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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Quick News Roundup: 09/23/10

Domestic News: Senator Roland Burris (D-IL) has decided to make abortion an issue as part of a new defense spending package. He's trying to add an amendment to the defense budget that includes an end to the current restrictions of abortions on military bases. The Senate is not expected to discuss this amendment until the post-election session. Stephen Bringham has been brought up on additional charges in New Jersey. Bringham had been cited for crossing state lines into Maryland to provide them with abortions, among other charges. His medical license had been revoked in multiple states thus far. New American Media has an article analyzing the abortion rate among Asian-American women and find some conclusions based on culture. Check out the article.

International News: In India, the abortion numbers have dropped overall. Currently, approximately 6.4 million abortions are performed in India on an annual basis. Congressman Chris Smith has a new article on the United Nations Millennium Development Goals to help end poverty...and how Obama is trying to add abortion into this package.

Discussion Topic: What are your thoughts on the presentation of abortion in the media? From film to television programs to comic books.

30 comments:

darkcougar555 said...

What are your thoughts on the presentation of abortion in the media? From film to television programs to comic books.

To me, it seems they're more pro-life side than pro-choice. Maybe it is just me? Sometimes, some are just for make of fun at the pro-life stereotypes.

Michelle Ye Zhang said...

@darkcougar555

I would say more are of people who choose life. Whether that's because they are Pro-Life or they happen to choose life and are Pro-Choice.

darkcougar555 said...

True. =)

Michelle Ye Zhang said...

Plus, stories where life is chosen are more interesting and have more potential...when it comes to a story.

The one's where abortion is chosen it's more a passing moment rather than the focus.

darkcougar555 said...

Yep. If someone just choose an abortion, then I support that story will be short and less interesting a bit.

darkcougar555 said...

Oops! I mean, I suppose*

Sorry, I think of translations. XD

Yonmei said...

Senator Roland Burris (D-IL) has decided to make abortion an issue as part of a new defense spending package. He's trying to add an amendment to the defense budget that includes an end to the current restrictions of abortions on military bases.

Lemme guess: you guys think that when a soldier needs an abortion, she should have to either go offbase (if she can - if she's posted to serve in a country where abortion is legal) or she should have to travel all the way back to the US to get an abortion, Because you don't like women soldiers, either. And Nulano undoubtedly thinks that if a soldier is raped - by an enemy or by a comrade - she should be forced against her will to have the baby, because for Nulano, supporting rapists transcends even patriotism.

Yonmei said...

International News: In India, the abortion numbers have dropped overall. Currently, approximately 6.4 million abortions are performed in India on an annual basis.

As pro-lifers of course you're not interested in pro-choice information on abortion and contraception in India, and as pro-life Americans you're demonstrably not interested in what people in that country actually want, but for any pro-choice person wandering past, here's Legal but Not Available: The Paradox of Abortion in India .

Congressman Chris Smith has a new article on the United Nations Millennium Development Goals to help end poverty...and how Obama is trying to add abortion into this package.

Good. Because it's past time that pro-life Americans were stopped from promoting illegal abortions in other countries.

Yonmei said...

What are your thoughts on the presentation of abortion in the media? From film to television programs to comic books.

"Like in nature to the Convenient Miscarriage, a Magical Abortion is what happens when a female hero on a supernatural series becomes pregnant, but the writers—terrified of addressing the issue of actual abortion and dissatisfied by the idea of doing a simple miscarriage—find a way to get rid of the unwanted foetus that involves magic in some way, thus making it less controversial. It differs from the Convenient Miscarriage in that the pregnancy is directly and deliberately terminated, rather than naturally miscarried." TV Tropes - Magical Abortion

Yonmei said...

In television, pregnancies are likelier to end in a recognized miscarriage than they do in real life. What's a female character to do when she discovers she is pregnant? It would not be too controversial for television writers to suggest an abortion, but it would be if she were actually to have one, since Good Girls Avoid Abortion. In the end, she'll make her mind up to have the baby, if it's not what she decided ought to happen in the first place.

