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

Secular
Pro-Life strongly encourages pro-lifers from different backgrounds to seek to
understand one another and form coalitions in the fight against abortion. SPL’s
main focus, obviously, is on different religious backgrounds. We ask our
allies in the pro-life movement to help SPL create space for pro-life
secularists and give secularists a stronger voice in the movement. In turn, we
feel it’s important that SPL helps give a stronger voice to other
non-traditional pro-lifers.
Today’s
blog post focuses on the perspectives of LGBT pro-lifers. We interviewed four pro-lifers
who identify as follows:
Deanna
Unyk, a queer atheist.
Nate
Sheets, a gay atheist.
Albany
Rose Saindon, a pansexual atheist.
Rachel
E., a bisexual Roman Catholic.

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





How
would you define the term “pro-life”?
Deanna: I would define “pro-life” as
the position that abortion, in general, ought to be illegal.
Nate: People who are pro-life think that
there are better alternatives to ending life in the womb. They have a variety
of reasons for believing this.
Albany: “Pro-Life,” to me, is knowing all
innocent life is valuable, born and pre-born. I think being pro-life means
never being cruel, condemning, or saying harsh words towards abortion-minded or
post-abortive men and women. We cannot fit into the stereotype that we simply
care about the fetus. We must always show love, kindness, and patience. Without
that we won’t get very far.
Rachel: Generally, I think being pro-life
means respecting the right to life of human beings from fertilization to a
natural death.
Some people believe
abortion has relatively little effect on the LGBT community. Do you think this
is true? Why or why not?
Deanna: I guess my shortest
answer would be yes and no. Yes, because those in monogamous homosexual
relationships would be less likely to have to deal with unintended pregnancy
for obvious reasons. On the other hand, though, bisexuals can be engaged in
monogamous heterosexual relationships. Lesbians can still get pregnant from
rape and gay men can suffer from the past abortions of former lovers. Trans men
who haven’t had bottom surgery can still engage in procreative sex and end up
pregnant and trans women can get others pregnant if they are having procreative
sex. So, the LGBT community is not necessarily immune to unintended pregnancy
and thus the legal option of abortion.
It
is important to consider also that when LGBT people have an experience with
unintended pregnancy they may face different challenges than their straight
counterparts. They may view the pregnancy as a blow to their personal identity
and there are unique challenges that come with that.
Furthermore,
from a pro-life standpoint, abortion is the biggest human rights violation in
our society, and I believe anytime one group is being mistreated in a
particular society it affects all members of that society. In that sense
abortion affects all of us, LGBT people included.

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

Rachel: I definitely disagree with the notion
that abortion has little effect on the LGBT community. I think there’s a
general principle that we as people are not insular. We can’t simply say “Oh,
that’s someone else’s issue.” Injustice against one community of the human
family is an injustice against all people. We are LGBT people and we can help
change the world.
Beyond the ideas of solidarity with the entire human
community, I think there are a few issues that affect the LGBT community
specifically:
If
there was a “gay gene” that could be detected before birth, I believe some
people would take advantage of that. Some people would have abortions simply
because the unborn person would grow up to be an LGBT adult.
Transgender
men (people designated at birth as female who identify as men) are a
particularly vulnerable population in the current climate. Because many of
these men have not transitioned physically, they are capable of being pregnant.
This poses so many problems for the individual – most do not feel that, as a
man, there should be any pregnancy involved. The result of pregnancy in a
transgender man can be extremely dysphoric; their body is performing processes
that they’ve tried to escape.
Because
of the heteronormative nature of most sexual education programs, LGBT people
are far less likely to use forms of protection in their sexual activities. The
lesbian and bisexual teen pregnancy rate is 12% higher than heterosexual peers, and
they experience twice the risk for unintended pregnancy. It’s not what’s
usually expected, but LGBT people do get pregnant.
Additionally,
many don’t realize that LGBT people are just as susceptible, if not more
susceptible, to rape as heterosexual people are. According to
2013 data from the CDC,
lesbians and gay men report lifetime levels of sexual violence equal to those
of heterosexuals, and bisexual women actually experience significantly higher
rates of sexual violence. We cannot forget the very real fact that LGBT people
can also experience pregnancies that result from rape.
Finally,
many LGBT people are waiting to adopt children. I don’t think this is the first
reason to be pro-life, but I think it’s a good supplementary reason.



How
would you describe your own position on abortion? How long have you held that
position and how did you arrive at it?
Deanna: I would describe
myself as pro-life, because I believe most forms of abortion ought to be
illegal. Until about 6 months ago, I was pro-choice and I wrote a blog called
“Restringing the Violinist” where I focused on defending bodily
rights arguments. So I’m pretty new to the movement.
I’ve long thought that unborn
children are valuable human persons, but I remained pro-choice because of
my view of bodily autonomy. Changing my mind took time and involved many
different factors. I still believe that women have the right to refuse to allow
other people to use their bodies as life-support. As a result, to me, abortion
is an issue that involves a conflict of rights: the mother’s right to refuse
and the unborn child’s right to (a) not be killed and (b) not have his or her
bodily rights violated by being dismembered.
When I was pro-choice my view was similar to
David Boonin’s view in his book “A Defense of Abortion.” I believed abortion
did not violate the right to life of the unborn child because I believed (and
still believe) the right to life does not include the right to use someone
else’s body to survive. However, I also believe the right to life does include the right to not be killed,
and most abortions do actively
kill the unborn. Thus, abortion does violate the unborn’s right to life in most
cases. Additionally, in surgical abortions the unborn child is
often dismembered, and I think bodily rights should really include the
right to not be dismembered. In the end I couldn’t justify legalized abortion to
protect the mother’s bodily rights when the bodily rights and the right to life
of the unborn child are violated during an abortion.
Even then I didn’t immediately convert to the
pro-life side. Being pro-choice was a big part of my personal identity. I
identify as a liberal person. But what kind of liberal is against abortion? I
think I had this fear in my mind that there wasn’t a place for a queer atheist
in the pro-life movement. I think deep down I worried that if I wanted to be
active in the movement I would have to be surrounded by a bunch of religious
old men that would constantly harass me to convert or tell me that my
“lifestyle” makes God want to vomit.
So, in addition to the pro-life arguments, my friendship with Josh Brahm was also instrumental in my conversion. Josh and I had
been friends for about a year and he remains one of the kindest and most
open-minded people I know. Being
friends with Josh helped break down the pro-life stereotypes in my mind. Although
he never told me explicitly, I
knew that I would have an ally in the pro-life movement who would love and
accept me for who I was. So I
ended up “coming out” again, this time as a pro-lifer. 
Nate: I have a very conflicted opinion on
abortion. The issue is framed so there’s a dichotomy between a woman’s bodily
integrity and a fetus’ right to not be dismembered. I am conflicted because I
believe strongly in both, and yet there often seems to be
an impasse between the two. To me, abortion addresses the issue of
bodily autonomy, but in all the wrong ways. 
I used to have a more typical pro-life
stance, but now as an atheist and lover of science, my position is much less
firm as I see all of the grays that this issue presents. In many ways, I do not
blame a woman who gets an abortion because, at least on the surface, there
appears to be no alternative that will not ruin the woman’s life. People do
what they feel like they have to do. Pro-lifers try and present other options,
but the pro-choice movement also works with a different agenda.
But, when push comes to shove, I simply cannot
fathom the logic that leads people to be okay with dismembering a fetus. As a
society, we should be beyond this–we are killing our own children, with the
excuse that they are occupying our space? Who the hell do we think we are?
Albany: When it comes to abortion I am no
exceptions Pro-Life. Outside of ectopic pregnancies, which most pro-lifers I
know do not consider abortions, I do not agree that a situation can justify taking
an innocent life. I have held my pro-life beliefs for almost three years now,
after being pro-choice for almost my whole life before converting. Shortly
after turning 16, I was coerced into an abortion, which lead me down a
destructive path and ultimately made me feel like I had to be pro-choice to
justify what I had allowed to happen. I ended up becoming pro-life after seeing
the ultrasound of our first daughter. Her heartbeat, her little movements, it
was like everything I had believed prior about the fetus and abortion came
crumbling down all around me.
Rachel: I was raised in a pro-life family, and I
don’t know if I ever had any sort of eureka moment. I think as I got older, my
views became more mature and nuanced. I learned about the larger complexities
of the issue. I certainly believe that when I started blogging about the issues
my views became much more firm and I was far more knowledgeable about abortion
and the pro-life movement in general.

