Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Watch out for this disingenuous "pro-choice" tactic

In the last few weeks, the abortion movement has been having a very public identity crisis. Some prominent voices in that movement, including Planned Parenthood, argue that they should drop the label "pro-choice." The debate is playing itself out in outlets like Alternet and the Washington Post, among others.

If not "pro-choice" (and not, they vehemently protest, "pro-abortion"), what do they want to be called? The answers vary, but there's a common theme: they want to ride on the coattails of genuine good causes. In the Alternet piece, Planned Parenthood talks about supporting "economic security," while abortion advocate Monica Simpson, whose efforts are focused on the Black community, wants to link abortion to a "safe and healthy environment" for children and freedom from domestic violence. And of course, there's the time-tested method of hiding abortion in the tent of "women's health." Because as everyone who's never met a pro-lifer knows, there's nothing that we love more than poverty, battered wives, and breast cancer. (That's sarcasm. Don't you dare quote me out of context.)

Why they think the 40-something-year-old term "pro-choice" is suddenly responsible for pro-life success—as opposed to more recent developments like the increasing ubiquity of ultrasound technology, pro-life groups harnessing social media, and the pro-life trend of treating the right to life as a human rights issue rather than a religious one—is beyond me. But I don't much care what they want to call themselves. Frankly, the loftier they try to be, the starker the contrast we can draw between their language and the bloody reality of what abortion does to an unborn child. I like the way Jill Stanek phrased it: they're seeking a "euphemism for a euphemism."

Meanwhile, in faith-based-land, I noticed an interesting piece in the Christian Post arguing that the pro-life movement has the exact opposite problem: "pro-life" is being overused! Specifically, the authors worry that the use of "pro-life" messaging by Christian environmentalists is diluting the term. Myself, I'm not too concerned, because I suspect 1) that any conservatives who would abandon the pro-life movement because they see the term used by a cause they don't support likely aren't our movement's greatest assets anyway, and 2) it may have the beneficial side effect of busting the stereotypes that the abortion movement pushes about who pro-lifers are and what we do. But in any event, it's quite the contrast to what's happening across the aisle.

So where does that leave us? We're in a good position, but the conflict is far from over, and we need to remain on high alert. Based on the signals we're getting from pro-choice media commentators, we need to be particularly vigilant in our charitable endeavors. Pro-lifers are as active in charitable organizations as anybody else, so we have the ability to impede the pro-choice strategy here. Whatever causes you are involved in, be on the lookout for activists looking to co-opt them in the name of abortion—and when it happens, speak out against it, quickly and loudly!


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Jameson Graber said...

This tactic is inevitable. The reason "pro-choice" is failing them now is the same as the reason any other name will fail them in ten years. Once people recognize what the discussion is actually about, they make up their own minds. They're not stupid. Pro-choice (or whatever you want to call it) rhetoric has always been about one thing: talking about anything but abortion. Once you focus on the act itself, it gets a lot harder to dismiss pro-life claims.

Cecilia said...

I think the words pro-"choice" is not working is because it is not really a choice and they know it. We all know it. It is really about lack of choice, desperation or force that most women have abortions in the first place. I have been saying this for years.

thedoorisajar said...

Please elaborate.

argent said...

Huh. So pro-abortion people are looking for other issues to tie their cause to, because pro-abortion is weaker than other causes. Whereas anti-abortion people are trying to guard against being tied to other causes, because other causes are weaker than anti-abortion.

argent said...

If I understand correctly the concerns of the women of color cited in the linked Alternet article, that's essentially what they're saying. I am reconsidering what term I should use for the abortion cause.

Faye Valentine said...

I don't know about that. I've talked to plenty of women who have ample resources at hand, who proudly and unabashedly shout to me about how sexually active they are (ignoring that that's not the part to which I object) and if/when they become pregnant, they most definitely *will* abort their offspring/child simply because they don't "want" to be responsible for said child at all, for any length of time, in any capacity. "Me, me, me!" is priority one and only.

thedoorisajar said...

Or maybe they just don't want to be pregnant.

Judie Brown said...

We as pro-life Americans should take heed and persist in our messaging which is making it increasingly difficult for the adversaries of the pre born child to hide in plain sight! Great insights SPL. Thank you!

Faye Valentine said...

Putting the want to not be pregnant above the very life of your own child/offspring, is self-centered to a deadly fault.

thedoorisajar said...

Nope. The right to your health, life and wellbeing comes first. It comes before single cell brainless entities, and it even comes before born people. Which is why even blood donation is not mandatory.

someone45 said...

To me it is about a choice. It is a choice to stay pregnant or not stay pregnant. I already know what I would do if I had an unwanted pregnancy but other women deserve the freedom to make their own choice.

someone45 said...

what thedoorisajar said...

There is nothing wrong with a woman putting her health and life first. Most people aren't going to put their life, dreams, health, and happiness in danger for something they want no part of.

Faye Valentine said...

"The right to your health, life, and wellbeing comes first."-great, except you get to keep those things even when you're pregnant (barring any sort of gestation-related disease/condition...not that Pro-Lifers in general wouldn't accept early induction of labor to safeguard a mother's life/health/well-being).

"...single-celled brainless entities..."-maybe the reason your side I'd having so much PR trouble is because people are becoming more educated about human development thanks to resources like the internet, and they realize you and your ilk are being disingenuous when you say things like this? By the time a woman even knows she is pregnant and abortion is even available as an option, that very young child at the least has their own heart which is beating. Not that there should be a requirement for having a certain number of cells before they are worthy of protection of their human rights under the law. That notion is rather ableist.

Blood donation is not an analogue for pregnancy. But do you know what *is* mandatory? Providing food/shelter/nourishment for your minor children of whom you have default custody.

thedoorisajar said...

Pregnancy, by its very nature, is not a state of wellness. Birth itself is a form of torture. If the side effects of pregnancy and birth were induced by other means, it would be classified as assault and torture.

So, why the special pleading for mindless animal organisms?

Faye Valentine said...

Not true. My (now) 11 year old daughter came first, and after going through my experiences with her, which caused me to become active in the Pro-Life movement, I've had the pleasure of meeting so many other women with similar experiences. I like to give mothers the benefit of the doubt and believe that our first instinct in the majority of cases is to care for our offspring/children rather than kill them. I think that better explains why the vast majority of unplanned pregnancies are carried to term.

thedoorisajar said...

If women would just stop being selfish and realize the role they were created for, the whole abortion issue would disappear.

Faye's argument in a nutshell.

Faye Valentine said...

Except it's not. We don't "force" anything. Birth is what happens on its own when gestation is complete. Along with the PR problem, poor-choicers have a fact problem.

someone45 said...

That is great that you had the freedom to make the choice as to place your now 11 year old daughter first. It is in no way your right to force any other women to place the potential life of an unwanted pregnancy before their own.

A mother's first instinct is to protect her child but if a woman is just pregnant she is not a mother and there is no child. She is at most a mother to be if she decides she is going to carry to term.

someone45 said...

Don't you know that to the anti-choicers women are the mindless animals...

We are supposed to just accept our role in life and happily go through the misery of pregnancy because that is what we are made for.

thedoorisajar said...

Denying women the right to safe, legal abortion = forced birth.

Do you advocate tying down and force feeding suicidal rape victims so they can bring to term a rape baby?

Faye Valentine said...

"Pregnancy, by its very nature, is not a state of wellness."

So you mean pregnancy is *not* the result of a healthy reproductive system functioning normally?! That will certainly be news to my OB/GYN.

"Birth itself is a form of torture."

I laughed out loud at this part. My grandmother raised 9 living children in all, and I'm the oldest of 6 myself. "Tortuous" and health-threatening pregnancy *COMPLICATIONS* are not the norm. That is why they are *complications*. The disingenuousness of your side often times comes off like hysterical tokophobia. I can't say I'm surprised you all are having to distance yourselves from your own descriptor that you invented yourselves. It's not a PR problem. It's a position problem.

"If the side effects of pregnancy and birth were induced by other means, it would be classified as assault and torture."

