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Jun 20 2012

Why everyone should be pro-choice

Maggie Koerth-Baker has an amazingly heartfelt post up about her abortion. You ought to read it, especially if you’re one of those people who wants to take her choices away or make her feel even worse about what she’s got to do.

There is no universal good option. There is no universal bad option. But for each individual there is an option that is the least bad. Here is why I am pro-choice. If someone has to make a decision and the best they can hope for is the least-bad option, I don’t believe I have any business making that choice for them.

My abortion is not a good abortion. It’s just an abortion. And there’s no reason to treat the decision I have to make any differently than the decisions made by any other woman.

(Also, Maggie Koerth-Baker will be joining the Skepchicks at Convergence in two weeks. Be there to learn.)

162 comments

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  1. 1
    Millicent

    That was a great article. I am impressed with Koerth-Baker’s eloquence in the midst of such a difficult time.

  2. 2
    Randomfactor

    The whole point of hard-and-fast rules…of religion…is to eliminate the need for people to THINK about what they’re doing. When is that EVER a good idea? Easier, sure. But better?

  3. 3
    jonnyscaramanga

    What a great article. It relieved me of ignorance I didn’t know I had.

    @Randomfactor – Yes! That.

  4. 4
    busterggi

    She has my sympathy.

  5. 5
    tbtabby

    I doubt pro-lifers will read her story, but I’m sure a lot of them will glance at it before replying with some variation on “BABY-KILLING WHORE!”

  6. 6
    Stella

    I’m very impressed by this article. It can’t have been easy to write, but this is exactly the kind of discussion we need to have about abortion.

  7. 7
    Ingdigo Jump

    The local prolifer nutter who protets by my house has a sign (one fo many he’s like a Katamari ball of DERP) that reads ABORTION SKILLS. OBAMA TOO. DEMOCRATS TOO.

    Being prolife is so often not at all about actually giving a fuck about someone else, it’s about being a self righteous crusading wank without having to deal with that nasty issue of risk to self

  8. 8
    peicurmudgeon

    Pro-choice? Anything else does not have any consideration for the women involved. I noticed that virtually all commenters on the post were very supportive and many had their own stories to tell. One linked to this site http://www.shakesville.com/2009/03/breaking-silence-on-living-pro-lifers.html?m=1? Where a woman describes how emotionally devestating her adoption experience was in comparison to her abortion.

    Fucking thumb typing.

  9. 9
    Aquaria

    Meh.

    I would rather see an article with a woman who comes right out and says, look, this is not the time for me to have a child, so this is the decision I’m making, because it’s my goddamned life, no one else’s.

    It’s easy for squishy middle morons to sympathize with this woman, but still hate all those tramps having abortions when a pregnancy might interfere with their manicures.

    They don’t get that women shouldn’t have to explain themselves to get any abortion, that it’s nobody’s business why she is having one. It doesn’t even have to be any of her doctor’s business why she wants it.

    The choice is hers, and hers alone, and busybody sex-hating, woman-hating idiots can just go fuck themselves if they don’t like it.

  10. 10
    Aquaria

    The women getting abortions so they can keep getting manicures is one of the right-wing nutbag tropes about women having elective abortions that the squishy middle seems to buy into, not my own thoughts.

    Before someone gets the wrong idea about where I stand.

  11. 11
    anthonyrosa

    Aquaria: You’re right, of course. I agree with everything you said. Regardless, this is still a touching article, even if it would be good to have other articles with the subject matter you suggest.

    I know for a fact my mother had difficulties with pregnancy. She had miscarriages before me and after me. I saw the effects the one after me had on her, and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

    And then we have assholes trying to legislate miscarriages, and people who would think even this woman, Maggie, is wrong to do what she’s doing…. it’s disgusting. And it’s disgusting that we live in a time where she feels she has to write this article in the first place, since it’s nobody’s damn business why she’s making this choice!

  12. 12
    ButchKitties

    I like most of the article, but this stuck out at me.

    *I’ve known women who had abortions, women who gave a baby up for adoption, and women who raised an unintended baby on their own. None of those options are easy. None of those options are any less painful, traumatizing, or side-effect filled than any of the others. They only seem that way to people who haven’t experienced them.

    (emphasis mine)

    It was very easy for me to decide to abort. I’ve never wanted kids, and a pregnancy would be a disaster to my health. It wasn’t all that painful. I’ve had worse cramps from my regular period. It wasn’t traumatizing; it was a relief. Finding out that I was pregnant when I had been so careful about taking the pill on time every time was the traumatizing part. Abortion posed significantly fewer side-effects than any of my other options, which would have put me at risk for kidney failure, stroke, diabetes, permanent disability, or death. I picked it because it was, by an enormous margin, the least painful, traumatizing, and side-effect filled of my options.

    I’m getting really sick of this notion that all women must agonize and feel terrible over the decision to abort, and its corollary that if the decision is easy to make then it must be because the woman’s fluffy ladybrain is making her trivialize her own situation.

  13. 13
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Aquaria:

    The women getting abortions so they can keep getting manicures is one of the right-wing nutbag tropes about women having elective abortions that the squishy middle seems to buy into, not my own thoughts.

    You? Pro-choice? Well, I never!

    ;)

    ButchKitties:

    I’m getting really sick of this notion that all women must agonize and feel terrible over the decision to abort, and its corollary that if the decision is easy to make then it must be because the woman’s fluffy ladybrain is making her trivialize her own situation.

    This, a thousand times, this.

    I understand why choosing to/not to abort (as opposed to miscarrying) is an emotional decision for Maggie Koerth-Baker– I would be heartbroken if I lost a wanted pregnancy.

    However, abortion is birth control. A few months ago, I would have argued that if everyone viewed it the same way we view the Pill (since for the most part, abortion serves the same function), problem solved! But then everyone had to go full asshole and we’ve got to defend our right to access contraception, too.

    *sigh*

  14. 14
    Inaji

    ButchKitties:

    It was very easy for me to decide to abort. I’ve never wanted kids, and a pregnancy would be a disaster to my health. It wasn’t all that painful. I’ve had worse cramps from my regular period. It wasn’t traumatizing; it was a relief.

    Word. That’s what I felt about having an abortion, relief. I have never wanted kids, still don’t want them, never will want them. For me, being able to terminate was crucial to my mental and emotional health and it’s flat out no one else’s fucking business why I had an abortion or how I felt about it. FFS, why anyone would think it’s their business is appalling to me.

  15. 15
    truthspeaker

    Randomfactor
    20 June 2012 at 3:02 pm

    The whole point of hard-and-fast rules…of religion…is to eliminate the need for people to THINK about what they’re doing. When is that EVER a good idea?

    When you want people to obey your orders without question.

  16. 16
    jaynedoe

    I know Maggie, although not very well. My heart just aches for her and Baker.

  17. 17
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    It’s a good post but, as ButchKitties says, it could have done without the boilerplate sop to the fetus-huggers that abortion is always a difficult decision, or the implication that it’s particularly dangerous.

    tbtabby, it looks like the BB mods have already deleted a few comments.

    Aquaria, there have been a few posts like that before in various places. Needless to say, the women who posted them were subject to horrendous harassment.

    A few years ago there was a post by a man whose wife had had an abortion. I don’t remember their particular circumstances, but I do remember how amazingly respectful everybody was to him. Had his wife blogged it herself, I doubt that’d have been the case.

  18. 18
    Woof

    In on offline discussion of this topic this morning, something struck me again… which I’ve known for decades but keep forgetting:

    It’s not about when life begins.
    It’s not about when it’s a baby.
    It’s not about any of that sort of thing.

    It’s about THAT WOMAN HAD SEX! SHE MUST BE PUNISHED WITH AN UNWANTED PREGNANCY!!!

    Fucktards.

  19. 19
    chrisv

    I wish everyone would read John Irving’s “The Cider House Rules”. It put everything in context for me.

  20. 20
    Ingdigo Jump

    @Chrisv

    There’s a movie with Spiderman too!

  21. 21
    Stacy

    Being prolife is so often not at all about actually giving a fuck about someone else, it’s about being a self righteous crusading wank

    True. Years ago I did clinic defense when the Randall Terry douchecanoes came to Los Angeles.

    They were known for carrying signs of embryos that resemble babies, so I carried this picture (trigger warning):

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-X7Whh7a9bAg/T0qr8-V-03I/AAAAAAAAACQ/6tmShJyPZy8/s1600/tumblr_lw9obxZFRE1r0gbnl.jpg

    I showed it to one of Terry’s minions. His only response: “Is that what yours looked like?”

  22. 22
    interrobang

    Here’s my answer to that Shakesville post, the Sadly, No! Shorter™ version of which is “I wouldn’t have any problem at all with being an adoptee if god-botherers didn’t have a thing about snatching babies, and if other people weren’t such assholes about the topic of adoption generally.”

    Honestly, given how much forced-birther rhetoric is just entrenched in the discourse, you’d think people would be, um, more forgiving about adoption, but instead it’s just “you’re factory seconds,” “adopting a kid is settling,” “of course your parents don’t love you as much as they love your sibling; they’re their natural child,” “you’re adopted, you have no parents,” “Mom! He said I was adopted” and on and on and on. Have a smelly dead porcupine with freshly-sharpened quills, douchecanoes. Grrr…

  23. 23
    spamamander, internet amphibian

    Chiming in on the “easy decision to abort”.

    I was 15 and in no way prepared to be a parent. I had been frightened away from getting the Pill by my then-boyfriend’s psycho mother who claimed she had someone watching the Planned Parenthood clinic, though I finally got the courage to go in. They generally council you to wait til your next period to start taking the Pill… that period never came. My mother was incredibly grateful I came to the decision on my own, she would have supported whatever I chose but it was clear she thought an abortion was the best outcome. In my mind I could have a: continued the pregnancy, endured all the shit that would have been thrown my way, married the guy, and had no future for me OR the baby, or b: continue the pregnancy, become increasingly depressed from the pressure, and kill myself, or c: have an abortion and move on with my life.

    Pretty easy decision, imo.

  24. 24
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    Count me in as one of those irrational tribalistic conservative-haters, because I also am sick of the sops to the closet misogynists who think that women should have to agonize or be given some arbitrary limit for “responsibility”.

    Fuck them. They’re not allies.

  25. 25
    Jacqueline Homan

    Here’s just a small excerpt from the 24-page Fact Sheet I prepared and distributed widely for the Unite Against the War on Women efforts:

    Since the passage of Roe v. Wade up until the recent Planned Parenthood clinic closings, 40 million women safely terminated unwanted pregnancies. During that same period, 21 million women died from pregnancy complications or during/shortly after giving birth. 400 million women have sustained debilitating permanent health problems, side effects, disabling childbirth injuries, and disfigurement which utterly destroyed their lives. A woman dies in childbirth every 90 seconds, according to WHO and Amnesty International. A trip to any old country cemetery will quickly verify the multitude of women’s premature deaths as casualties from men’s “right” to an orgasm at women’s expense. This is what male privilege costs women.

    According to obstetric specialist and colorectal surgeon Dr. Michelle Thornton from the UK (which has a much better maternal health outcome than the US), about 40% of all women who have given birth sustain pelvic organ damage that Kegel exercises could not prevent or cure, leaving them with permanent fecal and urinary incontinence — undermining their confidence, ruining their sex lives and destroying their marriages/relationships, and decimating their ability to function at most jobs. Thornton states that the problem is underreported because women are too ashamed and embarrassed to tell their spouses and partners, let alone their doctors. Even when the surgical repair of fistulas caused by tears, episiotomies, and obstructed labor is successful, the physical limitations on women and compromised organ tissue’s integrity remains permanent; costing women everything from being able to participate fully in society to resuming a normal healthy sex life to re-entering the workforce or continuing their educations.

