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Monday, September 15, 2014

How does the pro-life movement look to LGBT pro-lifers?

Secular Pro-Life strongly encourages pro-lifers from different backgrounds to seek to understand one another and form coalitions in the fight against abortion. SPL’s main focus, obviously, is on different religious backgrounds. We ask our allies in the pro-life movement to help SPL create space for pro-life secularists and give secularists a stronger voice in the movement. In turn, we feel it’s important that SPL helps give a stronger voice to other non-traditional pro-lifers.

Today’s blog post focuses on the perspectives of LGBT pro-lifers. We interviewed four pro-lifers who identify as follows:

Deanna Unyk, a queer atheist.
Nate Sheets, a gay atheist.
Albany Rose Saindon, a pansexual atheist.
Rachel E., a bisexual Roman Catholic.

SPL does not necessarily agree with every view expressed in this post, but we leave the content unedited in order to give a voice to an element of the pro-life movement that is frequently ignored. We hope the perspectives here will help all of us gain better insight into how the pro-life movement looks to pro-lifers of different sexualities.





How would you define the term "pro-life"?

Deanna: I would define "pro-life" as the position that abortion, in general, ought to be illegal.

Nate: People who are pro-life think that there are better alternatives to ending life in the womb. They have a variety of reasons for believing this.

Albany: “Pro-Life,” to me, is knowing all innocent life is valuable, born and pre-born. I think being pro-life means never being cruel, condemning, or saying harsh words towards abortion-minded or post-abortive men and women. We cannot fit into the stereotype that we simply care about the fetus. We must always show love, kindness, and patience. Without that we won't get very far.

Rachel: Generally, I think being pro-life means respecting the right to life of human beings from fertilization to a natural death.


Some people believe abortion has relatively little effect on the LGBT community. Do you think this is true? Why or why not?

Deanna: I guess my shortest answer would be yes and no. Yes, because those in monogamous homosexual relationships would be less likely to have to deal with unintended pregnancy for obvious reasons. On the other hand, though, bisexuals can be engaged in monogamous heterosexual relationships. Lesbians can still get pregnant from rape and gay men can suffer from the past abortions of former lovers. Trans men who haven't had bottom surgery can still engage in procreative sex and end up pregnant and trans women can get others pregnant if they are having procreative sex. So, the LGBT community is not necessarily immune to unintended pregnancy and thus the legal option of abortion.

It is important to consider also that when LGBT people have an experience with unintended pregnancy they may face different challenges than their straight counterparts. They may view the pregnancy as a blow to their personal identity and there are unique challenges that come with that.

Furthermore, from a pro-life standpoint, abortion is the biggest human rights violation in our society, and I believe anytime one group is being mistreated in a particular society it affects all members of that society. In that sense abortion affects all of us, LGBT people included.


Nate: I guess I can understand that perspective. In some ways, abortion has little to do with us, but you could say the same thing about any other civil rights issue. LGBT people have experienced a history of violence, discrimination, and oppression, and so have the unborn, though in a different way. But no, I don't link the issue of abortion to LGBT rights normally. 




Rachel: I definitely disagree with the notion that abortion has little effect on the LGBT community. I think there’s a general principle that we as people are not insular. We can’t simply say “Oh, that’s someone else’s issue.” Injustice against one community of the human family is an injustice against all people. We are LGBT people and we can help change the world.

Beyond the ideas of solidarity with the entire human community, I think there are a few issues that affect the LGBT community specifically:

If there was a “gay gene” that could be detected before birth, I believe some people would take advantage of that. Some people would have abortions simply because the unborn person would grow up to be an LGBT adult.

Transgender men (people designated at birth as female who identify as men) are a particularly vulnerable population in the current climate. Because many of these men have not transitioned physically, they are capable of being pregnant. This poses so many problems for the individual – most do not feel that, as a man, there should be any pregnancy involved. The result of pregnancy in a transgender man can be extremely dysphoric; their body is performing processes that they’ve tried to escape.

Because of the heteronormative nature of most sexual education programs, LGBT people are far less likely to use forms of protection in their sexual activities. The lesbian and bisexual teen pregnancy rate is 12% higher than heterosexual peers, and they experience twice the risk for unintended pregnancy. It’s not what’s usually expected, but LGBT people do get pregnant.

Additionally, many don’t realize that LGBT people are just as susceptible, if not more susceptible, to rape as heterosexual people are. According to 2013 data from the CDC, lesbians and gay men report lifetime levels of sexual violence equal to those of heterosexuals, and bisexual women actually experience significantly higher rates of sexual violence. We cannot forget the very real fact that LGBT people can also experience pregnancies that result from rape.

Finally, many LGBT people are waiting to adopt children. I don’t think this is the first reason to be pro-life, but I think it’s a good supplementary reason.



How would you describe your own position on abortion? How long have you held that position and how did you arrive at it?

Deanna: I would describe myself as pro-life, because I believe most forms of abortion ought to be illegal. Until about 6 months ago, I was pro-choice and I wrote a blog called "Restringing the Violinist" where I focused on defending bodily rights arguments. So I'm pretty new to the movement.

I’ve long thought that unborn children are valuable human persons, but I remained pro-choice because of my view of bodily autonomy. Changing my mind took time and involved many different factors. I still believe that women have the right to refuse to allow other people to use their bodies as life-support. As a result, to me, abortion is an issue that involves a conflict of rights: the mother’s right to refuse and the unborn child's right to (a) not be killed and (b) not have his or her bodily rights violated by being dismembered.

When I was pro-choice my view was similar to David Boonin’s view in his book “A Defense of Abortion.” I believed abortion did not violate the right to life of the unborn child because I believed (and still believe) the right to life does not include the right to use someone else's body to survive. However, I also believe the right to life does include the right to not be killed, and most abortions do actively kill the unborn. Thus, abortion does violate the unborn’s right to life in most cases. Additionally, in surgical abortions the unborn child is often dismembered, and I think bodily rights should really include the right to not be dismembered. In the end I couldn't justify legalized abortion to protect the mother’s bodily rights when the bodily rights and the right to life of the unborn child are violated during an abortion.

Even then I didn't immediately convert to the pro-life side. Being pro-choice was a big part of my personal identity. I identify as a liberal person. But what kind of liberal is against abortion? I think I had this fear in my mind that there wasn't a place for a queer atheist in the pro-life movement. I think deep down I worried that if I wanted to be active in the movement I would have to be surrounded by a bunch of religious old men that would constantly harass me to convert or tell me that my "lifestyle" makes God want to vomit.

So, in addition to the pro-life arguments, my friendship with Josh Brahm was also instrumental in my conversion. Josh and I had been friends for about a year and he remains one of the kindest and most open-minded people I know. Being friends with Josh helped break down the pro-life stereotypes in my mind. Although he never told me explicitly, I knew that I would have an ally in the pro-life movement who would love and accept me for who I was. So I ended up "coming out" again, this time as a pro-lifer. 


Nate: I have a very conflicted opinion on abortion. The issue is framed so there’s a dichotomy between a woman's bodily integrity and a fetus' right to not be dismembered. I am conflicted because I believe strongly in both, and yet there often seems to be an impasse between the two. To me, abortion addresses the issue of bodily autonomy, but in all the wrong ways. 

I used to have a more typical pro-life stance, but now as an atheist and lover of science, my position is much less firm as I see all of the grays that this issue presents. In many ways, I do not blame a woman who gets an abortion because, at least on the surface, there appears to be no alternative that will not ruin the woman's life. People do what they feel like they have to do. Pro-lifers try and present other options, but the pro-choice movement also works with a different agenda.

But, when push comes to shove, I simply cannot fathom the logic that leads people to be okay with dismembering a fetus. As a society, we should be beyond this--we are killing our own children, with the excuse that they are occupying our space? Who the hell do we think we are?


Albany: When it comes to abortion I am no exceptions Pro-Life. Outside of ectopic pregnancies, which most pro-lifers I know do not consider abortions, I do not agree that a situation can justify taking an innocent life. I have held my pro-life beliefs for almost three years now, after being pro-choice for almost my whole life before converting. Shortly after turning 16, I was coerced into an abortion, which lead me down a destructive path and ultimately made me feel like I had to be pro-choice to justify what I had allowed to happen. I ended up becoming pro-life after seeing the ultrasound of our first daughter. Her heartbeat, her little movements, it was like everything I had believed prior about the fetus and abortion came crumbling down all around me.


Rachel: I was raised in a pro-life family, and I don’t know if I ever had any sort of eureka moment. I think as I got older, my views became more mature and nuanced. I learned about the larger complexities of the issue. I certainly believe that when I started blogging about the issues my views became much more firm and I was far more knowledgeable about abortion and the pro-life movement in general.


Have you interacted much with the overall pro-life movement (e.g. walks, rallies, meetings, protests, political activities, sidewalk counseling, pregnancy centers, etc.)? If so, how has that gone? If not, why not?

Deanna: In the time that I've been pro-life I've gone to the Alberta March for Life and I went to an apologetics seminar put on by the Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform.

