Bill Clinton's abortion legacy

Everyone agrees we have a right to our own feelings. It is well documented that Bill Clinton thinks he has a right to his own facts, which he attempted to spout last night during his temper tantrum against a pro-lifer in Steubenville, OH. I posted that video here. Clinton's misinformation was this:

I reduced abortion... [Y]ou can't name me anybody presently in politics that did more to introduce policies that reduce the number of real abortions....

The number of U. S. abortions may have gone down during Clinton's presidency, but it was certainly not for his lack of trying to raise them. In fact, Bill Clinton availed the worldwide abortion industry and mothers greater access to abort during his tenure. I've chronicled Clinton's actions as president in a powerpoint presentation, to make it easier on the eye. Click on any slide to enlarge. I begin with Clinton's alleged but credible personal history with abortion, his flip flop, and then his actions as president:

See remaining slides on page 2.

[The bulk of my information was gleaned from National Right to Life here and here, Concerned Women for America, and The Alan Guttmacher Institute.]


Comments:

Wow, great history lesson, Jill!

Posted by: Bethany at February 18, 2008 12:27 PM


Let us not forget the lack of abortion statistic being reported for 4 to 5 states after 1994. Before that all states reported. Imagine that, in the Clinton Administration states stopped being required to report abortion stats.

How do you falisfy statistics? By leaving some of the numbers behind. In this case - entire states statistics behind.

Posted by: valerie at February 18, 2008 12:37 PM


Wow.
What a stand-up guy (not!)

And to think what Hillary would do on her first week in office regarding pro-life progress terrifies me to no end.

The Clintons are scary.

Posted by: Anonymous at February 18, 2008 12:37 PM


Thanks, Bethany. It was an interesting project.

Posted by: Jill Stanek at February 18, 2008 12:38 PM


I am curious what Jill's reaction would be if some moron decided to try to shout HER down at one of her speaking engagments.

She finds these tactics "fun" when directed at a former president. Would she find them "fun" if directed at her?

Perhaps it is just that anti-choce extremists have no respect for the rights of others, (once they are born, of course).

I have little regard for either Bill or Jill, but would not disrupt their speeches and violate the rights of those who wish to hear them.

Posted by: amused observer at February 18, 2008 12:38 PM


Ugh. I hate when people use that Gennifer Flowers nonsense as a "fact" about Bill Clinton. Did Flowers ever provide evidence to prove that accusation? It should have been easy to do. She's entitled to her own medical records.

And about the "rationed health care" slide...you realize that we already have rationed health care? Unless, that is, you're wealthy enough to pay for whatever health care you want without having to rely on insurance or public aid.

Posted by: Hieronymous at February 18, 2008 12:49 PM


I agree with what you say about "shouting down" speakers, AO. I am by far no fan of Clinton, but a few months ago I saw the video of him being shouted down, and I thought it was disgraceful. It's very disrespectful. It shows that one has so little to say in terms of a reply, that they can not even listen to the speaker's arguments.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at February 18, 2008 12:52 PM


Hieronymous, unlike Monica, who was able to supply the blue dress as evidence against Clinton's lie about their affair, Gennifer's evidence was sucked away.

Posted by: Jill Stanek at February 18, 2008 12:56 PM


EC's absolutely reduce abortions. The fact that in a statistically insignificant number of usages they act to prevent implantation does not make them "abortion drugs"...no matter how many times you all say it.

They are exactly what they say they are...emergency CONTRACEPTION. And I think it's great that they were approved during Clinton's administration.

Posted by: Hieronymous at February 18, 2008 12:57 PM


Um, Jill, you can't suck away a medical record.

Posted by: Hieronymous at February 18, 2008 12:58 PM


Hieronymous,

...no matter how many times you all say it.....you are incorrect.

Posted by: Janet at February 18, 2008 1:06 PM


Heh. I just re-read the opening sentences of this post. Apparently Jill feels that she's entitled to her own facts as well. How ironic.

Posted by: Hieronymous at February 18, 2008 1:07 PM


Hieronymous -

A medical record does not prove paternity. So what is your point?

Posted by: valerie at February 18, 2008 1:26 PM


"Did Flowers ever provide evidence to prove that accusation? It should have been easy to do."

Yes she did. She provided audio tapes which were so telling that it is what made Hillary do her first round of interviews with the media. And Bill did admit to the affair under oath and 2 of Bills Guards from when he was governor backed up flowers statments. so, what more do you need?

Posted by: valerie at February 18, 2008 1:30 PM


Nice presentation Jill...

Bill Clinton is being shouted down because the pro-abort media will not ask these abortion questions.

Posted by: jasper at February 18, 2008 1:30 PM


desperate times call for desperate measures.

We WILL be heard!

Posted by: Anonymous at February 18, 2008 1:32 PM


That is a great powerpoint slide background...where did you find that?

Posted by: PeachPit at February 18, 2008 1:37 PM


Funny, Clinton's popularity and approval ratings soared after the affair and the impeachment. What kind of numbers is 'Dumbya looking at?
Poll after poll shows that Bill Clinton could beat any candidate currently running if were allowed to run.
Why do you suppose that is? A filandering proabort is still held in high esteem by millions of Americans, and not a single pro-life Christian-right "family-values" Republican could make it past the primaries.

Posted by: FetusFascist at February 18, 2008 2:08 PM


Sorry Valerie, I wasn't clear. I wasn't talking about the affair, but about the accusation about how "that bad bad man made me get an abortion."

Posted by: Hieronymous at February 18, 2008 2:27 PM


Is that good news Laura? I don't care if the polls said 90% supported abortion and Bill Clinton, they would still be wrong. Why do call President Bush "Dumbya". Are you a snob? No terrorists have attacked your city since 9/11, have they, no thanks to your party. As a matter of fact, I think this country is taking a turn for the worst (just looking at all of the Obama support) and if a Democrat gets elected we're in for some bad days ahead as a Nation. I find it quite sad.

Posted by: jasper at February 18, 2008 2:30 PM


bad days ahead? Have you no Hope? Thinking GWB is the worst president ever doesn't make one a snob, just observant.

Don't worry Jasper, everything is going to be just fine.

Posted by: Hal at February 18, 2008 2:37 PM


No terrorists have attacked your city since 9/11, have they, no thanks to your party.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Actually, no terrorists have attacked my city since it was founded in 1881.
I guess I should thank President James Garfield.

Posted by: FetusFascist at February 18, 2008 2:45 PM


PeachPit, 1:37p: I found that background a couple years ago for another pp presentation. I hate to sound like Hillary, but I don't really don't recall where.

Posted by: Jill Stanek at February 18, 2008 2:49 PM


FF -> cynical as always....

Posted by: jasper at February 18, 2008 2:49 PM


FF -> cynical as always....

Posted by: jasper at February 18, 2008 2:49 PM
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
As a matter of fact, I think this country is taking a turn for the worst (just looking at all of the Obama support) and if a Democrat gets elected we're in for some bad days ahead as a Nation. I find it quite sad.

Posted by: jasper at February 18, 2008 2:30 PM
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Oh, the irony...

Posted by: FetusFascist at February 18, 2008 2:52 PM


...I meant being smart, not cynical I guess.

Posted by: jasper at February 18, 2008 3:03 PM


Jasper, I'm with you. I wish W. was in for 20 more years...we are doing so well right now....

Posted by: PeachPit at February 18, 2008 3:33 PM


Who's "we"?

Posted by: Jen R at February 18, 2008 3:48 PM


here's an interesting discussion on abortion:
http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=456175

Posted by: Hal at February 18, 2008 4:09 PM


I think I have to join that board.

Thanks Hal.

Posted by: FetusFascist at February 18, 2008 4:27 PM


That site is pathetic.

Posted by: Janet at February 18, 2008 4:38 PM


just interesting to see that there is a WIDE range of opinions on this subject. Much wider than represented here.

Posted by: Hal at February 18, 2008 5:21 PM


It looked like there were basically two opinions, Hal, just as in any pro-choice pro-life debate.

There are those that think that there should be a choice to kill unborn children, and those that think there should not be the right to kill unborn children.

I didn't see any wider range of thought there. Just a lot of expounding on the basic pro-choice- pro-life views.

Posted by: Bethany at February 18, 2008 5:39 PM


While president-elect Clinton said "abortions should be safe, legal, but rare." And then as soon as he got into office he embarked on a mission to remove as many restrictions to abortion as he possibly could by issuing a series of executive orders.

Oh well, it looks like the Clintons won't be around much longer as the liberals have tired of him and have found a new love, Barack Obama.

Posted by: Jerry at February 18, 2008 5:50 PM


The liberals are mostly tired of George W. Bush. At least this liberal is.

