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Santorum’s wife’s abortion was different, you see.

Senator Rick Santorum, not to be confused with the neologism coined by Dan Savage meaning “a frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter sometimes the byproduct of anal sex”, is publicly very much against abortions, especially “partial birth abortions” where the baby is terminated any time after three or four weeks and has to be passed out of the woman’s body via the birth canal. Basically meaning any abortion. The description I’ve given is in no way an exaggeration or a falsehood, and the whole point of the term “partial birth” is to demonize the concept of abortion out of hand, making it seem like you’re giving birth to a viable human baby then stabbing it in the heart before it’s out the door. It’s a dirty tactic, but one in line with Santorum’s namesake neologism, certainly.

Santorum’s views are unapologetically black-and-white. He advocates that any doctor performing an abortion under any circumstances should be criminally charged.

Even for rape. Even for incest. Even for saving the mother’s life. None of them justify abortion in Rick Santorum’s world.

Unless it happens to be Rick Santorum’s wife, and she might have died if not for her 20-week-old fetus being “partial birth” aborted. That’s different. Because, you know, that’s JUSTIFIED. Unlike all those other mothers.

In October, 1996, his wife Karen had a second trimester abortion. They don’t like to describe it that way. In his 2004 interview with Terry Gross, Santorum characterizes the fetus, who must be treated as an autonomous person, as a practically a gunslinging threat, whom the mother must murder in self-defense. Karen has had to justify her decision to save her own life by explaining that if she died her other children would have lost a mother.
[…]
Karen Santorum is the wife of right-wing, anti-abortion Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.). In 1996, Senator Santorum led the debate on a bill that attempted to ban late-term abortions, and refused to make an exception even in the case of “grievous bodily injury” to the woman. In Santorum’s article, she expresses her view that carrying a non-viable fetus to term is the only option, and apparently does not think the woman’s health or future fertility should be a consideration.

I hereby call on Rick Santorum to sue the doctor who performed the surgery that saved his wife’s life. While it may not be a criminal act yet, at least you can get damages from the doctor for daring to save your wife’s life at the expense of your wife’s constitutionally endowed infection source. That act was a second-trimester abortion. It was a “partial birth abortion”. It was done only to save your wife’s life. It is done generally only to save other mothers’ lives. It is not a criminal act in any respect. If you do not sue this doctor, you are a hypocrite of the highest order, and deserving of the worst epithets people can Google-bomb you with.

Choosing abortion is not an easy choice to make. Sometimes, it’s the only option. People do not have abortions out of hand, despite what right-wingers and religious nuts would have you believe. Oftentimes, choosing abortion is choosing life — for the mother, who is often also the mother of other children.

Do not legislate that their wombs become pressganged into being baby factories for rapists or a death sentence for the womb’s owner. Trust doctors, and trust women, to make the choice only when necessary. If you don’t like abortion, then simply don’t have one, even if it costs you your life and your children their mother. And if you aren’t a woman or a doctor, shut the fuck up and stay the fuck out of the argument altogether. Especially if the reasons you’re horning in on this conversation — the reasons you believe you have any moral say in the matter whatsoever — have anything to do with a really old book.

Comments

  1. Rich Wilson says

    I’ve never supported criminalization of abortion for mothers

    So what’s the problem? Women can still perform their own abortions?

  2. says

    I’m not in it. I’m merely castigating a hypocrite for holding a position antithetical to his actions, and for sticking his nose in an argument that is between women and their doctors. When I say “abortion saves lives”, it is an empirical, not an opinion.

  3. says

    Daniel, those men who demonize women for demanding they be allowed to use their bodies as something other than hosts are already in the argument, and they’re not getting out any time soon. Jason and other male allies of these women are more than allowed in the debate.

  4. Gabriel Santorum wasn't aborted... just saying says

    Sorry, but Karen Santorum did not go into labor artificially, therefore Gabriel was not aborted:

    “When Karen Garver Santorum, wife of Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., wrote a series of letters to her unborn fourth child, she never expected to publish them.

    The letters, filled with personal details and thoughts, were just her way of expressing first her joy at being pregnant, and then her anguish as she learned that her baby – named Gabriel Michael for the two archangels – had a tiny, often-fatal defect.

    Although doctors successfully performed intrauterine surgery to temporarily correct the defect, she developed an infection from the procedure and went into premature labor.

    Two hours after he was born on Oct. 11, 1996 – five months before his due date – Gabriel Michael Santorum died in the arms of his parents.”

    http://www.post-gazette.com/books/19980623corner.asp

    Karen Santorum gave premature birth to her son Gabriel. Labor was not induced, though it was sped along through the use of the drug Pitocin. A “natural abortion” is a “miscarriage”. In this instance, however, Gabriel was a prematurely born infant who did not survive long after birth.

    The term “partial-birth abortion” refers specifically the the “Intact Dilation and Extraction” procedure. I would not look that up on Google if you have a weak stomach.

    Abortion ends a human life every time it succeeds. When it fails, it produces a pro-life activist. Try searching on Google for Gianna Jessen.

  5. says

    You’re willfully deluded, anonymous commenter.

    1. Wikipedia reports that intact dilation and extraction happened in 0.17% (2,232 of 1,313,000) of all abortions in the United States in the year 2000. It is not the “common” mode of abortion, and only occurs in situations where it is absolutely necessary to prevent mortality or morbidity of the mother (e.g. when the baby is formed enough to have a skull and brain and would be therefore a difficult passage without proper labor), and only when the baby is already a lost cause. The use of the term “partial birth abortion” is willfully misleading in that it refers to practically every abortion ever. It doesn’t even refer specifically to viable fetuses that are still alive before being “partially birthed” then aborted. It honestly refers to every abortion. Did you not realize that most abortions don’t happen that way, or were you intentionally conflating the two terms for a political purpose?

    2. The doctors gave her the drugs to induce labor because she had two days at most before sepsis killed her as well as the already dying non-baby fetus. The fetus was smaller than Santorum’s hand. It was not viable outside the mother under any circumstances. And it was already dying. Karen asked for drugs to prevent labor, to carry the dead baby to “natural childbirth”, but it was already too late at that point, and if she had allowed things to proceed “naturally”, without aborting, she WOULD HAVE DIED.

    Karen Santorum had an abortion. She may not like to describe it as such, but that’s what it was. If she’d had a “natural abortion”, or miscarriage, it would have happened after she’d already died of sepsis.

  6. Sandy says

    Partial birth abortion is defined as: 18-20 weeks – it’s a second trimester procedure [rather than after 3 weeks which is 1st trimester; the distinction is important – because most abortions are done between 3-8wks, and they too pass through the birth canal similar to giving birth but at that point it’s more like a miscarriage] – btw I am pro-choice.
    More info:
    The term “partial-birth abortion” is primarily used in political discourse — chiefly regarding the legality of abortion in the United States.[6] The term is not recognized as a medical term by the American Medical Association
    Though the procedure has had a low rate of use, representing 0.17% (2,232 of 1,313,000) of all abortions in the United States in the year 2000, according to voluntary responses to an Alan Guttmacher Institute survey,[2] it has developed into a focal point of the abortion debate.

  7. Sandy says

    is publicly very much against abortions, especially “partial birth abortions” where the baby is terminated any time after three or four weeks and has to be passed out of the woman’s body via the birth canal.

    My response to what partial birth abortion truly was – was in response to the above quote from this blog.

    Mainly wanted to address that these guys are against all abortions, true, but they want the public to think that you’re giving birth to a viable fetus and they also want the public to think those kinds of abortions are more common than 1st trimester ones (1-12 weeks; just basic fyi – pregnancies take approx 40wks; divided into 3 trimesters of 12wks)

    As pro-choice as I am, having an abortion at 20wks or more should only be done in the event the mother is at risk of death or the fetus cannot be carried to term. Which is the primary reason for anyone having such late term abortions in the first place. Development has significantly changed by second trimester.
    Cheers!

  8. Kris says

    “Labor was not induced, though it was sped along through the use of the drug Pitocin.”

    Pitocin (oxytocin) is used to induce labor so this sentence contradicts itself!

  9. says

    Gabriel Santorum wasn’t aborted… just saying claims: “Abortion ends a human life every time it succeeds. When it fails, it produces a pro-life activist. Try searching on Google for Gianna Jessen…”

    When it fails, it usually produces a severely disabled child, would be my guess…

    I have a friend who would never have existed if her mother hadn’t had a late stage abortion of a very wanted pregnancy. The son she carried had inherited the crippling and fatal disease that was dormant in his father’s genes. It was decided that the child would not be forced into a short, agonizing life.

    Several months later, the couple conceived again and a healthy girl was delivered 9 months later. She grew up, got married, gave birth to a daughter and has cared for many foster children.

    You’re telling me that her existence is a tragedy. I disagree.

  10. Renee says

    As a mother, who had her labor induced…Pitocin is used to induce labor. It is given via IV, and starts conctractions with in 30 minutes. This is just one form to induce labor. Pitocin is used for no other purpose. If you were a female, or a mother who went through this process you would know that. Last but not least. This is completly sick. This really proves to me that all these right winged, religous nut jobs are just a bunch of liars. It is a woman’s right and choice to decide if she will or can carry that child. Men, Im sorry about after you’ve done your 15-20 minutes of glory, it is our job for the next 9 months to carry that child. So back the fuck off of this topic already. Really, after all this time, people are still trying to turn this over? Give it up already. But great article!

  11. says

    You cannot “induce” labor that has already begun; you can only help it along. Mrs. Santorum was already in labor. There was no way to “induce” it.

    In response to the infection in her amniotic sac, her body was trying to deliver the baby. We don’t know if this autonomic response was designed to save the mother, the baby, or both. But we do know that if it had been unsuccessful, both mother and baby would have died. The doctors had to induce (note the different nuance of the word here) Mrs. Santorum to allow them help her body’s autonomic response to succeed.

    If in someone’s poor excuse for a mind this constitutes “abortion” — if certain mental slobs cannot distinguish helping the labor process along resulting in a live birth from what is commonly meant by “terminating a pregnancy” (and, by the way, if there is no difference then we’ve all been “aborted,” all language relating to this discussion is meaningless, and the discussion itself is absurd) — if such intellectual posers cannot grasp these obvious distinctions, then I’d think twice before trusting them with sharp household items, major appliances, or automotive vehicles.

  12. Mykelb says

    This is always the way with self-righteous hypocrites like the Santorums. Have an abortion, then enact law to prevent others from getting the same medical care. ASSHOLES.

  13. PBerg says

    Renee—-High Five to you. I often wonder why males feel they have any right to make comments about a woman’s right to choose what to do with her body—but then it occurs to me, it is merely another way for men to try and exert control over women. I have to lol when I think of all those males out there who were foolish enough to have sex without protection, who are absolutely aghast when the girl calls them up and says she is pregnant—–and the thought that the next 18 yrs will be spent paying for this kid’s livlihood is horrific to them. There are many more than willing to pay for and drive their partner to the nearest clinic to end it !

  14. Abigail Al Omari says

    Where I do agree that his stand on abortion is hypocritical if the author of this believes in the freedom of a woman’s reproduction why is he violating her rights to private medical records?

  15. SKing says

    Amazing how quickly and virulently the right-wing apologists scramble to support their man.

    “Mrs. Santorum was already in labor.” – yeah, do you know what the medical definition of labor is? It’s the process of pushing the baby out of the body. If you really want to stretch your words around the barest glimmer of the truth, as many of you “religious” folks do, then technically labor begins with conception, so all abortion is actually just failed birth, right? But no, there is no technical definition for when labor has begun. Your claim that it had already begun is spurious at best.

    FACT: Doctors in this case assisted medically in ending the pregnancy earlier than it would have naturally.
    FACT: Now Santorum is saying that it’s wrong for anybody under any circumstances to have doctors assist medically in ending a pregnancy earlier than it would have naturally.
    CONCLUSION: Santorum is just another hypocrite.

  16. Dee says

    If you read the book that Rick’s wife wrote, there was no surgery involved in the loss of the baby. That came AFTER she actually had a miscarriage, NOT abortion. Let me enlighten you a little bit about the difference of these two terms. Abortion is where the mother CHOOSES to terminat the pregnancy, and actively seeks to kill her fetus. Miscarrage is the BODY’s way of rejecting the fetus, wheather the mother wants this to happen or not. Miss Santorums labor had already began, and there was no stopping it. She did not chose for the labor to start, it started due to a medical reason. Once the Santorums were informed by the doctor that the pregnancy could not be stopped, they chose what most mothers would in hopes of giving the baby a chance at life, a speedier birth, because once a woman’s labor has started, the risk of infection, lack of oxygen causing birth defects, and several other medical conditions, are extremely excellerated. So they did not actually have an abortion, as this article would lead you to believe.She miscarried a baby that she would have gladly carried to term, had her body not rejected the baby.
    An abortion is when someone just doesn’t want the baby for some reason or another, and has a doctor kill the baby, either before birth or after, so she doesn’t have to raise the unwanted child. She makes a concious decision that is well within her control to dispose of the baby she is carrying.

  17. SKing says

    Oooh, nice spin, Dee.

    I won’t argue that at one point the Santorums wanted to carry the baby to term. But apparently that desire changed at some point, right? Or are you arguing that Mrs. Santorum never took a labor-inducing drug for the purpose of pushing the unborn baby out early?

  18. Megan says

    For those saying it was abortion because they used pitocin…

    That’s not entirely accurate. Yes, pitocin is used to jumpstart labor, but it is also used to speed up labor when some women are ALREADY in labor and the labor is just not moving along fast enough. If Karen were already in labor and there wasn’t anything they could do to stop it and she was going to give birth no matter what, then yes, they very well might start a pitocin line to get the labor moving along.

    Some doctors also reccomend pitocin during labor because it will help expel the placenta faster after delivery.

    I’m really not sure how this is abortion. She tried to save her baby. Because she chose to go the route of delivery? She went into labor on her own..so that means everyone who goes into premature labor and whose child dies as a result of premature labor has technically had an abortion?

  19. Evangeline says

    Ron Henzel she effectively had an abortion. I don’t know why you cannot comprehend that. She had two choices at that point-stop labor, or “help” it along, regardless of the outcome. Why didn’t she just pray for a miracle? Or for healing? Why is it alright for them to have chosen “help”, but for her husband to legislate against the right of any other woman, or couple to choose “help” as well? You cannot see the hypocrisy here? If they were truly just, the outcome of her not being “helped” along would have no bearing. They didn’t make a very “pro-life” decision here. They could have went the natural, god given route and let the pregnancy succumb to it’s natural course. Odder things have happened, people lay claims that miracles do occur. They made a choice, and altered the natural course, again back to effectively choosing abortion.

    FYI: Being Pro-Choice doesn’t mean one is pro-abortion, it also means one can be Pro-Life, it’s just not my decision to make for another.

  20. SKing says

    Pitocin has many uses, indeed. But the intent with which it was used in this case was the speedy termination of a pregnancy, yes? Or are you suggesting that it was somehow to make Mrs. Santorum more comfortable or more efficient in discharging the placenta?

    Abortion is defined as the intentional termination of a pregnancy. Doesn’t matter whether the mother and/or father wants to or don’t want to or say they want to or don’t say they don’t want to keep it. Intent is not considered, per Santorum’s own doctrine.

    Now, to me, it is, but then again, I’m one of those who thinks Santorum is a hypocritical nutcase.

  21. CHarrisson - Pro choice AND pro life says

    SKing, YES. Thank you for your very clear response.

    I am a woman whose life was at risk from her pregnancy. Technically, I was in labor when my water broke at 14 weeks, and my life was at risk when I developed a fever 3 days later. There were no contractions, so the doctor scheduled me for “termination” – we had a long conversation about using pitocin

  22. Evangeline says

    Dee, actually her labor could have been stopped. There are drugs to do such. Would it have been advisable? Rational? Logical at that point? Probably not. Could she have opted not to have “help” moving “it” along? Certainly.

    You are so ignorant, and completely arrogant to think the only reason people choose abortion is because they don’t want the undeveloped, yet to be born child.

    No matter how you want to glaze it over, the Santorum’s made a conscious decision to end the life of their son, in order to safe the life of the mother. They did not have to ask for or accept “help”, they chose it. Much like many people do when they make such hard decisions, yet they would like you to believe that their case is special, and other couples that face the very same decisions or worse are murderers. Don’t sugarcoat their choice and then flip your nose to others, it’s hypocrisy at it’s greatest.

  23. Dee says

    SKing,
    You seriously need to be more informed about pregancies, labor, and birth BEFORE you make such a stupid, uninformed statement. The mediacal definition of labor is NOT just pushing the baby from the body. There are several stages of labor as well. You really need to brush up on your “medical” knowledge of labor for sure.
    For everyone else on here that said using pitocin is actively seeking abortion, then I urge you as well to brush up on your medical knowledge of labor and birth, and to realize that this is given only to speed up a labor that has already started, and beyound stopping.
    Miss Santorum did NOT have an abortion, she had a miscarrage. Period. You can try to twist it to what you want to twist it into, trying to make it look as though she had an abortion, but this is in NO WAY and abortion. She had already began active labor (Some people might want to actually look that term up before commenting) which could not be stopped. Therefore, the SAFEST thing she could have done under the circumstances, is have pitocin used, not just for the baby, who by the way was ALREADY dying due to the raging infection she had, to hopefully give him some chance of living, though at 20 weeks it is impossible for a fetus to live outside the body, but also for herself. ANY doctor would recommend this course of action under the circumstances. She did not make a decision to murder her own baby, she made a decision to try to save it if she could. Had she actively sought a doctor to START her labor,and kill her fetus,then she would have had an abortion.

  24. Will says

    Those of you saying Mrs. Santorum was already undergoing natural birth are flat out WRONG. Rick Santorum has frequently described that birth as a “CHOICE” they had to make, a choice that was very hard for them to make. If she was undergoing natural labor, then there would have been no choice to make, they would have simply had to passively allowed the birth to happen. But it was a choice, the doctor told them if they chose to carry the child to full term then she would most likely die, so they, admittedly, chose to ARTIFICIALLY INDUCE LABOR with the drug Pitocin, resulting in the death of the fetus. That is literally and medically an abortion. It IS an abortion.

    They CHOSE to abort and kill that fetus. They might not have WANTED to, but most mothers who get abortions dont WANT to kill a fetus, but they choose to, for their own wellbeing. Just like Mrs. Santorum did. Taking Pitocin to force a baby out of you knowing it will die is no different than drinking a glass of pennyroyal tea. It is an induced full-birth abortion. It is a medical and chemical procedure that knowingly results in the death of a fetus, at the choice of the mother. Abortion.

  25. Evangeline says

    Dee, I think you might want to brush up on your medical knowledge. Pitocin is used for induction as well. You’ve made some very good points here, they as a couple, she as a woman consulted their doctor on the best feasible outcome. They made a choice, not unlike many women, and/or couples do. They’re choice was not mandated by a politician or legislate, it was their’s along with their qualified physician. Her own husband would later sign personhood pledge stating life begins at conception. In that realm what they did was, for a lighter, more delicate term, euthanize their son. They expedited his death by artificial means. They made a choice no matter how you want to slice it. Medically they terminated the pregnancy because they brought it to an end by artificial means.

  26. Susan says

    You may want to read the details of what actually happened (http://oursilverribbon.org/blog/?p=188). While I would not vote for Santorum, if you read the actual details of what his wife went through, they did not actually abort the child. I am pro-choice, personally, and will always vote pro-choice. But to accuse his wife, who went through an enormous amount of pain and self-risk to save her child, whose doctors’s refused to give her medication she requested that would stop her early labor, of aborting her child is wholly and entirely unfair and downright callous.

  27. CHarrisson - Pro choice AND pro life says

    …or having a D&C. The Pitocin would have meant I had to labor the child out and he would have died in my arms. The D&C would have killed him in utero, but possibly with less pain because he would get anesthesia through me. It was the most horrific decision I have ever been faced with and I was so grateful, even in the middle of it, that the choice was mine alone. And make no mistake, I was facing abortion – in an abortion clinic because I was in my second trimester.

    My other choice was to risk my life, even though they told me he wouldn’t make it. Even though they said if he did he’d be a premie. He’d be blind. Deaf. Have cerebral palsy.

    But every time I saw him on the ultrasound, he was kicking. Fighting. And I had faith – in my baby. So please forgive that this post is in two parts. My son knocked my phone out of my hand while nursing. My full term son. Whom I CHOSE to keep.

    No law should have forced me to risk my life. But make no mistake, when my water broke, I was in labor. There were no contractions and the only way to get that baby out was Pitocin or surgery, neither of which was natural.

    I don’t condemn Karen Santorum for her choice. But make no mistake, she made a choice. Without Pitocin, only God knows how that pregnancy and labor would have progressed. She might have died. But she chose to live. No one should be able to make that choice for her, not even her husband. And no one should judge her for it, either, except her God.

    My son is a miracle baby. Our story could very easily have had her same unhappy ending. But I remain as I was before: pro choice. It was always my choice.

  28. Evangeline says

    Susan, I am Pro-Choice as well, and I think you are seeing what is the perspective of many Pro-Choice: what she went through. Not unlike what many other people face in her shoes, in their shoes and are called murderers by the same very mindset people. They are justifying their decision so they can keep to their perspective, and continue to call themselves Pro-Life. They did abort the child, they brought on an artificial means to end his life. Pro-Lifers are very cut and dry in their analysis of situations, and they are living by sword here. They did not have to choose Pitocin, they could have done a very Pro-Life thing and let God and nature take it’s way, but they didn’t, they chose to expedite the decision.

    Technically, they did abort the child. They could have continued on with the pregnancy. It may have killed Karen, and/or the fetus. Karen could have been pumped full of meds with the hopes of living through the infection, and possibly suffering long-term effects on her own health. (Treatment for sepsis during pregnancy is the same as for a non-pregnant woman.)The fetus could have possibly gone further to term, and survived as well. There are also possibilities the fetus would have had birth defects due to the treatment for sepsis.

    There were still possibilities as minute as they were, but overall in the medical field the odds were known to be against them. The logical, rational choice in a situation like this is to terminate the pregnancy. However, they still made a choice. The very types of choices they desire to keep other women/couples from making on their own. That’s where they come under scrutiny, and under fire. I know their decision was a heartbreaking one to make, but again they were allowed to make it on their own, unlike what they have since chosen for their peers.

  29. John Smith says

    @ Susan don’t worry to much about what this Asshat has to say it is obvious that he is the one with the agenda and has no intrest whatsoever in actual facts.

  30. CHarrisson - Pro choice AND pro life says

    And for all of you who like to call people ignorant whose views are not like yours, I’m a PA and very well-versed in the definition of labor. Pitocin used before 28 weeks is an abortion – either it’s helping a spontaneous abortion or it’s inducing an elective one.

  31. Evangeline says

    CHarrisson that must have been quite the emotional rollercoaster you were on. I went through my own battles while pregnant with my one and only. From the very start my pregnancy was a huge health risk to me (something I would have never known prior to pregnancy), things didn’t go well at all the entire time. My health was at a huge risk, and abortion was an option for me. One I didn’t choose. I also opt naught for amniocentesis as that would have created a bigger risk in losing the remaining twin. My entire pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum were horrible. It was a medical and clinical nightmare, but one I chose for each step of the way. I was sick for years after my child’s birth.

    Point-I made the choice with the guidance of my physicians. I knew this would be my one and only chance to ever possibly birth a baby, and I was going to see it through. Some may call me a fool for doing so, some a martyr. I see it as neither. I see it as my being able to freely have chosen what was best for me, my unborn, and our future through what was readily available to us. I don’t regret my decisions, my daughter is now a full grown adult, with a great career and profession. One day she will start the process of starting a family, and I hope for her generation they will never be backed into a corner with decision making should it come to that. Pregnancy is a highly emotional time to begin, add into it the unexpected it can be anything but a happy experience. I love my daughter more than anything in this world, but I am so grateful too that I had the options there for me, had I ever had to come to such a heart wrenching decision. I cannot imagine that today, some in society, like that Santorums, would take such an archaic view to life. That’s really not Pro-Life, it’s all about control.

    By the by, congrats on your little one. I’m glad things worked out for the positive for you all. :o)

  32. Karen says

    “But to accuse his wife, who went through an enormous amount of pain and self-risk to save her child, whose doctors’s refused to give her medication she requested that would stop her early labor, of aborting her child is wholly and entirely unfair and downright callous.”

    All they wanted was to make their own medical decisions in peace, and free from interference from those not involved in the process, and to not be judged for the outcome?

    Hm. That’s what I want, too.

  33. says

    Hello, everyone! Boy am I glad I lifted my “three month old posts get locked” restriction last week. (It was for spam purposes, older posts attract more spam than actual comments.)

    I am pro-choice because being pro-choice is being pro-woman. Even if every abortion is lamentable, if it is done with great care as to what outcome would cause the most misery, sometimes abortions save lives and prevent misery. If Karen Santorum had tried to go to term, the chances were extraordinarily high that she and the fetus would have died, and Rick Santorum would have lost his wife and their kids would have lost their mother. That would have been far more tragic than losing only the child that would very probably have not had a chance at life.

    If all abortions are to be illegal, even in the case of saving the mother’s life, then they should have tried to carry the fetus to term even in the face of losing Karen. Then they would really have become a data point for how abortions save lives. Rick Santorum would be far less of a hypocrite for advocating against them, though.

  34. RC says

    Dee, the medical term for a miscarriage is “spontaneous abortion” however Mrs. Santorum was given pictocin, therefore her “spontaneous abortion” was in fact NOT spontaneous.

    I was given pictocin twice in my life. The first time was at 22 weeks when the fetus had shown no signs of life for 2 days and the placenta was beginning to disintegrate, yet was not naturally being expelled (spontaneously aborted). Pictocin was given to induce labor and force a stillbirth.

    The second time I was given pictocin was at 36 weeks to induce early labor due to pre-eclampsia, and that handsome baby boy will turn 18 next week!!

    Both times, labor was artificially induced using Pictocin in order to force an early delivery when no natural labor had begun. If Mrs. Santorum was in fact having early labor there are at least 3 drug options she could have been given to STOP the labor, rather than push it along. After all, a 20 week fetus is NOT viable outside the womb.

    She and her family and her doctors made a conscious choice. The same choice that should be available to any woman faced with such a difficulty.

  35. says

    Susan@31, I included that link in my original post and even pulled blockquotes directly from it to prove my point.

    Inducing labor when the fetus is not viable == abortion. Whether you like it or not.

    To those who say that Karen’s medical records were being violated by being talked about, Santorum kind of did it himself by giving interviews about the facts in the case, did he not?

  36. CHarrisson - Pro choice AND pro life says

    Which is why I agree with the author. This is a women’s issue, not one to be legislated by men in order to gain votes.

  37. says

    Jason, this is an excellent post and I hope it receives the attention it deserves at this particular moment in history.

    I saw an interesting interview with Eric Cantor the other day, and his wife is pro-choice and pro-gay marriage.

    These guyz have to get their women, and their womenz biologies and bodies, in order!!!!

    For what it’s wroth, here’s my analysis of last night vis-a-vis New Hampshire: http://goo.gl/4LIuY

  38. says

    I hate Santorum, and I think he’s dangerous for America. However, this blog is not accurate.

    Here’s a full transcript of the Terry Gross interview:

    http://www.votesmart.org/public-statement/62056/fresh-air-transcript

    “GROSS: Senator, I know you have to leave, so I will ask you quickly to reflect on a personal experience you’ve had that reflects on your opinion in the debate about abortion. Your wife was 20 weeks pregnant when she found out that the baby she was carrying had a severe medical problem. There was an obstruction in the urinary tract, and the doctors told her that the child basically would not survive outside of her womb. What were the-and she had a severe infection that developed as well. What were the options that she had at that point? What did you have to decide?

    Sen. SANTORUM: Well, there was that physical abnormality in our son, and the options available were to continue with the pregnancy, which there was a small chance that the obstruction could clear but very, very small chance, almost zero; and two, we could intervene and try to do some procedure to relieve that obstruction and provide some hope for the baby to survive; or three, obviously you could terminate the pregnancy; that’s an option that was made available. Obviously, we would not consider the last option, and we did not consider the first option because we believed that gave no hope for our son.

    And so we did the thing that I think, you know, if this child was not in the womb but was three years old, I think most would say, well, would you kill your child? Would you do nothing to try to save your child? Or would you do the medical procedure that gave the best chance to survive? And so we acted the way we thought prudent parents should act, and we had a medical procedure done in Philadelphia that gave our son a chance.

    Like many medical procedures, there’s a risk of infection, and when the procedure was done-obviously you open up the womb to outside instruments and other things when you have a surgery done. And unfortunately, as a result of that, several days after the surgery she-my wife had an infection in the uterus which caused her to go into labor. And the baby was delivered, and Gabriel was 21-plus weeks old and he was born alive. And he lived for two hours, and he was not old enough or well-developed enough to have survived beyond that. And so we gave comfort care to him for those two hours in which he lived.”

    Now… HERE’S the sick part:

    “GROSS: After he died, you brought him home to show your children. Why did you want to do that?

    Sen. SANTORUM: We brought him home to bury him. You know, we thought it was appropriate. He was a member of our family, and instead of taking him to a funeral home for a viewing, if you will, we brought him home for a Mass at the house and then, with the funeral director, brought him over to the cemetery where he was buried. So, yeah, we had-in a sense, you could call it a viewing. Instead of having the viewing at the funeral home, which we thought was rather impersonal, given the circumstances, this was something that we wanted to just share with our family and for our children to see that they had a little brother and that their little brother lived and, you know, was a part of this family, and they got a chance to see this little gift and remember him for the rest of their lives.”

  39. says

    Labor was not induced. It was already underway. This would have eventually been a miscarriage apart from intervention—which would have killed both the child and the mother.