Breastfeeding is uncomfortable, too. Next time I procreate, I'll have my infant incarcerated for the heinous crime of my chafed and bloody nipples. Or I won't, because that's a ridiculous notion. Ignoring the parent/child relationship between pregnant mother and offspring really does not help your cause. That's another part of the PR problem. You guys come off looking really, *really* badly, since most functioning people are naturally repulsed by the idea that you can and should hold your oblivious minor child accountable for the circumstances of their own creation, to the end goal of depriving that child of sustenance/care/shelter to the point of death. In every. other. case. EXCEPT abortion, that would get one in *serious* legal trouble for child neglect/endangerment/abuse, regardless of what one must go through to secure such resources for their progeny.

The "special pleading" here is being done by the person (I'm sorry, I take for granted that all human organisms are persons. My apologies if you identify as one of those "non-person human" entities your side is so fond of throwing away like garbage.) who insists that parent(s) *do not* have an obligation to provide nourishment/care/shelter to their offspring at one point in their lives, yet surely would compel the same parent(s) to provide nourishment/care/shelter to the same offspring at a different point.

Faye Valentine said...

Wow. How "pro-woman" of you.

Did you ever stop to think that the need to tear down so many strawmen is indicative of a problem with your position?

You *do* realize that the "anti-choiers women"-this group was founded by one-are out there achieving many things besides reproducing (sometimes not even reproducing *at all* GASP!). The aforementioned SPL founder is a currently-childless lawyer.

Pro-Lifers support women giving themselves whatever role in life they want. We just don't think that obtaining that role should come at the cost of the life/lives of their offspring/child(ren). That's it.

(P.S. Being an atheist kind of precludes the notion that I was "made" for any specific purpose, since that kind of reeks of supernatural creator-ism.)

JDC said...

I don't think they will ever fully abandon the term pro-choice because then they would logically have to drop their favourite insult "anti-choice". From what I've seen, they are really attached to it.

thedoorisajar said...

You and your naturalistic fallacies. Tut tut. Just because pregnancy is 'natural' does not mean that it is healthy and risk free. And its no secret that childbirth is painful. Why do you think women are given epidurals?

And breastfeeding cannot be forced. Furthermore, born children are not entitled to your body parts, even if they will die without them.

thedoorisajar said...

I prefer forced birth.

thedoorisajar said...

You just want to control the sex lives of people who are not you

Maria said...

"Harping on the discomforts of pregnancy treats women as weak, incompetent: Yet we are uniquely equipped for this role and strong enough to do things much harder than this... Every woman should feel proud kinship in the earthy, elemental beauty of birth. To hold it in contempt is to reject our distinctive power, 'our bodies, ourselves.'" -Frederica Mathewes-Green

someone45 said...

You people are the ones who want to force women into pregnancy against their will. You want to take away a woman's free choice when it comes to her body and life.

Anti-choicers do not support women because in your world once a woman becomes pregnant her life no longer means anything. She is just supposed to accept her role as an inferior incubator and give up on any hopes and dreams she many have.

Faye Valentine said...

Do you guys trade memos about what talking point/bumper sticker phrase The Hive Mind is going to push on any given day?

I'll tell you the same thing I told your cohort:

I am an atheist. I don't believe I was "created" by or for anything specific. However, I *do* know *how* and *why* I came into being, because I've studied Biology at length. That's the issue here, and this is why you all are losing. I began my life when the gametes of my parents fused inside my mother. I was the same entity then, being cared for by nourishment from my mother through the umbilical cord, as I was only months afterward when I was being nourished for by my mother's mammary glands and cared for by her hard work. Legally mandating that she *MUST* properly care for me only a few months after legally permitting her to literally have me killed and disposed of like trash is more than a little schizophrenic.

someone45 said...

1. No it was a choice. You did not have to carry to term. You do not believe in abortion therefore your choice was to carry to term. However not every woman lives by your views.

2. No if it requires a host to live and has no self awareness it is only a potential life.

3. Pregnancy is a condition to where a woman has a developing potential human inside her. It is 100% her choice if she allows it to stay there.

4. The embryo/fetus is not an actual human being and it has no right to my body and my life unless I decide I want to allow it to stay there. It has NO rights to anything at the cost of my health, life, happiness, and dreams.

5. Sorry but if I do not want the developing embryo that is inside me I have NO bond with it. I do not want it there and all it is causing me is harm so therefore I have zero feelings toward it and no obligation toward it.

Jess Tommassello said...

I had a very very pro-choice doctor. She had terrible bedside manner. She couldn't fathom why I would want expensive blood screening for cystic fibrosis (I have 2 nephews with CF) before I got pregnant because "It's easy to test for that once you're pregnant." Like she didn't understand or care about throwing away their lives like a piece of trash. She's talking about my nephews, the oldest is about 10 now and I'd say he's living a pretty good life for someone with CF. I'd rather avoid bringing a potentially sick child into the world, but to punish them for just existing is sickening to me.

She quit the practice to become an abortion instructor and I later learned from someone ON THIS SITE that she was also inept.

Rebekah Grace Potts said...

Oops. The choice is in conceiving or not.

Why should anyone be free to avoid the consequences of their freely chosen actions, especially at the expense of another's life?

And, unless you're going to extend fathers the option of skipping out on child support- this 'choice' about parenting after the fact... is only available to women.

There's really only an ethical case to be made for abortion in rape cases... Which to my ear, means the women's health issue is really about ending rape. So, pro-choicers: let's work together on ending rape altogether!

Faye Valentine said...

"You people are the ones who want to force women into pregnancy against their will."

False. I am wholly anti-rape and adamantly pro-birth control.

"You want to take away a woman's free choice when it comes to her body and life."

False. A child living and growing in utero is not his/her mother's body, and their life is not property of their parent(s) to be discarded or kept.

"Anti-choicers do not support women because in your world once a woman becomes pregnant her life no longer means anything."

False. A woman's life is always meaningful and valuable. But this goes for her life at every stage of development. That woman's life was/is every bit as meaningful and valuable now as it was when she was gestating inside of her mother. And not just women, but everyone. Equality.

"She is just supposed to accept her role as an inferior incubator and give up on any hopes and dreams she many have."

False. I'm sorry you have such a low opinion of women who become mothers. I'm every bit as valid now as I was when I graduated high school. Having my children hasn't lessened me in any way, nor did pregnancy invalidate me as a person. NEVER have I been "inferior".

This is a very disturbing, telling, and frankly rather insulting statement. I was capable of taking my college classes when pregnant/breastfeeding/parenting. I didn't lose my ability to read or wear shoes. Your thinking is entirely backward.

Jess Tommassello said...

As much as a seed will become a plant, that ZEF would become a person, so no matter how you spin it, you are denying personhood. You are only here because someone else was kind enough not to deny you of your own personhood. The side that justifies non-existence will lose in time.

thedoorisajar said...

Pregnancy is by nature dangerous. It is a conflict over maternal resources, essentially. The fetus is genetically programmed, through something called genomic imprinting, to take as much from the woman as it can, in order to grow big and healthy. The woman, on the other hand, has to preserve resources, so that she can survive the pregnancy. Sometimes the fetus grows too big and kills them both. This is also where those 'complication's arise from. Women give birth precisely because the metabolic demands become too much for their bodies to take.

Here, some citations, I suggest you do some reading:

Maternal fetal conflict:

Genomic imprinting:

Prenatal competition:

Multiple pregnancies can kill women, because it wears out their bodies, who'da thunk it!

The invasive placenta:

Tumours and embryos are very similar:

Women menstruate to defend against invasive embryos:

thedoorisajar said...

Oh, so you admit that seeds aren't trees, and that zygotes are not yet people?

someone45 said...

Yes if the ZEF is left inside its host it will be born a human. However you can't force a woman to allow the ZEF to use her body to come to term.

Faye Valentine said...

A seed *contains* a plant, just as a pregnancy *contains* a child/offspring.

KB said...

Except even just on a semantic level, that's not accurate at all. (It's about as accurate as pro-lifers calling all pro-choicers, pro-aborts, when most want to simply keep the option open). We're against the action of killing another human being. Birth happens naturally given that one is restricted from destroying their in-utero offspring, but it's not the focus of the movement. If pregnancy termination resulted in the fetus, remaining viable and alive, I for one, would not be having this argument with you.

KB said...