    Maureen Treadwell of the Birth Trauma Association confirms this devastation and the unreported frequent occurrence of this “silent epidemic.” The trauma from the emotional and physical fallout left many women unable to contemplate another baby.

    Many women’s bodies don’t handle pregnancy and childbirth well. Not all women will suffer the worst results and side effects but there is no way to accurately predict which women will and which ones won’t.

    As to the claim that pregnancy and childbirth — particularly childbirth without adequate pain relief — is “natural to the female condition”; the natural course for appendicitis without unnatural man-made medical remedy is 30% chance of death from peritonitis. And if it’s “only natural” for all women to want to go through pregnancy and childbirth every year of their lives from puberty to menopause, then we don’t need any unnatural man-made laws to force women to go through it.

    Human beings do not have a “reproductive drive”, we have a sex drive. The human sex drive extends far beyond childbearing years because the primary function for the human sex drive is the emotional pair-bonding even when childbearing is not desired or possible. The human sex drive is also the strongest natural force second only to the natural drive to defend one’s own life.

    A marriage license will not prevent an unwanted and/or medically dangerous pregnancy and abstinence-only is a recipe for relationship failure in a nation with a 50% divorce rate.

    Forced pregnancy and childbirth is no more moral than any other form of forced organ donation. No “pro-life” laws exist anywhere that force men to suffer trauma, pain, disfigurement and risk of death from mandatory kidney donation surgery to save the life of another — even if the person in need of it is his own child who would otherwise die without it. No one has the right to the use of, or to coerce the use of, another’s body — in whole or in part — against their will.

    Consent to sex is not consent to pregnancy.

    Forcing women to get and remain pregnant against their will is a violation of human rights, period.

    The idea that fetal pain matters but the pain, trauma and disfigurement women are expected to suffer in childbirth as a mandatory punishment for having sex shows just how easily the UN Convention of Torture can be subverted when it’s women being targeted for sexual and reproductive torture.

    Denying women the human right to have control over what happens to our bodies by imposing a sexual double standard in denying us access to reliable contraception and abortion, and denying women adequate pain relief during childbirth without a scientifically valid reason (and there really isn’t any) while making sure Viagra and penis stents are legal, available, and covered by most insurance plans for any man that wants to have “recreational” sex — is state-sponsored discrimination, gender-specific torture and a crime against humanity.

    The legal language in Article 1 of the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment spells out the definition of torture. This was ratified by the US Senate in 1994. Torture is the intentional infliction of severe mental or physical pain or suffering by, or with the consent of, state authorities for a specific purpose. Methods of torture include rape, sexual assault, and forced childbirth.

    Without the right to control whether or not she gets pregnant or carries an unwanted pregnancy to term, a woman faces a potential life-threatening or health-compromising pregnancy every year from menarche to menopause — for 30 to 40 years of her life, unless a high risk pregnancy or sudden childbirth complication kills her before middle-age like unmitigated childbearing did to 1 in 5 women as recently as 1950; 22 years before the US Supreme Court ruling on Eisenstadt v. Baird (1972) which gave unmarried women the right to birth control access regardless of marital status.

    To deny women the right to prevent or terminate an unwanted or medically risky pregnancy is to consequently deny her all basic human rights. It’s not a separate issue. It’s not a “special interest” issue. It’s not a frivolous issue. Not if one is a woman. It affects everything in her life. The right to determine what happens to your own body, the fundamental human rights of bodily autonomy and bodily integrity, are the sine qua non of ALL rights — including the right to “freedom of religion.”

  26. 26
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    PZ:
    Thanks for the link.
    Her story was tragic, yet remarkably refreshing (in that I haven’t read many personal stories about abortion that aren’t “abortion is eeeeeeevil”).

    As many as 50% of conceptions end in miscarriage.

    This I did not know. Damn.

  27. 27
    samoanbiscuit

    That was amazing and heartbreaking. I hope she will be able to have the child she wants in future. Biology can indeed be horribly horrible. Thank goodness for modern procedures that can safeguard her from the complications of miscarriage. To think that the fundies would rather she put her uterus on the altar of their ignorance rather than safeguard her life.

  28. 28
    Aquaria

    Stacu:

    Waht a fucking asshole. Some people, I swear…

    Anyway, I know that picture well. I wrote a post about Gerri Santoro long ago on a blog I used to have. I can’t find the post anymore, but I do have a link to what her daughter, joanie, had to say about what I wrote, when I asked people to consider what that death must have been like for the people who loved her and cared about her.

    The daughter’s response still makes me cry, seven years after I first read it:

    You are the first to talk about how it would feel to be Gerri’s family. No one has ever brought up how her mother must feel, actually how she must have felt. My grandmother passed away in the early 1970s so she no longer lives with the horror. There are quite a few of us who still do, though. I am Gerri’s younger daughter and believe me, the memories of my mom’s death are still vivid today – for my older sister, my aunt, my uncles, my cousins and for me. I think about her every day and will fight to keep women safe for the rest of my life.

    You ask me, that’s why everyone should be pro-choice. Gerri Santoro didn’t deserve to die, and Joanie Santoro didn’t deserve to grow up without her mother, just because too many so-called people are scumbags who hate women so much they think we should die for having sex.

    Talk about screwed up priorities.

  29. 29
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Audley:

    But then everyone had to go full asshole and we’ve got to defend our right to access contraception, too.

    It’s like some Bizarro World where efforts to turn the clock back are making strides. UGH!
    I’m still waiting for the day that some politician tries to push for making condoms and vasectomies illegal to make a point.

    ~
    Jaqueline:

    Thank you very much for that. I’ll definitely be reading the rest of the fact sheet, as well as bookmarking that page for any future reference.

  30. 30
    theinvisibleman

    why everyone should be pro-abortion (not pro-life or pro-choice): francoistremblay.wordpress.com/2012/01/03/introduction-to-the-pro-abortion-position/

  31. 31
    Jacqueline Homan

    samoanbiscuit;

    Thank goodness for modern procedures that can safeguard her from the complications of miscarriage.

    Uhm…not exactly. You are forgetting the “Let Women Die” law that was passed in the name of “freedom of religion” with the War on Women where pregnant women suffering fatal pregnancy complications presenting at the ER of Catholic hospitals (and sometimes there is NO other place to go, such as the case with most of Arizona, and Austin, TX where ALL the hospitals are either Catholic owned or merged with Catholic healthcare industries and therefore are under Catholic control). Here’s the excerpt from my Fact Sheet about that very issue and how it is costing pregnant women their lives across the US:

    “In November 2009, a 27 year old mother of 4 was admitted to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona. She was 11 weeks pregnant. According to a hospital document, she had “right heart failure” from pregnancy-related pulmonary hypertension and continuing the pregnancy meant nearly 100% chance of maternal death. The patient was unable to be stabilized enough to be moved into the operating room, never mind stabilized enough to be transported to a non-Catholic hospital 90 miles away. Relying on Directive 47, Sister Margaret McBride on the ethics committee authorized the life-saving abortion. The mother survived. The nun who saved her life was fired from her job and excommunicated by Bishop Thomas Olmstead.[1]

    Father John Ehrich, the medical ethics director for the Diocese of Phoenix, said, “There are some situations where the mother may in fact die along with her child. But — and this is the Catholic perspective — you can’t do evil to bring about good. The end does not justify the means.”

    Father Ehrich also stated that “pregnant women should embrace death rather than having to live the rest of her existence knowing that she had an abortion.”

    With medical ethics directors like Father John Ehrich sitting in positions of tremendous power, privilege and authority overseeing doctors and hospitals across the US, this country is not safe for women.

    Bishop Thomas Olmstead affirmed the church position for letting women die from treatable pregnancy complications despite Directive 47 and wrote a letter to the USCCB defending that position, stating, “Abortion is always immoral, no matter the circumstances, and it cannot be permitted in any Catholic institution.”

    The IBIS Reproductive Health Study in 2009[2] conducted for the National Women’s Law Center interviewed more than 1,500 physicians, administrators, and clinicians from 69 Catholic hospitals across the US. Some respondents spoke at length about the influence of state legislation on hospital practices and policies, particularly in the realm of emergency contraception, sterilization, and medical abortion. Doctors told of seeing women bleed to death from incomplete miscarriages[3] and seeing patients suffer in agony from fallopian tube rupture because of delays in treatment.

    Several physicians expressed concerns of losing their hospital practicing privileges and their jobs if they violated the Directives even though doing so was in the patient’s best interests, even in life and death matters for the patients. Several physicians were reprimanded or demoted for violating the Directives by performing tubal ligations in cases where the patient requested it and where additional pregnancies would likely be fatal for them.”

  32. 32
    Jacqueline Homan

    “… just because too many so-called people are scumbags who hate women so much they think we should die for having sex.”

    And ironically, most of them are among the MRA/PUA bowel movement that insists that men have a right to an orgasm at our expense no matter the harm to us as a result of satisfying their “needs.” Real fuckin’ cute. NOT!

  33. 33
    samoanbiscuit

    @Jacqueline Homan #30
    I was thinking only about what possible in modern medicine, not what’s allowed. You’re quite right, the laws the fundies are pushing in (or have always been on the books) are fucking retarded, and evil. It makes my heart hurt just reading about that “Let Women Die” law, I cannot imagine the pain and suffering they have caused. Man fuck the world.

  34. 34
    Aquaria

    The IBIS Reproductive Health Study in 2009[2] conducted for the National Women’s Law Center interviewed more than 1,500 physicians, administrators, and clinicians from 69 Catholic hospitals across the US. Some respondents spoke at length about the influence of state legislation on hospital practices and policies, particularly in the realm of emergency contraception, sterilization, and medical abortion. Doctors told of seeing women bleed to death from incomplete miscarriages[3] and seeing patients suffer in agony from fallopian tube rupture because of delays in treatment.

    And we’re different from third world nations…

    How?

  35. 35
    Jacqueline Homan

    This is why it is incumbent upon women to NOT vote for, or support in ANY way, those who seek to strip us of our human rights and I would also include supporting (on ANY level) organizations, or even individuals, whose votes and whose privilege and power is being used to take away our rights to birth control, abortion, and equal human and civil rights. Mitt Romney has pledged publicly to “do away with Planned Parenthood entirely”, and Ron Paul is no friend to women either (he said he would facilitate the repeal of Roe v. Wade entirely). With all the backdoor prohibitions placing obstacles in women’s way of being able to access birth control (yes, including abortion), it IS “pre-Roe America” for about 80% of American women given that 87% of ALL US counties lack an abortion provider. In fact, it’s worse than that because in pre-Roe America, women like 15 yr old Rennie Gibbs in Mississippi weren’t sentenced to life in prison for the “crime” of having a stillbirth/miscarriage. Yes, I am demanding the passage of the ERA and the repeal of the Hyde Amendment and the full restoration of Title X funding, and no I will NOT support ANY element of the MRA/PUA sector and their fellow travelers in the Rapists’ Rights political bowel movement — be it in religious corners or secular ones.

