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Friday, September 5, 2014

Precision of Language, Please, New York Times

Above: the author's son Noel, who died of
natural causes in utero.
[Today's guest post by JoAnna Wahlund is part of our paid blogging program.]

I recently saw the movie “The Giver” (and loved it, just as I’ve loved the book since childhood). It’s still fairly fresh in my mind, so perhaps that’s why I kept hearing Jonas’ mother say “Precision of language, please!” while I read this New York Times article, “The Dawn of the Post-Clinic Abortion” by Emily Bazelon.

Aside from the article’s blasé and almost celebratory attitude toward illegal and unsafe abortion procedures (such as importing abortion-inducing pills from countries with no product testing or safety standards and handing them out like Halloween candy to anyone who wanted them, with no attempt to screen for people who were only posing as women in crisis pregnancies so they could slip them to girlfriends or abuse victims without their consent), what I found particularly disturbing was the author’s apparent inability to distinguish between elective abortion and miscarriage. For example, in the very first paragraph (all italics are mine):
In June 2001, under a cloud-streaked sky, Rebecca Gomperts set out from the Dutch port of Scheveningen in a rented 110-foot ship bound for Ireland. Lashed to the deck was a shipping container, freshly painted light blue and stocked with packets of mifepristone (which used to be called RU-486) and misoprostol. The pills are given to women in the first trimester to induce a miscarriage. Medical abortion, as this procedure is called, had recently become available in the Netherlands. But use of misoprostol and mifepristone to end a pregnancy was illegal in Ireland, where abortion by any means remains against the law, with few exceptions.
Right off the bat Bazelon conflates miscarriage with medical abortion, when the two are not the same. The National Center for Biotechnology Information states: “A miscarriage may also be called a 'spontaneous abortion.' This refers to naturally occurring events, not medical abortions or surgical abortions” (emphasis mine).

One could perhaps give Bazelon (and the NYT editors) the benefit of the doubt—perhaps they didn't catch the error because they were too entranced with the romantic image of sailing under a cloud-streaked sky off the misty coast of Ireland (albeit on a ship that should be called the Barge of the Dead)—but it doesn’t happen just once.

Later on in the article, she writes of how Gomperts encourages to lie to medical professionals and claim they’re experiencing a miscarriage instead of a medical abortion, should they need to seek help for complications. “Gomperts says there is no medical reason for women to tell anyone that they’ve used pills. Treatment, if needed, is the same as it would be for a spontaneous miscarriage.”

[Lying to your care providers about the drugs you’ve ingested is always a good idea, right? No one need worry about allergic reactions or potentially dangerous drug interactions. Gomperts obviously has only the purest of motives. It couldn’t possibly be that she wants women to lie so that she doesn’t get arrested, charged, and convicted of drug dealing.]

Ahem. Back to the story.

Further on in the article, Bazelon describes her experience at a training session for “abortion doulas.” “The training included a session on the basics of how misoprostol and mifepristone are administered in clinics and how to help ease the discomfort of miscarriage,” she writes.

Bazelon tells of abortionist Amy Hagstrom Miller, whose Texas clinic is facing closure due to Miller’s refusal to comply with new Texas safety regulations for abortion facilities: “Amy Hagstrom Miller, the founder of a network of clinics called Whole Woman’s Health, told me she has been thinking about what might be possible. Facing the closure of her 11-year-old Austin clinic, she was considering whether she might open some sort of ‘miscarriage management’ facility in the Rio Grande Valley.”

I am appalled that neither Bazelon nor her editors at the New York Times either didn't notice or didn't bother to correct this shoddy phrasing. As the definition from the National Center for Biotechnology Information clearly states, miscarriage is not the same as medical abortion, yet she uses the two terms interchangeably, as do her interviewees—not just once but multiple times.

Precision of language, please! Abortion and miscarriage are not the same. The biological processes facilitated by the pharmaceuticals may be similar, but they are wholly different in one very important aspect: an abortion is the intentional killing of an unborn child; a miscarriage is when an unborn child dies of natural causes. They are antonyms, not synonyms.

When people such as Emily Bazelon try to imply that my experiences with miscarriage (I've lost two children) are no different than those of women who have aborted, it is blatantly offensive. She has no right to lump together abortion and miscarriage because she is essentially equating deliberate murder with natural death. I wouldn't walk up to someone whose grandmother passed away in her sleep and accuse him of murder any more than I would tell a person who smothered his elderly grandmother with a pillow that it was a good thing his grandma passed away naturally, and why don't we go ahead and tell the government to subsidize him.

The callousness and insensitively of the false equivalence of abortion and miscarriage—on the part of Bazelon as well as her editors at the New York Times—is a stinging slap to the face of every women who has ever experienced an actual spontaneous miscarriage. It is a gut-wrenching, agonizing, utterly helpless feeling of terrifying impotence when you know that the baby in your womb is dead or dying and there is nothing you can do to save him or her, despite your willingness to do anything in your power to keep him or her alive.

Moreover, this unfortunate comparison has actually inhibited our ability to grieve for the children we have lost, because we're inundated by abortion propaganda claiming that the children we lost were just insignificant masses of cells not worth caring about. Blogger Becky Thompson explains this cognitive dissonance eloquently in her post “How Abortion Has Changed the Discussion of Miscarriage”:
It is hard for a society to mourn the loss of WANTED unborn life when it is busy calling it “tissue” and discrediting its personhood.
It is hard for a society to embrace a mourning mother for her loss of tissue when it is busy defending another mother’s right to dispose of it.
Bazelon and the NYT's insiduous conflation of miscarriage and abortion is a prime example of this mentality. While women who are threatened with a miscarriage are desperately striving to preserve their child's life, the women as portrayed by Bazelon are desperately trying to ensure their child's death. Yet, she attempts to claim there is no difference between the two.

In contrast, blogger Krissi Danielsson at About.com acknowledges, “The elective ending of a pregnancy is a completely different situation than the loss of a wanted pregnancy, both medically and emotionally.” Why is this concept so hard to grasp for the Emily Bazelon and the New York Times?

365 comments:

1 – 200 of 365   Newer›   Newest»
Crystal Kupper said...

Good points all around.

Faye Valentine said...

All they have to offer anymore is spin, propaganda, and obfuscation. Not surprised. Disgusted, but not surprised.

someone45 said...

"It is hard for a society to mourn the loss of WANTED unborn life when it
is busy calling it “tissue” and discrediting its personhood."

This is because they are mourning the potential of what the "tissue" would have developed into. The would be parents are mourning the loss of something they wanted but never got the chance to have.





"It is hard for a society to embrace a mourning mother for her loss of
tissue when it is busy defending another mother’s right to dispose of
it."




1.Well if she is having an abortion she isn't a mother

2. A woman has every right to decide that she isn't allow her body to be used against her will to allow the developing ZEF to come to term.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Take a look at the ultrasound photo in the post. Does that look like a potential person or an actual person? To me, he (or she) was an actual person. That's why we buried him or her in an actual grave and had an actual funeral, as well -- because s/he actually existed.

As for your other points:


1. Not true. Once a woman conceives, she is a mother, whether she acknowledges it or not.

2. Having the right to do a thing is not at all the same as being right in doing it. (HT: GK Chesterton.)

someone45 said...

Honestly it doesn't look like a person to me. To me a person looks like, well a person. It doesn't look like a developing embryo/fetus.

1. Nope not true at all. A woman is not a mother unless she decides to give birth.

2. You do not get to decide what is right for me or my life. You live by your morality and I will live by mine.

JDC said...

Conflating abortion and miscarriage is pretty much the oldest trick in the book. It is saddening, but not surprising to see it continue to this day.

Purple Slurpy said...

That looks like a person to you? Your friends must look like meat balls.



1. I don't understand how you get to decide this for the pregnant person.



2. Your opinion, which is not at all relevant to anyone else.

deltaflute said...

So are you saying that a baby born at 25 weeks gestation and a baby in utero at 25 weeks gestation are "look" different? One is a person and one is thing? One is alive and the other is....dead? Color me confused.

Actually you "can't have one if you want" there are laws governing how abortion is administered. And this varies from state to state. For example, it is illegal in Arizona to have an abortion because you don't like the baby's gender.

So me having children means I am inferior? I'm worth less than a woman who has no children? Or perhaps a man? Way to set back the feminist movement if that's you're way of thinking.

