Pro-Choice or No-Choice?

Twenty years ago, I sat in a friend's kitchen talking with her mom, a 50-something mother of three children. I'd known their family for years. My friend's mom changed my life forever when we started discussing, rather hypothetically, abortion. "I had one," she said. "After my three kids were born. I got pregnant by accident, we didn't want a fourth child, and I had an abortion. It was the right thing to do -- and it wasn't a big deal."

That was one of the only times a mother talked to me about ending an unwanted pregnancy. Most women I knew who'd had abortions were closer to girlhood than motherhood. They'd been terrified about the responsibilities of raising a child -- something they knew nothing about. Abortion had been an unpleasant but welcome solution to a problem they couldn't face.

My friend's mother was different. She knew exactly what having a child was all about. She wasn't a frightened, inexperienced young woman. Nonetheless, she exercised her right to family "balance." My own mother got pregnant by accident with a fourth child -- my much-loved youngest sister. She made a different, also-right choice.

The New York Times recently ran a thought-provoking examination of abortion's portrayal (or lack thereof) on the screen, On Abortion, Hollywood is No-Choice. In two summer blockbusters out now, The Waitress and Knocked Up, women face surprise pregnancies -- and never discuss ending them as an option.

"Real life women struggling with unwanted pregnancies might consider an abortion, have intense discussions with partners and friends about it and, in most cases, go through with it," according to the article. "But historically and to this day in television and film a character in such straits usually conveniently miscarries or decides to keep the baby."

Accidental and unwanted pregnancies are part of the facts of life for women of child-bearing age. According to The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, unplanned pregnancies have increased among adult women, even as they've decreased among teenage girls. More than half of all unwanted pregnancies occur to women in their 20s. Nearly two-thirds of these pregnancies end in abortion, says the Times, citing federal surveys.

The message from the movies is clear: Here's another real-life subject that women (and presumably, men) are not supposed to discuss publicly. An unwanted pregnancy is perhaps the most powerful factor in unbalancing a woman's work and family life. Most working women (at least the sexually active ones) need birth control, including abortion, to plan their careers -- sometimes, you need to say "no" to motherhood in order to build your reputation, get more training or an advanced degree, accept a promotion, or simply to work very hard for a certain period of time. Childless women often stay happily childless thanks specifically to birth control. Non-working moms also need the choices offered by all forms of birth control to space their children wisely, and sometimes to put off pregnancy in favor of a current family member's special needs (including their own).

So why can't we -- or don't we -- talk openly about the tradeoffs of keeping or ending a pregnancy, whether our feelings are painful, matter-of-fact, or somewhere in between?

I haven't had an abortion (not yet, at least). But the candor from my friend's mother helped me as I faced my share of "scares" over the years. If I did get pregnant by accident, she'd be one of the first women I'd call. Because she is one of the only ones who was brave enough, and at peace enough, to be open about her decision.

By Leslie Morgan Steiner |  June 13, 2007; 6:30 AM ET  | Category:  Moms in the News
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Should be an interesting discussion today!

Posted by: londonmom | June 13, 2007 7:00 AM

I couldn't agree with you more. Women are entirely capable of making the right decision for themselves and their families and that might be having an abortion. Not only does she (alone) know what it might mean to go through nine months of pregnancy but also what another child might mean. It is an insult for men - especially politicians, preachers, and judges - and other women - to be so arrogant to "deem" women as incapable of making our own decisions. Women who agree with these men are inevitably the same kind who accept being oppressed and subjugated to abuse from men. Don't listen, ladies, to anyone except your own mind and heart. Thanks for writing this.

Posted by: Mimi | June 13, 2007 7:05 AM

I hesitate to even comment here since I know I'll be in the minority, but I disagree with Mimi that "women who agree with mean are inevitably the same kind who accept being oppressed and subjugated to abuse from men." I am pro-life and I would never, ever describe myself as oppressed and subjugated to abuse from men. I *have* listened to my own mind and heart and I disagree with abortion. I believe more dialogue is needed between the two sides and making such demeaning sweeping generalizations is not constructive.

Posted by: Arlington | June 13, 2007 7:10 AM

OT: To MN: This was in regards to yesterday's discussion of name changes. You missed the original question that I was responding. CMAC asked why do women with MBAs always have a dual last name or a hypenated name? Not why do women choose not to change their names. So your answer of I didn't want to change my name because that is who I have always been, does not apply. Because to have a non birth given dual name or hypenated name means you made an active choice to change it. Do you see the difference. So my reply was it is generally because of professional reasons or because they are strong feminists (which I don't think is a slam-anyway). It was talking about a professional arena. Again, sorry if you were offended. I then ammended my statement that some women probably take on the second last name due to cultural or ethnic ties. But simply keeping the same birth given name is not the same, as you noted late in the day, as taking on a second last name.

Posted by: foamgnome | June 13, 2007 7:11 AM

Don't forget the movie "Vera Drake" where an abortionist goes to jail after someone she works on with a rubber tube ends up at a hospital and she's found out.

Where is Hollywood showing women in bathrooms bleeding to death after self-inflicted attempts at abortion? I guess I've missed those movies because they're in the HORROR section.

I do not think that abortion is necessarily the right thing to do but I believe it should be a woman's choice and that no woman should die because it is not available to them.

We'll all be taken to task for the deeds of our lives, but forcing women into back rooms and bathrooms to die doesn't give a woman a life to do her work in.


Posted by: RoseG | June 13, 2007 7:12 AM

I just lost what little respect I had for Leslie -- her share of "scares" over the years??????? Geez, what is this, high school??? Isn't she "Ivy league" educated? I guess the tuition costs didn't include common sense. I'm in my late 30's, married with 2 kids, and I've never had a "scare."

Birth control is very effective these days -- USE IT!!!!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 7:22 AM

"Most working women (at least the sexually active ones) need birth control, including abortion, to plan their careers -- sometimes, you need to say "no" to motherhood in order to build your reputation, get more training or an advanced degree, accept a promotion, or simply to work very hard for a certain period of time"

Maybe this is true for professional, ladder-climbing women, but most working women in this country have jobs, not careers.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 7:26 AM

The Post online will be getting their money's worth out of you today, that's for certain.

Posted by: Meg | June 13, 2007 7:27 AM

"It is an insult for men - especially politicians, preachers, and judges - and other women - to be so arrogant to "deem" women as incapable of making our own decisions. Women who agree with these men are inevitably the same kind who accept being oppressed and subjugated to abuse from men."

You know, it is entirely possible for reasonable people - men and women - to think that life begins at the moment of conception, and that abortion is therefore murder. I don't agree with it, but I certainly think that these people are entitled to their beliefs, and I would never call them arrogant or subjugated.

Posted by: Lizzie | June 13, 2007 7:27 AM

Wow, today is going to be a hot topic. I have to say I have mixed feelings about abortion. On some level, abortion is really a tragic way to deal with family planning. I really would rather support other family planning methods such as the pill, condoms, vasectomies etc... But in the case of BC failing or not using, an unwanted pregnancy is a total disservice to the mother, father, and the subsequent child. I never did understand why anyone would want more unwanted children in the world. In the best case scenario every child conceived would be healthy and wanted. But we all know that is not reality. The last thing in this world that we need is more unwanted, abused, neglected, and emotionally resented children. On the other hand, I do think it is a really sad statement that professional married middle class women would consider an abortion because it was the right time, or not the ideal family size that they had envisioned, or god forbid because they would have to forego a promotion or moving up the career ladder. My husband and I have decided to have one child for a number of reasons (and money is the least of it). Time issues, the complications of life, advanced maternal age, and our daughter having significant learning disabilities at this stage have rendered our decision to have a small family of three. But if by the grace of God, we were sent another child, we would accept our second child into our home with loving arms. Yes, our lives would be incredibly hectic and probably not ideal for any of the four people involved. Yes, DH would probably have to scale back his career options. Yes, we would probably have to rethink fully funding both kids for college and vacationing every year. But those are things that you do to make your family work-IMHO. I totally recongize that a women has a LEGAL and MORAL right to control her own family size. I just think it is sad that is one reason for abortion. I totally understand abortion because you just can't financially support a child or another child. I totally understand abortion if you feel you would actually be a detriment in a child's life (abuse, mental illness, your dying etc...). I totally understand abortion in cases of rape and incest (you never consented to having the child in the first place). I totally understand abortion for very young mothers who are frankly too immature to raise a child. With great difficulty, I understand abortion if the fetus has major problems. But to have an abortion because you think you want to move up the career ladder or it doesn't match your ideal vision of your family, is really sad statement on today's values-IMHO. Again, I in no way support limiting a women's right to abortion. In fact, I strongly support making abortion, legal, safe and available to all who choose it. I just have a moment of saddness of why it is being used. I hope I don't offend anyone here. That is not my intention.