Posted by: Hal at February 18, 2008 5:56 PM


Bethany, I agree that everyone can be put into one of two camps, but I thought that there was more of a range of reasoning. For example, the guy who says his wife is pregnant but if she miscarried he's only be concerned about her, that he won't have a child until it is born. That's different.

Anyway, I thought it might be of some interest. The 20 of us offer few surprises most days.

Posted by: Hal at February 18, 2008 6:00 PM


Jerry 5:50PM

I'm not so sure. I don't believe she's down for the count and its not over until its over. The Clintons are shrewd power hungry people. I don't underestimate them for a minute.

Posted by: Mary at February 18, 2008 6:45 PM


Hal -

My stomach is churning just thinking you thought that link had interesting information on it. No offense, but I always thought more of you.

Let's see. The post is about how women should not regret their abortions and if they do it will make them hypocrites.

This is what this person wanted to say to a woman he evesdropped on talking to a group that she regretted her abortion.

"beginning with "but my dear..." and ending with "...if it had grown up to be a crack smoking poodle raping menace you miserable mawking c^&t! ..."

Yes, ladies, if you regret your abortion your the "C" word. Nice huh?

How about:

"These women just f&^%&^g disgust me."

Then there is this:

"I even have sympathy for women who abort and later have depression over having done so, I really do. "

Awe - how nice right? Well, just as long as you don't talk about it:

" But women like the one in the restaurant tonight, the girl in Tuscaloosa, and the one on the Fundie show I have no sympathy and the utmost contempt for-"

And then my favorite:

"If you're not willing to do that (a pro-lifer giving a woman who wants an abortion $100 a weak to raise the "unwanted" child and pay for babysitting twice a weak), then shut the f&*^ up, and if you can't afford to do that, then shut the f*&& up again, because if you can't afford to do that then you couldn't have afforded to have that kid and you'd be miserable and the kid would be miserable. As it is the kid is nothing at all- it never developed sentience, it is a potential that was terminated."

Why is it up to us to pay for a child we didn't create willingly? With this logic that would mean I would have no right to tell a father not to hit his kids if I'm not willing to take the kids in or pay for them. With this logic that would mean I would have no right to tell a man not to hit his wife if I'm not willing to marry her and pay for her. Give me a break! Responsiblity, get some.

He also finds no disgust in a woman telling him this:

"I never told my husband, because I know that he would have been jumping up and down with 'Yea! Another baby!',.... "

the "she" in this next comment is a counselor.

"She also said that a surprising number of married women never tell their husbands. "

"she" also implied this:

"The ones who disgusted her the most were the "frequent flier" club members who came in for their first abortion at 17 and their fourth at 20 and to whom abortion really was just an annoying kind of birth control you had to do once in a while. OTOH, she said these were indeed the best argument for abortion legality- can you imagine them having kids?"

oh...and my other fav is the commenter who said if we, the "fundie abortion crowd", are sympathetic to women who abort and then regret it, we are useing them for our own political agenda. Hmm..that must be why we put so much money into post-abortion counseling that no one seems to know about. Because you know, if no one knows about them then it must be for political reasons.

This is your idea of a "range of reasoning"?

oh...and I can't forget the commenter who says women who regret their decisions are in it for their own political agenda because no woman she knows, and that means all the women she knows apparently, has regretted her abortion. Especially since she never regretted her abortion at 17 and her 2nd at 32 after having 4 children. so, in her mind, if she didn't regret them then no one else should. Nice.

oh and another commenter said this:

"I HATE anti-abortionists. Moralistic mother&^%%^ that bleat and moan and judge but most of them do nothing for the hundreds of thousands of unwanted kids out there now. Go to any neo-natal hospital in a large city and see how many addicted babies they have."

I guess Project Gabriel is a figment of my imagination. You know, the group that give women in crisis pregnancy money, a place to live, medical care and support after the baby. yea, we don't do anything. Should we be the ones having sex for them too?

AND since there were absolutley no OPPOSSING views on the topic, I figured it would be a waste of my time to post all this on that site. I would hate for my opinion to get deleted.

You really think that it has a much wider range of thought? yikes!

Posted by: valerie at February 18, 2008 6:59 PM


WOW Valerie, I just skimmed it, obviously I didn't read it as fully as you did....I assumed there were differing points of view. I guess I was wrong.
It looks like the only wider range of views there are the views that Hal agrees with personally.

Posted by: Bethany at February 18, 2008 7:20 PM


I guess all the slideshow shows is that making abortion easier, cheaper, and generally more accessable doesn't make it more common. Abortion STILL went down. Why? a) more and better contraception (because !DUH! women who don't get pregnant when they don't want to be don't get abortions) and b) better economy (because people with decent jobs and hope for their economic futures are more likely to keep a "suprise suprise" pregnancy than people in a recession).

When are pro-lifers going to get it through their head that Pro-Choice does not equal Pro-AsManyAbortionsAsPossible? Ugh. Most Pro-Choicers I know want to reduce abortion too. They just want to do it the way that actually works - which has NOTHING to do with making it illegal or harder to get, just helping women not to get pregnant in the first place when they don't want to be (BirthControl, Education) and empowering women who DO get pregnant to have hope for an economic future (jobs, healthcare, family leave, etc).

You can make abortion as much of a pain in the ass as possible to get, but when your home is being forclosed, you have no job, no healthcare, and your relationship with the father is falling apart because you're poor and economically stressed, and you got pregnant anyway because good, relaible birthcontrol was too expensive and you just have been doing "Pull Out and Pray", you are going to find a way to get an abortion.

On the other hand, couples who have decent jobs, healthcare, hope for their financial future are FAR more likely, even if suprised by an unplanned pregnancy, to keep it, and more likely to have a stable relationship to begin with. That's if they have an unplanned pregnancy, which is pretty unlikely if you are responsibly using a birthcontrol method that only has a less than 1% failure rate. Speaking as an upper middle class, well educated young woman in my late twenties, I have known A LOT of sexually active other upper middle class well educated women, and I've never known ONE PERSON who got pregnant while using reliable, modern birthcontrol correctly. (Known a few "Abstinence Pledgers" who had unplanned pregnancies followed by rushed marraiges - but that is another story).

And if I did get pregnant by suprise? Well, I have a masters, a good job and healthcare. So does my boyfriend. We're almost 30. We've already decided if we became one of the "1% failure rate" that we would get married and keep the baby (two things we're planning on for the future anyway...we'd just like to take a little more time :). Of course I'm less likely to get an abortion; I'm less likely to get pregnant in the first place and more likely to keep a baby if I do.

The way to reduce abortion is to give working class and poor women, who make up the majority of abortions, the same advantages that I have, so that fewer will feel the pressure to "choose abortion". It wouldn't end ALL abortion; there will always be life-threatening pregnancies, couples who feel they can't handle a disabled child, women who find themselves pregnant at the wrong time no matter how financially solvent they are, but if ALL women had access to good BirthControl and ALL women had access to healthcare, and solid working class jobs were available to families again, there sure as HELL would be a lot less abortion.

Besides, making abortion illegal will just create a MASSIVE criminal black market, both for the procedure and the abortion drug. Rich women will be able to go somewhere else to get them or pay their own doctor enough to do one secretly, and poor women will be able to find one on the more dangerous black market. Making abortion illegal will work about as well as the "War on Drugs" or Prohibition. It will create MANY all new problems, without solving any of the old ones.

Bill Clinton DID do more to reduce the abortion rate than all those wackjobs who shouted him down have ever done.

Posted by: former pro-lifer at February 18, 2008 7:23 PM



I reduced abortion... [Y]ou can't name me anybody presently in politics that did more to introduce policies that reduce the number of real abortions....
...................................................

So Jill, name anyone presently in politics that has introduced more policies to reduce the number of abortions.

Posted by: Sally at February 18, 2008 8:05 PM


former pro-lifer -

Great post.

Posted by: Hieronymous at February 18, 2008 8:06 PM


FPL, 7:23PM

When abortion became legal, do you think the socialites and the celebs sat in the same clinic waiting rooms as the welfare mothers?
Rich women continued to have their discreet abortions with their own doctors, or fly somewhere that made it possible, poor women flocked to the unregulated clinics. One was recently shut down in New Jersey after a poor woman was rushed to the hospital. She suffered massive bleeding and neurological damage after her "safe legal" abortion. An inspection uncovered rusted, dirty instruments among other numerous violations. Just the type of "black market" conditions you say legal abortion eliminates.
On another thread on this blog, you'll find it in the February archives, is an account of the undercover investigation of Chicago area abortion clinics in 1978, five years after Roe is discussed. You may want to look at that and the various posts. Legalization did not put the criminal element and dubious characters out of business, it only enabled them to hang a shingle and conduct business legally and openly.
There is this very naive and dangerous notion that legalizing something puts criminals and dubious characters out of business. More often we just give them more and better opportunities.

