What do the purple people want in PRRI’s abortion poll?

What do the purple people want in PRRI’s abortion poll? January 31, 2013

This is the Public Religion Research Institute’s Graphic of the Week:

“In an exceedingly complex debate over abortion,” PRRI asks, “what do the labels ‘pro-life’ and ‘pro-choice’ actually mean to average Americans?”

That’s not addressed in this graphic, but their data on “overlapping identities” points toward one possibility.

There’s a lot of purple in that graphic — the portion of each graph representing those who identify as both “pro-choice” and “pro-life.” White evangelicals and Catholics, unsurprisingly have the largest share of adherents who identify exclusively as pro-life. My guess is that this share — those who refuse any association with the identifier pro-choice — reflects those who want to see abortion criminalized, those who view abortion as immoral and also (or therefore) want to see it made illegal.

But more than half of Catholics and more than a third of white evangelicals identify as both pro-life and pro-choice. My guess — and this is only a guess — is that this suggests a moral opposition to abortion along with a perhaps-reluctant acknowledgement that it nonetheless ought to remain a legal option. My guess is that these purple people would be approximately in favor of the old Clinton formula: safe, legal and rare — perhaps with an emphasis on the “rare.” Some might prefer to pursue making abortion more rare by introducing an increasing number of legal hurdles, obstacles and hindrances, but others may prefer to pursue making abortion more rare by empowering women to have a wider menu of viable, meaningful choices (living wages, health care, day care, etc.).

Again, I’m just guessing — the graphic doesn’t actually tell us anything about what the purple people want or what it means, to them, to choose both of those identifiers of pro-life and pro-choice. It may only indicate that many Americans find these identifiers both to be inadequate on their own — as Taja Lindley recently wrote, the polarizing politics of abortion present a stark binary view that doesn’t capture many people’s actual experience:

In today’s binary political system, however, abortion has become oversimplified. Although fraught with social, economic, cultural, and political meaning, abortion has been reduced to a singular and isolated issue in the political arena. And yet, just below the surface of political silencing, those of us whose experiences with abortion do not fit neatly into didactic sound-bites and talking points for pundits and policymakers in their public debates about our bodies, the waters of human experience still run deep.

But if my guess above is correct — if the “pro-life only” category represents those who want to see abortion outlawed, while the purple people lean toward safe, legal and rare — then this graphic shows us something interesting: Earlier surveys have found that about a third of white evangelicals want abortion to be legally available in their communities. Yet this survey finds 48 percent of white evangelicals identifying themselves as pro-choice. This may indicate that allowing respondents to qualify their answers — to say they are pro-choice but also pro-life — resulted in a greater number of white evangelicals being willing to state that they do not wish to see abortion criminalized. And if my guess is correct about what this graphic is showing us, then it would suggest that a greater number of white evangelicals wish to see abortion remain a legal option than wish to see it banned completely.

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  • Münchner Kindl

     Those extremists Catholics at non-priest level are themselves a minority – hence the uproar. A survey said that among Catholic laypeople, either 75% or 90% take condoms or pill to control family size despite the Priests vocally forbidding it, and said they don’t care.

    Again, the only help I see would be educating people about the facts, but those segments that refuse reality over ideology can’t be reached that way.

  • Münchner Kindl

     Oh yes of course – duh. Concentrating so hard and still picked the wrong word.

  • Münchner Kindl

     I mistyped. Of course I meant the anti-choice (pro-life) extremists.

  • The_L1985

     Extremist Christians in the U.S. are a minority as well.  Their numbers are somewhere in between 20% and 40% of the national population.  So a pretty huge number of people are in fact choosing ideology over reality.

  • Münchner Kindl

     Um, so what was sex about if it didn’t involve penis and vagina? Teaching abstinence is one (bad) thing, but not teaching what to abstain from … that fails even to that logic!