  36. 36
    Aquaria

    Seriously, folks, what Jacqueline described above? This is what Human Rights Watch reported about Nicaragua:

    http://www.hrw.org/reports/2007/nicaragua1007/nicaragua1007web.pdf

    One of their key findings was that the problem with banning abortion is that it causes women not to seek help when they’re hemorrhaging, for fear of being arrested for having an abortions. Doctors likewise are reluctant to treat life-threatening conditions in pregnant women, for fear of being charged with performing an abortion, like in this case:

    Here [at this hospital] we have had women who have died…. For example, [name withheld] came here and had an ultrasound. It was clear that she needed a therapeutic abortion. No one wanted to carry out the abortion because the fetus was still alive. The woman was here two days without treatment until she expulsed the fetus on her own. And by then she was already in septic shock and died five days later. That was in March 2007.19

    And:

    The case of 24-year-old Olga María Reyes illustrates how doctors’ fear of being perceived to have provided an abortion can contribute to deadly delay in access to emergency obstetric care. Reyes died in a public hospital in León in April 2007 when she was six to eight weeks pregnant, due to the delayed removal of an ectopic pregnancy, according to the doctors who spoke to her family. When Reyes finally presented the public hospital in León with an ultrasound result from a private clinic that diagnosed her with a ruptured ectopic pregnancy, she was left unattended for hours despite the fact that Health Ministry regulations require immediate attention to ectopic pregnancies. Reyes was eventually operated upon, but too late. She died of cerebral arrest due to excessive hemorrhaging.

    And:

    Angela M.’s 22-year-old daughter is another case in point. Her pregnancy-related hemorrhaging was left untreated for days at a public hospital in Managua, despite the obligation, even under Nicaraguan law and guidelines, to treat such life- threatening emergencies. In November 2006, only days after the blanket ban on abortion was implemented, Angela M. told Human Rights Watch of the pronounced lack of attention: “She was bleeding…. That’s why I took her to the emergency room … but the doctors said that she didn’t have anything…. Then she felt worse [with fever and hemorrhaging] and on Tuesday they admitted her. They put her on an IV and her blood pressure was low…. She said. ‘Mami, they are not treating me.’… They didn’t treat at all, nothing.”

    From comments made by the doctors at the time, Angela M. believes her daughter was left untreated because doctors were reluctant to treat a pregnancy-related emergency for fear that they might be accused of providing therapeutic abortion. Angela M.’s daughter was finally transferred to another public hospital in Managua, but too late: “She died of cardiac arrest…. She was all purple, unrecognizable. It was like it wasn’t my daughter at all.”

    This is all from that scumbag delusion from Rome. Every bit of it.

    It’s not a coincidence that vast majority of nations with bans on abortion, and the ones that don’t even allow provisions for the health of the mother, are kiddie-rapist following nations.

  37. 37
    Aquaria

    And that’s what the Vatican wants all of us to be like: Nicaragua.

  38. 38
    andrewryan

    I’ve argued with anti-abortion people lots of times. Their argument comes down to “it’s a baby, a human being, from conception”. So if you want to offer an anti-abortionist any argument for being pro-choice, it needs to address this. Imagine how the argument would go down with YOU if you substituted ‘Had an abortion’ with ’caused a baby to be killed’. Unless you still think it’s a good argument given that substitution, then don’t expect it will sway them at all.

    I’m not saying this in judgement of the anti-abortionist view, I’m just stating it as a fact, and hopefully saving people time in these sort of discussions.

    You can have all the great arguments in the world for being pro-choice, but if they all depend on the idea that the foetus doesn’t become a viable human being until, say, 22 weeks+, then how is it going to be anything but preaching to the choir?

  39. 39
    Nightjar

    Their argument comes down to “it’s a baby, a human being, from conception”.

    Yes. And I used to believe they were being honest and that was really all there was to their position on abortion. But the more I argue with them, the more convinced I am: it’s not about the fetus, it’s about misogyny. It’s about punishing women. It’s obvious that (most of) these people couldn’t care less about human beings dying. It’s not what this is about.

    but if they all depend on the idea that the foetus doesn’t become a viable human being until, say, 22 weeks+

    Well, it’s obviously not viable, if by viable you mean able to survive outside the uterus. I don’t think anyone disputes its non-viability.

    If you mean doesn’t become a person, not all pro-choice arguments depend on that idea, actually. Some are strictly about bodily autonomy.

  40. 40
    Jacqueline Homan

    andrewryan:

    Their argument comes down to “it’s a baby, a human being, from conception”. So if you want to offer an anti-abortionist any argument for being pro-choice, it needs to address this.

    Well THIS atheist feminist has addressed that. If you read my Fact Sheet article, you would have caught that. Basically, the way to argue your case goes like this: Patient abandonment resulting in patient harm or death is criminal. Deliberate patient abandonment resulting in patient death is murder. Murder is a crime. No institution or individual has the right to torture, abuse, or murder pregnant women in the name of “religious liberty.” Killing the mother to save the fetus is murder. That is what a Maryland hospital did to Angela Carder in 1988 and the appellate courts ruled that the state of Maryland’s fetal personhood law and the hospital was in error because of that [Angela Carder In Re, 1990].

    Forced pregnancy and childbirth is no more moral than any other form of forced organ donation. No “pro-life” laws exist anywhere that force men to suffer trauma, pain, disfigurement and risk of death from mandatory kidney donation surgery to save the life of another — even if the person in need of it is his own child who would otherwise die without it. No one has the right to the use of, or to coerce the use of, another’s body — in whole or in part — against their will. This is why you cannot be forced to undergo bone marrow donation surgery, or kidney donation surgery, or even be forced to donate your organs upon death without your prior consent. [See McFall v. Shimp, 1978 ]

    A law imposing the burden of forced pregnancy/childbirth equally on everyone would pass Constitutional muster. But since only women are the ones vulnerable to pregnancy and not men, ANY law promoting forced pregnancy/childbirth specifically targets women as a class for cruel and unusual punishment, and its architects and facilitators in carrying it out would be nothing less than monsters exhibiting deliberate indifference towards the depth, degree and gravity of the harm against women.

    Lastly, criminalizing abortion and contraception saves not one baby; but it kills a LOT of women AND fetuses/zygotes/blastocysts/ovum.

    Yes, I should have gotten the opportunity to become that human rights lawyer that I had wanted to, but…alas for lack of social class privileges. Oh well. At least I can write. (Now if only I could get a chance to actually make a living doing that.)

  41. 41
    Jacqueline Homan

    And if the fetus is a “person” that deserves ‘life’ above and before the mother hosting it, then what the hell is a woman? Are women not “persons” also deserving of OUR lives? If we are not, then EVERY male that has sex with a woman (and gets her pregnant against her will) should be brought up on criminal charges of bestiality and animal cruelty. (Yes, I seriously made that argument at one of the Unite Against the War on Women rallies.)

  42. 42
    Stacy

    @andrewryan #37

    I’ve argued with anti-abortion people lots of times. Their argument comes down to “it’s a baby, a human being, from conception”. So if you want to offer an anti-abortionist any argument for being pro-choice, it needs to address this.

    I just read this eloquent article by Valerie Tarico today. She addresses your point:

    http://awaypoint.wordpress.com/2012/06/01/what-the-right-gets-right-about-abortion-and-the-left-doesnt-get/#comment-917

    I disagree with Tarico that the argument about unwanted pregnancy as involuntary life support/organ donation is too abstract to succeed in the court of public opinion. I think it is a powerful argument that isn’t stressed enough. But she has some excellent things to say about “personhood”.

    [Meta: Attention Tentacled Overlord: Tarico would be a great addition to FtB.]

  43. 43
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Tony:

    I’m still waiting for the day that some politician tries to push for making condoms and vasectomies illegal to make a point.

    Already happened in either Michigan or Arizona. I’ll look it up when I’ve got two seconds to rub together.

  44. 44
    laureljenkins-crowe

    [delurks]

    For Tony… therefore God @ 26 and anyone else who hadn’t heard a positive personal abortion story before, please check out I’m Not Sorry, a website for such stories.

    http://www.imnotsorry.net/

    [relurks]

  45. 45
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Tony:
    A ha! It was Georgia Dems that proposed anti-vasectomy legislation.

    http://jezebel.com/5887293/smartass-state-lawmaker-proposes-vasectomy-limits-for-men

  46. 46
    dianne

    As many as 50% of conceptions end in miscarriage.

    I’ve heard estimates as high as 80% if one includes every sperm that got as far as fusing with the egg’s membrane. It’s certain that a lot of conceptions don’t ever make it to the “clinical pregnancy” stage (i.e. the point where a woman might realize she’s pregnant). It’s also certain that the “pro-life” movement has no interest in preventing these miscarriages. Strange, that.

  47. 47
    dianne

    I disagree with Tarico that the argument about unwanted pregnancy as involuntary life support/organ donation is too abstract to succeed in the court of public opinion.

    Cynically, I think it would only succeed if one emphasized the risk of a precedent that would make people of either gender potential unwilling organ donors. And it is that precedent. It would be a very easy jump to go from the claim that a woman who had sex willingly has given her consent to a pregnancy and must complete it to the argument that a person who entered the bone marrow registry has already given their consent for donation and can not back out. Such an argument would be a disaster to the unrelated marrow donation program, of course, but it could be made.

  48. 48
    andrewryan

    It would certainly be relevant in cases of rape. Most anti-abortionists I’ve spoken to say ‘no exception for rape – that would be creating another victim, two wrongs don’t make a right’.

  49. 49
    No Light

    Forced birth is rape, pure and simple.

    Jacqueline- you’re fab.

  50. 50
    dianne

    Also re adoption: There aren’t many studies on outcomes in relinquishing mothers, but those that do exist show almost universally poor outcomes, both psychosocially and physically for women who give up their babies for adoption.

    Anecdotally, a relative of mine gave up a baby for adoption many years ago. It didn’t ruin her life-in fact, the event was what triggered her finally deciding that she had had enough of the life she had been living and led her to a much richer and happier life elsewhere. But it hurt. It still hurts her. Even after decades of happy life. Even after her child contacted her and they developed a relationship. Even knowing that it was the only possible choice at the time. It still hurts, even in the best case scenario.

    Several other relatives have had abortions. They’ve all expressed relief and contentment with their decisions.

  51. 51
    Jacqueline Homan

    dianne:

    It would be a very easy jump to go from the claim that a woman who had sex willingly has given her consent to a pregnancy and must complete it to the argument that a person who entered the bone marrow registry has already given their consent for donation and can not back out.

    Not necessarily. Medical ethics and philosophy professor David Boonin addressed that very point by framing pregnancy and childbirth in terms of consent. A woman has the right to refuse use of her body to support another potential human’s continued existence if:

    1. The cost is not trivial (even “good” pregnancies in healthy women of optimal childbearing age are non-trivial).
    2. The woman has not previously consented to the exact conditions of use, or the conditions which she consented to have changed.
    3. The woman does not owe the recipient (fetus) compensation for causing its worsened condition.

    Boonin quite specifically excludes a woman who conceived following consensual sex from obligation to provide life support for that developing entity. The fetus would not have existed without this act and its accompanying male act, and is therefore better off — not worse off. The female host has not caused any harm to the fetus at all and is therefore not required to compensate it by being an incubator. The fetus on the other hand, is harming its host, and is therefore obligated to her. And the male that has caused the woman harm by impregnating her when she didn’t want to become pregnant is therefore obligated to compensate her.

  52. 52
    Jacqueline Homan

    “…that would be creating another victim, two wrongs don’t make a right’…”

    Then the consistent thing to do would be to outlaw guns and repeal SYG laws, since “two wrongs don’t make a right.” There, problem solved. :)

  53. 53
    andrewryan

    I can’t believe I’m defending the religious right view point, but no, that doesn’t follow. NB, the following is not my viewpoint, I’m just saying what the argument is.

