Thoughts from an Abortion Doctor

This is a guest post by an abortion doctor. Her name has been removed to protect her and her family.

I’d like to share some of my thoughts with you regarding abortion. I’m a doctor who does both 1st and 2nd trimester abortions.

Although most of my practice is general OB/GYN, I’m something of an abortion “specialist” because most folks in my profession don’t want to be involved in abortions. I work for a large group where abortions are sent to those of us who will do them, so I perform literally hundreds of abortions a year.

First of all, I and most of my abortionist colleagues are women. Most of us are Jews, atheists, and other non-Christians. Almost all of us are mothers. I continued to perform abortions late into my own pregnancies, and you could literally see the appreciation in the eyes of my patients, knowing that I accepted and supported their reproductive choice.

I rarely tell anyone but my closest friends and family that I do abortions because I don’t want to risk myself or my family. Those crazies out there scare me.

Who Gets Abortions and Why?

Pullquote: Did you know that half of the abortions done in this country are done because of birth control failure?

We all know that anti-abortionists aren’t really “pro-life,” they are “pro-forced birth.” They make huge assumptions about who the women are who actually have abortions. They think that all the women who have abortions are just young flaky women who have no concern for the life of the embryo/fetus they are aborting. They couldn’t be more wrong.

Most of the women seeking early abortion are either very young or in the late part of their reproductive life. The youngsters are often coerced into unwanted pregnancies by their partners, or they didn’t think or know that they could get pregnant. Some of the older women think they couldn’t get pregnant because they were “too old.”

The decision to have an abortion is an agonizing decision, that few women choose lightly. They will be criticized for whatever decision they make. What kind of terrible mother could kill her own child? What kind of terrible mother could give her child away to strangers? What kind of terrible mother would keep a child she can’t afford to care for?

Did you know that half of the abortions done in this country are done because of birth control failure?

The “pro-coerced birthers” think that these are immoral women who should be punished for their (sex) sins with an innocent child. Then they complain about “welfare mothers” who need money to support their children. Those “precious babies” become children who they don’t want to feed. Aren’t Christians supposed to provide charity for those who need it? Worse then that, they don’t want to use federal funds to provide effective contraception or abortions for poor women. They just want to keep punishing women. Of course, if it’s one of their own, she just “made a mistake, she’s really a good girl.” Abortions happen in the fundie community too, don’tcha know.

Did you know that 1/3 of women who have abortions had a partner who sabotaged their birth control method? This is true domestic violence.

Women who have abortions come from all walks of life. This is not a phenomenon of only the inner city. Many are educated, and most of them are just plain middle class people.

The 1st trimester and early 2nd trimester abortions are most frequently done as elective abortions for unwanted pregnancies. I don’t like to do elective terminations after 22 weeks because of the viability issue. Late 2nd trimester pregnancies are very different.

Virtually all of the late 2nd trimester abortions I do are for fetal anomalies, fetal deaths, and for maternal health reasons. These poor souls really wanted their babies. They are in deep mourning because of the loss of their children. They come in deep grief, many times feeling guilty because they are “killing” their loved and wanted children. They worry if the baby will feel the abortion, and they don’t want their child to suffer.

Performing Abortions

Pullquote: 1,000x more women died due to abortion in Mexico, where it was illegal, than in the US

Many folks wonder what it’s like to perform abortions. First trimester abortions (dilation and curettage, D&C) are very unremarkable. Our patients are awake but sedated. The procedure is performed with a suction curette (hard plastic tube), and in the hands of an experienced abortionist, suctioning out the pregnancy lasts less than a minute. The “products of conception” come out as just a mass of undefined tissue about the size of a golf ball. No thunder and lightning. Most patients have worked themselves up to have it be a long, grueling process, but are shocked at how short the procedure is.

2nd trimester abortions are very different. The later procedure is much more difficult and riskier for the mom, hence the limited number of us who actually do them. They are also unpleasant, because the procedure (dilation and evacuation, D&E) involves pulling out the baby in pieces. That all being said, the procedure (in the hands of an expert) is much safer than inducing the delivery, and has a much lower complication rate that the induction does. Many of these poor parents don’t want to be awake for the birth of the child they are going to lose, and just prefer to lose the child under general anesthesia.

I’ve never done the famous “D&X” (dilation and extraction, “partial birth abortion”) procedure. This was the one that was outlawed because opponents thought it was too horrible of a procedure. The concept was to try to deliver the baby intact, but the brain matter was suctioned out to allow the delivery of the head through the cervix. This procedure was designed so that the parents of the child could hold an intact baby, back of the head covered up, after a surgical abortion. Not because we horrible abortionists love to torture babies and then kill them.

Why Do I Perform Abortions?

Pullquote: I perform abortions because women with unwanted pregnancies are willing to risk just about anything to try to end their pregnancy.

I would be the happiest person in the world to never do another abortion again. So why do I do them? Because pregnant women with unwanted pregnancies are willing to risk just about anything, including almost killing themselves, in order to try to end unwanted pregnancies.

I remember reading some statistics comparing abortions in the U.S. and Mexico, before they were legal there. About the same number of abortions were done in each country, just over 1 million abortions a year. In the U.S. about 10 women died as a result of legal abortion. In Mexico, about 10,000 women per year died as a result of illegal abortions. 10,000 women who were mothers, sisters, daughters, wives. Not pre-viable fetuses.

There’s excellent evidence that in countries where women control their reproduction, the families are more prosperous. Funny that, women knowing when it’s a good or a bad time to add a child to their family.

You would never pick out an abortionist in the crowd. We would probably be the last people you would figure. We are the kindest, most compassionate people you would wish to meet. We are, however, very passionate about protecting the lives and reproductive rights of our patients.

Last time I checked, abortion was legal in this country. But I can tell you that the people who oppose abortion have no feelings of any kind for the poor women who have to make the terrible decision to end a pregnancy for whatever reason. They want to end abortion because they love those theoretical innocent children.

Oh, yeah, forgot that we are all born sinners. Maybe they aren’t such great babies after all.

Bob Cargill on the Holy Grail
Where the Fire Comes From
Jesus was is a Muslim
Atheists in the Evangelical Mind
  • Francesc

    Thank You

  • kholdom0790

    Thank you so much for this…

  • JonJon

    I really appreciate the detail and the depth of feeling here.

    I admit, I rankle when I hear you say things like ‘We all know that anti-abortionists aren’t really “pro-life,” they are “pro-forced birth,”‘ and ‘But I can tell you that the people who oppose abortion have no feelings of any kind for the poor women who have to make the terrible decision to end a pregnancy for whatever reason.’ These things aren’t true (at least not as absolutely as you have phrased them) and in my opinion aren’t terribly fair to reasonable, non-screaming conscientious objectors.

    With that said, you write with a great deal of conviction, and I have a lot of respect for that. You (pretty clearly) firmly believe in what you’re doing, and you presented your best case for it, and i really do appreciate it.

    Is it bad that I still don’t agree with you?

    • Francesc

      Wich points -appart from her assumptions about “pro-lifers”, wich I would fully agree if she put some “most” here and there- you don’t agree with?

      • JonJon

        She has considered the morality surrounding abortion and arrived at a conclusion, which she believes in quite strongly; you can tell because she continues to work in what is no doubt a high-stress position. (I hesitate to speak for her much more than I already have, but from the article it seems as though she regards abortion as ‘the lesser of two evils,’ so to speak.) I have considered the morality surrounding abortion, and I have arrived at a conclusion which is different than that: roughly, I regard abortion as ‘the lesser evil’ far, far less often than she must if she is as committed to her career as she seems to be.

        I feel as though the moral certainty that she feels about the issue is pretty strong, based on the tone of the article and on her dedication to a high-stakes, high-stress job. I would be tempted to call it ‘unshakable,’ but that might be putting words in her mouth (again.) For her to continue to do what she does I would imagine that a firm moral certainty would be incredibly helpful, probably almost required.

        I have the luxury (not being in her position) of admitting that my own moral calculations are often wrong (on a good day, I’d settle for 50/50.) I don’t see this admission in the article, and I understand that (see above), but I think that is probably where I disagree most strongly: I think that absolute personal moral certainty on an issue this complex is generally negative, and typically leads down a very dangerous road.

        • Francesc

          “I would be the happiest person in the world to never do another abortion again. ”

          She doesn’t seem to me like a person who has a very strong believe and is not considering alternative options. She must have thought about it for some time now, and probably she still reconsiders her position in every abortion she has to perform, wich is -appart from religious nuts- what converts her work in a “high-stress position”.

          Of course, a firm moral certainty would be helpful but “we”, non-religious people, have learned not to require that degree of certainty. I can live with doubt, that’s what I know now and so, that’s what I believe now; maybe tomorrow I’ll change my mind. “We” also have learned to be responsible of our acts – I have also the luxury not to be in any position close to hers, I have to say.

          Now, she gives us some arguments for why abortion, and her doing it, should be regarded as the lesser of two evils:
          ” Because pregnant women with unwanted pregnancies are willing to risk just about anything, including almost killing themselves, in order to try to end unwanted pregnancies”.
          1.- She is saving lives. Some of these women could die trying to have an abortion without qualified medical assistance.
          2.- If those women are taking a so hard decision and willingly risking her own lives -and mental stability- to do it, are you sure your moral values should be imposed over theirs? What are you risking in that decision?

          “Not pre-viable fetuses”
          3.- Fetuses who can’t live outside the mother and who can’t feel aren’t yet human life
          [that's what I think, I'm not sure she wanted to say that, sorry if I misinterpreted it]
          4.- “Virtually all of the late 2nd trimester abortions I do are for fetal anomalies, fetal deaths, and for maternal health reasons.”

          Finally:
          “The youngsters are often coerced into unwanted pregnancies by their partners, or they didn’t think or know that they could get pregnant”
          “Did you know that 1/3 of women who have abortions had a partner who sabotaged their birth control method?”
          Those partners should get to jail. And those girls should have had some kind of sexual orientation.

        • Jabster

          The issue of ‘absolute personal moral certainty is not the impression I get from the article and I think you also agree with in your statement of ‘the lesser of two evils’. Where does the conclusion that you’ve arrived at differ from the above i.e. under which circumstances do you draw the conclusion that it’s not the lesser of two evils?

        • Siberia

          I have considered the morality surrounding abortion, and I have arrived at a conclusion which is different than that: roughly, I regard abortion as ‘the lesser evil’ far, far less often than she must if she is as committed to her career as she seems to be.

          Care to elaborate on this?

          Personally, I’d think (and this is just my assumption, not putting any words in her mouth) she believes what she believes because she’s seen these people who require abortions first-hand. They’re not faceless women to her; they’re not statistics, they’re not hypotheses. She’s seen them, she’s talked to them, she’s taken care of them – I’d guess she believes what she believes because she is much closer to the reality of the situation than most of us will ever be, and her perspective is influenced by these experiences. I’m also guessing she does not have a deeply entrenched religious conviction, either (not saying you do, but there are people who do – who would put religious conviction above all else).

          • JonJon

            So are you arguing that her belief on this point matters more than yours or mine because she is more informed, or closer to the situation? (Bear in mind that some people would regard being close to a situation as potentially compromising one’s judgment, moral or otherwise…)

            W/ regard to my own opinions, I (generally) feel that the life of an unborn child is more valuable than I hear many people saying. In attempts to provide a moral argument for abortion, there are typical appeals to the non-humanity of the fetus (and by non-humanity I mean the ‘lump of undifferentiated cells’ bit.) Why is that? I would contend that it is because *if* that lump of ‘undifferentiated cells’ was indeed human, then the moral compass swings in favor of traditionally ‘pro-life’ arguments. I understand and have researched the science on this about as far as I reasonably can, and I don’t think it is okay to to play fast and loose with this when the science of when humanity starts is so fiddly right now. Preemies survive from earlier now than they used to, and that trend only seems to continue.

            Furthermore, bearing in mind the idea that the unborn *might* be ‘human’ and ‘alive,’ I don’t know how much sense it makes to allow its ‘guardians’ to end such a life with literally no regulation.

            Obviously, I don’t claim to have the right answer, but I think the morality of this is a great deal more tangled than pro-choice arguments make it out to be.

            • Jabster

              I think the question that is being posed to you is to elaborate on when you think abortion is the lesser of two evils in the same way it has been it the OP.

            • JonJon

              I think that answer is different in many situations. I’m sorry I don’t have a neat answer for this, I really am.

              But lets say a girl I knew was raped. Should she get an abortion? I honestly think that’s up to her. There are going to be people who would like to keep that baby, as strange as that sounds. And there are going to be people for whom that baby would be a terrible burden that they are simply unwilling to bear. There might be a person who wants to carry it to term and then give it up for adoption, for her own reasons. Those reasons could be religious or philosophical; emotional, psychological or physical, or whatever. What I would do in situation A is different than what I would do in situation B. It makes sense that someone else’s decision might be different based on the situation as well, and that’s something I am comfortable with.

              Would you like me to say something inflammatory?
              I disagree with the moral reasoning that goes into the majority of abortions performed in the US. I think that faulty reasoning is something I am qualified to judge in another person.

              On the flip side, there is some moral reasoning that is undertaken about abortion which I am very uncomfortable with dismissing out of hand, and so I prefer to leave those situations in a category of ‘I don’t know, because I am different than this other person’. I think that in some situations this is a moral decision that I simply have no business judging somebody else on.

            • Jabster

              I don’t want you to say some inflammatory I was just wanted you to forward more solid examples than you had. I’m still unsure as to your exact thoughts as you have agreed that in certain cases it is ‘ok’ but are still putting forward the somewhat woolly statement of ‘moral reasoning’. Sorry to keep harping on about this but I still don’t really understand under what general conditions you think is abortion is ok. I do agree that it’s npt a black and white issue though …

            • JonJon

              I don’t have any specific ideas in mind, because I haven’t ever been forced to come to a decision whether to get an abortion or encourage an abortion or not. I think it would depend a lot on what a person’s justifications were.

            • Jabster

              See this is where I’m confused JonJon … you said that “I disagree with the moral reasoning that goes into the majority of abortions performed in the US.” but also “I don’t have any specific ideas in mind … ” now you see my problem here, those two statement don’t really add up. I don’t see a problem on giving general ideas of acceptability as it’s fairly obvious that circumstances differ so that aren’t going to be many hard and fast rules.

              Some general points could be; time limited; based on convenience; product of rape; financial conditions; already having to many children; the wrong sex; medical condition both minor and major.

            • JonJon

              I think that in the US at least, there are fewer reasons that I personally would regard as sufficient.

              Lets use as an example, having an abortion because the child is the wrong sex. In the US, I would have a tremendously hard time being ok with this. In China under birth limits, I would be more inclined to say ok.

              The problem is that, for myself, (probably because I’m a more or less privileged white male) I can’t think of a reason beyond my own personal safety that would incline me toward an abortion. Part of this is me not experiencing this for myself, and part of it is my own judgment.

              I would say convenience is an issue that I would have a very hard time deciding was more important than an unborn fetus, for myself. With that said, I wouldn’t necessarily fault someone who did decide to have an abortion out of convenience, but I would hope to see some seriously mitigating circumstances.

              *runs and hides*

            • Jabster

              “I think that in the US at least, there are fewer reasons that I personally would regard as sufficient.”

              Well with what seems the worse record on social justice in the developed world I might sort of disagree with that.

              “The problem is that, for myself, (probably because I’m a more or less privileged white male) I can’t think of a reason beyond my own personal safety that would incline me toward an abortion.”

              “With that said, I wouldn’t necessarily fault someone who did decide to have an abortion out of convenience, but I would hope to see some seriously mitigating circumstances.”

              I have no problem with anyone disagreeing with abortion on a personal level, which is my impression of your viewpoint, even though I may disagree with their reasoning – so no need to run and hide! The problem occurs when this personal choice is extended to others either through legislation, aggressive moralising (see the Catholic Church) or even worse violence. It’s one of the biggest problems I have with organised religion in that it’s one thing to say this is the moral standard by which we choose to live our lives, it’s another thing to then ‘force’ others to follow this moral standard or claim that views on morality based on religious grounds should be treated in a special way.

            • JonJon

              If someone thought that innocent people were being harmed by a freedom to choose a moral standard, then they might think it would be the government’s job to step in, though, right? I’m not saying that I think this, but is it at least understandable why people who view the unborn as actual people with actual rights might desire government intervention to protect those rights?

              Keeping religion out of it for the moment, if it was scientifically established (somehow) that a fetus was really a human person from a certain point onward, then it would make sense to extend some sort of governmental protection for that person, wouldn’t it?

              So for those people who think that a fetus is a human person to want some kind of governmental protection for that person (who right now has very close to none) is not unreasonable. No matter whether or not they come from a religious perspective, if they think that a fetus is a person, then it makes sense to lobby for the extension of rights to that person, right?

              Whether you like it or not, the government already forces a moral standard on its participants. It also makes sense for a government’s enforced morality to reflect in some way the morality of those it governs. Why then is there a problem with people voicing their opinions on which morality that should be, and giving their reasons for it?

              Right now, legislation in the US supports abortion, with relatively little regulation. opposing that legislation is bad because…?

              sorry for the relative shortness of this answer, i’m about to go to sleep i think…

            • Francesc

              “Keeping religion out of it for the moment, if it was scientifically established (somehow) that a fetus was really a human person from a certain point onward, then it would make sense to extend some sort of governmental protection for that person, wouldn’t it?”

              It can’t be scientifically stablished. It is scientifically stablished when the fetus begin to sense things, and -or it will be- when it begins to be counscious of himself, but the definition of “human person” is moral. And indeed, from a certain point onward fetus are protected. The discussion then -I agree- is what should we consider a human person, and wich is that point.

            • Jabster

              “If someone thought that innocent people were being harmed by a freedom to choose a moral standard, then they might think it would be the government’s job to step in, though, right?”

              Abortion is an easier one to argue this case for. In general other religious views that are attempted to be enshrined in law are not.

              “Keeping religion out of it for the moment, if it was scientifically established (somehow) that a fetus was really a human person from a certain point onward, then it would make sense to extend some sort of governmental protection for that person, wouldn’t it?”

              The problem I see with this is that a sizeable proportion of anti-abortionist base their view on religion and not science. Using science to determine the ‘correct’ time wouldn’t make a jot of difference to them. As an aside IIRC in Islam that time has been determined as 20 days after conception.

              “Whether you like it or not, the government already forces a moral standard on its participants.”

              Yes agree to a certain extent but most of our laws (basing this on the UK) are based around having a functioning society and not morality as such. Fortunately here in the UK most of the laws based in religion have now been removed. I like being able to go out on Sundays and actually buy something!

              “Why then is there a problem with people voicing their opinions on which morality that should be, and giving their reasons for it?”

              Voicing an opinion, as you are, is fine force that opinion on others is generally wrong. Threatening and carrying out violence against abortion clinic staff is just plain wrong.

            • http://www.multiplaying.net Slurms

              “So are you arguing that her belief on this point matters more than yours or mine because she is more informed, or closer to the situation?”

              I can get a good look at a steak from a bulls ass, but I think i’ll take the butchers word for it.

            • JonJon

              That’s all well and good for you, your butcher is Gerald McCleanhands, your next-door neighbor of fifteen years…

              I get my chops (at least I think they’re chops…) from Sneeze-a-lot Frankenbush, who sells them out of his car trunk…

              But I digress…

        • Michael R

          I can see what you mean, and you take what I believe to be a wise and humble position here. We should all, in every circumstance, view our own moral conclusions with a certain wariness. So many things go into our perspectives about moral issues (environment, experience, temperament, beliefs, assumptions, emotions, etc) that we should always be willing to empathize with the opposition. The case of the author here is one of particularly strong emotional value. So, perhaps, she should try to be just a tad less confident in her assertions. That being said, she deals, courageously (a subjective matter, to be sure), with the fear and suffering of women who are having to make a decision most of us have the luxury of never facing. It’s easy to judge from afar, and when you don’t have to come face to face with human suffering, it’s awfully easy to stand on a soap-box and preach to other people.

    • Kodie

      I admit, I rankle when I hear you say things like ‘We all know that anti-abortionists aren’t really “pro-life,” they are “pro-forced birth,”‘ and ‘But I can tell you that the people who oppose abortion have no feelings of any kind for the poor women who have to make the terrible decision to end a pregnancy for whatever reason.’ These things aren’t true (at least not as absolutely as you have phrased them) and in my opinion aren’t terribly fair to reasonable, non-screaming conscientious objectors.

      So, but do you read any good reasons in the article for people to have abortions? What life must be like to be punished with a child that’s unwanted or can’t be properly cared for? Living on welfare, not having access or information about reliable forms of contraception, and that even in cases where that’s not true, having one’s contraception sabotaged by one’s partner? I mean, you can be reasonable, non-screaming conscientious objector all you want, but are you doing something else to solve the problem? Or just feeling bad and judging people for their moral decisions?

      This person is in the face of it every day, she knows what these women think and feel and how come they choose abortion. People who attempt to prevent abortions from remaining legal or preventing women from walking in a clinic, or state laws that require the enforcement of a waiting period and for the woman to sign a document that she’s read all the pro-life literature are all doing so many things to try to force people to reconsider their options out of guilt and fear and misinformation – men never have to deal with this. Men who pressure their girlfriend to have sex without a condom, men who pray and shout and fight with a woman to pleeeeeease go have an abortion, I don’t want to raise a kid! Who kicks these men down or tells them they will cry and suffer the rest of their life if they ever murder their child? Surely even the law states they are on the hook if the woman doesn’t choose abortion, so that satisfies one result in the choice to engage in sexual activities that result in a live baby, so the “punishment” is shared, but I would say most of the time abortions are performed, it is likely the guy’s idea or preference anyway. I have never heard any anti-abortion advocate for the punishment of men who decide they would like for their girlfriend or wife to have an abortion, nor scare them with how they will regret the sin and punish themselves by turning into an emotionally depressed heap for the rest of their life as a result. Please.

      Anyway, the point is, pro-life people tend to care about this fetus very much as if you are a monster to kill it, but they don’t consider the lifestyle of people who are forced into continuing a pregnancy or what would really happen if abortion was illegal. It’s very short-sighted, so I don’t hear you saying you are doing something about that, if you are opposed to abortion. What is the best solution all around? Where is your solution to the problem?

      • JonJon

        I don’t have a solution to the problem, and that’s kind of the point.

        Your solution to the problem is to call abortion the lesser of two evils. I don’t have a solution, because i’m not prepared to assert abortion is the lesser or greater of two evils with any large degree of certainty. Like I said, with regard to personal, complicated moral issues, certainty tends to be problematic. I figured I wouldn’t get much disagreement with that proposition, since it seems to be what most of the criticism of religion on this site (and others) is built on. Fundamentalists are crazy/dangerous/inane, etc, because they believe they have all the answers, when to think that you have all the answers is silly.

        Little of this information was news to me; I’ve heard these arguments before, and they can be compelling. (With the exception of the staggering one third of abortion recipients having been the victim of birth control tampering. That strikes me as an astronomical number, and I feel like I need more information about that one.) Should I then blindly accept pro-choice policies in every situation? In most? Should I ever *blindly* accept a pro-choice or pro-life policy? There are equally compelling arguments (to me at least) for holding to a strongly pro-life stance. Why would it be at all helpful for me (who has never sanctioned, had, or performed an abortion) to have a perfect solution to this problem? People will arrive at their own solutions to this problem, and I think that’s better than people arriving at other people’s solutions.

        • LRA

          Whether you accept it or not, pro-choice policy is only for you to decide for yourself. It is not yours to decide for me or any other woman. I think that is the whole point of being pro-*choice*– because, as you said, “People will arrive at their own solutions to this problem, and I think that’s better than people arriving at other people’s solutions.”

          • ellie

            “Whether you accept it or not, pro-choice policy is only for you to decide for yourself. It is not yours to decide for me or any other woman”

            I understand this argument and where it comes from… not everyone knows the situations surrounding a woman’s choice to choose an abortion, but what is completely ignored in arguments like this is the life of the baby. The reason I feel the need to speak up and promote pro-life decisions, is because there are thousands of unborn lives being taken away every day, and do they have a say in what is happening to them? No.

            I don’t mean to condemn women who have had abortions… but I do think it is important to promote decisions that support life.

            When someone commits a heinous crime against you, for example, rape, you don’t normally go and take someone else’s life for it. Even if it would make your life easier…. it just wouldn’t be right. So how come just because someone hasn’t been born yet, it is all of a sudden ok to take away their life?

            • Jabster

              “So how come just because someone hasn’t been born yet, it is all of a sudden ok to take away their life?”

              Yep I think the same every time I bash the bishop …. it’s taking a way a potential life isn’t it?

            • Kodie

              It’s quite likely their life will suck and they will think so too.

            • JonJon

              ‘quite likely’

              there ya have it ladies and gents!

            • JonJon

              I apologize for my above snarkiness.

              *hangs head*

              it was funnier in my head than on the page…

            • Kodie

              There you have what? You seem complacent or ignorant of the fact that these children would tend to be born into unhappy lives. They are unwanted. How would you feel growing up if you were unwanted? Even if this is not directly communicated with you even in a time of impatience, I’m sure you would get the message in effect. You are probably poor and you probably wouldn’t get to go to college and reverse the effects of poverty and end the cycle. You might die when you’re young of gunshots or drugs. You might be discouraged and feel hopeless, unwanted, unloved, taken care of poorly by someone who knows themselves and knows they are unable and unwilling to support a child. Force them anyway.

              Where are you, pro-lifers, save the dignity of this person’s life! Or prevent it. Or stop complaining about abortions on the basis of something that doesn’t have a brain not getting a vote on a concept they are completely unaware of because they haven’t even formed awareness.

            • Kodie

              JonJon, it’s ok if you were snarky to me. I write all these long comments and then I tried to be brief and maybe it was too brief? Writing stuff is hard, editing is hard. :(

            • JonJon

              What you are talking about Kodie, is deciding that someone else’s life is going to be hard and removing any decisions about it from them.

              If a person has a terrible childhood and commits suicide, that breaks my heart.
              Is it better for someone else to say that their life would probably suck, and preemptively ‘take care of things?’

              I will admit that it might be, in some situations, but I think a strong case could be made that it is better for this decision to rest in the hands of the individual.

              For example, there was a proposed program in WA state where I used to live, that would have *required* the implantation of an IUD in order to receive welfare. If you needed welfare, you had to accept the IUD. I can see some people thinking this is a good idea, and I can even understand why they thought it would be helpful. The fact of the matter is, though, that this sort of decision is better left in an individual’s hands.

              I have no problem with living wills asking people to pull the plug when they go for a certain amount of time without breathing on their own. That is only fair. I do have a problem (occasionally) with the highly publicized legal battles over the occasional millionaire on life support. Some of the family can’t wait to pull the plug, some of the family are trying to settle their own scores by keeping him alive, etc. This is a choice which should be up to the individual.

              So yes, there are situations in which it is beneficial for the mother to choose a difficult thing and have an abortion. All the same, though, the decision about ending your life because you are dissatisfied with it or having difficulties is a decision which I think should be more often left up to the person whose life it is. People from rough, single mother backgrounds, or kids who got thrown into foster care for whatever reason often have great, productive, fulfilling lives, and wouldn’t have wanted to give up their lives even if it meant not experiencing their difficult childhoods. That’s all I’m saying.

            • JonJon

              /hug

            • Kodie

              Suicide is a shitty thing. I have a realistic attitude about it, however. I have a friend with occasional bouts of depression that lean toward one day making the effort to off himself. I don’t feel like that’s my decision to prevent it. I would miss my friend, and when things are better for him, they’re not all that great. He talks about turning his life around, and that could happen. I don’t think that he is capable of change. I think he should return to school, but he doesn’t want to. I think he would make a great professional, but he is really good at being a slacker. He occasionally pays the bill he sends to himself with a battle over whether to ride it out or take a lot of pills one night. I have every reason to believe if and when it happens, he knows what he’s doing.