Also, why do you want to see the incidence of abortion decreased? What other right, such as speech and religion, do we want to make rare?

I've listened to the arguments you present as "solutions" to abortion and believe me, they've been around longer than you've been born.
We have abortion because of this or that, and if we just don't do that and this, we'll cut down on abortion. It has varied over the years. I must say your arguments have been pretty consistent for the past 35 years. So far, we haven't come close to making abortion rare.

The fact is the death rate from illegal abortion steadily decreased over the years prior to Roe v Wade and was at an all time low in 1972 when it was 39. Most were done in doctor's offices and the decreasing death rate was largely due to better surgical technique, antibiotic and IV therapy, and doctors who were especially careful when performing abortions so as not to be caught. So much for any "black market". The founders of NARAL, then called the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws falsified illegal abortion statistics and death rates and fed them to a sympathetic media in their efforts to get abortion legal.

Posted by: Mary at February 18, 2008 8:12 PM



Someone please tell me why, if abortion is such a good thing, you want to reduce it.

Posted by: Mary at February 18, 2008 8:15 PM


Jill, methinks you doth protest too much.

Slick Willy does have hs charms. ; )

Steubenville, Ohio - I go through it fequently, from home to work or vice-versa. "Voted by Readers' Digest as one of the top 20 best places to live in the US." Home of Dean Martin YEAH BABY.

Posted by: Doug at February 18, 2008 8:19 PM


Someone please tell me why, if abortion is such a good thing, you want to reduce it.

Posted by: Mary at February 18, 2008 8:15 PM
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Root canal is a good thing if you need it, but preventive measures that are less expensive, risky and invasive are preferred.

Posted by: FetusFascist at February 18, 2008 8:20 PM



I haven't heard people insist on being called "pro-choice" where root canals are concerned and emphasize how they should be "legal but rare".

You didn't answer my question. If abortion is such a good thing, why do we want to make it rare? Do we want other rights such as religion and speech to be rare?

Posted by: Mary at February 18, 2008 8:26 PM


"So Jill, name anyone presently in politics that has introduced more policies to reduce the number of abortions."

there are many, your party blocks them all from becoming law.

"Root canal is a good thing if you need it, but preventive measures that are less expensive, risky and invasive are preferred."

risky? abortion is risky now FF? I thought abortions were safe?

Posted by: jasper at February 18, 2008 9:07 PM



I haven't heard people insist on being called "pro-choice" where root canals are concerned and emphasize how they should be "legal but rare".

You didn't answer my question. If abortion is such a good thing, why do we want to make it rare? Do we want other rights such as religion and speech to be rare?
Posted by: Mary at February 18, 2008 8:26 PM
........................................................

Abortion is neither good nor bad. It is a procedure. The circumstances surrounding a woman's pregnancy can be such that it is not desirable for her to remain so. It would be really nice if those circumstances were actually addressed. Instead of addressing the practical, the PL propose philosophical/magical non-cures by blaming women for being women to begin with. IMO.

Posted by: Sally at February 18, 2008 9:09 PM


risky? abortion is risky now FF? I thought abortions were safe?

Jasper, if we say that "abortions are risky," then continuing pregnancies and giving birth is much more risky.

If we say that giving birth is "safe," then having abortions is much safer.

Posted by: Doug at February 18, 2008 9:22 PM


Sally,

You say abortion is not good or bad. OK, so why is there such an issue about reducing the incidence? What difference does it make if its not good or bad?
I don't consider face lifts good or bad, they're procedures. I couldn't care less if the incidence is reduced or increased. I've never heard anyone say facelifts should be legal but rare.

Someone please answer my question.


Posted by: Mary at February 18, 2008 9:23 PM


Sally,

You say abortion is not good or bad. OK, so why is there such an issue about reducing the incidence? What difference does it make if its not good or bad?
I don't consider face lifts good or bad, they're procedures. I couldn't care less if the incidence is reduced or increased. I've never heard anyone say facelifts should be legal but rare.

Someone please answer my question.


Posted by: Mary at February 18, 2008 9:23 PM
...................................

What do you not understand about the circumstances surrounding a woman's pregnancy and how they can be inappropriate for continuation of a pregnancy? What do you not understand about actually addressing those issues and making those circumstances rare?

Posted by: Sally at February 18, 2008 9:39 PM


"So Jill, name anyone presently in politics that has introduced more policies to reduce the number of abortions."

there are many, your party blocks them all from becoming law.

"Root canal is a good thing if you need it, but preventive measures that are less expensive, risky and invasive are preferred."

risky? abortion is risky now FF? I thought abortions were safe?

Posted by: jasper at February 18, 2008 9:07 PM
...............................................

Breathing is risky. Women must breath. They do not have to gestate an unwanted pregnancy. Not gestating is less risky than gestating. Why do you find simple logical facts to be so difficult Jasper?

Posted by: Sally at February 18, 2008 10:02 PM


Sally,

What is wrong with abortion that people want to make it rare? I'm not talking about the circumstances surrounding it but the procedure. You said abortion is neither good or bad, its just a procedure. One could say the same about a facelift.
There's no concern about making facelifts rare, why abortion?

Posted by: Mary at February 18, 2008 10:03 PM


Sally,

Breathing is risky? Its a lot riskier if you don't.

Posted by: Mary at February 18, 2008 10:05 PM


Perhaps the number of abortions went down because of the work the pro-life movement has done. There's nothing like a pro-abortion president to motivate pro-lifers to work even harder....

Posted by: km at February 18, 2008 10:45 PM


Sally,
Can you be more specific. What are these circumstances that cause a woman to choose to terminate her pregnancy? A few of the things that come to mind are:

can't afford the expense.
don't like the father, it was a mistake.
need to finish school.
need to focus on my career.

Then theres the ones that were raped or abused and those for whom the sex was not consentual.

What are some of the other specific reasons that I might be missing?

Posted by: Truthseeker at February 19, 2008 12:47 AM


This one is GREAT! You'll love it, I promise. It's only about 1 minute long, so it won't take up much time:

http://hytaipan.home.comcast.net/~hytaipan/media/serenity2.html

Posted by: Anonymous at February 19, 2008 8:40 AM


haha anonymous, that was funny!

Posted by: Bethany at February 19, 2008 9:50 AM


um, no one thinks abortion is "good" any more than heart surgery is "good". Usually abortion means something went WRONG just like any other surgery. Any sane person (including Pro-Choicers) wants to reduce invasive surgeries of ALL types as much as possible, whether it be abortion, heart surgery, etc.

But it is good that the right to it exists. Just like it is good thing that if my arteries get blocked I can get it fixed. Although it probably would have been BETTER for me to have just eaten better and excersized more.

And legal abortion is one of the statistically safest procedures out there. It is certainly MUCH safer than giving birth, even with modern medicine. And I love the way "Pro-Life" activists act all concerned about women's mental health by drumming up concern over "Post-Abortion Syndrome" (which isn't recognized by ANY actual medical or diagnostic manual) but never mention the very real Post Natal Depression experienced by women who give birth. And again the way that pro-lifers are always exaggerating the risks of birth control and invented an Abortion/Breast Cancer link, yet ignore the medical FACTS that birth control and abortion are safer than giving birth, and women who use the Pill have a net 20% lower risk of cancer. And not to mention the utterly patronizing attitude from pro-lifers that women don't really know what they are doing when they get an abortion; although most women don't like that they are in that position, they DO know what they are doing and are not victims. Some concern about women. Real respect for women involves respecting their choices and giving them ALL the information accurately so they can make those choices.

Seriously, do you really believe that people who are pro-choice "Love" abortion? Get your heads out of your asses. The world is not an us-versus-them ideological war zone where people with other views are bloodthirsty stereotypes. Pro-Life leaders propegate that rhetoric to inhibit dialogue and keep their "movements" and followers fiesty and in line, thinking their all fighting some vast evil conspiricy of death. Please. I know people who work for Planned Parenthood, and they don't even like abortion. Its an expesive surgery done often at below cost, and it always means that prevention and society failed a woman. But they are glad that it is legal, available, and safe for those women who find themselves making that choice.

On the other hand, although I believe that MANY pro-life activists really do have the best interests of women and children at heart (I used to be one), and their concern is genuine and intellectual arguments sound, much of the Pro-Life leadership are just professional rabble rousers; their position as professional activists is their meal ticket, and they keep their positions of power only as long as the rhetoric is nasty and the problems unsolved. They perpetuate dishonesty and lies to keep activists going and keep themselves in leadership positions.

If actual dialouge opened up between pro-life and pro-choice, and abortions actually did go down substantially, and people were finding real, intelligent, and mutual solutions to the problem rather than screaming in the streets, people like Judie Brown and Fr. Pavone would have to go find real jobs.

