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Oct 09 2012

Free Contraception Reduces Abortions

Here’s a fact that should be so obvious as to not need repeating: Providing free birth control reduces the number of women who have abortions. I mean really, really reduces the number. That’s the conclusion of a new study that provided free birth control to young women in St. Louis, MO and then compared their abortion rate with the rest of the country. From the abstract:

METHODS: We enrolled 9,256 adolescents and women at risk for unintended pregnancy into the Contraceptive CHOICE Project, a prospective cohort study of adolescents and women desiring reversible contraceptive methods. Participants were recruited from the two abortion facilities in the St. Louis region and through provider referral, advertisements, and word of mouth. Contraceptive counseling included all reversible methods but emphasized the superior effectiveness of LARC methods (IUDs and implants). All participants received the reversible contraceptive method of their choice at no cost. We analyzed abortion rates, the percentage of abortions that were repeat abortions, and teenage births.

RESULTS: We observed a significant reduction in the percentage of abortions that were repeat abortions in the St. Louis region compared with Kansas City and nonmetropolitan Missouri (P< .001). Abortion rates in the CHOICE cohort were less than half the regional and national rates (P<.001). The rate of teenage birth within the CHOICE cohort was 6.3 per 1,000, compared with the U.S. rate of 34.3 per 1,000.

CONCLUSION: We noted a clinically and statistically significant reduction in abortion rates, repeat abortions, and teenage birth rates. Unintended pregnancies may be reduced by providing no-cost contraception and promoting the most effective contraceptive methods.

This is so obvious that your average 8 year old could figure it out. So why doesn’t the anti-abortion crowd promote access to free and low-cost contraception? Because they aren’t really anti-abortion, they’re anti-sex and anti-woman. Their goal is not to prevent abortions, it is to prevent women from having any control over their own reproduction.

49 comments

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  1. 1
    lofgren

    Because they aren’t really anti-abortion, they’re anti-sex and anti-woman.

    This is one of those claims I initially rejected when I was first exposed to it. It reeked too much of an attempt to vilify one’s enemies by attributing to them malicious beliefs that strained credulity.

    Since then, almost everything I have read about the antiabortion movement has confirmed it. Worse, as Mr. Brayton* points out, their positions on many subjects are totally incompatible with an honest attempt to reduce unwanted pregnancies.

    It’s one of those rare situations where an apparent logical fallacy or emotional bias strongly appears to be totally accurate. It’s also liberating. It’s hard work trying to empathize with people who you are so convinced are so totally wrong.

    (Of course there are many honest anti-abortionists whose opinions support a belief that abortion is morally wrong and we should do everything we can to make it as rare as possible. My wife is pro-life, but she also believes that we have a moral responsibility to make birth control as available as possible and to provide elaborate support to women through the first year at least of childcare. I still disagree with her position on abortion but at least when we discuss it, which we do rarely these days as we’re both pretty intractable, I can respect that her goal is actually to save babies and not to punish sexually active women. However, these people are not in control of the most powerful antiabortion organizations, have no control over their messaging, and very little control over the funds that are collectively controlled by the antiabortion movement.)

    *As a frequent commenter I often feel entitled to call Ed Brayton “Ed,” as if we are buddies or something. Other times this feels presumptuous. Ed, do you even care? Because Ed is a lot faster to type than Brayton or Mr. Brayton, both of which also make me feel like my writing style should be more formal than I really care to make it when commenting on a blog.

  2. 2
    John Hinkle

    Sex without consequences? There’s something not right about that. Where’s the punishment? Can’t have sex without punishment. What is this world coming to.

  3. 3
    daved

    Am I missing something here? This seems almost tautological. I mean, if you provide a large number of young women with long-acting, reversible birth control, how could they possibly not have a reduction in pregnancy rates (and, presumably, abortion rates)? Well, unless they all decided to rip out their IUDs or implanted contraceptives or whatever.

  4. 4
    lofgren

    Can’t have sex without punishment.

    There are websites for people like you now. No need to take it out on the rest of us.

  5. 5
    Larry

    bu..bu..but, Jesus!