That Christian Post article was really all kinds of disgusting. It's posts like that, that make me feel ashamed to consider myself pro-life (don't worry, the shame is temporary when I remind myself that we're hardly monolithic and these guys don't speak for me) The morals I apply that inform my environmentalism are the same that inform my pro-life stance. I really don't see a wall going between my desire to work together with competing interests, to find new, innovative ways to work sustainability into our life styles, with working together with competing interests, to finding new, innovative ways to support all human life at any stage.

thedoorisajar said...

No more than Child Protective Services = forced parenthood.

Child protective services exist because they don't want people abusing their children.

Abortion is not 'abuse' because the prenate has no right to the woman's body - just as a born child has no right to it's parents body. Child protective services isn't going to take a child out of a home because a parent refuses to donate a kidney. That isn't abuse.

I advocate proper treatment for people suffering with mental health
issues. Anyone with suicidal/homicidal ideations should be treated with
the proper care and respect.

And what if the suicidal rape victim tries to starve herself to death, and nothing you say will change her mind?

Should she be tied down and forced to gestate to term?

KB said...

"You're against women controlling their own bodies."

Good work telling me what I am for. Glad to know there is an expert on me out there who knows more about me than I do, because all this time I thought I was all for women, and men, doing whatever they want with their bodies until it hurts someone else.

thedoorisajar said...

Well, yeah. Pregnancy is pretty intimate. It's all about the woman's body, and her right to control what goes in and out of it. Her right to decide what can and can not occupy her body.

By denying a woman the right to decide what can use her body, you are coercing, if not downright forcing her, to give birth. Especially if exercising her right to bodily autonomy is illegal, and she is threatened with a custodial sentence if she does exercise that right.

TheDingus said...

Let's see: you are fine with denying women the right or ability to make a choice whether or not they bear and give birth to a child. Why wouldn't someone call that anti-choice? You are opposed to them making that choice, aren't you? Instead of trying to guilt and shame women into bearing unwanted babies, or trying to outlaw abortion or make abortion exceedingly hard to get, you could be working on making the choice to bear a child a more tenable one. But you aren't; you're just against other people making their own choice. Hence: anti-choice.

It's more extensive than abortion, you know. You're also against them making their own scientific, philosophical or spiritual choices. If they look at all the facts, they might come to the conclusion that a being which is only alive because another being is alive is not, in fact, an individual. They might weigh the sentience and sapience of a girl or woman against the literal brainlessness of a developing embryo, and choose to defend the girl or woman. They might notice that biologically, a pregnant woman is an individual who is reproducing (a process) rather than a woman who has already reproduced (a potential but not guaranteed outcome).

They might come to the conclusion that since nature errs on the side of the sexually mature female, causing the majority of human conceptions and 1/4 of human pregnancies to fail, we as a society should, too. Or they might have religious beliefs that God gives human beings brains for a reason, and free will, too.

So it's not just on abortion that you're anti-choice: you also don't want other people thinking for themselves, or at least living their lives according to their own thoughts and beliefs.

Whatever some voices are saying, in the end what I am is pro-choice, on all those aspects. Think and believe what you want, and feel free to live your life by your choices. Just keep your arrogant tripe out of my life.

TheDingus said...

Do you say that about men who masturbate, too? I mean, aren't they just putting a momentary bit of pleasure and relief ahead of the very existence of their own possible child?

thedoorisajar said...

So you oppose non-procreative sex, gotcha.

Well, you oppose it for women, at any rate.

Do you advocate tying suicidal rape victims down and force feeding them for 9 months?

Clinton said...

Seriously. I've never understood why the pro-choice lobby calls us "anti-abortion" as a slur. Any pro-life advocate would be proud to call themselves anti-abortion, yet the ones on the opposite end of the spectrum insist that we not call them "pro-abortion." If you're not pro-abortion, why are you calling your ideological opponents anti-abortion?

TheDingus said...

"... Ignoring the parent/child relationship between pregnant mother and
her potential offspring really does not help your cause."(Fixed it for you.)

What a howler! First, aren't you the folks who suffer from such a degree of cognitive dissonance, you simultaneously call a fetus an "individual" AND insist that it must be allowed to use the woman's body because it can't survive individually?

One of us is ignoring the biological relationship between pregnant woman and developing embryo, and it ain't us, honey.

Also a howler since we're discussing women whose "relationship" with the developing zygote, embryo or fetus is that she wants it out of her body, the sooner the better.

I know that offends your vastly superior moral sensibilities, and you folks get much mileage out of unabashedly torturing girls and women with how nasty selfish and maternally inadequate they are for not wanting to have babies no matter what, but back in the real world, an intelligent human being takes actual circumstances into consideration.

The only social policy question is: do we punish them for considering their own circumstances, and make abortion very dangerous, or not? Keeping in mind that we don't punish men for doing the same, and would be punishing girls and women because they're female, and for no other reason.

thedoorisajar said...

I don't consider 'anti-abortion' to be a slur. I think it's accurate. As is 'anti-choice' and 'forced birth'

TheDingus said...

Thank you for availing yourself of the resources of the internet.

Don't you wish these flaming hypocrites would actually do the same?

KB said...

"Especially if exercising her right to bodily autonomy is illegal,"

Except it's not, and nobody is advocating all bodily autonomy be revoked. Please, feel free to get tattoos, use BC, chop off a finger, do whatever to your heart's content. That is your bodily autonomy, and right to do that. But rights for bodily autonomy are not absolute. When bodily autonomy rights of two or more individuals compete, or any rights for that matter, we have to think outside of the box and not hold fast to one, simplistic ideal. That's why conjoined twins can't get separated unless both agree to do so. Are you decrying that fact? Because logically, you should if absolute bodily autonomy is all you care about.

Just as if you were to put a child into a burning building, you would be responsible for what happens to them there, if you put a child into your/ your female partner's uterus, you are responsible for what happens to them.

thedoorisajar said...

Oh, but they do! There are numerous sources on LieSiteNews that explain how pregnancy prevents cancer, diabetes and extends female life!!!

Oh, and that abortion is NEVER needed to preserve a woman's life.

thedoorisajar said...

Anti-choicers advocate that bodily autonomy ONLY be revoked in the case of pregnancy. And ONLY female bodily autonomy.

Now why is that?

TheDingus said...

"Should" and "must" are two different things.

Most conceptions do not result in a live birth; why can't women feel a proud kinship with their menstrual cycle, even though it ends the process of reproduction?

Sometimes women die of complications of pregnancy and childbirth. Think I'll draw the line at forcing other people to feel such a "proud kinship with the earth" that the end up six feet under it, if you don't mind.

(Now I'm hearing "Lady Madonna" in my head; you know: "Lady Madonna, baby at your breast, wonder how you manage to feed the rest?")

TheDingus said...


TheDingus said...

What a steaming pile of horse manure.

No, you absolutely do not support giving women whatever role in life they want. Once a man comes and conception occurs, that woman will be a mother no matter what, according to you.

Oh, do you imagine that women give birth to unwanted babies and their lives are absolutely peachy and unaffected, afterward, even if the worst that might happen, doesn't? Really?

You are defining and proscribing women's roles in life, obviously against their will, and then claiming you're not. Complete and utter misogynistic hogwash.

TheDingus said...

Did someone force you to have your children, or did you choose to?

TheDingus said...

You know what, that bit about the embryo or fetus not being the woman's body? Not true. The ovum certainly is the woman's body; what arises from it only does so because of the woman's body.

I swear, these people not only think gestation takes place in magic incubators attached and belonging to no one, they even think conception occurs without the woman's body having a thing to do with it! When, of coure, in fact, pregnancy IS the woman's body. For proof, let's put a fertilized ovum into a Perti dish and watch what happens.

They're completely delusional.

KB said...

Hmm, now I'm not scientist or anything, but somebody once told me that females get pregnant, and males don't. It might be crazy talk for all I know, but that's what I've heard.

thedoorisajar said...

Yep, and it builds itself from HER body. If it doesn't get what it needs from her diet, it will take what it can from her tissues and bones.

