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

* * * * * * * * * * * *

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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  • Carstonio

    What government measures do you support to maximize the chance that
    an unexpected pregnancy is not, due to physical, mental, and/or
    financial health problems, going to be an unwanted pregnancy, and to
    minimize the chance that an unexpected pregnancy will occur at all
    without implying that someone who does not want to be pregnant should
    not be having sex?

    This. Anyone who proclaims an opposition to abortion should favor the prevention, whenever possible, of the circumstances that lead some women to consider abortion. If the person insists that women choose abortion out of selfishness, or treats the issue as though it’s a matter of convincing women to make certain choices, that’s not really opposition to abortion. That’s simply opposition to the idea of some women not wanting to be mothers whether or not they would ever have abortions.

  • Tricksterson

    “fuckmook”.  Mind if I use that sometime?

  • Go ahead, I originally nicked it off someone posting at fandom_wank anyway :P

  • Certainly, there is a sense in which what they do isn’t so much lying as rejecting our reality and substituting their own.

    Perhaps there should be a different name other than “lie” for what they do; a normal sort of lie is an attempt to deceive. But these people aren’t actually trying to deceive someone — what they’re doing is making an invitation: they are inviting the listener to come live with them in their alternate non-fact reality.

  • Why not say abortion is a good thing? Unwanted pregnancy is a bad thing (GOP politicos’ projections of God’s will notwithstanding). Less of that is an unmitigated good, as far as I can tell.

    Mr. Wright’s opponents are the ones in need of worthy opposition. He mentions the effort “to rid the world of Negro babies […] was the express purpose of the founder of Planned Murderhood, Margaret Sanger” as a way of slandering Planned Parenthood’s current mission with the eugenicist leanings of its founder, as though the organization still endorsed every belief of the anti-abortion Sanger.

    Of course, as someone who finds Wright’s example of “barking-mad moonbat lunacy” (a Marxist analysis of human reproduction) to be pretty reasonable, I’m probably not his target audience, and perhaps could count as a member of that worthy opposition. Then again, note that he considers everyone using contraception, married or not, as “women of loose morals, who wish to float in a cesspool of consequence-free sexual encounters…” and that the father is naturally “the king and lord of his family and establishes their laws; his role is more combative than the maternal role , and he is naturally suited for toil and war, and so his role also includes elements of breadwinner and warrior;” describes waffling and fear as “effeminate;” and… well, to be honest, that’s about the point where I lost track of anything resembling a semblance of an argument.

  • stardreamer42

     “And when at last the police came by
    (Sing rickety-tickety-tin)
    And when at last the police came by,
    Her little pranks she did not deny.
    For to do so, she would have had to LIE —
    And lying, she knew, was a sin, a sin;
    Lying, she knew, was a sin.” 
    – Tom Lehrer, “The Irish Ballad”

  • stardreamer42

     I prefer “forced-birthers”. It’s more accurate, and avoids the lie that they give a rat damn about the “life” of the children they want to be forced to be born.

  • Madhabmatics

     Mostly it’s practical: If you go there to tease them, they will slither out of their hole and follow you back to where you normally post and then they just fester and breed in there like rats in a grain silo, or libertarians anywhere.

  • Carstonio

     Depends on what a “good thing” is. That could mean that abortion’s availability helps reduce suffering in situations where the alternative are worse. But it could also mean that women in general should have abortions, and while that’s an obvious straw man, many people seem to believe that of pro-choicers.

    Gender essentialism is apparently the Zelig of barking-mad sociological ideas – it keeps turning up in almost any issue that relates to female sexuality.

  • Katie

    The majority of women who seek an abortion are not unmarried teenage girls (who, in this fantasy, are carrying a healthy white baby), the majority of them are married  or partnered women who already have at least one child.  Many of these women have had some disruption in their life in the year prior to them having an abortion- an abusive relationship, a serious illness, the loss of a job.  Some of them, no doubt, would choose to have the baby, if doing so did not endanger the welfare of their family, including their  existing children. 
    This means that if you are serious about reducing the rates of abortion, you first have to face the facts that slut-shaming isn’t going to work, unless you expect the poor to be celibate, even if married and encouraging  adoption isn’t a solution, unless you’re deluded enough to thing that its remotely possible-practically, emotionally, socially, for a adult mother to give  her second (or  third or fourth….) baby up for adoption.
    The solution to reducing abortion is to increase access to contraception,  improve access to healthcare, improve maternity leave,  improve access to affordable daycare, and generally make it easier for families.  To the very best of my knowledge, all of these things are opposed staunchly opposed by religious conservatives, who will, at best, offer women wholly inadequate private charity. 
    As an aside, I’m really, really sick of anti-choice people talking about ‘putting the baby up for adoption’ like it is an easy choice, and as though its never damaging for the birth mother.

