Shades of Grey

I've been avoiding this blog for a long time now. Over eighteen months, if the truth be told. But tonight, reading [Ayelet Waldman's blog][1] over on Salon.com, and in light of the upcoming Supreme Court debacle and what it's going to mean for reproductive freedom, I couldn't put it off any longer.So here I am, finally blogging about the A-word. Oh, I've blogged about it plenty before, in my usual callous, there-are-too-many-goddamn-mouths-on-the-planet-to-begin-with vein. But that was before.Oh, not before I got pregnant. I was pregnant once before, at eighteen. I didn't know it 'till I lost it. I mourned that baby, even though I probably wouldn't have had it had I known. Hell, I went stark raving mad from the grief and the hormones. But I never really grasped the reality of it; it wasn't mine for long enough to be real. Even after, on two oh-shit-I'm-late scares, I knew without a shadow of a doubt that if I was indeed pregnant, I would abort. Not just because I didn't want a baby, but because no baby deserves to be carried and raised by a junkie. So I'm certainly no dyed-in-the-wool pro-lifer. Not by a long shot.When I found out I was pregnant with Penny, I was almost certain that I would have to abort her. I bore all the symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy. That night, after I peed on the stick and saw two lines instead of one, I called my friend Stephanie over. We sat around and drank Boone's Farm and joked about "Tubi", as we called her, and I tried to be nonchalant. But after she went home, I cried myself to sleep. The next day, after the ultrasound showed that kidney-bean-shaped clump of cells safe and secure right where it should be, after I threw out my cigarettes and bought a copy of "What To Expect When You're Expecting," I still would have said that I thought that abortion was just fine and dandy. It wasn't my own experience, but that of a friend-of-a-friend, that made me face the fact that my views on the subject had changed irrevocably.This FOAF had gotten pregnant and then aborted the baby at twenty weeks. I felt my own child begin to twitch and turn at 14. After commisserating with the first-degree friend on said chick's utter stupidity and fickleness (the story was that she'd gotten knocked up on purpose and then changed her mind), I realized with something like shock that what I felt wasn't sympathy with this woman for having to make a painful decision, but revulsion at the decision she'd made. She had seen her child on ultrasound. She had almost certainly felt it quickening within her. And yet she still decided to kill it.Now before we go any further, I feel that I have to justify my use of that word. Even before my shift in viewpoint, I was of the opinion that yes, abortion is indeed killing a baby. No matter how early on in the gestation it was performed, no matter how irrevocably damaged the fetus was, abortion is still the ending of a life. It's killing. But I really didn't have a problem with that. Being raised the child of a hunter and a cat breeder, I witnessed and came to terms with deliberate death at a young age. Yeah, I was a proponent of abortion. But I was (and still am) a proponent of hunting, the death penalty, the meat industry, killing in self-defense, justifiable war, and suicide of both the independent and assisted varieties. I had no problem with the statement "abortion is murder". But I believed that it fell into the category of "justifiable homicide".Now, though, I'm really not so sure. Not after having seen my baby progress from a clump of undefined cells to a tadpole to an articulated person hiccuping in my womb to finally this giggling, willful, irrascible toddler who clings to my legs when she's frightened. Not after watching the evolution from two lines on a stick to a person. Now I turn the channel when the pundits begin to debate the abortion issue. Now I feel uncomfortable when reading blogs discussing it. It would be easier, I think, if I were a religious person. Then I would have a dogma backing me up, I would have the belief that my own opinions were upheld by those of divinity. But I'm not, and I don't. So I have to take a deep breath, go out on a very long and shaky limb, and say it. I believe that in most cases, abortion is wrong. It's killing a child, and it's a bad thing. But even though that is what I believe, I still don't have the right to look another woman in the eye and say she can't do it, or pass a law saying the same.Because you know what? I've never had to make that choice. I've never been impregnated by rape. I've never had a doctor tell me that my child will be born with debilitating defects. I've never been a teenager and knocked up. Hell, I've never even been poor and desperate and pregnant on top of it. Even with my newly-evolved beliefs on the subject, I still belive that most of the above are cases in which abortion is the lesser of two evils. So yeah, I'm still pro-choice. One of my many, many reasons for this is that it is a dangerous and slippery slope and we need to stay the hell off of it. Once we begin passing laws that dictate a woman's reproductive freedom in this manner, there is no stopping it. Today, it's banning abortion, tomorrow, it's banning the morning-after pill, the next, it's banning the Pill period, and a week from now it's banning condoms. And then we're right back in the fucking dark ages. If we say that a woman can't terminate the life she carries, then we say that she can't take a chemical that keeps a fertilized egg from implanting in her womb, and then we say that she can't prevent that egg from being fertilized by any means but keeping her legs shut.But really, at the heart of the matter, it's not about right and wrong. It's about our freedom as Americans and as human beings to do the wrong thing. If I believe that we have the right to say mean and stupid things to each other, to do things that are bad for our bodies and possibly the very Earth that we live on, to squander our own potentials and resources, then I have to believe that we have the right to terminate a life within our own bodies. Yes, I belive that it is wrong to kill your unborn child. Yes, I believe that you have the right to do it. And although I think, personally, that you are doing a bad thing, I will not tell you this if and when you choose to do it. Because it is your dillema, and your choice, and frankly, I think that having to make that choice is painful enough without me telling you what a horrible thing you've done. This blog is not about me telling you what to do, or why, or that you're a bad person for doing it. I'm simply explaining how I came to believe what I believe. What you do with your body is your business, and I pray to my nebulous and ill-defined God that it stays that way. I guess I'm really just trying to explain how someone can be pro-life and pro-choice at the very same time. The two are not mutually exclusive, and the debate is not black and white. We live our lives in shades of grey, and no legislation, no matter how well-intended, can change that. [1]: http://www.salon.com/mwt/feature/2005/02/09/fetus/index.html?sid=1310503

Comments

obuchanan 9 years ago

Yeah, I'd have to agree with you. Abortion is ending a life, and that just seems wrong, but as a man I just don't feel like it's my place to make a woman's decisions. And that slippery slope, it has another side. If we aren't careful, taking the baby as a separate human life before birth could lead first to laws dictating a woman's other choices while pregnant, in the name of the welfare of the baby. It would start with alcohol, but where would it end? Before you know it, women would be required to not work while pregnant, or to stay in bed, and the dark ages would be back. Or am I just paranoid?

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Kelly Powell 9 years ago

Actually, we do live in shades of grey....just smaller and smaller black & whites that fade to a houndstooth grey after you've reached a certain age But the black and whites are still there. About ten years ago I was talking to a friend of mine down in OK.....She was a mother of three and one of the kids,Max, was a 11 yr old kid with severe down syndromes and autism.....He had the mental capacity of a turnip....he could barely walk and he was going to never get better than the current stage he was in. One night she got drunk with me and she informed me that the doctor told her when she was pregnant with max that he was going to be severley retarted.....Then came the loaded question"WOULD YOU HAVE HAD THE BABY?". As people and current events point out, I have no tact.....Never did, probably never will......I informed her that under no circumstances would I allow a child like Max into the world.....I cited the obvious over population b.s. and that she and her family now have a lifetime burden to take care of.....And god forbid if max outlived them because he would become some cum depository at a state instatution(don't believe me on that last statement, tough shit it's true)......But the real reason is I'm one of those people that fears having children.....The meer thought of having a child and all the ways I could fuck that up put chills down my spine To sum this rant up.....Some of us would not make good parents and abortion is not only should be legal, but is justifiable in more cases thaen most people want to believe.

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9 years ago

"And that slippery slope, it has another side. If we aren't careful..."