And as Scott Gilbert writes:

"Instructions for Development and Heredity are NOT all in the Fertilised egg. The view that we are genetically determined by the combination of parental DNA has been shown to fall far short of the complete story. How the DNA is interpreted can vary greatly affected by things such as the maternal diet. Similarly some development requires certain bacteria to be present. Thirdly, and most surprisingly, the level of maternal care can determine which areas of DNA are 'methylated' which radically alters
how they are interpreted. As such the view that we are 'complete but unformed' at conception is far from accurate. From the moment of fertilisation, the embryo grows as the cells of the fertilised egg multiply. However, there is a problem. How can the DNA be read if the materials needed to read it have not yet been produced? The answer is that they are provided by the mother in the formof mRNA and proteins. The early stages of development are controlled directly by the mother's genotype for about the first three weeks, in humans, after which the embryo's DNA takes over.(*)"


The whole 'left alone to live/self-directed embryonic development' line is utter bullshit.

TheDingus said...

You would be correct: women's first instinct in the majority of cases is to care for their children; this is why there are over seven billion people on this planet, with many more to come. (Whether we can care for them, or not.)

So, trust women. They know better than you if it's tenable to reproduce, or not. If we don't start trusting people to know when it would be better not to reproduce, we're all going to fry.

(Do yourself a favor and drop that stupid "offspring/children" construction. They are the same thing. You're just trying to pretend that birth doesn't matter.)

thedoorisajar said...


And biology/anatomy is not destiny.

KB said...

Yeah. I agree. So what?

TheDingus said...

We could make abortion freely available at every Starbucks in the nation and women will still seek preventative means of birth control, because it's a safer choice, and prevention is always better than cure.

Women don't want abortions; they don't want to be pregnant. Sometimes, they become pregnant when they don't want to be pregnant. Even when they used contraception, in fact.

Let me assuage your feverish misogynistic imaginings: women are not running around having sex in order to get pregnant so they can go have abortions. There, feel better?

thedoorisajar said...

Good. Then you're pro-choice?

TheDingus said...

Pssst: it has his DNA.

KB said...

Not at all. Still not seeing the dots you are trying to connect.

thedoorisajar said...

It's really simple. Women are not objects. Just because they *can* gestate, does not mean that they should be *forced* to gestate.

Women are not appliances. They are people. You don't give your fridge a choice about what it holds. To force a woman to remain pregnant against her will is to treat her as an object, and to deny her free will to determine the trajectory of her own life and health. You are essentially treating her as an appliance, based on her sex.

thedoorisajar said...

That's what Faye does. In fact, wait until she tells you that looking after a baby is *tougher* than pregnancy. You know, because your baby can always cause you to bleed to death.

KB said...

Alright, we've been through this in prior posts, so I think I am going to cut out here. I hate being a broken record.

But let's sum up:

1) Just because a person is female does not mean she should be forced to become pregnant - yes
2) If a woman does, through her own actions, become pregnant, she, and her partner become responsible for that new human life - at least to the extent to not kill it.
3) Bodily autonomy is not absolute, for anyone, male or female. Conjoined twins, pregnant people, vaccinated children, people in the draft, all fall under this. This is because of competing or common interests.

None of the above make women, or men, appliances. Go ahead, try replaced words with "tove-top oven".
The end.

thedoorisajar said...

Ohh, the responsibility objection? yeah, I've been through that a thousand times.

I guess you offer a rape exception then?

Melanie said...

This is regarding what thedoorisajar said about Faye's argument 'in a nutshell'. The role of women isn't necessarily to be a mother and Faye isn't saying that..we all know this. But, their role is definitely NOT to be the one who kills or has their child killed. Anyway, once you've conceived you're already a mother. Faye, you argue beautifully. Thank you, thedoorisajar, for giving her the opportunity.

thedoorisajar said...

Why isn't a woman's role to decide whether or not she will give birth? Why can't she exert that kind of control over whether or not she reproduces?

TheDingus said...

Yes, it was a choice. Plenty of women who wish they "could've waved a magic wand and turned back time to not have become pregnant in the first place" put down away their magical thinking and have an abortion. That's why, as well: to return to the not-being-pregnant state they actually want to be in.

You might get approbation from the anti-abortion crowd for your "selflessness" but you'll just get a call-out for your fundamental dishonesty from me. You had a choice, you made that choice. You did what you felt you had to do, which is the same thing as doing what you WANTED to do. Full stop. Because, no, you didn't have to carry through with giving your child life.

(I think that's a large part of why there are women in the forced pregnancy movement at all: they'll stop being "special" when they aren't seen as selfless martyrs to their kids. Well, you made that choice for yourself; you don't get to make it for any one else.)

Good grief, I'm surprised you can recognize that pregnancy is a condition of women, not fetuses! The way you go on and on about the "beginning" being the equivalent of the potential end, I would've thought you'd posit that fetuses are alive all by themselves and grow themselves in magic incubators... instead, you seem to grasp that they're alive because their mother is.

It's your side that has an accuracy problem. You think two cells dividing in a fallopian tube and a newborn infant are one and the same, despite the ease of information acquisition that clearly shows otherwise.

thedoorisajar said...

(I think that's a large part of why there are women in the forced
pregnancy movement at all: they'll stop being "special" when they aren't
seen as selfless martyrs to their kids. Well, you made that choice for
yourself; you don't get to make it for any one else.)

Yep. There was an interesting study, and it turned out that the women who were *most* opposed to abortion were low income women who had had abortions...


I also think that this is one reason why you will find that the very people who are hurt by the GOP are the folks who willingly vote against their own interests - PRIDE.

Rebekah Grace Potts said...

"So you oppose non-procreative sex"

Um, no... at least I don't think so. What is non-procreative sex? But I'm very much in favour of sex, at any rate.

"Do you advocate tying suicidal rape victims down and force feeding them for 9 months?"


Would you like to collaborate on ending rape?

thedoorisajar said...

Um, no... at least I don't think so. What is non-procreative sex?

Take a stab at figuring it out for yourself.


Why not?

Would you like to collaborate on ending rape?

Rape, and reproductive coercion, will *never* end. Both are reproductive strategies used by men to force women to bear their children. In the case of rape, it's a great way to transmit your genes without using your own resources to raise the child. It's all on the woman.

Rebekah Grace Potts said...

No one would be punishing you. Pregnancy is one of the things that can happen when you have sex. You might get into an accident when you drive a car (and you night not even be at fault!) I don't understand why you should be free of the consequences of your freely chosen actions. Honestly, that just doesn't make any sense.

I don't quite follow the rest of your comment.

TheDingus said...

Only in your sexist imagination is the choice "conceiving or not." That's the choice for men, because conception is the role they play in reproduction, and they can indeed choose whether or not to perform it.
Conception is only the start of the role women play, however.

There is no "other life" yet. If there were, there'd be no argument here: take it out of the woman's body and let it get on with its life. What's that you say, it relies on the woman's body (her life) to live?

If it doesn't have its own life, it doesn't have its own rights. QED. There MIGHT BE another life, in the future. A potential future life does not trump the rights of a currently living individual; also QED. (Funny how denying life to possible future babies is fine if men choose it, even though no babies are born without them.)

The idea that rape is the only "ethical" case to be made for abortion is particularly ridiculous. Why would that be, because the woman didn't get to decide whether or not to conceive? So what? You already don't think women have the right to control the functioning of their reproductive organs. In fact, you make rapists look like amateurs - they just want use the woman's reproductive organs against her will for a little while. You want to use them against her will for months.

Why should the brief time a rapist did exactly what you're doing - denying any choice - make a difference regarding the so-called "expense of another's life?" Heck, we should be giving rapists medals; aren't they doing what you want, bringing new life into the world whether women want to, or not?

Work to end rape?! You might as well legalize rape, if you feel that conception is the cutoff point for women having agency over their own sex organs. "Yes, Mr. Rapist, your actions were a crime, except for what resulted from your actions - congratulations on that" is kind of a wispy dividing line to get a rapist to grasp.

Rebekah Grace Potts said...


Seems legit? There is a great post somewhere else on here, outlining how the fundamental diff. between pro-life vs. pro-choice is that pro-lifers essentially place the same moral value on the unborn as most folks would a two-year old.

thedoorisajar said...

I don't understand why you should be free of the consequences of your freely chosen actions.

Yeah. So if you get into that car accident, you should be *denied* medical treatment, since you freely chose to engage in an activity that could harm you.

Rebekah Grace Potts said...

Are you saying women are not free to decide whether, when, and with whom they have sex?

thedoorisajar said...

Yeah? So why aren't they campaigning to legally obligate people to donate body parts and tissue to 2 year olds?

Rebekah Grace Potts said...

