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May 03 2012

Liveblogging Abby Johnson’s “Do women have too many rights?”

(7:17pm) Well, I’m here. Tonight is Abby Johnson’s talk “Do women have too many rights?” at the University of Washington, sponsored by Students for Life of America and the Catholic Newman Center, who had this ironic poster hung outside the room:

Human rights! …unless you’re a pregnant woman.

I’ll be making updates throughout the talk, so keep refreshing!

(7:20) I’m not the only pro-choice person here. There’s an impressive amount of protesters civilly holding signs. Good job, ladies!

(7:33) On my way in I picked up the various literature they were giving away. Let’s see what goodies I got! Would you like some lies about Planned Parenthood and how contraception works?

Or maybe the terrifying thought that med students are supporting these unscientific claims:

(7:37) I kept ruffling through my various flyers. I was pre-raging when I saw the words “scientific truth,” expecting to read a pile of the typical anti-abortion garbage that parades behind the word “science.” I was pleasantly surprised…the protesters managed to hand out flyers with actual science on it! Wooooooo! Good job, ladies!

(7:39) The presidents of both student groups just said their names, which caused about a minute of crazy cheering and booing. Oh dear, this is going to be interesting.

(7:40) A police officer just confiscated plastic coat hangers from the people sitting behind me. I feel so much safer now.

(7:42) Some of the feminists behind me keep shouting out and booing loudly to drown out the speaker, and they need to stfu. Let the ignorance speak for itself. You’re coming off as intolerant douchebags.

Abby just got announced (I think, I could barely hear). Standing ovation helped locate where all the pro-lifers are in the room.

(7:45) Well, I’d live blog what Abby is saying, except I can’t hear what she’s saying, and she can’t talk because feminists keep screaming over her. Come on, guys. You sound like brats. This isn’t “freedom of speech” to shout down an invited speaker. Ugh.

(7:46) Abby says supporting Planned Parenthood is “uninformed choice”, and that she hopes there are no male pro-choicers in the audience because pro-choicers don’t want them to have an opinion.

(7:48) She just said pro-choicers want women “to be bought and sold for sex.”

(7:51) Abby said Planned Parenthood is in it to make money. Someone from the audience shouts that they bet she makes a lot of money speaking doing this, and agrees…then adds that she made a lot more money when she was at Planned Parenthood “coercing young girls and killing children.”

(7:53) Abby says that Planned Parenthood has an abortion quota, and they fire people if they don’t meet a monthly quota. Someone shouted “Citation needed!” She responded “I don’t know why they want a citation, because according to them, abortion should be everywhere. Everyone here should be having an abortion.” …I have no idea what that has to do with citations.

(7:55) Abby questions why Planned Parenthood wants every clinic to eventually offer abortion services if they claim to want to reduce unintended pregnancies. “Not about the health of the women. They’re not about keeping women safe. They’re about abortion. They’re about making money. They are not about unintended pregnancies.” Even though, you know, only 3% of PP services are abortion related.

(7:57) Someone just made an announcement that the police were going to start removing people if they keep being disruptive. She couldn’t even get through the announcement without people screaming to drown her out. Abby says she’ll say something that will make sure to upset the pro-choicers so they’ll get kicked out.

(8:02) Photos of the audience. Room is packed. Police officer is looming in the back where all the noisy pro-choicers are.

(8:06) Abby is telling her story about watching an abortion performed over an ultrasound, and how the baby tried to flee and move away from the abortion instrument. Even though this has been shown to be a complete fabrication. There was no ultra sound guided abortion performed that day where she worked.

(8:08) “If we saw a two year old in the parking lot and saw a man beating her to death, what would we do? We’d stop them from harming this child.” Yes, a two year old is totally equivalent to a couple week old embryo  ಠ_ಠ “People justify their own hurt by the killing of an innocent.”

(8:13) The most disruptive woman just got escorted out by the police. She started shouting “Women’s rights are under attack, what do you do?” and people replied “Stand up, fight back!”

“I know here in the state of Washington you feel discouraged because you’re in the minority. But know you’re not alone. The majority of this country sides with you when it comes to the sanctity of human life.” Blah blah blah circle jerk, claps from the pro-lifers. “Their anger comes from hurt.”

(8:15) “They’re only tolerant of your point of view.” I’m sorry, I am intolerant. I’m intolerant of people taking control over women’s bodies because some sky daddy told them to. I’m intolerant of someone resulting in the death of women because “awwww, a baby duurrr.” This is a more complicated ethical issue than any anti-choicer will admit.

(8:17) “I don’t believe women have too many rights. I believe women don’t have enough rights in this country.” Well, I’m glad you titled in your talk in such a trolltastic way. “They don’t believe in choice, they believe in abortion. They don’t believe in a woman’s right to choose, they believe in a woman’s right to have an abortion.”

(8:23) Holy crap I don’t know what just happened. Some officer just tackled a woman in the back with general chaos. More people are getting escorted out.

(8:24) “The truth is the truth. If we weren’t speaking the truth in the pro-life moment, THEY wouldn’t be here!” I think that’s a logical fallacy…

(8:27) “The truth is scary and is often offensive. Never be scared to offend someone with the truth.” Oddly I agree with that. Except that, you know, pro-lifers don’t generally present the truth.

Annnddd they just ended the talk with no Q&A because the pro-choicers are so loud and disruptive. Good job, guys *facepalm*

The pro-choicers behind me are loudly chanting “Pro-life, that’s a lie, you don’t care if women die.” I’m sure they’re changing lots of minds  ಠ_ಠ  This was such a shitshow.

(8:32) You know, I was totally expecting to be in a frothy rage at the end of this talk. But I’m just vaguely confused. And hungry.

Look, I consider myself a firebrand. I don’t mince words or hold back. But the people screaming in the back weren’t firebrands…they were obnoxious and accomplished nothing. Did screaming the whole time change any minds? I wish she would have been able to give her dumb talk, then people could have asked her damning questions during the Q&A. But instead it just turned into a giant clusterfuck. I’m actually more angry at the pro-choicers than Abby right now. Blargh.

I’m going to go grab dinner. Goodnight!

313 comments

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  1. 1
    Forrest

    Effing yikes!

    Your coverage is refreshing. Speaking of… ⌘-R

  2. 2
    berick

    I was astonished to see the title of this talk. I can’t wait for it to become a series, with “Do Jews Have Too Many Rights”?, and “Do Blacks” and “Do Irish” and so many many more.

  3. 3
    Ryan

    The idea that Planned Parenthood is a money making venture that is deriving profits from abortions has to be one of the craziest anti-choice concepts. It’s just so mind boggling absurd.

  4. 4
    Cipher

    Someone shouted “Citation needed!” She responded “I don’t know why they want a citation, because according to them, abortion should be everywhere. Everyone here should be having an abortion.”

    “If we saw a two year old in the parking lot and saw a man beating her to death, what would we do? We’d stop them from harming this child.”

    This blatantly manipulative nonsense makes me sick. What a disgusting, disingenuous person.

  5. 5
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    (7:57) Someone just made an announcement that the police were going to start removing people if they keep being disruptive. She couldn’t even get through the announcement without people screaming to drown her out. Abby says she’ll say something that will make sure to upset the pro-choicers so they’ll get kicked out.

    People will try to point to the shouting feminists as examples of liberals being “just as bad”.

    Those people need to show us a liberal who does this.

  6. 6
    nikoelstevens

    That card about Planned Parenthood is seriously shocking and I say this as a PP advocacy volunteer. I thought I’d heard them all, but it goes to show you how far people are willing to go to support their world view. Also, I don’t believe for one second she’s making less money now than she did as a director of a non-profit healthcare clinic, in Texas no less. She lies about everything though and it’s paying off so why would she be honest about that.

  7. 7
    nikoelstevens

    “They don’t believe in choice, they believe in abortion. They don’t believe in a woman’s right to choose, they believe in a woman’s right to have an abortion.”

    What does that EVEN mean?!

  8. 8
    Desert Son, OM

    Abby Johnson on 3 May 2012: “They don’t believe in a woman’s right to choose, they believe in a woman’s right to have an abortion.”

    A sentiment simultaneously outrageous and sad.

    As I’m evidently too dim to understand, can anyone explain how the right to have an abortion is different from the right to choose?

    Still learning,

    Robert

  9. 9
    Madi

    I love their use of comic sans on the “medical information” red sheet. As if I would believe anything a medical professional would hand me using that font. I’m glad they handed out those white sheets about myths and truths. The planners of the event must be somewhat aware of the bull shit Abby’s spewing.

  10. 10
    Cipher

    “The truth is the truth. If we weren’t speaking the truth in the pro-life moment, THEY wouldn’t be here!” I think that’s a logical fallacy…

    …”If we weren’t right, nobody would disagree with us!”

  11. 11
    tcsf

    Fantastic job covering this. Your principled opposition to the anti-abortion speaker together with principled commitment to free speech and discussion is a classy example.

  12. 12
    Alex Songe

    Why don’t they ever teach about Heckler’s Veto with regards to free speech? Free speech includes the freedom to hear speech, and there is SCOTUS precedent that says free speech is PRIMARILY about the right to hear speech. Hecklers that shout down to any side completely remove everyone else’s capacity for free speech and should be removed promptly.

  13. 13
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    I should also note that it is very illuminating how anti-choicers will readily assert their right to hold these circle-jerks, or harass women going into PP assuming that all women going into PP are getting abortions…yet, they hardly ever seem to challenge pro-choicers to debates. Not even the horrible platform of public debate so loved by the Gish Galloping creationists, despite how antichoicers also love the Gish Gallop.

    I personally would love to see Jen slug it out with Johnson or one of her supporters, but I bet that’s not likely to happen.

  14. 14
    Brachial

    I’m slightly upset that the pro-choice side decided to be douchebags during this. Yeah, the speaker was ignorant on the topic she was speaking about, but don’t make the rest of us look bad because you can’t contain your anger.

    Though there’s a part of me wondering if they were put in there for that reason exactly. I’m used to really dirty tactics used. I went to a pro-Planned Parenthood rally and these assholes called CatholicVote made a sensationalist video of us shouting about how we just want all babies dead.

  15. 15
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    I suspect you’re on to something.

  16. 16
    Bentley Owen

    There’s no documentation at the site that I can find.

    http://studentsforlife.org/plannedparenthood

    If you follow the link train, you get to a different site, whose PP page seems is mainly composed of articles about Margaret Sanger’s despicable pro-eugenics views. Nothing about the KKK, though.

    http://www.abortionfacts.com/planned_parenthood/planned_parenthood.asp

  17. 17
    Drew

    “Annnddd they just ended the talk with no Q&A because the pro-choicers are so loud and disruptive. Good job, guys *facepalm*”

    That was the whole point. People like that use false information for their own gain therefore they won’t be receptive to logic and facts so as far as I’m concerned that was mission accomplished.

  18. 18
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    Hmm. As the media assumes that “black bloc” protesters at leftist protests (which we conveniently don’t see at teabagger rallies) are actual legitimate protesters, so too are we assuming that these “pro-choice” protesters are actual pro-choicers…

  19. 19
    Desert Son, OM

    I’m slightly upset that the pro-choice side decided to be douchebags during this. Yeah, the speaker was ignorant on the topic she was speaking about, but don’t make the rest of us look bad because you can’t contain your anger.

    I feel like this is really complicated. On the one hand, the shouting and disruption make it hard to debate the issue, or point out the falsehoods.

    On the other hand, is it right to “contain anger?” Women’s voices have been silenced for so long, marginalized for so long, by violence, social shaming, condescending pats on the head with admonition not to trouble themselves, and physical removal.

    All the more problematic because a woman, Abby Johnson, had difficulty being heard, too, even though I think she’s terribly wrong about this issue, and she’s trying to shore up her position with lies.

    Jen, another woman in attendance, didn’t get to voice her questions, either, and there’s another woman’s voice denied in that forum (though she does have a forum in her blog).

    The whole thing just seems really fraught with complications.

    Still learning,

    Robert

  20. 20
    Ingrid

    This was scary. Really scary. Thanks for reporting.

  21. 21
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Annnddd they just ended the talk with no Q&A because the pro-choicers are so loud and disruptive. Good job, guys *facepalm*

    Aren’t you assuming they would actually have held a Q&A and given a partially unsympathetic audience a chance to ask some hard questions, if the protesters weren’t there, rather than finding some other excuse?

    That’s a little naive, isn’t it?

  22. 22
    Three Ninjas

    I think what she was trying to get at it is that we don’t want to give women the right to choose whether or not to get an abortion. They HAVE to get an abortion!

  23. 23
    Pteryxx

    The (bullshit) premise is that Planned Parenthood tricks and hard-sells women into having abortions for profit, as if they were a bank or cable company.

  24. 24
    Lauren

    “(8:27) “The truth is scary and is often offensive. Never be scared to offend someone with the truth.” Oddly I agree with that. Except that, you know, pro-choicers don’t generally present the truth.”

    I think there’s a typo in this paragraph.

  25. 25
    Desert Son, OM

    Ah, ok. Thanks for the comment clarifying.

    Still an outrageously disingenuous sentiment Johnson made, but at least a bit more clear.

    Still learning,

    Robert

  26. 26
    Desert Son, OM

    Curse my poor reading comprehension. I just reread the opening parts of Jen’s post and note the sponsors for the event.

    You make a possible case I hadn’t considered: the forum was never intended as a public discussion, or to foster dialogue.

    Not sure about Jen, but the naivety is certainly mine. It may be that they actually did want a legitimate Q&A, but I’m certainly naive to assume that the only potential strategy behind the event was open forum for discussion of the issue.

    Note to self: not assuming the worst doesn’t mean it’s safe to assume the best.

    Thanks.

    Still learning,

    Robert

  27. 27
    Forrest

    Indeed, it would be illuminating to see how other talks went, and see if she has answered Q&As – whether in friendly environs or no…

    I came across a former volunteer at Abby’s PP (Ah, twitter!), who says she lies about PP, & even intimates that the whole story was staged… Verrry eeenteresting.

  28. 28
    PsychoDan

    I wonder too how they reconcile the “Planned Parenthood is making money hand over fist on abortions!” concept with the policy of trying to deny PP public funding and thus shut them down.

  29. 29
    Kristine

    I got there just in time to see the scuffles. It was entertaining, at least.

  30. 30
    Three Ninjas

    Imagine my shock upon learning that I think that way. I had no idea.

  31. 31
    Forrest

    Thanks for pointing that out. My brain was reeling, but I didn’t realize it was for the Comic Sans as well as what it said. Though I wish it was sans the content…

  32. 32
    Feminist Woman

    I didn’t wind up sitting with the main group of pro-choicers in the back, but I was selectively heckling a bit from further down front. I thought it a good idea to boo a little whenever Johnson said something particularly ridiculous, or to blurt out tough questions here and there, because after all, these profoundly harmful lies that are being given the spotlight shouldn’t just go unchallenged, and I seriously doubt the truly tough questions would have been chosen for the Q&A under any circumstances. I do think some protestors seemed more concerned about fully expressing their anger than about actually furthering our cause, which is understandable and valid, but I do wish more feminists tonight were willing/able to restrain ourselves a bit so that we could be taken seriously and not come off as just wanting to get attention. Then again, I don’t think UW should be allowing an anti-woman, anti-science figure like Johnson to speak publicly on campus, anyway, so ultimately I can’t get too upset with the uber-hecklers.

  33. 33
    Hien

    Hi Ryan,

    I don’t think there was enough context given for this quote. I was at her talk tonight and this was in reference to something she had said earlier (though I do not doubt it may have been missed due to all the noise). What she had meant by women not choosing was that they were not making fully informed choices. Without knowledge of resources outside of Planned Parenthood and like organizations, a woman is not making a choice when she is choosing abortion since she has not been fully informed of all of her options. In other words, you can’t really choose your own path if you can’t see the fork in the road. I hope this helps!

    Still learning as well,
    Hien

  34. 34
    Hien

    Oh, I am so sorry, *Robert*! Please forgive me, I did not mean to get your name wrong. It has been a very long day.

  35. 35
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Then again, I don’t think UW should be allowing an anti-woman, anti-science figure like Johnson to speak publicly on campus, anyway, so ultimately I can’t get too upset with the uber-hecklers.

    Oh, come on, you know our principles require our institutions to maintain a strict and balanced neutrality between fire brigades and arsonists because…um…well…

    Hey look, a bird!

  36. 36
    Feminist Woman

    LOL, pretty succinct. :)

  37. 37
    Hayley Stevens

    Your blog post reminded me of behaviour I saw at a series of pro-choice demos across the UK recently where pro-choice demonstrators tried to censor those they opposed.

    Your post inspired me to blog about it: http://hayleyisaghost.co.uk/what-are-you-doing-pro-choice-allies/

  38. 38
    Samantha Vimes

    Heckling by the crowd is a very primitive democratic form of free speech. It isn’t sophisticated, but the only real harm is in the people who paid for the speaker not quite getting their money’s worth. It isn’t polite, but polite women seldom make history, as the saying goes.

  39. 39
    Bethany

    I think it means that instead of telling women that they have a choice between parenting, adoption, and abortion, they are constantly being told about abortion.

    Example 1:
    Planned Parenthood’s annual report shows that it did 329,445 abortions in 2010 while it provided prenatal care to only 31,098 women and referred only 841 women to adoption agencies. (In case you scanned that quickly, that’s 6-digit abortions, 5-digit prenatal care, and 3-digit adoption referrals.)

    Example 2:
    If you go to UW’s Hall Health and say that you are pregnant, they will give you a packet of information. I looked at this packet myself. There are a bunch of brochures on abortion, one paragraph on adoption, and one paragraph on parenting.

  40. 40
    Bethany

    I was one of the organizers of the event, and I can attest that we were truly planning on a Q & A, even though we (and Abby) obviously knew how many people would be there that disagree. We wanted dialogue! I was also sitting in the front row and witnessed the decision to not have a Q & A session.

  41. 41
    Bethany

    Wow, that’s a lot of assumptions and generalizations all at once. I’ll ignore them all and skip to the debate part. Do pro-choicers frequently attempt to set up debates and pro-lifers decline to participate? I’m part of the pro-life club on campus, and we’ve been saying for months that we want to set up a debate sometime after we are finished with the Abby Johnson event. Any suggestions of specific people we should contact to set up a debate?

  42. 42
    Forrest

    Can you speak to the name of the event?
    Abby has distanced herself from having anything to do with naming it.

  43. 43
    Bethany

    Here you go, this one is old, but at least cites sources:
    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1294086/posts

  44. 44
    Bethany

    The ads were meant to be a rhetorical question to highlight the conflict of rights in abortion. Women may have the right to choose, but what about the baby’s right to live? That’s always ignored. We simply wanted to start a conversation on campus about this, and that’s why we invited Abby.

  45. 45
    Bethany

    What about the other people who wanted to hear what that person had to say? What about freedom of speech? What about the part where Abby flew across the country to tell a very personal story and didn’t get to tell it?

  46. 46
    Feminist Woman

    1) Fuck them, it’s my body. A fetus doesn’t have a right to squat in my uterus. 2) For fuck’s sake, please read the first amendment. “Free speech” just means that no one can be censored by the GOVERNMENT. 3) She flew across the country to make money. And we have personal stories, too. And she did get to tell it, just not in front of nothing but a bunch of yes men.

    CIVIL RIGHTS ARE NOT UP FOR DEBATE.