And mine says that your choice ends when it violates someone else's. In other words it's the child that's the "slave" not the woman. If children are "owned" to be discarded at will that's slavery yes? A woman (in the vast majority of cases) ran a risk engaging in sex. It's like getting into a car. Do we sue the car if we are at fault for creating an accident? We knew the risk of driving. We know the risk of sex. Yet we are punishing someone else in both cases. Why? Why not own up to our responsibilities and deal with the risk instead of sweeping it under a rug?

deltaflute said...

So men don't make an appearance in "less poverty, less hate, and less terrorism" in your world view? Only women change the world for the better?

someone45 said...

Stop bringing up post-viability fetuses because we both know MOST abortions do not happen at that time.

You are very wrong. I can and will have an abortion if needed and BTW a woman living in Arizona can easily lie about her reason.



I am assuming you wanted children. I however never want them so if I was forced to use my body to gestate the ZEF to term I would be nothing but an inferior incubator. My life would no longer mean anything.


Also not matter how hard you try to make it so consent to sex will NEVER equal consent to pregnancy.

Purple Slurpy said...

I think you can say YOU believe its morally wrong. With embryos and fetuses, there is no absolute consensus in science or in societal opinion when that it becomes a "person". We all agree it is alive and has human DNA, but we as far as we can tell, it also has no emotions or will of its own, things that many people think are important criteria for being a person. I grant you it may be possible with advances in medicine and neuroscience, we discover traits of the fetus and embryo that make the case for personhood a lot more compelling, but as of now, I along with many others, do not believe a fetus or embryos are "people". Therefore, I think it would be wrong for you to impose your morality and your line in the sand upon the rest of society.

deltaflute said...

I was asking you to narrow down what you mean by a person being alive and born to look like a person. You still didn't narrow that down. The pre-born have organs. They have skin. They have fingers and toes with nails. Normal ultra-sounds do not give perfectly clear pictures. My own ultra sound much latter in my gestation from a bajillion years ago makes me appear as a blob. I wasn't a blob.

Arizona also stipulates how chemical abortions are to be performed. You can't just buy some random drug and take them legally. This has adverse affects to your body. But if you want to go ahead and run the risk of harming or killing yourself so you can get your abortion, I can't physically stop you. I think it's foolish, obviously.

You're life as no meaning once you become a parent? So my life is pointless? You should just shoot me? Come on now. We know people's lives have meaning regardless of whether they have children or not. And this holds true for you as well.

Yes, it does. Consenting to sex implicitly runs the risk of pregnancy. It is the same if you choose to drive a car. If you wear a seat belt, you up your chances of not dying in an accident. However having the use of a seat belt does not ensure an accident will not occur. That's why you also invest in car insurance. It is the same with sex. Every time you engage in sex you run the risk. If you don't want a baby, then don't have sex. If you don't want a car accident then don't drive a car. The problem because that people like those two things and so they try to bury the risk. They don't want to give them up but they don't want to take responsibility for the consequences either. This isn't adult thinking.

Purple Slurpy said...

As a man, I think an increase of societal and economic mobility of women will force men to consider more than just their own world view. The closest person in their lives - their wives will have needs and ideas that differ from the husbands. If the man is in a situation where he must weigh her opinion equally to his, I think it changes society for the better. In so many poor societies overrun with religious fundamentalism, this is just not the case. I think women who are not owned by a man are an important factor to more enlightened societies.

deltaflute said...

Two things:


1) you equate upward mobility with a woman having abortions. Why not improve maternity care? Why not offer free child care? If it's truly about empowerment, why are we empowering women to not have well...more women?


2) Are you talking about world wide societies or just the US? Because in the US men are being less empowered. Fewer men are offered scholarships because they are male. The educational system is leaving boys behind rather than making attempts to encourage and foster what interests them particularly in literacy. Fewer men are going to college. Fewer men are working. To me I see that the problem in the US society is that women are stepping all over men. And btw I'm a woman.

someone45 said...

RU-486 is by far much safer than child birth. I would much rather "risk" my life that way than to be forced to suffer in misery and risk my life in child birth.


MY life would have no meaning if I was a parent. I do not ever want kids so I would have nothing to live for if forced to become a parent.


I have a solution for you If you don't like abortion don't have one.

Purple Slurpy said...

I was mainly talking about developing societies. Free childcare? In a society that has civil wars and famines? Yeah, right.


Women are stepping all over men in the US? Uh, excuse me, but WTF are you talking about... Have you gone to college or held a job in a technical or a field requiring an advanced degree? As a professional scientist, I notice a huge lack of women in my field, a huge lack of women in advanced math courses, a huge lack of women taking physics, engineering or computer sciences. These kinds of jobs are increasingly important in a modern, tech focused society like the US. Granted in the social sciences and biology, the numbers are not so skewed. But have you noticed the number of women CEOs out there?

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Yay for unsafe medical practices that cause harm to women and children, and now accountability for unscrupulous medical professionals who take advantage of women in crisis pregnancies...? Seems like the opposite of feminism to me.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Appearance alone is an arbitrary criterion for what constitutes a person.

1. You don't get how I get to decide that murder is wrong? I don't understand why you think murder should be allowed.

2. Ditto.

deltaflute said...

1) So abortion stops war? Really now. Or as you say. Yeah right.


2) I have gone to college and attained a professional degree. Most of the people I encountered were indeed female. My husband works and has worked at a number of universities. He is a scientist. The vast majority of the people he sees seeking advanced degrees or any degree at all are overwhelming female. In fact they get more perks for being female. More support in their field. Instead of looking at his socio-economic background, he's written off because he is male. You didn't address the fact that scholarships are often are designated to women and not men. Isn't that sexist? And what does the number of CEOs have to do with the number of women working versus men? More women are working than men are. That's a statistical fact. I'm surprised that you're not outraged at how female teachers treat male students and devise the classroom curriculum to suit girls. www.guysread.com

JoAnna Wahlund said...

If you don't want a child, or don't want to have to kill a child, then don't have sex (since no method of birth control is 100% effective). Problem solved, no one dies.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

By the way, thanks for demonstrating my point by calling my dead child a "meatball."

Purple Slurpy said...

1. I don't get how you get to decide terminating an early fetus or embryo constitutes murder.



2. Ditto, I agree. I'm not forcing you to get an abortion, and you shouldn't force someone NOT to get an abortion. Seems simple to me, no?


FWIW, I believe late term abortions are inherently wrong. However, I don't feel I have the authority to force this opinion on a woman considering it.

deltaflute said...

Very well then let's kill the disabled. They don't have the same emotions or will of their own. We'll all be like Hitler.

Also while we're at it why don't we kill anyone of color. They are inferior too aren't they. Not too long ago we had Jim Crow. Why not bring it back?

Let's just start making personhood based on our own emotions and personal morality. Okay then. I'll just kill my two year old. He doesn't do advanced mathematics yet so I think he should die. I mean it's my own moral compass right? What society has rationally concluded makes no difference yes? I'm not culpable?

I'm sorry but you have to derive your morality another way. For me it's obvious...it's alive. It has worth. It's a person. This doesn't hinge on a set of criteria that some person just decides or how it's mother feels about it. Otherwise we're just liable to slip down the slope and determine that certain people have no worth. It would be history repeating itself.

someone45 said...

Wow... so in your world the only purpose of sex is for baby making.



Sorry but I happen to enjoy sex and I am not giving it up for life and I also don't consider abortion to be killing a child. I personally have no problem having one if it is needed.

deltaflute said...

I think JoAnna is saying what I've been saying. Don't have sex if you don't want the risk. Not having sex won't kill you. Be responsible. Otherwise you sound like a petulant child whose mother warned them if they kept hitting their toy on the floor it would eventually break. You are running the risk and if you do end up having an abortion you are ending life. You've been warned. But I can't make you behave like a grown up.

someone45 said...

Giving up sex and being alone for life sounds like a horrible way to live.

I personally do not view abortion as murder and I do not feel I should have to give up sex for life to live by your morality.

I use BC but I am not going to be punished if it fails.

deltaflute said...

You agree that an embryo is alive yes? It is human too yes? I mean we're not talking about dogs. So what happens when deliberately end the life of a human? Is that not called murder?

Purple Slurpy said...