  • Münchner Kindl

     Again, I was using the arguments of the religious themselves, not my speech. (And it’s shorter than promiscious … you have too many latin foreign words in English!)

  • banancat

    I sure as hell haven’t met a pregnant woman who considered herself a mother before the baby was born, outside of a few religious nuts. If it is common anywhere, it is surely a recent phenomenon caused by people pointing out the hypocrisy of the people who think abortion is murder.

  • The_L1985

    Yeah, that is exactly my point.  Don’t get me wrong, the word “sex” was mentioned.  But the names of the organs involved, and how sex actually worked, were not mentioned at all.  Sex was some vaguely-defined thing that made you unclean if you did it at the wrong time relative to a Christian wedding ceremony.  Euphemisms for sex and virginity were also used pretty often, like “intimacy,” “purity,” “special gift for your future husband/wife,” etc.

    Bear in mind also, that there is this bizarre view among the Religious Right that if youth don’t know how to have sex, they won’t be tempted to try and figure it out. Nevermind that this runs counter to how sex drives and basic human curiosity work, they’ll make you live by their ideals no matter how obviously-flawed they are.

    That is what passes for sex-ed in many parts of the country.  People are being paid to teach this nonsense to impressionable children and teens instead of giving them the facts of the matter.  And other people are voting for it.  That is how badly the Religious Right has hijacked politics in the United States.

  • Münchner Kindl

     Um, all I suggested were telling the facts – that x% of women who get abortions are married with previous children, not teens.

    I explained how the argument would work for the religious, but I did not mean to use that language in public. Educating the majority with facts is just facts.

    Second, a majority of your culture and country is religious. Though most of them – according to surveys Fred sometimes post – are not frothing at the mouth fundies, but more relaxed, they still consider a fetus important and sex not lightly and marriage important, just not the insane degrees that the fundies go to.

    You keep talking about compromising, and I…don’t see why I should, or why my country’s laws should.

    But in practice, half of the US states already have counseling – only very bad counseling with a hard agenda (plus bad sex ed, plus bad access to contraception) or terrible things like vaginal ultrasounds plus bad access to providers.

    If you manage to reframe the debate to get the majority of sensible people on your side – like Fred “safe but rare” then you can change not only the currently terrible laws but also, by having the majority on your side, prevent assholes from enacting other laws.

    After all, if the fundies are only a small voice in the big portion of Christians, why do extremist assholes who want to ban abortion get elected at all? I can only conclude because the moderate Christians also vote for them from the misconception that are spread by the anti-choice side.

    So reframing the debate and pulling the moderate majority to your side should allow moderate politicans to be elected to make moderate laws. Because what use is Roe vs. Wade theoretically allowing unlimited abortion if in practice it’s not available, or terrible to sit through?

    *If* we’re talking the same medical consult that accompanies any other
    major procedure–here are the options, here’s the after-care, here’s
    where you can go to find out more, etc–and if that consult doesn’t
    impede the ability of women to get abortions in timely fashions, that’s
    one thing

    No, that’s not what I meant. Medical explanation about risks involved and medical alternatives are done by the doctor; social consequences of having a kid, financial aid and psychological counseling for those “moderate Christian” woman who don’t want to take a life but need an abortion because [list of reasons] is done by other trained counselors for those things.

  • Münchner Kindl

     Yes, obviously. Fred recently linked to a post on how rape is inevitable byproduct of the teaching that decent girls don’t want sex because abstinence, so no doesn’t really mean no. But that’s a huge complex too.

  • AnonymousSam

    Did you have a lot of girls who thought they could get pregnant from kissing, too? That’s still a distressingly common myth. I blame the religious conservatives who freak out whenever two teens so much as look at each other (remember the “eye sex” thing from a few threads ago?) as if that alone might be sufficient.

  • Münchner Kindl

     I’ve seen it several times already on Weltspiegel, Tagesthemen and other reports during the Bush years (who pushed this hard and worse inflicted it on 3rd world countries) so yes the existence of abstinence-only education I know already and no longer activly shocks me (it’s still bad of course).