Posted by: foamgnome | June 13, 2007 7:27 AM

And Leslie continues the string of feminist topics that having nothing to do with balance.

Posted by: ugh | June 13, 2007 7:33 AM

And Leslie continues the string of feminist topics that having nothing to do with balance.

Posted by: ugh | June 13, 2007 07:33 AM
Actually if you read her blog today it was about balance. She is talking about using abortion as a way to balance your life to advance your career or balance your family. You need to read a little more carefully.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 7:35 AM

Didn't Christina from "Grey'a Anatomy" have an abortion? That's one show where there wasn't a convenient miscarriage. I also find it interesting that the character who had the abortion with no apparent lingering negative effects was the character who was most career-driven.

I have a friend who planned to have an abortion. As she was preparing to go to the clinic for the procedure, she decided she couldn't go through with it and cancelled. She ended up giving birth to twins. Talk about an unplanned pregnancy throwing your life out of balance !!!. She married the father when the twins were about three. SEveral years have passed and she is now the happy SAHM of three.

Of course, she didn't have a wonderful career to give up, just a job, but I can't imagine any career that would make her happier than she has been. YMMV

Posted by: me | June 13, 2007 7:37 AM

Foamgnome, this is a followup from yesterday-- I actually live down the street from the Walkers! That is, the folks who changed their last name to Walker since they both love walking. Their daughter is my daughters' best friend.

Maybe there are two families who have done this, but I prefer to think that it's one of those "small world" things.

Posted by: Neighbor | June 13, 2007 7:40 AM

How very sad this column makes me. And this is such a difficult topic precisely because so many people and their partners and mother's friends have had abortions--and people very much want to justify their own actions. I feel profoundly sorry for girls who get abortions, partly because they have been misled by people like your mother's friend.

To snuff out a human life because you want to advance in your career? Or because you don't want to inconvenience yourself? Plenty of people are "at peace" with all kinds of awful things they do, partly because they are told by others they look up to and admire that those things are perfectly fine. Abortion is not perfectly fine, it is crime against a defenseless life. Please stop perpetuating the idea that it is fine--like being the cool girl who smokes at school, you give other girls around you the idea that it is fine, when in fact it is very harmful.

Most of all--could you please give some thought to the baby and your responsibility to it? Babies are rarely convenient, but I know several women who had babies in difficult circumstances, before they were married, and their lives and the lives of their children are wonderful and they will go to their grave knowing they did the right thing. Not the expedient selfish thing.

Posted by: Middle | June 13, 2007 7:42 AM

Christina from "Grey's Anatomy" miscarried while working in an OR.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 7:47 AM

need birth control, including abortion, to plan their careers

That line literally made me choke. Talking about abortion as birth controll is apalling. We are not some third world country where women have to use abortion as such. The thought that women would be using abortion to advance their careers only reinforces ever single negative sterotype about working women. Disgusting and I'm pro-choice.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 7:49 AM

7:22, Leslie may just have a more irregular period than you. "Scares" can just be when your period is late. I have had more than one scare even though I am always very careful with birth control, just because of the irregularity of my period.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 7:50 AM

There are two unaddressed issues in this article. One is that no distinction is made between early abortion (including use of RU-486) and late abortion. Many states in the US are very tolerant of late abortions, but it is hard to see them as a matter of pure choice.

Secondly, many men get married in part or even largely in order to have children. In such a case it is hard for a married woman to ethically argue, "It is MY body and MY choice." Preferably such issues should be discussed before marriage, but since men can only be fathers with the co-operation of women, it seems wrong to say, "Men have no rights in this matter." It should be a case of respecting everyone's rights. At the least a man whose wife has an abortion he does not agree with should have the option of a divorce without costly penalties on him.

Now that I have mentioned my reservations, I do agree that choice is sometimes the right way. But it must be a choice which respects the rights of others.

Posted by: rohitcuny | June 13, 2007 7:51 AM

The reason we see so few characters on TV shows choosing abortion is because surprise pregnancies have to be written into scripts when series actresses intentionally get pregnant in real life. Only a few series characters are pregnant when the actresses palying them aren't. Bea Arthur's character of Maude, who was 48, was the one major show where a lead character had an abortion. But that was back in the 70s when the memories of unsafe back-alley abortions were still fresh.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 7:52 AM

Foamgnome, this is a followup from yesterday-- I actually live down the street from the Walkers! That is, the folks who changed their last name to Walker since they both love walking. Their daughter is my daughters' best friend.

Maybe there are two families who have done this, but I prefer to think that it's one of those "small world" things.

Posted by: Neighbor | June 13, 2007 07:40 AM

OMG, that is funny. I love the idea but DH wouldn't go for it. We love dancing, so I guess we would have been the Dancers.

Posted by: foamgnome | June 13, 2007 7:53 AM

7:49, Amen, sister!!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 7:54 AM

I admit that I am completely shocked that a mother with 3 children could even consider abortion. I used to be neutral to abortion, I even drove my best friend to have one during college, but since I've had my own children, my mind has completely changed. I don't understand how a woman can watch a child's heartbeat on a sonogram, feel it grow inside you and then terminate it, because it wasn't convenient for the family, or your career. What if she had felt that way with one of her other children? What if your mother felt that way about you?

As for how the entertainment industry is portraying abortion, I believe that ultimately people will realize that abortion is no different than throwing a newborn baby in a trashcan, and maybe hollywood is ahead of the curve on the issue.

Posted by: Reston | June 13, 2007 7:56 AM

We have changed as a society. NO woman needs to die from a bakcstreet abortion today, and that IS progress.

Until all are wanted, and there are homes for all children, we do need abortion. It is the individual's choice.

I have never had an abortion. Knowing it is availble to me, should the need arise, is a comfort. I am very small, and not formed correctly internally. To become pregnant would be to lose my life, and the child's. Am I never to have a normal relationship with my husband? We are normal, I do use birth control, but sometimes mistakes happen.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 7:58 AM

This comment is a bit tangential, but...

There was an episode of "Third Watch" several years ago in which one of the women (a cop, whose character's name I can't recall) chose to have an abortion. It was a fascinating episode.

It's true that in the movie "Knocked Up," there is no serious discussion of Allison getting an abortion, but interestingly, it's her mother who advises her to get one, not her friends or the father of the baby. But in defense of the near absence of abortion discussion in the movie, it's a comedy whose premise doesn't work if there's an abortion.

What was more interesting about the film is that when Allison's bosses actually find out she's pregnant (7-8 months or so in), she is actually rewarded in her job. So in the end, any work-life balance issue is totally glossed over. That, more than the absence of abortion talk, is the glaring "failure" of this film to deal with the reality of women's lives.

Posted by: rkb | June 13, 2007 7:58 AM

I got pregnant while using an IUD as birth control. One month it was there, the next month it wasn't and I was pregnant. Imagine my shock and surprise! Birth control is not fool proof and all methods fail some of the time. We had a young child at the time and ended up with 2 under 2 -- not what I would have planned. I adore our 2nd child, but there are moments when I secretly wish we just had one. Things are hectic in our lives and this was absolutely not how I'd imagined things would be. But sometimes you have to take the unexpected and be thankful.