  6. 6
    raven

    We’ve known for decades how to reduce the abortion rate. Just do what the Europeans do. For one example, the Netherlands abortion rate is far less than ours, something like IIRC, 1/6 of ours.

    1. Comprehensive sex ed.

    2. Widespread and low cost or free birth control to anyone who wants it. We should reward and encourage people who face reality, that is that sex can make babies.

    3. Really drill it into the kid’s heads that responsible adults plan their childbearing career.

    Fundies are all hypocrites. When they aren’t attacking abortion they are attacking birth control and sex ed.

    The latest demon in their ever expanding pantheon of gods is…Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood has prevented more abortions in a month that the fundies do in a decade.

  7. 7
    Bronze Dog

    I’m in a similar place as lofgren. I knew they were sexist, but it was a while before I made the connection between that sexism and the inconsistency of their stances on abortion and birth control.

    I’m glad I had sex ed in my schools, and thus got to see sex as something with manageable, calculated risks, instead of as something inherently evil and taboo, with a vindictive busybody god who is determined to break every condom and taint every birth control pill to “punish” people for having a little fun with their naughty bits. Said punishment involves forcing the parent to raise a child in a poor environment so that god can use the child like a blunt instrument to inflict suffering on the parent for accepting a small, calculated risk instead of no risk.

    Sadly ironic that wingnuts who go on about the personhood of a zygote are perfectly content with the idea of using a much more developed, conscious, emotional child like he or she was an unthinking, unfeeling weapon of divine retribution.

  8. 8
    raven

    We also really need more funding for birth control research.

    There are a lot of methods out there but they either don’t work occasionally or have side effects that many can’t or won’t tolerate.

    There is some money spent on it but considering the market size and the need, everyone but Rick Santorum and the Pope, not much.

  9. 9
    eric

    they aren’t really anti-abortion, they’re anti-sex and anti-woman.

    Another data point in support: their opposition to HPV vaccine.

    When I first heard about that, I couldn’t believe it. You don’t want to give people a vaccine for a cancer-causing virus because it might lead to them having more sex a decade later, when they hit puberty? What the frak sort of monster are you?

  10. 10
    raven

    Abortions higher among religious school students | Vancouver Sun
    blogs. vancouversun. com/…/abortions-higher-among-religious-school…

    4 Feb 2010 – Abortions higher among religious school students … their twenties who have attended religious schools are more likely to have abortions … social ties among their students and families, so abortion rates could be higher due to …

    Fundies have higher abortion rates than the general population. Hypocrisy is one of their three main sacraments, after all.

    Ex-fundies say that buying contraceptives and planning to have sex is a huge sin. Accidently getting pregnant after accidently having sex and then having an abortion isn’t so great either but preferable to actually thinking ahead. Don’t try to make sense out of it, it’s a fundie thing.

  11. 11
    M can help you with that.

    Am I missing something here? This seems almost tautological. I mean, if you provide a large number of young women with long-acting, reversible birth control, how could they possibly not have a reduction in pregnancy rates (and, presumably, abortion rates)? Well, unless they all decided to rip out their IUDs or implanted contraceptives or whatever.

    It puts the lie to the claims by anti-abortion types that their primary goal is opposing abortion, not taking complete control over women’s bodies and everyone’s sexual lives. Because the majority of anti-abortion activists also oppose easy access to birth control; they’d rather see a higher abortion rate than a lower one, if that lower rate comes about as a result of anything other than religious intimidation and authoritarian control.

  12. 12
    Blondin

    Ex-fundies say that buying contraceptives and planning to have sex is a huge sin. Accidently getting pregnant after accidently having sex and then having an abortion isn’t so great either but preferable to actually thinking ahead. Don’t try to make sense out of it, it’s a fundie thing.

    Sex outside of wedlock is a sin. Any sin is obviously greatly magnified by being premeditated.

    Reminds me of when kids try to use the “I didn’t mean to!” defense to imply “It’s not my fault!” or at least lessen the punishment. I mean obviously if I thought you were playing frisbee in the dining room for the sole purpose of seeing what would get smashed the punishment would be so much worse.

