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Monday, August 30, 2010

Going to Planned Parenthood!

Editor's note: As part of our new Secular Sidewalk program, Monday blog posts will be written by sidewalk counselors. This week, our guest blogger is Heather, an atheist from Virginia.

It's about 6:00 am, on a Saturday morning. I am packed with my lawn chair, pro-life literature, a diaper bag with everything from baby stuff to drinks and snacks. I load my 3 month old son in the car and off we go to the Planned Parenthood on Peters Creek Rd in Roanoke, VA. We arrive around 6:50 and I am pulling to a closed doctor's office nearby-who graciously let us park there for Saturday mornings. I have to walk across the street with baby, lawn chair and bag. We meet in front of the abortion facility in a grassy area. A drive way that comes up the hill leading to it is right next to us and so is the parking lot. At the top of the hill, which is very close to the building, I usually set up my chair and sit with my baby.

There are about 12 other people there, all of whom I know. We all have a sign with either a message on it or a picture of a baby in the womb. At 7:00 the cars start coming in. Now my heart is really excited: maybe we'll save a baby today?

Usually it plays like this- a car pulls up and sits there for awhile and then out comes a girl and most of the time her boyfriend. They walk head down towards the clinic, then a couple of pro-lifers will call out to them. "Can we help you?" "Don't go in there, they kill babies in there" or "God has a plan for your baby" "Please come talk to us". And it usually ends like this- the couple looks over at us (the guy is more likely to since the girl seems too upset), then they just walk in and another innocent baby is no more.

I have been going to this protest movement since my son has been about a month old. My son is the real reason I come on Saturday mornings. It was at this very clinic that I would have ended my little boy's short life on earth. It was back in October of 2008; I was going through a lot of difficult things with my baby's father. Long story short I was living in the local battered women's shelter there in Roanoke, and just got hired at a nursing home as an assistant going into a CNA class. The baby was really getting to be a burden in my eyes since I could not train while big and pregnant and also that I was really sick. After a big fight with his dad, I decided that the baby had to go! It was crippling my whole life it seemed at that time. So I went to Planned Parenthood with out anyone knowing and inquired about birth control and some other services they offered, but I could not bring myself to ask about abortion. It was a sore spot with me and I was also in my second trimester. But on an autumn Wednesday afternoon I drove to the clinic to schedule an appointment for an abortion.

As I was driving in, an older woman was sitting out there with a big pro-life sign which I could not look at! I ignored her and parked in front, got out slamming the door and arguing with my boyfriend. I started to walk in but was convinced by my boyfriend to just talk to her since she was begging us not to go in. Thank goodness I did! After seeing another sonogram of my baby, I could not go through with thinking about an abortion.

Well I had my baby April 9, 2009 and brought him home on Easter sunday. I have many more details to tell about that tough time back in October but that's for another time. I now go as much as I can to the clinic to save another girl from the mental torture I was going through; but there seems to be some things that need to change with the sidewalk counseling. I will keep blogging about my Saturday morning trips to Planned Parenthood every other Monday and share what happens and how some things need to improve in sidewalk counseling to be more effective. I go there to convince girls not to abort by showing scientific facts that abortion is not the best option. Now I'm the only one in the pro-life group thats not religious, and that causes some difficulty but I am hopeful I can change the situation and draw in other people who have similar thoughts and beliefs as I do.

74 comments:

Simon said...

Heather would you consider doing short video clips for youtube?

Lover of Life said...

Heather, your story has really touched me, and I'm so glad that the sidewalk counselor was there for you when you needed her. I'm really excited to hear what you think could be improved about sidewalk counseling - I'll be waiting for the next update from you.

Nulono said...

I'm so glad that there are sidewalk counselors, but I could never keep my composure enough to do it myself.

Life for Everyone! said...

yes Simon I would consider that!

Yonmei said...

You harass vulnerable women at a painful time in their lives, bullying them and scaring them, and you think this nasty behaviour is worth boasting about?

I've got no words for how much I despise bullies like you.

darkcougar555 said...

Thank you for share with us, Heather. I'm so happy that woman did help you out. =)

I think it would be nice to buy baby stuff from local Dollar Tree stores to make an offer for women and girls. Maybe it would save babies from abortion? I don't know? I wish I'm a good sidewalk counselor... u_u

Simon said...

I wonder Yonmei if female genital mutilation was legal would you call them bullies for trying to stop it?

Simon said...

Heather I think something like a video diary exploring the issues -esp the philosophy-from a secular/atheist perspective would be great.

If you could contact Kelsey and get my email address we can start on the details.

Nulono said...

Yonmei, she never said anything about harassing anyone. She offers help and support. She tries to steer mothers away from a traumatic, life-altering (not to mention life-ending) choice.

This woman is out there trying to save lives, and I think she deserves a bit more respect.

secularprolife.org said...

Yonmei appears to have missed the point that Heather herself was such a "vulnerable woman" (how very empowering), and she was NOT harassed, but was HELPED, by sidewalk counselors. Heather is paying it forward and I greatly respect her for that.

jesurgislac said...

"Sidewalk counseling" is public harassment of vulnerable women.

It is bullying. The horrible things that Heather quotes with approval, whether she says them herself personally or just tacitly approves them: it's evil, ugly behavior, designed to scare and intimidate patients and clinic staff.

If I lived near this clinic I'd volunteer to be an escort, to protect the women going in from the bullies outside.

secularprolife.org said...

Okay, jesurgislac, let's go through those quotes one by one.

"Can we help you?"
This is not bullying by any stretch of the imagination.