Posted by: Anon | June 13, 2007 7:59 AM

In the movie "Fast times at Ridgemont High" one of the girls had an abortion after getting pregnant the 2nd time she had sex. I can't think of another movie where an abortion was mentioned, though.

It's a personal decision, and a woman's choice. Even in the case mentioned above (married couple), it's ultimately the woman's choice because it is HER body.

Posted by: John L | June 13, 2007 7:59 AM

The Christina character on Grey's Anatomy had scheduled an abortion but fainted while observing a surgery (performed by the father who had just dumped her) and was it was discovered that she had an ectopic pregnancy so she had emergency surgery. Later her again boyfriend asked what she was going to do and she told him about the planned abortion and he said ok. So the show writers got to go right up to the line and then not cross it and risk losing viewers.

Posted by: Lurker who watches too much TV | June 13, 2007 8:02 AM

Carrie Bradshaw on Sex and the City mentioned that she had had an abortion when she was about 20 years old.

Posted by: Elaine | June 13, 2007 8:02 AM

If Leslie had become pregnant by her wife beater husband, her story might be different.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 8:05 AM

We do not live in the 19th century today. We don't need 8 kids to work farms (the priamry source of income in this country in the 1800s), nor is infant mortality an accepted, expected fact.

Far better to have as many children as you'd like, and when you'd like to give them the best start possible in life. I do believe abortion is a sad event, but should be a woman's choice.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 8:09 AM

We do not live in the 19th century today. We don't need 8 kids to work farms (the primary source of income in this country in the 1800s), nor is infant mortality an accepted, expected fact.

Far better to have as many children as you'd like, and when you'd like to give them the best start possible in life. I do believe abortion is a sad event, but should be a woman's choice.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 8:09 AM

I am glad Leslie's friend's mother had a brave face for her abortion confession, but she will never know if this woman suffered in private. Too many woman publicly express that it is "no big deal" to have an abortion then spend their lives struggling with the decision and unfortunately regretting it. The woman that brought about Roe v. Wade regretted her decision 25 years later and is now pro-life.

Leslie's column gives the impression that this is an easy decision when justified, but just the opposite is true, it is one of the hardest decisions a woman will make even under the best circumstances. Please do not make light of the abortion issue with comparisons to Hollyweird movies, it dilutes the conversation.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 8:09 AM

There is a BIG difference between getting a abortion when you are 17 and when you are 33 in a stable committed relationship. I want another child like I want a hole in my head, but if I accidentally got pregnant I would most certainly have the child. It is a serious serious thing to do and not something that should be used as a convenience.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 8:10 AM

"The message from the movies is clear: Here's another real-life subject that women (and presumably, men) are not supposed to discuss publicly"

Abortion is discussed and occurs in a number of movies (too many to list here).

Peyton Place
Godfather II

Here is a list:

http://www.imdb.com/keyword/abortion/

Posted by: June | June 13, 2007 8:10 AM

Carrie was 22 when she had her abortion. Samantha said she'd had 2.

Posted by: Sex and the City | June 13, 2007 8:11 AM

read Bernard Nathanson's book, Hand of God. He aborted his own child and says he is responsible for tens of thousands of abortions. He says that having sonogram technology changed his mind. Human life begins at conception. check out human embryology websites and medical textbooks.
Open your eyes to the facts. some of you are advocating killing a life for your own convenience.

Posted by: it is a human life | June 13, 2007 8:12 AM

I agree with 7:49 that Leslie's phrase "have an abortion to plan their careers" is both horrifying and very telling about feminists today. This posting could have been titled "Is a career worth butchering a child over?" but of course instead Leslie goes with the angle that terminating life is all about life-style "choice." Also telling are comments by other posters that only a "wanted child" should live. Cold-blooded, sickening, and utterly selfish.

Posted by: Observer | June 13, 2007 8:16 AM

"To become pregnant would be to lose my life"

If sex is going to kill you, I suggest you avoid it.

Posted by: Father of 4 | June 13, 2007 8:16 AM

My only comment to those having strong anti-abortion standpoints is that no one is forcing you to have one. Your viewpoint however would force a potentially life threatening event on another human being. Do you play Russian Roulette also? I do not think that anyone goes through an abortion easily. Most agonize over the decision. While Leslie's friend may have no regrets over the decision she made, she probably had to think before she acted. Why demean the decision making capacity of women, over this most intimate decision? You can make your own decision about what you would do, fitting with your own moral standing--respect another's right to do the same.

Posted by: Anon this time | June 13, 2007 8:17 AM

A lot of women are relieved when they get abortions.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 8:18 AM

I agree with Middle. When I was in high school and college I thought abortion was a sad thing, but supported a woman's right to choose.

Having my own children changed that. I can tell you unconditionally that having them has slowed my career, even changed its course, and that they were in no way convenient or financially easy. But they are my greatest and most profound joy.

After having my first, I would cry if I saw something on the news where a child had been hurt or killed. The thought of abortion now causes that same visceral reaction.

Before, I was a vague feminist, yet had a nagging fear that I wasn't as good as the guys. Now I feel the opposite, and pity the poor guys, who just never know what it is to have the power to bring life into the world. I support womens rights much more vocally now and am much happier and more confident as a woman.

It truly is a tragedy that some women feel they have to end another person's life. Having an abortion out of concern for your life or safety is one thing. Having it because a baby would be inconvenient or might slow your career down is horrific. No one should ever put up with a career that would make them do that. That, it seems to me, is a life that offers you very little real choice.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 8:19 AM

The Claire character on Six Feet Under had an abortion (somewhere around season 4, I guess). And a substancial part of the actual process was even depicted (the trip to the clinic, her getting ready, the choice of anesthaetics, etc.)

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 8:23 AM

"So why can't we -- or don't we -- talk openly about the tradeoffs of keeping or ending a pregnancy, whether our feelings are painful, matter-of-fact, or somewhere in between?"

My observation is that most of us don't talk openly about this issue because it is so controversial and we are afraid that it would offend others and draw lots of heated debate. It's a very emotional issue for most people, and people usually feel very strongly pro-choice or pro-life. Same goes for Hollywood -- I suspect if a producer decided to work in an abortion into a major story line, that producer and perhaps the cast and production company would be sharply criticized (and perhaps boycotted) by lots of organizations and the producer/cast/etc. would risk alienating a lot of moviegoers.

I also think that the "abortion for balance" issue would upset even some of the staunch pro-choice people, as evidenced by some of the posts this morning.

Posted by: Jen | June 13, 2007 8:24 AM

Regarding "scares" or unintentional pregnancies -- I know many smart women who've gotten pregnant or experienced late/missed periods even when on reliable methods like the pill.

As for me, my two Ivy League degrees did not include family planning (probably should have). No doctor ever talked to me about birth control and my own mother was raised in an era and culture where you didn't talk openly about the nitty gritty of a woman's plumbing. I did not understand that the menstrual cycle starts the day you get your period until AFTER I had my first child (I thought you started counting 7 days after your period).

Go figure! I thought I had it all figured out and it wasn't until I was in my 30s that I even had a chance of understanding the "rhythm method" of birth control. Even in our open country, many many women and teenage girls know far less than people assume. And even if you understand more than I did, you still can get pregnant by accident -- and you need a solution.

Posted by: Leslie | June 13, 2007 8:25 AM

I just can't weigh in here on right or wrong. It is a personal decision and thank the gods that it can be done in a safe and protected environment. I never want to be in someone else's shoes who has to make the decision, because make no mistake, it would be the hardest decision you have make in your life.

Posted by: Can't weigh in | June 13, 2007 8:27 AM

It's all well and good to say abortion is available and legal in the US, but in many states there are so many hoops to jump through it might as well not be. North Dakota, for example, has only ONE clinic in the whole state that performs abortions, and ND is a very large state. A pregnant woman hundreds of miles from that clinic may not be able to afford to get there.

