact that we are talking about real lives here, I would have liked for her to claim that she never had sex.  Then we could watch the San Diego Christian College argue in court that virgins could never become pregnant

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ludwig-Von-Schitzenhaus/100001741767535 Ludwig Von Schitzenhaus

     Brilliant analysis, makes me want to go out and get pregnant just to test your theory. If a virgin can get pregnant, so can a 47 yr old, unemployed carpenter.

  • Lori

    If this woman had gotten an abortion, she’d still have her job. That’s
    what San Diego Christian College apparently wanted her to do. That’s
    certainly the incentive they’ve built into their “community covenant.”
    And that incentive is doubly reinforced by the double-standard in how
    that “covenant” is enforced for women as opposed to for men.  

    This is true, but I suspect the school intended to create an incentive for speedy shotgun weddings, not abortions. Their issue is less with the fact of premarital sex than it is with flaunting it. If one has the decency to cover up/sanctify* it with a speedy marriage and then lie about the baby being premature then it’s OK.

    *I know I shouldn’t be, but I’m always surprised by the number of people who seem to functionally believe that getting married retroactively covers any sex the couple had before marriage. The only really bad non-marital sex is the kind you have with someone you never do marry.

  • The_L1985

     ….Guilty.

  • Daughter

    It seems that they did have a (somewhat?) speedy marriage. One of the linked articles mentions that she’s still pregnant, and they are now married.

  • Lori

    I think what the school and others like them would have wanted was for the couple to get married before she started to show. The goal is not simply to be married before the baby is born, it’s plausible (used loosely) deniablity re: the baby having been conceived outside of wedlock.

  • AcyOS

     

    I know I shouldn’t be, but I’m always surprised by the number of people
    who seem to functionally believe that getting married retroactively
    covers any sex the couple had before marriage. The only really bad
    non-marital sex is the kind you have with someone you never do marry.

    This is a phenomenon I’ve found interesting ever since I was old enough to realize that it wasn’t typical for me to have been the flower girl at my own parents’ wedding. I’ve never been entirely clear on what the “oh noes, out-of-wedlock babbies!” crowd would think of my family! They’ve been married for a good long time now, with no end in sight, which is Officially Good, I guess, but then they didn’t hurry up and get married the moment they knew I was on the way, which shows a lack of appropriate shame…

  • LL

    More of the same from the assholes that hate women. Doesn’t even surprise me anymore. 

    It’s hard not to conclude that if you’re a woman and you have any brains at all, you don’t work for a “Christian” entity. Because eventually, they’ll find a way to fuck you over.  

  • http://twitter.com/MariahMBird Mariah Dennison

    One generous interpretation of offering the job to the fiance is that they felt bad about depriving her of her livelihood, but felt they had to follow the rules and do it anyway. Then they offered that same job to the fiance because as the man who is going to marry her, he would be the one “taking care of her” financially. So they can follow their Rules and still feel good about not letting the woman starve on the street.

    It’s still stupid and hypocritical, but it makes a little more sense perhaps.

  • stardreamer42

    Some of the commenters over at CT have taken them to task for glossing over the double-standard aspect.  Those may be folks from here, but if not, that’s encouraging.

  • http://beholdconfusion.wordpress.com/ beholdconfusion

    I can read a lot of your posts about terrible things without getting really really angry.  Not this one.  I’m shaking angry.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gregory-Peterson/1608524690 Gregory Peterson

    Christianity Today was c0-founded and then run by “moderate” white supremacists,  Billy Graham’s father in law, Dr. L. Nelson Bell, and J. Howard Pew. It was passive/aggressively hostile towards Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and the Civil Rights Movement in general, to the point of censoring a rather elderly CT editor who became sympathetic to King (if memory serves).  Apparently, CT is still about passive/aggressively defending white conservative male privilege… and the ladies against women.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gregory-Peterson/1608524690 Gregory Peterson

    The college was founded by conspiracy theorists and “scientific” creationists.