    But to not explain what sex is is such a basic fail I can’t get around. Does that mean you all masturbated because you didn’t know that was forbidden? Was everything between the navel and the knees “dirty” and not to be touched – so touching womens’ breasts and kissing was “not sex”?

  •  I have not heard that used scientifically, because doctors consider pregnancy not paratism, but part of procreating.

    “Pregnant woman” is the most accurate scientific term I can think
    off. Expectant mother is when the woman wants the child- she is not only
    biologically expecting it but looking forward to it, too.

    Doctors, despite having a scientific profession, are medical professionals first. Their terminology will be medical terminology. They will look on the process of pregnancy as part of procreation.

    That does not change the fact that that part of procreation involves a parasitic relationship while the new organism gestates within the host organism. The value of reproduction is not value to the organism itself, but to the organism’s DNA – which can be viewed as having the objective of propagation, whereas the organism itself has the objective of continuing its own existence.

    The massive investment of resources and effort into a pregnancy is not of high value to the organism itself. It is, in fact, detrimental to the organism’s health, and thus its goal of continuing to exist. That reproduction is the fundamental purpose for which the organism exists does not change this fact.

    The concept of the Right to Life also includes a tacit understanding of the Right to Quality of Life. For example, when you’re looking at someone who will never survive without the assistance of life support machinery, who is in constant, agonizing pain, and your options are ‘drug them up so much they can’t think straight’ or ‘pull the plug’, then is it moral to force them to live in pain? Or to live as helpless captives within their own bodies? Is it even moral to attempt to force them to understand the situation, through filters of pain and drugs?

    My own position is that it is not. And so with a gestating homo sapiens, as well: you can speak of the rights of the child to live, but the developing organism has no meaningful, inherent value. It is, in fact, a blob of tissue, regardless of how far along in its development it is. It has no frame of reference for interaction with its surroundings, and no actual experiences that it will ever place value on. It’s functionally meat, until it starts to be able to interact with the world at large.

    Whatever rights it enjoys, it enjoys because society engenders it with those rights – the natural rights of a gestating human are the same as the natural rights of any other organism: You have the right to exert every ounce of control over your surroundings that you can. Others will attempt to interfere.

    That’s life. There’s no inherent moral value to life. There’s no inherent moral value at all. Morality itself is a societal construct built in order to foment the goals of the group.

    So until the goals of the group are laid out, clearly, and understood by every member of the group, any attempt to fit everything into a moral framework is going to be messy, complicated, and ultimately without universal agreement.

    Personally, I find morality to be a generally good thing – it’s the aggregate self-interest of the group at work. Morality is what says ‘hey, I don’t want you to kill and eat me, so I’m not going to kill and eat you’.

    It’s also, inevitably, really, really biased. The best example has already come up in this thread: ‘Hey, I don’t want you to kill and eat me, but you’re a cow, so I’m going to kill and eat you’.

    What gives humanity the moral standing to make that determination? What gives humanity the moral standing to say it’s ok to eat a cow, but it’s not ok for a tiger to eat a human? Self-interest… and the exercise of that natural right up above: exerting every ounce of control we can over our surroundings. We make it easier for us to kill lots of cattle to eat. We make it harder for tigers to eat us. We reshape the world in ways that we think will suit our needs. By what right? By the only true natural right: Because we can.

    So when you speak of a Right to Life, you’re really talking about a societal agreement. And really, the idea that a potential person’s interests should ever trump the interests of an actual person is just ridiculous.

  • The_L1985

     I honestly have no clue.  I was never close enough friends with any other girls to hear their thoughts on the matter.

    However, I was at least able to figure out that sex had something to do with the genitals before I actually began researching it on my own.  After all, the book Mom gave me specifically stated that babies come from inside the uterus, and are born through the vagina, and there was no connection between the diagram in the book and any other body system.