    Simple logic, really.

  13. 13
    Ed Brayton

    lofgren wrote:

    As a frequent commenter I often feel entitled to call Ed Brayton “Ed,” as if we are buddies or something. Other times this feels presumptuous. Ed, do you even care? Because Ed is a lot faster to type than Brayton or Mr. Brayton, both of which also make me feel like my writing style should be more formal than I really care to make it when commenting on a blog.

    Oh no, Ed is just fine. No need for formalities here!

  14. 14
    ema

    Of course there are many honest anti-abortionists….

    They might be honest but they’re not reality-based. In the real world, there are no appendectomists, hysterectomists, or abortionists. There are (mostly) Ob/Gyns, some FPs, and (rarely) GPs who perform abortions.

    Being “anti” physicians who perform safe and effective medical procedures that significantly reduce a patient’s risk of death is not “pro-life”/reality-based.

  15. 15
    amyjane

    I think that the anti abortion/contraception crowd is not merely anti sin but anti equality. If women can’t easily plan their child bearing then the old reasons for not hiring and promoting women have more real world logic behind them. This keeps women in line and dependent.

    The birth rate is down. My daughter will not have a second child because between college loans and child care they just can’t afford another. They’d be up a creek without effective contraception. They would be impoverished and desperate.

  16. 16
    richardelguru

    Raven “accidently having sex” is that when the guy trips and falls over, right in between the gal’s legs? Oooooops!????

  17. 17
    Sastra

    Although sexism and punishment for fornication are obviously both factors in the anti-abortion-AND-anti-birth-control crowd, I think there is an additional desire on their part to “save babies’ lives” the right way. It comes down to virtue, and being virtuous by not cheating. They seem to be using a strange version of “the ends does not justify the means.”

    Sure, promoting what they see as a milder form of vice (contraception) might help lessen a greater form of vice (abortion murder.) BUT — advocating sin is still advocating sin. Birth control encourages fornication because it removes just consequences. Endorsing birth control is wrong, then, no matter what sort of other good consequences come down the road. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

    Remember, this is a crowd which believes that, in God’s eyes, anything other than Perfection warrants damnation. If you don’t accept the sacrifice of the blemishless Lamb of God, then you WILL be as likely to hang — be damned — for a sheep, as you are for a lamb. It’s all the same when it comes to sin: the real issue is obedience. Can you obey?

    They probably see lowering the abortion rate by handing out contraception the same way we might see getting evolution taught in schools by infusing it with magical, spiritual forces. It’s a violation of integrity for something which ought to be straightforward and unified.

  18. 18
    Nepenthe

    @John Hinkle

    Calm down, don’t worry. There’s always STIs.

    If you’re feeling overwhelmed by this data, just have a drink of water and remember that herpes can be spread even when a condom is used correctly.

  19. 19
    D. C. Sessions

    Can’t have sex without punishment.

    Well, that depends. Do you have a penis?

  20. 20
    raven

    The birth rate is down. My daughter will not have a second child because between college loans and child care they just can’t afford another.

    That is what is happening to all the Boomer’s kids, that I know anyway.

    Aa lot have high college loan overhangs, jobs are low paying and none are the least bit secure. If they have kids at all, it’s usually just one. With two parents working, child care is a major expense.

    I can believe that the kids really do have it harder these days. When I graduated college, I was completely broke but debt free.

    Raven “accidently having sex” is that when the guy trips and falls over, right in between the gal’s legs? Oooooops!????

    LOL. I suspect it involves large quantities of alcohol. You will have to ask the fundies. Their mentality is as comprehensible to me as any tribesperson running around in a tropical jungle somewhere.

  21. 21
    cry4turtles

    #*@#%*& (too pissed to form sentence).

  22. 22
    baal

    I read #2 as ironic rather than regressive.

    Stark study! My son is 11 – anyone know if there is legal liability for a parent giving their child condoms (that they can then give to others)? He’s a bit young yet but I might like to do this in the future.