The March for Life made me feel somewhat alienated. I wore a shirt with a short pro-life argument on the front and "Atheist for Life" on the back. Most of the speakers were quite religious and a number of them said things I really found offensive. For example, one of the first speakers (I believe he was a priest) said something along the lines of, "The pro-life position is religious in nature, so in order to recruit people to our cause we need to work really hard to convert as many people as we can!" The most disheartening part about that statement was the thunderous applause it elicited from my fellow pro-lifers. Another speaker said something like, "Concepts like the right to life and intrinsic human value are grounded in Christianity, so we can't appeal to them when talking to secularists." Towards the end of the rally they included about 20 minutes of a Ukrainian Catholic mass (translated to English).

In some ways this March was pretty difficult for me. I see religion and sexuality as somewhat connected. A big part of what made coming out as queer difficult for me was my parents’ reactions, and their reactions were grounded, at least partly, in religion. So religion in general, and the Ukrainian Catholic faith in particular, can trigger my anger over unfair judgment toward my sexuality and fear I once had that God hated me. It was already difficult to be new to the pro-life movement and not having anyone in my city to go to this pro-life event with me. To then be surrounded by triggers and to see speakers act as if pro-lifers like me don't exist made the experience even more exhausting.

However, the March for Life wasn't entirely a negative experience. A man behind me saw my shirt and went out of his way to tell me that he was glad I was there. One speaker mentioned the importance of including secularists in the movement and trying to appeal to them. I was also texting Josh at the time and he was very encouraging and he seemed to be exited that I was already getting involved in the movement. I was also encouraged by the number of young people who attended. A girl, who appeared to be in high school, gave me a sign that looked homemade and read "A Person's a Person No Matter How Small" and I held it up while I longboarded alongside my fellow pro-life marchers.  I was also invited to go to an apologetics seminar put on by the Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform, which was exciting for me.

A few months after the March I ended up attending the seminar. This was a much more positive experience for me. The speakers were extremely gracious and they emphasized the importance of finding common ground and treating pro-choice people with the respect that all persons deserve. It was also secular, which I appreciated. The tone of the seminar leaders was incredibly kind. I like to say "they oozed kindness" but oozing is clearly the wrong word. I disagreed with some of the arguments they taught, but I did learn a lot and it was helpful just to be surrounded by like-minded people who are passionate about helping others. 


Nate: I have not participated in a mainstream pro-life event for several years. As an atheist, I don't want to feel like I'm at a church service. As a lover of science, I get frustrated with how many pro-lifers say "We have science on our side!" when, in reality, the majority of them have little understanding or interest in "science" beyond some fetal developmental milestones. The irony of the religion with the science rhetoric being all in the same place is too much. So I don’t participate in the mainstream movement, but I currently admin a large Atheist/Agnostic (and LGBT-friendly) pro-life group on Facebook. [If you'd like to join this Facebook group, please read the About section first.]

It is also difficult to participate in one issue with a group of people who you know fight against you on another. In some cases, anti-LGBT rhetoric peppers the conversations at these events. Pro-lifers have this idea that the Right to Life trumps everything else, so any other conflicts are considered secondary. But the fact is, my equal rights and protection under the law are important to me, and to have people who claim to stand up for the rights of "everyone" (meaning, fetuses) while they have disapproval in their hearts and discrimination in their votes against people like me is not something I can easily get past. Thankfully, I am seeing more and more pro-LGBT pro-lifers these days.


Albany: The greatest interaction I have in the pro-life movement (as I'm a stay at home mom with few ways to travel) is that I have become a YouTube vlogger. It has allowed me to reach tens of thousands of people all from my own home. I did participate in one walk for life here in Denver, but truthfully it was disappointing. Right after I told my story and shortly before we began the walk, speakers starting talking about traditional marriage and, "don't forget to vote against [a marriage equality] bill." It was disheartening how they so easily shunned people at an event that had nothing to do with one’s sexuality. The pro-life movement should be about coming together to protect life and should not be used as a billboard for other beliefs. I do enjoy, however, going out to the Planned Parenthood in the next town up and holding a sign that reads, "I Regret My Abortion." While there are negative comments, the overall reaction is positive, and it is clear when it makes someone think.


Rachel: My first activism for the pro-life movement was when I was about seven or so. My mom brought me to a “rosary rally” event, and we passed out the “precious feet” pins and bumper stickers. Right now my biggest activism is done through my blogging on Tumblr. I’ve got about 1,095 followers now. I’ve been to the March for Life in 2013, and over the summer I had an internship with Life Matters Journal.


How accessible is the pro-life movement for you? How could it be more accessible? What are some ways other pro-lifers could make LGBT people feel welcome? 

Deanna: I feel like the pro-life movement needs to work on welcoming LGBT people. Being more inclusive in their language and maybe turning down the volume on the religious aspect could be really helpful. Even saying things like "although I think homosexuality is morally wrong, we welcome everyone into the movement including those from all sexual orientations. We appreciate you being here" would go a long way. Using arguments that appeal to all people regardless of religious or sexual identity would also be extremely helpful. Having other LGBT pro-life role models would be great, so I think those who are already in the movement need to work on finding each other and being more visible. 


Nate: The movement is somewhat accessible. Thanks to social media, there are many smaller groups that you can join that fit what you're looking for. However, if the pro-life movement started leaving their religion at home instead of bringing it to the events, that would be a good start, as well as sticking to abortion and not bringing up gay marriage or other non-related issues. More room for nuanced views--or at least discussion--of abortion would be awesome, too. 


Albany: Truthfully, the pro-life movement isn't very accessible to me outside of my home. While there are some speakers that travel occasionally in the area, and groups go to pray outside clinics, there are not many options for me. However, going back to my vlogging and public pro-life speaker page, it allows me to connect in a more accessible way. I do wish I knew more people in the area who were open to simply traveling short distances to hold signs with me, to sidewalk counsel, or even pro-life chalk.

I firmly believe that if more religious pro-lifers would stop tying in outside beliefs of the church to abortion, such as views on homosexuality or competition with other religious beliefs, it would allow more in the LGBT community to open up and listen. I think many in religion have dug themselves into a hole by perpetuating the stereotype that they want nothing to do with someone who is gay, when in reality many religious people will happily work alongside the LGBT community to help end abortion. The movement simply needs to vocalize that more through love.


Rachel: With the pro-life circles I associate with, it’s been no problem for me. However, when I venture out from more secular and open groups, people can become less than accepting. Some are outright hostile, but many are just patronizing about the LGBT community. Many of the traditional Christian pro-life groups seem to pity us or think that somehow they’re better. I think if many people thought “Let’s leave the sexuality out of it and work on the commonalities,” we could feel more included. We’re queer, and we’re pro-life. I don’t see why there should be any contradictions there.

414 comments:

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Jameson Graber said...

Fantastic article. Thanks for that.

JDC said...

Fascinating. I really just want to thank SPL for sharing these stories that might not otherwise be heard.

argent said...

This article is great! Each of the interviewees has such a fantastic perspective and voice, and I thought the article was really well put together overall, too. Creating that space for the voices of queer prolifers to be heard, unedited, is so important. I would be really interested in seeing more articles like this in the future, perhaps with young prolifers or prolifers of color or trans prolifers or converts from prochoice or post-abortive prolifers.

The Nun said...

I think the most important thing everyone in the pro life movement can come away with is the need to be inclusive and understanding. Prolifers come from all walks of life. We are not going to agree on everything. We don't have to agree on everything. We simply need to accept and overlook the differences and at times hurtful things that people can do or say. Religion can no more be checked at the door than ones sexuality and neither should be.

I do understand the hurt. I have had gay bank tellers and store cashiers refuse to serve me simply because of how I am dressed. (I wear a cross and a veil). And yet one of my oldest and dearest friends is homosexual. We do not agree on everything but it has never broken our friendship. We respect our differences and do not attempt to change the other.

m17l6s85 said...

Thanks for the feedback. I hope to do more articles like this! We'll see.

Gaiuse Strome said...

How about the LGBT/genderqueer people I know who would kill themselves in an instant if they were forced to gestate? Do their subjective feelings matter?

Rachel Anne Enders said...

I wrote a bit about that in my little piece. Of course their feelings matter. That's one of the reasons why we need to have the frank and open dialogue. I think we really need to give the best resources possible.

Gaiuse Strome said...

As long as they gestate though, right?

Nate Sheets said...

Your desire for meaningful conversation is so apparent.

Gaiuse Strome said...

Prove me wrong. When my depressed LGBTQ friends ask pro lifers about this subject, they are callously told that "counseling" will solve their problem of "not wanting to be pregnant".

Counselling isn't a cure all.

So, what do you suggest?

Rachel Anne Enders said...

As long as they gestate? I want to prevent unplanned pregnancies through education and support. If someone gets pregnant I want to give every resource available to get them and the child through the situation healthily and happily.

Is it always possible? No. I don't think we can just resign ourselves to the previous status quo though.