  •  I like “forced birther”, but there are some cases that overlooks. Like when it’s more “forced died-of-sepsis-before-nonviable-fetus-could-legally-be-removed”

  • Yeah, what you said might be closer to what I meant. I think that it’s important though to note that many people don’t consider abortion to be merely a necessary evil; it can also in certain cases be a profoundly liberating exercise of one’s personal bodily autonomy. I don’t think any non-straw-women are getting pregnant with the intention of aborting those pregnancies though. Large portions of the forced-pregnancy movement buy into these huge conspiracies where millions “abortionists” (a.k.a. doctors) and “abortion mills” are not only gleefully torturing birthed infants with one toe still in the vaginal canal, but that they’re motivated by greed and the immense profit margins of this practice. It’s like the underpants gnomes became fetus gnomes or something.

  • Honest question: how often does this happen? I admit I do not know.

  • I wonder how that woman felt about fiction.  After all, fiction is the highest form of lie.  Of course, it comes with a caveat that the audience knows the fiction is a lie and choose to observe it as if it were real anyway.  

    Actually, that makes me think that there may be some kind of connection between this kind of lack of imagination and fundie gullibility.  They lack practice at distinguishing between a participatory lie told to educate and entertain with the audience’s understanding, an an actual assertion of fact.  

    No wonder the two seem to blur so often for them.  

  • And it so wonderfully ignores the actual argument between the two sides–which is whether or not abortion is murder!

    Oh, I wholeheartedly agree that abortion is fetus murder.  You will find no argument from me on that point.  

    However, I hold that fetus murder is not wrong.  An abortion is a case of justifiable fetuscide.  

    The parasitic growth needs to be removed before it can threaten the host.  It is the most compassionate thing we can do for both parties.  

  • Donalbain

     No one is saying abortion is a good thing

    Ahem. I am!

  • BrokenBell

    I’d be more sympathetic, but there’s too much correlation between folks who are ostensibly pro-life, and folks who vociferously oppose many things that have a strong, extensively documented effect on reducing abortion rates. Better sex ed, more reliable access to healthcare, stronger guarantees that people can take time off for maternity leave and still have a job to go back to, easier access to contraception… As soon as any of these issues come up, or half a dozen others, the absolute sanctity of the unborn child’s life goes out the window, and suddenly it’s all about personal responsibility and protecting the family institution and refusing to pay for lifestyles you object to. For all the fluff about evil hedonistic baby-killers having abortions for fun and profit, the most significant common thread between all these kinda contradictory stances is the constant rhetoric of slut-shaming; and when the choice has to be made between slut-shaming and actually reducing the abortion rate, time and again it’s the slut-shaming that wins.

    I won’t presume to know how your pro-life sentiments extend into your other political stances, but this is what people mean when they use the words “anti-choice”. It’s not chosen for being delightfully Orwellian, but as a reflection of the burning hypocrisy that is the engine driving the pro-life movement. 

  • That’s simply opposition to the idea of some women not wanting to be mothers whether or not they would ever have abortions.

    Which is a current staple of right-wing thought, anyway.  Motherhood is the highest and only calling to which any woman should aspire, and any women who don’t want to be mothers (and even who don’t want to be mothers RIGHT NOW) are horrid, unnatural beasts.

    Fear the childfree!

  • Carstonio

    Laws banning abortion except to save the mother’s life amount to shaming women who don’t want to be mothers. Laws that add exceptions in cases of rape and incest amount to shaming women who want to have sex without becoming mothers. The point of the term anti-choice is that it’s wrong to try to force women to carry pregnancies to term. Or to force women to have abortions. Laws that do either of treat women and their wombs as wards of the state.

  • Carstonio

    That very well might go back to authoritarianism. In this case, viewing the parents as godlike figures, the father as the all-powerful ruler and the mother as the all-benevolent source of life. No recognition of the couple as humans with their own needs and imperfections. Some of these authoritarians could actually have existential panic at the thought of their mothers being ambivalent about parenthood, like they themselves might never have existed or have been wanted.

  • BrokenBell

    Indeed. I was responding specifically to the idea that there’s some noble or necessary reason that women must be stripped of their autonomy in this way, but it’s disgusting that the simple idea of women being coerced into serving as incubators for potential children is not abhorrent enough by itself.

  • Katie

     Its happened at least once this year.  Once is far too often.

    In addition, there was this case from the US, where if the hospital administration (this was at a Catholic hospital) hadn’t had the courage to go against official dogma, the woman would have died.

    I can’t read the full article, but this is a fairly recent article that documents the difference in the way that Catholic Hospitals in the US manage ectopic pregnancies.  Differences in management that result in worse long term outcomes for the woman. 

    I cannot find statistics on any of this, but it can and does happen, and once is too often.