  • AnonymousSam

    Didn’t see your second paragraph there. *Kicks Disqus*

    By poorly drawn, I mean the penis resembled a garden hose, and the uterus/ovaries resembled a cow’s skull. Vaguely oval-shaped circular shapes with labels, obviously hand-drawn by the instructor, who was only allowed to give us even that much if we came to class with a signed parental consent form.

  • Münchner Kindl

     I remember a tract (not Chick but from some apparently fringe Catholic group) being handed out(on the street, not school) … let’s see, must’ve been the 80s – where they explained very earnestly how kissing means “Exchange of flora and fauna of the mouth” and is therefore very serious matter spiritually and biologically. It sounded unintentially funny because of the 50s vibe it gave off and the seriousness with the ludicrious claim.

  •  Sex education at the Catholic school I went to in the UK consisted of:

    1. Explanation of puberty
    2. “This is a Catholic School so we have to tell you Church Teaching is don’t have sex outside marriage.”
    3.  Explantion of PIV sex
    4. Explanation of fertilization and implantation with timescales after sex.
    5. Common methods of contraception with another boilerplate disclaimer about Church Teaching.
    6. STDs and the efficacy of condoms in preventing them (with a repeat of the boilerplates about sex and contraception).

    No one missed the point.

    The teacher was a Sister and on the first class she walked in and said: “Those who can do. Those who can’t teach.” Which kind of set the tone.

     We also got classes on rape seperately and they were very clear on the point and not at all victim blamey.

    It was the UK government’s sex ed that was terrifying and stupid.

    “Don’t have sex without a condom or you will catch HIV and get pregnant and get cervical cancer and DIE! Yes even if you’re both virgins who just got married and the woman is taking the pill.” (Obviously that’s a paraphrase but they did seriously say everyone should use a condom everytime they had sex regardless of circumstances. It was very very silly in retrospect).

  • other lori

    I do wonder how opinions on abortion would change if people’s perception matched the reality: that the majority of women having abortions are white teens, but are women of color (over 60%), and that most are poor, in their 20s, and many are already mothers.

    Cynically, I wonder if some pro-lifers  might be a little less ardent if theut y realized that it was poor single women of color who were having most abortions, not middle-class white teens.

    And I also wonder if pro-choicers might be willing to take seriously the idea that for many women abortion isn’t about not wanting children, or even not wanting a child at a specific time, but about lacking the resources to have a child. I don’t think a woman who feels she *can’t* have another child because she lacks money/adequate housing/child care/etc. can really be said to be making a free choice. Making sure that all women are able to continue any pregnancy they want to continue to term–not in the abstract, but in a real, practical sense–has to be part of the pro-choice movement, and unfortunately the right to *have* children and have the support one needs to have children (an issue that affects minority women far more than white women) has been one that the largely white, largely middle-class pro-choice movement hasn’t always been awesome about acknowledging.

  • Münchner Kindl

     So as long as you don’t touch garden hoses, you are not having sex and stay pure? Hey that’s easy!

  • JustoneK

    Masturbation is referred to usually in euphemisms also, and also forbidden (and frequently done anyway, lots of guilt complexes from that).  Since the 1960s or so the navel and belly are acceptable BUT still associated with sexy people who want sex which is bad so Good Girls don’t show them off much.

    Are you at all familiar with the modern evangelical superchaste sidehug?  Ostensibly it makes it less sexual than hugging front to front, with GASP body parts touching on the torso.

  • other lori

    And that should be “the majority *aren’t* white teens.”

  • The_L1985

     School didn’t mention masturbation at all.  I went to CCD, though, and they quoted Thomas Aquinas on how masturbation was “intrinsically disordered.”

    I was going through puberty at the time, and had a fairly strong sex drive.  I’ll let you imagine what sort of psychological terror I went through about how I must be the only person I knew who’d ever touched myself.