  47. 47
    R Johnston

    1) Fuck them, it’s my body. A fetus doesn’t have a right to squat in my uterus.

    Unlike pro-lifers, you’ve read the Thirteenth Amendment. Roe v. Wade really, really, really should have been decided as a straightforward anti-slavery case. No one has the right to hijack a person’s body against her will.

  48. 48
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    While it did expose their awful side, it also gave them an excuse to cancel the Q&A.

    Given that the Right’s poor record of tolerance for opposing views is already well-documented, I’m siding with Jen — it would have been better for the pro-choicers to stay silent during the talk and use the Q&A to hammer Johnson. This was a private talk, not a debate or public event; the pro-choicers in the audience were in the position of skeptics and as such all they had to do was ask the right questions and let Johnson hang herself on the rope they handed her.

    Had there not even been an opportunity for Q&A, I would agree with you — the audience deserves an opportunity to make their opinions known and lacking a Q&A heckling is perfectly fine. But, when there is a Q&A, I would say heckling only becomes acceptable if the would-be hecklers get ignored when Q&A time rolls around (or, of course, if Q&A gets pulled because bullshit).

    To make it clear: the opportunity for fair Q&A is what makes the heckling wrong. If there is no Q&A, or a biased Q&A, then heckle away.

  49. 49
    No Light

    Links please.

  50. 50
    No Light

    Zygote/blastocyst/embryo/foetus =/= baby.

    ZBEFs !do not have, nor do they deserve, a say in their future. The needs of the host are of paramount importance.

    You cannot compel forced birth any more than I can compel you to donate a third of your liver. Your right to retain your own organs outweighs the needs of those that would otherwise die without them.

    Think of the lives that could be saved if living donation was mandatory. Surely that outweighs everything else? Tissue type everyone at birth. Everyone has blood and bone marrow, you can function with one kidney, and the liveg regenerates.

    If you’re found to be a match to someone who’s ill then you’re called up. You’re taken to hospital, the necessary item is harvested from your body, and you and the recipient get on with your respective lives.

    Sounds perfect to me. So Bethany, what do you think? I bet you’re amped about all the lives that’ll be saved!

  51. 51
    carlie

    Know what would be great? If every college campus talk had a disclaimer: “The primary mission of this college/university is education. To that end, there will be a committee at every talk on this campus, fact-checking the speaker during the presentation and putting any corrections on an ancillary screen behind the presenter. Presenters are expected to provide an outline of their talk to the college at least a week ahead of their appearance to facilitate this process.”

  52. 52
    carlie

    It would be like pop-up video, but live. :)

  53. 53
    Pteryxx

    That paragraph of stats is lifted completely from various pro-life news reports. I haven’t yet found an independent citation or an indication of how they arrived at the famous 91%-abortions claim.

    However, EVEN IF the numbers are accurate, that does not imply that Planned Parenthood is withholding options from women. When women want to continue a pregnancy, they have lots of other resources for prenatal care, and even for discussion of adoption, than PP. But in most of the country, Planned Parenthood is the ONLY organization that will either provide abortions, or refer a patient to a clinic for elective abortion. Of course their patients are going to disproportionately represent those seeking abortions in the first place, because it’s common knowledge that if you need to end a pregnancy, Planned Parenthood’s the only health-care organization you could trust to offer abortion as an option. Heck, in much of the US, Planned Parenthood is one of the only sources for information and access to birth control since schools often teach abstinence-only misinformation or no sex ed at all.

    This is from wikipedia, citing Planned Parenthood’s own figures, which are by services rendered, not individual patients (i.e. many patients come in repeatedly and for more than one service).

    In 2009, Planned Parenthood provided 4,009,549 contraceptive services (35% of total), 3,955,926 sexually transmitted disease services (35% of total), 1,830,811 cancer related services (16% of total), 1,178,369 pregnancy/prenatal/midlife services (10% of total), 332,278 abortion services (3% of total), and 76,977 other services (1% of total), for a total of 11,383,900 services.[7][35][37][38][39][40] The organization also said its doctors and nurses annually conduct 1 million screenings for cervical cancer and 830,000 breast exams.

  54. 54
    Kierra

    The Planned Parenthood statistics are misleading, because there are many, many other places you can go for prenatal care or adoption information if you want to keep the pregnancy (and women that are in a financial position to keep the pregnancy are more likely to be able to afford those other prenatal options). But when most people need abortions, the only place they think of to go is Planned Parenthood. It’s also probably a reflection of the fact that pro-lifers have been so good at painting Planned Parenthood as an abortion provider while obscuring the fact that they even do prenatal care. In short, those statistics could just as easily indicate that by the time pregnant women go to Planned Parenthood, they have already made their decision.

  55. 55
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Yes, because you seriously need to be informed by somebody else that you could become a parent when you’re pregnant…
    Or that adoption exists.
    Sorry, but your idea is tied to the bad old concept that women really don’t know what they want.
    Would you say that if a pregnant woman walks into an adoptions agency that they should tell her long and large about abortion?
    Or do you think that she has thought about her options, considered them and chosen to carry it to term and give it up for adoption?
    If a pregnant women is in for her first pre-natal check and tells the OB/Gyn that she’s going to be a mum, do you think that decission is uninformed if the doctor doesn’t explain her carefully that she could still have an abortion or give the baby up for adoption?
    Why do you automatically suppose that only women who choose to have an abortion need that “additional information”?

  56. 56
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    A very personal story that is known to be false.
    Why do you invite known liars?

  57. 57
    Valis

    Stop calling yourself “pro-life”, as you are anything but. Rather say you are “anti-abortion”, “anti-women” or “anti-life”. Stop being so disingenuous and at least be honest about your beliefs. To clarify; If you are against women having the right to choose their own medical care you are anti-abortion, anti-life and anti-women.

    I really don’t understand why the pro-choice Americans don’t keep pointing this out. There is NOTHING pro-life about limiting women’s access to health-care. This just baffles me?

    In my country we have free contraception and abortion services to any one who needs it. Americans are crazy :P

  58. 58
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Oh, I have a very touching, personal story as well, maybe pro-life people can invite me over, too?
    It is about how I had an abortion which they somehow botched and how some 6 months later my son was born whom I love dearly and without whom I couldn’t imagine life to go on.
    Sure, on close examination there wasn’t a birth at the hospital that day, and I actually don’t have a son, and yes, that date is three months after the birth of my daughter, but I have cute baby pictures of me and the boy!
    As an additional bonus I could have coffee with Jen and other cool people afterwards…

  59. 59
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    You’re seriously posting FreeRepublic as an unbiased source for anything? FreeRepublic is a cesspool of Internet Right-Wing Conservative Christian assholes, bigots, and assholes (did I say that already?)

    Offering that as a neutral PoV shows exactly how much of a fool you are.

  60. 60
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    But I think that you have to admire the “Contraception doesn’t reduce the number of abortions, 54% of women who get abortions used contraception.”
    I know that people understand shit about statistics and such, but you have to be pretty stupid or simply very dishonest to think that’s a valid argument.
    It’s like saying “seatbelts and airbags don’t prevent people from harm in accidents because more than 90% of people hrt or killed in accidents last year wore them.”
    Don’t confuse such a person with actual numbers like the total number of people hurt and killed today vs. that in the 1970′s, or, as a matter of fact, the total number of abortions in places with wide spread contraception as opposed to those without.

  61. 61
    chrisreece

    I understand righteous anger, but in this case, the anger was misplaced.

    How often does a university invite a speaker (or allow an event) where the purpose of the event is to disparage the civil rights of black people, Hispanic people, Indians (subcontinent), native Americans, etc. based on their physical characteristics?

    Allowing a group to disparage the rights of women based on the fact that we’re female is repulsive and the university should get called on disparaging women’s civil rights.

    The Very Vocal Brigade should have let Johnson speak, and they should have demolished her in the Q&A.

  62. 62
    Max

    The statistics cited are not relevant, but they are accurate. Pteryxx is full of shit. He’s citing 2009 statistics and you will notice the relevant numbers are pretty close anyway. The difference lies in the Wikipedia page lumping pregnancy tests in with prenatal services. Rather than bother with Wikipedia, check the actual annual report. It’s the second cite when I google “planned parenthood annual report 2010″.

    http://issuu.com/actionfund/docs/ppfa_financials_2010_122711_web_vf?mode=window&viewMode=doublePage

  63. 63
    Gregory in Seattle

    How interesting that the poster for “Med Students for Life” has a man, not a woman, on it. As if women have no say in matters of reproductive health?

  64. 64
    Ryan Moran

    I believe UW is a public university and thus bound by the First Amendment. They would be on legally shaky ground if they got into the business of allowing/not allowing certain speakers. Not allowing controversial speakers or allowing students to disrupt their talks amounts to the unconstitutional “heckler’s veto.”

    The students who protested outside and handed out those flyers with actual factual information on Planned Parenthood had the right idea. You don’t ban speech you don’t agree with or prevent it from happening, you simply fight it with more speech of your own.

  65. 65
    Eristae

    I agree that it was wrong of them to interrupt her talk like that, but all I can think is, “When our side is bad, we interrupt people’s speeches. When their side is bad, they shoot doctors and blow up clinics.”

  66. 66
    HumanisticJones

    Wow, my privilege is showing. I didn’t even notice that until you pointed it out.

  67. 67
    GordonS

    This sounds like a big lost opportunity for the pro-choice side. It’s unfortunate that some people, even though motivated by justifiable anger, can’t fight back more intelligently (and effectively).

  68. 68
    Bentley Owen

    Margaret Sanger’s ties to the KKK involve speaking to a women’s auxiliary group in New Jersey, and finding the situation weird. Still despicable, though I imagine she would justify it as making herself available to anyone who wants to hear her views- an argument people use today when they speak before groups that they should in fact boycott. But the phrase “ties to the KKK” implies personal involvement with the org. Especially in that context: “a racist eugenicist with ties to the KKK.”

    Anyway, my main point is that the claims on the flyer are not documented at the very address people were directed to for “proof, sources, and documentation.” And the many claims about the current practices of PP turn up my bullshit meter in a way that the Sanger stuff (mist of which I already knew about) don’t. I would really like to see some sources on them.

  69. 69
    Bentley Owen

    *didn’t

  70. 70
    Joey Maloney

    You know, that would be a pretty good idea for some other student group to troll Students for Life…

  71. 71
    A. Noyd

    Not to mention, it’s PP’s policy to go over all the options anyway, including adoption. Abby is just lying about this like she’s lying about everything else.

  72. 72
    badandfierce

    Pretty much the same thing happened when the Campus Republicans got an anti-gay speaker when I was an undergrad. Screaming protestors disrupted the talk until it stopped, the anti-gay crowd got to crow about their moral victory, nothing was really communicated, and ultimately, everyone got what they wanted and nobody won.

    Though we did learn a bit of a lesson, there. The Campus Republicans where I went to school had (probably still have) about six members, put out one or two unscheduled, poorly edited newsletters a year, and otherwise just sit around and gossip about each other. The club library for one of my groups was right next to their office, so I overheard them often enough that I’m pretty sure my impression is correct. They had a huge amount of money, though, between donations from alums who are always getting pissy about the school being liberal and diverse instead of churning out Mrs. degrees nowadays, and probably because whoever allocates student org funding is terrified of getting accused of favoritism. So this talk was finally a way for them to get attention, and it worked!

    It worked once. The next year they brought in a guy to talk about how “hate speech” is some variety of pinko-commie America-hating liberal plot to quash grandmothers and apple pies, and no one paid any attention. I don’t even remember who it was the year after that, and I believe the yearly republican club troll tradition fell by the wayside thereafter. Without an audience, the crazies kind of withered up and blew away in the school consciousness.

  73. 73
    Steve

    Jen -

    You might want to pass on the picture of the planned parenthood pamphlet, the one with the Consumer Reports comdom rating reference, to that organization. They take a very dim view of anyone using their name and ratings in advertising or propaganda. I think a cease & desist letter is just the sort of thing those liars need.

  74. 74
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Seconded. I suggest the “Bitchez are Brood Mares” movement. Much closer to the truth.

  75. 75
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Translation: who gives a shit about the incubators?

  76. 76
    Jeremy Shaffer

    Still despicable, though I imagine she would justify it as making herself available to anyone who wants to hear her views- an argument people use today when they speak before groups that they should in fact boycott.

    Groups like the KKK are despicable but in order for them to lose members, hopefully into non- existence, we have to change their minds. I’ve had the misfortune of knowing some low- level members of a few white supremacy groups, made all the more sad because I called them friends before they fell into those crowds. One of the first things I noticed about them is that they become very insular and their thought processes feed on their rhetoric to the point that it is difficult for the individual to even consider possibilities beyond the limited amount approved by the larger group. Ultimately, they are like many other groups, such as creationists and anti- choicers, in that regard.

    The only way to reach them and expect to change their minds is to talk to them, either individually or as a group. As with many other topics we would be foolish to anticipate changing anyone’s mind immediately, but we might plant the seeds and show them a way to work past their otherwise stunted thinking. It might be a good idea for people to do as Sanger did and talk to groups like the KKK but, if someone of note were to do that, I would also advise caution and make the reasons publicly clear beforehand. Obviously there are plenty of opportunistic and dishonest people that would use such an occasion as a means to discredit that person’s other work.

  77. 77
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    I can’t fault the hecklers and disrupters. When you have a hate-monger puking out blatant lies to an unquestioning, unintelligent audience about YOUR rights and YOUR body, I’d be barely able to contain myself too. On the other hand, I also agree with the stance that – assuming they were actually pro-choice people – hammering this dippy dishonest bigot with questions about her constant and already refuted lies would have been a good thing.

  78. 78
    Jeremy Shaffer

    Reminds me of a discussion I once had with a Muslim who basically claimed that, for writing The End of Faith, Sam Harris was just as bad as Osama bin Laden and al- Qaeda for the 9/11 plot that killed 3,000+ people.

  79. 79
  80. 80
    Peter

    I can’t disagree with the feelings the hecklers had, but the pro-choice, pro-sanity side looks a lot better by allowing the idiocy to be presented and then asking hard questions, leafletting with counters to the lies, quietly picketing and generally showing strong disagreement without actually disrupting. Shouting down opposition tends to look thuggish, even when I agree with the shouters.
    Just my thoughts on the subject, for whatever it may be worth.

  81. 81
    robertbaden

    Agreed. Anti-abortionists generally advocate abstinence, and that kills us in our ovum stage.

  82. 82
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Agreed. I’m perfectly ambivelent about this. I can see myself getting so upset by the outright bullshit this bigot spews that it would be hard to contain myself. But, it can’t be denied that engaging them, so that everyone can see what a failure the Bitchez Aint Shit brigade is would ahve been much better.

  83. 83
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    What about them?

  84. 84
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    You invited a known liar to tell lies and your movement is founded on dishonesty. Why should I believe you?

  85. 85
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    I am unquestionably a person.

    If I need your blood to live, do I have the right to take it from you by force?

    NO.

    End. Of. Discussion.

  86. 86
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    I think I’ve found a flaw in your reasoning:

    Slavery is forcing a PERSON to provide a service without their consent.

    [Dear literalistic dumbasses: the above is sarcasm.]

  87. 87
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    How fucking stupid do you think women are?

  88. 88
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    http://www.freerepublic.com

    BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  89. 89
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Until someone produces some evidence that a Q&A was actually planned…

  90. 90
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Which, again, we have no reason to suppose would have happened, or would have been allowed to continue if the speaker were being demolished…

  91. 91
    Jen

    I believe it was. They passed out notecards in the beginning to everyone so they could write down their questions. The specifically announced there would be a Q&A. If I was an event organizer dealing with a rioting crowd, I’d cancel the Q&A too.

  92. 92
    ema

    The idea that Planned Parenthood is a money making venture that is deriving profits from abortions has to be one of the craziest anti-choice concepts. It’s just so mind boggling absurd.

    It’s not a crazy concept, it’s propaganda. That’s why an effective counter to it is to accuse the people spouting this nonsense that they’re dirty, stinking communists who oppose profit-making capitalism, and who are working to destroy America.

  93. 93
    ema

    Sorry, I forgot to indicate the quote

    The idea that Planned Parenthood is a money making venture that is deriving profits from abortions has to be one of the craziest anti-choice concepts. It’s just so mind boggling absurd.

  94. 94
    Feminist Woman

    Does anyone actually believe that the really tough questions would have been chosen for the Q&A?

  95. 95
    Quixote

    If you truly want a debate and you’re not finding willing opponents, despite a large and vocal pro-choice community there’s probably a reason for that. They don’t believe that you’re truly interested in an honest debate; they think it’s a set up.

    There’s a belief in the skeptic community that debating (for example) Creationists is a waste of time. All it does is give credence to the creationist side and produces sound-bites that can be manipulated post-debate to look like the skeptic side is a bunch of idiots. Given that likely outcome, why would a skeptic participate?

    And so it is with a pro-choice/anti-abortion debate. If the anti-abortion side is organizing it, what assurances does the pro-choice side have that you’re not setting them up for a propaganda piece designed to make them look bad?

    If you truly want this, I recommend approaching the campus Speech and Debate Society. If they’re willing, they can set up the rules and format for the debate, which both sides would need to agree upon. They could then moderate the debate itself. An unbiased third party is frankly the only way this would work since they have no reason to trust you otherwise.

    As an added bonus, a neutral debate *might* keep the hecklers quiet. It’s easier to let a bullshit point slide if you know one of the speakers will call bullshit when it’s their turn.

  96. 96
    Caelan Aegana

    It kind of sucks that they never got to the Q&A, but the activist in me is applauding, loudly, with lots of curses and insults for the pro-lifers

    It’s reading about this sort of thing that makes me miss my university so much. Can I just come back and be a student, forever? This job thing isn’t all it’s cracked up to be anyway.

  97. 97
    Three Ninjas

    I turned to my friend and said, “If THEY (pointing at the protesters) weren’t right, Abby wouldn’t need to be speaking. What a fucking waste of words.”

  98. 98
    Three Ninjas

    “Yeah, the speaker was ignorant on the topic…”

    Given her background, I really don’t think “ignorant” is the right word.

  99. 99
    A. Noyd

    If you want dialog, why did you bring in a speaker who is a known liar about the facts of abortion, who lies about what Planned Parenthood does, and who lied about the events leading to her so-called conversion experience? Why should anyone respect your “point of view” enough to approach it in a civil debate when you are making falsehood its very foundation? (It’s like you’re insisting the moon is made of cheese and then are acting astounded that people don’t want to humor you!)

    Don’t you think it’s your responsibility to be honest in more than just your convictions–to be factually accurate to the best of your ability in whatever you bring to any discussion of abortion? Abby is a professional liar and therefore bringing her in to speak is a sign that you are not sincere about having an honest dialog.

  100. 100
    Suzanne

    Bethany said: “If you go to UW’s Hall Health and say that you are pregnant, they will give you a packet of information. I looked at this packet myself. There are a bunch of brochures on abortion, one paragraph on adoption, and one paragraph on parenting.”

    In June 2011, I went to UW’s Hall Health, confirmed that I was indeed pregnant, and received one 300 page professionally bound book on pregnancy, a smaller 150ish page book, and several packets on support for my pregnancy. I was asked if I wanted to keep the pregnancy or wanted other options, but Dr. Smith did not do anything to persuade me one way or the other. She kindly waited for me to make my preferences known before a counselor gave me any information. The point is, the materials they have for pregnant women are pretty expensive, and if you’re not sure about what you want, then they’re probably not going to waste a $20 book explaining what you need to eat or not eat (or detailing how labor actually is: those pictures alone would be enough to boost the abortion rates).