But it won't happen, because the plot of an ongoing series would change too much if her character had to be rewritten to include raising an infant (to say nothing of creating a new character from scratch and finding suitable child actors for it, and remember that this is a completely irrevocable change). So the writers employ the Reset Button by having her miscarry, often by falling down a flight of stairs. This trope is limited to serial works, where reverting to a status quo is more important than advancing a plot. Therefore, miscarriages are less common in non-serial works, and even when they do happen it's not a Reset Button. A common variation is for a character (usually a main character's girlfriend) to say that they've miscarried, only for The Reveal to come later that the baby was born, perfectly fine. Whether or not this gets picked up again depends on how tied the writers are to the status quo.

Keep in mind that this may be Truth In Television; somewhere between 40% and 75% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, and by all accounts, sometimes the woman also wanted an abortion—but in most cases, the woman didn't even know she was pregnant; the fertilized egg simply fails to implant (or disintegrates upon implantation) and she either has a perfectly normal period or one that is slightly late and slightly heavier than normal. More severe critics cite the trope as a cheap source of drama for female characters, whose most important dilemmas always end up as highlighting their femininity.

However, if a woman wants to have a child, this trope probably doesn't exist to them. If they do have a miscarriage, it's usually a particularly brutal Double Subversion of the Law of Inverse Fertility.
TV Tropes - The Convenient Miscarriage

Yonmei said...

"What are your thoughts on the presentation of abortion in the media? From film to television programs to comic books."

When a female character has an unexpected and/or unwanted pregnancy, someone may allude to the possibility of abortion (usually without saying the 'A' word). ... If she actually goes through with the abortion, and doesn't suffer gruesome complications from the procedure, it's usually to show that she's a deeply damaged, screwed-up individual. If this happens, but it is played for laughs, it's a Dead Baby Comedy. Part of the reason for this is to both avoid the wrath of the Moral Guardians, and as well as avoid polarizing the audience (though this can happen anyway if her decision not to abort is made in a hamfisted manner), but it's mostly because if the character had an abortion & everyone went home happy, it would make for an uninteresting and/or short story. TV Tropes: Good Girls Avoid Abortion

Yonmei said...

The world to which pro-lifers would like us to return: Deaths via illegal abortion before Roe vs Wade: the Straight Dope

Matthew Newman said...

Yonmei - Pro-life activists don't want or support a world where women die in back alley abortions. What we do support is informing people of their options before they enter into a sexual relationship to prevent a pregnancy from happening in the first place, unless they are ready to have a baby. And - if a pregnancy arises and the child is unwanted, we want women to know about the wonderful option of adoption.

The bottom line is that we recognize that the unborn child within a woman's womb is a person - who has the same rights as you or I not to be "aborted" or "terminated."

Yonmei said...

Pro-life activists don't want or support a world where women die in back alley abortions.

Yes, you do.

You made it very clear that you in particular do when you posted about your preference that women in Kenya shall be constitutionally required to die in back alley abortions.

What we do support is informing people of their options before they enter into a sexual relationship to prevent a pregnancy from happening in the first place

No, you don't. If you supported that, you'd be one of Planned Parenthoods biggest supporters. They provide that kind of information to people - and contraception. And pre-natal care to pregnant women. And counseling and contraceptive advice post-abortion.

Claiming that you support this when you're called on your support for back-alley abortions is facile - when literally not one word that you say before your challenged supports this at all.

Yonmei said...

And - if a pregnancy arises and the child is unwanted, we want women to know about the wonderful option of adoption.

Oh, "wonderful". For a woman who can't afford to support her child to lose her baby to a better-off couple. Yes, Matthew. That's just wonderful - if you see low-income women as babymaking machines without feelings.

"What a shame to our country that such sights are to be seen!" said another lady.
...
"We can't reason from our feelings to those of this class of persons," said the other lady, sorting out some worsteds on her lap.

"Indeed, ma'am, you can know nothing of them, if you say so," answered the first lady, warmly. "I was born and brought up among them. I know they do feel, just as keenly, - even more so, perhaps, - as we do."
- Uncle Tom's Cabin, Chapter 12

Yonmei said...

More on your wonderful "option" of adoption, Matthew (just how "wonderful" would you find it if your child was taken away from you to be adopted by another couple? Or does your lack of human feeling for your child's mother, whose health and wellbeing you are willing to sacrifice against her will, extend to the child, too?)

"My options were to leave the hospital walking, with no money," says Jordan. "Or here's a couple with Pottery Barn furniture. You sacrifice yourself, not knowing it will leave an impact on you and your child for life."

