An Open Letter to Pro-Lifers


I could tell you I was raped. (I wasn’t.) I could tell you I am a victim of incest. (I’m not.) I could tell you my life would be in danger if I got pregnant. (Partly true, but for this discussion, let’s say not.) I could tell you I’m mentally challenged or ill. (I don’t think so, but let’s please not open that up to debate… .) These are some of the scenarios even the most ardent advocates in the Pro-Life movement might allow themselves and those they love flexibility where safe and legal abortion is concerned. Might.

Let’s talk about a different scenario—one that is completely true. I am a 42-year-old woman. I have been married to my college sweetheart since I was 21 years old, and I have had sex with only him for well over 21 years. I use birth control. We have three children: a 15-year-old daughter, a 13-year-old son, and an 8-year-old son. They are (thank god and knock wood) magnificent, kind, intelligent, healthy kids. I am fortunate enough to be a financially comfortable stay-at-home mom; we have health insurance, many friends, a good support system, etc., etc.

What if my birth control fails? I don’t have any of the extreme situations mentioned in the first paragraph. By all accounts, a woman my age and with my resources should be able to manage just fine with a fourth child. The child would likely be healthy, well-cared for, raised with boundless love, etc., etc.

But what if I didn’t want to have another child?

I repeat: what if I did not want to?

Even though I could? Even though the pregnancy occurred through an act of love between two married, consenting adults? Even though chances are the child would be fine–that we would all be fine?

What if I didn’t want to have another child?

Should I be forbidden access to a safe and legal abortion?

Should the potential of the embryo inside me to grow into a human being and be born and bring light to the world and cure cancer and colonize the moon outweigh my desire?

My desire to cherish and spend as much time as possible with the three children I already have before I blink and they are out of the house with families of their own?

My desire to keep the undefinable, debilitating exhaustion of new parenthood relegated to a distant memory?

My desire to not have a car seat and stroller at this stage of my life?

My desire to nourish myself, now that I finally have some time and something creative and productive to do with it?

My desire to have two free hands and a clear mind as I prepare my daughter for college, my first son for high school, and my youngest son for his first season of swim team?

My desire that my days of volunteering in pre-school be over?

My desire that one day soon I will be watching what I want on TV?

Can you look me in the eyes, and tell me that my desire for all these things, and how hard I’ve worked for them, are less important than the potential clump of cells in my uterus?

I understand why you consider a growing blastula, embryo, fetus an absolute miracle, a cherished life form, something to be protected. I feel the same way. I understand your religious and moral reasons for feeling passionately about this life form, such as it is. I respect your feelings, your zeal, your advocacy.

I simply feel that I should have the right to put myself, and my already alive family ahead of the potential life of a non-viable fetus.

I am entitled to be respected in my ability to weigh and decide matters of such an intense personal nature for myself and my own family.

I understand why you might see an abortion clinic and those who utilize it as tragic and unjust. I know that you tend to believe that women who get abortions fall into one of two categories: sad and in need of help, or irresponsible sluts who use abortion as a form of birth control.

About the former group, I would say that, sad or not, nobody wants “help” they never asked for. As to the latter group, people who use abortion as a cheap and easy fix for their irresponsible behavior (if such people even exist) are presenting symptoms of much deeper societal ills than are represented by the fact that safe and legal abortions are available to them. Just like people who use guns in an irresponsible, devastating way are reflective of a much deeper ill than the fact that guns are legal.

Finally, I would ask you this: Can you understand my needs? Can you respect my wishes?

Can you honestly say that you believe that you are in a better position than I to determine what is best for me and my entire family? If not, then what right do you have to make abortion illegal? And if so, then I believe you are advocating for the wrong thing. I believe you need to be advocating for better, less expensive, and more readily available mental health care.

Aliza WorthingtonAbout Aliza Worthington
Brooklyn-bred, Baltimore by choice, music snob, history nerd, family-obsessed, friend-dependent, amateur glassblower, passable dancer, reluctant cook, Larry David freak, rabid Mets and Orioles fan, writer/publisher at The Worthingon Post, contributor at The Broad Side, and now, resident Jew (read, of course: doesn’t subscribe to UC’s first tenet) at Unfundamentalist Christians. Sometimes her writing follows The Seinfeld Model of “no learning, no hugging.” Other times it involves lots of both.

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  • Robin Stone

    I believe that its none of my business to tell you what to do. It doesn’t matter even if I think abortions are immoral, it’s still none of my business. It’s your body and your decision to sort out without interference from anyone else.

  • Lisa Clark Keith

    Although I would hope that you might see this fourth child as a blessing to you and to the world, yes, I can respect your wishes and I must allow you this decision for yourself. I am nearing 50, my three daughters in college. i had my tubes tied after baby number three because I knew I didn’t, couldn’t, and because of illness, probably shouldn’t have more. I understand that decision isn’t for everyone also. so while I believe that every child is a gift, and the world might mourn the loss of a wonderful human being, I know in my heart, I must leave the choice to you.

  • Shelley Noyes

    It is just GREAT to hear someone say it. ‘What if I don’t WANT another child?’ I am a Christian on the fence about so many issues–but one thing I KNOW is that I don’t WANT another child–and I only have one. And your reasons–YES! plus my own horrifying post partum depression trauma. I don’t know that I would choose to terminate a pregnancy if I was faced with it at this stage of my life–but I wanted to say as one 42 year old woman to another who has been married for 19 years to my college sweetheart (and only man I ever had sex with)–I HEAR you. I feel you. Even if I wouldn’t make the same decision as you might–I respect you–and I could see why you would make that choice. Even if I will be branded as a heretic. 🙂

  • Mark Kirschieper

    We often get surprises, in life’s journey…Your “want to”, might change over the total gestation time. That’s quite common. Even if it doesn’t, then you’d have a wonderful gift, to offer a childless couple. In which case, you’d be accomplishing a loving and selfless act, of ultimate kindness, in the form of adoption. Peace, and best wishes.

    • But what you are my age, 50, and discover that menopause was playing a cruel trick? Would you want to use your retirement years going to little league practices, dance practices, cleaning up after a kid all over again? I know I wouldn’t, unless tragedy had struck the parents if my grandkids.

      Would I want to go through vomiting, sore breasts, the continual need to pee, the stress on my heart and other organs to support another life form wreaking havoc on my body at this stage of life?

      what if I’m a cancer patient, and delaying treatment to complete a pregnancy greatly reduces survivability? What if previous pregnancies have done enough damage already, that doing again poses a real threat to my life?

      What if is discovered early on, that the future person will be lucky to just survive birth because of a catastrophic defect, and even if it does, it’s entire very short period of life outside the womb will be made possible only by machines?

      The reasons we get pregnant is often because we choose to, and for many reasons. The reasons to try to keep from getting pregnant is also for many different reasons. The reason to terminate one, also multiple in scope. The choice is ours, and should remain so, for all of those reasons

    • boomergran

      How many times have you been pregnant, Mark? Just curious.

      • Mark Kirschieper

        I can project myself, into that condition. Also, I’m not totally ignorant, of the situation…My wife (an adopted child herself), had an abortion prior to our marriage, never could get pregnant thereafter, and always felt horrible GUILT, about her prior actions.
        I hope you’re not suggesting that all persons, regardless of biological form, are not permitted opinions and free speech. That could be just a form of sexism. Blessings, and peace.

        • boomergran

          I certainly wouldn’t want even the whiff of sexism to taint this conversation. For example, if you wanted a vasectomy, or to buy Viagra, I wouldn’t presume to try to deny that to you.

          However, I *can* deny that you can “project” yourself into that condition. Even I, as a woman, had no idea what it was like until I was pregnant and went through labor and childbirth; that makes your chances of really understanding it slim to none. And, BTW, I wanted all three of my pregnancies and love and cherish the three resulting children. However, in my 50s I became (through choice) the daycare provider for two of my grandchildren and the toll on my body from just the 9-hour days was more exhausting than anything I’ve ever done; I couldn’t have done it full time.

          I would also posit that your wife’s experience is just that: HER experience. Not everyone feels guilt, regardless of the resulting circumstances.

          “Sexism” is when you, a man, try to tell me, a woman, what to do with my body, whether it’s to have a facelift, a tummy tuck, a breast “enhancement,” or control over my reproductive choices. Unless I can tell you what to do with your body without your permission, please don’t try to tell me what to do with mine.

          Blessings and peace right back atcha!

          • Mark Kirschieper

            I have no intention of telling any person what they must do with their own body. My entire point, was to suggest, that adoption is a valid alternative, to abortion. I can certainly see how it may not be the easiest option, but it is a valid option, and I believe a loving, and selfless act of kindness.

          • boomergran

            I’d agree that adoption is an option. However, I would ask you to consider a few things about that:

            * It’s not easy to carry to term and then relinquish. Look at the numbers of surrogate mothers who sue to keep the child they’ve carried.

            * What if it’s a “special needs” child? They are far less adoptable than a perfect, healthy baby. The same goes for mixed race or babies of color.

            *Not only can pregnancy be uncomfortable – and even debilitating – to some women, but can also result in permanent (although rare) health issues.

            *Beyond the physical issues, there are also mental concerns. There is a subset of women who never really recover from postpartum depression. How would this impact her existing family over time?

            *For older women (over age 35) there are clear dangers to both the woman and the child.

            *The same is true for young women:

            In short, while adoption may certainly be an option for *some* unwanted pregnancies, there are other attendant issues that people either ignore or are unaware of.

            So the short answer is: It’s really no one’s business but the person who is most directly affected – the woman.

          • Mark Kirschieper

            Well of course, it’s usually no person’s business, but the individual parties…However, Aliza has intentionally made it “our business”, by going public, and soliciting comments. (Happening to focus, on one of the most controversial topics, in the current culture wars.) I’m glad you acknowledge adoption, as an option to abortion. I do not contest your detailed negative concerns. Also, please know I carry no deeply held hostility towards ladies, just as I hope you carry no deeply held hostility towards gentlemen. Best wishes.

          • boomergran

            Oh, I absolutely hold no hostility – deeply held or otherwise – against men! I have four adult sons – one of whom is a Class A stepson – and five grandsons. None of them would ever presume to say that he could “project himself” as to what pregnancy/childbirth is like, nor would any of them think that their wife’s experience of pregnancy, childbirth, or abortion is a universal experience. The three of them who have children are, without exception, excellent husbands, dads, sons, in strong, committed marriages, and are unfailingly kind and helpful to their parents, step-parents, and in-laws. They also universally understand that the choice to have an abortion is no one’s business but the people involved, and are thereby pro-choice.

            Good wishes to you, as well.

          • Mark Kirschieper

            It’s entirely possible, to be pro-choice, while still holding the opinion, that the choice of abortion, is not an ethical one. All of us, have the freedom to kill another person; however, that does not mean, that the choice to do so, is ethical. We’re talking about 2 different topics (potential/action). I’m content with your acknowledgement that adoption, is a valid alternative to abortion. Thanks for that. Much of what we’re talking about, has to do with personhood, and it’s origins… That is a profound, philosophical, theological topic, open to centuries of debate. At least we have a mutual understanding, that’s great! If you have an interest in philosophy, and theology, please contact me on my Facebook page, and I will be delighted to discuss this further. After all, this entire commentary is posted on the Patheos blog…We may very well have conflicting faith world-views.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            “For example, if you wanted a vasectomy, or to buy Viagra, I wouldn’t presume to try to deny that to you.”

            I would.

          • Vickie Gentry

            Yeah, no surprise there.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            Should not be any suprise that I am against wasteing money on elective surgery and poison.

    • TiffanyinTexas

      ewwwwww….that is the worst reason that forced-birthers give. That a woman should sacrifice her body so she can produce a baby for someone else…what is she…a handmaid?

      • Mark Kirschieper

        No person on this blog is forcing Aliza, to do anything. She has chosen to make the issue public. Who said I was a “forced-birther”. I merely present valid options…If you don’t like my suggestion. That’s great, it’s a free country, enjoy! With my option, Aliza wouldn’t be a handmaid, she’d be a selfless, kind, loving, volunteer. Surrogacy happens every day.

        • goatini

          Thanks for letting us know that your ideal woman is an obedient container.

    • Lis

      Is there suddenly a lack of children needing adoption in this country?

      • Mark Kirschieper

        Certainly, there are children available, for adoption. It is also common knowledge, that some couples, can wait for years. I’d suggest that even a well rated, faith-based orphanage, is a more loving option, than termination. I have a feeling, if a poll were taken of adopted children, most would be glad to be alive. My own wife, was an adopted child, by way of the NJ state authorities.

        • mindy

          Then you have never been in an orphanage. Please don’t speak of what you don’t know. My children both came from “good” orphanages. I know.

          • Mark Kirschieper

            My primary point was, that adoption is the best choice, as compared to abortion. I’m sincerely, very sorry, that your 2 kids came out of less than ideal environments. However, you’re actually supporting my point…At least, they were AVAILABLE, for adoption.

          • mindy

            Mark, I am blessed beyond measure that my children were “available” for adoption. They feel blessed (most days) to be my daughters. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t hundreds of thousands more children already born on this planet who don’t have families. And there are not hundreds of thousands of families chomping at the bit to bring them home – because they are not newborn babies, many have medical conditions that need to be addressed long-term, and even the healthy children have suffered whatever emotional trauma left them without family.

            I believe my daughters were meant to be mine. But had they never been born, two other babies from those orphanages would have become my daughters, and I would hope that I would have loved them as I do my own. Because then *they’d* have been my own. And before anyone says anything – no, of course I do not believe my daughters are interchangeable with any other children. Their spirits, their souls, would have found their way to mine some other way. That is what *I* believe. And it is no more provable than any other conviction of faith, except that I have seen clear evidence of their souls’ journeys before they reached me.

            Until there is not a single child living on this planet without a family, your argument is not valid. It is no less “selfish” than the author has been accused of being. “Sorry you got pregnant, but you must give birth so that a childless couple can have a healthy newborn instead of a child already waiting for a family.” No. No woman has that obligation. If she chooses to put her body and soul through it, that is wonderful. But she is not obligated to do so just so someone else can have a kid.

          • Mark Kirschieper

            Well, OK, we totally agree. Aliza is under no OBLIGATION, to bear and birth. IT WOULD BE HER OWN FREE WILL CHOICE. She already has the legal right, to abortion. Seems as if some folks don’t realize, that pro-choice and pro-life, are completely compatible. It’s not an issue of either/or. An example: right now, you and I, have the freedom to go out and kill another person. However, that does not necessarily mean, that it’s the ethical/moral thing, to do so. I personally do believe, that the act of abortion, is an unethical one. You may not. (If that’s the case, you are certainly not alone, by any means.) That’s OK, It’s a free country! You have every right, to your own feelings, as do I. If you desire further interaction, please message me, on my Facebook page. Thanks!

          • mindy

            Mark, neither of us has the “freedom” to go out and kill another person. In this country, that is almost always illegal. So while we may agree that murder is immoral, unethical and the like, we also have to acknowledge that it is illegal, and therefore cannot be compared to abortion. Abortion is legal and should remain so, because that choice must exist for women. I wouldn’t encourage anyone to get one, but I sure as heck understand that I, nor anyone else, can make that decision for any other woman. If abortion is made illegal, that freedom disappears. That is what I will fight against.

          • Mark Kirschieper

            Where in my comments, do I ever suggest, that abortion should be criminalized, again? You’re making an untrue presupposition, about me. I will again restate my premise: “pro-choice and pro-life positions, are totally compatible. It does not have to be either/or, it can be both. I am however, happy to learn, that we both think killing another person, is unethical/immoral.

          • goatini

            Adoption is the best choice for unwanted parenthood.
            Abortion is the best choice for unwanted pregnancy.

    • goatini

      Women with unwanted pregnancies are not public baby ovens to be exploited by selfish vultures.

  • Klaus Reims

    It’s not about “wanting” a child or not (or at least shouldn’t be). The abortion debate is not black and white. Abortion needs to be legal but regulated, not illegal and unsafe. The author of this article would have us believe that women who get an abortion choose to do so on a whim. It is naive to think that someone whould go through such a traumatic procedure because she “doesn’t feel like it. Wake up people!

    • mindy

      I agree with you, Klaus, except for your statement about the author leading us to believe women get abortions on a whim. I don’t read that in her post at all. Simply by her having written this, she made it clear that she has given the prospect of such a thing a lot of thought – and it hasn’t even happened yet. Probably won’t – because she is using birth control so that it does not. No “whim” in the mix at all . . .

  • Yes they can. And they do. Regularly. They’d call you a selfish bitch and say that your trivial desires are meaningless next to the life of a “child” (even though you’re talking about an embryo, not a child. Because they Do. Not. CARE. about women. They only care about birth. Nothing else. They will not support a poor child. They will not vote for healthcare for children. Or food. They are pathological, and you are appealing to a sense of decency they do not have.

    • HAOLEBOY55

      Yes our lives do become trivial when it come to the life of a child and yes WE DO CARE. we have choices to make whether to have sex or not if we do we take a choice that a child could be conceived . That child had no choice to be born that child has not been asked if they wanted to come into this world, so were do you have the right to kill that baby

      • You’re barely literate. What makes you think you have the right to FORCE me to carry a pregnancy to term?

        You’re telling me that a woman shouldn’t have sex with her husband if she doesn’t want to have another child? Seriously? Yeah, that’ll go over well with men. Maybe that’s what women should do. Go on a sex strike until our abortion rights are secured.

        No. My life is not trivial. Not when I’m the mother of three other children. Not even if I’m not. I WILL NOT carry another child to term. It will not happen. Legal or otherwise. If you think I should die from an illegal abortion, you have made it clear your concern is for punishing me (and my other children). If not, then you MUST agree that it should be safe and legal. There is no other option.

        • HAOLEBOY55

          Being barely literate is the issue here , first of all I DID NOT SAY YOU SHOULD BE FORCED TO CARRY A PREGNANCY TO TERM.
          All I was expressing was the fact that we have choices and SERIOUSLY I NEVER SAID NOT TO HAVE SEX WITH YOUR HUSBAND. I did not say YOU SHOULD DIE , if you want to go on a sex strike thats your choice. If you want to use your 3 children as an excuse to kill an unborn child thats your choice legal or otherwise, and if your husband supports your veiw than then you both can kill the child together, where is it clear that I expressed punishing you. Killing a child is no different then killing an adult walking down the street who had nothing to do with your with your choices.
          You made a choice to reply to to my comment that expressed my veiw , thank you for that but don’t accuse me of things that were not said. I hope you are not this irational with your family

    • TheodoreSeeber

      Half of all fetuses aborted are female. Planned Parenthood will kill more women this week than the witch trials in Europe did over 800 years.

      No, I can’t support the Republicans cutting WIC out of the budget. But I can’t call what the Democrats have done pro-woman either.

      • goatini

        Fetuses are not women.

  • Chad Holtz

    What I read here is “my desires ought to trump the life of my unborn child.” We are nothing if not a hedonistic, selfish, self-absorbed society. Our willingness to accept such rationalizations for murder is reflective of our prideful addiction to self.

    • Well, sure, you read it that way now, Chad. But who knows how you might feel about it later?

      • Chad Holtz

        Much like the soon-to-be-mother who gets an abortion so as to not miss any episodes of Bridezillas feels after the show is canceled, or, “comes to her senses” (like the prodigal son) and realizes her life is not meant to please herself but God.

        • I am really curious as to how many women. Get abortions so they won’t mess up their bridzilla addiction. There may be one or two utterly self Centered people like that, and they’d make horrible parents.

          Most women. Make the decision based on needs, health, safety, financial ability or stability, because the one who got her pregnant insists…

          A stupid TV show has as Mich chance of being that much of having that much of an impact as any man experiencing having a period like those I had as a teenager
          (And there are some males who would truly benefit from the experience)

          • Chad Holtz

            One or two in the world? Whether an abortion is done so as to not mess up someone’s TV watching or so that they aren’t inconvenienced for 9 month (or even 18 years) the root of it all is selfishness. As a disciple of Jesus we are called to live for others, not ourselves. We are called to consider the needs of others before our own. Die to self, not cling to self. Those who advocate for abortions like this post are simply advocating for an anti-gospel life – one that says I AM all that matters. We claim to love and follow a rabbit who chose to die on a cross and yet we think we can justify our “rights” to not have another kid cause we don’t want it? God have mercy on us.

          • Tell that to the next pregnant rape victim you meet. The next child who got pregnant because her mother sold her to a buddy so he cod buy drugs. The next woman who must now choose between medication for her rheumatoid arthritis or staying pregnant?

            Go ahead, tell them how selfish they are.

          • Chad Holtz

            Perhaps you thought the way of the cross was broad rather than narrow? Granted, one need not address such sensitive matters in a callous way, as you’ve painted it. I wonder how many pregnant children by rape you’ve actually counseled or sat with? I think you’d agree most abortions are not done for those reasons, but in the event I was their pastor I would make it clear that abortion should not be an option as Christians and that we will walk the extra mile with them wherever it leads, and teach them that we cannot make our life an idol, but that this is an opportunity to identify with Jesus, who didn’t deserve death but willfully went to it for the sake of others.

          • bryanbliss

            Ugh. Then you have a lot to learn about being a pastor, friend.

          • Such rhetoric by a pastor is why I would strongly recommend against a woman consulting someone in that field . In my experience, they are woefully inept at such issues

          • bryanbliss

            A well-trained pastor knows when to pass off to a trained counselor. They also know that God doesn’t create pain, or put us through trials for “character.” And, above all, they know that the b.s. in the above post is terrible, terrible theology.

          • Chad Holtz

            That’s not true. God DOES put us through trials to refine us and draw us closer to him.

            “I know, O Lord, that your rules are righteous, and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me.” Psalm 119:75

            “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord…for the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” (Heb. 12:5-6)
            God uses EVERYTHING to build character and virtue in us. Even our misery, pain, and poor decisions.

          • bryanbliss

            Depends on how you read the Bible, I guess. But I’d say that trials come from the world – independent of God – and we seek out God in response.

          • Chad Holtz

            Depends on how you read the Bible? I guess so. We can choose to totally ignore the multiple times God sent judgment to Israel, even using their enemies, as a means to refine them. Or we can ignore the plain meaning of the verses I quoted above for our own personal god who just wants us to be happy, and winks at our disobedience.

          • bryanbliss

            Yes, exactly. You obviously read the Bible with a more literal eye, and that is fine. But there are many people who view the Bible in different ways. “Plain meaning” is hardly something I’d apply to either of those verses–especially the Hebrews verse.

          • Chad Holtz

            Literal or not has nothing to do with it. There is a meaning attached to words. We can buck against that but it doesn’t change the facts. If you say water is wet I would be a fool to suggest that this is just your opinion, and you are being too “literal.”

            How do you interpret the words of Psalm 119:75? Who is doing the afflicting in that verse?

            Or how about Isa 45:7: “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.” How do you interpret that?

            Or 1 Peter 1:6-7, which states we are being tested through various trials so that our faith may be strengthened.

            Or, “Rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope…” (Rom. 5:3-5)
            The Scriptures are quite unified that God is the author of all things, and God uses ALL things for the good of those who love him. (ALL things includes our unplanned pregnancies, etc). We can choose to honor God in the midst of these storms or just gratify our fleshly desires. I will choose to point people to the cross of Christ rather than their own appetites of what they think makes them “happy.”