"Don't go in there, they kill babies in there."
The abortionists at the facility would not appreciate this statement, but it says nothing about the woman.

"God has a plan for your baby."
Obviously Heather doesn't approve this one. I don't think it's bullying, but I do think it's counter-productive.

"Please come talk to us."
Again: this is not bullying by any stretch of the imagination.

I am so sick of the "saying it makes it so" attitude of abortion advocates. No matter how many times you say that pro-lifers hate women, no matter how many times you say that thousands of women died every year from illegal abortions before Roe, and no matter how many times you say we're just motivated by religion-- you'll never make any of those things true.

Heather almost walked into that facility. I'm sure she's very glad that she didn't have an escort there to "protect" her from hearing the truth!

darkcougar555 said...

Nulono and Secular, I don't see how Heather is a "bully", too. What I understand that she did try to help women and girls, not to harass them... Thank goodness, the older woman did save her for real!

Michelle Ye Zhang said...

@ Yonmei and jesurgislac

I understand your frustration. You have probably witnessed "Pro-Lifers" who have stood outside clinics screaming, yelling, and spitting in the faces of these troubled and hurt women. You may have been subjected to it yourself, and that can be a deep and painful scar. You may know people who have been subjected to that and it is still a scar because of how close and how much you feel for them.

However, I challenge you today to step back and listen to our words. We do not and will never condone the actions I mentioned above. We here at SecularProlife are all about help and encouragement. Not about harassment.

I'm sure you can agree with me that a true Choice is a Choice with Options. We here and the Secular Sidewalk Program are looking to show confused and vulnerable women that there may be more choices out there they don't know about.

In the end it is still the woman's choice and whatever they choose we do not interfere. We do hope though that if they choose life to continue to help and support her in that choice.

I hope you can come to realize the difference between us and those who harass.

jesurgislac said...

This is not bullying by any stretch of the imagination.

Except they're lying. The sidewalk bullies aren't planning to HELP, they want to hurt her. Calling "Can I help you?" to someone who you plan to hurt, is bullying,

"God has a plan for your baby."
Obviously Heather doesn't approve this one. I don't think it's bullying, but I do think it's counter-productive.


It's just another kind of bullying. "God has a plan for your baby"? Yeah, and these bullies arrogantly believe THEY know what God's will is. They think they're empowered by God to harass others.

"Please come talk to us."
Again: this is not bullying by any stretch of the imagination.


Done with evil intent, sure it is. "Please come talk to us" so that WE can make YOU feel bad, attack you more. It's ugly harassment.

The abortionists at the facility would not appreciate this statement, but it says nothing about the woman.

Calling "they kill babies in there" is truly disgusting, slimy and a vile personal attack on a woman who has decided to have an abortion. You're personally accusing her, because she's decided to terminate her pregnancy, of "killing her baby". That's not just bullying. It's slander, and it's been used as justification for terrorism and murder.

However, I challenge you today to step back and listen to our words. We do not and will never condone the actions I mentioned above.

Yet, you're allowing someone who does just that - calls ugly insults and threats at vulnerable girls and women, to scare them and bully them - to post here.

So, your hypocritical assurance you "don't condone that" means nothing.

Michelle Ye Zhang said...

@ jesurgislac

"Yet, you're allowing someone who does just that - calls ugly insults and threats at vulnerable girls and women, to scare them and bully them - to post here."

When did we allow this? We are allowing a Sidewalk Counselor to post here. A sidewalk counselor =/= someone who shouts insults and threats are vulnerable girls. A sidewalk counselor is someone who offers up information that the vulnerable girls and women may not have known before. Offering them resources and offering them more choices than the one choice of abortion.

secularprolife.org said...

Jesurgislac, if you're going to completely ignore Heather's positive experience with sidewalk counselors as an abortion-minded mom, this conversation is doomed to be unproductive. Have a nice day.

Michelle Ye Zhang said...

@ jesurgislac

"The sidewalk bullies aren't planning to HELP, they want to hurt her."

Again, you confuse sidewalk counselors with other protestors.

A sidewalk counselor is there to help. At least the ones we feature here. This kind of goes into personal motivation which honestly, only the person doing it will know. Do you really think you know every sidewalk counselor and know that they have evil intentions?

The people we feature here and the Project we are doing is for helping. Just that. No evil intentions. Nothing else. There may be stereotype out there that Pro-Lifers don't care about the woman but we are here to show that isn't true. We want every woman to have as much information as possible so that they make an informed decision whether that be for life or for an abortion.

"Done with evil intent, sure it is. "Please come talk to us" so that WE can make YOU feel bad, attack you more. It's ugly harassment."

And if we find anyone who wants to do that we will not support it. We have not, do not, and will not support this. Again we are about helping and informing. If you find any of our SideWalk counselors doing any harassing please feel free to point it out. But please do not accuse us of things we have not done. Please do not pre-judge us.

Michelle Ye Zhang said...

@ jesurgislac

"The sidewalk bullies aren't planning to HELP, they want to hurt her."

Again, you confuse sidewalk counselors with other protestors.

A sidewalk counselor is there to help. At least the ones we feature here. This kind of goes into personal motivation which honestly, only the person doing it will know. Do you really think you know every sidewalk counselor and know that they have evil intentions?

The people we feature here and the Project we are doing is for helping. Just that. No evil intentions. Nothing else. There may be stereotype out there that Pro-Lifers don't care about the woman but we are here to show that isn't true. We want every woman to have as much information as possible so that they make an informed decision whether that be for life or for an abortion.

"Done with evil intent, sure it is. "Please come talk to us" so that WE can make YOU feel bad, attack you more. It's ugly harassment."