    Furthermore: applying a deceptively simplistic definition of abortion here (and this one is bizarrely so, once we consider the way abortions are actually practiced) fails to take into account the plain fact that Gabriel Michael was actually less viable inside the womb than outside it, due to the amniotic sac infection.

  40. says

    . Therefore, the SAFEST thing she could have done under the circumstances, is have pitocin used, not just for the baby, who by the way was ALREADY dying due to the raging infection she had, to hopefully give him some chance of living, though at 20 weeks it is impossible for a fetus to live outside the body, but also for herself. ANY doctor would recommend this course of action under the circumstances.

    Which is what every pro-choicer here will subscribe to.
    And which is what her husband wants to make illegal for other women: Medical care when they need it. There are already stories of women who were in life-threatening situations in the USA and didn’t get the care they needed because some law or fucked up christian decided it was not right to help the woman and to let her make the decision.

    Jason

    I am pro-choice because being pro-choice is being pro-woman. Even if every abortion is lamentable, if it is done with great care as to what outcome would cause the most misery, sometimes abortions save lives and prevent misery

    Please, don’t.
    Unless the abortion is necessary due to medical reasons and a woman needs to abort her fully wanted fetus, they are generally not lamentable and the do prevent misery.
    There’s no reason to view an abortion as a necessary evil. It’s lamentable that contraception wasn’t avaible, or didn’t work, but the fact that there is a safe medical procedure to deal with the problem is nothing to lament, or to be sad about.
    Don’t let the “pro-lifers” fool you: we don’t need to lament, or feel sad, or be somewhat ashamed of being pro-choice or having abortions.
    I know, I don’t fully qualify, because I was one of those people who had to terminate a wanted pregnancy, which was sad, but I’m not sorry that I could get an abortion.
    I don’t know if I’d get one for a viable fetus, that’s a personal decission.

  41. says

    Have you considered, David, that Santorum’s wife was given abortion — the “third option” — as their last resort to save Karen’s life, after the attempt to clear the obstruction resulted in sepsis? Have you considered that they still could have chosen the first option and let Karen try to carry to term and could have let the baby kill her?

  42. says

    David Harris

    Now… HERE’S the sick part:…

    On behalf of all parents who lost their wanted children during pregnancy: Please, stop that, too.
    There’s nothing gross or sick about people who decided they want tp be parents to take some time to recognize that this child of theirs existed, to say hello and goodbye.
    It’s extremly necessary for them, it’s necessary so the healing can start. Funerals are for the living, so it’s absolutely irrelevant that the deceased was a 20weeks fetus.

  43. says

    You’re right, Giliell — I omitted a word. I meant “Even if every such abortion is lamentable”, meaning every abortion that is carried out because it is medically indicated and the parents really wanted a child. I apologize. That missing word completely changed my point.

    A blastocyst is not a person. A fetus is not a person. There is no “soul” imbued to a sperm and egg. (And if there was, which twin would get the soul when identical twins are made?) Abortions that are had before there is an actual viable human being involved are not “lamentable” in any respect, any more than spilling your seed into a condom or a sock or the toilet, or flushing an unfertilized egg with your period, is lamentable.

  44. Amber says

    No one is saying she didn’t go through pain. No one is saying she wanted to let her child go. No one is saying this choice was easy. The main point is that if Republicans like Santorum can push legislation through that ends all abortions, this situation would not have played out the way it did. She wouldn’t have been able to choose to end the pregnancy. It was a choice I wish no one ever has to make. But it happens. And none of us have the right to judge anyone for choosing. That’s the damn point here. So Government needs to stay the hell out of our lives. Abortions should be legal. END. OF. STORY!

  45. bmeclipse says

    I see… Take the choice to make an intensely painful and important decision away from the people involved except, of course for those close to you. Yea Santorum for everybody!

  46. Mike de Fleuriot says

    I agree, men should stay the fuck out of this debate unless they are following instructions from woman. They have NO place in the debate, expect to express their opinion once and have it acknowledged as heard. Nothing else, NO!, zip, nadda, keep quiet and await orders.

  47. SKing says

    Ron et al:

    No matter how you spin it, the fact is that the Santorums made a decision, painful though it was, to take the matter out of God’s hands and terminate the pregnancy earlier than it would have done naturally. Correct? Technically, that’s abortion.

    I haven’t read anyone on here say that they were wrong in doing so. I certainly don’t. If it were my wife in that situation, you bet I’d make the same decision–IF people like Santorum don’t pass a law now saying I can’t.

    See, that’s the problem. It’s not that they were wrong in what they did–they weren’t. It’s that they’re now wrong to jump in on the Do-As-I-Say-Not-As-I-Did lake.

  48. CHarrisson - Pro choice AND pro life says

    I agree that there is nothing wrong with them taking that baby home for a viewing. Whatever a woman needs to do to get through that, she should do.

  49. says

    I absolutely LOVE the last paragraph… If you’re not a woman or not a doctor, you dont even need to get into the argument…Why would any man ever need to give their opinion and make it law when the issue doesnt even concern a man.
    To the religious: Its a matter of choice for the person involved and as long as youre not, I say you should shut the hell up. The stories from an old book, regardless of how ardently you believe in them, remain just stories, fairy tales, with I must say, pathetic plots and endings. Believe in whatever you want, but DO NOT let it affect anyone else, because when it does, we all have the right to fight against it, as it becomes a clear form of tyranny.

  50. katechilders says

    It’s extremely obvious that if Rick Santorum had already had his changes in the abortion law, his wife would have died. No physician would have taken the chance that he wouldn’t be arrested for doing what that one did no matter how much the right wants to twist what happened here.

    Live with it righties. Your supposed pro-life stance would kill women for no good reason.

  51. jokr8790 says

    “Partial birth abortion” is not and never has been a recognized medical term. It is an inaccurate political term for an EXTREMELY rare medical procedure primarily used to save the life of the mother which is “dilation and extraction,” or D&X, and “intact D&E,”. These procedures are performed in the 2nd trimester of pregnancy. If there weren’t so many obstacles put in the way of terminating a pregnancy by the “know nothing” of the religious right, probably many of those abortions could have been performed at earlier stages and the procedure would have been unnecessary. Termination of a pregnancy is solely and completely a decision that should be left with the only person with a stake in the decision, the woman. No one else has a right to weigh in, particularly not some religious, right wing nutbar, who’d rather see a woman die from a back alley abortion than be able to obtain a safe procedure in a clinic.

  52. Kristen says

    I disagree that men should stay out of the debate. The ultimate point is that men have no place to make that choice for another women, not that they shouldn’t be involved at all. There’s a big difference between supporting a woman’s rights and merely disregarding a matter as “a problem I don’t give a shit about because it’s a woman’s thing”.

    I know too many men who don’t give a damn about the abortion debate & know nothing about the two sides or why it’s a serious matter to society as a whole that women’s reproductive rights are being threatened. Unfortunately, men still rule this country as they make up the majority of congress, and men still vote for the men getting elected, so it’s important they are educated on this debate and understand why it’s important to woman’s rights as a whole. It can’t just be women’s voices in the pro choice movement. We need more men voicing why they are pro choice.

    Having everyone involved and on board will be what secures our rights in the long run.

  53. Reba says

    If Rick Santorum had his way, I would have died when my ectopic pregnancy ruptured my fallopian tube. No matter that there was no possible way to carry that (wanted) pregnancy to term. There was surgery involved, but it could still be categorized as an abortion, since it involved termination of pregnancy. That it began on its own does not change the end result.

    Obviously, I am grateful that no law prevented me from choosing to live. Later, I chose to have children – each time at great risk to myself – and we’re all glad I had that choice, too. I would not want to live in a place where the decision on whether or not I live or die, procreate or don’t, is taken from me. Basic human rights should take precedence over anyone else’s religious beliefs.

  54. says

    i Cant stand Santorum. BUT, this article is propaganda. Get the facts correct, than publish. Its helps to have the correct info and THAN an honest debate on the issues……BIG FAIL !!

  55. Kristen says

    I can’t stand when the debate turns into the reasons a woman might have for having an abortion. The point is: it doesn’t matter what her reason is!

    It doesn’t matter if its rape, medical intervention, or merely that she just plain doesn’t want to have it.

    The minute you get into what her reason is you start getting into the territory that a woman doesn’t know how to make up her own mind or that she needs to be protected from her own decisions (which implies that her decision making will be flawed). Even if she regrets her choice later, that’s her mistake to make, and it’s still none of your business. It’s not even the doctor’s business why. The only thing the doctor needs to worry about is safety.

    It’s no one’s business what her reason is. It’s her body, it’s her choice, it’s her business, and it’s private. End of story.

  56. benjaminblom says

    Santorum’s explanation seems genuine enough to give him the benefit of the doubt—but it was technically an abortion if labor was induced. In light of the experience of almost losing his wife one would think Santorum would at least tone down his shrill anti-abortion-for-any-reason rhetoric. Sad, but in today’s world votes are votes, even those of zealots.

  57. michael says

    Hey, Jason,
    By your own reasoning, SHUT THE FUCK UP ABOUT THIS.

    You’re no doctor. You’re not a woman. Please stop being a hypocrite…

  58. Kristen says

    @ michael: There’s a difference between voicing your support for women ( as jason is doing) and voicing your opinions on how abortion should be handled in society (effectively making that choice for the women & their doctors) as Santorum is doing.

  59. says

    i wish the whole abortion thing would just fucking end. Im pro choice yes but im in a committed healthy married relationship so if i got preggy id be having a baby THATS MY FUCKING CHOICE! my uterus is not a battle ground its my body keep your old white man hands off it. oh ya and ive been raped to at 17 by someone who broke into my parents home. was also stabbed a few times..took the morning after pill in the ER after the worst day of my life.
    Being pro choice doesn’t mean you want to abort all the babies. If means you want the CHOICE to CHOOSE what is best for you and the fetus…

  60. michael says

    Kristen,
    Actually, no, a post like this clearly is an opinion of how abortion should be handled in society (ie, NOT like that).

    All I’m saying is an opinion is an opinion. Jason clearly has opposing opinions to those of Santorum so he is voicing those, outing him as a hypocrite, and then telling everyone else who has an opinion to shut up.

    Jason does not know how to carry on a conversation, but only how to put others down for having their own free thoughts. This is a discourse that society must have, but NOT like 3 year old children.

  61. trish says

    “An abortion is when someone just doesn’t want the baby for some reason or another, and has a doctor kill the baby, either before birth or after, so she doesn’t have to raise the unwanted child.”

    this comment made me want to throw up. it is cruel, hateful and completely ignorant. there is so much judgement in this, made from obvious ignorance of the TOTAL human experience…it is the most evil thing stated in these commments. judgment and christianity don’t go together…remember all those “judge not lest ye be judged” concepts jesus talks about? how DARE you declare a strangers intentions without a clue as to the specific circumstances!

    it’s disgusting. where is your christ-like compassion for one single woman who has ever faced this? gonna die? baby gonna die and kill the mother? intentionally raped and impregnated by her abusive, controlling husband who keeps her pregnant and dependent while he beats the crap out of the whole family…maybe killing mother, child or fetus at any time? raped by her father at 14? beaten and gang raped with a damaged fetus? no resources? you don’t want these women to have public assistance either. screw the expense of childbirth and newborn care…she’ll figure it out on her own. then throw her a couple of wic stamps and then complain about the abuses of public assistance. then you can execute the baby later when it turns 18 using the death penalty i bet you also support.

    by the way, i’ve never had an abortion and likely never will, nor would i have chosen one for myself unless circumstances were the extremest of the extreme. that’s my CHOICE, to not have an abortion. i have one great tiny daughter i was afraid i’d never conceive and i’m eternally grateful for my healthy pregnancy after years of trying.

    let’s look at the other extreme….what if you lived in a country where the national mandate…what the government DECIDED for YOU was that you MUST have an abortion? there are countries where infanticide and abortion are common or part of law. i wonder how they define “personhood” – a male? this is not the government’s job. period.

    ug. i never comment on things like this, but that statement was just ludicrous and mean. nice christian attitude, Ms. Judge, Jury and God.

  62. michael says

    Jason,
    I don’t mind that you voice your opinion on the subject, however when you tell others to shut the fuck up, you lessen the cause of rational thinking.

  63. says

    Michael: if I’m voicing my opinion about abortion, that’s one thing. If I’m making laws, I’m damn well going to defer to what women and doctors say. So you’re still projecting.

    Wes: how about the Youtube video I included in the original post? Or the link immediately before it that says “criminally charged”?

  64. Atheistic Tendencies says

    “Labor was not induced, though it was sped along through the use of the drug Pitocin.”

    I learned many years ago that Religious apologist fuckwits will twist, wriggle, lie and cheat to preserve their desired bronze age myth, sometimes at the cost of their very family.

  65. Wes says

    @Jason – I suppose that could be read as supporting a total ban, even when the life of the mother is at state. If he doesn’t favor a total ban, he’s certainly guilty of glossing over that in the interview. I’ve never heard him clarify that, though. I grew up in PA when he was a senator, and I always knew him as far-right on the issue, but I was under the impression that he allowed exceptions for the life of the mother.

    In this interview, he claims to favor an exception for the life of the mother. http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1108/31/pmt.01.html

    In addition, he’s been the primary sponsor on two bills that contain exceptions for the life of the mother. He’s on the record A LOT as against an exception for the HEALTH of the mother. Social conservatives [assholes] tend to see that as a Trojan Horse for “abortion for everyone! Just get a note from your doctor that says your mental health is at stake!” But I’ve never heard any politician come out against exceptions for the life of the mother.

    I think Santorum is a dangerous fuckwit, but I don’t know if these charges of hypocricy are warranted.

  66. Alicia says

    “partial birth abortions” where the baby is terminated any time after three or four weeks and has to be passed out of the woman’s body via the birth canal.

    If a woman is in labor with her 4th “birth canal” delivery that baby will basically fall out especially a 20 week fetus, therefore I find it hard to believe that pitocin was needed to speed things along. Also, if it was such an issue to speed the pregnancy up because of worry to the mother and lack of oxygen that some have stated, maybe the better choice would have been a c-section, that’s what happens when it’s a true emergency regardless if the mother has had a previous delivery via her birth canal. I suppose we wouldn’t be having this discussion of she had a c-section because the fetus never passed through the birth canal therefore it is not an abortion according to this “partial birth abortion” definition.

  67. KD says

    Wow–I love how he says “I wouldn’t make it a criminal charge for the woman…” Uh, okay. So if the woman can perform her OWN abortion it’s all good, but the doctor should be criminally charged? What a tool. Seriously, someday someone’s gonna try to make it a crime to have your period. “You let that potential baby die by not having sex and getting pregnant! Life begins at ovulation.”

  68. zark169 says

    I wish we could do away with the term “partial birth abortion”, because it never really referred to a real thing. As I recall it was created as a political hot button issue by a Florida congressman looking for a platform for reelection back in the 90s. At the time it loosely referred to either 3rd trimester abortions or the “Intact Dilation and Extraction” procedure, both of which total to one in a thousand abortions, and are almost exclusively performed to save the mother’s life because most states have laws or medical regulations limiting it as such.
    What I hadn’t realized is that due to the BS that is Republican politics, and the vagueness of the term “partial birth abortion”, politicians are now claiming that all abortians are “partial birth abortions”. Complete and utter BS.

  69. Elaine says

    this string is why we moderates can’t stand all ultra leftists and neocon rightists. All of you leave Roe v. Wade alone and start focusing on ALL of the other crap that is going wrong in this country. ALL politicians are cheap hypocrites obsessed with power. Why is this so frigging surprising?! Oh, and not all religious people are nut jobs. Some of us have compassion and understanding for others and do not politicize religion.

  70. Wes says

    Elaine @86 – I expect all Republicans to tow the party line on abortion, but then not do anything about it once in office. Santorum is different, though. His position is outside of the mainstream, which suggests it’s not calculated to maximally appeal to voters. He may actually believe it, which would be a huge problem if he were to be elected to office.

  71. says

    Wow–I love how he says “I wouldn’t make it a criminal charge for the woman…” Uh, okay. So if the woman can perform her OWN abortion it’s all good, but the doctor should be criminally charged? What a tool.

    it all makes a lot more sense once you remember that this group of people doesn’t consider women to be capable of making their own decisions; that’s why abortion needs to be banned (women can’t make that decision themselves), and that’s why the people who are considered guilty enough to send to prison are the doctors (who “made” the women do it; they themselves were obviously not in any condition to have made that decision themselves)

  72. says

    this string is why we moderates can’t stand all ultra leftists and neocon rightists. All of you leave Roe v. Wade alone and start focusing on ALL of the other crap that is going wrong in this country.

    Because bitches ain’t shit.
    Really, stop paying attention to women’s most fundamental right of bodily autonomy being under attack.

    Oh, and not all religious people are nut jobs. Some of us have compassion and understanding for others and do not politicize religion.

    Unless, of course, you’re a woman who needs an abortion…

  73. says

    The only spin taking place here is being perpetrated by those who gleefully trip over their own non-logic in their feverish efforts to portray the Santorum’s last-ditch efforts to save their child’s life as an “abortion.” Such spin is both vindictive and ludicrous.

    The pregnancy was terminating itself — naturally, no less! There was no “tak[ing] the matter out of God’s hands” here, unless you’re talking about Mrs. Santorum’s pleas to *halt* the termination of the pregnancy. Gabriel Michael’s horrified parents were pleading with the physicians to save his life, and at first they thought they could do so by stopping the labor. Only when they were told they were wrong and that halting the labor and delivery would simply result in two fatalities rather than one did the Santorums relent and follow the doctors advice.

    Those who spin this tragedy into a hypocritical abortion in order to score political points are being almost sub-human in their sadism. Perhaps there are examples of pro-lifers out there who’ve adopted a “do-as-I-say-but-not-as-I-do” ethic for their personal lives. If so, go find one. This ain’t one.

  74. Wes says

    @leanne – thanks for the link, but he still seems to be specifically referencing HEALTH exceptions. I think this is important, because if he actually favors banning ALL abortions without a “life of the mother” exception, that puts him far to the right of just about everybody but the hardest of the hardcore evangelicals, and that would be a great issue to use against him. Granted, he favors banning contraception, which also puts him there, but this would just be another thing to hammer him on.

  75. Lindsey says

    In reality, it doesn’t matter if it was an abortion or a miscarriage, chances are with the way abortion laws are written, she wouldn’t have been given the option of pitocin as it makes terminating pregnancy illegal early and you don’t get the choice. If it was made illegal (under his terms) chances are she would have been investigated for the miscarriage, or she would have been put on bedrest to prevent labor from happening until the child was viable (which isn’t til 24 weeks and from the sounds of it she would have been dead with the kid by then).

  76. Almost says

    To the lady above who said “Abortion ends a human life every time it succeeds. When it fails, it produces a pro-life activist.” My mom was in the doctor’s office, in the stirrups, knocked out. When she came to, she was informed she was too far along in her pregnancy to get an abortion in that state. A few months later she gave birth to me and I am as pro-choice as they come. Please keep your hands off my body and your words out of my mouth. Thanks.

  77. dianne says

    Re the argument that Santorum’s* abortion couldn’t have been an abortion if the labor started naturally and was “only” augmented: I hate to break this to you, but if labor starts early and the mother desires continued pregnancy, the doctor does NOT give pitocin. S/he gives magnesium sulfate or IV fluids or other treatments which retard labor rather than enhancing it. Santorum’s doctors committed-with her and Rick’s permission-acts which ensured that the labor, naturally occurring or not-continued and resulted in the birth of a baby that could not survive. Thus, Santorum and Rick participated in an abortion. Even if, technically, the labor started spontaneously. Therefore, by their moral claims, they committed a crime. Except that they feel it is allowed because…I don’t know what? Perhaps because they’re wealthy white people?

    *I’m referring to Karen Santorum as “Santorum” in this post because she is the person by that name who is of most importance and most central to the discussion. Little Rick is of secondary importance at best and thus is referred to by his first name.

  78. kyle michaels says

    If you are really pro-life and you go into pre-term labor, you ask for drugs to stop the labor (not drugs to speed it up).

    If you are really pro-life and you have an infection, you ask for antibiotics.

    No one can say for sure what would have happened if the Santorums had tried this route.

    Probably she would have died. But miracles do happen.

    Fact is, they made a choice.

    Rick Santorum voted to keep Terri Schiavo alive, but did not make the same vote for his unborn child.

  79. JukeJointJezebel says

    I think the point of all this isn’t the semantics of “induce” or the point at which Mrs. Santorum’s labor was natural or nudged by medicine, but the fact that Representative Shitstain has experienced a situation where his wife could have died due to pregnancy complications and she didn’t and now his kids still have a mother. In many people, this would ignite some kind of compassion and understanding, if not for all women seeking an abortion for whatever reason, but at least for the ones that may need it to save their physical lives or their mental health (rape, incest, etc.). Instead, he calls them all criminals and seeks to pass laws to treat them as such. Someone with that deep a lack of feeling and empathy should not be the leader of the free world. He shouldn’t even be the manager of a Denny’s.

    Also, this: http://mypage.direct.ca/w/writer/anti-tales.html

    “The only moral abortion is my abortion.” I seek to share it everywhere I can.

  80. dianne says

    Only when they were told they were wrong and that halting the labor and delivery would simply result in two fatalities rather than one did the Santorums relent and follow the doctors advice.

    Thus agreeing to an abortion and taking the possibility of Santorum dying with the baby out of God’s hands. And Rick wants to ban women from having the option of allowing doctors to save their lives by augmenting labor when they are carrying a fetus that is dying and rotting inside them, spreading infection throughout their bodies. Have you ever seen someone die of overwhelming sepsis, Ron? I have. It’s not pretty. At least, thanks to legal abortion, I’ve never seen a woman dying of sepsis induced by a retained dead fetus or septic abortion. But clearly Rick wants me to.

  81. Katy says

    ummm excuse me but pitocin does infact induce labor.. you can throw every excuse out there for this guy but that was a freaking abortion… phrase it however you want.. it’s still abortion. rape and incest resulting in a baby doesn’t matter to this guy.. and yet he allowed his wife to do such a thing.. hipocrite. and people have their own agendas.. she probably published that stuff on purpose so she wouldn’t look as bad. people are shady.. especially politicans.

  82. Aquaria says

    “An abortion is when someone just doesn’t want the baby for some reason or another, and has a doctor kill the baby, either before birth or after, so she doesn’t have to raise the unwanted child.”

    No, it’s not. You’re lying if you assert this, or more aptly, pull it out of your rear end.

    I had a similar condition to that of Karen Santorum. It was a horrible experience to go through. The procedure sounds the same. Know what they called it?

    AN ABORTION.

    Anybody who thinks it wasn’t is only lying to everyone, especially themselves.

  83. Marisa says

    “The only moral abortion is my abortion!”
    The age-old defense of these sort of people is just getting stale and ridiculous. They’re hypocrites.

  84. julian says

    Anybody who thinks it wasn’t is only lying to everyone, especially themselves.

    It’s what baby Jesus would want.

  85. Zaphod says

    The decision to abort a pregnancy is not one that is taken lightly. I am neither competent nor qualified to make that decision for another person, but if (and only if) asked, I would offer what help I could give to a woman needing to make such a decision for herself.

    I do not trust anyone who claims to be able to make that kind of decision for another person. When he or she wants to make that decision for EVERYONE, in all circumstances, he or she should be feared, resisted and kept from positions of power. (IMHO).

  86. Leo says

    While I’m generally in agreement with the folks who say that the Santorums killed their fetus early, and that this represents a lot of hypocrisy on their part, its another thing entirely to say that an abortion occurred.

    Abortion is the killing of an implanted zygote/embryo/fetus while all or part of that fetus is still in the womb. In the Santorums’ case, the fetus died outside the womb, making it more a procedure to kill the fetus more quickly to save Karen Santorum’s life than an abortion (like refusing water to a dehydrated person to give it to a pregnant woman). If the labor had proceeded “naturally”, Karen would have died as well, so the drug injected to speed up the death of the fetus to save her life is against the stated goals of the anti-abortion movement, which is to prevent the woman from doing anything about the fetus until it is born and becomes a separate individual. They’re still “bad people” by the ideals of the anti-abortion movement.

    The reason why pro-choicers need to tread carefully when declaring “effectively had an abortion” is that if what Karen Santorum had was “effectively” an abortion, then there are a lot of other things which are “effectively” an abortion, such as The Pill. Both the Pill and the miniPill use a hormone called progestin, and in the case of the mini pill it is the only hormone used. The function of progestin is to make the uterine wall inhospitable for the implantation of a fertilized blastocyst. This means that progestin’s sole function is to kill a post-conception fertilized blastocyst, by denying it a place to implant and grow.

    Fanatical anti-abortion activists (with frothy lips) tell us that the Pill and miniPill, by killing off post-conception fertilized blastocysts, are “effectively an abortion”. If killing a fertilized egg at any stage in the pregnancy is “effectively an abortion”, then the Pill and the miniPill are effectively abortion methods.

    The more pro-choicers water down the definition of abortion to make an emotional point, the more they open themselves to attacks by anti-abortion folks who point out the other things which are “effectively an abortion.”

  87. Fara says

    Just to be accurate.. what you described in your early paragraph is not Partial-Birth Abortion. Partial-Birth Abortion is when the baby is pulled out of the vagina and only the top of the head is left in. Everything from the neck down is hanging from the mothers vagina.

    The Dr. holds the baby’s face inside the mother, take scissors, inserts them in the back of the baby’s skull, makes an opening, sticks some utensil inside the baby’s skull, swishes the brain into soup and sucks the brain matter out via a suction tube.

    Partial-birth means the baby is partially out of the vagina..though not fully. If the baby is fully born, they are legally bound to do what they can to save the baby’s life.

  88. dianne says

    Fara, there is no such thing as a “partial birth abortion”. It’s a fantasy term that the antis use.

  89. says

    We’ll go through it one more time, Leo. Her choices were to take antibiotics and drugs to halt labor, and risk the antibiotics not working and the sepsis simply killing her and the baby anyway; take the antibiotics and risk not delivering soon enough and both dying; or take the antibiotics and the pitocin to induce labor and speed things along, thus eliminating the source of the infection as fast as possible while preventing sepsis from killing Karen.

    Those choices are, in order:

    1) An attempt to carry the baby to term, risking very high probability of death for the mother and fetus;
    2) An attempt to “let nature take its course” for the baby, resulting in a natural spontaneous abortion over a long period of time with a gigantic infection source in the amniotic sac, risking very high probability of death for the mother and certain death for the baby;
    3) An abortion, inducing labor when the baby would not survive outside the womb period, very probably saving the mother and certainly killing the baby.

    In fact, inducing labor at such an early stage is “intact dilation and extraction”. She didn’t only have an abortion, she had that terrible “Partial Birth Abortion” that the wingnuts fear so terribly much.

  90. says

    Leo
    Since you so much insist on clarity of terms: An abortion can only happen once a pregnancy has occurred, Blastocytes that haven’t attached to the woman aren’t counted as “pregnancies”.
    But you know what:
    I don’t fucking care.
    I don’t care if people label the condoms we use as an abortion, or the pill, or the coil, or D&E, because there’s absolutly nothing wrong with any of those things.
    Fact is that the Santorums made a decision, and they made a decision he wants to take away from American women.

  91. Jonathan Hopkins says

    As a pastor of a Lutheran Church I just want to thank you for writing this. It is right on! Woman should and their doctors are the only ones who can choose what is best for them.

  92. Wayne says

    @Leo, absolutely, fuck his self rightous bullshit, hpocrite says it ok for his wife but nobody else…PRICK

    Well said to the author of the article, those like this hypocritical zipperhead arguing against especially regarding rape, incest or threat to the mothers life all too often have a penis or some seriously fucked up views having never been a victim or required to make the choice.
    And yes no old book theories allowed…
    I cannot imagine how anybody can go through this then maintain an opposing view..
    What an asshole.

  93. liesandmorelies says

    What a bunch of crap. There was no abortion, she gave birth to a living baby and he died 2 hours later. She went into labor on her own, probaby technically a miscarriage. This is what strengthened both of their stances on partial birth abortions. What the pro-unborn baby killers will stoop to in order to discredit a pro-life candidate is disgusting.

  94. J says

    I don’t quite understand the point of all this posturing about whether Santorum’s wife did or didn’t have an abortion, making him maybe/maybe not a complete hypocrite.

    Guy is a douche either way. We don’t need to make up edge case scenarios to justify his ridicule.

  95. liesandmorelies says

    Why do you sheep believe everything you read without researching it? At first I was a bit irritated too – and then I started reading more of the article and saw clearly this woman’s only agenda is to promote the slaughter of unborn children. So I researched it. I took me less than 10 seconds to find the truth, and ironically enough it was in a link this article referred to. So that is even worse!!! She wrote these lies when she knew what the truth was!!!!

  96. pixelfish says

    “But to accuse his wife, who went through an enormous amount of pain and self-risk to save her child, whose doctors’s refused to give her medication she requested that would stop her early labor, of aborting her child is wholly and entirely unfair and downright callous.”

    It’s only callous and unfair if you feel that abortion is not a life-saving medical procedure which should be available to everyone.

    Put another way, we’re not saying anything about Karen Santorum’s reasons for her medical procedure that says she’s a bad person for getting an abortion.

    On the other hand, YOU are clearly of the opinion that any woman who gets a therapeutic abortion to save her life, despite wanting the child, is somehow wrongity wrong wrong. We observe that Karen Santorum had an abortion, using pitocin to induce labour, and thereby gave birth to a child they knew likely would not survive the process.

    It’s weirdly amazing. We are describing the same thing, but every time you point out, yes, that’s an abortion for a therapeutic medical reason, people show up to scream NO, IT’S NOT, LEARN THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THAT AND GIVING BIRTH. Which is weird, because they’re so down on partial birth abortion (which generally only happens to women who WANTED to keep their babies but who don’t want to die from their pregnancy when it goes awry) but they can’t seem to recognise it when it happens to a Republican woman. Craziest doublethink ever.