It has a third side as well. Once we start allowing one person to decide whether another person's life is worth living, we have a far different (and I think more likely) slippery slope than banning condoms. Think it through you Jews, blacks, kurds, tutsis, Irish, Armenians, gypsies, native Americans...anyone who has historically been killed off because a government found them inconvenient. Think it through, anyone with cancer, anemia, bone diseases, drug addictions...anyone who drives up the insurance rates of others. Think it through pagans, muslims, buddhists, and members of bizarre little christian sects...anyone who scares the muddled middle. Humanity has a very dark side, revealed most often to those who stand out. But when the killing starts, where does it end?

The big question is not about right and arong, but about why we have government in the first place. If it's only to protect the lives of those who are born, not retarded, don't have genetic disorders or missing limbs, don't have fetal alcohol syndrome, then fine. But the list is likely to change without notice.

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lori 9 years ago

You should write more blogs when you are sober. I really like this one.

You are right when you say it is more than about terminating a possible life; it is about reproductive rights. Once again, I am getting on my VBAC bandwagon. This, too, is tied into reproductive rights. No where else is it a medical precidents to get someone else's permission or justification to perform an available procedure with informed consent. No where else does someone completely outside the picture get to decide in regards to surgical options except in reproductive rights. Let me give an couple of examples -- if your sister needs a kidney, and will die without one, you are still within your legal rights to refuse to give up your kidney, even if you are the only match. But if you are a pregnant woman, your rights as to what you can do with an organ in your body is limited. If you have had a previous c-section, many hospitals are telling mothers they must have another c-section. Even though the scientific data shows that VBAC with one previous c-section is very very safe. The legal precident of informed consent or refusal of treatment is well established in EVERY OTHER AREA OF MEDICINE. If a diabetic does not want to take insulin shots, no one can force her to. She has the right to refuse treatment.

Here's another example. I have the inability to carry a pregnancy to term. The last time I was pregnant, I went into labor at 24 weeks. A baby only has a 50% survival rate at best at that early of a gestation. If an infant is born at that time, by the time she is out of the NICU, she can easily incur a bill of greater than $500,000 -- a bill that insurance or the government is going to pick up. She is going to be exposed to extremely painful, horrible treatments, and she is probably going to have ongoing problems for the rest of her life -- developmental delays, asthma, gastrointestinal issues, latex allergies, hearing and visual problems are all possibilities. As a pregnant mother, I had to make the decision that, in the event that the labor could not be stopped, should I consent or refuse treatment for her. And I could make that choice. I could choose to let her die, to forgo all the painful months in the NICU, and I would be well within my rights.

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lori 9 years ago

Part deux...

Well, if I become pregnant now, shouldn't I be able to make the decision PRIOR to birth? I know I can't carry a pregnancy to term. My pregnancies are the type that economically devestate a family. Bedrest, medications, long hospitalizations, and the potential for early babies that drain the system. And I'm not even addressing the emotial and mental distress involved. Or the physical risks to me (the medications one takes to prevent early birth can have fatal complications).

If I become pregnant again, I want the right to make the decision NOT to continue the pregnancy. To NOT take meds that make my heart race, my vision blur, my blood pressure drop to amazingly low levels. To NOT spend all my time on the couch, watching the world go by, wondering if that was another contraction, wondering if my baby will be bigger than my hand when she's born.

There are more than life or death issues when it comes to pregnancy and the right to terminate. There are issues about who has precedence -- the one who "owns" the uterus, or the one who can't live without it. Lke you note, if that infant has a right to the uterus, what other rights does it have? Can it's mother be prosecuted for smoking, for not providing it with optimally healthy blood? What about if she eats fish every day, even though there are warnings against the mercury contamination and the long term effects? What if she doesn't exercise, or refuses to take her prenatal vitamin, and only consumes chocolate and ice cream? What if she doesn't eat enough? Or too much? All of these things put the infant in that uterus at risk for complications. So where do we stop policing the woman who owns that uterus? Why is it that MEN get to do almost whatever they want to their bodies, even though when they smoke or drink they are damaging their sperm, which will in turn produce damaged children? Why do men get to own their sperm, but a woman doesn't get to decide about her uterus?

I don't have an answer, either. I've seen babies born at 17 weeks gestation, and they are perfect. They are beautiful. Could I abort a pregnancy? I don't know. But I want to right to make that decision. Because that uterus is mine, and what happens in it affects my entire body, mind, and soul.

Lori

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Terry Bush 9 years ago

I do not presume to judge those who have made the decision to abort a baby. But .... for me .... it is, was and always will have been a baby. Not a clump of growing cells (if you plant a seed that germinates, it becomes a plant - unless you pluck it from the ground/soil; it may not look like a plant for awhile, but it is growing to look what you know is a plant). And I ...for me .... cannot kill other human beings, for any reason (economic, emotional, etc.).

That said, even the Catholic church (well known abortion foes) recognizes the necessity to defend one's own life against "attack", and thus regard medical (or mental) necessity as a valid reason for terminating a pregnancy.

As for what a kidney transplant (or other medical procedures are different) - as far as I know, pregnancy is the ONLY "medical condition" involving the life and health of TWO human beings.

I agree with Misty that it is grey, in that there are times and situations where the life of one human being may be taken (by its own mother?) in order to protect something or someone else. But let's call a spade a spade. Who wants to start deciding who lives and dies? In the case of abortion, we have given (when it is given) that right to mother. That may indeed be where the decision should lie. Government makes a real poor daddy....

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OtherJoel 9 years ago

I know what you mean Misty about not wanting to get into this, but here goes anyway...

You might have a point re: the slippery slope argument, Bill, if we hadn't lived under legalized abortion for over 30 years. Abortions remain rare, and as long as there is a legal means by which to obtain them, they will remain a safe procedure (yes, there are occasionally complications, but compared to other medical procedures, they are still very safe). The most desperate will still obtain them, but if providers operate under the radar, the government cannot control whether they are performed with a minimal threat to the woman. In other words, who is protecting THEIR life? Is it somehow worth less because they don't hold your views? I am not comfortable with the idea either, and while my wife and I do not intend to have a child, we agree that we would probably still keep it if she did end up pregnant (unless it became evident that carrying it to term would threaten her health or the child would end up with severe defects), though I can't presume to know how we'd react. And while I expect to have a say, ultimately I do believe that she is the one that has to make the call.

And I'm sorry, but I gotta call you on this one:

"Once we start allowing one person to decide whether another person's life is worth living, we have a far different (and I think more likely) slippery slope than banning condoms."

Then you say:

"If it's only to protect the lives of those who are born, not retarded, don't have genetic disorders or missing limbs, don't have fetal alcohol syndrome, then fine. "

You just decided whose life is worth living. I actually agree with the latter statement, but my point is SOMEONE has to define it. And who better to decide than the person carrying the fetus?

The attempts to restrict birth control are already underway, which is baffling to me, since that is the best way to prevent abortion from ever becoming an issue. Unless you put it in the cliche'd "legislating morality" frame. It is cliche, but sometimes they exist for a reason.

Regardless of what we say here, ultimately we'll have to agree to disagree. I know I won't impact your views nor will you impact mine. You've probably heard these arguments before, as I have probably heard every argument from your side. I think we're both coming from a sincere place, but we have a different logic about what constitutes "right."

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OtherJoel 9 years ago

Man, these posts are coming fast. I type too slow...

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Todd 9 years ago

It's wild seeing a blog entry with my exact views on the subject. I try to stay away from the labels pro-life and pro-choice and loaded words like right, wrong, or right. Life and death are complicated matters and I think it cheapens things to boil it down to a bumper sticker slogan. The law does this do by making things arbitrary.

People make the argument that pregnancy puts undue stress on the mind and body as justification for destruction of unborn life. I always ask why isn't it okay to kill the child after it's born? If you've ever taken care of a newborn you know the undue stress to mind and body doesn't stop at birth. You can tell a lot about a person by their answer. If they say, "There's nothing wrong with it" then they have a solid argument. (although a little repulsive to me personally)

Technology will advance to the point one day that a baby will be able to be transferred outside the womb and gestated until birth in a healthy cost effective manner. The justification for killing babies needs to take this into account. If that choice existed today would killing unborn babies still be okay?