There are other states who've instituted all sorts of rules, waiting periods, etc, to make it as difficult as possible for what is already a traumatic and difficult decision for all involved. Makes me wonder how many abortions are being done by sympathetic medical practitioners without the government (or any other busybody) knowing.

Posted by: John L | June 13, 2007 8:27 AM

Sheesh. Leslie, you're calling this woman "brave"? For aborting a child because it was "inconvenient"? Most of us have no problem with abortion if the mother is underage, if she cannot financially support the child, if she is the victim of rape or incest, or if the child has severe abnormalities. But a married, middle-class mother of three who has an abortion based on convenience? That is something I cannot support, and I'd guess that the majority of Americans (who support abortion rights) would not support this either. I mean, if abortion is such a great way of achieving work-family balance, why have these discussions at all? Our employers might as well offer us incentives to have abortions--just think of all the health care and child care costs we would save, and we wouldn't have to fight for equality and fairness anymore! Woo-hoo!

Posted by: Sheesh. | June 13, 2007 8:29 AM

http://teenmoms.ourfamily.com/pregnant.htm

Which of these is NOT a baby? Where is it o.k.?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 8:30 AM

How many times does it have to be said?

It is useful to share your own personal experiences, solutions, values, as they apply to YOUR OWN life. Doing so can help others view things in a new way and perhaps take a new approach to difficulties in THEIR OWN lives.

Insisting that what is right for you is also always right for everyone else under all circumstances is not useful.

I can't imagine the circumstances under which I would choose to have an abortion. I hope it's a decision I never have to make. But I am 100% prochoice. It is not my right nor anyone else's to dictate how all women must behave under all circumstances.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 8:30 AM

It is not my right nor anyone else's to dictate how all women must behave under all circumstances.

It is unequivocally not o.k. to murder someone.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 8:31 AM

"I did not understand that the menstrual cycle starts the day you get your period until AFTER I had my first child (I thought you started counting 7 days after your period)."

Yeah, that messed up our attempts to start a family for the first couple of months; after all, when you're NOT trying to get pregnant and using BC, knowing exactly WHEN you are most fertile isn't all that important. Glad we figured that one out...

Posted by: John L | June 13, 2007 8:32 AM

Every woman should have as required reading, Taking Charge of Your Own Fertility by Toni Weschler. No morality, just pure facts and information on your own bodies cycles. I learned things I should have learned as a teen. It will be required reading by my DD.

Posted by: Book Recommend | June 13, 2007 8:33 AM

Abortion is not a tool to advance your career or to balance your life. If your life is so unbalanced that you could not accept a mistaken pregnancy when in a loving and committed relationship, then other aspects of your life and balance need to be examined.

I am done reading this disgusting blog.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 8:34 AM

7:58 said "To become pregnant would be to lose my life." Father of 4 replied "If sex is going to kill you, I suggest you avoid it."

Is Fo4 suggesting that 7:58 not perform her so-called wifely duty to her husband?

Posted by: scooter964 | June 13, 2007 8:35 AM

It's funny, most of the people I have encountered who make excuses for terrorists, and call soldiers baby-killers, are pro-slaughtering of an innocent whose genetic code is in place, whose heart beats at 18 days. So far as I know, a baby would not carry out a suicide bombing. So far as I know, it would not try to take advantage of your freedoms to bring about your demise.

Our soldiers volunteer to protect you, putting their lives on the line, choosing to face death so you don't have to. When they die, a tally is kept. The dead are mourned by families, if not the nation who says they died in vain.

The babies do not have a choice. 4,000 a day. That makes Iraq look like a playground. 25,000 a week. Darfur looks like a great place to live. 109,000 a month and you're giving Hitler a run for his money. Mao would appear a saint. Murder is legal in the U.S. and the facts are irrefutable. Oh sure, you can clamp down with gun control all you want, and open the borders to criminals, but in all reality- you do far worse than anyone else, and cold-blooded at that. So why not drop all murder charges? After all, if you have a "right" to take a life doesn't the scumbag sitting on death row, or spending life in prison, who committed some gruesome mutilation?

http://www.justthefacts.org/clar.asp

http://www.abortionismurder.org/

If you are keeping abortion as an option in case of an "accident" or an "inconvenience" you are contemplating murder. No quibbling. There are no accidents. Plenty of people wait years and can not afford adoptions. Just because you do not love your baby does not mean you should murder it. Who are you to place such little value on an innocent human life? Doubly so for you who would criticize those who would arm themselves to protect themselves and others.

Posted by: Chris | June 13, 2007 8:36 AM

It is tricky to explain my views. Can you be pro-choice but anti-abortion?

I have two friends who had abortions when they were younger. One of them is fine, the other never got over it and is haunted to this day.

My mother recently told me that she thought she was pregnant when my sisters and I were in college (!) and that, though they were only 10 years from retirement and it had been 18 years since my youngest sister was born, she and my father had decided they would welcome another child with open arms even though it would totally throw off their life plan. (My parents are both pro-choice, if it matters.)

Posted by: WorkingMomX | June 13, 2007 8:36 AM

I have to comment on the people who suggest that life begins at conception, and use ultrasound as support for their position.

Have you ever seen an ultrasound of a young embryo? I have, and there's nothing resembling a human there. The "baby" doesn't have any features that even vaguely resemble human features until at least six or seven weeks into the pregnancy.

I'm not arguing with your belief that life begins at conception. That's an opinion, and you're entitled to it. But don't pretend that the embryo starts out as some kind of miniature human that's being "butchered," no matter how early the abortion is performed.

Posted by: NewSAHM | June 13, 2007 8:36 AM

Why is no one here discussing the morning-after pill? It prevents pregnancy by preventing an egg from implanting in the first place. While the most extreme anti-abortion types object (but they also object to any form of contraception), most women have no problem with this. It's like plenty of other eggs that don't implant anyhow.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 8:37 AM

"It is not my right nor anyone else's to dictate how all women must behave under all circumstances."

It's not your right; it's Jesus' right!

Posted by: PTL | June 13, 2007 8:38 AM

body's cycles...I need more coffee.

Posted by: book | June 13, 2007 8:38 AM

My Catholic grandparents had 5 kids in quick succession, then a sixth 10 years later. Despite being strongly religious, they were using birth control (after the first 5), which failed, thus my dad's much-younger sister. The effect was to derail my *grandfather's* career--he had just the Navy to go to college on the GI Bill, which would have helped the family immensely in the long run, but ended up having to get a job (not a great one, as he had no higher education) and they were always fairly poor. (My grandmother had to work full time the whole time the kids were growing up to help support the family.) If the option of abortion had been available in the mid-60's I don't know if they would have taken it, but my grandmother has taken several 12-hour bus rides to come to DC to march for choice over the years, so I think she wishes she had at least had the option for herself and her family. Also, my grandmother had 6 miscarriages and knows what it's like to lose a baby, and is still a strong supporter of the right to choose.

Posted by: Arlmom | June 13, 2007 8:38 AM

"That is something I cannot support, and I'd guess that the majority of Americans (who support abortion rights) would not support this either. "
Posted by: Sheesh. | June 13, 2007 08:29 AM

Well, maybe I'm in the minority, but pro-choice is pro-choice. I'm not about to pass judgement on a woman for having an abortion, no matter the circumstances. Its not my place. Are you proposing every abortion should go through some sort of litmus test to determine if it would be deemed "socially acceptable"?

And I agree with those who say all abortions are sad. But I think keeping it safe, legal, and at the mother's discretion is nessecary. For those too young to know what it was like before safe, legal abortions, I suggest reading chapter 2 of Cider House Rules. The movie doesn't get into the details as much, but abortion is key to the story.