    They not only want to punish, control womens bodies and everyone’s enjoyment in life but they also want to create as many ‘souls’ as possible. Souls are also more noble and living a godly life if they suffer – hence the endless cuts to food stamps (and a 40% reduced vs the 1970′s minimum wage) and everyother support to folks with unmet needs.

  23. 23
    D. C. Sessions

    It puts the lie to the claims by anti-abortion types that their primary goal is opposing abortion, not taking complete control over women’s bodies and everyone’s sexual lives.

    Take it a step farther: the objective is social control. Given how powerful the sex drive is, it’s a really great handle [1] for controlling people.

    In large parts of the USA, it’s based on forbidding kids from having sex (and while you’re at it, make sure that they get stressed out over masturbation too.) Then, when they break the Holy Rule, make sure to maximize the probability of them “getting caught” by pregnancy, disease, etc. No easy outs like contraceptives, abortions, or don’t-tell-my-parents treatment for the clap.

    Then you shame the slut and force the father to marry her, with the two of them shunned until they are Saved By Accepting Jebus. Which they damn well will do, because they’re starving, unemployed, and have a kid on the way. Before you know it, they’re the most prune-faced prudes in the town — and if they aren’t, there’s always someone to remind them of how horrible they were by whispers in the Ladies’ Quilting Society.

    [1] Yeah, I saw y’all wince.

  24. 24
    Nepenthe

    @D.C.

    *shrug* I dunno, seems like “knob” or “button” would have been a better zinger.

  25. 25
    Reginald Selkirk

    I read #2 as ironic rather than regressive.

    Irony here on Dispatches? Say it ain’t so.

  26. 26
    lofgren

    Being “anti” physicians who perform safe and effective medical procedures that significantly reduce a patient’s risk of death is not “pro-life”/reality-based.

    I’m surprised I need to explain this, but they are not anti-”abortionists,” they are anti-”abortion”-ists. They’re opposed to certain medical procedures being used in a manner they view as unethical. There are many medical procedures that have some degree of controversy over when they are ethical, from circumcision to breast augmentation to prostate exams. Some of these controversies have relatively balanced science on both sides of the debate, such as the many doctors who are now arguing that excision is over-prescribed for tumors that would likely resolve themselves but could be safely operated upon at a later date if they ever did become malignant. At the extreme opposite side you have the antivaccine movement, where the handful of doctors and scientists who oppose vaccines can fairly be called quacks and conmen.

    You can’t just toss out “not reality-based” as if that automatically negates another person’s opinions. You’re going to have to actually show how those views are at odds with reality, which you haven’t bothered to do. Otherwise it’s just namecalling.

  27. 27
    tommykey

    *As a frequent commenter I often feel entitled to call Ed Brayton “Ed,” as if we are buddies or something. Other times this feels presumptuous. Ed, do you even care?

    You reminded me of the Monty Python clip where John Cleese is interviewing a film director played by Graham Chapman and with each question, Cleese gets more informal with the man’s name:

    “Now Edward, is it okay if I call you Edward?”

    “May I call you Ed?”

    Each time Chapman grudgingly allows it, until Cleese addresses him as “Eddie Baby.”

    “No, you may not call me Eddie Baby!”

    It’s been a long time and I don’t recall the exact words, but it was something like that.

  28. 28
    ButchKitties

    Contraceptive counseling included all reversible methods but emphasized the superior effectiveness of LARC methods (IUDs and implants). All participants received the reversible contraceptive method of their choice at no cost.

    This was my favorite part of the study. Contraception is great. Contraception where the “perfect use” and “typical use” failures are the same is even better, but sadly it’s also harder to come by, especially if you are childless.

  29. 29
    lofgren

    “May I call you Ed?”

    As long as we are playing free association with comedy routines, I frequently find myself recalling a bit from the TV show Arliss (I was never a fan and this bit constitutes almost the entirety of my experience with the show):

    Man 1, intervening in a conversation between two visibly angry men: “OK everybody, I’ll handle this. Listen, Dick… can I call you Dick?”

    Man 2: “My name is James!”

    Man 1: “Dick, if you would just step over here for a minute…”

  30. 30
    lofgren

    anyone know if there is legal liability for a parent giving their child condoms (that they can then give to others)?

