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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Action Alert: Help fight coerced abortions

As anyone who's been doing pro-life work for an appreciable length of time is aware, coerced abortion is a huge problem in the United States. The promise of "choice" has been rendered illusory by parents, boyfriends, and abusers. These cases are rarely publicized (notwithstanding a recent exception for a Brazilian celebrity). The risk is especially high for teen moms, who are less educated and have fewer resources.

To help these young mothers assert their right to not kill their children, the attorneys at the Justice Foundation have crafted a letter for the parents of a minor pregnant mom. Efforts to establish uniform state laws on coerced abortion have failed in the face of opposition by Planned Parenthood, but other legal avenues are available to protect young mothers and their unborn children. The Justice Foundation's "Dear Parent" letter does an excellent job explaining this in layman's terms. I especially like their response to one of the more common coercive statements:
"If you have this baby, I'm kicking you out of my house." You do not have to support her child, but you do have to support her, just as she has to support her baby.
The Justice Foundation is working to get this letter out to pro-life pregnancy centers and clinics, where it has already prevented several coerced abortions. You can help by sharing the Dear Parent letter with anyone who is likely to come across coerced abortion situations, such as high school guidance counselors, social workers, and law enforcement officers. Download it here.

15 comments:

Jen R said...

I have no idea about their legal analysis, but I do like that they are stating in no uncertain terms that it's unacceptable to threaten to throw their daughters out or inflict violence upon them.

secularprolife.org said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
secularprolife.org said...

I'll leave the legal analysis to the experts, but it makes perfect sense to me that threatening to throw your daughter out of the house would implicate laws against child neglect.

Yonmei said...

Yes, there is a problem in the US with coerced abortion, coerced pregnancy, and coerced adoption.

All of them are sourced to the same issue, which you do not even touch on:

Poverty.

This can be broken down into so many pieces: that the US, alone of all the developed countries in the world, doesn't guarantee any woman paid maternity leave: that the US, alone of all the developed countries in the world, leaves healthcare provision to the mercies of the "free market": that this denial of healthcare, this denial of protected employment, means women often have to decide on abortion because they know they cannot afford another child.

Pro-lifers pretend loudly to care about the US abortion rate, but prefer not to do anything about it. I see nothing in this post calling on pro-lifers to campaign for paid maternity leave, for universal healthcare, for a raise in the minimum wage.

Of course not. For pro-lifers, a low-income woman getting pregnant is a "wonderful opportunity" to try to bully her into remaining pregnant in order to use her poverty to coerce adoption.

You try to sound as if you care about parents coercing their daughters, but there's nothing in this post about the legislation that allows parents to coerce their daughters legally - the ugly parental notification/parental consent laws.

But mainly: you guys are trying to pretend you care about preventing abortions, and how you think coerced abortions are a bad thing. But it's a fake; you're not interested in combating the one fact that certainly has women deciding to abort when in other circumstances they might have decided to have the baby - their grinding poverty.

Angel said...

Yonmei
I do agree that poverty is a big thing and I would be for a lot of those things but would anyone listen. I doubt it. I think women should be able to get maternity leave and should not have to worry about not being qualified for a job if they're pregnant. There needs to be a raise in the minimum wage. I do consider myself pro-life and wish more on the Pro life side were doing more to combat poverty.

Michelle Ye Zhang said...

Raising the minimum wage has unintended consequences.

secularprolife.org said...

Poverty is obviously a bad thing, I agree. Neither side of the abortion debate is pro-poverty. (I'll grant that there are some slimeball politicians who come close, and who take on the pro-life label to get votes.)

Coerced abortion has many causes, and we can't address all of them at the same time. People have been campaigning for economic reforms for eons, with little success. So why do you attack us for providing at least a partial solution to the coerced abortion problem in the meantime? We're going to take what action we can-- and we are going to take it out of a legitimate concern for teen moms and their babies.

Yonmei said...

Angel: I do agree that poverty is a big thing and I would be for a lot of those things but would anyone listen. I doubt it. I think women should be able to get maternity leave and should not have to worry about not being qualified for a job if they're pregnant. There needs to be a raise in the minimum wage. I do consider myself pro-life and wish more on the Pro life side were doing more to combat poverty.

But they won't. Because the whole point of being pro-life is to harass and bully women. Women who are independently financially secure aren't good targets for pro-life bullying. (As Michelle demonstrates, pro-lifers are classic cheap-labour conservatives.)

Yonmei said...

SP: Neither side of the abortion debate is pro-poverty.

Shame that Michelle just demonstrated she certainly is.

Coerced abortion has many causes, and we can't address all of them at the same time.

You're not even trying to address the causes. You're just taking a serious problem - women in the US who don't have the reproductive freedom they should have - and trying to pretend that it's a pro-life issue.

Women are being denied emergency contraception by pharmacists and doctors who think it's their right to force women to have abortions instead of preventing conception. You don't care about those coerced abortions: pro-lifers support them.

People have been campaigning for economic reforms for eons, with little success.

Oh, that's American exceptionalism. "Little success"? Every other developed country - and many undeveloped countries! - has done better than the US in giving mothers paid time home to take care of their newborn babies and themselves with paid maternity leave. Pro-lifers don't do that because pro-lifers are supported only by cheap-labour conservative politicians - when they are not cheap-labour conservatives themselves.