Posted by: RT | June 13, 2007 8:38 AM

Chris,
How is your wife doing?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 13, 2007 8:38 AM

There was a post about women having abortions and then regretting it and then there was a post about someone with a second, accident child, and having moments of wishing that child wasn't around - I guess THAT is a no-win situation. Regret comes in many forms and it is impossible to escape.

Any man who makes a law against abortion should know that there will be regret either way in many cases. A man cannot make nor should be allowed to make these decisions for women. As far as the woman involved in Roe V Wade, it is just as likely that she wouldn't regret her decision - it doesn't really matter that in her case, that she does.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 8:39 AM

It's not your right; it's Jesus' right!

Posted by: PTL | June 13, 2007 08:38 AM

Making religion the law is what Moslems do with Shariya, and you can see where that's getting the world. Separation of church and state is the enlightened way to go.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 8:41 AM

"It's not your right; it's Jesus' right!"

And that's all well and good, if you believe that Jesus was divine. I don't, and see no reason why a long-dead carpenter should have any say in how I deal with an unexpected pregnancy.

Surely you're not suggesting that all of humanity should be forced to submit to your interpretation of religion?

Posted by: NewSAHM | June 13, 2007 8:43 AM

A blob of cells is NOT a person.

If I showed you photos of embryos during the first 20% of gestation you could not tell whether it was a monkey, a pig, a human, horse or dog.

It wan't until the mid-19th century that aborting an embry before it became "quick" (around the 4th month) became illegal.

It wasn't until the mid-19th century that any western religion start disapproving of abortions - even the Catholic church.

It wasn't until the male populations in Europe and then the US were devastated by wars (Napoleonic and US Civil) that abortion became illegal - and men decided that women needed to breed more children.

GO read history.

For most women (and not the sort who can sit on their computers during working hours), they have no choice. They can not afford to have a child. They can barely feed and house themselves.

For many women, motherhood is not an option. They do not want children and know they can not deal with them. (Not matter how many times that fantasy that all women want children is repeated.)

FOr young women trying to get through school so they can finish and get a decent job, if they drop out, they probably will never be able to finish and most certainly won't get into the top-ranked schools. That sends them back down to the bottom of the economic ladder.

Posted by: Much older woman | June 13, 2007 8:44 AM

Is this person being serious? Separation of church and state..... heard of it?

Posted by: Jesus's rights | June 13, 2007 8:46 AM

Excellent article! Hollywood completely avoids the issue today. Cider House Rules & Dirty Dancing & then nothing. That's disengenuous to the realities of life that women face in their reproductive years.

I've had an abortion. I was lucky. It was legal & safe in a sterile environment (as opposed to a back alley) -- as it should be. It's a gut-wrenching decision, and only the woman can decide what's in her best interests.

I hope society (& the numerous misguided fools dictating their beliefs on others) becomes more enlightened soon so that science can develop low cost 100% effective contraceptives for both men & women. Reproductive slavery has to end eventually.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 8:47 AM

I appreciate, Leslie, that the distinction you made was between "pro-choice" and "no choice." I am 100 percent pro-choice, because I know from my own experience how intensely personal and difficult such deliberations are. I'm one of those college-educated women who did everything right and still ended up pregnant. I wrestled for a long time with my decision - promising career and the total disinterest of the would-be father weighing heavily in those deliberatons - and eventually decided that for me, the decision to end the pregnancy was one that wasn't feasible.

I'm now the single parent of a beautiful 18-month old boy, and I'm at peace with the decision I made but make no mistake about it, the sacrifices I've made to do this have been significant, in both my professional and personal lives. I wouldn't change a thing, but I'm grateful for the opportunity to have a choice, to carefully consider the options available to me and move forward from there.

People don't talk about it because it is so personal, and so many people, who in theory ascribe to "judge not, lest ye be judged," are so quick to both judge and condemn decisions they can't possibly understand. But I don't know any women, regardless of social standing or income bracket, who haven't at some point had to think about this, either as a scare or a reality.

Posted by: Ce | June 13, 2007 8:47 AM

Wow, I'm pro-choice, but I agree with 7:49: abortion isn't -- and shouldn't be -- birth control, and that line made me nearly spit out my coffee. Yes, unwanted pregnancies happen and people handle them as they need to, but suggesting that abortion is birth control like the pill is birth control is not right.

Posted by: writing mommy | June 13, 2007 8:48 AM

Ok, I'm a childless Gay man, but I have been a father figure to my younger sisters and nieces as they have dealt with motherhood versus professional aspirations, and these are difficult decisions being called out here. The argument about the morality of abortion aside, the big gaps that we all should be focusing on are what's missing in our work culture that de-values mothers-to-be and new mothers, particularly, in the work settings. I have worked alongside expectant women and new mothers over the last 20+ years finding none of them less competent, valuable, or able because our their childbearing.

What I have found insufferable are fathers-to-be and new fathers who do not share equally in the burden of caring for their child, along with workplace policies that do not support new parenthood, e.g. the absence of lactation programs and/or parental leave with return to rank--and adequate follow-up from HR departments to insure that new parents are not being abused by superiors. These are the issues on which everyone here should be able to unite, instead bashing one another over beliefs about conception, contraception, and abortion.

Namaste.

Posted by: bigolpoofter | June 13, 2007 8:48 AM

I can see abortion rights is a topic that gets the discussion flowing. Since so many of you feel passionately about it, here's a real chance to speak to a national audience on this topic.

Henry Rollins hosts a talk show on IFC (Independent Film Channel) and is looking for someone to speak out on abortion or some other issues -- and he will fly them to LA and make them the host of an upcoming "Henry Rollins Show" marathon on IFC

Rollins is inviting anyone to tape a short video "rant" on one of 11 hot topics and the person who does the rant he personally chooses will host the marathon.

At ziddio.com/myrollinsrant record and upload a video "rant" on one of the topics (including abortion rights, has the Iraq war made us safer? Bush's response to Hurricane Katrina, is America a dumb country? global warming, etc.)

The winner will be chosen solely by Henry. He encourages anyone to enter, no matter their political persuasion - his only requirement: have "passion and attitude!"

Posted by: jbk | June 13, 2007 8:49 AM

Of course it is birth control! If you are using BC, and it fails, and you don't want to have a child, you can get an abortion. You're using it for birth control. I don't think most people advocate using it for --first line--birth control, but, except for people who choose to terminate because of their health or problems with the fetus, abortion is birth control.

Posted by: to writing mommy | June 13, 2007 8:51 AM

You made me cry....wonderfully written.

a bigolwoman

Posted by: to bigolpoofter | June 13, 2007 8:51 AM

Kill a baby to make life more convenient? What sort of choice is that?

Posted by: Rufus | June 13, 2007 8:51 AM

Thanks writing mommy. I am pro-choice but deeply sad about abortion and sick at the thought that it would be considered anything but a last, last, last resort! Kids get in the way of a lot of things, not just careers. Life is about the journey and sometimes we need to accept that we can't control everything and sometimes the path may be chosen for us without our consent. The true measure of a person is how they respond to the change in the path.

Posted by: 7:49 | June 13, 2007 8:54 AM

Kill a baby to make life more convenient? What sort of choice is that?

Posted by: Rufus | June 13, 2007 08:51 AM

Maybe we should start filling out death certificates and holding funerals every time a woman gets her period, because her egg died.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 8:54 AM

"Is Fo4 suggesting that 7:58 not perform her so-called wifely duty to her husband?"

Exactly! If a couple is not willing to accept the natural concequences of sex, procreation, they shouldn't engage in the activity.

It's a practicle thing. Sex is not for everybody.

Posted by: Father of 4 | June 13, 2007 8:55 AM

I made the decision after college that if I had an unplanned pregnancy that I would not abort - the logic was that one day I wanted kids and I would be capable of supporting one - so convenience (or not) would not dictate my having a child.

This was tested when I did have an unplanned pregnancy and the father was pushing hard to abort the baby. I did not want to do that, and had my child - do not regret the descision.