Posted by: former pro-lifer at February 19, 2008 10:38 AM


Its an expesive surgery done often at below cost, and it always means that prevention and society failed a woman

okay, so many things I can say about "that" post, but the piece from above had my head spinning.

SOCIETY failed a woman? How do you figure? Tell me again how a woman gets pregnant?

Posted by: Anonymous at February 19, 2008 10:53 AM


former pro-lifer

not...I don't believe for a second that you were ever actually pro-life.

Posted by: Bethany at February 19, 2008 11:08 AM


I'm interested in your conversion story, former pro-lifer. What made you realize that 1) the embryo/fetus is not an intrinsically valuable human person and/or 2) the mother's bodily autonomy trumps the fetus's right to life?

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at February 19, 2008 11:16 AM


FPL,

I in fact think heart surgery can be very good when it betters or saves a life. The same for any other surgical procedure.
The number of abortions done for rape, incest, threat to the life of the mother, or fetal deformity is anywhere from less than 3-7%. The vast majority of abortions are purely elective.

Why don't the people you know who work at PP not like abortion? That's the question you've failed to answer.

Also fpl, what other surgical procedures do people insist on being called "pro-choice" about? What other rights such as religion and speech do we want to see become "rare"?

Maybe abortion will become rare when it isn't so easily available. Plastic surgery used to be rare and restricted to the rich. Our city is flooded with plastic surgeons who are competing with each other and business is booming. And we ain't talking Beverly Hills here.
I remember when abortion was legalized. The clinics were opened and business boomed. One of the reasons the Chicago hucksters opened the clinics I mentioned. Unsuspecting women flocked to the clinics. The hucksters made a fortune, as did the unqualified medical students who wanted to turn a fast buck.

About breast cancer, you may want to check www.abortionbreastcancer.com. Review the research and draw your own conclusions. Like it or not the research is out there and you and all women have a right to know it and what it says.

Posted by: Mary at February 19, 2008 11:38 AM


FPL,

Aren't women and men ever responsible for an unwanted pregnancy? Why is this society's failure?

Posted by: Mary at February 19, 2008 11:40 AM


FPL,

Maybe society didn't fail her. Maybe some guy felt his obligation to her and their unborn child began and ended with an offer to pay for an abortion. I'll bet more than a few men are thankful for legal abortion. Sure makes walking away from one's responsibility a lot easier.

Posted by: Mary at February 19, 2008 2:03 PM


FPL 10:28:

Pro-Life leaders propegate that rhetoric to inhibit dialogue and keep their "movements" and followers fiesty and in line, thinking their all fighting some vast evil conspiricy of death.

It sounds like your pro-choice leaders are doing a pretty good job at that too.

If actual dialouge opened up between pro-life and pro-choice, and abortions actually did go down substantially, and people were finding real, intelligent, and mutual solutions to the problem rather than screaming in the streets, people like Judie Brown and Fr. Pavone would have to go find real jobs.

That would be a happy day indeed! God bless all dedicated pro-lifers!

Posted by: Janet at February 19, 2008 2:24 PM


Bobby Bambino 11:16am

I hope FPL will respond to your post and share her conversion story with us. We have had a few conversions to the PL side on this blog but I have never heard them spew such anger at the PC side as FPL does to the PL side.

Posted by: Mary at February 19, 2008 2:39 PM


Exactly, Mary. My guess is that there was no new intellectual insight about the nature of the embryo, or a brilliant argument that showed bodily autonomy as being the premiere good, yet something more emotional.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at February 19, 2008 2:51 PM


Bobby Bambino,

My impression is our responses to her first post hit a nerve. There was a lot of anger in FLP's last post.

Posted by: Mary at February 19, 2008 3:33 PM


Mary,

It's always the ex-(whatevers) that are the angriest. Make sense?

Posted by: Janet at February 19, 2008 4:31 PM


It's always the ex-(whatevers) that are the angriest. Make sense?

Janet, you are firing on all cylinders today. Nothinig about FLP here, but I've seen ex-smokers, ex-boozers, ex-vegetarians, ex-carnivores, etc., and yeah, it does work out like that often.

Doug

Posted by: Doug at February 19, 2008 4:35 PM


Um, I was pro-life. Very. It was a phase in college. My big fat liberal family teases me about it now. Believe it or not, people change their minds away from your point of view sometimes, just like they convert too it. And I'm not angry; I don't have anything to be angry about. I've got life pretty good; a great family with no brokeness or divorce, a good relationship with my man (can't beat a best friend who also gives you lots of orgasms yeah!) no bad past to regret, and I've never had to deal with abortion personally. I managed to go to FUS for four years and not get stuck in a convent or a bad marraige at 22 with five kids by 30 LOL. Please do not project a personality on me. I just get fiesty when I'm behind the dark anonymous curtain of my computer.

I've already seen pretty much all of the pro-life, chastity, etc material out there. www.abortionbreastcancer is such a fraud; that "reaserch" can and has been torn up in about 5 minutes. I used to work for a Catholic Diocese, and I graduated from FUS. Been there, done that. But I grew up in a very liberal household, so I always had both sides. In the end I came down on the pro-choice side the more I read about the issue.

I honestly have no idea when an embryo becomes a "person". But the majority of fertilized eggs never even make it to implantation, so fertilization seems to be a pretty ludicrous place to draw the line, especially legally. Early pregnancy especially is just putting peices together to make a human, and the more I read about developement and the more I see pictures of early term embryos, the more I felt that was reinforced for me, that a full grown woman's autonomy, bodily integrity, and especially privacy outwieghed the right of a clump of inanimate cells just beginning to form organs, even if it has different DNA. Its just parts coming together to make a body that will recieve a soul.

Later in pregnancy, of course life is breathed in and a fetus becomes a person. Most cultures have marked "Quickening" as a significant point, and I think there is very little in modern technology to to change that. Roe v Wade did the best it could to at least give a legal framework to the question. Heck, even the BIBLE gives less of a punishment for causing a miscarraige than murdering a born person.

Also, even if you believe a first trimester embryo is a person, nowhere else in the law is a person FORCED to donate their body to keep another person alive. It would be horrendous to hold someone down and force them to give their organs to someone else, or to hook people up to a machine that allowed another person to feed off their body. We don't force people to sacrifice their bodily integrity for others; why would a pregnant woman be any different? Why should a fetus or embryo, with no conciousness of itself, which is the size of a fingernail and looks like a tadpole, who can't even survive independant of using another person's organs, have more of a right to its bodily integrity than the woman carrying it? AFter viability the situation is different; I do think there is a more powerful arguement that a fetus which survive outside the womb has a claim to legal personhood.

I've also had several friends who needed to get abortions for life-threatening reasons. When you take into account ectopic pregnancies, miscarraiges, etc, it seems a little excessive to consider an early pregnancy a human life on the same scale as an born infant or even a late term fetus who is sucking their thumb and responding to a mothers voice.

In the end, I felt the issue was a complex enough one to believe that Roe v Wade was right, and that every woman should have to deal with the answers to these questions herself. I also realized there was NO way to legally protect BOTH early fetal life and respect the bodily integrity and privacy of women. Just compare the experiences of Latin America to western Europe when it comes to abortion laws and how women get treated.

Also, just because I am pro-choice does not mean I am pro-abortion. I DO think abortion should be rare. As a society, we need to explore and impliment REAL, COMPLEX solutions to abortion and unwanted pregnancy. Making abortion illegal is not a real or even effective solution. Never has been. But creating a society which is positive about sexuality, affirms modern women and their agency, and provides for their needs both when trying to prevent pregnancy and when they do choose to have a baby does reduce abortion.

I'm pro-choice as part of a greater belief in reproductive justice. I believe that every woman has the right to make the most intimate sexual and reproductive descions herself and with the people she loves, and to have access to the means to support those descions. I believe women have a right to BE pregnant, to NOT be pregnant, to PREVENT pregnancy, to ACHIEVE pregnancy, to CONTINUE a pregnancy, to keep and raise their own children, to give up for adoption, and for society to give her what she needs to have access to all of the medical care that makes those choices possible. If a woman wants to have thirteen kids, she should have access to the care and social support she needs. Her husband or her should have access to a good job to help support that life. If a woman wants to never be a mother, she should be able to be. If a woman wants only two kids, she should have access to the means. I believe women are smart enough to make these descions themselves. Not everyone is the same; as I grew up and realized that not every woman fits happily into the "Traditional" role I realized that "Choice" doesn't just apply to abortion; "Choice" applies to a woman's entire life.

Also, I became pro-choice because many of the pro-life people I knew personally had very patronizing attitudes about women and repressive views of sex and relationships. When I think of the disgusting stereotypes perpetuated by some of the "chastity" and abstinence materials out there, many which I had to deal with when I worked for the church, it turned me off.