    The History of San Diego Christian College

    San Diego Christian College was founded in 1970 as Christian Heritage
    College by Drs. Tim LaHaye, Art Peters, and Henry Morris, who desired to
    equip students through an education that trains both mind and heart. http://www.sdcc.edu/OurHistory.aspx

  • AnonymousSam

    Tim LaHaye. Well, that explains a bit. We know that name, don’t we, folks?

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/tag/left-behind/

  • Carstonio

    I didn’t realize it was the same college, and I would have expected any institution with Heritage in the title to be located in the former Confederacy. Duane Gish got his start there.

  • MaryKaye

    Wednesday is referring to the “Roe” of Roe vs. Wade.  There is a very good interview with Sarah Weddington, the lawyer who won Roe vs. Wade, in _Real Change_:

    http://realchangenews.org/index.php/site/archives/7499

    (heaven knows if I can give the link successfully). She mentions Roe’s later decision to join the pro-life camp in passing.  I thought the most interesting thing about the interview is that Weddington was a very junior lawyer who agreed to take the case because people were trying to pile up enough cases that the Supreme Court would have to take one:  she had no idea she’d end up there herself.

  • Chrissl

    I was a spectator on the sidelines of a case where a Catholic school was pressured into firing a newly-hired employee because she had been photographed escorting a woman into a Planned Parenthood clinic BEFORE she signed her contract with the school. (Once she had signed the contract, she stopped volunteering there.)

    This was 100% about keeping up appearances.

    As I’m sure many of us know, Planned Parenthood does a whole lot of health care things besides abortions. The staff member remarked at one point that the volunteers who escort patients have *no idea* why a their patient is visiting the clinic, whether she is pregnant, or whether she is there for an abortion.

    Interestingly, the nuns who ran the school wanted to keep this staff member. Their congregation backed them up. What eventually got her fired is that the family who originally came forward with the “evidence” was so insistent that the *appearance* of being adamantly uncompromising toward abortion must prevail over all other factors that they went to the bishop — who had nothing to do with the school — and got him to demand that the staff member be fired.

  • http://www.facebook.com/turophile23 Peter Hardy

    I can well understand your anger if you hadn’t heard about this story before, but this is a terrible piece of ideological journalism that needs fact checking. They only wouldn’t have fired her for having an abortion if we assume that they wouldn’t have found out about it. Would they have fired her for extramarital sex if they hadn’t found out about it? … I’ve never seen such a contrived attempt to pass on this ridiculous notion that people are pro-life for sexist rather than humanitarian reasons.

  • EllieMurasaki

    What solution do you propose for the woman who is pregnant with her fourth child and is already going hungry in order to feed the first three? She’s black, by the way; adoption is probably not in the cards, since adoption is rarely possible for children of color, and the foster system sucks donkey balls.

    What solution do you propose for the domestic violence victim who is pregnant? She’s more at risk from her partner while pregnant than not, and a child will tie her even more closely to him, emotionally and financially; her odds are better if she remains not-a-mother than if she completes the pregnancy, or even stays pregnant long enough that her partner notices.
    What solution do you propose for the person who is pregnant, who cannot safely continue the pregnancy without going off zir meds for nine months, and who knows for a fact that three months without meds will end in suicide?

  • http://www.facebook.com/turophile23 Peter Hardy

    Case 2: If she’s capable of contemplating having their child killed, then she’s not too timid to leave the abuser.

    Case 3: Abortion, unless it’s likely that this itself will provoke suicide.

    Case 1. Why is she going hungry? Why is adoption not an option? This society needs sorting out -not by her- but by everyone.

  • EllieMurasaki

    ‘Timidity’ has nothing to do with it. And yes, our society is massively flawed.

    But you agree that abortion is in some cases necessary.

    Why is it any of anyone’s business but the pregnant person’s and their doctor’s which cases those are?

  • http://www.facebook.com/turophile23 Peter Hardy

    It’s not about it being ‘anyone’s buisness’ or not. It’s about right and wrong.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Why is it your place to judge right and wrong when it is not your body and not your life that will be affected one way or the other?

  • http://www.facebook.com/turophile23 Peter Hardy

    I didn’t say it was my place to judge. Certainly not as I don’t live in the US.