    By the way, I now have a beautiful daughter, and I support Planned Parenthood. As a UW student who previously had to have a D&C because of a miscarriage, I am infuriated that any UW resources were used to support this (you can fill in the blanks, I’m trying to curb my swearing now that I’m a mom) “activist” speaking on campus in the first place. I wasn’t one of the “screamy” protesters in the back, but I was one who wrote a letter to the UW president making my opinions on how campus resources should be used known. I would recommend others follow suit.

    Great blog in general.

  101. 101
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    The actual question is who cares.
    What’s the relevance of whatever Magret Sanger said and did for the things that Planned Parenthood does today and whether women are human beings with rights and stuff?
    It’s like dragging out Darwin’s dirty laundry when trying to discredit evolution as if his personal failings had anything to do with the scientific theory.

  102. 102
    Desert Son, OM

    Well said, and that is kind of what I was getting at in my post further up the line about silencing voices, and it’s why I still feel like this situation is terribly complicated. Even if they were planning a Q&A session, it still sounds awfully like it was organized as a cheerleading session for the Misogyny Brigade 1st Anti-Choice Battalion.

    I know the shouting down made it impossible to have discussion, but women’s voices have been shouted down so long, so hard, through legal systems, physical brutality, and social shaming that there’s a real socio-cultural power in hearing those voices get loud.

    It’s important to support the shouting, when shouting may be the only way to get anyone’s attention. I felt outraged at the anti-choice lies, too, and want to make sure I am cognizant of making critical arguments when I engage, but sometimes it just needs to get really fucking loud. Or maybe I need to shut up more and try to support those voices that need to get loud.

    I don’t feel any closer to clarity on the form of this situation (except what I knew about the anti-choice bullshit reiterating its status as bullshit), but I’m reluctant to gainsay the shouting, even though there ended up not being any conversation. Bring the noise.

    Still learning,

    Robert

  103. 103
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Doesn’t “rioting” imply actual violence?

  104. 104
    Jen

    Multiple people had to be tackled by police in the back, and kept fighting back or trying to run away.

    “Heckling” is an understatement of what happened. I don’t think people understand how bad it was.

  105. 105
    Desert Son, OM

    This is brilliant.

    Still learning,

    Robert

  106. 106
    Suzanne

    Pop-up Protests! Brilliant!

  107. 107
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Since there has never once, in the entire history of this “debate”, been a single Bitchez Aint’ Shit Brigader who has had a shred of honesty, integrity or basic education in biology, no. Definately not.

    She would have either refused to answer questions from people with working brains, or she would have just puked out more scripted lies.

  108. 108
    carlie

    And it’s a conventionally handsome and thin white man at that. Diversity is for losers.

  109. 109
    Christoph Burschka

    Someone shouted “Citation needed!”

    I love the moments when xkcd jokes show up in real life.

  110. 110
    scragsma

    For the record, the title didn’t come from Abby, but from the organizers.

  111. 111
    scragsma

    All you have to do to find out the truth is to look at PP’s own financial records. They do, in fact, make money hand over fist, and nearly half of it is from abortions – by their own reporting.

  112. 112
    Setar, too lazy to log in on his blackberry

    Um, Azkyroth, note what I put in parentheses about Q&A being pulled because bullshit — which would mean they never intended to have it :P

  113. 113
    scragsma

    Just what does that have to do with the fact that Planned Parenthood is clearly all about abortion rather than offering alternatives? It’s their moneymaker, and constitutes nearly half of their clinic revenue. And I can attest from personal experience that a large percentage of pregnant women coming to Planned Parenthood for assistance DO NOT know that PP doesn’t provide prenatal services or postnatal services, and only in rare locations do they have information on adoption. No, PP is all about abortion, and they don’t even have the decency to provide accurate information about the procedure itself and its considerable physical and psychological risks.

  114. 114
    Setar, too lazy to log in on his blackberry

    You were spreading lies and misinformation. This is dishonest. How can we believe that the Q&A promise was not just more of the same?

  115. 115
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Um, the fact that physical force was used against progressive protestors by police does not at all imply that it was actually necessary, as innumerable recent events have indicated.

    Further, I just reread this. So, they had people write down Q+A questions on cards, they’d select them to read, and you’re expecting that questions that “demolish” them will actually be selected and read out loud?

    I’m really incredulous here.

  116. 116
    scragsma

    Hmm. So UW resources should only be used to provide information and opinions you agree with? Very ‘tolerant’ of you.

  117. 117
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    I don’t understand it. How can people still be so eager to believe that these are really decent, fair, honest people who just happen to be confused on facts and have a difference of opinion?

    It reminds me of people who keep getting suckered into believing my ex.

  118. 118
    scragsma

    No one said you think that way. Abby said that’s what Planned Parenthood stands for, and she certainly should know, having worked for them for 8 years. Not to mention that it’s clear from their actions and official statements.

  119. 119
    Lindsay

    Yeah, sure, “hand over fist.” I’m totally sold.

    To take a move from the post itself, cite your sources, please!

  120. 120
    Lindsay

    Considering bigots are hardly forced to tolerate the existence of the people they hate (see: the status of LGBT rights in the U.S.), no one is required to tolerate their bigotry. Not a single one. Only fools think that liberal-progressives actually care about the strawman known as “tolerance,” especially on an atheist’s openly anti-religion blog.

  121. 121
    scragsma

    “CLASSY”? LOLOLOL! While I do applaud his recognition of the idiocy of those who refused to keep quiet, it’s sad that he didn’t have the class to check his facts. Everything on the Students for Life and Newman Center materials was true, but he dismissed them without investigating for himself. At the same time, he accepted without question the claims of the pro-aborts, all of which have been thoroughly debunked by scientific means. Not many years ago, one of the founders of NARAL admitted openly in court that many of the ‘stats’ they used over the years to support their position were purely invented. They’re still doing it.

  122. 122
    scragsma

    It isn’t the pro-lifers refusing to debate! Pro-lifers are eager to debate anyone, anywhere, and prominent leaders in the movement have made that offer publicly in hundreds of venues. Somehow, they rarely get takers.

  123. 123
    Lindsay

    Pro-sanity? Can we please not frame this as “haha we’re sane and those dumbasses are just insane” kind of thing? They’re competent and know *exactly* what they’re doing, especially Abby Johnson, who is deliberately misinforming people of her own volition. Far from insane.

  124. 124
    PsychoDan

    I just spent far longer than I really needed to poring over Planned Parenthood’s financial reports for evidence that half their revenue comes from abortion. Since, of course, there isn’t any, I’m going to have to ask for a source.

    It did reveal that PP, an organization with over a billion dollar operating budget, brought in a whole 18 million dollars more than they spent in their last annual report (which is 2009-2010). That’s almost 2% net income. You’re right, they’re really raking it in.

  125. 125
    Jen

    And you didn’t have the brain cells to check that I’m a woman, not a “he.”

  126. 126
    scragsma

    “The speaker was ignorant”? Seems to me that working for Planned Parenthood for 8 years, 3 of which were as a clinic director, and having been PP ‘employee of the year’ her last year with them, would give her a better knowledge of the subject than anyone else in the room last night. Silly me!

  127. 127
    Lindsay

    I’m with you and the others who’ve pointed out this fact. Sure, there probably ARE anti-choicers out there who could be swayed with some actual factual information, but Abby Johnson is definitely NOT one of them. Given her background, she knows the truth but she’s misleading people on purpose to further her agenda, and has zero interest in intellectual exchange (because that requires, you know, using legitimate information). It’s vile, reprehensible crap.

  128. 128
    scragsma

    How about some evidence for calling Abby a liar? I think you just WANT to believe what you WANT to believe, and don’t want to bother trying to refute what you want to disbelieve. That’s about what the disrupters last night were doing. Do your own unbiased research, and you’ll find that everything Abby reported as fact is true, and that what she gave as her opinion is well supported by her experience.

  129. 129
    scragsma

    Represents the truth as I’ve experienced it, just as it was written. No typo.

  130. 130
  131. 131
    scragsma

    The only caveat is that your speech should be factual – which the papers they (the protesters) were handing out were not.

  132. 132
    R Johnston

    It’s entirely possible that you give Abby Johnson too much credit. It’s very easy for some people to fool themselves into believing things that are not true because, for one reason or another, they want to believe. Her claim that she watched an abortion performed over ultrasound isn’t really different than a claim that Jesus existed and was crucified to enable forgiveness of our sins. She may well be lying, but people are vastly better at deluding themselves than the nondelusional can generally imagine.

  133. 133
    R Johnston

    Why do you feel the need to lie? It’s rather pathetic of you.

  134. 134
    Lindsay

    No, I do understand our capacity for self-delusion, but that’s still not a matter of “insanity.” (In fact, that’s kind of an argument against it, because it’s something that people everywhere can do quite easily re: so many things.) I say this as a person with a mental illness who doesn’t appreciate being equated to an anti-choicer like Abby Johnson because of my bad brain chemistry. :p

  135. 135
    Lindsay

    Sources, please. Considering abortion is 3% of their total services offered, it’s pretty much impossible that it makes up half of their revenue.

  136. 136
    R Johnston

    My point is more-or-less that delusion isn’t insanity and it isn’t a mental illness. It’s a basic part of the human condition, one that takes effort to overcome.

    The capacity of humans of ordinary functionality for delusion is yet another strike against the notion of a caring creator god.

  137. 137
    totalfreedom

    in preparation for this talk, i was able to do quite a bit of research about the “Q&A” section. A number of sources report that aj will give time to answer 3-5 questions, and two videos of her talk confirm this. In a packed room with 700 seats, we were handed little white cards to write down questions on. i doubt she would have entertained the ones that really needed to be answered to challenge the power structure. We SHUT IT DOWN!! Wise up.

  138. 138
    R Johnston

    The Q&A is definitely a red herring here. The best case scenario would have been cherry picked questions, with perhaps a token pro-choice question for which a prepackaged answer was prepared; the most likely scenario by far given the ethics of those involved would have been planted questions.

  139. 139
    doktorzoom

    I was surprised to find an actual fact–or at least something that can pass as partly true–on the idiotic list of claims about Planned Parenthood. Turns out that in 2005, two of the three PP-branded condoms tested by Consumer reports actually did get the lowest test ratings, compared to commercial brands (and one other was rated “excellent”). Worth noting that while the two PP condoms were last in the ratings, they were NOT labeled unsafe or unreliable–just not as durable as the commercial brands.

    Oh, and the card neglected to mention that, following the low ratings, PP redesigned the lowest-rated condoms, making them stronger.

  140. 140
    ema

    Everything on the Students for Life…materials was true….

    What is the point of coming to a reality-based blog and declaring silly lies to be true?

  141. 141
    Tony B

    I can. Disrupting a speaker makes one no better than those asshats that shouted down the health care town halls a few years back.

    Correctness of cause has absolutely nothing to do with correctness of behavior.

  142. 142
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Wow. I hope the anti-choicer who typed the list used proper protective equipment – that’s at least several LD50s of true facts we’re talking about here.

  143. 143
    Tony B

    ^I know you’re incredulous, but something tells me that it doesn’t take a whole awful lot to get you to break out the tinfoil. Not taking a Q&A has fuck all to do with the validity or truth of her statements and their actual reasons for cancelling it were made irrelevant when supposedly rational people went in and acted like thugs.

    If we can’t behave in a civil manner then what’s the point? I’d rather be angry at an asshole who is wrong than embarrassed by one who is right.

  144. 144
    Bayli

    “Do Women Have Too Many Rights?” was a sensational and controversial SLOGAN. It was meant to attract people to the event, and it did so. In my opinion, too many people took that rhetorical question to mean that EVERY pro-Lifer is anti-woman, which is just silly. Abby Johnson, in her talk (and I believe it’s stated above” said that she herself DOES NOT believe that women have to many rights, but that they do not have enough.

  145. 145
    Bayli

    As part of the planning committee for this event, I can attest to the fact that we did intend to have a Q&A session. Originally, we had planned to have a microphone, city-hall type Q&A, but our event planning advisors from UW suggested we hand out notecards, so we did. We had every intention of answering as many questions as possible during our allotted 15 minute Q&A time, and that was made clear at the beginning of the talk.

    However, with the disruptions from protesters and the time taken away from the talk when someone had to be escorted out, Abby lost a lot of lecture time. I think that out of the 1 hr period we had originally dedicated to her testimony, she probably only spoke for ~30 minutes.

    Also, Abby is 8 months pregnant. She (as advise by her doctor, and not an unheard concept) cannot participate in tiring, stressful environments for an extended period of time. I hope none of you (who were there) would disagree that the stress imposed last night was way too much for any person to handle, let alone a pregnant person. We thought 1.5 hrs would be manageable, but that was when we thought the protesters could be civil (*Not all of the pro-choicers were uncivil*).

    So, because of the loss of time, the stress placed on Abby, and the uncertainty of civility during a Q&A session, we decided it was best to forego it.

    Not having a Q&A was disappointing for all, but the actions of a few ruined it for the rest of us.

  146. 146
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    If we can’t behave in a civil manner then what’s the point?

    Acknowledging that “civility” has always been a flagrant double standard and a club to beat the outgroup with, and fucking moving on?

  147. 147
    Kierra

    Planned Parenthood is a nonprofit organization. They aren’t “making money” on anything; they are covering expenses.

  148. 148
    Dianne

    If the “medical students for life” poster was prepared by an actual medical student or medical students, he, she, or they need to be chewed out by their professors for poor use of data. Also advised that their attitude means that they are not suitable for obstetrics. Or anesthesia-hate to see someone like that called upon to give an epidural during labor. Or internal medicine (lots of situations where an internist is called upon to evaluate a patient for abortion). Or pediatrics (sadly, ditto). Or really pathology, since they might be tempted to lie about results of a pregnancy test or whether a spontaneous abortion was completed. Maybe one of the less choosy surgical specialties. If they can get in.

  149. 149
    Tony B

    So “it’s OK when MY side does it”. You and the pro lifers deserve each other.

  150. 150
    R Johnston

    Don’t forget general practice.

  151. 151
    Desert Son, OM

    too many people took that rhetorical question to mean that EVERY pro-Lifer is anti-woman

    The anti-choice position actively works against the rights, autonomy, and health of women, because it values collections of cells incapable of life independent of the host – and it values fantasies of potentia – over the life, integrity, and decision-making of an extant, independent, and biologically complex host.

    So, even if there are the people who really really really really think they’re helping women by supporting the elimination of abortion, those people are, in fact, working against women.

    Fetuses and blastocysts cannot survive independent of the host woman. Therefore, all – all – relevant decisions should be made by one person, and one person only: the woman, without interference, without occlusion, and without emotional, legal, economic, or socio-cultural blackmail.

    Moreover, no person should be plundered. Anyone thinking blastocysts and fetuses are people must, by default, enforce the plundering of humans’ organs, tissue, and fluids in order to save the lives of other humans without consent, as Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven, has elegantly and powerfully pointed out on multiple occasions in recent days.

    “Pro-Lifers” may not want to imagine they’re anti-woman, but “pro-lifers” are part of a movement that is voraciously, deviously, and unequivocally anti-woman.

    Still learning,

    Robert

  152. 152
    Dianne

    Good point. Really, whoever did the sign needs to have a refresher course in how to evaluate the literature. At least, I hope the misstatements were due to overcredulous reading of the literature (though some are hard to explain that way: we know what causes cervical cancer and it’s not abortion-sex, yes, abortion, no.) In any case, if the person making the sign believed their misstatments, that’s bad, but if they knew better and lied, that’s worse. Doctors who lie to their patients are actively dangerous.

  153. 153
    Dianne

    Abby is 8 months pregnant. She (as advise by her doctor, and not an unheard concept) cannot participate in tiring, stressful environments for an extended period of time.

    It seems to me that she took whatever honorarium you may have offered under false pretenses then: If you invite someone to speak on the subject of whether or not a particular group of people-any group, be it women, men, minorities, gays, people of a certain religion, etc-should be stripped of their human rights, then that person should expect their speech to be controversial and potentially stressful. If she were advised by her doctor to avoid such situations, she is ethically obligated to not give speeches of such a nature. I suggest you demand your honorarium back, if any was given, and not reimburse Johnson for her costs since she took your offer under false pretenses.

  154. 154
    Bayli

    The event was called Abby Johnson: Journey from Pro-Choice to Pro-Life.

  155. 155
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    So “it’s OK when MY side does it”.

    Yelling, yes. Shooting, no.

  156. 156
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    There’s at least a small chance he has some hispanic heritage, but that’s about it.

  157. 157
    Bayli

    How does elective abortion help women, exactly? There are too many negatives associated with it for even the smallest possible of positivity to exist and/or justify the action.

    Also, as a general statement to those commenting. Pro-Life=Pro-Life, not Anti-Choice. Would you Pro-Choicers like to be called Anti-Lifers? I didn’t think so.

    I am a woman, pro-life, pro-choice, pro-man, pro-woman, pro-anyone in any state of mind, stage of development, religion, whatever.

    I AM anti-abortion. Just like I’m anti-murder, anti-discrimination, anti-homophobia, etc. Elective abortions are not identifiers or characteristics of women. Therefore, it is perfectly logical to be anti-elective abortion and pro-woman. Elective abortions were instituted to DEPRIVE, not protect the reproductive rights of women. The right to bear children without societal pressure, being ostracized or judged was pushed aside because killing a child is far easier than having the government, society and family provide financial, emotional, physical, etc., support during and after pregnancy. Women have the right to bear children. I’m trying to protect that right.

    I am anti-abortion because elective abortions perpetuate the idea that not only are unplanned pregnancies likened to tumors that need to be removed or prevented, they are also burdensome to the woman, family, society, etc. In our society, an unplanned pregnancy is always portrayed as something that will ruin the mother’s life, prevent her from achieving her goals, etc. Next to no light is shed on all of the possible improvements having that child can bring, and if not to the biological mother, to another.

  158. 158
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Disrupting a speaker makes one no better than those asshats that shouted down the health care town halls a few years back.

    Aside from the fact that the pro-choice protesters didn’t bring guns, threaten to, make barely concealed threats of murder if they don’t get their way…

    …and, you know, are trying to defend the actual rights of actual humans, rather than making people who are different from them suffer.

    Correctness of cause has absolutely nothing to do with correctness of behavior.

    Do you support treating shooting someone in self defense differently from shooting someone in cold blood?

  159. 159
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    He’s referring, of course, to the “Do Women Have Too Many Rights?” tagline. As you well know.

  160. 160
    Pteryxx

    there’s always wiki:

    Planned Parenthood is the largest provider of abortions in the U.S.[5] In 2009, Planned Parenthood performed 332,278 abortions, from which it derives about $164,154,000, or 15% of its annual revenue.[84]

  161. 161
    AdamG

    I just read through your who,e comment, and I’m pretty taken aback at just how fallacious your entire argument is. I could go line by line, but let’s focus on the end.