At the risk of sounding like bumper sticker myself... remember, you are alive because your parents make a sacrifice. They suffered undue mental and physical discomfort for you. I'm not saying you MUST have children to repay them but at least treat with respect what they sacrificed to give you. (Man, I sound like I'm 80 years old somedays)

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9 years ago

"You just decided whose life is worth living."

That was sarcasm. Sorry, I should have been more explicit.

"Abortions remain rare"

How rare is rare? http://womensissues.about.com/cs/abortionstats/a/aaabortionstats_2.htm

"Is it somehow worth less because they don't hold your views?"

That is precisely my point. No one's life is worth less. No child, no old person, no Jew nor black nor cripple (yeah, I'm un-PC sue me). There are hard cases. I know that. I've been there (no, don't ask) and I am under no illusion that abortion will ever be completely banned again.

But my problem is that there IS a slippery slope once you accept the idea that some (other people's) lives are simply not worth living and that it gives others a right to kill them: http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/004/616jszlg.asp

"[B]oys are a treasured commodity in Bihar, and if a couple can't choose a child's sex prenatally, they can see a dai like Devi. For 80 cents, says Devi, who is now retired, a dai will help a woman give birth. For 80 cents more, she will take a newborn girl, hold her upside down by the waist and "give a sharp jerk," snapping the spinal cord. She will then declare the infant stillborn. "Many couples insist that we get rid of the baby girl at birth," Devi says. "What can we do?" http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3990133/

What can we do, indeed, since Indian culture values boys more than girls?

But I have a strange feeling that if there's ever developed a prenatal test for homosexuality, GLAAD will be on the pro-life bandwagon faster than you can say, "Margaret Sanger."

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lilchick 9 years ago

I could personally never have an abortion, but that's my body and my choice....who am I to dictate what other women can and cannot do to their body. If someone does not want a child, be it because they cannot handle one at that point in their life, or the child was a product of rape, or whatever, I cannot rule over their body. Abortions need to be legal because if they aren't, the women who want them will resort to back alley procedures resulting in poor care with little or no sanitation and more health risks.

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cvillehawk 9 years ago

What was the quote I read once? "I'd like abortion to be legal, safe, and rare" or something of that nature. That's where I sit on it. I don't want to see kids brought into the world who are unwanted, abused, or neglected - to me that's a far worse form of evil than terminating a pregnancy.

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Todd 9 years ago

So when people have hard lives (unwanted, abused, or neglected) why don't we mercy kill them at that point? Is it about preventing suffering? Then why don't we lock up criminals prior to their crimes? (or for crimes they probably will commit but haven't)

I think the attitude of mercy killing an unborn baby is a cop out. Especially when the justification is to mother's health, mother's freedom, or mother's privacy. Just put the baby up for adoption.

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Terry Bush 9 years ago

And you know what Misty, I am damn proud of you. This is a topic only the brave will discuss publicly. Regardless of their position on it. It is difficult, in part because it does involve children, personal rights, killing, and health issues. All hot topics on any day, let alone when all balled up into one topic. So those who hate fighting and arguing on such personal and touchy topics often do not come forward to express their thoughts and beliefs. May all who post here try to keep it on the same civil and thoughtful level that Misty did! And may we remember that no matter how much we support or oppose the practice, as we judge others so shall we be judged.

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cfdxprt 9 years ago

I agree with Misty 100%, abortion is wrong, but it should be legal.

About 4 years ago I was dating a girl and one night we had a condom break on us. Murphy, being the extreme SOB that he is, stepped in and gave us a positive pregnancy test 2 weeks after her expected "date". At the time she was doing a lot of coke and speed and I was working 80-90 hour weeks trying to keep my head above water with the tasks I was assigned. We were ill equipped to have a child. We talked long and hard and soberly about what we should do and came to the conclusion that an abortion was the right thing.

That may have been the worst decision I've ever made in my life. We both came home and cried and cried, an almost purely sexual relationship turned into a totally emotional one over night and eventually, we grew apart. She still calls me on occassion to cry, and I do the same.

In retrospect I should have made her get off the drugs, even if she had to be around me 24/7 to make sure. I should have told my boss at the time that I needed help, immediately! It would have spared us both a lot of heartache that continues on to this day.

People who see abortion as an effective means of birth control and want to outlaw it, or use it that way, don't get the big picture. It hurts the would be parents for the rest of their lives.

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OtherJoel 9 years ago

Touche, El Borak. It does indeed seem to be more common than I had assumed. I tried to find a problem with those stats, but the Alan Guttmacher Institute would have no reason to inflate those numbers. I guess I want them to be rare. I still believe that comprehensive sex ed and access to contraception are a better means of preventing abortions than making it illegal.

I never said it shouldn't be someone's choice. It should be up to the person carrying it. Maybe this could spiral into selectivity by race, sex, or disability, but I have seen no evidence to indicate that is happening in the United States. We haven't eliminated sexism and racism, but I think/hope we've made enough progress that we couldn't descend into such cruelty. The thing about slippery slopes is that sometimes they aren't always so slippery. Context can still mean something and we can work within limits. We execute people for murder, but the death penalty hasn't devolved into us shooting people on the street when we see them run a red light.

Abortion is one issue where my libertarian leanings start to emerge. I don't think we'll ever agree when life begins, because no one can agree what constitutes it. Ultimately it is a matter of personal belief. To me that is something best left to the individual closest to the issue and is capable of making that choice, and with that comes the responsibility for it if indeed it was a mistake. There are plenty of women out there who would never consider abortion regardless of the circumstances, and they will always be there. We are the only married people in our circle of friends who have decided against having children, and one of only a few who don't already have them. And I have nothing but respect for their decisions, but I simply don't have that desire. The same logic informs my view on abortion. I don't like the idea in terms of my own personal situation, but its not my place to tell someone else what they should do. I think its too important a decision to dictate to someone else what the right or wrong course is.

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Terry Bush 9 years ago

Those who have never had an abortion would do well to speak to those who have had one, to get their views on how it has impacted their lives. Nothing like personal stories to put things into real perspective....

As for us or the government not telling other people what to do - About 99.9% of all laws do exactly that. AND about 85% of all laws are based upon moral tenets (thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not kill). I hate turning to goverment for almost anything (you know what has 12 legs and no brain? A committee.). However, for as long as there have been governments of any kind, one of the main functions has been to protect those too weak or lacking in power to protect themselves. If babies do not qualify as weak and lacking power, what persons/groups do?

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OtherJoel 9 years ago

Again, it comes down to the definition of life. I don't accept the definition of an 8 week-old fetus as a "baby" (for example) and you don't accept the definition as a bundle of cells. I also don't consider masturbation to be the equivalent of abortion, but one could make that argument too. We have to draw the line somewhere, and I believe the best course is to consider the rights of a life that isn't in question -- that of the pregnant woman.

"Those who have never had an abortion would do well to speak to those who have had one, to get their views on how it has impacted their lives. Nothing like personal stories to put things into real perspective...."

I have no problem with that statement whatsoever, because it leaves ultimate choice to the woman.

Yes, the government exists largely to restrict choice, and in some cases I believe it is necessary (I did say libertarian LEANINGS, implying that I do not completely buy into that philosophy), and in others I don't. This falls into the latter category for the reasons I've already cited and many others, but I'm tired of typing.

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Kelly Powell 9 years ago

Some one mentioned something about bumper sticker logos....Maddox sums it up once again with his regressive party slogan "ANTI ABORTION-PRO KILLING BABIES"

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mitzibel 9 years ago

Oh, god, don't do that anymore, Buddha. I haven't squirted milk out my nose since junior high. Well, milk untainted by vodka and Kaluha, that is. Speaking of bumper stickers, have you ever noticed that whenever you see a mini-van with every spare inch covered with inflamatory pro-life bumper stickers, it's always being driven by a man? I think it's the height of bad taste to reduce the debate to a few catchphrases pasted to a vehicle, myself, but then, I'm not exactly the best judge of taste. . .