    Given the viewpoint that a foetus is a human being deserving of life, if you abort a foetus produced by rape, you’re punishing the ‘baby’ for what the rapist did. You’re creating another victim. From the right-wing perspective, properly enforced SYG rules allow people to defend themselves against an aggressor – in that mind-set there’s no equivalent ‘innocent third-party’ getting damaged.

  54. 54
    Ingdigo Jump

    I’ve argued with anti-abortion people lots of times. Their argument comes down to “it’s a baby, a human being, from conception”. So if you want to offer an anti-abortionist any argument for being pro-choice, it needs to address this.

    No you don’t. In fact that is what should be contested. IMHO the best strategy for debate is always to go to the root of the disagreement/belief and address the underlying assumptions. It is never a good idea to cede ground. Whoever controls the definition of terms in a debate controls the debate.

    You’re basically saying “I’ve argued with Neonazis a lot and if you want to offer any argument you’re going to have to address the fact that Jews are evil subhumans”

    You cannot win by losing

  55. 55
    Ingdigo Jump

    It would certainly be relevant in cases of rape. Most anti-abortionists I’ve spoken to say ‘no exception for rape – that would be creating another victim, two wrongs don’t make a right’.

    The fetus is an accomplice in rape then and should be evicted from it’s unlawful residency /snark

  56. 56
    andrewryan

    “No you don’t. In fact that is what should be contested. IMHO the best strategy for debate is always to go to the root of the disagreement/belief and address the underlying assumptions.”

    Ing, you are actually agreeing with me! You are making exactly the same point that I was making – you should address/contest the root of the disagreement.

    Address doesn’t mean ‘concede’.

    “Address: to deal with or discuss: to address the issues”.

  57. 57
    Ingdigo Jump

    @Andreryan

    Well then why bother to bring it up? The whole argument has always been about addressing that point or reframing it towards talking about autonomy, which is itself addressing it.

    What was your point?

    We also should remember that the burden of proof is on the positive claim. it is up to the prolife side to come up with a consistant definition of life/humanity that isn’t absurd and show how it applies to a fetus and how if so that trumps another human’s rights

  58. 58
    Jacqueline Homan

    Oh but there IS. See, no matter how unintentionally, that fetus IS harming someone: the pregnant woman. So the question becomes: are women less of a person than a fetus/embryo/blastocyst such that a woman’s life can be forfeited against her will when SHE is most certainly sentient and can feel pain? Or is a woman a non-person/subhuman with less of a right to life than the non-sentient being that has harnessed her entire bodily organ system? And if women are not people, then as non-persons, ANY sexual act between het males and women should carry criminal penalties for the males (that “sex with farm animals” thing).

    And what about all those poor kids needing bone marrow transplants? If women can be forced to sacrifice their bodies, their wellbeing, and possibly even their lives (which usually does not result in “saving” a baby because if mom dies, so does fetus and I have yet to hear of a legitimate case of a “coffin birth”) for the “life” of the “unborn”, then how much more value does a post-porn child have that would require all males to donate bone marrow, blood, and kidneys (while living) to provide life support for children who will die without those organs? Failing to make things fair exposes the disingenuousness of the entire pro-forced birth movement for what it is: unadulterated, gratuitous cruelty targeting women for the crime of being reproductively female.

  59. 59
    andrewryan

    “Well then why bother to bring it up?”

    Why bother bringing what up?

    I already explained my point in my first post, but you apparently didn’t understand it because you don’t know what ‘address’ means.

  60. 60
    Ingdigo Jump

    You can have all the great arguments in the world for being pro-choice, but if they all depend on the idea that the foetus doesn’t become a viable human being until, say, 22 weeks+, then how is it going to be anything but preaching to the choir?

    DEEEEEEEEERP!

    GEE ANDREW HOW ON EARTH DID I GET THAT WRONG IDEA ON WHAT YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT!? Would you like to hand out a decoder ring to everyone so we can find the secret message?

  61. 61
    Pteryxx

    andrewryan:

    Given the viewpoint that a foetus is a human being deserving of life, if you abort a foetus produced by rape, you’re punishing the ‘baby’ for what the rapist did. You’re creating another victim. From the right-wing perspective, properly enforced SYG rules allow people to defend themselves against an aggressor – in that mind-set there’s no equivalent ‘innocent third-party’ getting damaged.

    Except that an unwanted fetus IS an aggressor upon the body of the pregnant person; initiator of an assault that can result in great suffering, traumatic injury, or death. Calling it an “innocent third party” is already begging the question.

  62. 62
    andrewryan

    “Would you like to hand out a decoder ring to everyone so we can find the secret message?”

    Well the bit where I said “You need to address the idea that life begins at conception” – which you even admit you agree with – should have been the give-away. Hardly a ‘secret message’.

  63. 63
    Jacqueline Homan

    As an aside, I wonder why all the right-wing anti-woman/pro-forced birth nuts don’t all have between 12 and 20 kids. Because (barring death from pregnancy and childbirth), that is the expectable outcome in a world without access to reliable contraception and abortion: a woman is vulnerable to pregnancy for 30-40 years of her life, from menarche to menopause. So, why doesn’t Michelle Bachmann have 12-20 kids? Or Sarah Palin? Or Sharron Angle? Or Jan Brewer? They didn’t practice abstinence-only in their marriages, did they?

  64. 64
    Ingdigo Jump

    Andrew, we can read what you fucking wrote.

    You can have all the great arguments in the world for being pro-choice, but if they all depend on the idea that the foetus doesn’t become a viable human being until, say, 22 weeks+, then how is it going to be anything but preaching to the choir?

    This does not square with “addressing” it by disagreeing. You’re saying the exact opposite here, that if the argument depends on attacking foetus specialness it’s doomed to fail.

  65. 65
    Ingdigo Jump

    Also blockquote, it’s easy. Instructions are above the “leave a reply” window

  66. 66
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Ing,

    andrewryan is just being helpful. Duh.

    He’s playing the devil’s advocate to show you how you are doing it all wrong. Too bad he never bothers to give an example of argument that would work, according to his vast experience.

    /sarcasm

  67. 67
    Ingdigo Jump

    Andrewryan, from my limited experience with you I suspect your problems in debating might be from not being too ambiguous or opaque in your phrasing. Why to me it looks like you’ve said something that can be interpreted two ways and are actively arguing both ways to two different people.

    I’m just saying I don’t think your problem might be the rhetoric rather than the framing aspect of debate

  68. 68
    andrewryan

    “This does not square with “addressing” it by disagreeing. You’re saying the exact opposite here, that if the argument depends on attacking foetus specialness it’s doomed to fail.”

    No Ing, I’m not saying the opposite. If you have an argument that assumes all foetuses younger than 24 weeks (or whatever) are obviously not yet human or whatever, then the anti-abortionist is just going to hear “I think it’s fine to murder babies”.

    Therefore the argument you need to make if you want to convince them is against foetal specialness – it’s not something you can assume. In other words, like you said: “IMHO the best strategy for debate is always to go to the root of the disagreement/belief and address the underlying assumptions.”

    This is quite consistent with saying “You can have all the great arguments in the world for being pro-choice, but if they all depend on the idea that the foetus doesn’t become a viable human being until, say, 22 weeks+, then how is it going to be anything but preaching to the choir?”

    “Too bad he never bothers to give an example of argument that would work, according to his vast experience.”

    Because I’ve spent all the time re-explaining my original post to someone arguing with me despite actually agreeing with my point.

    Good grief…

  69. 69
    dianne

    @50: I was thinking of the argument the other way around. If pregnancy can be forced on the argument that the harm to the “sick” person (i.e. the fetus) would outweigh the donor’s right to bodily integrity then one almost must apply the same argument to people who have registered as marrow donors.

    No one gets drunk and accidentally registers as a potential marrow donor. No one gets forced to give a cheek swab for HLA testing. The ONLY way anyone becomes a potential donor is if they sign up as a volunteer of their own free will.

    If one can force a pregnancy, how much more so must it be moral to force donors to follow through?

  70. 70
    Jacqueline Homan

    Sooo…who won an Internet?

  71. 71
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    You can have all the great arguments in the world for being pro-choice, but if they all depend on the idea that the foetus doesn’t become a viable human being until, say, 22 weeks+, then how is it going to be anything but preaching to the choir?

    Meanwhile, the “debaters” of the anti-choice position are winning by being able to convince others of the righteousness of their cause the the rigorousness of their argument. Or being single minded in assaulting laws in all levels of the US government.

    It is easy to confuse the two.

  72. 72
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Jacqueline:

    They didn’t practice abstinence-only in their marriages, did they?

    My assumption has always been that they view birth control the same way they view abortion: “the only moral abortion is my abortion” and “the only moral use of birth control is when I use birth control”. Because they’re not dirty sluts like the rest of us, you see.

    Andrew:

    Therefore the argument you need to make if you want to convince them is against foetal specialness – it’s not something you can assume. In other words, like you said: “IMHO the best strategy for debate is always to go to the root of the disagreement/belief and address the underlying assumptions.”

    Here’s the problem: many of them believe that a soul is given at the moment of conception, which makes every single blastocyst it’s own special person. How exactly do you fight against that?

  73. 73
    andrewryan

    Bea: “Too bad he never bothers to give an example of argument that would work, according to his vast experience.”

    Well you can argue that it’s moronic to say it’s a human being at conception – Point out that it can split into twins quite a few days in – do they each have half a soul? Point out that brain activity doesn’t start for months. Quote biologists who disagree that a blastocyst is a human being.

  74. 74
    Jacqueline Homan

    dianne:

    No one gets drunk and accidentally registers as a potential marrow donor. No one gets forced to give a cheek swab for HLA testing. The ONLY way anyone becomes a potential donor is if they sign up as a volunteer of their own free will.

    This is very true. However, a woman who uses contraception (barrier methods, hormonal, etc.) or who consents to sex because of operating under the info that her partner is sterile/had a vasectomy and therefore won’t/can’t impregnate her, has de facto refused consent to pregnancy. But if she ends up pregnant anyway (as a result of the consensual sex act), she did NOT consent to the pregnancy but would be forced to go through it anyway and give birth, no matter what the cost and harm to her. That’s a bit different from the bone marrow donor giving consent, I think.

  75. 75
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Here’s the problem: many of them believe that a soul is given at the moment of conception, which makes every single blastocyst it’s own special person. How exactly do you fight against that?

    I keep waiting for these people to demand that they monitor every act of sex (And only sex between a heterosexual married couple would be allowed.) in order to ensure that every blastocyst is carried to term and to punish the woman if the blastocyst is reject by her body.

    Where is the fucking consistency of their argument.

    Big government is only good when it comes to fucking.

  76. 76
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Well you can argue that it’s moronic to say it’s a human being at conception – Point out that it can split into twins quite a few days in – do they each have half a soul? Point out that brain activity doesn’t start for months. Quote biologists who disagree that a blastocyst is a human being.

    And this will stop Governor Ultrasound and Governor Jan Brewer how?

  77. 77
    dianne

    @73: Exactly. So if we demand that women complete pregnancies that they didn’t consent to, what possible grounds can we have for not demanding that people who have volunteered to donate marrow follow through on their agreement?

  78. 78
    Nightjar

    Point out that it can split into twins quite a few days in – do they each have half a soul? Point out that brain activity doesn’t start for months. Quote biologists who disagree that a blastocyst is a human being.

    Uh… why are you implying we don’t do that when appropriate?

  79. 79
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Good grief…

    I agree. How would you do the argument? Don’t tell us what we do wrong, show us how to do it right. A method guaranteed to work. Or, shut the fuck up.