  97. dianne says

    She went into labor on her own, probaby technically a miscarriage.

    She agreed to augmentation of labor rather than efforts to retard labor on a fetus that was clearly nonviable outside the uterus (not developed enough to survive). That’s an abortion. If the fetus lived for a few hours after birth, that doesn’t change the intent or action. Also miscarriages are technically abortions-medically, they are known as “spontaneous abortions”.

  98. melissaI says

    let me tell you a little story. almost 4yrs ago i got married to my husband we got pregnant right away and 10 months after saying “i do” we welcomed our first daughter into this world. when she was 5 months old i found out that we were expecting again. our second daughter was born in febuary the following year. this time we made 11 months and shortly after our 3rd anniversary found out we were expecting our 3rd child. we were nervous but happy. shortly after finding out i started spotting and the day after superbowl last year i started bleeding heavily and having a dull ache in what i know was my ovary. we rushed to the hospital and they stuck me overnight for observation of an eptopic pregnancy (roughly 4 weeks along) they found nothing and i was released. it took till i was almost 9 weeks along when they finally seen the baby in my ovary. if i had not gone into the hospital and done the methotrexate shot i could have died from my ovary rupturing. i dont believe in abortions but due to my circumstance its was either save myself or the baby and i knew i couldnt do both. how dare this man or a “boy” as i should say that even if its medically necessary it should not be done. it took me months to get over the guilt and to not feel like i let my husband down and honestly he has no right to say that considering his wife did it too. let me ask you sir how does your wife feel having heard that come from your mouth?

  99. susan yodice says

    i neither know nor care about rick santorum and his antics, but i wanted to clear up a couple of inaccuracies in your post.
    ‘partial birth’ abortion does indeed refer to ‘partial birth’~ it is not the removal of a 3 or 4 week fetus, but a living 4 to 9 month fetus, and the fetus is not stabbed in the heart but in the head. just fyi.

  100. liesandmorelies says

    Baaaaa…. Baaaaaaa…. so many sheep, so little time. Whatever. No amount of pointing out the truth is going to change the mind of anyone obviously desperate to grasp onto something to use against a candidate. I’m just glad I’m smart enough to do my own research and figure out when someone with an agenda is blatanly lying.

  101. dianne says

    Lies, I don’t have access to Santorum’s medical records and if you do you should not be posting about them. However, reports of the decision state that Santorum agreed to the pitocin augmentation once she realized that her life was in danger and the fetus had essentially no chance of coming to term. That’s agreeing to an abortion. It is a decision I and, I believe, all sane people applaud, but ultimately it is agreeing to an abortion.

    A medical abortion of an ectopic pregnancy is still an abortion. The termination of a pregnancy is an abortion, whether the pregnancy is viable or not.

    Rick’s stated position is that abortion should not be allowed, under any circumstances, including a pregnancy that would result in death. Presumably, women with ectopic pregnancies are supposed to wait until their fallopian tubes burst to be given help and women with nonviable pregnancies are supposed to wait for spontaneous labor to occur. Yes, both will, often, result in the death of the women involved and the fetuses will never survive, but that’s what the Santorums are advocating.

  102. Randomfactor says

    Just wanted to point out that in the interview cited above, Mrs. Santorum was being deliberately misleading. The “choices” she cites were what was on the table BEFORE the infection set in. They took one of those choices, and good for them.

    After the infection they had a DIFFERENT set of choices, and took the one which resulted in the death of the fetus.

    The term for that is abortion. It’s a good term. For what it’s worth, virtually every “late-term” abortion is of a pregnancy that was wanted, with often heroic measures first attempted to bring it to term.

    (There’s a shorter term for “being deliberately misleading.” I’ll leave it to others to make the mental substitution.)

  103. SKing says

    Good job, Lies. As hard as you’ve worked at convincing people otherwise, including your little name-calling spurt there, you and the remainder of the Santorum apologists have done a fine job making the article’s point.

    The only thing that’s really up for questioning is whether or not the Santorums used medical assistance to hasten the delivery along so far before its due date. Nobody yet has claimed they didn’t; Mrs. Santorum didn’t claim that, nor have you. So–I’m gonna go out on a limb and say she did.

    So, that said–it really doesn’t matter whether you call it an abortion, a partial-birth abortion, a medically-aided miscarriage, or a supercambacheralisticpsychositosis. Make up whatever fancy term you want to avoid the term “abortion.” Doesn’t matter. Point of fact is that it’s OK for Santorum, but it’s not OK for those under the law he was pushing.

    That, sir, is hypocrisy.

  104. Randomfactor says

    There are so MANY reasons to oppose Santorum that his demonstrated hatred of women is only one facet–but it’s an important facet to me.

  105. Mau Bell says

    Honestly, as much as I despise Santorum and everything he stands for, a woman’s abortion is a private and often heartbreaking affair. I think your posting about it so publicly is just as reprehensible as Santorum himself.

    I’d never support Santorum or his politics, but right now, I support his wife for being humiliated and having this spread painful event in her life ridiculed by no one who has walked in her shoes.

  106. says

    1) Rick Santorum is a completely heinous individual and his views are beyond the pale.

    2) However, some people can’t just let his filthy views speak for themselves, but have to lie and pretend that his wife had a partial-birth abortion, when she obviously didn’t.

    Honestly, people, this kind of crap undermines all the REAL criticisms.

  107. Randomfactor says

    a partial-birth abortion

    No such thing. But she did have an abortion. It’s no sin or shame, for her or any other woman.

    An ectopic pregnancy cannot produce a living child. It is not the same.

    Yes it can, and yes it is. And who are YOU to say otherwise?

  108. Lokipi says

    Good plan there numbnuts, if it is ilegal for doctors to do abortions but not for mothers to get them, then they will still get them done, but just now by criminals, also known as back alley abortions.

    Now just watch as abortion rates stay the same but rates of complications and infections during the process skyrocket as you take responsibility out of the doctors hands (at least 7 years of medical school and personal responsibility for the act) and put it right into the hands of whoever will do it for money (no medical school and no responsibility).

    You stupid asswipe.

  109. Dawnzy says

    I don’t care what her circumstances were. Her husband (and her presumably) don’t care about anyone elses circumstances.. This black and white nonsense shall be the death of all of us. You cannot know another person’s life or reasons for their decisions they make regarding the contents of their body. Nor should you. Mind your own business and if you can keep your conscience clear, more power to you. Otherwise you are a flaming hypocrite with absolutely no credibility. Oh and to whoever the idiot was who said poor Mrs. Santorum deserves privacy… let me ask you.. who wrote her book describing her experience? Yes.. her. She should wear the hypocrite duncecap along with her ridiculously closeted husband.

  110. Andy says

    Being a man/father/husband I DO UNDERSTAND, if my daughter was raped, my wife was on her death bed I believe it should be the woman’s choice.

  111. says

    I am talking with my dad (a physician’s assistant in urology) and he is finding it ludicrous to consider the excision of an ectopic pregnancy an abortion since it is impossible that the fetus will be viable. I would say though that the question of whether this is hypocrisy comes down to whether Santorum and the Catholic Church define this as an abortion. Ectopic pregnancies are directly addressed in Pope Paul VI’s Humane Vitae, so it seems worth consulting for those debating this issue: http://www.ewtn.com/library/PROLIFE/INDIRECT.TXT

    The doctrine of double effect, for background, is the Catholic idea that you may do an action with a foreseeable evil consequence only if the action fulfills each of the following conditions: (1) you are directly performing is not itself intrinsically evil, (2) if the evil consequence is not secretly your real goal, and (3) if not permitting the evil consequences would lead to even worse evil consequences.

    In general, this set of rules for moral decisions is what leads the Church to say that abortion is impermissible even when it would save the life of the mother. The reasoning is that directly killing the fetus would be intrinsically evil and so doctors cannot do this even if it means preventing the worse evil of two dead people.

    How do they judge the specific case of preventing an ectopic pregnancy from killing a woman?

    Tubal Ectopic Pregnancy

    In the tubal ectopic pregnancy the fertilized ovum lodges in some
    part of the Fallopian tube. The reason that it does not continue its
    descent into the uterus may be the pathological condition of the tube
    itself or of the ovum. Once the fertilized ovum takes up its nesting
    place in the tube, it begins to bore into the wall of the tube,
    seeking as it does life-giving nourishment. This “boring-in” action
    on the part of the tiny embryo perforates the inner layers of the
    tube and the tube soon becomes weakened by internal hemorrhaging.
    There is present a pathological condition of the tube, caused by the
    erosive action of the trophoblast which is destroying the muscle wall
    and penetrating blood vessels. The growing fetus causes the tube to
    swell, and this swelling dangerously stretches the tube’s outer wall.
    Left in this condition, the tube will ordinarily rupture; and unless
    surgery is performed very soon after the rupturing, the mother may
    die.

    When the Fallopian tube is in this condition, would it be licit to
    slit it open and remove the fetus? Obviously this action would be
    gravely evil, for it would constitute a direct, unjust attack on the
    life of an innocent fetus. It would, in short, be murder. In such a
    procedure the operating surgeon would set out to destroy the fetus as
    a means of curing the mother, and thus he would directly intend its
    death. The same conclusion would follow if the physician used drugs,
    X ray, or any other method directly to terminate the life of the
    fetus.

    Would it, however, be likewise illicit to excise a Fallopian tube
    which contains a living fetus? If the tube itself is healthy, there
    would of course be no justifying reason for the excision. But in the
    case of an ectopic pregnancy the Fallopian tube is in a definitely
    pathological condition. Its inner portion is riddled, greatly
    weakened, and full of internal hemorrhaging.

    Once the tube has ruptured externally, the physician may and should
    immediately tie off the arteries which supply blood to the tube and
    then remove the tube by surgery. This operation is obviously
    justified, for in it are fully verified the four conditions required
    for the application of the principle of the twofold effect. The
    excision of this ruptured and gravely dangerous part of the mother’s
    body is similar, in respect to the moral law, to the removal of a
    pregnant uterus whose cancerous condition is at present gravely
    threatening the mother’s life.

    But let us suppose that the tube in the case of an ectopic pregnancy
    has not yet ruptured. Must the surgeon, before the excision, wait
    until an external rupture occurs? The answer is that, if the tube is
    at present in a gravely dangerous condition and if its excision
    cannot be delayed without a notable increase of danger to the mother,
    this Fallopian tube may be removed at once. This conclusion is based
    on two principles: ( 1) Mutilation is licit if it is required to
    conserve the health of the whole body. (2 ) An act which has two
    effects, one good, the other bad, may be licitly performed, given
    certain conditions. The latter principle is correctly applied to the
    present case. The first condition is fulfilled, for the surgeon’s
    intention is good. He has as his purpose in operating the saving of
    the mother’s life. He foresees, it is true, that the fetus will die
    when the tube where it is resting is removed from the woman’s body,
    but he does not desire its death. This is a merely permitted evil
    effect. The second condition is fulfilled, for the surgeon’s action
    is not intrinsically evil. That which he sets out to accomplish is
    cutting away a pathological or diseased part of the woman’s body. The
    third condition is fulfilled, for the action’s evil effect (the death
    of the fetus) does not cause the good effect (the preserving of the
    mother’s health). Whether the fetus died or not would hardly affect
    the mother’s health. It is the ridding the body of a seriously
    corrupted part which directly promotes the mother’s well-being. It is
    not the fetus which at present constitutes the threat to the mother’s
    life; it is the diseased organ. The fourth condition is fulfilled,
    for there is due proportion between the evil effect and the good
    effect. The death that will result for the fetus is compensated for
    by the life that will be saved for the mother.

    In the analysis of the application of the fourth condition to our
    present case, it is well to bear in mind the following facts. Tubal
    pregnancies practically never go to term. In about ninety-nine cases
    out of a hundred the fetus is aborted (and usually this will occur
    before the twelfth week), or the tube ruptures externally; and in
    either case the fetus will perish. Hence when one considers excising
    a dangerously weakened but externally unruptured tube in ectopic
    pregnancy, the choice lies between the following two modes of
    procedure: ( 1) permitting the tube to remain in the woman’s body
    until it ruptures externally. This will bring death to the fetus and
    will imperil the life of the mother; or (2) excising the tube at
    once. This latter operation will bring to the mother safety but to
    the fetus death. In the first procedure the fetus is, practically
    speaking, just as certain to die as in the second procedure. As far
    as the fetus is concerned, the difference between the first procedure
    and the second procedure is that in the first procedure its life
    probably would be lengthened by a few weeks. Hence in evaluating the
    fourth condition the physician must have sufficient cause for
    permitting the life of the fetus to be shortened because of the
    excision of the tube.

    Is it, then, licit in every case of ectopic pregnancy to excise the
    diseased Fallopian tube? The answer is that the operation is licit
    if the tube is at present gravely dangerous to the mother, or if
    putting off the operation would involve grave danger. The physician
    is the one who must decide when the tube may be considered to be
    gravely dangerous. He must judge each individual case on its own
    merits. The general rule which should be followed is this: If delay
    in excising the diseased Fallopian tube would gravely jeopardize the
    mother’s life, the physician may operate at once. The ultimate
    decision in a particular case is in the hands of the physician. It
    may be that in most cases where an ectopic pregnancy is found, the
    removal of the tube at once is required to avert existing and grave
    danger from the mother. But this is not true in all cases. In some
    few cases at least there is no grave danger to the mother when the
    ectopic is first discovered. In these few cases the immediate removal
    of the tube is not licit. The diseased tube may not be excised until
    it is a source of grave danger to the mother. To excise the tube
    before this time would indirectly shorten the life of the ectopic
    fetus without a sufficient reason, and this would be illicit. Hence
    in all cases in which grave danger is not actually present the
    physician must adopt the expectant treatment.

    There are cases in which the surgeon discovers an ectopic pregnancy
    during the course of a surgical operation; for example, an
    appendectomy. May he immediately excise the tube if to wait would
    necessitate performing another grave operation? In this event,
    because the expectant treatment would involve so great an added
    danger to the mother, the surgeon may at once remove the pathological
    tube. The same solution is to be given when the patient would have to
    be kept under constant observation in a hospital and she refuses to
    be hospitalized because she cannot afford the expense.

    There are circumstances when the physician will sincerely doubt about
    the gravity of the danger in a particular ectopic pregnancy. In that
    event he may and should give the mother the benefit of the doubt. The
    reason is that an immediate operation will probably have the good
    effect of saving the mother’s life, and will probably have the bad
    effect of indirectly shortening to some extent the fetus’ life. The
    good effect will thus greatly outweigh the evil effect. Hence the
    physician preferably will excise the diseased tube at once.

    Misconceptions concerning the principles involved can arise because
    of the fact that the diseased condition of the tube is due to the
    fetus. Is it not true, one may argue, that the tube’s weakened and
    hemorrhaging condition was brought about by the fetus? Is not the
    excision of the tube intended to rid the mother of the fetus, the
    cause of her danger? We reply to this objection by admitting that
    the fetus did cause the present riddled condition of the tube; but,
    we add, the tube itself is now seriously diseased and would remain
    diseased quite independently of the fetus. It is the tube itself, not
    the fetus, which constitutes the present grave danger to the mother;
    and so, given certain conditions, it may be excised.

    Some who are not acquainted with the facts believe that the Catholic
    Church has changed her attitude in regard to the licitness of doing
    surgery on ectopic pregnancies. Up to the present day the Church has
    made only a few official pronouncements on this question, and these
    pronouncements refer to the direct attack of the surgeon on the fetus
    or to the direct removal of a nonviable fetus from the mother’s womb.
    Such procedures even today are condemned by all Catholic moralists.
    On these questions the Church has not changed her view. Catholic
    ethicians, however, have changed their view with regard to the
    licitness of excising the unruptured Fallopian tube in an ectopic
    pregnancy, but this change of opinion stemmed from new medical
    findings on this matter. Fifty years ago there was little medical
    knowledge available with reference to the pathology of an ectopic
    pregnancy. When medical authorities provided the information that the
    diseased condition of the Fallopian tube, even before its external
    rupture, in many cases of ectopic pregnancy constituted a grave and
    present danger to the mother’s life, the moralists declared that the
    excision of the tube was licit even though the death of the fetus
    could not be prevented. The moralists made no change in regard to
    principles or in the application of principles. They merely applied
    the principles to new facts and arrived at a new conclusion. It is
    for physicians accurately to present the facts to the moralist. He
    depends on them for medical information. Given the medical
    information necessary, he will then apply the ethical principles to
    the case and pronounce upon the licitness or illicitness of certain
    procedures.

  112. Kevin says

    The Bible is pro-choice. Numbers 5:22- allows a man to force his allegedly cheating wife to drink a womb-destroying potion. Another verse makes it clear the accidental destruction of a fetus, such as in a scuffle, is a civil matter to be decided by, of all persons, the father.

  113. Steve Barclay says

    Weighing in. I’m an adopted kid. I’m also pro-choice. I’m proud of the choice my mother made. It wasn’t easy, but neither is the choice to abort. Not being female and unable to imagine every possible circumstance I don’t feel I have any right to force a choice on every woman.

    I think it’s also a stretch to call what Santorum’s wife had “an abortion.” Was the miscarriage accelerated? Yes it was. But that’s all it was. They wanted that baby. They tried to save that baby. The baby miscarried and they got it out as quickly as possible under medical advice.

    I don’t see the alleged hypocrisy.

    What I do see is another man trying to force state control over an individuals body and criminalize a medical proceedure even under circumstances where it could result in the death of both the mother and the fetus. For that, I think the man is an ass-hat.

  114. Cassie says

    “Melissa,

    An ectopic pregnancy cannot produce a living child. It is not the same.”

    Yes, actually, it can. It’s rare, and extremely dangerous, but it can and has happened. Here’s an example from the news a few years ago that immediately sprang to my mind after reading Melissa’s post: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24888923/ns/health-pregnancy/t/baby-born-after-rare-ectopic-pregnancy/

    Melissa’s baby could have lived. She destroyed a pregnancy that could have been carried to term. Sure, it almost certainly would NOT have, in fact would almost certainly have killed her. But we can’t know that for sure. It was in God’s hands. She made the perfectly reasonable, rational choice that any of us here would have made, to save her own life. The exact choice that Santorum believes so strongly that women should NOT have. Even at the cost of their lives. NO exceptions. Except Mrs. Santorum, of course. That’s different.

  115. kelvinwilliams says

    I’m a bit surprised that this article didn’t go into what happened afterwards.

    The Santorums, according to the book written by Karen Santorum, brought the baby home. Introduced it to their other children, then slept with the body overnight.

  116. Melodie McFarland says

    By Santorum’s words….ALL life begins at Conception and ALL life is Sacred! Then I guess that means call off the reserves and don’t enact the draft! How is the life of 18+ year old people ANY less valuable than an embryo, fetus or the life of the mother, in some instances! Santorum is a sanctimonious,hyprocritical idiot…I agree that this is a WOMAN’S issue! Until you’ve carried a baby under your heart for 9 months or faced with the ‘challenage’ then you HAVE NO INPUT! It’s easy to say, ‘adopt’ when faced woman finds herself raped, but that is NOT for everyone and NOT every child will be adopted by loving families! That really is a woman’s choice after a Man’ actions! As far as his wife’s labor, to the jerk who said it couldn’t be stopped: Once the Pitocin was given, it COULD have been stopped by no longer giving the Pitocin or by giving the mother a drug to STOP labor! They do have them….That is how they STOP mothers from delivering too early or to try and stop labor because of other medical issues! I was given the labor stopping drug when I had my first child and it became evident that I could not deliver vaginally and had to have a C-Sect. To keep her from going any further in the birth canal, a ‘labor stopping’ drug was inserted in my IV and my labor stopped! Get your facts straight!

  117. Mark Mancini says

    There’s always two sets of rules with conservatives, one for them and one for everyone else. God help you if you don’t follow your set of rules, but there is always a bible passage to support them in whatever they do!

  118. Chris says

    If Santorum’s wife’s labor began naturally in the second trimester because the fetus had a potentially fatal infection for both mother and fetus, then the mother is left with three choices. One choice is to stop the labor with drugs. The other choice is to allow labor to occur naturally. The last choice is to speed the labor process along with drugs. Her choice to speed the process along may have been the best choice per the doctor’s advice in order to save both lives. The argument here is not necessarily “she killed her fetus to save her own life.”. How about “she made the best choice in order to save both their lives?”. The whole issue here is what is the motivation of the mother?

  119. Nora says

    This debate is the best argument against limiting abortions. Clearly, we can’t even agree what constitutes an abortion. In my opinion, the santorums made the appropriate, ethical, and wise choice regarding the pregnancy in question. I am certain that this choice was devastating and horribly painful for them, yet it was a good choice. That said, the moment she agreed to pitocin, she agreed to augment the labor, which she knew would lead to the death of her child. This augmentation led to the abortion of the pregnancy. It absorb to argue that because she was already in labor, it was not an abortion. Any woman who has been in labor knows that early labor can last days; can start and stop; and can be stopped with medication. If mrs. Santorum was in late term labor, there would be no need for pitocin. If we try to legislate late term abortion based on how far labor has advanced when pregnancy terminating drugs were introduced, we’d be having a more insane conversation than we are now. For example, a hypothetical woman is 21 weeks pregnant with a dangerous infection likely to both her and kill her unborn child if the pregnancy is not terminated within a few hours. This woman has no contraction, zero dilation, so the doctors suggest pitocin and tell her that she may be able to hold her baby before it dies naturally outside of the womb. This woman agrees, delivers a fetus who dies shortly after birth. Technically, she has had an abortion. She did not go into labor naturally. Now, same scenario, but the woman is 3 cm dilated. The docs admin pitocin, etc. is this an abortion? Now, same scenario, the woman is 3-4 cm dilated with intermittent contractions. She asks for drugs to stop labor. The docs refuse. Eventually, with this slow, intermittent labor that is not progressing, she agrees to pitocin to get the fetus out ( insuring it’s death). Still an abortion. Finally, if this hypothetical woman, regardless of her stage or state of labor refused the pitocin, went on to die or delivered a dead fetus and somehow managed to survive, she would win the prize for not having had an abortion.

    Should we legislate the stage of labor that makes this an “assisted premature birth” rather than an abortion? Or should we legislate that doctors must agree to stop labor even in a case where such premature labor would save the life of the mother? Or should we prohibit doctors from augmenting premature labor until intrauterine fetal death is confirmed – even if this risks the life of the mother? It’s all crazy. These are decisions that must be made by women and their doctors. NOT by politicians. Anti-abortion zealots are neither pro- life nor compassionate. I am pro- choice and pro- life and wish for every woman to have a healthy and uneventful pregnancy and birth when and if she chooses.

  120. butterstar says

    I did not read all the comments, so someone might have mentioned this already, but I think the main point — whether or not she technically had an abortion or a miscarriage or premature birth or whatever — is WOULD SHE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO HAVE THE SAME EXACT PROCEDURE SHE DID if Rick’s wished-for law was in place? THAT is the question.

    If no, then he’s a hypocrite. If yes, then he’s not.

    (I’m guessing it’s no.)

  121. Fiona Mackenzie says

    Before Roe v. Wade there were always necessary abortions that were, like Santorum’s, uniquely indicated and had nothing to do with the frivolous abortions other women have. It’s called “rich society wife syndrome.” You see, it isn’t appropriate for a rich man to be widowed or his children made motherless for a principle. God and his priests have always understood that, as long as there has been religion.

  122. Perspective says

    As an actual practicing OB/GYN, please allow me to attempt to dispel a few of the linguistic misappropriations and thought distortions taking place. Hopefully this isn’t just more fuel on the fire.

    First, a few assumptions: That this pregnancy resulted in chorioamnionitis (an amniotic sac infection) and subsequent maternal sepsis with resulting spontaneous labor. I do not know what actually happened, but this is a likely scenario and fits with the transcript given from Mr. Santorum above. Also, understand that chorioamnionitis often causes an intense maternal reaction and is a frequent cause of spontaneous labor. This is the assumption I am going to make: that labor had already initiated when the medical intervention (pitocin, etc) began. Any other actual set of circumstances invalidates some of what I will say, please keep that in mind.

    Foremost, the word ‘abortion’ has little intrinsic meaning or value. It’s simply too loaded, both emotionally and technically. Many types of abortions exist: spontaneous, septic, missed, incomplete, and elective. Each of these have radically different causes, results, and treatments. It’s easy to make the cognitive leap from one to the other when the word ‘abortion’ is involved, but please, resist the urge. Many people (politicians included) make this mistake, but it’s a foolish and erroneous one. When you argue about the merits of abortion, you are probably talking about ‘elective abortion’ even if the technical medical term for what may have occured actually is more accurately, a ‘spontaneous abortion.’ Be better than the politicians, don’t confuse the two.

    A lot is made of the use of Pitocin, and wrongly so. First, no mention if it’s use is made by Mr. Santorum, and a heated hearsay argument does not substitute for fact. Even still, Oxytocin functions to stimulate the contractions of labor. Whether this is to induce (start), or to augment (help proceed), it’s role is the same. Simply put, if labor had already started, then it’s use in no way changes the course of events, it simply accelerates the timeline.

    Much of the argument seems to regard the standard of care for patients who present with chorioamnionitis, The author of the post makes an intelligent, but uninformed assumption that a medical option is to give tocolytics (drugs that stop labor) and antibiotics. This is intelligent, because this is likely exactly what happened, but uninformed because it misses the entire contingency on which this care plan is based. These drugs, the tocolytics and antibiotics are not capable of preventing maternal or fetal mortality when labor has already progressed in the setting of severe infection. Why then give it at all? Because it buys time. Tocolytics cannot stop labor, then can only stall the process for a few days at most. This is enough time to give betamethazone injections to promote fetal lung maturity and increase the odds of survival. Antibiotics are given, as logic would suggest, to decrease the infectious load and increase the odds of survival for both mom and baby. Ultimately though, once the wheels on the train start turning and labor starts, the only option is to get baby out literally because there is no way to effectively stop labor indefinitely.

    Ultimately, it’s a complete cognitive leap to equate this (potentially fictional) supposition with ‘elective abortion.’ While miniscule, the only medically sound option that provided any chance for fetal survival–let alone mom–is to deliver the baby and deliver it rapidly to a NICU.

  123. says

    what about prevention ? like Birth Control ? Men walk around Fertile 24-7 and Woman is only Fertile once a month if she is lucky ! Abortion is a fact of life , it must be clean and legal , just do not use it as Birth Control and if you do not want to be Pregnant or get some-one Pregnant use more than one kind of Birth Control at the same time ! but Abortion is here clean and legal and it is a choice and not an easy choice for a lot of Woman and couples .

  124. Fiona Mackenzie says

    Thanks, doc, for the window on how abortions performed on rich women, legally or illegally, are described later to save face and allow the hypocrisy to continue. It’s historically interesting.

    However, spontaneous abortion doesn’t quite explain why Karen Santorum later discussed and explained and wrote in her book about how and why they made the decision to abort, does it?

    They may have twisted reality into thinking that because he lived 2 hours (at 4+ months) it wasn’t an abortion. In that case, Gabriel had to suffer for his parents to rationalize what they were going to do anyway.

    Yeah, we need this kind of thinking in the White House.

  125. Fiona Mackenzie says

    And doc– How does your theory (which involves rushing the 21-week fetus to NICU) mesh with what both parents reported–that they held him for two hours, waiting for him to die?

  126. Perspective says

    Fiona,

    Your politics make you irrational. I describe to you how physicians think of this issue and you interpret it as some kind of apologistic philosophy to protect someone I neither know nor have any interest in. You do realize this is coming from a professional where a portion of my practice is elective abortion for women, both rich and poor? Be honest with yourself.

    If I’m wrong about my interpretation about what happened, please enlighten me with quotes from the source that support your supposition that they elected to terminate their child and held him away from the NICU.

  127. Tasha Sp says

    PEOPLE…………. partial birth abortion is when a women carries the pregnancy to full term and then begins to give birth to the child but instead of completely giving birth, the doctor makes an insertion into the back of the neck and then inserts a vacuum tube to remove the brain. Hence the words “partial birth”. The child is then wrapped and placed in the parents arms for their ‘goodbye’. And I’m sorry but I believe Santorum’s unborn child more than likely was positive for Down’s Syndrome so they decided to terminate. Im not judging or condoning their decision, it would be a very difficult choice, and he needs to realize that and leave the topic of abortion alone. A fetus develops its pineal gland around 12/13 weeks of gestation, which means it doesn’t have a soul yet until its pineal gland is fully formed, which means it is not a living human being until that point or thereafter. Which makes sense that you can’t feel it move until about 18 weeks. People need to learn before they condemn.

  128. Tasha Sp says

    And pitocin is always used to induce labor, I had it given to me to quicken my labor with my first child when I was having complications dilating. TOO many misinformed people in this country. Here is a good piece of advice: “When you read something, find MORE about it from different sources and ALWAYS keep an open mind because you don’t know who is saying what and with what motive.” I am a Ron Paul supporter but I am not going to condemn Santorum for a decision they made decades ago. But I will condemn him for being a hypocrite. He needs to leave it alone.

  129. Rae says

    I can’t read any more inaccuracies about this topic.

    I am a Labor and Delivery nurse with 35 years experience.

    Pitocin is used for a variety of reasons:

    One is to induce labor: this can be for at term, as an elective procedure or preterm, if there is a medical indication. Sometimes there is a medical indication for induction at term also. It can be for a fetal demise (where the fetus has died already and the mother chooses to or may need to have labor hurried along to avoid infections).