              Of course, this is different, he was a wanted child and raised with some affluence. He just missed and messed up some of his opportunities. I think in the case with abortions, there is no baby. If you are happy and healthy and want a child, it will become a baby. If you know there’s no way in hell you can raise it, you might have wanted to try to be smarter in the first place, but there you have mistakes, contraception failure, and the described sabotage as mentioned in the article. Even in the best case where every pregnancy that could have been prevented by the most adequate birth control would fail sometimes, and I don’t think people of any such diligence deserve the small chance of failure to command their attention and money for 20 more years. Since there are two parties involved, it is difficult to assign responsibility and trust – people do have sex without knowing what different motives their partner has. I don’t try to address that here.

              If you look at a population with high teenage birth rates or single motherhood for example, you may like to point out the few triumphs. Sure, it happens, some people go through heroic measures to overcome it. But if you look at statistics, and you just look at this life in general, you can only see that it continues to be a cycle passed on to children who have children, and you can only think you’re glad you don’t have that life. On an individual basis, you might see people say their life was hard but worth it, hard, but they’re not looking to die yet, hard, and they’re tired of things and they don’t see a way out of it. Would they rather have been aborted, you ask. I don’t see it that way. A baby is not a grown-up, a fetus is not a person. If you ask it a question, you will have to raise it up and ask that question in a lot of years. Would you rather have been aborted? I ask myself that. Yeah, sometimes. Would I kill myself now? No. Would I have been prevented from experiencing some pretty awesome things? So far, no. I like myself, but I sometimes think it hasn’t been worth the pain. Some people like the pain and the joy, so everyone’s answer will be different.

              I don’t know that a fetus has an opinion on things that haven’t happened that they had no idea will happen. I do think that cow you probably ate today or yesterday had more of an issue with becoming meat than a fetus cares that it will never live. I still eat cows too, just saying. It’s kind of like you think that potential to become a person might have voted otherwise to place him or herself as a burden to the parents, to suck all the potential out of them, cost them dear amounts of money they don’t have or time they don’t want to spend raising them so one day they may triumph over the system – very bad odds. Some mothers work very hard and they put up with being a single parent and doing the best they can which often isn’t enough. Something that’s not alive yet, you say, ought to have a choice, not just a choice, but the only choice to gamble on whether that will be his mother, and that will not be trapped in a life cycle of poverty when he’s grown and making his own children who needn’t have been made so they can do the same thing – where are the programs? Why is this alright with you?

            • JonJon

              I figure that’s the way life works whether or not abortion enters into it. Call me a cynic, but I don’t think that a program will ever wipe out poverty, or hunger. Children have been born in poverty and awful conditions, they are born in poverty and awful conditions, and they will continue to be born in poverty and awful conditions. That’s unfortunate, yes, but I don’t look for it to be eliminated anytime soon, if ever. (Additionally, programs to solve social problems on this scale make me very antsy… too much sci-fi in my younger days.)

              The point isn’t that a fetus can make a choice, but that I think it is important that, where possible, its ability to make future choices and become a self-actualizing human being be preserved. I think that is something important to the way that people work, and the way that society works.

              I don’t think a fetus has a right to choose what is best for him/her/whatever. But I do think that parents ‘should’ take it upon themselves to preserve that right for their child, no matter what age that child is. It would take some convincing for me to no longer regard that as a moral good. All of childhood is basically a parent or parents doing this for their kid; we keep kids safe because we are holding their later freedom to make their own decisions and be their own person in trust for them.

              And I recognize that sometimes this could mean aborting a fetus, or that sometimes it is a nice idea that someone feels needs to take second stage to a bigger issue. I’m never thrilled about it, but I understand and respect that, because in its own way it often is a sort of acknowledgment of that responsibility, and someone’s inability to handle it (or at least a bare recognition that childhood carries with it a kind of obligation that is unusual and important).

              I would argue that even personhood that is only potential brings with it a kind of obligation that has a great deal of weight. That’s all. I could go on about abortion, but its a tough discussion to have over the internet because it is so multi-faceted. It isn’t my place to judge the actions and decisions of someone who thought about things and came to the conclusion that that obligation was superseded by something else. I only mean to point out that this obligation is real and important, and sometimes emphasized less than it might be.

              best-

            • ellie

              “It’s quite likely their life will suck and they will think so too.”

              Is it also quite likely that their life will “suck” so much that they will grow up angry at their parents for not killing them off while they had the chance? I don’t know, I think it is actually quite likely that they will be glad they were not aborted… and, and this is certainly assuming, I would assume that most people are glad and grateful that they were not aborted.

            • Kodie

              You think being unwanted serves someone well in their life? I assure you I wouldn’t have missed anything and nobody would miss me in their life if I were aborted. You can ask me or anyone here, who might well like their lives so far, they might not if they knew they were unwanted, and that they wouldn’t have known the difference for sure.

            • Whit

              I guess it depends on the trimester, your definition of human life, and so forth. I personally view an early trimester fetus, one that does not yet have differentiated parts, brain activity, the ability to be viable apart from the parent, etc.. It is difficult because to have the argument in the first place you have to establish what life and humanity ARE.

              I think what makes us human is in part our memories, our awareness, without it, we are still alive, but are we still human? In the early weeks (I’m not updated at the moment in the development sciences) the zygote/baby/embryo is still unaware cells, similar to the egg and sperm, gametes, a cell or group of cells that could be a devloped human someday, but at the moment are not. At this point to me ending the pregnancy isn’t killing a baby, it is simply not creating one. the cells suffer no more then they would if the unfertilized egg had been flushed away and the sperm killed in a spermicide lubricant. It’s like having a pile of car parts, they could be assembled into a car, but they are not a car, and to not put them together is not destroying a car, but simply not makeing one.

              But when that point is, when it ends, when a fetus is a baby, I don’t know, and I don’t think anyone why hasn’t specifically researched it knows either, and even there, there is a great level of subjectivity. And the subjectivity is exactly why I support pro choice, in an area where we can’t definitively say it is alive or not, we should allow the individual with their own personal morality and their doctors to make the call.

              However,
              In a contrived situation, say an invitro clinic is on fire, and you can either save a crying 3 month old or several petri dishes with viable embryos (assuming you had parents for them, etc). Our first impulse may be to save the child, but if you believe embryos are liveing children too and you can save more of them, would you leave the 3 month old? This is simply an honest question, I am curious. Are the embryos equal to a baby?

          • JonJon

            @ LRA

            I qualified my statement somewhere else, so let me do it here too for completeness’ sake. I do not feel comfortable throwing out complex moral decisions. I do, however, feel comfortable combating any ‘faulty reasoning’ that might go into a moral decision. I believe that many (by no means all, but possibly most) abortions are based in part on faulty reasoning. That doesn’t mean the decision still isn’t justified, but I don’t like to let faulty moral reasoning go unchallenged. Does that make any sense, or am I throwing in too many caveats?

          • Melissa

            Thank you! I was going to point that out myself.

    • http://kazdragon.blogspot.com Kaz Dragon

      *looks at the statistics above*

      *looks at JonJon’s post*

      JonJon. Direct question: Would you kill 9,990 people every year to have your belief put in law in just one country?

      • JonJon

        Did I say that I would? Anywhere?
        Did I come close to saying that?
        Did I not, in fact, say that I don’t have a particularly good answer for this (several times?)

        hmmm…

        There’s a word for that, lemme think…

        Is it… a straw man? I think it might be…

        • http://kazdragon.blogspot.com Kaz Dragon

          So is that a no? A yes?

          Perhaps the reason for me asking is that, of all people here, I feel that you are the most likely person on this blog to be listened to by strict anti-abortionists.

          When one of them says to you, “Abortions should be banned!”, are you going to agree with them, pray a bit and say, “Amen!”, or would you instead say something along the lines of: “In principle, I agree with you. However, I wouldn’t want to kill 9,990 people per year to have that implemented just in Mexico, never mind the USA. Would you?”

          Assuming your answer was no…

          • JonJon

            I would dispute the nature of the original question.

            sorry to be picky, but lemme give an example. (this is a bad example, but i’m tired)

            driving while under the influence of alcohol is dangerous, and kills tons of people.

            (I said it was a bad example)

            driving while under the influence of alcohol is dangerous, and kills tons of people. We, in response to this, have outlawed this practice in the united states. Oddly, drunk driving still kills tons of people. If instead, we had taught in driving school the best ways to drive while intoxicated, some lives could legitimately have been saved, especially in conjunction with slower speed limits at night, etc, since people still drive while intoxicated. Does that mean that the people who outlawed driving while intoxicated have killed a certain number of people by instituting this law?

            I would argue that outlawing something does not necessarily make someone responsible for the choices of those who break that law. It can, but it doesn’t necessarily.

            I don’t think I would be in favor of outlawing abortion, but I think I would prefer to see it regulated in some way.

            (I imagine an argument by a very strong pro lifer would be to ask how many *people* were born who would not have been were abortion legal, and was that number around ten thousand. I think that answer slightly misses the point, but it is an interesting question since you are asking about large numbers of lives.)

            • http://kazdragon.blogspot.com Kaz Dragon

              > (I said it was a bad example)

              Yep. In particular, alcohol changes the mental state, including in ways that even being trained in “ways to drunk drive ‘more safely’” may yield no results. In particular, studies have shown that reflexes are at least five times slower when under the influence, meaning that any accident that may occur will be worse, and many near-misses will instead be hits.

              But I understand the point.

              However, with abortion, the numbers are in:

              > (I imagine an argument by a very strong pro lifer would be to ask how many
              > *people* were born who would not have been were abortion legal, and was
              > that number around ten thousand.

              That’s not the way I interpreted the article above. It says that the number of people getting abortions when they are illegal, as opposed to legal, does not change. The answer to the question is: 0.

              What does change is that, where abortion is illegal, women die. That’s the only change. The real statistics say that, although well-meaning, “pro-life” people are in fact “pro-death”.

              > I don’t think I would be in favor of outlawing abortion, but I think I would prefer
              > to see it regulated in some way.

              I don’t disagree. And it is.

  • BVZ

    In abortions performed a bit later in the pregnancy, is the fetus sedated in any way? I can’t find any information about this on the internet.

    • Custador

      Why would the fetus need to be sedated? They have no brain activity which isn’t brain-stem originated (i.e. non-conscious thoughts) until late in the third trimester anyway, and at that point they wouldn’t be being aborted.

      • jemand

        though I have heard that it is possible to sedate the fetus in the second trimester without much, if any danger to the mother of complications, and some women and doctors do opt for that.

        • http://myspace.com/rox1smf Rox1SMF

          If the abortion is performed under general anesthesia, whether the fetus can feel or not it would be anesthetized as well, wouldn’t it?

          • Kodie

            To be sort of graphic, when I had mine, I had to take some serious (and seriously fun) painkillers maybe an hour prior to the procedure, plus a giant shot of local anesthetic. I was at about 6 or 7 weeks though. I don’t think anyone felt any pain.

    • http://foreverinhell.blogspot.com Personal Failure

      In order to feel pain, you need two things: myelinated nerves and a developed brain. Fetuses have neither, and therefore cannot feel pain.

      • BVZ

        Thanks for the responses. Is there a link or a study or something I can read about fetuses not having these things? It makes sense that without myelinated nerves it would be impossible to feel pain.

        • http://myspace.com/rox1smf Rox1SMF

          “myelinated nerve fibers fetal development” Google search brought up a book about clinical neuropathy that says process for Peripheral Nerve Fibers begins during late fetal development and during first postnatal year.

          • Ali

            In a late term abortion, the fetus is either euthanized via a shot of dygoxin or the sedatives the woman receives passes to the fetus.

  • Custador

    “1/3 of women who have abortions had a partner who sabotaged their birth control method? This is true domestic violence.”

    That’s just… Wow. Frightening.

    • Siberia

      I’ve known a woman in such a situation. She was unmarried and in a stable relationship (they lived together and were, by any standard, married except in the eyes of the law). Turns out the “husband” cheated on her and impregnated another woman; worried that she might leave him, he sabotaged condoms and birth control pills; she got pregnant. Pegging it on bad luck, she only afterwards discovered what he did – when the other woman started harassing them for money.

      When we met her she was highly stressed, because she didn’t have a job or means of income and a child to care; she depended on him utterly, financially, and thus couldn’t leave the lying bastard (as he expected). To make things worse, the child seems to have development problems. She’s stuck with a man who lies and cheats on her, while refusing to legalize their situation.

      Domestic abuse? You bet. Sure it doesn’t involve violence, but abuse nonetheless.

      • Custador

        Men like that should be castrated. I was once with a woman who sabotaged our birth-control trying to get herself pregnant – fortunately I caught her doing it – and at first I thought that it was as bad as a man doing it, but while it’s still terrible even I have to admit that it’s not as bad – because when a man does that to a woman, he risks permanent damage to her health as well as saddling her with a possible offspring that a man could just walk away from.

        • Kodie

          In the US, if you are a man who impregnates a woman, you are financially responsible for the child until he or she is 18. This is a topic of some other sore debate, but I think if you know how to have sex, you should be prepared for the outcome at your own risk. Also, as I understand it, if a woman does get pregnant “accidentally” or otherwise and the man is unprepared, he is often in favor of abortion (if not skipping town entirely), and in my case, he pressured me and used scare tactics, like having used cocaine and the baby would be retarded and deformed. Young men are awfully in favor of abortion when it’s their decision, which it’s not, but I get the feeling men would have more abortions than women if they had a chance of getting pregnant.

          • Kodie

            Also included in some of the literature that some states require be read over before a woman can get an abortion is the fact that the father of the child is held responsible, as often as a woman can possibly choose abortion because they think the father would leave her if she carried it. He can leave her, but he’s still financially responsible. Some women choose to exempt a man of their own ethical policies or often feeling like it’s her baby, she doesn’t like the father and wants him out of her life, or that she feels guilty like getting pregnant was her own fault. That last one is wrong, everyone’s responsible for their own part in creating it, even in cases of false trust like this recent example of sabotage. Some women don’t in fact know, I guess they like to go on Maury Povich and declare some favorite lay as the father instead of some no-good guy it might be, while he denies it. All men faced with a paternity ruling should get a dna test before they pay anything.

          • Custador

            Well, I think think you’re generalising slightly; I had a g/f who got pregnant at 19, and I was fully prepared to be a father to that child if that’s what she decided. In the event, she had a termination without telling me first. I didn’t like being excluded from that decision, but I accepted that it was ultimately her choice and that it was probably the right one.

            I think the difference in mindset which you describe is, in no small measure, due to the fact of pregnancy and responsibilty. If men COULD get pregnant, I guarantee that there wouldn’t be any more abortions, because men would very quickly become a damned sight more careful!

            I still think that women who pull the “keep-a-man baby” trick are sick, though, and that it’s morally repugnant. I just think that men who sabotage birth control are even MORE morally repugnant!

            • Kodie

              Well that’s why it’s a topic of some debate. I’ve had this debate before, and in the end, you are right, I think men would be more careful. I don’t know if socially and culturally, men would have been socialized to want babies to cuddle, or whatnot, whatever reasons any woman can think that having a baby is not the giant hassle that it is (in addition to being a normal thing for people to do and think is wonderful also). When they say girls mature faster than boys, at least in some sense, we only have a limited time, I don’t know what the rush is exactly though.

              When a woman sabotages her contraception to trap a man, the man in that case has some sense of false trust or gambling, but he knows sex creates babies in a biological sense. Some men step up voluntarily, some men have to be coerced. I was surprised to read that men sabotage contraception at all for pro-pregnancy reasons, but in order to increase his chances of not being a father, relying on the woman’s contraception or luck is not often good enough. I wish there weren’t some myth that take over women who feel their boyfriend isn’t going to stay with them to have a baby – that’s a myth, I think it should be included in all the available literature about pregnancy and contraception also!

              In the end, there may be a lack of information about contraception, but I’ve never really thought about it from the man’s angle, except that he’s as responsible for the result of the act as the woman. As a society, rather than plaster this new family or single motherhood, see this is difficult. Nothing really wrong with being a single mother, but the fact remains is you don’t hear enough about how having a baby does not require the man to stay in your life, as your boyfriend, or marry you and live happily ever after. If he’s rotten and he wasn’t going to stay, why do women prize this man enough to try to keep him and trick him? That’s a real problem cycling back to the domestic abuse of sabotaging birth control. I think as forms of birth control go, trying to keep a man by getting pregnant isn’t really effective at either, but I don’t know if it results in more abortions.

              If it is the woman’s choice that disagrees with the man’s choice, I’ve heard of legal cases where the woman can’t get an abortion because the father claims rights and is against abortion, or just the abortion of his own child, which, you know, time is of the essence. Is this power or what? I don’t know what to do about it in those cases, the man doesn’t have to be pregnant, but I don’t think he should have less choice. I guess often he concedes with the woman’s choice of abortion. If adoption, he may take custody instead, and if keep, he has to pay child support until the child is 18, and the mother can move out of state and make visitation difficult, if he chooses to parent the child also, in addition to financial support, actually wants to be a father.

            • Siberia

              Frankly, methinks that a woman who has a child to keep a man – and simply because of that – isn’t fit to be a mother. Sure, she may do well, and learn eventually, but that reeks of all the wrong reasons to have a child to me – this isn’t a toy, isn’t a gamble. It’s a potential life we’re talking about. I can’t imagine any situation where this would be acceptable. The opposite is true as well – trapping a woman with a child just to keep her around. It’s as bad as women who have children to extort child support from rich / well off men.

              Nothing really wrong with being a single mother, but the fact remains is you don’t hear enough about how having a baby does not require the man to stay in your life, as your boyfriend, or marry you and live happily ever after.
              Being the daughter of one such woman – who had no problem whatever raising two girls into financially independent, educated and – I hope – sane women, one of them with a chronic illness (that’s me) since childhood, no men required, I second this.

            • Kodie

              Right, I agree some women can be dips about what it will be like to have a baby or seem to use it like some sort of man magnet. It’s wrong, but just like some people have little information about contraception, education in this area seems to be needed. I think it would help people not try to foil their own contraception and find partners who are smarter also and have an idea to plan for sometime in the future to get themselves stable in the first place.

              Unfortunately with socialization of females, it’s often the case that some see no future ahead except motherhood and that is their goal early in life. Even in one’s teens, there is a fantasy, when people are old enough to have hormonal urges and activities and some fascination with babies, but not enough information. They fall in love with some teenage stupid boy (sorry!) and think when they’re having sex that they are in love and they should get married and have a family, like you’re supposed to. Even I thought that would be major cool to marry a boy I liked while still in high school. I wasn’t having sex until I went to college though.

              It’s not that abstinence policy should be enforced, or that contraception is made unavailable, but it seems difficult to get into the brains of people who don’t know what motherhood will be like to unromanticize it at least until they are able to find a long, stable relationship with someone and/or handle it financially.

              I’m not saying that women are stupid, but there’s some sort of socialization at work, so you can hand out all the condoms you want, take them to the gyno and prescribe pills, you can even assign them an egg to take care of for a week (I think they may have baby simulators now in some school systems that can afford them), that just doesn’t get through to some people.

              I can think of a lot of real life stuff that the public school system just doesn’t address about adulthood, that might should be taught at home, but isn’t, but baby simulators may be the most important teaching tool a school can have. I learned a lot of stuff in school that’s just ephemeral trivia compared with how important it is to know what adulthood responsibilities would be like.

              So yeah, educating people on reality, not just offering the contraception but encouraging its use. I think as a society, we must fail at this. If school budgets can afford footballs for kids who probably won’t be professional players, to build community and school pride, I think they should care more about society’s burden of unwanted or uncared for children who must be supported by welfare or at least punishes some people for stupid juvenile behavior – ignorance isn’t really an excuse, but I think more education rather than overlooking this step is a good idea. Or, you know, keep abortion legal, not everyone is a moron, they really tried not to have a baby and this is a crisis for them.

              In the sense that some people are pro-life and most of them tend to have religious reasons for thinking so, also tend toward abstinence until marriage (not that everyone complies) and specific gender roles – woman as helpmate and child-bearer, can be or should act brainless and defer to the man… well, he wants to have sex and he says he’ll leave you if you don’t do it. But the force-fitting of two young people into a marriage to supply the resultant child a stable family unit, nobody is really interested if you like your partner, but that you are now responsible for the child and forgo your own future plans or potential, which sucks. Religion looks like it makes life even more useless and disappointing in this regard, which is why there has to be a heaven promised to these people who are taught to bring on their own suffering.

              Wow, sorry I just can’t stop thinking of angles for this and write the walls of text. A lot of things suck about abortions, and I was thinking if Christian rules could apply to everyone, it would be an orderly if dismal system, which is why most people tend to oppose the strictness. Life is too complicated for this simplicity.

            • Custador

              Well, I don’t pretend to be a typical man, however I was raised by a single mother until I was six, I’m now doing a degree in nursing as a mature student, and I’m broody as hell! I’d LOVE to have kids right now – but my g/f is only 22 and isn’t ready yet, plus I’m still a student, so we use contraception. C’est la vie!

            • Custador

              @ Kodie:

              Totally with you about gender socialisation. You only have to watch the advertising during kids’ TV time on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Lots of macho GI Joe type crap for the boys, screaming “Yeah! Guns! Wooohooo! Join the Army! Be a MAN!”, while for the girls we get “Lookit, a little plastic baby that pees its pants, aw how cute is that? You should pump out a real one ASAP!”

              They should ban that stuff, really.

            • kholdom0790

              I third this. Shit like that just sickens me. Is it so much to ask for, an intelligent TV show with a REAL storyline that doesn’t promote outdated social roles and gender profiling??

            • Siberia

              Hah, I hated dolls when I was a kid. Hated them.

              I liked Barbies, that’s all (and boy, did they ever join is risque behavior!) – but those dolls that look like babies? I complained every time I got one. I loved the GI Joe type of stuff, though, and horses. I had more toy horses than is probably healthy.

              I still don’t want babies. Ever.

        • Michael R

          It most certainly IS just as bad if a woman deceives you in order to get pregnant. You’re legally responsible for the offspring, even if she deceived you. Why would you assume the damage that could be done to a female in such a situation is necessarily worse than that which could be done to a male? That’s a sexist and unfounded remark. You most certainly could suffer psychologically, physically and financially. You have the emotional damage of the broken trust, and having to worry for infinity if every other person you are intimate with is a liar. You have to raise the child, requiring you to devote huge amounts of your time to it and deal with the stress (physical), and you have the added expense of caring for a child. The only added burden on a woman is carrying the child, which is only 9-10 months compared to a lifetime of caring for it. Sure, being preggies would be pretty terrible, but that gestation period is the only one in which the woman is burdened more than the man.

          • Siberia

            Except, y’know, if something happens during the pregnancy the woman can die. Not really happens to males, eh?

            That doesn’t excuse the women who get knocked up to keep a man or extort him, though, and I agree with you; they’re both equally bad in my book. But kindly do not underestimate the physical stress involved in a pregnancy.

            • Custador

              “Except, y’know, if something happens during the pregnancy the woman can die. Not really happens to males, eh?”

              That was the point I was trying to make, and why I think it’s worse for a man to do it. Either way you inflict an unwanted responsibilty on another person, but men can’t actually die of pregnancy related complications, get scars, stretch marks, become incontinent, etc. etc. etc.

            • Michael R

              That’s a pretty silly example, since the likelihood of dying of pregnancy related illness in this country is next to nothing, and I already acknowledged that the pregnancy was the only significant difference. The male could die in an accident on the way to pick up the child for visitation, or from a heart attack related to the stress of discovering he’s going to be a father, or from some exotic disease he contracted in Costa Rica where he fled to escape his paternal responsibilities. If we’re going to throw around unlikely scenarios in favor of a particular position, let’s be fair about it. The bottom line is, it’s a disgusting act either way, and we’re probably just splitting hairs here.

            • Kodie

              I think if you know your partner and trust your partner, you might agree to certain things, like not trying to get pregnant until… whatever, you’re both done with school, or get married or both, or something like that. I hope you’ve chosen well, because some people are nuts. If you are with someone who you don’t know well enough, cover your thing, bring your own condoms with no pins stuck through them, that way, if something happens, you know it had to be an accident. You’re still on the hook even if you didn’t mean it. Sorry.

              I know it’s shitty that some women may do this, and shitty that some men may too, but everyone in the intimate act has something they can do to take responsibility for their own side. You’re old enough to know how this works and take the slight or great risk upon doing it, every single time. The sabotage done by the man is definitely some form of domestic abuse, emotional abuse. I feel sorry for these women to love a stupid mean man so much they can’t see that he’s bad. That’s a terrible cycle. You know what I said about nuts, some people can’t see the really bad in someone until something really bad happens, like this. If you’re a man and you don’t see any red flags, congratulations. Accidents still happen, and it’s her choice.

    • Michael R

      I’m skeptical about this statistic. I’ve never even heard of this, and if 1/3 of all abortions were cases in which the significant other had sabotaged their birth control, we’d surely have all heard numerous stories. Consider too that not all cases where the birth control was sabotaged would result in abortions. A significant number of them would probably not opt for abortion. That’s thousands of cases every year where the guy is sabotaging his woman’s birth control. Thousands! Sounds like cough*bull*cough*shit*cough.

  • http://jedipunk.newsvine.com jedipunk

    Repeats a lot of the same arguments I have been saying over the years.
    However, I have a question about this:

    “I don’t like to do elective terminations after 22 weeks because of the viability issue.”

    and

    “Virtually all of the late 2nd trimester abortions I do are for fetal anomalies, fetal deaths, and for maternal health reasons. ”

    They seem contradictory in ideology. The doctor has a problem performing abortions after 22 weeks because of viability, but states that nearly all performed after the 2nd trimester are due to anomalies, death and mother’s health. It would seem to me that it would make it more justifiable to perform because “These poor souls really wanted their babies.” and have reached their decision as a health concern rather than failed contraception.

    Did I miss or misinterpret something?

    • Francesc

      Probably, if you think that they seem contradictory, you are losing something.

      If the baby will never have a good life or will die right after being born -anomalies-, if it is already death, or if you have to choose between the life of an adult person and a potencial of a person, wich moral issues are then involved? Aren’t they far less strong?

      Moreover, it seems like abortions in the second trimester involve riskier surgical procedures, and global anesthesia.

      • http://jedipunk.newsvine.com jedipunk

        I think I am saying the same thing as you.
        Let me rephrase my question:
        If most abortions after the 2nd trimester are due to anomalies, death, or mother’s health, then why does the doctor have a problem performing abortions after 22 weeks “due to viability reasons” when she has already stated that nearly all those abortions would be performed on non-viable fetuses or other already justified reasons?

        • Francesc

          Duh :-)
          She doesn’t like to perform “elective” abortions after 22 weeks. Normally she performs those other types (anomalies, death, or mother’s health) of abortions.
          Sorry, I didn’t understand your question before

        • Dr. Kate

          She’s distinguishing between elective abortions and abortions done for medical reasons. She prefers not to do elective abortions–abortions on women who do not want a child, even though the fetus and mother are otherwise healthy–after 22 weeks. The fetal abnormality/death and health of the mother abortions don’t fall into the “elective” category. (I don’t know if that’s an official medial category, but that’s how I’m interpreting it here.

        • Siberia

          Probably because it’s easier to empathize with a formed, vaguely human-shaped fetus than with a mass of shapeless tissue.

          I’d guess her hesitation stems from whether it’s better to let a horribly anomalous creature be born and eventually die (or not) or mercy-kill it – or whether to effectively kill the fetus and put the mother in risk (doing the abortion) or let them go on and risk both anyway (considering she says ‘risk to the mother’s health’, I’m assuming there’s a scant possibility that both may survive if the pregnancy goes on). I’d guess you’d always keep in mind the “what ifs”.

          • Siberia

            … and I totally missed the word ‘elective’, but I suppose the point still stands (though, being neither doctor or the lady in question, I cannot say whether she agrees or not).

        • http://jedipunk.newsvine.com jedipunk

          Thanks for that. I missed the word “elective.”

    • Kodie

      Yes, electing to abort your baby and having the baby all but abort itself are two different things. I have to wonder who would wait until 22 weeks or later to have an abortion just because they don’t want or can’t raise a child. What could change your mind or were you just too busy, or did you have a boyfriend who was on board for a while but has since left you all alone, or you can’t handle it physically, or your family has disowned you?