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Re: ‘There is a meaning attached to words. We can buck against that but it doesn’t change the facts. If you say water is wet I would be a fool to suggest that this is just your opinion, and you are being too “literal.”‘

            I agree, however you omit that context is everything.

            If I say something is hot – what do you presume I mean?
            If Paris Hilton says something is hot – she doesn’t mean it has an elevated temperature.

          • bryanbliss

            But… you come from a place where you assume it to be literal. There are plenty of ways of reading the Bible, ones that engage the stories as metaphorical or pointing us to Truth, while not needing to buy that the statement is truthful. Meaning: something can be factually wrong, but still holds Truth.

            So, what would I say to those verses? They show us a very small part of who God is. They were written by men, most likely in very specific contexts, writing about very specific situations–personal and public.

            The start of this conversation was about pastoral care, remind you. To me, these are unhelpful places to start somebody who has been through a trauma. “Oh, you got raped? Man, how do you think Christ felt when he got nailed to that cross?”

            I don’t know…

          • AtalantaBethulia

            The context that is lacking here is that ancient people used metaphorical language to ascribe to God in a supernatural way the way things work and why things happen – without having knowledge of what we know today about the way things work and why things happen.

            We can still read the text and glean much truth from it without ascribing in a direct way to God an intention to cause us pain and hardship in order to test and build our character.

            M. Scott Peck famously wrote: “Life is difficult.” We can struggle against the painful realities of life in vain, never learning or growing from them, asking “why us” and believing adversity should never come our way, or we can realize that all experience is learning and no one gets out of this life unscathed. Adversity besets us all. The ones who navigate it more successfully are those who learn and grow from each new hardship – who find meaning in the midst of their pain. But that meaning is a discovery process by way of living through it – living into the meaning – and it is not for others to decide what the meaning is and tell the suffering that God is the author of their suffering. But to remind the suffering that they are not alone and that God will not leave them nor forsake them – but grieves with them.

            That’s good pastoral care.

            Is this reality part of the way the universe works? Yes.
            Do we ascribe to God as Creator the responsibility for having set the order of things? Yes.
            Does this mean that God selectively and intentionally chooses to bring harm into our lives in order for us to learn and grow? No. It is a choice to interpret God this way. But it is not a necessary one and unnecessarily sets up a characterization of God that is not consistent with the Truth of God we see revealed in Jesus.

          • mindy

            Chad, I feel for you. I can *feel* how much you want to be a better man than you were before, in the throes of your addiction to sex. But honestly, you sound like so many I have known over the years – those who trade one addiction for another. You’ve traded your addiction to sex for an addiction to religion. Not to God or Christ, but to the controlling framework of religion, and you cling with all your might. Because letting go and thinking for yourself, or letting go and letting OTHERS think and decide for themselves, is utterly terrifying to you. You know you’d go right back to your old ways – which means you are not recovering, merely bandaging. I am basing this on what you’ve written here and in other places. I sat on the bus in Chicago the other day with my daughter, listening to a man just like you tell his entire life story to a young woman who had just tried to make pleasant small talk. She couldn’t get away from him, and he was oblivious to her body language, etc. that was saying, “ENOUGH!” It was funny, sort of, but mostly it was sad. She caught my eye at one point and gave me the, “Can you believe this guy?!” look. What was obvious was that it was still all about him. He’d kicked an addiction and was now on a mission to find everyone in his profession who was addicted to anything and cure them. It was, is and probably always will be, all about him.

            Just like you, Chad. It’s all about you. It’s about how you interpret the Bible and insinuating your version on everyone, particularly on everyone’s sex lives, because, well, that is your area of expertise. How you are living your life – even as you continue your public self-flagellation so we all know you are better now – is all about controlling the behavior of as many as possible and justifying your position with biblical quotes, which we are expected to interpret exactly as you do. When you figure out that the underlying causes of your addictive behavior have not been healed, you can start addressing them and perhaps find your way to a place where the entire universe doesn’t revolve around you and your history/beliefs/good deeds.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            Given the horror story of human relationships since the sexual revolution in America, can you really blame the younger generation for wanting something better than the dregs of divorce and destruction sown by the baby boomers?

          • goatini

            I know it pains you greatly that women now have better access to equal opportunity, higher education, and well-paying jobs, so that they need not be utterly dependent upon their Church-approved male owners for support.

          • KJB007


          • AtalantaBethulia

            Or we can read the text in historical and cultural context with a deeper understanding of Judaism and human psychology about the ancient’s worldview.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Last time I checked, the book of Psalms is classified as poetry – rife with allegorical and metaphorical language expressing the feelings of the author.

            We are well aware that Evangelical theology is fond of the concept of God sending us trials in order to build our character and to “test us with fire.” This does not reflect the whole of Christian theology which disagrees with this understanding of God.

          • Chad Holtz

            I suppose a qualified pastor would just tell a person they should do whatever their heart desires, right? No doubt there are plenty of them who will tell you whatever you wish to hear.

          • goatini

            Since the most important thing that we know about Chad is that he is a very, very good liar, he’d be the last person I’d want when life demands we walk the extra mile. Especially since he couldn’t even man up and take his lumps for what he did – but instead, foisted at least half of it off on his poor wife, getting her to accept false blame for doing NOTHING wrong. I suppose her “fault” was that she found it difficult to forgive such a snake, so she had to be brainwashed into thinking she was “prideful” and “selfish”, therefore equally to “blame”.

          • Ms. Goatini: we get it: you don’t think much of Chad. But no need personally attack him here.

          • goatini

            I am enjoying your comments, Dan, and I regret that my comment on Chad may seem like an “attack” to you.

            However, I’m Ms. Goatini; Chad linked to his “testimony” blog so he made it public himself; and I was appalled by (1) his cavalier attitude and (2) his wife being led by this “program” hubby was in, to berate and blame herself over HER putative “pridefulness” and “selfishness”.

            The cavalier attitude, and the patriarchal autocracy that empowers that attitude, informs all of Chad’s posts on the topic of Ms Worthington’s article.

            I apologize to you for offending you. My opinion on Chad stands.

          • I’m not offended, so no need to apologize. Chad’s story is well-known to me and many others, and while it’s tangentially related to the topic at hand, insomuch as that his past does inform his present opinions, it seems best to focus on the topic at hand rather than the personal life of a commenter here.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            I’m all for pregnant rape victims raising their children- and then continuing to harass the rapist for child support for the rest of his miserable life.

            In some places even in the United States, that’s the only punishment for his crime he’ll ever receive.

          • Let me point out just how ludicrous your suggestion is.

            1. The rape victim, must sue her rapist, and pay for lawyer fees, and for the DNA testing to prove that he is the father. Yeah she may get some help from DSS, but they are rather overwhelmed.

            2. If she is one of the lucky three percent of women who’s rapist actually sees the inside of a jail cell for his crime, she’ll get zero from him, plus the knowledge that the bastard will likely only serve about 11 years for his horrible abuse of her.

            3. The statistics of non-custodial parents who pay child support is abysmal, and those that do, often pay sporadically or not near enough to really help support that child. If it was a court order as part of a divorce, statistics lean for more compliance, but in this scenario, good luck.

            4. The rapist may, in some states sue for visitation and or custody. That’s right. the attacker can keep on “giving” by making his victim, hand over the child he forced upon her. In the 31 states, that this injustice is allowed.

            If a friend, found out that she was raped, and the justice system was not going to offer much solace, and she found out she was pregnant as a result, I’d gladly drive her to the abortion clinic of her choice. Being raped is hellish enough, trying to get a conviction is a layer of hell even Dante didn’t dream up.. I cannot comprehend making a woman live in that hell any longer than necessary.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            All five of your points can be summed up with “It’s too hard to get rapists punished, therefore we should just attempt to erase the physical effects of their crime and leave the woman to suffer in silence.”

            Where my version is, if you can get a conviction- then hard labor for the next 35 years with all money earned going to the woman and her child. Even if you can’t get a conviction, use the civil courts to attach his wages and have the sheriff visit him on payday to collect child support.

            I fully agree with you that he shouldn’t be able to sue for custody. But letting him off the hook with just an abortion isn’t acceptable either.

          • All five of my points are reality for the millions of women who get raped. Getting a rapist arrested is hard enough, then the poor victim has to prove over and over again that the bastard was the bastard she knows well that he was.

            35 years hard labor? in this country? You are joking right? The people who make money in prisons is the private companies running the things. Convicts make pennies on the dollar.

            Civil courts?? you are joking right?

            Her opting for an abortion lets her off the hook, not him. Our society is more prone to give him a pass. And lets just hope that he doesn’t also give her an incurable STD as well.

            I have no intention of letting any woman suffer in silence. I will fight for her right for justice, and for her physical and emotional well being. If it is an abortion that will ensure it, she will have my full and enthusiastic support. We need people standing up for victims of physical and sexual abuse, not making them shut up and continue to accept the status quo.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            An abortion assures nothing. It’s just another rape on top of the first rape.

          • Sweetie. You are a man. It would be nice if you understood what we are discussing here, what it is like to be a member of my gender, what its like to be a victim of violence, done by a member of the other half of our species, what its like to deal with the aftermath of such horror. What is like to deal with our biology. But I suspect that you do not.

            Have a nice day.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            Congratulations, you’re a sexist. No different than the skit on Portlandia of the Women2Women bookstore.

            I’m just going on what a friend told me before she died- how she was raped while volunteering with the homeless 30 years ago, and kept the child.

            As well as what another friend told me at a Project Rachel retreat, who made the opposite choice and needed to be told that God can forgive *any* sin.

            I’m all for draconian punishment of rapists. But the child is innocent. Don’t compound one crime with another.

          • Basing what a sexist is on a skit no one has likely heard of and what two people decided is a very poor indicator of what sexism is. Its not remotely close.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            Seems extremely close to me:

          • goatini

            Interesting, how no one would deny an innocent victim of any OTHER violent felony assault the proper medical attention to make them as whole as possible to where they were before the assault – but somehow, some vicious theocratic misogynists think that innocent victims of violent sexual assault should specifically be DENIED the proper medical attention to make them as whole as possible to where they were before the assault.

          • KJB007

            But that’s not the way it works. In 32 States, rapists are actually allowed partial custody of that child. This means that a rape survivor is obliged to stay in contact with her attacker for the rest of her natural life. No good, that.

          • John Masters

            “Called to live for others, not ourselves.” To me, that means the best decision for everyone involved. Being a child who is not wanted (even if properly cared for) is a horrible thing. People like Chad pretend to know the mind of God, and that the answers to all of the universe’s scientific questions are found in the Bible. I don’t pretend to fully understand either the complexity of the mind of God, nor of science. What I do know is that women should be able to make the best decisions of themselves and their families. There are certainly some selfish and unthinking people in this world, but I believe that most mothers, in the end, make the best decision. Chad, I’m sorry, but I don’t think you’re qualified to make those kinds of decisions for everyone else. I just don’t believe you are that wise.

          • Jerry Taggart

            And for those who do not follow Christ (or at least your conception of what that might mean?) Are they/we all to be ruled by your religious convictions? Last time I looked we still lived in a democratic republic, not a theocracy. I respect your right to make a decision like this based on your beliefs FOR YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY only. God Bless.

          • Leslie Marbach

            “… the root of it all is selfishness.”

            Really, Chad? Since when is it selfish to think of your other already-born children first? Reading your comment earlier about everything you put your wife through…THAT’S selfish. Thinking your opinion on what another woman chooses, that’s self-centered. Honestly, why men think they have any say at all as to what a woman does with her body is ludicrous. You don’t know her situation. Even with your own wife, you couldn’t possibly know all the things she was feeling. But of course, as John pointed out, you just might change your mind again in a big public way. If you do, we might take your comments a little more seriously.

          • Chad Holtz

            Leslie, you are right – I was selfish then. Very selfish. By God’s grace I’m learning each day how to lay down more and more of myself.

            Being a Christian is not about meeting MY desires but about pleasing God. This post is the antithesis of that, and abortion is just one way among many that our culture indulges in self.
            As far as changing my mind, I didn’t realize one could only be taken seriously if they never admit they are wrong, never make themselves open to being wrong, and never change. An odd position to take for a site claiming to be unfundamentalist, progressive and liberal.

          • mindy

            YOU are defining how one must “live for others,” Chad. The original poster is living for her existing children. She believes that to be the best parent possible to them, the best wife she can be, the best citizen she can be, she should not have more children. She has every right to feel that way. She DOES live for others. You don’t get to say who the “others” are for anyone but yourself. You’ve twisted her words be “anti-gospel” as if not bringing another life onto our overpopulated planet is the worst possible thing she could do. That’s wrong. Personally, I don’t want ANY kid born onto this planet who isn’t wanted. That’s just wrong.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            She uses birth control. She’s living for herself.

        • boomergran

          You’re asserting your religious beliefs on people whose beliefs may differ – or be nonexistent.

        • mindy

          Chad, what about those who don’t subscribe to your god? Who don’t believe in Christianity at all? Who are good and decent law-abiding citizens, compassionate, empathetic people who are raising active citizens of the world but who happen to believe in a different religion or in no religion at all? YOU believe a woman’s life is about pleasing god. I believe a person’s life is about caring for those around her and making the world a better place than she found it, in some small way. I, too, am an adoptive mother. Yay, us. But I didn’t bring those babies home to please god. I did it because I wanted to be a mother and had no way to give birth. I have done everything I’ve done for the last eighteen years to try and raise them into young women who will leave the world a better place than they found it. Who are choosing to reach their own potential and then some, who are loving and caring and honest. It’s not about god for me – it’s about all of us, connected. I don’t believe your belief system should be applied to anyone who doesn’t choose it.

    • Don M. Burrows

      Oh, abortion is “murder”? I’ve never heard anyone summarily assert such a non-provable thing before! Now my mind is wholly changed.

      • Don – the question you have ask is when does life begin? That is provable by science.

        • Don M. Burrows

          No, that isn’t the question. That’s what you want the question to be, but it’s not. The question is, “what is human ‘life’?” What is sentient, aware, human life? And there is not, in fact, consensus on that score, except to say that an early-stage fetus ain’t probably it.

          • Ok, if the question is “what is human life” then should that not be answered before we take a life, even if it is potential? That is a serious gamble to make on a “ain’t probably not”!?

          • What is potential? Its fun to play “what its” with other people’s lives, and ignore other’s.

            What if, instead of seeing that pregmncy to term, she ended it, went to college and Is part of a team that just had a major breakthrough c
            For curing AIDS.

            You see there are other potentials that should matter. But people prefer ignoring them.

          • Basing abortion on potential is dangerous.

          • Don M. Burrows

            “On potentials”? And “dangerous” how? The medical and scientific community does not agree that an early-stage fetus is a “human being”. Nor do most people. That it is considered such by a minority of people is an interesting and unique ethical position, but not much more than that.

          • Don, I will agree there are those in the scientific and medical community that differ on that question. I would actually question whether “most people” agree with you. But even if it is debatable or even if there is a chance why would you advocate for taking a potential life?

          • Don M. Burrows

            Even if there’s a chance what? That the aborted fetus will somehow survive, grow up, and come back to seek vengeance on us all? You’re engaging in speculative fiction. The undeveloped fetus is not a human being, by any aesthetic (experiential) definition of being human, nor is it one scientifically, so waxing about “potentials” is about as useful as speaking of time paradoxes. Actually, I would find the latter more interesting.

          • Don – prove to me that an undeveloped fetus is not a human being! Where is your proof? I think you are the one speculating at this point. I’m asking questions.

          • Don M. Burrows

            Right, you’re wanting this to be concrete. And it’s not. It’s an ethical debate about which scientific consensus does not take a hard position (except to have the absence of one, namely, that undeveloped fetuses are “human beings” who can be “murdered”). Waxing about what makes us human and when a person enters that stage (short of the cultural position accepted universally — at birth) is speculation indeed. One of the oldest forms of it. Welcome to the party.

          • Don, the scientific consensus I see is pretty certain from a biological perspective on the question of when human life begins – conception. If you want to turn the question into a philosophical one about what makes us human then you are getting into speculation and potentials. Given the complexity that you argue for why then would you open the door for abortion? You yourself are saying that it is not factual. Then why destroy something that you don’t know factually what it is?

          • Vickie Gentry

            And denying medical care to the woman in this equation, based on potential, is also dangerous.

          • Don M. Burrows

            Most people have answered that, at least in the negative, to exclude early-term fetuses and embryos. You can disagree, but that’s an ethical disagreement, not a factual assertion.

          • Who is most people? And if it is debatable why would we allow others to kill “potential human beings?” Would we not want to be certain? There was debate over whether Jews were fully human and blacks and look where that ended up…

          • TheodoreSeeber

            I hope your family remembers that when you are no longer sentient.

          • Don M. Burrows

            I hope so too.

        • But what is life? If I have an intestinal parasite, its life. It exists inside my body . It is dependent on that body for its survival.

          Just because a couple of cells meet and start a biological sequence that may or may not lead to a person, all he while being in a wholly parasitical state on the host to get to that point

          • TheodoreSeeber

            Just so you know that you just called yourself an intestinal parasite, and are fine with not having anything resembling a universal right to life, well, I can’t say much to somebody who doesn’t believe in the concept of the species of homo sapiens.

    • boomergran

      I invite you to visit the plethora of cemeteries in the South where lie the bodies of one man and his several wives and children who died in childbirth or shortly after. Or speak to my first husband who wanted to “beat” his father’s score in the fathering game. Dad fathered 13 children – of course it took two dead wives and one much younger one to achieve that dubious distinction. When Joe told me he wanted more than his father had, I told him that I had no intention of being the first in a long line of wives, and left him. You see, the Catholic Church wouldn’t have allowed me to use birth control, but they would have been okay with someone else raising my children – sort of like you are.

    • crediblefriend

      Have you or someone you love actually faced an unexpected pregnancy? Better yet, have you faced that pregnancy, kept the child and been able to objectively look at how the decision changed your lives? I have, and therefore I can’t see things as so black and white.

      • Chad Holtz

        Yes, we have, actually. After having four kids, two of which we adopted from Ethiopia, my wife and I were done. To further complicate things, my wife was married to me, a monster – a sex addict – and she was constantly depressed, anxious, and her last pregnancy was wrought with postpartum depression – debilitating to the point of not remembering much of our son’s first year. We were just coming off a one month separation due to my infidelity when we learned she was pregnant with our 5th child. If anyone had reason to consider abortion it was us, because our lives were so traumatized.

        Thank God we didn’t! We never even considered it because we believe every life is sacred and a gift from God. And, as time would tell, our marriage would be renewed, restored and redeemed and we now have the marriage and family we always dreamed we’d have. We have learned it is better to be obedient to God rather than be a slave to our “desires” and our wishes. As Christians, we answer to God, not others. One day, those who chose to abort a child so they can watch TV or sleep through the night will have to answer to God for their selfishness. My wife’s testimony, and mine, is here:

        • KJB007

          How lovely of you to put her through all that, Chad.

          • goatini

            And he even got her to blame herself!

            “It caused me to look at myself and my own shortcomings and not just at what I considered to be the big problem: Chad’s sin. I soon began to see that my life was full of self seeking and pride. It was shocking at first. I truly hadn’t seen myself as being prideful or selfish before.”

            Poor woman.

          • fiona64

            Battered wife syndrome, on display: “I made him do that. If i’d been a better wife, he wouldn’t have had to do that.”

        • Sven2547

          Thank God we didn’t!

          Good thing you had a choice. Imagine how terrible it might have been if someone else made the choice for you…

        • mindy

          Good for you. But you know what? You got to choose how to handle it. You made a choice and you are happy with it. What if the government had decided for you?

      • TheodoreSeeber

        I have a problem with somebody actually facing an “unexpected” pregnancy. One would think they don’t know that sex causes babies.

        • cjbg

          Um…I’m nearing 50. My husband got a vasectomy a few years back. We had problems conceiving and needed (fairly simple, thank goodness) help conceiving our two children. Those problems would not have gone away over the last 15 years. Yes, a pregnancy for us would be darned unexpected. You need a little bit more imagination. (More generally, in the broader world, birth control measures do fail.)

    • mindy

      Chad, you can participate in this kind of decision with YOUR wife only. Regarding a pregnancy you helped create. Otherwise, stay out of it. This is a mother discussing how best to serve the children she already has. Did you read the entire article?

  • crediblefriend

    I faced an unexpected third pregnancy when I thought my family was complete. I made appointments for an abortion twice and couldn’t go through with it. I love my third child and am glad he’s here, but my first two children suffered as a result. If I were to get pregnant again, now that my youngest is 10 years old, I don’t know if I could go through with it. I get extremely depressed during pregnancy and for about two years postpartum; medication doesn’t help. I didn’t leave the house with my kids at all when they were under 5 because I was too overwhelmed by caring for them. I don’t feel that was good for their psychological development; it definitely wasn’t good for my mental health. This is such a complicated issue and it’s not so simple as whether or not a woman is “too selfish” to bear an unexpected pregnancy. Each pregnancy and birth reduces the quality of life for both me and my children, and therefore for all of us it’s better if I don’t have more kids. That’s hard for me to say, because sometimes I really miss having snuggly little babies, but sometimes having more kids really does make things worse for the whole family. It’s not about hedonism or being self-absorbed, it’s about self-preservation and valuing the kids you already have.

    • Rebecca Trotter

      I think that dealing with that sort of depression falls under the category of a medical issue rather than one of desire. If I knew that I was going to be dealing with that sort of devastating illness, I don’t think I would carry a child to term either.

      • crediblefriend

        I agree, but unfortunately most of the pro-life camp does not believe in medical exceptions allowing for abortion either.

        • Rebecca Trotter

          I have a sister who found out that she was carrying a baby with trisomy-23 who had deformities in every organ system. There was no way he could have survived. I was shocked and appalled to learn that if she had her ultrasound just 1 week later, she would not have been allowed to terminate her pregnancy in her state. Not only was the baby not going to survive, but my sister has a history of severe depression and was in no way mentally able to carry a baby she knew was dying to term. I consider myself broadly pro-life, but can’t support the current pro-life regime because they are callous, power-hungry demons with no regard for people’s real lives.

          • crediblefriend

            I am deeply conflicted about the abortion issue. I do believe that a fetus is a life, and in general I am pro-life. But I agree that I can’t support the pro-life movement because they don’t seem to understand the many shades of gray. You can’t paint every woman seeking an abortion as “not wanting to interrupt a Bridezillas marathon” or “too concerned about rising up the corporate ladder.” Most women I know who have had abortions were either in extremely bad/abusive marriages, had medical problems or were so financially strapped that there’s no way they could have afforded another child (certainly not without public assistance.) If the pro-life movement really is pro-babies and pro-women, they have to support public assistance and birth control, and to stop painting women with unwanted pregnancies as selfish sluts.

          • Sven2547

            I agree, there is a degree of nastiness that’s constantly getting thrown around by the “pro life” crowd. Women are portrayed as getting abortions for selfish, petty, or hasty reasons, as if nobody could possibly get an abortion after carefully considering the situation. Clearly they must all be idiots.

            Of course, it’s not like that in the real world. People make difficult decisions, and a one-size-fits-all approach to women is a colossal mistake.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            Better to accept the public assistance than kill the child.

