Lying for Jesus is wrong, even if you use a fancy word like ‘abortifacient’

Lying for Jesus is wrong, even if you use a fancy word like ‘abortifacient’ December 8, 2012

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So, my dear evangelical brothers and sisters, can we please stop lying for Jesus by saying that emergency contraception is “an abortifacient”?

Jesus doesn’t actually want us to lie. And no matter how many times we repeat something that isn’t true, reality doesn’t change.

And pretending something is evil just so we can bravely oppose it doesn’t actually make us brave. Or good. Or helpful.

So let’s cut the crap, OK?


Lies make baby Jesus cry.


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  • WalterC

    I think you really did miss the original point of my post. What I was trying to say, and I apologize if it wasn’t clear, is that people who are trying to promote the conflation of contraceptives and abortifacent drugs are doing so in order to advance a legal cause — that is, they want to reform the current US law so that it prohibits federal funding of contraceptives and restrict its availability through health insurance providers.

    They tried to do this overtly some months ago but were rebuffed by the Senate, so now they’re trying to do it covertly, by revising the meaning of “contraceptive” so that it falls under a classification that is already restricted.

    It would not be a good idea to let them get away with this. Not because abortion is morally wrong, but because they have had a lot of success hemming in civil rights by writing in such assertions directly into the law. (“Marriage is between one man and one woman”)

    Unless, of course, you would enjoy relitigating Griswold vs. Connecticut, a process that would take years, while millions of women are unnecessarily deprived of access to contraception…

  • Carstonio

    I wasn’t making that argument myself. My own reason for keeping abortion legal is about bodily autonomy – no one should force a woman to carry a pregnancy to term or to have an abortion. 

    No disagreement about the need to remove the stigma from sex in general, and I would focus particular attention on removing the stigma from wanting to have sex without wanting to become a mother. 

    That double standard applies on the child-raising end as well. There are many reasons why some children grow up without fathers in their lives, yet the scorn is heaped on the women who set out to become mothers outside of opposite-sex marriage (single women and lesbian couples). These women are labeled as selfish as if it weren’t possible for straight married couples to have self-serving reasons for procreating. And the bashers don’t fret about the fatherless children of widows, or of mothers abandoned by husbands or boyfriends. Too many people feel justified in questioning women’s motives in anything sexual. 

  • phantomreader42

     I think anything a fetus-fetishist says should be assumed to be a lie until they’ve proven otherwise at least a dozen times, and even then they shouldn’t be trusted.  They should be held in contempt of court, Congress, and just in general contempt for lying through their teeth at every opportunity. 

  • It makes me wonder, if he was a Christian, what he thought of Jesus’ parables?

    He was; I don’t recall, because it hadn’t come up before that and afterwards I was so baffled by his incomprehensible worldview (this was not the only straw on the camel’s back) that I stopped discussing anything like that and eventually broke off our friendship. Wouldn’t be surprised if parables fell into an entirely different category from “fiction” – it’s not making up stories to entertain, you see.

  • I have long since wished that the abortion-alarm-bell-ringers would just go AWAY.

    Playing angels-on-a-pin semantic games with what is an “abortifacient” and what exactly constitutes one is just playing into the hands of anti-abortionists.

    The proper answer to such games-playing is: “WHO CARES?”

    The important thing is that women should, as men pretty much already do, have full control over their reproductive choices.


  • EllieMurasaki

    I would love to agree with you…but if the law starts declaring that contraceptives are abortifacients, we lose some of the ground we’ve gained, and that is not acceptable.

  •  Yeah, no. 

    Because facts actually matter. The answer to “contraceptives are abortifacients” is “No they are not.” 

    If you say “Well nevermind that because what’s really important is–” you’ve already lost because you have agreed with them on the most important thing: that objective reality doesn’t matter. Once you’ve conceded objective reality, they have 100% won. Because all your “What’s really important is” doesn’t matter without objective reality to back it up. They can just say “You’re wrong, women can’t have fullreproductive control since giving women full reproductive control  is scientifically proven to lead directly to nuclear war.” or whatever they like, because you’ve already conceded the importance of their claims being based in objective reality.

  • Yes, but the whole point is that the very topic of “what is an abortifacient” is an absurd and ridiculous semantic quagmire entirely of the making of people too concerned with controlling women’s bodies.

    The use of contraception as well as post-contraception abortion should be simple: Available to all without question.

    Any bandying-about of definitional semantic nitpicking as regards what should be available to whom and under what conditions is simply stepping on reproductive freedom of choice.