Gaiuse Strome said...

s it always possible? No. I don't think we can just resign ourselves to the previous status quo though.


Which means? Too bad so sad if xie drinks lysol, stabs xirself in the stomach with scissors, or jumps off a bridge, all to not go through, what to xir, is absolute torture?

Rachel Anne Enders said...

If a person is seriously considering those sorts of things, then there are deeper problems than pregnancy that need to be addressed.

I've been hospitalized before for psychological reasons. It saved my life.

There are pathways through suicidality. Abortion isn't the cute for suicidality and it never has been. A suicidal patient needs quality psychological and psychiatric care.

Gaiuse Strome said...

Are you really so naive as to think that someone bent on killing themselves precisely because they do not want to be pregnant is going to care what a counselor says?

I sure as hell wouldn't.

Should a suicidal person who does not want to be pregnant be tied down to a hospital bed and force fed for 9 months until they give birth?

Speaksvolumes said...

How do you figure that killing another human being is the cure for emotional and psychological distress?

Speaksvolumes said...

Gay pro-lifer here. Glad to know I'm not the only one.

Gaiuse Strome said...

Why do you think that torturing a uterus owner is justified in service of another?

Rachel Anne Enders said...

Someone bent on killing themselves will be a situation, pregnant or not.

Ending another persons life is not the treatment for suicidality whether that person is in utero or born.

Is the problem most of these people face the pregnancy itself or something more?

If someone is suicidal and pregnant would an abortion take away the depression and hurt?

No.

Abortion only takes a life.

Gaiuse Strome said...

If you take away the pregnancy, they won't be suicidal. Problem solved. The forced pregnancy IS the cause of the suicidal ideation in this case.



So...force feed them until they give birth or what? How do we deal with this?

Speaksvolumes said...

"Take away the pregnancy" is an interesting euphemism for "kill another human being."

Gaiuse Strome said...

So a suicidal pregnant person who attempts to starve xirself to death to end the suffering is a callous murderer, in your compassionate and humble opinion?

Rachel Anne Enders said...

Let me ask this. If my mother was the source of my suicidal intentions, if she tormented me. It she kicked me out of the house and took every penny I have... Would I have the right to "take away the problem" by killing her? No, not at all.

What we do is take care of a suicidal patient until they don't pose a threat to themselves or others.

Gaiuse Strome said...

If she was in the process of raping and enslaving you, and the only method of escape was to hit her over the head with a vase, killing her, would you not have that right?

Or do you have to sit back and 'enjoy' it, as her right to life overrides your right not to be tortured?

What we do is take care of a suicidal patient until they don't pose a threat to themselves or others.


Which would be the entire 10 months of the pregnancy. So, if xie is intent on starving xirself to death, do you tie xir to a bed and force feed xir, Gitmo style? Yes or no?

Speaksvolumes said...

Suicidal people need psychological assistance and counselling. Killing another human being is not a means to deal with emotional and psychological distress.

Gaiuse Strome said...

You assume that:


1) psychological assistance and counseling will be available to everyone


2) that suicidal people are dumb, and won't pretend to be better, so they can leave the hospital and swallow hemlock (which is what I would do)


3) if a person already has severe mental health problems, having to go off their medication for the duration of the pregnancy is only going to make their problems worse


4) you assume that these people will seek help or let others know before they off themselves. Not necessarily, if there are zero options because abortion is illegal, they might just swallow hemlock without telling anyone first. But oh well, a few dead LGTBQ is the price we pay for a precious embryo's right to exploit their bodies, yeah?


5) psychological assistance and counseling are not magic, many people receive therapy for years, are still depressed, and still kill themselves. People can be stubborn. If there was a cure for depression and suicide don't you think that suicide would have been a thing of the past by now?


-----


Robin Williams killed himself. He had resources that are not available to most people. So, why is he dead?


And the most hypocritical thing about your position, is that right-wing bigots seem to think that counseling will turn gay people into heterosexuals. Tell me, how well has that worked out for them?

Purple Slurpy said...

BTW, should the post-abortive pro-lifer turn herself in for murder, should abortion become illegal one day? Or should she be greeted with open arms and sympathy?



If abortion is indeed murder of a helpless, innocent, even more helpless and innocent than a toddler, should the punishment for self-induced miscarriage be even harsher than infanticide? Society tends to view child killers with a lot more disdain than the run of the mill murderer. Why are you welcoming post-abortive women?



I think this is a tremendously important point that the pro-life movement, especially if it is supporting legislation that aims to make abortion illegal, and not just try to make society see it as immoral. Because on the one hand, if a woman who induces a miscarriage is not punished with the same penalties as someone who commits infanticide, the law doesn't reflect the equality of the fetus as a full person, which is something secular pro-life is always pushing. Also, it could create a class of murder for which somehow the standard penalties for murder are not consistently applied, and this will undermine the sovereignty of law.

Speaksvolumes said...

1. Then work to fix the system. How does availability make killing another human being ok?

2. So if someone's intent is to not accept help they should have carte blanche to kill another human being?

3. People go off medications all the time while pregnant. Is this some sort of justification for killing a human being?

4. You're right, if someone is intent on killing themselves, they will. It is a tragedy. I'm not a mind reader, so I can't help someone who doesn't ask for it. Still doesn't make it okay to kill another human being.

5. Of course I think that if there was a cure, depression and suicide wouldn't exist. I wish we lived in that kind of world. We don't. That's still not an excuse to kill another human being to deal with your emotional and psychological distress.

Robin Williams is dead because he was intent on killing himself. It is tragic. He never had the right or privilege to kill another human being to deal with his emotional distress.

Christian counselling as a form of ex-gay conversion has been roundly denounced by all major medical associations as bunk science. Counselling for suicidal people is a well-recognized and effective method of helping people suffering with suicidal tendencies and emotional distress. Many suicidal gay people have been successfully prevented from offing themselves through professional medical counselling.

Also, sexual orientation and pregnancy are not the same thing. You're comparing apples to oranges. If counsellor were trying to counsel pregnant women *out* of their pregnancy, you'd have some (?) sort of argument. Mental health professionals can help suicidal PEOPLE, be they gay, pregnant, or any other state.

Gaiuse Strome said...

1) Empty words. Especially in the USA. Funding keeps getting cut for mental health, not improved. Pipe dream. And it still won't help people who are stubborn and will kill themselves, regardless

2) Well I guess if you value embryos more than suffering LGBTQ then what can I say?

3) If you are suffering from depression, going off of your meds can be absolutely disastrous and send you into a psychotic whirlpool of suffering

4) Again, your lack of compassion is very telling. Lose a few LGBTQ to suicide? Oh well, what's more important is the lives of precious non-feeling embryos.

5) Right, that distinct lack of compassion, because embryos are the only humans that deserve compassion.

He never had the right or privilege to kill another human being to deal with his emotional distress.

Yeah, so if your rapist is causing you emotional distress, you don't have the right to kill him if that is your ONLY means to escape the pain.

I guess you would have considered Ariel Castro's victims to be vicious killers if they killed him in order to escape the daily torture?

Counselling for suicidal people is a well-recognized and effective
method of helping people suffering with suicidal tendencies and
emotional distress.




Except for the ones who are immune to counseling, if the cause of their depression IS the pregnancy.



I guess you will just have to tie them down and force feed them like you would prisoners at Gitmo, yeah?

Purple Slurpy said...

Hi Nun. I like your respectful tone.

And with that, I'd like to ask. Do you support gay adoption and gay marriage? While you say that "we will not agree on everything", taking a pro-life position definitely does have consequences on society, namely if enacted, will likely increase orphans. As it stands, there are more orphans than can be adopted in many parts of the world. If you only support making abortion illegal, but do not support the rights of a class of people who can take responsibility for them, your stance would seem a little bit hipocritical.

I have met a few LGBT parents in the course of my fatherhood, and I've found them to be equally good at being parents as I. Would you be willing to go against your church to side with LGBT folks who are your pro-life ally but whose "lifestyles" you or your church may not agree with?

KB said...

Gaiuse, the questoin about what to do about a biological female who, when pregnant, is suicidal, is a complex question, worthy of being discussed. I don't think you are asking the right question though, and rather, it's coming off as a red herring instead. This comment is not meant to be incendiary to you, because I don't have a solid answer to the hypothetical situation you address. I just don't think you are considering the nuts and bolts of what you are asking.
We don't make a habit of letting suicidal feelings trump all else. Some people feel suicidal, or indeed, commit suicide when they experience unrequited love. Should their love interest be required to date them?
How about a single mom. Let's say recently the court has decided that she's an unfit parent - she's depressed and been in and out of jobs, maybe homeless. They took away her daughter and gave full custody to the dad; an arrangement that both the dad and the daughter are grateful for.
But the woman feels even more depressed about this. Suicidal even. She feels tortured that the little girl who was by her side for months, is no longer. Do you think she should get her daughter back? If not, why do you think that it is ethical to torture a uterus owner on behalf of another?

Gaiuse Strome said...