And if we find anyone who wants to do that we will not support it. We have not, do not, and will not support this. Again we are about helping and informing. If you find any of our SideWalk counselors doing any harassing please feel free to point it out. But please do not accuse us of things we have not done. Please do not pre-judge us.

jesurgislac said...

We are allowing a Sidewalk Counselor to post here.

Yes. Someone who shouts ugly, slanderous, disgusting stuff at a vulnerable woman or girl, such as "they kill babies in there!"

Someone who admits this is what she does.

A sidewalk counselor is someone who offers up information that the vulnerable girls and women may not have known before.

What, you're claiming that the lie that Planned Parenthood "kills babies" is information that a woman going to have an abortion "may not have known before"? Or that "God has a plan for your baby!" is somehow useful information?

SecularProlife: Jesurgislac, if you're going to completely ignore Heather's positive experience with sidewalk counselors as an abortion-minded mom

I don't believe her, frankly. Anyone inclined to bully women going to abortion clinics is going to lie about whatever abortion experience she has. See The Only Moral Abortion Is My Abortion. Pro-lifers

Nulono said...

"a true Choice is a Choice with Options"
Thank you, A. A. Milne.

@jesurgislac You seem to be under the impression that you know our motives better than we do. We don't go and stand on a sidewalk all day trying to hurt anyone; we intend to prevent harm.

As for "they kill babies in there", that's a basic fact. They don't send them to live on a farm upstate!

Nobody is using insults OR threats.

Yonmei said...

Hm, I just tried to post a comment. Wasn't allowed.

Yonmei said...

It would be rude to assume that Heather must be fictional just because her story so conveniently mandates harassment. In a big country all things are possible, so let's take a look at it in more detail.

She was being beaten up by her boyfriend, she wasn't able to work, living in the US she had no right to paid maternity leave, no decent healthcare system to ensure she would get pre-natal and post-natal healthcare, let alone healthcare for her delivery or for her baby once born.

But Heather was clearly ambivalent about having the abortion - something Planned Parenthood staff would have recognized and discussed with her. Planned Parenthood are all about choice, not coercion. Heather decided not to have the abortion. I hope the boyfriend she mentions who was arguing with her isn't the same man who was beating her up.

Now let's look at the things Heather admits her buddies the pavement harassers shout at the women going in.

"Can we help you?" "Please come talk to us".

If that was all they said, that would actually be reasonable enough. They're carrying pro-life signs, I would hope, clearly identifying themselves as anti-choice.

But bullies never confine themselves to what's reasonable. Give bullies permission to harass, and they go beyond the line, and again.

Pavement protesters outside US health clinics have committed acts of terrorism, violence, and murder. They invariably justify their pro-life violence and murder with the same "reasons" Heather admits her buddies use:

"Don't go in there, they kill babies in there" or "God has a plan for your baby"

I really don't have words to say how disgusting I think this kind of nastiness is, but perhaps I can explain how scary this is.

"They kill babies" has been the justification for every pro-life murder since the movement began thirty-plus years ago: the idea that any violence, including murder, is justified, because having an abortion is equated to killing a baby. Anyone saying this has to be assumed to be potentially a terrorist, perhaps a murderer: who will be the next George Tiller, killed for the pro-life cause?

"God has a plan" - is irritating/funny to me, I'm an atheist: but I can only imagine how devastating or angering it might be to a religious woman who had thought and prayed and considered and finally decided that this was what was right for her. Also, scary, for the same reason as the "Kill babies" line: "God wants us to do it" is the justification for pro-life violence.

If the pro-life movement actually wanted to help prevent abortions, they wouldn't be wasting their time hanging about outside health clinics frightening and harassing girls and women going in.

They'd be picketing school boards that mandate teaching abstinence as sex education. They'd be picketing pharmacist shops that think they should be entitled to deny women contraception. They'd be picketing Catholic hospitals that make a point of refusing rape victims emergency contraception. They'd be picketing doctors who refuse to prescribe contraception. They'd be picketing employers who fire pregnant woman. They'd be campaigning for the federal government to provide free healthcare to all, to mandate paid maternity leave, to fund adequate welfare for mothers/children on unemployment.

The pro-life movement in the US does none of these things. In fact, many of them support pro-abortion policies, against welfare, healthcare, or a right to paid maternity leave/employment protection is in practice as much about coercion to abort as is the pro-life movement's support of denial of contraception or insistence on "abstinence education" rather than sex education. But they clearly like harassing women.

Life for Everyone! said...

I don't push the women to do anything. I offer other options. Remember the woman standing out there saved my baby and got me help. Not just emotional help but financial help as well!

nate said...

@ Yonmei you just posted that comment so hmmm

@jesrrslac I feel like sidewalk counseling is seriously flawed too
But I do also feel like the pro abortion side is like a wolf in sheep's clothing my mom had one abortion. Before me and actually got on the table to have one with me! And she couldn't do it (by the way she was 16) then she had me and my brother then when I was eight she had a second one. I was pushed by so called friends that are pro abortion to try to have an abortion! They said it is okay your life will be the sameits not a baby yet but my Mom NEVER offered this option. You see about a year ago o decide to do something about the killing of innocent. Baby's. Both in womb and out! So o have been doing various things. But I decide to tell my mother which is a sever drug addict! About my passion and this is when she started shaking and sobing and telling me how proud she was of me and THEN she told me about the abortions. All I could do was hug her! I LOVE MY MOM!
She told me the abortions ruined her life butshe didn't have anyone tohelp and she feels like shw killed her babbies and so instead both sidea need tocome together and give some life trainning to these beautiful women and help them before to love themswelves during to teach them how precious life is theirs and their childs and after to help them with the tools to raise their child the best they can with our help! Sorry about all thetypos I am on a phone;)

nate said...