Finally, I became Pro-Choice after the Terri Schiavo situation. The idea of activists and the law getting involved in end of life desicions, which are some of the most complex and painful ones a family makes, just scared the crap out of me. I know I wouldn't want to be hooked up to feeding tubes for 15 years, and I know my parents wouldn't want to be either. I realized that "Pro-Lifers" were only about trying to control other people's intimate descions. I've been pro-choice every since.

As to society failing a woman who gets an abortion, it failes her because it failed to give her accurate information about sexuality. It told her to "Just say no" to sex, even though we all know that even 90% of chastity pledgers fail on their promises at sometime (EVERY SINGLE person I know who has gotten pregnant out of wedlock was making an honest attempt at abstinence until marraige. EVERY ONE) It failed to provide reasonable access to contraceptives when she choose to be sexually active. It failed to provide a culture of acceptance and tolerance for her condition and her child (ie. Catholic School Teachers who get fired for being single and pregnant and conservative parents who lose their shit over it). It failed to provide the education and career training she needs to be successful enough in the workforce to get healthcare and enough money to provide for her child. It failed the man in her life by sucking away and outsourcing the good middle class and working class jobs he needs to be a married husband and a father. It failed to provide her with the long term childcare she needs to help raise that child. In eighteen years, it will fail to help provide that child with the enourmous amount of money he needs to get to college and become employed himself, since getting massively in debt in college is pretty much the only way to get the kind of career that supports a family and adult life anymore, unless you are very lucky.

Its a tired old saying, but it does take a village. Not always, but often when a woman gets an abortion it is because society failed her at some point. Yes, she has a measure of responsibility for her actions also. But as I said before, women with advantages and privilidged background do not get abortions at the same rate as women who do not have those advantages. Making abortion rare means leveling that playing field between women.

Posted by: former pro-lifer at February 19, 2008 7:22 PM


FPL,
Thank you for your sincere response.

I could pose many questions to you regarding that post, but I have one that is really bothering me that I must ask. Since you have seemed to think very deeply about your stance, I figured you'd be the best to ask, since you have also been on both sides of the river.

I hear pc'ers all of the time saying that they are not pro-abortion, as you did, and would like to see abortion become rare by education, etc. I just don't understand how this can be possible, if the main reason for aborting in the first place is a self-centered reason. (I want to finish school first, I want a career first, then kids, I don't want anymore kids, I am not financially able, I am too young, I am just not ready yet, etc.)

My point, and question, is with all of the money and education in the world, how do you fix the self-centered nature in people thus making abortion rare? Isn't there always going to be someone changing their mind about a pregnancy due to unforseen complications in one's life that may just pop up suddenly? Life is funny that way!

Posted by: Anonymous at February 19, 2008 7:52 PM


FPL,

Concerning your friends who needed abortions for life threatening situations. Before Roe v Wade women could always legally receive whatever care was necessary to preserve their health and save their lives in any hospital equipped to help them and yes, this included abortion. I have worked in hospitals, Catholic included, before and after Roe and I have never seen a situation where any woman was allowed to die or where everything necessary wasn't done to save her life, and that includes abortion. That Roe was needed to protect women's lives or preserve their health is a complete fallacy. Thankfully in this day and age there is more specialized care and it rarely comes down to the life of the mother versus that of the unborn.

We can understand that the biblical authors had extremely limited knowledge of prenatal life and "quickening" would be their only point of reference then and was for centuries before advances in medicine and science. People simply had no way of knowing any different.

Society failed the woman when not giving her accurate info on sexuality? Come on FPL, that's just as patronizing as what you accuse PL people of being. The helpless woman that society failed. Of course she can't look for info on her own, its society that must explain to her. Maybe the woman just took no personal responsiblity and uses abortion as birth control. Maybe as I said some man felt his obligation to her began and ended with an offer to pay for an abortion and maybe he just doesn't want to bother with a job. At what point do women become responsible and stop being victims FPL?
Failure to provide contraceptives? Since when? Come on FPL, women have opportunities now like they never have both in education and career choices. Men are the victims too? Good grief isn't anybody responsible for their lives?
Sorry, but I can't buy into this society of victims. Oh, and concerning college, many are run by liberals. Do they plan to lower their tuition or cut their salaries so that more students can get in?
By the way college is not the only means to a career. Technical and community college offers many promising careers and enables students to get college credit courses at cheaper rates.
But I suppose its easier to sit around and be a victim waiting for society to smile upon us.
Also our culture is very accepting of single motherhood, far more so than it was in my day.

FPL have you any idea the teenage girls and young women I have tried so hard to talk out of becoming pregnant? Yes you read that right. These girls and young women wanted to have babies. Maybe its all this sexuality they get thrown at them from TV, the media, and Hollywood. Do we need these celebs gushing on the joys of single motherhood? And I see these girls throwing their futures down the toilet because they see babies as toys or something that takes care of themselves. For the most part they end of trapped in lives of welfare dependency, dead end jobs, abusive relationships and poverty. Believe me, if birth control would solve this problem I would spoon feed it to them myself. Don't ever assume these girls or young women didn't know how to prevent pregnancy or even wanted to. Its easier to blame society.

This blaming society claptrap is older than me FPL. I remember when criminals were "victims", society was to blame. We simply have to understand them. People weren't to blame for their own failings, it was "society". Please.

Abortion will not close any gap between rich and poor or level any playing field. The poor woman will leave the clinic just as poor as when she went in. The rich woman will return to her privileged life.

By the way we were told over 35 years ago legal abortion would cure poverty. Why hasn't it?

Posted by: Mary at February 19, 2008 8:40 PM


ally,

What is wrong with abortion that people want to make it rare? I'm not talking about the circumstances surrounding it but the procedure. You said abortion is neither good or bad, its just a procedure. One could say the same about a facelift.
There's no concern about making facelifts rare, why abortion?

Posted by: Mary at February 18, 2008 10:03 PM

......................................................

Mary, I'm more than certain that many consider face lifts to be morally wrong. These people do not pretend that they care about the reasoning for the facelift and even less about making them illegal. They simply like to make themselves feel better about their lives by denigrating others.
What would be your answer to a lunatic fringe wishing to outlaw plastic surgery? Explain you correlation.

Posted by: Sally at February 19, 2008 8:40 PM


Sally,

Breathing is risky? Its a lot riskier if you don't.

Posted by: Mary at February 18, 2008 10:05 PM
....................................

That pretty much depends on the circumstances now doesn't it? Don't breath or breath in chlorine. Up to you. Either control your bodily functions or die.

Posted by: Sally at February 19, 2008 8:47 PM


FPL,

One of the original attorneys on the Roe v Wade case, Ron Weddington, wrote to then president-elect Bill Clinton urging the use of abortion "to eliminate the barely educated, unhealthy, and poor segment of our country".

A level playing field?

Posted by: Mary at February 19, 2008 8:50 PM


ally,
Can you be more specific. What are these circumstances that cause a woman to choose to terminate her pregnancy? A few of the things that come to mind are:

can't afford the expense.
don't like the father, it was a mistake.
need to finish school.
need to focus on my career.

Then theres the ones that were raped or abused and those for whom the sex was not consentual.

What are some of the other specific reasons that I might be missing?

Posted by: Truthseeker at February 19, 2008 12:47 AM
..............................

How many more do you need? Which ones are you PL making major inroads into solving? Oh that's right, you don't care. If everyone would just toke on the joint of jesus and hold hands while singing jesus loves the little children, all of the tough stuff would just go away.

Posted by: Sally at February 19, 2008 8:53 PM


Sally, 10:03PM

I only use the example of facelifts to make a point. I feel they are procedures, neither right or wrong, as you feel about abortion.
I couldn't care less if the rate of facelifts goes up or down. No one, myself included, argues they should be legal but rare.
If someone tells me they consider facelifts vain and sinful, then they've given me their reason for opposing them.

No one has told me yet why abortions should be rare. Why, what's wrong with them?

Posted by: Mary at February 19, 2008 8:58 PM


Sally 8:47PM

Breathing chlorine or not breathing at all will have the same consequence. You're toast either way.

Posted by: Mary at February 19, 2008 8:59 PM


LOL, Mary...That comment made me go "hmmmmmmmm?" too!

Posted by: Anonymous at February 19, 2008 9:08 PM


Anonymous,

thank you for a sincere and thoughtful question. I guess my only thought on that is that first of all, I don't think we can really make a value judgement on what goes on inside someone's heart when they make an intimate desicion like that. What may look "self centered" to us may be a matter of survival or necessity for her. There is nothing self centered about wanting to finish school or needing to be a financially secure adult before having a baby; that is a matter of necessity! But if you are not ready to have a baby, but you ARE ready to being a sexual relationship (heck, even most MARRIED couples aren't ready to have babies when they first get married), there are ways of preventing pregnancy which are almost 99% effective. Unfortunately, they are also expensive, and require education to use.