          • mindy

            Do you support public assistance, Theodore? Your tax dollars going to those poor folk who need it?

          • TheodoreSeeber

            Of course I do. Human life is more valuable than economics, and must be protected from conception until natural death.

    • TheodoreSeeber

      Have you asked your older children whether they think they “suffered” as a result of having a third sibling?

      • crediblefriend

        My oldest was 5 when the third child was born and he has told me, straight out, that he remembers how bad it was for the first few years. I have never shared my feelings with them about how miserable I was, I’ve never even told them that our third kid was unplanned, but it obviously impacted them. I was extremely overwhelmed by having young children. It also pretty much doomed us financially. We were almost financially comfortable with only two kids, but had hope it would get better. Ten years after having the third kid, we’re still struggling. No college funds, no retirement savings. My husband is driving a 15-year-old car.

        As for your statement that you don’t feel sorry for anyone who has an “unexpected” pregnancy because they should know what causes it, would you really tell a married woman whose husband had a vasectomy that she just shouldn’t have sex ever again? Give me a break. I did what you’d consider the “right” thing and carried that unexpected pregnancy to term, but that decision had consequences. Although we adapted and I love all of my kids,it still had both positive AND negative impacts on our family to have a third one. I can’t understand why you’re too stubborn to see that having more children isn’t always good, or so unrealistic as to think that responsible people can’t have unexpected pregnancies.

        • TheodoreSeeber

          ” would you really tell a married woman whose husband had a vasectomy that she just shouldn’t have sex ever again? ”

          Yes. There’s no point in it.

          Every action has consequences. Does your oldest truly wish that the youngest had never been born? I mean, more so than most siblings?

          A bad childhood is generally better than no childhood at all.

          I know you can’t understand why I’m ” too stubborn to see that having more children isn’t always good, or so unrealistic as to think that responsible people can’t have unexpected pregnancies.”, that’s why I’m trying to explain it to you.

          Basically to me, one small child with trisomy-23 and aids who will only live a few minutes, is more valuable to me than the $16 trillion Gross National Product of the United States for 2014.

          That may very well be covered by two facts: My wife and I have been desperate to have a 2nd child for several years now, and are almost ready to adopt. And over a decade ago I was diagnosed with a mild form of one of the genetic illnesses people would abort if they could.

          Those two experiences changed my view beyond anything else. I don’t think we’d even be having this conversation if the industrial revolution had not transferred children from the asset to the liability side of finances; and I refuse to let economics devalue human life. It is no sin to take charity when it is needed.

          • mindy

            Theodore, that you are so insistent that women have babies because you like them is just . . . weird. Women aren’t here for your enjoyment. You may see one small terminal child who will live a few minutes at best as “valuable” – and so might some parents. But others may determine that putting a baby, even one they wanted as much as any parent wants her children, who cannot survive through the trauma of birth is cruel. Or that forcing a woman to got through the birthing process only to leave the hospital with empty arms is too much to ask because some people think she should. YOU ARE NOT A WOMAN. I will keep repeating that until you get it. YOU cannot make these decisions for anyone. If you are married and your wife faces/faced something like this, then I hope the two of you were able to decide together what to do. Privately, without the entire populace weighing in on your heart-wrenching decision.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            “Theodore, that you are so insistent that women have babies because you like them is just . . . weird. ”

            That isn’t the reason. The reason is because human life is valuable. Above EVERYTHING else, human life is valuable.

            To claim otherwise, is to be anti-human.

            Half of the babies you’d have aborted, are female. Or maybe that didn’t occur to you in your genocidal mania in which human beings are nothing but “clumps of cells” to do away with by any means necessary.

          • TheodoreSeeber


            That’s the ONLY reason any man is pro-choice.

          • Vickie Gentry

            You say that “a bad childhood is generally better than no childhood at all” and I find this absolutely abhorrent! How in the world do you know that having a “bad childhood” is better than not being born this time round and having the chance to be born into a family that loves and values and wants you and is emotionally and financially prepared for your existence? You have no clue what you are talking about. I know people who were not wanted that grew up bouncing from one house to another and had parents that were completely unprepared to parent them (and thus completely and miserably failed) and those folks have had some pretty horrible lives. My personal religious belief is that the soul is not part of the person until they draw the first breath of life, so an aborted fetus (either induced or spontaneous abortion) never had a soul to begin with. I would much rather every child that is born come into a family that is ready and able to care for it.

  • Can I paint a scenario – I have 4 children who are ages 4mos, 4, 7, and 9. What if I decided I actually didn’t want to have that many children any more and that I should “abort” my youngest child. Put him to sleep/death. My 4mos old is not totally viable (it is totally dependent on me for everything not to mention diabetic and cannot survive without insulin) and we’re not sure how much potential it has.

    The other kids are more self-reliant and my desire is to not have to deal with the constant needs and medical condition of the 4mos old. Not to mention the terrible twos and all the issues of toddlerhood that I went through with my other 3.

    Can you understand my needs? Can you respect my wishes?

    No one would advocate for that! Yet, what is the difference between a 4mos old and a child in-utero? What you are calling a “non-viable fetus” is a human life and no one has the “right” to take another human life. The murder and killing of a human person should absolutely be made illegal regardless of what others desires or wishes are.

    I also absolutely agree we need to advocate for better, less expensive, and more readily available mental health care and adoption. But not abortion that takes human life. Who is advocating for the unborn women and their bodies?

    • Don M. Burrows

      If your argument relies on the assumption that a four-month-old (which I likewise have at home) is the same as a fetus six weeks into gestation, then I believe you lack the complex reasoning to have a conversation here. Your “scenario” is absurd, and deserves no engagement beyond that.

      • Don – How is a four-month-old different than a six-week fetus in gestation?

        • Powers

          A four-month-old is autonomous. Not independent, but autonomous. It breathes, digests, excretes, and grows on its own without active assistance from an outside body.

          A fetus is completely dependent on being inside its mother, relying on her skin for protection from infections, relying on her biological systems and organs to process nourishment and waste.

          There is a world of difference.

          • There are people of all ages in the hospital just down the street from me right now who are completely dependent on some machine to keep them alive, protect them from infection, machines and medicine to process nourishment and waste. Would you allow anyone (family or doctor) to put them to death?

          • Don M. Burrows

            Once again, you are equating a human fetus with a human being. You are welcome to do so within your own ethical and personal beliefs, but it hardly represents that of medical or scientific consensus.

          • Don, the burden of proof is on you to prove scientifically that a fetus is not a human being. Unless you can prove that why would you even take a chance?

            From what I have seen, science gives more evidence to the fact that a fetus is a human.

          • Don M. Burrows

            You can subscribe to that opinion based on your reading of the science if you want. Most professional scientists and medical practitioners, however, do not.

          • What scientists are you looking too? Can you give some links?

          • John Masters

            The Supreme Court of this country has arrived at a decision based to a large extent on the science to which Don Burrows speaks. The burden of proof is on you Jason.

          • John, the science that Roe v Wade and Don is looking too is not conclusive as they state but my question is how can we legalize the killing of what we don’t conclusively know is human life?

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Because we use ethics already to deem certain circumstances of ending human life ethical and certain circumstances of ending human life unethical.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            Actually, no, they’ve specifically avoided all scientific advancement since 1973 on this issue.

          • You are clearly being dishonest, Jason.

            If you really can’t think of any scientists or medical ethicists who have taken this position, then you haven’t even tried.

            Simply demanding that every point be proven to your satisfaction, when you know perfectly well that you’re not open to persuasion, isn’t honest conversation.

          • Ken,

            I’m simply asking Don to share his sources. I am open to being persuaded. I don’t understand how you can infer that my intentions are dishonest and that I am not being honest? How can you know that? From what I see in the scientific community at this point is that there is agreement that life begins at fertilization. I can share sources and you can judge from there.

          • goatini

            A single-celled fertilized egg, which in all likelihood will just be sloughed off as bodily waste anyway, is not equivalent to a living, breathing person.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            The scientific consensus is that the fetus of a given species is a member of that species. Doesn’t matter if you’re talking homo sapiens or bos taurus, or any other species.

          • mindy

            No, not a “member” of that species. Part of that species, yes. As in, a fish embryo is not a canine. Totally irrelevant to the discussion at hand.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            Central to the discussion at hand is whether or not the fetus has human rights under the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, Paragraph 3.

            If the fetus is a member of the species homo sapiens, then of course it has human rights appropriate to the stage of development.

            If the fetus is not a member of the species homo sapiens, then what is it?

          • John Masters

            Depending on their end-of-life wishes, and those of their families, that might be a very real option…yes.

          • The question is not about their desires, the question is about the desires of their family. If they cannot communicate (which is true for some) should a family member have the right to terminate their life?

          • Powers

            Certainly; someone has to make those decisions based on quality of life issues versus cost of prolonging the life.

            But these are illnesses. That’s a very different scenario from a developing fetus. We’re talking about someone who once was autonomous and now is not; a fetus begins its existence as a parasite and remains so until birth.

            As well, a fetus cannot be transferred to another person willing to support it, and so its mother is stuck with only two options: continue to support it, or kill it. With an actual person on life supporting systems, there are other options available.

          • So who decides that one kind of dependency means human life and the other means something disposable?

          • Powers

            We do, as society, while taking into account certain bedrock precepts like the right of a person to control her own body.

          • That is an incredibly scary notion – the Germans did that with the Jews and we did that with African Americans in the US.

          • John Masters

            And we have, thankfully, advanced some as a society. You are trying to take extreme circumstances, which are not relevant to the argument, to make your point. Your arguments an invalid to this discussion, and I suspect you know this, but lacking a realistic argument that would withstand intellectual inspection, you try to throw out some extreme unrelated situation to support your position. Try again.

          • John, how are these extreme circumstances not relevant to the argument at hand? They are more similar than most want to admit.

          • Powers

            It says more about you than about us that you see those situations as equivalent in any way, shape, or form.

            Seriously, no one likes killing future people. But when the only two options are “support it with your own body” and “kill it”, who the hell are you to say that a woman must choose the first option?

          • Who says unborn children are future people? What makes a human in the womb less of a person?

          • Powers

            We’ve been over this — its lack of autonomy (nor ever being autonomous) and inability to survive without direct physical access to an adult human’s biological organs.

          • Powers – to believe that lack of autonomy or inability to survive without help makes someone less human and liable to be killed because they are a burden is a scary belief and slippery slope

          • Powers

            That’s because you’re selectively reading my statements to support your point of view.

            A fetus is a /developing/ person. As a being, it is incomplete. It is absurd to ascribe personhood to an embryo or a blastocyst. It is less absurd to ascribe personhood to a late-term fetus, but we have to draw the line somewhere.

            We’ve chosen to draw the line at birth, because of /other/ mitigating factors, particularly the role the mother plays in the fetus’s survival and our desire not to impose unwanted burdens upon her.

            It’s imperfect, yes, but pointing out those imperfections is not an argument for pretending that an embryo or young fetus in any way resembles a thinking, autonomous person.

          • I’m mainly asking questions but you are exactly right, we have to draw the line somewhere. And unless we can prove that a fetus is not a person than we should not argue to terminate it. The onus is on those who want to argue that a fetus is not a person or human being to prove it conclusively. Otherwise it seems that they are unborn children that deserve protection.

          • Powers

            Personhood is a legal construct, so we can define it however we want. More importantly, personhood is a status we convey to indicate that a being is autonomous, capable of some degree of agency and of forming purposeful intent to do something.

            But since it’s a legal (and social) construct, there’s no way to “prove” that the status doesn’t include fetuses and embryos. There’s also no way to prove that it doesn’t include individual gametes… or any other individual cell of your body… or chimpanzees… or anything. How would you prove those? Remember, the onus is on you if you want to argue that a lemur is not a person!

          • Powers – do you believe that a fetus could be a human being? Is there a possibility that an unborn child is a human? If there’s even a 1 in a million chance it is, why kill it?

          • Powers

            Of course it’s a human being. But that is a purely biological definition; there’s nothing inherent in it that requires us to value its life over the right of its mother to retain control over her body.

            Why kill it? Because the alternative is to shackle its mother to it for nine months against her will, and some of us find that rather unconscionable.

          • goatini

            As the child of a survivor, I can assure you that your analogy is utterly and completely spurious. To consider the Jewish people to be of no more actuality or importance in the physical world than a single-celled fertilized egg, pretty much dehumanizes a race just as surely as did the Germans.

          • barrina

            The person who has to supply that dependency.

          • John Masters

            The answer is still yes. I’ve been faced with that very situation, and had to make those decisions. It’s the greatest challenge of my life, but it was necessary.

          • KJB007

            Yes. Family members legally do have the right to make that decision.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            The desires of her family are disordered to begin with.

          • KJB007

            Actually, Jason, family members and doctors do make those decisions for their loved ones under those circumstances.

          • TiffanyinTexas

            Actually, if your child is in an accident and the only thing keeping them alive is a machine then YES you will have to make the decision to keep them alive or remove life support.

            Once a fetus is born and if it survives the process then it is a person.

          • Tiffany, how do you define “person?”

          • That answer depends on who you ask. Which is the point of all this. To some a person at birth, to others at some point prior.who’s right? I depends on who you ask.

          • I get that there are those on both sides. If it is in-conclusive then why take the chance that those who say human life begins at fertilization are right.

            It is like saying “we are not sure it is a human being, there is debate on that, but in the meantime lets allow people to destroy it.” that is a huge gamble.

          • LiberalAria

            How do you feel about in vitro fertilization, then? To you, those frozen embryo are fully formed people who must be given exactly the same rights and consideration as living, breathing people. That has some extraordinary implications for probate law.

          • Vickie Gentry

            Show me one person that is in that hospital, or even in ANY hospital in the whole world that requires the 24/7 care of one single person for protection and filtering of every single possible pathogen that may happen, that is also dependent on that same person for removal of their biological waste products directly from their bloodstream, and requires infusion of ALL nutrients directly into their bloodstream from the bloodstream of that one caretaker. Your argument is invalid because it is absurd. A person needing an IV because they are experiencing an illness is not the same as a fetus makes on its female host.

        • Don M. Burrows

          Powers pretty much nails it. You seriously have noticed no amount of cognitive development in your 4-month-old from, say, only two months ago? Babies “wake up” at 3 months old. At birth they’re barely aware of their surroundings. I realize a lot of people are seriously wiling to remove all complexity from human life and experience to maintain this “life begins at conception” ideology, but this is beyond absurd.

          • Don, based on the idea that babies “wake up” at 3 months old does that mean you would allow a parent to take the life of a child up to that point?

            Does cognitive develpment make us human? If so, where do you draw the line? What do you make of the mentally disabled? Those who suffer from major brain damage? Your logic takes you down a very scary path.

          • Don M. Burrows

            Only if you consider the slippery slope argument, or reductio ad absurdum, to be anything other than logical fallacies. You again want to reduce complexity. What makes us human? Welcome to the age-old debate spanning millennia and still unanswered today. To suggest a six-week-old embryo, barely distinguishable from other vertebrates, is the same as an autonomous person, whatever their challenges, is to distill “being human” down to a ridiculously low common denominator.

          • Don M. Burrows

            Once again, you respond to the presence of complexity by trying to wrench it back into a black-and-white mentality.

          • Don, I’m mainly asking questions that you are not answering. It is complex. I believe it is those advocating abortion making it black-and-white.

        • “How is a four-month-old different than a six-week fetus in gestation?”

          Reread that question and ask yourself how that makes any kind of sense.

          • Ken, the question is about when human life begins and should therefore be protected. To argue that because one life is viable and another is not does not make one more human than the other.

        • fiona64

          You seem to have missed a few days of biology class …

      • TheodoreSeeber

        The 4th month old has diabetes and is no more autonomous than the six week old fetus.

        • fiona64

          Really, Teddy? is the four-month-old attached by an umbilicus?

  • Rebecca Trotter

    I HATE the tactics and bullshit spewed out by the current pro-life regime, but I have to completely disagree with you here. What we WANT isn’t always the most important thing. My first and last babies were “oops” babies. I really didn’t want the last one. I cried when I discovered I was pregnant. My youngest was 4, oldest 16 and like you, I was soooooo ready to move on from baby care. I was 37 and had other plans, was starting to do other things. I had given every single baby related item away. By the time I went into labor, I was still so ambivalent that my body practically refused to spit the baby out. I was in labor for over 50 hours. So I get it, I really do. But this idea that children ought to be wanted is pernicious. Children don’t exist to fulfill our desires. They aren’t items we pick up from the store. As Christians, children aren’t to be wanted – they are to be welcomed. And yes, I know that this is the rhetoric of the anti-contraception Catholic church, which I do not agree with. But I think that there is truth in the idea that we do not have a right to complete control over our lives. There will always be the unexpected – sickness, storms, other human beings. We need to be open, humble and flexible enough to allow for the unexpected in our lives.

    My youngest daughter is 3 now. And of course, she is delightful and I love her. It has been a huge sacrifice to start all over with a new child. But what is the Christian life, properly understood, other than a life lived sacrificially for others. And OF COURSE, my kids would find the idea that having another little sister deprived them of anything bizarre. Sure there were times when I couldn’t jump up and meet their desires because I was busy taking care of her. But even children aren’t so selfish as to see this as an unfair intrusion on their family! They love her, have been excited to have her and see the whole thing as a boon to the family. As well they should. I would be ashamed to have raised terrible human beings if they felt otherwise, frankly.

    Whether the law allows women in your position to obtain an abortion or not is hardly the concern here for me. That a person would be so closed off to the idea of the unexpected interrupting our own plans and desires is what is alarming to me.

    • TiffanyinTexas

      You can sacrifice your life….does your god give you the right to sacrifice other people’s lives? Did Jesus tell you to go out and force the church on other people or did he tell you to look at the sin in your own life and change your own life so that you could be a beacon to bring others to him.

      • Rebecca Trotter

        Tiffany if you actually, you know, READ what I wrote, you will notice that I said I am not so concerned with the law as I am with the attitude expressed here. When I have read similar arguments by those who make no claim follow Christ I think it’s sad. But to read this article on a Christian site demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding about the nature of the Christian walk. This isn’t about my church or forcing anything on anyone. It’s about following Jesus’s call to go e up our own lives in service to others. It’s one thing for a Christian to struggle with this or even fall and fail. But there was none of that struggle in this article. As someone who has lived with the consequences of letting go of my desires and plans when life throws me an unwanted curve ball, I have nothing but empathy for another who is struggling with the cost of following Jeses. But I didn’t detect any struggle in the author’s words so I pushed back a bit. I’m sorry you found my message so terribly I intolerable.

    • Sandrilene

      But something is only a sacrifice if you have a choice.
      If a woman doesn’t have an abortion because abortion is forbidden she’s not being self-sacrificial, she’s just doing what she has to do.
      If you do not have the freedom to choose otherwise self-sacrifice is meaningless.

    • fiona64

      That was your choice. Another woman in identical circumstances need not make the same one.

  • bluefuse

    give it up for adoption? then it’s only a 9 month commitment instead of 18 yrs.

    • Yeah, like its that easy….for many women its a more horrible choice to make.

      • Adoption can be an incredibly difficult choice but what is in the best interest of the child?

        • When you’ve faced that choice yourself, let me know.

          • I do know that there are significantly more women in counseling dealing with post-abortion issues than dealing with the choice to place their child for adoption. One is a choice for life and one is a choice for death.

          • Don M. Burrows

            No, you don’t “know” that. You’ve been told that.

          • Don, I know that through my work in the mental health community, the church, professional counseling world, and meeting women on both sides. My experience is my experience I concede and may not reflect absolute fact.

          • Don M. Burrows

            Good, thanks for clarifying. The women in your circles, especially if they’re affiliated with a church telling them abortion in murder, may well undergo some mental stress when choosing that option. One might wonder what, precisely, is the source of that stress, however.

          • Don M. Burrows

            This has been fun, but I’m heading out for the afternoon. I have, as I said before, actual children who have been born to take care of. As you well know, they are a time and energy drain, so I won’t be back. Good luck and God bless.

          • Don – thanks for the dialogue! God bless.

          • goatini

            Oh, so you’re a stalker and harasser who attempts to obstruct access to women’s reproductive health facilities. Get this straight – you are not and will never be a “counselor” of any kind. You’re nothing more than a cheap, aggressive salesman of institutionalized theocratic misogyny.

          • aspromised

            FAIL no, that is false.

          • mindy

            False, Jason. Or, should I say – please show me statistics about who is in therapy for what. Because you can’t.

          • goatini

            That is completely false. It’s quite well documented that women with pregnancies that were unwanted, who surrender for adoption, suffer significantly more severe and enduring mental health issues, than do women who were able to secure, with dignity, a safe, legal pregnancy termination.

          • fiona64

            I do know that there are significantly more women in counseling dealing
            with post-abortion issues than dealing with the choice to place their
            child for adoption.

            Citation needed. Thanks in advance.

        • Sue Dee

          I was adopted and abused, so that was not an option when facing an unwanted pregnancy. There are worse things than dying.

        • What is in the best interest of the woman who is pregnant? What are the ramifications for whichever decision she makes, long and short term? Which one is best for her on all counts?

          Who is best suited to answer such questions? Only one, the woman. And even if she makes what seems like the right choice, its still a high stakes gamble.

          Which is why, we need yo be supportive and respectful no matter what.

          Unless one has honestly faced those three options, and none of them look good, one cannot really understand how big a gamble it is.

          • I hear the argument for the complexity and ramifications of the decision but if you believe that there is a child in question (unborn) then there are two persons to consider. And though there are massive ramifications both persons must be protected.

            How would you respond if a woman killed her 1 year old child instead of placing him for adoption because of the ramifications of being a parent, etc.? You would do everything to stop her! You would protect that child. The unborn child is in no different position other than location.

          • There is a huge difference between a life for that breathes, eliminates waste and obtains nutrients all from and at the expense of the host/pregnant person. For just over half its time there, life on he outside cant happen. A few weeks after, yes, but not without serious outside help.

            A one year old can breath in its own, doesnt need a biological tether to gain nutrients or eliminate waste, is sentient, showing clear signs of cognizant thinking.

            One can grow into the other, if everything works out so it happens. But they are not the same, so the comparison cannot work. They are different life forms

          • I still can’t see how those factors make the unborn child non-human and liable to kill.

          • Viability and sentience. But as has already been mentioned this is am ethics issue. Ethics often differs from culture to culture individual to individual. We should hold true to our own person ethics and walk very cautiously around other’s.

            I’ve read some excellent work on this. One involved where families had to choose which ones to take with them on migrations to surivie the winter. Babies the sick and the old were the logical choices. Take them along and risk more dying. It was choices indigenous people had to face. We think it cruel and barbaric. It doesn’t fit our ethics. They looked only to keep as many alive as possible, even if it meant giving up o e or two.

          • That is what is scary because if we believe ethics are determined by culture then we have to admit, though barbaric, the holocaust was ok for that culture. For them Jews had to be killed for the Aryan race to survive. It doesn’t fit our ethics…not because we are of a different culture but because it is morally unethical. Taking another human life is never ethical.

            If you argue that viability and sentience make someone more or less of a person with rights to life, that has huge implications and a very slippery slope.