Nope! You should totally get medical treatment for any injury.

TheDingus said...

It's like you're arguing that if a drunk driver hit you, damaged your car and injured you, you should have to pay for the damages and the medical bills, because you chose to drive. Say what?

(You don't quite follow a lot, it would seem.)

You're right, though: no one is punishing women for having sex by making them have babies, because they can choose whether or not to have a baby.

Conception is something that can happen when people have sex; babies being born 40 weeks later is optional. Indeed, anti-choice folks have to deliberately go out of your way to try to arrange that outcome, and you'll still fail. Women will still not stay pregnant when they don't want to be. But you'll kill a few along the way; how is killing people without due process of law not punishment?

TheDingus said...

Gosh, I planted a bunch of seeds this spring.

Not all of them became plants.

Trying joining us on this planet.

Rebekah Grace Potts said...

Because parents are already legally bound to provide food, housing and safety for their two-year olds?

Also, some pro-lifers (not this one) *do* think organ donation should be mandatory.

thedoorisajar said...

Why? If you consented to it, then surely you should 'accept the consequences' right? That means NO MEDICAL TREATMENT.

TheDingus said...

The problem is, placing the same moral value on a brainless embryo as on a two year old is insane. For one, it erases women, removing all moral value from them. It also erases reality since not all embryos will actually be born, while all pregnant women are actually living people. (Back to, erasing women.)


thedoorisajar said...

Pregnancy does not = food housing and safety, sweetie.

The two are entirely different concepts.

If an unborn human has a right to the body of a parent, why can't toddler also share that right?

thedoorisajar said...

If you hold a bunch of these in your hand:

Can you say that you already have a garden?

Rebekah Grace Potts said...

No. I'm saying that the accident can't 'un'happen, and that while any injury should certainly be treated (by universal health care, ideally) - no one should have to die to make you whole again.

thedoorisajar said...

And what if they die anyways, from the accident?

Are you guilty of murder?

Rebekah Grace Potts said...

In your twisted world, apparently... Actually, I'm saying you're not entitled to a new car, and pretending the accident never happened.

Since my analogy was unclear -I'm saying that pregnant women should receive prenatal care, but society has no reason to undo accidental pregnancy, and leave couples where they started- childless. A pregnancy cannot 'un'happen anymore than a car accident can.

Seriously- if there's no baby, what does anyone 'need' abortion for anyway?

Rebekah Grace Potts said...

What if who dies anyway?

TheDingus said...

No one is killing anyone in an abortion. First, there isn't anyone there. They have no sentience and no sapience, they have no will, and they have no way to exercise whatever rights you give them, not even the right to life. (More than 500 pregnant women a year die in the US, many taking their "babies" with them.)

Second, you can't "kill" what is not yet alive without you. You can choose to give them life, or to not give them life, just like men do when they choose whether or not to get it on without protection. But you can't kill them anymore than you killed one of the 14 people who died of kidney disease today by not donating one of your kidneys to them. You choose every day to let someone die when you could give them life. But I don't think you're a murderer, or even a killer, because none of us is compelled to give life to someone else.

jesuschristonacrutch, no, you're not "already a mother" when you conceive. YOU, your very own self, have most likely conceived and gone on to flush your "offspring" down the toilet when you had your next period. So if you're sexually active, I recommend you start holding a funeral service for each of your feminine hygiene products every month, being how it's entirely possible you're actually a bereaved mother...

thedoorisajar said...

If you get into a car accident (through no fault of your own) and the person that your car hit dies of their injuries, are you guilty of murder?

thedoorisajar said...

And what if the pregnancy kills the woman? Should she get the death penalty for accidental conception?

Rebekah Grace Potts said...

We do 'punish' men.

We expect them to pay child support.

thedoorisajar said...

We don't violate their autonomy and threaten their life and health.

Usually, when someone's autonomy is violated, that is because they have committed a crime and need to do jail time.

Maria said...

Just out of genuine curiosity, do you have any good friends or family members who are pro-life/anti-abortion?

Rebekah Grace Potts said...

"Once a man comes and conception occurs, that woman will be a mother no matter what, according to you."

Oops again! But I'll correct that for you:

Once a man comes and a woman freely chooses to have sex with him, and conception occurs, that woman is a mother.

Rebekah Grace Potts said...

Most states have jail time for men that don't pay child support.

TheDingus said...

Forcing a depressed or suicidal girl or woman to bear a child she doesn't want is not "proper treatment." It's exactly the opposite.

Previously mentally healthy women have killed themselves (and others, including their children) because of post-partum depression. Imagine if you start from a place of disturbed brain chemistry, and already want to kill yourself? Think forcing post-partum depression on that person is "treatment?"

Stop living in la la land, where cute little babies all get born to loving mommies.

thedoorisajar said...

So if a woman procures an illegal abortion you believe she should be jailed?

Rebekah Grace Potts said...

"Rape, and reproductive coercion, will *never* end. Both are reproductive
strategies used by men to force women to bear their children. In the
case of rape, it's a great way to transmit your genes without using your
own resources to raise the child. It's all on the woman."

So is that a yes or a no?

"Why not?"

Why are you suggesting it?

TheDingus said...

You want to force gestation; therefore, yes, you are forcing birth, since that's what happens on its own when gestation is complete.

A more dishonest group of people than the anti-choice would be hard to find, I swear.

Rebekah Grace Potts said...

Nope. I think the provider should be jailed.

thedoorisajar said...

What if she takes an abortion pill? Or starves herself so that the fetus will die?

thedoorisajar said...

Your reply doesn't make any sense.

Try again.

Rebekah Grace Potts said...

It does help, thanks! But I'm not sure how it erases or removes all moral value from women. Could you help me out with that one?

Rebekah Grace Potts said...

Most folks call me Grace, not sweetie. Do you prefer Door, or Jar? I know, I could call you JarHead for long!!

And the state does expect parents to use their bodies and minds to support their children, buy earning the money to provide their children what they need. If parents are truly egregious in their failures, sometimes those parents are imprisoned.

Also, how are those different concepts?

thedoorisajar said...

The state does *not* force parents to let their children literally use their organs for survival. If your child's kidneys are failing, you aren't legally obligated to hand one over, even if you caused the disease by passing on defective genes.

And parental rights can be rescinded at any time, and the child can be handed over to a safe haven, to adoption or to a foster home.

Rebekah Grace Potts said...

The laws vary by state, and depend greatly on the particular circumstances. But you certainly *may* be guilty of manslaughter. I don't think you'd be guilty of 1st degree murder in any state, but in some states you *might* be guilty of 2nd degree murder for hitting a pedestrian with your car. However - IANAL.

thedoorisajar said...

So if the conceptus dies while the woman is pregnant, should she be charged with manslaughter? 2nd degree murder?

Rebekah Grace Potts said...

An abortion pill? The manufacturer.

Starvation, abortifacient herbs? I'm not sure enforcecable law can be written to address those particulars. Personally, I believe those actions should remain unregulated.

thedoorisajar said...

Oh. So if you shoot someone, the manufacturer should be charged with murder, not you?

Does this also extend to poisons? What if you poison someone with hemlock?

Rebekah Grace Potts said...

Every measure should be taken to preserve a mother's life... but sometimes even medical science can not save lives. And that is a risk of pregnancy whether the conception was accidental or not... I'm not sure how that amounts to a unique death penalty imposed on accidental coneptions and subsequent pregnancies.

Rebekah Grace Potts said...

You are aware, that manufacturers are restricted from manufacturing some things, fined if they do, and fined if they knowingly put their product into illegal use, right?

Wait a minute... are you trying to suggest that women that seek abortions are murderers?

Rebekah Grace Potts said...

Also, I'm confident you can't accidentally poison someone with hemlock... and while it *can* be difficult to prosecute, we have established, enforceable law on this.

thedoorisajar said...

I mean, if the forced gestation results in the woman's death, you have basically stated that if a woman engages in intercourse, and becomes pregnant as a result, that part of her 'responsibility' = the death penalty. Perhaps if she's lucky she will just get away with permanent disability.

Rebekah Grace Potts said...

Is that a yes, or a no about ending rape?

And why are you suggesting "tying suicidal rape victims down and force feeding them for 9 months"

thedoorisajar said...