Part of being pro-choice is, at least to me, realizing that the decisions about life, sex, and reproductive health are complex and personal. The goal in being pro-choice, in relation to reducing abortion, is not reading women's hearts; it is make all of the options and education available EARLY in a woman's life so that she is empowered and educated to make the best choices for her to begin with, and has the economic access to them to follow through. Most women would much rather prevent an unplanned pregnancy to begin with, and our society has the knowledge and tools, with modern birthcontrol, to do with with astounding sucess rate. If women have better education and more access, the situations where they come to consider abortion are much more rare.

And if they do find themselve in that situation, even after being responsible with birth control, the best way to reduce abortion is for society to ensure that the pregnant woman has total access to all that she needs, not just in the short term but in the long run, to raise that child if she chooses, or give it up for adoption. Pro-choice does not mean being pro-abortion; it means always being supportive of the choices women make with their lives, including the choice to continue the pregnancy and KEEP a child. But a woman who doesn't have access to good health care, economic justice, or emotional support often doesn't have a real choice when deciding between abortion and keeping a baby; this why being pro-choice is also about being pro-helping pregnant women be able to keep their babies if they want.

That doesn't mean that will totally eliminate abortion, but nothing will; the experience of human history and abortion laws around the world show that even with the strictest abortion laws women will still get them. But if a woman has reproductive justice and freedom early on in the form of knowledge, education, access, and empowerment, she will be less likely to end up in that position where abortion will seem like the best option.

That said, there will still be women who, after all of that, will decide abortion is the best option. I can't say whether their reasons are self centered or not. But I think the decision is complex enough that they should make it themselves. To me that is what being pro-choice is about; its about helping women make and have access to all of the choices.

Also, I want to point to the Netherlands, which basically does all that I'm talkin about, and has one of the lowest abortion rates in the world. So it DOES work.

And Mary; women lose their lives in many countries because the abortion that was necessary to save it was illegal (El Salvador, Nicaragua). And orthodox Catholic Moral Teaching teaches that a direct abortion, EVEN TO SAVE A MOTHERS LIFE, is immoral and should be illegal. This is the view that American Life League promotes. Technically, a woman with an ectopic pregnancy has to wait until her tube becomes infected and take the whole tube out rather than flushing the embryo out with a drug, because the former is an "indirect" abortion and the latter is a direct abortion. If my friends where following Catholic Morality, and what people like Judie Brown want to make law, they would have had to wait until their uterus had become so infected that they had to have an entire hysterectomy (indirect) rather than taking out the fetus before it cause further problems (direct abortion). Look it up. It is a VERY important distinction with real consequences for women and their health.

And I never said women are victims. But society does fail young girls when they don't have all the knowledge about their bodies. It doesn't mean they aren't responsible for their choices, but many of them don't have what they need to make the BEST choices. And "Abstinence Only" and "Chastity" organizations do a good job of keeping them ignorant, with 80% of federally funded programs containing false or misleading information. And yes, women have choices like never before. But some women have more choices than others. I have rich, generous parents and good test scores, so I've always had all of the choices available to me easily. A girl with a rough family life with no money and poor schools does not have the same choices. Being rich and smart should not be a prerequisite for reproductive control of your own life. Its really easy to just say "oh, people should be responsible for themselves". But when the middle and working classes have had their infrastructe and jobs ripped out from under them their ability to just "take care of themselves" becomes much harder. Try telling those former employees of Ford and GM in Detroit to "just take care of themselves" when the jobs they would use to do just that are overseas being done for half the wage (sorry, but I'm from Michigan, so I've seen the collapse of working class up close and personal. One reason I can be proud of my parents is that they have ALWAYS, even in the hard times, paid a living wage to their employees. My dad would give his right arm to make sure that the guys that work for him can support their families). Its not a society of victims; its not an "either/or" thing. People have to be responsible for themselves, but society has to also provide means for people to accomplish this. We DO have a social responsibility for each other; and for as "Christian" as many people claim to be and as well read you could all use to add a little "Rerum Novarum" to your Christian reading list. Individualist capitalism is NOT Catholic or Christian. Social and personal responsibility are NOT mutually exclusive; a culture needs cooperation between BOTH to function.

Sure, there are girls who have babies because they don;t see anything else better for themselves. And we as a society have to ask "Why IS that? Why do these girls have nothing better to look forward to? What can we do to solve the underlying problem?" Because we have a culture have a responsibility to give women the full range of choices for their lives. Women who have access to positive choices, academic success, and an hopeful future do not usually choose to have babies at sixteen.

And I never said abortion would level the playing field. I said a more level playing field would reduce abortion :)

And poverty and violent crime has been reduced, along many other negative social blights like adultery, spousal abuse, and loveless marraiges, because of greater reproductive and relationship freedom. Believe it or not, divorce has even been going down since 1970. As much as we like to piss and moan about how awful life is "these days" compared to the good old "those days", we really have it pretty good compared to the reality of the old days. Heck, a survery in the 50s showed that a young bride considered her man a "Good husband" if he had a decent job, didn't drink too much, and *didn't hit her*. Some high standards for those good old days!!!

Posted by: former pro-lifer at February 19, 2008 9:48 PM


FPL,
Thank you so much for the response. My understanding of where you're coming from is much clearer now. However, we will definately disagree on the self-centered part. I just don't see women ever having the exact, perfect circumstances to give birth to a baby in order to make abortion "rare". And with PP around, I don't see beneficiaries trying to find ways to do so.

Posted by: Anonymous at February 19, 2008 10:02 PM


former pro-lifer, nice posts, a pleasure to read.

Posted by: Doug at February 19, 2008 10:32 PM


FPL,

I can't speak for other countries, only what I have observed working in hospitals here, and that includes Catholic hospitals. I have never seen any woman allowed to die or everything necessary to save her life not done. In fact I know of an abortion performed in the local Catholic hospital many years ago to save the woman's life, after all other efforts were unsuccessful.
I work in a Catholic hospital now and know of a case where an early induction abortion was going to be done on a 5 month pregnant woman with an infected uterus. Thankfully the woman recovered and it was not necessary. People may oppose abortions to save a mother's life, just as people have religious opposition to medical care. Fine, let them and don't lose any sleep over it. No one's going to be allowed to die because of the beliefs of some people.

I can't agree its society's failure if young girls don't have knowledge. What about parents? For some in our society there are cultural and religious barriers. Also schools teach biology. I had no formal sex ed in my day but we did have biology classes and we learned plenty, even my mother was unpleasantly surprised what was in our biology books! Believe me, no one was a bigger prude, as much as I love her.
I too am from Michigan and what I hear from my family is the gross mismanagement of the governor. But I'm not getting into any political debates here.
But I also see people FPL who take no responsiblity for their lives, who don't work or go to school, despite having opportunities, who in effect throw their lives and potential down the toilet and I'm sorry, but I do not agree this is society's fault.
I see this in families too that have money so having wealth or not is not always relevant. There are people who struggle and succeed from nothing, there are people who have everything and squander it.

Yes I believe in social as well as personal responsibility. That is why I do volunteer work. That is why I've worked at one of the crisis pregnancy centers, there are over 3,000 in the country offering assistance to women and girls with clothing, medical referrals, emergency shelter, etc, and also volunteer at the local mother's and infants home. PL people were instrumental in passing a law that allowed the local home to take in minor pregnant girls who were in danger of abuse, where before they had to have committed an offense and have a court order. Personally I feel private charities do what no government agency can ever hope to accomplish but again that's another topic.

Why do these girls want to have babies? I've encountered teenage girls in college and planning futures for themselves, I've encountered girls who aren't. I only wish that knowing they have opportunities, which many of them have, would keep them from having babies at sixteen. It doesn't. I wish that opportunities such as available scholarships for low income students and the advanced education available in our community would make these girls want to better their lives and circumstances. It doesn't. I don't have an answer. Its not so much they don't see a future for themselves, many in fact have wonderful opportunities, as it is they view a baby as something that will love them, something that is theirs. There is absolutely no truth to the fallacy they do this to get welfare. Most of them don't plan that well. I can best describe them as little girls living in a dream world and babies as cute toys. They may be the children of single mothers, repeating history. I have seen plenty of that.
I feel overexposure to sexuality in the media as well as the glamorizing of illegitimacy plays a role. People smoked because Hollywood made it look glamorous, why not have babies for the same reason? Incidentally, I understand one of the years that had the highest rates of illegitimacy was 1918, the year my mother was born 8 months after her mother married by the way. Everything old is new again.

A more level playing field? I don't believe there is any such animal. Life isn't fair, never has been and never will be. People will always have more talent, physical abilities, better health, intelligence, ambition, and opportunity than others.