    “Was everything between the navel and the knees “dirty” and not to be touched”

    Again, this was strongly implied, but never explicitly stated.  Breasts were considered to be some sort of horrible thing as well, and were never mentioned in class or CCD that I can recall, save as something you should never mess with unless you’re feeding a baby.

  • AnonymousSam

    To which I say: There are people here who believe you can get pregnant by swimming in water that touched a person of the opposite gender. If you use a garden hose to fill the pool…

  • JustoneK

    In the interest of sharing, were you more north/urban during that age?  My schooling is all Northern Louisiana in the 1990s.

  • The_L1985

    Central Alabama, late 90’s and early 2000’s.

  • Münchner Kindl


    Masturbation is referred to usually in euphemisms also

    Here at work I got access to a lot of catechisms and religion books for children and advice for the priests on how to take confession from the 50s and 60s = preVaticanum II, back when everybody was prudish, catholic or not.

    One common point (also from anecdotes of people being Catholics back then) was that when going to confession you had to confess to breaking the 6th commandement, which was re-interpreted from “Don’t break marriage” to “don’t be unchaste” and therefore also forbid touching oneself.

    Thus the priests had to talk to teen boys if they had done the dirty deed without giving those who hadn’t any ideas that doing it would be a pleasant idea, so lots of circumlocutin was used, leaving a lot of boys very confused.

    Are you at all familiar with the modern evangelical superchaste sidehug?

    Nope. Do you have a pic? It’s not that LeftBehind “arms-around-shoulders” freeze frame from the first novel at the airport?

  • The_L1985

     “I do wonder how opinions on abortion would change if people’s perception
    matched the reality: that the majority of women having abortions are
    white teens, but are women of color (over 60%),”

    This part, I knew as an ardent anti-abortion jerk*.  It was cited as “evidence” that Planned Parenthood was still in the business of eugenics, and that pro-choicers all wanted the black population to die off by forcing abortions on them.

    “And I also wonder if pro-choicers might be willing to take seriously the
    idea that for many women abortion isn’t about not wanting children, or
    even not wanting a child at a specific time, but about lacking the
    resources to have a child.”

    That aspect is why I became pro-choice.  “Not wanting a child” had been painted as “I want to have tons and tons of unprotected sex with lots of men, but I don’t want any babies to come from it” so often when I was growing up that that particular lie took me ages to shake off.

    * I really was a massive jerk about it.  Don’t ask me for details.

  • thebewilderness

    I am rather taken with the idea that a doctor who is qualified to discuss with you the options of a surgical procedure that you are requesting they perform is somehow unqualified to discuss the options with you if the procedure is an abortion.
    That is bizarre.

  • AnonymousSam

     At least they didn’t quote John Kellogg. Whew.

    Anyone not familiar with this one– http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/toc/modeng/public/KelPlai.html — chapter nine discusses masturbation. A choice bit following a description of a young man who is now “sunken to driveling idiocy”:

    In short, the distinguishing characteristics of a human being were almost wholly obliterated, leaving but a physical semblance of humanity, — a mind completely wrecked, a body undergoing dissolution while yet alive, a blasted life, no hope for this world, no prospect for the next. In the insane asylums of the country may be seen hundreds of these poor victims in all stages of physical and mental demoralization.

  • Münchner Kindl


    Cynically, I wonder if some pro-lifers  might be a little less ardent if
    theut y realized that it was poor single women of color who were having
    most abortions, not middle-class white teens.

    One of Fred links shortly ago was a list of anti-choice ad campaigns without women (because it’s only about babies); one showed a black girl (maybe 8 years old?) with the caption that the most dangerous place for African-American girls is the mother’s womb.

    Which is … offensive and wrong on so many levels.

  • JustoneK

    OHGOD WE’RE OLD.  ahem.

    They did try fairly hard to give us a full public sex ed class, what little I recall, but it was still heavily abstinence focused, did not get into actively wanting it (at least somewhat because in our school folks knew we tended to be active), and did not cover as much dealing with a pregnancy in a shitty living situation.  It was one gender-segregated class for maybe two or three days out of a school year.