          • Good lord, the nazi argument? First of all the holocaust was not ok for that culture. It was the horrific decision of a few very evil people, not the nation as a whole. That a nation was lied to, misused and ultimately, horribly betrayed by those people shows that the ethics of a few, weighed negatively on the many. We should learn well, never to trust blindly.

            To make the holocaust a comparison to abortion, suggests ignorance on either. That women have tried to prevent pregnancies for as long as there have been pregnancies, that women have tried to terminate them, that sometimes the choice was to abandon an infant to the elements for a variety of reasons in human history, attempt to compare it to a crazed former German chancellor and his minions is weak….very weak.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Re: “Taking another human life is never ethical.”


            Re: “viability and sentience make someone more or less of a person with rights to life, that has huge implications and a very slippery slope.”

            Medical Ethics wrestles with these issues. We have people we can keep alive, but who are not sentient; and likewise we have sentient people who are not independently viable whom we can maintain on life support. Removing someone from life support has been deemed ethical; removing nutrition and hydration from a comatose person has met mixed reviews. Not everyone agrees. Many factors play a role in these decisions.

          • The same with physician assisted suicide. I am sympathetic somewhat with that choice for a patient, if they choose, if they are terminal, and if their pain is only going to increase. It is their life, and should be their choice whether to continue, or to end things on their terms, not the disease that brought them to that point.

            Again that is a debatable ethical matter, with some sound arguments for both sides.

          • So you are against the death penalty?

          • goatini

            There is no such thing as an “unborn child”. You’re not an “undead corpse”.

          • TiffanyinTexas

            A fetus is not a person. If it is born and if it survives leaving the host body then it is a person and gets the Rights of Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness.

            A woman is a person….and not a slave

          • How do you know that a fetus is not a person? What makes it less than a human being? How does the location in the womb make it in-human? A day old baby at birth is dependent on its mother’s body for sustenance and life, it cannot survive on its own. Can I kill that child?

          • TiffanyinTexas

            Actually, a day old baby can survive for quite some time sitting on a table in the middle of a room. Then it can be cared for by anyone who walks by and wants to feed it. A 20-week-old fetus cannot survive at all outside the female host.

            We are a pragmatic nation. We could all pay higher taxes and make sure that all children had equal educational, nutritional, and safety outcomes. But we as a Nation believe in individuality and the right of a person to control their property.

            In the same way, better to err on the side of liberty for a woman who is both a citizen and a person rather than take the side of a fetus which is clearly not a person and has never been a person anymore than an egg or sperm is a person–even though under the right conditions they can develop into people. Control of your body is a basic freedom which slaves do not have.

            I do know that a woman is a person and she has the right to control her body or she is the slave of the person who does have that right.

          • How do you know a fetus is not a person? What defines personhood?

            Do you agree with abortion after 24 weeks?

          • TiffanyinTexas

            I believe that a woman and her doctor are the best judges of whether an abortion should occur after 24 weeks….not an elected official or the majority mob.

            At sometime in the future we as humans will have to decide what is a “person” because that term will be expanded to include computers that think and possibly animals when technology reaches the level where they can communicate or even extraterrestrial beings. For now a person comes into being when it is born. And, until it reaches the age of accountability (18 right now) all of its life or death decisions are made by parents.

          • After 24 weeks, the choices would be much narrower, and almost certainly medical. That the child has zero chance of viability, or in a case where the life of the mother is in real peril. Such cases are thankfully rare, yet in such cases, keeping them an option may be allowable.

            that women are still dying daily from pregnancy related complications in the US is something we need to take seriously. Our pregnancy mortality rate is higher than other nations. Our rates are double than the UK or Bulgaria most of Western Europe. Even Singapore has fewer pregnant women dying than we do. Statistics on this is fascinating. .

            A post 24 week abortion is a choice between a woman and her doctor, and limiting it to saving her life, should certainly be on the table.

          • aspromised

            Maybe you should pick a question.
            If you knew much about biology you would know an early-term fetus is not “a person”.

          • fiona64

            What defines personhood?



          • AtalantaBethulia

            Re: “What makes it less than a human being?”

            Many people would reason that the answer to that question is its lack of sentience.

          • Vickie Gentry

            That born child most certainly CAN survive without its mother. That born child can be fed and cared for by human beings that don’t even have a uterus, believe it or not! It can lay in a cot and dispose of its own waste and it can breathe with its own lungs and it can digest its own milk…all completely detached from any other human being! A nonviable fetus can NOT do any of those things and the moment it is severed from the female’s body it will not survive. Very different.

          • mindy

            oooh, Jasonnn . . . . . NOT. A. CHILD. Cells. No cognition, no desires, no wants. Clump of cells. A one-yr.-old? Hell, yes, I’d jump in front of a bus. But not a clump of cells. BIG DIFFERENCE.

        • barrina

          If I were to get pregnant and carry out another baby to term, I would more than likely go past post-partum depression. Each time that I have had a baby, my PPD was worse than the last one-3 pregnancies, 3 PPDs. I am terrified that if I ever got pregnant again I would pull an Andrea Yates.

          In that case, in the interest of the children both inside and out of my body, as well as my husband and the well-being of the community, it would be best if I terminated the pregnancy as soon as it was found out.

        • mindy

          Jason, if you carry a baby to term and decide you can’t parent, then yes, adoption is in the best interests of the child. But a clump of cells, again, is not a child. It has the potential to become a child, but it is not a child. And I’m saying this as an adoptive parent. I wouldn’t wish relinquishment on anyone. Adoption is not some panacea that makes everyone happy.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            It’s more of a “basic definition of life written into the DNA of every species we know about” thing, of which Genesis 1:28 is but an interpretation.

            Like I said, 2000 years of history debating this stuff gives a rather unique perspective that moral relativists, working within a single generation, can’t really match.

          • mindy

            2000 years, only the most recent of which have given way to any real understanding of what goes on inside a woman’s body during pregnancy. And we know now that those clumps of cells aren’t teeny tiny babies. Nor are the zygotes that are flushed away – far more than are ever born, with women’s monthly cycles. As for being a “moral relativist,” that’s nonsense. Simply because one is intelligent enough to understand that very few “rules” can be applied in black and white fashion to every single human does not make one only “relatively moral.” Actually, I believe it shows that one is far more ethical, compassionate and empathetic – but if it makes you feel better, you keep using those outdated labels.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            So they’re what, a whale?

            Doesn’t matter if God uses the woman’s body to flush away a non-viable human being. Does matter if we take action to directly harm the mother in such a way that it kills the child within.

            And yes, you’re a moral relativist you think that there aren’t any rules- that’s kind of the very *definition* of moral relativism. Especially if you feel that being morally relativistic is ” far more ethical, compassionate and empathetic “.

            As an autistic, I recognize that last as the myth it is.

          • mindy

            Theodore, your autism, at wherever you are on the spectrum, doesn’t excuse your brick-headed unwillingness to consider any other point of view than your own. You are a MAN. NOT a woman, and that, in and of itself, takes you out of this discussion. NOT. YOUR. CHOICE. NOT. YOUR. DECISION.

            The vast majority of zygotes that are dispelled by menstruation would not have been “non-viable” if they’d been able to attach to the uterine wall. So God’s not using the menstrual cycle as some kind of safety net, preserving the species. No.

            I said that the clump of cells is not a child. How does that make it a whale? It is the beginning stage of a human. But it is not a human being. It is human, with the potential to become a sentient being, but it is not.

            As far as moral relativity, I never said there were no rules. I really wish you’d respond to what I actually say, rather than what you try to say I said.

    • TiffanyinTexas

      The only people lower on the social hierarchy than child molesters are grown women who give up their children or lose them in a custody battle. What is your first thought when you hear that a woman lost her kids in a custody suit….”eww, how bad must she be to not be given her kids”.

      Imagine telling Little Billy that you are going to give away his sibling. Wonder how long before the nightmares go away that you are going to give him up as well.

      It’s not just the 18 years afterwards. Its the toll the pregnancy takes on your body, your energy level, your finances for medical care, etc.

    • Actually, as someone who has given up a kid for adoption, I think you are full of shit for asserting what women should do with their bodies. That is a personal choice for women to make, not for you to make.

      1) you do not seem to understand, that you cannot give another human as much trust than as to legally trust them to raise your offspring. If anything happened bad to my birthdaughter, I could never forgive myself.

      2) you’re assuming that there are endless couples waiting to adopt kids. If you have a perfectly healthy white newborn, then yes, you might be in luck. Special needs? Black? Good luck with that. Because of the high special needs risk, there was only one real option of a family to choose from in my case. I consider myself lucky. Many kids are just foisted into the foster care system though, and to pretend that every kid is going to be adopted is like spitting in the face of those who aren’t.

      3) you are also assuming that a woman’s insurance will cover the pregnancy. I went on Medicaid because my insurance I had then said “no way”.

      4) the ridiculousness of explaining to siblings that you are giving away their sibling. Other people have already touched on that, and it would probably give the adopted kid an abandonment complex to feel like because they were last that they were not wanted.

      5) pregnancy hampers a woman’s life. It affects productivity, it is risky, and in the OP’s case, it would be riskier than it already is because of her advanced maternal age.

      6) not everyone can feel okay with giving a kid up for adoption, I have been in circles of birthmother groups, buddy systems that I found to help me cope with it all, and you would be surprised how many people back out of it. Many people don’t even consider it a possibility to go through as a result and would rather not get attached to begin with.

      7) with the dumb idiot below who claims that people who abort need more counseling than people who place, PROVE IT. I say this because the agency I went through automatically provided counseling. So it’s very possible that point is moot since counseling for birthparents may very well already be provided for in many instances.

    • Vickie Gentry

      Because pregnancy and childbirth is a walk in the park and women (aka walking uteri) can just pop out babies whenever they want without any difficulty or problem…right? Wow…the level of ignorance embodied by your post is mind boggling.

  • Peter Hardy

    1. ” people who use abortion as a cheap and easy fix for their irresponsible behavior are presenting symptoms of much deeper societal ills than are represented by the fact that safe and legal abortions are available to them.” – Absolutely agree there. Before we can be serious about completely eradicating such abortion we need a radical reorganisation of society.

    2. “nobody wants ‘help’ they never asked for” – This is confused. For one example, the western women who used to be controlled by a totalitarian patriarchy were obviously very thankful when they gained some liberation, even though they had often been completely oblivious to their own exploitation.

    3. Disagreeing with another’s wishes doesn’t require that they are misunderstood or disrespected. Ultimately, no-one’s wants and desires, no-one’s life plan, however well-intentioned or responsible, is decisive in making something right.

    4. “Should the potential of the embryo inside me to grow into a human being and be born…” This article is an exercise in missing the point: by then it’s already a human being. That’s a biological fact. Consult any embryology textbook. His or her right to life is protected under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states that no one can attempt to re-designate certain classes of humans as not having the right to life.

  • Juli Claussen

    Thank you for this. You have articulated my own position quite well.

  • Lisa Ford Berry

    I am pro choice and always have been and completely get the point of the article. She is right on so many fronts – based on all of her points invest in a vasectomy or tubeligation and call it good. If you don’t want to get pregnant then don’t.

    • TiffanyinTexas

      No. Because at some point she or her husband might want to have a child and those methods in addition to being invasive with all the potential risks of surgery, are permanent.

      • And what’s wrong with making a choice and ensuring it can be held true?

    • crediblefriend

      And what if she gets pregnant after her husband has a vasectomy, like I did?

      • Marie Nailliieux

        Apparently you didn’t follow the doctors orders, your actions were not conducive to thoughtful birth control

        • Stephen Jackson

          and apparently you don’t understand the basic premise of medical procedures like vasectomies…. it’s not 100% foolproof, regardless of “following orders.” Stop judging and go learn some facts…

        • Wrong. I know a woman who got pregnant 2 years after her husband’s vasectomy. And yes, it was his. They tested.

          • Marie Nailliieux

            I didn’t say, you can’t get pregnant after a vasectomy. I said she didn’t follow the doctors orders. You know a check up after the procedure to make sure the procedure worked. Sounds like your friends husband didn’t want to go back to the doctor and do his thing in a cup. What an idiot!

          • Nope. They had the 6 week and 6 month tests done.

            I’ll be waiting for your apology.

          • Wrong. Again, you’re wrong. My friend’s husband did go back. At 6 weeks and 6 months. Cleared. 2 years later, she was pregnant. So, shove your sanctimony.

          • Marie Nailliieux

            Has noting to do with sanctimony!

        • fiona64

          Even surgical sterilizations can and do fail … even if you follow instructions to the letter.

    • Lisa Ford Berry

      I am responding to the point of the argument which is she does not want any additional children. Make a decision one way or the other, and own that decision. Abortion is legal and she has the means to pay for it. Nothing is stopping her she is not dependent upon someone else. What I find irritating is this idea you don’t want a child but don’t take means not to have one.

  • bryanbliss

    Personally, I am pro-life–which means I’m anti-death penalty, pro-welfare, and politically pro-choice. Because the only life involved isn’t that of the fetus, yes? I have to assume that the rest of my pro-life friends are also so inclined.

    • Leslie Marbach

      You would hope, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

    • well-said!

  • charlesmaynes

    As a “pro-lifer” and member of UC, the point that I think is missed in this discussion is the one of late term abortion- at what point is a life INSIDE the womb, have the same right to life as one OUTSIDE the womb? If doctors are killing (lets be real here) a viable fetus, is that not murder? because it would be if the fetus were outside the womb…. I am all for contraception, and I frankly don’t believe that abortion should be dictate one way or the other (China) by the government- but if we have legal murder- which late term abortion is- in essence it is no different than the death penalty for a criminal- except in the case of the fetus, it committed no crime. I also dont like the idea of people (ie doctors) violating their Hippocratic oath in doing that work.

    • bryanbliss

      But… is anybody talking about late term abortions here? Plus, if you really want to engage in a discussion, using words like “killing” and “murder” are unhelpful.

      • charlesmaynes

        abortion includes that (late term abortion) doesnt it? or did I somehow miss something… at what point does abortion become universally impermissible? I can only think that it would be when the mothers life would be in danger due to it- whether its “constructive” is a stupid thing to say- it is what it is- “we” need to own that and not whitewash it like it is a cosmetic surgery. As I said in my original post- I think that the government has no place in the decision. But that doesn’t make it somehow morally neutral. It is an event that has consequences, and the sooner we look at at in that realm the sooner we can actually have a “constructive” conversation about it.

        • AtalantaBethulia

          Re: “abortion includes that (late term abortion) doesnt it?”

          Not apparently as much as people think.

          Re: “at what point does abortion become universally impermissible?”

          It varies from state to state and hovers around the point of viability between 20 and 24 weeks. After that point it is restricted to very limited reasons that includes the woman having a life-threatening condition or the fetus having developmental abnormalities. According to the Guttmacher Institute this accounts for 1.5% of all abortions performed in the U.S. (Those performed after 21 weeks). 88% are performed prior to 10 weeks. Reference:

          To what are you referring?

          • charlesmaynes

            as the Gosnell case showed, late term abortion is still something that happens in this country- in that case it was blatantly illegal but still happened anyway… He also had a facility that did “regular” abortions- but the law obviously didnt mean much for those individuals who asked for those service. And just so its clear- I am not against abortion rights- just that there seems to be no real consensus as to when the point of no return is.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Re: “just that there seems to be no real consensus as to when the point of no return is.”


            Gosnell was a lawbreaker, a criminal. He was unethical – the exception, not the rule. Your initial comment included: “the point that I think is missed in this discussion is the one of late term abortion- at what point is a life INSIDE the womb, have the same right to life as one OUTSIDE the womb”

            That answer has been given via ethicists and legislation, and it is the point of viability.

          • charlesmaynes

            the point of viability is a continuum it seems- at least in the broader discussion- I guess there are simply lots more questions than answers, because even in the Gosnell case, it seemed abortion rights activists were basically silent in the matter- I heard very little talk from that quarter speaking on the illegality of the actions he did, and a lot about how abortion rights must be preserved…. And there have certainly been discussions regarding the ethics of post birth termination as well. so to assume absolutes on the manner is not really very sustainable.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            You’re right it is a continuum.

          • Vickie Gentry

            The Gosnell case is a prime example of why abortion MUST be legal, safe, obtainable, and available for women. It is desperation that sends women to people like Gosnell. You might not have been privy to the huge outcry of disgust and horror felt by those of us in the “pro-choice/every child a wanted child” camp, but Gosnell is a huge reason why women absolutely MUST have access to high quality physicians performing medical procedures including abortions in a clinical setting that ensures the health and well being of the woman and that these procedures are done properly and appropriately. Gosnell is a sick, twisted, butcher and deserves to rot for what he has done.

          • charlesmaynes

            Gosnell was a licensed legal abortion provider…. he did “legal” abortion as a regular part of his practice…. I can only imagine that he was seen as legitimate businessman until the revelations of his actions he was convicted for. As to having “high quality” services- it seems that the providers themselves are coming under governmental pressure as to their facilities already- which means that even “legal” abortions are performed in, in some cases, seriously dangerous facilities. The question is- is it is the public’s responsibility to pay for a procedure which is largely preventable- as most abortions are NOT from rape or incest- but from consenting sexual relations- it would be akin to the public having an obligation for treating other elective medical conditions such as drug or alcohol abuse. right?

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Gosnell was the exception, not the rule. He was a criminal and did not meet the standard of ethics that defines and pervades the field of medicine.

            Re: “The question is- is it is the public’s responsibility to pay for a procedure which is largely preventable-”

            They don’t. The public does not “pay for abortions” accept in the cases of women who are medicaid recipients whose pregnancy has resulted from rape or incest – which they have to prove.

            What does make sense is for public funds to be used for accurate sex and health education, affordable and widely available contraceptives and preventative health services. This is what makes sense. This is what reduces unintended pregnancy and by extension abortion.

          • charlesmaynes

            the point on Gosnell and the “there needs to be abortion rights” argument is simply difficult logic- Gosnell WAS a licensed abortion provider, he chose to do abortions that were illegal in his licensed facility…. so as I said, the logic of combining the two is not sound. I think everyone will agree that he AND his staff acted unethically, at least according to the governments standards- but we cannot argue that the standards per-se disallowed such services…. the public funding note was on where we add “woman should have adequate facilities for such services”- well, it seems many licensed abortion providers are working in inadequite facilities and some are choosing to close due to them not being either able, or willing to install required medical equipment (as I understand) therein lies the notion of “should the government provide or otherwise make allowances” for these providers (like Planned Parenthood) to do abortions in office spaces…. in the case of Gosnell medical practice, the conditions were reportedly horrible, yet he did hundreds of abortions without interference from the state medical board…. who is to blame for that? As to the state providing funding for preventitive care and education- I agree- thats a reasonable expectation- however, at what point would those services be limited? The state surely should educate youth that sex is a restricted activity (because underage consenting coital relations may be prosecuted as statuatory rape) does it make sense for the state to provide birth control to minors? it would be akin to them (on a histrionic level) providing rolling papers and bongs while still prosecuting marijuana usage…

          • AtalantaBethulia

            In what states are there laws classifying two mutually consenting underage parties as statutory rape? Because, correct me if I’m wrong, my understanding of statutory rape is in circumstances where one party is underage and the other one is not.

            So, it seems to me your premise is a false one.

            Health Departments are in the business of promoting health. The church and parents are in the business of teaching children to make good decisions and develop moral behavior. Part of making good decisions is making informed and wise decisions about your health. It’s fine to teach your children about abstinence. The state’s job is to provide comprehensive health education – not limited health education.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Do they prosecute minors in these states for having sex with each other, and are there PSAs about sex being illegal for this age group?

          • charlesmaynes

            I am sure it varies- but the laws nonetheless exist. As to PSA’s… I have no idea- you cant do PSA’s for every law that effects various people groups- I am sure showing kids getting VD or AIDS /HIV wouldnt be something most people would want to see.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            “By providing women the contraception they need to avoid pregnancies they don’t want, publicly funded contraceptive services yielded savings of $10.5 billion, or $5.68 for every $1 spent.” – Guttmacher Institute


          • charlesmaynes

            Gosnell was a licensed abortion provider- it was his day job…. I did see an interesting post from the LA sheriffs department that I thought was germaine though- it stated that a woman and an unborn child were killed in a hit and run traffic accident- The question is, if a fetus that is within the window of acceptable abortion is somehow a “non-person”, if it is killed outside an abortion clinic, should it be considered a crime? Or would that be a double standard?

          • Gert

            Exactly Atalanta and he likely would have done so regardless of the legalities period.

  • MelloMike

    I’m so glad you asked all of your questions the way that you did. The answer to all of them is “Yes”.

    • Not “the answer” but rather “your answer.”

      • TheodoreSeeber

        Should I have posted one of the links to Stanford Nutting’s Church of WhatEver here too? You sound like an Orthodox, er, Heterodox (not heterosexual) member of that agust non-organization (because, after all, organizations are so JUDGEMENTAL of others!)

        • I’m not going to pretend to understand what you’re trying to say.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            I am on my phone, or I would post a more direct link, but a visit to and click on any picture of a man wearing a multicolored puzzle sweater will clear it right up.

          • Right. But do you have a point?

          • TheodoreSeeber

            Only that when morality is relative, morality is destroyed. Without a common morality, civilization itself can’t actually exist.

            This ought to explain a lot (MUCH more direct link):

            And in case the embedding code didn’t work:


          • Who said anything about moral relativity?

          • TheodoreSeeber

            You did: “Not “the answer” but rather “your answer.””

            The idea that there *could* be multiple right answers in a matter of human-caused death is moral relativism.

          • I didn’t say that there are multiple right answers. If I ask “what’s 2+2?” and you say “the answer is 5” you’ve given your answer. But I’m pretty confident that I could make a convincing case that it’s not “the answer.”

            The problem with the comment I originally responded to, and with many of the comments here, is that many people seem to know, with absolute certainty, precisely what the right answer is. The fact that some of these “right” answers disagree with each other doesn’t mean that there’s no absolute grounding for morality, but rather that our perceptions and understandings are incomplete and entirely fallible. In light of that fact it seems wise to acknowledge that perhaps our “right answers” are not as absolutely certain as we sometimes portray them to be and that we are not always in a reliable position to judge the moral decisions of others.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            Thus my reference to Stanford Nutting, who Stands for Nothing. Without a common morality, we might as well have no morality. Unless there is a single right answer to these questions, fallible and incomplete understandings are functionally the same as no absolute grounding for morality at all.

            The sexual revolution came starting with the Lambeth Conference, and destroyed the logical link between sex and procreation. The problem is, though, theologians can’t guarantee that birth control will work. The line of reasoning given in the above- especially the use of contraception in marriage- is faulty reasoning based on moral relativity from the start, it is putting material wealth above family as a value. Of course such a couple will consider abortion for the “mistake” when the birth control fails- because they’ve already determined that three is enough and they don’t need or want a fourth, regardless of what God and Nature say.

            Anybody who actually valued the family, and valued human life, the answer would be obvious; of course the fourth child is more valuable than all of the family’s material possessions combined, and the love from a 4th sibling, while not exactly replacing a parent’s love, is potentially valuable even after the parents are dead, so even a late-in-life pregnancy is worth the risks.

            It’s just a matter of what you value more- kids or things. And if the answer is things, then I’d say you’re already being a bad parent, regardless of what material wealth you’ve provided the other three with.

