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Aug 06 2013

Star Parker Doesn’t Understand Abortion

Big News there? A right wing conservative doesn’t understand medicine? In other news, water is wet and it’s hot in India.

In a poll done by Gallup earlier this year, the biggest complaint lodged against the Republican Party was “inability to compromise.”

No. I would point out that the Republican Party has forgotten what the term “republic” means and instead has thrown it’s lot in with the ultra rich, large business lobby and the ultra religious resulting in a deadly trifecta of pro-ignorance policies. It literally is the stupidest option. We saw that when they made a fucking torture victim run on a pro-torture (Sorry! Enhanced Questioning or whatever euphemism we are calling it these days) ticket.

No. I am afraid the Republican Party’s problem is that it is completely out of touch with reality and relies on people who are equally out of touch with reality to push it’s plans through.

And Star Parker’s abortion rant is just one more of these things.

When I read the daily headlines, I see this theme continue.

Republicans, particularly tea party Republicans, are portrayed as obstructionist, extreme, unreasonable, and unwilling to compromise.

Tea Party Republicans are borderline traitorous idiots who feared that Obama is a secret fucking Kenyan. I think if we are being polite they can be considered that. If we are being realistic they are imbeciles of the highest calibre who have been repeatedly proven wrong but as a testament to the power of stupid people in groups we have to satiate their moronic demands.

These are people such as Joe the plumber who opposed tax increases for the rich despite getting a tax cut himself because he was just that ignorant of what political changes meant to him. These are people who believe in Alex Jones and of secret societies and race wars and whatever bullshit you want. In short? We should not be taking these people seriously in any real conversation and instead be thinking about how to educate the future generations so we run out of these idiots.

The very notion of a poor person voting republican is like rats voting for the cat.

But let’s get perspective.

If we are talking about trying to decide what day of the week to collect the garbage, and one wants Monday and one wants Friday, so the side that refuses to compromise on Wednesday might but be considerable unreasonable.

But this isn’t the kind of national discussion we are having today.

No. We are discussing things like the right for women to have access to BASIC FUCKING HEALTHCARE. I have repeated this over and over again. Abortions are BASIC gynaecology. As are real and proper sex education rather than this “fear the cock monster” bullshit that American Right Wingers like pushing on us.

Some things are simply true and some things false. Some things are simply right and some wrong.

This kind of discussion does not lend to splitting things down the middle.

Few today would look back on the horrible national dispute about slavery and claim that the problem was inability to compromise.

You are right. We cannot compromise on Slavery.

The banning of abortions is nothing but forcing women and doctors to be slaves to a religious agenda.

As Abraham Lincoln put it so clearly in his second inaugural address, delivered while the Civil War still raged: “Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other.”

And if you think a wise and benevolent god sat and watched impotently as his worshippers shot each other over a stupid book rather than an ideological system then you must be daft. Abraham Lincoln may  have wanted to free slaves to spite the Southerners but he certainly was not in favour of treating black people as equals. When the constitution was written, black people  were not considered “human”.

Sometimes worldviews clash and resolution can come only from drawing the line in the sand and one view prevailing over the other.

We are having today a battle for the soul of our nation. There are a number of key areas of our national debate that are about principle, about right and wrong, that do not lend themselves to compromise. This is about which worldview will prevail.

One of these issues is most certainly abortion.

No it is not. It really is not. 95% of all abortion occurs in the first trimester (12th week) and the remainder in mainly the second trimester (24th week). The few “late” abortions that occur are tragedies. They are usually wanted babies OR are babies created in horrid circumstances. In such cases it is a kindness to the mother to terminate the unfeeling, unformed foetus rather than say  bear it.

You will not prevail. We have science on our side.

We have a habit of portraying childbirth as elegant and beautiful. A miracle of nature.

Not the physiological attempt at passing a 2 to 3 Kg object through your pelvis through some muscular tetris. An act so traumatic that our body doses us with hormones that alter perception of pain in order to make the event seem pleasant. And an act once so dangerous that it was the biggest cause of death in women until the advent of modern obstetrics.

And Star here is not a doctor nor does she understand why abortions are needed.

The trial of abortion doctor and now convicted murderer Kermit Gosnell delivered a wake up call to the nation.

The Gosnell trial did for our national consciousness what ultrasound images provoke in a pregnant woman. Graphic pictures of a live child in the womb purge any sense that it is possible to be casual about abortion.

And John Wayne Gacy taught us to fear clowns….

No wait. That’s stupid. Fear of clowns is stupid as is the fear of “abortion doctors”. Kermit Gosnell broke various medical ideas on abortion and so is incorrect by the standards of medicine. However.

What Star Parker is creating is not fewer Kermits. But more of them. Why? If we have no Obs/Gynae willing to handle abortions then who do you think is going to be doing them? Oh right. Amateurs. Amateurs who are moore likely to do something like Gosnell.