The next morning, Jordan was rushed through signing relinquishment papers by a busy, on-duty nurse serving as notary public. As soon as she'd signed, the couple left with the baby, and Jordan was taken home without being discharged. The shepherding family was celebrating and asked why Jordan wouldn't stop crying. Five days later, she used her last $50 to buy a Greyhound ticket to Greenville, where she struggled for weeks to reach a Bethany post-adoption counselor as her milk came in and she rapidly lost more than fifty pounds in her grief.

When Jordan called Bethany's statewide headquarters one night, her shepherding mother answered, responding coldly to Jordan's lament. "You're the one who spread your legs and got pregnant out of wedlock," she told Jordan. "You have no right to grieve for this baby."
Shotgun Adoption

Yonmei said...

The bottom line is that we recognize that the unborn child within a woman's womb is a person - who has the same rights as you or I

Which means that as neither you nor I have the "right" to make use of another human being against her will, no more does the embryo or the fetus. You don't have the right to make use of a woman's organs against her will: nor does anyone else, regardless of whether it will save their life.

That pro-life claim that a woman doesn't have the right to decide to terminate because the embryo or fetus has a "right to life" depends utterly on the pro-life presumption that the woman has no right to control the use of her own body: her blood, her organs, her health, her life, belong not to her, but to her owner.

Yonmei said...

And - if a pregnancy arises and the child is unwanted, we want women to know about the wonderful option of adoption.

Some more coerced adoption cases, including: Carmen McDonald, suffering from post-partum depression and bipolar disorder, felt overwhelmed, and in a weak moment called an 800 number she found for 'A Cherished Child' to explore the possibility of placing her child for adoption.

She and her three-month-old baby daughter were flown from Illinois to Utah. Within hours, Carmen was asked to sign a relinquishment document. When she tried to back out, she was threatened to be left without return airfare, which would have left them stranded - and with no money - in Utah. Frightened and feeling alone, she caved in and signed.

Yonmei said...

Matthew, your "wonderful" option of adoption:

I have been inspired by those brave women who have the goal of "Eliminate the damage from adoption to us, our children, and our relationships with them." Those mothers who have achieved it are those who have been able to adopt back their children, whose children call them "Mom" and treat them as a full parent equal to the adopters, and that incredible woman whose son said after many years of reunion, "Mom, I'm no longer an adoptee." These are the women who are achieving true healing from the damage that the adoption industry has done to us and our children. These are the adoptees who are no longer adoptees but who are full, beloved, members of their natural families.

My son and I (he is 21, I am 38) have been reunited now for almost two years. When I first wrote this article, I did not think I might ever achieve these goals. Now, I know that we are on the road to achieving them. My son knows the truth: that I was forced to surrender him. That I am still his mother, his natural mother - not his "incubator" nor his "birthmother." My house is his home. He calls me "Mom" and means it. He agrees with me that when he is with his natural family, he is "no longer an adoptee." And we love each other deeply as mother and son. exiledmothers

Yonmei said...

Adoption is a business in the US, Matthew - your "wonderful option" ignores the money.

Being truly aware of adoption means understanding that adoption is a big business. In the United States alone, billions of dollars change hands through the adoption industry, passing from individuals hoping to adopt to agencies, lawyers, and counselors who procure infants and children from parents at home and abroad. Adoption is heavily marketed as a service dedicated to providing homes for children in need. In truth, the demand for children far exceeds the supply, leading to corrupt and coercive practices. Adoption Awareness

Yonmei said...

And - if a pregnancy arises and the child is unwanted, we want women to know about the wonderful option of adoption.

Most painful of all, because these answers are just raw - this online question and answer: how do I get over losing my child to adoption?

I'm not going to quote them. Just... read them. With your heart open, if you have a heart.

It's noticeable that you don't want to have anything to do with changing your country so that a woman isn't made so vulnerable by economic need, by lack of healthcare, by lack of employment protection laws, that she has to give up her baby to adoption. You just want to elide over her pain, her loss, and call it "wonderful".

Matthew Newman said...

First: when did I say I wanted women to die in Kenya in back alley abortions? Your odd presumptions are news to me.

And of course I don't support force or coercion for a person to give up a child. No one does. Those are sad situations and if you have constructive ideas to help prevent them from happening, I'm more than happy to listen.

This specific pro-life community is supportive of providing information regarding contraception, etc (see the new sex-ed software for more information).

Matthew Newman said...