Have
you interacted much with the overall pro-life movement (e.g. walks, rallies,
meetings, protests, political activities, sidewalk counseling, pregnancy
centers, etc.)? 
If so, how has that gone? If not, why not?
Deanna: In the time that I’ve
been pro-life I’ve gone to the Alberta March for Life and I went to an
apologetics seminar put on by the Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform.
The March for Life made me feel
somewhat alienated. I wore a shirt with a short pro-life argument on the
front and “Atheist for Life” on the back. Most of the speakers were
quite religious and a number of them said things I really found offensive. For
example, one of the first speakers (I believe he was a priest) said something
along the lines of, “The pro-life position is religious in nature, so in
order to recruit people to our cause we need to work really hard to convert as
many people as we can!” The most disheartening part about that
statement was the thunderous applause it elicited from my fellow
pro-lifers. Another speaker said something like, “Concepts like the
right to life and intrinsic human value are grounded in Christianity,
so we can’t appeal to them when talking to secularists.” Towards the
end of the rally they included about 20 minutes of a Ukrainian Catholic mass
(translated to English).
In some ways this March was pretty difficult
for me. I see religion and sexuality as somewhat connected. A big part of what
made coming out as queer difficult for me was my parents’ reactions, and their
reactions were grounded, at least partly, in religion. So religion in general,
and the Ukrainian Catholic faith in particular, can trigger my anger over
unfair judgment toward my sexuality and fear I once had that God hated me. It
was already difficult to be new to the pro-life movement and not having anyone
in my city to go to this pro-life event with me. To then be surrounded by
triggers and to see speakers act as if pro-lifers like me don’t exist made the
experience even more exhausting.
However, the March for Life wasn’t entirely a
negative experience. A man behind me saw my shirt and went out of his way to
tell me that he was glad I was there. One speaker mentioned the importance of
including secularists in the movement and trying to appeal to them. I was also
texting Josh at the time and he was very encouraging and he seemed to be exited
that I was already getting involved in the movement. I was also encouraged by
the number of young people who attended. A girl, who appeared to be in high
school, gave me a sign that looked homemade and read “A Person’s a Person
No Matter How Small” and I held it up while I longboarded alongside my
fellow pro-life marchers.  I was also
invited to go to an apologetics seminar put on by the Canadian Centre for
Bioethical Reform, which was exciting for me.
A few months after the March I ended up
attending the seminar. This was a much more positive experience fo
r me. The speakers were extremely gracious and they
emphasized the importance of finding common ground and treating pro-choice
people with the respect that all persons deserve. It was also secular, which I
appreciated. The tone of the seminar leaders was incredibly kind. I like to say
“they oozed kindness” but oozing is clearly the wrong word. I
disagreed with some of the arguments they taught, but I did learn a lot and it
was helpful just to be surrounded by like-minded people who are passionate
about helping others. 
Nate: I have not participated in a mainstream
pro-life event for several years. As an atheist, I don’t want to feel like I’m
at a church service. As a lover of science, I get frustrated with how many pro-lifers
say “We have science on our side!” when, in reality, the majority of
them have little understanding or interest in “science” beyond some fetal
developmental milestones. The irony of the religion with the science rhetoric
being all in the same place is too much. So I don’t participate in the
mainstream movement, but I currently admin a large
Atheist/Agnostic (and LGBT-friendly) pro-life group on Facebook. [If you’d like to join this Facebook group, please read the About section first.]
It is also difficult to participate in one
issue with a group of people who you know fight against you on another. In some
cases, anti-LGBT rhetoric peppers the conversations at these events. Pro-lifers
have this idea that the Right to Life trumps everything else, so any other
conflicts are considered secondary. But the fact is, my equal rights and
protection under the law are important to me, and to have people who claim to
stand up for the rights of “everyone” (meaning, fetuses) while they
have disapproval in their hearts and discrimination in their votes against people
like me is not something I can easily get past. Thankfully, I am seeing more
and more pro-LGBT pro-lifers these days.
Albany: The greatest interaction I have in the
pro-life movement (as I’m a stay at home mom with few ways to travel) is that I
have become
a YouTube vlogger.
It has allowed me to reach tens of thousands of people all from my own home. I did
participate in one walk for life here in Denver, but truthfully it was
disappointing. Right after I told my story and shortly before we began the
walk, speakers starting talking about traditional marriage and, “don’t
forget to vote against [a marriage equality] bill.” It was disheartening
how they so easily shunned people at an event that had nothing to do with one’s
sexuality. The pro-life movement should be about coming together to protect
life and should not be used as a billboard for other beliefs. I do enjoy,
however, going out to the Planned Parenthood in the next town up and holding a
sign that reads, “I Regret My Abortion.” While there are negative
comments, the overall reaction is positive, and it is clear when it makes
someone think.
Rachel: My first activism for the pro-life movement
was when I was about seven or so. My mom brought me to a “rosary rally” event,
and we passed out the “precious feet” pins and bumper stickers. Right now my
biggest activism is done through
my blogging on Tumblr. I’ve got about
1,095 followers now. I’ve been to the March for Life in 2013, and over the
summer I had an internship with
Life Matters Journal.

How accessible is the pro-life movement for you? How could it
be more accessible? What are some wa
ys 
other pro-lifers could make LGBT people feel
welcome? 
Deanna:
I
feel like the pro-life movement needs to work on welcoming LGBT people. Being
more inclusive in their language and maybe turning down the volume on the
religious aspect could be really helpful. Even saying things like
“although I think homosexuality is morally wrong, we welcome everyone into
the movement including those from all sexual orientations. We appreciate you
being here” would go a long way. Using arguments that appeal to all people
regardless of religious or sexual identity would also be extremely helpful.
Having other LGBT pro-life role models would be great, so I think those who are
already in the movement need to work on finding each other and being more
visible. 
Nate:
The movement is somewhat accessible. Thanks to social media, there are many
smaller groups that you can join that fit what you’re looking for. However, if
the pro-life movement started leaving their religion at home instead of
bringing it to the events, that would be a good start, as well as sticking to
abortion and not bringing up gay marriage or other non-related issues. More
room for nuanced views–or at least discussion–of abortion would be awesome,
too. 
Albany:
Truthfully, the pro-life movement isn’t very accessible to me outside of my
home. While there are some speakers that travel occasionally in the area, and
groups go to pray outside clinics, there are not many options for me. However,
going back to my vlogging and public pro-life speaker page, it allows me to
connect in a more accessible way. I do wish I knew more people in the area who
were open to simply traveling short distances to hold signs with me, to
sidewalk counsel, or even pro-life chalk.
I firmly believe that if
more religious pro-lifers would stop tying in outside beliefs of the church to
abortion, such as views on homosexuality or competition with other religious
beliefs, it would allow more in the LGBT community to open up and listen. I
think many in religion have dug themselves into a hole by perpetuating the stereotype
that they want nothing to do with someone who is gay, when in reality many
religious people will happily work alongside the LGBT community to help end
abortion. The movement simply needs to vocalize that more through love.
Rachel:
With the pro-life circles I associate with, it’s been no problem for me.
However, when I venture out from more secular and open groups, people can
become less than accepting. Some are outright hostile, but many are just
patronizing about the LGBT community. Many of the traditional Christian
pro-life groups seem to pity us or think that somehow they’re better. I think
if many people thought “Let’s leave the sexuality out of it and work on the commonalities,”
we could feel more included. We’re queer, and we’re pro-life. I don’t see why
there should be any contradictions there.