      Even with all the strange suppositions pro-lifers make about all women who choose abortion, I have to wonder what would have to happen to someone who couldn’t make up their mind until that late in the pregnancy. I guess it’s possible for some women not to know they are pregnant for various reasons or be in denial?

      It may be that pro-life people often suppose everyone who has an abortion that late doesn’t really need one, while the author is explaining that cases of late-term elective abortions rarely, if ever, occur, going on to state who gets those late-term abortions and why.

      • jemand

        Well I think some women take that long to scrounge enough money together to afford an abortion.

        But your point still stands on the decision– such women decided much earlier but were just unable to have an abortion as soon as they wanted to.

  • Bob

    Thanks for that. It is a very good thing to know what the doctors say.

  • http://proudkikuyuwoman.blogspot.com PKW

    I try to not judge people who have abortions, but it’s not a choice I’d make.

    • PozzSka

      What if you were raped?

    • Yoav

      But That’s the whole point it should be your choice.

    • Kodie

      I didn’t think so either.

    • Custador

      Then I wish all theists were the same as you – content to make choices for themselves without trying to force their decisions and ideology onto everybody else!

      • http://proudkikuyuwoman.blogspot.com PKW

        Unfortunately, that’s not the case,as with most things. Different issue; but I also wish all atheists would let people make their choices regarding keeping or discarding their choice religion, without making them feel like idiots.

        • Sunny Day

          If you are feeling that way, perhaps you should question why.

        • Aor

          Would you support a person’s right to believe in child sacrifice, and to practice it? I hope not. I hope you would call the police if someone claimed to believe in child sacrifice. It is their choice to believe in it.. but we all have the right, and perhaps even the responsibility, to stand up to those kinds of craziness. Would you really let those people make that choice freely, or would you stand up for what you think is right?

          The reality is that idiotic beliefs should be called idiotic. Violent and dangerous beliefs should be called violent and dangerous. No religion, no belief system, should be immune to criticism. If being confronted about your beliefs makes you feel like an idiot, then that must mean that you understand deep down inside that those beliefs are truly idiotic.

          If you chose to believe in child sacrifice, then the rest of the world is perfectly free to stand up and call you horrible and dangerous, and even an idiot. Just because such a belief is religious in nature does not make it beyond question.

          • JonJon

            Child sacrifice, huh?

            Interesting example given the discussion we are having. You are arguing that if someone were killing children then they should not be allowed to do so even if it is their own free choice or belief?

            PS. this is why the issue of abortion really hinges on whether or not a fetus is alive and a human child. If there is something more human about a two year old, then you are right to be outraged at the idea of child sacrifice and not at the idea of abortion. If a two year old is comparably human with a fetus, then you are crazy out of your gourd to reject child sacrifice and accept abortion.

            just saying…

            • Sunny Day

              “PS. this is why the issue of abortion really hinges on whether or not a fetus is alive and a human child.”

              Can it exist outside the human body without extreme medical intervention? Then you’ve just answered the question about whether or not it’s a Human Child.

            • JonJon

              That’s the definition of a human child? Funny…

              Here’s merriam-webster:

              1 a: an unborn or recently born person
              2 a: a young person especially between infancy and youth
              b: a childlike or childish person
              c: a person not yet of age
              3 usually ‘childe’ : a youth of noble birth
              4 a: a son or daughter of human parents
              b: descendant

              My Chihuahua can exist outside of the human body (relatively) unaided. You are missing some criteria.

              4 is where I tend to define a human child myself, but i’ve heard many definitions, including one that anything with a complete set of human DNA counts biologically as a human. I’m not too sure about that one, but whatever. The reason I don’t particularly like yours is that it seems to be begging the question. Something that can’t exist outside of its mother isn’t human because something that can’t exist outside of its mother isn’t human…

            • Sunny Day

              “My Chihuahua can exist outside of the human body (relatively) unaided. You are missing some criteria. ”

              Don’t be deliberately stupid and you’ll be ok.

            • JonJon

              Pooey. You’re no fun at all.

              (It is circular, though…)

              Don’t I even get a pat on the head for an attempt at wit?
              /pats self

            • Aor

              My position is that those who say things like “I also wish all atheists would let people make their choices regarding keeping or discarding their choice religion” are speaking in generalities that must be applied to all religions, yet quite often they don’t seem to understand the consequences of taking that position. By showing an example of a situation where they would disagree with themselves, I put those people in a position where they can learn from their hypocrisy, because it is clearly hypocritical. I could have used blood sacrifice, or virgin sacrifice, or whipping people to please their god. Same shit, different pile.

              As for your postscript, it leaves a lot to be desired. Clearly there is a difference between an embryo and a 2 year old human child, because otherwise you would be crazy to say that you can understand and respect a person’s decision to get an abortion.. because that would imply that you would also understand their decision to kill their two year old child, if you truly think of the unborn as fully human. You can see the difference and your words show that you do not think of an embryo as a fully human child. I hope you understand that point.. your own words show quite clearly that you do not treat an embryo as a human being, or there would be an absolute rejection of a person’s decision to get an abortion.

              Just saying…

            • Aor

              Oops, that was aimed at JonJon.

            • JonJon

              That’s the problem, there doesn’t appear to be a firm consensus on where exactly there is a meaningful distinction between a two year old and a fetus. Most people admit there is a difference in there somewhere, but I haven’t seen widespread, confident agreement on this.

              If a fetus is a human person in an interesting sense, that still does not mean that abortion is never justified. Many people recognize the existence of justifiable homicides, for example. I will admit, however, that a firm consensus on this would tend to be polarizing.

            • http://proudkikuyuwoman.blogspot.com PKW

              I’ve read of at least three cases in the States where women have killed pregnant women and taken away the foetuses. In the most recent case a week or so ago, the foetus survived and was able to live outside it’s biological parent. Was it human?

              The reason I disapprove of abortion and would not really have one is that it takes the life of another living thing without its consent, because it’s not in a position to give its consent. Needless to say, child sacrifice is horrible. But I know people who have had abortions, sometimes multiple abortions, and I empathise with them, and don’t judge, at least most of the times. I understand the complexity of the decisions; I’m totally into condoms and preventing unplanned pregnancies in the first place.

              On the other issue: it’s perfectly OK to question my belief system, just like I question my ‘ethical’ stance on anything (I looove meat, for example), without someone else insinuating that I’m a fool, or worse off than they. In any case, the belief in God (religions notwithstanding) has been there for ages and has evolved with time, and it’s my right to believe what I will so long as it does not harm anyone.

            • Siberia

              PWK:

              The reason I disapprove of abortion and would not really have one is that it takes the life of another living thing without its consent, because it’s not in a position to give its consent.

              So does killing tapeworms, putting down dogs and eating meat. In fact, so does walking – I suppose the millions of ants carelessly stomped on would agree.

              Some lifeforms are more alive than others… ;p

            • Siberia

              Ok, dyslexic fail: I meant PKW, not PWK. Meh.

            • wintermute

              Antibiotics?

    • Michael R

      You “try” not to judge. Yet you claim you wouldn’t make this “choice” for yourself. It seems like you’re saying you agree it should be a choice, but if they make a decision you disagree with, they deserve to be judged and you’re just being big by not judging them. Or maybe you have been conditioned to think people should be judged for it, but something inside you tells you this is wrong, so you avoid judging them. Or maybe your choice of words doesn’t accurately communicate your feelings on the matter. Okay then, I just talked myself into a complete circle. Duh :/

      • http://proudkikuyuwoman.blogspot.com PKW

        To be honest,I try to not judge because, yes, I’m conditioned to believe that abortion is evil-never mind we have (mini) genocides around hereonce in a while (and God forgives the perpetrators each time…).

        So is the argument about life or human life? I mean, this is the same blog that had an article about few Christians being vegeterians, implying that its more ethical to be vegeterian than meaterian. In which case, the life (form) of another animal species living outside its parent is more important than the life of a “human being” ( we can’t seem to agree when the foetus becomes human) inside its mother. Double standards, atheist genius?

  • phrankygee

    “…pregnant women with unwanted pregnancies are willing to risk just about anything, including almost killing themselves, in order to try to end unwanted pregnancies.”
    I think that statement might be more accurate if you replaced “almost” with “sometimes”.
    I would be very surprised if pregnancy-prompted suicides didn’t happen with some level of regularity.

    Thank you for the post, and for your compassion.

  • Randallphobia

    Thank you Doctor. I will be showing this article to others. It confirmed much of what I’d already thought, but it’s always nice to have the facts. The part about sabotaged birth-control makes me want to vomit.
    I’ve always been pro-choice, but I don’t think that I could be involved in an abortion unless it came down to viability &/or mother’s safety. That being said, as a man, I’ve always felt that women should have more control over their bodies than most are given.
    I tell my “pro-life” friends that, if they truly want to cut down on the number of abortions, get rid of this abstinence only crap that the fundies have forced upon the schools & teach real birth control. I don’t think anyone in my 12th grade Health Class was scarred back in 1991 when my teacher (who looked like a stereotypically sweet old grandmother) pulled out a dildo & showed the class how to properly put on a condom, & this was in TEXAS where we now have the highest teen pregnancy rating because of these fundy fools!

    • Michael R

      “Thank you Doctor. I will be showing this article to others. It confirmed much of what I’d already thought, but it’s always nice to have the facts.”

      Sounds like you found some commentary that agrees with your position and now you’re heralding it as “fact” when I saw no factual data presented at all. What I saw was some statistics being thrown around that I’m very skeptical about. There weren’t any links or references to any studies, or peer reviewed articles that we could use to verify the accuracy of these statements. Don’t be so quick to accept this one article as “fact” just because you liked what you read. Liking something doesn’t make it true.

  • http://www.vidlord.com VidLord

    ” involves pulling out the baby in pieces”

    I’m not sure I could do that with a clear conscious – or without puking on myself.

    • Custador

      It’s surprising what you can tolerate as a health-care proffesional :-)

      I see things on wards that would have made me puke a few years ago, but I switch into “Nurse Mode” when I don that uniform. Things just don’t disturb me as much.

      • Tilly

        me too!!! Nurse me is a completely different person than non-nurse me.

    • bird

      they have no soul, or conscience, or hope of anything, just a wasted life doing the devils work on their way to eternal torment

      • Custador

        Prove it.

      • http://www.camelswithhammers.com Daniel Fincke

        That must mean God too has “no soul, conscience, or hope or anything” if he sends human beings to places where they are eternally tormented, right?

      • Aor

        Back that up. If your religion teaches that abortionists don’t have souls, then name your religion so we all know who the nutjobs are.

  • vlad

    thanks for posting this. I didn’t know about the D&X process, though I had heard some rather gruesome descriptions back when I attended a Baptist youth group. Nothing like stories of tortured babies to bring teens closer to God.

    • Custador

      Weeeell, baptists decide a long time ago that lying is okay if you’re doing it fo’ Jeeeebus.

  • faithnomore

    Thank you for what you do.

    One of your remarks reminded me of something I always say about my job (I’m a police officer). I would be the happiest person if there was never another crime and I had to go find another job. But, until then, I’m going to keep doing what I do because it’s needed and I get fulfillment out of helping people.

    • Michael R

      Whaaaa….?
      SACRILEGE! If there were no more crimes, there’d be no more COPS to watch on cable, you insensitive, selfish lout! Take it back, this instant!

      Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna dooo?

  • Sabrina

    Thank you, Mrs. Very Wonderful Doctor, not just for doing something that needs to be done, but for having the courage to write about it. I wish more people could – or would, as the case may be – understand.

  • Efogoto

    This is a fantastic post, thank you so much for sharing it, Daniel. And thanks, of course, to the doctor who provides such a necessary service with such compassion.

  • http://www.google.com/profiles/ch4os1337 Chris Munro

    “Abortions happen in the fundie community too, don’tcha know.” In fact they are MORE common the more religious the community is, because the use on contraceptives are less.

  • http://www.donnysramblings.com Donny Pauling

    I hate abortion, but you won’t see me out holding picket signs until after my fellow Christians and I end our hypocrisy on the matter. What am I referring to? The fact that, with all the Christians in this country, we could empty the foster care systems and provide homes for living unwanted children if we put our money where our mouths are… Until that time, I’m not going to be out crusading against abortion.

    • Custador

      Another theist I could actually get on with! I seem to be encountering a few of them today :-)

    • http://myspace.com/rox1smf Rox1SMF

      Donny: That’s a fine sentiment and I sincerely wish you luck convincing your siblings in Christ. I’ve certainly had none to date. So many of them are in love with a myth – that of babies being “miracles” with “souls” who bring joy and happiness to every parent’s life – that they are blinded to (or purposefully ignore) the reality that some babies’ births and lives are pure misery for all involved. I’d love to see the loudest abortion foes lining up to adopt dozens of non-white American crack-addicted or otherwise “undesirable” children. But I gave up wishful thinking with religion.

      While you’re giving them the hypocrisy speech, do ya think you could maybe enlighten them about how much SAFER their damned kids would be with REALITY-based sex education? That’d be a huge step in the right direction…

      (I was kinda surprised to “run into” you here)

    • Michael R

      Why stop there? Why not hold your tongue about every matter in which christians exhibit hypocrisy? Nevermind, you’d die of boredom, and we wouldn’t want that. >:)

  • Kodie

    I wondered if all the general OB/GYN patients are aware that this doctor also performs abortions. I know she tries to keep it a secret to avoid being targeted by protesters, and as I am pro-choice would be comfortable with such a doctor, but I’m also pretty certain there’d have to be some patients who would be uneasy going to a doctor who performs abortions and calls herself something of a specialist – is this a don’t ask/don’t tell kind of thing or is the doctor forthright, either up front with all her patients (I don’t see how she could be and still keep it a secret from the community at large), or only reveals it when asked? If I were pro-life and I asked my doctor, do you perform abortions? and she lied and said no, I don’t know how I would feel about it. I guess I might never know, but because this is important to people, it would seem somewhat unethical to hide this portion of one’s practice.

    I’m still glad for this doctor and for explaining a bit about what it’s really like to perform abortions, and who typically orders them, and that because some doctors conscientiously object and don’t perform abortions that some people have to become specialists in fact. For at least to find out from this real perspective instead of guess and argue, what happens when abortions are illegal, how many clients had their contraception sabotaged, and whatnot, enforced pregnancy, social and financial punishment seeming to be preferred by pro-lifers than abortion, it is good information to have, but I still had to ask what, if anything, a doctor is required to reveal about what other services they perform, if some clients are morally opposed to it.

  • http://www.donnysramblings.com Donny Pauling

    That being said, forgive me for not thanking you and for feeling repulsed by your actions. I’d still have coffee with you, but your work would never be something I even remotely wanted to discuss. And while I wouldn’t be out trying to crusade you out of a job, I wouldn’t stand in the way of legislation that did so, either.

    • http://myspace.com/rox1smf Rox1SMF

      I feel the same about professional proselytizers.

    • rodneyAnonymous

      We should legislate sin. Great idea.

    • Michael R

      “but your work would never be something I even remotely wanted to discuss”

      This really is one of the biggest problems with religious people. They often refuse to have meaningful discussions about controversial subjects that might result in their beliefs being seriously challenged. Even if they’re willing to BEGIN such a discussion, there’s almost always a line drawn in the sand that, if crossed, will result in the gate slamming down and the conversation ending abruptly.

    • Isa

      How delightfully condescending.

  • http://brgulker.wordpress.com brgulker

    To start, let me be clear in saying that I appreciate hearing the story from this perspective. It’s not one that is heard often. Moreover, I have no idea what your life is like, and I wouldn’t try to pretend to.

    That said, I’m with JonJon. As someone who lines up somewhere in the middle of this debate but leans closer to the “pro-life” crowd than the “pro-choice” crowd, I can’t help but question your choice of words and the sentiments your words convey here:

    We all know that anti-abortionists aren’t really “pro-life,” they are “pro-forced birth.”
    ….
    But I can tell you that the people who oppose abortion have no feelings of any kind for the poor women who have to make the terrible decision to end a pregnancy for whatever reason. They want to end abortion because they love those theoretical innocent children.

    Perhaps the anti-abortionists you’ve encountered are exactly as you describe. I don’t know. And perhaps even the majority of the of anti-abortionists are as you describe. I doubt it, but I don’t know for sure. What I do know, however, is that your description doesn’t come close to reflecting the position of pro-lifers I know and have interacted with or my own position. I feel a great deal of compassion and sympathy for the women you describe, and I don’t desire to punish them in any way. That’s such a tired, worn-out, cliche argument that only inflames the conversation. For me, opposing abortion has nothing to do with punishing poor women but is rather born out of a deep concern for the dignity and value of human life — the same values that cause me to be a (almost) pacifist and to oppose the death penalty.

    Where I suspect that we’d agree is that if anti-abortionists devoted the same amount of time and money to making alternatives more affordable and realistic to the women you describe as we have spent protesting at offices, running ad campaigns, and lobbying politicians to change legislation, then there would be far fewer abortions — which seems to be a common goal on both sides.

    • Kodie

      Where I suspect that we’d agree is that if anti-abortionists devoted the same amount of time and money to making alternatives more affordable and realistic to the women you describe as we have spent protesting at offices, running ad campaigns, and lobbying politicians to change legislation, then there would be far fewer abortions — which seems to be a common goal on both sides.

      I know the things you’ve said before is that you don’t feel strongly enough to oppose legalization of abortion, it stands to reason that this tired, worn-out cliché would not sound so true if the problem were in fact resolved. Alternatives to abortion would be keeping the baby or putting it up for adoption. Are you about to enforce adoption for people below a standard income? Are you about to enforce term pregnancy conditions for people who don’t want to be pregnant? I mean, if you could or would change the law? Do you now oppose a lot of welfare policy? Do you think welfare is a trick only wicked people get to play to sponge off the public? Some people do think that, so it’s not implausible to generalize. Whatever it is with generalizations, the exceptions are so quick to jump up and exclude themselves, however, do you not agree this generalization has some basis in fact or common thought? I really hope that no pro-lifers here are prioritizing their personal umbrage.

      If this were not quite typically true of most pro-lifers, education and pregnancy prevention efforts would not be thwarted as a matter of course. There would be exceptional tolerance of people who need welfare and charity, I think Christian charity would rather you come to them and convert rather than rely on the government who have no religious influence over you. Your soul is obviously not saved if you are some welfare case. Parents of children are judged, and there really doesn’t seem to be a lot of concern about how the children fare after they are born, just that they are born. If this was untrue, I think you’d all put your money where you mouth is and be in favor of education to prevent pregnancy and some ways of offering help to families who need it without shoving the Lord down people’s throats. As it is now, a lot of the literature conveys some sense that the mother will become a horror unto herself if she chooses abortion, a decision she can never take back and will haunt her the rest of her life and the bright future she could have had without getting pregnant at all cannot be rescued by an abortion due to high and regretful emotional states that will never, ever go away. What if she has the child instead, and do they care about her mental state then? NO. Having a child is a miracle and you are supposed to feel blessed and anyone who doesn’t is doing something wrong. They’re not too poor and uneducated and now burdened with tough responsibilities, they’re just doing it wrong.

      I’m sorry you had to feel hurt feelings from the doctor, but right, if this weren’t true, people wouldn’t get pregnant before they were ready and the church and pro-lifers would organize to make this a social apparency on their part. It doesn’t sound like, in general, most pro-lifers have any idea that to do so would benefit society, decrease abortions, diminish the effects of poverty, lower the number of people reliant on welfare to support their family. In order to save this fictional sanctity of life itself, you have to save the whole life or prevent it in the first place, not support programs (or religious beliefs) that take away contraception, order horny people to rely on abstinence only, complain to the radio talk show hosts about welfare slackers, be racist even, all that package. You may not yourself fit in that package, but you’re just an exception. All that package contributes to the number of necessary abortions, where they should be interested in everything they can do to reduce it to nothing. Where are all the programs?

      • http://brgulker.wordpress.com brgulker

        I really hope that no pro-lifers here are prioritizing their personal umbrage.

        If this were not quite typically true of most pro-lifers, education and pregnancy prevention efforts would not be thwarted as a matter of course.

        I would say see Vorjack’s comments below. Just because someone shouts the loudest does not mean they represent the majority. Generalizations can serve a purpose, but I think it’s always helpful to qualify them. In my experience… Based on an article I read, I think that … From what I see from the pro-life camp on the news… etc.

        I don’t mind generalizations when they’re qualified; it’s the unqualified assertions that extrapolate one’s experience as undeniable fact that get me. That’s what the author did.

        I’m sorry you had to feel hurt feelings from the doctor

        Gimme a break. I don’t know if you’re being intentionally condescending and patronizing or if it’s an accidental quality of the medium through which we’re communicating, but reducing my comments to mere hurt feelings doesn’t accurately capture what I said.

        My feelings aren’t hurt. I was simply disagreeing with an unqualified generalization and used my own opinions and the opinions of those that I know as an example.

        If this were not quite typically true of most pro-lifers, education and pregnancy prevention efforts would not be thwarted as a matter of course. There would be exceptional tolerance of people who need welfare and charity, I think Christian charity would rather you come to them and convert rather than rely on the government who have no religious influence over you. Your soul is obviously not saved if you are some welfare case. Parents of children are judged, and there really doesn’t seem to be a lot of concern about how the children fare after they are born, just that they are born. If this was untrue, I think you’d all put your money where you mouth is and be in favor of education to prevent pregnancy and some ways of offering help to families who need it without shoving the Lord down people’s throats.

        I don’t disagree with a lot of what you said, even though I feel like you’re putting words in my mouth and lumping me into a category I really hate being lumped into. Donny Pauling said it well above, if we’d put our money where our mouth is, we’d be a long way toward reducing the number of abortions that are happening as well as vastly improving quality of life — and as I said above, that seems to be something that both sides tend to agree on (even the Dr. here said as much). My wife and I hope to adopt such a child someday … I am currently working in a mentoring agency, and my wife hopes to be a social worker. We do all that we can so that the walk matches the talk.

        Life doesn’t end after birth is a lesson the pro-life camp needs to learn, and unfortunately you are right that very often the same people who protest abortion are the very same people who ridicule and oppose public assistance programs that provide for mothers who opt to keep their children and live at or near poverty. It is hypocritical, and we are mostly blind to it.

        • Kodie

          brgulker, you think you are sooooooooooo diplomatic! Ha! Well you are, I think so too. Sorry I got my ire going. It’s a poor excuse but my parents were in town for two days and I couldn’t get a word in edgewise through their bickering, so I went a little overboard.

          Thank you for expressing your wishes to do what you personally can to help families in need and understanding that, or rather observing some of the same things I observe among the pro-life community. They are loud, and I don’t really want to be louder. Sometimes, I just cannot stop the train at full speed. :) No hard feelings?

          • http://brgulker.wordpress.com brgulker

            No hard feelings?

            Of course not. It’s a charged issue. Thanks for the explanation.

    • vorjack

      What I do know, however, is that your description doesn’t come close to reflecting the position of pro-lifers I know and have interacted with or my own position.

      You may well be right. But the problem, as I see it, is that such thoughtful opponents are rarely the most visible. The people protesting in front of clinics, waving signs in front of the capitol or passing out leaflets at the street corner are rarely so empathetic, and they are the ones that the papers end up interviewing. And of course, those people who shoot abortion doctors or fire-bomb clinics also grab the headlines.

      The extremists who demand attention will always get it, and the soft spoken care-givers will not. I’m afraid that the face of the “pro-life” movement will always be an angry one.

      • http://brgulker.wordpress.com brgulker

        The extremists who demand attention will always get it, and the soft spoken care-givers will not. I’m afraid that the face of the “pro-life” movement will always be an angry one.

        Unfortunately, you are probably right.

    • Anya

      For me, opposing abortion has nothing to do with punishing poor women but is rather born out of a deep concern for the dignity and value of human life — the same values that cause me to be a (almost) pacifist and to oppose the death penalty.

      While I am also opposed to death penalty and in general the taking of a life (whether human or other species), I do not share the same view on abortion. Especially, I do not agree with the supposed inherent value or so-called dignity of human life. What makes a human special in this way above other sentient animals? Isn’t this kind of the Christian world view – humans on top of creation, the image of god…? What should matter in the ethical or moral decision about whether taking a life is acceptable or not, is not the species it belongs to or will belong to someday (in case of a fetus), but the sentience. Can they feel and be aware of themselves (even if not in the same sense as adult humans)? I don’t want to take this discussion into animal rights here, although I do think it touches with this topic. But I think that a fetus in a stage before development of a central nervous system does not have any inherent rights because it is not a person, yet. Yes, you can argue it will once become a person with said rights, but does that matter to this fetus right now? Surely not, as it does not have any self-awareness, nor any feelings. I do not pretend to know when the border should be drawn between an “undifferentiated cell mass” and a (semi-)sentient fetus. The later the abortion is performed, the more thought it requires. But I myself would not hesitate to end an unwanted pregnancy early on (like in the first month). I am a woman and I want to be able to make this decision for myself. After all, its my body where this cell mass is growing inside and its me who will be stuck with the baby in the end. Of course, it is a good idea to have women go to a kind of counseling before going through with abortion (we have to do that in Germany too), but this counselling should be performed by well-informed, objective people who do not try to press their religious views onto the woman and try to make them feel guilty.

      • http://brgulker.wordpress.com brgulker

        Especially, I do not agree with the supposed inherent value or so-called dignity of human life.

        If human life doesn’t have inherent value or dignity, then I don’t have a clue why you would even both advocating for this:

        Of course, it is a good idea to have women go to a kind of counseling before going through with abortion

        • Siberia

          If human life doesn’t have inherent value or dignity,
          Why does it have to have some inherent value or dignity for us to value it?

          See, I respect people. I love people (as long as they’re far away from me – what with being rabidly antisocial and all). But I don’t think we’re somehow more special than every other creature in this world (not saying you think that, mind) and I surely don’t think we’ve some inherent “value”. Value is too vague a word, and dignity is too.

          I value human life and dignity enough to believe – and here is my undiluted, baseless belief – that those who are sentient take precedence over the “might-be”. Maybe it is because I live in a third world country and see first-hand the horrors that it entails: from women who throw newborns in garbage bins and rivers, women who abuse their children horribly (and I do mean horribly – chains, lit cigarrettes, scissors), women who are just inept at motherhood (because they’re too young), women who were forced to marry their rapists, women forced into prostitution because they couldn’t otherwise keep themselves alive (hard to make a living when you’re illiterate), women who abandon severely dehydrated and undernourished babies on someone else’s doorstep, and so on and so forth.

          And that’s just in my family.

          I’d love if people used contraception. I’d love if they’d just stop breeding. I’d love if people weren’t so ridiculously biased that they refuse to perform certain operations on women of a certain age (such as someone mentioned, try getting sterilized when you’re neither married or a mother – you won’t). I’d love if they could just remain abstinent. I’d love if the women I know didn’t feel pressured into a life that is horribly sexist (as if you must have a man, otherwise you are a failure as a woman and as a human – and trust me, this isn’t prevalent just in the lower, poorer classes). I’d love all that.

          Sadly, it doesn’t happen. And when push comes to shove, why yes, I will side with the sentient over the non-sentient.

          • http://brgulker.wordpress.com brgulker

            Why does it have to have some inherent value or dignity for us to value it?

            No, I value video games as a form of recreation and social interaction. But they don’t have inherent value; they have a functional, pragmatic value to those who enjoy them. I would say that a human being, though, has a different sort of value that’s inherent to being a human being and isn’t depending on pragmatism or functionality.

            Sadly, it doesn’t happen. And when push comes to shove, why yes, I will side with the sentient over the non-sentient.

            So would you say sentience is inherently valuable then? Or, is it just relatively more valuable that non-sentience?

            Why?

            • Siberia

              I would say that a human being, though, has a different sort of value that’s inherent to being a human being and isn’t depending on pragmatism or functionality.

              What value? What is this value? What’s so inherently special about humans that makes an embryo – for the reason alone that it is human – different from, say, a tapeworm, or chicken embryos, or cows, or flowers?

              Yes, I know I’m pushing. But I wonder.

              So would you say sentience is inherently valuable then? Or, is it just relatively more valuable that non-sentience? Why?

              I wouldn’t say inherent. I don’t believe (hah!) in inherent anything. I try, as much as possible, to live in a world free of absolutes. I know that isn’t quite possible, but I try anyway.