  • Ahem, no.

    The point I am making is that the entire debate over “what is an abortifacient” is purely designed to waste the time and energy of advocates of freedom of reproductive choice.

    Nobody would care what exactly makes an abortifacient or have to argue that thing X is not an abortifacient in order to soothe the ruffled feelings of anti-abortionists, except that there are people who are bound and determined to control women’s bodies.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Yes, in an ideal world I could snap my fingers and that would relieve everyone of the desire to control others’ bodies.

    *snaps fingers*


    Because nothing happened, we have to deal with the world as it is. One of the things about the world as it is is that certain people are trying to redefine a popular method of asserting control over one’s own body as a subcategory of an unpopular method of asserting control over one’s own body, where the popular method is much easier to obtain than the unpopular method. If they succeed, it will become vastly more difficult to get hold of the damn pills. This cannot be allowed to happen.

    Of course we can and must simultaneously push for the wider acceptance of abortion and abortifacient pharmaceuticals, and for the right of people to control their own bodies generally, but we cannot let them define contraceptives as a flavor of abortifacients either. What good does it do to blockade the front door if the back door is standing open?

  • And what I’m trying to say is that even engaging with people who want to play semantic games over what constitutes an abortifacient implicitly concedes that they even have a valid point.

    The simple answer is, “No, a condom is not an abortifacient. Yes, RU-486 is an abortifacient. Get the fainting couch and deal with it.”

  •  Whether or not contraceptives are abortifacient may not be relevant to the question of whether or not they should be prohibited. But the fact that they are lying is incredibly relevant.  It is important that they have moved out of the realm of “moral judgment” and into the realm of “objective fact”. It is incredibly important that they are making a claim that is not based on subjective morality. There is an irreducable “But that’s just your opinion” about “Abortion is wrong” or “abortion is okay” — but there isn’t one about “contraceptives cause abortions”. And it is entirely relevant that the argument they are making to enforce their subjective moral judgment is hanging on a bald-faced lie.

  •  Personally, I think it’d be awesome if we could roll out some more pharmaceuticals that actually are abortifacent, so that when the anti-choice committee goes on their rampage, they’re put in the position of having to say how these ones differ from the other ones, thereby exposing their own lies.

    (Also because  there being a wider variety of options available to a person looking to not be pregnant is a good thing)

  • Kirala

     Actually, I’ve heard of people who espouse the idea that every parable literally happened at some point. That view… worries me.

  • Tricksterson

    They’re probably the same people who state a psalm as evidence that life begins at conception.

  • Well, if you take Jeremiah 1:5 as evidence, it clearly states that Jeremiah at least was formed in the womb, and not in the fallopian tubes, so all we can say is that the human life of at least one prophet postdated conception.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Define ‘conception’. Could be fertilization, could be implantation–Wiktionary has both, as well as a number of other definitions including ‘the start of pregnancy’.

    (Yes, this is a question I want to ask everyone who says conception is when life starts. Not that it’s relevant to the question of does someone have the right to control their own body and the contents thereof, of course.)

  • I was assuming it was fertilization. Then again, I think life began billions of years ago and continues to this day: the ovum is clearly alive, the spermatozoon is clearly alive, so what’s the issue?

  • EllieMurasaki

    Fertilization is the moment where something that is certainly part of the mother and something that is/was certainly part of the father become a single something genetically distinct from both, to be sure. The problem is making the point of genetic distinguishment the key one, not the moment of physical distinguishment, that is, birth.

  • Yeah, I was specifically addressing the issue of when “life” begins. Forced-birthers like to claim that life begins at conception (i.e. fertilization). They’re obviously wrong, though, as both the ova and spermatozoa are alive before they merge. So I guess I’m just violently agreeing with you or something. Cheers.

  • The_L1985

    Okay, you need to stop typing now. You’re not being reasonable.

    Some people are liars, and some are lied TO. The ones who were lied TO generally do not appreciate being called liars. You are making it hard for us to reach the ones who have been misinformed. Please STOP.

  • The_L1985

    Traditionally, you weren’t officially considered pregnant until you felt the baby kick. Before that, you were too likely to miscarry. By the time the fetus was far enough along to be noticed like that, you could pretty much count on it being born. Maybe not surviving infancy, or having all its fingers and toes, but at least being born.

  • adrienne

    John C. Wright is a mendacious fuckwit. He has been a mendacious fuckwit for quite awhile now.