          • Having disagreements on moral issues isn’t at all the same as having no moral grounding whatsoever! Generally speaking, most people share a great deal of common moral understanding. That we disagree and struggle with some areas doesn’t mean that we should throw up our hands and and declare “It’s all relative!” nor does it mean that we should dogmatically dig in to our positions and refuse to consider other understandings.

            You have an awful lot to say about your perceptions of the author’s values, but you reduce it to a binary conclusion that I’m sure she doesn’t share: “kids or things.” You do realize she has a fundamentally different understanding of the situation? That she’s weighing and categorizing and evaluating things differently than you? That she isn’t basing her reasoning on moral relativity as you claim, rather, she’s asking you to acknowledge the complexities of a difficult situation and respect her right to make challenging moral choices as best she can.

            Why do you think that you’re in a better position to make moral judgments about the situation than the author?

          • TheodoreSeeber

            Difficult situations are *created* by moral relativity. Every time I think I’m in a difficult situation, it is because I’m being morally relative.

            Most of the time, complexity is all in our imagination. I understand why she thinks that the situation is “complex”- she’s trying to balance three existing children and a husband and being a stay at home mother in a relatively wealthy (well, compared to the rest of the world, ALL Americans are relatively wealthy) class with a failure of contraception leading to an unexpected pregnancy.

            I’m saying that the problem lies not in the pregnancy, not in the complexity of the situation- but in her basic assumption in the nearly throwaway line ” I use birth control.” The assumption that she and her husband *should* be allowed to control the beginning of life, instead of give up that control to God, is what causes *all* of the other complexity.

            It isn’t even Christian theology that tells me this. It is basic Zen. Wherever suffering exists, a portion of that suffering can be attributed to a desire that doesn’t fit reality.

            So yes, my disagreement with her is on a *very* fundamental level; it’s on her desire to take control of her and her husband’s procreation and cut God out of the loop entirely.

            To claim that the fundamental error in assumption does not, or should not, exist, is indeed being morally relative.

          • I’m glad that you have such perfect moral perception that complex, ambiguous and challenging moral issues simply fade into irrelevancy when subjected to your wisdom. We should appoint you king and then we wouldn’t need to have discussions like this anymore. You could simply tell us all how to make our desires fit reality and then human suffering would cease.

            We have (God-given) control over all sorts of aspects of our bodies, our surroundings and our lives. Excising that control isn’t inherently wrong, nor does it necessarily stand against God and/or Nature. God has given us the ability to procreate. We can choose to do so … or we can choose not to. Each choice has implications, but neither is inherently right or wrong, nor does it mean that you’re “cut[ting] God out of the loop entirely.”

          • TheodoreSeeber

            No need to appoint me king. Christ already sits on that throne and Pope Francis is his Vicar- and much as modernists and postmodernists like to ignore it, the reasoning of 2000 years of this teaching is freely available to all. The Catholic Church already has a wide and deep body of knowledge surrounding matching desire with reality; all one needs do is look at it.

            God didn’t just give us the ability to procreate. God gave us the POSITIVE DUTY to procreate. Choosing to shirk that duty has significant implications, and most certainly is cutting God out of the loop entirely.

          • I guess the next time I have a moral question I’ll call the Pope…

            “God gave us the POSITIVE DUTY to procreate.” Really? Is this a Genesis 1.28 thing? A text that is neither a command, nor specifically addressed to us?

          • mindy

   What to do here, Theodore? Family? Not a family? What would you do about these sweet babies?

          • TheodoreSeeber

            I’ll raise you what a man actually raised by lesbians says:

          • Gert

            I don’t think he grasps she might be deciding between kids and homelessness or kids and her job or kids or her physical health.

            It’s really easy for folks to just assume everyone has an endless pit of money and resources to draw upon. The fact that this is nothing like actual reality has nothing to do with their ‘morality’ so long as the parasite has a chance to live in poverty with the other sinner’s kids.

  • The vehemence of these comments is astounding. So many people know with absolute certainty exactly what another person should do in circumstances they will likely never face and with considerations they probably don’t fully understand. Why do your wishes and desires trump those of the author? Why is your ability to weigh and decide such matters superior to that of the person who’s life is so deeply affected by the situation?

    • Leslie Marbach

      Their opinions don’t matter. They are absolutely incapable of understanding that there are situations where abortion truly is the best option. And yet they call the author selfish.

      • I’m inclined to think that abortion is rarely (if ever?) “the best option.” But that certainly doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be an option at all — especially when I’m not the one making the decision!

        • Gert

          The baby will die either way. The mom was raped. The mom is a victim of incest. The mom will die if she carries to term. The mom cannot support another mouth to feed. The mom will likely end up on public assistance by having a child. The mom has psychological problems. The mom does not WANT children.

          EVERY one of those is a best option for abortion. Period.

          When your body is involved, you may decide about the fate of that body. Otherwise it is the decision of the person who’s body is directly affected. The pregnant woman’s.

          I see by your avatar you are not an actual woman which means there is only ONE woman you even have a say in this about and that is a woman you impregnate and even then, ultimately it is her decision based on what is best for HER what she does with HER body.

          Otherwise I suggest you have your equipment removed and be a eunuch and take yourself entirely out of the equation.

  • Neil D. Cowling

    I don’t think my mother wanted me either, though she once said otherwise. She was 43 when I was born as part of the birthday blip nine months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, conceived, I suppose, as my parents, and many others sought solace with each other in the radically uncertain world of WW2. Unwanted, I was nevertheless welcomed, their fourth child. I was her 5th pregnancy, her 5th Rh-factor pregnancy. We all flourished, more or less, and for that I can only be thankful for the life that was given me, a welcomed child.

  • MaryU

    If you don’t want to have another child after having your third child, take the necessary steps to prevent it. Get your tubes tied and have your husband get a vasectomy, or use birth control and have him use condoms. Using one or all of these precautions (although all would be extreme and maybe two would be more acceptable) would greatly decrease the risk of pregnancy. I am not sure why someone who is happily married and has obviously discussed with their significant other the desire not to have more kids wouldn’t just take the necessary, permanent steps towards not having kids. Why is abortion your solution when prevention could have saved you from having your selfish rant about your needs and wants in the first place?

    • AtalantaBethulia

      Re: “Why is abortion your solution when prevention could have saved you from having your selfish rant about your needs and wants in the first place?”

      It’s a hypothetical. She’s using prevention. She’s asking the what if question.

      Why is a woman expressing her feelings – even hypothetically – considered selfish instead of honest?

      • MaryU

        She is selfish because she places her needs and wants above those of an unborn child. Why are her desires and wants more important than a desire to live (the most basic desire or instinct of all living things) by this being that she created?

        • AtalantaBethulia

          Again: It’s a hypothetical.

          She’s asking the reverse: Why is this potential life more important than the lives of her already born family?

          • MaryU

            How is her article not selfish? I, I, I. Me, me, me. What about the child’s desire to live? I never said her needs or wants weren’t important. I am pointing out that she never once considered that the unborn child has needs and desires as well, the desire or need to live. Why is she first and most important? How is this “potential life” (it isn’t potential; if is growing, it is alive) not just as important than the lives of her family?

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Re: “How is this “potential life” (it isn’t potential; if is growing, it is alive) not just as important than the lives of her family?”

            That’s the very essence of this question. It’s why ethicists and philosophers and theologians debate this. As I noted above:

            You wrote: Re: “Why are her desires and wants more important than a desire to live (the most basic desire or instinct of all living things) by this being that she created”

            Many would say that non-sentient beings do not have “a desire to live.”

            Some people see a fertilized egg as equal in importance, having human rights and the moral equivalency of an already live, independent, fully sentient person. Others don’t. Others see this as only potential life – not yet viable and not yet sentient (Self-aware. Not yet having wants and desires or even knowing it exists).

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Here’s some examples of how ethicists might look at this question: Does non-sentient life have more value than sentient life? Why or why not? What life has more value than other life? Why?

            Is it morally wrong to cut down a tree?
            It’s alive.
            Is it morally wrong to kill a dog?
            What about your pet?
            Why does it feel more wrong to kill your pet than it does to cut down a tree?
            Would everyone agree?

            Is it morally wrong to hunt a wolf in the wilderness for sport? for food? for protection? to sell its fur?
            Why or why not?
            Is it morally wrong to step on a bug?

            Why is it not morally wrong to step on a bug but it is to kill your dog?

            Which is more morally wrong: to hunt a wolf for sport or to kill your pet dog? Why?
            Is killing microorganisms in pond water the same as killing a horse? a dolphin? an elephant? an orangutan? Why or why not?

            Is it ok to put down a horse that is lame?

            Is it ok to hunt dolphins and whales for food?
            Why or why not?
            Why is it ok to hunt deer for food but not Chimpanzees?
            Why is it ok to eat farm raised cattle but not your pet dog?

            If for some reason you would otherwise starve, would it be ok to eat your pet dog? Why is it ok now but not before?

            Is it morally wrong to pollute the ocean?

            Would it be morally wrong to pollute the ocean if you knew that by doing so it poisons the food supply for Indigenous people in Northern Canada and they are getting cancer because of it and dying?

            Is the collateral damage of innocent people who are killed in war morally wrong?

            Which is worse: killing your neighbor’s dog or the collateral damage of war?

            Why is killing your neighbor’s dog unthinkable to many people but collateral damage of war is tolerable?

            These are the issues we wrestle with in ethics. Whether we like it or not, humankind does not ascribe to all life equal value.

          • So the needs of a possible life is more important than existing ones? And a fetus has no “desires”, it simply exists, It takes all it needs to grow and develop directly from the mother, before she even realizes that nutrients are being sucked right out of her. A fetus doesn’t think, plan, express desires. Early on, it doesn’t have a brain developed enough to do much of anything but replicate cells. All it does is make more of itself, and continue to suck nutrients. That, if left alone, it has a fair chance of making it down a birth canal, that is if it doesn’t have a system failure and die, or have a complication where the womb will recognize the problem and eject the problem as unviable,

            The woman is first and more important in this because it is her body being used as a parasitical host. Her being willing to go through it all is her choice, as well as the long term effects of having a baby continue to suck nutrients out of her, but in a different fashion until if finally moves out of the house for good. Let women make up their minds what is best for them.

          • Kristen inDallas

            There’s no “possible” about it. Biology defines an individual human life based on unique DNA. That the DNA is replacating is proof of life, that the DNA is different from both the mothers and fathers distiguishes it from some other tissue or clump of cells. There is very little question left in science or medicine whether the developing fetus is a distinct human life.
            The only real question is whether this is a life the law is interested in protecting. A woman’s legal right to abortion is grounded in laws far closer to FL’s stand your ground laws or similar “castle laws” in other states (ie you’re in my space and I don’t want you here so I have the right to violently remove you).

          • If you use that line of thinking then eating an egg is the same as exactly the same as eating a chicken.

          • Kristen inDallas

            Well not being a vegetarian, I don’t really have a problem with eating either. But even then, no, most commercially sold eggs are not fertilized and only carry the DNA of the hen (no rooster involved). So two totally different lines of thinking there.
            Unfertilized egg => menstruation => clump of cells with the same DNA as the femal it is found in.
            Fertilized Egg => unique DNA => unique life.
            This is basically what I’m getting at when I say sex and babies are linked.

          • Vickie Gentry

            It is not like the fetus is simply standing in someone’s front room. The fetus is growing and feeding off of the woman, it is placing its waste directly into her bloodstream for her body to remove and deal with, it is growing and pushing her organs out of the way to make space for itself, it is stretching and damaging her body as it grows and develops, it is forcing her to modify her life and as the pregnancy goes on she will deal with more and more side effects of this other body that is using her body to sustain itself and that other body could not care less about if it will cause permanent damage to the woman that is hosting it or even kill the woman, that other body does not care if the woman will loose her job because she can not continue with her job in her gravid state or if she will die as she goes through the birth process to bring that other body into the world! I have my 2 children and each time me and my child barely survived, I have lost pregnancies as well, my physician told me that I would not survive another pregnancy, point blank. So if I were to fall pregnant does that mean that I do not deserve to live–it is guaranteed that I would fail to carry that pregnancy to term, so bringing that potential life into the world is not even a possibility. My children don’t deserve to have their mother…because a clump of cells came into our lives and stole her away from them? Is that what you are saying? For me, a pregnancy would be less someone standing passively in my front room and more holding a knife to my throat insisting that it is either me or it…and *it* is not even capable of thought.

          • fiona64

            Biology defines an individual human life based on unique DNA.

            Tumors and hydatidform moles have unique DNA. That does not make them fetii … let alone persons.

          • William Colburn

            As said repeatedly, a fertilized egg does not have any desires. It is not even a ‘fetus’ until the 9th week and not a viable ‘human’ fetus until the 20th week at the earliest. Potential is not desire.

          • aspromised

            MaryU – it is NOT a CHILD. She has 3 children.

          • Stephen Jackson

            Interesting that so many of the posts who are critical of the author have to hide behind anonymous postings….

          • mindy

            There is no “desire to live,” as there is no child. Clump of cells does not equal child. Children already born have desires, probably living is first among them, yes. But not a clump of cells. No sentient being. So no desire. So no “rights.”

          • TheodoreSeeber

            if the “clump of cells” has no desire to live, then why should it grow?

          • mindy

            Because the woman responsible for that clump of cells is willing to commit to caring for and raising it to adulthood once it becomes a child. Because its parents are willing to take responsibility for everything it does once it becomes a person. Otherwise, that clump of cells is not the vehicle in which a soul will enter the world.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            Are you thus claiming that without the intent of the parents, the soul- which is *already* in that “clump of cells” won’t grow? Or won’t be allowed to grow?

            There is, after all, a significant distinction between “will not grow on its own” and “will be torn apart by suction machines and removed from the uterus”.

          • mindy

            Theodore, there is no soul in a clump of cells. No way, no how. That is what *I* believe – and you cannot prove otherwise, so don’t try. Don’t Bible-thump me, because nothing in the Bible proves that. In Biblical times, it is unlikely that a woman knew she was pregnant at this stage of the game. You may *believe* it has a soul, but my emphatic belief that you are wrong about that is no less valid. It is a RELIGIOUS BELIEF THAT CANNOT AND MUST NOT BE LEGISLATED. So making abortion illegal on that basis is not only absurd, but unconstitutional.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            No need for anything in the Bible, just in the mitochondria. Haven’t you seen Star Wars Episode I? 🙂 makes about as much sense as the idea that the soul doesn’t come into the body until some random stage of development.

          • Vickie Gentry

            So Star Wars is why women should be forced to give birth? Wow…you are making even less sense as I scroll down the page and I thought that the stuff about sex being a prayer was… startling…

          • Vickie Gentry

            Prove your assertion that there is a soul inside that clump of cells. If you are going to say that your holy book says so, please cite chapter and book and quote said verse and understand that we are in the United States and your religious beliefs do not give you the right to force me to live by them since MY religious beliefs do not state that a clump of cells carries an immortal soul until after that being has drawn a breath and that my religious beliefs indicate that the creator of us all is wise enough to know when a clump of cells is destined to draw a breath and when that clump of cells is not destined to so do since the vast majority of fertilizations end up in spontaneous abortions (also known as a miscarriage) because that is the way that we were designed.

          • fiona64

            Kindly point out the physical location of the soul. I’ll wait.

          • Vickie Gentry

            Cancer grows, it even takes over the host body, I sincerely doubt that anyone would claim that growth equals conscious thought in cancer and that the cancer, by virtue of its ability to grow, indicates that it should be allowed to continue to live and grow!

            I also wonder about your dedication to all creatures that show a demonstrable desire to life (as evidenced by attempts to actively protect itself from harm and engage in activities clearly designed to continue the existence of the organism) including dogs and cats, fish and cows, dolphins and horses, ladybugs and butterflies, fleas and tapeworms and the whole host of organisms that show an even higher level of awareness and desire to continue to survive than a blastocyst or fetus.

          • fiona64

            Pro-tip: a zygote is not a child.

          • Gert

            cancer is also life and is alive, does cancer have rights to your body? I’m going to say you would reply no.

            Just because something is a live does not give it MORE rights than others around it.

        • Why are anyone’s personal needs, and wants considered selfish? Are they your needs or desires? Are they the decisions you’d be making personally? Are you living her life, having to intimately experience the decisions she makes? The answer is of course no, So, unless one fits the criteria of actually being that person, then calling her hypothetical scenario “selfish” suggests arrogance on the part of the ones calling her so

        • AtalantaBethulia

          Re: “Why are her desires and wants more important than a desire to live (the most basic desire or instinct of all living things) by this being that she created”

          Many would say that non-sentient beings do not have “a desire to live.”

        • mindy

          Her needs and wants AND the needs of her children and husband. Yes, she puts all of those above the zygote. Because it has no wants. And its needs do not outweigh those of her other THREE children.

    • William Colburn

      The only fail-safe way not to get pregnant is not to have sex – which would be a rather silly alternative since most folks enter a monogamous relationship for the continued possibility of sex. The above measures, if used, don’t promise a ‘permanent’ 100% guarantee that pregnancy won’t ever occur. By suggesting them as the better alternative are you effectively offering your whole-hearted approval of an abortion if, when used correctly, they still fail to prevent pregnancy?

  • A J MacDonald Jr

    An open reply to an anti-lifer: Why are you anti-life?

    In fact, while the climate of widespread moral uncertainty can in some way be explained by the multiplicity and gravity of today’s social problems, and these can sometimes mitigate the subjective responsibility of individuals, it is no less true that we are confronted by an even larger reality, which can be described as a veritable structure of sin. This reality is characterized by the emergence of a culture which denies solidarity and in many cases takes the form of a veritable “culture of death”. This culture is actively fostered by powerful cultural, economic and political currents which encourage an idea of society excessively concerned with efficiency. Looking at the situation from this point of view, it is possible to speak in a certain sense of a war of the powerful against the weak: a life which would require greater acceptance, love and care is considered useless, or held to be an intolerable burden, and is therefore rejected in one way or another. A person who, because of illness, handicap or, more simply, just by existing, compromises the well-being or life-style of those who are more favoured tends to be looked upon as an enemy to be resisted or eliminated. In this way a kind of “conspiracy against life” is unleashed. This conspiracy involves not only individuals in their personal, family or group relationships, but goes far beyond, to the point of damaging and distorting, at the international level, relations between peoples and States.

    • aspromised


      • I read it twice and came up with the same conclusion…huh?

        • TheodoreSeeber

          I think it can be summed up as “we have a severe lack of generosity here”

      • it’s an international conspiracy!

    • fiona64

      Nutjob, party of one? Your table is ready.

  • Terry Amerine

    Sorry but I can not allow you to simply overlook that this decision ends a life. That life had no choice in the matter either way. If you get pregnant and do not want to raise the child than make the most selfless and loving choice possible and give the child up for adoption. There are many couples who long to give a child their love for a lifetime. Abortion is a selfish choice. Adoption is a selfless choice.

    • Stephen Jackson

      Terry Amerine, If there are truly “so many couples” who long to give a child their love, why do we have so many children in the foster system who will never be placed with a permanent family? Oh.. wait.. you mean “so many couples” who want to give a healthy, WHITE infant their love. Maybe you didn’t think you could type out those words, but that’s really the reality, isn’t it? You and so many other anti-choice crusaders who desperately want to prevent women from having control over their bodies because of your own religious beliefs don’t have the slightest notion of the reality of children put up for adoption in America. An obvious solution would be to allow ANY loving couple to adopt a child, but then, that would have to include those “yucky” gay couples too… after all, a family without a mom and dad is totally incapable of raising a normal healthy child. That’s why we don’t allow single parent households to raise children, right? Or, it’s better for a child NOT to be placed in a loving permanent home if the “family” is an “abomination” in your eyes, right? So… let’s break it down for you. 64% of all children put up for adoption are minorities: 51% are black, 11% are Hispanic, 1% are American Indian, 1% are Asian/Pacific Islander, and 5% are unknown racial origin. Among those who are looking to adopt a child, the most common are childless white women and those with higher levels of income and education. Out of curiosity, what percentage of those do you think adopt black babies? 50%? 30%? 15%? 5%? Surely, among all those women who desperately want to adopt a child to love and care for, it should be a pretty high number, right? After all, all children deserve love and a home, right? The real figures? ONE PERCENT of white women adopt black children, and FIVE PERCENT adopt children of other races. Odd how the math doesn’t add up. The women at the highest level of risk to have an unwanted pregnancy are also the one’s whose children are the LEAST likely to be placed with a family of ANY kind after being put up for adoption. Unless you grew up in the foster and adoption system, you have no right to make sweeping generalizations and platitudes about all of these “many couples” “longing to give a child their love” when there are thousands and thousands of kids who NEVER have a chance to be loved. As a man, I have ZERO right to tell a woman what she can and cannot do with her body, just I I would hope that a woman would refrain from telling me what I am “allowed” to do based on her religious beliefs. How would it sit with you if I demanded that you be stoned to death for wearing pants, talking in church, eating bacon wrapped shrimp or wearing a poly-cotton blended garment? If you should be able to force your beliefs on others, they should have the same right… or, are you too blinded by your self-righteous indignation that someone wants to make their own choices that you’ll never see what a hypocrite you truly are?

      • mindy

        Exactly, Stephen. Exactly.

    • You can’t allow? As if anyone has control over one’s thoughts or reasoning.

    • cooldaddysquid

      Do you oppose increased taxes for programs to support unwanted children put up for adoption? What about gay couples adopting? Sex education in schools to reduce the amount of unwanted teen pregnancy? (Abstinence only education — a ridiculous term — doesn’t work.) These are the kinds of things that eliminate the need for abortion.

    • You know what? Having another child would be ridiculously selfish of me. Not putting myself through the pain of abortion would be horribly selfish (IF I get pregnant, I will abort. I have done everything I can to prevent that, but nothing is 100%). You know why? Because I cannot look after them if I get pregnant. For 5 months, they’d be on their own while I was incapacitated, waiting to birth a kid I don’t want and no one else does either. Because my family has a strong history of various illnesses, and my child would not be adoptable. Oh, and those kids of mine who’d be on their own for 5 months? They have autism. And their under 8 years old. Are YOU going to come look after them while I’m on bed rest, waiting to birth a child no one wants?

      There are MILLIONS of children in foster care. You fix that problem FIRST. FIRST. Then you get to tell women that they’re selfish.

      YOU. ARE. SELFISH. You are the one who can only think of the perfect, healthy child at the end of the woman’s unwanted pregnancy nightmare. You can’t look at the woman who might lose her job, be unable to look after her children. You are the one who can only see the perfect, healthy, white child. Not the child who would be abused in foster care. Not the child who would grow up knowing no one wanted him, or loved her. Hell no. You are the selfish one.


      p.s. I’m an adoptee. I got a good life and good family. I was damned lucky. And I’m damned glad the decision wasn’t forced upon my birth mother. Because it was hard enough for her to do it by choice.

    • mindy

      I find it fascinating that you “cannot allow” anyone to do anything – unless you are speaking to your own children, that’s absurd. Abortion is not, by definition, a selfish choice. Do some people have selfish motives for getting one? Probably. But they are far and away the minority. I have both had an abortion and am an adoptive mom. So I know of whence I speak. Do you? Because adoption is not for everyone, and relinquishing a child is certainly not something every female is capable of doing. If we demand that all women who become pregnant and know they cannot parent carry the pregnancy to term and relinquish, we relegate them to brood-mare status, gestational carriers for childless couples. I’ve seen enough sadness and heartache come out of adoption to know that not all couples SHOULD be parents, and sometimes relinquishing a child can ruin, or end, a mother’s life. Don’t pretend it is so simple.