@ Yonmei you just posted that comment so hmmm

@jesrrslac I feel like sidewalk counseling is seriously flawed too
But I do also feel like the pro abortion side is like a wolf in sheep's clothing my mom had one abortion. Before me and actually got on the table to have one with me! And she couldn't do it (by the way she was 16) then she had me and my brother then when I was eight she had a second one. I was pushed by so called friends that are pro abortion to try to have an abortion! They said it is okay your life will be the sameits not a baby yet but my Mom NEVER offered this option. You see about a year ago o decide to do something about the killing of innocent. Baby's. Both in womb and out! So o have been doing various things. But I decide to tell my mother which is a sever drug addict! About my passion and this is when she started shaking and sobing and telling me how proud she was of me and THEN she told me about the abortions. All I could do was hug her! I LOVE MY MOM!
She told me the abortions ruined her life butshe didn't have anyone tohelp and she feels like shw killed her babbies and so instead both sidea need tocome together and give some life trainning to these beautiful women and help them before to love themswelves during to teach them how precious life is theirs and their childs and after to help them with the tools to raise their child the best they can with our help! Sorry about all thetypos I am on a phone;)

Yonmei said...

Yonmei you just posted that comment so hmmm

Yes: I had a longer comment in response to Heather & about the pavement harassers of health clinics, but it's either been deleted or spammed.

Yonmei said...

I don't push the women to do anything. I offer other options.

If all you're doing is standing around outside clinics saying scary & disgusting things such as you quote, you're really not "offering" anything. I had a longer comment outlining this in more detail, but it's evidently not allowed to post pro-choice views at any length on a pro-life site: after all, if we sound too reasonable pro-life people might realise we have a better case than you guys do.

Life for Everyone! said...

Yonmei... what are you doing to help save babies and help women?

Yonmei said...

Yonmei... what are you doing to help save babies and help women?

Donating to Oxfam and to Amnesty International: working for the right of women to safe legal abortion. Pro-life attacks on healthcare for women contribute to half a million women dying each year.

What do you do to ensure that women who need abortion as a life-saving operation get to have an abortion before they die? Something, anything, nothing?

What do you do to ensure that rape victims in Catholic hospitals get emergency contraception? What do you do to ensure that pharmacists who claim a right of conscience to force abortion on women are overruled and required to provide contraception? What do you do to protest pro-abortion abstinence education?

If all you're doing is telling nasty lies to women going into a health clinic, you're not doing anything but being a pavement bully. Fun for you - bullies enjoy making people suffer - but not useful in preventing abortion. Go picket your nearest Catholic hospital to require them to provide emergency contraception, if you actually CARE about preventing abortions.

Simon said...

I agree Catholics have it wrong on many levels but not the idea that one can avoid ones problems by killing your offspring.

Also from your POV I suppose many peace marches are just another form of bullying.

Yonmei said...

I agree Catholics have it wrong on many levels but not the idea that one can avoid ones problems by killing your offspring.

Well, Simon, it's SO reassuring for your female friends to know that you regard a rapist's sperm as such a treasure that you think that Catholic hospitals "get it right" by refusing raped women the option of preventing conception.

Also from your POV I suppose many peace marches are just another form of bullying.

Pro-life pavenment harassers outside health clinics are the exact equivalent of Westboro Baptist Church picketing soldier's funerals: attacking the vulnerable for no purpose but to cause pain.

I know of no peace protesters who support "peace" actions at soldiers' funerals. That's bullying.

Pro-lifers are as free as anyone else to go for a march in public to make their stand clear. Of course they don't do this instead of picketing clinics, because if they did, it would be VERY clear how little public support they have. Bullies prefer to attack weak, vulnerable targets, not to go on public marches.

Michelle Ye Zhang said...

@ Yonmei

"If all you're doing is standing around outside clinics saying scary & disgusting things such as you quote, you're really not "offering" anything. I had a longer comment outlining this in more detail, but it's evidently not allowed to post pro-choice views at any length on a pro-life site: after all, if we sound too reasonable pro-life people might realise we have a better case than you guys do. "

Actually I think that's more Blogger than anything. I posted something twice yesterday and it didn't show up either. Please don't assume we would censor anyone. If you read our other posts here you will see that we have never censored opposing views.

Yonmei said...

Michelle: Actually I think that's more Blogger than anything.

Fair enough. I wrote it in notepad so may try reposting in smaller chunks. Appreciate your followup comment.

Nulono said...

I'm not sure if you know this, but "emergency contraception" can cause an early abortion by preventing implantation, and thus causing embryonic death.

We do not want to hurt anyone. We are trying to prevent abortion, and sidewalk counseling is the most direct approach. There ARE other things we do, including PRCs, but we need prevention on both ends and in the middle. It will take a while for other methods to take effect, and sex ed does nothing to stop abortion in the short-term.

But tell me one "lie" that anyone said.

Simon said...

Yonmei as I've told Kelsey and others I wouldn't stop a rape abortion because the woman isn't responsible for it being there.

So I should have clarified, nonetheless for the overwhelming number of abortions the woman is responsible and has the same duty of care and obligations as she has for born offspring.

I shouldn’t have to remind you that if personhood counts babies aren’t persons. One wonders why Pro-Choice feel an obligation to care for them since personhood seems to be a crucial factor in justification for abortion.