Thank you kindly for your well reasoned and considerate response KB, but if the pregnancy is the source of the depression and suicidal ideation, forcing the pregnant person to remain pregnant against their will is tantamount to torture.


Should a suicidal pregnant person be tied down and forced fed for 10 months until they can deliver a healthy baby?

KB said...

I understand that you are saying pregnancy is the cause of the torture, but I don't see how that makes it any different than saying the absence of the daughter is the cause of the torture. We still aren't giving the woman carte blanche to alleviate her situation by taking action and kidnapping the child.

I can give you an answer to the latter question, but again, I think it misses the point. Of course a woman should not be tied down. A woman who is suicidal because of unrequited love should also not be tied down until she gets over her crush. This doesn't change the idea that there is another person's interests that exist that should be respected. How one goes about providing the social tools and legal and medical flexibility to try to ameliorate the situation such that there is as little damage as possible to all parties is a good discussion that cannot be served well with black or white answers such as, yes they should always be able to kill their offspring, or yes, you should tie down the pregnant woman.

Gaiuse Strome said...

but I don't see how that makes it any different than saying the absence of the daughter is the cause of the torture

The absence of the daughter is not an assault on the unwilling pregnant person's bodily autonomy, that's why.

Pregnancy involves a very *intimate* use of your body, and unwanted pregnancy is a particularly egregious intimate bodily violation.

My LGBTQ friends hate having uteri, hate having female organs, and will do anything to get rid of them. They practise absitnence, and even use birth control to suppress their periods and not get pregnant if through rape.

But what if all of the above fails? What if they are raped? To force someone who identifies as male to be subject to their 'biological destiny' simply because they were born with a uterus is beyond cruel. It's like subjecting a woman to rape because she was born with a vagina, and the purpose of vaginas is to accept a peen, therefore, she should STFU and accept her role in life as a peen home.

. This doesn't change the idea that there is another person's interests that exist that should be respected

At the expense of the person who's body is being exploited on behalf of another.

Why can't the interests of the unwilling pregnant person be respected? Why does a mindless embryo right to exploit the pregnant person override the pregnant person's right to not be used as a mere object?

Of course a woman should not be tied down.

Why not? If she kills herself, you've lost the precious baby. The 'interests' of the precious embryo are not being respected. Surely those come first...right? So what is wrong with force feeding a suicidal pregnant person for 10 months while she gestates in order to protect the future nterests' of the embryo?

Rachel Anne Enders said...

The unborn person did not put itself in the pregnant persons body. Whether by rape or consensual sex; the unborn person isn't the aggressor.

Nobody is remotely saying that any of this would be easy or pleasant. It would be difficult.

Now, as for keeping the patient alive. Obviously a doctor has the duty to keep a patient alive.

But I want to ask this again? Is abortion a treatment for suicidal thoughts? Is that really what heals the wounds of depression and despair? Does abortion undo the damage done by sexual assault?

Gaiuse Strome said...

Whether by rape or consensual sex; the unborn person isn't the aggressor.

Are you suggesting that the suicidal pregnant person *is* the aggressor?

It would be difficult.

But it's a worthy sacrifice, because the potential life of an embryo is more important than the suffering of an actual sentient, sapient person?

Is abortion a treatment for suicidal thoughts?


Yeah, it sure is, if the cause of the depression and suicidal ideation is the presence of the unwanted invader inside your body, leeching your nutrients, and essentially torturing you when it's time to come out at the end of 10 months.

Rachel Anne Enders said...

In the case of consensual sex there is no aggressor. In the case of rape the rapist is the aggressor.

Your second point is the catch though. Whether or not a human is old enough to be sentient, just as a baby is too young to walk, is not what defines our value as members of the species. The unborn, after fertilization, is a new member of the human species. It is a unique person that is growing and developing into the adult it will be some day. We're not saying that one human should be forced to suffer for a non human. We're saying that two peo

Rachel Anne Enders said...

*is a sexually active bisexual person who is also prolife*

Gaiuse Strome said...

In the case of consensual sex there is no aggressor. In the case of rape the rapist is the aggressor.

The prenate is the aggressor, thanks to a little thing called genomic imprinting and selfish genes. It is genetically programmed to take as much as it can from the woman, even if it nearly kills her. It is in the best 'interests' of the father's genes to produce a big, healthy baby (improves it's chances of survival). Sometimes this process goes too far, and the prenate kills the woman.

Now, if any of the things that a prenate does to survive were done by Person A to Person B, they would be considered assault. Drilling into blood vessel = assault. Suppressing immune system = assault. Injecting hormones that then leech sugar, iron and other nutrients out of the body = assault. Infusing Person B's body with addictive substances, which can later lead to PPD and PPP = assault. Dumping toxic biowastes into Person B's body = assault. And at the end, shoving a very large object through a very tiny hole, after hours of extremely painful contractions, with the possibility of vaginal tearing = assault.

If *any* of the above were done by Person A to Person B, it would absolutely *not* be tolerated, and if Person B had only one means of escape, and that method was to remove Person A from their body, even if Person A died as a result, then Person B would have that right.

No one should be forced to tolerate an intimate bodily violation, to labour on behalf of another, and suffer intense pain, tantamount to torture, to preserve a life.

Since we don't require such sacrifices for any born person, what makes embryos so special that they have the right to violate their host's bodies and essentially torture them?

Whether or not a human is old enough to be sentient, just as a baby is
too young to walk, is not what defines our value as members of the
species.


A functional brain/mind is what defines our value as a species, not our h.sapiens DNA. If a mind didn't define our value, we would keep beating heart cadavers and anencephalic babies on life support for as many years as possible, and removal of life support/feeding tubes would be viewed as *murder*

We're not saying that one human should be forced to suffer for a non human.

That's exactly what you're saying. You really shouldn't deny it. Just be honest.

If the pregnant person dies from the pregnancy (which can't be accurately predicted btw) you have effectively sentenced xir to death for...the crime of having sex/being born with a uterus.

At what point does the unborn invade the body?


It's an invader if you do not want it there. Consent must be explicit, ongoing, and revokable.

Rachel Anne Enders said...

I generally say that it's our capacity for rational thought as a member of the human species that makes us people. Let me ask this- at what point is a brain fully functioning?

Let me get this straight. You're going to propose that an unborn human being is assaulting the pregnant person by its mere existence? In that case, would all unborn humans be assaulting the parent?

The thing you're accusing me of thinking isn't my ideology. I'm not wanting to punish people for having sex or having a uterus. I'm trying to preserve the lives of both the pregnant person and the unborn person.

There are no ulterior motives here. Just a queer, democrat, liberal, sexually active, birth control taking, vibrator-owning, threesome-having, 20 year old pro lifer.

Gaiuse Strome said...

. Let me ask this- at what point is a brain fully functioning?

I prefer to draw the line at a capability for sentience. Also, if the fetus is viable (which happens to correspond with sentience) it can be delivered, alive, when possible.

Simply being a member of the human species, a species that can exhibit rationality, does not automatically mean that every species member *is* rational, or will *ever* be rational. And not every member should be treated as if they are rational. By that logic, beating heart cadavers should be kept on life support/feeding tubes indefinitely, yes, because their 'rationality', according to you, comes from their species membership, and not, you know, actually having a functional neocortex.

In that case, would all unborn humans be assaulting the parent?

Human embryos are quite aggressive. This is evolution in action. The assaults can be tolerated if the woman wants a baby, but that doesn't mean that it isn't an assault.

I'm not wanting to punish people for having sex or having a uterus. I'm
trying to preserve the lives of both the pregnant person and the unborn
person.


If you force the pregnant rape victim to give birth you *are* punishing her for being born with a uterus, sorry. That's just how it is. If she doesn't want to be pregnant, and you say that you know better, it's a punishment, period.

And if she dies from the pregnancy, or suffers permanent injury or disability (none of which can be predicted) you have essentially sentenced her to death and/or corporal punishment for the crime of being born with a uterus.

There are no ulterior motives here.


I don't believe that there are. I am sure that you are a wonderful person, as are the regulars here. It's just that your beliefs show compassion for mindless embryos, and not for actual sentient, sapient people who *can* suffer.

Rachel Anne Enders said...

Why do you say sentience begins at viability?

Are you sentient when you're asleep? What about people in a coma?

When rape occurs, the only person who should be punished is the rapist. Nobody else. Not the survivor and not the person created. The person created should not have to die for the crimes of a rapist.

Gaiuse Strome said...

Do you really think that you lose your capacity for sentience when you are asleep? Do you dream?

When rape occurs, the only person who should be punished is the rapist.



Keep repeating that, but a forced pregnancy in the case of rape is a 9 month long rape, and if it ends in the death/disability of the rape victim, you have effectively sentenced her to death for being raped.

Rachel Anne Enders said...

Dreaming may happen, but dreaming isn't sentience. You didn't respond to the coma question though.

On your second point, however I'll say this. Rape in any occasion doesn't end with the act. It looms over you for the rest of your life. It makes you feel like nothing you do matters, and that you're drowning in self hate.