    In our society, an unplanned pregnancy is always portrayed as something that will ruin the mother’s life, prevent her from achieving her goals, etc. Next to no light is shed on all of the possible improvements having that child can bring, and if not to the biological mother, to another

    No one here denies that unplanned pregnancies can sometimes be positive experiences. I hope you also wouldn’t deny that unplanned pregnancies can sometimes be negative experiences for mothers and families too. The thing is, why shouldn’t a woman be able to decide for herself whether it would be a positive or negative experience giver her individual situation? By eliminating choice, you’re saying that you know every woman’s situation better than she herself does. How fucking arrogant is that? How is that any different from someone who would seek to mandate abortions in certain cases? Both cases are equally amoral. I suspect you’re too brainwashed to see this, though. I won’t even bother to rehash why a blastocyst is not a baby, it’s clear you’re resistant to scientific fact.

  162. 162
    Forrest

    This is not a debate. This is an argument.
    Inane is not fun, nor is it intellectually stimulating.

  163. 163
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Do you have a source for that outside the anti-choice disinformation mill, sleazebag?

  164. 164
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    In our society, an unplanned pregnancy is always portrayed as something that will ruin the mother’s life, prevent her from achieving her goals, etc. Next to no light is shed on all of the possible improvements having that child can bring, and if not to the biological mother, to another

    That’s the mother’s choice to make, not yours. Women are not children in need of your guidance.

  165. 165
    Allie

    I agree. “Deliberately lying” is more apropos.

  166. 166
    Allie

    Yep, because True Believers NEVER lie about their experiences…

  167. 167
    Allie

    THIS. People used to be fucking racists and use false science to support their views. This isn’t news (people still do this, in fact. I was just listening to NPR this morning–they were talking about how Jamaica dominates the Olympics in sprinting and the commentator seriously asked, “Do they have a genetic advantage?” like race is fucking genetic!)

    What bearing does it have on women having the right to choose what to do with their bodies right now?

  168. 168
    Allie

    The right to life has ALWAYS been superseded by the right to bodily autonomy in American law. Example: I cannot be compelled to donate a kidney to my daughter, even if doing so won’t hurt me and will save her life. Nor can I be compelled to donate blood, which is much less risky, or even give a hair on my head to save another person’s life because I won my body. It doesn’t matter that that person will die if I don’t donate to them. They don’t have the right to use my body without my consent. The law has always upheld my right to do what I want with my body. To pro-choicers, THAT is what this debate is about–bodily autonomy.

  169. 169
    Allie

    I agree. This is what we did when “abortion survivor” Gianna Jessen came to WSU…asked a lot of pointed questions at the Q&A and wrote letters to the editor in the school newspaper.

  170. 170
    Allie

    I don’t see it as a lost opportunity. I think it will spark a lot of debate and talk on campus, which is good (too bad it’s finals week, so there won’t be much time for including it in pedagogy…as a teacher, I would LOVE to address something like this.)

  171. 171
    Bethany

    I am sincerely glad to hear that you were given more information. I was extremely upset about the packet that my friend was given. Did you get the book before or after expressing that you wanted to keep the baby?

  172. 172
    Bethany

    I believe that human life begins at conception. If that is true, abortion is murder. I want to protect innocent fetuses (obviously including female ones) from murder, just like I would try to protect innocent infants from murder if infanticide were legal.

    I’m also actively working to help women, because I want to make it easier for women to carry their babies to term. This year, we are installing more diaper decks on campus, at a cost of thousands of dollars. We are researching resources for women so we can spread the word, and we would like to open a new resource center. Next year, we plan to focus on improving the child care difficulties on campus.

  173. 173
    Bethany

    We haven’t tried to set up a debate yet, since we’ve been busy with the Abby Johnson event. Thanks for the tip! Seems like a great idea. I’ll bookmark their page and bring it up at the next meeting.

  174. 174
    Bethany

    I knew you wouldn’t like that url, but seriously, it was just a quote from her autobiography, and it was a longer excerpt than the other sites I found. Does it really matter what the url is?

  175. 175
    Bethany

    I think the crux of the abortion debate is when human life / personhood begins.

    Case 1: Suppose a fetus is already a human person. Then here are two reasons that your examples are different than abortion:

    A. Abortion is an act with the specific purpose of getting rid of another person, which is different than not electing to perform a heroic act to save someone else.

    B. Abortion is a case where the person cannot be saved by anyone else. There are many people who can donate an organ, but only one person who can take care of the fetus until he/she is ready to be born.

    Case 2: Suppose a fetus is not a human person. Then sure, let the women choose!

  176. 176
  177. 177
    Joey Maloney

    Whether or not I condone the actions of the people in the audience at this event, I can certainly understand them. Hell, I can’t even get through this comment thread without yelling “BULLSHIT” at the monitor.

  178. 178
    Khantron, the alien that only loves

    So you’re of the opinion that if medical choices made about my body result in the death of another person then I’m not allowed to make those choices? Man we’re going to be arresting a lot of people for not donating plasma twice a week.

  179. 179
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    So, tell me, how exactly do you think women who DO NOT WANT TO BE PREGNANT are helped by being forced to remain pregnant. Let’s not even get started on rape victims, health hazards and carrying fetuses with serious malformations, just your normal, regular pregnancy.
    How does it help women to tell them that they’re not their own person anymore and must sacrifice their body and its resources for the benefit of another potential person?

  180. 180
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Also, Abby is 8 months pregnant. She (as advise by her doctor, and not an unheard concept) cannot participate in tiring, stressful environments for an extended period of time.

    Won’t somebody think of the fetus!
    Seriously, if that’s your situation, and your doc has told you to take it slowly, then flying through the country to an event where you know there will be people who will greet you with open hostility and will stress you out really seems like a good choice to me.
    Why the fuck does she do it when she knows she’s not fit to do it?
    Sounds rather irresponsible to me.

  181. 181
    Jadehawk

    There are too many negatives associated with it for even the smallest possible of positivity to exist and/or justify the action.

    other than being harassed by anti-choicers, there aren’t any negatives associated with abortions. if you have to start your comment with lying, it’s not likely anyone will take you seriously.

    Also, as a general statement to those commenting. Pro-Life=Pro-Life, not Anti-Choice. Would you Pro-Choicers like to be called Anti-Lifers? I didn’t think so.

    1)most “pro-lifers” are, at most, pro-fetus. Certainly the conservative Catholics who protest the clinic here in town are, since they’re pro-death-penalty, pro-war, pro-ectopic pregnancy, and pro-other kinds of killing.
    2)if you’re anti-abortion, you’re by definition anti-choice since you-re anti-choosing abortion.

    I AM anti-abortion. Just like I’m anti-murder,

    oh yeah. removing something that can’t even feel pain from feeding off and impairing my own body is totally like murder. *rolleyes*

    Elective abortions are not identifiers or characteristics of women. Therefore, it is perfectly logical to be anti-elective abortion and pro-woman.

    the right to full bodily autonomy is a right of all persons. Having the right to not let another being use your body for nutrition is part of that. If you’re against that, you’re, by definition, denying that women have a right to full bodily autonomy. the only way to be anti-abortion and pro-woman is to try to reduce it via better contraceptives and prenatal care, and never impinge on a woman’s right to have an abortion anyway.

    Elective abortions were instituted to DEPRIVE, not protect the reproductive rights of women.

    and now you’re lying again. or maybe you don’t know that this is untrue, and don’t care; so maybe you’re just bullshitting.

    The right to bear children without societal pressure, being ostracized or judged was pushed aside

    what complete and utter bullshit. today it’s less stigmatizing to have an unplanned child than it was pre-Roe v Wade. I’m a bastard, so trust me that I know what I’m talking about.

    Women have the right to bear children. I’m trying to protect that right.

    then you would be spending your time fighting racism and poverty, not abortion. Abortion doesn’t infringe on people’s right to have kids. that’s what “pro-choice” means.

    and if not to the biological mother, to another.

    telling. very telling. as if we didn’t have un-adopted children languishing in fostercare because they aren’t “perfect” (i.e. white, newborn, and/or without disabilities)

  182. 182
    Jadehawk

    but he[sic] dismissed them without investigating for himself[sic].

    and you’d know that… how?
    sorry to tell you, but most of us have bothered investigating. That’s how we know the anti-choicers are lying.

  183. 183
    Jadehawk

    I believe that human life begins at conception. If that is true, abortion is murder

    incorrect. even if it were true that human life began at conception, an abortion would still only be a killing. Not all killings are murder, which even anti-choicers often admit when it turns out they’re pro-death penalty, pro-war, or occasionally pro-being able to make your own decisions about your end of life care and being able to have DNR-orders. hell, even killing in self-defense isn’t murder, and if we granted the “life begins at conception” silliness, that’s exactly what many abortions would be.

  184. 184
    Jadehawk

    the genetic fallacy is apparently fashionable right now.

  185. 185
    Feminist Woman

    Really? Public universities have no legal say over who spreads information on their campuses? Citation, please!

  186. 186
    R Johnston

    The genetic fallacy is well suited for use by whackadoodle wingnuts. A large percentage of their arguments have always taken the form of false and misleading appeals to a mostly imaginary past that never was in favor of their preferred ideology; it’s a small step from there to false and misleading appeals to a mostly imaginary past against policies they don’t like.

  187. 187
    hieropants

    How does elective abortion help women, exactly?

    Well, from a purely physical perspective, it prevents pregnancy from fucking up a woman’s body and causing chronic health problems.

    From an emotional perspective, it prevents pregnancy-hormone-related mood swings, post-partum depression, guilt about giving a child away, and/or mental health problems (depression, anxiety, frustration, anger) stemming from raising a child when you don’t have the resources or desire to do so.

    From a financial perspective, it enables women to put their energies into getting an education and building a career, so that when they decide they want to raise children they have the financial resources to do so.

    Honestly, the multiple benefits are so obvious that it makes me think you’re being disingenuous asking this question.

  188. 188
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    I think the crux of the abortion debate is when human life / personhood begins.

    Case 1: Suppose a fetus is already a human person. Then here are two reasons that your examples are different than abortion:

    A. Abortion is an act with the specific purpose of getting rid of another person, which is different than not electing to perform a heroic act to save someone else.

    B. Abortion is a case where the person cannot be saved by anyone else. There are many people who can donate an organ, but only one person who can take care of the fetus until he/she is ready to be born.

    Case 2: Suppose a fetus is not a human person. Then sure, let the women choose!

    Respond to the points made just above where this post appeared about bodily autonomy superseding someone else’s supposed right to life, you lying creep.

  189. 189
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    And no, ignoring the logic presented and offering a distinction without a difference is not “responding.”

  190. 190
    dianne

    There are many people who can donate an organ

    Not even close to true. Look up “HLA matching” some time. The scenario where only one person can donate an organ or bone marrow or, sometimes, even blood, is not all that uncommon. Yet we never force anyone to donate organs, marrow, or blood. Unless you want to change that law as well, I must conclude that your agenda is enslaving women, not saving lives.

  191. 191
    Jadehawk

    I think the crux of the abortion debate is when human life / personhood begins.

    it isn’t. a fully grown adult isn’t allowed to use other people’s bodies, either.

    Abortion is an act with the specific purpose of getting rid of another person

    AKA self defense

    There are many people who can donate an organ, but only one person who can take care of the fetus until he/she is ready to be born.

    in many cases, esp. in the case of rare blood types or bone-marrow, this incorrect. and yet, we don’t force people to do bone-marrow donations, either, because a right to the use of other people’s body simply does not exist.

    Suppose a fetus is not a human person. Then sure, let the women choose!

    I am legally and ethically permitted to chose integrity of body over the lives of full-grown adults. personhood has fuck-all to do with this.

  192. 192
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    I think the crux of the abortion debate is when human life / personhood begins.

    Well, actually no.
    It’s about whether you think that women are allowed to have bodily autonomy or not.
    Call a lump of cells person or Jabberwocky as long as you want to, no person (or Jaberwocky) has any right to use my body against my will. So, next point, please.

  193. 193
    Bethany

    I don’t want to argue about word choice. I’ll say killing if you want, although if abortion becomes illegal, then without a doubt, abortion would be “murder.”

    Your comment is pretty confusing to me. For example, I am against the death penalty. However, if I was for it, why would that change my vocabulary about abortion?

  194. 194
    Bethany

    @Khantron,

    I think the crux of the abortion debate is when human life / personhood begins.

    Case 1: Suppose a fetus is already a human person. Then here are two reasons that plasma donation are different than abortion:

    A. Abortion is an act with the specific purpose of getting rid of another person, which is different than not electing to perform a heroic act to save someone else.

    B. Abortion is a case where the person cannot be saved by anyone else. There are many people who can donate plasma, but only one person who can take care of the fetus until he/she is ready to be born.

    Case 2: Suppose a fetus is not a human person. Then sure, let the women choose!

  195. 195
    ema

    How does elective abortion help women, exactly?

    It significantly reduces a woman’s risk of death (/year) from 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 263,000*.

    There are too many negatives associated with it for even the smallest possible of positivity to exist and/or justify the action.

    False. [Legal] pregnancy termination is a very safe and effective medical procedure.

    Also, as a general statement to those commenting. Pro-Life=Pro-Life….

    If your position is that the power of the State should be used to forcibly increase a woman’s mortality you are not pro-life.

    I AM anti-abortion. Just like I’m anti-murder, anti-discrimination, anti-homophobia, etc.

    You are against a common, safe, and effective medical procedure just like you are anti-murder, anti-discrimination, anti-homophobia, etc.? Your position doesn’t make sense.

    Elective abortions are not identifiers or characteristics of women. Therefore, it is perfectly logical to be anti-elective abortion and pro-woman.

    If you oppose the availability of a safe and effective medical procedure and a woman’s ability to make her own medical decisions you are anti-woman.

    Elective abortions were instituted to DEPRIVE, not protect the reproductive rights of women.

    What are you, deluded? Everybody knows that antibiotics were instituted to D.E.P.R.I.V.E. women of their reproductive rights. Antibiotics and C/Ss. Two, the two things instituted to deprive women of repro rights are antibiotics, C/Ss, and epidurals…

    The right to bear children without societal pressure, being ostracized or judged was pushed aside because killing a child is far easier than having the government, society and family provide financial, emotional, physical, etc., support during and after pregnancy.

    Rather than delve into your fantasy life why don’t we just stick with reality?

    Women have the right to bear children. I’m trying to protect that right.

    Yes, because nothing impinges on a woman’s right to bear children quite like her ability to make her own medical decisions.

    I am anti-abortion because elective abortions perpetuate the idea that not only are unplanned pregnancies likened to tumors that need to be removed or prevented, they are also burdensome to the woman, family, society, etc. In our society, an unplanned pregnancy is always portrayed as something that will ruin the mother’s life, prevent her from achieving her goals, etc. Next to no light is shed on all of the possible improvements having that child can bring, and if not to the biological mother, to another.

    First, other than in your imagination, there is no connection between the medical procedure of abortion and the biology of pregnancy. The process of implantation is indistinguishable from a neoplastic process:

    These functions of cytotrophoblasts [a layer of cells in blastocysts] invading the endometrium [the lining of the uterus] are indistinguishable from those of metastasizing malignant cells.**

    Second, it’s not enough to assert that a pregnant woman’s ability to make her own medical decisions perpetuates the idea that unplanned pregnancies are burdensome to the woman, family, society, etc.

    You have to 1) offer a valid counter to the evidence that unplanned pregnancies are, in fact, burdensome (associated with adverse maternal and child health outcomes; [t]otal public expenditures for births resulting from unintended pregnancies nationwide were estimated to be $11.1 billion in 2006), and 2) show that women’s ability to make medical decisions perpetuates false ideas and how that is relevant.

    And third:

    Next to no light is shed on all of the possible improvements having that child can bring, and if not to the biological mother, to another.

    I’m with you on this one. More light needs to be shed on all the possible improvements terminating a pregnancy can bring, if not to the uterine container, to perfect strangers.

    * Williams 21st ed, p 1518

    ** -”- , p 89

  196. 196
    Bethany

    Hi Jadehawk,

    I’m not sure how to respond to your statement, “a fully grown adult isn’t allowed to use other people’s bodies, either” because I can’t think of an example where a fully grown adult needs a specific other person’s body in a similar way to being in the womb. Could you help me out with an example?

    An act of self-defense is one where our primary intent is to defend ourselves from danger, and another person may be harmed in the process. Are you referring to cases where the mother is in danger? There are sometimes cases where woman’s life in danger, for example, an ectopic pregnancy. Then any prolifer I know would say that it is perfectly fine to surgically intervene, even though the fetus would be lost in the process. However, that is not an abortion.

    However, perhaps you are talking about more cases than when the mother’s life is literally at risk. Maybe she thinks of it as self-defense because this fetus is threatening her ability to finish school, or because it will bring shame, etc. These are definitely difficult circumstances, but they don’t make killing acceptable. If a woman was upset because her infant was making her life difficult, we wouldn’t justify killing the infant. That brings me back to my claim that the crux of the problem is when human life/personhood begins. Is the infant more of a person than the fetus?

    As far as the response that sometimes a specific person is needed for a donation, I would point out that I gave two differences, not just one. The combination make abortion different.

  197. 197
    Bethany

    Abby’s story is not known to be false. One reporter says that an anonymous PP employee contradicted it.

    We then have a problem of who to trust. Is Abby making it up? Is this reporter making it up? Is a staff member at PP making it up? Who is the most trustworthy? Who has motivation to lie? Who will suffer repercussions for being caught lying?

    Suppose Abby is telling the truth. Then man, this is terrible for Planned Parenthood. She is motivating prolifers. She’s convincing people that they have corrupt practices. She has a fascinating story to tell. She has become one of the most famous pro-life activists. Wouldn’t Planned Parenthood want to stop her any way they can? The only way to stop her is to call her a liar. If they could prove she’s a liar and take her to court, I’m sure they would. Instead, some anonymous employees at PP told a reporter that Abby is lying. If we later find out that they are the ones lying, no one will get in trouble, since we don’t even have their names.

    Suppose Abby is lying. This isn’t like quitting an ordinary job and making money by lying about your former employer. She was passionate about one side of an extremely divisive topic, and she switched, very publicly. She lost all her friends. She was no longer welcome at her pro-choice church. She no longer had a job. Think of the emotions of devoting your life to one side of this issue and THEN devoting your life to the other side. This isn’t like admitting defeat in a petty debate with your best friend. Also, wouldn’t she have carefully planned it out? She had access to the records and could say exactly what they say. If she is later proven to be lying, then she’s lost everything. She would be publicly disgraced as lying and manipulative, and both sides would be furious. Also, why would she have that quiet period in which she wasn’t telling people her real reason of quitting? No, it would be as dramatic and public as possible, if her plan was to make a career out of being a Benedict Arnold.

    We don’t have proof that Abby is telling the truth, but we also don’t have proof that she made it all up.

  198. 198
    hieropants

    There are sometimes cases where woman’s life in danger, for example, an ectopic pregnancy. Then any prolifer I know would say that it is perfectly fine to surgically intervene, even though the fetus would be lost in the process. However, that is not an abortion.

    Yes, it is. You can’t just redefine “abortion” to mean only cases where you don’t think it’s justified. An abortion is the termination of a procedure – in this case, pregnancy. A miscarriage is a spontaneous abortion, an abortion in the commonly understood sense is an induced abortion. The treatment for ectopic pregnancies is induced abortion.

    However, perhaps you are talking about more cases than when the mother’s life is literally at risk.

    The mother’s life is always “literally at risk”. Some pregnancies are low-risk and some are high-risk, but there are no no-risk pregnancies.