We are not talking about accidental poisonings. We are talking about a woman purposely taking a pill or herb that will induce a miscarriage.

Should she or should she not be charged with murder?

TheDingus said...

Gillette is mistaken. No one is pro abortion.

We're not advocating that women have abortions. Unlike you, we're not taking down the license plates of OB/Gyns who deliver babies, shooting them or killing them. We're not standing outside their offices en masse to "counsel" women about how great it is to have an abortion, and how selfish and rotten they are for having a baby, instead. (Don't they know what's happening to this planet because we're using it up too much, too fast?)

We're advocating
that if a woman chooses to get an abortion, she shouldn't have to risk
her life, or risk her future fertility, or risk her liberty. We're also advocating that women have a right to privacy; i.e., it's none of your business what's going on in her sex organs.

We're advocating that the choice is hers, not someone else's, and absolutely not the government's. (The history of government control of reproduction is a particularly gruesome one.)

But look: we can wipe out the majority of abortions easily. All we have to do is chemically castrate all males at puberty, and only reverse it when they can show the wherewithal to support a child, and an affidavit from a woman stating she wants his baby. Voila: no unwanted pregnancies, and only medically necessary abortions. As a side effect, we'd have much reduced impacts on women's health from use of contraception, and much reduced instances of testosterone fueled violence and rape. It's genuinely within our grasp. All we have to do is give government jurisdiction of reproduction, and strip men of their rights as individual human beings, just like you folks want to strip women of theirs.

Personally, I have a problem with that, and I bet you do to. But only when it comes to men... then, suddenly, bodily autonomy, the right to liberty, and the right to privacy trump any possible babies and all possible positive outcomes, hands down. Why is that?

thedoorisajar said...

are you trying to suggest that women that seek abortions are murderers?

Surely you are?

Or do you not consider zygotes to be people?

thedoorisajar said...

We can try to end rape, but it won't ever end. People will still rape.

So, since people will *always* rape, no matter what we do, simply because there will always be a criminal element amongst us...tell me, should a suicidal rape victim be tied down and force fed until she delivers?

Rebekah Grace Potts said...

So what are parents using their organs for while they work soul-sucking jobs to keep the rent paid and the kids fed?

"And parental rights can be rescinded at any time" - actually, parents have to do something (extreme neglect counts as doing something) to have parental rights rescinded... But yes, foster and adoptive care is preferred, but sometimes parents are also jailed for failing in their duties.

thedoorisajar said...

We are talking about *literal* organ use honey - as in, literally using your kidney to process wastes, your lungs to breathe etc. As in, drilling a hole into your blood vessels and leeching resources from your body.

to have parental rights rescinded

No, they can purposely rescind their rights. Give the kid away.

but sometimes parents are also jailed for failing in their duties.

Well yes. Adoptive parents can be jailed as well - because they have made a voluntary commitment to raise a child, and they can't break that contract by harming that child.

Rebekah Grace Potts said...

Dude. Seriously, what's the rate of death and disability from pregnancy in your parts?

The very small possibility of death and disability is part of every pregnancy- wanted or not- and pregnancy is a risk of sex... So again, I aim to make every sex act a woman engages in consensual, and fully informed about the risks. If you, knowing that there is a small chance that you could be killed in a car accident that was not your fault, and chose to drive anyway and are killed- did you just receive the death penalty for driving?

TheDingus said...

If the woman is responsible for that life, then she is responsible, not you.

She may find it responsible not to let her body proceed with bringing that life into the world. If she would make that choice, and you would prevent her from being able to, YOU are responsible, not her. (Wait, you're not responsible for other people's children? Say what?)

It's this wanting your cake and eating it too argument that makes us crazy, you know.

TheDingus said...

Here's the low down: you cannot be for what you say you're for without also stripping women of their rights. Cannot be done.

Cannot be done even if you did manage to strip women of their rights, legally. They will still end a pregnancy they know to be untenable in their lives. You just might kill a few of them along the way, but what's the right to life to women? Why, nothing, at all.

someone45 said...

And you guys place the same value onto women that someone else would place on an inanimate incubator.

someone45 said...

An unwanted pregnancy would be nine months of misery and would be a punishment.

someone45 said...

No you aren't. You are denying the ZEF the right to your uterus. No one has the right to use anyone's body for any reason against their will. Why is the ZEF given special rights?

Rebekah Grace Potts said...

I don't go by honey either! You're most welcome to call me Grace, but Rebekah is fine too!

Are 'door' and 'jar' to informal? Should I stick with thedoorisajar? What about 'ajar'?

Oh! You mean parents voluntarily terminating their rights and responsibilities as parents. Gotcha - I thought you meant the state.

As far as literal organ use- it is fairly rare that a two year old has need of *literal* use of a parent's organs (you cited the rare possibility above) But every child that is born, required literal use of her mother's organs- it's just not that extraordinary a request of someone that put you in the position of existing.

KB said...

Please inform me when the law becomes "being responsible for my child" or "being responsible for my invalid father" equals "I am able to kill my child" or "I am able to kill my invalid father". As of now, I'm pretty sure mothers have gone to jail for drowning their children in bathtubs, but please inform me when that changes.

Crazy, I know!

Jess Tommassello said...

Why would you plant a seed if you didn't want a plant in the first place? =)

thedoorisajar said...

Neither your child nor your father can lay claim to your organs. Even if they will die without.

KB said...

Yours is:
*drum roll please*
Special Pleading!

Rebekah Grace Potts said...

No we don't.

thedoorisajar said...

Actually, it's you who are doing that.

You are saying that ONLY unborn humans have the right to the body of another, and that no one else does. Not your toddler, and not your father.

Rebekah Grace Potts said...

And that so called 'punishment' is one of the risks of having sex.

That risk is 100% avoidable.

Except in rape. Which is why I'd like to end rape.

Rebekah Grace Potts said...

Anybody with me?!?

C'mon. Ending rape will be fun!

thedoorisajar said...

Actually, it is an extraordinary request. No person or thing can lay claim to the body of another without consent - this includes infants, toddlers, teens adults and yes, prenates.

Rebekah Grace Potts said...

At least women will have a lot more fun after rape is gone!

KB said...

"I know you are but what am I?" Great comeback bro.

Nope, just saying you can't kill anyone. If you put a person in a precarious situation, hooked them up to your own organs and made them dependent on you, that is what locks them into the right for continued sustenance until they can remove themselves from you.

Here I go all broken record on you but: If you put a child into a burning building, you are responsible for whatever happens to that child.

thedoorisajar said...

The chances that you will die from being thrown out of an airplane are pretty slim. But no one can force you to skydive or hang-glide without your consent. Not even to save a life. Not even if your chances of dying are 1 in a million.

And there is no way to tell which women will die or suffer disability from pregnancy. What you are effectively saying is that fertile women do not have the right to life.

thedoorisajar said...

Oh, so conception = harm done?

You gonna start talking about tort law now?

thedoorisajar said...

Rape will *never* be ended. Get your head out of your ass.

Should rape victims be forced to gestate?

Faye Valentine said...

I actually do. Yay consistency!

TheDingus said...

The two individuals in a pregnancy are the man and the woman who had sex and conceived. A third individual arrives at live birth.

Wax poetical all day long about the "individual" embryo or fetus: you're lying. Furthermore, you know you're lying, because if an embryo or non-viable fetus were an "individual" you wouldn't be arguing that women have to remain pregnant, otherwise that so-called "individual" will die.

Individuals are spontaneously, biologically alive by themselves, outside another body. If they're not capable of being spontaneously, biologically alive by themselves outside another body, they are not individuals. (Preemptive note: life support machines are not bodies, and bodies are not life support machines.)

It's the core paradox of the anti-choice argument, and all you people ever do is use a mountain of sexist, shaming, holier-than-thou rhetoric to try and hide it. But it's simple: If the fetus is alive, then take it out of the woman's body who doesn't want it there, and let it get on with its life. What, we can't do that? Then we're not talking about a separate living individual, yet.

Note: conjoined twins may share a body but they aren't living inside someone else who predates them as an individual. (Talk about "thinking outside the box:" you're so far outside the box, women have completely disappeared from your view.)