414 thoughts on “How does the pro-life movement look to LGBT pro-lifers?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Counselling isn't a cure all.

    So, what do you suggest?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    I sure as hell wouldn't.

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

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

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

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

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

    No.

    Abortion only takes a life.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Reply
  16. You assume that:

    1) psychological assistance and counseling will be available to everyone

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

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

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

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

    —–

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Reply
  20. Hi Nun. I like your respectful tone.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Of course a woman should not be tied down.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    It would be difficult.

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

    Is abortion a treatment for suicidal thoughts?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    At what point does the unborn invade the body?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    There are no ulterior motives here.

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

    Reply
  31. Why do you say sentience begins at viability?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Reply
  35. So, Merriam Webster defines sentience like this

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

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

    ——–

    Of course the pregnancy doesn't help.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    —–

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Reply
  40. But also, check this out – It's called the Dublin Declaration.

    Dublin Declaration on Maternal Health (September 2012)

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

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

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

    ——

    There are over 900 signatories.

    dublindeclaration.com/signatories/

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    But check out these few stories

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

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

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

    Reply
  44. As many babies as my rapist deems necessary?

    I'm done with this.

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

    Reply
  45. thinkprogress.org/health/2013/04/22/1900171/jury-savita-death-abortion-care/

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    —–

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

    This is my last post in conversation with you.

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

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

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

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

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

    Is that not what you said?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Reply
  55. So let us have frank and open dialogue.

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

    I will use contraception.

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

    Not as YOU see fit.

    Not as the state sees fit.

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

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

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

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

    Abortion and contraception are human rights.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Reply
  60. We do have things in common though.

    I have lots of hot sex with men and women.

    I also use contraception.

    I also believe contraception is a right.

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

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

    Reply
  61. Words have meaning? Let's check Merriam Webster then

    fe·tus

    noun ˈfē-təs

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

    …. Look what word I see… Human being!

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

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

    Reply
  63. I know, I've been committed before.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Reply
  68. What?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Reply
  79. The "Rapists offspring" is a person.

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

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

    Reply
  80. The "Rapists offspring" is a person.

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

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

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

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

    Reply
  83. So you're catholic..ok..

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Because what you are advocating is slavery.

    Reply
  108. Manlsaughter?

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

    Well?

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Reply
  112. Whether or not you're a lawyer is irrelevant.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Both will

    1) kill an embyro

    2) prevent it from implanting

    Reply
  116. I can't give the explanation nearly as well as this can

    It's lengthy, but it's good food for thought 🙂

    jfaweb.org/Training/DeFactoGuardian-v03.pdf

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

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

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

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

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

    Reply
  121. Hi Nun.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Reply
  130. Well, considering it fits the form of the question "is it ever moral to directly and intentionally cause harm to innocent human beings?", I think the answer is no, unless of course it does not directly and intentionally case harm, or the object of this harm is not an innocent human being. Is the zygote guilty? Of a species other than human? Is death not harm? Do you think it is okay to directly and intentionally harm innocent human beings?

    Reply
  131. I did notice but I skimmed only. I will go back and read your testimony more carefully.
    Why do you reject the RCC's position on sexuality as far as orgasm/gender is concerned but support their misogyny where a woman's fertility is concerned? I ask in all seriousness as one RC woman to another.

    Reply
  132. I think the answer is no, unless of course it does not directly and intentionally case harm

    Of course it does, if you willingly put innocent human beings in harms way, no? So choosing to have sex, knowing that your body *will* kill innocent people is uh, if not murder, at least reckless endangerment yeah?

    Reply
  133. You can get your ass thrown in jail for reckless endangerment.

    And uh, many pro-lifers believe that it is murder to deny a fertilized ovum access to one's uterus.

    Where do you stand on the issue?

    Reply
  134. Gay God believing pro lifer here. Naturally I am pro choice. You are merely pro birth. And if you want to make abortion illegal, you are pro death.

    Reply
  135. Please answer my questions; that is how one conducts a rational discussion, instead of a one-sided interrogation. If it makes it simpler for you your chosen euphemism does not match science: after fertilization the ovum and sperm cell fuse and join, forming the zygote. You can call it a fertilized ovum if it makes you feel better, but try to keep in mind that by that rationale you and I are also fertilized ovum, just one that has split and grown many times.

    Reply
  136. You can call it a fertilized ovum if it makes you feel better, but try
    to keep in mind that by that rationale you and I are also fertilized
    ovum, just one that has split and grown many times.

    You sure about that,cupcake?

    Reply
  137. Fair enough, I didn't know anything about endometrial ablation till I saw your comment.
    Chances are I do, not much I can do about it though.

    Reply
  138. 72 hour hold or long term commitment? There could be a difference state by state. I didn't find being hospitalized helpful. It only made me loathe the system more.

    Reply
  139. I only learned about uterine artery embolization last week..

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uterine_artery_embolization

    It essentially cuts off blood supply to the utuerus, which will kill any implanted embryos, and also prevent them from implanting, as the blood vessels that they normally drill into will be sealed off.

    Reply
  140. Quote: My question is this: Is abortion /really/ the cause of the suicidality or is it something else? It seems as if the real underlying cause would be something else.
    …………………….
    Depression is a life threatening illness. Is it your position that a woman with diagnosed depression should be compelled by law to give birth when she has expressed a wish to have an abortion?

    Reply
  141. From Merriam-Webster:

    rape

    verb

    : to force (someone) to have sex with you by using violence or the threat of violence

    So, um…no. Criminalizing abortion isn't rape. You may find other's attempts to criminalize abortion offensive or intrusive. But it isn't rape. You don't get to just change the meanings of words to suit your agenda.

    Reply
  142. Neat! But hey, check this out. You've just had the misfortune to be trying to tell an Irishman about the pissy little so-called Dublin Declaration. 900 signatories in all. Worth jack. That was a PR stunt by a health service in panic because of the death of a woman whose life could have been saved by an abortion, and whose child in any case had no chance. Her husband was told Ireland is "a Catholic country" by doctors, who apparently were unaware that they could have performed that lifesaving procedure in that case.

    Now compare your 900 signatories, PR stunt as it was, with the more than 10,000 people who didn't sign but got up and took to the streets to march in Dublin two months later, to protest against Ireland's primitive, religious-hangover abortion laws. Keep in mind that Ireland's a small place and Dublin's still a pretty tiny city. Read some context about that march after the death of Savita Halappanavar here: theguardian.com/world/2012/nov/17/march-dublin-abortion-death Here: news.sky.com/story/1012735/dublin-protest-over-indian-abortion-death Read about the entire case here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Savita_Halappanavar

    Now, my initial question, to which you gave this non-answer was: What qualifies you to say that "abortion wouldn't solve the trauma of rape"?

    Reply
  143. Here we go with the dictionary again. The dictionary gives the most common meaning in use currently. It is not useful beyond high school. Useless in law for example.

    Rape is commonly understood as a crime involving power over and/or sexual assault.