              I happen to value sentience over non-sentience because as a living, sentient creature I tend to empathize with my own species and my own condition. As an animal I don’t like suffering, I don’t like pain, and empathy alone makes me honor the suffering of other sentient, empathetic animals. I hesitate on causing other animals to suffer. I don’t like making other animals suffer (not even insects). When forced to measure the rights of non-sentient variables and the rights of the living, I’ll always side with the sentient, for the aforementioned reason.

              Does that make me right? No. Does that make you right? Not at all. Until we can prove this value you speak of exists, though, we’ve to make do with what we know.

    • Isa

      For me, opposing abortion has nothing to do with punishing poor women but is rather born out of a deep concern for the dignity and value of human life — the same values that cause me to be a (almost) pacifist and to oppose the death penalty.

      This has everything to do with punishing poor women, then. We shouldn’t kill prisoners, we should avoid war… but we should prevent women in crisis from terminating their pregnancies. Perhaps you don’t intend to, but you imply VERY strongly that a lump of unspecialized cells has more ‘dignity and value’ than the woman carrying it. Additionally you imply that the lives of violent criminals, soldiers, civilians who are victimized in war… are all more value than the lives of women.

      • Isa

        …are all more value than the lives of women.

        Pardon me, of more value.

      • saoili

        We shouldn’t kill prisoners, we should avoid war… but we should prevent women in crisis from terminating their pregnancies. Perhaps you don’t intend to, but you imply VERY strongly that a lump of unspecialized cells has more ‘dignity and value’ than the woman carrying it. Additionally you imply that the lives of violent criminals, soldiers, civilians who are victimized in war… are all more value than the lives of women.
        More valuable than the lives of women? In what way is the life of a woman in danger because there’s a law in place preventing her from having an abortion? We’re not talking about her life, we’re talking about nine months. It’s really quite different.

        If it were a choice between the life of the unborn child and the life of the mother, the life of the mother would, in the eyes of any pro-lifer or anti-choicer I’ve ever talked to, take precedent. But it isn’t. The abortion debate is not about ‘kill the unborn child / ‘lump of unspecialized cells’ or kill the mother’, it’s about ‘kill the unborn child / ‘lump of unspecialized cells’ or have the mother go through pregnancy and birth’.

      • saoili

        Please try and consider a situation where someone does believe that ‘lump of unspecialized cells’ is a human life. Because if you can’t consider that point of view, you will never understand the majority of people against abortion and there is little point in engaging in the debate at all. In what other circumstance is it permissible to take a human life because of infringements on dignity or value?

        • Siberia

          Why do you consider a human life, on par with the woman’s life itself?
          In either case, your opinion does not truth make, and neither should it be binding for people who couldn’t care less about it. I couldn’t care less about what “pro-birthers” think. I care about the scientific truth of the matter, and that is that undifferentiated lump of flesh is trumped by living, born human, always.

          • saoili

            Why do you consider a human life, on par with the woman’s life itself?
            I think considering human lives equivalent is fairly common…

            In either case, your opinion does not truth make
            Nor does yours.

            I care about the scientific truth of the matter
            I think you’ll find that there is no truly scientific definition of what life is, much less when it begins. It really irritates me when people claim ‘science!’ in the name of their cause without backing it up. Go on, give me a reference to a scientific paper that proves that ‘life’ begins when and only when you’re pushed/pulled/plucked from the womb.

            and that is that undifferentiated lump of flesh is trumped by living, born human, always.
            I’ll accept this as soon as you answer my point above; that you’re arguing for nine months of freedom of the ‘living, born human’ against the life/continued existence of ‘that undifferentiated lump of flesh’.

            Let me put it another way. Few people would argue that a dog’s life is ‘worth’ as much as a person’s life. Few people would argue against someone that killed a dog in self defence. But, while I accept that people have a right to have fun and let their hair down, I would not accept them killing a dog to do so. Because their right to have fun is not as important as the dog’s right to life. Similarly, my right to the integrity of my body, or whatever right you want to argue for, is not as important as the right to life of the unborn child inside me.

            My freedom to swing my arm ends where the other person’s face begins.

            • Siberia

              I think considering human lives equivalent is fairly common…

              And yet embryos are not considered human lives in any meaningful definition of the world.

              I think you’ll find that there is no truly scientific definition of what life is, much less when it begins. It really irritates me when people claim ’science!’ in the name of their cause without backing it up. Go on, give me a reference to a scientific paper that proves that ‘life’ begins when and only when you’re pushed/pulled/plucked from the womb.

              I think you’ll be shocked to know nobody’s denying the lump of undifferentiated flesh is alive. Bacteria are life as well, so are tapeworms. It’s alive – it’s human – it’s just not “a human”.

              I’ll accept this as soon as you answer my point above; that you’re arguing for nine months of freedom of the ‘living, born human’ against the life/continued existence of ‘that undifferentiated lump of flesh’.

              If you think pregnancy is all about “nine months of freedom”, you know fuck-all about it.
              But, let’s assume the pregnancy runs oky-dory, the woman has no complications whatever during it (other than, of course, carrying it against her will). No hypertension, no diabetes, no anemia. Let’s assume that she was able to afford the prenatal care she had no wish to pay for, as she didn’t want it (or, at least, that she had no problems during it which could be prevented by prenatal care). Let’s assume she’s willingly (well, as willingly as someone who doesn’t want it can) changed her habits and diet to cater for the little parasite. Let’s assume she’s managed to give birth properly, in due time, not prematurely (in which case, somebody’s gotta pay for the incubation, too – or just let the so-precious life die, anyway), with no complications (such as, say, the fetus strangling itself in the cord, or being in the wrong position, or her hips being too narrow, or her placenta being too low). Let’s assume she’s given birth in a hospital (which’s gotta be paid, too), and not at home, without any care. Let’s even assume she managed to survive childbirth (which is trickier if she’s at home, not in a clinic, but that’s OK – she’s gonna pay for it, right? If she can’t afford it, tough titty. Sell the house. Oh, got none? Well, we’ll figure out).

              We’re talking about nine months of freedom only, so we’ll assume she didn’t buy anything for the newborn, since her obligations end when it’s popped. Now it’s out and about, her dues is done. Let’s assume she didn’t have postpartum depression. Her nine months of lost freedom are paid in full. Child’s delivered, her mission is done.

              What do you do to it, now it’s born? Because, see, over here, the pretty common solution is throw it in a river. Or in a dumpster. Sometimes they take it home and let it starve to death. They call it “angel babies”. Or they sell it – that happens as well.

              (Last time one such case hit the news, it was because the buyer decided to torture the twelve-year-old child. She’d chain her to a wall and use cigarrette tips on her skin. Sometimes she used scissors and razors. The birth mother couldn’t be found. She’d sold the child to the wealthy family, since she couldn’t afford to raise it – nor the other nine children.)

              It’s been on vogue to abandon it in public bathrooms, too. But dumpsters and rivers are easier, it seems.

              So. The woman’s dues are paid in full. She’s managed to give birth and survive, we’ll hope mostly unscarred, both physically and mentally. What next?

              Similarly, my right to the integrity of my body, or whatever right you want to argue for, is not as important as the right to life of the unborn child inside me.

              Don’t have an abortion then.
              Me, I’d rather sterilize myself. But if push comes to shove, I’d rather eliminate a lump of undifferentiated cells before it becomes a creature that can feel pain, that can hurt. I’d rather get rid of a parasite than condemn a child to emotional torture. But then, that’s just me.

            • saoili

              If you think pregnancy is all about “nine months of freedom”, you know fuck-all about it.
              I think it is amusing that you told someone who has been through an (incidentally unplanned) pregnancy that she knows nothing about it.

              As for all of your points about paying for things, I admit that I am spoiled by coming from a country where all pre-natal expenses are paid for by the government, every penny, including treatment for side-effects of pregnancy (I myself was provided with a belt to treat my SPD). I also believe that this is the way it should be.

              What do you do to it, now it’s born? Because, see, over here, the pretty common solution is throw it in a river.
              Is giving a child up for adoption a very complicated and/or expensive proceedure? Genuine question.

            • LRA

              Well, typically life in higher organisms involves sentience. Sentience doesn’t form in babies until they are toddlers. I’m not advocating that it’s ok to kill a child that has already been born, but an undifferentiated lump of cells has no sentience and therefore cannot be considered a person.

            • saoili

              Well, typically life in higher organisms involves sentience. Sentience doesn’t form in babies until they are toddlers. I’m not advocating that it’s ok to kill a child that has already been born, but an undifferentiated lump of cells has no sentience and therefore cannot be considered a person.
              Why is it not ok to kill a child that’s already been born, if, as you say, it does not have sentience, and your arguement FOR being able to kill ‘an undifferentiated lump of cells’ is that it, too, does not have sentience. If that was a strong enough argument for the cells, why not for the baby?

            • saoili

              Can I also ask if you are pro-euthanasia? Because, in the case of many people to whom it would apply, they are no longer sentient in any meaningful way, nor will they ever be again.

            • Siberia

              I am pro-euthanasia.
              I am also pro assisted suicide, in case you’re wondering.
              Are you “pro” fertility clinics?

  • teadv

    I would like to ask all the “pro-life”people that are arguing here, what other medical procedures are there any laws or regulations regarding? Shouldn’t any decision or information about a medical procedure be between a doctor and their patient?

    • claidheamh mor

      teadv:
      What you said.
      Word!

      Other medical procedures seem to be free of meddling christian self-righteousness, forced control of others, and christian insanity. If your sane words became truth for this procedure as well, the insanity would end.

      Debating how to punish men for getting quadruple bypasses just doesn’t have the same control of people.

      Most especially, control of women. More to the point, control of their sexuality and reproductive choices not to be the breeder stock or incubators this mythology’s god apparently wants them to be.

      Also, I wonder how many of the christians against abortion are also against vasectomies and birth control. Beyond that, I wonder how many of them have shut up, gotten off their asses, and actively helped provide sex education and cheap, safe, easily available contraception and sterilization to prevent the abortions they claim (pretend?) not to want. SO much more effective to be out there educating and preventing! All those christians you see out there doing just that – NOT.

      You may not have “said it all”, but pretty close to it.

    • saoili

      What other medical procedures involve killing someone? The only one I can think of, euthanasia, is illegal in most countries.

      • LRA

        Except that this procedure does not, in fact, kill someone. It’s not a person, it’s a bunch if cells.

        • saoili

          I’m afraid that that is not a fact, it is an opinion. Please show me some evidence of scientific proof of when life begins.

  • Olivia

    Great article. I love your perspective.

  • http://www.thedonovan.com/the_farm Beth Donovan

    I was born to an unwed mother. A teenager. She choose to allow me to live and to be adopted.
    I am very pro-life. I think this “abortion doctor” is absolutely full of BS when “she” claims that anyone who is pro-life is hateful and mean and cruel.

    I, and millions of other people who are pro-life will and DO support women financially who decide to allow their own HUMAN children live.

    I have absolutely no knowledge that the author of this article is an abortion doctor or a woman. It could easily be written by any NARAL adovocate as fact, but with no names, no proof, I have some doubts.

    I understand how frightening an unplanned pregnancy is – but the bulk of all pregnancies in human history have been unplanned.

    I am really bothered by people who swear that women are too fragile or otherwise unable to bear any hardship – and even more bothered by people who flat out lie about the amount of assistance available to women who carry their pregnancies to the birth of a very human, very special child.

    Of course, there are exceptions to the rule – rape, incest – but … you don’t make policies based on the exceptions unless you are just plain stupid.

    And for those women who are loving this essay because it gives them an excuse to sleep around without any sense of responsibilty whatsoever and so they think it is “OKAY” to kill, yes, kill, the living, separate life within them. Well, think, ladies. Think hard. If you don’t want children, get your tubes tied. If you do, but only when it is entirely convenient for you, please give the children you conceive a fair chance at life – with a couple who will raise them lovingly and with no doubts that your child is worthy of life and love.

    • Aor

      I have absolutely no knowledge of whether you are actually born to an unwed mother who was a teenager, or whether you were actually adopted, or whether you are pro-life. You could easily be an agent of some vast conspiracy. I have some doubts.

      Sound nuts? Yeah, it should.

      PS. Its nice that you are both pro-life and willing to see abortions performed in cases of incest or rape. Your point about not making policies based on the exceptions though.. is utter bullshit. Rape is an exception to normal sexual behavior, do you think there should be no laws against it? Don’t be so silly.

    • kholdom0790

      Oh! Well, there you go! Our decisions are all made for us now. Thank you SO much for telling us exactly what we should do and when and how. Did you even read the example about partners sabotaging contraception? How dare you assume that women just want to sleep around without taking responsibility for their actions.

    • Daniel Florien

      I was born to an unwed mother too — and I’m glad to be alive. And I think it’s great if mothers want to keep their children or will wait the pregancy out and adopt.

      However, if they don’t, they should be allowed to have a safe abortion. You’re free to disagree. You’re free to try and convince them to carry the baby full-term and let you adopt it. But don’t take away legal rights based on your religion that we don’t share.

      • http://brgulker.wordpress.com brgulker

        Beth never mentioned God or religion.

        But don’t take away legal rights based on your religion that we don’t share.

        Where do legal rights come from? How are they given — by what process (specifically in a Constitutional Republic like ours)? We, the people, elect officials who make judgments. We, as people — religious or not — have every right to make our concerns heard. My position is informed by religion. It’s also informed by science. It’s also informed by philosophy.

        I really can’t fathom how you and others continue to dismiss people like us by reducing our position to “it’s just based on your religion.” I can’t shake the feeling that you’re still a fundamentalist — you just have different fundamentals, and I fail to see how your willingness to simply force people out of public discourse differs from the rhetoric of the Christian right. (Are there people who quote Jeremiah and want to make policy out of it? Sure, but Beth didn’t present that at all.)

        Atheists reduce a person’s opinion to religion and then jetison religion from public discourse.

        Fundamentalists reduce a person’s opinion to evil godlessness and then jettison godlessness from public discourse.

        Both are obstacles to progress.

        • Custador

          Yes and no.

          To me, the atheist possition is always stronger because it relies exclusively (or should do, anyway) on observable facts and evidence. For example, it is an observable fact that 22 week foetuses do not feel pain or have any higher brain function (just nerve impulses from the developing brain-stem, the most primitive area of the brain), therefore it is not yet a viable, living, self-aware human being.

          A lot of Christians would tell you that from the moment of conception, that little bundle of cells has a “soul” which can in no way be observed or measured and the existence of which has never been proved or even showed any evidence of existing.

          I accept that a lot of this is to do with my particular mindset: I do not hold beliefs to be as important as facts. I recognise that some people do, though.

          • http://brgulker.wordpress.com brgulker

            A lot of Christians would tell you that from the moment of conception, that little bundle of cells has a “soul” which can in no way be observed or measured and the existence of which has never been proved or even showed any evidence of existing.

            Right, which is why I talked about quoting Jeremiah. But that’s not my position, and it doesn’t appear to be Beth’s position; yet, Daniel chose to play the “Don’t legislate your religious morality” card.

            Here’s the kicker for me: any legislation about abortion is going to be grounded in some type of morality. The position that you are taking implies that a human being that is self-aware, feels pain, and has a fully developed brain has the right to live. That’s a moral claim, right? My own position is that a human fetus that is developing all those characteristics has the right to live, because I think human life is inherently valuable and should be protected. That’s a moral claim.

            So, I’ve added the issue of development and interjected a bit of my own personal philosophy, and those seem to be the significant differences in opinion between you and I.

            What I fail to understand is why Beth and myself should be ejected from public discourse by the “don’t legislate your religious morality” card, when that’s not what we’re doing at all. We’re appealing to a common moral value — that human life is valuable, humans should have the right to live and not be killed — and adding what’s important from our own set of values.

            FWIW, I also take up the same argument with religious fundamentalists who dismiss atheists as godless pagans.

            • Kodie

              My own position is that a human fetus that is developing all those characteristics has the right to live, because I think human life is inherently valuable and should be protected. That’s a moral claim.

              Ok, but you still then have to have some legislation on the back end to deal with all those unwanted babies. If you enforce birth, you may have to decide to enforce adoption, instead of leave it up to choice. You may have to increase the budget on welfare and programs to help people out of welfare, not just depend on volunteers and other kind people. That seems like too much law, especially for Beth, whose blog I took a look at, and she doesn’t like government interfering and regulating what people do, when they all know what’s best for themselves. Right, Beth?

              Or you could take a strong action on the front end to prevent more unwanted pregnancies. There must be a strong lack of education – teens actually trying to get pregnant because their friends are pregnant. Taking stupid risks, nobody seems to notice all around them how hard it is just to take care of yourself, much less a baby. There’s too much gender socialization and celebration of the blessing of motherhood, and not enough reality. Even as parents, I see or hear about parents who try to shield their worries from their children, it’s too much adulthood for them to see, or is it ego? You know, well, I know I grew up in a dysfunctional household, but the really important stuff never got exposed, the things parents actually go through and worry about, what will become of me as an adult? I would think this example of life should be shown in the home, but I don’t know why don’t kids pay attention or listen or what? I know parents to deliberately protect their children from knowing how the sausages are made, so that parenthood always looks attractive to the naive. Education to make our young population less naive would be fantastic. Why do we celebrate their innocence instead of teach them it’s tough out here, you don’t want to be a parent until you are ready.

            • Custador

              Yes, but it would be extremely easy to justify abortion on a mass scale by pointing out how overpopulated the planet is, how we as a species are killing our own biosphere and how there aren’t enough resources to support us and all the other animals which are already here – therefore to allow a child to be born and add more burden to an already overburdened system…. Blah blah blah.

              You get my point. Morality is just a point of view a lot of the time.

            • JonJon

              So?

              I don’t ask human extinctionists to shut up about their moral ideas just because they don’t agree with mine…

    • Kodie

      I don’t mean to intrude on you, but I’m curious if you know your birth mother and know that it was her choice to continue her pregnancy, not her parents or the biological father’s pressure on her, and whether you might know if it was her choice also to give you up for adoption or if that was also decided for her? I’m not accusing you or her of anything, but that happens, so if you have any way of describing the situation, if it’s not too much bother, I would appreciate some of these finer details.

      I really don’t think women are too fragile to carry a child, but they may be too stupid or poor or busy. Yeah, you seem to have a hard time accepting that sex is natural, you basically call women sluts if they didn’t mean to get pregnant. It’s totally their fault too. Nobody else was in the room with them at the time it happened. I’m glad that you’re glad you were born, but now please also tell us what are these assistance programs? If I were to have a child to term and give it up for adoption, I would hope to have assurance that he or she wouldn’t have fundie parents. I don’t know how I feel about adoption, I don’t exist in this world to make other people parents. That’s a huge effort you’re asking on my part, hypothetically. I have no problem if someone else chooses to do so. I don’t think there’s really anything wrong with scraping the wee cluster out instead. It’s not going to miss anything important.

    • http://myspace.com/rox1smf Rox1SMF

      Try… just TRY to get your tubes tied at anytime during your most fertile years (12-30) and before having given birth or gotten married. Since that’s damned near impossible, because everyone thinks you’re an idiot who can’t possibly decide something so momentous for yourself, women must prepare to be pregnant and either give birth or have an abortion. Or in many cases, both. When in fact they wished all along to do neither, but society seems to regard itself as the arbiter of our wombs because they’ve fetishized “the miracle” that goes on in it beyond any consideration for the rights of the women whose bodies they’re part of.

      • Michael R

        Everyone thinks young women who get their tubes tied are idiots? Did that assertion make a loud *POP* when you retrieved it from your arse? I’m joking, but that is an assumption that has no basis in fact. I like the comment about society regarding itself as the arbiter of your wombs though. Has a nice ring to it. However, I believe it’s almost completely religiously motivated, so I’d change it to say “religion regards itself as the arbiter of our wombs”. I don’t see any secularists or atheists trying to take your right of free choice away.

        • Siberia

          You’d be surprised on how narrow-minded some people can be when it comes to reproductive choices – regardless of religion.

          As someone who *would* sterilize herself and is frowned down upon because people do seem to think I didn’t think this through, or will regret it, or will meet Prince Charming who’ll suddenly make me want kids, or don’t know how wonderful kids can be, etc..

          (I find it ironic, though. Those people who say I’d regret it and want kids later… adoption, anyone? Even if I can’t procreate, I could still adopt, if I wanted so much to be a mother.)

          It’s no use telling them that I’m not fit to be a mother, that I dislike children, that I have no interest whatever on having a typical nuclear family, that being female doesn’t automatically make me a fit mother, that I can hardly take care of a puppy let alone a baby, etc.. They still think it’s youth and singlehood talking. They still don’t understand how someone could possibly not want to procreate.

          It’s got less to do with religion and more to do with the perceived role of women – you reach a certain age, you marry, you have kids. It’s insidious. It’s in toys and girlish movies and literature.

          Then again, maybe it’s the culture I live in. I would hesitate to say it happens everywhere, but I can sympathize.

        • http://myspace.com/rox1smf Rox1SMF

          The doctors, nurses and health insurance companies who all denied me a tubal ligation every time I begged for one between the ages of 22 (childless & hoping to stay that way) and 31 (unmarried, with a two-year old) may or may not have been religious, but their motivations for refusing me came from somewhere. Traditional values…

          “What if you get married and your husband wants children?” If he’s looking for a birthin’ woman, I’m unsuitable as a wife.

          “What if, God forbid, your daughter died?” I’d probably go insane, but not looney enough to be overcome with regret that I couldn’t just REPLACE her by birthing another one.

          I literally had to threaten to SUE the hospital I was in & everyone in it if they didn’t tie my tubes “while they were in there” during a bowel resection I needed because I was days away from dying of Crohn’s complications. They tried first pushing all those maternal emotional buttons, then tried to say I was required to attend a “workshop & counseling session” before they could do it, so I’d have to wait and have the surgery another time. That was when I became the patient from Hell and pointed out that advising me to undergo an additional invasive surgery under general anesthesia yet again, was bad medical advice AND smacked of unethical business practices. More risks to my life, but another whole surgery & stay’s worth of revenue for them. I had to sign special paperwork, but I prevailed.

          Because I (an adult, mind you) was refused an ELECTIVE medical procedure that would have guaranteed I never had to wrestle with deciding whether or not to give birth, I have a child who has endured a lifetime of physical & emotional suffering (as I’ve watched, powerless to take away her pain & assaulted by guilt) due to the shitty genetics she inherited from a mother who didn’t want to be one, primarily for that reason. I can’t imagine I’d ever feel as guilty about having an abortion or otherwise making sure I didn’t procreate as I do every time that kid hurts or cries or questions why she has to be “abnormal,” or wishes out loud that she was never born. I had her because I wanted her & I (rather selfishly, but with the best intentions) rolled the dice thinking maybe everything would be OK. It wasn’t, isn’t & never will be; but we’ve figured out our own brand of “normal.” Good days can be few and far between, so you learn to make the most of every one. :)

          Sorry for the novel, but THAT is why I find it so repugnant that anyone on this earth thinks they have the right to control by LAW what women can & cannot do with their reproductive organs. Especially when those same people contribute to the problem of unwanted pregnancy by using myth and misinformation instead of comprehensive, reality-based sex education – and have legislated THAT too!

          • Siberia

            Agreed.

            I hate the “but what if the man you love wants children” argument. My answer is usually “then he’s free to find someone to give him children, or to adopt, as long as I don’t have to be involved in any way”.

      • Custador

        I actually know a midwife who had her tubes tied aged 24 (she has no children), and she has no regrets about it at all.

        • Siberia

          I’d love to. Unfortunately, health concerns (mainly because it involves surgery, however minor, and surgeries don’t agree a lot with being physically impaired) are a bit of a hassle.

    • Melissa

      And here it is….the pro-life position that becomes the generalization.
      We would no sooner force you to have an abortion than you should be able to force us to carry a pregnancy to term. If women are so slutty and void of feeling and we cannot be trusted to make our own decisions, please tell me why you think we should be parents?
      From your own words, I doubt you’re capable of understanding logic. I have found that those whose beliefs are not based in fact are, almost by definition, also the people who simply cannot grasp logic and reason, no matter how good the argument.

      Thanks, Daniel for posting this article and to the doctor as well.

  • kholdom0790

    Actually I don’t see any reference to any LORD AND SAVIOUR here, Daniel… pretty surprising, isn’t it?

    • arrakis

      “My LORD AND SAVIOUR was born to an unwed teenage mother…what if SHE had had an abortion???!!!”

      Like that?

      • Custador

        “My LORD AND SAVIOUR was born to an unwed teenage mother having been raped in her own home by an elderley intruder… Shouldn’t SHE have been offered an abortion?”

        Fixed that for you.

  • Francesco Orsenigo

    Nice article, but preaching to the choir.

    If I thought that human fetuses were human beings, I wouldn’t care about the reasons of the mother.
    That’s homicide and you have to make illegal.
    Pro-choice movement is not going anywhere if they don’t address more strongly the point for why a fetus is not a human being.
    Articles like this, as interesting as they are, are not going to move anyone out of their own position.

    Also, I always read the pro-lifers speak about the holiness and miracle of a new life, but they always omit HUMAN life, since they have no problems with killing and eating stuff.

    Personally, I don’t even care if the fetus is human being or not: as long as it is not capable of suffering (ie, it has not a working nervous system) I think it is ok to kill it.
    I’m no expert, so I’ll leave to the medics to determine whether it can suffer or not.
    I don’t want humans to suffer anymore than I want any living being to suffer.
    Do I eat meat? Yes, but I don’t go around bragging about it and make it a point of pride.
    Death and suffering are part of nature, often cannot be avoided but should be respected anyway.

  • Rational Skeptic

    It always amazes me how many who claim to be skeptics and rational people will simply believe at face value what they read on the Internet as long as they agree with it.
    I can understand that if the person who wrote this article truly is an abortion provider they would have concerns about safety but as an earlier poster said, this article could have been written by anyone.

    Then we have this gem…

    “Did you know that 1/3 of women who have abortions had a partner who sabotaged their birth control method?”

    Such a statement with no attempt to provide any supporting evidence should have set off any true skeptics BS detector. What is this based on? Anecdotes? Personal experience? Can anyone provide any verifiable supporting evidence for this?

    • Francesc

      Now, read again that sentence replacing 1/3 for “some” or “a significant part”.
      Has it’s sense changed? Is the number important for our discussion? What I consider noticeable is that, out there, there are men who force his wifes into unwanted pregnancies.

      I assumed that sentence was based on personal experience -assuming that she is a doctor. Have I available means to know wether she is a doctor or she isn’t? I don’t. Would it be better if she signed as Dr. Johnson? Nope. Reading the text, I got an impression and decided to eventually believe her -notice that I also believed that the author is a woman, it might be a man or some kind of AI.

      Am I changing my mind? Am I voting some law upon that testimony? That would require stronger proofs, but as I am not…

      • Rational Skeptic

        Of course the number is important, that is a very strong claim the author is making and the article specifically says 1/3. How would you feel if the author were to make an unsupported claim such as “1/3 of women kill their children before they reach age of 5″ and when you asked for proof I responsed with “the actual number isn’t important, what is important is that out there there are women killing their children”. As a women would you feel at all offended by this. It is much easier to be skeptical when it is something you don`t want to believe.

        “Reading the text, I got an impression and decided to eventually believe her”
        Yes and was this based on the fact that the author was saying what you wanted to hear? It obviously wasn’t based on any evidence that the author provided.

      • Francesco Orsenigo

        Rational Skeptic makes a very good point.

        A “did you know that…” statement with no data to back it up should skyrocket any decent BS detector.

        • Jabster

          Well yes and no … if the ‘fact’ was core to the message being put forward then it’s truth or not would be far more important; if a ‘fact’ doesn’t tally with what you already believe to be true then again more proof would be needed. Simply put the level of evidence required is generally related to the implications of something being true and the believability based on what you already believe to be new. As a simple example if a friend of mine said he had got a new car, lets say a red Corsa, I wouldn’t demand to go around to his house and see. If he said he had invented a time machine I would be far more skeptical.