    It can be used to augment a labor: that is to speed along a dysfunctional labor or to get a prodromal labor moved into an active phase. (big words I know but I can guarantee I know more about this than most of the posters here)

    It is also used after delivery to firm up a boggy or lazy uterus to prevent a maternal hemorrhage. It strengthens the workings of the uterine muscle, just as in labor, only know it is to clamp the muscle down around where the placenta was attached to keep it from being essentially a huge, gaping, blood pumping wound. An obstetrical hemorrhage in an emergency of the most severe type.

    As to using drugs to stop labors….yes, that is possible, but is isn’t 100% foolproof. Some labors, and most of these involve a septic mom, or some kind of obstetric emergency. Sometimes you just stopping a labor, no matter what. If the pregnancy is 24-30 weeks there is a fair to good chance of a good outcome; before that you’re probably going to get a dead baby, or one that has a very long road to recovery, IF it recovers.

    I have not read the book Mrs. Santorum wrote, but from what I’ve read here, it sounds like she was in very pre-term labor (20 weeks is not viable) and if she were infected, the chances of keeping that pregnancy intact were slim and almost none. And with a bad infection, it is almost a guarantee that the fetus was not going to survive. So some of you think, knowing that the labor wasn’t going to stop and knowing that her baby wasn’t going to survive, that she shouldn’t do what she did and have a short bit of time with her baby? Give me a serious break!

    This was in no way an abortion….and while we’re on the subject there is such a thing as a spontaneous abortion, too.

    Those of you who think you know it all, should walk in my shoes for a week or two. You might find out you don’t know squat.

  130. says

    Hey gang, I’m NO FAN of Santorum at all. I’m pulling for Freedom, the constitution and liberty w/ Dr #RonPaul2012

    BUT, my google fact check says there was no abortion, but a miscarriage as a complication of an in-Utero surgery. (Infection)

    I also found a C-span interview from 1998 online.
    http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/107831-1

    Freakin’ long interview, so skip to 30 min in.

    As much as if this was true more people would dis-like Ricky, I don’t think this article helps the cause of not electing him.

    ~Adam in Phx

  131. Coral says

    The debate here about whether Mrs. Santorum had an abortion or a miscarriage is really a red herring argument around how medically adherent you want to be about your terminology. In truth, the semantics don’t matter. Whether it’s classified as an abortion or a miscarriage, doctors still provided life-saving medical intervention to hasten the end of her pregnancy — the very same life-saving medical intervention the Santorums would seek to outlaw now. THAT is the relevant point.

  132. says

    “All religion is mental illness and should be treated as such.”
    To Angry Voter and all others who want to pretend that there are not rational people of faith that are extremely pro-choice, do not make people like Santorum your only image for people of faith.

    I have seen other people make the remark that all people who are religious or are Christian are nutjobs who must be pro-life, hypocritical, and stupid. This makes me sad. Just because radical, Christian pro-lifers are the most visible in the media does not mean that all religious people or even all Christians are that way. I am a feminist Christian-yes, we exist. I am passionately pro-choice and I in fact had an abortion last year. It was because I knew that I would have terrible post-partum depression (I do have mental illness, but it is because of my genes and not my religion.) if I continued with the pregnancy and I have no way of supporting the baby. The choice was not difficult for me, as the hormonal changes in my body were already making me very sick. I found out that it’s still possible to go through post partum depression after an abortion, which did happen and life was pretty much hell for a while, but I’m still glad that I made that decision. My faith did not contribute to my mental illness. It did not make me feel guilty or condemn me or convince me to become pro-life. My faith did help my recovery and became my support, as my church family knew about my decision and was completely supportive. By condemning all who are religious, don’t you know that you shutting out some of your allies in the quest for freedom of choice?

    Also, angry voter, saying all religious people have mental illness is incredibly insensitive, alienating and stigmatizing to people that actually have mental illness. If you think religion is stupid, fine, but please do not compare it to mental illness, which is a very real illness that affects people who are not religious at all. You’ve just made a whole lot of people invisible and when you do that, you don’t help your (and my) cause for insulting people who are already insulted by society only makes you look ignorant and certainly does not promote respect for your opinion.

  133. Lisa Harrigan says

    Whether you are Pro-Choice or Pro-Life – What Rick Santorum and his family did would be ILLEGAL if the Pro-Life People have their way.
    She would NOT have been given the choice of pushing the baby along, and would have been INVESTIGATED for the Death of a Baby if the new Pro-Live Laws like those in Oklahoma are allowed to become the law of the land.
    That is what the Law says – If a Baby, defined as conceived child in the womb, dies for Any Reason, then the Death must be Investigated and Charges made. She, Rick and their Doctor have broken the law. And the doctor could lose his license over it.
    Doesn’t matter if labor started naturally, Labor Was Not Stopped, but rather was induced to continue, causing the pre-mature birth and thus death of a BABY (their definition). Thus the Santorums authorized the Death of the Baby and the Doctor performed a murder.
    Sorry, that is exactly the way the law reads.
    And that is why they are Hypocrites.
    No mother should be forced to go through that after the heartbreak of losing a much wanted and loved child.
    And yes, I’ve had two friends who went through D&C’s after their much wanted children died in their wombs. Again, so much heartbreak, and totally illegal under the New Pro-Life Agenda.

  134. Fiona Mackenzie says

    It’s simpler than that, Adam. The 20-week fetus had a defect. An invasive surgical procedure to correct it introduced an infection into the uterus. The woman could not be treated successfully with the also-infected fetus in her uterus, and the consequences could have been very serious for her. Labor was induced, and the 21-week-old fetus “delivered.” The parents held him for the two hours of his life.

    Sounds reasonable, right? Even necessary? Does to me, too.

    The problem is that Santorum NOW is advocating law to make what they did illegal. He is supporting law that would have made his wife risk death rather than end a pregnancy that couldn’t end successfully under any circumstances, and would prosecute any doctor who performed abortion for any reason.

    Sound extreme? In at least two states, the fact that the fetus/infant breathes converts the charge from abortion to murder, and there is a woman now awaiting trial on first-degree, capital murder charges because she lost a pregnancy as a consequence of a suicide attempt with rat poison, which she was so unfortunate as to survive. In another state, a rural girl without medical access, pregnant as a result of assault, had a friend beat her in the abdomen until she was pretty much pulverized and the fetus/infant emerged and, briefly, breathed. She is also facing murder charges.

    Not that it matters to Santorum. Rich women have always been able to obtain safe, professional abortion services; it’s the rest of us who will be expected to suffer and die.

  135. Fiona Mackenzie says

    Tasha, that crap about a partial birth abortion consisting of killing a full term baby being born is just crazy. It’s the lying propaganda spread by the kind of people who harass patients and murder doctors at clinics. I won’t say nothing like that has ever happened–a doctor in Philadelphia was tried for something not quite that bad but along that line–but it is NOT “partial birth abortion,” which is a term invented to outrage, and has no real meaning.

  136. says

    I’d never support Santorum or his politics, but right now, I support his wife for being humiliated and having this spread painful event in her life ridiculed by no one who has walked in her shoes.

    Nobody does that.
    People here have shown a great deal of sympathy for parents who lost their wanted child in pregnancy.
    What people are outraged about is that her husband would deny other women the care she received, and even prosecute doctors for giving them that medical treatment.

  137. Mike says

    So when the Guttmacher Institute publishes statistics on number of abortions performed annually, situations like this will be included?

  138. whitney says

    Once again,one rule for them,one for us.Santorums wifes life is precious,but all other women are expendable.

  139. John S. says

    I’m looking all over for any evidence that she actually took Pitocin, and I see none. That seems to be the key fact in whether or not it was a miscarriage or an abortion and all I see if bloggers citing other bloggers. The facts are so murky in all this; its shameful to point fingers until things are more clear. Reserve your judgment, even if it is for a scumbag like Santorum.

  140. Iwuztheredear says

    Fist off let me point out a few facts.
    1. Labor is a physiologic process during which the products of conception (ie, the fetus, membranes, umbilical cord, and placenta) are expelled outside of the uterus. Labor is achieved with changes in the biochemical connective tissue and with gradual effacement and dilatation of the uterine cervix as a result of rhythmic uterine contractions of sufficient frequency, intensity, and duration.[1, 2]

    Labor is a clinical diagnosis. The onset of labor is defined as regular, painful uterine contractions resulting in progressive cervical effacement and dilatation. Cervical dilatation in the absence of uterine contraction suggests cervical insufficiency, whereas uterine contraction without cervical change does not meet the definition of labor.

    2. Mrs Santorum, after being told what was happening at the present time, as well as what could happen if treatment was not given, and during treatment, ASKED…. again…ASKED if and in her words “If I choose the abortion will I still be able to have other children?”. Notice she asked and said “Abortion” secondly SHE ASKED “IF I CHOOSE”.

    3. I was a nurse on duty at the time.

    4. NO WOMAN should be forced to have to make or even be told she SHOULD choose such a thing, let alone be faced with the life and death choice she had to that day.

    5. The Man Woman Argument- Ok lets be real, yes a woman must do the hardship if carrying the child, does this mean the man has no say? Of course not, the father has as much say as a mother, except when it (as was the case with Mrs. Santorum )that her life is in jeopardy or peril, then ONLY she can decide what is best for HER.

    6. The baby was “Born” “Birthed” “Live Birthed” or any other word you want to use, it was NOT “Aborted” “Partially Aborted” or any other way you want to call it. It was a LIVE BIRTH, the baby was BORN with pulse and respiration. The Santorum Family knew the child would not live, the staff knew it. So this etire thread is mute and pointless since the author of it calls Mr. Santorum a hypocrite for being against abortion while his wife had one.

    7. As far as my knowledge Mr. Santorum and Mrs. Santorum believed now as they did then, Abortion is wrong, to my knowledge of the depth of that belief I can not comment because I do not know.

    8. As a nurse for over 26 years in OBGYN, PICU and a Flight nurse for Lifeline Pediatic Services. I believe now as I did growing up,It is each persons body, let them make the choice.

    9. as far as this thread is concerned, the author should have asked if there was anyone that was present that day,who knew. Then did some investigating from those witnesses before posting such a comment.

  141. says

    I wish I could remember where I saw the article by a nurse in an abortion clinic. Since this was the states, they had anti-abortion protesters picketing the clinic, screaming abuse at the patients. She said that they often -and she stressed often- had the protesters ask for out-of-hours appointments, so that their fellow-protesters wouldn’t see them going in.

    And then they’d say, “But my case is different…”

    And after the abortion, they’d go right back to waving highly inaccurate placards and screaming abuse at the patients.

  142. Serbo-Canadian of Macau says

    How can a person in his/her right mind even talk of a “right to life” in the conglomerate of former British, French, Spanish, and Russian colonies (pompously known as the US of America, even though those occupy just a small stretch of one part of the two Americas, North America, between Canada and Mejico)?

    Why, in that barbarous country, they still have death penalty that is illegal in all countries in Europe (including partly European Russia and Turkey), or indeed the socially more developed nation to the north of the US, Canada!

    As for discovering that some politician somewhere in the world is a hypocritical piece of slime… er: piece of santorum, what’s the big deal about it? Aren’t they all pieces of santorum — except for the two exceptions that prove the rule, Mary Robinson and Aung San Suu Kyi?

    Ah well…

  143. says

    Iwuztheredear
    Thank you for your information.
    I’m just wondering about one point you’re making:

    6. The baby was “Born” “Birthed” “Live Birthed” or any other word you want to use, it was NOT “Aborted” “Partially Aborted” or any other way you want to call it. It was a LIVE BIRTH, the baby was BORN with pulse and respiration. The Santorum Family knew the child would not live, the staff knew it. So this etire thread is mute and pointless since the author of it calls Mr. Santorum a hypocrite for being against abortion while his wife had one.

    You say yourself that Mrs. Santorum herself uses the term “abortion”.
    I also don’t see how live birth and abortion are mutually exclusive. I know from a lot of women who had basically done a similar procedure:
    Induced labour in a non-viable fetus which died shortly after delivery. The fact that the child was alive when birthed had some legal consequences, but still the whole procedure was reffered to as an abortion (and the woman had to jump all the hoops necessary for getting a late-term abortion).

  144. Ethel says

    Being from Aus I dont know the people involved, but I just wanted to say a couple of things. whether she lost the baby via abortion or miscarriage, she is still suffering a loss of monumental proportions, So my thoughts go to her. The fact that she is married to an ass is unfortunate but I am glad she is still here to rectify that if she chooses. The other is I really enjoyed reading this blog and most of the comments, I am just not a fan of people attacking each other.
    Thank you FTB I am glad I found you and look forward to reading more.

  145. Heather says

    The age of viability has gotten younger in recent years. There are even some cases in which 20 to 22 week preemies have survived. I’m not in favor of legally banning abortion, precisely because of cases like this, but at some point, the preemies we spend all those l health care dollars on will be the same age as the those who can legally be aborted. Worth saving,but fine to terminate? What if the gestational age at which rescusitaton is required is someday accepted as 22 weeks? It seems impossible, but may not be. Would we then have to attempt to resuscitate aborted fetuses? Do we deny state sponsored insurance to babies who are micropreemies, since they are abortion- age? These kinds of questions will never have rapid, knee-jerk answers.

  146. Aylor Talbott says

    What the Santorums did is no ones business but theirs, agreed. Why that doesn’t apply to my medical decisions as well is the question.

  147. Dianne says

    So some of you think, knowing that the labor wasn’t going to stop and knowing that her baby wasn’t going to survive, that she shouldn’t do what she did and have a short bit of time with her baby?

    I absolutely believe she should have the option of doing what she did or taking any other reasonable position that she chose. It’s the Santorums who believe otherwise. They favor banning ALL abortions-and make no mistake, this labor was managed as an abortion. The fact that the fetus survived a few hours doesn’t change that. NO attempt was made to stop the labor and it appears to have been augmented. This decision saved Santorum’s life.

    I believe Santorum made an extremely reasonable decision. I just wish she and her husband would leave others the option of making this decision as well.

  148. says

    While I think the Santorums are hypocrites on the abortion issue, the raging debate over the end of Mrs. Santorum’s 4th pregnancy indicates what a gray area it is. And that’s why Santorum isn’t fit to be president – he does not comprehend that many issues aren’t black and white, they are gray. He just doesn’t get it. I don’t want someone that stupid as president. Santorum makes Bush look like a Rhodes Scholar.

  149. wlahr says

    I stopped reading this article when the author lied about (or was horribly misinformed because he didn’t do his due diligence of research) about what a “partial-birth” abortion is. If you can’t be bothered to get the facts correct before writing your opinions, then keep your mouth closed because you just feed all the other lazy sheep out there the same misinformation because they, too, can’t be bothered with the facts.

  150. says

    Considering how many people are complaining that I “got wrong” what a “partial birth” abortion is, it’s a made-up term. As has been explained a number of times, it is often used by wingnuts to describe “intact dilation and extraction”, but even more often than that, used to describe any late-term abortion where the fetus is delivered with the knowledge that it will die as a result of being delivered.

    You crazies hate the idea of abortion so much, instead of hating the idea that a woman could die as a result of denying her an abortion when the doctor recommends it to save lives, that you can’t even be bothered to use the proper terminology, much less use your made-up terminology consistently. It’s not my fault you nutters use it so scattershot.

  151. John Horstman says

    @181: Yup, “partial-birth abortion” has no technical definition, it’s just a Right-wing scare-phrase.

    Also, I’m on board with everyone saying that the reason doesn’t matter: women should be able to be pregnant or not as they choose. All of this discussion about trimesters, circumstances, etc. is just obfuscating bloviation, disguising the fact that there is no fucking reason to prevent abortion in the first place.

    Abortion is a matter of human rights – for actual adult human women. Enforced pregnancy is slavery: I may be pro-murder in the eyes of all of you anti-abortion folks, but you’re pro-slavery in my eyes. Considering we’ve agreed as a society that ending someone’s life is sometimes appropriate (war, capital punishment, self-defense, etc.), but that slavery is universally not okay, you guys are bigger assholes, and more wrong. End of discussion.

  152. Trent says

    Okay, let’s meet in the middle and pass legislation that says women can have an abortion if there’s been incest, rape, or threat of death to the mother. Sound good? No?? Damn, I thought that’d be a nice compromise, since that’s what’s always brought out to justify legal abortion.

    “Choosing abortion is not an easy choice to make.”
    Why is that? It’s just tissue. A woman who gets pregnant is entitled to abortions.

    “Sometimes, it’s the only option. People do not have abortions out of hand, despite what right-wingers and religious nuts would have you believe.”
    “Sometimes”, huh? And “people” do not have abortions out of hand? I don’t know what world you live in where you think the vast majority of abortions aren’t for convenience and the avoidance of responsibility. We understand this, but we make it about rape and incest like that’s what usually happens. I live right across the street from a nurse who has had three abortions. I’ll put it this way – I agree with you…most people in my experience who have abortions,should.
    It’s not a big deal, after all. What’s everyone so bent out of shape about, it’s just a fetus that can’t take care of itself, damn.

    I hope the Manson family wasn’t also charged with the death of Sharon Tate’s fetus, right?

    When a pregnant woman falls down the stairs, it must be easy for people like you to tell her that she didn’t really lose so much.
    What pisses the Right-wingers off about people like you, is you refuse, in tone and in word, to EVER acknowledge the life of that child as being something worth much of anything. The right-wingers, they’re thinking they’re arguing about the viability of life, and they want it acknowledged. Meanwhile you’re over there talking from the angle that it’s all about oppression of women.
    If a woman is assaulted by a burglar and loses the baby/fetus/tissue, that burglar is in a LOT of trouble because suddenly that fetus is a life, a baby. That means, that a baby’s life matters when a woman decides it does. This is called horsheshit.
    And one last note for the gentle, caring author of this blog –
    Men need not stay out of the dialogue when a child is half theirs. If the woman decides it’s not a life and aborts it, the father has no say. If a woman decides it is a life and keeps it, he pays. Maybe men should get finacially reimbursed if they want a child but the woman doesnt, and aborts it? Yes? No? Damn, I was wrong again.
    If you can’t discuss your point of view up in the light of day front of all, without telling men to stay out of it, then your POV isn’t worth very much. Your POV is worth as much to me as a fetus is to you. If you ask me, I think you protest a little too much.
    -T

  153. says

    Hi All,

    I’m 100% pro-choice and against this jerk. But I listened to video and didn’t hear the part about him opposing life of mother exception. I did hear him opposing the rape/incest exception.

    Did I miss something? I skimmed through the first part, and didn’t touch the second.

    Thank you,
    Harry Nagendra (Harry834, Twitter)

  154. says

    When a pregnant woman falls down the stairs, it must be easy for people like you to tell her that she didn’t really lose so much.
    What pisses the Right-wingers off about people like you, is you refuse, in tone and in word, to EVER acknowledge the life of that child as being something worth much of anything.

    You know what:
    Fuck off, asshole.
    You might be pro-choice, but you’re still an asshole.
    It’s not as if you’d read anything on this thread, so it’s not like we’re going to lose much in terms of contribution.
    Because you’re spewing bullshit.
    Because that’s one of the biggest straw-fetuses I’ve seen lately nad gosh, there have been some.

    I apologize to Jason for freaking out, but as you might guess, that hit home.

  155. Jessica says

    She did not have an abortion in the sense of the word that is used when talking about the Prolife/Prochoice argument. In medical terms (and when sent to the insurance company) a miscarriage is called a “spontaneous abortion”. That is what happened to the Santorums. Karen Santorum went into premature labor and delivered the baby without medical/surgical assistance. Their son only lived 2 hours. You should be ashamed of yourself for reporting it as if they aborted the child by their own choice. They didn’t. This is despicable.

  156. Trent says

    “You know what:
    Fuck off, asshole.
    You might be pro-choice, but you’re still an asshole.
    It’s not as if you’d read anything on this thread, so it’s not like we’re going to lose much in terms of contribution.
    Because you’re spewing bullshit.
    Because that’s one of the biggest straw-fetuses I’ve seen lately nad gosh, there have been some.”

    Thanks for the “contribution,” Giliell.

  157. says

    I can see this guy talking weasel words to get himself a “nuanced” position on life of woman. Doesn’t deserve our trust. Still is he against even that exception the same way as he’s against rape/incest exception?

    Whatever the answer, let’s fight like hell to stop him, or any Republican. AND don’t forget to clean the Congress!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Support candidates in the 49 states you can’t vote. Volunteer. Donate. I once phonebanked for an out-of-state campaign. Voting in our state is first responsibility. But not out only one.

  158. Trent says

    “She did not have an abortion in the sense of the word that is used when talking about the Prolife/Prochoice argument. In medical terms (and when sent to the insurance company) a miscarriage is called a “spontaneous abortion”. That is what happened to the Santorums. Karen Santorum went into premature labor and delivered the baby without medical/surgical assistance. Their son only lived 2 hours. You should be ashamed of yourself for reporting it as if they aborted the child by their own choice. They didn’t. This is despicable.”

    I agree. And though it’s a little odd to me, you can even tell the difference in how they treated the deceased child afterward. They didn’t treat it like it was leftover chicken gristle to be thrown away, which has been my only point.

  159. liesandmorelies says

    Trent, you are AWESOME, and spot on! I love it! Bravo!

    Unfortunately the pro-unborn-baby-killing-by-their-mommies-as-a-choice sector has started splitting hairs about the term “abortion”. They are right. Abortion is a broad definition of all terminations of pregnancy, whether spontaneous or elective. So now, “elective abortion” has to be used. Same thing with “murder”. Abortion is not murder right now because murder is a legal term that means the unlawful taking of a life, and the killing of an unborn child is legal right now. So I always stick with the cumbersome but extremely accurate “killing of an innocent helpless unborn baby by the person who is supposed to love and protect him/her the most”.

    There is only one way I think a woman should be able to get an abortion, and that is if the baby has already died, and that has been confirmed by at least 3 independent medical sources. And this is also what a true pro-lifer believes. You see, we believe that unborn baby is a child, just as much as any child outside of the womb is a child. And how many mothers wouldn’t give her life to save her child? I know I would. Even if you have other children, if one of your children’s lives were in danger and you could save him/her by giving your life – wouldn’t you do it? A mother would. As for rape and incest, which are a tiny percentage of abortions, the baby didn’t rape or commit incest on anyone. Why should he/she be sentenced to death for a crime his/her father will only spend a few years in prison for?

    And I’m not even going to discuss this Santorum thing. This article is bag of you-know-what. And Santorum is not my guy, and he almost beat my guy, so I would love dirt on him. But not going to spread lies to further my agenda. I have integrity, unlike the author of this article.

    I think I referred to the author as a “she” in an earlier post and I just realized it is not a “she”. So sorry for that error.

  160. Inquisition leader says

    Well, seems lies are the only way to attack good people like Santorum. Anyone with heart, soul, and brain will laugh at the filthy lies in this write-up.The facts have been distorted, which is what liberals typically do so this is no big surprise. The author probably resembles fecal matter, I’d say, truth be known.

  161. anon says

    Bottom line is, the government should keep it’s hands off women’s vaginas and ovaries. It’s a woman’s choice to have an abortion or not, and I’m sure many women who choose to have one don’t do it because it’s cool. I’m sure they have some emotional issues after the choice. The government does not have the right to tell a woman what to do with her body, end of story. Some women do not deserve to have children so instead we let them give birth, then the government gives the mother welfare to take care of a child(whom the mom likely doesn’t know who the father is) and the child eventually falls into a tailspin. I’m not saying this is the case ALL the time(obviously)but there are very sad stories out there. I worked in tv news for 9 years and we used to get reports from police about infants/toddlers who were near death in the hospital because the baby’s mom was “out” and her boyfriend was taking care of the infant who for some reason developed broken bones or 2nd degree burns. Also, read the case of T.J. Wright in the state of RI. His mom was in jail so his aunt and her boyfriend were taking care of the child. They were no day at the beach and they came home from a night of partying, got mad because he made a mess at dinner, and beat him to death. For pro-lifers…was it fair for TJ to be born only to suffer severely and still die????

  162. Trent says

    A woman has a right to a dead baby. It doesn’t matter if it’s a 40 year old man in a woman’s stomach, that 40 year old man’s life only means something if the woman decides it does. Period.
    Keep your hands off my body, by putting your hands into my body and taking something out.
    Keep your hands off my body, but put the clamps and scraper in, get that worthless tissue out of there, I’ve got my rights.
    A woman has no responsibility for unilaterally deciding to end a constitutionally protected life. That’s why we call it ‘fetus’. Duh.
    And she has no responsibility for her actions before becoming pregnant, and the father of that child has no responsibility either, that’s why he’s not allowed any legal say in letting the fetus live. If the woman DOES decide the child can live, then the father owes cold hard cash, that’s a given. It should be accepted by all that abortion is and should be a perfectly common and viable means of birth control in a judgement-free society, and we have no room for those who aren’t catching on as quickly as the rest of us. They’re full of hate. Intolerance. They want women subjegated, controlled, repressed, and oppressed. If men could have babies too, I’m sure all these arguments about the value of life would disappear overnight. They just like keeping a woman down. And, 95% of the time, a woman can not be expected to have control over whether she gets pregnant or not, so why the hate?
    What’s the matter with you right-wing nazis? If it weren’t for Republikkkans, no woman would ever be made to feel so bad about it. End of discussion, you anti-choicers.

  163. james says

    Humans breathe air, fetuses do not. BIG difference. Life starts when the doctor smacks you in the ass. and you take your first Breath

  164. Another Matt says

    I’d like to echo those who say that the real question is whether (and which) proposed legislation would outlaw the procedure the Santorums got and similar ones (say, in those in which it is clear that labor was induced to save the life or the health of the woman). For people who have so little trust in government and congress, it defies all reason to believe that legislators have the legal and medical expertise necessary to separate the “evil” procedures from the good ones.

  165. Heidi says

    Here are some fun medical facts. In the medical community, a miscarriage is called a “spontaneous” abortion If it is an intentional termination of the pregnancy, its called a therapeutic” abortion. These terms usually a used in abortions at 20 weeks or less. So I have to laugh when people say – oh she had a MISCARRIAGE, not an abortion. Sorry to say, its the same thing, just differs on how it is brought about. And it sounds like it was an intentional termination of the pregnancy, so sounds like a “therapeutic” abortion to me.

  166. Trent says

    I’m sure ‘the medical community’ must laugh with you all the time about this, but us simple folk say ‘miscarriage’ when it’s a procedure the parent(s) don’t want, and ‘abortion’ when they do.

  167. Trent says

    I find it interesting that those in “the medical community” think the flip side of “spontaneous abortion” is …”therapeutic abortion.”
    I don’t know why thats’ interesting to me, but it is. I guess the way words are massaged.

  168. Trent says

    “Laws are written with professionals’ terms of art in mind, not layfolks’ understanding of the terms.”

    No wonder the rights to life that were written about are so hard for some people to understand.

  169. jgmurphy says

    Both pro choice and “pro life” people fail to acknowledge the fact that abortions have been steadily declining over the past 30 years. The reason for this has less to do with the legalization/ criminalization controversy, than with the fact that there has been a gradual removal of the stigma of unmarried pregnancy.Years ago, being pregnant and single would quite literally ruin a woman’s life and doom her to poverty, social ostracization and general loneliness. Indeed, these women were turned into social pariahs. Is it any wonder that abortion was such a desirable option—at any price? And in the quest for an illicit abortion, the pregnant woman was often victimized yet again, sometimes ripped of for hundreds of dollars and left still pregnant by a phone “doctor,” sometimes raped by other imposters. Obviously, crimes against them could not be reported to police.

    I believe any woman should be permitted an abortion at any stage of pregnancy for any reason. But it is also important to realize that it is greater compassion and understanding, not reproof, criminalization and censure, that will ever reduce the number of abortions, if that is what society wants.

  170. Trent says

    Does anyone ever talk about the child on the other side of that abdominal wall or does the conversation always have to dead end with a woman’s gonna do whatever she wants to do, which, most of the time, is what got them pregnant in the first place.
    Screw the kid, screw the father(so to speak), and screw the sense of shame – you matter, and no one else.

    If a man walks out on his pregnant girlfriend who’s got an 8 month old baby in there – just kill it, you’ve got rights. Who needs the hassle?
    And this is a good thing, by the way. This is what it means to become an evolved society.

    Again, I think the Manson family was charged for the death of Sharon Tate’s baby. They should’ve just told the courts she gave them permission, I guess.

    I wonder why most people have such a primal aversion to abortion photos…is it because we’re squeemish about blood? Or is there something about looking at pieces of ribs, hands, and worst of all, a face? Even my describing it would seem out of line, but I don’t know why that’d be, it’s just tissue.
    This thing was alive inside of you, and now it isn’t. Period.
    Go ahead and dance around in symantic circles some more.
    With Love,
    -T

  171. Leo says

    I must reiterate that while Karen Santorum was quoted as saying, during the decision-making process, that “induced labor” was “abortion”, she is incorrect. It was accelerating the death of the fetus, but the chemical used to speed up the labor was not intended to kill the fetus while it was still inside, or merely partially inside, the womb.

    Intact Dilation and Extraction is a specific procedure, and one which only bore a passing resemblance to what was done to Karen Santorum. In an ID&E, the fetus is killed while partially inside the womb. As Karen Santorum’s fetus died outside the womb, this was also not an ID&E. While induction of labor is used to start an ID&E, this is the sole resemblance between Karen Santorum’s procedure and ID&E.

    So what happened was not an abortion. The end result was the same, but an abortion method was not used to produce the result.

    It was still very much against the ideals of the anti-abortion movement. To call it an abortion, however, is to use the same inflammatory and erroneous rhetoric of the anti-abortion movement.