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cfdxprt 9 years ago

buddha - I've actually got that t-shirt coming to me in the mail. Because a) maddox just rules and b) he was donating profits to Katrina victims, so I figured it was about damn time I bought something from the dude.

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Kelly Powell 9 years ago

For most people bumper sticker slogans are about the extent of thought they put into issues. I have been known to pull up to a pro life vehicle and scream I ATE A BABY!!! In my worst scottish accent.

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mitzibel 9 years ago

cdfxpert, thanks for sharing that horrifically painful story. It kind of illustrates a point I didn't manage to work into the blog--I've known a lot of women who have had abortions, and with one notable exception (a chick I was in rehab with who had had 8, and thank god she DIDN'T breed), they never come out unscathed. They have always, if not exactly regretted the decision, doubted themselves for it, and been traumatized by the whole experience. This isn't something that most women approach with a cavalier attitude, no matter what "the other side" may want you to believe, it is almost as life-altering a decision as having the child would have been.

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alm77 9 years ago

You guys are making me cry!!

Seriously, Misty, excellent work.

However, I think we are missing something here. Abortion doctors have a vested interest in keeping them coming. They make money by providing their services. This is a huge industry and they don't need lobbyists (although I'm sure they have them) when they've got John and Jane Reproductive-Right making a fuss and promoting propaganda. These providers do not have to disclose the risks of this procedure to their patients. They are not interested in informing these women of any other options that they have. What other kind of doctors are like that? NONE. Because doctors who are really interested in your health give you options and risks. These doctors are in it for the almighty dollar and as long a people are willing to protect a woman's choice at all costs, then they are going to make money hand over fist. No limits will stop this because there are loopholes, for example: The "health of the mother" rule is undefined and stress can qualify as an unhealthy mental state for the mother, so she can abort.

I think making these doctors provide CARE for their patients, required ultrasound, required disclosure of risk and required options counseling would reduce the rate of abortions significantly, but then how would these doctors make a buck?

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scary_manilow 9 years ago

alm77:

Comments like yours make me wish I were biologically capable of getting pregnant... I would deliberately get knocked up as often as possible and abort every one of the little parasites, just to piss you off!

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mitzibel 9 years ago

Can we get a collective "Thank GOD Rob isn't a woman?"

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OtherJoel 9 years ago

As if you had any clue to what they are "interested in." Have you ever been to an abortion service provider or even known anyone who worked for one? I have and do. I would love to meet a doctor who was in it "for the money." What a joke. There are a lot better ways to make money in medicine. They take a hell of a lot of shit for what they do, often risking their lives. Like it or not, they are motivated by belief in the cause. Many even volunteer their services while maintaining a "traditional" practice for their income. And they are required BY LAW to counsel every patient of the options and in my experience, they abided by this. The "abortion mill" is a political creation and nothing more. You need to read things not posted on the Christian Coalition web site.

You can oppose abortion as much as you want -- but don't perpetuate lies to defend your position.

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mitzibel 9 years ago

I think I have to agree with OtherJoel. Maybe I have an idealized view here, but I can't see where any doctor, having devoted their lives to the preservation of health and life, would encourage a woman to end a life and put herself through an invasive surgical procedure without first exploring ALL possibilities. And I can't speak for the upper-income experience, but a large number of women who seek abortion services do so through organizations such as Planned Parenthood, who despite the bad press, really are dedicated to maintaining women's reproductive and emotional health, and therefore provide extensive education regarding ALL options, and, of course, stress birth control and responsible behavior as the FIRST course of action in preventing unwanted pregnancies.

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cfdxprt 9 years ago

I will second OJ's opinion. When we went in the doctor, unlike general practitioners who want you in and out as fast as possible, sat down and talked to us for a good hour or hour and a half about the consequences, the risks and why we were doing it. He wouldn't have carried the procedure out if we didn't have good reasons.

I'll agree there's some bastards in the abortion doc biz, a few weeks ago the pitch had an article about one who kept frozen babies in his fridge and "supposedly" ate them with his soup. But for the most part, they're not in it for the money, they would have chosen a different specialty if they were, there in it to help people out of tough situations.

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OtherJoel 9 years ago

There are bastards in any field, but I don't think any reasonable person on either side thinks that abortion is something to be taken lightly. I took particular offense that alm77 insinuated that there was a drive to provide as many abortions as possible in the pro-choice camp. Many of my friends and family are pro-choice and active in reproductive rights (and many are on the other side as well), and not one of them thinks abortion itself is a good thing or that there should be more of them. That's offensive on so many levels, I can't even begin to describe it. Anyway, I need to get back to work. Things are getting to me more than they should today.

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Terry Bush 9 years ago

It is indeed a very personal issue, and those who have decided it is OK have every right to make that decision. But, for me, it came down to this - I do not want to EVER kill another human being. EVER. For any reason. I might want them to be gone, I might want to be safe, I might think they deserve punishing (capital punishment), I might hope they go away....but I cannot take on the awesome responibility (and guilt) of causing the death of another person. For those who are willing to cause such death, that is your decision to make. I guess this all presumes that the clump of cells inside a womb is indeed a human being - but what else is it if not a human being; a tree, a cat, a dog, a bycyle? Sperm and egg alone aren't going to grow into anything. Without each other, both die. But when combined...they start, immediately, to grow. Into what? A human. I know I know...when is a human being a human being? When they can breath air on their own? When they can read? When they can talk? When they have 10 fingers or toes? When they are self-aware? All I know is that a short 2-3 decades ago, any child born before 4 months gestation had passed was mostly likely going to die. Now, 4 month old babies are saved a lot of the time, and go on to be healthy adults. And now we mix egg and sperm in dishes, before planting them in a welcome womb. So, it is safe to imagine that there will one day come that the egg/sperm mixture can be gestated into full maturity without a womb even being necessary. Lots of ethical questions out of that scenario....BUT = for me = I cannot and will not take part in killing humans. Period. You all debate and do what you want. But I made this call long long long ago (before I could even have gotten pregnant). I just knew. I just knew.

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alm77 9 years ago

Okay, first of all, Joel, I have never heard of anyone who argued against the monetary motive, not even from the pro-choice camp. I've always heard "Yeah, they're making money at it, but their doing a good thing, so it's okay." Secondly, Christian Coalition??- ouch! Please don't think I'm some religious politi-psyco. I honestly thought my comment was rather neutral. I even had someone else read it to make sure.

I apologize for my assumptions, but the demand is high and there aren't that many providers out there. The fact is that someone is making money and people who risk their lives for their jobs isn't that uncommon.

This issue is very sensitive to me and I am trying really hard to see what you all see, but the truth is, I can't. Okay, now I'm crying again!!

So, Joel, my sincerest apologies for offending you and my comments should have been more inquisitive and less perfunctory.

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Todd 9 years ago

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley http://www.huxley.net/bnw/index.html is an interesting glimpse into our possible future. (reproductive wise) It's a pretty sweet book, a ways back there was a made-for-TV deal but it pretty much sucked IMHO compared to the book.

Babies are pretty much manufactured. Abortion talk often reminds me of this book. All the impersonal talk of cells, bits, and parts. Like what we are talking about isn't a baby.

It's weird that I'm pro killing people/things, pro personal rights, and pro privacy but very much against killing my own child. Seems fair to let other people kill their children though. Less competition in the gene pool I guess. Still can't seem to put a positive spin on killing babies though.

(Note: I never use the term murder since I don't want to debate sentience of the baby. But like LadyLaw said, it's not a tree in the womb.)