Gaiuse Strome said...

Define sentience, please. Do you even know what it is?

. It makes you feel like nothing you do matters, and that you're drowning in self hate.


Yeah, and forced pregnancy/birth doesn't help with that, now does it?

90Lew90 said...

I can't... quite... believe I'm reading this.

Rachel Anne Enders said...

So, Merriam Webster defines sentience like this

1: responsive to or conscious of sense impressions
2: aware
3: finely sensitive in perception or feeling

I've always described it myself as an awareness of the world around you.

--------

Of course the pregnancy doesn't help.

My point is that abortion wouldn't solve the trauma of rape either. Instead, abortion results in a dead human.

Gaiuse Strome said...

I've always described it myself as an awareness of the world around you.

There are specific brainwaves that are associated with consciousness. Those brainwaves can be observed, in fact. This is how we can determine which PVS patients are merely locked in from those who have permanently lost all higher brain function.

When you are asleep, or in a temporary coma, you still have the capacity for sentience - you still have the brainwaves associated with sentience, you are simply not using them right at this very moment. A PVS patient, like a non-sentient prenate, does not have those brainwaves, because those specific brainwaves are created by regions of the brain which are *not* functional in the PVS patient/prenate.


Of course the pregnancy doesn't help. My point is that abortion wouldn't solve the trauma of rape either.



The pregnancy would be a 9 month long reminder of your rape. Endless. And at birth, you're raped again.


I am sorry, but giving birth to a child created through rape isn't going to suddenly make everything all better.

90Lew90 said...

You say: "My point is that abortion wouldn't solve the trauma of rape either."
What exactly qualifies you to make that assertion?

Rachel Anne Enders said...

Do you want to know who else has the capacity for sentience? The unborn person!

Let me say it like this. What if we used ability to play chess as the qualifier for humanity instead of sentience. A two year old is simply too young to play chess, so if chess was the qualifier, a two year old wouldn't be a person. A two year old has the capacity, but not the current ability.

Similarly, the unborn person has the capacity to be sentient. It is not an old enough person to yet, but it has the capacity. It is temporarily unable to be sentient.

-----

Obviously pregnancy doesn't help, but neither does abortion, and neither does birth.

The thing that helps rape survivors is support and mental health care.

Gaiuse Strome said...

Similarly, the unborn person has the capacity to be sentient.

Can't have the capacity if you don't have a functional thalamacortex.

Obviously pregnancy doesn't help, but neither does abortion, and neither does birth.

And how are YOU qualified to make that decision?Shouldn't it be left to the rape victim?

The thing that helps rape survivors is support and mental health care.


Yeah? What if they kill themselves first? Too bad so sad? What if the forced gestation and birth kills/maims them? too bad so sad but hey, we have a baby now, so you should be happy rape victim?

Rachel Anne Enders said...

It does have the capacity as a living member of our species :) The human being isn't old enough to have that part of the body, because human beings are constantly developing.

I am a rape survivor by multiple men. I know what it feels like. I know the violation.

You say "shouldn't it be up to the rape victim?".
If someone told me that, there would be a dead man out there.

Rachel Anne Enders said...

Well, I'll take these people's word for it

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dTmvgNBq_Q

Rachel Anne Enders said...

But also, check this out - It's called the Dublin Declaration.


Dublin Declaration on Maternal Health (September 2012)

“As experienced practitioners and researchers in obstetrics and gynaecology, we affirm that direct abortion – the purposeful destruction of the unborn child – is not medically necessary to save the life of a woman.

We uphold that there is a fundamental difference between abortion, and necessary medical treatments that are carried out to save the life of the mother, even if such treatment results in the loss of life of her unborn child.

We confirm that the prohibition of abortion does not affect, in any way, the availability of optimal care to pregnant women.”

------


There are over 900 signatories.

http://www.dublindeclaration.com/signatories/

Gaiuse Strome said...

Which is why Savita Halappanavar died, right?

Rachel Anne Enders said...

Do you think that I don't want to work to change those laws you're talking about? The ones in which a rapist could sue for custody?



But you know what? Thanks for telling that to someone who has survived multiple rapes. That's really classy. Thank you SO much.

Gaiuse Strome said...

Do you think that I don't want to work to change those laws you're
talking about? The ones in which a rapist could sue for custody?


Doesn't matter. The rapist is still propagating his genes, which is the entire point of rape as a reproductive strategy.

Thanks for telling that to someone who has survived multiple rapes. That's really classy. Thank you SO much.


Yeah, just because *you* have been raped, and just because *you* would give birth to as many babies as your rapist deems necessary, does not mean that *you* get to make that decision for other victims of rape. Sounds reasonable, no?

Rachel Anne Enders said...

I don't know if you know, but Savita Halappanavar died from sepsis from a severe UTI. The doctors weren't quick enough with the antibiotics.


But check out these few stories

http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/savita-story-possibly-muddled-reporter-28942978.html

http://www.herald.ie/news/savita-not-on-effective-antibiotic-treatment-for-vital-six-hours-doctor-29194191.html

http://www.irishexaminer.com/viewpoints/yourview/savitas-death-may-have-been-due-to-resistant-bacteria-strain-214431.html

Rachel Anne Enders said...

As many babies as my rapist deems necessary?

I'm done with this.

If it counts as a winning discussion for you, go ahead. Feel good about this, okay?

Gaiuse Strome said...

http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/04/22/1900171/jury-savita-death-abortion-care/

http://drjengunter.wordpress.com/2013/04/09/savita-halappanavars-inquest-the-three-questions-that-must-be-answered/

Just walking through the door with ruptured membranes at 17 weeks Ms. Halappanavar baseline risk of chorioamnionitis was 30-40%. Her presentation should not have posed a diagnostic dilemma, not even for an intern. She was a perfect set up.

In Canada and the United States, once chorioamnionitis is diagnosed the treatment is antibiotics and delivery. An “expeditious delivery…regardless of gestational age,” according to the guidelines of the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG). If the fetus is not viable there is no waiting for the fetal lungs to mature or waiting for the fetus to succumb. The recommendation is delivery. This is because chorioamnionitis kills women and if a fetus is on the cusp of viability it has a far greater chance of survival without an infection than with one. The infection helps no one, neither the mother nor the fetus.

To not deliver a woman in such a high risk situation requires proof that she does not have an infection. This can only be accomplished with an amniocentesis, which is extracting amniotic fluid from around the fetus and testing it for signs of infection. The results take 1-2 hours.

Savita Halappanavar’s medical team tells a different story. The testimony of the consultant obstetrician was that Ms. Halappanavar was not sick enough to be allowed a termination on Tuesday according to the Irish legal position. However, there is clear evidence that she was rapidly deteriorating on the Tuesday evening. Ms. Halappanavar’s heart rate was 110 beats/minute and her widower reports that she was shivering and her teeth were “chattering.” Tachycardia (a rapid heart rate) and shaking chills and clear clinical signs that she was gravely ill.

expect_resistance said...

As someone who has struggled with mental illness for most of my life being forced to gestate a fetus until birth would be extremely damaging to my mental health. If this were the case I probably would kill myself. Taking away a woman's right to her body is psychologically damaging and abusive. I see no good outcome from forced gestation.

Rachel Anne Enders said...

So do you think abortion would be healing for the situation or intensive therapy and psychiatric care?

Gaiuse Strome said...

Spare me your faux outrage. You have been saying, all along, that rape victims should be *obligated* to give birth to their rapist's offspring, *regardless* of how much pain and suffering is inflicted upon the rape victim as a result of this.


And you have stated that you are qualified to decide, for other rape victims, that they must be legally and morally obligated to bear their rapist's offspring because you have been raped, which somehow makes you an expert on pain, suffering, and forced childbirth.


Only the person facing the pregnancy and the attendant risks can make the decision, the sacrifice, no one else can. If a rape victim wants to give birth, more power to her. This is a very noble act. But, if she would rather kill herself because the pain and the torment are too much, she also has the right to end the pregnancy, for her own mental health.

expect_resistance said...

Sorry not a good analogy.

Rachel Anne Enders said...

What I'm saying is that I want to keep two people alive and provide the best mental health resources possible.

But one other thing you've forgotten is that the child conceived out of rape may have half a rapist's dna, but it's also half of the pregnant person's dna.

But go around and tell people conceived in rape that they're "rapists offspring". I dare you.

-----


I am angry because you implied that I simply laid back and let multiple men penetrate me in every hole I have.

This is my last post in conversation with you.

Rachel Anne Enders said...

Perhaps its not the greatest, but I was typing on my phone while using the bathroom :)

expect_resistance said...

Abortion is the best answer sometimes. It doesn't make the woman having an abortion any less of a person or a bad person.

Rachel Anne Enders said...

Abortion is never the best answer, but I agree that it doesn't make the post-abortive person inherently bad or less-than.

expect_resistance said...

I'm typing on a phone too and I still don't think it's a good analogy.

Speaksvolumes said...

Because they care about women *so* much.

expect_resistance said...