    • mindy

      OK, Terry, what do you think of this? Should these women, who are parenting three children, two of them facing significant challenges due to drugs and lack of neonatal care, be supported like every other family, so that they can continue being responsible after the selfless love they’ve provided these children? Are they a family, in your world?

    • mindy

      And why, Terry, after people took the time to share their feelings with you, have you not responded? You toss something out there about a topic we have no idea how much you know about – are you adopted? Have you adopted? Have you relinquished a newborn for adoption? – and you just say . . . . nothing. C’mon. Share with us.

    • fiona64

      There are many couples who long to give a child their love for a lifetime.

      Then tell them to get off the damn stick. According to the most recent AFCARS report, there are more than 100K children available for adoption *right this minute.* The majority of those kids will age out of the system without ever having a permanent adoptive home.

      If those “many couples who long to give a child their love for a lifetime” actually existed, none of those kids would be in need of permanent homes.

    • Jennifer Starr

      Lots of kids currently available for adoption here in the US–lots of kids languishing in foster care who would love to have a permanent home but often go without one because people are selfish enough to only want babies.

    • LiberalAria

      Women’s bodies are not the human equivalent of a pet adoption center. Also, there is much light being shed on the emotional and psychological damage suffered by adoptees, as well as women who have given up their children. It is the dirty little secret that pro-lifers (forced-birthers) pretend does not exist.

    • Gert

      Adoption is an ENTIRELY selfish choice. IF you focus on the Christian tenant of giving of oneself and you TAKE someone’s child which adoption most certainly does rather than helping said mother remain with her child, then the selfish person here is you, the adoptive parent. YOU are sacrificing nothing because you WANT that child.

      Next time, try applying logic to your answer.

  • Erin Kathleen Sands

    Anti-choice folks aren’t going to see your position or have compassion for you — nice article though. I only wish that their sense of imperative for doing the right thing extended to themselves with regard for children that are born, the elderly, the disabled, the poor, etc. Perhaps they will someday make these selfless choice themselves: science based reproductive education, universal access to contraception and healthcare, equity for women in the workplace (as examples), these will go a long way to reduce abortion rates.

  • pibaba

    Living life and growing up are damn hard— why are Pro-Lifers obsessed with having everyone experience this often-wonderful, often-horrible thing called life?

    So while I value life and living fully myself, this obsession with protecting fetuses so they can live confuses me; it’s as if ‘living’ is this fairy land of happy that a fetus miss out’ on.

    Living (and living well!) is certainly worth it, but a bringing a new life into this human experience is nothing to take lightly.

  • Eve Fisher

    a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he
    that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom
    he hath not seen?” – there are a lot of people who love the fetus whom they have not seen, while hating the brother/sister whom they have seen.

  • AndyHuff

    “Can you look me in the eyes, and tell me that my desire for all these things, and how hard I’ve worked for them, are less important than the potential clump of cells in my uterus?”

    I do believe that Jesus’s example and teachings would lead to that conclusion. Over and over and over again, he taught that following him would involve sacrifice. He taught that giving was better than receiving. He taught that the heart that gave “all she had to live on” was to be esteemed. And he personally demonstrated a subjugation of his own will multiple times.

    –Matthew 8
    Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” Another disciple said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”

    –Luke 9
    Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”

    –Mark 14
    Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour? Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”

    –Matthew 4
    After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

    Jesus himself went to the cross saying “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”

    The point is, I don’t believe that the Christian life involves elevating “what I want” above much of anything. I will admit that most of us are all pretty bad at holding that kind of selfless attitude. But, the example is there for all to see. It just seems that it is very hard to make the case that – though I am now enabled to give more (to carry and raise this child, in addition to all the sacrifices I already make) – that I should instead give less.

    • Light

      Jesus subjugated his own will out of love and with a 100% free will. That free will to follow or not to follow has been entrusted to us by the universe (and the god who created it.) You would subjugate others, force them into your religion, and the result would not be what God intended. God didn’t force you into a relationship with him, so follow that example.

      • AndyHuff

        And so we agree entirely that he acted in love and free will. The choice that he freely made did result in putting aside the desire of “now”, of self-service, of avoiding his capture and execution.

        I would not personally choose to subjugate anyone. And clearly, “religion” only has meaning to those who want it to. I want people to love God because they think he deserves it. But, I would make the assertion that it is reasonable to offer a specific understanding of Christianity and the Bible to a question raised in a Christian sub-forum of a Christian forum on a religious site.

        And when someone says, vaguely translated, “hey all you pro-lifer (Christians), why do you have to get so hung up on this?”, I respond that it is because we actually believe that “You are not your own; you were bought at a price.” In other words, there is a life that God has intended for each of us, which does not revolve around “what I want”. Following that path by choice is ultimately more peaceful and more fulfilling than the alternatives.

        • AtalantaBethulia

          Re: “I want people to love God because they think he deserves it.”

          I think it would be far more lovely (and theologically sound) if people chose to love God because they knew how deeply God loves them.

      • buildamoat

        That’s definitely not what AndyHuff was saying.

      • TheodoreSeeber

        This discussion is full of opportunities for me to link to my favorite parody of Christianity:

  • Itsrealfunnythat

    If I get pregnant Im having an abortion. No amount of quoting a 2000 year old book is going to change that. Im also not ashamed of myself.

  • Julien Brightside

    Reading these comments reminds me of a quote that went something like:
    “If men could get pregnant, there would be an abortion clinic on every corner.”

    Also, anyone seen the Monthy Python Sketch in “Meaning of LIfe” with the catholic couple? “Every sperm is holy”. Whereas the man sells all of his umtenth children to science.

    Women have been giving birth long before any religion was even a thing and in the end is their choice.

  • TheodoreSeeber

    No, I can’t respect those wishes, those desires. Because they come from a place utterly alien to the radical generosity that Christians are called to.

    In fact, using contraception alone is against generosity.

    But given the rest of the description (children widely spaced, financially stable) that tells me that generosity isn’t even a value for this family.

  • Jeremy Ratzlaff

    Sometimes, responsibilities are placed in our lives. Those responsibilities might be huge and require a lot of time and commitment. We always have a choice to reject those responsibilities, and you can even say you have a RIGHT to reject them. But as Christians, or as ANY type of person, are we more concerned with our legal, individual rights than meeting the responsibilities in our lives? If you are, that’s fine, you’re understandably another product of an increasingly individualistic society. I’m not a ‘pro-lifer’, and I’m not even saying any this about abortion directly. This is a genuine life question, and I tend to become saddened when people use language like, “What about MY rights? What about MY comfort?” Me, me, me, me. Sure, take your rights, exercise them to your heart’s content. Nobody has any reason to get mad at you for that. But I ask this to anyone who is more immediately concerned with their own comfort than taking on a massive new responsibility: are we on this earth just to be as comfortable as possible? Why wouldn’t we go further, trust harder, yearn greater? Responsibilities are gifts. Responsibilities are what make us human, and we have an inherent responsibilities to the human race. We are all connected, born and unborn alike.

    • mindy

      You are not wrong. But when one takes on responsibilities is a private decision.

    • Sally Strange

      That would be a wonderful argument if it weren’t for the fact that so many Christians appear obsessed with forcing other people to shoulder responsibilities which they would not choose to shoulder on their own.

  • Kristen inDallas

    I think you’ll find that your hypothetical argument to be the exact reason why so many pro-lifers (especially Catholics) also see harm in contraceptives. I take the view that we can’t really control much of anything in this life (other than how we choose to react to the events that occur). Products that sell us the illusion that we can plan out our own existance within a little bubble untainted by the rest of the world, generally end in disapointment. Imagine if people were forced to start recognizing the fact that sex and babies are not independent of each other. And that when either sex or a baby is involved, there is never just one person whose wants and desires rule.

    • AtalantaBethulia

      Re: “Products that sell us the illusion that we can plan out our own existance within a little bubble untainted by the rest of the world, generally end in disapointment.”

      You know what would taint my world and cause my life to generally end in disappointment?

      Twelve children, multiple miscarriages, dying in childbirth and, if I survived, abject poverty.

    • Sex and babies are not independent of each other? What exactly does that mean? That they are make some sort of odd menage a trois? That not having a uterus means something is missing from that trifecta? That every time sex occurs a baby is certain to pop out somewhere in approximately 40 weeks? Is that what you mean?

      • TheodoreSeeber

        Since this is a Christian site, I’ll put it in Christian terms for you. Sex is the traditional prayer to bring a new infant into the world. Sometimes the answer to that prayer is yes, sometimes it is no.

        It is blasphemy to say the prayer without being open to the potential consequences of that prayer.

        • in my case, it would have to be an immaculate conception. I had the biological part yanked out a few years ago.

          I get to have sex, for the sheer fun of it, gleefully delighted that there are no offsprings to be a-springing from my non-existent womb.

          But as for sex being a prayer….is that where the saying of “Oh God! Oh God!!” during intercourse comes in?

          • TheodoreSeeber

            What a waste!

            It might be a vestige of it. Never really thought about it. But why would you bother with sex if not for procreation? There are tons of more enjoyable things to do with a spouse and with your time.

          • Oh you poor, poor man. You really don’t know do you?

          • TheodoreSeeber

            I look upon those who live for a transitory biochemical reaction to be rather impoverished. But I guess, that doesn’t fit your definition of diversity.

          • I have no idea how to define what you think.

          • mindy

            I believe Theodore is one of those people who very much enjoys putting others down by insinuating that he is somehow smarter/better and living on some higher plane. He doesn’t need sex, apparently, which, apparently, means he’s better than the “average” Joe.

          • Ella Warnock


          • Sally Strange

            When you think about it, it truly is ludicrous. Consider that even among people who are married and want children, few people want more than, say, two or three kids.

            So, sex without wanting children is blasphemy? That means that the average couple has, at the outside, 6 – 12 opportunities for non-blasphemous sex throughout their entire married life. As for those who don’t want children, well, they are to be denied sex altogether.

            The “sex is a prayer for children and wanting sex without wanting children” is also surely intimately related to anti-gay prejudice, but even if we just look at heterosexual couples, it’s easy to see how oppressive and creepily intrusive this belief is.

          • mindy

            Questions for you. Are you married? Are you a father? Are your children, if you have them, grown?

          • mindy

            Oh dear lord. Theodore, please. You make it sound as if married couples who continue to have sex after they are done making babies are doing something wrong. You make it sound as if that “transitory biochemical reaction” is a bad thing. I don’t recall anyone here saying they “lived for” sex. But an awfully lot of people really enjoy it. And benefit greatly from the intimacy it creates with a spouse. And enjoy being able to provide pleasure – albeit fleeting – to someone they love. And before, during and/or after, they talk and do a gazillion other things that they enjoy, that bring them close. While not having additional, or any, children. If you believe that sex is only for procreation, well, that’s your prerogative. I sincerely hope that if you are married, it is to a person who feels the same way, otherwise, your poor spouse . . .

          • TheodoreSeeber

            I’ve got another friend whose wife recently divorced him- because he got diagnosed with a heart condition that made sex really dangerous for him.

            You can provide a heck of a lot more pleasure with a back scratch or a shoulder rub, than you can with sex. And that’s just in physical intimacy, in mental intimacy, there’s a whole world of other activities outside of the house you can share together.

            If you can’t build intimacy *without sex*, then there’s something seriously wrong.

          • mindy

            Did I say that, Theodore? Please don’t put words in my mouth. Just because sex doesn’t cut it for you doesn’t mean that you get to determine what it does for others. I’m not speaking for myself, as I am not in a relationship. But I’ve been married, and I know that while our intimacy was absolutely not defined by sex, it was enhanced by sex.

            Who said sex was required to build intimacy? It adds to intimacy, creates a bond between two people that no one else shares. And at the same time, I realize many couples don’t have sex, or don’t have it often – and that’s fine, too – as long as it is a mutual decision. A CHOICE.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            You did seem to imply that without sex, there can be no intimacy. It’s a common enough myth in our culture. Just look at movies. Titanic, how did we know Rose loved Jack even though she only knew him for two days before he died? They had sex.

            I’m just saying that there is a heck of a lot more to life- and even marriage- than that. Sex has a definite purpose. Done right- sex lasts at least 35 years, maybe a lifetime. Done wrong, it’s gone in an instant, and you’re on to “is there anything good on TV tonight?”

          • People meet, fall in love, and have sex in shorter time than that, and then spend the next fifty or so years as a couple, and yep, having intimate interludes of nakedness well into their 80’s.

            the thought of sex lasting 35 years. I’m sorry, but that is hilarious. I read that and thought…. it would take some serious fortitude to maintain that type of longevity, plus no need to work,or pee, or eat or sleep,…Then there is dealing with the chaffing.

          • Ella Warnock

            He means you have to have kids and apparently be prepared to take care of them until they’re middle-aged. I’ve been to this rodeo before; it’s better if you just move on because it’s never going to make sense.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            Obviously you don’t think of the second part of sex, raising the resulting children, as being very important. Not surprising since you’ve bought into a version of sex that is utterly divorced from procreation.

          • mindy

            What does this mean, Theodore? Who bought into what? That sex is pleasurable? Can and should be? It’s NOT just about procreation, or women wouldn’t still desire it after menopause. That’s just the way God made us.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            Bought into the idea that sex has nothing to do with procreation.

            I’m shocked that anybody desires it at all.

          • LiberalAria

            “I’m shocked that anybody desires it at all.”

            Hey, I just figured out who you remind me of. Paul, from “Letters to Corinthians” fame. He, too, held sex with women in utter distain, and he didn’t think too highly of marriage or procreation either. The modern term for that mental state is “mysogynist.”

          • mindy

            Who implied that, Theodore? Because I certainly did not, and I certainly didn’t get that from allegro63. Seriously, stop it.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            It is possible to imply without intending. But if you want me to stop it, it is easy.

            Just don’t reply.

          • I’ve been married…twice. The first marriage, there was sex, it was barely meh. We had a couple of kids. Then, after a couple of decades, I escaped hell. This time around. I can’t get pregnant, (yay) and the sex…well its not meh.

            We also watch golf and baseball together, visit the grandkids, share household chores, talk about everything,respecting our difference in social and religious views, shop together, eat together. If the ability to have sex ended for us today, we’d still have all the rest. Until then….

          • Is that the real reason, or is that the excuse he is giving for the divorce? Statistically, men are more prone to leave women because of a health issue in their wives then vice versa. And if he told you she ditched him just because he had to cut back on his sex life, then he lied.

          • “You can provide a heck of a lot more pleasure with a back scratch or a shoulder rub, than you can with sex.”

            Ummmm … not if you’re doing sex right.

          • fiona64

            You can provide a heck of a lot more pleasure with a back scratch or a shoulder rub, than you can with sex.

            Wow. You must be really bad at it, then …

            You are really comparing apples and hubcaps here. Sure, they’re both round, but the resemblance ends there.

            Yes, intimacy can be built without sex. Health situations do sometimes occur that preclude sex. And you had better be good friends then. But acting as though sex is irrelevant unless one is doing it solely to procreate is ridiculous.

          • Heather Milligan

            Please tell me you are not serious?! Many married couples have sex purely because they ENJOY it! It is fun and pleasurable at all ages. It is bonding and connecting. Usually people (though I am sure not all) who don’t enjoy sex have significant issues resulting from abuse.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            My point is that sex is not the pinnacle of either married or human existence that people seem to want to make it out to be. There’s a lot more to enjoy in this world that is *more* enjoyable.

          • Guest

            Like what?

        • AtalantaBethulia

          Re: “Sex is the traditional prayer to bring a new infant into the world. ”

          Um. No. It’s not.

          With views like this on sex it’s no wonder so many people have been harmed by religion.

        • I’ll sit here while you tell me where that’s in the Bible, okay?


        • fiona64

          Sex is the traditional prayer to bring a new infant into the world.

          Citation needed. Thanks in advance.

        • Sally Strange

          Thanks for providing me with yet another argument against Christianity. And, of course, the fact that your co-religionists disagree with you vehemently and can draw on the exact same amount of evidence to bolster their opinion as you can, is just one more.

          Wanting sex without wanting children is blasphemy. Hilarious! No wonder the membership in Christian churches is dropping.

      • Kristen inDallas

        If I meant that every instance of sex results in a baby, I would have said that. Instead, I said what I meant and I meant what I said – that sex and babies (or pregnancy if you’d rather) are connected (they are not independent). Most instances of babies are a result of sex, and often enough, sex results in babies (many times even in spite of preventative measures taken). Trying to deny this fact is not living in reality. Sure for some individuals, reality is that they may never get pregnant. My godmother lost her uterus to cancer, and my grandmother’s is no longer functioning. Reality tells me that sex will not result in a baby (for them). It also tells me neither of them has a plausible hypothetical under which they would ever need to contemplate an abortion.
        I know plenty of people who like gardening, it’s an enjoyable and relaxing hobby, and I’d probably still enjoy digging around in the dirt even if I moved to Alaska and was pretty certain no veggies would ever grow. There’s nothing wrong with that. There would be something odd though, if I becameso accustomed to my easy to maintain, veggie-free dirt patch, that I doused it monthly with herbicide, and kept planting seeds for the sake of enjoyment and got upset with the world if any of the seeds happened to take root. Reality dictates that I should either A) accept the possibility of a tomato in my yard or B) find a different hobby
        I’ll admit the analogy is not perfect – the most obvious reason being that a human life is generally considered to be more valuable than a tomato plant. So I should probably expect to encounter more pro-lifers than I do vegetable rights activists.

        • While it is true that it usually takes sex to make a baby. Sex doesn’t usually end in that result. That most fertilization never make it past the initial stages, that many pregnancies end up in spontaneous termination, and that is IF that sperm gets to the egg in the two to four day time frame it is allowed.

          Using abortion as only a quick means of contraceptive is silly, as it is rather invasive, less so then giving birth, by the way. We should educate people about contraceptives, make all options easily and cheaply available to all women, and men who plan on being sexually active. Doing so has proven repeatedly to reduce the rate of abortions, which is why I am continually mystified why there are people wanting to rob women of that vital tool. Of course sometimes stuff, the unforeseen happens, despite our best precautions, so being supportive if life, or illness or trauma has a woman needing to make a difficult choice.

        • LiberalAria

          Vegetables aside, the fact is that “Nature” ends more pregnancies than abortion does, as the statistical incidence of spontaneous abortion demonstrates. Nature has its reasons for terminating embryos in the first early weeks of pregnancy. Therefore, Nature has determined that while sex and pregnancy may bear a causal relationship, sex and childbirth bear a much more tenuous connection.

          People can — and do — CHOOSE to give birth or not, just as they choose to interfere with other biological occurrences like diabetes, cancer, organ transplants, or in vitro fertilization. These are all unnatural outcomes, because they involve manipulating and circumventing Nature’s will. There is really no logical reason to believe that human sexuality should be placed in some special category outside of medical intervention, unless, of course, you just don’t like sex and think no one else should either. There are *religious* reasons to think this way, but religion is not science, it is not medicine, and it is not ethics. Religious reasons for controlling other people’s sexual activity should be outlawed.

    • DancingMidgets

      From your point of view, what is the ideal view in terms of contraception, abortion, etc.?

    • fiona64

      Imagine if people were forced to start recognizing the fact that sex and babies are not independent of each other.

      Consenting to sexual intercourse does not mean one has consented to pregnancy.

      • Kristen inDallas

        consenting to eat McDonald’s whenever one feels like does not mean one has consented to getting fat… but that’s sorta how it works.

        • fiona64

          I’m sure that you have some more absurd, bumper-sticker nonsense in there. You’re slacking if you only pull out your McDonald’s “analogy.”

        • Gert

          Yah… about that.. plenty of people who eat crappy food go for a jog after to counteract the crappy food. Kind of like using birth control because you know sex can cause pregnancy.

          You’re analogy is silly at best.

    • Sally Strange

      Imagine if people were forced to start recognizing the fact that sex and babies are not independent of each other

      I believe it is precisely that recognition that leads people to use contraceptives.

  • Nancy

    I am 23, single, and I have no kids. I am getting my tubes tied in two weeks. I made one appointment with only one doctor and he agreed to tie my tubes. There is a plan and process to getting your tubes tied. Need any help?

    • mindy

      Nancy, I respect your desire to not have children. A perfectly viable life choice. HOWEVER, I know very few people who feel at 33 the same as they felt at 23 about much of anything! Or 43. And so one. As a person whose option of birthing children was taken away from me by disease (altho’ not til I was older than you), I can tell you that the permanence factor is a big one. I find it slightly troubling that a good doctor would do it for you after one visit. Not saying you shouldn’t have it done. But that’s a pretty huge decision, affecting the rest of your left, to make at 23.

      • Nancy

        Hello Mindy!

        Thank you for responding to my post.

        If you were to read my blog, I go into detail about the issues that you are addressing. I doubt you will read it, because it is not your cut up tea, that is fine. I’ll give you the short version. First of all, Mindy, I am so sorry that a disease took away your ability to have a child! You also have to understand that I am not getting my tubes tied simply because I do not want kids…. I have mental illnesses that I do not want to pass down to my child. I am still trying to deal with them to this day. It is not an easy thing to do. I am sure you know someone who has a mental illness. They usually aren’t happy campers. I also have a history of mental abuse, physical abuse, incest and rape in my family line. Every single person in my direct family line has issues. Everyone. I bet you can guess where my illnesses came from. I made a list to the best of my ability of my known parents, grandparents and great grandparents and what each of them did to their child all the way down to myself… It is sick to look at. The thing is, everyone in my family thinks that they did the best thing in order to “raise” their children. If I do have a child, my child will not have any maternal family. None.

        Also, I am 23, I know I am young, I know that I may change my mind, not about having my tubes tied, but about having a child. As of now, I say that I will never want children. But, if I do want children in the near future, I will happily adopt a child. There are children out there who will never have parents. I will be there for one of them… If I change my mind. So you see, Mindy, I am not getting my tubes tied just because of some childish “I don’t want kids” statement. It goes deeper than that. Think of the ladies with MENTAL ILLNESSNESS that killed their kids?? Not saying that I would kill my kids, but the first thing the breeders say is “Wow, she shouldn’t have had children” or “America shouldn’t let women with mental illnesses have children.”

        Nothing is ever good enough for you people.

        Have a great day!

        • mindy

          Ummm, “you people”?? I’m pro-choice, Nancy, and I applaud your decision and appreciate the fact that you took the time to explain it to me; I know you didn’t have to. I was responding only to your age. You have good reasons. But read your post again and consider how it sounded to someone who knows nothing about you – 23, one doctor, one visit – that’s all I had to go on. I’m sorry you have to battle mental illness – I’m intimately familiar with the fight. I’m also well aware of building a family through adoption, as that’s exactly what I did or I wouldn’t have the amazing teen daughters I now have. 🙂 I wish you the best.

          • Gert

            Except she shouldn’t HAVE to give her reasons to make you, a stranger, ok with her decision. Her body. Her choice. IF I were not adopted myself, I most likely would have made a similar decision myself due to mental illness in the women on my dad’s side of the family as it’s not skipping generations. It would not have been any of your business then either.