Unfortunately, the abortion issue – the question about when life begins – is often left to dry and abstract argument.

It’s very simple. Viability is set in the west at 24 weeks. Not because of brains or hearts but because of lungs. The religious are so fascinated with brains and hearts that they forget you need other things to live. Like oxygen. Or indeed things like kidneys. And simply “lungs support life” is not enough. Quality of life is important too.

What’s the point of having a broken brain and a functional heart if you couldn’t breathe at birth and so had portions of your brain die? What’s the point of watching a 20 week old baby struggle to breathe and die slowly or worse live on with the neurological damage caused by that? Your lungs mature by 24 weeks. Which is why  we see a marked increase in survivability in the premature.

But in the case of late term abortion, like ultrasound pictures, the truth is graphically clear. We’re talking about destruction of a live, feeling human being. The Gosnell trial showed the nation that in American today we have abortion factories where live children are being killed.

No. A moving baby at 14 weeks is not necessarily capable of life. Just because it looks like a baby doesn’t mean it’s developed internally.

No Lungs = Just As Dead as No Brain or No Heart or No Kidneys or Liver or GIT. Or Pancreas. In fact we are so fascinated with the brain and heart we would think that is all that’s needed to live.

It is alive but it’s not a human being yet. Even after birth the child is still developing and growing. Remember our babies are born “early” and under developed. The baby’s smile is a random one. A new born baby smiles because smiling babies survive more. Mummy likes smiling babies. If you replaced the mother with a cardboard cut out of a tiger, the baby would still smile randomly.

I spoke about this before. The first words of all babies are the same. Because we assign meaning to those words. They will make them anyways and we will encourage them to keep making them. So mama, amma, papa, appa, dada are all similar in structure. They are the same repeated syllable and normally said by babies while they make noises.

And this is the problem. We are assuming that all babies are as equally developed.

The Gosnell trial showed nothing, what Star Parker wants is a ban of medical abortions and so forcing women to rely on the coathanger lobby. Because pro-life yo! Well until you are born. Then you can rot in poverty.

The fact that a child of 21 weeks may still be in the womb does not make that child any less alive.

If delivered that child will probably die due to respiratory distress and even if it lives will be neurologically impaired. Mentally retarded has bad connotations in society but the term is medical. It’s growth is retarded. In short? The child if born at that point will not have a long, happy and fulfilled life to the best of it’s capacity and will be crippled by the choices made.

It is not a child. It is a foetus. It is unviable and so should be up for abortion without a medical reason.

But clear as this may be to some, it is not clear to all. Just as in 1860 it was not clear to all that this nation could not tolerate slavery.

It was clear to many parts of the world my dear. We knew Slavery was Evil. It was always evil. That same book that you claim to read that gives you a “Moral Justification” to reduce the rights of women and access to abortions also is pro-slavery. If you say that the book didn’t know any better then the same logic applies to abortions.

The current fight to ban late term abortion – abortion 20 weeks, five months, after conception – is by and large a partisan battle of Republicans against Democrats.

The Republican House has passed legislation to ban abortion after 20 weeks, with qualifications for the life and health of the mother. Now this critical issue must be taken for a vote in the Democrat controlled Senate.

Except those qualifications are hard to attain since many require waiting periods. Pre-Eclampsia waits for no man. As does abruptio placenta. We may save the patient’s life by immediate abortion.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has called this a “fringe” issue. Murder a fringe issue? Can there be any doubt that we are dealing with a clash in worldviews?

It’s not murder. The foetus is incapable of unique unsupported life. I am afraid we need oxygen to breathe and a lack of lungs means death. This is not up for debate or discussion. This is fact. If you don’t believe me then I suggest filling a basin of water and immersing your head in it and seeing how long you can hold your breath.

Can you do it for 3 weeks?

It is potential to be a human, not a human.

Republicans must carry this bill aggressively into the Senate. Pressure must be put especially on Senate Democrats up for re-election in states which lean pro-life. Democrats like Mary Landrieu from Louisiana, Mark Pryor from Arkansas, and Kay Hagan from North Carolina.

Yes. Let’s demonstrate how fucked up America is by offering women worse healthcare than fucking India.

Perhaps this is a good time to recall again George Washington’s words “that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government.”

The same George Washington who kept slaves. Virtue and Morality be damned my dear, you know naught of either.

Abortions provide women with control over their reproduction. The problem here is the foetuses aborted at the 20 week mark to 24 week tend to be for medical rather than economic reasons. If it’s economic then it’s usually within the first trimester. Very rarely is it that late. All Star is doing is making it harder to get medical abortions.