Some questions for you: if one conjoined twin is mentally incompetent, can the other,
mentally competent one make the decision to be separated, or are they stuck? [I could find nothing on that question.] Can their
parents decide for them when they're babies and unable to decide for
themselves? [Yes.] Can the parents agree to separation for the health and longevity of one twin, even if the other will die as a result? [Yes.] (There's your actual analogy to pregnancy, BTW.)

It's biology; get over it. Because frankly, the disposition of an embryo the woman herself doesn't want to gestate is the least of this planet's worries. Try pulling your imagination out of other women's cervixes and look for a genuine good cause, like stopping men from bloodily killing people wholesale all over the place, or doing something about the thousands of born, sapient individuals (including the non-human) who die of preventable causes every day.

TheDingus said...

So discrimination based on gender is ok. Then, why don't we discriminate against the males that cause pregnancy? Only then can cause pregnancy, right? Let's concentrate on them.

TheDingus said...

I was just reading a fascinating paper on the ethics of end of life decisions, in which I found this:

"The centrality of consent in health care is a function of
the importance accorded to autonomy; and autonomy itself is part of our concept of the person because it is
autonomy that enables the individual to “make her life her own”. Choices are self
defining but also they are self creating. Although the importance of consent derives from our concept of the person, it’s procedural primacy in health care... is owed to the common law tradition which protects individuals from assaults—unlawful touchings."

Pro-choice and anti-choice take two different views of that argument. To pro-choice folks, having another touching and using your body for 40 weeks without your consent is the very definition of assault, especially given the risk of harm and the certainty of discomfort, pain, bodily changes and limitations on liberty and autonomy; indeed, as you note, the imposition of involuntarily servitude.

To the anti-choice, causing the removal of the embryo is the "assault," even if it is accomplished by use of hormones, and even if the one "assaulted" has no ability to perceive or feel any harm.

No matter how I try, and I have tried since before Roe v. Wade, I can see no way to protect the developing embryo from assault without assaulting the pregnant woman; in the language of this paper, forcing her to bear unwanted touching without her consent.

In the end, I think that's the difference between the two sides: one side thinks that assaulting women - and doing so because,/I> they are women - is not justified, and the other seems to think it's a minor detail. As someone once said, they will say a fetus is a person before they say a woman is.

thedoorisajar said...

Yep!! I have even heard some of the people here admit that yeah, pregnancy can be awful, but hey, the life of the unborn human overrides your right not to be disabled/injured/etc.

Interesting article here:

Timothy Griffy said...

"Why should anyone be free to avoid the consequences of their freely chosen actions, especially at the expense of another's life?"

Who says they are?

"And, unless you're going to extend fathers the option of skipping out on
child support- this 'choice' about parenting after the fact... is only
available to women."

You're right, which is precisely why I would advocate extending fathers an opt-out where abortion is available without effective barriers.

"There's really only an ethical case to be made for abortion in rape
cases... Which to my ear, means the women's health issue is really
about ending rape. So, pro-choicers: let's work together on ending rape

An ethical case can be made for the general permissibility of abortion on the grounds of bodily autonomy alone. So please let's work together not only to end rape, but also to make abortion generally available to whoever wants it!

Timothy Griffy said...

"Abortion is an effort to avoid the consequences of freely chosen actions
(most of the time) at the expense of another's life. What else would
be the point of having an abortion except to avoid the easily
predictable consequences of having sex?"

What easily predictable consequences of having sex? If there is anything that isn't easily predictable, it is the consequences of having sex. And yes, that includes pregnancy.

"...Yeah, can't go with you on that, once the child is conceived- both parents are responsible, and should be held accountable by society. But I'm glad you see my point."

Wait a minute here. What do you mean I can't go with that? First you take issue with an inconsistency, but then say I'm not allowed to be consistent either? So your own double standard is noted.

"I just don't see any ethical case outside of rape. Women are grown-ups, we know how babies are made, and we understand the risks in choosing to have sex. No human has a right to kill another human. So I'm not on board with the generally available abortion idea."

An ethical case for the general permissibility of abortion builds on the same premise that prohibits rape. No one has the right to use another's body for their own purposes without consent. This is true when we are talking about rape. This is true when we are talking about slavery. This is true when we are talking about an unwanted pregnancy. Abortion is therefore just as permissible as killing someone who tries to rape or enslave you.

"What do you think we should do to end rape? I think reporting needs to be easier, and I think we need a clearer understanding of what rape is."

I think reporting does need to be easier. But there are reasons other than lack of ease in reporting that need to be addressed as well. Example include but are not limited to: fear of reprisal, anxiety about having her conduct scrutinized, guilt and embarrassment, and self-blame. We also need to address the reasons why people don't report rape beyond the difficulties of the reporting process.

And having a clearer understanding of what rape is would also help. There are cases where rape is obvious. There are cases where it is obvious a rape has not been committed. But that still leaves a lot of room in the middle. And as it so happens, I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about that middle.

So I wouldn't mind having a discussion on that topic. However, this particular blog post might not be the best place for that conversation. Do you already have a suitable place to hold it? If not, I have an idea.

TheDingus said...

That's not punishment. That's their responsibility as fathers.

So, you support men walking away from their children as if they don't exist, but think women should be forced to have them? Interesting.

I have to say, I never expected to find an anti-choice site to be a welcome home for MRA. Although it's hardly surprising, since both movements share the view that women are always the ones to punish, men never.

TheDingus said...

So, you're good with crochet hooks and wire hangers, then?

Uh huh.

TheDingus said...

The anti-choice movement is filled with the most blithe liars you'll ever come across.

Do they know that sometimes conception becomes cancer? That gestation sometimes creates diabetes? Have they heard Karen Santorum's emotional story of almost dying before prematurely delivering a nonviable fetus that she "lovingly" cradled as it slowly suffocated to death?

TheDingus said...

That will happen when your born child or your elderly father wants to crawl inside your body and live there.

It's utterly amazing how you folks can't see the difference between living inside and because of someone else, and living outside and despite someone else. Utterly amazing because the difference is plainly obvious. Here's how you can know: can you see and touch the "person" you're concerned about, or can you only see and touch the woman whose body it's living in? That's not so hard to discern, is it?

TheDingus said...

So 40 weeks of gestation, and labor and childbirth, are minor details? So minor, you ignore them? One is left to wonder just why we get pregnant at all... obviously, all we really need to do is mix sperm and ovum in a Petri dish and voila: a bouncing, fully formed, living baby!

I already answered your idiotic contention that women become mothers at conception, but let me be more clear: about 75% of conceptions do not result in a live birth. ~50% result in your next period. Are you a mother every time you have your period? (You're the most prolific breeder of all timed, I guess.)

One out of four pregnancies end in miscarriage. Are those women mothers, too? Of what, a corpse? Do they keep it in a crib and dress it up, or what?

I've seen some delusional folks in my time, but you take the cake.

myintx said...

The unborn child is already there - the organs have been donated. If you donated your kidney to your toddler, you could not kill your toddler to get your organ back - see the difference?

thedoorisajar said...

So if you have let a man use your vagina for sex, you can't withdraw consent, because your organ has been permanently donated to his penis?

He can occupy your body indefinitely?

myintx said...

Withdrawing his pecker won't kill him.

thedoorisajar said...

You stated that consent is a one time thing where continual use of your body parts is involved.

Clearly, it isn't.

myintx said...

Clearly, it is... when someone's LIFE is on the line. A life created by the woman. A life she should have a responsibility to CARE for.

thedoorisajar said...


Melanie said...

She can and SHOULD exert control over whether or not she reproduces. I absolutely support women taking charge their reproduction---BEFORE conception. But once conception has occurred, i.e. reproduction, then what has been done cannot be undone without killing an innocent being.

thedoorisajar said...

So you just want to control the sexual lives of people who are not you.

myintx said...


thedoorisajar said...

Nope. I don't have the right to temporarily use your organs without consent and neither does a prenate.

Also, disability and death from pregnancy = permanent

someone45 said...

For the rest of my comment I mean that the man who got me pregnant (who wouldn't be a father since no baby would exist) would be my boyfriend and he would support my choice for an abortion 100%

someone45 said...

Women will also have fun if they aren't forced to suffer through the misery of pregnancy.

TheDingus said...

Good friends? No. Friends and acquaintances, yes. They don't think abortion should be criminalized, to my knowledge, but have sometimes said they think it's wrong. They show no judgement against others that I've detected, though.