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OtherJoel 9 years ago

OK, OK, couldn't stay away. I'm not saying there is a complete absence of monetary considerations. They need money to provide their services -- that's a no-brainer. But I seriously doubt anyone's getting rich from it. Alm77, what angered me is that your post read like there is a vast conspiracy to turn abortion into an profit-driven industry like computer chips, oil, cola, e.g. the more the better, yay! But many miss the overarching mission of most of these groups (specifically Planned Parenthood, which is a 501c4 nonprofit, btw), which is to ensure that every child born is wanted. That's it. Adoption is an option discussed in the counseling sessions, as is keeping the child. If the patient still wants the abortion, they can go through with it, but if at any point they express reservations, the counselors are trained to send them home to think about it (and again, in the clinics I know, this happens a lot). I have not heard of one instance where a doctor tried to push someone into having an abortion, and if they did, they should have their license revoked.

This issue gets a lot of people worked up, myself included, and I apologize if I upset you. Both sides are guilty of demonizing the other to make themselves have the higher moral ground, and I feel obligated to call bullshit when I see it, because both sides have good reasons for their beliefs -- they don't need to reduce one another to caracatures to get their point across. The Christian Coalition remark was an example of this -- I admit that was a bit unfair, but I think it is also unfair to assume that the reproductive rights movement is just another money-making business. This is the same fiction promoted by the far-right loonies to turn anyone who is pro-choice into an evil baby-killer. As I have said several times now, I don't like the idea of abortion either; I just differ from some people on the legal aspects. And many on this side of the aisle feel this way (I daresay the majority), including those who work in abortion services.

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lori 9 years ago

I just want to clarify that 4 month old fetuses are not viable. Not until they are 24 weeks gestation -- 6 months -- are they viable outside the womb. Occasionally a 22 or 23 weeker will make it, though when they are born much before 24 weeks, they are so small that they don't have intubation tubes small enough, even if they child is born alive. So there is no way a 16 weeker -- a four month fetus -- would survive a birth, not even with today's technology.

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mitzibel 9 years ago

I never thought the day would come when a blog of mine would provoke such civil and insightful discussion. I think I earned a drink ;)

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OtherJoel 9 years ago

I think this calls for a (virtual) group hug. Yeah, you've earned a drink. I think I have too -- or maybe not, but I'm havin' one (ahem) anyway!

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edie_ 9 years ago

Where the fuck do people who can't get pregnant get off on supporting war (where viable babies, children, and adults are tortured, raped, and killed who have nothing to do with the political conflict at hand) yet demand that women have no legal reproductive choice? Whoa. There are so many inconsistancies in that philosophy that I can't figure out why anyone would be so uneducated and brazen enough to parade that fucked up opinion around without humiliation.

In fact the only consistancy I can find is the one big consistancy that they refuse to acknowledge: their overwhelming compulsion to have authority over all life, especially that of women, no matter what the circumstances, just to suit their pathetic existence.

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quinn 9 years ago

Bloggin' at its best. Well done.

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Marcy McGuffie 9 years ago

Misty: Well done, my friend. And yes, thank fuckin' gawd rob ain't got no womb

I don't know what can be added that hasn't already been said. Obviously, there are two clear cut sides to the debate with some murky waters in between. As it's already been mentioned...one of the main differences between the two camps is the question of when life begins...or more clearly, when an embryo or fetus has a soul. Although I'm avidly supportive of reproductive rights...it's never a subject I take lightly. If it's the mere matter of not wanting to raise a child...I would hope someone would consider adoption first.

cfdxprt: Thank you for sharing your heartwrenching experience. It brought a new voice (the voice of experience) to the table. Abortion is a deeply personal choice evoking emotions and consequences one cannot truly comprehend unless having experienced it firsthand. And of course, each individual is affected differently. Obviously, it would be an understatement to say you two regret your mutual decision. But, you acted in a manner you wholeheartedly believed to be the right decision. Don't put all the blame on yourself (and I'm not saying blame lies with her either). With the most willpower in the world, you alone could not keep her off drugs. It would have had to be a decision/action that she alone would have had to make. And it's obvious you woulda fought like hell to support her if that's the path you two had taken. Although you will always be haunted, hopefully the passage of time helps 'ease" the pain. You're brave to share this experience.

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MyName 9 years ago

El Borak is right about abortion not being as rare as most people would like it to be. It varies a bit from year to year, but according to US Census statistics, about 23% of all pregnancies end in induced abortion, this is compared to about 13% that end in miscarriage. Additionally, most surveys seem to show that, in the US at least, only about 3-5% of induced abortions were because of risks to maternal or fetal health. (for an example survey, see: http://www.agi-usa.org/pubs/journals/2411798.html). While there are many reasons why women have abortions, it seems like the biggest reasons are social or economic ones.

El Borak: "But my problem is that there IS a slippery slope once you accept the idea that some (other people's) lives are simply not worth living and that it gives others a right to kill them:"

I disagree with the slippery slope argument completely. The reasons for atrocities like the ones you mentioned have nothing to do with regard for the sanctity of life. They have everything to do with hatred. In any case, the vast majority of women do not have abortions because they view their future child as one of the "undesirables", but because they don't feel they can support a child. Simply put, the solution to the abortion problem in this country is economic, not genetic.

Setting aside the personal politics of abortion, I wonder what it says about this country if, on one side of a man-made line, you can exercise your "right to choose", while on the other side of that line you're committing murder. This is what will likely happen should Roe v. Wade get overturned, and it worries me.

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Marcy McGuffie 9 years ago

One thing that really concerns me about Roe v. Wade getting overturned is women seeking illegal abortions...putting their health in harm's way. People will get abortions if that's what they want. It might as well be done the safe way...

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9 years ago

I second OJ and PQ; this has been the best discussion on abortion I have seen in a long time. Usually I'm loth to get involved in them, because, as OJ mentions they seldom sway minds... but they do on occasion; it was a discussion like this one that caused me to give up my long (and dearly held) support for the death penalty (Don't get any ideas, Misty).

If Roe is overturned (and it may never be, though it may be gutted into irrelevance) there will be a combination of good and bad, just like there was when it was passed. Roe created the pro-life movement and the modern GOP, much to the chagrin of Democrats. It also virtually eliminated abortion-related mother deaths, much to the joy of everyone. But it also centralized the issue into a position where everything in national politics is poisoned by it, making every judgeship a bloody battle and forcing pro-life Dems like Gore and Gephardt and Pro-choice Republicans like Bush41 to change beliefs in exchange for political power.

Perhaps if it's returned to the states, that rancor will die, or at least be lessened by splitting it 50 ways. I don't know. The funny thing about politics is that there are always unintended consequences. Most of them are bad. But not all of them.

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Kelly Powell 9 years ago

Texas would make it illegal....But that's just to look good. Mexico is their backyard.

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Terry Bush 9 years ago

There is no form of contraception that is 100% effective? Ever try not having sex. I hear it works well. Oh wait - that would require someone to exercise self control and give up doing something that they like to do and that feels good (if you are doing it right)! Screw that. It is far easier and less problematic to kill off the "mistake" later on! I realize that many pregnant women do not use abortion for birth control. But they do exist. Ask Misty about the lady who had around 8, so far, because it was easier then pills and didn't cause her to cramp. I have a friend who had 3, before giving birth to her only child (and being unable to have more kids due to all the scars left behind from 3 the abortions). NONE of those abortions would have been necessary if the people involved weren't having sexual intercourse. So yes, I do know a form of contraception that works 100% of the time. I used it quite effecitvely myself...

And to counter the next wave of attack, in my suggested compromise things like rape, incest, other bad situations wherein a pregnancy occurs can and do provide grounds for the MENTAL (as well as physical) health at risk situation and defense. If a poor woman (or anyone else) gets pregnant and will lose their mind if they carry the baby to term (to raise or give up for adoption), the mental health self-defense option is available. I am sure there would be scores of mental health experts able and willing to determine how likely someone might be to lose their minds if they carry a baby to birth.