  80. 80
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    andrewryan, #72 ,

    Yeah, and a lot of people are offering such arguments. I’m not lilapbwl so I can’t just pull quotes from previous threads, but I’m pretty sure I’ve read the twins then only have half a soul each mocking here before.
    The brain activity argument too.

    These are really not novel arguments.

  81. 81
    Jacqueline Homan

    Audley:

    Here’s the problem: many of them believe that a soul is given at the moment of conception, which makes every single blastocyst it’s own special person. How exactly do you fight against that?

    Because such “beliefs” are unquestionably religious ones, we then have a 1st Amendment challenge to slap ‘em upside the snot-locker with, namely: Can we compel sentient human beings to forfeit their basic human rights to life, bodily autonomy and bodily integrity in the name of “freedom of religion”, and if so, then everyone’s right to freedom of religion will must be honored.

    Richard Ramirez (aka “The Night Stalker”) was a practicing Satanist who ritualistically stalked and murdered his victims as part and parcel for exercising his “religious liberty.” He is sitting on San Quentin’s death row. If the Christians can force women to forfeit our human rights, including OUR right to life, in the name of their right to “freedom of religion”; then Richard Ramirez must be pardoned and released immediately from prison because he was punished for exercising HIS “freedom of religion.”

    The issue is not whether a belief is valid or if religious liberty should be further protected — but whose religious liberty deserves the protection of the law, and at what cost in terms of real tangible harm to whom.

    Read the Fact Sheet I linked to (and copy/pasted from). I hit ALL the bases in that. :>

    (I hope I am making sense, because I pulled an all-nighter and am now operating under a big time sleep deficit and really need to get some sleep)

  82. 82
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    In November 2009, a 27 year old mother of 4 was admitted to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona. She was 11 weeks pregnant. According to a hospital document, she had “right heart failure” from pregnancy-related pulmonary hypertension and continuing the pregnancy meant nearly 100% chance of maternal death. The patient was unable to be stabilized enough to be moved into the operating room, never mind stabilized enough to be transported to a non-Catholic hospital 90 miles away. Relying on Directive 47, Sister Margaret McBride on the ethics committee authorized the life-saving abortion. The mother survived. The nun who saved her life was fired from her job and excommunicated by Bishop Thomas Olmstead.[1]

    I gave birth at that hospital in May 2009. I found out when that story broke to never go back. That fucking scares me. I didn’t understand why the nurse had to whisper to me to recommended getting the IUD and why she said they couldn’t talk about birth control at all.

    I was so young, confused and naive.
    Now I’m fucking pissed off.

  83. 83
    Jacqueline Homan

    dianne:

    So if we demand that women complete pregnancies that they didn’t consent to, what possible grounds can we have for not demanding that people who have volunteered to donate marrow follow through on their agreement?

    We would have EVERY conceivable (pun intended) right to demand not only that donors follow through, but that ALL MALES be compelled to donate bone marrow, blood, and one kidney without any consideration for the permanent side effects, trauma, and risks it would inflict on them. (It’s that “fairness of burden” thing.)

  84. 84
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    Thank you Jacqueline Homan for the fact sheet. I’m looking it over, have it bookmarked and will spread it around. Well done and much appreciated.

  85. 85
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Jacqueline,
    I’m reading the link now. :) (Pica?? Ugh, did not know about that side effect!)

    Anyway, these dumbfucks that are anti-choice about religion also often don’t know what “freedom of religion” actually means. They are often the type of religious conservative that believes that the US is a Christian nation and do not agree that you or I or the Muslim family down the street deserves to have our religion/lack thereof protected by the government.

    In other words, completely ignorant of the Constitution/establishment clause.

    (I did not know that about Richard Ramirez. Another similar example would be Warren Jeffs, who claimed that his “spiritual marriages” to 12 and 15 year old girls were protected by the First Admendment. He’s spending the rest of his life in prison.)

  86. 86
    dianne

    ALL MALES be compelled to donate bone marrow, blood, and one kidney without any consideration for the permanent side effects, trauma, and risks it would inflict on them.

    Only those under 50. Menopause, you know.

    Just to make sure, you know this would be a terrible idea in reality, right? For much the same set of reasons that demanding women complete pregnancies under all circumstances is a bad idea: trauma for the person, distortion of society, lack of benefit to the ostensible beneficiary, that sort of thing.

  87. 87
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Also, awesome list, Jacqueline!

    Very useful stuff.

  88. 88
    opposablethumbs

    Is it going to work, do you think, if I were to ask (for instance) whether in the case that a child needed an organ donation/bone marrow transplant/blood transfusion BOTH parents should be legally obliged to provide it, regardless of any life-changing effect/risk to themselves? Should fathers be imprisoned if they fail to donate a kidney to their child, even if they only have one fully functioning kidney themselves/donate a heart even though they will therefore die?

    Mind you, I totally agree that it’s wrong on every level to concede the point in the first place that a foetus is a person. Foetus =!= child, obviously.

  89. 89
    dianne

    @35: This is all from that scumbag delusion from Rome. Every bit of it.

    I disagree slightly. It’s largely from the scumbag delusion in Rome, but the scumbag delusion in Washington DC had its part in it too. In the 1980s just after the Sandinista revolution, abortion was illegal but there was a statement in the constitution that women had the right to bodily integrity. It was put there in the expectation that it could be used to legalize abortion when the society had settled down a little and was prepared for such a move.

    This, obviously, didn’t happen. One can blame Rome for some of this, but the destabilization of the society due to the Contra war and the funding of right wing politicians by the US must take some blame as well. The US tried its best to destroy Nicaragua and it has succeeded. Count Reagan partially responsible for the lives lost as well as the pope.

  90. 90
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Dianne, how dare you smear the achievements of the moral equivalent of the Founding Fathers.

  91. 91
    ButchKitties

    I don’t want to take away women’s autonomy. I just want to save the precious innocent babies…

    …Oh, what’s that you say? You think we should make organ donations upon death an opt-out system instead of opt-in? You fascist scumbag. My organs are mine. They don’t belong to you.

  92. 92
    Ingdigo Jump

    you don’t debate to convert prolife nuts….you do it for the lurkers. Most people are prochoice and don’t realize it

  93. 93
    Nightjar

    Mind you, I totally agree that it’s wrong on every level to concede the point in the first place that a foetus is a person. Foetus =!= child, obviously.

    I don’t think it’s conceding the point. I have always thought of such arguments in a “you wouldn’t defend the equivalent of that even to save actual people, so what’s so special about a fetus” way.

    Helps to expose their real motives, too.

  94. 94
    opposablethumbs

    Good point, Nightjar. I’m a bit wary of trying that myself in practice, as I am not skilled and would be concerned about getting into a corner (even though I know it’s a fake corner).

  95. 95
    Jacqueline Homan

    And now you all know why I was more than just slightly peeved at the MRA/PUA doucherockets that were/are giving several atheist/skeptic women so much grief that it created a rift while here I am in the trenches duking it out with the big bad boys of religion and Tea Potty assholianness who are hellbent on forcing theocracy. I mean, WTF!?!?!

    Here we have a golden opportunity to defeat religious tyranny on at least two fronts and let human rights prevail — if only “teh menz” weren’t pitching hissy fits over common sense sexual harassment policies while blaming the absence of female atheists (like me) at TAM on Rebecca, Greta, and others — when my absence is 100% due to my having to be in the trenches with this War on Women thing.

    Now if “teh menz” would stop freaking out over their conspiracy theories of misandry pheromones traveling through “teh intertoobs” and stop their horseshit, we could all get down to business in making life better not only for women who are the primary targets in these ideological “culture wars”, but also much better for men AND the entire atheist movement as well — because you know right well that if the crazy Dominionist/Reconstructionist Christians get their way, we’ll ALL be burnt at the stake or stoned to death for heresy and blasphemy in a New York minute — every last free-thinking one of us! Because these crazies (and no, you CANNOT reason with crazy, just sayin’) are calling for replacing the US Constitution with Levitical Law. Levitical Law = Sharia Law. If you doubt this, go to Chalcedon’s website. These are NOT nice people that we’re dealing with here. There’s a hell of a lot at stake in this battle. I cannot stress that enough.

    So, “teh menz” in the skeptic/atheist movement need to get their heads out of their most intelligent bodily orifice before they sabotage the whole movement when they could have been heroes by helping ALL women, including the godless ones, fight back against the religious insanity that is stripping half of the population of our basic human rights, preventing the crazies behind it from resurrecting an Inquisition of epic proportion. (OK, sorry for ranting, I’m done now :) Time for beddy-buy for moi)

  96. 96
    Jacqueline Homan

    Should fathers be imprisoned if they fail to donate a kidney to their child, even if they only have one fully functioning kidney themselves/donate a heart even though they will therefore die?

    Yes, and I think that we should say that ONLY the men would be held to this since the women are already bearing the equivalent burden of forced pregnancy/forced birth at all costs. So, fair is fair. Not that I would want to really see this happen, but to force that discussion point into encounters with the misogynistic fetal idolators of popery and their fellow travelers would certainly expose them and wake a hell of a lot more Americans up, I think.

  97. 97
    Jacqueline Homan

    I don’t want to take away women’s autonomy. I just want to save the precious innocent babies…

    Right. And that newly developed artificial uterus and embryo transplant technology is available….where?

  98. 98
    thunk: y'all know ageism is a thing?

    Gaaah.

    Quite a few people who don’t understand it’s not moral to force women to be breeder units.

  99. 99
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Quite a few people who don’t understand it’s not moral to force women to be breeder units.

    But you forget that women were designed to be breeder units. Just ask Martin Luther, it is no big deal if a woman dies while giving birth.

  100. 100
    Jacqueline Homan

    Martin Luther was also bullgoose fucking looney and talked to his own shit.

  101. 101
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Martin Luther was also bullgoose fucking looney and talked to his own shit.

    Those are useful qualities to have if you are going to start your own breakaway sect.

  102. 102
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Andrew Ryan, just because they claim that a fetus equals a baby doesn’t mean they actually believe it. (Source.)

    Also, her name is Beatrice, not “Bea.”

  103. 103
    andrewryan

    “Andrew, we can read what you fucking wrote.”
    “These are really not novel arguments.”
    “…Or, shut the fuck up.”
    “Also, her name is Beatrice, not “Bea.””

    What a lot of grouches on this thread. I came here cos I thought I might get some decent new arguments or a scientific nature. Thanks to Stacy who managed to answer me with an informative post that didn’t snark or swear at me. No thanks to lots of other people. I only post on this board very rarely – today reminded me why.

    Cue “piss off then you fuggin moron” and “Ooh tone troll!” posts.

  104. 104
    andrewryan

    “…OF a scientific nature”

  105. 105
    Nightjar

    “These are really not novel arguments.”

    Wait, I’m confused, why are you even taking issue with that one?

    It’s not insulting and it’s true. It’s why your comment came across as more than a little annoying. You’re implying that we should but don’t use arguments we actually do use, and that we don’t address the anti-choice arguments we do address. You shouldn’t be surprised people got pissed off.

  106. 106
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    andrewryan,

    If you could be bothered, you would find Jacqueline Homan’s posts very informative.
    As long as we’re talking about informative.. I’m afraid your own posts were sadly lacking in anything of sort.

    Oh darn, that was a bit snarky, wasn’t it? Oh well, fuck it.

    Anyway, I fully support your decision to post here very rarely.

  107. 107
    hackerguitar

    Jaqueline – thank you for all of your posts above. You’ve given me new language for when I’m talking to forced-birth crazies.