  • Melissa

    I seriously did not think it would be necessary to explain to Beth, above, that NARAL does not apologize for what they do (nor do any pro-choice people I know) and therefore do not lurk about purporting to be someone else.
    The generalization the doctor made is likely based on her patients. Is this the basis for having sniffed out some sneaky pro-choicer? And to what end exactly? I’d say the majority here already support choice, at least from what I’ve read.

  • Siberia

    To JonJon: sorry I couldn’t get this reply off earlier. My bad.

    Let’s dance.

    So are you arguing that her belief on this point matters more than yours or mine because she is more informed, or closer to the situation? (Bear in mind that some people would regard being close to a situation as potentially compromising one’s judgment, moral or otherwise…)

    Not really. What I mean is:

    You mentioned she seems to have a pretty strong position on the issue. You would, tentatively, call it unshakeable. I was elaboring on the reasons why she would have such a strong (dare we say unshakeable!) position on the issue; not to say it’s right or wrong, but trying to extrapolate on a possible reason why she would think as she does. I’d say that, being close to the issue probably reinforces and justifies her beliefs: empathy being as it is, it’s probably hard for her to face such issues without reacting.

    You’re completely right that being closer to an issue can muddle one’s perception of it.

    W/ regard to my own opinions, I (generally) feel that the life of an unborn child is more valuable than I hear many people saying.

    Why?

    In attempts to provide a moral argument for abortion, there are typical appeals to the non-humanity of the fetus (and by non-humanity I mean the ‘lump of undifferentiated cells’ bit.) Why is that? I would contend that it is because *if* that lump of ‘undifferentiated cells’ was indeed human, then the moral compass swings in favor of traditionally ‘pro-life’ arguments.

    It’s human, alright. It’s got human DNA. It’s just not a baby, as so many of the vocal pro-lifers like to argue. Not yet.

    I understand and have researched the science on this about as far as I reasonably can, and I don’t think it is okay to to play fast and loose with this when the science of when humanity starts is so fiddly right now.

    The problem is on the definition of what is a human. I’ve no doubt a zygote is human. I have no doubt sperm is human, or eggs are human, or hair, fingernails, skin, etc., are human. But they’re not sentient, for all that we know. As the doctor said, as time passes and the possibility becomes more and more probable, the subject gets tricker and trickier. I’d be uncomfortable getting rid of a creature with a brain, much as the doctor said, without very good reasons.

    Preemies survive from earlier now than they used to, and that trend only seems to continue.

    Not without heavy technological intervention, though. I don’t remember where I saw this, but I think back in the past, a six-month birth was considered a miscarriage. I wonder what would happen if we could simulate the womb so that a foetus (or, hell, even an embryo) could be removed and incubated outside the mother. Maybe then there would be no more terminated pregnancies…

    (… and probably an issue with overpopulation, but let’s not dwell on that.)

    Furthermore, bearing in mind the idea that the unborn *might* be ‘human’ and ‘alive,’ I don’t know how much sense it makes to allow its ‘guardians’ to end such a life with literally no regulation.

    “Might” isn’t “is”. It is human and it is alive, but it isn’t sentient, not yet. That’s the main problem here. Is it terrible? Yes. I’d rather educate people so abortions don’t happen as often as they do. But I’d also rather “sacrifice” a “might be” for an “is”. I’d rather see terminated non-sentient humans than very real, very sentient humans die because their mother abandoned them in the garbage or threw them in a river (which happens with a rather alarming frequency over here).

    Obviously, I don’t claim to have the right answer, but I think the morality of this is a great deal more tangled than pro-choice arguments make it out to be.

    Me neither, and I agree, but that doesn’t really change reality in any way. Unfortunately.

    • JonJon

      <3

      “I’d say that, being close to the issue probably reinforces and justifies her beliefs: empathy being as it is, it’s probably hard for her to face such issues without reacting.”

      Yup. Sorry if I didn’t say this properly, but you and I seem to basically agree on this– she probably needs firm belief that what she is doing is right, and that belief is probably reinforced by what she does. And I don’t have a problem with it at all, I totally understand that a person’s individual morality depends a great deal on their circumstances.

      ‘Why?’

      Because I think that a fetus probably ‘counts’ as its own human life. I wouldn’t want to argue from that perspective necessarily though, because if I build a huge case on that premise and then it was proven wrong, that would suck. The nice thing is, I don’t need that premise to argue that a fetus is ‘probably more valuable than I hear many people saying.’ I can argue it based on the fact that a fetus is going to be an adult human, and that its rights as such should be protected until the day it can use them.

      “The problem is on the definition of what is a human. I’ve no doubt a zygote is human. I have no doubt sperm is human, or eggs are human, or hair, fingernails, skin, etc., are human.”

      I’d like to point out a distinction that is really important and really easy to miss, and that you seem to have missed here. The difference between ‘human’ and ‘a human.’ When you say that skin or sperm or a liver is ‘human,’ you clearly do not mean that they are ‘a human.’ The thing is, some definitions of what is ‘a human,’ that is, where ‘humanity’ starts, include a just-born infant, a fetus, or even a zygote. This is the problem with the argument that ‘its my body, how dare you say I can’t do with it what I want?’ A fetus is not someone’s body in the way that their liver, or even their placenta is. It is genetically distinct from them in a way that would seem to indicate (and that indicates in most other circumstances) a biological entity that is separate from them. I know that isn’t exactly what we were talking about, but I thought I’d mention it.

      ‘Not without heavy technological intervention, though.’

      This is an interesting question too, because it has very clear parallels with issues at the end of life. For the very old, dependence on a machine is typically distinct from humanity (humanity being placed roughly at the existence of brain function, although families will keep the elderly around a bit longer than that in many cases.) In the case of a (very) preemie, that dependence on technology will probably only diminish over time.

      ‘it isn’t sentient, not yet. That’s the main problem here.’

      I agree, there is zero chance that a fetus without brain activity can be considered sentient. But that does not mean that a fetus is not important. I recognize that the suffering of a human infant while it sits in a dumpster after its mother abandoned it is greater than the suffering of a fetus without nerve endings. But, once again, that does not mean that the continued existence of a fetus is irrelevant, or even unimportant. When I hear someone talk about a fetus as though it is nothing more than a lump of cells, (not that you’ve done that) I get a little pissy, because the fact of the matter is that it is potentially a human life, and society does have a responsibility to it, and even if that responsibility has to be put aside in favor of something else, that doesn’t mean that we should just say ‘oh, it wasn’t really that important’ in order to make people feel better. It would be much better to say: ‘yes, that fetus would have been a human being, but what we did was kinder, or necessary, or acceptable.’ That is at least an acknowledgment that a fetus is important, even if it doesn’t have rights, or eyes, or a beating heart.

      that last part was a bit more of a rant than I thought. :P

      Thanks for such a great response, btw.

      -best

      • rodneyAnonymous

        Did you know that roughly half of conceived embryos are spontaneously (naturally) aborted?

        Also, the “potential” argument is ridiculous. In a manner of speaking, sperm have the potential to be human. For that matter, any cell in your body has that potential. Fetuses are not viable — that is, they cannot survive outside a human womb — until the last few weeks of pregnancy. They need outside help. Fetuses are not potential humans in the sense you mean.

        Important? Fine. But compared to what? The whims of a field mouse are more important than a cluster of cells with no developed sense organs at all. And it’s certainly less important than a person. Why would you want abortions to be regulated? You don’t have a uterus.

        • JonJon

          Did you read what I wrote?

          “In a manner of speaking, sperm have the potential to be human. For that matter, any cell in your body has that potential.”

          -I addressed this ‘manner of speaking’ as being a misunderstanding…

          “Fetuses are not viable — that is, they cannot survive outside a human womb — until the last few weeks of pregnancy.”

          -Also discussed whether or not technological dependence had anything to do with humanity…

          “Important? Fine. But compared to what?”

          Ahem: ‘probably more valuable than I hear many people saying.’

          That means ‘compared with how important you think it is.’

          Thanks for pointing out my lack of a uterus. I made sure to mention that several times in several discussions about this article. You seem to have an opinion though… Am I not allowed to have one, regardless of the (non)existence of my uterus?

          Now, maybe I’ve misread this, and you were just disagreeing down the line. That is certainly fine. I don’t think you’ve convinced me that I’m wrong, (or really dealt much with anything except to say you disagree) but if it makes you feel better, then cool.

          • rodneyAnonymous

            You seem to have an opinion though… Am I not allowed to have one

            Wanting a procedure you will never have to be regulated is more than just an opinion. If you don’t like abortions, don’t have one.

          • Aor

            Your own words imply that you do not think a fetus is a human life, JonJon. You have said that you can understand and respect a person choosing to have an abortion, and if you truly thought that fetus was human then there would be no respect and no understanding… only murder. If you really think a fetus is ‘fully human’ then you would under no conditions respect the killing of that fetus.

            This is truly simple. If the fetus is human, then under no conditions would you respect someone killing that fetus by choice. Since you do respect a persons right to make that choice, you do not think a fetus is fully human. You cannot have it both ways. Pick one and stick with it.

            • JonJon

              What part of ‘justifiable homicide’ did you not get? (from my earlier response to this idea)

              I respect several reasons for ending a human life when it is no longer a fetus.
              Why then should ending a human life while it is a fetus be different?

            • JonJon

              To elaborate, ending a person’s life in order to save the life of another is often regarded as an acceptable choice, and is treated by the law differently. In addition, there may be humanitarian reasons for ending a human life humanely and with as much dignity as possible. If I believed that it was wrong to ever kill a human being, then yes, I would be forced by my belief that a fetus is human to condemn all abortion. Since, however, I don’t believe it is always wrong to kill a human being, I am by no means forced to believe that abortion is always wrong. Does that make sense?

      • Siberia

        Because I think that a fetus probably ‘counts’ as its own human life.

        I suppose we’d have to define what is or isn’t human life, then. What is a human? Anything with human genetics? Are corpses humans with rights? Are braindead patients kept alive by machinery? Are organs?

        I wouldn’t want to argue from that perspective necessarily though, because if I build a huge case on that premise and then it was proven wrong, that would suck. The nice thing is, I don’t need that premise to argue that a fetus is ‘probably more valuable than I hear many people saying.’ I can argue it based on the fact that a fetus is going to be an adult human, and that its rights as such should be protected until the day it can use them.

        “Is going to be” does not equate “is”. Every sperm is a hypothetical adult human – if it fertilizes an egg. Every embryo is a hypothetical human – if left alone (or if nothing happens to the mother, such as being run over by a truck, getting ill, whatever).

        Should we hinge the rights of hypothetical children over the rights of existing adults? Then why not salvage every sperm and egg available to ensure all those hypothetical children have their rights guaranteed? Why not enforce the planting of all embryos created in fertility clinics, as to protect their hypothetical rights? Do they have less rights than an already implanted embryo? Why?

        I’ll go even further. Why not guarantee that every pregnant woman is forced to care for the embryo she carries and avoid risky behavior (such as drinking, riding rollercoasters, traveling at all – since an accident could happen) or be punished by law? Isn’t the law out there to regulate and protect the rights of people – even hypothetical people? Doesn’t it already happen with “born” children? Why not extend it to embryos?

        Where does the right of the hypothesis end and the rights of the factual begin?

        I’d like to point out a distinction that is really important and really easy to miss, and that you seem to have missed here. The difference between ‘human’ and ‘a human.’ When you say that skin or sperm or a liver is ‘human,’ you clearly do not mean that they are ‘a human.’ The thing is, some definitions of what is ‘a human,’ that is, where ‘humanity’ starts, include a just-born infant, a fetus, or even a zygote. This is the problem with the argument that ‘its my body, how dare you say I can’t do with it what I want?’ A fetus is not someone’s body in the way that their liver, or even their placenta is. It is genetically distinct from them in a way that would seem to indicate (and that indicates in most other circumstances) a biological entity that is separate from them. I know that isn’t exactly what we were talking about, but I thought I’d mention it.

        A tapeworm is a living, existing, independent biological entity, too. Why having human DNA makes it better than, say, a tapeworm?

        This is an interesting question too, because it has very clear parallels with issues at the end of life. For the very old, dependence on a machine is typically distinct from humanity (humanity being placed roughly at the existence of brain function, although families will keep the elderly around a bit longer than that in many cases.) In the case of a (very) preemie, that dependence on technology will probably only diminish over time.

        I’d argue that the very elderly and the very young should have their rights protected, and aid provided, on the basis that they are sentient and can feel pain (what doesn’t happen with embryos and early-enough fetuses). I’d also argue that a braindead person – as in, no neural activity – is essentially dead even if being kept alive. A corpse with a pulse, if you will.

        Then again, as I explained above to brgulker, I tend to value the sentient over the non-sentient, on a purely empathetic basis. I won’t say my position is the right one, as I don’t believe in absolutes. I wonder if this position would remain if I eventually got pregnant.

        Just FYI, abortion is illegal over here and only allowed in case of incest, rape and anencephaly, via judicial order. Our constitution grants rights to the unborn, much like you do. I’m not sure I’d be able to procure an illegal abortion, in which case I’m f-ed and the child’s f-ed because I’d be forced to give birth (when I very clearly don’t want to) and probably wouldn’t be able to abandon it (damned empathy) and the kid would be stuck with an incompetent, schizoid mother. Or be raised by my sister/mother, which would be even more unfair.

        Which is why, paranoically, I’m abstinent until I can get myself permanently sterilized.

        I agree, there is zero chance that a fetus without brain activity can be considered sentient. But that does not mean that a fetus is not important. I recognize that the suffering of a human infant while it sits in a dumpster after its mother abandoned it is greater than the suffering of a fetus without nerve endings. But, once again, that does not mean that the continued existence of a fetus is irrelevant, or even unimportant. When I hear someone talk about a fetus as though it is nothing more than a lump of cells, (not that you’ve done that) I get a little pissy, because the fact of the matter is that it is potentially a human life, and society does have a responsibility to it, and even if that responsibility has to be put aside in favor of something else, that doesn’t mean that we should just say ‘oh, it wasn’t really that important’ in order to make people feel better. It would be much better to say: ‘yes, that fetus would have been a human being, but what we did was kinder, or necessary, or acceptable.’ That is at least an acknowledgment that a fetus is important, even if it doesn’t have rights, or eyes, or a beating heart.

        Mm, yeah. I’d still argue you can say the same of every egg. “Yes, that omelet could have been a chicken”, “yes, that mess of blood I just expelled could have been a human if I had wild monkey sex and got it fertilized”, so on and so forth.

        But then, I’m a strange person. :p

        • JonJon

          “Where does the right of the hypothesis end and the rights of the factual begin?”

          I dunno, but I think that we should start thinking about the rights of the potential person *at all* rather than assigning them none.

          I’m picking up a bigger philosophical disconnect that is making this discussion harder. As you mentioned to brgulker, you don’t believe that a human life has any inherent value. I have reasons, some religious, some definitely not, to prefer thinking about human beings as having an inherent value. I don’t know if either framework is ‘better’ than the other, but I do know that western civilization has been built (largely) on the idea that humanity has an intrinsic value. This is humanism, and it is the overwhelming thread of western culture since the Renaissance. Anyway, those are some of my reasons why I put an intrinsic value on human life. for whatever that’s worth, there ya go…

          The tapeworm thing also hinges on this distinction. If you believe in the intrinsic value of human life, you are encouraged to value a distinct human entity more than a distinct non-human entity.

          The deal with sperm and eggs is that biologically, they are ‘human’ but not ‘a human.’ My sperm, like my hair, has my genetic material and only my genetic material, making it effectively me. A zygote has its own genetic code, making it not me. I would argue that reproductive rights extend absolutely to things that are ‘me,’ but that it might be better if they didn’t extend absolutely to things that are ‘not me.’

          BTW, you seem neither incompetent nor schizoid… Not that i know you all that well, but still. :D

          • Siberia

            I’m picking up a bigger philosophical disconnect that is making this discussion harder. As you mentioned to brgulker, you don’t believe that a human life has any inherent value. I have reasons, some religious, some definitely not, to prefer thinking about human beings as having an inherent value. I don’t know if either framework is ‘better’ than the other, but I do know that western civilization has been built (largely) on the idea that humanity has an intrinsic value. This is humanism, and it is the overwhelming thread of western culture since the Renaissance. Anyway, those are some of my reasons why I put an intrinsic value on human life. for whatever that’s worth, there ya go…

            Yeah, but I’m obnoxiously against convention, as much as possible :p

            The philosophical disconnect, I suppose, is the cause of the whole discussion at all. Many of the religious – not saying you’re one of those, mind – argue in favor of humans-to-be out of God’s will over life and death, or the existence of a soul that is separate from the matter, and things like that. The likes of me would define personhood on consciousness and see no logical reason to preserve a hypothetical over a factual. It’d be awesome if we could preserve the “may be”s as well, but…

            I suppose it’s all stacked on what is a human, and what is a person, where the rights of one begin and where the rights of other end. I’d put this point at consciousness – because then there’s the possibility (certainty?) of pain, and awareness, and that’s what – IMHO – makes a human human.

            And of course, we’re all guilty of specieism, too. I hesitate on placing value on some “kinds” of life and not others, because, well, I don’t really see why some lifeforms should be valued over others. We’re different, yes, but are we better? Worse?

            Philosophy, philosophy, philosophy.

            (just FYI, the Brazilian government, which is heavily influenced by Christianity, Catholicism in special, thinks exactly as you do: people have rights from the conception to death. I’ve seen, recently even, doctors being arrested for performing abortions. Interestingly, the women were not punished. I wonder why.)

            (also, lots of schizoid people don’t openly show they’re schizoid ;p though, to be honest I’m “self-diagnosed”: I read about it once and found the similarities of behavior telling – in that I tend to not connect with people in a deeper level, don’t care for social interactions, prefer to be left alone over socializing, feel there’s a deep chasm between me and everyone else, don’t like open displays of affection, feel no need for intimacy with others, have a rich fantasy life that sometimes overrides the need for reality, etc.. Maybe I should seek a psychologist :p)

            • JonJon

              psychologists are expensive. ;)

              I agree with you that it is effectively these very broad philosophical issues that seem to indicate (with a pretty good measure of accuracy) which way someone sits on this issue.

              Oddly, though, arguments on philosophy are typically far more genteel than arguments about the specific issues. Unfortunate, that.

  • bigjohn756

    This thoughtful and reasoned article certainly adjusted my views regarding abortion. It changed my mind about several aspects of it and educated me in others. Excellent essay!

    • http://www.vidlord.com VidLord

      Funny how many of you come on here and chime in “Excellent essay!” or “Thank you for what you do.” regarding a subject so gruesome as to horrify the senses. This person describes nonchalantly how her actions “involves pulling out the baby in pieces” as if it’s like removing teeth from a person’s mouth. This is not like removing teeth. I don’t believe in god but this topic is bothersome to me. Even if you think it a clump of cells, given time it would become a person. When I imagine someone * pulling a baby out in pieces * I can’t help but feel that something is being stolen here. Not from me, or from the mother, or from society or any person, but from life itself. The baby, at least to me, belongs to life. I wonder how many of you basking in the beauty of this doctors profession could tear a living baby out from its mother, piece by bloody piece.

      • rodneyAnonymous

        Of course an embryo is alive. Slime moulds are alive. Bacteria are alive. But they aren’t people.

  • http://unsentink.wordpress.com ApK

    Thank you for this – it can not be easy work to do, and I very much appreciate the honesty and thoughtfulness with which the author of this essay goes about her work. Emphasizing that abortion is a difficult choice will hopefully help pro-lifers understand that the women who want their right-to-choose to remain protected in this country are fellow humans wrestling with enormously challenging decisions. As a woman who has not yet needed the services of such a doctor, I am only slightly reassured in knowing I have the option – it is still a choice I do not want to have to make. Thankfully, I know that I will be in professional hands regardless of my reproductive decisions, and I can direct my energy and worry toward puzzling over whether it is the right decision for me and my unborn child.

  • claidheamh mor

    That was excellent.

    A Planned Parenthood doctor in my city gave a speech that was as good and compassionate as this one.

    The “pro-coerced birthers” think that these are immoral women who should be punished for their (sex) sins with an innocent child. Then they complain about “welfare mothers” who need money to support their children.

    I expect (based on former posts on this site, duh) a lot of pro-forced-birth fundie protests that they have some group that “helps young mothers”. Implicit in that, completely ignored, is the throwaway attitude toward the woman’s own life and choice: they simply don’t give a damn about someone not wanting to be a “young mother”. The other alternative to not giving a damn is a desire to “punish” the woman with forced pregnancy.

    The xian insulting ASSumptions are many and hidden, covert, overlooked. Arguments swirl around laws, adoption, and assumptions that it’s only careless young single tarts getting pregnant, not married, older, or already parents of more than they can handle. Their right not to have to raise, or even carry, a baby is completely ignored. The punitive aspect is covered up, but you can see hateful, punitive christians posting on this site all the time.

    Some christians are hypocritical enough to disparage “welfare mothers”, others seem to be openly accepting single mommies, but not anyone who dares to have sex without pregnancy, or, in the case of pregnancy, without birth forced on her.

    • http://www.vidlord.com VidLord

      claidhemh – how is “involves pulling out the baby in pieces” “compassionate” to you? I’m not a “pro-forced-birth fundie” but fail to see any compassion on this.

      • claidheamh mor

        You proved my point (re-read it above) about ignoring, and not giving a damn about the doctor’s obvious compassion toward the adult who chooses not to have forced birth. It’s useless talking to someone like you who doesn’t have a clue, or a glimmer of comprehension, how that is.

        Your focus away from the adult life onto the pregnancy and fetus, ignoring the adult and her choice over her already existing life, is obvious. ALl of your argument, as I said above, will gloss over and swirl around that.

        I’m not a “pro-forced-birth fundie”

        I’m not convinced you’re honest.

        Really, if you can’t see the doctor’s compassion, you really are hopeless and clueless. You never will. You won’t ever get it.

        You don’t want to get it (and you won’t, ever); you just want to use emotionally loaded language to keep pounding on your point and arguing.

        For proof, Exhibit A: all you mention is the “baby”.
        And Exhibit B: your overly hyped, emotionally loaded, hyperbolic, not at all denotative,deliberately inciting to emotion, ignorant of the various forms of abortion procedure, language that you used.

        • http://www.vidlord.com VidLord

          so if i mention words from the actual essay “involves pulling out the baby in pieces”

          now all of sudden it’s “overly hyped, emotionally loaded, hyperbolic, not at all denotative,deliberately inciting to emotion….”

          interesting.

          • Siberia

            so if i mention words from the actual essay “involves pulling out the baby in pieces”

            … and kindly ignores the fact she states, quite plainly, that she hesitates to do that on electives, and does it more often when the “baby” is dead or has no chance of survival.

            • http://www.vidlord.com VidLord

              it’s also interesting how she uses the word “baby” instead of “fetus”. You would think an abortion doctor would be careful to use fetus when describing pulling it out in pieces. Then again you never hear a pregnant woman say her fetus kicked.

            • Siberia

              Doesn’t change the fact the thing – by any other name – is dead, or so horribly malformed it’d die after birth anyway, possibly taking the mother along, and that these women wanted their fetus – or baby, or XYZ – and would gladly carry to term if possible.

              But then, you’re welcome to ignore that tidbit of trivia, and keep focusing on the hacking to pieces.

      • Kodie

        Most of those seem to be done as a matter of medical need, rather than of personal election, at least as described by the author. The mother most likely wants that child and is unable to carry it to term because it has some dysfunction which will either increase risk for the mother’s life or would not become a viable human being. Doing something and being compassionate at it are maybe two different things, but this seems like doing something now so we don’t have to see what “god” will do about it later, is definitely compassionate. It seems to be what must be for some humans to do, because it is a medical condition now, not sit on our hands and let a lot of time go by until the baby is born with no chance at a full life and will die (without any choice in the matter!) or the mother has been put at risk and may die herself. The compassion is to do the right thing in a timely manner for all parties involved and not sit back, conscientiously objecting and let god take care of his invisible, imaginary will that actually would cause more suffering, not less.

  • jubb128

    What’s wrong with adoption though? I mean honestly yeah maybe these kids WON’T have a good life with there parents but what I really REALLY hate is when young mothers (teens) get abortion’s because there parents so called MAKE THEM! That is unreal UNREAL!!!! I can understand when people medically need it but I can’t say I condone it still either but I can understand that it may be their only option. I just think there is a fine line about abortion I mean if you don’t want a chance of having a kid I’m sorry but don’t pull down your pants.

    • Custador

      Yes, because we all made rational informed choices as teens didn’t we? Especially those people in coutries like the US of A where sexual education is so piss-poor that there are teenagers who genuinly believe that it’s not physically possible to get pregnant until you’re married.

      Come on now, weren’t you ever a teen? Didn’t you ever bow to massive peer-pressure over anything? Don’t you know that contraception isn’t 100% reliable no matter how careful you are? Don’t be so quick to pigeonhole people and apply an arbitrary rule to everybody.

    • Francesc

      “I can understand when people medically need it but I can’t say I condone it still either”
      You don’t condone it, when mother’s life is at risk? Yes, the life-to-be is more important than the life with already is (sarcasm)

      “REALLY hate is when young mothers (teens) get abortion’s because there parents so called MAKE THEM! That is unreal UNREAL!”
      Yes, it is probably unreal -or pretty uncommon. Do you have statistics about how many teens are forced to have an abortion by her own parents? It is a real problem or anecdotic? I understand that the parents of those young mothers are worried about their future, and being a mother when you are teen can change your life. So probably some of them would advise their daughters to abort. Lots of them (no idea about how many, sorry) would forbid -or difficult- their daughters to have an abort. Do you prefer that?

      • Kodie

        Why would you say this is uncommon? I really do think this happens and that is sad, there is no choice in these cases. There is no choice either when the parents force the teen to continue the pregnancy and force the newborn up for adoption, no consideration for attempting to keep it. It is born out of wedlock, and for some parents, this is a big scandal and they want it to go away, either by abortion or adoption. I feel bad for teens or young women whose own parents only think about themselves. This is, when a teenaged girl finds herself pregnant and knows her own parents reactions so well as to predict them, that they hide their pregnancy, dumpster or safe haven the baby, or have to get an abortion ONLY so the parents never find out they were pregnant at all. I have some idea these social scandals are due to strict religious ideals, even if the parents aren’t religious. No longer these days is an unwed mother such a scandal but for some people it is, and the parents can wrestle the will and the choice out of someone, for sure. This is probably the worst situation a person can be in.

    • Siberia

      Nothing wrong with adoption. I’m sure the dozens of children who would love to be adopted and aren’t because adopting couples simply don’t want older children, foreign children, children with disabilities, black children, Hispanic children, children who have been abused, children with health problems, children with behavioural problems, children who have siblings up for adoption as well, etc., would agree that adoption is a great thing.

      I’m sure that they’d love, say, if people who use fertility clinics would adopt rather than sledgehammer procreation out of their bodies.

      I’m sure the babies abandoned in dumpsters and riversides would also love if they could be adopted rather than left to die by their mothers.

      Unfortunately, reality doesn’t work that way.

      • JonJon

        I would like to take this opportunity to plug an awesome new(-ish) law in the great state of Callifornia which says that if a baby is abandoned within a week of birth at a fire station or hospital, it is impossible to prosecute the mother in any way, and she doesn’t have to leave any name or contact information. This law was put in place to help lower the number of newborns abandoned in dumpsters and alongside freeways, and it seems to be helping. The law was proposed and lobbied for (successfully) by a very nice lady that I know. :D

        • Kodie

          http://www.nationalsafehavenalliance.org/press.html

          “Lorton, Virginia, February 19, 2008 – Last week, Nebraska and Alaska passed baby Safe Haven provisions, becoming the 49th and 50th states to enact laws. These provisions make it possible for infants to be safely relinquished into the hands of a responsible adult in the event that a woman is unable to care for her newborn child.”

          • JonJon

            Aye.

            • Siberia

              That’s pretty sweet. Go California.
              Now if only they could do this over here…

          • Sunny Day

            Actually the Nebraska law had no age limit. People were dropping off their teenagers and walking away.

    • http://proudkikuyuwoman.blogspot.com PKW

      There are such people as “forced-abortion” as well. My friend in the US refused to have an abortion, or give the baby up for adoption when her parents asked her to. The don’t talk much these days.