Every other developed country in the world, and many undeveloped countries, has a better provision of healthcare to the poor and needy than the US. Only in the US do you see the spectacle of the government prioritising the needs of health insurance companies over people in need of healthcare. And pro-lifers get up in arms against universal healthcare because that means more reproductive freedom for women.

So why do you attack us for providing at least a partial solution to the coerced abortion problem in the meantime?

I'm attacking you in this specific instance because you're trying to pretend the coercion problem is something other than it is. You're ignoring the big coercion problem of women deciding to have abortions because they can't afford to have a baby, and of course the pro-life coercion of denial of contraception and denial of good sex education. You're ignoring the legislation designed to coerce teenagers by requiring parental notification. You're ignoring real coercion in order to push your pro-life values, which are intrinsically misogynistic. You're part of the problem.

Yonmei said...

We're going to take what action we can-- and we are going to take it out of a legitimate concern for teen moms and their babies.

Pro-lifers trying to pretend they care for teenagers getting pregnant? That's a laugh and a half.

The key problems with a teenager having a baby is that

- She may permanently damage her health and her reproductive future: a teenager is still growing, and she shouldn't be doing something as risky as having a baby. Your post says nothing about preventing teenage pregnancy by requiring all high schools to provide free contraception and mandatory contraceptive advice to all students. So you obviously don't care about preventing teenage abortions.

- A teenager who has a baby may permanently damage her education and her future career - her ability to provide for her child. Unless she has well-off parents, she and the child are likely to be locked into a cycle of poverty - she won't be able to get a good job because she wasn't able to finish high school, go to college, do training - because she had a baby. There's nothing in your post about supporting teenagers with free daycare at high schools, supporting college students who are also parents, better maternity provision by employers. Nothing. You're not interested in preventing teenagers having abortions, because you're not interested in supporting teenage mothers to become well-educated and financially secure.

- A teenager who gets pregnant is vulnerable in her inexperience to the kind of pro-life bullying and harassment that leads to her believing that she can just have the baby and give the baby up for adoption - lose her child when she's still a child herself - and go back to her old life. That kind of appalling mistreatment of children who got pregnant was all too common once, and it's child abuse. Your post does not reference one word about preventing this kind of child abuse of teenagers who give birth when they can't support a baby. Any teenager should be strongly encouraged for her own mental health to consider that losing her baby to adoption will be a horrific trauma for her - a worse one than she may be mentally capable of dealing with.

You don't even pretend to have "legitimate concerns" about coercion. You're just concealing a real problem that has effective solutions by pretending it's a pro-life issue.

jungleinfiltratr said...

I just wanted anyone’s opinion on if I was in the wrong here, and what any of you guys would have done in this situation. So my wife is quite liberal and I’m more on the conservative side, and she’s about 3 months pregnant. She can’t work right now, so I’ve been forced to support her as of late. The thing is that about a week ago she started asking me if she could borrow $400, and being pretty secretive about the reason why. I soon found out that $400 was the average cost of a back alley abortion, which is ridiculous considering that she knows how vehemently pro-life I am. After refusing to give her the money and the countless hours of arguing that ensued, I ended up making a comment about how if she wanted to do something liberal with $400, she should take advantage of Obummer’s “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act,” so that “instead of murdering our kid, he can have satellite internet at a smashing price!” (I linked it so you can actually see it’s about $400 in taxpayer money that our President chose to waste on this crap, aren’t I so funny hah). The messed up part is that she went and told her dad, who happens to be just as liberal as her, and who also happens to own the house that we’re renting. To make a long story short, my tenancy has been “suspended” from his house (I’m now staying at my buddy’s place until this thing blows over) and he gave her the money to get the abortion. I haven’t talked to her in almost a week, so it’s pretty safe to say that she has already gone through with it. So my question is, do you think I was being inappropriate for mocking my wife and father in law’s political ideologies, or do you think I’m being unfairly persecuted because of my relative conservatism, and the Obummer joke I made has little to nothing to do with this? I’m thinking the latter.

secularprolife.org said...

Hi jungleinfiltratr,
I'm not an advice columnist or anything, but since you asked for my opinion, I think that the political argument is beside the point. You and your wife were apparently able to resolve your political differences enough to get married. The proposed semi-secret abortion understandably raised the overall level of conflict in your house-- perhaps to the point that a political jab, which normally would have been nothing, was enough to send everyone over the edge.

I'm so sorry for the loss of your child.

Mack said...

Here I wanna some information about a Medical term that is called Tubal Ligation reversal ...
For many women, having a tubal ligation (also known as female sterilization or getting your "tubes tied") is a permanent way to manage your family size. Usually done once a woman feels that her family is complete, as much as 25% of women who have had the procedure end up changing their minds. If you have had your tubes tied but now regret your decision, you may want to consider having a tubal ligation reversal.

Den Hamphery said...

Yeah this is great..
now in this modern world nothing is impossible..
Tubal Ligation Reversal is now become very secure..
but remember successions of this operation depends upon the doctor's moves.so be sure that Doctor is experienced in this field.

Anonymous said...

Sir, please kindly stop trying to tell the ladies what they think. It's poor manners.