For someone who has an advanced degree, your thought process doesn't seem very logical. As a man and as a person of color (Asian), I don't believe colored people are inherently worth less. I also don't feel a fetus or embryo in the early stages is quite a person. As you say you are a holder of an advanced degree, I don't see how you would immediately assume holding certain criteria for what you call a "person" would all of the sudden lead to genocide and Hitler. An embryo has never had a will of its own or a thought. Therefore I think it is quite different than a disabled person or someone in a coma. If it is extinguished, the embryo doesn't care. An embryo is neither guilty nor innocent. I simply find your line of reasoning a little unhinged.



As for the # of women CEOs, well, CEOs of large companies hold huge sway in national monetary and economic policies. No woman has ever been the head of the Fed. The fact that women on average earn less than men. These kinds of facts tend to make me highly doubt that women are stepping on men in this country. Also, when applying for research grants, sure being a woman or a minority sometimes helps. But in a field where 80% of the researchers are men... I don't see how this constitutes women stepping on men.

deltaflute said...

*sigh* I know a lot of people who don't have sex and they are not lonely. It just so happens that I'm their friend. I don't think they think of their life as being horrible. Unfortunately modern society would have you to believe that your worth is based on having sex. It's really quite disturbing.

It's equally disturbing that you view BC failure as punishment. BC isn't perfect. Do you really want to rely on some outside agent for your self-worth? Is a baby a punishment? Does having a baby really make you worthless?

I'm actually quite worried about you if that's your thinking. I understand that people have reasons for not having children, but to make it a part of your self-worth...well, I must say you sound really depressed.

Purple Slurpy said...

I believe its killing, sure. But I don't think there is no conscious victim, I find it is nearly victimless. I am opposed to late term abortions though.

Purple Slurpy said...

Sorry, didn't know it was a picture of your child, didn't read the caption.



However, you did ask whether it looked like a person, and quite frankly I don't think it does. At 7~8 weeks, I doubt many people will see that from a blurry ultrasound. Maybe with future imaging, but as of now...

deltaflute said...

1) Some people are born disabled to the point that they don't have a will either. At least by my rudementary understanding of what you mean. Yet we protect these people. If someone abuses them, we are outraged. Why not embryos? If that's you're logic it should apply equally yes? Or do you think age discrimination is okay for this situation?

2) Women choose the less paying jobs because they want to or they find it difficult to balance family with work. Hence the need for maternity leave and free chlldcare. Abortion restricts freedom to choose both.

3) As for grants, they should be awarded on the basis of merit of the project not gender. Otherwise its blatantly sexist.

someone45 said...

Well I personally love my relationship with my boyfriend. I don't think he would take it very well if I told him we were never going to have sex again. I think most NORMAL people in a relationship want sex to be a part of it.

How is it disturbing that I would view it as a punishment if my BC failed and I was forced to have my life ruined by the misery of pregnancy? I did everything to avoid it and I shouldn't have to suffer in misery because I was unlucky.
To me YES a baby is a punishment, It would ruin my life and if I was forced to actually keep it I would never be happy again.

deltaflute said...

Murder always has a victim. Otherwise its not murder. Who would you be killing? Air? Nope you're depriving a person of life.

Purple Slurpy said...

1. If you were born vegetative with no chance of recovery, I think respectfully putting them down is OK. I don't have a will (the document) yet, but I have told my wife and family if I ever turn into a vegatable, that I am to be unplugged. I don't want to be a financial burden, and do not wish to live in such a state anyway.



2. The statistic is controversial, but women supposedly earn 77 cents on the dollar for the same job in some fields. Granted, I do believe society SHOULD be such that affordable childcare, plentiful birth control etc. are available, but the reality is not always so. I think abortion is one of possible solution in allowing women to control their own destinies in a non-ideal world.


3. Grants SHOULD be awarded on merit. However, I think that certain amount of preferential awarding to underrepresented minority groups and to women should be used to even the playing field and get increased participation. Again, in a perfect society free of historical and current racism and sexism, grants and scholarships should be purely merit based. But it is not. My mom left a country where women were ACTIVELY DISCOURAGED from holding an academic research position. While the US is more socially forward thinking, I don't think equality has yet been attained.

deltaflute said...

*head desk* You obviously don't love every aspect of your relationship with him. You have a hidden fear of becoming pregnant with his child. I'm sorry but doesn't bode well. Especially if you are engaging in sex, which is a risky behavior.

You see here's the think. It isn't about being lucky. BC has a built in failure rate. It will fail someone at some point. You say it's a punishment if it fails. Who on earth is punishing you? Is the BC punishing you? You're boyfriend? Nope. The punishment is all in your head. There is no punishment for BC failure. Children aren't punishment. You were a child. You were not a punishment. If your life is ruined it would be in your head. You declare it ruined. You declare yourself never to be happy again. And that's why you sound depressed.

If I were to get into a car accident and forced to be in a wheelchair, some might say that my life is ruined, I no longer have worth, and I'm being punished. This is false. Noone is punishing me. And my life is still worthy. And it's not ruined. It's just different. It has changed.

Let me tell you something...the older you get, the more your life will change and be different. You're body will fall apart with age. You may loose your boyfriend. This doesn't mean you loose worth or are being punished. This is life.

Purple Slurpy said...

You're depriving a clump of cells of life. != a person.

someone45 said...

I don't want to be pregnant EVER. I do not want kids. I do not want to spent nine months in absolute misery for something neither of use want. We both want a child free life.

When unwanted a pregnancy would be a life destroying punishment. Thankfully I do not have to suffer that way and I can have an abortion.

I can make choices in my life that will decide what direction it goes and I can tell you one thing for sure. I will NEVER have it go in the direction of having kids.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

1. I define murder as the deliberate killing of an innocent human being. A human being is an organism of the species homo sapiens. An embryo or fetus is an organism of the species homo sapiens. Ergo, an abortion deliberately kills an innocent human being.

2. I personally think that no one should be allowed to commit murder, regardless of the circumstances. I'm so sorry you do not.

deltaflute said...

You are reducing someone to their parts. By that logic I'm just a clump of cells. Let me ask you, what gives a person their worth? Is it their mother saying so? Is it their doctor? Who establishes that worth? Who gives that person dignity? Does not simply existing make a person worthy?

JoAnna Wahlund said...

In my world, and in the world of reality, sex makes babies. That is its primary biological purpose. Biologically speaking, the pleasure derived from sex is impetus to cause humans to procreate. I love sex and find it very pleasurable, but I never lose sight of the fact that sex can cause pregnancy even if I take measures to avoid pregnancy. Thus, if I was convinced that I would "have" to kill any child I conceived, I would therefore avoid sex so I could be 100% sure that I wouldn't have to kill a child.

Purple Slurpy said...

Just out of curiosity, which area of science are females the "vast majority" that your husband works in? Having been to professional conferences, interacting with researchers from many countries and institutions, reading journals mostly in physics, math, statistics and neuroscience, I have never been under the impression that women vastly outnumber men.

lady_black said...

How are women "stepping all over men" in US society? What are you smoking?

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Shocker: you can give up sex without being alone! My husband and I often need to abstain from sex for various reasons (the postpartum period, illness, etc). We love each other very much, and sex is not the sum total of our relationship. If your relationships are 100% on sex and nothing else, then they are very shallow and meaningless.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

I don't get your logic. Do you force your opinion that pedophilia is wrong on pedophiles? Do you force your opinion that murder is wrong on a woman who kills her toddler? What's the difference?

someone45 said...

Great for you that you can live by your own choices. Now please stay out of my life and my uterus and let me do the same.

lady_black said...

It doesn't look like a person to me either.

someone45 said...

Giving up sex for life though... that is not realistic. If it is for you I feel bad for you. Sex is not the only thing in our relationship but sex is important and to expect people to give it up for life is crazy.

deltaflute said...

There's no such thing as a child free life. People have children. If you go out in public, you will encounter them. What you mean to say is you don't want to have children.

Again this punishment is in your head. Can you at least acknowledge that you believe it to be a punishment and there does not exist some outside punishment? That life destroying stuff you keep saying is actually your opinion of a life change?

You don't want it to happen. Fine. I get it. I don't want my hair to go grey. But we have to be responsible people and face the facts. If you engage in sex, you are taking a risk. And the older I get the more likely my hair will turn grey. Own up to your taking a risk.

You can't make decisions in life that will give definite results. That's an illusion. You could die tomorrow. You stomp your feet and say "I will never have kids. Ever." And then find out later that you've changed your mind. You may not want to have children at this moment. You may want your boyfriend forever. You may want the best job in the world. But you may end up having to care for someone else's child (like a relative). You may loose your boyfriend. You may never get your job. The only guarantee in life is that there are no guarantees.