    And your Fact Sheet is bookmarked for future use. Thank you thank you thank you.

  108. 108
    dianne

    @106: Jaqueline’s good isn’t she? Mark her contributions to this thread for molly consideration.

  109. 109
    Nightjar

    Mark her contributions to this thread for molly consideration.

    Indeed.

  110. 110
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Woof and samoanbiscuit,

    I agree with you, respectively, that the anti-choice movement is significantly about controlling women, and their efforts cause much suffering,

    but I wish to point out that when you use mental retardation as an insult,

    Fucktards.

    fucking retarded, and evil.

    like using permutations of dyke or gay or queer as insults, this is hurtful to innocent bystanders.

  111. 111
    andrewryan

    Nightjar, I never claimed to be teaching anyone new arguments. I was first told off for saying arguments that I had not got anywhere with. A post sarcastically pointed out that I’d not offered any working arguments. I’d never claimed to have any – I came here to read them. But I gave it a go, and got told off again for not being ‘new or novel’. If people figured I was assuming these were new arguments then they were reading stuff in that wasn’t there.

    From lurking on threads here before, I’ve noticed newer posters getting piled on with swearing sarcastic posts. It’s pretty unfriendly. And even when I fairly politely point this out, the response is just the predictable snarky “I support your choice to post here rarely.” In other words, piss off, we don’t want your posts. If you’re going to be that rude to people who AGREE with you…

  112. 112
    samoanbiscuit

    Delurking to give a big general statement that none of use is owed politeness. Even on the internet. ESPECIALLY ON THE INTERNETS.

  113. 113
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    I’d never claimed to have any – I came here to read them.

    If you’re going to be that rude to people who AGREE with you…

    But all you did was criticize our arguments. You offered nothing, and now you admit that that was never even your intention, but when you find faults with a lot of the offered points one would expect that there is some wisdom of your own that you could share.

    And again, Jacqueline Homan wrote some really great comments, but that is apparently completely overshadowed by some people’s sarcasm and OMG… swear words. And there I go again with the snark. It seems that I just can’t help myself.

    And really, I’m not even sure if you agree with me/us. Your posts were part confusing, part just plane useless, part whiny. I do agree that I was being snarky. So there’s that.

  114. 114
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    If you’re going to be that rude to people who AGREE with you…

    Actually, my reading of your posts is that you were concern trolling definition one. Pretending to agree while raising doubt in our arguments. This, not newbie/rare poster status, probably caused folks like me to look at you askance. If you came across as a concern troll (who do lie about really agreeing with us), maybe your writing lacked the clarity needed to get your real point/question across.

    And even when I fairly politely point this out, the response is just the predictable snarky “I support your choice to post here rarely.

    Just as all the tone-trolls do when they don’t have anything cogent in response. Like its a last ditch effort to win a pointless point, “I’m politer than you, I win”. It doesn’t help your cause, nor will it make us like likely to speak up. Try working on clarity so we really know what you mean.

  115. 115
    andrewryan

    Right, because there have been NO problems in the atheist community caused by rudeness and lack of respect to strangers. And when someone has the temerity to point this out, no problem with everyone saying it’s the fault of the complainer. Still, it does sound a BIT familiar, remind me of some situation I’m sure I’ve read lots about on these boards…

  116. 116
    strange gods before me ॐ

    samoanbiscuit, how general is that statement supposed to be? Because I’m not talking about interpersonal politeness; I’m talking about privilege and group oppression.

  117. 117
    'Tis Himself

    andrewryan, your concern is noted. Thank you for your input, it will be given all the consideration it so obviously deserves.

  118. 118
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    >blockquote>Right, because there have been NO problems in the atheist community caused by rudeness and lack of respect to strangers. Citation needed. We are usually on the receiving end of rudeness by strangers, called godbots, missionaries, etc….

  119. 119
    Ingdigo Jump

    Right, because there have been NO problems in the atheist community caused by rudeness and lack of respect to strangers. And when someone has the temerity to point this out, no problem with everyone saying it’s the fault of the complainer. Still, it does sound a BIT familiar, remind me of some situation I’m sure I’ve read lots about on these boards…

    Coopting a minority’s problems is not appreciated or clever

  120. 120
    andrewryan

    “Citation needed”

    I won’t be like ING and patronisingly advise you on how to use blockquotes. I was referring to incidences at TAM. Like in elevators, and others.

    Life is like a pitbull… I guess SamoanBiscuit meant me. But presumably you’re a concern troll too for pointing out that ‘retard’ is a poor choice of insult. Time was I’d be able to say it wasn’t politically correct, but nowadays PC is strictly an insult, rather than something to aspire to. Like ‘tone troll’ it’s used to shut down discussion. Criticise someone for using racist or sexist language? You’re just being PC. Point out that someone is being gratuitously rude? You’re just a tone troll. Either way, you can be safely dismissed -YOU are the problem, just like those mouthy women at TAM kicking up a fuss for so-called ‘disrespectful behaviour, eh?

  121. 121
    Ingdigo Jump

    I won’t be like ING and patronisingly advise you on how to use blockquotes. I was referring to incidences at TAM. Like in elevators, and others.

    Nerd tried and got it wrong. you’re still not trying because apparently you don’t give a shit about being accurately understood

  122. 122
    Ingdigo Jump

    I was referring to incidences at TAM. Like in elevators, and others.

    Also that point is beyond moronic, offensive, and selfish. Grow the fuck up

  123. 123
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    andrewryan,

    I thought you were leaving. Do let the door hit you on the way out.

  124. 124
    Nightjar

    andrewryan,

    A post sarcastically pointed out that I’d not offered any working arguments. I’d never claimed to have any

    Your first post seemed to imply you thought we were doing things wrong in these sort of discussions and that your advice would save us some time. Except all you did was state the obvious. What kind of answer were you expecting?

    But I gave it a go, and got told off again for not being ‘new or novel’. If people figured I was assuming these were new arguments then they were reading stuff in that wasn’t there.

    No. People figured you were telling them they were doing it wrong by not using the right kind of arguments, and therefore wasting time. Of course you got told off for suggesting that in order to save time in these discussions they should use arguments they already use. Again, what did you expect?

    From lurking on threads here before, I’ve noticed newer posters getting piled on with swearing sarcastic posts. It’s pretty unfriendly.

    From reading threads here before, I’ve noticed some new posters like to focus on the rudeness and completely ignore the content (when it is there, as is usually the case). It’s pretty annoying, especially for those who put some effort into addressing the content.

    ***

    But presumably you’re a concern troll too for pointing out that ‘retard’ is a poor choice of insult.

    Oh, shut up.

    Criticise someone for using racist or sexist language? You’re just being PC. Point out that someone is being gratuitously rude? You’re just a tone troll.

    There’s a difference between someone insulting you when they mean to insult you, and hurting all members of a given oppressed group when they only mean to insult you. Don’t pretend not to get it.

  125. 125
    strange gods before me ॐ

    andrewryan,

    Life is like a pitbull… I guess SamoanBiscuit meant me.

    For sure, but since it was phrased as “general” I wondered if it was directed to more than just you.

    But presumably you’re a concern troll too for pointing out that ‘retard’ is a poor choice of insult.

    Concern trolling is a false flag operation; as I am an established commenter here, I don’t think I’ll be mistaken for such.

    Time was I’d be able to say it wasn’t politically correct, but nowadays PC is strictly an insult, rather than something to aspire to.

    If that bothers you, here’s a handy link you might bookmark.

    Like ‘tone troll’ it’s used to shut down discussion.

    Not really. Nobody but PZ with his banhammer can shut down discussion here.

    What it’s used for is a way of saying we’re not obliged to talk about what you want to talk about.

    Such usage might be a good thing or a bad thing, depending. It’s not inherently right or wrong.

    Criticise someone for using racist or sexist language? You’re just being PC.

    I think there’s an important distinction to be made here, that racist or sexist (or ableist) language causes “splash damage” (hat tip to Ing for this phrase) which hurts people who are not the intended targets, or who at least ought not to be the intended targets (this being the case when the person using racist language really is a piece of shit who wants to harm as many people as possible).

    Point out that someone is being gratuitously rude? You’re just a tone troll. Either way, you can be safely dismissed -YOU are the problem,

    It’s possible, though. Don’t discount the point that you may indeed be part of the problem.

    just like those mouthy women at TAM kicking up a fuss for so-called ‘disrespectful behaviour, eh?

    Nah. Again, I think there’s a distinction to be made here between interpersonal rudeness and group privilege/oppression. The women talking about TAM are discussing an example of the latter.

  126. 126
    jtvatheist

    Cue “piss off then you fuggin moron” and “Ooh tone troll!” posts.

    If you can assume these words will be directed at you, then you are more aware of your own actions than you realize. You might not have started as a tone troll, but you got to this point by travelling there yourself, and thus have only yourself to blame.

    Here’s how I saw it going down:
    You chime in with your line that arguing about abortion in a framed context isn’t effective due to the perceptions of those you’re arguing with. You were told that there are other ways to address the issue (at some point bogging down on what it means to ‘address’). A few people rightly pointed out that you can’t argue against the mentality of fetus-peoplehooders with such a perception bias because the framework of their perceptions aren’t rationally founded. You then keep bogging down on that perception issue and stating that it should be addressed in terms of their faulty perception. You are asked to give some examples of ‘directly’ addressing it since you insisted that’s what pro-choicers should do, and your examples were pointed out as typical facts that are trotted out pretty much all the time. During the course of this you were given better lines of arguing, not against the faulty perception directly, but bypassing it in favour of a stronger argument for autonomy.

    Quite a few great comments pass between then and your complaints about “grouches.” Yet you only end up picking out the most innocuous bits and pieces what would constitute the wafting air surrounding a meal – and then try to make a meal out of it – while ignoring the steak and bangers on your plate.

    So you’ll excuse me if I say I wouldn’t mind if you pissed off since you evolved into a tone troll once you ran out of argumentative steam.

  127. 127
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I was referring to incidences at TAM. Like in elevators, and others.

    Why is this shit relevant? You think atheists are better than others? You have some problems if you think atheists aren’t people. Which has zero to do with your implied point, which is atheists are ruder to stangers than others….Get real, or shut the fuck up!!!

  128. 128
    No Light

    Seen it all now.

    Misogynist, ableist troll tells women “Ur doin abortion debate rong, silly fluffybrained wimminz. Here’s how to do it rite lol”

    Troll is told “Cool story bro, but we’re all out of fucks to give” and respondS with:

    “HALP I BEIN OPPRESSED! THIS IS LIKE SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND ASSAULT OF SILLY LADIES! Abloo bloo bloo, hypocrites! Misandry! Victim blaming!”

    Andrew cRyan – you are a shit cupcake, covered in butt,fudge frosting, sprinkled with fresh, juicy dangleberries, and topped with a shiny chod-cherry.

    Sit down, shut up, and just listen to people who know shit from sherbet. I mean, Jacqueline alone could speak and then declare this thread closed, let alone any of the others. Have you even read her comments? Studiad the resources she’s provided?

    Nah, thought not.

  129. 129
    Ingdigo Jump

    I think there’s an important distinction to be made here, that racist or sexist (or ableist) language causes “splash damage” (hat tip to Ing for this phrase) which hurts people who are not the intended targets, or who at least ought not to be the intended targets (this being the case when the person using racist language really is a piece of shit who wants to harm as many people as possible).

    Right complaining about that is complaining about content. It’s specifically asking “can you use another rude term please?”