  • EllieMurasaki

    But you’re judging.

  • http://www.facebook.com/turophile23 Peter Hardy

    I’m not judging I’m merely stating facts. Refer to my reply to Lori a moment ago.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Bullshit.

  • Lori

    Says the person who will never get pregnant and therefore never have his body and his life subjected to other people’s notions of right and wrong in this way.

  • http://www.facebook.com/turophile23 Peter Hardy

    That is a ridiculous argument. Firstly it’s an ad hominem. There’s obviously no logical relationship between the individual who happens to be articulating an argument and the soundness of that argument. Do you think that when there’s an exam question on abortion in a philosophy class all the males get an F? Do you not appreciate mens’ support for the provision of education and other rights for women?

    Abortion is not a woman only issue. Every child has a father and half of children are male. And as Erin Manning has said, “By making abortion a ‘women’s issue,’ we’re playing right into the notion that fatherhood is irrelevant and that men should be free to have sex without consequences for as long as they want to- if pregnancy occurs, the woman can ‘deal with it.”

    The thinking goes that men should not push for women to make sacrifices that they themselves will never have to
    make. But don’t you realise that on that logic you could never support able-bodied parents choosing to end the life of a disabled unborn child?

    Moreover, what makes you think that mens’ bodies and lives will be never be subjected to ‘other people’s notions of right and wrong’? Men do sometimes find themselves in morally equivalent situations. Situations where someone will die if they don’t make a sacrifice equivalent to giving birth to a child. Even if the men who find themselves in such situations act irresponsibly by avoiding such sacrifices that wouldn’t make it right for women to do the same.

    Ultimately, standing up for people who don’t have a voice should cross all social lines, including sex. And for all you know, I could be transsexual :p

  • EllieMurasaki

    Abortion is not a woman only issue.

    Correct because, and only because, not all people with uteruses are women.
    But don’t you realise that on that logic you could never support able-bodied parents choosing to end the life of a disabled unborn child?
    I don’t support that. I can’t oppose it at point of abortion access without requiring that there be some restriction on abortion access, but I do not support it, and I am trying (as much as one person can) to make a world where the thought of aborting a fetus with a genetic defect (or with a vagina) because of that characteristic never crosses people’s minds.

    standing up for people who don’t have a voice

    You’re not doing that, though. You’re standing up for people who want to use the uterus as a means of controlling the people who have them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/turophile23 Peter Hardy

    I’m not familiar with these people ‘who want to use the uterus as a means of controlling the people who have them’. I am clearly referring to unborn children.

    “I am trying (as much as one person can) to make a world where the thought of aborting a fetus with a genetic defect (or with a vagina) because of that characteristic never crosses people’s minds.” – Good, me too.

  • EllieMurasaki

    There is no such thing as an unborn child. If it’s unborn, it is not yet a child; if it’s a child then he, she, ze, ey, yo, or they are clearly post-birth.

    To oversimplify in a cissexist manner: some people want to control women, and forcing pregnant women to give birth (and, often, to raise the child) is one of the ways in which these people control women. You are speaking on behalf of the people trying to control women. You are siding with the oppressors.

  • http://www.facebook.com/turophile23 Peter Hardy

    You can assert that the unborn aren’t children all you like that doesn’t make it so.

    Employing some of the same means (e.g. criminalising abortion) as a group doesn’t mean that one speaks on their behalf.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    That’s true. THe fact that the unborn are not children is true all on its own, and its truth exists entirely independent of how often people say it. And likewise, the idea that the unborn are children is objectively false even if every single person in the fucking WORLD says otherwise.

  • http://shiftercat.livejournal.com/ ShifterCat

    Succinctly put here:

  • http://www.facebook.com/turophile23 Peter Hardy

    I never said that zygotes were persons (whatever that means). My position is that foetuses, just like babies and toddlers, are children. Science says they are human beings with minds as well bodies and unless you’re some kind of loony creationist I don’t see how you can disagree with that.