And correct me if I’m wrong but the Westboro Baptist Church are protesting about homosexuality in the US & like many other conservatives would be quite happy with the war otherwise. So they can hardly be called peace protesters.

Again I ask if the women were going to have their daughters circumcised or for that matter having late extreme term abortions or sex selection abortion late or otherwise, would you still feel this ‘bullying’ was inappropriate?

BTW are you just as against the bullying that goes on that railroads young women into having abortions? Or the financial and social bullying that puts a young woman in situations that she feels she needs to kill her offspring instead of raising it herself?

Funny how Pro-Choice Liberals are all about rights and welfare principles but then think killing healthy humans is a reasonable way to avoid problems that could be solved with traditional progressive welfare concerns.

Yonmei said...

Nulono: I'm not sure if you know this, but "emergency contraception" can cause an early abortion by preventing implantation, and thus causing embryonic death.

I'm familiar with the pro-life propaganda claiming that emergency contraception is an abortifacient. The first time I encountered this claim, I went away and checked the scientific facts of how emergency contraception works.

First, if a woman was at the right time in her cycle to become pregnant due to unprotected sex, she is also at just the right time in her cycle that if she takes emergency contraception immediately, this will prevent ovulation. If she doesn't ovulate, she can't become pregnant, and if she doesn't become pregnant, she doesn't need to have an abortion. Thus, emergency contraception prevents abortions.

Second, emergency contraception has been shown to thicken the mucus at the mouth of the cervix, which means that if it's taken immediately it may prevent sperm entering the uterus, so that even if she has already ovulated, she won't become pregnant, and thus emergency contraception prevents abortions.

What I also discovered is that pro-lifer propagandists have glommed onto an acknowledged effect that can't be proved: that emergency contraception can thin the lining of the uterus and this might prevent an embryo from attacing to the uterus wall and thus cause a very early miscarriage. There is literally no proof that this ever happens: neither in laboratory conditions nor in real life. Women have taken emergency contraception too late to prevent ovulation and become/remained pregnant until abortion, thus demonstrating in real life: tests in laboratories have shown similiar effects.

What is known and proved, over and over again, is that emergency contraception prevents abortion by preventing conception.

What is also known, and obvious, is that pro-lifers do not CARE that emergency contraception prevents abortion (or they have kept themselves deliberately, wilfully ignorant, which comes to the same thing).

What they do care about - quite evidently - is that women shouldn't be able to protect themselves from getting pregnant by a means solely under the woman's control - and, unfortunately, the pro-life doctors and pharmacists who deny her this protection because, in effect, they prefer her to be "punished" with an abortion, or - as they would doubtless claim - to "take the consequences" - pregnancy and childbirth as punishment.

This aspect of pro-life campaigning is pro-abortion. It's nothing else.


We are trying to prevent abortion

See comment about emergency contracepton, above. No: no pro-lifer who opposes free access to emergency contraception can claim to be "trying to prevent abortion".

, and sidewalk counseling is the most direct approach.

Like Westboro Baptist Church picketing soldier's funerals is the most direct approach of stopping people joining the US military?

Even if it were true, it would still be wrong.

and sex ed does nothing to stop abortion in the short-term.

True. Dutch sex ed and free access to contraception took 20 years to make the Netherlands the country with the lowest abortion rate in the world. Saying Oh it'll take a long time let's do these counterproductive things INSTEAD, just demonstrates - see above - that you don't CARE about preventing abortion, you just want to harass women.

Yonmei said...

So, I wrote a long comment explaining exactly how emergency contraception works (not that I think anyone here needed to be told for real, but it's worth setting it down so that you CAN'T continue to claim to be ignorant).

I saw it published. I came back to respond to Simon.

I saw my long comment had gone. Second time this has happened.

Granted, of course, as Michelle claims, it COULD be blogger. Or it COULD be pro-life censorship of information that this blog prefers not to have discussed.

Either way. Not worth commenting here.

Nulono said...

Simon, it's not your fault if your father is a rapist and you don't deserve to be punished for your father's crime, especially not a non-capital one. We don't even kill an unborn child if her mother is on death row!

Yonmei, emergency contraception works by suppressing ovulation, altering the endometrium to be hostile to implantation, and I think there's a third one. We're concerned with the possibility of causing early embryonic death.

Nulono said...

If you want, you can contact me and I can post your comment for you. I'm sorry you've been having technical difficulties.

Simon said...

Nulono it is nothing directly to do about punishment for the crime of the father.

As I've argued to Catholics and Kelsey it's all about bodily autonomy. So unless you are going to force everyone to give up their bodily autonomy either directly by being forced to give blood or organs, or indirectly by fostering for at least 9 months you to save lives or provide welfare care, you cannot just ask that of a rape victim.

I find it strange that I have to point out that a life outside the womb is as important as that inside, and if you are going to force someone to give up their right to bodily autonomy -especially since they aren't morally responsible for that life being their- you yourself should be prapared to be treated in the same exact way when there is a life to be saved.

Simon said...

In this regard many conservative Pro-Lifers are just as guilty as Pro-Choicers of not thinking outside the box and going logically where their stance takes them. Same on universal health care and capital punishment.

Nulono said...

It's a common misconception, and a trap I'm surprised you've fallen into. Abortion is not simply denying someone assistance; it is intentionally and deliberately taking their life.

http://www.l4l.org/library/thomviol.html
http://www.l4l.org/library/aborrape.html

Simon said...

Ever heard of Double Effect? One need only remove the foetus not directly kill it.

Regardless, there it isn’t always a revenant difference between killing and letting die.