The claim that because a person opposes abortion, they therefore automatically support abortions taking place in unsterile, back-alley conditions is as ludicrous as stating that those who oppose legalizing drugs support drugs being cut with alternate chemicals by drug dealers.

Yonmei said...

First: when did I say I wanted women to die in Kenya in back alley abortions? Your odd presumptions are news to me.

You may remember posting in Quick News Roundup: 09/09/10 (with apparent approval) about pro-life attempts to ensure that the Kenyan Constitution mandated that women would never have access to safe legal abortion.

I presumed that you wouldn't be silly enough to post on this topic without informing yourself of the current situation in Kenya - for example this Voice of Africa news report: "Dr. Joachim Osur is [Family Health Options] assistant programs director. From Nairobi, he spoke to VOA English to Africa Service reporter Joe De Capua about illegal abortions. “The maternal deaths that are related to pregnancy are still very high. About 590 per 100,000 live births. One-third of these deaths are caused by unsafe abortions. So, for every third woman who dies from pregnancy related problems, the death is because of an unsafe abortion,” he says."

That's far from the only report you would have found about women dying in Kenya from illegal abortions, had you searched on it. Or did I get it wrong? Were you posting a News Roundup with a kind of vaguely ignorant approval of what sounded like a good idea to you in your sheltered, ignorant mind, without ever actually looking up how many lives could be saved if Kenyan women were able to have safe, legal abortions?

Yonmei said...

And of course I don't support force or coercion for a person to give up a child. No one does.

You were referring to this as a "wonderful" situation, only a few comments ago. Forgotten so soon? Do you imagine women give up their newborn babies willingly, because they want to never see their children again? You claimed you thought a woman losing her baby to adoption was "wonderful". Changed your mind suddenly?

Yonmei said...

The claim that because a person opposes abortion, they therefore automatically support abortions taking place in unsterile, back-alley conditions

You oppose women in Kenya having access to safe, legal abortion.

By your opposition, you support women in Kenya instead having abortions that take place in unsterile, backalley conditions.

If you don't support illegal abortions, then get off your ass, stop calling yourself pro-life, and support organisations that work for provision of contraception, sex education, maternity care and safe abortions to women who live in countries like Kenya. Marie Stopes International. Planned Parenthood International.

Or you know: just carry on self-soothing yourself with tender little lies.

Yonmei said...

as ludicrous as stating that those who oppose legalizing drugs support drugs being cut with alternate chemicals by drug dealers.

Years ago, I worked for an NHS virus testing lab as a clerk. We got a lot of HIV testing slips which all had to be sorted into envelopes marked CONFIDENTIAL and returned individually to the doctor or clinic who had requested them.

The only positive slips I ever saw come through the lab were from the local prison. I asked why. I was told: the prison authorities say the men aren't allowed to have sex with each other, so they won't provide condoms: and they say the men aren't allowed to do IV drugs, so they won't provide a clean needle exchange. The local prison authorities were supporting the spread of HIV through the prison population rather than acknowledge the plain facts that men were having sex with each other and were sharing needles to inject drugs. I think that's appalling - human life is worth more than that.

You see the parallel, Matthew?

Yonmei said...

as ludicrous as stating that those who oppose legalizing drugs support drugs being cut with alternate chemicals by drug dealers.

Years ago in the UK my sister was peripherally involved in rave culture. She told me that in the Netherlands, the authorities would provide an official tester outside each rave party, so that anyone with pills they thought were "E" could have them tested there to make sure they were safe to take. But in the UK, the authorities followed the US model of pretending none of this was happening, and wouldn't allow anyone who could test "E" pills for safety to do so. So naturally, Dutch drug dealers would trade their dodgy pills to the UK... because the dealers could sell them safely in the UK, the customers had no way to check them. People died.

Again: I value human life more than that.

To you, those women who die in illegal abortions may be not worth considering, trash to be ignored. To me, they're individuals, each one a precious treasure, a human life.

darkcougar555 said...

I just now remember I bookmarked this a while ago. Lifers, I thought you might want to check out those movies:

http://www.movietrain.net/films-that-discuss-abortion-a-movie-list/

Some movies are interesting and some are sad, and so on. I remember and I'd watched Juno, I thought it is good.

Yonmei said...

It's interesting that the list doesn't mention the 1980 original Fame, which is the first filmic portrayal of an abortion that I remember - I would have been just into my teens when that movie came out.