  130. 130
    oaksterdam

    jtvatheist, that was nicely done. Grog’s on me.

  131. 131
    samoanbiscuit

    @life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ
    Oh I was just meaning interpersonal politeness. Politeness helps discussions along, but nobody should expect it as their due after they have aired their views. Disagreements can range from icily polite exchanges, to general free-for-all flamewars. I strongly prefer the former, but I don’t judge the content of the latter solely because of the tone.
    I also read the comment about how using ableist language like “retarded” shows unawareness of privilege, and I agree. I shall try my best to stay away from it, but I am no saint. I’m just an asshole on the internet, a skeptical one.

  132. 132
    Ingdigo Jump

    Politeness helps discussions along,

    Citation needed.

    A lot of politeness seems to be stop commands for discussion

  133. 133
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Thanks, samoanbiscuit!

    Much appreciated. :)

  134. 134
    Jacqueline Homan

    andrewryan:

    What a lot of grouches on this thread. I came here cos I thought I might get some decent new arguments or a scientific nature.

    1. I’m sorry, I didn’t realize that the protocol for debating away my/my gender’s basic human rights as a jovial”scientific argument” was just an intellectual armchair parlor sport for you. I must have missed the memo.

    2. Women are suffering horribly, even being tortured and KILLED through forced reproduction laws that pass under the cover of “religious liberty” in THIS country. And the “right” to “freedom of religion” is merely a disingenuous tactic for excusing what is tantamount to crimes against humanity being committed by men as a class specifically against women, and ONLY women.

    3. The “religious liberty” invoking “conscience clause” laws and fetal personhood laws is capricious. It fails because of the arbitrary way in which they’re used to harm women. There is a mountain of proof a woman must have to be able to get EC in many regions of the country, or even an abortion, as a rape victim; and there is an even bigger mountain of proof a woman must get that her life is in danger from the pregnancy before she can obtain a “late term abortion” (defined as an abortion after 12 weeks), but the pharmacist who refuses to fill birth control prescriptions, or the doctors that refuse to insert IUD’s or perform tubal ligations do NOT have to show ANY proof that they will be damaged (much less die) if compelled to NOT discriminate against women.

    4. This is a real war in which women are struggling for our lives and our daughters lives. This shit is real for us. And it is real for ANY women in YOUR life that YOU care about: your sister, your daughter, your niece, your girlfriend, or your wife.

    5. This is harming ALL women, in the secular community as well as the religious community. I work with women across the lines of race, social class, who are in the trenches shoulder to shoulder with me fighting against this, OK. They want human rights for themselves and their daughters just like the women in the atheist/skeptics community. That is why the argument is not only one of religious dogma, but mostly one of human rights, medical ethics, and the ethics of jurisprudence in how all of these intersect and impact women and girls’ every day lives — and the lives of our families.

    6. You are assuming that you are having honest debates with these people. And that’s where you’re mistaken. There is no HONEST debate with those who deliberately lie using photoshopped fetal pictures with dishonest gestational ages, outright medical lies, and made up statistics about “abortion risks” (while ignoring, downplaying, or DENYING pregnancy/childbirth risks) that have been debunked as bullshit. There is NO honesty whatsoever emanating from those driving this shit train, or those who deliberately lie to women about fetal abnormalities and pregnancy risks and complications, and refusing to provide appropriate medical care, imperiling women’s health, liberty and lives for the sake of keeping their good-paying jobs and “obeying the laws” (gee, that shit didn’t fly at the post-war Nuremberg trials, did it?) — all because of some dominant, privileged group’s “cause.”

    So no, Andrew my friend, we women are NOT Doing It Wrong, m’kay.

    Had you read the Fact Sheet before trying to make arguments or debates or whatever in order to participate in this discussion, you would not have missed all that. You would be able to brush up on your own debating skills accordingly when going up against the well-heeled, well-organized Bible-thumping petty tyrants. And you will need to do that if you ever really want to get into any serious debate against these woman-hating “Christers”, because if you think the women on THIS thread are hostile or “grouchy”, that is nothing compared to the rabidly cruel, invective, DISHONEST assholes on “the other side” whom are only using their religion as a cover — whether they actually believe in their crap or not (and many don’t) — but are using the right to “religious liberty” as justification for torturing, injuring, and killing women.

  135. 135
    Jacqueline Homan

    Audley:

    I did not know that about Richard Ramirez. Another similar example would be Warren Jeffs, who claimed that his “spiritual marriages” to 12 and 15 year old girls were protected by the First Admendment. He’s spending the rest of his life in prison.

    Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but North Dakota recently voted on Measure 3 which would allow men to marry 12 yr old girls and FORCE them into reproductive chattel slavery at peril to their health, liberty, and lives under the guise of “freedom of religion.” They know that what they’re doing to women and girls is wrong, beyond the pale wrong, but they literally DON’T CARE.

    The underprivileged voices in the trenches fighting against exposing these narcissistic misogynistic sociopaths are not only a very tiny few atheist women like myself (I am one of the only ones that “came out” godless in these rallies and protests), but also many women who are liberal Christians that care about social justice and their daughters’ lives.

    We have this unique unspoken rule of etiquette: those of us who are in the trenches do not aim “friendly fire” at our fellow comrades fighting for women’s and girls’ human rights, whether atheists or Christians.

    Sometimes the human rights of half of the population that is disempowered, disenfranchised and oppressed is a little more important than detached, dispassionate scientific “debates” from the summit of Privilege Mountain — a very important point that Greta Christina tried to make that, unfortunately, was either ignored or dismissed by sleight of hand by the “usual suspects” that dominate the atheist/skeptic movement.

  136. 136
    Jacqueline Homan

    *typo: should read: “fighting against and exposing”

  137. 137
    Cipher

    Jacqueline, I’ve only seen you a few times, but you are consistently amazing. I’m bookmarking your fact sheet for later. Thank you.

  138. 138
    andrewryan

    “So no, Andrew my friend, we women are NOT Doing It Wrong, m’kay.”

    Jacqueline, when did I ever say women were doing it wrong? Regardless of whether I accused ANYONE of ‘doing it wrong’, I certainly never said ‘This is a problem WOMEN have’. To be honest, I’ve no idea about the gender of most of the people posting here, because they’re using non-gender indicative posting names, though I’d kind of guessed Ing was male from the ‘cock swinging’ level of his/her posts.

    “because if you think the women on THIS thread are hostile or “grouchy”

    Again, when did I single out gender? There’s an implication there, similar to if you’d randomly said “If you think black people HERE are hostile”, to someone who’d never brought up racel. I almost think you’re confusing me with someone else. Certainly not someone my wife would recognise. I agree this is a woman’s issue. But I’ve never said here “Here’s where women are going wrong, and neither would I.

    Anyway, I’m sure you are as sincere as I am in your pro-choice credentials, so I will go back to read your fact sheet, and I agree with what you said here completely:

    “We have this unique unspoken rule of etiquette: those of us who are in the trenches do not aim “friendly fire” at our fellow comrades fighting for women’s and girls’ human rights, whether atheists or Christians.”

  139. 139
    Ingdigo Jump

    To be honest, I’ve no idea about the gender of most of the people posting here, because they’re using non-gender indicative posting names, though I’d kind of guessed Ing was male from the ‘cock swinging’ level of his/her posts.

    Oh yeah cause I totally didn’t misjudge you as an asshole.

  140. 140
    Ingdigo Jump

    “We have this unique unspoken rule of etiquette: those of us who are in the trenches do not aim “friendly fire” at our fellow comrades fighting for women’s and girls’ human rights, whether atheists or Christians.”

    Your comradeship is not established.

  141. 141
    andrewryan

    Keep on bravely cyber-bullying from behind your anonymous posting name. I’m sure you’re a lovely person in real life.

  142. 142
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    “We have this unique unspoken rule of etiquette: those of us who are in the trenches do not aim “friendly fire” at our fellow comrades fighting for women’s and girls’ human rights, whether atheists or Christians.”

    Your “credentials” are your unsupported claims. We have no evidence to substantiate your claims. You still sound like a concern troll type one. Your tone trolling is noted and rejected.

  143. 143
    Jacqueline Homan

    Adnrew:

    I certainly never said ‘This is a problem WOMEN have’. To be honest, I’ve no idea about the gender of most of the people posting here, because they’re using non-gender indicative posting names, though I’d kind of guessed Ing was male from the ‘cock swinging’ level of his/her posts.

    “because if you think the women on THIS thread are hostile or “grouchy”

    Again, when did I single out gender?

    You’re correct in that you did not say that in those exact words, but exact wording is not what ruffled the feathers of some of the other posters. But there is a HUGE difference in saying, ‘I tried to counter the ‘pro-lifers’ with A,B,C arguments but I could not succeed in winning the debate with them, instead X,Y,Z happened, can you tell me what you found works for you?’ versus saying,‘that argument won’t work, have you tried this [insert option that was already tried]?’ — which by default infers ‘stupid, irrational, illogical women ain’t Doin’ It Right’ regardless of how well-intentioned you thought you were being.

    And how do I know that it’s mostly women posters reacting negatively to you? I don’t know that 100%. I read their comments about their childbirth experiences, their experiences in trying to get birth control, in getting an abortion, and the concern they have for younger women coming of age today, etc. Some of them have been the same ones to scold you (whether YOU feel you deserved it or not). I highly doubt that they would be reproductively male or non-reproductively female if they went through childbirth or got abortions. Huge clue right there.

    As a peri-menopausal woman (yes, I can still get pregnant at age 45 and the maternal mortality or morbidity risk to me is exponentially higher than for a perfectly healthy 22 year old even if under all other conditions being optimal — ceteris paribus) who has a stepdaughter that’s the mother of a teenage girl whose health, well-being, liberty and lives and life chances are directly impacted by the War on Women, I am directly affected.

    I don’t have the luxury and privilege of just being able to walk away from this and dismiss it as some “special interest issue.”

    Neither do the women who have been traumatized and injured — physically, emotionally, and economically — by being pressed into this egregiously justified gestational abuse and dhimmitude, whether they are escapees from the FLDS (like Flora and Carolyn Jessop), or whether they are escapees of Quiverfull (like Vyckie Garrison or Cheryl Seelhof) — with little to NO outside economic and social support enabling them to flee closed sect cult communities with no money and 8-10 children in tow.

    As an activist and a writer, I have worked with the women who have seen, experienced, and tried to speak out against “Zion births”, against dying from lack of proper medical intervention for pregnancy complications by doctors and hospitals, against being FORCED to give birth to their rapists’ progeny and then give it up for adoption while exiled from their communities and the only “friends” and family they have, and the deprivation of access to birth control, voluntary sterilization, and abortion — but did not have the privileges to say, ‘Fuck this shit, I don’t like this movie so I’m leaving the theater.’

    I have worked with upper-middle class secular women’s rights activists that were state level organizers for the Unite Against the War on Women and the Pass the ERA Now! rallies who are so used to being beaten down (metaphorically) and silenced by the men they thought “cared about them”, men who conjure up fearful mental imagery about POOR women and marginal women that end up meeting a gruesome fate at the hands of predators like Robert “Willie” Pickton to scare them into compliance and obedience to patriarchy’s goose-step tune of “be grateful of what token crumbs we’ve thrown to you.” A popular example being: “Be grateful you don’t live in Iran where they stone rape victims to death for adultery AFTER forcing them to give birth to their rapists’ baby (but we could decide to do that to you too if we weren’t so much more “enlightened”, so shut up).” Given the recent hate-speech against women spewed on Twitter by PR firm owner Jay Townsend who told other men they should “hurl acid” in the faces of Democrat Congresswomen and the “rest of the Lilly Ledbetter hypocrites”, I would question how much more enlightened and reasonable they are in comparison to men in Iran that rape with impunity and kill the victims in the name of sexual immorality laws.