I am pro-choice and after having a child am even more so. Pro-choice does not equal pro-abortion.

Posted by: single mom | June 13, 2007 8:55 AM

The reality is, which is better for us all-having abortion legal or illegal? As in, would you rather women get back alley abortions and have millions of unwanted kids in the worl? Or would you want it to be legal?

My mom helped my sister's friend when they were in college-i found out yrs later.

If you read freakonomics, the author indicates that women made correct decisions-our crime rates did not go up as expected, due to all those unwanted children *not* being born after roe v wade.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 8:55 AM

"If a couple is not willing to accept the natural concequences of sex, procreation, they shouldn't engage in the activity."

Why?

Seriously, why?

Posted by: to Father of 4 | June 13, 2007 8:56 AM

Gee thanks, father of 4 for your understanding. We use birth control, and through no fault of my own, I am physically incapable of carrying a pregnancy to term, and yet, you suggest that if having sex would kill me, we shouldn't do that.

Okay, Mr Hypocrite, are YOU willing to forego sex? I'd wager not, since you have 4 kids. What a loser.

Posted by: 7:49 | June 13, 2007 8:57 AM

I just lost what little respect I had for Leslie -- her share of "scares" over the years??????? Geez, what is this, high school??? Isn't she "Ivy league" educated? I guess the tuition costs didn't include common sense. I'm in my late 30's, married with 2 kids, and I've never had a "scare."

Birth control is very effective these days -- USE IT!!!!!!

Posted by: | June 13, 2007 07:22 AM

This is silly. If you are a woman, then you may have had your menses late. I know that I have--and despite knowing that we had used birth control, properly, I was still terrified at the idea of being pregnant again. One time it was a condom break. I got the morning-after pill.

Age can make your cycle irregular, so can stress, so can some meds. Being reminded that you are not as regular as clockwork is simply the way things go. Well, at least if you don't use oral contraceptives. They are not for everybody.

Posted by: Maryland Mother | June 13, 2007 8:57 AM

What the hell is an accidental pregnancy? If yo have sex then you should understand there is a chance you get pregnant. Unless one of the 2 is not sterile by some means, then you can get pregnant.

The term "accidental pregnancy" is such a cop out and insulting phrase.

Posted by: KraziJoe | June 13, 2007 8:57 AM

Fof4: If a couple is not willing to accept the natural concequences of sex, procreation, they shouldn't engage in the activity.

Do you also oppose epidurals for women during childbirth?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 8:57 AM

I'm all for people using birth control and I suppose, effectively, that abortion is birth control. But the way it's being used just seems wrong. Fine, not the first line of defense, but when there are millions of abortions because "it's not a convenient time" or "oops," something is seriously wrong. The attitude of the described mother seems way too casual.

Posted by: Anon for today | June 13, 2007 8:59 AM

I completely agree with RT - pro choice is pro choice. Either I support a woman's right to control her own fertility or I don't, and I definitely come down in pro choice camp.

I don't think I have any right to judge another woman for choosing to have an abortion. I also don't really care when "life" begins - the important thing to me is that pregnant women are forced incubators for another organism, and while some pregnant women welcome that experience, others do not. I have no more right to force those who do no to go through with that experience anyway than I have the right to force a compatible donor to submit to a marrow donation or a kidney donation. It's her body, and she has every right not to use it for that purpose.

I also think that the old "but she chose to have sex" chestnut has worn out its welcome. Until we figure out how to plant that fetus in a man and let him carry it to term, I don't want to hear about how choosing to have sex equals choosing to bear a child. That's just BS, plain and simple.

Posted by: Kate | June 13, 2007 8:59 AM

OK, I didn't read every single word that has been posted so far, so maybe I missed the place where someone else wrote "Here is my abortion story."


I had one. It was my second pregnancy (number one miscarried). I wanted a child. I was married. I had chorionic-villi sampling which indicated a not-unexpected genetic problem. The pregnancy was terminated at 13 weeks. I donated blood for a research study designed to develop a non-invasive method for identifying that particular genetic problem in the developing fetus. 12 months later, I was back at the same lab having chorionic-villi sampling for pregnancy number three. The genetics were good. Our daughter is almost 15 years old. She is wonderful. I would absolutely make the same decision again.


My only regret about the whole thing is that I cannot sign my real name to this. The pro-life movement has so demonized those of us who have made this choice (for whatever reason) that to reveal my name would be to open my family to the very real possibility of emotional and possibly physical danger. Yes, I would really love it if the media would portray this issue more thoroughly. I don't expect to see that in my lifetime.

Posted by: nonameplease | June 13, 2007 9:00 AM

"In two summer blockbusters out now, The Waitress and Knocked Up, women face surprise pregnancies -- and never discuss ending them as an option. "

I've seen knocked up. Abortion is discussed in the movie with the character's mother. She didn't want one, which is her choice. Saying that it wasn't discussed just because she didn't want an abortion is inaccurate. The girl in knocked up is also a professional who made a stupid mistake in this day and age of aids and other diseases. If you want to rail on something about Hollywood, how about the fact that she got drunk and had a one night stand. Not the fact that she exercised her right to have a baby.

It's also a very funny movie. However, the part where her mother was trying to convince her to have an abortion made me sick.

I say the old men can keep their laws off my body, but I feel the same way for the pro-choice women as well. We all have one body and one choice, besides the baby's father, who else should have the right to push a decision on you--no one.

Posted by: scarry | June 13, 2007 9:01 AM

To the anonymous poster at 8:30am who posted the link to http://teenmoms.ourfamily.com/pregnant.htm, and asked "Which of these is NOT a baby?"

The answer is a. and b., but not c., d. or e. There, problem solved, and the entire abortion debate is now officially concluded.

(Now shut your pie-hole and go find some other arena in which you can attempt to exert your moral values on others.)

Posted by: Voice of Reason | June 13, 2007 9:02 AM

Until we figure out how to plant that fetus in a man and let him carry it to term, I don't want to hear about how choosing to have sex equals choosing to bear a child.

Yeah, let Fof4 pop 4 big kids out of one HIS narrow orifices, then see how HE feels about having a choice.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 9:02 AM

Posting anonymously because I KNOW I'll be attacked, I have had one. I wasn't young or stupid, but birth control is never 100% and I absolutely did not have the financial resources to support a child. I'm not haunted by it, though I wish it was a choice I hadn't had to make. While the idea of having an abortion because it will slow down your career is distateful to me, I would never tell another woman she had to have a child because birth control failed.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 9:03 AM

I have been married for 7 years, early 30s, no children. My husband and I agree we do not want children. Ever. The responsible thing for us to do is ensure our birth control method works. I asked about getting my tubes tied when I was 30 (and married for 4 years) and she would not even hear of it. She seems pretty liberal, pro-choice, etc., so her brisk brushoff refusing to even consider a tubal as an option until I was 35 shocked me. She said I was too young and I will change my mind about motherhood. My question is, where is MY choice? Sure, I can get an abortion but I can't proactively prevent pregnancy by getting a tubal? Pro-choice means the woman has a choice about pregnancy (I thought, at least) but it sure doesn't seem like it.

Posted by: Pro-Choice is NO Choice for Me | June 13, 2007 9:03 AM

"Most working women (at least the sexually active ones) need birth control, including abortion, to plan their careers -- sometimes, you need to say "no" to motherhood in order to build your reputation, get more training or an advanced degree, accept a promotion, or simply to work very hard for a certain period of time."

Abortion is not birth control. And to say no to motherhood for the above reasons is astonishingly selfish. I am pro-choice. I believe that women should---since they are the ones who get pregnant--be responsible for birth control. Should men too? Sure--but in the real world where life might not be fair and we are the ones who will have to carry the child for nine months I would rather depend on myself.

Honest, maybe we don't talk about it publicly because some things should be private. Remember when sex was something that happened between two people, behind closed doors and wasn't some slogan you wore on a tee-shirt?