Family members? I marched in pro-choice rallies with my mother-in-law, who had a terrifying kitchen table abortion in the 60s, and doesn't think women's lives and health should be threatened like that, and left to untrained strangers. She had an abusive husband at the time, and two young children - one of whom became my husband - at home when she got pregnant again. All three of them were beaten, burned and verbally abused continually, including my husband in his crib, and she knew she was leaving that man. Another baby just wasn't in it. (You know, that "euphemism" about women's and children's safety and health?)

My mother didn't want me, as she made clear throughout my childhood, but she did do one caring thing that particularly stays with me. When she detected I was becoming voluntarily sexually active at age 15, she brought me to her Gyn and put me on the Pill, with such alacrity - within a week - I still smile at the memory. Her message to me was clear: stay in charge of your own future. She didn't; got pregnant young and as a result got married to a mentally ill man, my sexually abusive father, who later poked holes in his condoms to impregnate her with me. No Pill, and abortion was illegal, then. So the "loving couple" had a precious little girl he could spoil and occasionally slug, and my mother could take her frustration out on, being "responsible" for the children. At any rate I can safely say she was a deeply pro-choice woman, having lived a life where her choices and wishes mattered to pretty much no one.

In part, I am pro-choice in her honor; human beings simply should not be trapped like that. One stupid teenaged roll in the hay shouldn't be followed by a lifetime of misery. Perhaps one has to grow up as the precipitating agent and target of some of their mother's rage, frustration and depression to understand why women shouldn't be forced to have babies they don't want.

Ann said...

Just call him/her/it a troll.

TheDingus said...

In reality? No. I was first sexually abused at age 4. Did I have a choice? Nope.

Should women be free to decide whether, when and with whom they have sex? Absolutely.

They should also be free to decide whether, when and with whom they have babies. (You do know that people have sex for reasons other than having babies, right?)

Sex may be the start of reproduction (although not always, see IVF) but reproduction is not compulsory following sex.

Look, it's simple: do you think men should be forced to sire children? If not, why not? It's a natural fact that no human baby has been born without a man being involved, isn't it? Why can they decide NOT to have children? They're denying life to possible future babies, aren't they?

Now, apply that same criteria to women.

Ann said...

Trolls can change names but the comments remain the same. A troll by any other name... And all that.

thedoorisajar said...

I have never once seen you contribute to a comment thread. All you do is childishly accuse pro choicers of being trolls.

Are you incapable of contributing for some reason?

Ann said...

There are many pro choice and even some pro-life comments I disagree with and generally leave alone because of the manner in which they express themselves. Trolls are not interested in discussion they are seek controversy and waste space on blog sites. You have shown yourself to fall into the later category.

TheDingus said...

Pregnancy can 'un'happen.

No one is dying when pregnancy is aborted. Someone who never lived will not be born. There really is a difference. Before you say "but they're alive!" let me remind you that they're not alive by themselves, and have no awareness.

In your car accident scenario, maybe a working limb, not to mention an undamaged car, IS being taken from someone, who IS aware of it.

Bad analogy.

TheDingus said...

They never talk about all the man who heave a huge sigh of relief after an abortion, do they?

TheDingus said...

"Society" isn't undoing accidental pregnancy. A woman is, in the privacy of her own medical care.

Women are entitled to seek private medical care, aren't they?

Society has to decide if that medical care is safe and accessible, or not. Deliberately making it unsafe and inaccessible is punishment without due process of law. "Oh, I'm sorry, did you lose your uterus because you poked at it with a knitting needle? You're own fault."

That's barbarism.

Seriously, people need abortions so there WON'T BE A BABY in the future.

You're the one who can't tell the difference between a baby and a zygote, not us.

TheDingus said...

It amounts to depriving women of their right to life.

Not all pregnant women will die, but we know that some will. We don't know which, but some.

Therefore, while you may not be depriving all women of life, you absolutely are depriving all women of their RIGHT to life. You're saying that females just have to die during pregnancy, sorry. No right to life for anyone with a functioning uterus. (No right to life for half of humanity - astonishing anyone thinks that's "pro" life?)

But that's only if women don't have a choice whether or not to stay pregnant. If they choose, they take the risk freely. If they don't, you strip them of their rights.

TheDingus said...

So, you assign rights to people based on percentages?

Funny. I thought rights were inalienable.

TheDingus said...

That's more than an interesting article; it's a devastating one. Thanks for the link.

Wonder if anyone on this site would ever read it?

TheDingus said...

We don't call you that as a slur.

We call you that because, as you say, that's what you are, so we have to call you something, because what you are not is pro life. Calling you "pro biological existence for men and embryos but not pregnant girls and women, without caring much about actual life and the people who live it" is kind of a mouthful.

No one is pro-abortion. Got any evidence of people advocating that women should get abortions for the sake of having one?

thedoorisajar said...

Of course not. It is pro baby killer propaganda

When I cite sources, I generally use non biased evidence. Hehee. One time I had to use Fox News to prove to a Catholic forced birther that pregnancy can kill a 9 year old. He was going on about how old enough to bleed = old enough to breed (safely)

Don't you love how its often ignorant men who assume that pregnancy is all daisies and buttercups?

Jennifer Starr said...

When is a door not a door?

TheDingus said...

Who's going to take care of the children she already has?



thedoorisajar said...

TheDingus said...

She's been MIA for my posts, this last day. Interesting, that.

someone45 said...

Yep... once it is born they say if you can't afford a kid don't have sex.

TheDingus said...

Indeed. Strange, isn't it?

I always say some people will have to attend a funeral or two to "get it" but I'm afraid that won't even get through to them.

TheDingus said...

Caring for yourself = selfish (but only for women). Not self esteem, but self

Just like liberty = "convenience" (but only for women).

DarkCougar555 said...

"Why does the child suddenly become "his body" once it's born?"

It's a magic birth canal or "non-person" magically transformed into a baby by C-section. That's science! :O

thedoorisajar said...

Because prior to birth the fetus is not an autonomous being.

Gestation is a construction process, and the prenate is incomplete and unformed. It isn't even sentient.

TheDingus said...

Sure, let's do it. How do you propose to go about that?

TheDingus said...

Oh, I wanted those plants. They just didn't develop into plants.

I didn't accuse the parent plant of committing the murder of their "offspring." I just bought some plants.

DarkCougar555 said...

*raises an eyebrow*

So, it's not a person until he passed through the birth canal and comes out as person like a magic ward?? Okay, I see.

TheDingus said...

You make it sound like having a baby is this easy-peasey thing that hardly effects girls or women at all. Go look up the story of "My Lost Son" about a woman who voluntarily gave up her baby for adoption in the 60s. She recently discovered he fell six miles out of the sky and died in the Lockerbie bombing at age 21. If possible, find a way to see and hear her. Your fantasy that women have babies and everything's right in their world will end, unless you're a sociopath.

One of the consequences of having sex is having an abortion. Women have been having abortions for as long as there have been people. Completely predictable.

Another consequence of conceiving is having a miscarriage, and no baby being born. Also, completely predictable.

Another consequence of conceiving is the woman dying of a complication of pregnancy or childbirth. Totally predictable.

You value a potential future life over the actual current life of a girl or woman, that's all. To add insult to injury, you pretend she isn't the one making that life possible in the first place. It just exists, like magic!

That's why we call you folks misogynists. Because women do not exist for you as human beings, just as uteri on legs. What they want, what they feel, what they experience, if they die, if they want to "wail and wail and wail and never stop" 50 years after giving birth? No matter.

Well, half those babies will be female. At the onset of menstruation, they'll cease to be people, with rights, just like their mothers. So spare us your phony concern about people. You don't give a flying leap what happens to half of them, right off the bat.

Women are grown-ups; children and teenagers are not. They get pregnant, too. Got an exception for them?

No one is killing a human being in an abortion; they're choosing not to create one. Since it's their body which does the creating, they get to choose whether to, or not.

I shudder to imagine what a girl who believes women don't have the right to control their own bodies for 40 weeks thinks constitutes a "clear understanding" of what rape "really is." Let me tell you what it is: sexual penetration without the woman's permission.

Like using her uterus against her will and having her push a baby out of her vagina because you think she must whether she wants to, or not. Rapists think women must turn their vaginas and uteruses over to others, too.

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