  • Sorcha Nic Amhalai

    This is an interesting post, but her opinion of ‘pro-forced-birthers’ annoys me. She complains about pro-lifers making assumptions, without seeing the irony of the fact that she’s assuming that they do so. She makes a lot of statements that are true of the really fundamental among us, and assumes they apply to all of us. I do not believe any of the things she claims that people on my side of the argument believe, or even anything that could be exaggerated to be those things. I do not make any assumptions about or judgments of the people who seek abortions. I simply believe that there is always a better choice than killing a child that will almost certainly live to and past birth if you do not. Though I accept that, as with almost all rules, there are probably exceptions. That is what makes me anti-choice.

    • Francesc

      “there is always a better choice than killing a child”
      mmm…she is not killing a child, that would be an assassinate. She is extracting a non-sentient fetus

      • Sorcha Nic Amhalai

        Can you define what you mean by ‘non-sentient’? Do you mean sentient in the sense of can feel or in the sense of being self-aware? Unborn children, after a certain point, will feel and respond to sensations. And I don’t consider a child that has just been born to be any more self-aware than one who will be born tomorrow. But one that has been born is a child by anyone’s definition.

        One problem with referring to it as a ‘non-sentient fetus’ is that we have no way of telling what point in the pregnancy sentience (of either sort) develops. In fact, it’s bound to be gradual, making a cut off point very hard to define. The only way to be certain that you are not ‘removing’ a sentient fetus, is to not remove a fetus at all.

        Referring to an abortion as ‘extracting a non-sentient fetus’ strikes me as distancing language. It doesn’t change the fact that if the abortion does not take place, that fetus will almost certainly survive to become a child. Also, it ignores the fact that you are killing the fetus. Regardless of the debate on sentience, a fetus is clearly alive.

    • Kodie

      Define what these better choices are and what makes them better. That is seriously subjective.

      • Sorcha Nic Amhalai

        In at least the vast majority of cases I would say that the best alternative is adoption. I understand that this means that the person has to go through the pregnancy and birth. Having been through pregnancy and birth, I know that that’s no small deal. But I also believe that abortion is never an easy thing to go through either.

        I place a great deal of value on the life of an unborn child. I do not hold it higher than the life of the mother. I do value it more highly than nine months of her time. Especially when it’s nine months of her time against a decision which is never easy and a procedure which cannot fail to have an emotional impact.

        I consider the rare cases where an abortion (rather than a surgical procedure that happens to kill the fetus) is necessary to save the life of the mother, to be exceptions to my opinion above.

        For the record, I don’t consider cases where the child will have serious, but non-life-threatening birth defects exceptions. I have known people with serious birth defects. I have never met one that would rather not be alive as a result of them.

        Adoption is a better option than abortion simply because the fetus gets the opportunity to become a person in the former, and they do not in the latter.

  • Richard

    This was truly horrible. The thought of killing a little baby makes me actually shake with anger. I can’t imagine how anyone can defend cutting a little baby into pieces and removing it piece by piece from the womb. It makes me feel sick.

    • saoili

      I have to wonder why you read this post. I myself am anti-choice, but that sounds like opinion of someone who doesn’t actually try to see the other side’s point of view at all.

      • Richard

        The other side? I said that the other side makes me feel sick. That is my honest reaction to cutting up babies and sucking them into pieces. That is what she said she does… cuts up live babies for a living… and I’m supposed to feel sorry for her?

        • Sunny Day

          That’s your problem.

          Its not a baby.

          • http://www.vidlord.com VidLord

            she did use the word ‘baby’ when describing how she pulls it out in pieces. I already commented on that but still find it odd that she didn’t use the term fetus. I bet if she could rewrite it she would change that part.

            • rodneyAnonymous

              That also struck me as an odd choice of words. It’s not a baby.

              A fetus by any other name…

  • Jeepers

    It’s a complicated issue but we need to find some middle ground. I agree with her assessment of the 22 month viability mark. There needs to be a cutoff and I think that’s a fair one. If there is some feasibility of the child living outside of the mother, then that is a fair time to not allow elective abortions.

    But like she said, many of the abortions she performs are not alive or viable babies. If you outlaw ALL abortions, do you also outlaw those? Who has the right to say a woman isn’t allowed a procedure to remove a non-viable fetus from her body? It’s not all black and white. Few things ever are.

    While I feel I could never have elected to give up any of my children, my circumstances have always been very fortunate. I don’t presume to know what is best for someone with less favorable conditions than I’ve had. If I had 5 children I was already struggling to feed and a husband who beat me, maybe number 6 would just be my breaking point. There are a million scenarios that people go through that might lead them to that decision…and it should be their decision alone. Not yours…not mine…theirs.

    And like she said, they are still going to make that decision…they’ll just do it in a back alley somewhere, where they’ll get a deadly infection, or bleed to death. It WILL happen. Isn’t it better for it to be safe?

  • ShaMekha

    I was a teenage mom. Twice. In fact, by the time I was 21 I had all 3 of my children. I don’t really like the term unwanted pregnancy, but for sake of clarity… An unwanted pregnancy is an experience that young girls face often. In my case, a lack of precaution and common sense would have been my reason when I found myself pregnant at 16. I thought only very briefly about abortion, but more seriously about adoption. I was scared, I knew that my boyfriend at the time was not going to stick around. And he didn’t. But in my neck of the woods, the mentality was “If you’re woman enough to lay down, then you’re woman enough to take care of it”. I did. And it was hard. Plenty of toung women in this position would have chosen abortion, and I have to say I wouldn’t blame them. I’m glad I had that option, but I made the right choice for me.
    When I got pregnant at 18, I was on Depo-Provera. Surprise! Birth control fail does really happen and it sucks. At that point in my life, I was really struggling hard to take care of my daughter,working and trying to finish school. Again, abortion would have been the logical choice for alot of women at this pont. And to be honest, I made an appointment- and went- but I ultimately decided that I just couldn’t. When I found out I was pregnant, I was already about 13 weeks. I don’t know what qualifies as “viable” in everyone else’s book, but a heartbeat changes things.
    I’m not particularly religous, although I’m from the South, and my grandfather was a preacher in a Baptist church. I made these decisions because it was right for me. I couldn’t take care of my kids, but I did. At times I had help, but mostly I did it on my own. I just dug down deep and found the strength to get 2 jobs while I was in college. My kids did go without; they went without a mother. Now, at 27, things are different. I don’t have to work 2 jobs and I’m at every football game, recital, ceremony, anything.
    When I look at my kids, I know I made the right decision. They forced me to become a better person. But that is the way I choose to think.
    I counsel my little sister, cousins, any young girl I know. Don’t put yourself in the position to HAVE to make that choice. It’s absolutely idiotic to think that teens will abstain from sex. Won’t happen. And some people just should NOT have kids. Just read the news. Or pay attention to the family down the street from you. Forcing a child on someone is never a good idea. And neither is making someone go through a pregnancy, then tearing the child away. There’s no way you can give birth and be the same person you were. Giving women and girls knowledge and options is the smartest thing this country has done for us.

  • Estelle

    Just a quick point but the pro-forced birthers aren’t just about forcing women to give birth:

    http://jezebel.com/5351936/crisis-pregnancy-centers-creating-artificial-orphans

    • Kodie

      Thanks for the link to the article. That’s TERRIBLE! I was reading all the comments at that site, and I want to read the other articles linked at the end of it, but my reaction to these crisis pregnancy centers is pure disgust. I am appalled to read that this happens, not overly surprised, but really, there are always going to be sick, new ways for Christians to attempt to control people and batter them about. Sick, new things to find out about all the time, that just infuriates me.

  • Ender

    All these comments have been surprisingly civil. Discussions on such touchy subjects usually devolves into name calling and threats of eternal damnation. Did someone take the trolls internet away?

  • Lurga

    This is a terrific article.

    Many years ago I had an abortion for reasons too complicated to explain, suffice it to say I already had three children, the oldest of whom was handicapped, the two others born within a year of each other, an appalling obstetric record, was seeing a psychiatrist for self harm and depression, and was awaiting the finalising of my divorce.

    It was at about 10 weeks – so long I can’t remember exactly.

    I remember the night before it was done, lying there with my hands over my stomach, apologising to my child and promising that in spite of everything I loved and would always love it.

    On the day one of my chief concerns was that it wouldn’t feel anything. When I woke up I cried for ages. But life goes on. I remember feeling guilty that I no longer suffered from morning sickness!

    My child would be in their twenties now and I do miss them. BUT it was the right thing to do back then. Just sad sad circumstances.

    If abortion had not been legal, I would have found some way, and my children, who are happy and healthy and all in their thirties now, might have grown up without a mother.

  • Lurga

    By the way I should have added that I am a Christian, I believe that anyone should have the right to do as I did, and I live in Scotland.

  • Nicole

    to be honest, until reading this and another article, i was fully against abortions. only because there are so many people out there that cant have children of their own, and there chances get lower each time someone has an abortion instead of giving up their child to a loving family. im ok with abortions. i just wish more people didnt use it as birth control and thought about adoption.

    • Daniel Florien

      Thanks for having an open mind, Nicole!

    • Ty

      Would this objection apply to couples that are fertile but get deliberate sterilizations to avoid pregnancy? Should they be having babies and giving them to other people?

      Inability to conceive is a terrible thing. I have a lot of sympathy for people who have that problem. But it is a personal problem. No one owes those people a baby. Any more than kidney failure means that someone with two kidneys owes you one.

      I would never want laws changed to force healthy people to give kidneys to sick ones, and I would never want the laws changed so that pregnant women are forced to give birth so that couples have more adoption options.

      • Kodie

        There is an article linked just a few up about crisis pregnancy centers and how some groups go about manipulating would-be aborters into keeping their baby and hooking them up with sponsor families and promising counseling and care. They go on to tear the birth mother down and coerce her psychologically to put her baby up for adoption because she’s single, poor, has nothing to offer. Then there’s no counseling. They basically call her a slut after she signs over, and kick her to the curb.

        It’s shitty either way. Giving my baby up for adoption would just have torn me forever, and these people think that’s better that I regret an adoption forever, psychologically manipulating people that they will regret abortion forever, so they can play heroes to some sterile family and give not the least bit of a thank you to the bio mom. They don’t want babies to live, they want a product they can sell, and that’s sick.

        I believe this can be a choice that is good for the mother if it’s her choice, if she admits to herself and isn’t mentally abused by some team of shrews in business to deliver healthy white babies to rich assholes who support this type of behavior. Abortion, likewise, can be scarring to someone who really didn’t want to have to do it, but was externally demeaned into it. I don’t say it doesn’t happen on both ends. If I can’t keep my baby, I’m not giving it to you, that’s just my personal decision, and people like Nicole have to accept that it’s none of her business to judge people for choosing one over the other.

  • Roberta

    As a society we kill people every day, As punishment in prisons, with cigarettes, health violations in hospitals, drinking and driving, plain ignorance, and we ship many more overseas to do our dirty work. How many of those abortions, if not done, would have ended in children and adults forced in these situations? How many would have died from disease and how many would have suffered their entire life as the unwanted? How many would have had more kids and so on branching out and forcing us to sooner methods of population control? How many tax dollars would we need to save them? Still I don’t have any respect for abortion and not because of stereotypes of the mothers having them but the religious types protesting it. They speak about god and satan and good and evil and how they know that these women are leading a dishonest life. If I offered one of those about to be aborted children to any god fearing christian no questions asked to be loved and cared for by them unconditionally we all know most wouldn’t have the time of day or would slam the door in my face. Practice what you preach before you form an opinion. Unless we walk in the shoes of these many women and families torn to whatever means to tempt fate and the corruption and safety of their soul and the soul of their unborn child we can’t say anything. Besides it is their choice to do so illegally or not it will be done and don’t these christians believe that an innocent soul will be saved? Hey christian mother, don’t look now because we know you would dissaprove and cast those demons out, but your 12 year old daughter just got knocked up. What do you do now? Bastard child or medical waste? I have no respect for you and my sincere apologies to those who I have upset. Unless you disagree with me.

    • http://www.vidlord.com VidLord

      Roberta: “If I offered one of those about to be aborted children to any god fearing christian no questions asked to be loved and cared for by them unconditionally we all know most wouldn’t have the time of day or would slam the door in my face.”

      I think you’d find that a large majority of them would take the baby in. If a pastor offered up your hypothetical child during mass there would be a line around the church of families willing to take the baby in. Your post sounds like someone ranting to me.

  • christine

    this letter has a whiff of fakery to it…there are numerous misspellings and grammatical errors that I find hard to believe a doctor would make for something intended for publication. Check out her consistent misuse of “then” and her incorrect use of commas. For that reason I find it difficult to even debate the substance of this essay when I don’t trust the source of it. Has anyone checked to verify it?

    • Daniel Florien

      You’re right, it’s a big conspiracy. Here’s your tin foil hat.

    • Jabster

      Are yes doctors, well know for their English skills …

    • deanna

      Waht!? Sweetheart, you aren’t using capital letters to begin your sentences. Are you authentic?

  • Emma

    Thank you so much for sharing this.
    I was 19 when I had an abortion. The day I found out I was pregnant was the happiest day of my life, and the day I said goodbye to my baby was the darkest day of my life. I was not financially, mentally or emotionally ready for a child, neither was my boyfriend of 2 and a half years. We made the decision together and he supported me the whole way. The morning of the abortion I sat in my room and told my baby that I loved him/her very much, that I was sorry and that he/she was never going to leave my heart.

  • Grumpy girl

    Yikes!!! Talk about reading something frightening about countries with restrictive abortion laws like Africa and Latin America!

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091014/ap_on_re_us/us_abortion_worldwide

  • deanna

    As a woman who made that terrible choice…AND A CHRISTIAN…I can say that I truly respect and appreciate doctors who perform this procedure. I am SO TIRED of listening to Christians pass judgment on, frankly, anyone for anything because it is becoming SO commonplace in our culture for them to do so. It is hard for me to process how a person with faith in the same loving and FORGIVING God as me, can be so completely ignorant and so lacking in empathy as to assume that they have ANY clue what goes on in the mind or body of a woman who chooses to get an abortion.

    From the Christian perspective…Folks, God forgives those who put his faith in Him…no matter the sin…and all sins are equal in HIS eyes because ALL FALL SHORT. Let he who casts the first stone be free from sin…I think is the phrase.

    I would also like to suggest that the day the rights of women, the right make our own health decisions, or the rights of other races, or of other religions or of ANY AMERICAN is curtailed…is the day the CHRISTIANS will ALSO no longer be free!! AND…YOU CANNOT legislate faith because it DOES NOT HONOR GOD! HE gave us the freedom to choose HIM to glorify HIM! Take away my choice and eventually there will be no choice for YOU either. AND…as a person who sits in both camps…I would like the freedom to choose…the freedom to choose what I do with my body and the freedom to openly choose God. Let GOD be the judge of me if you feel I’m so wrong. That is between me and Him anyway and NONE of your business! Worry about YOUR OWN SINS!

    Thank you, Doctor, for speaking up. It is so sad that FEAR has caused 1/2 of the argument to be carried out anonymously. FEAR of CHRISTIANS?? CRAZIES? Have they become synonymous? Now THAT is SAD! Maybe our freedom in this country is already gone.

    • Daniel Florien

      Glad to hear from a Christian who has a better perspective on this. Thanks for sharing, Deanna.

    • Annie

      Blah, blah, blah… Every argument is the same. Unfortunately, this abortionist feels that she needs to ‘prove’ that what she’s doing is morally acceptable, which is reason enough to think that there is a equal, or greater, case for the opposing side. Also rather unfortunately, no one in this WHOLE comment section actually has a true opinion, it’s all regurgitated scientific nonsense.

      I am SO SICK of hearing this “what if it endangers the mother’s life?” argument. LOOK UP THE STATISTICS, PEOPLE! Ectopic pregnancies and most other life-threatening pregnancy complications are SO INCREDIBLY RARE…. but the abortionist wants you to believe that they are VERY common, so you’ll help her sleep at night. Oh, she’s seen the faces, she’s heard the stories.

      Heads up: people lie. People will do absolutely anything to help themselves feel less guilty, including posting as a “Christian who gets it”, which I saw in the comments. True Christians DO NOT get it. Although God is forgiving, he is forgiving of sins of the past… you cannot rationally tell me that someone is a Bible-believer, accepts Jesus, and could go have an abortion tomorrow, (non-life-threatening cases aside).

      I’m not arguing to outlaw it, but for FUCKS SAKE, PEOPLE

      ITS NOT BIRTH CONTROL,
      ITS MURDER.

      • Ty

        Here’s the great thing!

        Nobody cares what you think about anything! So you can go away with a clear conscience!!!

      • Sunny Day

        This was a perfect example of a brainless emotional appeal.

        Thanks.

  • Roberta

    Thank you, doctor, for sharing your view, and for continuing to perform abortions. I am a middle-class, middle-aged woman who chose to have an abortion several years ago because my husband and I were done having our children, and our birth control (the pill) failed. Of course it was an awful decision to make, but having an abortion felt, and still feels, like it was the right decision for us. I am forever grateful that I was able to have a legal, safe abortion at the hands of a compassionate, professional doctor. And P.S. my husband now has a vasectomy because that feels much safer.

  • Beth

    I’ve been on both sides of this issue, and as a 15 yr. old, very scared, pregnant CHILD I was forced by my mother to have a child I didn’t want. I had been using birth control properly, although no one from my family had talked to me about this, and had gotten pregnant when that method failed. My mother felt that because our family is Catholic, although admittedly I’m not religious at all, I should have and keep this child, which I did. I’m now 28, and although I love my child and would never give her up now, I do wish that for her sake and mine I could have had the choice to have her later in life, or not at all. I’m too proud to go on welfare, although I meet the requirements, and I work as a waitress so I can make ends meet, but I could have had a better future, and so could she have. If I had been able to have her now, after I would’ve gone to college, gotten a good job, been with someone who I would want to have children with, her life and mine would be much more fufilling.
    I was 19 when I got pregnant again, also using birth control properly, and I had an abortion on my 20th birthday. Had I been forced to have this child I don’t know where I would be today, or how I would feed and clothe my children by myself, I would have to have assistance. I never want to be forced to do anything with my body that I don’t want to do, nor do any one of those supposed “Christians” want to be told what to do with their bodies as well. To say they wouldn’t be in that situation in the first place isn’t true, the “Christians” I know have sex, drink, do drugs, and many more things they wouldn’t want grandma to know about, but still think they have the right to not only pass judgement on people like me, but to regulate what happens to my body and unborn child . Not all children are born into a loving happy home, some are born into poverty, or abusive situations, I would argue that I would rather not have the child than be forcing this UNWANTED child into a life they would not choose for themselves.
    I applaud this doctor for writing this article. Hopefully it has informed people about what abortion really is like, and what leads people to have to make that choice. As for those that are quoting the “I would be the happiest person in the world to never do another abortion again” line, of course she would be, that would mean all women and men are making smart, informed choices about their actions and their bodies. Until we can talk openly about sex in schools, at church,at home, wherever, and not have such a stigma applied to the workers who do these jobs, then her wish to not have the need for abortion will not happen, and these things are being regulated as well, and to such an extent that sex ed is not very helpful. Abstinace only programs OBVIOUSLY don’t work, let’s start from the ground up. Talk to your children, and help the schools around you to have open dialogue as well. My daughter’s now 12 and I have told her that no matter what she can come to me, and no matter what her decision is, we would go with that. When, or if she needs birth control, which we have already talked about, she will have it, and if something does happen, you better believe I’ll hold her hand and help her through, either a birth or an abortion.

    • http://www.vidlord.com VidLord

      I love my child and would never give her up now….

      interesting.

  • Henrick Borger

    Wow, thank you for this. I hesitate to comment, because I am a man. That being said, I will never have to make this decision (that’s not to say I will never be involved in the choice). I am not pro-abortion, and I don’t think anyone is. I am however pro-choice. Because lets face it, if men were the ones giving birth, every sporting goods store, tattoo parlor, and bar would have a Gyn/Ob in it. There would be such things as ‘abortion’ parties, guys would take each other out drinking the night before the procedure, and a common ‘getting to know you question’ would be “so how many abortions are you up to’? I think that this woman’s choice in protecting the reproductive rights of women in spite of the fact that there is so much backlash, is a brave one. Thank you for your courage.

  • http://www.caspican.com Bryce Combs

    Your arguments would have held more force without the sarcasm. To start with, I am a complete atheist, so there is no “god side” to my views. However, I am 100% pro-life. I hold this view for the reason that although we cannot altogether agree upon what counts as good and evil, we can at least understand that what causes pain for another is wrong to them. As the research has not clearly demonstrated whether or not a fetus can feel pain at seven weeks, though the basic systems are roughly in place, I think we ought to err on the side of caution. As regards forced pregnancies, no one can say that this is the baby’s fault, no more than one could say that rape is the woman’s.

    The question becomes one of support, and therefore money. You are correct in saying that the most vocal opponents of abortion are often the tightest with regards to spending public funds on welfare. I would have to say that I too would oppose spending public money, as I am a libertarian, which by definition means that government (at the national level at least) should not step outside of: legal system, national defense, infrastructure, international relations, and international and domestic trade regulation. I believe that private organizations of one’s chosen affiliations should handle the rest. America used to be a country of volunteerism, a trait I have carried with me to the country where I have been working these past several years, Kazakhstan.

    Perhaps we ought to concentrate less on who is to blame for the situation, and put our money where our mouths are. We treat convicted murderers with more humanity than those who suddenly find themselves in this world. I believe in the protection and development of society, which to me means the elimination of abortions, excepting cases of incest (dangerous to the child and its progeny) or extreme medical risk, and the death penalty for murderers and sexual predators.

    I do not want to get into the argument of the emotional state of those women who have had abortions, of whom I have met many, but they do carry it for the rest of their lives. A woman who has brought her child to term, and then given it for adoption, can at least rest knowing that there is a chance for her baby. Many men would never consider marrying a woman who had had an abortion, if the woman is honest with the man at least, but I think most men would feel much better about a woman who had given birth and put it up for adoption. I really hate the term “unwanted pregnancy”, which is like saying “unwanted child”.

    If you want to crusade for some cause, why not look at revamping the adoption system. Many lower-middle class parents, like my wife and myself, cannot adopt under the current system, as our income is too low, or we do not own property. Many wonderful children rot in orphanages around the world (and yes I do think of their plight as if they were in prison) because the system excludes an entirely viable part of society. Some of your respondents complain about working in difficult jobs to support their “unwanted children. I work about 12 hours a day, six days a week, not just because I have to at times, but because I have so much I feel I want and need to do.

    As well, if so many pregnancies are caused by poor birth control methods, then perhaps the money being spent on fighting the abortion issue should instead find its way to improving birth control in the first place, as well as education about and distribution of more acceptable prophylactics. It would not hurt either to teach young people about how much better sex is with someone you care deeply about, instead of with someone you want nothing more than to forget. Yes, there is a learning curve to this, but if parents shared a bit more of themselves and their experience, we might be able to raise children who are more responsible than ourselves.

    I think you wrote this article to assuage your feelings of guilt. Your situation is somewhat analogous to a convict throwing himself on the mercy of the court – rationalizing his actions through some past horrible experience. I have had many of those, but could never find them to be justification for killing someone for no reason other than it is inconvenient.

    • http://www.vidlord.com VidLord

      Bryze “to assuage your feelings of guilt”

      I don’t think Daniel posted this because of that. He is a good person and just posting to provoke debate. Personally I think the unwanted child has no power – has no say in the matter. If we preach mercy and forgiveness then there is no way we can justify the killing of the defenseless- no matter how appropriate. The defenseless has no say – has no power – has no say in the matter.

      • http://www.caspican.com Bryce Combs

        Actually, I was responding directly to the doctor, not to Daniel or anybody else. It is as Martin Luther King said (paraphrased), “…when good people stand by and do nothing…” I just thought that I would add my thoughts, which given my peculiar, minimalist almost to the point of nihilist, beliefs are unique among the postings. There is enough pain in the world (natural disasters and stupidity topping the list of causes) without adding unnecessarily.

    • Stacy

      Who or what gives atheists the internal moral standards? How do atheists know what is right and wrong without some form of internal law structure? I am not an atheist, and I am not trying to be disresepctful, I am not an atheist so I don’t know the answer to this and I am just curious. Thank you.

      • Jabster

        It would be a good point if the moral standard of religions was either a) unchanging or b) adhered to but it’s not, so it’s not a good point. So your real answer is atheists are “given” a moral standard in much the same way as believers of any religion.

      • Custador

        Morals are highly evolved mental responses, modified somewhat by the prevailing social zietgeist of an individual’s social grouping. Holy books don’t give humans morals, humans gave holy books morals several thousand years ago. That’s why they aren’t relevent anymore – morality has evolved further and the zietgeist has changed. If you don’t agree, answer me this: Do you think it’s reasonable to stone a troublesome child to death? Or to force women to marry men who have raped them? Or to beat disobedient wives with sticks? Because the bible does.

        Tell me, are those things a part of your “internal law”? If not, why not? The bible says them, just like it says the ten comandments. Realise that religion is no longer relevant to a free-thinking person, and you will be happier for it.

    • Sunny Day

      “As the research has not clearly demonstrated whether or not a fetus can feel pain at seven weeks, though the basic systems are roughly in place, I think we ought to err on the side of caution.”

      I notice you completely disregard the pain caused to a mother over an unwanted pregnancy. The mothers pain we can know with certainty, we should “err on the side of caution” and allow them to chose.
      Or was that “err on the side of caution” just bullshit?

      “I believe in the protection and development of society, which to me means the elimination of abortions”
      Gee I kinda thought food, education, medical treatment, and civic works led to the development of society. Because that no abortion thing doesn’t seem to be working in non developed countries.

      “A woman who has brought her child to term, and then given it for adoption, can at least rest knowing that there is a chance for her baby.”

      She can also die in childbirth. Who are you to needlessly force women to risk their lives. We’ve stopped conscripting soldiers yet you insist on conscripting women.

      “I really hate the term “unwanted pregnancy”, which is like saying “unwanted child”.

      You should hate the saying “unwanted child” because its inaccurate. We are not discussing a child, we are discussing a Pregnant woman and a fetus.

      “I work about 12 hours a day, six days a week,”

      That’s great! I’m glad YOU feel so good about working, but we’re talking about other people here.This supports your position how?

      “money being spent on fighting the abortion issue should instead find its way to improving birth control in the first place”

      You should take that up with the Abstinence Only crowd.

      “Your situation is somewhat analogous to a convict throwing himself on the mercy of the court ”

      You must have read a different article than I did, or you are just projecting your own desires and beliefs onto another person.

      • http://www.caspican.com Bryce Combs

        You are a really bitter person. Your remarks are sarcastic and juvenile. Who hurt you?

        • Sunny Day

          Do you find everyone who disagrees with you Bitter, Sarcastic, and Juvenile?
          Stop projecting.

          • http://www.caspican.com Bryce Combs

            That was not a very well thought out comment. Your response was sarcastic, meant to insult my views, without your actually having provided anything of substance.

            Let me try another way of explaining my viewpoint. If we allow abortion, which I see as murder, then why not allow murder itself? I have lived in many places and met many people who could be classified as really bad. These people do nothing to promote society, and indeed their actions put all of us at risk. They truly have nothing to live for but to place pain onto others. Therefore, their book is written, and it is one that has a predictable ending – pain, suffering and death for others. Why not just kill such people? After all, the world would be a better place without them. The reason is that would be murder.

            So, why not let the child who would put you out so much make its own choices? Being a parent is all about self-sacrifice – I do it every day of my life. As regards the argument that it is the woman’s prerogative, this is a possibility that you propose to take away from the child herself. That is hypocritical. Let us take this perhaps a step too far, but not illogically so. If a person wishes to kill her child, perhaps there is something self-loathing in her. Maybe it is herself who she really cannot take care of, and so wants to put the blame on the untried infant growing within her womb.

            With the number of potential parents wishing to adopt, short of an extreme medical emergency, there is no real reason for abortion. Nine months of sacrifice may give the world the next Einstein or Monet, or simply a good, hard-working individual about whom society could be proud. I have met many of those last too, and am happy to call many of them friends.