Crime and poverty statistics go up and down in streaks, it also depends on where you live. I read the murder rate in New Orleans just had a 30% increase. My hometown was the murder capital of the nation for a while, now it ranks 5th. Also, definitions of poverty will vary. Its interesting that our poverty would be unheard luxury to most of the world's poor.

Yes I do remember the "good old days" but unlike you, I don't know that today is so much better. Sometimes you exchange one set of problems for another. I applaud battered women's shelters, my mother could have used one, but still encounter women who consider themselves lucky to be stuck with some bum. I think all this sex on tv and media has been catastrophic for young girls. I remember my mother telling me to come home when the street lights came on, now I'd be dodging drive by shooters. I don't know. I see good and bad in both eras.

It should be pointed out that it was Catholics who opened the first women's college in my hometown in 1910, a college that still is in service and I believe is co-ed. Also, my college reported an increase in female enrollment from 35% to 54% from 1960 to now.

Posted by: Mary at February 19, 2008 11:02 PM


FPL,

You mentioned ectopic pregnancies and the American Life League.
Actually the great risk involved is tubal rupture, not infection. Are you sure you read this right? Sometimes the tube is leaking or ruptured on the patient's arrival, I was gotten out of bed for just such a situation a few months ago when emergency surgery had to be performed.
I haven't read ALLs stand on this but its really a no brainer. There is absolutely no other alternative except waiting for a rupture. We're very relieved to get these before they rupture and we operate without a moment's hesitation.

Posted by: Mary at February 19, 2008 11:35 PM


No one is going to be allowed to die because of the beliefs of some people? It is happening in Latin America right now, and advocated by major Pro-Life organizations in America. The South Dakota ban was worded in a way that would have banned even direct abortion to save a woman's life (although not indirect). Human Life Amendments and "Personhood" for fertilized eggs would have this legal result on women and their health. It is very much something I would loose sleep over, because it is something that has been made a reality in other countries and something that certain people want to make a reality here.

Of course there will always be girls who want babies for many reasons. Again, pro-choice means being pro- ALL Choices. If a girl can reasonably think she can care for a child, why not? For many young women who are single mothers, most of the men in their social circle are unmarraigeable. They see single motherhood as the best way.

Life isn't fair, but shouldn't we do all we can to help make it so? Saying life isn't fair can just be an excuse to ignore the suffering of others.

Posted by: former pro-lifer at February 19, 2008 11:51 PM


FPL,

I was talking about here in the US. I can't answer for Latin America or other countries or cultures. The South Dakota ban did make such an exception and I know of no bans that don't. They wouldn't survive the Supreme Court challenge without one.
Like I said, certain people also oppose medical intervention for injury or illness. So what? Let them think what they want. Medical care won't cease to exist because of them.
Why after years of treating pregnant women with life or health issues, even when abortion laws were at their strictest, would American hospitals suddenly stop? We're suddenly going to just stand and watch a woman bleed to death in the ER? Like I said FPL, don't lose any sleep over it. Its absurd to think such a thing would happen anymore than we'd stop treating people because some object to medical intervention.

I'm afraid that for these girls I mentioned its a life of poverty, low end jobs, and welfare. That's what is so difficult for me to handle. They don't see this until after they have made the "choice" to have a baby at 16. The child will likely grow up to repeat the pattern.

I in no way condone ignoring the suffering of others. I am involved in volunteer work and I donate to charities of my choice, the ones I know actually do something. Saying life isn't fair is a fact, not an excuse to ignore suffering. Absolutely, we should do everything in our power and ability to help those truly in need. But I'm sorry to say that in my opinion life will never be a level playing field or fair.

Posted by: Mary at February 20, 2008 12:21 AM


FPL is likely a made-up canned character from a pro-abort troll. Sally on the other hand is just here to spew venom.

Sally,
You go on and on about "why don't we do something to remedy the situation that caises the woman to choose abortion." I give you a thoughful reply and your response is to strike out at all pro-life people and ridicule Jesus. I am not sure why people blog with you but I will not waste any more of my time on your posts.

Posted by: Truthseeker at February 20, 2008 1:14 AM


Mary said:
*********
Sally,
You say abortion is not good or bad. OK, so why is there such an issue about reducing the incidence? What difference does it make if its not good or bad?
I don't consider face lifts good or bad, they're procedures. I couldn't care less if the incidence is reduced or increased. I've never heard anyone say facelifts should be legal but rare.

Someone please answer my question.
Posted by: Mary at February 18, 2008 9:23 PM
*********

Mary,
I think they believe it should be rare because it is good policy to protect human life.

Posted by: Truthseeker at February 20, 2008 3:35 AM


Poor Truthseeker.
Sad Eyed Sally is the result of a person being raised in a family of bigots and the tradition of sex is a death act.
Ask her about all the death that was delivered through their sex organs beginning with some great, great, grandmother who was a member of the Know Nothing Party.
A decision has been made to allow her to post since she is needed for the oppositional p.o.v. Since fifty percent,more or less, of the posters here
are for abortion, Sad Eyed Sally is then "used" as a example of those who decide that killing their product of pleasure, are "touched in the head." Of course Sally is the product of her enviroment and heredity which makes her incapable of knowing that her family klan principle, that sex is a dangerous death act(see three generations of family members having dead babies by abortion and not being able to carry a fetus to term), and hanging on to 19th century anti-Catholic bigotry of the KKK.

Same with FF, who loves animals more then humans and continues to kill the animals that she loves.
Doug is allowed to post because he posted a picture of himself with a strong square jaw, which excites the instincts in women to never reproduce with him. A person who evidently needs to deny his love of being Captain Blood of the USS Abortion, when its suits his sophistry.
But, sadly, Doug is a hedonist, gunning for Epicurean selections, since his principle of life is based on pain and pleasure. Of course Doug is the product of failed Protestantism which has produced millions of such self made rational Hedonist.
As pain increases and pleasure becomes more fleeting, from the natural law of aging, Doug will be left to confront his philosophy more closely and personally.
Interesting enough, no one can actually "see" pain, or accurately measure pain with any instrument of science to this day. On a scale of one to ten, sir, what level of pain are you in?
In the end, Doug, to pro-child masturbationist, who post here, you will find nothing more then a collection of cowards devoted to their pursuit of happiness, based on something dying from their pursuit of pleasure.
Ah, abortion, the breakfast of cowards.




Posted by: yllas at February 20, 2008 3:38 AM


Hey there FPL.

"I honestly have no idea when an embryo becomes a "person". But the majority of fertilized eggs never even make it to implantation, so fertilization seems to be a pretty ludicrous place to draw the line, especially legally."

Above you commit the naturalistic fallacy; Because an action happens often in nature, it is permissible to perform that action. This however, leads to absurdities. In some parts of the world, infant mortality rate is extremely high because of poor infant care, and many newborns die. So because this happens so often, we would conclude that newborns in that part of the world are not persons.

" Early pregnancy especially is just putting peices together to make a human, and the more I read about developement and the more I see pictures of early term embryos, the more I felt that was reinforced for me"

Drawing your conclusion from "the more I see pictures of early term embryos" is extremely unscientific. The more I look at the earth, the more it seems flat. It is a biological fact that each and every one of us was once an embryo. So if one had killed the embryo that was once me, that would be killing me. Biology tells us exactly the opposite of your conclusion. It is completely distinct from the mother. The embryo is a complete integrated whole who, given proper care and environment (just like us) will grow and develop on its own. It has the natural capacity to grow into a fetus, infant, adolescent, and adult.

"...that a full grown woman's autonomy, bodily integrity, and especially privacy outwieghed the right of a clump of inanimate cells just beginning to form organs, even if it has different DNA. Its just parts coming together to make a body that will recieve a soul."

We are all just a clump of cells. The fact is that it is ontologically the same being when it's an embryo and when it's an adult. You can point to no substantial change that occurs after fertilization until birth. And don't confuse the issue by talking about a soul. Religion has nothing to do with the issue.

"Later in pregnancy, of course life is breathed in and a fetus becomes a person. Most cultures have marked "Quickening" as a significant point, and I think there is very little in modern technology to to change that."

Quickening was used when people were ignorant of biology. In modern technology, we have science, and science changes the idea from the dark ages that quickening is when life begins.

"Roe v Wade did the best it could to at least give a legal framework to the question. Heck, even the BIBLE gives less of a punishment for causing a miscarraige than murdering a born person."

Again, religion has nothing to do with anything.

"Also, even if you believe a first trimester embryo is a person, nowhere else in the law is a person FORCED to donate their body to keep another person alive. It would be horrendous to hold someone down and force them to give their organs to someone else, or to hook people up to a machine that allowed another person to feed off their body. We don't force people to sacrifice their bodily integrity for others; why would a pregnant woman be any different?"

I would like to know where in the law we find that a person is allowed to directly and willfully kill an innocent person for any and all reasons. The comparison to a machine (thank you Judith Jarvis Thompson) or a kidney donation is essentially different because one is not directly and willfully killing someone.