    Rape is a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse (or other forms of sexual penetration) initiated against one or more individuals without the consent of those individuals. The act may be carried out by physical force,coercion, abuse of authority or against a person who is incapable of valid consent, such as one who is unconscious, incapacitated, or below the legalage of consent.[1][2][3][4] The term rape is sometimes used interchangeably with the term sexual assault.[5]

    The term rape originates in the Latin rapere, from raptus, "to snatch, to grab, to carry off".[21][22] Since the 14th century, the term has come to mean "to seize and take away by force".[1] In Roman law the carrying off of a woman by force, with or without intercourse, constituted "raptus".[22] In Medieval English law the same term could refer to either kidnapping or rape in the modern sense of "sexual violation".[21] The original meaning of "carry off by force" is still found in some phrases, such as "rape and pillage" or in titles, such as the story of the Rape of the Sabine Women or the poem The Rape of the Lock, which is about the theft of a lock of hair.

    Reply
  144. Since abortion is death, if anyone is pro-death, it's you. Also, how do you know that person isn't pro-life in all other ways? There are lots of liberal pro-lifers too.

    Reply
  145. When rapists cannot use their own junk to do a rape, they use objects: sticks, bottles, knives and laws. It is a toss up which satisfies a rapist more, the orgasm or the power over.

    Reply
  146. Both and the meaning of 'seize' in the Constitution. When I see some indication you have read and understood what I wrote, we can continue our conversation. And not until then.

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  147. Ha! I love how you make these ultimatums like I'm beholden to your approval. It makes me feel all tingly inside.

    You said criminalizing abortion is rape. No, it isn't, no matter how much you try to change the definition.

    Reply
  148. Abortion is the cure for not wanting to be pregnant.
    You recommend a woman diagnosed for depression who has asked for an abortion be compelled to give birth?
    How will that cure or ameliorate her depression?

    Reply
  149. The stuff about Ireland was interesting. I'll be bookmarking that. I had no idea that the "conference" was an attempt to whitewash Savitas death. It makes sense though, as news of her death broke a few days later…

    Reply
  150. The "conference" was a committee of nine and the "900 signatories" are signatories to a web petition. You could become a signatory yourself if you felt inclined. I've clarified that in an edit to my post there. Rachel? Gone! I didn't even get to ask her about her "gay gene".

    Reply
  151. They're talking about abortion as a "treatment" for suicidality. That's a completely different issue.

    Once again, you said: "My point is that abortion wouldn't solve the trauma of rape either."

    Once again! What qualifies you to make that assertion?

    Reply
  152. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a national organization representing thousands of women’s health experts, has publicly come out against the state-level abortion restrictions that impact the way doctors are allowed to treat their patients. The group’s Executive Board has issued an official statement opposing all laws that “unduly interfere with patient-physician relationships” and compromise patients’ health care for political gain.

    “Given the relentless legislative assault on the patient-physician relationship that we’ve seen in the past few years — and unfortunately continue to see — we were compelled to issue a formal Statement of Policy,” the group’s president, Dr. Jeanne A. Conry, explained in a press release. “A disproportionate number of these types of laws are aimed at women’s reproductive rights and the physicians that provide women’s health care services.”

    In its formal statement, the doctors’ group criticized specific pieces of anti-abortion legislation that comes between women and their doctors — including forced ultrasound laws that require women seeking abortions to look at an image of their fetus before continuing with the medical procedure, “disclosure” laws that require doctors to tell women about the scientifically disputed link between abortion and breast cancer, and laws that require doctors to use an outdated procedure for administering the abortion pill.

    The OB-GYNs point out that these type of laws allow legislators, instead of doctors, to set medical protocol. When doctors aren’t allowed to follow the current accepted medical practice because of a politically-motivated law, they aren’t able to provide their patients with the best quality of care. That dynamic has contributed to a serious shortage of women’s health doctors in states with harsh abortion restrictions, since medical professionals would rather avoid situations in which they may have to choose between providing their patients with the best health care and following a complicated state law.
    thinkprogress.org/health/2013/06/10/2129831/doctors-group-anti-abortion-political-agenda/

    Reply
  153. Let me ask this. If my mother was the source of my suicidal intentions, if she tormented me. It she kicked me out of the house and took every penny I have… Would I have the right to "take away the problem" by killing her?
    You would have the right to move far away from her and never see her again, thereby separating yourself from the situation.

    Reply
  154. A fetus is not a person. A fetus becomes a legal person and a human being when it survives to and through birth.

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A Catholic hospital in Colorado has argued in court documents that it is not liable for the deaths of two 7-month-old fetuses because those fetuses are not people.

    So far, courts have side with the hospital.
    usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/01/24/fetuses-not-people-catholic-hospital-says-in-court-case/1863013/

    Reply
  155. Doctors can do nothing to stop someone from killing themselves if they are determined to do so.

    You live in some fevered dream. Reality is for those who cannot deal with drugs. And is a potent get high.

    Reply
  156. Quote: Abortion only takes a life.
    …………..
    Lie. YOU LIE A LOT.

    Those Who Ignore History Are Doomed to Repeat It
    Posted on August 25, 2014

    For most of my career, I have been able to care for women without fear of major complications or death from abortion. However, I have not forgotten those days when safe abortion was generally unavailable. I was delighted when I delivered my first baby in 1968. But at that time in our history, the exciting events of bringing babies into this world were often countered by the tragedies of illegal abortion.

    Enough time has passed since the legalization of abortion in the US that it appears much of our society has forgotten the dangers of unsafe pregnancy termination and the desperation of women encountering an unplanned, unwanted pregnancy. It is estimated that approximately 13% of maternal deaths worldwide are due to unsafe abortion. The death rates are even higher in some countries where abortion has been totally banned.

    No one has a greater appreciation for the value of human life than those of us who dedicate our lives to the wellbeing of mothers and the delivery of their babies. No other profession has a better knowledge of the complexity of the reproductive process, the potential complications, and the tragic circumstances that can sometimes accompany pregnancy than obstetrics and gynecology. We understand the current science of embryology and factors associated with both normal and abnormal human development. We know and deeply appreciate when a human embryo reaches a stage of fetal development where survivability outside the mother becomes a possibility. We know that a safely performed outpatient pregnancy termination in the first trimester has a complication rate of approximately 0.3%, of which most are minor.

    We also know that in many cases, pregnancy termination any time prior to fetal viability is far safer than proceeding with the pregnancy. We respect the ethnic, cultural, religious, social, and moral differences that might factor into a decision to end a pregnancy. Termination of any pregnancy is difficult, but under many circumstances, it is the best alternative for a woman. She has that freedom of choice.

    During one of my many trips to Washington, DC, my wife and I took a walk to the Jefferson Memorial. After you enter the memorial, you can read Thomas Jefferson’s passionate words on religious freedom. His words prompt questions that may be answered differently according to the reader’s perspective. Was Jefferson’s expression of separation of church and state intended to entitle persons to make their own religious choices and beliefs within the moral framework of society? Should government interfere in such a personal choice as whether or not to bear a child? A birth certificate legally records our day of birth, but should the government even attempt to arbitrate the debate of scientific versus religious interpretation of the beginning of life?

    Somehow, I believe Jefferson would be greatly offended by the current legislative and judicial interference into the highly personal patient-physician relationship. Our specialty of obstetrics and gynecology ardently supports the dignity, rights, and autonomy of all women. I also believe all of us who deliver babies have an intense reverence for life. However, we must not ignore or misinterpret our country’s history of personal freedom and the history of tragic consequences of illegal, unsafe abortion. Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.
    acogpresident.org/?p=1015

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  157. SPL has already had blog posts on the subject. Who cares about unsafe illegal abortion…why make something legal just to protect the lives of murderers and criminals??

    Which is amusing, since they talk out of the other side of their mouths, with faux concern about the "life" and "health" of these supposed murderers when defending trap laws.

    So which is it guys?

    Women who abort, no matter the risk, are heartless killers who deserve what they get?

    Or women are innocent, brainwashed morons who need to be protected from themselves?

    Reply
  158. It can INDEED be part of the treatment plan. Abortion isn't a treatment for mental health issues. It doesn't need to be. It's a treatment for not wanting to be pregnant, and for that purpose, it's an effective treatment.