And this is what disturbs me. You aren't acting very mature. You sound very selfish.

Purple Slurpy said...

1. I believe an embryo or fetus lacking a working central nervous system is incapable of being innocent or guilty. It just is kind of doing its biochemical thing. Therefore I don't think there is a victim in aborting at such an early stage.

However, late term when fetuses actually begin to show responses to the mother or father, I feel that it is closer to a person. That is why I am opposed to this type. However, this is my opinion, and I think the pregnant person knows best.

lady_black said...

How YOU define murder doesn't matter. Murder is a legal concept. Innocence of the victim is not required, and in any case, a fetus is not a moral agent capable of being either "innocent" or "guilty."

lady_black said...

No. It's killing. Killing does NOT equal "murder."

deltaflute said...

Except we can't. We speak for the voiceless. Children want to be born. They don't want to be dead. All life has this innate will to live.

deltaflute said...

Then a lot of people must be crazy. Ghandi must be crazy. He gave up sex in his 40s.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

What does a person look like? Do you have a list of accepted criteria? Can I kill anyone who does not fit that criteria?

lady_black said...

No thanks. YOU be abstinent if you like. I will have sex.

lady_black said...

You speak for yourself. And ONLY yourself.

deltaflute said...

1) Putting them down? Are we talking about a person or a dog here?

2) Yes, it's controversial. It is so because studies have taken into account where you live and how much time you are expected work and so forth. They show that such a gap doesn't exist. Making abortion a reasonable work-around is a cop out. It's equally sexist. I should be allowed a family life without it costing me upward mobility. It should be the same for men who actually are pressured more to stay away from home.

3) There you and I must disagree. What you're proposing is sexist and racist. Those things don't help anyone. All studies have shown that opportunity resides more on socio-economic background and not on gender and race. I can't speak for other societies, but as far as the US is concerned basing grants on gender is gender discrimination. Plain and simple.

Purple Slurpy said...

Yes, you and I are a clump of cells. What gives a person their worth, is a very difficult to answer question, and really depends on your world view. I have a very materialistic view of life, and do not believe that life is inherently worth anything. Our value is something only we ourselves can discover and assign for ourselves, and that is why I believe the value of a fetus or embryo in its earliest stages can only be assigned by the mother carrying it.

You may have another world view that finds inherent value in life. I don't think one is objectively correct and another is objectively incorrect. That is why I am pro-choice. It says if you feel life is inherently valued, fine, value your own and your unborn child. If not, it is also your own choice to abort. Seems like the only reasonable position to take for me...

deltaflute said...

No I don't. I'm already alive and born. I have my rights. I have my freedoms. It's prosecutable murder if you kill me. Why do you think I'm speaking for only myself? What's in it for me? Honestly.

lady_black said...

NO. I think she very clearly stated she doesn't want any children. WITH ANYBODY! She's allowed to not want any children, I'm allowed to not want any more than the three that I have. It isn't a matter of her relationship being faulty. Some women don't want children, or only want a specific number.

deltaflute said...

And welcome to the world of- my life hinges on sex. /sarcasm Seriously I don't care if you have sex. I don't care if you drive a car. I do however care if you neglect your car care and thus collide with my vehicle. I do care however if you make me pay for your abortion or attempt to silence my 1st Amendment (or in my case Canadian charter) rights. Deal with it.

lady_black said...

All punishments are only punishments if YOU perceive them to be punishments. Therefore ALL punishment is "in your head." That's irrelevant. If one doesn't want children, one doesn't want children, And THAT is THAT!

deltaflute said...

Not true. If you are incarcerated for committing a crime, that's a punishment not inside your head.

lady_black said...

I don't know what's in it for you. I only know that you do not speak for ANYONE but yourself, and that "the unborn" do not have thoughts to give voice to. Knock it off. You speak for nobody but yourself.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

I'm more than happy to as long as you're not killing innocent children.

deltaflute said...

Murder is both a legal and moral/ethical concept. If it wasn't a moral one, it would not therefore be a legal one.

JenR (aka TooManyJens) said...

"*head desk* You obviously don't love every aspect of your relationship
with him. You have a hidden fear of becoming pregnant with his child"

This idea that not wanting to have kids, or even just wanting to plan kids and therefore using BC, means you don't love your partner really needs to die. It's not based on reality; it's just a way for anti-BC people to convince themselves that their choice makes them and their relationships better than everyone else.

lady_black said...

I don't care if you're happy about it. You hold no sway in my life, and you do not run it. Go run your own life, and leave me to run mine.

deltaflute said...

The unborn do have brain waves. There's been studies. I speak for them. Otherwise what's the point in arguing. It's a waste of time. You must have some thought for why I engage in such a conversation. I'm curious. Why would I be motivated to speak out against this "right" that you think you have over someone else?

lady_black said...

My guess would be that you're someone with boundary issues.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Again, I'm more than happy to, but at the same time I speak out against injustice.

deltaflute said...

But you're world view leads to all sorts of genocide. All it takes is for a person or group of persons to say that others have no worth and thus need to be eliminated. I mean just look at what's happening with ISIS. They've decided that others have no worth so they are beheading them. Ultimately what makes one have worth is the fact that they are alive. That's it. Otherwise you fall into the trap of deeming anyone (and in your case that's the unborn or disabled) as being worthless and discardable.

lady_black said...

Well now, that would still depend. If you are incarcerated, you have a warm place to sleep, three meals a day and medical care. That's more than some people get being "free." Society calls it a punishment. Obviously to some, it isn't a punishment at all.

Purple Slurpy said...

Brain waves are not the same as conscious thought. These are most likely global patterning activity that allows pruning of synaptic connectivity in the network.

lady_black said...

"Injustice" is you pretending to speak for me, and you believing that what you think should be made into laws to rule my life. You are NOT "all that."

EM said...

Why dont you cet youre tubes tied? Or you would love to have blood on youre hands?

deltaflute said...

I didn't say that the vast majority were female in his field. I said that those entering his field are largely female. This generation has a largely female dominating class. The previous ones do have more men. So currently there is diversity, but it won't be that way in a number of years. Not with the current education system we have in place. And not when we keep giving people scholarships based on birth rather than circumstance or grant-worthiness. My husband is constantly being discriminated against at conferences. They recently excluded him because he's not of color, female, or married to someone inside the field. This is totally wrong. He's the first in his family and the only one to have gotten a Phd. His parents worked blue collar jobs and his father was in a factory. He didn't get any handouts. He didn't get any help. He did it all himself despite the special help given to women born into wealthier families.

deltaflute said...

Now you're just getting off the beaten track. Reducing someone's freedom of mobility is a means of punishment. They may not believe so, but what else would you call it.

Purple Slurpy said...

I don't see how this sort of world view is shared by the ISIS or leads to genocide. Establishing a certain empirical criteria for personhood doesn't naturally lead to sudden devaluation of all other living people. I keep stating that if new scientific evidence suggests that embryos and early fetuses are actually conscious and show rudimentary neural activity, I would be willing to change where I draw the line in the sand.

Your line of reasoning seems similar to opponents of marriage equality who state that allowing gays to marry will automatically lead to people marrying their goats.

lady_black said...

Given that there are people who have considered committing crimes (and some who have actually done so) so that they can receive needed medical treatment, I would say that I'm not too far off "the beaten track." That doesn't say a whole lot good about our society, does it? Of what value is "freedom" to someone who has nothing to eat, no place to sleep and no access to medical care?

deltaflute said...

*eye roll* So premature newborns should be killed because they haven't achieved the required level of thought? Seriously, why do I even try to reason with someone who wants to make their own arbitrary reasoning for a person's self-worth. You might as well murder me. I probably will never live up to what is worthy in your eyes.

deltaflute said...

I imagine if she's much older than you that she did indeed speak for you. I mean would you condone you're mother aborting you? It's her choice. You don't have a say. We're just ruling your mother's life and you're life before your birth is meaningless. Is that how you really think?

deltaflute said...

Now you're really going out there. What does having nothing to eat have to do with abortion? Furthermore, I think you are thinking of US prisons. In N. Korea, they are starved. The US has a plethora of programs to ensure good nutrition including SNAP, WIC, free lunch program, food banks, etc. These things don't exactly exist in Canada. But there are ways of getting help even here.

Purple Slurpy said...