    I’m not interested in convincing anyone here that abortion is wrong. For that they should read a few books on each side of the debate and make up their own mind. I was merely pointing out how ridiculously illogical both the premise/headline of this article and Lori’s argument that men aren’t allowed to have views on abortion are. Indeed, the article was written by a man and no one seems to have a problem with that.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Actually, what science tells us is that a fetus is a developing viviparous vertebrate between the stages of embryo and birth, and that the mind of a fetus is still in its most primitive state, largely incapable of any form of awareness beyond the instinctual.

    The distinction “is it a person or not” refers to the capacity for independent thought and function and thus is a marker for value. Someone in a state of brain death has less value, objectively speaking, than someone in a functional state (even if they require machine assistance) — if you had to choose who would receive an organ transplant, obviously you wouldn’t spend a critical resource on someone incapable of making any use of it.

    How this relates to fetuses is the concept that until later stages of development (when even a premature birth would be deemed viable), a fetus is fully dependent on the body in which it resides. Pregnancy places significant stress on the body, forcing organs to work harder, nutrients to be divided among two bodies, and increasing the likelihood of developing high blood pressure, anemia and heart conditions. Even after giving birth, many of these conditions can remain for some time or even become permanent. In essence, the existing person gives up many resources for biological matter which has not yet demonstrated any value as a person.

    This sacrifice cannot be understated. Even in the United States, a not-insignificant number of women (and transsexual men) die in child birth every year or suffer lasting health complications which impair their ability to function or even jeopardize their lives well after birth. Even assuming their health remains strong and recovers quickly after giving birth, then they give up time and money in the raising of the child (which many, if not most societies deem to be the primary duty of the one who gives birth). Many employers think nothing of outright firing pregnant employees, and even those who provide maternity leave do so with significantly lessened or even no paid leave.

    The act of forcing a pregnancy to continue until birth means forcing a person to risk their health, livelihood and future for the sake of the resulting child, which they may not even want.

    This ties into why it’s objectionable for a man to weigh in on abortion as immoral, because he does so with (in all likelihood not being a transsexual man) no risk of ever contracting this condition himself. It literally isn’t a position he will ever have to worry about. It shouldn’t need explaining why it raises objections for a man to make the decision that a woman should sacrifice so much for something he may not even have to deal with (many men walk away from pregnancy without even ending up paying child support). In the end, it’s her body, health, livelihood and future that are at risk and no one should have the power to compel her to risk them, much less someone from such a state of privilege and safety.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Men have a responsibility not to get a woman pregnant unless she is enthusiastically consenting to becoming pregnant. They do not have a responsibility to pressure the woman to not get an abortion if she is not enthusiastically consenting to becoming a mother. Attempting to coerce a woman to risk her health, livelihood and future against her will is monstrous.

    (Simplified sex pronouns used for ease of communication. As noted elsewhere in this post, women aren’t the only ones who can get pregnant.)

  • Lori

    First, what is it with folks from the UK and the inability to use “ad hominem” correctly? Is this a general failing with the UK education system or is this blog just lucky in the UK posters it attracts?

    Abortion is not a woman only issue. Every child has a father and half of children are male.

    Abortion isn’t about children, it’s about pregnancy. And no, those are not the same thing. With the exception of some trans men, men can’t get pregnant. So yes, abortion is a women’s issue.

    But don’t you realise that on that logic you could never support able-bodied parents choosing to end the life of a disabled unborn child?

    No, I don’t “realize” this because it isn’t true.

    Men do sometimes find themselves in morally equivalent situations. Situations where someone will die if they don’t make a sacrifice equivalent to giving birth to a child.

    Name one. Tell me about a situation that is equivalent to giving birth to a child that men find themselves in involuntarily where the law forces them to make that sacrifice for someone else.

  • http://www.facebook.com/turophile23 Peter Hardy

    I have used ad hominem correctly. It means making an argument personal rather than about the issues. That is precisely what you have done for criticising me for being male.

    “Abortion isn’t about children, it’s about pregnancy.” That’s like saying the Holocaust wasn’t about Jews, it was about preserving the Ayran race. I’m not by any means calling you a Nazi, but logically that’s what it’s like.