    This is America, so even if you can’t be prosecuted you should expect to get sued.

  31. 31
    starskeptic

    Of course, if one happened to believe that birth-control was equivalent to abortion…

  32. 32
    ema

    I’m surprised I need to explain this, but they are not anti-”abortionists,” they are anti-”abortion”-ists.

    Maybe use real words to cut down on the confusion?

    There are many medical procedures that have some degree of controversy over when they are ethical …. Some of these controversies have relatively balanced science on both sides of the debate….

    Apples and oranges. Science on only one side of this debate (abortion always safer/healthier* vs. carrying to term), settled. The ethical debate (OK to deny pregnant women life-saving procedures because of perfect strangers’ personal beliefs?) rages on.

    You can’t just toss out “not reality-based” as if that automatically negates another person’s opinions. You’re going to have to actually show how those views are at odds with reality….

    Not their opinions, their facts.

    Claim that forcibly subjecting pregnant women to a significantly higher mortality risk* = “pro-life” is not reality-based.

    *1:263,000 (1st trim, legal abx) vs. 1:10,000 (pregnancy)
    [Williams 21 ed, p 1518]

  33. 33
    lofgren

    Maybe use real words to cut down on the confusion?

    Claim that forcibly subjecting pregnant women to a significantly higher mortality risk* = “pro-life” is not reality-based.

    It’s a bit rich to exhort “real” words and then take the more common word for the same concept and twist its intended meaning in the very same post.

    Nobody is pretending that “pro-life” means anything except “anti-abortion” except you. You can’t make a cogent argument by decontextualizing words and then arguing against concepts they might appear to represent rather than the concepts that they actually represent in practice.

    At the same time, this argument aptly illustrates why I prefer the term “anti-abortion” to “pro-life.” While it’s true that “anti-abortion” is not as common as “pro-life,” I believe it better resists the kind of dishonest manipulation that you engage in here, by both sides of the argument. People who identify as “pro-life” like to pretend that they believe in a “culture of life” and other such nonsense, when in reality the only thing they care about is preventing abortions.

    Likewise, choice advocates are fond of showing off their “cleverness” by making sarcastic statements like, “Oh, you’re pro-life are you? I suppose you’re against the DEATH PENALTY then?!” even though they know full well that “pro-life” describes only their opponents’ position on abortion and nothing more.

    Both of these pretenses are stupid and dishonest. The subject of discussion is abortion, specifically abortion-on-demand. Pro-life is a misleading label. Anti-abortion and pro-choice are more literally accurate, at least that’s what I thought until you somehow managed to misconstrue “anti-abortion” as opposition to a specific type of medical doctor that doesn’t actually exist rather than opposition to a medical practice under certain circumstances. However that’s a misunderstanding I have never, ever encountered before in all the years I have been using this label so I still believe this term is less easily manipulated than pro-life and continue to prefer it.

    (And really, even if you interpret it as anti-”abortionist,” what could that possibly mean except opposition to the practice that causes a person to carry the title “abortionist?” It leads to the exact same conclusion.)

    Not their opinions, their facts.

    I haven’t shared a single example of a fact that my wife uses to support her opposition to abortion, so you’re not really in any position to argue that she, or the other “honest” anti-abortionists’ to whom I referred, have their facts wrong. My wife and I are privy to the same facts about abortion and we have come to opposite conclusions. If her facts are detached from reality, then so are mine. So when you argue that her position is not reality-based, you are also arguing that my pro-choice stance is not reality-based.

    Anti-abortionists – sorry, pro-lifers – are fully aware that outlawing at-will abortion will increase the risk for some women. However, since abortion represents pretty much maximum risk to the fetus, and the anti-abortionist places a higher value on the fetus and the rights they believe it ought to have, honest anti-abortionists are prepared to live with that increased risk. They view it as the lesser of two evils.

  34. 34
    otrame

    Women Ccan’t have sex without punishment. What is this world coming to.