No sometimes it is. I use birth control and if I accidentally got pregnant I would have an abortion. If I were pregnant I would have to stop taking my psyc medication and that would mean a one way ticket to the pysc ward. I'm not willing to risk my health to procreate.

Gaiuse Strome said...

What I'm saying is that I want to keep two people alive and provide the best mental health resources possible.

Not gonna help if she goes ahead with the suicide anyway? Or if she dies of post partum hemorrhage, or any of the other side effects that can kill once the baby is out.

I am angry because you implied that I simply laid back and let multiple men penetrate me in every hole I have.


I implied no such thing. Arguing by misquotation is tacky. You have stated, repeatedly that a rape victim is morally and legally obligated to bear her rapists' offspring.



Is that not what you said?

Rachel Anne Enders said...

It wasn't the best, I'm agreeing with you.

Gaiuse Strome said...

Caring about women involves not forcing them to gestate the offspring of their rapist.

Should seem obvious, no? Or is denying women their right to bodily autonomy and self-determination, and possibly killing and maiming them in the process a show of *love* for them?


Frankly, this sounds like the kind of argument made by Cliven Bundy that slavery was good for black people because it gave them something to do all day.

Rachel Anne Enders said...

Well, I understand your point of view although I disagree.

Hopefully we can build bridges and have a meaningful dialogue.

expect_resistance said...

I'm sorry but I don't believe that you understand my point of view. I can see no "bridge building" with anyone that would force me to gestate a pregnancy against my will.

Plum Dumpling said...

You into compelling mentally ill women to give birth by shaming/blaming or by law?


What psychiatric or therapeutic care could make one want to be pregnant?

Gaiuse Strome said...

THIS

Speaksvolumes said...

They do like to throw around the "rape baby" epithet quite a lot, as though people born from rape are nothing but the sum total of their father's crime, with no inherent worth or value as individual human beings. I really would like to see them call someone a "rape baby" or "rape offspring" to their face. Somehow I doubt they'd be willing.

Plum Dumpling said...

So let us have frank and open dialogue.

I will have lots of hot sex with males and females.

I will use contraception.

If I become pregnant, I will give birth or abort as I see fit.

Not as YOU see fit.

Not as the state sees fit.

'I am' and 'I will' are sufficient argument.

You are not permitted by general agreement to seize my body to do your will - for treasure or to benefit any 'person.'

If you break the social contract and seize or attempt to seize my body, I have the right to stop you by force - by hurting you or killing you.

Explain to me why being female erases those rights and agreements.

Abortion and contraception are human rights.

Illegal abortion, sepsis and hemorrhage in childbirth are the three leading causes of maternal death worldwide.

Rachel Anne Enders said...

There's a lot of things we can work together on and improve conditions for people.

Remember that each message you read comes from a real person somewhere. I'd like to have a dialogue because that's the only way any progress can happen.

Rachel Anne Enders said...

Make someone want to be pregnant? I can't think of any.

There's certainly care though for people with suicidal tendencies
and severe depression.

Plum Dumpling said...

First, abortion is the cure for not wanting to be pregnant.


Forced gestation is a recipe for emotional and psychological and physical distress.


An other human being can stand behind me in the checkout line. An other human being can get me a cup of coffee.


Words have meaning. A fetus is not a human being. Until the genotype is fully expressed in the phenotype, there is no human being.

expect_resistance said...

Yeah, good luck getting care if your severely depressed or dealing with any mental health care issues. Getting an appointment can be weeks or months out. The mental health care system sucks.

Rachel Anne Enders said...

We do have things in common though.

I have lots of hot sex with men and women.

I also use contraception.

I also believe contraception is a right.

I don't agree, however, that taking another human life is acceptable. I do not think that an unborn human "seizes" anyone's body, so much as comes into existence unintentionally.

My hope was to have constructive dialogue. If that's not your style, we don't have to talk.

Rachel Anne Enders said...

Words have meaning? Let's check Merriam Webster then

fe·tus

noun \ˈfē-təs\

: a human being or animal in the later stages of development before it is born

.... Look what word I see... Human being!

Gaiuse Strome said...

The term is descriptive. Not going to pussyfoot around it to spare your sad feelies. I could say "blank offspring" instead, but the meaning would still be clear.

And FYI, children borne of rape have been known to feel great guilt over how they were conceived. Not every one of them is a sociopath who, like the rapist, views their mom as an easy bake oven.

Rachel Anne Enders said...

I know, I've been committed before.

I'm acutely aware of these problems, and I want to help in the process to make them better.

redlemon said...

One of the first things that psychologists/psychiatrists say to do, in cases where a person is specifically suicidal over a specific situation, is to remove them from that situation immediately. Be it a relationship, family, heck it could be a cupcake. But the problem needs to be removed from the equation. Then, and only then, can meaningful therapy take place. Doctors cannot just medicate and talk to someone until they don't pose a threat. That just isn't realistic.

Speaksvolumes said...

You beat me to it, RAE! Thanks! :D

Jennifer Starr said...

If the pregnancy was the cause of them being suicidal, ending the pregnancy would seem to be the wisest solution.

Rachel Anne Enders said...

But in those cases, removing someone from the situation doesn't involve killing a person.

Rachel Anne Enders said...

The thing is, it's not just the pregnancy that's ended, it's taking the life of a fellow human being.

redlemon said...

Because my medication is extremely well known for defects and fetal death. My doctor would have a heart attack if I continued taking it during pregnancy.

Plum Dumpling said...

An other human life can scratch my back. Or get me a cup of coffee. Words have meaning. Delusion is not useful in debate.

You did not answer my questions. I will repeat them. Answer them or not, no skin off my nose.


But everyone can see you back off the debate/discussion. An unborn fetus is capable of 'seizing' nothing. Creative misunderstanding does not an argument make.

You are not permitted by general agreement to seize my body to do your will - for treasure or to benefit any 'person.' Person in this case including the fetus under discussion. It is YOU that maintains a fetus is a human being/person.

If you break the social contract and seize or attempt to seize my body, I have the right to stop you by force - by hurting you or killing you.

Explain to me why being female erases those rights and agreements.

redlemon said...

Not removing the zef results in killing the suicidal woman. The zef is not more important then myself.

Plum Dumpling said...

How can counseling or psychiatry make someone want to be pregnant or want to abort?
You see managing the ideational and ethical and physical life of a client as the role of counseling and psychiatry?

Jennifer Starr said...

I don't think continuing a forced pregnancy would be terribly healthy for anyone.

Jennifer Starr said...

If a pregnant patient were starving themselves, tying them down and force feeding them would constitute a battery.

Rachel Anne Enders said...

What?

I'm saying obviously you can't counsel someone into wanting to be pregnant, but you can receive care for the mental health issues.

Rachel Anne Enders said...

And if a suicidal person who wasn't pregnant was doing that and refused to eat?

Jennifer Starr said...

It would still be battery. Check out Elizabeth Bouvia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Bouvia#cite_note-2

Rachel Anne Enders said...

I understand that it may be difficult. I'm very aware and sensitive about htat subject, but I do think there are ways to get through pregnancy with mental issues so that nobody has to be killed.

Rachel Anne Enders said...

So when the patient starves to death, what do the doctors do?

Jennifer Starr said...

What do you mean, what do the doctors do? The patient has the right to refuse unwanted medical treatment, even if doing so results in their death.

Rachel Anne Enders said...

Doctors are allowed to intervene when a patient poses a threat to themselves or others.

Jennifer Starr said...

Elizabeth Bouvia. Courts say otherwise.

Rachel Anne Enders said...

So doctors just sit around and let the patient kill themselves?

Gaiuse Strome said...

Yes. And to do it on behalf of a third party, the prenate, constitutes clear assault and battery. Perhaps even torture.

Which is why it would have been a human rights violation to force the suicidal Irish rape victim to gestate.

Rachel Anne Enders said...

Keeping someone alive is the same as battery to you. Wow.

Jennifer Starr said...

I don't understand what it is that you're not getting. You don't think that someone should have the right to refuse unwanted medical treatment?

Gaiuse Strome said...

Yes. If they do not want treatment, and *especially* if it is on behalf of a third party.

Rachel Anne Enders said...

I think doctors should stop people from killing themselves.

Jennifer Starr said...

Forcing medical treatment on a patient who does not want said treatment does constitute a battery.

Rachel Anne Enders said...

So doctors now should just let their patients kill themselves intentionally?

Jennifer Starr said...

So you think that a doctor should be able to force medical treatment on a patient who does not want it.

The Nun said...

I do not understand why you call me hypocritical. I can be friends with people and not agree with their life choices or beliefs. Am I hypocritical if I have a flds friend who is in a polygamous relationship? I do not condone polygamy or the resulting family dynamic. But I can love and respect my friend. Am I hypocritical for being friends with a Buddhist or Hindu or Muslim or Jew or atheist? I hold few to none of their beliefs. Am I forbidden from a loving friendship with people who think and act differently? Do I have to renounce my beliefs because my friends do not believe the same? The Catholic Church has never demanded this of me so why do you?
You statement seems rather narrow and if I followed your line of thinking I would suddenly find myself cut off from everyone. That would indeed be hell.