Tell me that you think a person who watches an infant drown in a bath tub isn’t as immoral as a person who actively drowns an infant.

By forcing a rape victim to have the child is saying that a high level of intervention -including suspending bodily autonomy- is justified to save a life that we aren’t morally responsible for.

That is the underlying principle you are applying and isn’t something that just applies to rape victims.

& if you don’t like Double Effect because it still results in a death, then you are also impaled on your own logic for if you don’t give up your bodily autonomy –like you are forcing on a rape victim- then like the drowning child that was allowed to drown and a removed foetus, it still results in a death that could have been PREVENTED!

The whole point of the Thompson violinist analogy is to show that even when we have an individual that has equal moral rights, just because you would kill them by detaching them that in itself isn’t a reason not to do it as they have no right to be there in the first place.

Also I would argue that if people we constantly -and for a months on end- under assault in a similar way to a pregnant rape victim, where it not only severely impacted on your normal life but also had a chance of severely affecting your health, in a situation where you couldn’t escape or ask for legal/physical protection/assistance, then I and many people would feel justified in killing even an innocent aggressor.

Don’t you worry I’ve put plenty of thought into this.

Simon said...

Nulono Ok your links.

1st short term trespass isn’t considered justification for lethal force. The plane analogy is a bad analogy.

Nor do I accept is acting as an agent argument. She is no more an agent of the father than I would be a agent/proxy of an assassin who drugged someone causing them to go on a shooting spree that required me to kill the guy in self defence.

Cliff? A bit messy, how about having to stay in bed for 9months? Well I have told people that in principle I could be prepared to say you cannot kill an innocent aggressor in non life threatening situations. But that really doesn’t let you off the hook because if I’m going to be made to make that sacrifice in a situation that prevents someone from dying, then you are sure as hell are going to do the same whenever there is a situation that overcoming someone’s bodily autonomy prevents a death.

Simon said...

Lastly regarding intervening as compared to sitting on ones hand about a kid left at a church.

First for the analogy to work it would have to be a child in isolation where you are the only possible caregiver and you cannot pass that child on for at least 9 months.

Secondly as I pointed out while in general we cannot harm another human, nor can we like in the drowning child analogy, just walk by if at no or little cost to ourselves we can prevent a death.

What you are doing is only focusing on the pregnant woman and ignoring the underlying principles and the point that while she is physically connected to this particular welfare situation we are societally connected to welfare situations by the fact we are all in the same society.

In this respect we are all in the bathroom or pregnant and the drowning child/foetus is any member of our society that could be saved, if we are forced -like the rape victim- to give up their bodily autonomy.

My analogy to Kelsey was if society gives the government the legal authority to commandeer private property/equipment-with compensation- to fight fires on a federal level, it makes no sense just to limit that to where the fire is. If it requires additional resources you would also commandeer additional resources in states where there is currently no fire. The in both cases the underlying rationale means it makes no difference if it is actually happening to you or not you are relationally bound to the welfare of others under these types of rules.

Sorry if this is too long but that makes it perfectly clear where I stand.

Simon said...

This didn't post

Ok your links.

1st short term trespass isn’t considered justification for lethal force. The plane analogy is a bad analogy.

Nor do I accept is acting as an agent argument. She is no more an agent of the father than I would be a agent/proxy of an assassin who drugged someone causing them to go on a shooting spree that required me to kill the guy in self defence.

Cliff? A bit messy, how about having to stay in bed for 9months? Well I have told people that in principle I could be prepared to say you cannot kill an innocent aggressor in non life threatening situations. But that really doesn’t let you off the hook because if I’m going to be made to make that sacrifice in a situation that prevents someone from dying, then you are sure as hell are going to do the same whenever there is a situation that overcoming someone’s bodily autonomy prevents a death.

Nulono said...

I'm actually not convinced that the premise of the Thompson's argument, that it is okay to kill the violinist, is morally sound.

I think you are still confusing killing and letting die. If a man is being killed on the side of the highway, is every person who drives by guilty of murder? How far away does the murder have to be, and how many other people must be available, before it's okay?

As for double effect:
This set of criteria states that an action having foreseen harmful effects practically inseparable from the good effect is justifiable if upon satisfaction of the following:
the nature of the act is itself good, or at least morally neutral;
the agent intends the good effect and not the bad either as a means to the good or as an end itself;
the good effect outweighs the bad effect in circumstances sufficiently grave to justify causing the bad effect and the agent exercises due diligence to minimize the harm.

The third criterion is clearly not met. The good effect of early removal of the embryo does not outweigh the death of an innocent person, and harm could clearly be minimized by simply waiting.

Nulono said...

Frankly, I think it disgusting that you would permit the killing of an innocent human beings for the crimes of her father. I'm sure Juda Myers would be happy to hear that you would not have fought to prevent her untimely demise.

Nulono said...

1st short term trespass isn’t considered justification for lethal force. The plane analogy is a bad analogy.

Neither is being placed in someone's care.

Simon said...

I’m really not sure you understand any of this let alone Thompson's argument as like many other Pro-Lifers you aren’t even living up to your stance.

If as you seem to argue that a human life is more important than bodily autonomy then live by that. Or are you someone who thinks while killing is bad letting a child drown is Ok because you didn’t actually cause the death?

If bodily autonomy isn’t as important as you are making out, anyone should be able to just come up to you and demand your blood or organs to save a life. If you refuse you are either a hypocrite or don’t understand the implication of your stance. It wouldn’t surprise me that you are against universal health care and for capital punishment as well.