She is in effect forcing women to often carry to term heavily disabled foetuses in a society that doesn’t provide for them. In addition she is forcing a decision on them. Not everyone is capable of caring for a disabled person. Not every mother or father wants that responsibility nor can they afford that responsibility.

We put more logic and care into the adoption of a pet dog than a child and Star Parker is part of the problem.

No, this is not a time for compromise. The nation is confused, far adrift from its moral moorings.

Republicans must grab the reins, aggressively, and provide, without compromise, the moral leadership that this nation needs so badly.

Women need to fight back. We know what happens when  pro-lifers have to face the music. Many quietly slink into the very clinics they hate and have abortions then go straight back out onto the line to live a lie again.

Americans must realise that the choice between far right and right wing is not a real choice at all. And that for real democracy they must stop voting on stupid and pointless issues like this.

Star Parker’s argument boils down to “Won’t someone think of the children”, rather than actually thinking about the children. If she thought about the children then free education, free school meals, proper sports (School Sport seems to be the domain of the handful of talented kids rather than for health), free healthcare and plans to teach properly in schools.

Instead we are seeing her attack a medical practice that helps women in controlling the spacing of their children thus maintaining economic stability and being a stabilising influence by ensuring that women have as many kids as they want and can manage rather than having kids they cannot care for but trying their best anyways.

There are two things to remember here. There are third world nations who’s abortion laws are less stupid than what Star Parker wants and so women have better access to healthcare and that when you have food for 4 people but have 5 in your family then 5 people starve. Not 1.

17 comments

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  1. 1
    colnago80

    Clowns like Parker contend that life begins at conception. Crap, if that’s true then god is the world’s greatest abortionist as more then 1/2 of all fertilized eggs fail to implant and are expelled.

  2. 2
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    when you have food for 4 people but have 5 in your family then 5 people starve. Not 1.

    And if you haven’t got access to birth control, of which abortion is a subset, then it’s time for what Pratchett described as ‘the dreadful algebra of necessity.’ Preventing the situation from arising at all is better for everyone concerned.

  3. 3
    Ace of Sevens

    It’s not murder. The foetus is incapable of unique unsupported life. I am afraid we need oxygen to breathe and a lack of lungs means death. This is not up for debate or discussion. This is fact. If you don’t believe me then I suggest filling a basin of water and immersing your head in it and seeing how long you can hold your breath.

    You may be misconstruing the argument here. This is actually more-or-less the same example most anti-abortions types would go to. My dad used to say that the whole concept of viability is bullshit because an adult can’t breathe underwater unassisted, but that doesn’t mean you can hold their head under and say it’s not your fault, just a misfortune of nature they can’t breathe that way.

    You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who opposes abortion who thinks viability is relevant. The real issue is that they don’t seem to extend this responsibility to make sacrifices to protect the life or quality of life of others to any other situations, unless you are talking about the hardcore vegans, but they are a tiny subset of the movement.

  4. 4
    gshelley

    I have actually seen them argue that they want no tax increases, and the Democrats want tax increases, so because this is an either/or thing, compromise is impossible.

  5. 5
    Tom Robbins

    Hey, @5, you’re a spam bot, ain’t ya?

  6. 6
    Pen

    Not the physiological attempt at passing a 2 to 3 Kg object through your pelvis through some muscular tetris. An act so traumatic that our body doses us with hormones that alter perception of pain in order to make the event seem pleasant. And an act once so dangerous that it was the biggest cause of death in women until the advent of modern obstetrics.

    I mostly agree with your post, but I wish you would avoid promoting fear of childbirth incautiously. The problem is that many mothers come to associate the pain and difficulty of labour with danger to their lives. As I’m sure you know, the main causes of death in childbirth were (and are in the third world) blood loss after the placenta is passed and infection in the hours or days after the birth is all over. Quite a few of the lesser ones are also unrelated to the pain or effort of labour. Interestingly enough, I gather that these days the WHO includes fatalities from botched abortions in the childbirth statistics. Need I add that those attempted abortions are often carried out using violence and poisons as means.

    As for pain, I’m one of a fair number of women who will say that childbirth was not more strenuous than a tough climb up a mountain and back down again, something I regularly do for fun. I would have been quite prepared to birth babies for money as long as I didn’t have to be pregnant with them! Those hormonal drugs are damned effective. Of course, some people are less fortunate for reasons that probably have physiological or psychological causes but we don’t have to prejudice their experiences with a climate of fear.

  7. 7
    Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

    If we are talking about trying to decide what day of the week to collect the garbage, and one wants Monday and one wants Friday, so the side that refuses to compromise on Wednesday might but be considerable unreasonable.

    One side wants garbage collection on Monday and the other side declares “OBAMA WANTS SOCIALIST BIG GOVERNMINT COMIN’ FER YER GARBAGE, LOAD YER GUNS TA DEFEND YER GARBAGE, PATRIOTS!”.