    And I remember plenty of girls getting pregnant and either dropping out to work full time (because they either left home or got kicked out for it) or working three times as hard to finish.  Abortion was never talked about.  Abortion was _heinous._  Letting young women drop out without degrees somehow less important.

  • Münchner Kindl

     Ah snopes has some of those legends. Along with civil war “Bullet pregnancy” Story.

    It’s less icky but less fun to do it in the pool I assume. :-)

  •  On average probably – Pregnancy can be risky.  But I was being flippant, primarily because it’s basically rubber stamped and everyone on both sides and in the middle knows it. (This doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true because everyone knows a chunk of things that aren’t but AFAIK (I don’t have personal experience) it is.)

  •  Well, they don’t get rich.  But mostly they are facing a expiration of welfare assistance, and another child will make them eligible again.  Plus the amount of food stamps they receive will increase.

    It is no way to live.  These people would prefer to have a decent paying job with access to quality child care and health benefits, but the opportunities for these things tend to go away when the first unexpected pregnancy occurs. 

  • The_L1985

    “It’s not that LeftBehind “arms-around-shoulders” freeze frame from the first novel at the airport?”

    That’s one form!  For the other, picture people who are facing in opposite directions, but not directly in front of each other (like the way people sit in a tete-a-tete, only standing).  Now imagine their arms going around each other like a regular hug, except they’re still not quite in front of each other.  Like this:   http://blog.beliefnet.com/stuffchristianculturelikes/files/import/hip%20hop%20hug/hug2.jpg

  • Carstonio

    I explicitly named improvement of economic opportunities and support for mothers as two ways of reducing abortions. 

  • The_L1985

    “Abortion was _heinous._  Letting young women drop out without degrees somehow less important.”

    I’m still trying to figure out how that “logic” works.  I remember there being several pregnant teens in the schools where my mother worked, but no, abstinence-only education clearly works because only three students in the current graduating class of 75 ended up pregnant!

  • Münchner Kindl

     If you are replying to me (I assume) then a doctor can explain and discuss the medical risks.

    But how would a gyn doctor know the financial resources available to you (and where to file) if you keep the child? Why would a gyn doctor be trained in spiritual/ mental/ psychological counseling when the woman says “I’m torn, I want children, but [reason why not .. maybe not now], what shall I do? I don’t want to abort, I don’t want to continue, what shall I do?”

    You don’t go to a psychological therapist for a broken bone, you don’t go to a gyn for mental therapy = counseling.

  • JustoneK

    There is also the meme that using a toilet seat after someone of the opposite gender can result in pregnancy.

  • Münchner Kindl

     That’s not a hug. That’s two dudes who are uncomfortable with body contact to the nth degree. You can see them counting the seconds when they leap apart because one second longer than “normal” makes them gay. Ugh.

  • JustoneK

    Also worth noting is the fact that states where abstinence-only is still strongest are the states with the highest teen pregnancy rates.  But yeah, facts, whatever.

  • JustoneK

    Apparently wikipedia has officially recognized the sidehug as noteworthy:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Side_hug

  • AnonymousSam

    That one popped up too, but the variation I heard of it was “You can catch STDs off a toilet seat somebody else has used,” used as both an excuse for having an STD and as a reason not to have unisex bathrooms (but you can’t get an STD off a toilet seat used by a member of the same sex? The seats are smarter than we are!)

  •  Wow, that’s one huge pile of straw.

    I know no one who is pro-choice who is not also supportive of a woman’s right to bear children as they choose, and are generally supportive of programs that help families and children(universal health care, day care, food stamps, housing and financial assistance). 

    It’s those who claim to be pro-life that refuse to care for the post-born, that defund programs that allow women to make the decision to keep a child. 