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  159. The nature of free, adult human beings in general is that you are exempted from having an opinion on the issues of other free, adult human beings. The fact that you have no personal experience of pregnancy only means that you are incapable of understanding the nuances of the decision to become, or not become a parent.

    Reply
  160. You may well *want* to help. You can't help. Trust me on this… you do not want to manage the lives of other free, adult women. You only get blamed when it doesn't work out.

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  161. Frankly, unless it's your pregnancy and your issues, who cares what you think? You don't get to manage anyone's life but your own. It's my opinion that you already have enough on your plate.

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  162. Yeah… No. There can be no "progress" with forced birthers. Either I'm a slave, or I'm not. There is no compromise, regardless of your sad feelies about the fetus.

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  163. Assuming that your mother isn't attached to your blood supply and leeching nutrients from your body, the answer is no. If she is attached to you and leeching nutrients from your body, then feel free to detach her.

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  164. I'm a nurse. Doctors and nurses do not have the right to commit a battery on a patient. That means if they don't want their medicine, I can't make them take it. If they don't want to eat, I can't force-feed them.

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  165. To me, the seed of a rapist that I hate having inside me IS an aggressor. Deal with it. You cannot force me to carry it in my body. Not for nine months. Not for nine minutes.

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  166. You know nothing at all about mental health, childbirth, gynecology and obstetrics.
    It is the mark of the zealot that, in spite of your ignorance, you demand to be in charge of the sexual/family lives of women you will never even know.
    What HUBRIS. What NARCISSISM.

    Reply
  167. Hey! Presumptuous spokesperson for people borne of rape: I'm still waiting for those stories that prove they wish they were dead. What's the hold up?

    Reply
  168. As do prisoners. Its assault and battery to force feed an inmate.

    And I just learned that early suffragettes were force fed – up to 15x a day..or more.

    Reply
  169. Hang around here, Patheos blogs, and FTB. You will hear stories from people who would have preferred not to have been born vs used as a torture device on their mother.

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  170. Hey! You know what we offer to those people? Mental health counselling! Unless of course you think we ought to counsel those people to commit suicide? Would you say to that person "yep, you should be dead, rape baby"? Do you tell them they should've been aborted? You're a ghoul.

    Reply
  171. IT DOESN'T MATTER! There was a case not too long ago concerning one of those snake-handing nutcase churches and the "minister" gets bitten by the poisonous snake. Paramedics are summoned to the scene. The minister refuses treatment. Now the option for caregivers isn't "You're endangering your life, and you're coming with us, whether you like it or not." They have a duty to inform the patient what the possible consequences of refusing care, including death. He still refuses. They have to leave. The upshot is that they came back, hoping to find the man unconscious. Because when someone is unconscious, they are assumed to consent to emergency treatment. When they came back the last time, the man was dead. His choice.

    Reply
  172. Unless you are a minor or an adjudicated incompetent, you cannot be forcefully hospitalized. It's probably a good idea if you voluntarily continue your medication, but you can't be compelled to.

    Reply
  173. There is nothing ethically wrong with it. A patient has an absolute right to refuse medical treatment. You can refuse to be their doctor anymore, so long as you find another doctor for them, such as a palliative care specialist.

    Reply
  174. Well, here's the skinny on that, kiddo. If your life was endangered by a pregnancy (such as ectopic) and you refused an abortion, they are not allowed to proceed. If you wish to leave the hospital AMA, you can do that. Hopefully, someone will find you passed out from blood loss after the tube ruptures, and 911 will be summoned. You will then be transported to the ER and surgery, where your tube will be removed, hopefully before you die.

    Reply
  175. Your thoughts are not only, not well-worded. They aren't well thought, or well informed. This is the United States, and we do not do forced medical procedures here. Not even on a corpse.

    Reply
  176. You have failed to reply to anyone in a substantive way. You have not responded to emotional replies, factual replies and any questions directly and to the point.

    Your chief argument seems to be: Abortion is bad because I say so. I do not like it. So I am going to make sure with a stick that you do not do it. And that is good and right and the lesbian angels approve.

    You come anywhere near my beautiful daughters in real life to enforce your forced birth agenda and I will hurt you. You folks are dangerous.

    Reply
  177. "Another who thinks the dictionary is definitive in law and social policy."

    Please, point me in the direction of a law that defines "the intent to criminalize abortion" as rape. I'll wait.

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

    I understand what Nate said. An example is when I agree with someone on the abortion issue, but then disagree on something such as animal rights, war, or guns. For me all issues of life and death are equally relevant. However I think that common ground on any one issue allows us to extend beyond that.

    Reply
  179. What happened to your comment, Plum Dump?

    "Plum Dumpling

    I am waiting for you to refute the definition I provided. No more conversation until you do so.
    'Nuh uh' is not an argument.

    5:30 a.m., Tuesday Sept. 16"

    I have no need to refute anything. You've done that yourself. All you've done is provided perfectly legitimate definition of rape, none of which includes "the attempt to criminalize abortion." Keep trying though. This is fun.

    Reply
  180. Since said embryo isn't a person, it looks like there's no problem (aside from being raped, which to you, isn't that big of a deal).

    It would be funny to see you, with your almost unfathomable gall, tell a RAPE VICTIM she's in the wrong and she's "killing a person" and then watching you try to pick your teeth out of the gravel.

    Your heart *might* be in the right place, but your brain sure as heck ain't tagging along.

    There is no middle ground. Cure all of society's ills and there will be fewer abortions. Making abortion illegal will do jackshit for a woman who doesn't want to be pregnant.

    So assuming you aren't an anti choice twat like plenty of the rabid womb nazis women have to deal with, your energy would be better spent working on fixing the problems you have some say in. Abortion (for anyone other than yourself) is not one of them.

    Reply
  181. Um…no. That's YOUR logic. You don't see the difference between a mole or a cancer cell and an unborn human being.

    You're confusing parts with wholes. The zef is a unique entity that directs its own development from within. A mole or cancer cell is not going to grow into a mature human being (read: mature. Still a human being at ALL stages of development). All of the zefs parts work together for the survival of the whole organism.

    Reply
  182. Potential what? It's always a human being.

    But if you want to argue that potential =/= actual, then explain health insurance to me. Why do you have a moral right to health insurance even though you're not sick? How about education? Do you have a moral right to it as a potential?

    A potential X may be granted the same moral rights as an actual X in virtue of its potential if its potential generates an interest in such a moral right; that is, if possessing the moral right constitutes a benefit for the potential X and a denial of the moral right constitutes a harm.

    Reply
  183. Potential what? It's always a human being.

    Nope, it's not a human being until it's complete and fully formed. You are looking at a blueprint and pretending that it's a skyscraper.

    Why do you have a moral right to health insurance even though you're not sick?

    Funny, you don't think that women should have a 'moral' right to abortion even though every pregnancy has the potential to kill and maim them.

    Double standard much?

    that is, if possessing the moral right constitutes a benefit for the potential X and a denial of the moral right constitutes a harm.

    Except you have to establish first that zygotes are even moral beings, and then you have to establish that abortion is actual harm, and then you have to establish that denying women the right to their own bodies and lives if a lesser harm than denying the zef the right to the woman's body.

    Reply
  184. It's not a human being? What is it?

    I think women, like everyone else, has a moral right to health insurance. That doesn't include a special privilege for women to kill other human beings. Also, you completely evaded the question of WHY should you have health insurance as a moral right given it is only a potential that you might need it.

    I don't need to establish that a zygote is a moral being. It only needs to be established that it is a human being, or even, as you've stated, a potential human being. Even if it is only a potential, it follows that moral rights can be conferred to it in that denial of those right will cause harm as a potential.

    Reply
  185. That doesn't include a special privilege for women to kill other human beings.