  8. 8
    AsqJames

    If we are talking about trying to decide what day of the week to collect the garbage, and one wants Monday and one wants Friday, so the side that refuses to compromise on Wednesday might but be considerable unreasonable.

    What a clear demonstration of a lack of common sense/knowledge. Doesn’t everyone know 1/5 of the garbage is collected on each weekday? I know it’s only an analogy, but surely there are better ones she could come up with.

  9. 9
    savpunk

    There is no way all these right-wing, pro-lifers are practicing what they’re preaching. I mean, it’s not as if they have 15 or 16 living children, with a fair number of stillbirths, miscarriages, and dead-at-a-young-age children thrown in, like my great-grandmothers. They are using reliable birth control, which almost assuredly means some type of hormonal birth control, and having abortions if need be. Or else they’re all, and I mean every single one of them, chaste, unless they want to get pregnant. And I don’t think any of us believe that.

  10. 10
    leftwingfox

    The very notion of a poor person voting republican is like rats voting for the cat.

    The cat gets rid of the wrong sort of rat, and we know which rat is the wrong sort because the cat got them. Perfect.

  11. 11
    Oob

    I am with you whenever you argue that people, namely women, should have control over their own body.

    I am with you on the very basic argument that a fetus’s brain simply isn’t THERE during the weeks the overwhelming majority of abortions take place.

    I am with you when the humane argument that it is between a doctor and a patient should medical situations come up where only one person can be saved.

    However, arguments for viability never make any sense at all to me. It’s not that I’m not with you, it’s that this seems a callous metric to argue by, and I personally can’t morally understand this argument at all. On top of the issue that it seems morally cruel to use that as any sort of reasoning to start with, the simple fact is that even the term “viable” is a fuzzy word to start with. Where does viability really start? I mean, I sort of understand the original purpose of the argument, as the “cut off point” to prevent you from having to defend infanticide (which not a one of us would do, contrary to some straw men the pro-lifers like to toss out), but really, not a single infant is really “viable” in the sense that they could live by themselves, on their own. They’d all die of exposure, starvation, dehydration, take your pick.

    All I’m saying is we can take a razor to our arguments and shave the whole notion of “viability” off and instead focus purely on the science of just how conscious a fetus is (not at all in those early weeks when most abortions take place) and the rights of the woman hosting the fetus.

    If someone does have a good reason why viability is supposed to be some killer argument, I actually am interested in it.

  12. 12
    greengenius

    I’m tired of people saying republicans are stupid or ignorant. They are smart as a fox. They are using abortion to rabble rouse and stir up their ignorant and uneducated base. They are all on the same page, compelling American workers to vote for the people who keep the corporate welfare state, as it goes on screwing the people.
    So now we have a country that is great for it’s billionaires but not it’s workers.

  13. 13
    thascius

    @11-I think the whole viability thing is to draw a clear distinction between abortion and infanticide. Maybe not the best distinction but it works for a lot of people. And as the anti-abortionists have figured out, people are a lot more uncomfortable about an abortion when a fetus could theoretically survive outside the womb, which is why we get so much propaganda about late-term abortions and hear horror stories about women having an abortion the day before their due date-which are nonsense of course. In the US abortions after the second trimester are illegal in all states unless a woman’s life or health are in jeopardy. And, in the US, abortions on viable fetuses account for <0.01% of all abortions, yet they're the ones the anti-choicers are always talking about. As far as consciousness goes, from my understanding that occurs in the 3rd trimester, around the same time as viability. And while a newborn may not be able to survive completely on it's own, it isn't dependent on one particular person the way a fetus is. You can adopt a baby, but not a pregnancy.

  14. 14
    renal diet

    This post actually peaked my personal interest.

  15. 15
    sebastian

    Nice Article. It’s really a great article. My spouse and i noticed your entire important points. Thanks

  16. 16
    timurlane

    Now let me see if I get this straight. Parker – a woman who has had abortions – somehow in your warped vision of the world doesn’t understand abortion!?!
    I know the left erupts into apoplectic spasms of hatred and rage whenever they encounter someone with a view different from theirs, but I’m pretty sure Parker has a very good grasp of the topic of abortion.

  17. 17
    Avicenna

    If you actually read my post you would see a complete demolition of her nonsense and the hypocrisy there in.

    And she doesn’t understand abortions. Simply having an abortion does not make you capable of doing one. And I don’t think Star Parker has had an abortion.

    Let’s put it this way.

    If you have brain surgery does it make you an expert in brain surgery? No?

    Then being a political commentator in a dialogue between centrists and fundamentalist right wingers on the fundie right winger side does not make you an expert in abortions. It makes you an expert in nonsense.

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