    My cross-race, cross-class, and cross-beliefs “sisters in arms” in this war have been shouted down, silenced for trying to speak out, on top of being conditioned from birth to shut up at such rebukes for tone and attitude from men of their (or higher) social class.

    Men can walk away. I’m trying not to be rude, but sometimes the only way I know how to tell it is to tell it like I see it.

    If you’re male, you face ZERO risk of ever dying in childbirth, or from pregnancy complications, or sustaining permanent mental, social, and gruesome physical impairments from difficult births (like full pelvic organ prolapse, or incurring a 4th degree “rectal extension”). “Saint” Augustine of Hippo didn’t refer to women as “piles of dung” for nothing. He wasn’t just saying that women were shit, he was describing the ugly realities of a wide range of childbirth-related injuries that cause permanent (or long-term) fecal and urinary incontinence. How easy do YOU think it is to complete one’s education (or get ANY education in the first place), to get/keep a job, or participate in society with a problem like that? You don’t have to answer, just think about it.

    You face ZERO risk of having ANY of this shit happen to you under even the BEST of circumstances with a PLANNED and WANTED pregnancy where you’re fully apprised of all the possible risks; let alone kept in the dark about the risk of harm to you while being FORCED BY LAW to carry an unwanted and/or medically risky pregnancy to term against your will in which YOU, nobody else, bear 100% of the risks and side effects,and suffer 100% of the trauma — if you survive the ordeal, which is a matter of legitimate concern given our relatively high maternal mortality rates (which rival that of several Third World countries); that “accidentally” coincides with lack of access to reliable birth control and safe medical abortion. But if you have a daughter, she might not be so fortunate.

  144. 144
    Ingdigo Jump

    Keep on bravely cyber-bullying from behind your anonymous posting name. I’m sure you’re a lovely person in real life.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/2012/06/what-is-bullying/

    You’re not being bullied. Shut up.

  145. 145
    Ingdigo Jump

    Seriously, people are responding to words you say on a place you came to. No one is fucking bullying you.

    But hey if I’m wrong and someone is harassing you off site please let us know cause it’s not ok. I the meantime it looks like you’re just nose hurt over everyone not fellating your every dumb ass muttering as pearls of wisdom

  146. 146
    andrewryan

    “Your comradeship is not established.”

    Well neither is yours to me, but I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. At any rate, though I really don’t see why I have to prove myself to you – and I’m now fairly sure you’re trolling anyway – but I just googled my name (and also ‘Andy Ryan’) with “abortion” and other terms like “apologetics” and “Christian”. I quickly found many discussion threads where I was arguing pro-choice with the ‘it begins at birth!’ brigade.

    Here’s probably the most recent:

    http://noapologiesallowed.wordpress.com/2012/05/30/really-recommended-reading-apple-inc-and-abortion/

    It’s notable for my getting ‘accused’ of being a PZ Myers fan. You might also find it interesting to scroll to the bottom and read the final paragraph of the final post.

    Oh, and I guess you probably are a woman from the ‘matrimonial’ in your name (doh!), but that doesn’t affect my previous point that I’m making any assumptions about anyone’s gender when I reply to them.

    Also here: http://www.toughquestionsanswered.org/2011/11/02/why-should-abortion-be-legal/
    Here: http://www.crossexamined.org/blog/?p=88
    Here: http://www.toughquestionsanswered.org/2011/11/15/what-would-kant-say-about-abortion/

    And many others. If I’m an anti-choicer in disguise then that’s some dedication to fooling people.

  147. 147
    Ingdigo Jump

    Andrew, it’s not fucking about you.

  148. 148
    andrewryan

    “If you’re male, you face ZERO risk of ever dying in childbirth”

    Indeed. My wife almost died giving birth to my first child. It was traumatic for all of us – most of all for her – but nonetheless, this is not an issue that I’m indifferent to. When you’ve seen your life-partner almost die, lose several pints of blood, and take weeks to recover – it makes an impression on you. Not as much no doubt as BEING that life partner, but a significant one nonetheless. With respect, you are making assumptions about me.

    Jacqueline: “versus saying,‘that argument won’t work, have you tried this [insert option that was already tried]?’”

    Right, but I never said that either. I never said “You might want to try these arguments”.

    Beatrice said: ““Too bad he never bothers to give an example of argument that would work, according to his vast experience.”

    I responded to that request*, but I never claimed that they were original arguments, or ones that Beatrice hadn’t already tried. I said “You can argue”, but I might easily have written “One can argue”, or “I have in the past argued”.

    * “Well you can argue that it’s moronic to say it’s a human being at conception – Point out that it can split into twins quite a few days in – do they each have half a soul? Point out that brain activity doesn’t start for months. Quote biologists who disagree that a blastocyst is a human being.” But that was in direct response to someone asking me what arguments”

    “And how do I know that it’s mostly women posters reacting negatively to you? ”

    You were telling me that I was specifically targeting women. Leaving aside that, as I already explained, I wasn’t targeting anyone, again there was nothing gender-specific about my posts to others here other than the fact that we’re discussing a woman’s issue. Whether you can tell it was women reacting negatively says nothing about whether I was trying to tell women what to do or say. I didn’t do that, and I wouldn’t do that.

  149. 149
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    I love it when a newcomer whose ass was not polished accuses a regular of being a troll.

    Jacqueline (who is also a newcomer) did a bang up job explaining why Andrew is getting the reception he has gotten.

    I also like how he completely ignored my contention that coming up with “better debate” is kind of pointless when rights are being lost. How the fuck will taking Andrew by the hand help with what is going on right now in Virginia and Michigan.

    Yeah, better rhetoric will prevent the future murders of doctors like George Tiller.

  150. 150
    andrewryan

    “Andrew, it’s not fucking about you.”

    Sure – if it wasn’t me, you’d find someone else to swear, snear and snark at. Don’t worry – you know nothing about me so I don’t take it personally.

  151. 151
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Keep on bravely cyber-bullying from behind your anonymous posting name. I’m sure you’re a lovely person in real life.

    You are the one trying to bully us about our tone at the moment. What you need is a reality check, so look at the masthead. Is that your name, or is it PZ’s? Here’s PZ’s statement on how he wants his blog run:

    This is a rude blog. We like to argue — heck, we like a loud angry brawl. Don’t waste time whining at anyone that they’re not nice, because this gang will take pride in that and rhetorically hand you a rotting porcupine and tell you to stuff it up your nether orifice. If you intrude here and violate any of the previous three mores, people won’t like you, and they won’t hold back—they’ll tell you so, probably in colorful terms.

    So I suggest you lose all your bullying about our tone, as it isn’t your blog, and we are doing as PZ wants.

  152. 152
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Would anyone like to see an abortion debate between Andrew and joey? Will better debating schemes make joey into a honest debater?

  153. 153
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    you know nothing about me

    I wasn’t counting, but I think this rounds it up to at least one Bingo!.

  154. 154
    dianne

    Would anyone like to see an abortion debate between Andrew and joey?

    That would be…interesting. If you’re interested, Andrew, TZT is where joey now hangs out unless he’s lost interest and wandered off.

  155. 155
    andrewryan

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls, I’ve got no problem with loud, angry debate. And I swear a lot myself. And I’ve been reading this blog regularly for years, so I don’t need you to quote pz at me.

    I wasn’t whining about being sworn at, I was just a bit baffled by the reaction given that I’m talking to people who are pretty much on the same page as me on every issue involved in this subject. All my replies since that initial splenetic response have basically been trying to point out that I wasn’t saying anything close to what people claimed I’ve said. People were posting to me “No Andrew, you’re wrong – the situation is s actually x”, and then they’d basically paraphrase what I’d just said myself, making me figure they didn’t actually disagree with me at all. When I explained this, I don’t see why it shouldn’t have just been a case of “Oh right – we agree then”, and then we all move on.

  156. 156
    No Light

    Andrew – why is it so hard to accept that it’s not about you? You always get. to walk away, your body is always your own.

    Do you know what the leading cause of death in pregnancy is? Murder.

    I’ll repeat what I said upthread, forced birth is rape. It’s also death, pain, loss, grief.

    You get to walk away, we don’t. This isn’t some feminism 101 debate for vs, it’s our lives, our bodies, our dignity. We. always lose.

  157. 157
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    We. always lose.

    No, not always. We won enough that we have rights to be taken away.

    But now is not a particularly good time.

  158. 158
    andrewryan

    No Light, why do you think you’re telling me anything I disagree with? I just told you my wife almost died in child birth.

    “I’ll repeat what I said upthread, forced birth is rape. It’s also death, pain, loss, grief.”

    Yes. All of which I agree with. It seems we are in agreement. No argument required. Unless you want to prove me wrong.

    Right…?

  159. 159
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    People were posting to me “No Andrew, you’re wrong – the situation is s actually x”, and then they’d basically paraphrase what I’d just said myself, making me figure they didn’t actually disagree with me at all.

    No, except in the losest sense of being pro-choice. I saw differences in what you said and what they said. As I said previously, you sounded like a concern troll questioning our arguments, and that was probably how you were being read, and what people were responding to.

    I’ve been arguing abortion since before Roe v. Wade was announced back when I was in college. There haven’t been any new arguments from either side in 20 years.

    How to quit making it about you? Let the past day die, and go forth with a new attitude, without complaints and tone trolling.

  160. 160
    andrewryan

    “I saw differences in what you said and what they said.”

    I was specifically referencing when Ing directly quoted me saying “one needs to address argument x”, and he/she replied “No you don’t. In fact that is what should be contested”.

    She/he then added: “IMHO the best strategy for debate is always to go to the root of the disagreement/belief and address the underlying assumptions.”

    …which was exactly the same point I was making.

    So if the difference between our opinions was the difference between ADDRESSING an argument and CONTESTING the argument, then I don’t really see that as a difference, unless you think by ‘addressing’ you believe I meant anything apart from ‘argue against’.

    If pointing this out was ‘making it about me’, then anyone arguing that point was also ‘making it about me’.

    “Go forth with a new attitude, without complaints”

    I think my attitude has been friendly and clear, in the face of provocation. And I complain about injustice whenever I see it. I’m an endlessly PC liberal I’m afraid!

    But go ahead and get the conversation back on track, unless people would rather continue asking me to justify my pro-choice credentials. I guess the next post will show what people want…

  161. 161
    dianne

    I’ll repeat what I said upthread, forced birth is rape.

    Sabotoging birth control is a common form of domestic abuse. The “pro-life” movement is objectively pro-abuser.

  162. 162
    Jacqueline Homan

    Worse is that in this country, society bent over backwards to accommodate the pro-forced birthers with their insistence on “informed consent” to the risks and side effects of abortion to the point that the “pro-life” view is one that deliberately peddles medical lies to women at fake crisis pregnancy centers. Yet there is NO informed consent to the expectable outcomes of pregnancy, childbirth, and being a mother. Women who don’t want to go through it for whatever reason are treated with contempt, looked upon as “unnatural”, and this is because reproduction is dictated by the dominant group with the most unearned privileges (men) deciding what is the default normal and what is not. Women are kept in the dark and NOT told about what to expect in pregnancy and childbirth, and many suffer a pile of regrets (along with permanent physical side effects) that they are expected to keep to themselves. Read more here:

    http://www.secret-confessions.com/hate/hate-being-a-mom

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