Rachel Anne Enders said...

If the patient poses a threat to themselves or others.

Gaiuse Strome said...

Patients have that right, yes.

redlemon said...

To what extent? If someone has a very curable cancer and they refuse treatment, does the doctor have a right to force treatment on them? If someone has an extremely bad infection, can a doctor force them to take antibiotics? Can a doctor force someone to take blood pressure medication if the person is in need of it? Shall we start locking up people for medical noncompliance?

Rachel Anne Enders said...

Nun, I've been told that I cannot be Catholic and queer. People tell me that I cannot receive the Eucharist.

Respectfully, I don't think that being refused service for attire is the same as discrimination based on sexuality.

Jennifer Starr said...

Do you think a doctor should be able to refuse to follow a DNR? What about a person who's been diagnosed with cancer and refuses chemotherapy, knowing they will die?

Rachel Anne Enders said...

I think there'd probably be a measure of immediacy involved.

Jennifer Starr said...

And if the patient says no?

Gaiuse Strome said...

Not wanting to suffer, least of all on behalf of another, is not irrational.

Not wanting to be pregnant with your rapists offspring is also not irrational.

Rachel Anne Enders said...

The truth is, I don't know all of my thoughts on all of this issue..

I do believe that there is something ethically wrong with sitting around and allowing your patient to kill themselves

Rachel Anne Enders said...

The "Rapists offspring" is a person.

I understand not wanting to be pregnant out of rape. That's not irrational.

It's wrong though to kill another person, especially when that person is not an aggressor.

Rachel Anne Enders said...

I can be compelled to take my medicine. I have been told that if I do not take my medicine, I will be hospitalized.

Gaiuse Strome said...

The "Rapists offspring" is a person.


Ok, how do you want me to refer to a rape pregnancy that the pregnant person does not want to keep?


Her cuddly cute sweet rainbow rape pregnancy? Would that make you happy?

Jennifer Starr said...

What if the person is a Christian Scientist and doesn't believe in medical treatment, but in healing through faith? What if a Jehovah's Witness does not want a lifesaving blood transfusion? As peculiar as it might, sound, these people have the right to refuse medical care. A person has the right to choose not to be resuscitated if their heart should stop. People have the right to choose their medical treatment or to choose no treatment at all. I don't think that this is a right that you want to dispense with, Rachel--that's going down a dangerous road.

Rachel Anne Enders said...

Or, you could say "the human" "the fetus" "the person" .... you know... words for a human.

Gaiuse Strome said...

It was created through rape and she does not want to gestate it precisely because she was violently forced *into* it. A torture that you would prolong, because you have empathy for embryos, not uterus owners.

Jennifer Starr said...

Are you a minor?

Gaiuse Strome said...

So you're catholic..ok..

Do you oppose birth control that could potentially prevent a zygote from implanting on the uterine wall?

Rachel Anne Enders said...

I've got a uterus, so I think there's a bit of empathy there



The human being was created with DNA from a rapist, but also DNA from the survivor.

The unborn is also a human, and many of the unborn own uteri. Trufacts.

Jennifer Starr said...

Whether the 'person' is an aggressor or not is not the point. That's simplistic nonsense. It's about whether a person who is already traumatized wants to go through additional trauma by carrying a forced pregnancy.

Rachel Anne Enders said...

My life was saved because they didn't do what I asked for. I'll forever be grateful for the fact that I was compelled to follow the doctor's advice.

The Nun said...

You can be homosexual and be Catholic. You should not receive the Eucharist if you are not in the state of Grace neither should I. But the state of your soul is between you and God not me. I have never seen a sign on a Church that read Queers not welcome. Some of the parishioners may feel that way but again that is between God and them. You are welcome to me.
Well this is a lot of God talk for an atheist site. I do not wish offend the other readers.

Rachel I hope to meet you in heaven one day. Blessings.

Rachel Anne Enders said...

Carrying a forced pregnancy also means that there's an unborn human being that's also been forced into the situation.

Gaiuse Strome said...

I've got a uterus, so I think there's a bit of empathy there


There is none. I would kill myself in a split second if forced to gestate against my will, even more so if it was a rape pregnancy. I'd kill myself in a split split split second in that case.




You are telling me that my subjective feelings DO NOT MATTER, that how I feel about how my body is used DOES NOT MATTER. That is erasing me completely, all because you are worried that a cute little embryo might be denied a chance at life - AT MY EXPENSE. In fact, your complete erasure of me would make me even *more* determined to whack myself, due to the sheer dehumanization of me for having the gall to be born with a uterus.

Rachel Anne Enders said...

This isn't an atheist site haha

Gaiuse Strome said...

It can't suffer, it doesn't even know it exists.



Non-existence isn't so bad, you know. I am more worried about the suffering of people in there here and now.

Plum Dumpling said...

Is not wanting to be pregnant and seeking an abortion a mental health issue?
Is being depressed or otherwise mentally ill and not wanting to be pregnant and seeking an abortion a mental health issue?

Rachel Anne Enders said...

Current science is showing that that's not what happens. I currently take birth control for PMDD and contraceptive purposes.

Jennifer Starr said...

So you think that your situation is everyone's situation, and people should be forced to be kept alive for as long as possible for their own good. Is that what you're telling me? I don't think you've thought through all the implications here.

Gaiuse Strome said...

What if it did happen? Would you be opposed to it?

redlemon said...

So if your doctor compelled you to get an abortion, against your wishes but for your health, that's alright?

Rachel Anne Enders said...

I have subjective feelings about a lot of things, but that doesn't give the right to take a life.

Hate me if you want. I have no control over that.

Jennifer Starr said...

Your point?

Gaiuse Strome said...

So you can't kill your rapist in self-defense, because your 'subjective feelings' about the intimate violation of your body don't give you any right to control what happens to your body?

Rachel Anne Enders said...

Forced abortions are wrong , but I can't think of any circumstance, aside from something like an ectopic pregnancy, where an abortion could somehow be good for my health.

Rachel Anne Enders said...

If science showed that one of the methods of operation for birth control was taking the life of the zygote, I'd oppose it yes. I'd continue my support for barrier and non-hormonal methods.

Plum Dumpling said...

I see your Webster's and raise you a real scientist engaged in scientific/ethical debate about when a fetus becomes a human being.

The dictionary? And not even the medical dictionary at that. Weak sauce.

J Med Ethics. 1985 Dec;11(4):198-204.
The brain-life theory: towards a consistent biological definition of humanness.
Goldenring JM.

Abstract
This paper suggests that medically the term a 'human being' should be defined by the presence of an active human brain. The brain is the only unique and irreplaceable organ in the human body, as the orchestrator of all organ systems and the seat of personality. Thus, the presence or absence of brain life truly defines the presence or absence of human life in the medical sense. When viewed in this way, human life may be seen as a continuous spectrum between the onset of brain life in utero (eight weeks gestation), until the occurrence of brain death. At any point human tissue or organ systems may be present, but without the presence of a functional human brain, these do not constitute a 'human being', at least in a medical sense. The implications of this theory for various ethical concerns such as in vitro fertilisation and abortion are discussed. This theory is the most consistent possible for the definition of a human being with no contradictions inherent. However, having a good theory of definition of a 'human being' does not necessarily solve the ethical problems discussed herein.

Rachel Anne Enders said...

If I shot you in the head while you're sleeping, would you suffer?

Gaiuse Strome said...

So a uterine ablation, which would prevent a zygote from implanting on the uterine wall = murder, in your opinion?

Jennifer Starr said...

My grandmother was 70 years old and hospitalized after a series of mini-strokes and she had a DNR order. When her heart stopped that one night do you think she should have been resuscitated against her will?

Rachel Anne Enders said...

The point is that abortion is far more than just stopping pregnancy - it takes the life of another human. The unborn person certainly didnt ask to be there.

Rachel Anne Enders said...

Abortion isn't a treatment though for mental health. Therapy, medications, yoga, all sorts of things are healing, but taking another life certainly doesn't heal.

redlemon said...

But that's exactly what you are arguing for! If your doctor deems it to be best for your health, your doctor can and should compel you to undertake an unwanted medical procedure, no matter what your belief is in the matter. That is *exactly* what you are saying.

Gaiuse Strome said...

I already have a life. I'm not an empty, mindless blank slate.


And no, I wouldn't suffer, but you could say that harm would be done.


Preventing a brainless mindless embryo from being born doesn't cause any actual harm, because it doesn't have a self in the first place.

Gaiuse Strome said...

The prenate dies because it is separated from the woman's body. It's not her fault that it cannot survive without using her organs as life support.


It has no more right to her body than I have to yours.

Rachel Anne Enders said...

I think that's one of the biggest issues in the entire discussion.


You stumped me on the quickly finding a source, but I'll get back to you on that shortly :)

Rachel Anne Enders said...