& I’m not confusing anything you just aren’t thinking things through. No one is obligated to risk their life for another, it is a supererogatory act. The point of the Drowning child analogy is to talk about things that are of no or little risk to observers. Stopping someone directly from being murdered by the side of the road often entails substantial risk.

“As for double effect:
The third criterion is clearly not met. The good effect of early removal of the embryo does not outweigh the death of an innocent person, and harm could clearly be minimized by simply waiting.”

Many people would argue that the unauthorized occupation of one’s body, as a form of extreme assault –even if by an innocent aggressor- is justification for lethal force. Let’s put it this way if a woman killed an extremely drunk man during a rape would you have criticized her and told her she should have waited till it was over? Maybe an interesting point would be if his drink was spiked and she knew this, should she then with a chocei of letting proceed or killing him, still allow the rape to proceed? But I think not, no more than if a mad man was assaulting someone and the only way to stop them was to kill him.

& frankly it disappoints me that you seem to be as clueless as many Pro-Choicer’s and aren’t capable of critically examining your stance without resorting to personal attacks. In no way have you even attempted to address my major points.

Simon said...

"1st short term trespass isn’t considered justification for lethal force. The plane analogy is a bad analogy."

"Neither is being placed in someone's care."

Again you don't have to directly kill them, just like you refusing to give up blood or organs, one can equally refuse to do anything and allow that human to die.

In this respect you are no better than the people you think allow a disgusting act to happen, in that you are also quite prepared to allow preventable deaths.

Simon said...
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Simon said...

I’m really not sure you understand any of this let alone Thompson's argument as like many other Pro-Lifers you aren’t even living up to your stance.

If as you seem to argue that a human life is more important than bodily autonomy then live by that. Or are you someone who thinks while killing is bad letting a child drown is Ok because you didn’t actually cause the death?

If bodily autonomy isn’t as important as you are making out, anyone should be able to just come up to you and demand your blood or organs to save a life. If you refuse you are either a hypocrite or don’t understand the implication of your stance. It wouldn’t surprise me that you are against universal health care and for capital punishment as well.

& I’m not confusing anything you just aren’t thinking things through. No one is obligated to risk their life for another, it is a supererogatory act. The whole point of the Drowning child analogy is to talk about things that are of no or little risk to observers. Stopping someone directly from being murdered by the side of the road often entails substantial risk.

“As for double effect:
The third criterion is clearly not met. The good effect of early removal of the embryo does not outweigh the death of an innocent person, and harm could clearly be minimized by simply waiting.”

Many people would argue that the unauthorized occupation of one’s body, as a form of extreme assault –even if by an innocent aggressor- is justification for lethal force. Let’s put it this way if a woman killed an extremely drunk man during a rape would you have criticized her and told her she should have waited till it was over?

Maybe an interesting point would be if his drink was spiked and she knew this, should she then with a chocei of letting proceed or killing him, still allow the rape to proceed? In the end I think not, no more than if a mad man was assaulting someone and the only way to stop them was to kill him.

Kelsey??



& Frankly it disappoints me that you seem to be as clueless as many Pro-Choicer’s and aren’t capable of critically examining your stance without resorting to personal attacks. In no way have you even attempted to address my major points.

Simon said...

I’m really not sure you understand any of this let alone Thompson's argument as like many other Pro-Lifers you aren’t even living up to your stance.

If as you seem to argue that bodily autonomy isn’t as important as human life then live by that. Or are you someone who thinks while killing is bad letting a child drown is Ok because you didn’t actually cause the death?
If bodily autonomy isn’t as important as you are making out, anyone should be able to just come up to you and demand your blood or organs to save a life. If you refuse you are either a hypocrite or don’t understand the implication of your stance. It wouldn’t surprise me that you are against universal health care and for capital punishment as well.

& I’m not confusing anything you just aren’t thinking things through. No one is obligated to risk their life for another, it is a supererogatory act. The whole point of the Drowning child analogy is to talk about things that are of no or little risk to observers. Stopping someone directly from being murdered by the side of the road often entails substantial risk.

Simon said...

“As for double effect:
The third criterion is clearly not met. The good effect of early removal of the embryo does not outweigh the death of an innocent person, and harm could clearly be minimized by simply waiting.”

Many people would argue that the unauthorized occupation of one’s body, as a form of extreme assault –even if by an innocent aggressor- is justification for lethal force. Let’s put it this way if a woman killed an extremely drunk man during a rape would you have criticized her and told her she should have waited till it was over?

Maybe an interesting point would be if his drink was spiked and she knew this, should she then with a chocei of letting proceed or killing him, still allow the rape to proceed? In the end I think not, no more than if a mad man was assaulting someone and the only way to stop them was to kill him.

Kelsey?

Simon said...

BTW there seems to be a word/character limit so Yonmies posts probably exceeded this.

Nulono said...

The 2 exceptions to the right to live are self-defense and self-preservation. Self-defense requires intent on the other party, and self-preservation only includes direct threats to one's life. Abortion, even of the "simple removal" variety, is still a killing rather than a letting die.

Nulono said...

Make no mistake, the victim still has bodily autonomy; she is free to do whatever she pleases with her body so long as she does not end or endanger anyone else's life, same as anyone else.

Nulono said...

Abortion is not bad because pregnancy ought to be a consequence of sex, but because it takes the life of an innocent human being. The basic moral responsibility to not take an innocent human life is not something that must be obtained. Even if pregnancy just occurred randomly, with no initiation from anybody, abortion would still be immoral.

People like you make me understand why pro-choicers think we just want to punish women for having sex.

Abolitionist said...