  172. Dar says

    Ever notice how people who think abortion is okay become really angry when someone disagrees with them? Insead of responding with rational arguments that address the issues, they resort to ad ad hominem attacks that impugn the character of the other person. The reason they don’t stick to the issues raised by anti-abortionists is because, in most cases, abortion simply cannot be defended rationally by any person who cares about human life. A fetus may not be a fully developed person, but it is a human life. That cannot be disputed. Yet, abortion advocates do not address that very awkward fact. Instead, they try to divert attention away from the ugliness of abortion by focusing on the rights of the mother to destroy the life that exists inside her. She has rights, but not the child (I mean, tissue). And yes, men who oppose abortion have every right to be involved in the debate, just as humans have a right, if they choose, to argue in favor of animal rights, or Americans have a right to speak out for the human rights of non-Americans.

  173. says

    Leo,

    A chemical was used to induce labor and birth before the fetus was viable. This is an abortion. There is no way around it. This procedure would be illegal under the former senator’s plan. Or do you think that Santorum would be ok, with other women going in and inducing labor to terminate the pregnancy?

    Dar,

    Men don’t have the same rights to the conversation as women have. First, it’s not our health. It not out bodies. I don’t want some strange woman telling me what I can do with my testicles, so in turn I’m not going to tell her what to do with her uterus. Nor are we saddled with care of the child as a woman is. In our society, raising a child still falls on the woman for more than it does the man. So unless you can pull the whole “junior” thing and have the fetus transplanted in your gut, then you don’t have an equal voice. Also, even then you voice would be only good for your situation.

    Also, with your statement that “abortion simply cannot be defended rationally by any person who cares about human life.” is simply not true. In certain cases, abortion does save a woman’s life. If the fetus is non-viable, what possible good can come from forcing a woman to carry? Also studies have show that outlawing abortions doesn’t necessary reduce the rate of abortions significantly, but does increase the chances that the woman dies. So banning abortions doesn’t “save human life,” but increases the death rate of women.

  174. says

    Trent,

    You say, “I wonder why most people have such a primal aversion to abortion photos…is it because we’re squeemish about blood?”

    Do have primal aversion to photos of dead women? Few if any abortions are done at 8 months. Those that are, are not done on a whim. They are done to save the mothers life.

    If you really want to reduce the rate of abortions, fight to get increase access to birth control, increased sex-education, increased access to pre-natal care, increased access to child care, fight to decrease the social stigma associated with single mothers, fight to get more social resources to help poor and single parents, fight the rape culture, fight to increase resources for adoption and foster care and fight to increase the social stigma against deadbeat dads. All of these things would actually reduce the number of abortions. But my guess is that jackasses such as yourself, actually oppose most of those.

  175. Another Matt says

    It was still very much against the ideals of the anti-abortion movement. To call it an abortion, however, is to use the same inflammatory and erroneous rhetoric of the anti-abortion movement.

    But it would it have been legal if something like the legislation Rick Santorum wants to pass were in effect? Is there any way to craft a law so that it takes all the scenarios about what can go wrong in a pregnancy and then separates the “good” terminations of pregnancy from the “bad,” and do it reliably? Of course there isn’t. Who cares whether anyone calls it an abortion or not? With regard to law, “abortion” is shorthand for a string of legalese – it’s the specific contents of any legislation that one should worry about. Also, any legislation which actually uses simple uninterpreted words like “abortion” is incompetent and dangerous, because clearly not everyone agrees on what an abortion is, and it would give individuals in the justice system way too much leeway to enforce personal morals.

  176. Jason Bahr says

    I’d like to address the author on writing style a moment. While I dispise Santorum as a lieing, slimeball hypocrit, I feel that refering to Savage’s little prank in your opening paragraph is foolish. It distracts from the point of your article and makes it look like a hit piece, not an honest article. Many are gonna assume you’re goal is to bash Santorum not present facts. Just my 2 bits.

  177. melissaI says

    @ liesandmorelies if you have done your research which obviously you havent the shot that they gave me was the “abortion” shot but it is also a very powerful cancer drug.an eptopic baby does not mean that the baby was anyless of a growing fetus and yes i will never meet that child. i did not ask to be put down nor did i ask for anybodys opinion on my history so pls keep your thoughts to yourself as its still a very sore subject to poke at and do your research or go to the nearest planned parenthood and you will see what i said is the truth.

  178. Trent says

    I agree with Jason Bahr and Dar, and would add that the very last line in the author’s argument shows what he’s really talking about, and it’s not really Santorum or abortion.

    “Especially if the reasons you’re horning in on this conversation — the reasons you believe you have any moral say in the matter whatsoever — have anything to do with a really old book.”

    Gotcha.

    holytape, in the above posts did the same thing – puts together a point and then screws it all up at the end by saying i’m a jackass who does not oppose ‘the rape culture’ among other things.
    Since you weren’t aborted, you have the opportunity to grow the hell up.

  179. Brett says

    What all you people around here are arguing about isn’t what is at stake here. The fact of it is that Santorum, and his wife used a medical procedure, that he, himself has now came out against via his pledge. Did he not take the time to read the pledge? Was his reading comprehension below a fourth grader?

    The argument is not whether they aborted, or miscarried, or used some damn medication. The argument is about the fact that Santorum’s pledge, and beliefs directly contradicts his actions in this time of need.

    I am personally pro-life, however, it is not mine, or anyone else’s business what someone decides to do with their body, or what is in it.

    At the same time, while I hold my pro-life view, I also understand extenuating circumstances. Things like rape, potential death of the mother, child, or both for that matter does trump my pro-life stance. The reason? Because it’s not being used as birth control.

    Santorum’s view is that his wife should be able to sue the doctor for aborting a child, saving the life of the mother. Furthermore, his wife would not have even received the care she needed to begin with, if he were to have his current choice. She would have died, the baby would have died, and he would have been a single father.

    You people need to get your heads out of the sand, learn some reading comprehension, and quit trying to act like this is nothing. It is more of do as I say, not as I do.

  180. Trent says

    ““Gotcha?” Hilarious, Trent.”

    Well, it was more of an ‘I getcha” than an ” I caught you now”, but my point still stands. Are you going to get passive aggressive on me?
    Besides, you’re a man – doesn’t that mean you should ‘stay the fuck out of the argument” rather than blogging about it? You can talk about what you do know though, like the proper name for the “frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter sometimes the byproduct of anal sex.” Blog more about that, and your dislike for a ‘certain old book.” Those are the only things you’d prefer to talk about at the end of the day anyway, right?
    Nice.
    -T

  181. John says

    Bahahaha–what an idiot. Jason Thibeault I mean. Despite his being an MD–I assume he’s an MD since he banned non-women and non-doctors from taking part in the debate. What a total non-contribution to the dialogue. LOL!

  182. Trent says

    Oh, he’s a doc? lol
    A little too much of a deviant to be putting his hands on people…and I ain’t talking about his opinions on abortion. wonder how many patients he would lose if they could hear him talk like this.

  183. Trent says

    Laws preventing women from obtaining contraception? Every one I’ve ever met has been able to get contraception if she wanted it. A little short on information and a little long in the mouth.

  184. Reg says

    You know, every time this argument comes up we always talk about the times when abortion saves the life of the mother.

    How come, though, we never see these people quoting statistics?? Could it be because most of the abortions are not to save the life of the mother, and have nothing to do with rape or incest??

    I”m just going off my own experience since I don’t know one single person who ever had an abortion to save their lives or because they were raped by anyone. Perhaps my experience is not typical??

    What percentage of abortions are to save the mother or due to rape?? Anyone??

  185. Trent says

    Yes, but Reg, what % of people do you think have had abortions to avoid consequences or responsibility? 90%?

  186. says

    You know, every time this argument comes up we always talk about the times when abortion saves the life of the mother.

    How come, though, we never see these people quoting statistics?? Could it be because most of the abortions are not to save the life of the mother, and have nothing to do with rape or incest??

    I”m just going off my own experience since I don’t know one single person who ever had an abortion to save their lives or because they were raped by anyone. Perhaps my experience is not typical??

    What percentage of abortions are to save the mother or due to rape?? Anyone??

    Of 2nd and 3rd trimester abortions, almost all, because there are already tons of legislations that regulate those issues.
    Nevertheless, those only are a tiny proportion of all abortions because most of them take place in the first trimester, for no other sake that the woman does not want to continue the pregnancy.
    The reason why we* bring the rape/incest/life of mother abortions forth so often is not because we’Re ashamed to admit that most abortions are carried out for other reasons, but because they demonstrate the total lack of empathy and compassion the “pro-life” side usually shows for actual people, i.e. women, or as in Santorum’s case, their utter hypocrisy.

    Yes, but Reg, what % of people do you think have had abortions to avoid consequences or responsibility? 90%?

    1) Having an abortion actually means to take responsibility and it is actually a consequence of an unwanted pregnancy. It’s not like driving away after you damaged another car in the carpark

    2) Nice to see that you see children mostly as punishment women get for having sex.

    So, you people want the unashamed pro-choice stance:
    It’s none of your, or my fucking business why a woman has or indeed needs an abortion.
    If she makes a mistake I’m rather glad she errs on the side of abortion.
    Because women who don’t have abortions actually have children, who are, unlike blastocytes, embryos or fetuses, actually people with lives and needs.
    She needs an abortion because she couldn’t be bothered with contraception?
    Good that she has one, because I wouldn’t want the enormous responsibility that comes with being a parent on the shoulders of somebody who couldn’t be bothered to take a pill every night.
    Are there women out there who have irresponsible sex-lives?
    You better believe there are. And I don’t want them to become irresponsible mothers as well because then they ruin actual lives.
    Are there women out there who have abortions for reasons I would not have one?
    Absolutely. Doesn’t mean she’s wrong to have one. Who am I to impose my opinion on her? Would people be OK with her if she said I was wrong for having the child because she would have an abortion in that situation?

    There is only one way I think a woman should be able to get an abortion, and that is if the baby has already died, and that has been confirmed by at least 3 independent medical sources.

    Yes, it’s good to know that in the darkest hour of my life, instead of leaving me in the care of competend and caring professionals, you’d have sent me running through town, sit in waiting rooms, have more and more people to tell me what I already knew and broke my heart, that the fetus had died and that the child I’d wished and hoped for would never come to be.
    It’s good to see that you’re eager to traumatize and hurt women as much as you possibly can.
    It’s good to know that you’d have women whose tubes have ruptured go to three independent sources so that she could die on the way from one to the other to confirm that yes, now that her tubes have ruptured the embryo is actually dead.
    It’s good to know who the real anemies of women and children are,

    *as in most of the pro-choice side

  187. Dianne says

    There is only one way I think a woman should be able to get an abortion, and that is if the baby has already died, and that has been confirmed by at least 3 independent medical sources.

    This rule, if enacted as a law will, inevitably, lead to unnecessary deaths of women in situations where the fetus never had the slightest chance of surviving. To give a few scenarios:
    1. Ectopic pregnancy. Yes, there are a few situations in which an ectopic pregnancy can be survived and a living baby brought out of it. But the most common ectopic pregnancy is a tubal pregnancy, implantation in the fallopian tube. This is 100% deadly for the embryo (it’ll never survive to be a fetus, much less a baby) and, unless intervention is timely, for the mother. Waiting for the embryo to die is dangerous, waiting for confirmation from 3! sources virtually certainly deadly. The only really safe response to a tubal pregnancy is to kill it with methotrexate.
    2. A woman with a perfectly normal and viable pregnancy but a chronic illness which will kill her if she continues the pregnancy. Examples include pulmonary hypertension, some complicated hemoglobinopathies, some cancers, especially acute hematologic cancers, and some cardiac conditions. The fetus will grow happily until it reaches a point where the mother’s body is too stressed, then both will die. Alternately, forcing the mother to go without necessary treatment such as chemotherapy in order to protect the fetus will result in death for both.
    3. The fetus is dead. The doctor knows this, the pregnant woman knows this, it’s obvious to everyone in town. But this is a small town with only one doctor. Or maybe out in the country with only one doctor within the next 500 square miles. How will the second and third opinions going to be obtained?
    4. The technically live but not viable embryo in an acutely ill woman. This sort of thing happens relatively frequently. Example with details changed to make HIPAA compliant because yes, it’s based on a real case: Young woman with lymphoma conceives while taking chemotherapy. It is possible to treat lymphoma through pregnancy, sometimes, but not when the conception happened right in the middle of intensive therapy! The conceptus showed no signs of having formed a viable embryo-it would never be a baby-and would probably have died spontaneously within the next month or so. Yet, with it sitting there, chemotherapy would be complicated and the young woman all the more likely to die from either the disease or infection or other complications of chemotherapy. Continuing chemotherapy might even be considered inducing an abortion, illegal because of the technically live product of conception. In short, she would be dead if fuckwits like you had their way. Congratulations, “pro-lifer” on spreading death.

  188. builttospill13 says

    The best part of all of this is that its a couples private decision that should be respected regardless of our individual beliefs. Its hard enough to decide to terminate a pregnancy, no matter how far in the game you’ve gotten, without having others peoples opinions splashed about on the subject. With that being said, what gives Rick Santorum the right to have an opinion on any other couples private decision? What gives anyone the right to meddle in a persons reproductive life? When politics interferes in reproduction, you end up with situations like Romania under Ceausescu. If Russia can legalize abortion in 1920, we can be open-minded enough to allow it in at least a few certain scenarios. There is a reason why the coathanger is symbolic in regards to abortions- keep it safe, legal, and most of all private.

  189. Dianne says

    Since you weren’t aborted, you have the opportunity to grow the hell up.

    Oh, for…abortion is the least of your existential problems. Do you know how unlikely your conception was? How improbable it was that your parents should chose to have sex at just the right moment, that the “right” sperm should make it to the egg, that nothing should go wrong in their merger. Dozens of people were never born because I didn’t have sex with, oh, any number of random men at random moments. Does that mean my not propositioning every man I meet is immoral? Are you immoral if you take the time to respond to this comment rather than getting out there and procreating? The babies not born because you’re not working hard enough to seduce fertile women are just as non-existent as the ones who were aborted, you know.

    Then there’s spontaneous abortions. Up to 80% of fertilized eggs don’t come to term because of failures to implant or to maintain implantation to birth. If you REALLY believed every conceptus was a baby you’d be lobbying your government for serious research into how to prevent spontaneous abortion. No decent human being would ignore a condition that is killing 80% of babies. Think how much money is spent on preventing a relatively small number of deaths due to SIDS or prematurity. That’s how people respond to a threat to a real baby. Where is your concern for the poor, dying fertilized eggs that fail to implant or lose their implantation? Nowhere, because, deep inside you know that they’re not babies. And there’s no woman to punish by it, so you’re not interested.

  190. Trent says

    “Oh, for…abortion is the least of your existential problems. Do you know how unlikely your conception was? How improbable it was that your parents should chose to have sex at just the right moment, that the “right” sperm should make it to the egg, that nothing should go wrong in their merger.”

    Wow, you almost make it sound like a life is a special thing.

    “Dozens of people were never born because I didn’t have sex with, oh, any number of random men at random moments. Does that mean my not propositioning every man I meet is immoral? Are you immoral if you take the time to respond to this comment rather than getting out there and procreating? ”

    Huh?? lol

    ” The babies not born because you’re not working hard enough to seduce fertile women are just as non-existent as the ones who were aborted, you know.”

    The Jews not born are just as non-existent as the ones who died in the holocaust, you know.

    ” That’s how people respond to a threat to a real baby. Where is your concern for the poor, dying fertilized eggs that fail to implant or lose their implantation?”

    I guess we’ll deal with that after we get rid of tearing flesh, bone, and cartilage apart. And I’ll tell ya something else – no matter what his stance is, it does something to a man’s thinking about a woman who’s had an abortion. I don’t even care if it’s the man who pushes the woman to have the abortion. It does. Just a fun little fact.

    ” Nowhere, because, deep inside you know that they’re not babies. ”

    Well, if life doesn’t begin at conception, why wear a rubber? Why take a pill every single day?

    “And there’s no woman to punish by it, so you’re not interested.”

    Yes. It is men who punish women by getting them pregnant and wanting them to keep the child, not spit it into a trash can.
    If women could get men pregnant instead, you think the mother would enjoy having her unborn killed because the pregnant man doesn’t want stretchmarks and extra bills? Oh, I guess it’d be so much different the other way around, huh? You’ll have to forgive us, Diane, most of us aren’t as enlightened as you, we’re no so quick to catch on as you.
    The only majority that gets to act like an oppressed minority.

  191. builttospill13 says

    Not one word of your response makes any sense…if you actually READ her comment without an angry head it makes plenty of sense. Your response takes certain chunks out of context instead of looking at the message as a whole.

  192. Dianne says

    I guess we’ll deal with that after we get rid of tearing flesh, bone, and cartilage apart.

    “Flesh, bone, and cartilage”? What’s with your mesenchyme fetish? If it’s “flesh, bone, and cartilage” that you’re worried about, do you also oppose surgery? Ripping apart the poor little appendix just because it’s sick? Or how about organ donation? I can make that sound pretty awful too you know: Ripping the still beating heart from the chest of a helpless victim…

    Actually, quite a lot of abortions are medical abortions: take a pill and wait. No ripping of flesh and bone involved. And the vast majority occur in the first 12 weeks, during which time the embryo/fetus doesn’t even have bones. Nor is it “ripped apart”, even in a surgical abortion, in the most common procedure (D and C): just removed whole from the body. Very simple. Not nearly as gory as you’re pretending.

  193. Trent says

    “If it’s “flesh, bone, and cartilage” that you’re worried about, do you also oppose surgery? Ripping apart the poor little appendix just because it’s sick? Or how about organ donation? I can make that sound pretty awful too you know: Ripping the still beating heart from the chest of a helpless victim…”

    Surgery isn’t performed with the sole purpose of ending a life. Or are we now going to go into what the “real” definition of a surgery is? sigh

    The heart of the whole issue, is that people like you compare an unborn child to an appendix or an organ, and I cannot.

  194. Trent says

    Nah, dont’ need to get technical, but we can. I prefer sticking with the heart of the matter. What, are you a lawyer for the defense? lol
    Maybe next, we can talk about with the definition of the word “is” is.

  195. builttospill13 says

    No, I am an intelligent person posing another view. Whereas you don’t see an unborn child akin to an organ or appendix, it is in fact a parasite. If a worm were living in your intestines killing you would you not remove it? Its a living object as well is it not? I know you probably will say it is not the same thing but how is it in fact any different? Regardless of what an unborn child can be categorized as, I don’t even see a logical argument behind your ideas. What if your wife were in the same situation? Would you let her die?

  196. builttospill13 says

    No I haven’t but I have taken plan B when a condom broke. But, if I were raped or my life was threatened due to a pregnancy it is the choice of my fiance and myself (and a respected doctor). No one else. If other people feel the need to interject their beliefs onto my vagina they are more than welcome to start footing the bill for my tampons and gyno visits as well…share the load (no pun intended)

  197. dianne says

    The heart of the whole issue, is that people like you compare an unborn child to an appendix or an organ, and I cannot.

    Ah, I love the sound of shifting goalposts in the morning.

    You earlier expressed disdain for the very idea of trying to save the 80% of so of zygotes which die early in pregnancy. This implies one of two things: either in your heart of hearts you know perfectly well that zygotes and embryos aren’t people or you’re a psychopath to whom the death of 80% of babies is unimportant as long as a few very specific babies survive. Which is it then?

  198. says

    Bottom line, people: After the in utero surgery resulted in uncontrollable infection, abortion to save the life of the mother was the only rational choice.

    I say “rational” because Santorum suggests that other women “trust in god” and not interfere with his “will,” which is, apparently, to have a whole lot of pregnant women die unnecessarily. This is NOT rational. In other words, this option is good enough for us, not good enough for his wife.

    This is a man who wants us to elect him to make life-and-death decisions for everyone in the country–when we already know that his decision for everyone else (no medical care) and his decision for the 1% are completely different.

    In case you wonder what medical care he intends to impose on us? he stated this past week that national oversight of health care is unnecessary because “NOBODY IN THIS COUNTRY HAS EVER DIED FOR LACK OF MEDICAL CARE.”

    Selfish, prejudiced against the poor and middle class, and able to accommodate his beliefs to his arguments rather than to truth. Yeah, we need him.

  199. Trent says

    “Whereas you don’t see an unborn child akin to an organ or appendix, it is in fact a parasite. If a worm were living in your intestines killing you would you not remove it? Its a living object as well is it not? ”

    When’s the last time you told a pregnant woman her unborn was akin to a deadly worm living in her intestines? I bet you say that to all the pro-lifers ;)

    Dianne – I “expressed disdain for the very idea of trying to save the 80% of so of zygotes which die early in pregnancy?” I did?

  200. Trent says

    “Whereas you don’t see an unborn child akin to an organ or appendix, it is in fact a parasite. If a worm were living in your intestines killing you would you not remove it? Its a living object as well is it not? ”

    When’s the last time you told a pregnant woman her unborn was akin to a deadly worm living in her intestines? I bet you say that to all the pro-lifers ;)

    Dianne – I “expressed disdain for the very idea of trying to save the 80% of so of zygotes which die early in pregnancy?”
    I did? lol

  201. dianne says

    Trent, ok, let’s say I misread your comment. Perhaps you can clarify it all now. Do you or do you not find the loss of 80% or so of pregnancies due to spontaneous abortion to be a tragedy? Do you find it a tragedy akin to a theoretical disease that killed 80% of newborns at birth? Do you or do you not advocate spending large amounts of money and resources, including the vast majority of the NIH’s budget, on preventing these losses?

  202. builttospill13 says

    Way to avoid answering any of the questions I posed…this is why it is impossible to argue this topic. You take one sentence and mutilate it beyond repair. And no, I don’t say this to all pro-lifers. Its called an analogy.

  203. Trent says

    This is what you said:

    “Whereas you don’t see an unborn child akin to an organ or appendix, it is in fact a parasite. If a worm were living in your intestines killing you would you not remove it? Its a living object as well is it not? ”

    How exactly did I twist one of your sentences beyond repair again?

  204. builttospill13 says

    When’s the last time you told a pregnant woman her unborn was akin to a deadly worm living in her intestines? I bet you say that to all the pro-lifers ;)

    Because of the analogy I used in comparison, I’m not saying a fetus is exactly like a deadly worm in the intestines, they both have parasitical attributes…Again, way to avoid the questions. Plus, I would never say that to a pregnant woman because I have this thing called tact and grace; in regards to an abortion conversation, how are they different if they are both killing you and living off of your body?

  205. julian says

    I’ve seen pro-choice moms who carried their children to term, love them with all their heart and would kill anything that tried to maim them unjokingly refer to them as parasites while they were in the womb.

    It’s a parasite. Someday it might be person. Until then it is a parasite and one a woman has every right to expel from her body. She doesn’t need approval or a reason for this. It is her body and her choice on what goes on in it.

  206. Trent says

    And what of the child’s body? What about the child’s life? It didn’t ask to come into existence, it just did. Call it a fetus to get around it. Call it a woman’s choice and get around it. Talk about male oppression and get around it. Talk about life not meaning what it does and get around it. Talk about the real definition of abortion and death and zygotes and fetuses and get around it. Talk about rape and incest. Talk about poor women and coat hangers in alleys.
    People do what they wanna do. Then, when they’re forced to live in their own skin, they’ll jump through all kinds of hoops and rationalize things they never would’ve rationalized before. The same way I’m sure a girl grows up believing she’ll give herself to her husband one day, and have more ‘purity’ in that way, until she discovers at 18 that it doesn’t take as much to give herself to a man as she thought. Or how that little girl thought she’d have standards, until she has an abortion, and then whaddya know…all of a sudden, let’s not judge, and most everyone else is just like me, and hell, we need to shape U.S. policy around it, even. That’s how this shit works.
    Is it EVER wrong to kill a life growing inside of you? I guess that only depends on whether the woman thinks it is or not. Talk about ‘moving goalposts’, lol. Wont pretend there’s a lot of use in having this conversation. One woman can get pregnant and think it’s a gift from God Himself. Another can get pregnant, and feel herself one with what nature wants to happen (I mean, after all, why are we here, to get pregnant and abort?). Another woman gets pregnant, decides she doesn’t want her daddy or her hubby or society to know, so scrape it out. And that’s supposed to be equally admirable. That is not true. I guess what pro-lifers would like to hear, is a bit of honesty about what the significance of the act is, even if the act will be done. Rather than jumping over here, over there, distracting, running around in circles to pretend that what is, isn’t actually what it is.

  207. says

    And what of the child’s body? What about the child’s life? It didn’t ask to come into existence, it just did.

    Well, that’s because it doesn’t do anything. You know, those 90% of first-trimester abortions, there’s no brain, no central nervous system, no consciousnes.
    Only a possible potential to become a person.

    Another woman gets pregnant, decides she doesn’t want her daddy or her hubby or society to know, so scrape it out. And that’s supposed to be equally admirable.

    Well, or she just decides that having a baby right now would fuck up her life and that of her family, her husband, her existing children. I don’t care why she does it. You don’t get a cookie for being Michelle Duggar.
    But I get the feeling that you would not be very nice and caring for a single mum with 5 kids from 4 men who lives on wellfare…

    The Jews not born are just as non-existent as the ones who died in the holocaust, you know.

    And here’s your Godwinn award. And way to go for being a jerk who dares to compare the suffering of millions of real people with lives and feelings and sensations to the abortion of embryos and fetuses who have no capacity for feeling, experiencing or thinking.

    Well, if life doesn’t begin at conception, why wear a rubber? Why take a pill every single day?

    You must be very stupid to think that to be a clever argument.
    But since you’Re asking: Because it’s way cheaper, healthier and all around more practical than having an abortion. They’re not exactly fun, you know.

  208. Trent says

    “Well, that’s because it doesn’t do anything. You know, those 90% of first-trimester abortions, there’s no brain, no central nervous system, no consciousnes.
    Only a possible potential to become a person.”

    Poor Giliell. You don’t know what cards you’re showing. Such passion. I respect that. I really do. However, my post before your reply says it best, but I’ll continue where you left off anyway. Don’t you know how one might ask say, a baptist, whether it’s right or wrong to get drunk, and they might reply that the bible says it’s okay to drink but not get drunk..and how you know they’re full of shit, and really like a beer? The abortion argument is still very telling, even in 2012. That baptist likes a drink, but he makes it sound like something that’s wide open, and shouldn’t be judged. Same thing here. Are you a female? I bet a hundred bucks, if you are, you used to be a little girl, and never thought you’d grow up to be an advocate (or participant) in abortion. That is fact. Now that you’re older, you stick up for pro-abortion for one reason or another, not because of natural thought…but because you do not like the condemnation of behavior. It’d be like being a right-wing christian, and having a gay brother….you don’t want to believe your brother may go to hell, so you find yourself restructuring your own belief system over and over and over again, because you have to live in your own skin.
    Likewise with abortion. You’d like to zigzag into legalese, or semantic circles about definitions of words, when all it comes down to, is a condemnation of behavior. Women don’t flaunt abortions in the light of day…why? do you actually think that ‘society’ came up with it’s standards of behavior out of the blue? No. It evolved. Hell, I remember being 13, and seeing my cat gnawing off the head of one of its kittens…now, there’s the crux of it. Should I have my natural reaction, which is, damn, that’s fucked up..or should I be more like you and believe that constitutionally protected life is primitive and stupid, and believe that any woman who has an abortion, REALLY SHOULD be having that abortion..that way, we dont have more women in this world like that?
    Would/do you like the idea of your sister having an abortion? Would it make you feel good to know your brother made his wife have an abortion? how about you? would you rather have been aborted, if it made ur mother feel less inconvenienced?
    I have children. I guess I could’ve pushed my wife for an abortion for any number of reasons. These children who I love, who I want the world for, I should feel they could’ve been aborted and it makes little difference, really. Well, I’m not you.
    “But I get the feeling that you would not be very nice and caring for a single mum with 5 kids from 4 men who lives on wellfare…”
    Unlike you, I believe most women have control over whether they fuck someone else or not. You’re from a different frame of mind.
    “way to go for being a jerk who dares to compare the suffering of millions of real people..”
    You’re chiming into an argument you didnt start, and that was a mistake. It was not I who made the comparison between never-borns and murdered fetuses. Notice, in all my posts, I’ve never resorted to calling people jerks, assholes, sluts, cunts, liars, etc. etc…. I don’t have to. I only wish I had shit to make up to make my point, but unfortunately, I dont.

    “You must be very stupid to think that to be a clever argument.
    But since you’Re asking: Because it’s way cheaper, healthier and all around more practical than having an abortion. They’re not exactly fun, you know”

    Calling me stupid. Fine. “Cheaper” should be a concern, naturally..right?
    Healthier? Come on…most females do not abort their children for health, don’t be full of shit, please.
    “And all around more practical”…why do you have such a cause for this? Nevermind, it’s not my business, I guess. It’s kinda like someone blasting their opinions on a board under a pseudonym, in a way. Not enough conviction to give their real name, but oh, so opinionated.
    Doesn’t matter. It’s sad. It’s a damn shame, is all. Sigh.

  209. says

    I guess what pro-lifers would like to hear, is a bit of honesty about what the significance of the act is, even if the act will be done.

    Oh, and I have to say I’m sorry (I’m not, it’s a figure of speech), but what you want to hear, it’s not going to happen.
    It’s not that we’re secretly ashamed of it and just for the matter of propaganda not admitting that oh well that of course it is a huge thing and that the abortion is only the lesser of two evil but still technically an evil
    How much of a thing it is, that’s down to the individual woman. Some take a lot of time to decide, some don’t, for some it isn’t even a question at all.
    You can try as much as you want, but you’re not going to make us feel ashamed for our position.

  210. says

    I bet a hundred bucks, if you are, you used to be a little girl, and never thought you’d grow up to be an advocate (or participant) in abortion. That is fact.

    You owe me a hundred bucks.