Wait, your husband is discriminated against at conferences because he is not MARRIED to someone in the field. Pardon me, but REALLY??? I have never heard of this happening. Now I'm even more curious. Which field is your husband in? It is true that there is affirmative action in grad school admission and certain funding opportunities, but when it comes to publishing work or presenting at conferences, IT IS PURELY MERIT BASED. Being a woman won't get junk science published or a crappy conference submission accepted. I've never encountered any situation where the position of your spouse is asked. "Your wife works on neutrino detection? Wrong answer, now if she only worked on superconductivity."



So what field does your husband work in? If I can verify what you'd say, I'd be willing to help you lodge a complaint.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

no, injustice is you believing that it's okay to kill an innocent human being under any circumstances, just because they aren't born yet.

deltaflute said...

Well it's been lovely. But I'm neglecting my household duties. I wish you all well. I hope the discussion was fruitful for you. All the best!

Purple Slurpy said...

RU-486 is pretty safe from what I gather.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

http://abortionpillrisks.org/

Purple Slurpy said...

I see a lot of these propaganda sites, but what about published case studies? What does the FDA, the NIH have to say about RU-486?

JoAnna Wahlund said...

from the link I posted: "Information referenced in this site is derived from the United States Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) website, U.S. Government publications, reproductive health resources, medical abortion provider publications, and international medical and research journals."

JoAnna Wahlund said...

regardless, making it "safer" for women to kill children does not mean that it's therefore right to kill children.

Purple Slurpy said...

http://abortionpillrisks.org

even states in one of their references (ref. 5) that

"Both
methods of abortion are generally safe, but medical termination is
associated with a higher incidence of adverse events. These observations
are relevant when counseling women seeking early abortion."

So are you concurring with what I've stated, that RU-486 is generally safe?


You were the one accusing the good Dutch doctor of harming women by prescribing unsafe pills...

Purple Slurpy said...

>> Ergo, an abortion deliberately kills an innocent human being.

Innocent. I can't really call an early fetus innocent or guilty. Its just... a clump of cells.

>> 2. I personally think that no one should be allowed to commit murder, regardless of the circumstances. I'm so sorry you do not.


Well, I don't feel sorry for using my reasoning and trying to think of a reasonable empirical criteria for what makes an embryo a "person". BTW, under no circumstances would you find it allowable to abort. Do you feel the same way in cases of rape pregnancies and incest? How about if the girl were 12?

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Do you think that importing pills from foreign countries with no safety standards is safe? Forcing women to go it alone while not under a doctor's care or supervision? Or telling women to lie about ingesting the pills if they do seek medical help for complications? All are recommended in the article. None of those options sound "safe."

JoAnna Wahlund said...

innocent = has done nothing to warrant or deserve execution or death.

You are also a clump of cells, just a more developed one. So?


Do you think it's right to execute a child for the crime of its biological father, in the case of rape pregnancies? Are there any other situations in which you favor executing a child due to the crime of his or her parent?

No, I don't favor encouraging 12-year-olds to kill children, either. Medical complications can be managed. The child can be delivered early if necessary. If a woman's life is at risk, indirect abortion is ethically acceptable (google "principle of double effect).

JoAnna Wahlund said...

How YOU define murder doesn't matter either. A toddler isn't a moral agent yet it's illegal to kill them.

Purple Slurpy said...

RU-486 was developed in a European country (not sure which) which probably has a system of clinical trials in drug development in place.

Given that some of those women might have tried something close to a coat-hangar abortion, what the good doctor did was most likely safer. That's just what I gathered from the article, from the example of a little girl raising her siblings because her mother died in a botched illegal abortion.

lady_black said...

It IS ok. No one will force you to participate. Your appeal to emotion is duly noted and rejected. My mother had an abortion. The circumstances are none of your business. If she were still alive and you called her a killer, I would knock all your teeth out.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

I personally think it's preferable to offer women in crisis pregnancies solutions to the actual crisis as opposed to killing the child.

Purple Slurpy said...

Thanks, and the reference states abortion pills are slightly riskier than surgical abortions, but are generally quite safe.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Yet it's okay for commenters on this site to call my miscarried child a "meatball"? Funny logic you have there.

I would never call your mother, or any woman, a killer if we were having a conversation. That does not change the objective fact that abortion kills an unborn child.

Purple Slurpy said...

But what if the woman just doesn't want the child? And are you trying to deflect your original point that abortion pills are dangerous?

JoAnna Wahlund said...

If the woman doesn't want the child, she can give the child to someone who does. I know many such women.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

If medical abortions were 100% safe, it would not change the fact that abortion is wrong. However, as the evidence I provided states, they are not 100% risk free.

lady_black said...

YOU brought up prison. I said that a punishment is only a punishment if the person being "punished" perceives it as punishment. I'm pretty sure in Canada, people do not have to resort to committing a crime to get the healthcare they need, and they do not starve prisoners there. This isn't North Korea. I don't live in North Korea, and would consider living there punishment enough, so let's not appeal to the lowest common denominator, shall we? A woman who doesn't want to be pregnant doesn't NEED "help." She needs not to be pregnant. That may come as a shock to you, but not everyone wants children. Mom always said those who don't want children should do the world a favor and not have them. Mom was wise. There are things much worse than death or non-existence.

lady_black said...

Yes I do condone the idea that my mother could have aborted me. It WAS her choice. My mother DID have an abortion. Existential angst is sort of cute in children. In adults, it's an incredible turn-off. If I had been aborted I wouldn't know the difference, would I? And the world would go on just fine without me.

Purple Slurpy said...

BTW, I apologized for my callousness, but I didn't know it was your ultrasound of your miscarried child. I thought it was just some random ultrasound that was picked up off the web somewhere. So I apologize again, but please note it was not directed at you personally or your misfortune.


BTW, my mom also had an abortion too. I don't think she is a murderer, and her acts of compassion in her life speak volumes for her character. If you called her a killer, she would try to understand where you are coming from, but I believe she would disagree.

Purple Slurpy said...

Nothing in life is 100% risk free. Breathing air, you might pick up airborne anthrax and die.

lady_black said...

And furthermore, the person I was addressing is NOT older than me, and I probably have children older than she is. She's not smart enough to rule my life, nor to speak for me.

lady_black said...

YOU should probably never have an abortion.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

What I find most disturbing is that you think it's acceptable to call anyone's child a "meatball" -- especially anyone's miscarried child. But again, you proved my point in the article. My miscarriage was in 2006 but what if it had been recent? Your comment would probably have hurt a hell of a lot more than it did. Whenever women lose children they're faced with people like you who don't think twice about calling their unborn child vile names.

I don't think it's ever acceptable to call any post-abortive woman a killer or a murderer or any other inflammatory name. Abortion objectively kills a child, yes. But calling women names does nothing to stop the killing or help them. It just makes the person doing the name-calling an asshole. I generally favor treating everyone with respect and dignity, regardless of who they are or what they do. I don't always live up to that myself as I'm a fallible human, but I generally try.

Purple Slurpy said...

Some women find it more traumatic to give birth and give away the child. The family may also be far away from extended family, as in another continent and too poor to easily go back, so the older sibling is quite lonely, and is dying to have a younger sibling. For that older sibling, having a new brother or sister only to have it taken away may be quiet devastating.



The above is the reason my mom had an abortion. She wanted more kids, but also was a pioneer in her field, and she was from a developing country where women with advanced degrees had no prospects of careers as they were told to get married and stop taking jobs from men. Her overwhelming goal in life was to succeed and be a role model for girls in her country, and she just could not have another child. She agonized over the decision, but it turned out to be the right one.

Purple Slurpy said...

I wouldn't say anything about a woman's miscarried fetus, while if I were shown an ultrasound from a pregnant friend, I don't think saying it looks like a meat ball is particularly offensive. Some parents call their little ones things like "little monkey", I don't think calling one "little meatball" would be considered particularly offensive...

Purple Slurpy said...

>> No, I don't favor encouraging 12-year-olds to kill children, either.
Medical complications can be managed. The child can be delivered early
if necessary. If a woman's life is at risk, indirect abortion is
ethically acceptable (google "principle of double effect).

The above case, a 12-year old getting raped by incest and becoming pregnant does happen, even if rare. I think the fact that you would be willing to force such a child to give birth speaks volumes about your views.

>> innocent = has done nothing to warrant or deserve execution or death.

Sure, but an embryo or fetus also doesn't care whether it is aborted. Who is the victim in this situation?

deltaflute said...