    If you’re offended by me opposing abortion because I’ll never experience pregnancy as a woman experiences it, then you’re committed to the view that one has to be know what it’s like to be someone in order to judge them. That being the case, you are committed to the view that able bodied parents shouldn’t be allowed to have their unborn children with disabilities killed since they don’t know what it’s like to be disabled.

    As for morally equivalent situations, it shouldn’t take that much imagination. But first I should clarify that I didn’t mean to say that the law forces men to do things morally equivalent to carrying a baby to term. The first sentence in that paragraph referred to mens’ bodies and lives being subjected to ‘other people’s notions of right and wrong’ (which surely happens every time men have a run in with the law), but I meant the following sentences on morally equivalent situations as a separate issue.

    To keep it maximally analogous let’s refer to saving childrens’ lives. There may be child, for instance, that will die if I don’t adopt them (if there is a state in this place they’re not going to force anyone to adopt the child even though no one wants to). In that case I believe it is morally obligatory for me to adopt the child. But as you think that it is all about pregnancy and not about caring for children, you would be more sympathetic towards a different example.

    Say there’s been a natural or industrial disaster and a child will die if I don’t save them (and it’s only me around who’s able to do so) from a hazardous environment. But I know that when I enter the area to do this there’s a small chance I’ll die, a bigger chance that I’ll lose a limb of suffer some other lifelong impairment, and near certain chance that it will hurt like hell. All would agree that I was a moral monster if didn’t make that sacrifice, take those risks to myself for the good chance of saving a child’s life. Under some jurisdictions they may even prosecute someone for failing to do that.

    Now, the examples I’ve just thought up may seem unlikely to happen to any one man, but the fact that they do happen, in at least some places, is more than enough to show that men can be faced with situations that require equivalent sacrifices to pregnancy. Not that, as I’ve made very clear, I think that should be a requirement to entering into the debate on the topic.

  • EllieMurasaki

    All would agree that I was a moral monster if didn’t make that sacrifice, take those risks to myself for the good chance of saving a child’s life. Under some jurisdictions they may even prosecute someone for failing to do that.

    Name these jurisdictions. Define ‘all’; you’d be a hero if you did save the child’s life, precisely because you’re not obligated to and you’d be endangering yourself in the effort–unless you’re emergency response personnel, which rather breaks the analogy. Note that you haven’t come up with any actual situations, only unlikely hypotheticals, whereas unwanted and/or dangerous pregnancy is a thing that actual people face every day.
    And remember that a fetus is not a child. A fetus cannot be cared for by anyone but the pregnant person, who is not obligated to do so. A child can be cared for by anyone, and no particular person is obligated to care for the child (though society as a whole must) unless that particular person has accepted the rights and responsibilities of parenthood with respect to that particular child.

  • http://www.facebook.com/turophile23 Peter Hardy

    Note that this is all tangential- I’ve shown that its perfectly fine for men to argue that abortion is wrong (if that is their opinion) regardless of whether they could ever experience anything like it.

    “Define ‘all'” – all people. Or 98% of people if you want to account for the insane etc.

    “you’d be a hero if you did save the child’s life, precisely because you’re not obligated to”. Such a person might be viewed as a hero because some people *felt* that the person wasn’t obligated to do so. But that simply begs the question, ‘is the person obligated?’. And I’m claiming that it’s obvious that they are.

    “Note that you haven’t come up with any actual situations, only unlikely hypotheticals, whereas unwanted and/or dangerous pregnancy is a thing that actual people face every day.” You seem to have missed the last bit of my post: the examples I’ve just thought up may seem unlikely to happen to any one man, but the fact that they do happen, in at least some places, is more than enough to show that men can be faced with situations that require equivalent sacrifices to pregnancy.

    Furthermore, the frequency with which people face such situations is irrelevant to the point we’re discussing here.

    “A fetus cannot be cared for by anyone but the pregnant person, who is not obligated to do so.” – I’ve just pointed out that this assertion begs the question “are they obligated to care for the child?” And I’ve seen no compelling argument that they are not.