            • Elemenope

              The line for adopting Tay-Sachs babies is about as long as my pinky.

              And we have legalized murder. When the state does it, it is called capital punishment. When the victim speaks a different language, it is called war. When it is a different species, it is called lunch. Let’s not waste electrons on all the ways in which humans gleefully murder and call it a different name. But while we’re on the subject, given that you think there is no space between abortion and murder, where is the clamoring to execute women who have abortions? Where are the headstones and the fetus’ funerals? Where are the riots to raze the murder factories to the ground?

              Rhetoric is a tricky thing. It reveals more than you wish.

            • http://www.caspican.com Bryce Combs

              We could always sit by a stream and contemplate the sound of om. However, one must take a stance at some point, else we end up with anarchy. Lines may not be absolute, but as they say, “If you are not making decisions for yourself, then somebody is making them for you.” There are times when one must make sacrifices in order to do what one believes is right, especially as concerns future generations. After all, we each have only so much time on this rock, this rock so much time in the univserse, and the unverse only so much time before it either depletes its energy or contracts for an encore.

              Logic would dictate that each of us promote abortion, as it limits the playing field in the fight for resources. Why spend so much time helping developing countries? Would it not be best if we just let the corruption that is seemingly endemic in each of them force those people into civil war and genocide?

              The answer is that if the human race is to survive its future travails, then we will need every possible edge. Each human (identical twins aside) represents a unique possibility based on his/her genetic map. The most logical thing we can do is go through the ore of humanity in search of those diamonds that will see your and my progeny as far into the future as can be hoped. Who knows what awaits those of us who can hang onto the coattails of giants.

              Each new human life represents that potential, and it is therefore necessary for us to do whatever it takes to ensure that each person’s positive potential is reached, and, conversely, to eliminate those who have proven their danger to society’s well-being through heinous acts, such as murder.

            • Kodie

              There are times when one must make sacrifices in order to do what one believes is right, especially as concerns future generations. After all, we each have only so much time on this rock, this rock so much time in the univserse, and the unverse only so much time before it either depletes its energy or contracts for an encore.

              This is so idealistic. I don’t live my life thinking I have to keep the humans going. I do not think each life has grand possibilities. I do think we have enough people being born for a small handful to achieve anything that really furthers humanity. We are not exterminating fetuses at such a huge rate that we are going to lose anyone really that special. Most people are really ordinary examples of the species. To answer your other question of Sunny Day, I am not always glad I was born. I am sure I wouldn’t know the difference if I wasn’t, and neither would you.

              Your whole argument, and most pro-life arguments often hinge on the idea that if we terminate pregnancies, we might lose the next great thinker of all time. What are the chances that we are? Seriously, most people aren’t that awesome. There are people who favor adoption because they were adopted, and there are people who forfeit their potential lives’ achievement to be the next great thinker to tend to an unexpected pregnancy, we read about some of the triumphs, great athletes and kids who beat the odds and went to college OMG! Are we really saving “lives” so more people can grow up and go to college? I went to college, a lot of people did. That doesn’t make them the next great thinker or doer. What would go off balance if a particular pro athlete had not been born? You seem to think we have limited amounts of great potential so we have to save every drop of semen just in case, where rather, there are only so many positions of greatness and a lot of competition for those positions. They will get filled, don’t worry.

              Think about all the potential thrown down the drain because people went ahead with their pregnancies. You are in favor of so-called SACRIFICE of one’s own life goals and dreams and abilities to bring up the next great college graduate, maybe. Maybe that woman had no goals either way. You are subtracting the potential from someone to transfer this potential to something that has no potential yet. Sure, a child may be loved, it may be happy, it may grow up into a productive member of society, and even a friend of yours, but you are placing a lot of stock in them maybe being an irreplaceable awesome human being we would have missed, and that would be a shame. A lot of children are already burdens to the system and fail to receive the kind of nurturing in order to overcome their economic cycle just to be anywhere on the track toward becoming great, much less adequate. A lot of people are already on this earth doing their best to achieve greatness on reality tv or beauty pageants, a lot of dreams are crushed by parents rather than allowed to root and blossom. You are really giving the human species a lot of undue credit to produce super examples of themselves by your will and not theirs. If they are choosing to get an abortion, chances seem pretty huge to me that that fetus would not have become a great person.

            • Kodie

              “If you are not making decisions for yourself, then somebody is making them for you.”

              And you are using this expression to illustrate why people should not be making decisions for themselves and to let you make their decisions for them?

            • http://www.caspican.com Bryce Combs

              You are taking that out of context. It refers to Elemenope’s comment on rhetoric. As regards decisions on abortion, as I consider abortion as murder (yes, excepting medical emergencies), there can be no “decision”. If we allow people to make their own individual decisions on murder, then, as I pointed out elsewhere, where does it end? Anarchy. When someone is quite guilty of homicide or another heinous crime, and the state decides that this person is too risky to keep alive, as judged by a group of his/her peers, that is acceptable – the greater good for society. When someone decides unilaterally to kill another human being, then that person should be turned over for trial. I, however, do not support trying mothers who have aborted their children as they carry that pain with them as obviously as any mark for the rest of their lives. The state could not punish anybody more harshly than a guilty mother’s conscience can.

              As regards not being happy about being born, everybody feels depressed at times. Nobody is absolutely shivering over life’s grand possibilities at all times. It is the general sense of one’s life, especially in those moments of great joy (the birth of a child maybe?).

              Obviously the male body expels sperm through urine at a prodigious rate (and when a boy is 13, through masterbation at an even higher rate). Therefore, we are left with random copulations in order to achieve our goals, unless you would rather support some system of eugenics or genetic enhancement? Perhaps the latter will come to being despite the disgusting nature of messing with one’s own genome. Is finding the next genius worth the price of two million normal births?

              To me it is. Being the son of one (and great grand nephew of another), but not one myself, only made me try harder (once I got over the bitterness of the situation, which took some time), and I realized that the world needs such people. I may still contribute something great to society – I have my own little maths project as a sort of hobby – but it will not be because I was a genius. Therefore, no birth need be wasted. In a healthy society, which is up to each of us in our own small way, everyone can find his/her place.

              You are right that we do have a nature versus nurture question to deal with. This is why I as an individual do my best – all anybody can ask of another person – to help society as much as possible. I think that the reason most people simply live lethargically is that they are afraid their work will give others a “free ride”, to apply the economics term. I suppose it is up to each person’s conscience as to whether the risk of helping freeloaders is too high of a price to pay for a stable society.

            • Sunny Day

              “That was not a very well thought out comment.”
              – Name calling and asking who hurt me is supposed to be “well thought out”?

              “Your response was sarcastic, meant to insult my views, without your actually having provided anything of substance.”
              – Just like yours? Oh I get it hypocrisy, it’s only valid when you do it.

              “Let me try another way of explaining my viewpoint. If we allow abortion, which I see as murder”
              – You can stop right there. Abortion is not murder. A fetus is not a person, an apple is not a tree. The rest of your argument falls apart because of it. The real issue is You want to treat a fetus as a person. If you want to do that you must provide some kind of evidence that it is a person.

              “then why not allow murder itself?”
              – We do. What planet are you from?

              “I have lived in many places and met many people who could be classified as really bad. These people do nothing to promote society, and indeed their actions put all of us at risk. They truly have nothing to live for but to place pain onto others.”
              – There are places for people like those they are called Jails and Prisons. Know a lot of criminals do you? Excuse me if I don’t trust your opinion about Bad People.

              “So, why not let the child who would put you out so much make its own choices?”
              – Because the child doesn’t exist. A plan for a house is not a house.

              “Being a parent is all about self-sacrifice I do it every day of my life.”
              – Patting yourself on your back feels good doesn’t it?

              “As regards the argument that it is the woman’s prerogative, this is a possibility that you propose to take away from the child herself.”
              – So instead we should take away the choice and risk the life of the woman who will bear it?

              “That is hypocritical.” — Yes, yes you are.

              “Let us take this perhaps a step too far, but not illogically so. If a person wishes to kill her child, perhaps there is something self-loathing in her.”
              – Sure we’ve got plenty of cases like that, mothers killing actual people, Andrea Yates and Susan Smith to name a few.

              “Maybe it is herself who she really cannot take care of, and so wants to put the blame on the untried “fetus” (fixed that for you) growing within her womb.”
              – And making someone ill equipped to take care of herself now responsible for another life makes the situation better how? Or are your words just a snide way to call women who have abortions crazy so you can dismiss them without trying to understand their position or reasons?

              “With the number of potential parents wishing to adopt,”
              – I didn’t realize there were no children available in the adoption system.

              “short of an extreme medical emergency, there is no real reason for abortion.” — Only if you consider the the purported fantastical wishes of imaginary people superior to the health and well being of people who actually exist.

              “Nine months of sacrifice may give the world the next Einstein or Monet, or simply a good, hard-working individual about whom society could be proud.” — And the woman who’s supposed to risk her life, sacrifice her health, education, career couldn’t have done those things? It’s got to be all about the children. Your misogyny is showing. Women are not second class citizens.

              The real issue is You want to treat a fetus as a person. If you want to do that you must provide some kind of evidence that it is a person.

            • http://www.caspican.com Bryce Combs

              Why do you always revert to name calling? You do not know the first thing about me personally, as you are not listening. Because I am against abortion except for an absolute medical emergency, I must be a misogynist?

              I think that it is easy to say the things you do when you are anonymous. Me, I’m right out there as to who I am. My guess is that you are somebody in the U.S. or UK, who has not even left her country and seen the world. It is easy to hide behind the rhetoric (your favorite word apparently) of the liberal West.

              I will not get into an exchange of insults with you, as you seem to want to fight on any point. I will not slander your character, as you have done mine. And, I will not be sarcastic, which seems to be your favorite instrument.

              I will pose only one question to you: Are you happy that you were born?

            • Sunny Day

              “Why do you always revert to name calling? You do not know the first thing about me personally, as you are not listening. Because I am against abortion except for an absolute medical emergency, I must be a misogynist?”

              Name calling where? Hypocrite is a descriptive term. You’ve qualified yourself for the label when you first resorted to name calling as a response. Rather than respond to any of the points I raised you replied by attacking me. Further it is hypocritical to talk about the furthering the choices of a theoretical human fetus while closing off the choices of an actual human female.

              Misogynistic, yes. You;ve attempted to bring up how hard you have to work, painting women who want to have abortions as lazy; sacrifice, casting women unwilling to risk their health and lives as selfish; and talk of bringing into existence a possible human who could be the next Einstein or Monet, all while ignoring the actual woman who could very well be those things.

              You could attempt to further the discussion by tackling the position I’ve repeatedly asked you for evidence, “The real issue is You want to treat a fetus as a person. If you want to do that you must provide some kind of evidence that it is a person.”. Instead, of addressing ANY of the points I mention, you try to play the victim card. Poor you.

              “I think that it is easy to say the things you do when you are anonymous. Me, I’m right out there as to who I am. My guess is that you are somebody in the U.S. or UK, who has not even left her country and seen the world. It is easy to hide behind the rhetoric (your favorite word apparently) of the liberal West.”

              Yay! Here comes another attack. Lets try to belittle someone for being anonymous, and attempt to pose an argument from authority of “having seen the world”, that will definitely lend credibility to your position in lieu of actual substance. Oh wait, HA HAHAHA, Sad.

              “I will not get into an exchange of insults with you, as you seem to want to fight on any point. I will not slander your character, as you have done mine. And, I will not be sarcastic, which seems to be your favorite instrument.”

              If questioning your position as I did on Nov 19th is insulting I can only feel sorrow that you go through life indelibly mortified by the other thinking people around you.

              You don’t seem to want to address any points. Continually trying to distract the conversation to how hard you work, or how lazy or selfish or crazy women are, or how you’ve traveled the world as if we haven’t and somehow makes you a better judge of whats right and wrong.

              “I will not slander your character, as you have done mine. And, I will not be sarcastic, which seems to be your favorite instrument.”

              So when you said this, “You are a really bitter person. Your remarks are sarcastic and juvenile. Who hurt you?” you didn’t really say that? It must have been some other person named Bryce.

              You seem to want us to accept that a Fetus is a Person and provide absolutely no reasons whatsoever.

              Sure I’m happy I was born. I wouldn’t be if I had cost my mother her life as it almost happened. Lets ask a fetus next, oh wait we can’t, its not a person.

            • http://www.caspican.com Bryce Combs

              Thank you for proving my point. Your arguments for abortion stem merely from a possible medical emergency to the mother, which is the only time I could foresee abortion as a viable option.

              Nonetheless, I think many women might take the chance anyway. After all, Steel Magnolias would have been pretty disappointing if Julia Roberts had got a partial birth abortion.

              By the way, as far as the people around me, they are pretty decent. I said that I have known many bad people, which stems from traveling to places that scare most Westerners back to their security buildings. Try leaving your comfortable life sometime in order to find out what the rest of the world is like.

              By the way, I never said anything about women – you did. Are you projecting your own views onto me?

              Once again, I reiterate my question: Who hurt you?

            • Siberia

              I think that it is easy to say the things you do when you are anonymous. Me, I’m right out there as to who I am. My guess is that you are somebody in the U.S. or UK, who has not even left her country and seen the world. It is easy to hide behind the rhetoric (your favorite word apparently) of the liberal West.

              Hi. I’m from Brazil. In my country, abortion is outlawed except with a judge’s permission.

              We also have roughtly 72 thousand processes in our courts. Speedy judging isn’t what we’re known for.

              Recently we had a case of a girl who was twelve and pregnant with twins. The church labeled it “murder” and punished the mother when she let her daughter have an abortion. According to the church, a 50kg twelve-year-old is more than equipped to have twins. She should have had Faith(tm) and bore her children or died trying.

              Did I mention that the father was her stepfather, who also raped her disabled sister?

              We’ve roughly ten million children up for adoption in Brazil. Lots of them come from abusive homes. Many are in a state of starvation when they come to adoption. Many more never get a home; they simply grow in orphanages. Many are disabled and in the hands of parents who can’t afford to care for a disabled child. Others have addictions from birth, such as crack and alcohol.

              Do you think people want to adopt these children?

              Other mothers simply can’t care for children. They, however, don’t know any better. You see, it’s still – in the poorer areas – a very misogynistic country. Women are routinely beaten and forced into degrading situations because they don’t have the education or the means to support their children.

              Do you think these women have the choice to use contraception? They can’t afford pills. And their partners won’t always wear condoms.

              There was – and probably still – a common practice. They used to call it “angel children”. The mother would simply let the baby starve to death. It probably would, anyway. When you’ve seven children and counting, and work 12 hours, as you said, to support them – on a salary of roughly US$200/month – morality talk isn’t all that pressing.

              It’s not uncommon to hear of women who drown the newborns or simply dump them off at the clinic – or in the trash.

              Would you kill a fetus to spare a newborn? You probably wouldn’t.

              Then again, who cares, eh? As long as they’re born.

            • Sunny Day

              “Thank you for proving my point.”

              You have a point?

              “Your arguments for abortion stem merely from a possible medical emergency to the mother, which is the only time I could foresee abortion as a viable option.”

              Wrong again, you just haven’t thought this through have you? I would have expected better from someone who’s traveled as extensively as you have claimed. I guess you didn’t travel as much as I did. See how that works? My authority is greater because I’ve traveled more. Because I know arguments from authority are the work of inept well traveled fools I’ll back it up with something a little more meaty.

              Having a baby is physically demanding and somewhat risky even when the mother is in perfect health. When the mother dies in childbirth it’s too late for an abortion. Do you live in some kind of magical fantasy land where everyone’s body works perfectly and nobody dies in childbirth? By suggesting that otherwise healthy women bear unwanted children you are suggesting that they needlessly risk their lives. This leads us to the subject of conscription.

              “Nonetheless, I think many women might take the chance anyway.”

              Good for them! I’m all for women making informed choices however much I agree or disagree with them and living their lives the way they want. Nobody is talking about forcing women to have an abortion. You are talking about forcing women to bear unwanted children.

              “After all, Steel Magnolias would have been pretty disappointing if Julia Roberts had got a partial birth abortion.”

              Instead of dealing with any relevant points, instead you romanticize the choice to bear a child while ill. This helps your position how? Oh yeah, it moves onto an emotional appeal because you don’t have anything substantive to say. Good idea, it might work sometime, someday, just not now.

              “By the way, as far as the people around me, they are pretty decent. I said that I have known many bad people, which stems from traveling to places that scare most Westerners back to their security buildings. Try leaving your comfortable life sometime in order to find out what the rest of the world is like.”

              Another pathetic attempt to defend your argument from your supposed authority for having seen the world. Again you dodge the issue and claim that you know better and we are to take your word for it in lieu of actual substance.

              “By the way, I never said anything about women – you did. Are you projecting your own views onto me?”

              In this world Men do not get abortions. Women bear the children and bear the risks and consequent alterations to their health. Storks do not arrive bearing little diaper wrapped slings. How does it work in your magical fantasy land?

              Was your mentioning of how hard you work and what sacrifice you’ve made just to build up your fragile ego? When you mention the supposed self loathing a woman feels, “perhaps there is something self-loathing in her”, you weren’t actually Talking about women? Your words and obvious inferences are right up there for everyone to read. Come on as well traveled you claim to be at least you can do is stop your transparent denials.

              “Once again, I reiterate my question: Who hurt you?”

              Once again you attack me by assuming my position can only come from a place where I was hurt. Thanks for trying to demean me. Do you have anything else other than Ad Hominem, Arguments from Authority, or Emotional Appeals?

              I’ve answered your questions, everyone here has noticed that you cant or wont answer mine. The real issue is You want to treat a fetus as a person. If you want to do that you must provide some kind of evidence that it is a person.

            • http://www.caspican.com Bryce Combs

              Why would I think from the start that your arguments were…

              Or was that “err on the side of caution” just bullshit?
              -Profanity. Indicative of someone who intends to shock their way into acceptance.

              Gee I kinda thought food, education, medical treatment, and civic works led to the development of society.
              -Sarcasm. By the way, none of those things works with a corrupt government in place, which is the case in most of the world’s countries. I have seen money wasted by the billions. If the people of a country want any hope of success, they must bleed for it, and never forget that sacrifice. If a people hold some value dear, it will guide them in that struggle.

              Who are you to needlessly force women to risk their lives. We’ve stopped conscripting soldiers yet you insist on conscripting women.
              -Simile. Perhaps overdone. After all, aside from sexual assault, a crime I feel should be punishable by death anyway, the woman is a knowing participant in a reproductive act. Medical emergencies aside, sex itself is the transfer of one gamete to another.

              That’s great! I’m glad YOU feel so good about working, but we’re talking about other people here.This supports your position how?
              -Sarcasm. Humans are multifacted beings, and the sum of their experiences, which can therefore be used to show the basis of their argument. In this case, my willingness to put my child’s best interests above my own.

              You should take that up with the Abstinence Only crowd.
              -Displacement. I had not said that I was pushing for abstinence, but for the application of safe sex through the use of superior birth control methods and education about them. Parental involvement is needed. Communities, not governments, should be responsible for pushing for and providing such education to parents and children.

              You must have read a different article than I did, or you are just projecting your own desires and beliefs onto another person.
              -Displacement and Sleight. Cutting up a human being is considered to be an action that would only be done by a psychopath. It is my opinion that unborn babies are humans, and so their dismemberment should also be a crime. Being proud of such an action in my view is tantamount to psychopathy.

              –Thus the reason for my remark on your bitterness.

              Just like yours? Oh I get it hypocrisy, it’s only valid when you do it.
              -Hypocrisy. You were the one who commented on my views in the abovementioned ways. Ergo, I believe you are denying going on a most bitter attack first.

              You can stop right there. Abortion is not murder. A fetus is not a person, an apple is not a tree. The rest of your argument falls apart because of it. The real issue is You want to treat a fetus as a person. If you want to do that you must provide some kind of evidence that it is a person.
              -You. You are my proof. You have stated that you are happy that you were born.

              We do. What planet are you from?
              -Actually, we do not allow murder. Wars happen. Criminals are executed in order to eliminate a threat to society. However, outright murder is still not allowed. The reason societies fall into anarchy, is because good people sit by while bad people act unmolested. Fear of discomfort eventually leads to fear of death. At that juncture, the only route to regaining freedom is fighting. This is a process that has repeated itself time and again in every nation of the world. A sad story.

              Know a lot of criminals do you? Excuse me if I don’t trust your opinion about Bad People.
              -Having spent a quarter of my life in a country known for systemic corruption, and having seen selfishness lead to inadvertent death and outright murder, yes, you can say that I have had the dubious honor of meeting several criminals. Only, they call themselves police, politicians, businessmen, and the like. I have met similar people in the U.S. too. I can remember watching my grandfather being beaten up by a policeman in Houston when I was six. Bad people are everywhere, but they only have the power if we let them, even if we must sacrifice ourselves. That sacrifice is a choice only an adult can make for herself/himself.

              Because the child doesn’t exist. A plan for a house is not a house.
              -We are not talking about a plant, but a growing seed. By your logic, should someone have the misfortune of losing his limbs, he would cease to be a person, because he would be inclomplete.

              Patting yourself on your back feels good doesn’t it?
              -I draw your attention to my earlier argument. Experience is the best teacher. Yes, it does feel good to devote myself to my child. That is what it means to be a parent. Are you one?

              So instead we should take away the choice and risk the life of the woman who will bear it?
              -I conceded medical emergencies from the start, and only medical emergencies.

              Yes, yes you are.
              -In what way am I hypocritical? I have not made any self-contradictory statements. A baby cannot choose, while a parent can. You, yourself, have already admitted to being happy that you were born, and are therefore satisfied that your mother had not made the other choice.

              And making someone ill equipped to take care of herself now responsible for another life makes the situation better how? Or are your words just a snide way to call women who have abortions crazy so you can dismiss them without trying to understand their position or reasons?
              -I have already made my views on this quite clear. You are adding your own interpretations. People need to think before they act. This includes sexual activity. The average person is always right on the edge of bankruptcy. One unexpected event, and they go over. I have seen it hundreds of times. Responsibility is doing what needs to be done to make a situation right. I knew a woman who got pregnant, who knew in advance that the chances for her child to survive were almost nil. She had the baby, which arrived prematurely. It was in an incubator for a month. It died. The woman never left its side and still loves that child, who perhaps understood love during its brief life. I know of another woman whose mother sold food in a bazaar for what was then the equivalent of $50 a month, while the daughter herself also worked and put herself through university. In the economy of that time, she was not able to make much money, but when she got pregnant, she and her mother redoubled their efforts so as to be able to pay for the baby, who was born a mute. This meant additional medical bills, and harder work. She loves that child, and worked hard to make sure he was comfortable. The story has a happy ending though. She met an Englishman, who married her and took her to England. There are tragedies too, of course, but to try is the most important thing.

              I didn’t realize there were no children available in the adoption system.
              -There is that sarcasm again. I think I already addressed, in my initial posting, the problems of the adoption system. Those problems are so poignant here, that Al Jazeera recently did a story on them. Orphanages here are treated as little kingdoms, just like all government bodies, and used for the profit of those who manage them.

              Only if you consider the the purported fantastical wishes of imaginary people superior to the health and well being of people who actually exist.
              -Have you ever felt one of those “imaginary people” kicking in the womb?

              The real issue is You want to treat a fetus as a person. If you want to do that you must provide some kind of evidence that it is a person.
              -It is a person. One without experience or choice, but still a human, even if it is yet incomplete.

              Time to bring yourself into the debate. I am tired of shadowboxing. On what bases can you support your beliefs? What are your experiences?

              P.S. I will address the woman from Brazil later. I have a number of relatives in South America, know something about the continent, and am aware that the problems faced by Brazil are roughly analagous to those in the other countries. As well, I had the good fortune of studying under a sociologist, who did the research work for her dissertation in the favela of Rio de Janeiro, and who taught us a great deal about the country.

            • Sunny Day

              “Or was that “err on the side of caution” just bullshit?
              -Profanity. Indicative of someone who intends to shock their way into acceptance.”

              You talk about the potential pain and suffering of a fetus (ignoring the answers of medical professionals on this thread) disregarding the pain and suffering of the real people who would carry the fetus to term. Purposefully you decide to ignore the question tap-dance around it and focus on a shocking use of “profanity”? I’ll mark you down as a “Yes it was bullshit.” Thanks!

              “Gee I kinda thought food, education, medical treatment, and civic works led to the development of society.
              -Sarcasm. By the way, none of those things works with a corrupt government in place, which is the case in most of the world’s countries. I have seen money wasted by the billions. If the people of a country want any hope of success, they must bleed for it, and never forget that sacrifice. If a people hold some value dear, it will guide them in that struggle.”

              Having more babies they are ill equipped to raise to adulthood helps them in that struggle how? Additionally we’re talking about the goings on in developed countries ones with internet access this being an internet forum ya know.

              “Who are you to needlessly force women to risk their lives. We’ve stopped conscripting soldiers yet you insist on conscripting women.
              -Simile. Perhaps overdone. After all, aside from sexual assault, a crime I feel should be punishable by death anyway, the woman is a knowing participant in a reproductive act. Medical emergencies aside, sex itself is the transfer of one gamete to another.”

              A lot of the anti-choice rhetoric seems based in a desire to punish women. “She had sex so let her bear the consequences.” The intended consequences were fun, not child-rearing. That’s like saying that people fly airplanes in order to crash. Or banning skiers from medical care after a tumble because “they knew they were taking a risk.” It’s both small-minded and short-sighted.

              “That’s great! I’m glad YOU feel so good about working, but we’re talking about other people here.This supports your position how?
              -Sarcasm. Humans are multifaceted beings, and the sum of their experiences, which can therefore be used to show the basis of their argument. In this case, my willingness to put my child’s best interests above my own.”

              Ah so because its something that YOU are willing to do, we should enforce your choice upon other people. Barring you being a tap dancing dictator of some magical fantasyland, I’ll mark this one down as Not supporting your position.

              “You should take that up with the Abstinence Only crowd.
              -Displacement. I had not said that I was pushing for abstinence, but for the application of safe sex through the use of superior birth control methods and education about them. Parental involvement is needed. Communities, not governments, should be responsible for pushing for and providing such education to parents and children.”

              If it was left up to communities, as its been shown here in America, There would be none of that. Nobody here is arguing against sex ed and other birth control methods. Again, go take your point up with the abstinence only crowd.

              “You must have read a different article than I did, or you are just projecting your own desires and beliefs onto another person.
              -Displacement and Sleight. Cutting up a human being is considered to be an action that would only be done by a psychopath. It is my opinion that unborn babies are humans, and so their dismemberment should also be a crime. Being proud of such an action in my view is tantamount to psychopathy.”

              Good, we’re getting somewhere. Now all you have to do is offer up some evidence or a rational chain of thought that demonstrates a fetus is a person. (why am I hearing more tap dancing?)

              “–Thus the reason for my remark on your bitterness.
              Just like yours? Oh I get it hypocrisy, it’s only valid when you do it.
              -Hypocrisy. You were the one who commented on my views in the abovementioned ways. Ergo, I believe you are denying going on a most bitter attack first.”

              Funny! You call me names and claim it’s only a response to me attacking you by asking questions you are incapable of answering. As a substitute here you tap dance around them.

              “You can stop right there. Abortion is not murder. A fetus is not a person, an apple is not a tree. The rest of your argument falls apart because of it. The real issue is You want to treat a fetus as a person. If you want to do that you must provide some kind of evidence that it is a person.
              -You. You are my proof. You have stated that you are happy that you were born.”

              Wrong, wrong, wrong. I am not a fetus. I am a adult human being. I can be used as proof that you are a buffoon.

              “We do. What planet are you from?
              -Actually, we do not allow murder. Wars happen. Criminals are executed in order to eliminate a threat to society. However, outright murder is still not allowed. The reason societies fall into anarchy, is because good people sit by while bad people act unmolested. Fear of discomfort eventually leads to fear of death. At that juncture, the only route to regaining freedom is fighting. This is a process that has repeated itself time and again in every nation of the world. A sad story.”

              Good, we’re getting somewhere. Now all you have to do is offer up some evidence or a rational chain of thought that demonstrates a fetus is a person so that your un proofed talk about Murder doesn’t knock the spokes out of your own wagon. (why am I hearing more tap dancing?)