    It's not a special privilege. Women are the ONLY people who get pregnant,and to force them to remain pregnant is to deny them their inalienable right to privacy, liberty, and yes, life.

    Also, you completely evaded the question of WHY should you have health insurance as a moral right given it is only a potential that you might
    need it.

    Because it's a red herring. It makes sense to plan for the future, for potential disasters. Put money in the bank, etc. Build a bomb shelter.

    What YOU are doing is attempting to treat the potential as if it is already the actual – by your logic, you should *already* be putting millions of dollars into paying for that heart bypass, since the *potential* to develop heart disease is exactly the same as having it.

    I don't need to establish that a zygote is a moral being.

    Yes, you do. Otherwise you are begging the question. Fallacy alert!

    It only needs to be established that it is a human being, or even, as you've stated, a potential human being.

    I'm a human being. I have moral worth. That doesn't give me a de facto right to occupy your body, leech it of resources, and threaten your life and health.

    Reply
  186. You're making a special pleading argument for women to have special privileges and rights to kill other human beings because of their biology. Should men get special rights because of their biology, too? I thought we did away with that.

    Health insurance is exactly that: treating the potential as if it is the actual. Not sure how you can't see that. It's a contingency plan in case you get sick. It's also considered a moral right for a potential.

    No, I don't have to establish that a zef is a moral being. Plenty of immoral people out there, but I wouldn't deny them their moral right to having health insurance for any potential illness they might suffer. They're human beings; they have the moral right to health insurance. As a potential.

    An unborn human being is a human being. Or a potential human being, in your words. As such, it has moral rights as a potential. Denying those rights will do harm in the potential. You don't have the right to kill it.

    Reply
  187. You're making a special pleading argument for women to have special privileges

    If men could get pregnant, they would *also* have the right not to have their bodies exploited on behalf of another.

    Look up the fallacy, you are the one that is special pleading for prenates – saying that unborn humans, and ONLY unborn humans, have the right to the body of another. tskt sk

    Health insurance is exactly that: treating the potential as if it is the actual.

    No, it isn't. Because if it was, you'd be paying for that triple heart bypass RIGHT NOW. tsk tsk

    No, I don't have to establish that a zef is a moral being

    Yes you do. Otherwise you are just making baseless assertions, something that you appear to be quite good at.

    As such, it has moral rights as a potential.

    Another baseless assertion. "moral rights' do not include occupying the body of another without consent,

    Besides, since when does *potential* override actual? Why should something that only has potential override the needs, health and life of the actual?

    Reply
  188. Thank you so much for sharing your stories and insights. I am a Christian, and anti-abortion, and I don't believe that religion is the basis for the anti-abortion movement (as in, "The Bible says it's wrong, therefore it's wrong.") I do believe that abortion is wrong because of the intrinsic value of human life (that's the simplified version; you have eloquently explained the same reasons I hold for being against abortion). And I am so sorry that Christians and others in the name of religion have disregarded, disrespected, and insulted you for your lifestyle or choice of faith. Our disagreement in those areas should have nothing to do with our respect for each other and our willingness to fight for life together.

    Again, thank you for this insightful post.

    Reply
  189. The author has not answered this question:
    Why do you reject the RCC's position on sexuality as far as orgasm/gender is concerned but support their misogyny where a woman's fertility is concerned? I ask in all seriousness as one RC woman to another.

    Reply
  190. The author has not answered this question. The author refuses to answer pertinent questions. The author has never given birth:

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

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

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

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

    Reply
  191. This is where this execrable essay begins. Notice that none of the authors have provided a substantive response to any question or information provided in rebuttal to their stance.:

    Deanna:
    I would define "pro-life" as the position that abortion, in general, ought to be illegal.
    ………
    I am PRO life so naturally I am PRO reproductive choice for women.

    My Mother had an abortion because of financial hardship when it was illegal. She and my Dad decided three of us was all they could handle. We were 14, 12 and 10. My Mom could have died. I know a past President of NJ NOW whose Mother died of illegal abortion when she was 9 years old.

    Mom was 37, working full time and doing IBEW work. Dad was intermittently crippled with a congenital form of arthritis. Another pregnancy would have been a serious social, financial and physical disruption for her and for our family. Most women who get an abortion already have children.

    It is despicable to compel folks to give birth to children they cannot afford and/or do not want BY LAW. It is Nazi stuff.

    If you are one of the "prolife" activists, I have questions for you.

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

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

    I look forward to your answers. I will tell you something right now. You Republican and/or authoritarian ghouls will not turn me and my daughters into baby farmed corpses like poor Mrs. Munoz. We vote.

    ILLEGAL ABORTION and CHILDBIRTH (sepsis and hemorrhage) are the leading causes of maternal death worldwide. Fertility is serious business for women. Abortion/contraception is a human right.

    Reply
  192. Deanna said:
    I believed (and
    still believe) the right to life does not include the right to use someone
    else's body to survive. However, I also believe the right to life does include the right to not be killed,
    and most abortions do actively
    kill the unborn.
    So if a pregnant person wanted to take Pitocin, a standard labor-inducing medication, at 16 weeks, in order to remove an unwanted fetus from her body, would you hold that she has a right to do that?

    Reply
  193. I don't think your argument makes good sense because it's ignoring the context. Maybe it's not your personal intent, but generally your argument is used as a kind of troll bait – except its used on a political stage rather than just the internet. "Here is a position that you should advocate for consistency's sake- which btw will make your side supremely unpopular if you do take it."

    I'll pass.

    You don't appreciate the scale of the moral injustice that we're facing as pro-lifers. Remember the scene in Lincoln when Thaddeus Stevens (the Tommy Lee Jones character) is being goaded to say that he thinks blacks are equal (of equal worth and deserving equal respect, etc.) with whites, rather than merely having an equal right to be free under the law? He didn't, despite believing it, because the opponents were just trying to get the door open to a discussion about voting rights and 'miscegenation' that could derail the 13th Amdt. He was concerned about the 4 million Americans who had no legal rights.

    We have over a million innocent lives taken legally in the U.S. annually and 44 million globally. I'm not going to get side tracked by arguing about rape exceptions or what criminal penalty there is for procuring an abortion. We're in Stevens position and when the stakes are so huge, what doesn't make "good sense" is making the perfect the enemy of the good.

    Reply
  194. "Woman is the fountain of all life and must be in charge of her own
    fertility without coercion. How many peaches will you get if you harm
    the tree?" That's forthright at least.

    I am woman, vessel of life and bringer of death. I am Shiva the Creator/Destroyer!

    Reply
  195. Interesting – you're the same person who said it's a great regret of yours that you didn't abort. No one has ever been more a threat to your children than you.

    Reply
  196. you're probably astounded by electricity too if you're surprised that people can read things you type on blogs 😛
    or are you now denying having written that?

    Reply
  197. Hi Ockraz

    I'm being civil, and trying to understand where
    your side is coming from.

    On the one hand, you say I don't appreciate the "scale of the moral injustice" of abortion. Yet you are OK with not punishing the perpetrators of this moral injustice? Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels that something does not make sense there. And you don't seem to appreciate what might happen if you make laws that are inconsistent in its definition and punishment of murder. And you're right, I don't appreciate the moral magnitude. I don't think abortion is completely ethically neutral, but in context of other factors such as possibly rape or economic situation, I don't think aborting an early fetus ranks supreme.

    I'm asking this question with the understanding that many of you would like to actually see abortion made illegal, and not just make it socially unacceptable. IF you are going to make something illegal, it becomes VERY important to appreciate how that law is going to affect people. And I think in that context, the question of how you should treat violators of the law become very relevant.

    I'm sorry, but your way of thinking is extremely dogmatic and supremely short-sided. Occam would not approve : )

    Reply
  198. Alright, I'll take your word that you're not trying to get us to commit to something damaging but are actually asking because you want to understand. Generally, that's not how this particular line of questioning has been used, though.