    As for all your christian comparissons:
    Wrong, too.
    I don’t defend a woman’s right to choose because I’m afraid of condemming her behaviour.
    It’s because I absolutely don’t think there’s anything condemable in that behaviour
    It is not as if she’d engage in something I’d otherwise disagree with.

    “Cheaper” should be a concern, naturally..right?
    Healthier? Come on…most females do not abort their children for health, don’t be full of shit, please.

    OK, you are stupid (See, I have no problem condemming or judging people).
    It’s fucking healthier not to get pregnant in the first place than having invasive medical treatment.
    Are you too thick to understand?
    It’s like it’s better not to break your leg in the first place.

    Women don’t flaunt abortions in the light of day…why?

    Because there’s idiots like you around who’d compare them to Nazis who murdered millions in gas chambers.

  211. Trent says

    I don’t have the need to call you names, why do you do that to me? I like you.
    “It’s fucking healthier not to get pregnant in the first place than having invasive medical treatment.”
    I agree.
    “It’s not that we’re secretly ashamed of it and just for the matter of propaganda not admitting that oh well that of…”
    Propaganda? I’ve no agenda here, politically..I’m talking as if abortion as a means of birth control is not something as admirable as measures that could’ve been taken before. I like you.
    call me

  212. Dianne says

    I don’t think Trent cared for my question at 248. Probably because it’s unanswerable: he doesn’t care about the fate of “babies” who die from natural abortions and therefore reveals that for all his crap about “the child’s life”, he doesn’t really believe that a brainless, semi-differentiated mass of cells is a person. Or he’s a psychopath who is ok with letting massive numbers of children die. Whichever, I don’t think he’s a good person to be taking ethical advice from.

  213. Dianne says

    It was not I who made the comparison between never-borns and murdered fetuses.

    This statement is so confused I must assume that you got carried away with your own rhetoric and lost track of what you were actually saying. A fetus that is aborted, whether by spontaneous or induced abortion, is never born. By definition.

  214. Forbidden Snowflake says

    Now that you’re older, you stick up for pro-abortion for one reason or another, not because of natural thought…

    What is “natural thought” supposed to be, exactly? In this context, it appears to mean “ideas formed without considering logical and social consequences”, which most people would probably call “gut feeling”.

  215. 'Tis Himself, OM. says

    Trent #259

    I don’t have the need to call you names, why do you do that to me?

    Just because you’re a prissy prig doesn’t mean everyone else has to be one.

    Propaganda? I’ve no agenda here, politically.

    Are you one of those idiots who don’t think most anti-abortion folks aren’t pushing a socio-political agenda? If so, you’re incredibly naive. Or you’re a liar.

    Incidentally, propaganda is not necessarily political. The Vatican’s Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (Congregatio pro Gentium Evangelisatione) used to be called the Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith (Sacra Congregatio de Propaganda Fide).

  216. @Catziiis says

    “Miscarriage” is merely a more palatable word to use than “abort/ion”. Face it, when a woman loses a baby (before viable) her body ABORTS it. Now we have wiped away any pretense of pretty, or ‘difference’~

    Everybody gets riled up at the thought of terminating the pregnancy…is it always in the best interest of the child to be born? Can YOU control every outcome of those who ARE born?

    Mother’s a drug addict
    Where’s dad to support this child
    Without hope of adoption, this child will suffer in poverty & abuse, probably starved or beaten to death. After all, didn’t Santorum ALSO say it’s preferable to have an imprisoned father than a stable, same sex couple raising kids >;{D~

    Or child has severe defects. Who are YOU to sentence this child to that kind of “life”?

    Parents need to wake up & stop telling their daughters they’ll ‘kill’ them if they get pregnant young. Talk to your kids, prepare them, support them-but most of all teach them PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY. Yeah, even the BOYS- It starts at HOME.

  217. says

    What is “natural thought” supposed to be, exactly? In this context, it appears to mean “ideas formed without considering logical and social consequences”, which most people would probably call “gut feeling”.

    I suppose this refers to the age when you’re equally young and clueless. You know, that age when you, if your parents were good people, understand how babies are made, but still have no idea that adults have sex just for fun and not with the explicit goal of making babies.
    The age when you hear that somebody’s going to have a baby and you think about your baby-doll, not about toadpole (which the fetus resembles in outward appearance, I’m not saying it is one).
    The age when you want to marry daddy, although I’ve never heard that argument made in favour of incest or pedophilia as an example of “natural thinking”.

    I don’t have the need to call you names, why do you do that to me?

    It’s not because I need it, it’s because I like it.
    Really, you’re as condescending and offensive as you can get. Just because you don’t use “bad words” doesn’t mean you’re polite.

    I like you.

    You have a strange way showing that. I also have no clue why you do.

    Propaganda? I’ve no agenda here, politically..I’m talking as if abortion as a means of birth control is not something as admirable as measures that could’ve been taken before.

    I admit to having difficulties understanding that sentence, but if you’re especially talking about abortion as after the fact birth control:
    Nobody said it was admirable.
    If you ask me what I think of a woman who, although she has reliable birthcontrol readily obtainable say “why should I bother, I can have an abortion”, I think that such a woman would be foolish and probably irresponsible.
    Doesn’t have anything to do with the fact that her abortion is her decission.
    Why would I say that abortion is OK for women who were raped, victims of incest or just simply contraception failure and think that a woman who made a really stupid mistake or a seriously bad choice should go on and have the child?
    That makes no sense.
    Actually, the more stupid, foolish and irresponsible she behaves the more happy I am that there are abortions. If she doesn’t get one, the result is a child, an actual person who deserves better than that.
    Pregnancy and children are not punishment for women daring to have and enjoy sex (unless you believe an old book).

  218. builttospill13 says

    So Trent….if it was your wife or daughter and her health were at risk due to a pregnancy or she was raped by say a stranger or an uncle…would you let her die? would you let her have a baby produced by incest or rape?

  219. builttospill13 says

    And you still continue to argue abortions as an alternative for a reckless behavior…again, in 2008 41.2% of women 40-49 had abortions (the highest percent and that number still holds…something like 20% were 50-59). I highly doubt they were trying to shirk responsibility due to the major complications that having a child that late in the game entails. Abortion has also declined in the past two decades drastically because young girls don’t have to worry about being ostracized,or worse, beaten to death for the mistakes they made. I don’t deny that some women probably do seek abortions as a means of birth control but they are retarded to continually spend that much money while putting themselves at risk health-wise. If the scenario of using it as birth control is feasible, they must have an ass ton of money at any given time. Also, I highly doubt that abortion for birth control happens as often as you might think. Find some numbers to support your argument.

  220. says

    No, built… We argue that if the issue is reckless behavior, the male should equally carry the embryo to term.

    Males have always transferred the liability in the sexual realm to women, which they can do because of biology, but that accidental difference in no way renders them immune from the responsibility of their own recklessness, overreaching, or opportunism. In a fair world, reckless men would wake up pregnant; then abortion would become an inviolable sacrament.

  221. says

    No, built… We argue that if the issue is reckless behavior, the male should equally carry the embryo to term.

    Males have always transferred the liability in the sexual realm to women, which they can do because of biology, but that accidental difference in no way renders them immune from the responsibility of their own recklessness, overreaching, or opportunism. In a fair world, reckless men would wake up pregnant; then abortion would be an inviolable sacrament.

  222. says

    Abortion has also declined in the past two decades drastically because young girls don’t have to worry about being ostracized,or worse, beaten to death for the mistakes they made.

    Or didn’t make.
    My cousin’s ex-girlfriend got pregnant when she was 16 because a doctor talked shit. If you’re 16 and your doctor tells you “not to worry” about the pill and antibiotics, you’re not going to question that.
    Fun fact: Two heavily liberal pro-choice families who never tried to shame either resulted in a healthy baby-boy.
    I mean, an awefull lot of the people I know are the result of failed birth-control.

  223. builttospill13 says

    I totally agree with both of you…I think Trent posted farther up that about 90% of abortions were due to reckless behaviors. Failed birth control is definitely a bitch, and my comment was in regards to using abortion as a sole form of birth control. I completely agree that men should shoulder the responsibility for their behavior as well. I think that any couples decision to seek an abortion should be just that, their decision.

  224. builttospill13 says

    I interpret Trent’s argument to mean women not wanting to have kids to avoid, in his words, “stretchmarks and bills” lol…thats what I interpret reckless behavior to mean. Abortions to get out of responsibility which I feel doesn’t occur as much as some people insinuate it does.

  225. Leo says

    I went back to what Trent said in response to “what about the 80%” of non-implanting zygotes (blastocysts really). Trent said “I guess we’ll deal with that after we get rid of tearing flesh, bone, and cartilage apart.” So it was an offhand remark, but Trent appears to have expressed at least some concern about it.

    Mind you, if they were born the population would be much more worse off for it, what with the quintupling of the population. But no one can say anti-abortion folks are concerned about the consequences of their actions.

  226. Leo says

    As for fetuses and organs, a much better comparison is between fetuses and cancerous tumors. Back in the 1950s, the folks pioneering organ transplants noticed something unexplained about fetuses: they should be rejected by the mother’s body as biological foreign invaders, yet they usually are not.

    Turns out fetuses have a lot in common with cancerous tumors: in addition to wrecking the body of the mother and threatening her health and life, fetuses use the same T-cell suppression methods used by cancerous tumors to make the mother’s body think the fetus is nothing more than one of her organs in her body. Shut off this T-cell suppression mechanism (termed the “Fetal Immune Evasion Mechanisms“), and the pregnant woman’s body immediately rejects the fetus and miscarries. Obviously the main studies have been done on animals, but several drugs cause miscarriages in humans by shutting off the Fetal Immune Evasion Mechanism, notably some drugs used to treat cancer.

    So the fetus only sticks around in the mother’s body, wrecking her health and possibly killing her, because fetuses LIE to her body, making her body believe that the fetus is not a life-threatening parasite more akin to a tumor, by suppressing the pregnant woman’s immune system. This symptom of pregnancy is in fact a symptom of the parasitical invasion of the fetus and its attempts to survive against the “wishes” of the pregnant woman’s own body.

    So there is no “mutual understanding and respect” between the fetus and the woman’s body. Its a fight between mother and fetus for the fetus to survive to birth and for the mother to survive to birth.

  227. Dianne says

    Leo, the immunosuppression of pregnancy is one reason why pregnancy is and throughout history has been a leading cause of death among young women. In 2007, pregnancy was the 6th-7th leading cause of death in women age 15-34. (Source: http://www.cdc.gov/women/lcod/). Also to note, there is a type of cancer that is, essentially, a pregnancy gone wrong. It’s known as a molar pregnancy and is deadly.

    I disagree with you that Trent’s response to my bringing up the uncomfortable reality about spontaneous abortion suggested any interest in investigating the problem. He essentially dismissed the death of, according to him, 80% or so of babies as unimportant because they weren’t (according to him) homicides. At best he said he would consider supporting research into spontaneous abortion only after there was no more induced abortion. If we take Trent’s claimed world view seriously, this is the equivalent of saying that one should not investigate infant deaths until infanticide was completely eliminated. Which is just crazy: no reasonable person would ignore the suffering of millions of children just because it wasn’t the specific type of suffering he or she was concerned with.

    Indeed, in the real world, vaccines were invented, hygiene improved, safe c-sections developed, and many, many other methods of decreasing loss of young lives came into being without anyone saying, “Wait. Let’s not worry about (pertussis, measles, dysfunctional labor, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, malnutrition, etc) until there’s no more infanticide.”

    Again, I see no way to avoid the conclusion that Trent doesn’t believe a word of his supposed belief in the sacredness of fetal life either.

  228. Fiona Mackenzie says

    There is a discussion, above, about the low rate of zygotes developing into embryos, and of embryos developing into fetuses. This is something about which we need not worry ourselves.

    Every month, there are millions of tadpoles-seeking-egg; at most one will find it. Then the combined cell begins a long and dangerous obstacle course. The tad or the egg may be defective, or the tad may not have fully penetrated, and nothing develops. Or the zygote may be fine, but just float around and never attach itself to the uterine wall. Or it may attach in a place where it can’t grow into a fetus and may kill the woman, such as a fallopian tube. Or the hormonal environment may be, for a variety of reasons, inhospitable at the moment. Or they attach and are unable to develop for genetic reasons and are washed out at the end of the month. And so on. So you see there are masses of zygotes that don’t become fetuses for every one that does.

    That’s why these ignorant idiots of candidates who want to declare a fertilized egg to be a “person,” who claim that not only are abortions criminal, but failing to do everything possible to save the “life” of any zygote is to be a crime, are ludicrous. Also, they apparently missed sex ed in the 8th grade.

  229. Fiona Mackenzie says

    There is a discussion, above, about the low rate of zygotes developing into embryos, and of embryos developing into fetuses. This is something about which we need not worry ourselves.

    Every month, there are millions of tadpoles-seeking-egg; at most one will find it. Then the combined cell begins a long and dangerous obstacle course. The tad or the egg may be defective, or the tad may not have fully penetrated, and nothing develops. Or the zygote may be fine, but just float around and never attach itself to the uterine wall. Or it may attach in a place where it can’t grow into a fetus and may kill the woman, such as a fallopian tube. Or the hormonal environment may be, for a variety of reasons, inhospitable at the moment. Or they attach and are unable to develop for genetic reasons and are washed out at the end of the month. And so on. So you see there are masses of zygotes that don’t become fetuses for every one that does.

    That’s why these ignorant idiots of candidates who want to declare a fertilized egg to be a “person,” who claim that not only are abortions criminal, but failing to do everything possible to save the “life” of any zygote is to be a crime, are ludicrous. Also, they apparently missed sex ed in the 8th grade.

    You do know, that these lying jerks’ concern for stages of development of an unborn fertilized egg is phony as a three dollar bill, right? It’s just that they can’t arouse voters into a passionate following by explaining the state of the economy–especially since the crash was the brain child of the far right. Too bad it didn’t miscarry.

  230. says

    As for the conflict between the interest of the embryo/fetus and the woman, I recommend PZ Myers’ post on Why do women menstruate?, which sheds light on one tiny part of this conflict, namely that the mechanism that makes human women build up that thick lining every month is exactly a defense mechanism against those greedy suckers.
    Conceiving and carrying a baby to term is always more detrimental for a woman’s health than not doing so.
    Still women decide to get pregnant or to keep an unplanned pregnancy and have the kids because they decide for themselves that the result is worth the risk.
    That can change rapidly, like in the case of Mrs. Santorum, where the result, a dead baby anyway, clearly wasn’t worth the risk of dying. That can change no matter how much you wanted to host the fetus, how much you wanted to have the baby.
    And the cost-benefit ratio is different for every woman, for every pregnancy. That’s why you need to leave that decission for the woman who has to take the risk, nobody else.

  231. Patricia Kayden says

    Gingrich and his wife #3 is also a hypocrite. They’re Catholic but have no children together. Doesn’t the Catholic Church prohibit the use of birth control? How come Calista has no children after being in a longterm sexual relationship (before and after marriage)?

    Keep your religious views out of your politics. And stop forcing religious beliefs on society as a whole.

  232. Fiona Mackenzie says

    Whether one is religious or not, one will find that the loss of separation of church and state will not only hurt everyone in the society, in one way or another, but will end any semblance between the U.S. and a free country.

  233. Fiona Mackenzie says

    Christians think it is a debate they will “win,” and be able to impose their values on everyone, but the fact is that in ending separation of church and state, no one will win. Everyone will lose.

    All you need to do is look at ANY period in history in ANY country where religion and government were mixed, and you will realize there is only one way that has ever ended, and only one way it ever will: with civil war, persecution, death, and hardship.

  234. kat says

    If you’re going to pretend to be a feminist, at least get your facts straight. Before people flame, I’m a Harvard student minoring in Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality. I’m unmarried but sexually active and use an IUD, which is the most effective form of birth control.

    Fact check:

    Partial birth abortion is performed only after ***16 weeks*** and constitutes a FRACTION of a percentage of all abortions in the United States—NOT “three or four weeks” and “all abortions”. It involves killing a viable fetus by vacuuming out its brain through an incision in the skull, after the rest of the body has been pulled out through the cervix (that is to say, after it has been partially delivered). Yes, the fetus is viable. Babies have been delivered at 14 weeks and survived into childhood; PBA takes place at 16+ weeks.

    Also, being morally opposed to abortion does not make a person a monster. I believe abortion is unethical. I do NOT believe it should be made illegal: Instead, I advocate government-mandated provision of resources such as free birth control; mandated, comprehensive sex education for ALL students; universal health care and free or subsidized childcare; an improved adoption system, including one that allows gay couples to adopt; and tax breaks for low income women and families.

    Also, forbidding men from opposing abortion is like saying, “You can’t be against war because you’re not a soldier!” or “You can’t support taxing corporations because you’re not a corporation!” It’s a disturbingly ignorant way of ignoring unwanted opinions.

    Finally, the issue is not that women NEED a way to terminate pregnancy; the issue is that most women lack the resources or even CHOOSE not to avoid getting pregnant in the first place. 77% of women who get abortions were not consistently using birth control when they got pregnant. Most women who did use birth control used only the pill or condoms, which have failure rates of up to 10%, rather than more effective (and cheaper in the long term) forms, such as an IUD or a shot, or a combination of forms, such as condoms + pills + withdrawal (which is quite effective when used consistently). If women DID have the resources they needed to prevent pregnancy in the first place, ABORTION WOULD NOT BE SOUGHT AFTER except in medical emergencies.

    STOP treating the SYMPTOM. Take one minute and think about how much better the world would be if instead of fighting over “abortion rights”, women had everything they needed to NEVER NEED AN ABORTION IN THE FIRST PLACE. THOSE are the women’s rights I want to promote.

  235. docwatson says

    Kat,

    Latest scientific studies support that IUD’s act in two ways to prevent pregnancy. They lessen the probability that the sperm will merge with the egg (conception), but they also lessen the probability that the fertilized egg, if conception occurs, will be able to implant in the uterus. So basically you never know if you’ve induced a very early abortion, or prevented conception. So the fact that you rely on an IUD doesn’t insure you are preventing conception.

    The vast majority of abortions are done because the woman doesn’t feel it’s the “right time” for her to become pregnant, not because of some medical issue. A woman always has the right to control her OWN body, but when another human is involved, his or her right to life needs to be considered. Death of another human vs personal happiness is not a justifiable “choice” in my book. The mother’s continued existence is.

  236. kat says

    docwatson,

    I’m aware of how IUDs function. While I understand that many people feel strongly about that, I don’t believe that using an IUD is equivalent to aborting a fetus. I do not hold this belief merely because of the embryo’s state of development; I firmly believe that it is difficult if not impossible to draw the line of when personhood begins, which is why I believe abortion is unethical in the first place. If you’re willing to dialogue, I’ll explain my reasoning here:

    IUDs work by thinning the uterine lining, so that a fertilized egg cannot implant and cause pregnancy. When the uterine lining thins, it is evidenced by women getting their periods late, light and/or only briefly, or not at all. These same symptoms can be caused by illness (even minor illness such as a cold or flu), malnutrition, dieting, heavy exercise (particularly long-distance running), use of certain prescription drugs, and stress. This happens because women’s bodies evolved to interpret these states and activities as signs that pregnancy would be unhealthy or potentially dangerous: Illness, malnourishment, and hunger can all be dangerously exacerbated by pregnancy and in turn harm the baby, at the time these mechanisms evolved, constant exercise both depleted the woman of important nutrients and signaled that a woman was on the move or in danger, in which case becoming pregnant could cause her death. Notably, these activities do not usually prevent ovulation; they only affect the uterine lining.

    This means that if having sex while using an IUD amounts to inducing abortion, then having sex while ill, dieting, malnourished, stressed, using certain prescription drugs, or exercising more than a certain amount also necessarily amounts to inducing abortion, since both allow that an egg may become fertilized but ensure that it will most likely not be able to implant. The fact that dieting etc. is not intended to harm the embryo is irrelevant: Women who drink or smoke while pregnant do not do so with the intent of harming their baby, but it is harmful and unethical nonetheless because of the harm it causes. Therefore, only two logical arguments may be made:

    1. IUD use amounts to electively inducing abortions and is unethical; therefore it is also unethical to have sex while ill, dieting, malnourished, stressed, on certain prescription drugs, or exercising heavily, because this also amounts to electively inducing abortions. In addition, we must seriously question whether it is ethical for women to have sex if there is the possibility that their uterus or its lining are defective and might not allow a fertilized egg to implant, since proceeding with sex, even when pregnancy is desired, might cause a large number of abortions. We may even question the ethicality of having sex at all, since about half of all fertilized eggs fail to implant even when the uterus and its lining are ideal: In order to avoid causing unnecessary abortions, the most ethical procedure might be for all men and women to abstain from sex entirely unless sterile and only create children through in vitro fertilization (ensuring somehow that all fertilized eggs will implant).

    or,

    2. IUD use is not unethical and does not amount to abortion because the loss of embryos resulting from IUD use also results from a number of healthful activities and physical and emotional states, and even naturally without any interference. The natural thinning of the uterus in response to the abovementioned factors is a form of birth control hardwired into the human DNA by evolution, and using an IUD to temporarily induce this naturally occurring state is no different than using prescription drugs to temporarily induce desirable states such as sleep, concentration, or healthy mood (as with antidepressants or antianxiety medications). The loss of embryos through IUD use is no more tragic or reprehensible than the naturally occurring loss of half of all fertilized eggs resulting from natural, unprotected sex, or of the loss of embryos in a woman whose uterus or uterine lining is not able to support pregnancy.

    I find argument 1 to be absolutely untenable and argument 2 to be reasonable. I cannot find any additional arguments that maintain integrity of reason and logic.

    For example, one could argue that using an IUD is different ethically from exercise because exercise is intended to promote health while an IUD is directly intended to prevent pregnancy, but there are several flaws with that argument. For one, exercise is often recreational rather than healthful; no small number of competitive athletes are forced to retire early because of the physical damage they sustain as a result of their exercise; and so, as with an IUD, embryos are prevented from implanting in the interest of recreation. For another, some women elect to use IUDs (rather than, say, the pill, which prevents ovulation rather than implantation) because they are approved to treat heavy or painful periods, and so the IUD is intended to promote health. Etc.

    If you DO have an argument that I have not addressed as to why IUD use is unethical, I am interested to hear and consider it. If your views have not changed, I understand. If they have, I would be quite eager for you to let me know. Either way, you get a cookie for reading this much.

    Cheers!
    Kat

  237. Julie says

    ” Trust doctors, and trust women, to make the choice only when necessary.” Yeah, sure. A more ridiculous statement on this topic does not exist. The primary cause of abortion is failure to use birth control. Using abortion as a form of birth control is utterly unnecessary.

  238. says

    Yes, Julie, rape victims aren’t competent to decide what to do with the product of rape. If the decision is made, not by the doctor or the mother, then WHO makes it? You? Or a U.S. Senator (running for pres on a personal-freedom-for-a-few ticket) who says that in the interest of efficiency (Wha?), NO woman should be allowed an abortion. Some will die, yes, but it’s so cost-effective. Or a guy with no problems, cases of good wine delivered regularly as a gift, and a preference for boys who have the merit that they never get pregnant? [I particularly like the case of the priest who got legal custody of a 10-year-old incest victim so nobody could allow her to have an abortion. She died.]

    But the real bottom line on people’s decision to have or not have this procedure performed is–listen carefully–it is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. Not your business to decide; not your business to decide who should decide; not your business to attack and humiliate a person who has gone through enough already. So go home and make your own pregnancy decisions, and leave the rest alone.

  239. says

    Under the proposed legislation, by the way, the events with Santorum’s wife would have put her on trial for manslaughter. The fetus couldn’t survive; she was going to die; and under the proposed legislation, her choice not to take every possible heroic measure to assure her own death [including NOT allowing even a natural abortion to occur without trying everything possible to stop it] would have resulted in charges of manslaughter and a trial.

  240. kat says

    fionamackenzie,

    I 100% agree with you in the case of medical necessity. I must, however, point out a few flaws in your arguments:

    1. Rape and incest combined for only 1% of abortions in the United States, while medical necessity accounts for only 6%. So however compelling your arguments for abortion in those cases may be, they cannot be extended to elective abortion as a whole, since 93% of all abortions are not motivated by the reasons you have cited.

    2. I believe Julie’s point was that doctors and women will choose abortion even when it is NOT necessary, not that (as you seem to think she meant) doctors and women do not have the capacity to decide when it is necessary or unnecessary. Current data inarguably show that the overwhelming majority of abortions are not performed out of necessity, but simply because the pregnant woman does not wish to continue the pregnancy. More than three-quarters of such pregnancies result from, as Julie said, the failure of women to use birth control.

    3. I wish the issue of abortion were actually as simplistic as you make it out to be: that it came down to a woman’s right to do what she wants with her own body, a decision which effects no one but her. But the reason there is any debate at all is that elective abortion necessarily involves, by medical definition, killing a human being. Whether or not that human being is also a human person, and at what point during pregnancy it becomes a human person, is hotly contested.

    It is a medical fact that merely being moved from the uterus to outside the woman’s body does not alter a baby in any discernible way, and since it has been established that a baby is a human person that it is not acceptable to kill, it follows that the baby becomes a person at some point during pregnancy (and not at birth). Were scientists able to discover exactly this point and declare, without a doubt, that before said point the baby were not a person and therefore it were acceptable to kill it, and that after said point the baby were a person and therefore it were unacceptable to kill it, abortions before that point be without a doubt ethically permissible and abortions after that point ethically forbidden (except for medical necessity).

    The problem is that no such point has been discovered, and as such, elective abortion at any point during pregnancy may or may not involve the willful and unnecessary killing of a human person. Until such a point is discovered, elective abortion at any stage cannot be viewed as anything but gambling with human life, since there is the possibility of killing a person. Therefore, just like other actions which, deliberately or not, kill persons—such as murder, drunk driving, war, HIV transmission, unsafe medical practices, and so on—abortion is subject to legal regulation and disapproval by those who believe it is harmful and a violation of human rights.

    Therefore, not only do individuals have a right to disapprove of elective abortion and express their disapproval openly: They also have a right to disapprove of abortion in the (rare) case of rape or incest, since that too potentially involves killing a person and is therefore also potentially ethically reprehensible, whatever the circumstances of that person’s conception.

    Though I believe that elective abortion is unethical, I do not believe that all abortion should be made illegal. I view the high incidence of elective (medically unnecessary and not in the case of rape) abortions as a symptom of a larger problem: Women (and men) lack comprehensive sex education, access to affordable and reliable birth control, an efficient and inclusive adoption system, childcare, financial aid, health care, and, most of all, respect as sexual beings. Were it not for the shame and stigma associated with unplanned pregnancy and rape, including pressure and blame from parents and partners, studies have shown, a significant number of women would not seek abortions. I believe a woman who feels she is forced to abort a pregnancy she would rather keep due to pressure from loved ones, stigma from society, or financial hardship is just as much a victim as, if not more than, a woman prevented from terminating a pregnancy she does not want. The real “solution” to the problem of abortion is to prevent unplanned pregnancy in the first place and give women who do become pregnant the respect and support they deserve. Regardless of the law, I believe that were such wrongs righted, the incidence of abortion would decrease dramatically.

    fionamackenzie, if you object to any of my points, I would very much like to hear why.

  241. Christine says

    The people here who are saying that a miscarriage being sped up medically and an abortion are the same thing are stupid. I am sorry, but they are 2 completely different things; and to say they are the same is showing your stupidity. That’s like saying being sick and vomiting is the same thing as sticking your finger down your throat to make yourself vomit means that you are sick. Dumb people… just dumb. And yes, I am a woman, and I am also an RN.

  242. Colorado Springs says

    To Jason Thibeault: I would have liked to have posted a link to your article, but you used unnecessary expressions that cannot be used in polite society, and so I cannot recommend it to others. To bad – you made some excellent points. I suggest you write here for public consumption in the same way you would if you were telling the story to your Grandmother. That way, more people will be able to recommend your articles, thus driving up traffic. Thanks.

  243. Chiroptera says

    Colorado Springs, #293: I suggest you write here for public consumption in the same way you would if you were telling the story to your Grandmother. That way, more people will be able to recommend your articles, thus driving up traffic. Thanks.

    Jason, I just read this article. Me, I would have had no problems suggesting this to my grandmother. She may not have liked the language, but I’d probably suggest that she grow fucking up.

    Sincerely,

    A very bad Chiroptera

  244. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    Dear Colorado Springs,

    What expressions were “unnecessary”? Be specific, so Jason knows how to rewrite his post so your grandmother won’t be offended. And after that, you might pull the stick out of your ass, it must be very uncomfortable.

  245. kat says

    Dear Chiroptera and ‘Tis Himself, OM:

    The fact is, statements like “shut the fuck up and stay the fuck out” do not belong in any rational or well thought-out argument, and both are offensive to anyone who happens to have a dissenting view—or in the case of men, any view at all—and dash any credibility Thibeault might have had to bits. If you want to sway someone’s opinion in your favor, you should not lash out in rage at them. If Thibeault cared about convincing anyone who didn’t already agree with him, he wouldn’t have included that. Thus, no, this isn’t the kind of article anyone should show to a family member in the hopes of changing their views.

  246. Chiroptera says

    kat, #296:

    There is a time and place for everything.

    There is a time to engage dissenting views with rational or well thought out arguments in order to try to change their views.

    And there is a time to call a fuckwad a fuckwad.

  247. kat says

    Chiroptera,

    I totally agree that Rick Santorum is a fuckwad, and deserves the definition Savage has provided for his name.

    However, since you seem totally uninterested in trying to garner any support for the pro-choice ideology, which I assume you promote, and since Thibeault seems totally unconcerned with alienating those who might be on the fence about abortion, I can only infer that the entire point of this article was for people who ALREADY think Santorum is a fuckwad to hear he’s a fuckwad from someone else, and make them feel better about the fact that they aren’t doing anything to change it.