As I said, I do not judge those (men or women) who have gone through this horrific situation - that is not my place or job. They have suffered without adding that kind of stuff into the mix. All I said, at the get go - was that I don't want to personally condone or take part in killing of other humans. That carries over to death penalty, war etc. I am not likely to be the majority, given the tendencies of many to believe that killing is often necessary and right. Look how many in the country now support the death penalty. But for me, it's simply a matter of conscience. Human beings, in all shapes and forms, stages and sizes, conditions and states, are not for me to decide to kill. You draw the line where you'd like, and perhaps we shall both end up being right. We shall see.

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lori 9 years ago

So, who has the ability to fortell which woman will actually lose her mind, and the one who is just saying she will? A doctor's eval? How long does it take to have that determined? One visit? Three? Does one doc determine it, or do two or three have to reach a consensus? Hell, by the time that you actually get in to three docs for three separate appointments, not only have you spent a hell of alot of money (I'll wager in the $500-900 range, depending on your doc), but you've also carried that baby to the point where you have to have a late term abortion, or you could just carry it a couple more weeks and have it, and THEN decide what to do with it.

I don't think that is a viable answer.

Psychologists and the medical community consider sexual activity on lines with food and air and love -- something that humans as a whole cannot live without, and should not have to live without. You may do without just fine, but the vast majority of people, especially those who are younger and have that biological urge to reproduce going strong, are probably going to disagree with you.

Because I won't lose my mind if I become pregnant, and won't die because of a pregnancy, does that mean I shouldn't have sex? My birth control choice is very very good, but like all others, doesn't have a 100% guarantee. I consider great sex a part of a healthy, loving marriage, and I'll betcha my husband feels the same. But we should refrain, because I would have to consider an abortion (maybe an illegal one, if some people get their way) in the event that my birth control fails? Poor people, people with chronic meds that are incompatible with bringng a healthy baby into the world, and people like me, who won't clinically lose their mind if they get pregnant, we should just all refrain from having sex?

It might work for you, but honey, refraining from sex is NOT going to work for me.

Lori

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Terry Bush 9 years ago

Yep ElB - killing = killing!! Taking a human life should never be done easily or lightly. But, I too worry about the coat hangers in the alley days coming back were/if abortion is ever outlawed 100%. There is a compromise postition that would, I believe, address most people's main concerns. Just as with other kinds of "self-defense" when the law allows the taking of another life, I think there might be a middle ground available. Have the law permit the taking of the fetal life in order to preserve and protect the health (mental and physical) of the mother, and only in that type of situation. In that way, the pregancies wherein the mother's health is actually at serious risk could still lawfully be terminated, in the name of self-defense of her life. Even the most dedicated of pro-life supporters are (when not being nutty) able to understand that there are situations where self-defense is a permissable reason to take another's life. The doctors doing the procedure would have to make a medical finding (based upon actual evidence that could later be, if necessary, reviewed by another medical authority) that the mother's life was at risk if she continues with the pregnancy. That might then mean the persons seeking abortion for other reasons ("because it's not convenient, because I am not ready, because I'd make a terrible parent, because I don't want my tits to sag, because it wasn't planned," etc.) would be the only ones going to coat hanger alley options. Just an idea....

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scary_manilow 9 years ago

It's just weird to me that you've often placed yourself in the camp of those who think the less fortunate shouldn't be allowed to reproduce (cuz state-sanctioned welfare cuts into your precious tax dollars), yet you don't think certain people should have access to abortions (ie, women who find themselves pregnant but financially unable to support a family)... Why should someone be forced to bring a child into this world if they know that they have no means of supporting it? And don't give the whole "it was their choice to get pregnant" bullshit-- we all know that accidents happen. There is no form of contraception that proves effective 100% of the time. Riddle me this, Batman: Outside of mandatory sterilization for the poor (which worked well as an idea in Nazi Germany, mind you), how do you propose to compromise on both sides of this issue?

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scary_manilow 9 years ago

So, what you're trying to say is that those "other" women are somehow DESERVING of haphazard, backalley abortions? You're completely sick in the fucking head, Ladylaw.

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Terry Bush 9 years ago

Thanks Rob. Coming from you, that is probably a compliment. No one deserves a back alley death - including people who kill others =with their words or their actions = or because they make a choice to put themselves at risk. But some people can't seem to do much but hurt - themselves or others. It's very sad, but it's their choice.

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Terry Bush 9 years ago

We all get to make choices in our lives, and we have to live with the results of our choices. I chose (back when I was VERY fertile and VERY VERY VERY horny) not to have sex, rather than risk a pregancy and the resulting consequences. Did I miss it? HELL YES! But, I did not have sex until or unless I was willing to risk the chances of pregnancy. I thought that was a responsible choice. Would I rather kill off another human being who did nothing wrong and whose only fault/flaw is to be conceived due to my needing to get laid or wanted to express my love in that way? Nope. So, we all make choices. And we live with the results. Going through the natural consquences of life = responsible behaviors for those capable of learning. As for finding a doctor (cheaply) to give the needed "your life is in danger" diagnosis - if the government (us) pays for abortions, then why can't that money (instead) be spent on free/good/cheap medical help in making such an important and life changing (ending) decision? It's a question of priorities and options. In our society we have come to value personal happiness over a lot of other things. Get it fast, lots and with as few costs as possible. But, in the long run (for me at least) killing human beings has far to great a cost to do it often, lightly, or without really good reasons. If I had to give up sex for the rest of my life (and that would be a HUGE sacrifice) to save a life, even yours (whom I do not know), I think I would have to give up nooky. That's just my value system. It does not have to be yours.

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scary_manilow 9 years ago

Then again, you get your sex advice from a priest, so your perception of the matter is probably a little skewed.

And since when does the government pay for abortions? You should post this information ASAP, because I'm sure there's a lot of people out there who need access to it.

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scary_manilow 9 years ago

Oh, wait, that's riiiiight... I forgot you work for Phil Kline. That whole "free govenrment abortion" line is just some BS who spun up so he has an excuse to snoop through women's OB/GYN records. Way to toe the line, Ms. Law. I'm sure your boss will be mighty pleased.

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Kelly Powell 9 years ago

Oh hell, let's just all turn gay and we won't have to worry about it...The gist of this is: A woman should have the right to abort her baby. It is her fucking right to do so allways has been allways will be......since ancient times women used abortion and they will be getting rid of embryos a thousand years from now (it will be easier...they will teleport the little bastard out). As for "not killing another human", why not? let's have a yearly hunt where you can bag one human and let's bet on how many people do it....the answer would rock your socks.

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Terry Bush 9 years ago

1 - No priest gave or gives me my value system. I have an IQ that is probably higher than yours Rob - and I started using it before I was in my teens to figure out wrong from right. For me. Bottom line, I decided I would try very hard not abuse other people - even for fun.

2 - Since when do you know anything about my personal life?

3 - If I did work for Gen Kline I would tell him or ANY boss where/when to take a hike if I thought it appropriate. ANYONE who knows me will attest to that fact! I do not take my marching orders (morally) from anyone but my Creator. When I officiated at a gay wedding, I told my priest all about it. And when I think something or someone is wrong, I can and will express my views. I do not, however, judge other people as being less worthy or more worthy, based upon their size, age, choices, or impairnments. That includes people who chose to live in ways that I would not chose.

4 - Buddah, you are baaaaad (in a good way!) LOL.

5 - The government has paid for abortions. There is a current move away from that, but there is still a ton of money available to help women who need medical help. And counseling services. And when that fails, many doctors (God love them) volunteer their services.

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9 years ago

"And since when does the government pay for abortions? You should post this information ASAP...."

The federal govt pays for upwards of 100k abortions a year.