  199. 199
    Kaitlin

    Ema-

    I keep seeing this reference pop up:

    William’s 21st ed, p1518

    but I can’t actually seem to find the source – could you help me track it down? The only place I see it are on other pro-choice sites.

  200. 200
    Kaitlin

    Great job putting these quotes in context. I’m proud of you.

  201. 201
    Kaitlin

    Lindsay, your argument that only 3% of what they do is abortions so it couldn’t be a main money maker is ridiculous. Abortions cost more than any other service that PP provides, especially depending on how far along the mother is in the pregnancy.

  202. 202
    Kaitlin

    Oh and Kierra,

    non-profit is a tax status, not a business status. non-profits will do whatever they can to generate extra revenue, too.

  203. 203
    Kaitlin

    Then why aren’t women allowed to be fully informed about the procedure by knowing exactly what’s going to happen and by seeing the sonogram? I’ve had major surgeries and it was a legal requirement that my doctor told me everything that he was going to do, he showed me pictures before, and took pictures of the tissue after the surgery and sent me home with them (and I didn’t ask).

    Why should an abortion procedure have special requirements? If the pro-choice movement was truly about full, informed choice, I would think that they would be doing all that they could in order to ensure that the woman is as informed as she could be before a surgery like this.

  204. 204
    ema

    Williams 21st ed, p 1518 = Williams Obstetrics 21st edition, page 1518

    On the textbook site on Amazon, type in 1518 in Search box, then click on the 3rd link on the left ==> Table 58-1. Voluntary Risks In Perspective.

  205. 205
    dianne

    Bethany, first off, only someone extremely ignorant or extremely dishonest about medicine would claim that organ donation can be done by “anyone”. Have you ever heard of “rejection” or even “transfusion reactions”? Transplanting the wrong person’s tissue into another person can kill the recipient, rather nastily. Even blood donation, usually not a major problem because mature RBCs don’t express HLA, can come down to a single donor in instances where there are antibodies to multiple, rare antigens.

    Second, pregnancy is ALWAYS life threatening. There is no situation in which a pregnancy is ever “safe”. Pregnancy is among the top ten killers of young women. A pregnant woman has a higher relative risk of dying than a post-menopausal woman diagnosed with stage I breast cancer*.

    You really need to learn something about biology if you want to engage in this debate.

    *Well, a non-Hispanic white woman, anyway. Sigh. Breast cancer and pregnancy are both more dangerous for minorities, but the risk goes up more quickly for breast cancer.

  206. 206
    dianne

    Would you say that if a pregnant woman walks into an adoptions agency that they should tell her long and large about abortion?

    I’d say that would be an excellent idea. There isn’t a lot of data on the effects of relinquishing a child for adoption on the birth mother, but what there is suggests a profound negative effect on the mother’s life. Most end up with a long lasting, possibly life long depression. This is in contrast to abortion where the usual emotion is relief and most women end up seeing the decision as a positive one.

    Yes, I think adoption agencies should give women who are considering adoption a full and clear picture of what it means to them and what their options are. If they want to go ahead with the adoption, so be it, that’s their decision. But adoption agencies that spout crap about how easy it is and what a “beautiful choice” it is are doing deliberate harm to pregnant women.

  207. 207
    Kaitlin

    Public universities can’t restrict free speech. Wiki has some court case precedence: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_speech_zone#On_college_and_university_campuses

  208. 208
    Kaitlin

    Ahh! You must mean like the 1957 case of Dred Scott vs Sanford where the Supreme Court ruled UNANIMOUSLY that the white land owner’s right to property was greater than the black man’s right to liberty.

    That anti-slavery case?

  209. 209
    Kaitlin

    *1857

  210. 210
    Kaitlin

    The group should ask for their honorarium back because it was stressful? Because the incivility of the pro-choice protesters in the back made it stressful? I am so confused by your logic.

    If it were up to me and if I had the resources, I’d double her honorarium just for doing what she did, 8 months pregnant, dealing the incivility, and doing it with a smile.

  211. 211
    Kaitlin

    … and the University will be unbiased? That’s the whole reason that you can’t censor someone’s talk no matter how incorrect you think that it might be. Thanks, Big Brother!

  212. 212
    dianne

    Kaitlin, Johnson proposed to give a speech on the topic of whether women should be enslaved or not. She has given similar speeches in the past. She knew that she was speaking on a controversial subject and that she might encounter audience members hostile to her view. If she had a medical condition that made it impossible for her to speak under those conditions then she should have refused the offer of the speaking engagement. There is no shame in refusing or cancelling an engagement if one can not fulfill the expectations. That’s just basic professionalism.

  213. 213
    Jadehawk

    However, if I was for it, why would that change my vocabulary about abortion?

    oh, I’m sure it wouldn’t, since jumping to conclusions and overblown rhetoric is typical anti-choicer MO.

    I merely pointed out that even if you managed to establish that abortion is the killing of a human person, you’d still have to establish that it is a wrongful killing. which, unless you want to make the argument that women don’t have a right to bodily integrity (and to the defense thereof) the way men do, is not realistically possible.

  214. 214
    Jadehawk

    because I can’t think of an example where a fully grown adult needs a specific other person’s body in a similar way to being in the womb.

    your lack of medical knowledge is duly noted. FYI, almost every time someone needs a bone marrow transplant, the number of possible donors is often minimal, limited to the closest relatives. The same is the case when time is limited, or when someone is far down the donor list but can be saved by a specific person’s donation.

    An act of self-defense is one where our primary intent is to defend ourselves from danger, and another person may be harmed in the process. Are you referring to cases where the mother is in danger? There are sometimes cases where woman’s life in danger

    I admire your skill at word-games. I really do. However, I did not miss your attempt at sliding from “being in danger” to “being in mortal danger”. Even so, since a pregnancy ALWAYS carries a higher risk of death than non-pregnancy, even with your fudging all pregnancies can be construed as acts of self-defense.

    Then any prolifer I know would say that it is perfectly fine to surgically intervene, even though the fetus would be lost in the process. However, that is not an abortion.

    lol. “abortion” is only a word for abortions you disagree with? you’re as pathetic as creationists when they try to redefine what evolution is. sorry to inform you but an abortion is the aborting (definition: to terminate something before implementation or completion. To stop the progress of something) of any pregnancy by any means; including the abortion of ectopic pregnancies.

    And by the by, I know a number of anti-choicers who are against abortions of ectopic pregnancies, as well. They either want to force women until they are actively dying from the pregnancy, or they demand the removal of the entire segment of the tube.

    If a woman was upset because her infant was making her life difficult, we wouldn’t justify killing the infant.

    she can give it away, though. The moment you can do that with a fetus or embryo, you’ll have a valid point. But again, this is irrelevant, since all pregnancies are a danger to health and life, and as such cannot be forced; they can only be voluntary, with the right to withdraw consent at any given point. Such are the ethical rules of bodily autonomy and integrity.

    The combination make abortion different.

    not really. and even if it were, you’d still need to establish why this special case is so special it trumps a right so basic, nothing else in our legal* or ethical systems allows for an exception to it

    *well, in the US apparently people on death row 9death penalty) and terror suspects (torture) have their right to bodily integrity and autonomy violated, too, but quite frankly I don’t think that’s ethical even in those cases.

  215. 215
    julian

    We don’t have proof that Abby is telling the truth, but we also don’t have proof that she made it all up.

    We have no reason to believe the story is true. None.

    We know from others (both here and elsewhere) who have worked with PP that that her claims lie well outside the experiences of what most workers for PP experience. Neither do her description of how women respond to abortion or how abortion is carried out match anything but the most absurd caricatures put up by anti-choicers.

    We have every reason to doubt anything that comes out of her mouth.

  216. 216
    julian

    Oh for the love of Sparkle.

    Do you also object to classes having any sort of fact checking?

  217. 217
    julian

    What a joke.

    You things force feed women going in for an abortion false information about pregnancy risks, about abortion risks about the whole damn process, taking it so far in some states as to actually legislate it. You people literally force doctors to provide their patients with bad information and you’re harping about informed consent?

  218. 218
    julian

    Yeah because you’ve been an absolute paragon of good information through out this thread, Kaitlin.

  219. 219
    dianne

    I’ve had major surgeries and it was a legal requirement that my doctor told me everything that he was going to do, he showed me pictures before, and took pictures of the tissue after the surgery and sent me home with them (and I didn’t ask).

    This is such a bizarre gemisch of fact and fiction it’s hard to know where to start to try to sort it out.

    Yes, physicians are required to give informed consent to patients and answer their questions before any procedure. This consent must include a description of the procedure, the expected outcomes, the risks, the benefits, and the alternatives.

    However, I can’t think of a single other procedure where the physician is required to show the patient the tissue to be removed and can’t imagine what situation would have led to your seeing your diseased gall bladder or appendix or whatever it was without your asking. This is not standard of care anywhere in the US for any procedure that I know about except for abortion.

    Of course, if you want to see your gall stones or inflamed colon or embryo prior to the procedure and especially if doing so will help you make a decision about whether to have the procedure or not, the physician is obligated to let you see it. But only if it is helpful to you in particular, not because it is required for everyone. Except for abortion.

  220. 220
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    To say nothing of the fact that even if all the eligible donors refuse, none of them can still be forced to donate.

  221. 221
    BlackHumor

    I was not there so I might be missing something but from this description I am entirely behind the hecklers. You don’t have to be polite to assholes, guys. There is no requirement to humor horrible people.

    Just a few counterarguments I can anticipate, having read the thread:

    Freedom of speech is a red herring. She had her freedom of speech. She was speaking in front of a large crowd, which is more than what most people can say. She doesn’t have the freedom to have other people listen to her.

    Waiting for the Q&A would’ve been entirely too respectful. You, again, do not have to respect nasty people.

    I don’t particularly care about the impression this gave of pro-choicers but I have to say that politely demolishing her argument would not have been as effective as you guys think it would. Abby’s argument is transparently crap; people who care about what she says are not people who will be convinced by reasonable arguments. And of course there’s the real danger that her argument wouldn’t even have been demolished, especially if she gets to pick the questions.

  222. 222
    Lindsay

    oh my arceus the pleasure I get when someone shouts BIG BROTHER while pushing a right-wing agenda. No, really, show me just how well you actually understood the anti-right-wing Orwell. Please do.

  223. 223
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Suppose Abby is telling the truth. Then man, this is terrible for Planned Parenthood. She is motivating prolifers. She’s convincing people that they have corrupt practices.

    True. It would, however, have nothing to do with the topic of women’s rights and the right to choose. I’d say that most pro-choicers would be very much against corruption and malpractise. The answer, however, would be to reform and change services. You know, the solution to corrupt police officers usually isn’t to abandon police.

    She has a fascinating story to tell. She has become one of the most famous pro-life activists.

    Looks like she has gained a lot with her new allies and her new story.

    Wouldn’t Planned Parenthood want to stop her any way they can? The only way to stop her is to call her a liar.

    You notice that this is absolutely indistiguishable from the scenario in which she is actually lying?

    If they could prove she’s a liar and take her to court, I’m sure they would. Instead, some anonymous employees at PP told a reporter that Abby is lying.

    Ehm no, they have. They have sought an injunction against her giving out confidential information (like patient data, you know)
    BUt lying as such is not illegal. The USA have very strong laws to protect freedom of speech and very week laws to protect people from libel.

    She was passionate about one side of an extremely divisive topic, and she switched, very publicly.

    Yes, and the day after she had allegedly a change of heart, she gave a radio interview defending PP and everything that they do
    Tell me, was she lying then? And if she did, and came off as passionate as convinced as she seems now, how can you trust her then? Because her current position is the one you hold true?

    She no longer had a job.

    Yes, and part of the actual story is that she was about to lose that job due to bad performance. Whenever you toot out the “employee of the year”, you conveniently forget the “on performence improvement plan when she quit.”

    She had access to the records and could say exactly what they say.

    Or what she said they say.

    If she is later proven to be lying, then she’s lost everything. She would be publicly disgraced as lying and manipulative, and both sides would be furious.

    you are naive, aren’t you? Because so far I haven’t seen any pro-lifer being outraged at their side lying. The “breast cancer story” On handouts at your own event. Or the “contraception doesn’t prevent abortion” nonsense.

    We don’t have proof that Abby is telling the truth, but we also don’t have proof that she made it all up.

    In which case you’d simply believe her because you want to, but it ain’t so.
    Her basic story is that on Sept. 26 she assisted an ultrasound guided abortion on a patient who was 13 weeks pregnant. Now, we have the physician who performed the abortions that day (your anonymous employee. Yeah, an abortion doctor who isn’t happy to have his personal data on the internet, why, in the name of late Dr. Tiller might that be?) who says that neither did he use an ultrasound that day, nor did Johnson assist. Well, why is his claim credible? Because it fits with the records kept by the state of Texas. That day there was no patient who was 13 weeks pregnant (a point where an ultrasound would be usefull), none of them was past 10 weeks.
    So, that’s several falsehoods already.

    And before you say anything about “well maybe she mixed up 10 and 13 weeks”, since your medical knowledge seems woefully inadequate, and ultrasound is no fucking use at 10 weeks because it would have to be transvaginal, leaving no room for the instruments.

    So, how do you explain all those discrepancies in her story?

  224. 224
    ema

    Then why aren’t women allowed to be fully informed about the procedure by knowing exactly what’s going to happen and by seeing the sonogram?

    Perhaps it would be helpful if you familiarized yourself with the facts?

    I’ve had major surgeries and it was a legal requirement that my doctor told me everything that he was going to do, he showed me pictures before, and took pictures of the tissue after the surgery and sent me home with them (and I didn’t ask).

    How is your anecdote relevant?

    Why should an abortion procedure have special requirements?

    It doesn’t.

    If the pro-choice movement was truly about full, informed choice, I would think that they would be doing all that they could in order to ensure that the woman is as informed as she could be before a surgery like this.

    Exactly! If the pro-choice movement was truly about full, informed choice, they would be doing all that they could in order to ensure that the woman is as informed about abortion as she could be before being allowed to receive prenatal care.

  225. 225
    dianne

    Which has happened, more often than anyone would like. Consider, for example, a patient who needed a bone marrow donation for a leukemia that would otherwise kill her. She had no matched relatives. She did have a match in the volunteer database. Only one, which is not unusual-it’s fairly common to have NO matches. The potential donor refused. Yes, this story ends exactly how you expect.

    Marrow donation is quite safe. Actually, about as safe as abortion, making it about 10-20x safer than completing a pregnancy. The danger of kidney donation is similar to that of completing a pregnancy (in some instances, safer.) Yet we absolutely never force anyone to donate marrow or a kidney or even blood.

    What we are doing is trying to find ways around this problem: use of chimerism (aka a “mini” transplant) to induce tolerance to the new marrow. In some cases, this has been combined with organ transplant to induce tolerance to the organ as well. New immunosuppressants that are safer and more specific. Heck, attempts to bypass the whole problem by making organs in vitro from the patients’ own cells (not proved out yet).

    In short, in cases where there is definitely a human life at stake, an unquestionably real person, we never force another person to give part of their own body or take a risk to keep that first person alive. But we do expend considerable resources to find ways to keep the patient alive and decrease the dependance on the willingness of others to sacrifice their time and body parts. If so-called pro-lifers were really interested in saving embryos, they’d be working on ways to transplant the embryos or artificial uteruses or even on ways to make pregnancy safer. That they aren’t says all anyone needs to know about their real motives.

  226. 226
    R. Johnston

    While transplanting fetuses sounds good in theory, it’s hard to imagine how such a procedure could ever be anywhere near as safe for the pregnant woman as an abortion, or even as safe as pregnancy and full term delivery. It would seemingly have to involve a rather lengthy and delicate abdominal surgery. Preterm hysterotomies are already known to be very dangerous–significantly more dangerous, in fact, than full-term C-sections–which is why method has essentially been abandoned in favor of induction and D&C variations for mid-late pregnancy abortions. Even if the transplant issues could be worked out, fetal transplant at any pre-viability stage of pregnancy would be at least two or three orders of magnitude more likely to result in a woman’s death than an abortion.

    Fetal transplant simply isn’t a viable path for providing some sort of compromise on abortion.

  227. 227
    R. Johnston

    Just wanted to add that I worked at the Center for Reproductive Rights, then the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy, back during the first round of intact D&X litigation, where I did a lot of research on the topic of post-first trimester abortion techniques and history. The matter of how dangerous a hysterotomy abortion is is one of the things that really stood out in that research.

  228. 228
    dianne

    Transplanting fetuses is science fiction and would likely have significant technical difficulties. I’d probably approach it via the transvaginal route, after some hormonal manipulation to remove the placenta from the uterine wall, if I were trying to do it, rather than going for abdominal surgery.

    But my point was that the “pro-life” movement which is supposedly all about saving embryos isn’t even trying. They’re not lobbying for funding of programs to improve maternal and fetal health or research into ways to prevent miscarriage or to attempt to develop an artificial uterus, much less the wilder application of transferring an embryo. If they were truly interested in saving embryos, they’d be into that as well as preventing abortion and would probably prioritize the higher risk of miscarriage over the relatively low risk of abortion.

  229. 229
    R. Johnston

    I’ve encountered way too many people–including plenty of pro-choice people–who haven’t understood that transplanting fetuses is science fiction, that it’s not just a question of the technology advancing far enough. I got and approve of the rest of your point and I’m sorry if my off target response obscured that.

  230. 230
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    I realize that I am showing my ignorance here, but what about in vitro fertilizations? Doesn’t that involve transplanting a fetus into someone’s uterus at least? I realize that taking a viable fetus out is a completely different matter, of course, but that though occurred to me. Also, I think that an artificial uterus is at least semi plausible as something that could be developed in the future, and if that were to be the case, you wouldn’t need to transplant anything; just grow a fetus in vitro and put it in.

  231. 231
    Feminist Woman

    I’m no lawyer, but it seems to me there is a difference between:

    * letting someone speak

    and:

    * providing them a public platform and allowing them to advertise the event all over campus

  232. 232
    Bethany

    hieropants – I am using the commonly accepted definition of abortion in the context of pro-life discussions. No one wants to outlaw miscarriages (that wouldn’t even make sense), and I don’t know of anyone who is against treating ectopic pregnancies, even though the fetus will be lost.

    Also, yes, pregnancies carry some risk. So does driving your child to school. That doesn’t excuse killing your child in self-defense.

  233. 233
    Pteryxx

    Dalillama: IVF involves transplanting a very early embryo, still at the ball o’ cells stage, into a person’s uterus and letting it implant itself. The embryo burrows into the uterine wall and grows placental tissues that interface with the uterine blood supply. Once a placenta’s formed, the embryo (and later fetus) depend on its blood flow for oxygen, so the flow can’t be interrupted for more than a few minutes – and the placenta is grown into the uterus like two strips of Velcro, so it can’t just be peeled away without massive bleeding. (Labor and surgical abortion also have to mitigate the risk of bleeding, which is one reason black-market abortion is so dangerous.)

    It might be simpler, somewhere in the fictiony future, to transplant a fetus by reattaching its umbilical cord; but that would require an artificial *placenta* and amniotic sac, not just a uterus.

  234. 234
    dianne

    No one wants to outlaw miscarriages (that wouldn’t even make sense),

    Actually, quite a few of the proposed laws that are supposedly about abortion would criminalize miscarriage in one way or another. Laws that would criminalize miscarriage have been proposed in Utah and Georgia (got to admit that I don’t know if they passed or not).