Just quickly....it was a conference workshop on having problems in the field. They sent out a letter stating it was only for women, people of color, or married couples in the same field. They didn't specify anything about socio-economic background, which is actually the largest problem in getting a higher education. They also didn't include anyone coming who might find the discussion interesting or helpful and thus would pass it onto their students. It was completely exclusionary. My husband was annoyed. He mentioned that it was racist and sexist to his female college who suggested e-mailing them. In the end he didn't. He's not one for battles.

He's in planetary science. I can't remember which conference it was, what the workshop title was, or what the date was. It was probably last year. The e-mail was sent to their e-mail subscriber list. I doubt you could find it online. And I doubt he saved it.

As for affirmative action, yes I think it should be done away with. Don't Obama's daughters have a better chance at a college education than say a white boy whose parents work on a factory assembly line and goes to public school? I mean they are of color and they are female. That automatically guarantees more opportunities than the poor factory worker's son. Obama can afford to send his daughters to school. Factory worker family have to work and most likely will end up choosing a technical or junior college because of costs.

Purple Slurpy said...

OK, so it was a session in the conference dedicated to problems minority groups were having in the field of Planetary Science? While I don't think it should have been closed to white males like your husband, it is not a session in which he was to present research results, ie. the part of the conference that matters professionally. Yet you are making it sound as your husband is being professionally discriminated against regularly in the ACADEMIC parts of conferences. I find that a little bit disingenuous on your part.


Further, you claim that female graduate students entering your husband's field are outnumbering men. I'm assuming that Astronomy Departments would be similar to where your husband is. I took a look at graduate student directories at Boston University, UC Berkeley and Yale and counted the F/M ratio. They are 14/36, 12/32 and 11/30 respectively. As for the mathematics department at UC Berkeley, I'm eyeballing the ratio (too many students to count) to be around 20% F / 80% M. This appears to be counter to your claim that women graduate students are over running your husbands field. As for the number of African Americans in these programs: 0 (or maybe there was 1 or 2), as far as I can tell. No matter, miniscule. Maybe your husband's university is an exception and is hyper-affirmative action, but from what I can tell, your perception does not mesh well with reality.



Further, if you consider the history of discrimination against African Americans and women in the US (stories about Rosalind Franklin and her role in discovering the double helical structure of DNA etc., CalTech admitting first women undergraduates in 1970, and until recently segregation), I think temporary affirmative action is a good way to boost participation of minority groups. Just having them there can change the culture of field, and enrich the communities that were denied equality for so long.

fiona64 said...

I mean would you condone you're mother aborting you?

Most people outgrown this kind of nonsensical, existential angst at puberty.

fiona64 said...

One day, an anti-choicer will posit a concept that is *not* an asinine straw man. On that occasion, I shall alert the media.

fiona64 said...

If you know of anyone killing children, alert your local law enforcement agency.

fiona64 said...

In my world, and in the world of reality, sex makes babies. That is its primary biological purpose.

Actually, in H. sapiens, it is *not.* Otherwise, women would go into estrus cycles and only be receptive during those times.

Thus, if I was convinced that I would "have" to kill any child I
conceived, I would therefore avoid sex so I could be 100% sure that I
wouldn't have to kill a child.


My wanted pregnancy nearly killed me, and I will NOT gestate another one. Nor will I remain celibate on the off-chance that my tubal ligation might fail (they can, and do). Should that occur, there will be an abortion scheduled the minute the stick turns blue.

You are welcome to remain celibate if that's what floats your boat. The rest of us do not have to do so.

fiona64 said...

Why are the anti-choice so illiterate? This is a constant puzzle to me.

fiona64 said...

I don't think you understand what "childfree" means in terms of family planning. It is also not even *remotely* selfish to thoughtfully consider whether or not one wants to have children.

What *is* selfish is to demand that others gestate in order to satisfy your sad feelies about embryos.

fiona64 said...

All they have to offer anymore is spin, propaganda, and obfuscation.

What an apt description of every anti-choicer I've ever encountered!

fiona64 said...

I truly am sorry that you missed the day in school when it was explained that personhood is a legal status that attaches at birth.

An embryo is not a person, no matter how much you want to pretend otherwise.

The pregnant woman, however -- whom you seem awfully eager to erase from the picture -- *is* a person.

fiona64 said...

If you don't want a child, or don't want to have to kill a child, then don't have sex

There it is, right on cue: the *real* point of the anti-choice position. Women should just "keep their legs closed" if they don't want babies.

You can be celibate. I will save France.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

I have. Unfortunately, it's currently legal to kill unborn children in this country. It's a travesty, I know. That's why Secular Pro-Life et al are working to change that.

fiona64 said...

I do care however if you make me pay for your abortion

Somehow, I don't think you're being made to pay for anyone's abortion. Exaggerate much?

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Actually, no. You're free to have lots of sex, or a little sex, or no sex. That is your free choice. Our point is that children shouldn't have to die if they are conceived as a consequence of your choices.

fiona64 said...

There is no such thing as an "unborn child." In case you missed this day in biology class, allow me to outline the developmental stages of viviparous vertebrates:

In utero:
zygote
embryo
fetus

Ex utero:
Infant
child <-- see that? *Ex utero.* All children anywhere are born.
pre-pubescent
adolescent/juvenile
adult


I'm glad that I could help with this unfortunate gap in your education.

fiona64 said...

I speak out against injustice.

Do you? Are you speaking out against child and adult hunger in the US? The increasing maternal mortality rate (the US is #60 in the world, and getting worse)? Abuse of actual born children?

Or are all of your sad fee-fees saved for the tabula rasa embryos onto which you can project anything you so desire whilst you ignore the far more complicated realities of born, sapient, sentient persons?

fiona64 said...

Our point is that children shouldn't have to die if they are conceived as a consequence of your choices.

You *really* need to learn the difference between an embryo (the stage at which the majority of abortions occur) and a child.

fiona64 said...

Reducing someone's freedom of mobility is a means of punishment.

Ironic, given that you are here advocating that women should lose their right to bodily autonomy the moment they have a positive pregnancy test ...

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Actually, child is a colloquial term for any child. My mother still calls me her child, even though I am 33.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Yes, I do. It's both/and, not either/or. You can be against abortion and all other injustice, too.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

You need to read the dictionary. See definition #4. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/child?s=t

A friend said...

It saddens me people can think like you do, what you are saying equates sex to pleasure and not intimacy. Do you not understand you were made for more? To not be a slave to your desires? Choosing a life of responsibility instead of using "preventative" measures to justify your reasoning dehumanizes you! You have a mind and a body that if you really think about it you would understand that there are risks. Choosing to honor the value human life does not mean sacrificing the joys of sex to become completely chaste, it means practicing self contorol every what? Third week of the month? By being on the demand ready for sex in your relationship you help stimulate the objectification of women. You are not a play thing, you should think more highly of yourself.

Purple Slurpy said...

Uh, have you never met an infertile couple. I have. I think when she refers to "child free", she is not talking about a universe that is child free, just no child in her immediate family.

deltaflute said...

No offense but there aren't scholarships solely designated for white men. There are scholarships for women, people of color, and to a lesser extend those who come from lower socio-economic classes. If there were scholarships or grants offered to white men, than I'd say it's fine to have ones for women or minorities regardless of actual income or background. As it stands, not having ones for white men exclusively is a form of discrimination. I'm a woman who comes from a higher income bracket than my husband yet I can receive special scholarships over and above my husband who comes from a lower background. That's sexist. How is giving me a scholarship actually elevating a person out of poverty and giving them more opportunities? All it's doing is encouraging more women to go into the field who may have otherwise choosen to study something else. The point of a scholarship is to help a person get an education and the point of an education is to get a job. I really don't get the elitist attitude people have in the field of science. What makes a scientist a person of more worth than say a plumber? But I digress.

Planetary science is not astronomy. Sometimes it's part of the astronomy department, or geology, or physics. And in some cases it's it's own department. It really all depends on what exactly the person is doing in that particular field. Currently my husband is located in the geophysics department. So you're statistics using UC Berkley (which isn't a planetary science beacon) or Yale is a bit skewed.

Again studies have shown that socio-economic background is the number one player in determining academic success. Race and gender have little to do with it. We are way past the time when people are barred from entering Universities based on gender or race. In fact, if you look at the statistics more women are going to college than men. I'm not sure how being a person of color has anything to do with good science. It should be based on the merit of one's work not based on making a University more diverse. It's the ideas that carry not whether one prefers Italian or Mexican food. Those ideas can come from anyone.

deltaflute said...