    FIFY

  35. 35
    iknklast

    “However, since abortion represents pretty much maximum risk to the fetus, and the anti-abortionist places a higher value on the fetus and the rights they believe it ought to have, honest anti-abortionists are prepared to live with that increased risk. They view it as the lesser of two evils.”

    This is the problem I have with “honest” anti-abortion advocates (very few of them will admit this basic fact; that’s why I put honest in quotes. It’s not anything to do with your wife, or with you).

    Women simply don’t matter as much as “unborn children”. Women are expendable incubators. And any of those “unborn children” that end up being girls will themselves become expendable incubators.

  36. 36
    lofgren

    Women simply don’t matter as much as “unborn children”. Women are expendable incubators. And any of those “unborn children” that end up being girls will themselves become expendable incubators.

    That’s not fair. There is a wide gulf between saying that a child has a legitimate claim to be born and viewing a woman as an “expendable incubator.”

  37. 37
    John Phillips, FCD

    lofgren, show me one Republican legislature, at the state or national level, who treats the woman as anything but an expendable incubator. I’ll help you out, there were a couple of female Republican state legislatures in, IIRC, Montana, who stood up against their party on one anti-women bill, but they were very much the exception. Have you any idea how many anti-women’s health bills, i.e. anti-contraception, anti-abortion and defunding PP, that have been attempted or passed at state and national level since 2010, it runs to hundreds across the US.

  38. 38
    lofgren

    lofgren, show me one Republican legislature, at the state or national level, who treats the woman as anything but an expendable incubator.

    If I had made the claim that Republican legislatures at the state and national level treat women as anything except expendable incubators, I might even try. But I didn’t, not even close. I was responding to #35, who said:

    This is the problem I have with “honest” anti-abortion advocates… Women are [treated as] expendable incubators.

    “Honest” anti-abortion advocate was a term I used to describe my wife’s position. It’s also the position held by most of her family. I see absolutely no indication that they view women this way. Their position is based on the belief that the fetus has some rights, and that those rights are in competition with the woman’s right to bodily autonomy. Surely you can see some nuance between valuing the fetus’ right to life more than the mother’s right to choose and treating women as expendable incubators?

  39. 39
    John Phillips, FCD

    I could, perhaps, if that was the anti-abortion attitude I came across the most. Unfortunately, the vast majority of those who are anti-abortion that I come across, very much regard the woman as little more than an incubator. Which, BTW, was the point behind my previous post in that at the legislative level in the US, the attitude is very much about treating the woman as little more than an incubator. Additionally, on the few occasions I have come across those with the attitude you say your wife has, I have yet to see them prepared to fight for easy access to contraception and good sex education, both of which empirically reduce the need for abortion. And again, those who legislate against abortion in the US are the very same people blocking access to contraception and good sex education.

  40. 40
    lofgren

    I could, perhaps, if that was the anti-abortion attitude I came across the most.

    This is like saying you might see a difference between black and white swans if you came across black swans more often than white swans, but since white swans are more common than black swans clearly black swans and white swans can be safely conflated.

    The people I am thinking about are for the most part liberal democrats. They support Planned Parenthood in the aspects of its mission that are not related to abortion. They support comprehensive sex education. They support greater access to affordable or even free contraception, prenatal care, and childcare. They find that neither party fully represents their views on abortion, but the Democratic stance of “safe, legal, and rare” is more closely aligned with their concept of justice than the Republican stance of “next time keep your knees closed, you putrid slut.”

    Your comment and that of iknklast are examples of the bias I was referring to in my first comment. You disagree with my wife’s position, so you want to be able to see her as some kind of vile, woman-hating, vitriolic archenemy. Confronted with the possibility that you are wrong, you dismiss it as irrelevant and instead shift the conversation to easier targets.

    In fact most Americans support abortion with some restrictions. The polls that show this are routinely misrepresented by antiabortion advocates to claim that the majority of Americans disagree with abortion. The fact is that more people than you think hold positions similar to my wife’s, and a large number of them must routinely vote for candidates who hold a position that they agree with in part but not in total, or else no Democrat would ever be able to get elected. This is no different from the balancing act that we all must perform when we step into a voting booth or open our wallets to support a candidate or a non-profit who does good work even if we do not agree with them on everything.