    There are also various cases of women being prosecuted for “child abuse” for actions which led to miscarriage. One particularly famous case was the woman jailed for making a suicide attempt which resulted in a miscarriage. She was charged with murder. She did not attempt abortion, but suicide.

    and I don’t know of anyone who is against treating ectopic pregnancies, even though the fetus will be lost.

    Actually, there is a famous case in Arizona where a Catholic hospital performed a life saving abortion and were reprimanded and ultimately, IIRC, lost affiliation with the Catholic church (and presumably, a lot of their funding) because of this act. I’ve also heard the argument–from a Catholic nun–that one should wait until after the tube bursts in an ectopic pregnancy to avoid killing the embryo. In other words, even though there’s no chance of the embryo surviving until term, wait until it destroys the tube, compromising the woman’s fertility and life, for an embryo that is definitely dead anyway.

    Incidentally, a tubal pregnancy never lasts long enough for a fetus to form. The pregnancies are essentially always lost in the embryonic stage.

  235. 235
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    I am using the commonly accepted definition of abortion in the context of pro-life discussions.

    No, you’re using it to suit your needs. Abortion is a pretty wide range. Each and every miscarriage is an abortion, aka spontaneous abortion or missed abortion.

    Also, yes, pregnancies carry some risk. So does driving your child to school. That doesn’t excuse killing your child in self-defense.

    Wait, what?
    Tell me, how many times have you been pregnant that you feel competent to make that comparison?

    Thought so.
    And of course it absolutely bullshit.
    Daddy can drive, kid can take the bus, or even walk. Nobody would force a woman who is absolutely unwilling to drive behind a steering wheel. But you think it’s ok to force her to remain pregnant….

  236. 236
    Jadehawk

    Then why aren’t women allowed to be fully informed about the procedure by knowing exactly what’s going to happen and by seeing the sonogram?

    it worries me that you can’t tell the difference between “allowed” and “forced to”

  237. 237
    Jadehawk

    I am using the commonly accepted definition of abortion in the context of pro-life discussions.

    so you admit that anti-choicers use the incorrect definition, one that basically amounts to “abortions we don’t like”?

    No one wants to outlaw miscarriages (that wouldn’t even make sense

    you are, of course, wrong. you personally might not want to, but in effect, miscarriages have been treated as potential criminal offenses already in a number of states. most notably, a bill in utah tried to criminalize everything a woman might do that might induce a miscarriage (it was probably meant to limit illegal abortions, but effectively it meant a woman who ate wrong, or smoked, or was addicted, or fell down while exercising could have been put in jail for it)

    That doesn’t excuse killing your child in self-defense.

    it does however “excuse” my refusal to drive the child to school, in much the same way it “excuses” my refusal to let a fetus leech off my uterus.

  238. 238
    Pteryxx

    dianne:

    Actually, there is a famous case in Arizona where a Catholic hospital performed a life saving abortion and were reprimanded and ultimately, IIRC, lost affiliation with the Catholic church (and presumably, a lot of their funding) because of this act. I’ve also heard the argument–from a Catholic nun–that one should wait until after the tube bursts in an ectopic pregnancy to avoid killing the embryo.

    Ophelia covered this extensively. It’s official Catholic policy to withhold lifesaving medical care when abortion is the only option.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/2012/03/december-2010-episcopal-evil/

    Quoting the ACLU’s letter in the case:

    …just last week it was revealed that the Bishop of Phoenix threatened to remove his endorsement of St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center – where, as discussed in our previous letter, doctors provided a life-saving abortion to a young mother of four in November 2009 – unless the hospital signed a written pledge that it would never again provide emergency abortion care, even where necessary to save a woman’s life.

    This is Ophelia quoting the bishop’s own letter, next post:

    Yes really. This isn’t my usual hyperbole, it’s exactly what the bishop of Phoenix, Thomas Olmsted, tells the president of Catholic Healthcare West in an official letter dated November 22, 2010.

    I now ask that CHW agree to the following requirements by Friday, December 17, 2010. Only if all of these items are agreed to, will I postpone any action against CHW and St. Joseph’s Hospital. Specifically, I require the following in order for me to postpone any further canonical action directed against St. Joseph’s Hospital:

    1. CHW must acknowledge in writing that the medical procedure that resulted in the abortion at St. Josephs’ hospital was a violation of ERD 47, and so will never occur again at St. Joseph’s Hospital.

    The medical procedure that resulted in the abortion at St. Josephs’ hospital was done to save the life of the mother when the only alternative was that both the mother and the fetus would die.

    Post, with link to pdf of the bishop’s letter, here:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/2012/03/bishop-to-hospitals-let-women-die-thats-an-order/

  239. 239
    Pteryxx

    From the Bixby center at UC San Francisco, a 2008 study on how miscarriages are handled when Catholics take over hospitals. The pregnant woman can be septic or bleeding to death, and they still won’t intervene until the fetus dies on its own.

    http://www.escholarship.org/uc/item/8dm907hm#page-1

    http://www.escholarship.org/uc/item/8dm907hm.pdf

    When There’s A Heartbeat – Miscarriage Management in Catholic-Owned Hospitals

    Physicians such as Dr H found that in some cases, transporting the patient to another hospital for dilation and curettage (D&C) was quicker and safer than waiting for the fetal heartbeat to stop while trying to stave off infection and excessive blood loss.

    Because the fetus was still alive, they wouldn’t intervene. And she was hemorrhaging, and they called me and wanted to transport her, and I said, ‘‘It sounds like she’s unstable, and it sounds like you need to take care of her there.’’ And I was on a recorded line, I reported them as an EMTALA [Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act]violation. And the physician [said], ‘‘This isn’t something that we can take care of.’’ And I [said], ‘‘Well, if I don’t accept her, what are you going to do with her?’’ [He answered], ‘‘We’ll put her on a floor [i.e., admit her to a bed in the hospital instead of keeping her in the emergency room]; we’ll transfuse her as much as we can, and we’ll just wait till the fetus dies.’’

  240. 240
    hieropants

    I am using the commonly accepted definition of abortion in the context of pro-life discussions.

    The commonly accepted definition of abortion in the context of pro-life discussions is induced abortion, which includes the treatment of ectopic pregnancies. Just because it doesn’t make any sense for anyone to be against abortion in the cases of nonviable or imminently life-threatening pregnancies doesn’t mean people aren’t against them anyway.

    Also, yes, pregnancies carry some risk. So does driving your child to school. That doesn’t excuse killing your child in self-defense.

    Driving isn’t compulsory. That is a nonsensical analogy.

  241. 241
    Bethany

    Okay, there are too many comments for me to respond to each one separately, so here is a general clarification of what I am trying to say in this thread.

    It is illegal to intentionally kill your two-year-old daughter unless there’s some crazy scenario in which your child is about to kill you or someone else, and it’s the only way you can think of to stop her. (It’s possible that there may be some other strange scenario, but you get the idea.)

    I suggest that IF we can agree that the fetus is also a human being / person, then it also shouldn’t be legal to intentionally kill it, whether that means going to Planned Parenthood to get it dismembered, or intentionally doing something pretty likely to cause a miscarriage, or whatever, unless that is necessary to prevent you from dying yourself.

    I don’t have an encyclopedic knowledge of all proposed laws, or all policies at all hospitals, so I can’t speak to whether or not I agree to all of them. That’s not at all the point.

    As far as the suggestion that any sort of organ/marrow/blood/etc donation is analogous, even if you are the only possible person who could help, I say that it is still different because one is taking an action to kill and the other one is choosing not to take a saving action.

    There are other cases where the law does not require us to save people, but it does require us to not take action to kill them. For example, suppose I was standing with another woman near a cliff, and there was no one else nearby. If the woman started to trip, I would not be legally required to save her from falling off. However, it would be illegal to push her off the cliff.

    I hope I didn’t forget any of your comments; there were a lot of them.

  242. 242
    Bethany

    julian: I’m glad to hear her experiences lie outside of what _most_ workers experience. That doesn’t make her a liar. For example, Abby says that she was shocked when her region was having financial difficulties and she was told that she needed to increase the number of abortions. If the story is true, it does not mean that every employee at every PP is told to increase the number of abortions all the time. It just means that it happened there and then, and perhaps that information was not even passed down to anyone below Abby (the director of the whole clinic).

    Her description of how women respond? I haven’t heard everything Abby has ever said, but I’m guessing she said the women sometimes regret their abortions, or something to that effect. Here is a page about how different studies conflict on this topic:
    http://hopeafterabortion.com/?page_id=213
    At the very least, it is not as black and white as some people make it sound. There is at least a possibility that this is a significant issue. If some studies say that abortion often has significant psychological consequences for women, and other don’t, then why is PP allowed to pick one answer and publicize it as the almighty truth and we aren’t allowed to cite studies that say the contrary?
    You may notice that this is part of a web site for a ministry for women who want to heal from their abortion. I hope that you are not writing off their experiences as never happening.

    “or how abortion is carried out?” I’m not sure what you are referring to. Are you saying that she describes the procedure incorrectly?

    Giliell,

    You’re right. If Planned Parenthood is corrupt, that does not make abortion wrong. However, since I read a lot of news from pro-life sources, I am constantly reading about the corruption of abortion clinics. It is incredibly depressing, and it doesn’t make it into the mainstream media. It’s like pro-choice people are SO defensive of PP and other abortion clinics that they cannot publicly even consider that anything bad has ever happened in one. This does not make abortion safe, at all. Did you know that if a woman dies from abortion complications, this does not have to be noted on the death certificate? (http://www.hli.org/index.php/condoms/333?task=view)
    Examples of corruptness: liveaction.org, http://www.lifenews.com/2012/05/02/kansas-seizes-medical-records-after-abortion-doc-dumped-them/

    PP has not _actually_ done anything about Abby lying. Correct me if I am wrong, but all that has happened is two things:
    1. She was taken to court soon after resigning, Nov 10, 2009. PP lost the case. This was not about lying, it was because they were concerned that she would share confidential information.
    2. They also filed a lawsuit, but that was dropped on November 17, 2009.

    I’m not outraged about the breast cancer stuff or the contraception stuff because it’s not conclusively lying. There are studies saying both things. If we’re not allowed to cite studies just because other ones contradict them, then PP is also lying.

    As I said before, we don’t know if her story fits with the records or not. We know that a reporter claims that an anonymous employee claims to have looked at the records. That is far from proof.

  243. 243
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Okay, there are too many comments for me to respond to each one separately, so here is a general clarification of what I am trying to say in this thread.
    The problem is, you’re still not making much sense. But I’ll come to that step by step

    It is illegal to intentionally kill your two-year-old daughter unless there’s some crazy scenario in which your child is about to kill you or someone else, and it’s the only way you can think of to stop her. (It’s possible that there may be some other strange scenario, but you get the idea.)
    It is perfectly legal to let my 2 year old die because she needs a kidney and I refuse to part with one of mine. If she, or anybody else tried to take it by force I’d be perfectly entitled to kill them. But still, an embryo isn’t a 2yo. Let’s play the good old pro-lifer’s game: You’re in a burning building. There’s a 2 year old and a container with 2000 frozen blastocytes. You can only save one, which one? 2000 “people” or the measely 2yo?


    I suggest that IF we can agree that the fetus is also a human being / person, then it also shouldn’t be legal to intentionally kill it, whether that means going to Planned Parenthood to get it dismembered, or intentionally doing something pretty likely to cause a miscarriage, or whatever, unless that is necessary to prevent you from dying yourself.

    Well, we can’t but it’s not relevant, so I’ll agree to pretend for the sake of the argument that it is.
    No, it does not follow. But taking your argument to the logical solution, it would, of course, also outlaw miscarriage, because unintentionally killing other people is also a crime.
    I’ll get to the core argument of bodily autonomy later.


    I don’t have an encyclopedic knowledge of all proposed laws, or all policies at all hospitals, so I can’t speak to whether or not I agree to all of them. That’s not at all the point.

    It is, since it is already a problem, as others have pointed out above.


    As far as the suggestion that any sort of organ/marrow/blood/etc donation is analogous, even if you are the only possible person who could help, I say that it is still different because one is taking an action to kill and the other one is choosing not to take a saving action.

    Your logic is flawed, which is where the rubber hits the road. So, let us establish, for the sake of the argument, that fertilized egg/embryo/fetus = person in need of help and pregnancy = organ/blood/marrow donation.
    In order to proceed with a donation, your explicit consent is needed. So, for a pregnancy, your explicit consent is needed, too. A woman who uses contraception that fails her has even explicitly denied her agreement. So, when the egg implants it violates her bodily autonomy already. A woman who doesn’t use contraception still has to consent as soon as she notices what has happened.
    To go back to the donation: Somebody sliped a needle into your arm while you were unconscious. Are you allowed to remove it?
    You have secretly been fed the medication necessary for marrow donation (which is much easier nowadays) and hooked you up with the machine while you were asleep. Are you allowed to stop it? Are people allowed to remove one of your kidneys for donation while you’re undergoing some surgery anyway? In all those cases, a person’s life depends on you just to let things go on. The last three scenarios carry a lot less risks and general troubles than the pregnancy. You’re desperately trying to make your examples different when they aren’t.


    There are other cases where the law does not require us to save people, but it does require us to not take action to kill them. For example, suppose I was standing with another woman near a cliff, and there was no one else nearby. If the woman started to trip, I would not be legally required to save her from falling off. However, it would be illegal to push her off the cliff.

    Yes, that’s because when she’s just standing there she’s not infringing on your bodily autonomy. But she trips and falls and grabs your arm and now she’s dangling on your arm over the cliff. She’ll hang there for 9 more months. Nobody else can hold her, you cannot pull her up. Are you allowed to free yourself?
    Again, your example doesn’t fit the premises.

  244. 244
    dianne

    You have secretly been fed the medication necessary for marrow donation

    GCSF aka neupogen. It’s an injection, doesn’t work orally. But could be injected while the victim was sleeping.

    Sorry, bionerd distraction. I agree with you entirely.

  245. 245
    dianne

    Oops. Misplaced response. Should go with giliell’s comment above.

  246. 246
    Interrobang

    There is no conflict of rights. If you’re squatting in my tenement, I can evict you. If you break into my house, in some jurisdictions I can kill you on the spot and not even get asked any questions about it; in others, I can turf you out with no questions asked, with or without police assistance. If I invite you into my house and you take a shit on my rug, I can still grab you by the collar and bounce you down my porch steps.

    In what possible universe do you think it’s fair that I can use (possibly deadly) force to get an unwanted intruder out of my mere property, but not out of my very own body? Sorry, this is a no-brainer, and even ancient laws say that I get to decide who gets to enter and when they have to leave.

  247. 247
    Bethany

    I already addressed if someone (including my daughter) needs my kidney – it’s the difference between action and inaction.

    “Well, we can’t but it’s not relevant, so I’ll agree to pretend for the sake of the argument that it is.” – I don’t know what this is referring to.

    Unintentionally killing other people is not always a crime. More specifically, we all know perfectly well that before Roe v. Wade, natural miscarriages were not illegal.

    The other laws are not relevant to whether or not killing a fetus is illegal. When they abolished slavery, it took a long time to figure out the ramifications and argue about a lot of laws. That does not mean that slavery should still be legal.

    I think an important thing to remember when you say that a pregnancy violates a person’s bodily autonomy is that the fetus did not choose to come into existence. None of us intentionally invaded our mothers’ wombs. The fetus is 100% innocent.

    Then we get to the analogy where you wake up and you are hooked up to donate marrow/organ/etc. Now, this one is actually interesting. First off, the person who hooked you up without your consent is clearly doing something illegal. In the case of rape, the analogous person would be the person who raped you. In any other case, the pregnant woman had sex, knowing that there was a possibility of getting pregnant, even if she used awesome contraception. Then there’s the poor person hooked up to you who needs you, analogous to the fetus. I would argue that it is clearly immoral to unhook yourself, even though it’s not illegal. I would argue that in the case of consensual sex, it would be analogous to signing paperwork that you are taking some action and realize that there is some non-zero probability that this could end up with you being hooked up for a transplant (or analogously, pregnant). In that case, I think it would be clear that you can’t unhook yourself. I’m honestly not sure how to argue the legality of this in the rape case. However, would you be willing to agree that, assuming the fetus is a human being, intentionally killing should be illegal except in the case of rape, in which case it would just be morally wrong? I’ll think about this case some more.

    As to the cliff example, where the woman is hanging on to your arm, that would be different because there is no way to save both of you. If you really cannot pull her up and no one else is going to come along and help you, and you’re about to die of starvation, it would be fine to let her fall. Losing one life is better than losing two lives. I assure you as someone actually in the pro-life movement that in an analogous scenario, where the option is either to save the mother or lose both, any sane person would choose to save the mother. Also, in a scenario where the option is to either save the mother and lose the fetus or save the fetus and lose the mother, then we would want to save the mother. Examples that this really is what people think:
    http://www.prolifephysicians.org/rarecases.htm
    http://www.feministsforlife.org/Q&A/Q3.htm
    http://www.catholic.net/index.php?option=dedestaca&id=177
    I can give you more if you really want it, but I think that gets the point across.

  248. 248
    Bethany

    Sorry, my response ended up down a level.

  249. 249
    Bethany

    Interrobang,

    The difference between your example and a pregnancy is the fetus is completely innocent, and did not intentionally end up in your body.

    As a similar example to Giliell’s, what if a baby was left in your house by some other person, and began to bother you? No matter how disruptive the baby was, presuming it was young enough to not know any better, it sure wouldn’t be legal to shoot it, unless someone’s life was in immediate danger and there were no alternatives.

  250. 250
    dianne

    I would argue that in the case of consensual sex, it would be analogous to signing paperwork that you are taking some action and realize that there is some non-zero probability that this could end up with you being hooked up for a transplant (or analogously, pregnant). In that case, I think it would be clear that you can’t unhook yourself.

    Showing your ignorance again. You can “unhook” yourself from an agreement to donate marrow or an organ for a transplant. If you change your mind up to the moment you go under anesthesia then you are not required to donate a kidney or marrow. In the case of peripheral blood stem cells, you can change your mind while you are in the middle of the stem cell collection process (it’s not painful so you’re not anesthetized.)

    Again, why should it be different for pregnancy? There is a stronger case for forcing people to go through with organ or tissue donation: No one gets drunk and accidentally gives a DNA swab for entry into the donor registry. No one ever got registered as a potential donor because registering was so much fun that they were willing to take the risk. The only reason anyone would ever know that they even can donate tissue is because they voluntarily, without coercion, signed up for HLA testing and entry into the registry. Yet we don’t force people to go through with it if they don’t want to. Why do you insist that forcing women to give up their bodies to an at best ambiguously human entity is in any way even slightly moral?

  251. 251
    dianne

    The difference between your example and a pregnancy is the fetus is completely innocent, and did not intentionally end up in your body.

    Sigh. A teratoma is completely innocent and didn’t intentionally end up in your body either. And will die if you don’t keep it in your body. And comes from a fertilized egg. Want to demand that everyone incubate them indefinitely?

  252. 252
    Bethany

    I was under the impression that this analogy meant that you were sufficiently far along in the process that it would be pretty bad to unhook yourself. If you are near the beginning of the process, then what is the point of this convoluted analogy? It’s no different than denying a request to donate something when they contacted you to ask, except that you have given other people hope.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but signing up for a registry does not involve promising to donate at every possible opportunity.