I've heard of the term "child free life." It's a misnomer. No one has a child free life. We encounter children all the time. We were once children. I prefer the term childless. It sounds to propaganda to me to reinvent the wheel with child free life.

deltaflute said...

I know people who choose not to have children or choose not to have more children. When they explain the reason, they don't say things like having children would make them worthless. They usually say things like it would be too stressful or they have health concerns or religious reasons. My deep concern is that she is suffering from some sort of form of depression or anxiety. In other words, she's afraid. I can't say for certain that the fear stems from her relationship or from herself, but it's not coming from a place of rationality. Since it takes two to make a baby, then it's safe to say she's afraid to have a baby with her boyfriend. She may also be afraid to have a baby with someone else on the side or someone in the future. I don't know. You should be concerned for her welfare as well. I think you would agree with me that her self worth isn't based on having children or not having children.

Purple Slurpy said...

Whether affirmative action is good or not is a difficult sociological question. So I will skip that.


I didn't know what Planetary Sciences was, so I assumed you meant Astronomy. My bad. Now, a quick look at Planetary Science graduate programs at



U Texas, U Tennessee and UC Davis shows a F/M ratio of
2/6, 22/27, and 24/23 respectively. Where I a picture of the grad student was not provided, I automatically counted that student as FEMALE to be as conservative as possible. Still, I do not see evidence that females are overrunning your husband's field. Maybe your husband's university is an exception.


However, your assertion that he was discriminated against at a conference still sounds like BS to me, sorry. He was not invited to attend a NON-ACADEMIC SATELLITE session discussing minority issues in the field. Sorry, doesn't sound like systematic discrimination against white males to me. It sounds to me like you are trying to make it sound like white males are discriminated against in this country, and empowerment of women and minorities is a waste of money, resources and is misguided.

deltaflute said...

First things first, we're talking about another person's body. Abortion is getting rid of another person's body. So I'm not sure what right to body autonomy you think a woman is being deprived of.

There are choices to consequences. If a woman deliberately hit me with her fist, does she not have to deal with the consequences of her actions? She could say "well, it's my body. I can do with it what I want to." Or does her violating my personal autonomy not have any consequences? Cannot I not than sue her or have her sent to jail for the assault on my person? Would it make a difference if she hit me and I was in a vegetative state? What if I was on life support?

someone45 said...

How did I say sex is not for intimacy? I just said it as purposes besides baby making


NFP is the most laughable form of "BC" there is. Only a fool would use that and only that.

deltaflute said...

I guess you've never been to any planetary science conferences. Usually the conference itself takes place during the week. On the weekends leading and ending the conferences, people are invited to take part in various workshops related to the field. The workshops are all academic based. That's the point. You learn something about studying lunar rocks or what NASA is up to and so forth. The session was based on what they felt was discrimination in the academic area. My husband told me it was a teaching workshop. It's totally related to academia. It wouldn't have really mattered, but they specified who could attend and who could not. To my knowledge such workshops are supposed to be open to everyone.

I asked my husband said the conference was LPSC.

You can refuse to believe me if you want.

I'm sorry if you don't find it systematic that scholarships are awarded to women and minorities who can afford school. I'm sorry you believe that Obama's daughters have a right to an Ivy league scholarship that some poor white male factory worker's son won't receive. Again it's not race or gender. It's about money. It's a disservice to minorities and women to offer them to people who can afford college rather than stipulate that the scholarship is for someone who is poor. How exactly is Obama's daughters receiving a scholarship because they've gone to private school not taking away from a Latina from the ghetto who didn't receive a great education? If you want to elevate people, then stop giving money to people who don't need it in order to go to college.

someone45 said...

I don't consider abortion to be murder and if my BC fails I have no problem having one.

someone45 said...

Well sorry but if I get pregnant I can and will have an abortion. You will have to get over that.

deltaflute said...

What straw man? I don't think you're reading the whole dialogue.

someone45 said...

They have no wants. The have no thoughts or desires. They know nothing at all.

someone45 said...

Nope sorry but my life is child free and it always will be.

I will never have kids of my own and I am so grateful about that. This is something I will NEVER change my mind about. I would also not care for a relatives child because

1. No close relatives of mine have kids
2. There would be much better options besides me

Purple Slurpy said...

No, I don't go to Planetary Science conferences because I work in Neuroscience. When i say "ACADEMIC", I mean is it a session where people present their research? From what you described, it seemed to be something else, where people discuss issues they're having in their fields. That is not academic. Your husband was not denied an opportunity to present research, rather he was denied an opportunity to sit in a workshop where minority issues in the field were discussed. Not attending this workshop wouldn't really hurt him, as far as I could tell.

Also, its not that I don't believe you, but from my quick data gathering, what you say does not seem to hold water. Do the figures I gave you about graduate student ratios in the 3 schools seem accurate to you? Or did I just choose the 3 schools where women happen to be in the minority?



Here is what you said:


>> I didn't say that the vast majority were female in his field. I said
that those entering his field are largely female. This generation has a
largely female dominating class.


My informal search of grad student web pages don't seem to back this up.

And I wasn't aware Obama's daughters were getting scholarships. I somehow don't think Obama's daughters are representative of the colored women getting scholarships.

deltaflute said...

Look we can beat around the bush about what you consider to be academic. Or whatever.

You still haven't addressed how offering a scholarship based on birth is somehow helping people particularly those who don't really need it. But fine.

This blog is about abortion not academia. We can disagree about how we want to help people. You can choose to promote abortion as a means to help women elevate themselves and I'll choose scholarships based on economic need, childcare, and maternity leave. I'm not too happy that you think that women (and men) have to choose their career over their family, but whatever. I'm done here. I made my point. You are free to ignore it.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

I wasn't speaking in a biological sense, as I've already made clear. I was speaking in a colloquial sense. Context matters. My children were and are my children regardless of their age, size, location, or stage of development.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

And we are doing everything in our power to change the laws of our country to preserve the lives of innocent human beings in the womb. You will have to get over that.

someone45 said...

Good luck with that. Let me know how that works out in 10,20,30, etc years.

eroteme said...

Abortion is just an induced miscarriage.

eroteme said...

https://www.womenonweb.org

Is also great.

eroteme said...

Safer than pregnancy. Pregnancy that you want to force all women to undergo if they have the sex.

eroteme said...

And if you get your wish an abortion is illegal women will STILL do whatever they can to abort.

You don't give a shit about women's health.

eroteme said...

Pregnancy maims and kills.

eroteme said...

Rape and forced pregnancy are an integral part of war in the world today.

Little 12 year olds, forced to give birth.

Purple Slurpy said...

Normally I agree with many things you say, but I think you're over exaggerating here, and I think you know it.

eroteme said...

Aw cool. A friend of mine is a neuroscientist. She taught me all about sentience and how it arises and can be measured.

eroteme said...

Potential.

eroteme said...

Abortion is self defense.

eroteme said...

Yeah, it occupies the woman's body. It tortures her with birth. It has ZERO right to her organs.

Purple Slurpy said...

It is SOMETIMES self defense. I think absolute statements about exaggerations are dangerous :)

eroteme said...

If your toddler tries to kill you, do you have to sit back and let it happen?

How about a disabled 40yo with the mind of a toddler who asaults you?

eroteme said...

Clumps of sentient, sapient cells. We are not mindless animal organisms like embryos.

Purple Slurpy said...

Yup, cool stuff :) I think a greater understanding of neuroscience in the years to come will alter how we view ourselves as a species. If it turns out that embryo and fetuses possess what we term sentience, I might alter my view on early abortion, but from what we now know, I have got to support choice!

eroteme said...

No, it doesn't lead to genocide, because the mindless don't qualify as people.

eroteme said...

The disabled aren't mindless. FFS.

eroteme said...

Lol.

Abstinent only = a joke.

eroteme said...

Doesn't work in the real world.

eroteme said...

She is RCC.

eroteme said...

Sex = social bonding

eroteme said...

You want to enslave women to clumps of DNA.

eroteme said...

Stop ragging on Slurpy. You set this up so that you could play the martyr.

It looks like a meatball.

eroteme said...

Yep. Abort me and flush me down a toilet. Big whoop.

Mindless me would not have missed non existence.

eroteme said...

Sex and intimacy = social bonding.

Don't need to get pregnant every time you do it.

eroteme said...