    And again, those who legislate against abortion in the US are the very same people blocking access to contraception and good sex education.

    And those are exactly the people whom I was contrasting with my wife and others like her in my first comment. The ones whose positions and actions show that their overriding concern is not the protection of fetuses but the punishment of women and the shaming of sexual desire. They are not honest and their positions are cruel and highly destructive. But just because those people exist does not mean that everybody who agrees with them on one issue must agree with them on all issues, or view the world through the same lens.

  41. 41
    dingojack

    Lofgren (#40) – from FoAW

    “The Northern Hemisphere species of swan have pure white plumage but the Southern Hemisphere species are mixed black and white. The Australian Black Swan (Cygnus atratus) is completely black except for the white flight feathers on its wings; the chicks of black swans are light grey in colour, and the South American Black-necked Swan has a black neck”.

    What you’re saying (I think) is something like ‘most prisoners are guilty some are not. So let’s ignore the vast majority and focus on the tiny percentage who are not, I can falsify the argument that the majority of prisoners are guilty’.
    Argumentum ad nigrum cignum?
    ;) Dingo
    ——–
    PS: It’s a shame. I have a rather nice photo of a Black Swan cob and fen with thier cygnets on the pond in Sydney Park.

  42. 42
    eric

    ema:

    The ethical debate (OK to deny pregnant women life-saving procedures because of perfect strangers’ personal beliefs?) rages on.

    There are certainly conservatives making that argument, but I think its a bit of a distraction. I think the real political sticking point is whether abortion should be legal in cases where the mother’s life is not in immediate danger. Liberals tend (but not always) to think the woman should have the right to an abortion regardless of whether her life is at risk. That a woman’s right to this procedure should be defended in all cases, not just the easy case where denial of it leads to the mother’s death. Conservatives tend (but not always) to think otherwise.

  43. 43
    Worldtraveller

    For the record, I fully support the right of abortion up the age of 18, or they leave the house, whichever comes later. =)

  44. 44
    lofgren

    Dingo, #31:

    My reason for mentioning my wife and people like her was to avoid being accused of ignoring the nuance at the fringes of the debate and lumping all antiabortionists in with those who are really just concerned with punishing women and making sex as dangerous as possible. If I’m going to make an accusation like that, I want to be careful not to fall into a trap of simplistic, us-vs-them thinking. Especially since I live with and dearly love one of “them.”

    It was other commenters who decided that, to use your analogy, all prisoners MUST be guilty. I’m not even willing to defend my wife’s position, because I disagree with it. I’m just defending her character from baseless, ignorant attacks like the sugggestion that she views women as disposable or the assertion that her opinions don’t matter because she’s not a Republican legislator.

  45. 45
    John Phillips, FCD

    dingojack #41, word.

    Lofgren, I take no position on what your wife thinks, i.e. whether I think her ‘evil’ or not as I don’t know her. I am only relating my experience when debating with those who are anti-abortion, which is reflected in the US by the stance many of its legislators, especially republican ones, take.

  46. 46
    lofgren

    OK, then why did you address your comment to me and phrase it as if it is a refutation of my claim that my wife does not view women as expendable? Do you or do you not object to any of the things I have said here?

  47. 47
    dingojack

    Lofgren – Let’s be clear here.
    I took the argument to be about the general position of the anti-abortion crowd, I did not realise it was all about your wife’s beliefs. I didn’t mean to denigrate one specific person by calling out the position of the majority, would you please apologise to her on my behalf?

    John Phillips – actually, several words I think you’ll find.

    Dingo

  48. 48
    John Phillips, FCD

    Lofgren, I suppose my main point wasn’t to attack your ‘nuance’ point or your wife as such. Mainly because I consider it largely irrelevant when compared to the non-nuanced attitude of those who actually have the power to enact anti-woman legislation and those who support them. In that context I saw it largely as a derail, unintentional as it no doubt was, at least going by the flavour of your other contributions across ftb.

  49. 49
    John Phillips, FCD

    Dingo, lol.

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