Simon, fetuses are not rapist, Rape is still a voluntary action of aggression against and involuntary victim. The embryo/fetuses attachment to the mother is an involuntary action and therefore should not be scene as something on par with rape.

Juda said...
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Juda said...

Wow! People discussing why people like me should be killed. Hmmm. Wonder how the same people would feel listening to why they should be killed knowing so many of their peers have been killed.

My mother was raped by EIGHT men and she is a hero for saving my life. Women don't want to kill innocent babies after being raped. It was the people around her that wanted me dead.
I was wanted by adoptive parents and my bio mom.
Rape is unwanted babies are wanted even if their mothers don't want to or can't care for them.

Unwanted pregnancy yes Unwanted Child NO.

Simon said...

Abolitionist no they aren't, that is why I raised the drunk, spiked drink and madman points. So we don't have a blanket ban on the taking of a life where there is no intent to harm from the aggressor.

Regardless you want to look at the underlying principles and see where you want to stand on it.

You guys seem to miss the point I'm making that in principle I don't have a problem with you saying life should override bodily autonomy.
What I am saying is that if you want to enforce this, you enforce it across the board and not arbitrarily enforce it just on rape victims.

As I pointed out while killing is bad, allowing a preventable death to occur is EQUALLY AS BAD and since by forcing a rape victim to have the child you are raising the sacrifice an individual is required to make to keep another human alive, you are saying it is justifiable for society to override anyone’s bodily autonomy to save a life. Therefore you are asking for a principle to be enforced but won’t live by it yourself.

Simon said...

The point isn’t about who kills who(?), it is about humans dying from whatever cause and whether it is preventable. By forcing the rape victim to have the baby saves its life. Forcing you to donate blood organs -or foster for 9 months, care is arguably equivalent either internal or external - is saving lives. You are saying their bodily autonomy doesn’t count so nor should yours when it could save a life.

This isn’t about religion nor even about a fetuses life, this is about basic human rights and if we are prepared to ask a rape victim to live by this so should you.

In fact one could argue by doing otherwise you are confirming that this is a religious or patriarchal issue because you aren’t valuing other human lives in the same way you say you value the unborn; and if you throw in the fact that many conservative Pro-Lifers don’t support universal life care or the abolition of capital punishment that isn’t an unreasonable case to make.

Simon said...

So Nulono it is rather "People like you make me understand why pro-choicers think we just want to punish women for having sex."

& what twisted logic is that I'm it is far more likely that other Liberals would agree with me on this.

As it isn't about a human life to you anyway or are you a morally blinkered individual who thinks its wrong to drown a infant but ok to let it drown?

Simon said...

Ok here's an analogy since you seem to have trouble grasping this.You should be aware of Thompsons Violinist, if not look it up.

Ok I've got a infant in front of you who needs an organ transplant and you are the only match.

You say hey too bad the life of this kid isn't worth me giving up my organ because of my bodily autonomy. After all we aren't obligated to care for others we aren't morally responsible for.

Next morning you find out that the kid just like with the violinist, is now attached to you. Yu could in fact detach the kid and that wouldn't kill him straight away.

Now the value of this kids life is fundamental to it whether it is attached you or not and hasn't changed. Nor does it change the moral precept that you aren't required to care for those you aren't morally responsible for.

Simon said...
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Simon said...

The question I would ask you why should the fact that the kid wasn't attached to you in the first place make any difference when you are saying bodily autonomy isn't as important as preventing a death, when it is quite apparent that as with walking away from a drowning child is a bad as killing it and you would override bodily autonomy and moral responsibility for a rape victim?

Nulono said...

Abortion, even by simple removal, is still killing. No extra obligation other than the basic obligation to not kill another human being is needed to render abortion immoral in the case of rape.

Nulono said...

Yonmei, I read your backlogged comment. I'm not suggesting we do sidewalk counseling INSTEAD OF sex ed, et cetera. My point is that in the 20 years we wait for the long-term solution to take affect, millions of innocent children are still dieing.

I'd like if you could cite your source on EC.

http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2009/021998lbl.pdf
Page 4, 12.1

Simon said...

Nulono as you will find in my draft you cannot have it both ways regarding Double Effect and the difference between killing and letting die. If in the end what matters is that we have a preventable death in Double Effect, that applies equally to you walking away from the kid needing a organ.

If a life is so important that one cannot kill it the flip side also means we shouldn't let it die, especially you have decided that even a high sacrifice isn't reason enough to allow bodily autonomy to trump the value of a life.

It seem that your stance is somewhat a very limited way of looking at things in that the value of a life only resides in not harming it or you, so as long as you are alright you are under no obligation from stopping anyone from dying from anything that is easily preventable.

Very, very, odd! That it would seem one could -if at no risk to yourself- stop a murderer from drowning an infant but under no obligation to then stop it from drowning if it continues to do so.

Nulono said...

The extent of the positive right to live is a very interesting one, and it's one I'm definitely open to discussing, but it's not relevant to the topic at hand.

As I explained in my draft, the issue is not that the rape victim decides not to prevent a preventable death, but that she causes the death by her action. Abortion, even by simple expulsion, is an act of interference in an ongoing state of affairs that results in the death of an innocent human being. It is not "letting die"; it is killing, and thus violates the baby's NEGATIVE right to live, constituting an act of homicide.

If you hand me a newborn baby, even one I do not wish to be holding, I cannot simply lower my arms and allow the baby to fall; I must wait until I can find a safe place to put the baby, such as a table, and lower the child gently onto it. The rape victim can no say she did not kill the embryo than I can blame the floor for the newborn's death.

Nulono said...

Note: I meant "The topic of the extent".