Abortion should never be "not a big deal." It should never be an easy choice. For anyone who has been pregnant, you might not agree that it is a person but you have to admit it's something--you didn't stare at the blob on the ultrasound at 8 weeks and get all excited or upset or weepy over "not a big deal."

Planned parenthood sells tee-shirts that say I had an abortion, as if it were something to be proud of? How is it something to be proud of? The need to terminating a pregnancy is most times the failure to use common sense and good judgment prior to conception...not something to be proud of.

Just because you can do something or have the right to doesn't mean you should or that you should be proud of it when you do--something the so called feminist/women's movement should remember.

There are things in life that are private. That the world need not comment on. Why is it not good enough for the law to allow you to do something--have an abortion, have premarital or adulterous or gay sex? Why does everyone want approval for their decisions and actions? Why must we be forced to listen to people who insist I advocate their choice as equal?

I tell my kids that the law should allow for abortions but I don't want them to have one or cause someone to have one. I tell them that everyone is equal under the law but I don't advocate a homosexual lifestyle as an equal choice...

The law allows you to live your life free from institutionalized discrimination. It doesn't, nor should it. compel me to like you, your lifestyle or your choices.

Our private parts and private lives are just that--private. A little more discretion and a little more thought about consequences and we wouldn't be forced to defend procedures that can legitimately be described as sticking a fork into the head of a fetus and sucking the brain out.

Posted by: Chris 1458 | June 13, 2007 9:05 AM

I am surprised that there seem to be so many pro-lifers here. Where are the pro-choice people? This is THE problem - we are in danger of abortion becoming completely illegal because the pro-choice groups are so quiet. Perhaps pro-choice groups and people are so used to abortion being legal that they think it can't possibly change. I think that many pro-choicers just don't realize that they need to stand up for a woman's right to choose every time they enter the ballot box. When I am downtown walking around, I see the pro-lifers out almost every time - where are the pro-choice groups?

Remember, being pro-choice doesn't mean that YOU have to choose to have an abortion - what it truly means is that you recognize that women have the right to decide what is best for them as an individual, no matter where they are in their lives - no questions asked.

I do feel that there should be severe limitations on late-term abortions - any one who can't decide after six months, you don't have the choice anymore. The only way that it should be legal is in the case of danger to the woman's life or where there are serious problems with the baby and it will not survive.

We can't know what is truly happening in another person's life - we cannot presume to know what is best for anyone but ourselves. There are many areas of life where this applies - not only in the abortion debate. We are far too involved in everyone else's lives and telling them what is right and wrong for them, when all the while we cannot possibly know. Life is not black and white and one size fits all - even pro-lifers need to admit this.

I think more work needs to be done to make abortion less common, but it should never be anything less than a women's choice, in the end. We risk losing too many other freedoms of choice if this is taken away.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 9:06 AM

7:58 said "To become pregnant would be to lose my life." Father of 4 replied "If sex is going to kill you, I suggest you avoid it."

Or is Father of 4 saying that every sexual encounter results in pregnancy, so therefore he's only had sex four times in his life?

Posted by: BxNY | June 13, 2007 9:07 AM

I am glad Leslie's friend's mother had a brave face for her abortion confession, but she will never know if this woman suffered in private. Too many woman publicly express that it is "no big deal" to have an abortion then spend their lives struggling with the decision and unfortunately regretting it. The woman that brought about Roe v. Wade regretted her decision 25 years later and is now pro-life.

You know this only because she has since changed her mind. When she wanted that abortion, had it and took it to court she got some money. You know what she did with it? Saw a dentist for the first time in many years. The woman couldn't afford to take care of herself at the time, now she can. Now she has the luxury of second-guessing.

We all do, if we live long enough.

You don't know that the woman Leslie was speaking with had second thoughts or anguish or not. You are presuming.

Personally, I think it was brave of her (the older woman) to discuss it. You may feel she was cowardly for having had an abortion, but she is far braver than you for choosing to air the subject.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 9:08 AM

To me, outside of cases of pregnancy from rape or incest, abortion is merely another instance of people's refusal to accept responsibility for choices that they make. You accept the risk of pregnancy everytime you decide to have sex. Abortion is a way of avoiding accepting the consequences of that decision.

Posted by: BDLurker | June 13, 2007 9:08 AM

is most times the failure to use common sense and good judgment prior to conception

But not always.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 9:09 AM

Being a male, I am hesitant to post to a column like this, but having spent my career as an embryologist, I feel compelled to right a couple of very serious wrongs that have been posted. When does life begin? I don't claim to have the definitive answer, but medical science has declared that life ENDS when brain electrical activity stops. It is, therefore, quite reasonable to conclude that life BEGINS when electrical activity in the brain begins. This generally occurs around or during the 7th month of pregnancy. Since pain is a perception, a brain without electrical activity cannot feel pain, it cannot sense light, sound or anything else. Though it clearly has a heartbeat and is undergoing growth and forming tissues and organs, a 6-month old fetus is not "alive" in the sense that the anti-choice folks try to tell us.

I am not arguing that abortion is a good thing or a bad thing. I just am tired of the anti-choice lobby not telling (or maybe not understanding) this rather critical truth.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 9:10 AM

I agree with RT. As a matter of public health, I think abortion should be legal, safe, and available to those who choose it.

One of the tragedies here is that the full range of options is rarely discussed, either publicly or privately. For example, how many women would choose to put their children up for adoption if adoption were more socially acceptable?

In an ideal world, there would be no uplanned or unwanted pregnancies. Sadly, we do not live in an ideal world. As an alternative, there is at least a two-pronged approach: (1) educate and support women to make appropriate decisions regarding their sexual health and birth control, and (2) educate and support women to make appropriate decisions should they find themselves faced with an unwanted pregnancy.

Posted by: Murphy | June 13, 2007 9:11 AM

Today, about 60% of the women who have abortions are already mothers. Most have abortions because they are thinking of their children who have already been born. Also, many of the women who have abortions are poor or have other serious financial challenges -- they worry about feeding, housing & providing medical care for the children who are already born.

What I find fascinating is that the pro-life movement has latched onto sonograms as a method of discouraging women from having abortions rather than focusing on the real problems that lead women to have abortions.

How about fighting for guaranteed medical coverage for all pregnant women and all children so women don't have to worry about paying for prenatal care and delivery and health care? How about focusing on housing for people in poverty? What about paid childcare leave for new parents as in Europe?

Also, what about focusing on increasing use of contraception and yes, sterilization for people who have completed their families? How about medical coverage for contraception? Effective contraception (the pill or IUD or sterlization) can be quite expensive.

While there undoubtedly are some women who have abortions for "balance" in their lives, it trivializes abortion to focus on abortions for a group that uses abortion at much lower rates than other women due to use of effective contraception (including abstinence) and the ability to support an additional child in the event of an unexpected pregnancy.

Posted by: pro-choice | June 13, 2007 9:11 AM

Planned parenthood sells tee-shirts that say I had an abortion, as if it were something to be proud of?

That's just gross. Making money off of a private, personal, often times painful decision.

Posted by: scarry | June 13, 2007 9:11 AM

Injudaism, technically, birth control is forbidden-thats why the very observant have so many kids. However, it is a husband's duty to please his wife. So in some cases it is allowed.

And abortion is not forbidden-if it would be for the health of the mother (physical or mental).
And pro-life does *not* equal against abortion. If you are anti-keeping abortion legal, say so, but everyone is pro life.
1984 much?

Posted by: atlmom | June 13, 2007 9:13 AM

A little more discretion and a little more thought about consequences and we wouldn't be forced to defend procedures that can legitimately be described as sticking a fork into the head of a fetus and sucking the brain out.

That's not how the procedure works in the first trimester, Chris. Shouldn't you be protesting the tossing out of fertilized eggs that are not going to be implanted?