              “Bad people are everywhere, but they only have the power if we let them, even if we must sacrifice ourselves. That sacrifice is a choice only an adult can make for herself/himself.”

              Bad people are everywhere, you are one of them. You are not talking about adults making a choice for and choosing to sacrifice themselves. You are talking about taking away a choice from them and making them sacrifice for the favor of a possible human being that doesn’t exist yet could exist one day.

              “Because the child doesn’t exist. A plan for a house is not a house.
              -We are not talking about a plant, but a growing seed. By your logic, should someone have the misfortune of losing his limbs, he would cease to be a person, because he would be incomplete.”

              Fail. I guess its easier for you to try stuffing words in my mouth rather than showing how a fetus is a person.

              “Patting yourself on your back feels good doesn’t it?
              -I draw your attention to my earlier argument. Experience is the best teacher. Yes, it does feel good to devote myself to my child. That is what it means to be a parent. Are you one?”

              Ah so because its something that YOU are willing to do, we should enforce your choice upon other people. Barring you being a tap dancing dictator of some magical fantasyland, I’ll mark this one down as Not supporting your position, again.

              “So instead we should take away the choice and risk the life of the woman who will bear it?
              -I conceded medical emergencies from the start, and only medical emergencies.”

              Having a baby is physically demanding and somewhat risky even when the mother is in perfect health. When the mother dies in childbirth it’s too late for an abortion. Do you live in some kind of magical fantasy land where everyone’s body works perfectly and nobody dies in childbirth? By suggesting that otherwise healthy women bear unwanted children you are suggesting that they needlessly risk their lives. This leads us to the subject of conscription.

              “Yes, yes you are.
              -In what way am I hypocritical? I have not made any self-contradictory statements. A baby cannot choose, while a parent can. You, yourself, have already admitted to being happy that you were born, and are therefore satisfied that your mother had not made the other choice.”

              You’ve qualified yourself for the label when you first resorted to name calling as a response. Rather than respond to any of the points I raised you replied by attacking me. Further it is hypocritical to talk about the furthering the choices of a theoretical human fetus while closing off the choices of an actual human female. Again you are not talking about a parent choosing, you are talking about removing choice.

              “And making someone ill equipped to take care of herself now responsible for another life makes the situation better how? Or are your words just a snide way to call women who have abortions crazy so you can dismiss them without trying to understand their position or reasons?
              -I have already made my views on this quite clear. You are adding your own interpretations. [EMOTIONAL APPEAL DELETED]”

              Overlong Emotional appeal in lieu of actuall substance but hey at least a MAN showed up at the end to rescue her

              “I didn’t realize there were no children available in the adoption system.
              -There is that sarcasm again. I think I already addressed, in my initial posting, the problems of the adoption system. Those problems are so poignant here, that Al Jazeera recently did a story on them. Orphanages here are treated as little kingdoms, just like all government bodies, and used for the profit of those who manage them.”

              And this supports women risking their lives in childbirth, and then giving them up for adoption to satisfy your self important opinion of what a person is how?

              “Only if you consider the the purported fantastical wishes of imaginary people superior to the health and well being of people who actually exist.
              -Have you ever felt one of those “imaginary people” kicking in the womb?”

              All mammals kick in the womb, are they people too? I hope you will eventually get to the part where you show that a fetus is a person. I hope you didnt go through all this long drawn out tap-dance just to faceplant on the single relavant point that you’ve brought up.

              “The real issue is You want to treat a fetus as a person. If you want to do that you must provide some kind of evidence that it is a person.
              -It is a person. One without experience or choice, but still a human, even if it is yet incomplete.”

              FAIL. So I ask you time and time again to provide evidence or some rational chain of thought that shows how a fetus is a person and all you have is because you say so? A simple stamp of your foot follwed with an ignorant assertion that a fetus is too a person is all that you can bring to this discussion? You really are a fantastical waste of time. At least I was able to amuse myself in the deconstruction of your inept rambling.

              “Time to bring yourself into the debate. I am tired of shadowboxing. On what bases can you support your beliefs? What are your experiences?”

              HAHAHA. You’ve tried that before. Your Arguments from Authority failed along with Appeals to Emotion and now you want to have another go at Ad Hominem. You’re a cheeky little wanker.

            • http://www.caspican.com Bryce Combs

              Prove that a fetus is not a person. When you do that, we will continue this argument, my little shadow.

            • Custador

              per·son
              (pûrsn)
              n.
              1. An individual of specified character: a person of importance.
              2. The composite of characteristics that make up an individual personality; the self.
              3. Law: A human or organization with legal rights and duties.

              A foetus is not a person by any of those standards. It is not self-aware and so has no character; it has no characteristics of personality and it has neither legal rights nor duties until it can be demonstrated that it has developed self-awareness and the characteristics of personality.

              The fact that you don’t like a thing does not make a thing untrue. Or any of your business.

            • Sunny Day

              “Prove that a fetus is not a person. When you do that, we will continue this argument, my little shadow.”

              HAHAHAHA!
              You really don’t have anything do you? Stymied by rational thought you attempt to vainly shift your inadequacies to my shoulders.

              By law a fetus is not a person, an abortion is not murder. You are the one arguing for special consideration you must prove your argument, my fat misogynist.

            • lifeisprecious

              Bryce Combs, I LIKE you!! Thank you for being a fellow pro lifer not afraid to stick to your views. I am sick of all the prochoice people being so “techinical” when it comes to abortion, when in fact 95% of them are nothing more than selfish terrorists!

              You know the risk when you have sex (aside from rape cases…which I still dont agree w/ abortions in that case)…. so yes, sex is always consent to motherhood, since you know that that’s what could happen. Lame excuse for you prochoicers using that one. A good night of sex is NEVER EVER good enough or worth taking the life of another, in this said case, an innocent little baby. And those who use abortion as birth control are complete fools, and selfish bastards!

            • Kodie

              I hope Bryce holds you to the same standards on the “name-calling” attacks as he does the rest of us.

            • Sunny Day

              “so yes, sex is always consent to motherhood, since you know that that’s what could happen.”

              The words of others re-posted here.
              5. Unfortunately, a lot of the anti-choice rhetoric seems based in a desire to punish women. “She had sex so let her bear the consequences.” The intended consequences were fun, not child-rearing. That’s like saying that people fly airplanes in order to crash. Or banning skiers from medical care after a tumble because “they knew they were taking a risk.” It’s both small-minded and short-sighted. The person who is really punished by forcing an unwilling mother to give birth is the child.

              6. It is not a solution to say, “Women should have the baby and give it up for adoption.” Once again, you’re telling her what to do. And childbirth forms a connection mediated by hormones, that condemns a woman to search the crowd for the rest of her life, wondering if she is seeing her child.

              6b.Also, Having a baby is physically demanding and somewhat risky. The people who make much of the risks of abortion fail to mention that childbirth is 13 times more likely to kill you. Thus, four women who die of abortions represent fifty women who had abortions instead of dying in childbirth. Need I point out that, except for conscripting soldiers, we don’t force people to take risks against their will? That’s a strong ethical argument against denying women abortions because you think it’s unethical.

              8. And, no, I’m not speaking up for “the child.” The man on the street has no right to use my body against my will. Neither does an embryo. Even if it were in there reading the New York Times and thinking about which bank to knock off first when it developed hands and feet. (The second qualifier reminds us that its much-touted “innocence” is the innocence of incapacity, not ethical choice.)

              10b. Opposition to abortion on the grounds that “This is a person” is also an artificial inflation of the value of an embryo. For a reality check, consider that families don’t mean an early miscarriage or late period (spontaneous abortion) as they would the death of a child or a baby or even a stillbirth or late miscarriage.

              I’m sorry if we’re being too “technical” but you need a better reason for us to change established law and treat abortion as murder. Because you and Bryce say so isn’t good enough. Since this is an important topic surely you’ve thought about it. Here’s your opportunity to stop a “Selfish Terrorist”.

              Is an apple a tree, is a blueprint a house? Please show us why a Fetus is a Person.

      • Custador

        Pain responses don’t start operating fully until after birth.

        • http://www.caspican.com Bryce Combs

          In that case, an individual who suffers some severe trauma and has thus lost his/her ability to think, having sunk into a vegetative state, is no longer a person. Is it fine to kill them? What about a baby who has been born in a similar condition? As it will never be “self-aware”, it will never be a person according to your definition.

          If we say that something is none of anybody else’s business, then once again we open the doors to anarchy. We live in a society in which we all effect each other. What you do can effect me, or someone close to me, and vise versa. That is the nature of society.

          No one is telling you that your views are bad. I just do not agree with them, or at least legalized abortion, which as you know I see as tantamount to murder. This is a forum for all of us to express our own views. However, people basically keep telling me to “shut up”. That really is not much of an argument.

          I, as the only man present, sat in a room with about a dozen women for an entire semester in a class entitled “Women is Western Culture” at my first college, World College West (really more of a hippie commune posing as a college) before it collapsed. During that semester, I bore the weight of female angst for men. Frankly, I learned things that no man would ever want to hear. I took it. I empathized. However, I never changed my views on this one point, for the reasons I have outlined already. If that could not browbeat me into submission, nobody here has much of a chance. Therefore, until this becomes a closed forum, I will continue to support my views, and you yours.

          • Kodie

            Yes, you have basically said every drop of semen is precious, you have likened a fetus to a person, and you think abortion leads to anarchy, which it clearly doesn’t. You live in a world of exaggerated fears that humanity will go extinct just because one aborted fetus might be the solution to a problem that doesn’t even exist.

            And you took a women’s study class. You never stop trying to impress people with all the sacrifices you are willing to make. I think you are tired of trying to save the world and consider everyone else to be lethargically ignorant of this problem only you can see, because of the possibilities in each drop of semen to overcome difficult odds and actually be someone important to save humanity so we can continue not to be doomed.

            Maybe we are doomed. I know I’m doomed, and I think it’s a little futile to fret about what will happen to the entirety of my species after I die or spend at most another 40 years of my precious time fixing something that either isn’t broken or is too broken for me to worry about. Maybe a little more morbid than most, but hey. You are calling people lethargic when maybe they just have different priorities than you do, and well, we don’t have to share your opinion about whether abortion is murder or what you imagine the consequences to be. You can’t certainly save the world ranting and raving that ‘the end is near’ like the lunatic you seem to be shaping up to be.

            • http://www.caspican.com Bryce Combs

              Once again – name calling. The best way to win an argument is to discredit your competitor. The best way to do that is to make them look crazy or foolish. However, if you start off by name calling, sarcasm and browbeating, it is you who in the end looks the fool. Remember, my original post was my opinion directed at the doctor who wrote the article – you all came after me. You could have always left it at my original comment, and I doubt I would have ever visited this forum again. The question then becomes: What do you have to prove?

              Some simple retorts. First, I never said that every sperm is sacred (after all, I am an athiest) – you did. Second, I take a longer-term view, which is my prerogative. With so many people out there complaining about their forebearers not thinking with regards to resources (Michael Moore has a funny bit about this in “Dude, Where’s My Country”), perhaps it is time to think a little about what comes after us. Third, you are right, most people are like you have stated directly about yourself, and simply do not care about anyone else’s needs, at least outside their own myopic world. That to me is lethargy, and it contributes to the core issue that began this discussion.

            • Kodie

              I’m not discrediting your argument by calling you a lunatic. Your argument exemplifies the argument of a lunatic. I never said you said every sperm is sacred. I said you imply that every sperm is precious. No conflict with your declared atheism.

              When you start your argument off by calling everyone “lethargic” who doesn’t agree with you about what to care about and what goals to work their own lives toward, you are probably going to next be called a hypocrite on your name-calling problem. You are the one who is attacking people by calling them murderers and lethargic. That might be your opinion, but it’s not a sane opinion.

            • Sunny Day

              Kodie, I wonder who hurt him. (snicker)

          • Sunny Day

            n that case, an individual who suffers some severe trauma and has thus lost his/her ability to think, having sunk into a vegetative state, is no longer a person. Is it fine to kill them? What about a baby who has been born in a similar condition? ”

            Yes and Yes.

            “If we say that something is none of anybody else’s business, then once again we open the doors to anarchy. We live in a society in which we all effect each other. What you do can effect me, or someone close to me, and vise versa. That is the nature of society.”

            I mostly agree. Now you just have to come up with a reason why you want to disturb your neighbors and require them to live the way you command them to live.

            “No one is telling you that your views are bad.”

            A lie. You will demonstrate in your next sentence.

            “I just do not agree with them, or at least legalized abortion, which as you know I see as tantamount to murder.”

            Thanks.

            “However, people basically keep telling me to “shut up”. That really is not much of an argument.”

            Wrong. We keep asking for more and more information from you. If all you have is an emotional appeal and a steadfast assertion that a fetus is a person then say so and we can leave it at that.

            “I, as the only man present, …. If that could not browbeat me into submission, nobody here has much of a chance. Therefore, until this becomes a closed forum, I will continue to support my views, and you yours.”

            Grrrrr. You big strong man! Good for you not being submissive. Now tell me what that has to do with anything?

            Nobody is trying to beat you into submission. We want you to explain yourself here, but don’t expect us to be swayed by poor emotional appeals.

  • Jyllfluenza

    I agree with you completely and think you are not only wise, but also brave to say it.

  • Debbie

    This world is too full of hate and that saddens me. Live and let live. Abortion is nobody’s decision than the person making it. Why do people push their opinions on others? Take that time and energy and effect change that is going to benefit those already on this crowded planet. If you so strongly disagree with abortion, don’t spent time picketing outside abortion clinics, go adopt yourself one of those children that were abandoned because the mother had the child that she didn’t want.

    I would personally like to thank this woman and her braveness and for sharing her story from the front line. She deserves a big hug.

  • Christina

    There were two strong points I personally took away from this article….

    1. Abortion is ALWAYS going to be the only choice “some” women think they have, there NEEDS to be a safe/clean/sterile place for this procedure to occur.

    2. As a doctor she sees this necessity and her ability to assist in women being able to make their OWN safe decision under whatever circumstance whether general society agrees or not.

    Thank you to the author who wrote it….

  • Stacy

    Very weakly argued…Bravo!

    So, you think that labeling us that value life as narrow minded people who care nothing for the woman involved? You couldn’t be farther from the truth yourself. And for you to write and sugar coat taking the life of another created human being, is nothing short of satanic. Yes, we are all created sinners, but for us to throw our hands up in the air and have the mentality of, “Well, we were born sinners, let’s keep on sinning” is a trick Satan uses to keep you in bondage. By the way,I like how you admit to abortion being a “sin.” What you are missing is the fact that Jesus Christ came as a savior, so we can be reconciled unto God through Him. We may not have been born perfect by woman, but we have the opportunity to become perfect through Jesus! Yes, that’s right! I am NOW perfect in God’s eyes because he sees His Son when he looks upon me, a born-again believer in Jesus!

    So now that we have that muck out of the way, let me inform you that people like you are probably the most compassionate and caring people out there; I will agree with that, however why are you compassionate? is it to earn the trust of the woman you just pleased with taking the life of the child God gave her or is it so she refers others to you so you can fill your pockets full of money?money may I so boldly say that is bought with the precious blood of that baby you murdered?

    All I say here will probably be smugged off. I will probably be labeled a “Crazy” in here. It doesn’t matter. All that matters is that my God loves me and that I am doing what He wants me to do, and that is to give a voice to the millions of babies that are now silenced by the hands of baby killers like you! Someday, you will have to give a report of your life to God…And because you do not know Him now, He will not know you in Heaven. I pray you get saved before it is too late. God will forgive you!

    • Custador

      No, he won’t. He doesn’t exist. A bit like human life in a pre 20 week foetus doesn’t exist.

    • Siberia

      Of course your God loves you. My imaginary friends love me too. Right?

      • Custador

        I love you Siberia, and I’m just another voice in your head ;)

        • Siberia

          Yay a new voice! Hi new voice!! Say hello to the other voices! :D

    • Sunny Day

      The opinions of imaginary people have no weight in womans medical care.

    • Francesc

      “you think that labeling us that value life ”
      I also value life.

      “And for you to write and sugar coat taking the life of another created human being, is nothing short of satanic”
      That’s because we don’t consider a foetus as a “human being” yet. As an apple is not a tree.

      “Yes, we are all created sinners”
      I wasn’t created a sinner. I began to sin more or less when I began to feel and to have will.

      “is a trick Satan uses to keep you in bondage”
      Yeah, glad that you brought Satan here. Another experiment from a perfect god who went wrong? Or the personification of badness, created by human minds to explain evil?

      “What you are missing is the fact that Jesus Christ came as a savior”
      That’s a matter of opinion.

      “I am NOW perfect in God’s eyes”
      You are not, you are a woman. A second-class human in god’s eyes. It’s usually what happens when your god is created by a patriarchal bronze-age society.

      “All I say here will probably be smugged off.”
      Yeah, that also happens usually when someone try to impose a bronze-age moral upon us.

      “All that matters is that my God loves me and that I am doing what He wants me to do”
      How do you know that? When someone speaks to god, we call it a prayer. When he answers back it is mental illness

      “that is to give a voice to the millions of babies that are now silenced by the hands of baby killers like you!”
      Let’s apply here a bit of christian logic. You want those foetus to become babies. Ok. Those babies will be indoctrined by their parents into their religion. They probably won’t choose the same exact religion as you, so they are going to be tortured by your god for all the eternity. Nice!

    • Ali

      Your god doesn’t belong in this issue. She is not a “baby-killer” and you’re a bitch for trying to guilt her because UNLIKE YOU, she is a compassionate woman who takes care of other women. She has enough respect for her fellow gender to allow them to choose whether or not to carry to term. There are no infants or killing of infants involved in an abortion.

  • Jabster

    “All I say here will probably be smugged off. I will probably be labeled a “Crazy” in here.”

    I would just saying rather boring and stupid …

  • Katie

    Thank you for doing what you do.

  • Ali

    I love that this was written. I love even more that this proves that so-called abortion pics on the net are mostly faked or grossly mislabeled. If only more abortion providers would write such compelling articles, but then again they have to keep in mind that crazy pro-lifers might try to kill them….that’s pro-life logic for you. Save the baybees but once the cord is cut they could care less and might kill that baybee if it grows up to be an abortion provider.

  • Mardi

    Nope, disagree completely.

  • maartje

    Bravo.
    An example from my life: While doing volunteer work with young travelers , I met a lovely young Arabic girl who found herself pregnant while visiting an European country. She was Muslim, bright, beautiful, and engaged to be married. She and her fiancee were in love. In her country no contraceptives were available to young unmarried women. Young women such as her were supposed to be virgins.

    She explained to me that , even though she was engaged to be married, if she were pregnant by him the marriage would be canceled, and she would be ousted. She would not be allowed to work or finish her university education. Her fiancee would NOT be allowed to marry this fallen woman. No shotgun weddings, just disgrace and poverty. Her life would be ruined, she would not have anything left.

    This was in the late seventies. We got all the money together we needed. I took her to the doctor, translated, when she was too nervous to speak English. I arranged her appointments and she had an abortion, She spoke to her fiancee over the phone before this happened and he was very supportive.He stood by her a 100 %.
    Imagine the fear this woman must have felt , undergoing this type of procedure to avoid ruin in her country. They later married as planned, and she has 3 children. by him. I understand they are very happy.

    She was the lucky one.
    Young Arabic female students, finding themselves pregnant, would undertake “vacations for study purposes” to countries that provide socialized health care. Don’t ask me what excuses they would give their parents, but they would arrive, a lot of time accompanied by female friends.
    They would have limited funds, as quite a few Middle Eastern countries would only allow so much money to be taken out of the country. In spite of what Americans may think, socialized health care is not free to foreigners, but it is available- for a reasonable price. An abortion at the time was about 800 dollars out of pocket..
    These young women would prostitute themselves in the streets, performing oral sex and such to get the money together to get the procedure they needed. They would do whatever it took to get it done. Their friends were aware of their situations, of course, and would also do the same thing, to help their friends in their need.

    Imagine being so desperate that you are willing to prostitute yourself so you can fund your abortion or the abortion of your best friend. You know you do not have a choice, going back pregnant means being ousted or killed. This was about survival.

    This is by far the most saddening abortion story I personally experienced. This is why abortion should be available to everyone. Even in their desperate situation, these women were heartbroken over the prospect of having to do this.Yet they had no choice and I admire their courage in doing what they had to do to survive. They were not “loose women” either; they had fiancees and lives. To have to prostitute themselves was alast resort measure.

    As far as I am concerned, These young girls did what they had to and , in my eyes they are as pure as snow.

    Carry on the good work.

  • Gwen

    It’s their own fault for having sex and getting knocked up.

    • Ali

      Seriously? You are aware sex is not just for procreation, and that consent to having a penis in ones’ vagina is definitely not consent to carrying a pregnancy to term or mothering a resulting child, correct? Sex is not a crime worthy of punishment via forced gestation of a resulting pregnancy. Also, more than half of women who seek abortions were trying to prevent the pregnancy through methods that unfortunately failed them.

      Please tell me you were being sarcastic….

    • Custador

      Teenaged, unwed pregnancy rates are the highest in the world among which group? American Christians who’ve been taught abstinence only sex-ed. So….. STFU.

  • bob

    thank you for the courage to provide the services you provide.

  • Doug Glass

    Ahhhh. So there you have it. Justification for stopping a beating heart. I’m sure your mother now wishes she had used a service like yours. There are alternatives, but you have willingly chosen to stop a beating heart. You have that right. You have the law on your side. You will have a chance to explain yourself. May you be so eloquent, cool and calculating then.

    • LRA

      your sanctimonious bullcrap is duly noted….

    • Elemenope

      Armchair righteousness served with a side of yo’ mama. Stunning.

    • Siberia

      There are alternatives, but you have willingly chosen to stop a beating heart.

      So do you, every time you eat meat.

    • Roger

      I anxiously await your preening response, Doug. I am waiting with bated breath your stunning use of the Bible or some other form of irrational argumentation. What, oh WHAT will you grace us with, Doug?

    • Custador

      I’d stop Dougs beating heart in an instant, the sanctimonious prick. Hell, I’m sure I’m capable of it, I’m an evil Godless heathen after all.

  • Sunny Day

    “You will have a chance to explain yourself. May you be so eloquent, cool and calculating then.”

    Think highly of yourself don’t you?

  • littleone

    Isn’t it a woman’s right to choose what to do with her body? Is it more right to bring a child into the world who is unwanted, or to just end it before it actually begins?

  • lifeisprecious

    Words can’t even describe what a filthy disgusting piece of crap you are for not only supporting abortion, but for being an abortionist!! And as for those “poor” women who are “desperate” enough to perform their own abortion and then end up dying….well, my response to that is that if you are stupid enough to perform an abortion on yourself then you deserve to die!! Abortion is absurd! If you don’t want it, I understand, but have you ever heard of adoption? Serious?!! And yes, I fully support my tax dollars going to support feeding these “unwanted” children once they are born!

    • Sunny Day

      She can also die in childbirth. Who are you to needlessly force women to risk their lives. We’ve stopped conscripting soldiers yet you insist on conscripting women.

      • lifeisprecious

        SunnyDay, It’s called modern technology…not a whole lot of women die in childbirth anymore. It’s not the 1800s! What about them risking their lives when they chose to open their legs?!? Sex can always = a potential pregnancy. (NOT picking on ppl at all in rape cases! I totally feel sorry for ppl in that circumstance. (Although I still disagree w/ abortion in that case too))

        • Elemenope

          It’s called modern technology…not a whole lot of women die in childbirth anymore.

          I see. Only a few. A few deaths isn’t so bad. Obviously we as a society have a right to demand such a small risk from women.

          What?

          What about them risking their lives when they chose to open their legs?

          Given the relative chances of this happening, what you’re saying here is equivalent to that we shouldn’t feel bad for people who die in car accidents, because everyone knows you’re risking your life when you turn the key. Or is there something special about sex that sets it apart from other behavior with risks?

        • Ali

          Consent to sex IS NOT consent to motherhood. Non-procreative sex is not a crime worthy of punishment via forced gestation. Sex is also not just for procreation.

    • Siberia

      Abortion is absurd! If you don’t want it, I understand, but have you ever heard of adoption?

      I’m sure you’ve a few children you’ve adopted, haven’t you? Or did you just spawn more and more children, other people’s kids be damned?

      Seriously, there are over ten thousand children for adoption in my country. Ten thousand. Do you have any idea how many children is that? Children without homes and without the hope of a home?

      I bet you’ve no idea. I bet you’ve no idea how many of those children were abused before the state took them. I bet you’ve no idea how many were burnt with cigs, sliced open with kitchen knives, eletrocuted, raped, and sometimes all of that. There were even two cases in special of girls who were chained and beated… by their adoptive mother, since the biological mother was too poor to feed them, but had to have them, since her partner would rape her anyway if she denied sex (and she had no means to support herself and the other six children without him). Besides, abortion is illegal here. Fat load of good does that make. Just breeds more and more poverty, pain, hate and fear.

      If you think people are willing to adopt those children – as well as the ill and the handicapped, the black, the asian, the ones with siblings, the older children – you’re kidding yourself.

      Anti-abortion folks care little for the child once it’s born. It’s all about fetuses, children be damned.

      • Siberia

        *beaten

      • http://www.thedonovan.com/swwbo Beth Donovan

        So, what country are you from? What is wrong with the population of your country that they don’t adopt children? Do they allow people from other countries to adopt them?

        I’m adopted, and I thank God every single day of my life that I am alive.

  • Silver Lining

    Nice.

    I always enjoy these conversations. Well, okay not really.

    Although incedibly disturbed by the second trimester abortions..I respect these are procedures that in good faith, and good medical reason must be done.

    Can’t say much positive for women (ex :of certain culture) who know he incredible risk associated with sex, as mentioned above, yet continue to have unprotected sex..then are sucking dick and selling anything on the street to get an abortion.

    Way to go genius.

    God Bless America and Women’s rights
    oh and, all those little would-be babies. I’m sure they are just fine.

    • Kodie

      They’re not not fine.

      • Silver Lining

        Says who, you?

        I say they are.
        They crossed back over..better there then here, unwanted.

        • Kodie

          Where? I thought you were being sarcastic.

          • Silver Lining

            depending on what you believe..wherever you want them to be I guess.

            according to my belief system, they cross over to the spirit world they came from, not suffering..probably to take another ticket. better luck next time kid.

            Trust me, I value human life at all stages. But people spend too much energy and time rioting over abortion, when in fact much worse atrocities, neglect, horrible treatment and abuse is bestowed upon living, breathing children of all ages right here and now in this world. I dont see the ‘people’ uproring our government to protect the poor lost souls in foster care or shelters, I dont see the ‘people’ going far and beyond to protect our countries children and get the funds needed to run the systems.

            bunch of hypocritical, useless blah blah blah…

            • Kodie

              I agree, apart from the crossing over into the spirit world for another ticket part.

            • Silver Lining

              and that’s fine.

              i’m not christian, so I dont expect anyone to agree with my spirituality (native american).

  • Silver Lining

    sorry for my typos.

  • Sara

    I feel really sad for you. You have to get on websites justifying why you take innocent lives to make yourself feel better. I wouldn’t be able to look in the mirror or sleep at night but hey, I have sympathy and I have a soul so who knows? If you didn’t think youu were doing anything wrong, you wouldn’t need to get on here ranting and raving. Hiding your name is very cowardly, btw. Be a real woman and stop hiding in the shadows. I will throw a party in your honor the day abortion is outlawed! I feel sorry for your children. I truly do.

    • Roger

      Oh, hai, crazy christian concern troll! You can haz straitjacket.

    • Silver Lining

      and I shall throw a party for you and the rest of your ignorant, illogical fellow Pro-Life/Anti-ChildWelfare morons when you put down your holy book and actually go DO SOMETHING for those very same children who end up in trailer parks, foster homes and shelters.

      if you’d like information on how to quit your useless bitching, and contribute to societies forgotten children, let me know, or just look up CASA in your area and become a certified Foster Care provider, and/or start adopting. Just a thought.

      sara…I’m sorry what was your last name? You didn’t post it.


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