  253. 253
    Bethany

    To clarify, when I said that it would be like signing a paper, I was trying to change the transplant analogy to include the part where you are taking some action (such as having sex) with the knowledge that there is some probability that this action will result in a human life depending on you, and you alone (since contraception is not completely failproof).

    The point is in consensual sex, you agreed that you may have to take on the responsibility of someone else’s life, to the point where they cannot possibly live without you. I’m not sure how to make the transplant analogy keep working, but it was not my analogy in the first place.

  254. 254
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Bingo, and having sex doesn’t mean you consent to 9 months of pregnancy.

  255. 255
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    However, would you be willing to agree that, assuming the fetus is a human being, intentionally killing should be illegal except in the case of rape, in which case it would just be morally wrong? I’ll think about this case some more.

    Well, why?
    You just made the case that, in the donor scenario, even when the hooking up was illegal it shouldn’t be legal to stop the transfusion.
    I think it attests to some decency and empathy of yours that you realize how horrible it would be to force a woman who was raped to go through pregnancy, but from the “point of view” (as in so far as something that doesn’t have any consciousness, sense or capacity for them yet can have a point of view) of the embryo there’s zero difference between rape, contracption failure and risky sexual behaviour. If you grant the embryo moral standing above that of the woman, you have to do so in all cases.
    Yet you’re fortunately unwilling to do so in case of rape.

  256. 256
    dianne

    I was under the impression that this analogy meant that you were sufficiently far along in the process that it would be pretty bad to unhook yourself. If you are near the beginning of the process, then what is the point of this convoluted analogy?

    At what point would you say that it would be “pretty bad” to “unhook” yourself from donating? Remember, that you’re probably not going to be even asked to donate unless it has already been determined that you’re a match for a person who is dying of a condition that is curable with transplant and that you are almost certainly the only person who is an appropriate match. So, only you can save this person. Should all calls to potential donors be made by the police to ensure that no one escapes their responsibility?

  257. 257
    Jadehawk

    I think an important thing to remember when you say that a pregnancy violates a person’s bodily autonomy is that the fetus did not choose to come into existence. None of us intentionally invaded our mothers’ wombs.

    that’s not just not important, it’s irrelevant. intent isn’t magic: if a fetus is squatting in my uterus, it’s pretty irrelevant that it didn’t chose this; it still is squatting in my uterus, harming my health, and I have a right to deny it this function.

    it doesn’t matter whether you consider the fetus “innocent”. it’s deeply relativist and discriminatory to be deciding whether I should be permitted to exercise my rights over my body based on the reputation/social standing/moral status of the person harming me.

    In any other case, the pregnant woman had sex, knowing that there was a possibility of getting pregnant, even if she used awesome contraception.

    aaah, took you long enough to get to the slut-shaming. sorry, but consent is specific, not general. consent to A is never implied consent to B, so my having sex is never consent to pregnancy.

    In that case, I think it would be clear that you can’t unhook yourself.

    nope. if I signed a contract specifically saying I’m agreeing to not unhook myself, then you’d have a point. Otherwise, no.
    But even that scenario goes against modern ethics. That’s why you can’t sell yourself into slavery or indentured servitude: there is no such thing as a legal or moral obligation that takes away your right to bodily autonomy.

    you have some big issues with the concept of consent. very worrisome.

    However, would you be willing to agree that, assuming the fetus is a human being, intentionally killing should be illegal except in the case of rape, in which case it would just be morally wrong?

    of course not. how many more times do we have to explain to you that it’s unethical to demand women to give up bodily autonomy with no right to withdraw consent?

    I assure you as someone actually in the pro-life movement that in an analogous scenario, where the option is either to save the mother or lose both, any sane person would choose to save the mother.

    to absolutely no one’s surprise, you’ve just admitted to having a lot of “insane” people on your side. just a few weeks ago, I’ve been told that because one pregnant woman chose to forego cancer treatment and died, we should all be forced to do the same, instead of having the ability to chose abortion instead.

    If you are near the beginning of the process, then what is the point of this convoluted analogy?

    the point is that withdrawal of consent, even after the treatment has already begun, is both legal and ethically justifiable. And that you’re trying to carve out an exception to this for pregnancy, which is massively discriminatory.

    To clarify, when I said that it would be like signing a paper, I was trying to change the transplant analogy to include the part where you are taking some action (such as having sex) with the knowledge that there is some probability that this action will result in a human life depending on you, and you alone (since contraception is not completely failproof).

    again: the reason it’s not possible to sign myself into indentured servitude or slavery is that it’s neither legal nor ethical to demand that someone relinquishes the right to withdraw consent in matters concerning their bodily autonomy. so that pregnancy-analogous contract would actually be considered illegal and unethical, and thus a person would be entirely justified in breaking it.

    As a similar example to Giliell’s, what if a baby was left in your house by some other person, and began to bother you?

    wrong analogy, since there are means to get a kid out of my house without it dying, while there is no such means for fetuses.
    and in any case, I’d absolutely be legally and ethically permitted to evict said kid, even if such an eviction led to it dying.

  258. 258
    Bethany

    Gilliel – I think having sex _should_ mean consenting to being pregnant, if it should happen that a new human life is formed. I think our country has made many great advances, but I think that the mindset that sex has no consequences is incredibly dangerous. We all know that even with the best contraception, sex may lead to being pregnant.

  259. 259
    hieropants

    I think having sex _should_ mean consenting to being pregnant

    I know you like to make up your own definitions for words, but that just isn’t what ‘consent’ means.

    I think that the mindset that sex has no consequences is incredibly dangerous

    Nobody’s saying that sex has no consequences. One of the many possible consequences of having sex is needing to have an abortion, so you shouldn’t have sex if you’re not willing to either have an abortion or carry a child to term.

  260. 260
    Bethany

    dianne & Jadehawk –
    I think we all agree that this donation analogy totally doesn’t work. I think the main roadblock in discussing this, though, is that you want sex to have no consequences. We all know how basic biology works. We know that anytime we have sex, even with best contraception, we might get pregnant. If we are going with the premise of this thread, then we have created a brand new human life. I would argue that you then take responsibility for your actions, knowing that you might have to carry that human life for roughly 9 months. Then you can decide whether to give your baby away or keep it.

    As Jadehawk pointed out, in the case of a baby being in your house, you have other ways to get rid of the baby without killing it. However, if you create a new human life by having sex, there is no other way. Your options are to let it stay there or do something to put it in danger. There is no “opting out” or changing your mind except to attempt to endanger it.

    Are there any other cases where we are legally obligated to be responsible for another human life? Sure, it’s called being a parent or guardian. If you have a baby, you are legally obligated to keep taking care of it, at least until you have a chance to give your rights away to someone else. In the meantime, you can’t just stop feeding your baby, because your baby depends on you.

    I know you are going to respond that this is different because you have to wait a WHOLE 9 months to give your rights away, and because this fetus has invaded your bodily autonomy. However, that is no surprise. We not only know that having sex may produce another human, but that there’s no way to give it away one month in. Your actions have very specific consequences that last roughly nine months and involve your very own body.

  261. 261
    Michael Chermside

    Jen:

    Thank you for posting this, and for keeping to your principles (valuing reasoned discussion over screaming matches) enough to call out and criticize the supporters of “your side” who deserved to be criticized.

  262. 262
    Bethany

    dianne,

    A teratoma is a tumor that sometimes looks like a fetus. Are you suggesting that makes it a human? We haven’t defined a human life yet, but are talking in this thread under the assumption that a fetus is a human life / person.

  263. 263
    Bethany

    hieropants –

    The definition of “consent” is “permission for something to happen or agreement to do something.” What am I missing?

    I think you are talking around the whole argument. I know that currently you have the option to have an abortion. I’m arguing that you shouldn’t, and your response is just “we have it?” The previous comments in this thread imply that we have absolutely no responsibility for human life that we create, and that the human life has invaded our bodies.

  264. 264
    hieropants

    The definition of “consent” is “permission for something to happen or agreement to do something.” What am I missing?

    You’re deciding that people have consented to be pregnant even when they’ve explicitly refused that consent.

    I think you are talking around the whole argument. I know that currently you have the option to have an abortion. I’m arguing that you shouldn’t, and your response is just “we have it?” The previous comments in this thread imply that we have absolutely no responsibility for human life that we create, and that the human life has invaded our bodies.

    You were talking about consequences. Abortion is a consequence. Having an abortion when you are unable or unwilling to carry a child to term is taking responsibility for that life.

  265. 265
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    In any other case, the pregnant woman had sex, knowing that there was a possibility of getting pregnant, even if she used awesome contraception.
    So, if you participate in traffic, do you consent to being harmed or killed?
    After all, you know that this is a possible consequence, even if you wear a seatbelt. So, no grievances against the driver who T-boned you…

    And no, Bethany, the donation analogy works perfectly. You just choose that it shouldn’t work because you notice that you can’t make it support your point.

    As for all your other scenarios, none of it touches the problem of bodily autonomy. Do you understand the concept at all? Do you understand the fundamental and important difference between making my kid a sandwich and having them inside of my body?
    So here’s the fundamental question: Do you think that women have the most fundamental human right to decide what’s happening to their body, to make their own medical decissions for themselves or do you think that women are somehow property where other people can decide what happens to their body or not?

  266. 266
    Dalillama

    @Pteryxx
    Thanks. Now I know, and knowing is half the battle.

  267. 267
    Dianne

    Lengthy reply to Bethany, above, moved to end for readability.

    We all know how basic biology works.

    My apologies for the snark, but no, you don’t seem to know how basic biology works.

    We know that anytime we have sex, even with best contraception, we might get pregnant.

    So? We know that we might have a car crash even if we are good drivers, sober, and not texting. Does that mean that ERs should refuse to treat people who have been injured in a car crash because they knew the risks?

    If we are going with the premise of this thread, then we have created a brand new human life.

    I’m not sure how you concluded that that was a premise of this thread. It’s your unsupported claim and is without any reasonable biological basis.

    Quite a number of things can happen to a fertilized egg:
    1. (Most likely) It can fail to implant or fail shortly after implantation. This is the fate of the majority of fertilized eggs and of interest to zero “pro-lifers”. If you were really interested in saving lives and believed that fertilized eggs were babies, not just in enslaving women, you’d be interested in saving these blastulocytes.
    2. It can develop and eventually become a baby.
    3. It can split and become two embryos, both of which may go on to become babies. But according to your calculations, there is only one baby there. How do we decide which is the “real” baby and which is a soulless clone?
    4. It can become a teratoma. A teratoma is, most often, a fertilized egg that something goes wrong with and it develops into a cancer not a fetus. But it’s the same fertilized egg that you declared a person and most pro-lifers declare themselves shocked, just shocked, at the idea of “killing a sick person” (aka saving a fetus from becoming a baby that would have a life of torture) so I don’t think you have any room to claim that a teratoma should be removed or chemotherapy given if you’re going to insist that conception means “a brand new human life.” It’s just as much the product of a fertilized egg as an embryo or fetus.

  268. 268
    Dianne

    This is getting hard to read and follow. I wrote a response below if anyone’s still interested in continuing the discussion.

  269. 269
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Nice ASS-umption about Pteryxx’s gender there, Max.

  270. 270
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Of course, silly li’l GURLZ don’t know any better when they make choices! They need fetus-shtuppers to set them straight!

  271. 271
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Typical pro-liar. You ASS-ume you’re dealing with a man unless proven otherwise, or you’re too lazy to read the byline.

    Also, if you told me the sky was blue, I’d run outside to check to see that it wasn’t green.
    Q: How do you know a pro-liar is lying?
    A: Their lips are moving.

  272. 272
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    HAHAHAHA Free Republic as a reputable source. You are so sublimely clueless.

  273. 273
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Another fucking tone troll. No, actually, asshole, shouting down fascist lies isn’t anywhere near in the same category as heckling people who tell the truth. Let alone what Azkyroth said about the teabaggers who physically threatened or assaulted people.

  274. 274
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Agreed 100%.

    I’ve got no patience anymore for “must be better than they are” arguments. We *ARE* better than they are, and maybe we ought to learn to fight dirty instead of valuing “higher ground” over, you know, people’s goddamn rights and lives.

  275. 275
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Yeah, good luck trying to have “reasoned discussion” with known liars.

  276. 276
    No way!

    “The right to bear children without societal pressure, being ostracized or judged was pushed aside because killing a child is far easier than having the government, society and family provide financial, emotional, physical, etc., support during and after pregnancy. Women have the right to bear children.”

    I’m a woman, and I do not want children. Ever. Forcing me to endure a pregnancy I don’t want is not “protecting my rights” so don’t try to feed us that doublespeak garbage. I’m all for restructuring society to make more room for parents, and providing them with more support. That does NOT need to coincide with women being used as breeding slaves.

  277. 277
    No way!

    It seems like a lot of their lot fail to see that distinction. I’m not sure whether they’re being disingenuous or they really don’t understand what it means to have choices. Not even sure which is more disheartening. How can someone really see no possible stance between forcing women to have abortions and forcing women to give birth? How can someone not see the difference between people who are actually forcing others to have abortions (as seen in China) and people who merely want women to have that *option*? I think most pro-choicers would agree that morally, people who are pro-forced-abortion are ethically no different from people who are pro-forced-birth. But we’re painted as being on the same side. Ugh.

  278. 278
    Laurence

    Being anti-abortion means that you are an advocate of forced pregnancy. That’s a pretty terrible position in my opinion.

  279. 279
    Bethany

    dianne – that’s brilliant. My comments will continue down there, too.

  280. 280
    Bethany

    hieropants, Giliell, Dianne, Jadehawk, etc:

    Taking a step back to look at this conversation, I think this is where we go fundamentally separate ways: I think that it is extremely immoral and should be illegal to kill another human being unless it is necessary to save another human’s life (i.e. self-defense or some wars). You think that an exception to this should be when someone’s bodily autonomy is violated (unless I’m incorrectly understanding), even if the mother would not lose her life by carrying the baby to full term.

    More specifically, to hieropants, I think that “taking responsibility” for another human life cannot possibly mean killing it. Yes, I am against euthanasia.

    To Giliell, “Do you think that women have the most fundamental human right to decide what’s happening to their body…?” No, I definitely do not think that the most fundamental human right is to decide what’s happening to your own body. I think the most fundamental human right is the right to LIVE.

    To Dianne, who asked, “I’m not sure how you concluded that that was a premise of this thread.” This thread may have moved around, but in one place it started with me saying “I believe that human life begins at conception. If that is true, abortion is murder,” and someone objecting. This discussion is also on another thread that started with Jadehawk objecting to me saying “I think the crux of the abortion debate is when human life / personhood begins.” I realize that assuming that human life/ personhood starts at conception is a major assumption, which is why I have frequently mentioned that it is the premise of the thread. My understanding is that most pro-choice people disagree with me right there, and my hope is that most people value human life enough that if they agreed that it starts at conception, then they would be against abortion. That’s why I am interested in this thread.

    I guess, from my point of view, the main difference in philosophy between me and the group of you is that I think that the right to live trumps the right to bodily autonomy. Please correct me if I am wrong in summarizing it this way.

    (Which, after further thought, would be my answer to the rape case. In addition, in the analogy with the organ/marrow/etc donation, the reason that it is legal to refuse to donate and (in my opinion) should not be legal to kill your fetus, is that refusing to donate is not the same as shooting the person in need of a donation. In other words, if that person dies because no one donates something, it is not directly because of you. That person was sick, and while it would have been nice if you came to the rescue, you are not required to. That is not the same as you deciding to take some action to kill that person. However, your fetus would survive unless you decided to kill it.)

  281. 281
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    Bethany:

    I guess, from my point of view, the main difference in philosophy between me and the group of you is that I think that the right to live trumps the right to bodily autonomy.

    Then you shouldn’t mind if I take from you:
    1 lung
    1 kidney
    1 ovary
    1 segment of your liver per year
    1 pint of blood per month
    Bone marrow

    …and maybe a few other things that your body can replace or do without, just in case someone else needs a transplant or transfusion in order to, y’know, live.

  282. 282
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    (Which, after further thought, would be my answer to the rape case. In addition, in the analogy with the organ/marrow/etc donation, the reason that it is legal to refuse to donate and (in my opinion) should not be legal to kill your fetus, is that refusing to donate is not the same as shooting the person in need of a donation. In other words, if that person dies because no one donates something, it is not directly because of you. That person was sick, and while it would have been nice if you came to the rescue, you are not required to. That is not the same as you deciding to take some action to kill that person. However, your fetus would survive unless you decided to kill it.)

    Disingenuous framing for two reasons:

    1. The issue is your ability to say whether or not you want to donate any of your organs (including your uterus) for another to use, not whether the recipient is going to live or not as a direct result of your actions. Of course, this framing error runs right down to the disingenuous title of ‘pro-life’…

    2. By your logic, it’s more moral to let a train run over five people than to pull a switch so that it only runs over one person…because, magic, I guess, since I don’t see any other reason why one person dying could be worse than five people dying. For someone who wants to talk responsibility, that sure sounds like a convenient way to avoid taking any when you don’t want to.

  283. 283
    Anat

    Bethany, are you aware of the consequences of adopting the forced-birth policies? What happens is that of the women who find themselves pregnant despite their wishes many attempt abortion anyway, despite not having access to proper medical care for the procedure. Because of that many women die. Just think: These women are in such a bad situation that they’d rather risk dying with their fetus than bring the pregnancy to term. And you think all this suffering is worth it?

    Also, earlier you claimed that by consenting to sex a woman accepts the risk of pregnancy and therefore is obligated to carry it to term. Others countered saying that people engage in assorted risky activities (such as traveling in vehicles), yet when the risk actualizes we don’t leave them to it, we offer them medical care. I haven’t seen your response to this.

  284. 284
    Bethany

    By that logic, if you think bodily autonomy is the most fundamental human right, above, say, right to private property, then I can take all your money in order to pay for my abortion.

  285. 285
    Bethany

    1. Can you explain why I am wrong about what the issue is? Are you trying to say that there is no moral difference between shooting people and “wasting” your time by not devoting it to saving people who are about to die?

    2. I wasn’t comparing morality. I was comparing legality. The law does not require a bystander to do anything about the train, but it does not allow you to shoot one person (or five).

  286. 286
    Bethany

    Anat, based on the way you worded it, I am assuming that you are trying to convince me, a person who thinks abortion should be illegal, that it should be legal for practical purposes. For that reason, I will respond using wording that assumes my own beliefs are true – we gained our human rights at conception, and the right to live means that abortion is wrong. To be specific, all humans are equal, and thus full-grown humans do not have more rights than small ones still in the womb.

    (To quickly answer the suffering part – an innocent human being does not deserve to die because it is accidentally causing someone else suffering.)

    Okay, so basically the question seems to be, “hey, they really, really want to kill their children, so they are going to do it anyway. Shouldn’t we make it safe?”

    There are two issues here – one of principles, and one of practicality.

    From the principle angle, it is very wrong to condone killing an innocent baby because the mother might choose to do it anyway, even if that choice means putting herself in danger. Recall that the baby has absolutely no choice in the matter.

    From the practical angle, suppose we want to minimize the number of humans that die. Recall that this comment is operating under the assumption that all humans are equal and there is a human in the womb.

    Since I’m a math person, I did some rough “calculations.” According to Bernard Nathanson, cofounder of NARAL, they completely made up the statistics on the number of illegal abortions and the number of women dying from them. (http://www.pregnantpause.org/abort/remember-naral.htm) However, for the sake of argument, let’s take the worst-case scenario – those statistics were actually true, and illegal abortions would be no safer now than they were then. Then the death rate for the mothers would be about 1%.