    It is also false that a fetus cannot be cared for by anyone but the mother. Medical professionals, the father, and other family and friends all can and should do their bit to support the health and safety of the mother and the child in her womb. But please excuse me for being pedantic, because you must have meant that only the mother can provide the care *sufficient* for bringing the baby to term, and naturally I cannot deny that.

    “A child can be cared for by anyone, and no particular person is obligated to care for the child (though society as a whole must) unless that particular person has accepted the rights and responsibilities of parenthood with respect to that particular child.”

    – Here you have both ignored the force of my examples for the second time, and committed yourself to abortion being wrong (in normal cases). Remember, I explained that it could be the case that a particular person was obligated to accept ‘the rights and responsibilities of parenthood with respect to a particular child’ since there could be a case where that particular person was the only person capable of doing so, and as you said yourself ‘society as a whole must’ care for the child.

    Unless you want to backtrack on the claim that we have the responsibility to provide care for children, then logically you must accept that there could be cases in which in individual is obligated into doing this by theirself. If you can’t imagine this being the case for the individual’s lifetime, I’m sure you could at least imagine it being the case for several months. From this possibility it follows that you accept the principle that a particular individual can be obligated to make considerable sacrifices, such as taking on the responsibility of care for another, in cases where that care is necessary for the other to live. And since this is the negation of the principle that mothers are not obligated to carry their unborn children to term, you’ve refuted your own grounds for the permissibility of abortion.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Would you kindly stop ignoring the fact that A FETUS IS NOT A CHILD?

    Society having an obligation to care for all its children does NOT obligate ANYONE to care for ANY FETUS.

    Oh, by the way? Thanks for calling me insane. I appreciate it. Lori (et al if applicable), best of luck dealing with this fuckwit, I’m filtering messages from him into my trash folder.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Oh, and saving a child’s life from a dangerous situation doesn’t put you in the position of being pressured to take on all responsibility for the child from then on out. Giving birth does.

  • http://www.facebook.com/turophile23 Peter Hardy

    My first example did.

  • Lori

    I have used ad hominem correctly. It means making an argument personal
    rather than about the issues. That is precisely what you have done for
    criticising me for being male.

    No, you have not used it correctly and I did not criticize you for being male. I pointed out that an issue always looks different to people who are directly effected than it does to people who are bystanders. You’re a bystander, which means that it costs you nothing to demand control over women’s bodies.

    “Abortion isn’t about children, it’s about pregnancy.” That’s like saying the Holocaust wasn’t about Jews, it was about preserving the Ayran race. I’m not by any means calling you a Nazi, but logically that’s what it’s like.

    Those two things are not at all equivalent and if you have nothing to offer other than Goodwining then you can just take yourself right back off where you came from.

    If you’re offended by me opposing abortion because I’ll never experience pregnancy as a woman experiences it, then you’re committed to the view that one has to be know what it’s like to be someone in order to judge
    them.

    I am not offended by your crap, I disagree with it and you’ve completely, and I might add very conveniently, missed the point of what I said. The issue is not that you’ve never been pregnant, it’s that you never could be pregnant, which is not the same thing.

  • Lori

    That being the case, you are committed to the view
    that able bodied parents shouldn’t be allowed to have their unborn children with disabilities killed since they don’t know what it’s like to be disabled.

    This is not how logic works and in any case isn’t a response to my actual point.

    To keep it maximally analogous let’s refer to saving childrens’ lives.

    Referring to saving children’s lives is not analogous at all, let alone maximally analogous.

    Something analogous would be a situation where a man is required by force of law to involuntarily give up control of his body for months (and never get back the body that he had before the event), risk death, hamper his career and thus his ability to manage his life, and then face pressure to take on a minimum 18 more years physical, emotional & financial commitment to care for another person.

    None of your examples meet these criteria. I trust you can see that without me needing to enumerate the ways that they fail.

    You can try again, but I doubt that you’ll be able to think of any scenario that does. If you can you’ll literally be the first person I’ve encountered who could.