When I am typing on my phone I have to be brief (as in the other statement, which I will reply to in a minute) Also, this blog freezes on my phone..very annoying.

I am on my pc now, and let me expand a bit...

Yes, abortion IS self-defense. We just don't think of it that way because

1) pregnancy is what women do/ are for

2) it's like, natural

3) babies are cute

But, let's look at what an unborn human does

It occupies your body - a very intimate occupation. if you do not want it there, it is a violation. A rapist can do less damage to your body than a pregnancy - yet you would be within your rights to kill a rapist if that was the ONLY means of escape. Rape is clearly assault, but, by Pl standards, unless the woman is on literally death's door, the presence of the zef is not 'harming' her.

Let's look at what a zef does to a woman, as a normal part of pregnancy

Drills into a blood vessel

injects her body with hormones that enable it to take as much sugar (can lead to permanent diabetes) iron (anemia) and calcium (dental and bone loss) as possible. It is genetically programmed to do this, through something called genomic imprinting.

http://edge.org/conversation/genomic-imprinting


It dampens her immune system, making her more susceptible to illness.


It infuses her body with feel good hormones that, after birth, can cause her to rebound, resulting in PPD and PPP. Depression and psyhosis, yum.


It can't process it's own wastes, so all of those toxic biowastes end up in her blood.


Lastly, at the end of 9 months, it causes her intense pains for 6-72 hours and the woman has to deal with a large object being painfully shoved through a tiny hole.


If ANY of the above were perpetrated by one person upon another it would be considered ASSAULT and in some cases TORTURE. We don't think of it that way, because 'nature' and 'babies cute' and 'this is what women were made for'


Any government that forces women to gestate at risk to their health, life and wellbeing is essentially endorsing rape, slavery and torture.

eroteme said...

See my other comment.

Yeah, pregnancy ALWAYS has the potential to maim and kill. We don't know WHICH women will become injured, suffer permanent disability, or death from pregnancy.

To force all women of reproductive age to complete a pregnancy is to deny their right to life and health.

Oh, I left a couple of things off of the last comment, will add here:

1) the rebound from the dampening of the immune system can result in MS and other auto-immune diseases

2) PTSD from birth is a real thing

http://www.birthtraumaassociation.org.uk/


PS: you always know who I am. I knew you were smart :)

Purple Slurpy said...

>> To me I see that the problem in the US society is that women are stepping all over men.


To me, statements like this seem to argue in favor of limiting or trying to roll back the progress that women have made in society. Many of the top flite US universities became co-ed in the late 60s and early 70s. That's not very long ago. Before then, women like Rosalind Franklin (double helix) and Lise Meitner (nuclear fission) were denied the full recognition for the work they did in scientific collaboration. This was in the 40s and 50s. Women have not had as long a history of predecessors upon which to draw inspiration as men, and were long told to stay at home, cook, have kids and shut up. That is what my mom was told by her university. If you believe that all the roadblocks affecting women and people of color have now been completely removed, and they do not present additional obstacles for the professional development as compared to the white male, I think you're blind to reality.



It is true that women are both blessed and burdened with the ability to conceive. Unfortunately, having children and caring for them can negatively impact her career. For these women, leaving the option of abortion is an important equalizer.

eroteme said...

You're so sexy when you're angry.


Which is like, alll the time, right?

eroteme said...

Actually, a more appropriate phrase is 'abortion is not unjust killing'


Yeah.

eroteme said...

Balderdash. It is possible to have a loving relationship and not want children.

eroteme said...

First things first, we're talking about another person's body. Abortion is getting rid of another person's body


A mindless body that does not have the *right* to occupy the woman's body and claim her organs for it's own use. Such a right does not exist. For anyone.

eroteme said...

Looks like I missed all the fun today.

eroteme said...

Not all doctors will perform a tubal ligation especially if the woman is under 30 and doesn't have 3 kids already.

eroteme said...

And before that he had mistresess galore.


I am abstinent, but I realize, that in the real world, people like to fuck, and as far as I am concerned they can fuck their brains out. More power to them.

eroteme said...

Around the time that extreme neonates can survive outside the uterus the thalamcortical connections that give rise to sentience have already began to form.

Ann said...

Really the last 40 years has seen a decrease in poverty, hate an terrorism? I find it has seen an increase due to an obvious lack of respect for human life. I don't think terminating a life particularly empowering for anyone.

eroteme said...

Slurpy is correct, actually

Steven Pinker writes about it in his new book. People have become less violent overall in the last 100 years.

It just appears that we are more violent because TV and hyperbolic news make the violence sound like it's right up in your face constantly.

http://stevenpinker.com/publications/better-angels-our-nature

Ann said...

Ooo name change again? Do you have personality disorder or are you just trying to make it look like more people have your opinions?

eroteme said...

Can you do anything other than troll?

And I have been changing nyms regularly since my early days on IRC.

It's like changing shoes, I like to have fun. I love nyms, and I love shoes. Got a problem with that?

eroteme said...

Fundamentalist Islamic countries which not only don't allow abortion, but believe in honor rape and killing raped girls.

Actually, Islamic countries allow limited abortion and contraception...the deal is, however that the *man* decides how many children a woman will have.

Women have zero reproductive freedom in these societies and if the man decides he wants 20 kids, she will be forced to have them until she dies.

http://www.cnn.com/2011/11/01/health/multiple-pregnancies-mother/


If you look deeply at the anti-abortionists in the western world, it comes down, in the end, to controlling sexuality, specifically, female sexuality. As soon as women can get out from under the yoke of forced pregnancy, they can have some modicum of control over their lives. And fundies HATE that idea.

Purple Slurpy said...

I agree it can be self-defense if the woman wants it to be. But there does seem to be some scientific evidence pointing to better health later in life for women who have given birth. Whether that is due to actually giving birth or better mental health from joy, I don't know.

Purple Slurpy said...

Did not know that, was all my preconception about Fundamentalist Islam. But I still believe that controlling women's reproductive destiny controls her, and that always leads to bad sh*t.

eroteme said...

http://www.cnn.com/2011/11/01/health/multiple-pregnancies-mother/

http://www.skepticalob.com/2009/08/inherent-risks-of-childbirth.html

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2010/dec/10/torn-apart-by-childbirth

The health benefits of fetal stem cells is an oft repeated claim from anti-abortionists. That ‘baby ‘gives back’. Unfortunately for the woman, fetal stem cell transfer is a double edged sword. From the JulyAugust 2014 issue of Discover magazine p.12 (typed out by hand):

FETAL ATTRACTION: Mothers to be may have their babies to blame for a poorly understood medical condition.

Fresh from prenatal yoga, a woman walks into her 35 week OB appointment glowing. But the doc frowns as she watches the woman’s normally low blood pressure soar past 140. Then a routine test shows protein in her urine. Diagnosis: preeclampsia. These few symptoms are often the only indications of the condition; the mom to be feels fine, but until she has her baby, she will likely be put on bed rest and monitored closely, as preeclampsia can quickly escalate to severe swelling, seizures and even coma or death.

As many as 8 percent of pregnant women worldwide are diagnosed with preeclampsia, and while the condition is on the rise in the USA, no one knows exactly what causes it. Some researchers have suspected fetal DNA or pieces of the placenta – long known to circulate in the bodies of pregnant women – could kick off an inflammatory immune response intended to kill and clean up the intruders. Hilary Gammill, an OBGYN at the university of Washington, has spent years looking at fetal cells in particular. In a recent study, she and colleagues compared blood samples from 46 pregnant women diagnosed with preeclamspia with samples from 47 women with uncomplicated pregancies. The researchees found that the women with preeclampsia were more likely to have in fact fetal cells in their bloodstream, and many more of them.

While carrying more fetal cells seems to protect against breast cancer, women with severe preeclamspia have up to an eightfold risk of cardiovascular disease later in life. Such outcomes may be linked to an immune response similar to that of preeclamspia. “It’s sort of a double edged word,” Gammill says.

She aims to learn more about these stowaway cells so she can figure out what triggers preeclampsia and tailor treatments for her patients, who may experience its effects long after pregnancy. – Cameron Walker

--------------------------

Do the long-term risks outweigh the immediate risks?

How does this apply to women who did not want children and being forced to have children ruined their lives and filled them with resentment?

If pregnancy is healthier overall than not being pregnant, then nuns would be dropping dead at a significantly younger age than women who have given birth.

eroteme said...

Agreed.

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