    Now here comes the math: Let x be the number of women who would get an abortion in a year if it were legal. Let r be the fraction of those women who would still get an abortion if it were illegal, so that rx is the number of women getting an abortion while it’s illegal. Then (1.01)rx would be the total number of deaths while illegal (rx babies + .01rx mothers). Even though this isn’t true, we’ll pretend for simplicity that no women ever die from legal abortions. Then making abortion illegal would save lives as long as (1.01)rx < x. Dividing by x on both sides, since x is non-zero, we get (1.01)r < 1. Dividing by 1.01 on both sides, we get r < .99. In other words, making abortion illegal would save lives as long as at least 1% of women were deterred by the fact that it was illegal, and less safe.

    Think it's sick that I just played a numbers game? Me too. But you asked me to consider the consequences.

  287. 287
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Well, Bethany, at least you dropped the friendly “pro-life” mask and revealed the true, ugly pro-slavery, anti-woman face underneath.
    Because that’s what you’re advocating. Nothing more, nothing less.

    In addition, in the analogy with the organ/marrow/etc donation, the reason that it is legal to refuse to donate and (in my opinion) should not be legal to kill your fetus, is that refusing to donate is not the same as shooting the person in need of a donation. In other words, if that person dies because no one donates something, it is not directly because of you.

    You seem to have the quite strange idea that being pregnant totally doesn’t mean anything for the woman, that she doesn’t have to do anything, etc.
    How do you think the fetuses get out of there? Don’t you think that this is a pretty big action and donation of time a woman has to do?
    Also, pregnant women are constantly donating things to the fetus. If they don’t donate things anymore, the fetus dies, just like with all your other scenarios. So, why is this different? Say you can merely cut the cord in utero, or give a medication that stops any donation to the fetus*. The result will be that the fetus dies. The action is that they unhook themselves from a donation machine they were involuntarily signed up for.

    So, in the end I ask you: Do you consider this to be more important than an actual, thinking, feeling, breathing woman whom you’re willing to enslave for 9 months, 24/7, every second knowing that she’s being violated and that it will end with a painfull, life-threatening, bloody rape* or alternatively bodily assault?

    *Dianne can surely give us the information how pharamaceutically induced abortions work.

    **yes, to insert something into a woman’s vagina against her will is rape. Doesn’t matter what it is that is being inserted or which way it moves. And to cut a big bloody wound into her womb is bodily assault. Since you’re forcing those things on her against her will, those are the only appropriate terms.

  288. 288
    Dianne

    I can take all your money in order to pay for my abortion.

    If you take ALL my money to pay for your abortion then you were overcharged. However, I do agree that you have the right to take some of my money, aka part of my taxes, to pay for your abortion, your birth control, your obstetric care, your diabetes treatment, and your plastic surgery. In short, yes, I think your right to live and even live well trumps my right to have absolute control of my money. Too bad the majority of people in the US don’t agree or we could have better and, ironically, cheaper health care.

  289. 289
    Dianne

    In other words, if that person dies because no one donates something, it is not directly because of you.

    Absolutely, 100% false. I’ll give you a couple of scenarios of cases that have actually occurred (though with some of the details changed or left out to make the cases less identifiable):

    Case 1: Patient needs a kidney. He has a brother who is willing to donate but is not sufficiently matched to be able to donate. They use a program by which the brother offers his kidney to the general donor pool in exchange for a kidney for the patient. A match comes through! The brother donates his kidney. The person matching the patient backs out. The patient dies shortly thereafter.

    Case 2: Patient has leukemia. She has no matched donors in her family but does have one in the volunteer donor pool. Potential donor willingly and intentionally put himself in the donor pool. No one coerced him to do so. He chose to. He refused to donate. Patient died shortly thereafter of recurrent leukemia that didn’t respond to conventional doses of chemotherapy.

    In each case the action of another person-not the inaction, but the active act of refusing to go through with their promise-killed the patient. There was no backup person to go to-tissue matches are hard. It was, IMHO, a nasty move on the part of the potential donors (modulo that I don’t know the circumstances: maybe something had changed–maybe they now had HIV or had developed a major medical problem–but maybe they just didn’t think through what being in the donor pool meant).

    Nasty and unethical, but not illegal. And it shouldn’t be illegal. Because once you start demanding parts of people’s body for others’ convenience or even for their life, where does it end? More practically, who would sign up as a potential donor if they knew that they might be forced to go through with the procedure regardless of changes in their life between the time of signing and the time of donation?

    If you agree to donate tissue and back out, it is very much on you and no one else if the patient dies.

  290. 290
    Dianne

    That person was sick, and while it would have been nice if you came to the rescue, you are not required to.

    I love the way you blow off the needs of actual people in favor of the needs of imaginary people. The person is sick but will (maybe) survive if you help them. The embryo/fetus* is in need of a specific environment and support and will (maybe) survive if you provide it. Why should you be required to provide the latter, but not the former?

    *Remember, the majority of abortions occur in the embryonic stage of development. This is a time when there is unquestionably absolutely no consciousness on the part of the embryo-there aren’t even stationary neurons for most of the embryonic phase, much less axons, dendrites, myelin, etc. An embryo is no more aware than a sperm or egg. An imaginary person no more real than the child I regret not having because I didn’t have sex with my first boyfriend when I was 16**.

    **Which is doubly imaginary because, like the vast majority of women who get abortions, I DON’T regret not having a child when I was 16.

  291. 291
    Dianne

    Mifepristone is an anti-progestin. It blocks progesterone. It does not kill the embryo, it simply withdraws the donation of the hormone necessary to keep it in the uterus. It also has value in treating some forms of brain cancer. If it is banned, people with unresectable medullomas will have one fewer options for treatment.

  292. 292
    Kaitlin

    But her talk had nothing to do with women’s rights. It was called “Abby Johnson: From pro-choice to pro-life.” The organizers of the event marketing the event with the tag line “Do woman have to many rights?”

    ….so she did exactly what everyone expected her to do.

  293. 293
    Kaitlin

    How do you fact check an opinion? As far as other statements that she made, she said where you can find the info in her speech and in her book, all of her statements are end-noted.

  294. 294
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Are any of her “end-notes” from actual doctors, or is it going to be more of her conveniently-doesnt-have-to-be-accurate “opinions”?

  295. 295
    dianne

    If Johnson thought that a talk on the subject of abortion was going to be uncontroversial-no matter what she said on the subject-she was incredibly naive. It’s hard to imagine someone who worked at Planned Parenthood and then spent years as a professional speaker for the anti-choice movement could be that naive. She knew what she was getting into. If the university didn’t tell her the sub-title they were adding, that was very poor judgement on the part of whoever organized the event and not fair to her. Nonetheless, there is simply no way she could not have known that she was getting into a controversial talk.

  296. 296
    dianne

    Also she did NOT do what everyone expected her to do. She contracted to give a talk with a question and answer period. She failed to fulfill that contract. That’s a situation that calls for at least partial refund of fees paid for the talk.

  297. 297
    az

    Dianne(ditto Gillel), I just wanted to add, you’ve done an amazing job on this thread and others. Specifically, on this thread, you’ve demolished Bethany’s arguments. I just wanted to tip my hat to you for putting in the time to confront mendacity. Well done.

    If I might add, I had a similar encounter on Jen’s blog awhile ago with an anti-abortion creationist from what I could gather. She like Bethany hadn’t really read the vast bioethical literature that exists on abortion. However, in her case, she did pretend that she did. In any case, after much argumentation on my part, she conceded that her biological approach was fallacious. What’s astounding though is that there are zero defensible bioethical positions that are anti-abortion(which if you know something about philosophy is strange given how easy it is to construct a defensible philosophical argument). Furthermore, why are anti-abortion advocates now using the biologic version of the anti-abortion argument given that it’s the argument that even people like Don Marquis(recognized for putting forth the best anti-abortion argument, though still flawed, the potentialities argument), a bioethicist, agree is hopelessly flawed? In addition, they are even appealing to the biological approach to personhood(because it’s intimately tied to biologic version of the anti-abortion argument) which equally hopeless. It’s quite sad really.

    As an aside, what I find interesting is the all of the anti-abortion arguments that are made have been explored in the bioethical literature; they’ve all failed. Yet, you find, at least in the US, that these arguments are regurgitated as if they are novel. But let’s be honest, these people are cranks like climate change deniers/evolution deniers/big bang deniers etc. Whenever some crank comes along to “show” that they have disproved climate change, they are told, among other things, to write it up and submit it to a journal for publication. I think that same attitude should show up in ethics. If so-and-so has a novel anti-abortion argument then write it up and submit it for publication in the journal of Ethics or some other reputable biomedical ethics journal. I mean it’s a novel argument that could withstand the critical scrutiny of bioethicists, right?

    Cheers

  298. 298
    hieropants

    I think that “taking responsibility” for another human life cannot possibly mean killing it.

    Then say what you mean and don’t use “responsibility” as a euphemism. You want people to be forced to risk death or permanent health problems donating blood and tissue to a physically invasive being and then suffer emotional damage either from the guilt and anxity of being parted from a newborn, or the frustration and hopelessness about having to raise a child they weren’t ready to take care of, or the horror of giving birth to a child so disabled it can only live a few painful hours before dying.

    And that doesn’t even touch on how women and children are trapped in the cycle of poverty and/or abusive relationships when women can’t control their own bodies for long enough to fight their way out of those situations, and the consequences are inflicted on their children. “Responsibility” is more than just giving birth, it’s bringing a child into the world in the right place at the right time – so don’t use that word when you don’t mean it.

    my hope is that most people value human life enough that if they agreed that it starts at conception, then they would be against abortion.

    Human life starts far before conception. The individual sperm and egg are alive before they combine; does that mean I should be morally against (male) masturbation, because it ejects human life that could potentially become an individual person before it has the chance to grow into one? Does that mean I should be thrown in jail for having a period when I’m not sexually active because I’m denying life to my ovum? Does that mean we should be having funerals for the half of zygotes that fail to implant?

  299. 299
    Jadehawk

    I think that it is extremely immoral and should be illegal to kill another human being unless it is necessary to save another human’s life (i.e. self-defense or some wars). You think that an exception to this should be when someone’s bodily autonomy is violated (unless I’m incorrectly understanding), even if the mother would not lose her life by carrying the baby to full term.

    not quite. in the hierarchy of human rights, the right to have the full and uncompromised right and ability to decide for oneself what happens to one’s body is at the very top; most other rights are derived from it, including the right not to be murdered, since generally being killed goes against that right to decide for oneself what happens to one’s body.

    And a derivative right cannot supercede the right it’s derived from. It is you who wants to make exceptions to a basic human right, not us.

    Yes, I am against euthanasia.

    entirely unsurprising. not only are youreally happy to be uninformed on the issues you insist on having opinions on, you really don’t accept a right to bodily autonomy as being a real thing, do you.

    I think the most fundamental human right is the right to LIVE.

    O.o
    there’s no such thing as the right to live. we all will die, and dying doesn’t deprive us of any rights. dying is not inhumane, or against human rights. this is absurd.

    which is why I have frequently mentioned that it is the premise of the thread

    well, that’s the point. it isn’t. the point is that whether a fetus is a person or not isn’t in any way relevant to abortion rights.

    In other words, if that person dies because no one donates something, it is not directly because of you. That person was sick, and while it would have been nice if you came to the rescue, you are not required to. That is not the same as you deciding to take some action to kill that person. However, your fetus would survive unless you decided to kill it.

    this is stupid. deciding to back out of a donation is a decision that will kill as surely and as directly as the decision to remove an embryo or fetus. this kind of hair-splitting however is the reason Catholic hospitals mutilate and endanger women with ectopic pregnancies, removing chunks of the tube instead of just letting the woman remove the implanted embryo, and/or only allowing an abortion once the woman is actively in the process of bleeding to death.

    By that logic, if you think bodily autonomy is the most fundamental human right, above, say, right to private property, then I can take all your money in order to pay for my abortion.

    you absolutely have the right to my and everyone else’s money to cover your abortion. that’s why civilized countries cover abortions on their public health plans (for that matter, that’s why civilized countries have public health care: because a persons right to be healthy if they want to be healthy always trumps attachment to mere property)

    According to Bernard Nathanson, cofounder of NARAL, they completely made up the statistics on the number of illegal abortions and the number of women dying from them.

    very cute. except that we just had a study come out showing that abortion rates are higher in countries where they are illegal, so making it illegal doesn’t save a single prrrrecious fetus; it just kills a bunch of women in addition.

  300. 300
    Jadehawk

    According to Bernard Nathanson, cofounder of NARAL, they completely made up the statistics on the number of illegal abortions and the number of women dying from them. (http://www.pregnantpause.org/abort/remember-naral.htm) However, for the sake of argument, let’s take the worst-c

    ROTFLMAO.

    do you guys know what the citation for that article is?

    Source: Pro-Life Infonet, #2598, 24 Dec 2002, citing Worldnet Daily, 20 Dec 2002.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  301. 301
    Bethany

    I don’t know where you are getting that, but the UN definitely does not agree with you:

    http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/#atop

  302. 302
    Bethany

    I think that we’ve hit a wall where we disagree very fundamentally on what the premise of the thread (that a fetus is a human life/person) means as far as having human rights. I’m going to unsubscribe to the comments because I have two midterms in the next two days. Hope you all have a nice evening! I appreciate the conversation.

  303. 303
    Jadehawk

    you mean the line about “life, liberty, and security of person”? that’s the right to bodily integrity and autonomy.

    I understand your confusion, because the phrase “right to life” is commonly used in both conservative and progressive literature. But it means something entirely different when used by these two groups. when I said there is no such thing as a right to life, I meant the definition you’re using, i.e. the right to be (kept) alive under all circumstances; the definition used by the UN and by most progressives (including the ones in this conversation) is the right not to be killed against your will, which is a question of bodily autonomy

    there’s a difference, and I apologize for not making that clear.

  304. 304
  305. 305
    Kaitlin

    Hahaha!!!

    What made you think that Abby assumed that her talk was going to be uncontroversial? She was looking at the protest Facebook page and she actually even commented on it – it was deleted by the moderators before anyone noticed though. I don’t think her contract said anything about the Q&A but regardless, she was about to do it and the organizers told her not to because of the violent outbursts in the back.

    Also, why do you care if the organizers want their money back or not?

  306. 306
    Kaitlin

    Her end notes were from PP’s financial statements. Why don’t you just read the book yourself instead of criticizing something of which you clearly know nothing?

  307. 307
    Jadehawk

    Poland, Malta and Ireland also have very restrictive rules and a low maternal mortality rates.

    yeah, why would it be that countries in the EU, where the nearest abortion clinic is just a few hours away across the border/channel, don’t have high maternal mortality rates.

    In fact, of the 5 cases that took place in 2008, 3 were ectopic pregnancies and 2 were actually unspecified abortions, presumably attributable to clandestine abortion.

    that still makes a total of 5, since fewer women die from ectopic pregnancies when abortions are easily available.

    The risk of maternal death by abortion in Chile was 1 in 2,000,000 women at fertile age in 2008 and 1 in 4,000,000 women at fertile age in 2009.

    and this is pure innumeracy. deaths as part of the number of pregnant women would be more relevant.

    As discussed in our article, according to the most recent report published by Chilean National Institute of Statistics, the maternal mortality ratio for 2009 was 16.9 per 100,000 live births (43 deaths) and the figures for indirect causes (codes O99, O98), gestational hypertension and eclampsia (codes O14, O15), abortion (code O06), and other direct obstetric causes were 18 (41.9%), 11 (25.6%), 1 (2.3%) and 13 (30.2%) respectively.

    and a number of those are attributable to the lack of access to abortion, since it’s not possible to quickly and easily get one when a life is at stake.

    First, from a public health view, restrictive laws are hypothesized to cause a dissuasive effect on the population, similar to restrictions on tobacco or alcohol consumption.

    LOL

    Third, from the perspective of protecting human life from the very beginning, obviously, abortion restriction saves many lives, in contrast to countries where elective — on demand — abortion is allowed, because in these countries all the unborn lose their lives.

    LOL

    anyway: if the writeup accurately represents the study, the study is crap

  308. 308
    Anat

    From the principle angle, it is very wrong to condone killing an innocent baby because the mother might choose to do it anyway, even if that choice means putting herself in danger. Recall that the baby has absolutely no choice in the matter.

    Not to under a consequentionalist moral system. Principles that lead to bad consequences just might be bad principles and need rethinking or reworking. (Example – taking ‘killing people is wrong!’ as an absolute principle means killing in self-defense is wrong too. Do we accept this consequence or make the principle a bit less absolute?)

    Think it’s sick that I just played a numbers game? Me too. But you asked me to consider the consequences.

    Why should I be sick that you played the number game? Considering the consequences of a moral choice is a necessary step in determining its morality. Morals that don’t make the world a better place are missing the point.

    Or perhaps the sickening comes from realizing you are buying lives of fetuses at the price of deaths of women? Do you really believe a world where women with memories, wants, hopes and dreams die so that more babies – who at the time of their birth have none of the above – get born is better than the one we live in now?

    BTW we never asked you what it is about a 2-cell embryo that makes you believe it should be granted full rights, even at the expense of the health and autonomy of the person hosting said embryo?

  309. 309
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    I knows a little about Chile and I’m wondering how they got those numbers anyway.
    Also, as they say themselves, maternal death is calculated per 100.000 live births
    So, women who die when they’re 10 weeks pregnant don’t even come in there.

    It’s also interesting how he declares everything he doesn’t have data on as “untrue” and “pure speculation” (maybe it’s because he didn’t look at it too specifically since it would destroy his tale, like the question about RU 486.
    We know that women have “clandestine” abortions in the USA with it in areas where abortion is hard to get.
    Also, we know from Poland that illegal abortion is widely spread. Numbers vary greatly between 90.000 and 200.000 a year. Maybe the drop in mortality is owed to better obestetrics and a willingness of doctors to still perform the abortions with knowlege and expertise, something women didn’t have when it was last time illegal.
    Also the birth rate in Poland didn’t increase after abortion was banned, so, something did not happen and that was that the majority of women who wanted abortions under the old law had babies under the new law. Same in Chile where there has been a drastic drop in birth rates

  310. 310
    anat

    I wonder how many doctors would retain the expertise to perform an abortion safely if the procedure is banned. TMK already few doctors in the US are trained in it.

  311. 311
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Well, at least D&E is a standard procedure in obestetrics, it is often performed on women with miscarriages, so I’d guess that it’s not that different when there’s an embryo inside or not.
    Other things would be more complicated.

  312. 312
    Anat

    Yes, at least early abortions will continue being safe, assuming one finds a willing doctor in time. But if abortions are made illegal I expect it to be harder to find a willing, competent practitioner, so more abortions would be delayed, and more women would resort to abortions not performed by doctors.

  313. 313
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Ahh! You must mean like the 1957 case of Dred Scott vs Sanford where the Supreme Court ruled UNANIMOUSLY that the white land owner’s right to property was greater than the black man’s right to liberty.

    That anti-slavery case?

    Of course not, you stupid sack of shit. The previous poster was referring to the 13th Amendment and its not even slightly subtle language forbidding slavery, which wouldn’t give the court much choice in the matter. And superseded the 1857 case, by the way.

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