* Some 74% of women pay for abortions with their own money; 13% of abortions are covered by Medicaid, and 13% are billed directly to private insurance. Some women who pay for the procedure themselves may receive insurance reimbursement later...

http://www.guttmacher.org/in-the-know/cost.html

Every state, through the federal Medicare/Medicaid programs pays for some abortions, from SD which only pays "life in danger" abortions only to 17 states (not including KS or MO) which use state funds to subsidize abortion for "all or most circumstances" and even for qualified illegal immigrants. http://www.ourbodiesourselves.org/book/companion.asp?id=19&compID=64&page=2#ca http://www.prochoiceamerica.org/publications/loader.cfm?url=/commonspot/security/getfile.cfm&PageID=2354

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edie_ 9 years ago

Thanks for posting that info. I couldn't find the part that said in "all of most circumstances" in your link though. I only found the part that said that medically necessary abortions have been reimbursed by Medicaid or by other state funds.

To those of you who oppose abortions but support women's right to choose herself whether or not to have one safely and legally, thanks for not being a moron.

To those of you who have never had to make the choice yourself yet think that you have the right to take that choice from other women, enjoy being a crack baby in the next life.

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9 years ago

"I couldn't find the part that said in "all of most circumstances" in your link though."

Last link, table, column 5

Second to last link, first column under each state.

For example:

Kansas: Abortion - Life, rape and incest only California: Abortion - All or most circumstances

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scary_manilow 9 years ago

Law of Lady:

I don't claim to know about your personal life-- You said yourself that you seek out sex advice form a priest, in Dr. Dailey's blog.

And my unholy army of underground spies scooped me on your connection to Mr. Kline-- which goes a long way towards explaining why you've been such an apologist for him on this site in the past.

By the way, if you're such an enlightened, intelligent human being, why to you still cling to an outdated, oppressive theology? Can't someone with a genius-level IQ (as you've laid ownership to in the past) navigate our modern society without hobbling on a moral crutch?

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OtherJoel 9 years ago

OK, I'm sorry, but is it really necessary to qualify our opinions based on an IQ score? I scored high on an IQ test too, but I don't think it makes my opinion more important than anyone else's. But there, I said it - I am an "intelligent" person. NOW can I participate? This is not a debate where most people exercise their analytical skills, regardless of some overly rationalized classist, culturally-biased test -- it comes more from fundamental beliefs about right and wrong for most of us, which has nothing to do with a score on a stupid test we took when we were kids. My moral education was not learned in school, and I am grateful for that. I learned it from my parents, my experience, and even from my former church (!!!). And if you want to apply the logic skills you used on your IQ test, BOTH sides have internally consistent reasoning -- it comes down to whose rights you feel should have priority -- a fetus or an adult. Are your beliefs guided by religious teachings, humanism, or some combination of the two (they are often not mutually exclusive)? I don't condemn your beliefs, ladylaw, you have your reasons which you have made abundantly clear. That's fine, but I simply don't share your view of the world. I don't consider supporting a woman's civil rights to be murdering cute little babies; I am pro-choice because I have no clue what a pregnant woman who is unable or has no desire to support a child is going through -- no amount of formal education will ever teach me that; and I belief it would be the epitomy of narrow-minded arrogance for me to assume as much. Plus, if every child born is wanted, isn't that worth something as well?

Now I am going to enjoy some highbrow entertainment appropriate to my IQ score -- The Simpsons, of course!

And Phil Kline -- OMFG -- I need to just walk away...

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Snoop 9 years ago

Not that anybody give a shit but as far as this issue it should only be taking place between women. I have never understood why men even engage themselves in the argument. Was there some memo that I missed that said that abortions were made illegal in the last few days? Does anybody really believe that abortions will be made illegal?
But I'm further confused why some of you engage in the person attacks, you not going to change anyones fucken mind any damm way. But me I'm glad some of you are PRO abortion people. If you do like you say you would, then you can engage in my favorite pro abortion activity "Gene Pool Eradication," Some of you are either too closed minded, too callous or too stupid to multiply. Since some can't seem to learn the concept of keeping your legs closed. Get that Suzzane Summers device, the Thigh master, with a little willpower you to can avoid the abortion clinic. So please by all means continue to be pro abortion. Pro choice my ass. I'm always curious when threads continue like this one and people start throwing out all of these bullshit facts and figures and personal attacks just who are you suppose to be convincing, after you post whatever? Do you actually think you have discovered the magic formula or the little tidbit that nobody else has thought of?
If your life is shitty, and you don't think your life is NOT worth a damm then anything that came out of your body must be equally as worthless, Right? Sounds reasonable to me.
Also what does where or who you work for (Phil Kilne) make any fucken difference? I don't get the obsession with the dude. Scary, dude, anti Christian huh? Attacking an individuals faith make you more of a man, makes your dick hard to put those wacked crazy Christians in their place? I love how liberal types claim to be so passionate and open minded and caring but are quick to attack people of faith. Insightful liberal brilliance at its best.

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edie_ 9 years ago

"Some of you are either too closed minded, too callous or too stupid to multiply."

What the fuck is that about? The decision not to procreate does not come solely from those qualities. I love children but I never wanted any of my own. If anyone doesn't want to have kids, that's a fabulous reason to avoid pregnancy. There's TONS of room in kids' lives for cool adults, and I choose to be a nice person in the lives of kids I know without being a biological parent to any of them. Valuing "life" also means valuing kids enough to support a world where they all have a decent QUALITY of life. We have crack babies getting abused for three years by their mom's pimp before they get shuffled into the crappy foster system and then probably the justice system. I love driving down the Texas highways and seeing all the billboards with 1-800 numbers to keep more parents from suffocating babies in the dumpster...how much more fucked up would the present world would be when no one can terminate an early pregnancy? We have kids dying in dirty ditches in third world countries where there's no access to abortions or birth control. So much for valuing "life". I guess quantity not quality is the pro-life position? The anti-choice angle is especially jesus-loving when paired with the insistance that tax dollars should be fueled to contracts with Halliburton but not to kids whose parents refuse to take care of them. I feel a rapture coming on now just talking about it.

Snoop is right about one thing. The decision belongs to women only.

The notion of abstinence sounds good in church, but if you're somewhat awake you'll see that it will NEVER work, regardless of how righteous you get about it. Sorry but you're not going to solve the issues of prostitution, uneducated intercourse, rape, and accidental pregnancies by trying to convince the world to be perpetual virgins.

And Misty, I think it's really cool that you're saying that even if you think abortion is wrong that you don't want to pass laws against it or tell other women what to do with their bodies and their lives.

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mitzibel 9 years ago

Thanks, Edie, that was pretty much the point, to illustrate that there really ARE those of us who think it's wrong, personally, but would never assume to impose our opinions on others whose circumstances we can never hope to understand.

And you bring up a very important point in the whole issue, that of quality of life versus quantity, an issue I have always felt passionately about. I don't like the idea of eliminating life before its potential can be realized, but I also don't like the idea of a life being squandered in oppressive conditions that are not its fault. I've seen too many women in my acquaintance have children for all the wrong reasons, and proceed to fuck those children over six ways to Sunday because they were too selfish to put those children's needs before their own. I have known too many people who were themselves the children of fucked-up pseudo-adults who beat, neglected, and raped them on a whim. Do I think those people would be better off having never been born? Sometimes, frankly, yes, I do.

A world of wanted children is indeed an idealistic dream, but I honestly feel that it is a more realistic one than a world in which every crack-addicted or HIV-positive or malnutritioned baby is welcomed with open arms into a loving white Christian household, which is what the adamant pro-lifers seem to think exists already.

I can't bear the thought of eliminating a pregnancy of mine because I know that any child I bore would be loved, cherished, and nurtured. However, I know too well that many pregnancies that are terminated would have resulted in abused, neglected children who grow up miserable and hating themselves and everyone around them and subsequently spend the better part of their lives trying to accomplish what a one-hour clinic visit would have taken care of.

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Snoop 9 years ago

I'm I'm confused. Pro abortion types using suffering kids (like they really give a shit) to give legitimacy to their argument, I LOVE IT.