    Not that, as I’ve made very clear, I think that should be a requirement for our sex to enter into the debate on the topic.

    You can debate all you want, although at some point I’m going to lose all interesting in talking with you further. What you can’t do is think that you have the right to control women’s bodies or to try to impose your opinion women, who face risks on this issue that you do not and can not.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    “Abortion isn’t about children, it’s about pregnancy.” That’s like
    saying the Holocaust wasn’t about Jews, it was about preserving the
    Ayran race. I’m not by any means calling you a Nazi, but logically
    that’s what it’s like.

    No, and fuck you for playing the whole Nazi thing.

    “Abortion” is a word that has a definition. It means something.

    And that something is terminating a pregnancy. It’s a thing about pregnancies. Not about fetuses.

    You fuckign nazi motherfucker.

  • http://www.facebook.com/turophile23 Peter Hardy

    LOL

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Abortion isn’t about children, it’s about pregnancy. Insofar as you can speak of one person having a “property interest” in another, you may be right that a male contributor has a similar interest (in the legal sense) in a fetus as the female contributor. But that’s neither here nor there to the pregnancy, which belongs to the pregnant person.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Many people are pro-life for sexist reasons. That’s why they’re big on the “personal responsibility” harp, implying that babies are a fitting punishment for slutty women.

  • http://www.facebook.com/turophile23 Peter Hardy

    Yes, my mistake, I should have clarified I meant that we’re the vast majority of pro-life people aren’t pro-life for sexist reasons – including the ones who are generally sexist. It appears to be rather common among the political class of the USA though.

    Do people really talk about babies as a punishment? I hope not :( Responsibility is a big part of it, but I’m a socialist so its collective responsibility I’m interested in.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Quite commonly. http://voices.yahoo.com/abortion-am-mother-baby-responsibility-6772332.html

    I also believe, that women should not be allowed to get an abortion just because they do not want to have a baby. That is wrong, unethical, and selfish. If you are dumb enough to get pregnant when you don’t want to, then you deserve to be pregnant and give birth to the child. Abortion should not be a way out of responsibility.

  • http://www.facebook.com/turophile23 Peter Hardy

    Your argument for that is one ‘merican jerk on ‘Yahoo Voices’?

  • Lori

    It’s an example of someone who is not from the “political class” who believes that pregnancy is, at least in part, a punishment for dumb sluts. However much you may wish that it was not the case, this is in fact quite a common point of view among the rank and file of pro-focred birthers.

  • http://www.facebook.com/turophile23 Peter Hardy

    As much as you may wish that is was not the case, you’ve provided no evidence for your claim. I don’t claim to have evidence for my opinion either but in years of being involved in pro-life groups in the UK I’ve never heard anyone say anything like that.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Oh, you’re UK. I don’t know anything about the political situation re abortion in the UK, but here in the US, people assert–some joking, some dead serious–that the best contraceptive pill is an aspirin held between the knees. People don’t get pregnant if they keep their legs closed, you see. And never mind that rape happens, and that contraceptive pills have other functions besides contraception, and that if an adult wants to have sex and can find an adult who wants to have sex with them then whether they have sex is absolutely nobody’s business but their own.

  • Lori

    A,s Ellie says pro-forced birthers here in the US say it with some regularity. There’s a definiate undercurrent of “don’t do the crime if you can’t do time.” and not just among the political class. It comes up all the time when they talk about being “responsible”.

    I admit that I wonder if things are really that different in the UK or if you’ve simply missed it because you don’t want to hear it, but I know little to nothing about pro-forced birthers in the UK, so I’ll have to take your word for it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/turophile23 Peter Hardy

    Well, thank you for being civil. I have seen these people you speak of on US news sites, so I’m not denying they exist I’m just trying to be charitable and not jump to the conclusion that all Americans are Tea Party loonies.

  • P J Evans

    Most Americans aren’t Tea Party loonies – but Tea Party loonies get more media attention than the rest of us.

  • Lori

    Not all Americans are Tea Party loonies. Not even all US pro-forced birthers are Tea Party loonies. They do exist though.


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