    Because like you said, this article isn’t going to change anyone’s mind.

    If there’s any time to call a fuckwad a fuckwad, I think it’s when people consider factually incorrect, rageful, goalless rhetoric—of ANY opinion—to be praiseworthy, and demean those who value legitimate articles and forward progress.

  248. Sheesh says

    those who might be on the fence about abortion

    Do these people really exist? Anyone willing to cite one? (You know, that’s actually unswayed, rather than claiming to be aloof to troll the subject.)

  249. Fiona Mackenzie says

    Now that we’ve kicked around all the variations and fillips on the matter, let’s agree that the REAL problem is that Americans, for some inexplicably self-destructive reason, are actually considering electing as PRESIDENT an a’hole who wants to delete Roe v. Wade from the law–with all that entails.

    For you who are too young to remember, what that entails is entire hospital units filled with young women who are septic, hemorrhaging, and all sorts of other sequelae of desperation, of whom many ultimately die a painful, awful death. In other words, they have been administered the death penalty for the biology which enabled them to get pregnant in an impossible situation, while the partner to the error goes back to his wife, or wherever.

    Daughters and wives of wealthy families like Santorum’s NEVER had a problem getting safe, illegal abortions, which is one reason it took so long and was so difficult to get help for the rest of us; it was, coldly, nothing to them. Meanwhile, just ONE hospital, in Los Angeles County, had a 32-bed ward for victims of illegal and self-administered abortion (and were unable to save many of them). When Roe v. Wade became law, they were able to simply close the unit.

    THAT is what it’s really about, not some squeamish male or infantile female who thinks abortion is yukky.

  250. kat says

    Fiona Mackenzie,

    I 100% agree with you that making abortion illegal would only hurt women. That is not the same as believing that abortion is ethical, or that access to abortion is a solution for the problems women face. I explain why in this comment: http://freethoughtblogs.com/lousycanuck/2011/06/19/santorums-wifes-abortion-was-different-you-see/#comment-46106

    And yes, there are people who are on the fence about abortion. I was for a very long time. Several of my male and female college friends count themselves in this group.

  251. Fiona Mackenzie says

    And let’s stop pretending this is about pleasing god. Throughout the bible, abortion is not just permitted, it is in at least three places PRESCRIBED and performed by priests. The important point is that the woman has no opinion at all, she being chattel; it is entirely the husband’s idea and choice (which might make it okay with people like Santorum).

    Of course, the woman frequently died (the process being designed to poison her, anyway), and of course there was no need to defend himself or to show that she had done anything to deserve it, but the important point as explained in Numbers 5:31 is, “Then shall the man be guiltless from iniquity, and this woman shall bear her iniquity.”

    By the way, the bible advocates “abortion” at any time, up to a month after delivery of the child–not, of course, with any consideration as to how the mother might feel about it.

    So if one is going to talk about abortion, I think a minimal level of integrity requires not pretending that you oppose it because big daddy doesn’t want you to do it.

    That alone should allow a more rational discussion.

  252. Fiona Mackenzie says

    The thing is, there’s no problem with being anti-abortion. The problem is when you start to force your purely arbitrary opinion on others.

  253. kat says

    Fiona,

    Completely agreed with you on that. Religious opposition to most “hot-button” issues is completely unfounded, and I’m glad you pointed that out because I wasn’t aware abortion was on the list. (I did know that according to the Koran abortion is allowed up to 120 days, but since the religious right is generally Catholic or Protestant Christian, I didn’t figure that was super-relevant.)

    That said, I’m opposed to abortion on ethical grounds. I don’t believe abortion should be illegal; I think it is a symptom of deeper problems, namely the factors that lead women to unplanned pregnancy in the first place (lack of legitimate education and access to reliable birth control, rape and sexual coercion, etc) and also the factors that make unplanned pregnancy such a painful situation (social stigma, the idea that parents and partners should be allowed to pressure women to abort, financial hardship, lack of childcare services and resources for young and single mothers, etc). I think that promoting abortion as a basic component of reproductive freedom, rather than advocating to change the factors that lead women to seek abortion, only perpetuates these problems and harms women.

    I also believe that since it is scientifically impossible to prove that a fetus at any stage in pregnancy (including the stages at which most women seek abortions) is not a person, choosing to kill a fetus for any reason other than medical necessity is knowingly risking the death of a blameless person, and therefore is morally equivalent not to murder but at least to driving drunk or exposing residential areas to highly toxic compounds.

  254. Fiona Mackenzie says

    “Unethical,” like “immoral,” simply means “I feel queasy about this and want to judge someone’s behavior, but I can’t find a rational basis.”

    The bottom line, really, is this:

    There are only two human drives that are of any consequence at all, survival and reproduction. They override all others: If that were not true, the species would have long since died out. Because pregnancies have always been risky, evolution has developed so that they happen easily and often, so the termination of any number of them does not affect the balance of the system. In fact, that safety factor for species survival is so effective that we now have a rapidly exhausting planet, dying under the weight of successful pregnancies.

    Life being, for the moment, relatively safe, we now have an excess of successful pregnancies. Rather than assuring survival of the species, we are well on our way to condemning it with our sheer numbers.

    If you believe, under the circumstances, that your pregnancy is valuable enough to you to preserve and produce a child, fine. But there is no absolute or abstract reason you should have any similar feeling or role as regards pregnancies in general.

    Strip away the superstition, and I think you will find that’s the bottom line.

  255. Aratina Cage says

    I would argue, too, that it is our right as individuals to go extinct if we want to. The whole idea that forced birth could be moral if there were a time when humans might be on the verge of extinction is as intrinsically wrong as rape.

  256. kat says

    Fiona and Aratina,

    Yes, I agree that humans have a right not to reproduce, and that unsustainable population growth has seriously harmed the planet.

    But that has absolutely nothing to do with abortion, since it is far easier, safer, and cheaper to prevent pregnancy in the first place.

    I’m a sexually active feminist currently obtaining a minor degree in Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality (English major). I’m a volunteer for my university’s upcoming week-long event devoted to sexual health, education, and awareness, an event that is distinctly sex-positive and feminist. I’m all for sexual freedom, including the freedom to have children or not have children as one wishes.

    The fact is, Fiona, you chose to IGNORE my rational basis for being opposed to abortion as a practice. In case I didn’t state it quite bluntly enough, here’s a for-dummies recap:

    A) Why promoting abortion as a form of birth control is harmful to women:
    1. 93% of abortions are for women who got pregnant unintentionally, not from rape, and do not need the abortion for medical reasons.
    2. 77% of these women were not consistently using birth control at the time. Those who were almost exclusively used either the pill or male condoms, both of which can have failure rates of up to 10%.
    3. This shows that the overwhelming majority of unintended pregnancies resulting in abortion could have been prevented by the consistent use of reliable birth control.
    4. Abortion is more expensive and poses greater health risks than birth control.
    5. Providing women with comprehensive education about and access to reliable contraception would reduce abortions in the US to less than 1/4 the current number AND would save women time, money, stress, stigma, and potential health problems.

    B) Why abortion is unethical:
    1. Killing a person is unethical except when it is that person’s decision to be killed (e.g. suicide) or when killing that person is intended to save the life of another person (e.g. self-defense).
    2. Various actions that may result in the killing of people without justifiable cause are unethical whether or not the killing is the intended result. e.g. Drunk driving is unethical because it frequently kills people without justifiable cause, even though killing people is not the intended result of the drunk driving.
    3. The field of science is not presently able to determine at which stage in pregnancy a fetus becomes a person.
    4. Because it is not sure that the fetus is a person, aborting it is not ethically equivalent to willfully killing a person without justifiable cause (e.g. murder).
    5. However, because it is not sure that the fetus is NOT a person, aborting it MAY result in killing a person without justifiable cause; therefore, abortion is ethically equivalent to any other action that may result in the same.
    6. Abortion in the case of medical necessity IS ethical because it meets the criteria for justifiable cause for killing a person, which is to save the life of another person.

    I honestly don’t believe that you refuse to accept the existence of ethics or morality. You apparently believe that denying women access to abortion is “wrong”; by the very definitions of the terms, that means that you believe it is unethical and/or immoral. As far as I see it, that comment demonstrates very clearly that YOU don’t have a rational way to refute my arguments or to ethically defend abortion, so you’re choosing to ignore the issue to save face.

    I believe wholeheartedly that merely claiming “x is immoral” is not an argument against it; but a logical demonstration as to WHY something is immoral is perfectly valid grounds for opposing it.

  257. Sheesh says

    And yes, there are people who are on the fence about abortion. I was for a very long time. Several of my male and female college friends count themselves in this group.

    You and your college friends are amazing to me. Tell me, did you start at one end of the spectrum and move to “on the fence” (somewhere in the middle I presume) from one side or the other, or were you dropped precisely on to the top of the fence from above with no preconceptions?

    Your entire ethical calculus breaks at “3. The field of science is not presently able to determine at which stage in pregnancy a fetus becomes a person.”

    This is not a question of science. Define person.

  258. Chiroptera says

    5. However, because it is not sure that the fetus is NOT a person, aborting it MAY result in killing a person without justifiable cause; therefore, abortion is ethically equivalent to any other action that may result in the same.

    Assuming that it makes sense that it might be possible to consider a fetus a person (and I don’t think it makes any sense at all), we still have plenty of justifiable cause to terminate it.

    It’s taking up residence inside of another person. Physically present, causing physical changes to the body. And, in some cases, causing emotional and social problems.

  259. Forbidden Snowflake says

    1. Killing a person is unethical except when it is that person’s decision to be killed (e.g. suicide) or when killing that person is intended to save the life of another person (e.g. self-defense).

    By this definition, killing a rapist in self-defense (assuming that said rapist doesn’t demonstrate a clear intent to kill the victim) is unethical. Is that your belief?

  260. kat says

    Sheesh,

    Actually, I was dropped onto the militant pro-choice side by my parents and have arrived at my current position after several years of independent reading (including mainly medical studies or links from pro-choice sources), conversation with women who have had abortions, and debates with friends of mine who are currently getting degrees in philosophy. As far as my friends go, I’m not entirely sure how they arrived at their current views on abortion, but they have expressed to me that they are, quote, “not sure how [they] feel”. I’m not sure why you want to believe that no one is unsure about abortion. The fact that there are multiple opinions on the issue demonstrates that it isn’t as black and white as you would like to make it out to be.

    As to the issue of personhood: For the purposes of this argument, I use “person” to mean any human being that is recognized as being entitled to human rights, such as the right not to be harmed by others and the right to live. I am assuming that we recognize human adults and children as such persons.

    With this assumption, Sheesh, my argument actually IS one of science. We recognize that a child that has been born is a person, entitled to not be harmed by other people. Medicine has definitively shown that the process of birth does not quantitatively or qualitatively change the human who is born; that is to say, there is no observable difference between a child in utero and the same child outside of the mother’s body except for its location. Thus, there is no logical or medical grounds for claiming that birth is what transforms a non-person, not entitled to human rights and thus permissible to kill or abort, into a person entitled to protection from harm. From this it can only follow that the baby or fetus must change from non-person to person at some point during pregnancy. Were scientists able to identify this point, abortion would be inarguably permissible before that point and unacceptable afterward (except in cases of medical necessity). But since science has thus far been unable to identify any point at which a fetus is definitively not a person—that is, since we cannot know for sure that a fetus at any stage is not a person—abortion necessarily entails the risk of killing a person without justifiable cause.

    Forbidden Snowflake,

    I would say that killing a rapist without any indication that the rapist intends to kill his victim is NOT killing in self-defense, because the killing is not necessary to defend oneself. However, I will concede that justifiable cause is more nuanced than I previously implied it to be, and I will accordingly adjust my claim.

    I derive the idea that it is generally unethical to kill a person from the right not to be killed, which is a right to which all human persons are entitled by nature (the origins of this are capitulated by a number of philosophers in more detail than I wish to include here; if you’re interested, go and look it up yourself). Basic human rights mainly derive from the idea of selfhood: One has certain rights over one’s own body, thoughts, personal information, and so on. The right not to be killed comes from the right over the body, as does the right not to be raped, beaten, harmed, touched, and so on.

    It is possible for a person to intentionally or unintentionally waive one’s rights. For example, someone may waive one’s right not to be touched intentionally by inviting someone to touch them, or unintentionally by choosing to enter an area which requires a patdown for security. Generally, one waives certain of one’s rights when one infringes on the rights of others. The most notable and obvious example of this that one waives one’s right not to be killed when one attempts to infringe on another person’s right not to be killed, i.e. if you attempt to kill someone, that person may kill you in order to protect their right not to be killed. Another way of saying this is that we may exercise our rights willfully so long as they do not infringe on the rights of others, and that when we do infringe on the rights of others, certain of our rights are waived, generally insofar as required to prevent or stop us from infringing on the rights of others.

    That is to say that killing a rapist in self-defense would be permissible, but only insofar as killing the rapist was required to protect one’s own right not to be raped. If someone were able to incapacitate the rapist without killing him, then killing him would no longer be an act of self-defense, and would not be ethical. As such, whether or not it is unethical to kill a rapist “in self-defense”, as you say, depends on the situation and on the victim’s ability to defend him/herself through other means. If a victim is incapable of defending him/herself from a rapist without killing the rapist, then killing the rapist is not unethical; if the victim is capable of defending him/herself without killing the rapist, then killing the rapist IS unethical. By capability, I include any relevant ability or lack thereof, meaning, for example, that if a victim were in theory physically capable of non-lethally incapacitating his or her assailant but lacked the mental ability to figure out how to do so, he or she still would not be able to do so, and killing in self-defense would not be reprehensible.

    Does that make more sense?

  261. kat says

    Jason,

    I don’t use the word fuckwad in conversation. I was using it in semi-sarcastic response to the poster above me.

    I assume that you haven’t read my other posts, which point out the glaring factual and logical flaws in your article. If you’re interested in defending your integrity or your choice to include these errors, you’re welcome to read my explanations here:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/lousycanuck/2011/06/19/santorums-wifes-abortion-was-different-you-see/#comment-46106

    I’m interested in hearing your responses.

  262. kat says

    And Jason, how do you justify forbidding men from opining on abortion when you yourself are male? Or is it only men who disagree with you?

  263. says

    You absolutely must define “person” if you’re going to have this discussion with me, kat. I agree with most everything you say about the legality of abortion, but I strongly disagree that people should consider it a moral issue where there is absolutely no evidence that a “person” is being harmed in an abortion but there is a significant amount of evidence that a REAL PERSON might be harmed if forced to carry that blastocyst to term.

    Additionally, I exhorted that non-doctors and non-women stay the hell out of the “making abortion illegal” argument because we don’t want non-doctor males making laws about a medical procedure for women if we want to be totally intellectually honest about this issue. Since you’ve obviously drawn your lines in the sand and are unwilling to consider that maybe I have a point, I suspect that’s why you were willing to mischaracterize what my last thought in the original post was all about. I am pleased that you rose to take that bait, because it was left there explicitly for people like yourself, of whom there have been many in the comments field of this specific post. All of whom fail in recognizing that abortion is an issue between a woman and her doctor, and NOBODY ELSE. Especially not the government, which was Santorum’s entire MO.

  264. Fiona Mackenzie says

    Thanks for spelling out your opinion for dummies, Kat. I do have a lot of trouble understanding your arguments. Unfortunately, you may have to dumb them down a little more, as I still don’t see what they have to do with me, or anyone else except you.

    I still hear you saying, “I, Kat, have concluded that having an abortion is no way to run a well-tempered life.” Good. That works for Kat.

    I’m just having trouble following the part where you say, “Therefore, all women must recognize that mine is the only valid view, and must make their own abortion choices consistent with my rules.” I’m still hung up in thinking their decisions are none of your damned business.

    Guess I’m just slow.

  265. Forbidden Snowflake says

    kat:

    Medicine has definitively shown that the process of birth does not quantitatively or qualitatively change the human who is born; that is to say, there is no observable difference between a child in utero and the same child outside of the mother’s body except for its location.

    No observable difference? You may have overstated your case a bit.
    Also, your self-defense clause suggests that the situation a person is in is crucial in determining what may be done to that person. So that “location” is not as unimportant as you would claim.

    Basic human rights mainly derive from the idea of selfhood: One has certain rights over one’s own body, thoughts, personal information, and so on. The right not to be killed comes from the right over the body, as does the right not to be raped, beaten, harmed, touched, and so on.

    Here’s the thing: I believe that the right not to be forced to give birth belongs with the right not to be raped, beaten, touched, etc.. You, apparently, don’t. Why?

    Thank you for the long explanation of how it’s not self-defense when more harm is done than necessary. To be super clear, my hypothetical involves a situation when:
    1. The rapist does not appear to be intended to kill the victim (i.e., you never know what he’s thinking, but he doesn’t demonstrate any intention)
    2. The only way to stop/prevent the rape would result in the rapist’s death (i.e., there is no less harmful alternative)

    And with all your words, you still haven’t clarified your position about this situation.

    I would say that killing a rapist without any indication that the rapist intends to kill his victim is NOT killing in self-defense, because the killing is not necessary to defend oneself.

    That is to say that killing a rapist in self-defense would be permissible, but only insofar as killing the rapist was required to protect one’s own right not to be raped.

    Would you kindly make up your mind?

  266. kat says

    Jason,

    I did define a person, in this post: http://freethoughtblogs.com/lousycanuck/2011/06/19/santorums-wifes-abortion-was-different-you-see/#comment-51412 ; and as stated, I believe that since there is as of now no way to prove that abortion does NOT involve killing a person, the possibility that killing a person is involved should at least be considered before all caution is thrown to the wind. There is also serious evidence that a woman can be harmed from abortions: You should check out Finland’s research on mortality rates for childbirth and abortion within that country, which provides legal abortions through hospitals rather than private clinics (as opposed to the majority of the US) and has more accurate medical records than the US. (That is not to imply that a woman is not allowed to take medical risk, merely that there is risk on both sides and that abortion is not invariably safer than childbirth.)

    And actually, Jason, I think everything you said about Santorum was spot-on. I just vehemently disagree that ANYONE’S opinion about an issue should be censored. I think you are perfectly within your rights to oppose the criminalization of abortion; I just think it’s a shame you use blatantly incorrect medical data to do so, and that you deny anyone else the right to disagree with you, myself, a woman, included.

    Fiona,

    Maybe you didn’t catch the part where I explicitly stated that women should NOT be prevented from seeking and obtaining abortions. I personally believe that abortion is unethical, and that ethical reasoning belongs in any legitimate discussion of the issue, but I have ABSOLUTELY NO INTEREST in interfering with other women’s decisions by making abortion illegal. Instead, I want to help women to not I DID say that, SEVERAL times. I guess you were too busy trying to make me look like a reactionary asshole who wants to restrict your freedom.

  267. kat says

    Snowflake,

    The article you cite does not actually demonstrate a single change in the baby that occurs at birth. The only things that might be considered a legitimate change is that the lungs filter air instead of amniotic fluid once the umbilical cord is cut (notably not when the baby is moved outside the mother’s body), but the lungs themselves are not changed; and that the liver begins to break down substances that are no longer broken down through the umbilical cord. The other “changes” actually occur during pregnancy, which the article says itself, if you read it:
    “In some cases, the baby passes stools (meconium) while still inside the uterus.”
    “The developing baby’s kidneys begin producing urine by 9 – 12 weeks into the pregnancy.”
    “The immune system begins to develop in the fetus, and continues to mature through the child’s first few years of life.”
    “Newborn skin will vary depending on the length of the pregnancy. Premature infants have thin, transparent skin. The skin of a full-term infant is thicker.”

    A person has a right to control their own body, and I agree with you that this right extends to include the right not to get pregnant or have children. However, as I stated, a person may waive certain rights through their actions, and I fail to see how knowingly risking pregnancy does not constitute waiver of the right not to get pregnant. Since abortion may constitute a violation of a person’s right not to be killed, when a woman waived her right not to get pregnant, it is at best risking a serious violation of human rights. In the case of rape, when a woman did not waive her right to become pregnant (i.e. she did not consent to sexual activity), the situation is less clear, and to be honest I am not sure where I stand. However, rape accounts for only 1% of abortions in the US, and so for the majority of cases the above argument will suffice.

    I apologize. I realize reading those statements again that my position in that situation was unclear. I meant to express that if the only way to protect one’s right not to be raped is to kill the rapist, that is not unethical, since the rapist willfully attempted to violate the woman’s rights and waived his right not to be harmed, and since it is the woman’s right to protect herself from violations of her rights by others.

    I recognize the intended parallel between the fetus and the rapist. The problem with that analogy is that in 99% of cases, the fetus is inside the woman’s body because of the woman’s willful actions, and not because of its own. The fetus, unlike the rapist, has done nothing of its own accord to harm the woman or her rights, and therefore has not waived any of its own rights; the woman, unlike the rape victim, HAS willfully chosen to risk becoming pregnant, and therefore has waived her right not to become pregnant.

  268. Aratina Cage says

    @Chiroptera

    Heh. Every one of us will, as individuals, go extinct.

    But I think I know what you meant.

    It was my poor wording. What I meant is that if humans were on the verge of extinction, a woman should still have the right to choose to abort any pregnancy she is having and thus allow or help enable the extinction of our species.

    The idea that a woman should lose her right to abort a pregnancy because doing so could lead to human extinction is as wrong as the idea that torture should become ethical if it is the only way to stop a ticking time bomb about to go off in a major city.

  269. Aratina Cage says

    in 99% of cases, the fetus is inside the woman’s body because of the woman’s willful actions

    “You have no right to step away from that ledge! Once you walk up to it contemplating jumping, you have to jump no matter how far down the drop is or how scared you are or how dire the consequences might be.”

  270. Stacy says

    kat,

    As far as I am concerned, as long as you agree that abortion should remain legal and accessible, I consider us on the same side. If you want to fight to provide women with more information and access to birth control (thereby reducing the need for abortions), more power to you.

    Personally, I don’t worry about fetal personhood, because I think it’s pretty clear that fetuses lack sentience and memory. And without sentience and memory, it goes without saying that their own lives have no subjective value to them. And given that the arrow of time only points one way, there’s no conscious individual there who could, from “beyond the veil”, regret the time s/he’s not going to have on Earth.*

    That being so, I absolutely value the woman’s bodily integrity, and her right to self-determination, over any putative “right to life” a fetus might have.

    * Of course, we have to pick a point at which to declare “personhood”. It is to some extent going to be an arbitrary point–as so many of our definitions are. I think the one we mostly use is just fine: when the fetus is no longer parasitically dependent on its mother. In other words, birth; with abortion remaining rare and mostly being done in cases of medical necessity after viability.

  271. Forbidden Snowflake says

    kat,

    However, as I stated, a person may waive certain rights through their actions, and I fail to see how knowingly risking pregnancy does not constitute waiver of the right not to get pregnant.

    What does it mean, “waiver of the right not to get pregnant”? If someone gets pregnant because her sex partner tampered with the contraceptives, are his actions A-OK because hey, she waived her right not to get pregnant by having sex with him?

    Yes, by having penis-in-vagina sex we take on some risk of becoming pregnant. We do not, however, lose our right to damage control in the form of abortion, and we do not sign away control of our bodies for the following year.

    In the case of rape, when a woman did not waive her right to become pregnant (i.e. she did not consent to sexual activity), the situation is less clear, and to be honest I am not sure where I stand.

    Self-defense is about defending your body from unwanted invasion. It does not deal with assigning blame, which you seem to be doing. If you have an unwanted fetus in you, the extraction of said fetus is either self-defense or not. It does not depend on whether the pregnancy was your “fault”.

    I meant to express that if the only way to protect one’s right not to be raped is to kill the rapist, that is not unethical, since the rapist willfully attempted to violate the woman’s rights and waived his right not to be harmed, and since it is the woman’s right to protect herself from violations of her rights by others.

    Again with the blame thing. Self-defense is the victim’s right by virtue of the fact that their body is under attack, and not a result of the attacker’s intentions.

    Your argument really has a whiff of the old “shoulda kept her legs shut” slut-shaming thing going on.

    I must also add that the whole “the fetus may or may not be a person; we just don’t know” line seems a bit absurd to me. It’s kind of like saying “what this guy did may or may not be legal; we just don’t know, and if we don’t prosecute him, we risk letting a criminal go”. No, “person”, much like “legal”, is a social construct, the value which we place upon entities and actions. It’s legal if we say it is. If you want to pose an actual scientific question regarding fetal personhood, tie personhood to some objective criterion, such as sentience.

  272. Sheesh says

    The fact that there are multiple opinions on the issue demonstrates that it isn’t as black and white as you would like to make it out to be.

    Well yes, that’s it’s not black and white or an issue with sides was kind of my point, but a little more subtle than that. The issue is black and gray, and you’re in the pro-abortion gray side. (Anyone willing to make exceptions for any reason, self-defense, incest, rape, etc. is on the gray end.) In fact, you explicitly said you’re anti-prohibition, so that puts you pretty far from the only certain position: absolute prohibition.

    The unscientific nature of your personhood assumption/”axiom” has been addressed above, so I see no way your ethical argument can get past your #3.

    But let’s also look at #5 some more, “because it is not sure that the fetus is NOT a person, aborting it MAY result in killing a person without justifiable cause; therefore, abortion is ethically equivalent to any other action that may result in the same” (my emphasis) — like driving to work. Driving to work may result in killing a person without justification. It’s pretty absurd to apply this agnosticism to any other ethical claim (e.g., say the exact frequency of your mobile phone causes pain or death to some sentient creature, but you don’t know that it’s out there being harmed by your calls, maybe it’s a couple light years away, yet is still able to ‘hear’ this transmission; using your phone is unethical now, because hey, science has found these guys!). If you examine this further, there’s probably hundreds of activities in our daily lives that have the potential to kill people (or may certainly kill future not-yet people) or unwittingly do harm others, yet we blithely ignore them. E.g., from conversations past, isn’t it unethical to not build moonbases and space-arks because that’s dooming not-yet persons to extinction?! (Vote Newt!) Absolute farce.

  273. Fiona Mackenzie says

    What the h*ll? This long, bizarre, convoluted, irrational dance, trying to tease out of reality anything that gives you a putative right to meddle in (or, apparently more important to you, JUDGE) another person’s pregnancy, is ‘way over the edge. There is no “right not to be forced to give birth” because there is no right to force someone to give birth in the first place. The admission that abortion is moral in some situations leaves you without a foothold to argue that it is forbidden in other situations you are happy to arbitrarily choose out and impose on half the human race–but that is of zero consequence because you have established absolutely no argument that would make your admission relevant.

    If you intend to continue going around the world feeling morally superior, it will be easier to maintain that stance if you don’t go around sharing it with people of reason.

    Meanwhile, as you have nothing to say, I have no more time to listen.

  274. kat says

    Stacy,

    I agree with almost everything you’ve said. I also recognize that whatever line we do draw is going to be arbitrary—I just strongly believe that the potential risk in choosing the wrong point means we should err on the side of caution. That said, I definitely understand and respect your opinion, and I honestly appreciate you responding with thought rather than hostility.

    Snowflake,

    No, a man tampering with contraceptives to increase the chance that his partner will get pregnant, knowing that she doesn’t want to get pregnant, is entirely reprehensible. But it’s the MAN, not the resulting baby, that is the one that has acted reprehensibly and is entitled to punishment.

    I disagree with your definition of “self-defense”. Healthy pregnancy does not cause harm to a woman any more than abortion does, and a fetus does not “attack” the woman whose body sustains it in any way that is comparable to an assailant she would have to defend herself from. I simply don’t believe that not wanting to be pregnant is grounds for killing a person.

    And Snowflake, I have absolutely no interest in “slut-shaming”. I think it’s a vile practice. Women have the right to have sex with whomever they want, as often as they want, provided that sex is consensual and doesn’t harm others. But pregnancy is a known consequence of sex, especially of unprotected sex (which accounts for a large majority of abortions in the US), and so any woman who engages in it knowingly and willingly subjects herself to the possibility of becoming pregnant and having a fetus inside her. I don’t believe in shaming individuals for their choices, but I do believe that individuals should be held accountable for the consequences of their actions. If you text and drive, knowingly risking a car accident, you’re responsible for compensating the people you affect, whether or not you “change your mind” about the accident. If you have sex, knowingly risking pregnancy, you’re responsible for not killing the child you create, whether or not you change your mind about creating it.

    Snowflake, sentience is just as subjective as the idea of personhood that you critique. An infant outside the uterus is no more sentient than the same infant before it was born; does that mean that the infant isn’t a person either? Why don’t YOU tell me at what stage in pregnancy it stops being okay to abort the infant—or, if you approve of abortion all the way up to birth, explain to me how the infant that has been born is different from the viable infant inside its mother.

    Sheesh,

    I agree with you that abortion is all about shades of gray. I got a different impression from your comments about people who are undecided.

    I’m not sure whether you misunderstood or are ignoring my point about personhood. You must recognize that in abortion it’s not that “there may be a human there, or there may be no human at all”, as with your space analogy; it’s also not a case of statistical improbability, where the randomized chance of killing someone is so slight that it can’t be considered a legitimate risk, as with your driving analogy. I chose drunk driving as an example because the chances of killing are quite high, and the perpetrators undertake it with full knowledge of the likelihood that they may kill someone. But you’re right: It isn’t a perfect analogy. Neither are yours. A fetus is a living human being with a heartbeat; it’s not as developed as the infant that we recognize as being entitled to protection, but it shares all the same genetic characteristics and, depending on the point in pregnancy, many, most, or all of the same physical characteristics, too. If the infant that has been born is a human person with a right not to be killed, then at some point during pregnancy the fetus must become a human person with a right not to be killed, and after that point it must necessarily become unethical to kill it. When would you draw this line, so that before that time it were perfectly acceptable to kill that fetus?