"Valuing "life" also means valuing kids enough to support a world where they all have a decent QUALITY of life. We have crack babies getting abused for three years by their mom's pimp before they get shuffled into the crappy foster system and then probably the justice system."

So these people are suppose to be responsible enough to go get that abortion that you highly recommend, when they were too stupid or irresponsible to keep their legs closed in the first place.

Also I'm curious what is your particular definition of "quality of life". Not living in a crack hoe environment, living on an island in huts in the middle of the pacific, living in rural Mississippi, some trailer park in Kansas. Who are you to determine "quality of life" for that child?

"how much more fucked up would the present world would be when no one can terminate an early pregnancy?"

It must be Monday morning, is abortion illegal?........SHIT NOBODY TOLD ME!

"We have kids dying in dirty ditches in third world countries where there's no access to abortions or birth control,"

Hey how about blaming the murderous dictators in those countries you speak of for the conditions of those children.

"jesus-loving when paired with the insistance that tax dollars should be fueled to contracts with Halliburton but not to kids whose parents refuse to take care of them."

Oh shit we get anti-Christian, with a Halliburton reference AND a tax reference for you mean old evil ..............dare i say it.......the magic liberal word is .........NEOCONS! ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding WE HAVE A WINNER! You win the free trip to............... ..............NEW ORLEANS!!!

Don't give me this pseudo intellectual reasoning for your Pro-abortion position when its wrapped up in an attack on someone personal faith, values and morals topped with left wing cliched rhetoric. Lets recap, On the one hand you "care" for children, but on the other, totally disrespect and discredit those who feel just as much "compassion" but just on a much broader scope. Yup I understand that fucken reasoning real well.

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citizenx 9 years ago

And creepily enough, 'kurdu', the word for Kurd in turkish, also means 'abortion' in turkish...that was all I had really--just a creepy aside...language structures our thoughts. So if abortion were called, say, 'operation freedom', would more people be for it?

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Kelly Powell 9 years ago

You could tell the doctors that you suspect the fetus of being a terrorist.

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9 years ago

"You could tell the doctors that you suspect the fetus of being a terrorist."

If you did, you'd probably be arrested for providing material aid and comfort...

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edie_ 9 years ago

Good god, Snoop. I don't see me attacking a person of faith. I criticized an organized dogma that contradicts itself. In case you're not aware there's this political religious movement and that's the driving force of people trying to get abortion illegalized. They have somewhat of a toehold in the presidential seat. Their dogma is this: Life is so precious that we can't abort an unviable fetus, but we should put money towards mutilating and killing of living children in another country who have nothing to do with the political conflict at hand. I don't care if you are a right winger, a left winger, or a no winger. You can't deny the double standard there. Face it, some people use religion to justify bullshit.

I see the difference in individuals and their church. I don't see where I ever attacked a person based solely on their faith here. Unless that's what you're reaching for as a reason to blast me when you heard me say "abstinence sounds good in church..." Sure, abstinence does sound good if you're into church. Guess what...there are plenty of other people of faith out there who also take notice that preaching abstinence is NOT WORKING AS A SOLUTION TO MILLIONS OF UNWANTED PREGNANCIES, and it NEVER WILL.

As far as quality of life goes, I would go out on a limb and say that it means, I don't know, maybe not living with the daily threat of violence rape and starvation or maybe not living in a military war zone, not being fed narcotic milk.

If you want to call me pro-abortion go ahead. It may make you sound like you're five years old and just discovered the word "poopy" but what the hell. There are situations where abortion is the less evil of all possibilities. It's not up to me or you, it's up to whoever caught the bullet, darling. Who are you to judge?

In fact who are you to judge? Remember when that was your line? YOu might consider going back to that and quit spilling your war with scary_manilow onto me when I'm not involved.

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edie_ 9 years ago

And why is it so difficult to grasp the idea that someone can care about kids without having them? Are you stuck in the days when motherhood was the only reason women had to prove they were important enough to live? Not that you deserve my example, but my boyfriend has a kid. His time and money is strained enough working two jobs to pay child support and see her at every opportunity. How fucking selfish would it be for me to decide to get knocked up so that he gets to choose between paying child support or helping me financially support a kid? She lives now and deserves the attention and resources. Besides I'd much rather be a good adult in the life of his daughter whenever I get the chance. She's the coolest kid ever after all, (with a very cool mom btw.) Like I said there's room for lots of nice adults in the lives of all kids. It's not pseudo intellectual or callous or stupid.

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Snoop 9 years ago

"Good god, Snoop. I don't see me attacking a person of faith. I criticized an organized dogma that contradicts itself."

Man you people are hilarious. Can't you state you position without spitting out a bunch of liberal cliches?

"In case you're not aware there's this political religious movement............."

Yes I read bunches of liberal blogs that regurgitates that blather all the damm time. You can't avoid it.

"Face it, some people use religion to justify bullshit."

Ok then you people who are atheist can justify your ill and self destructive behavior because they you can tell that God Guy that "Hey I didn't know" Your war is with Buddy Jesus. Or hell Buddy Buddha, or Buddy Ganish.

"If you want to call me pro-abortion go ahead. It may make you sound like you're five years old and just discovered the word "poopy" but what the hell."

Because your choice of the term pro-choice is a bunch of crap, just admit who you are. I don't want to get to deep into this because this is a non issue. Abortions are legal, they will stay legal I still don't get what the fucken debate is about. BUT you choose a college to attend, you choose which new car to buy, you choose your mate, you choose a burger or a freaken brand of shampoo! When you go to an abortion clinic. What choice are you making? I guess while you are getting your head banged into the headboard, with each loving stroke you are saying to yourself ........thank......................god.........................I......................have..............a..........................choice..........................thank......................god.........................I......................have..............a..........................choice......................thank......................god.........................I......................have..............a..........................choice.........................ooooooooooo............................yes!

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edie_ 9 years ago

Dude I'm not even using atheism as a justification of what's going on; it's basic logic that anyone can figure out. I don't even think I can claim to be an atheist and "ill and self-destructive behavior" has NEVER been my cup of tea. However you're clearly earning a VIP ride to the pearly gates with your own classy moves, sport.

I love how you have no way of discussing the ineffectuality of the abstinence campaign or the contradictions in the pro-life movement, except to drool out a bunch of cliche labels for me and spill over at the sides about how bitter and ignorant you are about sex.
Now you can take your last cheap hits at me because I won't be replying on this board again. I am NOT into internet wars. I have better things to do.

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Todd 9 years ago

We aren't Vulcans and logic doesn't dictate human existence. Yes, killing to protect life isn't logical. We get your point edie_.

And yes Snoop, pro-choice is a lame label that's why people prefer to talk about reproductive rights now. I know, people aren't energetic or excited about any other reproductive right other than that to kill their baby. But at least it's a better label. I don't see people up in arms about the lack of fertility R&D. Why should well-to-do infertile people have more right to have a baby and not-so-well-to-do infertile people?

You should can tell people are from Lawrence on this blog. A bunch of bickering and not a single person even hints at outlawing abortion. And that's in a state that everyone reading this knows would do it if federal powers wouldn't void it.

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PatK 8 years, 10 months ago

I've just recently found your blog, Misty - and love it. I know I've missed the flurry of posts on this one but wanted to post anyway because I'm so glad to find someone else who largely shares my own view on the subject. I've posted similar sentiments on my own web site. I love finding REAL people who are willing to open up. The media these days is so flooded with polarized extremists screaming at each other that it tends to overshadow the thoughtful and reasonable diversity of opinion that exists. I agree with you completely that abortion - like most divisive issues are really full of 'shades of grey' and NOT black and white. Largely because of personal experience, I abhor abortion but I am also strongly in favor of 'reproductive rights' - precisely because of these shades of grey. If that confuses anyone, feel free to read my own comments on the subject under the 'News' button on my web site (see profile).

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