    And no, telling pro-lifers that its poor women of color having the most abortions won’t help, because they don’t care.  They want poor women of color to have less children, it’s the white teenagers aborting they want to stop. 

    There is a heavy element of racism involved in almost all of the positions the religious right takes, don’t think that their stance on abortion isn’t related to that.  I know many anti-choicers(better term than pro-life and a thousand times more accurate) who vocally support the forced sterilization of women of color who “have too many kids”.  How does preventing a woman from bearing anymore children valuing life? 

  • Isabel C.

    *If* the choice comes down to the kind of mandatory counseling you describe or the kind a lot of states have now, I’m with you–but I don’t think it is. I think the majority of sensible people *are* on our side*, that a lot of the others will–hopefully–die off over the next ten to twenty years, and that fighting with every weapon in our arsenal will achieve as much or more as compromise.

    And if we do have to compromise on mandatory counseling, I still don’t want to frame it as a good thing in and of itself: it might be something we have to do in order to get the majority of things we want, but the lesser of two evils is still an evil, and especially here, I think it’s good to call it that.

    “Yeah, we have mandatory counseling–it’s an annoying concession to the wingnuts and I hope we can get rid of it soon, but at least it’s a neutral party doing it,” would go over much better than “We have mandatory counseling and it’s a great thing because women don’t know what they really want and it’s always a tough decision…”

    Because here’s the thing: it’s not a tough decision for everyone. It wouldn’t be for me; it wasn’t for other people I know. It’s not desirable–no major medical procedure is a walk in the park, and expense is no good–but making across-the-board statements like “it’s a tough decision” is rather insulting and othering to those of us for whom it’s not. *A lot of the really Godawful people get elected because of district line wooginess, because they prey on other fears, and because people aren’t educated. And also because we, as liberals, have traditionally been kinda chickenshit when it comes to fighting back. 

  • Isabel C.

    …oh, God, this is pr0bably the reason half the women in public bathrooms don’t sit on the goddamn  seat. HATE. 

  • Probably related to the fallacy that abortion providing is a multi billion dollar industry, because the abortion doctor has a financial interest in whether you have the procedure or not, and as such cannot be unbiased. 

    This was in response to thebewilderness above, sorry.
    Honestly, I know the law in question is in Germany, but it sounds like it was written by one of our own homegrown forced birthers.

  • Isabel C.

    Well, that’s when you refer to a therapist. You can say that every abortion clinic and/or obgyn office has to have a trained psychologist on the premises: might be a good idea, as a general rule. 

    But there’s no reason to make the therapy stuff mandatory.

  • AnonymousSam

    FWIW, a lot of people have an automatic disgust reaction to anything having to do with toilets. It’s hard to work it into a conversation, but for an amusing experiment, try finding out how many people you know think the water inside the flush tank of a toilet is disgusting and they need to wash their hands after touching it.

    Unless your tank has managed to grow mold or algae or something bizarre and wretched, it’s just water. It hasn’t come into contact with bodily waste yet and it doesn’t get drawn straight up out of the sewers. That’s why the water in the toilet bowl is clear! Yet nine times out of ten, someone sticking their hand in there will make “eww!” noises the entire time and then promptly scrub their hands with soap afterward.

  • know the financial resources available to you (and where to file) if you keep the child?

     See, that’s the part that’s coercive.  It’s the assumption that if not for the financial feasability, you’d be totally down with having a child, and while that is the case for many women, it’s not for all.  It’s a shaming tactic for those “slutty” girls who get themselves knocked up, don’t they know they should keep that baby, look at all the help you will get(which I understand there is a pretty decent safety net in Germany, so I don’t know why people don’t already know about it.  Ours is shitty, so no one really knows how little it actually does).  It’s a common tactic in pregnancy crisis centers, to spout off about all the assistance you can get, if you decide to keep it, but trust me as someone who’s received that assistance, it ain’t shit.  And that assistance is not why I decided to keep my child.