"Why should a fetus or embryo, with no conciousness of itself, which is the size of a fingernail and looks like a tadpole, who can't even survive independant of using another person's organs, have more of a right to its bodily integrity than the woman carrying it?"

You mentioned above how you don't know when the embryo becomes a person, yet you seem to imply here that consciousness is a necessary condition for personhood. Fair enough. Now when I"m asleep I'm unconscious. Does that take away my personhood? People in comas can be unconscious and then regain it. Your logic would remove their personhood temporarily.

You mention that the fetus looks like a tadpole. Again, this is the beauty of science. Even though they look the same, scientifically, we can verify that they have a completely different essence. You can't go by looks, otherwise, you'll believe that the earth is flat.

"AFter viability the situation is different; I do think there is a more powerful arguement that a fetus which survive outside the womb has a claim to legal personhood."

Now what happened to bodily autonomy of the woman? Because if she has the right to do what she wishes with her body, why does that stop after the fetus is viable? This idea that after viability abortion should be not be permissible undermines bodily autonomy becuaes it shows that bodily autonomy is NOT an absolute right. You just said that there is a certain condition that now trumps the women's right to do what she wishes with her body. So you do equate personhood with viability. If it isn't a person, then no one needs this "bodily autonomy" argument because no one would have a problem removing just a clump of cells. If one doesn't hold the bodily autonomy argument to it's logical conclusion (i.e. that abortion should be permissible always and for any reason because the women can do what she wishes with her body) then the bodily autonomy argument is just a smoke screen.

So here is what I conclude. You believe in the right to an abortion until viability based solely on the fact that until the fetus is viable, it is not a human person.

I don't mean to be harsh or mean sounding in this post (I think I am). I would strongly recommend you read the book "Defending Life" by Frank Beckwith as well as the book published just this year "Embryo" by Robert George. They use science and philosophy to show why the "pro-choice" position is seriously flawed, addressing all the arguments you made and many more in great detail. God love you.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at February 20, 2008 7:49 AM


BOBBY, great post!!

Posted by: Bethany at February 20, 2008 8:24 AM


Thanks Bethany. BTW, those books I recommended are simply AMAZING! I highly, highly recommend every pro-lifer to read them. Everything I say is stolen from them.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at February 20, 2008 8:37 AM


"FPL is likely a made-up canned character from a pro-abort troll. "

Fascinating, Truthseeker! No intelligent response to me so I'm "made up". I've never experienced being fictional so it must be fascinating.

But, since I am real, and used to be pro-life, I'll answer Bobby's disagreements, which I am familiar with. I am also familiar with those books. You are not mean, Bobby. Your arguments are actually very good and I used to accept them. But I've come to disagree.

I was also a sperm and egg at one time; was preventing that killing me?

Of course many embroys go on to become human persons. But again, the vast majority don't. They die on their own. They're blighted, or defective, or they just float away and never implant. And amazing amount of things has to go right for a fertilized egg, which really IS a bunch of as yet undifferentited cells, to become human. It has no conciousness, no animation, no life outside the one it receives from its mother. An early term embryo is not animated; it is parts awaiting life. If those developing parts make it far enough into the pregnancy, they do become viable on their own. They do become animated with human life and should be protected. But again, until that point, to give them the legal status of "Person" equal to that of a kicking, breathing infant or a concious, adult woman is just silly, as well as unworkable.

And yes, quickening was used before people knew everything about biology and DNA. But people were WELL aware that a pregnancy was nine months long, that there was a fetus inside the woman from the point of conception on which would grow into a seperate human, and I'm sure many women had miscarraiges and saw what little early fetuses looked like. They weren't THAT ignorant; yet they still, including many theologins, believed that the animated soul or human personhood was not infused into those human parts until well into the pregnancy.

Most Laws have ALWAYS recognized birth as the beginning of personhood. And the question of at what point before that the soul is infused IS a religious and philosophical question that has nothing to do with science, but everything to do with personal belief. Which is why I'm pro-choice; that question is complicated and personal enough for every woman to deal with herself. THere is no way that science can "prove" personhood; science is about the physical world, not the metaphysical. Proving personhood based on science is like using religion to show how photosynthesis works.

And "Bodily Autonomy" is not a smokescreen. It is logical, that a woman has a right to make decisions regarding her own body always. Before viabilty, before personhood is established, it should be obvious that her right to that bodily integrity is superior to the right of an embryo to continue its developement, because she is an animated, legal person, with conciousness, personality, possesion of self, and agency. After viability, or "quickening", or animation, or whatever you want to call it, the fetus also has a claim to personhood and a right to THEIR own boldily integrity. Because a fetus at this point can theoretically survive on its own, if it was threatening a woman's bodily integrity, it could be prematurely delivered and continue its developement without her.

In some very complicated situations, a fetus is so severely deformed, and usually non-viable after birth anyway (like with anacephely), that the only way to preserve the woman's life and health is a late abortion. In situations like that, I think a woman's right to physical integrity outwiegh that of the deformed fetus, who is non viable anyway.

So I don't think it is a smokescreen. I think it is very logical to say that before a fetus is animated, the woman's right to her bodily integrity trumps that of the parts being put together inside her. After the fetus is animated with life and can survive on its own, it has its own claim to bodily integrity that doesn't compete with the woman's because it can survive on its own.

Also, the whole "Pro-Life"/"Pro-Choice" debate is centered about how the LAW should deal with life in utereo, and I think that, even if you do think that life begins at conception, there are numerous difficulties with LEGALLY protecting it as such from the moment of fertilization. Being pro-choice doesn't necessarily mean you have no respect for a fetus, it means that you just respect the woman's right to make those descions on her own more, and recognize her legal rights are superiour to that of cells with no possesion of self or agency.

Posted by: former pro-lifer at February 20, 2008 10:45 AM


Hi there. I don't have a lot of time, but there are still a few things I want to address.

"I was also a sperm and egg at one time; was preventing that killing me?"

No, you were not. That is where science draws the line. You will find nothing in the scientific literature that says you were sperm or an oocyte. At the instant of fertalization is when you came into being.

"But again, the vast majority don't. They die on their own. They're blighted, or defective, or they just float away and never implant."

Again, naturalistic fallacy.

"And "Bodily Autonomy" is not a smokescreen. It is logical, that a woman has a right to make decisions regarding her own body always. Before viabilty, before personhood is established, it should be obvious that her right to that bodily integrity is superior to the right of an embryo to continue its developement, because she is an animated, legal person, with conciousness, personality, possesion of self, and agency. After viability, or "quickening", or animation, or whatever you want to call it, the fetus also has a claim to personhood and a right to THEIR own boldily integrity. Because a fetus at this point can theoretically survive on its own, if it was threatening a woman's bodily integrity, it could be prematurely delivered and continue its developement without her."

It is a smoke screen IF you do not take it to it's logical conclusion. You are confusing two arguments. What you are saying is that a woman has bodily autonomy over a non person. NO ONE would argue this point. My point is that the embryo is a person. You don't agree with that. Okay, fair enough. But then there is no reason to appeal to bodily autonomy. Just argue that the embryo is not a person. But see you back yourself into a corner by trying to do too much. The original purpose of the bodily autonomy argument as presented by Judith Jarvis Thomson's article from the 1970s "A Defense of Abortion" was to CONCEDE to pro-lifers that even if the embryo is a person, the women still has a right to an abortion. Okay, fine. But if that is the case, then there is no difference between the person of the embryo and the person of the viable fetus still living in the mother. If you don't accept late term abortions, you undermine the bodily autonomy argument because bodily autonomy is an ABSOLUTE right; according to those who hold to it, it trumps the right to life of the embryo, who is a person for the sake of argument.

So you need to be consistent here. Either the non-viable fetus is not a person, and therefore abortion is fine (and no mention of bodily autonomy needs to be made) or the women has a right to an abortion because of a right to bodily autonomy, in which case she should be able to abort through all 9 months of pregnancy for any and all reasons. Which argument do you hold to? Because one undermines the other.

So have you read Beckwith and George?

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at February 20, 2008 11:05 AM


Oh, and God love you. :)

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at February 20, 2008 11:06 AM


Actually, now that I think more carefully about it, "smokescreen" is not quite the proper word (this is my bad). What I mean is that when one has a personhood theory and a "cut off" for abortion, and then attepts add further to their argument with bodily autonomy, in reality it undercute their argument, even though on the surface it looks like it strengthens it. So that isn't really smokescreen at all, is it? Ehh, I'm a bum.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at February 20, 2008 11:16 AM


Bobby: Ehh, I'm a bum.

Not.





WORD.

Posted by: Doug at February 20, 2008 10:22 PM


MESSAGE

Posted by: ISHMAel back at February 29, 2008 6:48 AM