    It's usually just a trap. If you say something too harsh you get painted as a cruel oppressor who'd throw sympathetic women in dungeons and if you say something too lenient then you must not really believe it's murder and are guilty of hypocrisy or at minimum irresponsible hyperbole.

    I'll go through it point by point in good faith. (It'll take a bit.)

    Reply
  199. Thanks, my whole position is that abortion is not completely ethically neutral, but must be considered in conjunction with lots of other factors. If you make it into law, you also need to consider how you're going to enforce it. Lax enforcement yet no legal means of obtaining an abortion would seem to spell disaster to me…

    Reply
  200. " … who said "it's a great regret of yours that you didn't abort."

    ………………..
    You argue by misquotation. How tacky. Point to where I said precisely that.

    Reply
  201. In the USA, miscarriages are already treated with suspicion, and some women are unlucky enough to be jailed:

    advocatesforpregnantwomen.org/main/publications/articles_and_reports/

    Really not that far of a leap to classify abortion as murder, and investigate every miscarriage as a crime scene.

    Reply
  202. Here is another reason that it is not legal to *force* treatment on people, even if it could 'save' their lives:

    ca.celebrity.yahoo.com/blogs/celeb-news/report–joan-rivers-s-personal-doctor-began-biopsy–took-selfie-010531813.html

    Joan Rivers died because her doctor made a mistake, and he made a mistake because he performed an un-authorized biopsy on her, which eventually killed her.

    Reply
  203. I'm an RC woman too and I don't think they are misogynistic where a woman's fertility is concerned. Quite the opposite. The church teaches that both men and women should respect their fertility, not thwart it, subvert it, or try to destroy it.

    Reply
  204. If you believe that it is all right to kill unborn children — the ones whom God knits together in their mother's wombs — then you are not pro-life in all respects. You are pro-life in one respect — that of the mother.

    Reply
  205. I've been pregnant seven times. I've had two miscarriages. One of my pregnancies was a crisis pregnancy as it came at a time when I was broke and unemployed. I still agree with you and vehemently disagree with Plum Dumpling. Abortion does not cure mental illness. In fact it exacerbates the problem. Also, a recent study from Finland showed that the suicide rate among women who had abortions was six times higher than that of women who had given birth in the prior year and double that of women who had miscarriages (source: eurpub.oxfordjournals.org/content/15/5/459.full)

    Reply
  206. I am for individual women running their own sexual/family lives without coercion.
    I oppose legislatures practicing medicine.
    I oppose anyone who wishes to makes women's sexual/family lives subject to public and/or religious review.
    You have a rich full fantasy life. Think about other things. You will feel better.

    Reply
  207. The RCC teaches a lot of cockamamey stuff about sexuality and biology. This has been the result at the link.
    irishcentral.com/opinion/cahirodoherty/Mass-grave-of-up-to-800-dead-babies-exposed-in-County-Galway-.html
    dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2645870/Mass-grave-contains-bodies-800-babies-site-Irish-home-unmarried-mothers.html

    Reply
  208. One cannot be pro-life in all ways if you're pro-people choosing to kill the unborn. Pro-lifers are pro-life of the woman, as many women regret their abortions and become suicidal, and "safe and legal" abortions kill and hurt women as well. You're pro-death. Pro-life liberals are pro-life in all ways.

    Reply
  209. I care. Plenty of people do. Killing people is a societal issue, not just a personal one. A woman's body is involved and so is an unborn human being's body.

    Reply
  210. I am for individual women running their own sexual/family lives without coercion.
    I oppose legislatures practicing medicine.
    I oppose anyone who wishes to makes women's sexual/family lives subject to public and/or religious review.

    Reply
  211. Wonderful. Just accept your responsibility as an adult that contraception may fail and killing another human being is not a way to absolve yourself of said responsibility. Kthxbye.

    Reply
  212. So am I. It's just that killing unborn children should not be protected by that. Just like you would say killing born children is not a matter of women running their own sexual/family lives.

    Reply
  213. >> If you believe that it is all right to kill unborn children — the ones whom God knits together in their mother's wombs

    I'm just trying to understand. Abortion is wrong because the fetuses are god's personal creation. Does god also cause miscarriages? If so, why is it OK when god decides to terminate a pregnancy?

    Reply
  214. I think you could use some information. Might help with your odd persistent fantasies of child murder.
    If you know anyone who is killing children, call the cops. It is your duty.
    childdevelopmentinfo.com/child-development/normaldevelopment/

    faculty.washington.edu/wtalbott/phil102/tr11-27.htm

    Reply
  215. I don't see the point. Why should I go through your digital detritus given that you aren't denying you said it. It wouldn't even be proof of your having lied. Are you denying you wrote that you regret not aborting or aren't you?

    Reply
  216. If you assert it, you must support your assertion.
    If you cannot support your assertion, you lose.
    And it becomes clear you lied for effect.

    Reply
  217. I am sharing, discussing, teaching, stomping trolls and having a good time.
    Do you often spend time in pointless activities? I try to avoid the occasion of pointless activities.
    Maybe you should leave and find something to do that amuses you.

    Reply
  218. Anthropologically, Homo sapiens has three strategies for dealing with unwanted reproduction (births): contraception, abortion and
    infanticide. All three are practiced in every culture worldwide historically and currently.

    Those who restrict contraception and abortion make infanticide, child abandonment/abuse and maternal mortality inevitable. We have many in vitro examples of this but the one that troubles me the most at the moment is this example:
    dailymail.co.uk/new…

    There is nothing moral about your position if your position is controlling women's reproductive choices by law. Illegal abortion and sepsis and hemorrhage in childbirth are the three leading causes of maternal death worldwide. Women have blood in the game. Abortion and contraception are human rights.

    Obviously I have thought a great deal more about this than you have. YOU do not occupy the moral high ground.

    Reply
  219. No thank you. I see no reason to maim myself to please forced birth cultists.
    I will use contraception. If I become pregnant, I will gestate or abort as I see fit.

    Reply
  220. Do you think this 13 year old should have been able to get an abortion?
    care2.com/causes/13-year-old-performs-abortion-at-home-time-to-rethink-parental-notification-laws.html

    Reply
  221. The intent of the pro life movement is to murder born people in an effort to force the birth of fetuses. They have a choice, they can save innocent born babies or they can let the babies die and save fetuses instead. The pro life movement lets innocent born life die. —– intentionally—–

    Reply
  222. You need to look at the number of babies born during the pro choice period compared to the number of babies born during the pro life period. There has not been a decrease in births, there has been an increase in births.
    During the pro life period there was a decrease in life by millions of lost babies. Pro lifers have in fact been the ones that caused a multimillion decrease in babies. naturalabortionlaws.com/?p=79

    In addition pro lifers intentionally murder born babies to save fetuses.

    Reply
  223. I didn't say human being. But even if it is a human being, a human being doesn't have a right to reside inside the body of another human being and use the organs of another human being for his benefit.

    Reply
  224. Then dis-involve the woman's body. The fetus has no right to it! That is what an abortion does. It removes an unwanted human from the body of a woman who doesn't want it there.

    Reply
  225. The scientific proof is that you have a choice, you can save an innocent born baby or you can let that baby die and save a fetus instead. Pro lifers choose to let babies die in an effort to save fetuses.

    Reply
  226. Abortion takes the life of a "fetus" not a human. There are structural differences in the fetus and a human.
    That would not be a big deal except for the fact that you must kill a baby to save a fetus.

    Reply
  227. Haha, you can't assume I haven't thought much abut it. I have debated this issue for years. What you don't understand is that science does tell us that the unborn are individual living human beings just like us. It's a stage of development just like being a toddler, teenager etc. Killing one of them is the same as killing one of us. The you that is here right here right now, was put in place at conception. Killing a human being will never be a "reproductive choice" no matter how much you'd like to think that.