For some reason I feel like I've talked to you before because there's some huge deja vu going on

Plum Dumpling said...

If being pregnant is the proximate cause of the mental disturbance, having an abortion is therapeutic.


Assisted suicide is legal in two states. Taking another life in this instance certainly heals the excruciating pain and serious disabilities that attend the end of life.


You discuss this issue as though life were a soap opera. Have you given birth? I have. Have you miscarried? I have. Have you 'chosen life' under difficult circumstances? I have. Have you had an abortion? I have. Which of these activities of mine do you want to manage by law? And why?

Rachel Anne Enders said...

I'm advocating for saving lives. I haven't formalized my opinions as much on forced medical procedures, so my thoughts on it certainly aren't well worded

Rachel Anne Enders said...

Murder? It's certainly not an intentional thing. It wouldn't be on my top priority list of saving the unborn

Jennifer Starr said...

The one true thing you've said all bloody evening.

Gaiuse Strome said...

You are advocating for the enslavement of those who are born with uteri.


Let's say that there are people with Type O blood whose blood can be used and mixed with all of the other types of blood.


So, randomly, people with Type O blood are knocked out, hooked up to a special machine that takes a portion of their blood every day for the next 9 months. Being hooked up to this machine causes great suffering and depression. They hate it, they would do anything to escape. Even suicide.


If they unhook themselves from the machine that is extracting their blood, people will die. 5 year olds in need of blood transfusions will die. If we want to prevent these 5 year olds from dying, the Type O blood donors must be forcibly restrained and force fed until the donation is completed at the end of 9 months.


Is that slavery? Is it moral to deny the Type O blood donor their freedom in order to preserve the life of another?


Because what you are advocating is slavery.

Gaiuse Strome said...

Manlsaughter?

Should it be illegal? It is a medical procedure, along with uterine artery embolization, that is performed for the health of the woman, that could potentially result in many dead zygotes if the woman is 1) raped 2) chooses to have sex

Well?

Rachel Anne Enders said...

I don't agree with assisted suicide, but that's a whole different pot of soup.

My question is this: Is abortion /really/ the cause of the suicidality or is it something else? It seems as if the real underlying cause would be something else.


I haven't been pregnant. It's the truth. I don't think that exempts me from having opinions on the issue though.

Rachel Anne Enders said...

Are you saying that I've lied the rest of the time? Or that I'm incorrect?

Rachel Anne Enders said...

Well, I'm not a lawyer and I don't know the details of a state by state basis.

The thing is, (with the possible exception of the copper IUD), hormonal contraception doesn't work that way.

Rachel Anne Enders said...

Thanks!

Jennifer Starr said...

Probably more of the latter, and especially regarding the refusal of medical treatment. Because I don't think you've thought it through at all.

Gaiuse Strome said...

Whether or not you're a lawyer is irrelevant.

I want YOUR opinion on whether or not uterine artery emoblizations and uterine ablation should be illegal because they can prevent an embryo from implanting?

Plum Dumpling said...

There is no scientific consensus on when a fetus becomes a human being. So save yourself the trouble.

That question is not actually a scientific question. It is a philosophical and legal question.

And you have not addressed the legal question at all. Here it is again:

You are not permitted by general agreement to seize my body to do your will - for treasure or to benefit any 'person.'

If you break the social contract and seize or attempt to seize my body, I have the right to stop you by force - by hurting you or killing you.

Explain to me why being female, pregnant or otherwise, erases those rights and agreements.

Rachel Anne Enders said...

I haven't thought through the whole "treating without consent" stuff nearly as much as I've thought about abortion or personhood.

Rachel Anne Enders said...

But they don't....

Gaiuse Strome said...

Do you even know what a uterine ablation is? Or a uterine artery emoblization?



Both will



1) kill an embyro


2) prevent it from implanting

Rachel Anne Enders said...

I can't give the explanation nearly as well as this can

It's lengthy, but it's good food for thought :)


http://www.jfaweb.org/Training/DeFactoGuardian-v03.pdf

Rachel Anne Enders said...

I'm saying, birth control DOESN'T work that way...

Ann said...

Stop feeding the troll. It only seeks to waste time and space in the comments.

Loved your interview BTW.

Rachel Anne Enders said...

Thanks :)

Jennifer Starr said...

Take this situation. A young mother, newly married, discovers that she has a large tumor in her leg. The doctors give her two options. She can have the leg amputated and receive chemotherapy or keep her leg and receive chemo. She initially chooses the latter scenario, but the prognosis is not good. If she's lucky she'll get remission but she might just be delaying the inevitable. Doctors can't say for sure. And the chemo makes her sick and miserable all the time. She decides to quit the chemotherapy and let nature take its eventual course. Do you think she should have that right?

Gaiuse Strome said...

I'm not talking about birth control. At all. I stopped talking about that 10 minutes ago.


The question is, should uterine ablation and uterine emoblization (which makes the uterine wall inhospitable to embryos) be ILLEGAL because it prevents fertilized ovum from implanting?

Jennifer Starr said...

What the doctors didn't do quickly enough was complete the miscarriage. She was in active miscarriage--there was no good reason for the delay.

Gaiuse Strome said...

Tell us Ann, do you consider fertilized ovum to be people?

Speaksvolumes said...

"...children borne of rape have been known to feel great guilt over how they were conceived." So better that they were dead, right?

Purple Slurpy said...

Hi Nun.


Do you see a difference between condoning X and being part of an organization that is actively trying to pass laws that penalizes people who practice X?



You didn't really answer my question whether 1) you condone same sex adoption and 2) whether you would like to make same sex adoption illegal. The Catholic Church is against same-sex adoption, and many of its leaders in the US support groups which are politically seeking to make same-sex marriage and adoption illegal, ie National Organization of Marriage.


I think this is a fair question to ask, since you talk about inclusion and understanding with the pro-life LGBT community, many of its members who would like to adopt children, and therefore have a stake in the pro-life debate.


ASSUMING you are against same-sex marriage and adoption, I was asking whether you think its hypocritical to be welcoming LGBT people into your pro-life fold, while on the other hand agreeing with an organization that would make their family lives post-adoption more difficult.

Plum Dumpling said...

You have not answered my questions. You have presented me with a typical philosopher's maunderings. You cannot baffle me with philosophical bullshit. You have thought through this issue NOT AT ALL. Is that philosopher going to give birth for me?


And yet, like all ignorant zealots, you feel the need to be in charge of my sexual/family life and the lives of women you will never even know by law and by shaming/blaming. What hubris. What NARCISSISM.

Gaiuse Strome said...

They are selfless. They would rather not have been born than cause another human being great suffering and pain.

expect_resistance said...

Just to clarify. Were you committed by force or by choice? From what I understand the commitment process is not by choice and it means giving up all if your rights. This is different from being hospitalized for mental illness. Thankfully I've never had to go through being committed if so I probably wouldn't be in a recovery rmode now. I have a lot of issues with the mental health care system because there is not enough care for one and two the uneven power dynamics if the doctor paitent relationship.

Caleb Van Der Weide said...

I think your question can be clarified by rephrasing it as "should it be illegal to directly and intentionally cause harm to an innocent human being?" Just trying to help.

Speaksvolumes said...

Really? Please, direct me to some stories from people who were born of rape who wish instead that they were dead.

Gaiuse Strome said...

If a woman has a uterine ablation, and knowingly engages in sex, fertilized ovum will die because they will not be able to implant on her uterine wall.

Surely something that could lead to loss of so many precious lives should not be easily available, don't you agree?

Plum Dumpling said...

You can have all the opinions you want to have. Knock yourself out with opinions. I have given birth 3 times. I suggest that your opinions where this issue is concerned will suffer a sea change once you have lived through pregnancy and labor, if you live.


I take it you are a Roman Catholic. So am I. 98% of RC women use contraception and RC women get 23% of the abortions nationwide. Why do you suppose there is such a division between the RC hierarchy and RC women? Are RC women evil and objectively disordered?

You have no standing where my family/sexual life is concerned and should have none.

My body and its contents belongs to (pick one):
1. You.
2. the State.
3. Me and my family.

My children belong with and to:
1. You.
2. the State.
3. Me and my family.

Rachel Anne Enders said...

Woah, you think I care about your sex life?

You think I'm a zealot? A zealot for what?

Rachel Anne Enders said...

The school thought I was a danger to myself so the school counselor had me committed.

Rachel Anne Enders said...

I don't know if you noticed, but I'm the Rachel that was interviewed in the article we're commenting on.

My sex life is basically the opposite of what the Church teaches.

expect_resistance said...

If you were a minor at the time I don't think an adult other than your gardians can have you committed. Hospitalized maybe but not commited.

Plum Dumpling said...

Are you for criminalizing abortion? If not, we have no argument. You are entitled to think any damn thing you want to think. And say what you like. And do what you choose to do about your own sexual/family life.


The moment you advocate criminalizing reproductive health care, you are a zealot interfering in my sexual/family life/physical life for your own satisfaction. And that is rape.

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