  • Mr. Wright could use some worthy opposition.

    What?  A pitbull?  Or am I being harsh on our canine relatives?  But if you want lengthy opposition I’ve been through the whole thing here.

  • They lack practice at distinguishing between a participatory lie told to educate and entertain with the audience’s understanding, an an actual assertion of fact.  

    I used to know someone who did grasp that fiction wasn’t true, but also was of the opinion that it couldn’t contain any truth because it was fiction and those were different things. He’d admit the “entertain” part of “educate and entertain”, but flatly refuse that there could be any “educate”.

    I’m really not sure how that’s supposed to work. It came up when I’d mentioned a particular work of science fiction illustrated some fundamental truths of the human condition or suchlike – which is something SF is good at when it tries – and he flatly denied such a thing was even possible for any fiction.

    It may explain people who look at Left Behind and fail to see that these are unrealistic characters and situations – realism doesn’t matter because it’s fiction.

  • phantomreader42

     No, it’s an ILlegal argument.  If your legal argument is founded on a falsehood, then the only way to make that argument is to lie under oath, which is perjury, a crime.  So fetus-fetishists aren’t just frauds, sociopaths, hypocrites, misogynists and monsters, they’re also criminals.

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

  • EllieMurasaki

    Um. There’s a difference between ‘making a false statement’ and ‘lying’. There are several variations on the first that aren’t the second, actually. Sarcasm, for instance. But the one we’re concerned with is ‘making a statement that one thinks is true’. If they honestly believe contraception is abortion, then their saying so isn’t them lying.

    It’s still a false statement that we need to correct at every opportunity, and somebody had to have told the initial lie that they’re now all repeating, but the people who say it are not necessarily lying.

  • phantomreader42

     Your very name is a lie, just like every other word out of your vile mouth.  No surprise from a fetus-fetishist. 

  • phantomreader42

    IF they are making the claim that contraception is abortion arena, they would have to be an expert witness for their testimony to that fact to be relevant.   If they have the legitimate qualifications to offer such testimony, they would have to know that what they were saying is false.  If they don’t know, then they must have been lying about their qualifications and knowledge.  So either they lied about contraception, or they lied about knowing what contraception does. 

  • EllieMurasaki


  • J.Christine de Medeiros Alves

    How is it not an abortifacient?  It has a two-fold function like the pill.  It suppresses ovulation and renders the uterine environment uninhabitable to the zygote in the event that its first function fails or if ovulation has already occurred.  That’s an abortifacient. .  The ones who are lying are those who claim that the morning after pill does not prevent implantation or interfere with an existing pregnancy.  Simple science;  no need to drag poor Jesus into it.   

  • EllieMurasaki

    [citation needed]

  • Lori

    The only “citation” that is going to back up that argument is the notion that life obviously begins at conception. It appears that the comment was made by someone who takes that as a given and assumes that everyone else must as well. IME there’s no productive conversation to be had there.

  • The_L1985

     I was taught that “Thou shalt not bear false witness” applied to lying AND cheating on tests.  See, if you’re cheating, you’re lying about how much you really know, and dishonesty in general is a Very Bad Thing that Makes Baby Jesus Cry.

    I still told lies, as many children do, but I was definitely not encouraged to do so.

  • The_L1985

     ” partly because I want to see how cleverly I can deceive without resorting to false statements.”

    I became rather uncomfortably good at this in high school.

  • banancat

    It looks like our newest troll is a drive-by, but in case s/he is still lurking, I’ve saved more lives than “Truth” ever has.  So if s/he continues to post trolling comments, I will donate $10 to Planned Parenthood in her/his name, so that s/he can also save some lives through providing healthcare.

    As for J. Christine, I am still unsure whether she is outright lying or just plain wrong about how science works.  I’m feeling generous so I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt, but if she continues to insist without any credible citations, then I’ll send some money Planned Parenthood’s way with her name on it too.  Or I wonder if there’s some charity I could donate to that would help schools to actually teach accurate things?

  • The_L1985

    Er…technically, most “pro-lifers” aren’t being completely honest either.  Most folks I’ve met who call themselves “pro-life” support war, capital punishment, the abolition of welfare, and other things that very demonstrably make people die in far greater numbers than abortion ever did.  Since death is the opposite of life, that pretty clearly makes “pro-life” a rather misleading term.

    Yet, for some reason, “anti-abortion” isn’t a very popular term, even though it’s much more accurate.

  • EllieMurasaki

    It’s also overbroad. Most folks are anti-abortion. Some of those show that by making abortion as hard to access as they can, and others by making unwanted pregnancies as rare as they can and by making sure people with unexpected but wanted pregnancies but not enough resources for a baby can get the needed resources to have the baby.

  • The_L1985

     Frankly, in my opinion, even once in twenty years is once too often.