    The penalty would be what it was back when it was illegal/ the doctors get penalized instead of the woman/looking at what the penalties are for killing newborns.

    Women need actual help instead of abortions. Abortions don't solve anything, they just throw the woman back into the same situation she was in before she had the abortion. They need people telling them of their options more, support for those other options, more of those social safety net options, better sex ed, contraception etc. Women still die from safe and legal abortions and the rate didn't change once it was legalized. The way is not to say abortion is ok but to solve the ACTUAL problems. Women deserve better than people refusing to actually help them by giving them the band-aid solution that is abortion. I know you think you occupy the moral ground, but you do not. There are a lot of things you are probably unaware of.

    Reply
  228. The penalty would be what it was back when it was illegal/ the doctors
    get penalized instead of the woman/looking at what the penalties are for
    killing newborns.

    And what if the woman does it herself? Herbs? Coathanger? Abortion pill ordered online?

    Reply
  229. I find it helpful in these debates to grant the forced-birthers all their moral assertions so that the debate doesn't get side-tracked by pointless discussions about personhood and what constitutes 'life'. Sure, let's say that a zygote-embryo-fetus is a human being and a person (and I happen to think that there should be extra punishment for assaulting or killing a pregnant woman in such a way that also harms or kills the fetus inside her), but the abortion-permissibility question always comes down to beliefs about bodily autonomy and consent, and the principle I've seen you mention elsewhere: No person has the right to live inside another person's body without that person's ongoing consent, full stop.

    Reply
  230. "What you don't understand is that science does tell us that the unborn are individual living human beings just like us."

    ……………

    Citation needed. In fact, science is still out on the human being question.

    Even if I grant human being status to the fetus for arguments sake- no human being is entitled to even one drop of my blood by law though he may die.

    You want to create special rights for the fetus that no other human being possesses AT MY EXPENSE. A fetus can have only rights taken FROM ME.

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

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

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

    Reply
  231. Yes, I always make it clear that I don't share their opinion about fetal personhood, but allow them the benefit of assuming that the fetus IS a "person" because that isn't the real question, is it? I have children who are human and persons. I don't owe them access to any of my body tissues without consent, PERIOD. The fetal version of my children had no "rights" that they don't currently enjoy. It's imply a matter that my body, ALL of it, is the only thing no one else can ever take from me, without full-out enslavement. So I guard my rights very jealously. The anti-choicers don't really believe that "persons" have the right to their bodily tissues, either. At least I haven't seen a mass movement of BS artists signing up on lists to be living donors for those who would die without their organs and tissues. Of course, they have every right to decline to do that. I just wish they would grant the rest of us the same privilege.

    Reply
  232. There were no penalties for aborting yourself when it was illegal. And there were no penalties for doctors. There were penalties for those who did underground abortions.

    YOU DID NOT ANSWER MY QUESTION. Should the 13 year old who aborted with the pencil, the one with the 30 year old BF, have been able to get an abortion.

    HOW ABOUT THE 12 YEAR OLD BELOW?

    Reply
  233. Arguendo; We cannot and must not base public health law on your sad-feelies-for-fetus.

    Abortion was performed by midwives and advertised in the paper in Colonial America.

    Abortion was illegal in America for a fairly brief period. I should look it up for exactly how long.

    So many women died and were maimed when abortion was illegal, that Clergy organized abortion referral services so women could find safe abortions and defiantly advertised such referral service in the New York Times. Rest in peace, Reverend Moody.

    Do not try to tell me that illegal abortion was not a problem or not common. My Mother and my Sister had illegal abortions.

    I will believe that forced birth cultists like you are sane and caring when your movement supports and works for the things that really reduce abortion – contraception, sex education and a strong social safety net for women and their children.

    Germaine Greer:
    "Too many women are forced to abort by poverty, by their menfolk, by their parents … A choice is only possible if there are genuine alternatives."

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  234. From Dr. Bernard Nathanson of NARAL:
    "We aroused enough sympathy to sell our program of permissive abortion by fabricating the number of illegal abortions done annually in the U.S. The actual figure was approaching 100,000 but the figure we gave to the media repeatedly was 1,000,000. Repeating the big lie often enough convinces the public. The number of women dying from illegal abortions was around 200-250 annually. The figure constantly fed to the media was 10,000. These false figures took root in the consciousness of Americans convincing many that we needed to crack the abortion law."

    the actual statistics showing that legalized abortion didn't change the rate of women dying

    liveactionnews.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Screen-Shot-2012-11-03-at-12.17.22-AM.png

    but if you're going to talk like that I shouldn't waste my time on you anyway.

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  235. Bernard Nathanson supposedly filmed an abortion that he did on his mistress. And then he sold the film and dined out on speaking engagements for years and years
    This is the person of character and reputation you present to support your arguments?
    Bwha ha ha ha ha ha. Gasp. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

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  236. BAHAHAHA ok you are a troll. I gave you tons of science quotes saying it is of course a human being because you said citations needed. I shouldn't feed you though. Bye bye.

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  237. So? That proves nothing. And the science just says that human development begins at fertilization…nothing about personhood, which is what human being is a synonym for

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  238. You understand that none of the sources you are quoting are saying what you imply. They all, each and every one, agree with me that life is a continuous process and only zygotes that can be proved to have the correct phenotype are human. Therefore only thirty percent of zygotes will become human life.

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  239. Religious extremists actually oppose things like blood transfusions and organ donation; they believe that human suffering is God-ordained and good for the soul.

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  240. No. You gave me the pap they feed the ignorant and new Mothers. Several of your quotes talk about the 'developing' fetus. The genotype must be fully expressed in the phenotype or there is no human being.

    This is the form scholarly papers take below. As you can see, REAL SCIENTISTS AND BIOETHICISTS ARE STILL IN DEBATE about when a fetus becomes a human being.

    J Med Ethics. 1985 Dec;11(4):198-204.
    The brain-life theory: towards a consistent biological definition of humanness.
    Goldenring JM.
    Abstract
    This paper suggests that medically the term a 'human being' should be defined by the presence of an active human brain. The brain is the only unique and irreplaceable organ in the human body, as the orchestrator of all organ systems and the seat of personality. Thus, the presence or absence of brain life truly defines the presence or absence of human life in the medical sense. When viewed in this way, human life may be seen as a continuous spectrum between the onset of brain life in utero (eight weeks gestation), until the occurrence of brain death. At any point human tissue or organ systems may be present, but without the presence of a functional human brain, these do not constitute a 'human being', at least in a medical sense. The implications of this theory for various ethical concerns such as in vitro fertilisation and abortion are discussed. This theory is the most consistent possible for the definition of a human being with no contradictions inherent. However, having a good theory of definition of a 'human being' does not necessarily solve the ethical problems discussed herein.

    PMID: 4078859 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE] PMCID: PMC1375210 Free PMC Article

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  241. Third request for an answer to my question. And I am the troll?
    Question: Both my Mother and my Sister had illegal abortions. What should have been their punishment?

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  242. Kristin, you are a murderer. You have a choice, you can save innocent born babies or you can choose to let them die and attempt to save a fetus instead. Your choice is to let innocent babies die. Because you claim to save babies, but don't, you are committing "murder by omission", a vile act. You will eventually understand that you have not been saving life, but causing death. I hope you will be able to live with yourself.

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  243. Yeah. Wouldn't that be "thwarting" it, as Joanna says? I freely admit that sterilization does thwart fertility, and for that I'm eternally grateful.

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  244. You'd be listened to if you had anything worthwhile to say. "My point is that abortion wouldn't solve the trauma of rape either."
    Explain.

    Reply

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