            Just as, I am sure, you would not want people poking their noses into why or why not you have children or do anything for that matter, yourself.

            It’s called personal privacy and if you expect yours to be respected, you must grant that privacy to others FIRST.

          • mindy

            Of course, Gert. But when one starts discussing oneself on a public forum, privacy drops into the gray area. I asked, and she had every right not to respond, had she so chosen, or to tell me straight out that it is none of my business. And I would have accepted that, of course, because it’s true. It’s helpful, though, in a discussion like this, to know where people are coming from. She was kind enough to share, and that gives people (like me) a better understanding of why some would make a decision like that. It helps further understanding of yet another reason abortion should remain safe and legal. I appreciated very much her willingness to share, and if you don’t feel like sharing your situation, feel free not to do so.

      • fiona64

        Hi, Mindy. I hope you take the time to read my post above. It is not easy to find a physician who will perform a tubal ligation on a woman who is under 30 and/or has no children.

        The condescending tone that you used here is often delivered to the childfree … as though one cannot possibly know that one does not want children. I wonder, do you quiz people who choose to have children at age 23? After all, that’s a “pretty huge decision,” affecting the rest of your life, to make at 23 as well …

        • mindy

          Fiona, my “tone” was one of concern, not condescension. And since you are married and have made that decision with your life’s partner, I wouldn’t have posted the same response to you. Nancy is single. She, kindly, explained further her reasoning in a later comment – which she didn’t need to do, and I completely respect her decision. There are mitigating factors that make her age irrelevant. But I hold to my original point. What one believes they want for life at 23 often changes dramatically over time. I’m in my 50s now and yes, I know I sound like my own mother, probably most people’s mothers – but age does bring a certain wisdom, if one lets it.

          • fiona64

            I’m 49, Mindy. You may have thought you were expressing concern, but “you’ll change your mind” is something I heard at age 29 as well. It comes across as extremely condescending, because it implies that a person is too stupid to know their own situation. I did see her subsequent post, and her explanations.

            Access to tubal ligation is not easy, as I posted earlier. I had to have a frigging *permission slip* from my husband. Talk about condescension … from the medical establishment! The assumption that any woman who wants out of the breeding game, regardless of her age or number of children, needs a note from home as though it’s a field trip is ridiculous.

            And I hold to my original point as well. Do you quiz people who are 23 and choose to have children? After all, as you said, that’s a “pretty huge decision, affecting the rest of your life.”

            Edited to add: I understand your position a little better after re-reading. I think it must be very difficult, to be honest, to be someone who wanted kids and was deprived of the choice to have them, to see someone young choosing not to have them. I had a great aunt who was much the same way … she adopted four children, and was always mind-boggled that anyone would not want children.

          • mindy

            Fiona, I never told Nancy she would change her mind. Don’t put words in my mouth, please. I said that not having children is a perfectly viable life choice. I used my own experience – that how I felt at 33 and 43 was dramatically different than at 23, and I found it troubling that a doctor, *after only one visit*, would perform that kind of permanent procedure. You are imposing all that *you* heard in your life onto what I said to someone else. I know several people who have chosen not to have kids and are perfectly happy. I am not mind-boggled at that at all. Just not my choice. It’s all good.

          • fiona64

            But that’s a pretty huge decision, affecting the rest of your left, to make at 23.

            These were your words, to which I responded. Perhaps you didn’t mean it to come off the way it did … this is not the ideal communication form, after all.

            I’m sure you can see how that would look like “You’re too young to make that call,” right? And yet no one *ever* says that to a young woman of 23 who chooses to have a child — despite it being a pretty huge decision that affects the rest of her life.

            It is, indeed, all good.

          • LiberalAria

            Not to argue, because you are right, but many young pregnant women get all kinds of static over their decision to have a baby. When I was in my 20s and pregnant, I had people tell me I was being selfish, I would regret it for the rest of my life, it would cause horrible and irreparable harm to my body, and one even told me there was no way we could continue being friends if I had a child.

            I would say close to a dozen people weighed in with negative opinions and advice, and two or three were immediately supportive. Just sayin’.

          • fiona64

            Well, that most certainly makes you an anomaly in my experience. Thanks for sharing your story.

  • Sally

    I am in a perfect position to have a child. I have a loving, supportive, financially stable partner. I’m a freelancer working from home with complete flexibility. I have parents who would be willing to help out with childcare. I have no physical illnesses that would interfere with pregnancy.

    I would kill myself if I got pregnant and abortion was not an option. I don’t WANT children. Ever. And I am not willing to live in a world where my right to control my own life is taken away from me.

    It is better to be dead than enslaved.

    • AtalantaBethulia

      I’m a mother. I adore my children. My two children. But if I lived in a world where, because of the mere nature of my gender, I was expected to have an indefinite number of children because this is viewed as my destiny or my responsibility or my inherent purpose in life or this was seen as a fulfillment of God’s will – a fulfillment based on an ancient text written by men, interpreted by men and enforced by men – that’s not a world I would want to live in.

    • charlesmaynes

      so since you have no desire to have children, wouldn’t a tubal ligation be a useful solution?

      • Sally

        The pill helps my periods and I prefer sex with a condom. A tubal ligation therefore seems unnecessary, particularly since the risk of surgery, while small, is several times higher than the risk posed by abortion. Tubal ligation also has a lifetime failure rate of about 1 in 200, which means it’s hardly more effective than my current contraceptive regime. And if it does fail, it’s more likely to be an ectopic pregnancy, which can very quickly become life-threatening.

        • charlesmaynes

          Sally, you obviously take that very seriously- in the end as far as abortion goes, you will indeed get what you pay for, so if your OB/GYN is a part of that, I would expect a reasonably successful outcome. It seems a lot of people can’t, or won’t go that route- which is why people like Gosnell can happen.

          • Sally

            I’m British. I don’t pay for abortion – it’s provided free on the NHS. Which might be why we don’t have any Gosnells here.

          • charlesmaynes

            Maybe one day the USA might have an equitable public health system. Sally, are abortion rights in jeopardy in the UK?

          • Sally

            Well our health minister thinks the current time limit should be halved, but he’s generally regarded as an idiot. We have religious nutcases camped outside our clinics and hospitals harassing patients with their “aborted fetus” pictures. And our law is badly in need of reform to give us abortion on demand rather than the current postcode lottery where too many women experience delays in getting treatment due to unhelpful GPs refusing to refer them. But in general, no; not as badly as they are on the other side of the pond.

          • Mark Kirschieper

            Dear Sally, If you’re that “dead set” against childbearing, a vasectomy, for your willing/stable partner, can accomplish the goal…You come across so violently opposed to childbearing, that even a voluntary uterine hysterectomy, might be a safer option, than the potential suicide, you mention.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            While I am not a big fan of my uterus and the unpleasantries of having it function in the way that it does from the age of 12 to likely 51-ish, a hysterectomy is a major operation requiring a hospital stay, includes health risks, and is costly.

          • Mark Kirschieper

            You speak the truth. I merely suggest that for this dear lady, Sally, perhaps it’s better to lose her uterus, than to lose her life. She is talking SUICIDE, don’t forget. Those are her words, not mine. Please read her original post.

          • Mark,

            She’s talking suicide if abortion is not an option. You might consider reading her original post, as you say.

            Telling a woman what to do with her body is probably not appropriate, especially when your opinions are based on having failed to read her comment properly.

          • Sally

            My partner wants children and I want him to retain the option of leaving me in order to have them, so no vasectomy. A hysterectomy is major surgery which no doctor would perform on a healthy uterus. The chance of death through surgical complications from hysterectomy is almost certainly higher than chance that I’ll get pregnant AND won’t be able to get an abortion.

          • fiona64

            From your mouth to the deity’s ears. The Affordable Care Act is a great start, but we really need single-payer here.

      • fiona64

        It is amazing to me how naive people are about access to tubal ligations. A great many physicians will not perform them on women under 30 and/or with no children. I had to doctor-shop on my plan to obtain a tubal ligation at age 29, and was told many times that I would “change my mind.”

        Even after I found a surgeon willing to do the procedure, I had to have my husband complete a form that amounted to a permission slip, and wait 30 days from the time I signed the informed consent before I could have the procedure.

  • DesertLady48

    I don’t understand all the comments called the author “selfish”. She knows what her abilities are and makes choices based on her life situation.

  • Quid

    It’s amazing how many reasons you can have to justify murder

    • I’m curious, Quid.

      Do you imagine, for even a moment, that you’re going to win over a single person to your point of view with comments like that?

  • Vanessa

    Hey Aliza, I was curious if you were going to respond to this letter written in response to yours:

    I’m genuinely interested about your response to this letter. I’m sorry for the hateful comments you’re receiving in response to your honesty.

    • mindy

      Well, Vanessa, I wanted to respond to Brian – as an adoptive parent, I have some insight he needs to hear. But there is no place for comments on his blog. Which I find odd, since he *says* he wants to open up a dialogue. Any idea on how to start that dialogue with someone who won’t let anyone else speak??

      • Vanessa

        Mindy, true there are no comments available on his letter. But it’s false that he’s not letting anyone else speak – he’s a writer on a platform that isn’t his – it’s not his choice to disable comments. His contact information is easily available through his profile (twitter info). You’re welcome to share your insights there. I can’t speak for whether or not he will respond. The dialogue was also started well before he responded to Aliza’s letter.

        On a side note, your sarcasm isn’t appreciated.

        • mindy

          Um, not sure how you read that, but my note was all sincere, not a bit of sarcasm there. I sincerely want to know how to have a conversation with him. If he wants to write on the Internet and says he wants to start a conversation, he needs to do so somewhere where a conversation can take place. Not everyone is on Twitter – not really reasonable to send folks to twitter for a sincere conversation about such a huge topic, as most people need more than 160 characters to share feelings on this, regardless which side of the discussion is yours.

          • Vanessa

            Thanks for the clarification. The asterisks and the double question marks led me to read your comment with exaggeration, and therefore it seemed a tad sarcastic. I am not on twitter either, but I don’t mind finding out further information about his contact info since you do indeed want a sincere conversation.

          • I’ve twittered with Bryan about this. He’s willing to have an email conversation, but appears not to have the means for a public (“open”) conversation on the topic. Which I find more than a bit ironic since he was very willing to write an “open” letter, but didn’t even bother to comment directly on the post he was critiquing.

          • Vanessa

            Might I remind everyone, that if this open letter were printed in a typed and distributed version, it would be quite open to everyone. But, there would be no commenting. No one would question the irony or his motives there. The disabling of comments limits conversations that we’re having like these to focus on the actual conversation between Aliza and Bryan and other people who are insightful and well-spoken enough to be submitting work to an edited platform. When we get random trolls (like those above) harping and acting foolishly, it takes away from the main conversation. Sometimes I wonder if I am really reading comments from adults – and this is sad because I’m probably much younger than the majority of people commenting on this site. There’s a general loss of propriety and honor due to anonymous commenting. I’m sure many have also witnessed internet “fights” from comments that have spiraled into a black abyss of pointlessness. It really does not help anyone wrestle with issues like these.

          • Why does this guy need you to represent him? Why did he need you to promote his letter? Why was Aliza not contacted directly instead of this manner? Why do you think she’d bother to respond? When her reposnse to comments here have rather absent? The whole scenario does not remotely appear open, and hardly inviting.

          • mindy

            Vanessa, your disappointment in our being adults is disingenuous at best. He said he wanted to begin a dialogue. The Internet is filled with places like this where those conversations take place. Yes, there are trolls everywhere who do their darnedest to bring all conversations to the level of 7th grade boys, but if we ignore those and have *real* conversation, we learn from each other. We do that here and many other places on Patheos. I did email Bryan yesterday. So far, he’s not replied. If he does, then perhaps we’ll have a dialogue there. Ball is in his court.

          • mindy

            Ah. The double question mark was a mistake, asterisks are emphasis when you can’t underline or bold.

          • Vanessa

            Well, Mindy, looks like Dan can be your link and there’s no need for me to investigate! I hope you have a very meaningful conversation with Bryan. I mean all of that sincerely.

          • Vanessa

            And, also an apology for assuming the sarcasm. 🙂

        • I’m still trying to see how that letter qualifies as a response to Aliza as there is no way anyone was aware of such a thing, until a third party mentioned it. It is a bizarre method of an attempt to communicate,

    • A note that I would put, if his “open letter” allowed comments.

      Dear Bryan,

      is always a losing argument for a man to tell a woman what it’s like to
      be pregnant. Especially a woman who has been pregnant. I’m pretty sure that the nine months of pregnancy, labor, delivery, recovery, etc. constitutes more than needing a few extra naps.


      I’m pretty sure that the nine months of pregnancy, labor, delivery,
      recovery, etc. constitutes more than needing a few extra naps.Love,


      • A few naps? Well, if I remember pregnancy and early childhood correctly, naps was about all I got during the pregnancy, thanks to nausea, a bladder that had shrunk to the size of a sesame seed soon to be found by growing baby who practiced being a bouncing baby, by bouncing on that tiny always engorged bladder. Then there was the quandary of how the hell do I sleep with all this belly in the way. That just prepared me for the inevitable. That I wouldn’t be getting a full night’s sleep till that bouncing new baby left for college.

        • Leslie Marbach

          Agreed. A “few more naps” for me was being on constant bedrest for 4 months, in much pain, in and out of the hospital numerous times, and on medication for those months to stop pre-term labor. Of course, that also meant I wasn’t able to work and lost a lot of money. Those around me had to basically wait on me hand and foot, bringing me meals in bed, helping me to the bathroom and shower, and getting me things like more books. I would have loved to have had *fewer* naps.

      • Vanessa

        Please take your own advice. Every pregnancy is different – some women have pregnancies that easy. Also, you’re a dude. If I’m following your logic, you shouldn’t even be apart of this conversation.

        And I see clearly that your name is not Aliza. I didn’t ask you. Frankly, I really don’t care about your opinion.

        • The writer of this letter you are promoting is not a woman either.


        • AtalantaBethulia

          Vanessa, It would be worthwhile to consider that if you post a comment on a public forum your comment will be subject to comments by others; those comments may include support or criticism. This is reality. To expect something different is to operate in unreality.

          You don’t have to care about other people’s opinions, but if you would like to be received as one who has opinions worth considering, it’s important to extend that same grace to others. This is the heart of the Golden Rule.

          You seem to swing between being sweet and acerbic.

          You assert in another comment about trolls and the devolution of internet comments here:

          “Sometimes I wonder if I am really reading comments from adults – and this is sad because I’m probably much younger than the majority of people commenting on this site. There’s a general loss of propriety and honor due to anonymous commenting. I’m sure many have also witnessed internet “fights” from comments that have spiraled into a black abyss of pointlessness. It really does not help anyone wrestle with issues like these.”

          while participating in the very thing you lament is so common.

        • I didn’t actually say that men can’t speak. I quoted one segment and criticized that point specifically.

          I in no way presumed to speak for all pregnancies. That was Bryan. I, in fact, have no problem with men having opinions on the subject. I have one.

          I do have a problem with a man telling a woman what it’s like to be pregnant and trying to trivialize the experience. That is what Bryan did, and what I called him on.

          Your failure to understand my point is matched only by your snappy tone. That’s a common fallback for people who get out of their depth, but it’s not going to serve you well. I’m not playing that game.

          If you don’t care about my opinion, then why did you take the time to answer? One of the beautiful things about blog comments is that you’re free not to respond to ones which don’t interest you.

          Another thing you should know about blog comments is that they are not private conversations. You might have addressed Aliza specifically, but you did it openly and so open discourse happens.

  • Rick the Dick

    Congratulations for using the word ‘my’ at least 25 times in the course of this 2 minute read. I didn’t even count the numerous times you used the ‘I’ word. There can be no mistaking what is important here…all else pales in comparison. Bravo.

    • Congratulations to you for picking the right screen name.

    • Well, ummmm …

      Who, exactly, should have the most influence over what she does with her body? You? A bunch of religious leaders who teach a religion she doesn’t follow? Politicians who subscribe to fallacies like the female body “shutting that whole thing down”?

      It seems to me that she is entitled to express her own opinion about the subject. Is there some reason that she shouldn’t? Certainly, there are plenty of other people telling her what she should do.

      • sevanclaig

        Medical scientists, perhaps?
        I would guess that unlike myself you support the idea of one single payer or at least its road grader obamacare. That is someone making lots of these decisions for you.
        How about when an actual medical science expert gets in charge of HHS who clearly understands that no matter how you justify the circumstantial premise for doing so, an abortion nonetheless stops the beating heart of a human, and thus ends their (see: individual person with basic human rights) life. That is the very core of the situation, and unfortunately, where the scale of debate should tip but rarely does, but just suppose then the new mandate is implemented that abortions cannot be performed by any doctors taking insurance. This is wholly allowable by the law otherwise known as ACA and supported by the SCOTUS, and can be enforced by threat of imprisonment, and frankly, as a federal law, even- depending on the charge(s) brought forth by a grand jury, the death penalty.
        Oh my God, I cannot believe it. I just realized I am now going to support Obamacare.

        • Adriana M.

          Abortion is a topic that is very hard to agree on. It involves so many perspectives. I am pre-choice, that means that we as women have the choice before we decide to have sex, sleep with a man, have intercourse or/and make love, to take care of ourselves. Nowadays we so many methods to avoid pregnancies that excuses are futile. Still if u get pregnant the best solution is give the baby for adoption, it is the best solution from a moral point of view and from the Human Rights, in this case, the baby human rights. You have the right to decide what to do with your body but once you got pregnant your body doesn’t belongs to you anymore, you are sharing it with other life and you cannot ask the baby if he wants to live or die, and he/she cannot live outside your body. What about the choice of the baby? Are you deciding for him/her? You would not like somebody else making a decision for you but you still think that you have the right to do it.
          Science demonstrates that life starts since the egg is fecundated, now, life doesn’t mean baby per se and it seems we cannot figure it out a total and true response to this issue. I can understand “almost” all the perspectives but not the selfish ones, no the ones that protect the rapists, because ABORTION protects the rapists to continue with their behavior, especially if belongs to the family and since the new law doesnt requiere to notify the parents of underage girls.
          Other aspect that bother me a lot it is about the roll of men, I think we should demand men to take responsibility too, after all we didn’t get pregnant by ourselves. We are making the things very easy for them, it looks like it was their idea in the beginning, although they make us to believe that is for our own sake.
          Third, the economic aspect of abortion. We don’t live in a socialist society so may be it is not so relevant here but it is not less interesting to know that abortion is the cheaper solution and faster. In a Capitalism system women should pay for their own abortions but it should be access to free contraception for the ones who qualified. This would be a half way solution, a compromise that all can agree.
          Last but not least we should encourage women and men to be in stable relationships, keeps the values of society, protect and teach the value of family life, because life is so much easy and liveable when we can share it with a significant other and couples should have the right to decide how many children want to conceive and have a “plus one” policy just in case an accident happens or give the baby to adoption. It doesn’t seem fair that some women decide to terminate life when at the same time there are so many couples that are desperate to have a baby. It is such a waste. Embrace a culture of life not death. Vive la Vie!

    • fiona64

      “Selfishness does not consist in living as you wish. Selfishness consists in demanding that *others* live as you wish.” — Oscar Wilde

      In other words, it is far more selfish to demand that some woman you don’t even know gestate an unwanted pregnancy to satisfy *you.*

    • Jennifer Starr

      Well, when you get to be pregnant, Rick, then you get to decide what you want to do. Otherwise, it’s not your choice to make.

    • Sally Strange

      To those who call me self-centered: around what else should I center my life?

      Not god, I don’t believe in that. Not other people, I can do them the best service by making sure I’m OK so that I can help out when needed. Certainly not a blastula.

      Please tell us.

      • Guest

        Why is this blog under “Unfundamentalist Christians” if you don’t believe in God? I know Christians disagree on a lot, but I think that’s kind of an important piece. 😛 In fact, why is this article even on Patheos if you don’t seem to want to bring faith into it?

  • Kayjax

    There are a lot of comments here, and I admit that I did not read them all, so something very similar may have already been said.

    A human has the right to their own body. If someone were dying and all they needed was your kidney (you’ve got two!), your bone marrow (you’ll make more!) or even just your blood (not much more work than your time), you can decline to give it to them. You can effectively sentence them to death by not giving them your organs, tissues or fluids. People die all the time waiting for a kidney or bone marrow transplant. Because your organs, tissues, and fluids are yours to do with as you see fit. No one has any right to your body parts, even if withholding them will kill that person.

    Why does the discussion change when the organ in question is a uterus? Even if an embryo is a life with equal rights to the mother, which is debateable in it’s own right, that embryo still has no right to another persons organ (ie the mother’s uterus) for its survival. A person can consent to giving their organs, tissues, and fluids to the embryo, but that embryo has no right to them. Even if withholding it will kill the embryo.

    I would never have an abortion personally. I don’t care if someone else does, just like I don’t care if they don’t give blood.

  • dane

    Let’s have the same article, but now about a 90-year old, sickly mother who needs a lot of time and attention. Note that the author says “I understand why you consider a growing blastula, embryo, fetus an
    absolute miracle, a cherished life form, something to be protected. I
    feel the same way.”

    • fiona64

      Anyone who is having kids because they figure they’ll be cared for in old age needs to visit a retirement facility and ask some of the old folks how often those “kids” come to visit.

  • fiona64

    Can you honestly say that you believe that you are in a better position
    than I to determine what is best for me and my entire family? If not,
    then what right do you have to make abortion illegal? And if so, then I
    believe you are advocating for the wrong thing. I believe you need to be
    advocating for better, less expensive, and more readily available
    mental health care.

    This covers it well. The anti-choice presume they know the situations of total strangers better than those strangers do, and so they should be allowed to determine those strangers’ reproductive decisions. There is a specific mental health term for this: grandiose delusions. It’s part of about two-thirds of bipolar disorder cases and half of schizophrenia cases. People with grandiose delusions believe themselves to be omnipotent and omniscient.

    • sevanclaig

      You sound as you have been educated, yet sensically ignorant.
      Oh, how I admire our modern universities.

      • fiona64

        Can someone please parse this remark into English for me? My nutjob-to-English decoder ring seems to be broken.

        • I’ve eaten a gross ton of Cracker Jacks, looking for one of those decoder rings.

    • deaconjohnny

      “..presume they know the situations of total strangers better than those strangers do..” If this is so, then we should not make any laws. After all, if total strangers want to drive down the freeway at 150 mph, don’t stand in their way (literally!). Since assisted suicide involves total strangers, then we should not stand in their way. This is total nonsense. Total strangers to me, yes, but you can never hide from God.

      • fiona64

        I’m sorry, Johnny … my religious nutter-to-English decoder ring is still broken. I therefore cannot make any sense of your remark.

        Tell you what, though: any pregnancy that happens in your body? Please feel free to gestate. You don’t get to make that call for anyone but yourself.

        Oh, you’re a guy? Well, thanks for proving once again how easy it is to be an anti-choice male, waving your stupid paw and demanding that women assume risks to life and health (pregnancy is NOT a state of wellness) that you will never have to.

        • If men got pregnant…heck if men experienced painful mentrual cramps….just imagine the non-issue this would be.