    Also, look up harlequin ichthyosis (warning: photos of the condition are horrifying) and tell me which is worse: forcing children to live their entire lives in misery, children whose only survival is in near-constant application of lotion to the skin, every single day; or ending the lives and misery of those children swiftly and with as little pain as possible?  Bear in mind that before abortion, such children were generally killed by exposure as “unfit,” or burned as “spawn of Satan,” which are even worse ways to die.

    Just to be perfectly crystal-clear:  there is no cure for harlequin ichthyosis.  None at all.  We can only treat the symptoms, and we can only do that by constantly rubbing lotion on kids’ skins.  Exactly one child, ever, has survived the first month of her life with this condition, and as aforementioned, she has to lotion every inch of skin on her body three times every single day without fail.

    To further clarify:  This condition is generally only discovered fairly late in pregnancy.  This, Ann, is why late-term abortions exist.  Not some stupid wishy-washy cow who changed her mind at the last second, but a loving couple who genuinely loved and wanted their child, and had to make a very difficult choice in order to spare that child suffering in the face of clear and unavoidable death.

  • The_L1985

     Don’t be so cruel.  I used to be just like him.  Trust me on this, you win over more flies with honey than vinegar.  Be calm, and kind, and keep telling him the facts.  This right here tends to be quite the eye-opener; it certainly was for me.

  • The_L1985

     If ovulation isn’t taking place, then the lack of extra uterine lining is irrelevant, because there is no egg to be fertilized.  Therefore, it cannot be an abortifacient, because there is no zygote to abort in the first place.

  • The_L1985


  • Alicia

    You… don’t know what the word “legal” means, do you? (Hint: it doesn’t mean “true” or “correct”.)

  • EllieMurasaki

    Wiki names three survivors, two of whom are from the US, and says there’s a total of twelve US folks with it. So we’re probably talking thirty to sixty worldwide.

  • EllieMurasaki

    I usually go with ‘anti-legal-abortion’. Or ‘pro-life’ because it is after all their self-identifier.

  • How is it not an abortifacient?  It has a two-fold function like the
    pill.  It suppresses ovulation and renders the uterine environment
    uninhabitable to the zygote in the event that its first function fails
    or if ovulation has already occurred.  That’s an abortifacient.

    Being generous you might be thinking of the copper coil here or you might be slightly confused.  (I went into what each of the contraceptive methods does on my self-link on the previous page).

    Plan B, like the pill, suppresses ovulation and thickens the mucus round the womb.  This doesn’t render the uterine environment uninhabitable – it renders it almost impassable.  Sperm doesn’t pass -> no conception.  And Plan B isn’t that great and has a very limited time window because it doesn’t do a hell of a lot if conception has already occurred.

    The copper coil on the other hand does render the uterine environment uninhabitable – meaning that it kills the sperm before it ever reaches the egg.  That isn’t abortion either.  No conception means no abortion.

    For that matter rendering the uterine environment uninhabitable in general can’t be abortion because the sperm need to pass through there to reach the egg.  If it’s uninhabitable, the sperm die.   It is only abortion of the uterine environment is rendered uninhabitable after conception.  Edge case that – and the only method of contraception I’m aware of that does this is a copper (rather than hormonal) IUD implanted significantly post-coitus.

  • Carstonio

    I’ve supported the legality of abortion for more than three decades, and those stories still surprised me. The phenomenon seems very similar to homophobia from people who are either in the closet or in denial about their homosexuality – do you suspect that the two psychologies are the same?

  • phantomreader42

    To claim that contraception causes abortion is simply not true, and anyone who has any idea what they’re talking about would know that. To testify in a court of law that a claim you know to be false is true constitutes perjury, which is a crime.  Any attempt to use this lie as a legal argument will, therefore, be a crime.

  • phantomreader42

     You do not know what the word “abortifacient” means.  And the reason you don’t know is because you can’t ALLOW yourself to know.  Because if you gave up your willful ignorance for even an instant, you’d realize how full of shit the forced-pregnancy cult is. 

  • banancat

     Honestly, sometimes I wonder if some pro-choicers are doing more harm than good by insisting that abortion really is bad but it needs to be kept legal for those other people who need it.  I think what we need most is to remove stigma from having sex in general.  Even many progressives will talk about unwanted pregnancy and STDs in generic, distanced terms like it’s not something we would ever be personally shamed with.

    I’ve never had an abortion but I did have a cancer scare with HPV a decade ago.  I make a point of not hiding that because it’s not something I need to be ashamed of and I have enough relative privilege that it won’t cause many problems in my life if I don’t keep it secret.  I really appreciate it when women who have had abortions share their stories.  Society can change and we can remove the shame and stigma from having an abortion, but that has to be our goal instead of just keeping it legal.