    Fiona,

    You have yet to present a single argument of logic; all you’ve done is judge me for voicing my opinion on a practice that I believe to be harmful. You’ve shown no reason why any of my arguments are actually invalid. I never argued for a right to force another person to give birth (i.e. preventing women from getting abortions by making it illegal); I said it’s unethical for someone to kill an infant in utero, which is a matter of personal choice (i.e. the choice to do or not to do what is ethical). It’s “moral” to punch someone in the face if they’re attacking you, but not if they aren’t going to harm you; are you really going to say that because it’s sometimes okay to punch people it’s ALWAYS okay to punch people? Because unless you agree with that, your statement about the morality of abortion is a lie. I’m going to interpret your flippant attitude, refusal to defend your own position (instead of attacking mine), and dramatic storming off as evidence that you aren’t capable or willing of participating in legitimate or respectful discussion, and that you aren’t interested in trying to change the opinions of those who disagree with you.

  275. says

    Wow, this is still going on?

    Kat

    But it’s the MAN, not the resulting baby, that is the one that has acted reprehensibly and is entitled to punishment.

    Please repeat after me:
    A zygote is not a baby.
    An embryo is not a baby.
    A fetus is not a baby.
    If you are pregnant yourself, you are perfectly welcome to call it your baby, I think everybody is fine with that, given the importance said zygote/embryo/fetus has for you.
    No babies are hurt through abortion, because abortion doesn’t deal with babies.

    I don’t believe in shaming individuals for their choices, but I do believe that individuals should be held accountable for the consequences of their actions. If you text and drive, knowingly risking a car accident, you’re responsible for compensating the people you affect, whether or not you “change your mind” about the accident. If you have sex, knowingly risking pregnancy, you’re responsible for not killing the child you create, whether or not you change your mind about creating it.

    So, let me see how you’re exactly not slut-shaming, no, no.
    In your example:
    Texting while driving = having sex
    Accident = pregnancy
    Compensation = giving birth to baby
    So, do you actually realize that your whole premise relies on equating something perfectly healthy and normal with a known dangerous and irresponsible action?
    In order to make your analogy work you have to equate sex with something bad. Also, the burden is only on one side of the equation. That’s not slut-shaming at all, no-no.

    If the infant that has been born is a human person with a right not to be killed, then at some point during pregnancy the fetus must become a human person with a right not to be killed, and after that point it must necessarily become unethical to kill it. When would you draw this line, so that before that time it were perfectly acceptable to kill that fetus?

    I reserve the right to access my body-functions and feed off my resources. It is a privilege granted that can be revoked.
    That’s why I find the whole “personhood debate” utterly meaningless. No person is entitled to even an ounce of my bloof, plasma or my kidney, not even if I am solely responsible for them needing it in the first place.
    If said fetus can be removed from my body without killing it, well, that would be some point to discuss.

    Healthy pregnancy does not cause harm to a woman any more than abortion does, and a fetus does not “attack” the woman whose body sustains it in any way that is comparable to an assailant she would have to defend herself from. I simply don’t believe that not wanting to be pregnant is grounds for killing a person.

    Absolutely not true.
    9 months of pregnancy change a body way more than a first-trimester abortion.
    Also “healthy pregnancy” is a misnomer. It usually means that the adverse effects aren’t considered bad enough or the adverse effects haven’t happened yet.
    Fact it: before the pregnancy is over you have no clue where on the scale from “mildly annoying with minimum damage” to “deadly” you are.

  276. Fiona Mackenzie says

    If it makes people feel better about the whole thing, you can read the bible on the subject. The biblical position is that “abortion” is fine at any time, up to one month after birth.

  277. Forbidden Snowflake says

    If you text and drive, knowingly risking a car accident, you’re responsible for compensating the people you affect, whether or not you “change your mind” about the accident.

    I would owe these people money, not a goddamned kidney. Bodily autonomy: kind of the thing we’re discussing here, remember?

    But it’s the MAN, not the resulting baby, that is the one that has acted reprehensibly and is entitled to punishment.

    It’s not supposed to be about punishment, it’s supposed to be about self-defense. It can’t be about both, and you’re being inconsistent by starting with one and ending with the other. The man is to blame, but the fetus is the intruder inside the woman’s body.

    And minimizing the difficulty of pregnancy isn’t going to help you, either. Even a healthy childbirth involves pushing a whole goddamned baby out through one’s vagina.

  278. chrystalhogan says

    Some of you made some really good points. Some of them were utterly ridiculous. I don’t even like Santorum and regardless of any hypocritical statements made by him, ALL Politicians do this– EVERY SINGLE ONE of them do, and it can be PROVEN. It IS a totally different thing for a woman to want a pregnancy and something go wrong and her and/or the baby be dying and then to have to abort the baby to save hers and/or the baby’s life. And to the TOTAL idiot that asked why she didn’t pray for a miracle….SHE DID YOU MORON!! The hopes of the Santorums, according to the book, not just your opinions, was that in having the baby and saving her life, that some miracle would come to save the baby. They knew the odds were that it would not survive, and she wouldn’t have either if they didn’t deliver, but it IS what she prayed for. When a woman goes and choses to have an abortion, that is NOT what she is wanting. She is NOT wanting the baby. However you want to spin it and the ridiculousness of trying to blame a man, it is OUR responsibility as a woman to NOT get pregnant if we do not want a baby. Yes the man does and should have responsibility, but so should WE. I am a woman, a mother AND I had an abortion when I was a teenager. It is the ONLY decision I have truly regretted, and even after 16 years, wish I could take back. My views now do NOT make me a hypocrite. They make me a human being with actual experience to back up my words. I am Pro-Life now, but I also believe that it is not up to me to judge someone else for ANY of their faults, that is between them & God. I will have to answer for mine, they for theirs and YOU for yours. I am SO sure that NONE of you have ever, ever said anything that was hypocritical in the slightest, right?? PLEASE!! If ANY of you don’t like being lied to and yet EVER told ANY lie at all, guess what?? YOU are a hypocrite. In reality, we ALL are, it’s just that some may be a little more obvious about it!

  279. says

    Chrystalhogan,

    You’re missing the major point here, which is that Santorum wants to deny other women the right to make the exact decision that his wife had to make regarding a pregnancy. His wife would have died under the rules that he wants to enforce for every woman except for his spouse.

    We might all be hypocrites of one stripe or another, but the sort of hypocrisy that would lead to the deaths of others, while creating exceptions for the people you love, should most definitely be spoken out and resisted against.

  280. Maggie says

    DEE…

    I’m married to an OB/GYN. Your statement “… has the doctor kill the baby, either before birth or after…” is incorrect. If my husband were to kill a baby after birth he would (rightly) be a murderer and in jail.

    Usually when one thinks they know it all, they actually know very little.

    I love life and babies. We have 2 beautiful children and had an abortion when we got pregnant at a very unhealthy time in our marriage. I was about 10 weeks. I’ve never had a moment of regret, on the contrary, I feel blessed that legal abortion was available for me – for my entire family really. Having a baby at that time in our lives would have put our marriage and our children’s happiness at too great of risk. A good mother (and father) does what is best for their LIVING children and I suspect God agrees. There is no mention of “I shall not abort” in the bible.

    I would never presume to tell another how to live and I wish to God you good Christians would do the same. You’ve (CINO’s) brought about more destruction than debt, taxes, natural disasters and terrorists. If you get pregnant DON’T HAVE AN ABORTION, but don’t you dare tell another woman or family they can’t get this legal procedure done. I assure you they’ve thought long and hard about it and don’t do it lightly. Don’t think for a moment I’m impressed that you choose to keep a child when its unwanted, unaffordable and will be an added burden to living children. Not only is it cruel and stupid, I personally believe it goes against God’s wishes – as I said earlier – if it were so important it would have been a Commandment.

    Its time you grow up and keep your hands off women that don’t belong to you. How you martyr yourself is up to you.

  281. says

    Agreed. (1) Karen Santorum’s abortion was necessary to save her life (which is not a condition of legal abortion, anyway). (2) Her husband is intent on closing the door to other women’s having the same opportunity to live, and of course to deprive them of choice.

    What people don’t often talk about is that the fetus was defective, and the infection was introduced by an attempt to correct the defect in utero. How’s that for submitting to god’s will?

  282. says

    However you want to spin it and the ridiculousness of trying to blame a man, it is OUR responsibility as a woman to NOT get pregnant if we do not want a baby.

    Please refrain from using “us” and “our” in that context.
    It’s embarrasing enough to share a species with you.
    In short: nonsense.

  283. Robholio says

    Not meaning to divert the topic, but why is it that almost every right-wing poster in this thread has to add a condescending insult within their reply? Can someone answer that for me? I see some clear, concise, and factual answers, which are responded to with things like “If in someone’s poor excuse for a mind” and “mental slobs,” etc. This reminds of children with inferiority complexes casting aspersions to make themselves feel superior. Weak sauce, folks.

    I wonder how many “pro-lifers” are also recreational hunters? “Food” for thought…

  284. kat says

    Robholio,

    You’re right about the insults—but most left-wing commenters have included insults that are just as hostile: “It’s embarrassing to share a species with you”, “pull the stick out of your ass”, “infantile”, “grow fucking up”, etc. Let’s be fair and acknowledge that people have been unnecessarily aggressive on both sides.

    As far as hunting goes, I think the basis for self-identification as “pro-life” is pro-HUMAN life, though I’ll agree with you that hypocrisy exists within that term for supporters of war and capital punishment.

    Gilliel,

    I sometimes use the terms fetus and baby interchangeably because some, though a minority, of abortions take place post-viability. Babies (fetuses) have been delivered and survived into childhood as early as 14 weeks; abortion is legal in many places up to 20 weeks. I’m aware that zygotes and embryos are not babies, but most elective abortions are of fetuses, not embryos and certainly not zygotes.

    I acknowledge wholeheartedly that sex is healthy and normal so long as it is consensual. But it is also, in most situations, a risky action: Any person who engages in sexual activity can into the risk of unwanted pregnancy, including ectopic pregnancy; contraction of HIV and other STIs; minor infections such as bacterial infections (quite common); negative emotions; and potential social consequences. I’m not passing a value judgment on sex because of these consequences. I think sex is awesome. But they ARE negative consequences, potentially life-threatening or lethal ones, that can arise from sex. That doesn’t make a person “bad” or imply that they should be ashamed. It’s just a fact. And the very characterization of pregnancy as “dangerous”, a “violation”, and “parasitic” that has been exhibited in so many of the comments on this page clarifies that pregnancy is a dangerous and risky behavior indeed. And I think it is BOTH partners’ responsibility to mitigate the risks of these consequences as much as possible and handle the outcome with compassion. The fact that the woman and not the man is the one who is pregnant is unfortunate and, yes, unfair, but it’s a fact of life, not a misogynist practice.

    I’m struggling to understand where that idea of total self-entitlement comes from, but I don’t expect that it’s one that can be explained. I do ask, though, why you wanted me to draw a line of personhood when you thought personhood was irrelevant in the first place.

    I also get tired of perpetual arguments that abortion is justified because pregnancy is a taxing process. Pregnancy is just as natural as sex and can be healthy. Yes, it has adverse side effects. So do other healthy and/or natural processes like exercise, dieting, sex, innumerable treatments for disease and injury, ageing, adolescent growth, and so on. And yes, I am aware that the side effects of pregnancy are more extreme than the side effects of the things I’ve mentioned; comparisons and analogies to sex, pregnancy, and abortion are imperfect because there is little in life that is actually analogous to those things. But dismissing pregnancy as a meritless disease is absurd. Studies have shown pregnant women actually have a considerably lower mortality rate than non-pregnant women. And Finland’s records of “safe, legal abortions” show that death results from abortion several times more often than it does for childbirth. I don’t believe that the health consequences of abortion make it wrong; I only point them out because they are frequently overlooked while health consequences of pregnancy are frequently played up. And while it’s true that you can’t know how damaging a pregnancy will be until it’s over, it’s also true that you can’t know how damaging an abortion will be until it’s over.

    Fiona,

    I state my feelings about the idea of bodily autonomy/entitlement above.

    The fetus is not an “intruder”. In order to intrude, one has to forcibly enter into a place. The fetus did not enter into the uterus, it was put there by the actions of the man and woman who conceived it. Just like if a person puts a live chicken egg inside their house and it hatches, the chick isn’t an intruder in their home.

    And you took my statement about the man being reprehensible out of context. That was in response to a hypothetical situation involving a man tampering with contraception, NOT in reference to consensual sex.

  285. Forbidden Snowflake says

    Pregnancy is just as natural as sex and can be healthy.

    As long as the pregnancy is consensual. That’s the whole point.

    The fetus is not an “intruder”. In order to intrude, one has to forcibly enter into a place. The fetus did not enter into the uterus, it was put there by the actions of the man and woman who conceived it.

    Word games. However the fetus ended up there, it doesn’t own the place, and if it isn’t wanted there, it can be evicted.

    Just like if a person puts a live chicken egg inside their house and it hatches, the chick isn’t an intruder in their home.

    Do you think that a person who puts a chicken egg inside their house shouldn’t be allowed to get the chicken out of there after the egg hatches?

  286. says

    kat

    Babies (fetuses) have been delivered and survived into childhood as early as 14 weeks;

    Citation very much needed.
    I call bullshit

    Studies have shown pregnant women actually have a considerably lower mortality rate than non-pregnant women.

    Lies.

    And Finland’s records of “safe, legal abortions” show that death results from abortion several times more often than it does for childbirth.

    More lies.

    Here’s the actualy conclusion of the study:

    The age-adjusted mortality rate for women during pregnancy and within 1 year of pregnancy termination was 36.7 deaths per 100,000 pregnancies, which was significantly lower than the mortality rate among nonpregnant women, 57.0 per 100,000 person-years (relative risk [RR] 0.64, 95% CI 0.58-0.71). The mortality was lower after a birth (28.2/100,000) than after a spontaneous (51.9/100,000) or induced abortion (83.1/100,000). We observed a significant increase in the risk of death from cerebrovascular diseases after delivery among women aged 15 to 24 years (RR 4.08, 95% CI 1.58-10.55).

    To interprete this as “abortion kills women” either means that you have the reading comprehension skills of a second grader, or you’re simply dishonest.
    BTW, that’s no unnecessary agression, it’s a fact.
    The study looks at a span of 14-21 months.
    Fun fact: The first year after a child is born, most women actually don’t engage in many high-risk activities. People even drive more carefully when they have a baby in their car, not to mention the fact that they travel a lot less.
    This doesn’t hold true for women whose pregnancy doesn’t end in a live baby.
    Actually, if they engaged in high-risk behaviour before a pregnancy, this could make a major difference.
    Secondly, of those pregnancies that were terminated, there were quite some that were terminated for the health of the mother.
    Which means that the abortion isn’t the cause of death but a failed attempt to save her life.
    You know, if Mrs. Santorum had died from the infection during the abortion, it would have been the pregnancy that killed her, not the abortion.
    It’s like saying that cardiac massage kills because more people die who get one than the general popolation.
    Thirdly, some women who had medically induced abortions due to severe health problems actually kill themselves. The fact that people tell them they are murderers might have something to do with it.
    Fourth, you’d need to eliminate many variables from such a study to conclude that it actually is healthy in terms of direct physiological effect to be pregnant and have a child and not due to changes in lifestyle.
    A woman whi dies in a workplace accident in a position she wouldn’t have been allowed to work if she were pregnant doesn’t die from not being pregnant, she dies from a fucking workplace accident.
    In fact, when talking about actual health effects, the study tells you that

    significant increase in the risk of death from cerebrovascular diseases after delivery(!) among women aged 15 to 24 years

    As for the personhood: It is irrelevant to the question of abortion. It may not be irrelevant in other terms (like financial protection)

  287. Chiroptera says

    kat, #341: Just like if a person puts a live chicken egg inside their house and it hatches, the chick isn’t an intruder in their home.

    That is one of the stupidest analogies I’ve ever come across. This isn’t an insult, by the way, it is a fact: this is one of the stupidest analogies I’ve ever come across.

    It certainly doesn’t demonstrate the point you want to get across. If a person puts a live chicken egg inside their house, they are perfectly free to take it back outside and smash it on the street. Hey, I changed my mind: it’s a great analogy!

    Ooh, and when that egg hatches, the person is perfectly free to kill the chicken and eat it for dinner. Oops! Looks like the analogy isn’t going where you want it to.

  288. Dianne says

    As far as hunting goes, I think the basis for self-identification as “pro-life” is pro-HUMAN life,

    Ok, how many of them are in favor of universal health care, social programs demonstrated to improve survival and quality of life for poor children, increasing funding for the NIH, and ending aggressive wars?

  289. says

    Dianne

    Ok, how many of them are in favor of universal health care, social programs demonstrated to improve survival and quality of life for poor children, increasing funding for the NIH, and ending aggressive wars?

    Well, you know the answer: Since they can’t punish women alongside for having a sex-life, even when it’s not a voluntary sex-life, they don’t bother.

  290. Dianne says

    most elective abortions are of fetuses, not embryos and certainly not zygotes.

    Not even close to correct. The majority of abortions, including medically indicated abortions occurred prior to the 9th week of pregnancy. In other words, in the embryonic period.

    As far as your claim that pregnancy reduces mortality, the paper you cited does not support that claim at all. I have a suspicion you may have read the abstract only, not the full paper. The bottom line is that women who are not healthy are not as likely to become pregnant and are also more likely to die. Women who become pregnant and are not healthy are more likely to have an abortion to improve their health. They are also more likely to die in the next year.

    I would also direct your attention to table III in the paper: examination of the causes of death. Women who completed pregnancy were more likely to die of pregnancy related causes, but less likely to die of other “natural causes”. Additionally, women who had a spontaneous or induced abortion were less likely to die of natural causes than women who were not pregnant, again supporting the thesis that healthy women are more likely to get pregnant and complete a pregnancy. Then there’s the last row: death due to violence. Women who underwent abortion were much more likely to die from violence than women who were not pregnant or who completed pregnancy. What conclusion would you draw from that? Perhaps that women whose partners are violent or whose situation is unstable are more likely to get abortions than women whose partners are not violent? Or perhaps that an unwanted pregnancy is one way that abusers try to control their victims?

  291. Chiroptera says

    Dianne, #345: Ok, how many of them are in favor of universal health care, social programs demonstrated to improve survival and quality of life for poor children, increasing funding for the NIH, and ending aggressive wars?

    Back in the late ’80s there was a pro-life group (I can’t remember whether they were national or local to the area where I was living at the time) that took “pro-life” as seriously as your comment suggested they should.

    They actually made up a score card that included, besides anti-abortion, obvious “pro-life” positions on topics like social welfare, education, and so forth.

    And the elected officials who scored the highest on their score card…wait for it… were liberal Democrats who were also pro-choice in regards to abortion.

    Funny, come to think of it, I haven’t heard anything about that group since.

  292. says

    The “leave a chicken egg in your house” argument is ridiculous. So if someone were to drop an egg off somewhere in your house, and it hatches and you suddenly have a chick wandering around your bedroom where you had no idea it existed in the first place, you’re — as others have hit upon — legally required thereafter to raise that chick until it’s a full-grown chicken? Look at the immorality of the intentionality in this argument. Do men intentionally impregnate people without their knowledge or consent here? Is it up to the homeowner to install anti-egg technologies on their doors, or else never invite people to visit their homes because that makes them sluts? What about in the case of a break-and-enter, someone breaks in, puts an egg somewhere, writes “you are never safe” on all the mirrors to destroy the homeowner’s psyche, does that mean the person has to carry that “egg” to chickenhood?

  293. Chiroptera says

    kat, #341: I also get tired of perpetual arguments that abortion is justified because pregnancy is a taxing process.

    I agree that this isn’t the best argument for abortion. The best argument is that abortion is justified because women choose to not be pregnant.

  294. says

    Dianne

    As far as your claim that pregnancy reduces mortality, the paper you cited does not support that claim at all. I have a suspicion you may have read the abstract only, not the full paper.

    Kat didn’t cite any paper. She just made a claim. I googled what was likely the source of the claim and posted the conclusion, because I can only access the abstract, too.
    And not even the abstract supports the claim in any way.
    I suppose that Kat only read about it on an anti-abortion side and went wild with it, never bothering to check it.

    Thanx for posting a bit more information about it. It#s nice to see that my suspicions were mostly accurate.

  295. Dianne says

    Kat didn’t cite any paper. She just made a claim. I googled what was likely the source of the claim and posted the conclusion, because I can only access the abstract, too.

    Ah. That explains why I couldn’t find her original reference. I thought I was just missing it somewhere. I can see where a naive reading of the paper, especially the abstract alone, might lead one to conclude that abortion led to higher death rates later on, but a closer examination suggests that the cause and effect are the opposite of what Kat was claiming.

  296. kat says

    Snowflake,

    I was attempting to do no more than demonstrate that your use of the word “intruder” was incorrect and misleading. It has nothing to do with whether or not the fetus has a right to be there. If a baby climbs inside a woman of its own volition and refuses to leave, then you’ll have an intruder.

    Giliell and Dianne,

    You’re right. I was mistaken about the timeline; the correct data is that babies have been born up to 14 weeks EARLY.

    I must point out that you called the lower mortality rate for pregnant women “lies” immediately before you acknowledge the study that demonstrated such a lowered mortality rate. Whether causation exists or not (and I’m aware that correlation does not and cannot imply causation), the difference in mortality rate IS a fact. I’ve read the Finland paper and I know that it does not in any way show that complications from abortions cause women to die more frequently than from childbirth. I pointed to increased mortality rate, nothing more. I hardly think claiming that I “went wild” is justified.

    I can’t find the original study I was referring to that found that complications from abortion caused more deaths than complications from childbirth. There was one, but since I can’t find it (I originally found it in high school; I’ve since switched computers and lost my old bookmarks), I’ll let that go. I have found a couple of studies of complications resulting from abortion, including increased risk of complications in future pregnancy, here: http://journals.lww.com/greenjournal/fulltext/1999/12000/induced_abortion_and_subsequent_pregnancy_duration.9.aspx and here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12544786.

    In regard to the egg analogy:

    Yes, I know it’s imperfect. So is every other analogy on the face of the earth. They’re analogies. Jesus. But even so, if it will placate you and/or give you more material for derision as you so obviously enjoy, here’s another one:

    You have a party at your house with some friends. Over the course of the night, a friend of a friend—someone you know of but don’t have a personal relationship with—passes out on your couch and is incapacitated. The next day, you want the person to leave. They’re alive but unconscious and unresponsive to pain. They’re too heavy for you to pick up and carry out the door. (For the sake of the hypothetical situation, let’s say there’s no one you can call to pick them up and move them for you.) The only way you can remove them from your house is to kill them, cut them into pieces, and carry the pieces out your door and onto the street. But you DO know that the person will eventually wake up and be able to leave. So I’m asking YOU: Do you chop the person into pieces to remove them from your house, or do you wait for them to wake up, and WHY?

    Dianne et al.,

    Yes. I know that stance is hypocritical. I personally am pro-legalization of abortion, anti-abortion as a matter of personal choice, pro-sex education, pro-free contraceptive access, anti-war, anti-capital punishment, pro-legalization of gay and single-parent adoption, vegetarian, anti-euthanasia (for animals and humans except for medical reason and with informed desire and consent for humans), pro-universal health care, pro-universal child care, pro-free elementary, secondary, and university education, pro-social welfare and reform, and so on. I’m also sexually active and a volunteer at Harvard in sexual health education programs and peer counseling, currently obtaining a minor degree in studies of women, gender, and sexuality. Please acknowledge that while many individuals who oppose abortion on ethical grounds are hypocrites, there are many others who are not.

    Jason,

    I’ve responded to your comments above. I’m also intrigued by the fact that despite addressing me multiple times in comments here you have not once acknowledged the medical inaccuracies you purport in your article.

  297. Maggie says

    Kat… funny and ridiculous analogy not merely “imperfect” – but good try. This ‘sleeping person’ doesn’t begin his stay on the couch as a zygote. Doesn’t impact the dweller with who knows what burdens. Doesn’t invade the body of the dweller changing everything in her life. A responsible apt. dweller knows herself and what she’s capable of sustaining at that moment in time. An irresponsible dweller divorces control of her life selfishly burdening all in her family and the ‘person’ itself’ bringing who knows what future unhappiness.

    A responsible woman PLANS her family, not the other way around.

  298. Chiroptera says

    kat, #355: The only way you can remove them from your house is to kill them, cut them into pieces, and carry the pieces out your door and onto the street.

    I can’t even remotely imagine this as a possible scenario.

    You see, here’s the thing. Analogies are very heavily used in discussions of morality and ethics. That is because morality and ethics are largely subjective in nature, and so one cannot do empirical research to determine what the true ethical or moral position should be in any objective sense. Analogies are important, therefore, in investigating situations on which there is disagreement by comparing them to similar situations where there might be some disagreement.

    However, abortion is a situation with which there are very, very few situations that are close enough to make a good comparison. Reasonable scenarios are all different in very important details leaving us to contrive some weird bizarre scerios where the weirdness becomes too much of a distraction to be useful.

    Personally, I think you should refrain from the analogies for a bit. They really aren’t helping your case.

  299. Chiroptera says

    Oops. I meant “…by comparing them to similar situations where there might be some agreement.”

  300. says

    kat: I’m unaware of any specific claims that I “purported” that are anything but differences of opinion (e.g. what counts as an abortion — is it just an action taken with the foreknowledge that the fetus will not survive, or does it actually also require that the woman not “want” the baby?), or that I haven’t already otherwise addressed ad nauseam throughout these comments. If you would kindly point me to something that you feel I haven’t already addressed, I can see if I can give it a full hearing. Or, alternately, I can point you to exactly where I already answered it. I don’t normally like doing people’s homework for them, but in your case, since you’re insisting, you get this treatment once.

    Additionally, I’m with Chiroptera. Analogies are used to try to find some common ground between a situation where morality is clear, and one where it is not. You can’t create an analogy between a blastocyst or fetus and a living, breathing, viable, self-actualized, adult human being no matter which way you slice it, so even though you were still failing with the egg analogy, it was actually far closer.

  301. Dianne says

    So, kat, how do you feel about mandatory bone marrow donation? People die for lack of appropriate transplant donor every day and bone marrow donation is far safer than pregnancy. Or how about kidney donation? It’s about as dangerous as an average pregnancy and definitely saves lives. Are you even voluntarily in the BM registry?

  302. says

    Kat:

    I’m also sexually active and a volunteer at Harvard in sexual health education programs and peer counseling, currently obtaining a minor degree in studies of women, gender, and sexuality.

    You aren’t the first dimbulb on whom an elite education has been wasted and you won’t be the last. And I’d love to hear your professors’ reactions to your shit-tastic analogy, which makes me want to do nothing so much as get out a cheap apron and some Hefty bags.

    Let me guess: “liberal” xtian? Perhaps “liberal” Catholic, pretending that “the church is her people, not her leaders” while you throw money into the collection plate of a rapist collective that continued to make castrati into the 20th century, except that the point was to get them not to sing?

    And I put “liberal” in sneer quotes because, even if your politics aren’t utterly wretched, this:

    If a baby climbs inside a woman of its own volition and refuses to leave, then you’ll have an intruder.

    is functionally the same as “Consent to sex equals consent to pregnancy and labor,” or, “You spread your legs; you pay the price.”

    Fuck you for lending rhetorical ammunition to people who want to reduce women to livestock. I sure as shit wouldn’t want to be “counseled” by you.

  303. Gen Fury, Still Desolate and Deviant #1 says

    What never fails to astound me about posters like Kat is how very sincerely they believe that carrying a child and having a child is an appropriate punishment for having sex, no matter how wanton and/or irresponsible and/or just plain down dirty FUN said sex was.

    So what if it IS a slutty slut McSlutgirl who never used any contraception and fucked every single dood she ever crossed paths with? Then she falls pregnant and she’s not ready to settle down and give up her partying to have a kid yet.

    Do you really think that having a child carried and/or born unto that kind of irresponsibility is a GOOD thing? For ANYONE, not the fucking least of which the CHILD?

    Think about the children, for lawd’s sakes! That’s just inhuman.

  304. says

    kat

    I must point out that you called the lower mortality rate for pregnant women “lies” immediately before you acknowledge the study that demonstrated such a lowered mortality rate. Whether causation exists or not (and I’m aware that correlation does not and cannot imply causation), the difference in mortality rate IS a fact.

    Oh hell, how fucking illiterate and dishonest are you?

    This is what you claimed:

    And Finland’s records of “safe, legal abortions” show that death results from abortion several times more often than it does for childbirth.

    I showed you that you lied and you’re doing it again

  305. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    I’m also sexually active and a volunteer at Harvard in sexual health education programs and peer counseling

    Somehow I doubt Kat’s counseling is a dispassionate offering of all options available to women.

  306. says

    Somehow I doubt Kat’s counseling is a dispassionate offering of all options available to women.

    Since kat managed to confuse 14 weeks early, aka 26 weeks of gestation (size: 15″, weight: 1.5 lbs) with 14 weeks of gestation (size: 3″, weight 1.5 ounces), nothing that would happen to anybody with a passing knowlege in human embryology and pregnancy, I also doubt that her counselling would involve lots of accurate facts.

  307. Phil says

    Life begins at 5 weeks when the brain, spinal cord and heart develop. Cell division begins at conception. No “soul” enters the body at any point in time (ever) and that is the stupidest thing to believe in. “Magic happens”? Please…that’s dumb.

    It seems that every single conservative republican I’ve ever met or read about missed a few years of science classes.

    Read a science book instead of the bible. One is filled with facts, the other is fictional and filled with stories, written and conceived in the mind of ancient men.

    If a woman is raped or an act of incest occurs, she should be able to freely choose what she wants to do.

    The government DOES NOT own your uterus. It’s yours…so is that brain in your head…so use it.

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