          • fiona64

            I told an anti-choice guy on another board, after he called pregnancy a “mere inconvenience and not at all life-threatening,” that I wished he would have three or four hours of the hyperemesis gravidarum that nearly killed me, let alone experiencing it for nine months. I opined that it would be quite educational for him to vomit that much, and that perhaps he wouldn’t be so quick to wave his hand in the air and pronounce about things that would never affect him.

          • KrisCynical

            If men could get pregnant, ALL contraceptives would be fully covered across the board, cheap, and readily available.

      • KrisCynical

        “Religious nutter-to-English decoder ring” indeed. The critical reasoning you had to employ to get from point A to point B in your response is absurd to a level that should be physically painful.

        You don’t have the right or qualification to make major, life-altering (and life-THREATENING in some cases) personal healthcare decisions for a stranger you know nothing about in a situation you know nothing about just because you think you’re right and you don’t like their decision. That shouldn’t be a shocker. It’s COMMON SENSE. The alternative would be absurd, but people like YOU think that alternative is a-okay.

        So long as YOU are the one making the decision, of course, and it follows YOUR beliefs and doesn’t personally affect YOUR life.

        On the flipside, though? Wow. If a complete stranger told you “You wanting to get chemotherapy for your colon cancer doesn’t follow MY personal definition of what’s right because I believe medical treatment gets in the way of God’s will if you’re supposed to die, so I’ve decided you can’t do it. Chemotherapy isn’t illegal and YOUR religion isn’t against medical treatment, but that doesn’t matter because my religion’s beliefs are the TRUTH and that means I’m right and you’re wrong. It won’t personally affect MY life, either, but I’m right and that’s all that matters here. So don’t complain.” in response to YOUR personal healthcare and YOUR body? Good Lord, the screaming about your personal, legal, Constitutional RIGHTS being violated would be deafening.

        As for your assisted suicide comparison? Besides the fact that we should NOT stand in the way of it if a terminally ill person wants to die with dignity on their own terms, assisted suicide is NOT done by a complete stranger. You’d know that if you had any knowledge about the subject whatsoever, but people like you often talk authoritatively about subjects you know nothing about. Kevorkian interviewed every person who came to him, and he turned people away if he didn’t think their reasons were sound. He knew about the situations behind every single person he assisted, and he never assisted anyone who wasn’t terminally ill and/or physically suffering.

        The “going 150 MPH down the freeway” analogy is just stupid, plain and simple. Even a 12-year-old could tell you it isn’t the same thing as making major life-changing healthcare decisions for complete strangers.

        Very few things in life are as starkly black and white as you (and other militant anti-choicers) have tried to make the subject. The world is a vast expanse of nuances (or “shades of gray”), and God gave us brains that are capable of comprehending those nuances. Use it.

  • Faith Luber

    I refuse to call them “pro-life.” They are pro-birth. And I am not pro-abortion. I am pro-choice. Kudos to you for a great article.

  • Andrea Demmert Ribeiro

    While wholeheartedly agreeing with the author, the problem with even beginning the question with “What if I don’t want…” has already confirmed the accusations coming from the right. To them, it is utterly selfish to have any desires that would excuse (in their minds) murder. To them, the highest and best womanly ideal is to have children throughout the entire course of the reproductive years, and aborting a fetus for “selfish” reasons is exactly what they assume all women do. While I commend the author for bringing to light the phases in the human lifespan and the decisions that are necessary to make each phase of one’s life qualitative, hoping this conversation would cause a pause for consideration is moot. It would be better to start with the objections (ie: God says abortion is murder; women are selfish; a baby feels pain at whatever time frame, etc) because expecting human compassion from those who wish to dehumanize the human experience via culture wars is just pointless.

  • Jenny

    I so much needed to read this… Thank you so much.. I am 47 years old with two children, happily married… I am 12 days late… Yes, it could be menopause, but – – – the thoughts that go through your mind in this scenario are overwhelming.

  • Janna Redington

    These are my reasons for being a pro-lifer. Im not judging you -I believe in reincarnation so in my viewpoint the child you abort will return. My problem with abortion is that I believe or fear it produces irresponsible behavior as in IF I make a mistake then I can just vacuum it away. Its a great concept and perhaps its the right concept but what happens when people abuse it? It seems a quick fix solution that might have much more higher consequences on society’s morals and ethics. Im trying Not to sound ignorant -I know for many women its a very painful and tough choice but then there are those who I know personally use it as birth control. Of course that means they would probably not induce responsible behavior in the child if they gave birth anyway. If (some) women get drunk -get pregnant and pay to have the evidence of their failure to be a responsible adult vacuumed away then what is there to stop the thief, the murderer or any other person who acted negligent and irresponsible from doing the same thing?
    I mean the thief was drinking or having a bad day so he said What the hell I think I will steal something. The next day he is sober and sorry but cant return the goods. Police arrive and he is locked up and punished. Shouldnt he have controlled himself and not risked imprisonment by acting irresponsible? The woman who has sex without protection is taking a risk – wouldnt it be better if she had her tubes tied when she decided she didnt want kids or any more kids? If she doesnt want children shouldnt she refrain from sex? I understand accidents but the numbers of abortions in our society make us look like the most accident prone society on earth. Why is it wrong to suggest she give birth to that child and give it up for adoption? There are over 14 million infertile couples in America. Some say they would worry about their child out in the world if it were adopted. So its better off dead? Ive had 2 children both before I was 19 years old. Abortion was an option both times which I considered. I was that wild child who wasnt even sure who their fathers were. I had no guarantee of anything from anyone but I gave birth and I do have two of the most beautiful and brilliant children despite everything. I graduated college at 39 in the top of my class. My tubes were tied the day my second child was born because another birth would have killed me doctors believed. So I dont fully understand why a woman your age has not had a tubal. Surely it would be no more dangerous than an abortion. Wouldnt that be the most responsible thing to do rather than to encourage irresponsible behavior in our society? Im no saint -I don’t claim to be and Ive admitted to my irresponsible and childish behaviors. My question is Do you feel at all responsible for the life you create? I think what Im hearing is that you feel like it is yours to do with as you please. As if you are completely responsible for its creation and can therefore destroy it. Do you feel this possession of the children you have now? Im just not sure they are our possessions. Ive always considered mine as gifts. Fortunately I do believe gifts can be returned and re-gifted to someone else. But somehow it seems wrong to break it before you return it. Maybe it would be better to keep it until you can give it to someone else in excellent condition.
    Its just my thoughts on the subject – someone who was ignorant, uneducated and an unwed teenager who had nothing – my parents set the appt for my abortion. They demanded I abort – and they threatened -bribed and so forth. I was reminded of all the things my Mother said to me as I watched a program about a mother in California who said the same things to her daughter. “It will ruin your life! It will get in your way!” You know the thought processes that go through your mind. The daughter in California agreed and got the abortion. One year later -the daughter has a boyfriend the mother doesnt like. Ironically the same words are said, “He will ruin your life -mess up your college plans- interfere with your career-Get Rid of Him.” The daughter chose instead to get rid of her mother. She stabbed her to death then took off with her boyfriend. When asked Why? She stated her mother was in the way of her happiness. The mother inadvertently taught the daughter if someone interferes with your plans, dreams and happiness – get rid of them. For adults this seems obvious but in the minds of young irresponsible women – they just do what they were told and taught it seems. I truly believe these actions will have an affect on our children and the way they think – but thats just my opinion.

    • LiberalAria

      Well, the only logical argument in support of your “belief or fear” is that pregnancy and babies — actual, living children — should just be considered punishment for having sex. That’s not very pro-life.

      As to your “belief” that only unprotected sex results in pregnancy, it is factually inaccurate. It’s just wrong, so you need to readjust your belief.

      For some women, the abortion was necessary and for others, it was for convenience. You have no way of knowing which it was. And THAT, my friend, is where the US Constitution comes into play. It’s called “a right to privacy.” Translation: only a woman can decide whether her reasons for having sex are good enough for her, and not you. Only a woman can decide if she wants to bear a child, and not you. Only a woman can decide if she wants to have an abortion, and not you. Because only she knows her own reasons, and not you.

      As to your story that the availability of abortion creates a murderer, I would point out that if, in fact, there have been millions and millions of abortions, why are there not millions of women committing murder? There has been no increase in the number of homicides committed by women. Secondly, I would point out that if certain beliefs lead to certain actions, you should give more thought to the promotion and perpetuation of the belief that “rape is God’s will” and women should simply “submit” to God’s authority. What “belief” do you think that inspires in the minds of the millions of rapists in this country?

      • sevanclaig

        She’s giving her thoughts to the article.
        Try commenting on the article instead of vitriolic responses to commenters.

  • “Can you look me in the eyes, and tell me that my desire for all these things, and how hard I’ve worked for them, are less important than the potential clump of cells in my uterus?”

    Yes. Because it is always wrong to kill the innocent, no matter how badly we want what a person whom we have brought into existence may interfere with.

    I am a clump of cells with potential. So are you.

    • Brandon Roberts


  • 91B4S

    If men could get pregnant, we would not even be discussing this! You would be able to get an abortion at the 7-11!

  • Hannah.

    It’s fine, kill a person because their existence is inconvenient for you. After all, your personal comfort is of much greater value than a human life.

    Life isn’t about what you want. It isn’t about serving yourself. I can’t stand this narcissistic, selfish society we live in.

    • fiona64

      A fetus isn’t a person. But hey, rock on! You clearly don’t understand that gestation, and its life-threatening complications, is anything *but* convenient. Take it from someone whose life-threatening pregnancy, resulting in a much-loved son many years ago, made her even more pro-choice: you don’t get to decide how much medical risk someone other than yourself assumes. You want to talk about “convenience”? It’s pretty damned convenient for you to make pronouncements about *other* people’s pregnancies, since you won’t be affected at all. If it isn’t your pregnancy, mind your own damned business.

  • Brandon Roberts

    look we pro lifers are right and that baby is a person even if you think it’s a glob of flesh you must admit it will be a person so your still killing the potential and plus medical science says life begins at conception and the fetuses can feel pain after 20 weeks (probaly earlier) and the only reason for abortion is if the mothers life is in danger and what makes you better than casey anthony

    • So. What are your views on war, the death penalty, starvation? IF you are truly pro-life, what are you doing about it?

      • Brandon Roberts

        1. i am pro life 2. you can’t really compare all these things war: it sucks but sometimes it’s neccesary death penalty:some people deserve to die starvation:i pray every night for those kids 3. 58 million future taxpayers unborn because of roe v. wade how can you defend that

        • So you aren’t pro-life at all, You are just anti-abortion.

          • Brandon Roberts

            technicallly i’m anti-murder and plus imagine if it were you you were once a fetus as were we all and i’m pretty sure gods anti-abortion and finnaly every unborn child deserves a chance at life that blob of flesh could be the cure for cancer or m.s i will never ever be pro-murder

          • Imagine that you have a uterus. Imagine that you are a victim or rape, or domestic abuse, or abject poverty, or seriously ill, Now imagine that you are pregnant, and there are no good options for you and any future child in your scenario, that continued pregnancy will be quite dangerous to your health, mental, or physical.

            Put your very male self into the body of a woman, deal with what we’ve had to deal with. Know what it is like to be scared shitless because of a pregnancy that will forever alter your life and not in a good way.

            Ask yourself, Mr. So-called Pro-life….are you really what you claim? Do you consider the existing life, more important than the potential? Isn’t it ironic that you feel living people deserve death?

          • Brandon Roberts

            1. i don’t feel all living people deserve death 2. adoption is a great option there are tons of wonderful families that would take great care of the babies 3. rape and domestic abuse is terrible but just cause the dads evil does not mean the child will be evil

          • So in other words, you have no real knowledge on the topic.

            Moving on.

          • KrisCynical

            Militant pro-life men like you always talk about adoption in this country as though it’s as simple and easy as adopting a puppy from a shelter. Hint: It’s not. That’s why so many people end up adopting from other countries instead of the US.

          • Brandon Roberts

            i know and the reason i am is because that babies a life and it also damages the woman too including depression increased risk of breast cancer that’s bout all i can think of but look the majority of u.s citizens are pro-life and a charity i’m really involved with carenet actually helps preagnant woman by helping them find adoption or providing stuff to take care of there babies free sonograms and they never judge the girls p.s i’m not militant pro-life i don’t walk around holding signs but i am pro-life and i’m not backing off okay

          • KrisCynical

            It’s been published in multiple medical journals that “abortion = heightened occurrences of depression” is false. It’s a stupid argument, too, since there’s a little thing out there called “postpartum depression” that’s an actual proven medical issue. It’s no more a reason to not give birth than a fictional increased chance of depression from abortion is a reason to not get an abortion.

            I don’t think you really know how difficult it is to adopt in this country seeing as how you danced around the subject just like you did with others who asked you pointed questions or brought up very specific caveats. You all talk about it like you’re adopting a puppy, all the while missing the detail of enduring gestation, childbirth, and the inherent dangers of both.

            I really don’t care if you “back off” (what are you, 13?) with your misinformed “facts” and tired talking points or not. It doesn’t matter. Thankfully the Constitution protects women from self-important men like you who think they have the right to tell her what to do with her own body.

            As soon as you grow a uterus and functioning ovaries your opinion will be taken more seriously by those of us who actually own and know how to operate that kind of plumbing. Until then, try to satisfy yourself with dictating what your wife or girlfriend can and cannot do with her own body and see how well that flies with her if she’s of the opinion that she’s perfectly capable of making such decisions for herself.

            Holding picket signs ≠ militant.

          • KrisCynical

            You may have deleted your reply to me, Brandon, but I still received it in my inbox. So let me quote the last bit of what you deleted:

            “i feel sorry for unwed teenagers rape/incest victims but that unborn embryo has potential and i can’t support snuffing that out okay”

            THIS is why you ARE “militant”.

            My niece bloomed early, like many girls nowadays who do anywhere from 9 to 11 years old. It’s so nice to know that if she was impregnated via rape/incest that YOU would be perfectly okay with forcing her to give birth regardless of HER FAMILY’S decision. Who the hell do you think you are to essentially say you should have more say than a victim’s FAMILY as far as termination goes? Your moral high horse is a friggin’ T-REX to believe that.

            Any guy who would be okay with forcing a 9-year-old girl — a CHILD — to give birth against her will is just as utterly disgusting as the monster who assaulted her in the first place, PERIOD. There is NO justification for that.

            You are heartless, plain and simple. You don’t “feel sorry for” those girls and you don’t give a damn about them, their well-being, or THEIR future “potential”. Those women are already here with an established existence and people who love them, and they have POTENTIAL in their futures that could be destroyed by being forced to give birth against their will by males like you who don’t even know them but have a pathological self-perceived moral obligation to violate them even more than their original attackers did. I highly doubt you’d be okay with strangers having that kind of life-altering control over YOUR body after an event you had absolutely no control over in the first place.

            I’m not trying to turn you because I know banging my head against a brick wall would be more productive. As a militant pro-fetus male (and you ARE militant whether you want to admit it or not), you will only ever see the issue in a very simplified black and white la la land version of the world instead of the complicated, horrible thing it is in its zillion shades of grey.

            I doubt you even think of those women as human beings with families and lives of their own… whatever helps you sleep at night. It’s gotta take a lot, what with the whole “I think little girls should be forced to carry out the pregnancy and give birth against their will if they’re raped” thing you’ve admitted to. I can only imagine that’s why you deleted that little admission: “Wow, that really sounds BAD.”

            …or allegro63 deleted it. It would most likely have been for the same reason, though: “Wow, that really sounds BAD.”

            If it was indeed a mod deletion, apologies if quoting part of the comment was a no-no. I’m still new-ish to UC (and thoroughly enjoying it).

          • Please stop posting false information. If you continue, I will start making the lies disappear.

          • Brandon Roberts

            if you would stop replying to me i would stop replying to you and honey i am telling the truth about carenet you should get to know some pro-lifers we’re capable of being really nice as are you pro-choicers

          • I am acting as a mod. I can stop your end of the conversation any time I choose.

            As for Care net. all they are is a place that does pregnancy, std screening offers an ultra sound…likely coerced to add to the guilt being laid on as thick as tar, and a so called “post abortion” bible study, that is probably another session of guilt.

            Such places do not serve the needs of women. They don’t offer pre or post natal care. They don’t offer treatment for STD’s, they don’t help women who discover they are a health crises caused or made a lot worse by a pregnancy. They don’t help women with day care, or an getting an education that may help lift them out of poverty, or even helping them obtain a good job that won’t have them dependent on government assistance. They don’t offer pregnancy prevention options, such as birth control pills, iuds, diaphrams, patches, “morning after” pills etc.

            They just exist to serve the people who run the place, and their volunteers and supporters. It helps their egos, serving their pride, and their sense of social justice.

          • Brandon Roberts

            ok that’s fair enough and look i will never apologize for my stance on abortion but i will apologize if i hurt anybody i’m sorry if i hurt anybody it was not my intent so i’m not replying to you again i wish you a happy life filled with joy and love good bye

      • deaconjohnny

        Everything we possibly can by the grace of God. But even with the best of efforts, not enough I regret.

  • deaconjohnny

    So, “My desire” reigns supreme? What a self-centred genration we have become.

    • James Walker

      yes, people of our generation think that their personal interpretation of scripture trumps another person’s ability to control what happens with their own bodies. extremely self-centred if you ask me.

      • deaconjohnny

        The amazing beauty and mystery of womanhood is that woman has been graced with the awesome God-given ability -and responsibility- to carry and nurture the body and soul of Another for 9 months within the secret security of her womb.

        The woman that is “with child” is caring not for her body alone, but also the body of another. To terminate the life of a totally helpless unborn child and to rip that one from the security of the womb is not a “right” any of dare carry lightly. It is a barbaric and heartless reflection on the tragic state of a secularized society, that by and large, knowingly or unknowingly, shakes its fist at God. How tragically degenerate we have become 🙁

        • James Walker

          unless you’re female, which I doubt, you will never be faced with that choice. this makes your stance one of extreme hubris, to presume you (individually or as a member of society) have any say over the decisions a woman makes about reproduction.

          on the one hand you mouth homages to God, having given the gift and responsibility of child-bearing to women and yet on the other you seem to believe that God requires you and others like you to “stand in the gap” and prevent women from having any choice about child-bearing. you can’t have it both ways, don’t you see? either God is powerful enough to take care of such matters Himself or God is merely an excuse you’re using to control women.

          • deaconjohnny

            “unless you’re female, which I doubt, you will never be faced with that choice. this makes your stance one of extreme hubris, to presume you (individually or as a member of society) have any say over the decisions a woman makes about reproduction.”

            Using the same logic, then only a murderer can pass judgement on another murderer, because the rest of us don’t know what it’s like to kill.

          • James Walker

            false equivalency and the use of a loaded word – “murder”

            in the one instance, a man is presuming to inform all women that termination of a pregnancy for any reason is immoral despite the fact it is legal.

            in the other, one or more members of society are consigning to punishment someone who has been found guilty of illegally ending the life of another member.

            the two situations are not at all similar and cannot rightly be used as arguments for or against each other.

          • deaconjohnny

            So because the law of the land says something is “legal”
            that also provides moral legitimacy, even though laws may change without reference to morality? If the highest
            authority is the state, then fine. But just suppose there is a higher divine law, then do you not think we may be answerable to it?

            I need to re-question, this so-called right of a woman
            to choose surely overlooks the fact that a new life is being created within the womb? Should not the protection of the innocent other weigh heavier in our choices than any other consideration? I’m not against choice. I’m just against making a choice that destroys the life of another.

          • James Walker

            the problem with the equation you’re drawing is that in the instance of murder, society has agreed and has enshrined in its laws the idea that for one person to kill another person without just cause is wrong and should be punished.

            in the instance of termination of a pregnancy, society has NOT in fact agreed that this action is wrong and has NOT agreed that the unborn child is a legally protected person. so society in most developed countries has, through various legislative actions and court decisions enshrined that women have the right to terminate pregnancies with certain provisos.

            you can talk about “higher divine law” all you wish but if we don’t all agree about what that “higher divine law” has to say on the subject, of what use is it to the conversation?

            ETA: “without just cause”
            Edit: removed the phrase “the actions of” as redundant

          • deaconjohnny

            This conversation is not about a woman’s right to choose. It is far more basic than that. It is about if at the core, we accept the possibility of objective truth; of truth that exists beyond human consensus. If the entire population chose to believe a lie, it would the truth not make, unless we have indeed become the masters of our own destiny. And if we have, then in doing so, we have reduced “God” to an idol of our own making, and we are worshiping at the altar of “self”.

            Our agreement or disagreement does in no way change
            objective truth. Or do you discount such a possibility?

          • AtalantaBethulia

            I’m willing to stipulate that the possibility of objective truth exists beyond human consensus. Whether it is knowable or not is another matter.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Re: “Should not the protection of the innocent other weigh heavier in our choices than any other consideration?”

            The Supreme Court addressed this and decided that personhood in which the developing fetus has a legal right worthy of protection which outweighs the legal right of the woman to self-determination occurs at viability.

            The question of assignment of personhood with legal rights is what drives this determination. Thoughtful people, including people of faith, disagree on when this occurs or should be assigned.

        • Yeah. That’s a woman’s bear children, and if the pregnancy is terminated for any reason, she is shaking her fist at God…The bovine offal is deep in that mindset.
          When you have a clue what a being woman is all about, get back to us.

        • jenny

          …similar for men:
          the mystery of manhood is that man has been graced with the awesome God-given ability and RESPONSIBILITY – to nurture the body and soul of Another for more than 9 months, but first of all, not to impose his gift of fatherhood on any women.

          Just because the man wants to follow God plan for him, does not mean that the man has the right to impose his plan on a woman….

          • deaconjohnny

            Well said, Jenny.

  • James Walker

    either God is powerful enough that any given woman in question plus her conscience plus God can handle the question of whether or not to continue a pregnancy or God is an excuse for men to control women’s reproductive systems. you simply cannot have it both ways.

    pro-lifers, choose. a) God is powerful or b) God is an excuse.

  • deaconjohnny

    Browsing through these comments, it is really interesting to see how pro-choicers appear to reduce this debate to their feelings. The moral debate is not really on the radar here, and God is but a tiny blip on the screen, smaller than a fetus. So since the debate is being carried on an emotional ‘feel good’ level, allow me to indulge you in this piece I wrote especially for everyone -unborn babies included- here:

    You made my body
    In the secret place
    Made me feeling
    secure and safe

    Through the will of man
    and woman too
    With God’s blessing I’ll see this through

    Behold the wonder of
    an unborn life
    kicking, struggle without strife

    And now at last
    sweet baby born
    Unless from your womb
    I am ripped and torn

    Yet still in heaven
    I’ll bare your name.
    But life for you
    Without me……..

    Can it ever be the same?
    This ferocious killing,
    Will you now tame?

    – – –
    Amen Lord Jesus.
    Bless all on this thread I pray, amen.
    Bro John.
    PS: I love & respect each one of you!
    – – –

    • AtalantaBethulia

      Let’s be fair: Many (most?) who hold that personhood begins at the moment of conception are no less driven by emotion.

      Determining when personhood occurs is a different things than determining the difference between “alive” and “dead.” Ascribing legal status, likewise, is a careful intellectual and philosophical endeavor. I’m sorry you missed the comments where ethical reasoning took place here.