Where are all of the people who are pro-life when it comes time to taking care of older, unwanted children? Are all the no-choice/pro-lifers foster parents? Adopting special needs children, not just the cute little newborns?


Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 9:14 AM

"Do you also oppose epidurals for women during childbirth?"

No way! Why any woman would forgo this opportunity for the sake of "my grandmother did it so can I" is beyond me. I say go for it before 3 centimeters and have as pleasant time during childbirth as possible.

Posted by: Father of 4 | June 13, 2007 9:14 AM

When does life begin? With ejaculation, according to the most militant anti-choicers.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 9:15 AM

Life does begin at conception. Just because the embryo doesn't look like a newborn doesn't mean it isn't a child in development. We don't kill children after their birth and justify it because they don't look like adults.

The only reason I will not advocate for making abortion illegal again is because I wouldn't want us to go back to the days of back-alley abortions. That's not the same as saying abortion is OK; just because I CAN doesn't mean I SHOULD.

To say that one would have an abortion for the sake of convenience, or to "build your reputation, get more training or an advanced degree, accept a promotion, or simply to work very hard for a certain period of time," as Leslie advocates, is selfish, immature and narcisstic. I am thoroughly repulsed by such a shallow, self-absorbed, and thoroughly disgusting way of thinking.

If a girl is 15 and clueless, or a 19-year-old woman has been raped, then the choice to kill the child is marginally less awful.

And, with the exception of the case of rape, using safe and reliable pregnancy prevention methods (sucn as the pill, a condom, a diaphragm, depo-provera, the female condom -- and I think the sponge is once more available) will dramatically reduce the chances of ever needing to face this decision in the first place. Wouldn't it be better for girls to have access to birth control without parental gatekeeping? Wouldn't it be better for grown women to take responsibility for avoiding unwanted pregnancy? Wouldn't it be better for men in a committed relationship to also assume responsibility for pregnancy prevention? Are there no more adoption agencies in this country?

Aren't those options preferable to advocating for prenatal infantacide, and referring to it as a birth-control method????

Posted by: educmom | June 13, 2007 9:15 AM

When I took a college course in philosophy the subject of pro-choice came up. We had several very enthusiastic, if that's the right word, discussions on this. The prof. took a vote and every female in the class was pro-choice. Every male was anti-abortion. It made me realize men seem to think their sperm is something so precious it needs to grow and flourish, although they don't think about that when they're 'spanking the monkey' alone at night. Men are not the ones who have to feed, clothe and nurture these accidents. Don't get me started on what the Pope says about abortion -- the Pope doesn't raise them and pay for them, either.

For what it's worth, the majority of people walking around on this earth now are accidents. If we're taking a vote today, I am still decidedly pro-choice. The operative word here is CHOICE. Suppose, for instance, there was an election with only one candidate. You had to vote for that candidate and live by what they stood for. Same as an unwanted pregnancy -- what if you really had no way out. That unwanted child will grow up knowing he/she was not wanted and there's nothing sadder than not being wanted by your parents. Believe me, I've been there.

Posted by: Anon for today | June 13, 2007 9:16 AM

"I am surprised that there seem to be so many pro-lifers here. Where are the pro-choice people?"

As someone else mentioned, pro-choice doesn't mean pro-abortion. And choice indicates that there are two sides to choose from. I'm pro-choice in as much as I think it should be legal. But I'm disturbed by how often people see it as the only solution.

Posted by: Anon for today | June 13, 2007 9:16 AM

"Or is Father of 4 saying that every sexual encounter results in pregnancy, so therefore he's only had sex four times in his life?"

He's so cranky, it's a good possibilty that he has only had sex four times in his life.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 9:16 AM

chris 1458

Our private lives are all equally valid as you stated - and that includes homosexual ones. Again, you don't have to do it or be a part of it, but it is a valid lifestyle choice - not today's topic so I hope it doesn't make a change in direction.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 9:16 AM

Funny thing about the pro-lifers is that they are the ones that promote the abstinance campains, and are not supportive of programs that support women and children that are disadvantaged... we need to have a culture of life if we are going to take away a woman's right to chose if she is going to have a child or not.

Posted by: single mom | June 13, 2007 9:17 AM

outside of cases of pregnancy from rape or incest, abortion is merely another instance of people's refusal to accept responsibility for choices that they make.

Sam Brownback is campaigning for President partly on a platform of no abortion even in cases of rape and incest.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 9:18 AM

Wouldn't it be better for men in a committed relationship to also assume responsibility for pregnancy prevention?

Why wait until they are in a committed relationship to prevent a pregnancy--one that HE may or may not want either?

Posted by: Bedrock | June 13, 2007 9:18 AM

Looks to me like there are a lot of pro-choicers on this blog. For what it's worth, I'm 100% pro-choice, even for late term abortions. I figure I have no business second-guessing someone else's decision on when it's appropriate to end their pregnancy. And, unlike some of the people on here, having my daughter has only made me more pro-choice.


Posted by: NewSAHM | June 13, 2007 9:20 AM

If abortion is murder, why should it be OK in cases of rape or incest? The circumstances of an individual's origin determine whether or not it is OK to kill it? This is an argument Hitler used. To me, it is the only morally indefensible argument on either side of the debate. You can believe abortion should be OK, if you don't believe it is murder. Otherwise, you can believe it is not OK, but it is morally indefensible to argue that the circumstances that led to the fetus' origin is relevant to the decision.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 9:23 AM

"To say that one would have an abortion for the sake of convenience, or to "build your reputation, get more training or an advanced degree, accept a promotion, or simply to work very hard for a certain period of time," as Leslie advocates, is selfish, immature and narcisstic. I am thoroughly repulsed by such a shallow, self-absorbed, and thoroughly disgusting way of thinking.

If a girl is 15 and clueless, or a 19-year-old woman has been raped, then the choice to kill the child is marginally less awful."

Educmom:

What about for financial reasons? What if a couple has an unplanned preganancy and financially they cannot raise a child? Is it a responsible decision to terminate a pregnancy knowing well that the child will not be provided for or should the parents have the child anyways?

Posted by: jefferson | June 13, 2007 9:24 AM

I am pro-choice for other people, but I would never, ever have an abortion unless my life was in danger and before I had my daughter I wouldn't even do that. It seems to me that my stance is often looked at as being anti-abortion by some of the militant pro-choicers. This isn't a yes or no question, there are all kinds of shades of grey.

I don't think sonograms should be mandatory, but perhaps some women want to see what they are doing before they actually have an abortion. As for Leslie and Hollywood, you can always go back and watch "fast times at ridge Mont high."

Posted by: scarry | June 13, 2007 9:24 AM

Life does begin at conception.

In that case, birth control is solely the province of the male. He's responsible for that life beginning, so he should be 100% responsible for it not beginning.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 9:24 AM

I got my fiance pregnant in college. We both were still nearly a year from graduating and getting married, barely had enough money to graduate on, had no job prospect, and no way to continue school and make enough money to support a child.

After discussing our options (marry immediately/get job/drop out of school/delay graduation), we decided jointly that abortion was our best choice. She was adamant that keeping hte baby but giving it up for adoption was not an option. Had she wanted to continue the pregnancy I would have gone along with that, but our lives would have been very, very different from what they are now. It was a mutual decision that both of us still feel was the best one at that time.

Posted by: anothernoname | June 13, 2007 9:28 AM

"And, unlike some of the people on here, having my daughter has only made me more pro-choice."

NewSAHM:
That is in a really interesting statment. Just curious, how so?

Posted by: lisa | June 13, 2007 9:28 AM

"And, unlike some of the people on here, having my daughter has only made me more pro-choice."

NewSAHM:
That is in a really interesting statment. Just curious, how so?

Posted by: lisa | June 13, 2007 9:28 AM

watch national geographic's In the Womb, get the book. It is a separate human life, all the building blocks are there, all is needed is time.

Posted by: in the womb | June 13, 2007 9:28 AM

I think the point of those "I had an abortion" t-shirts are to show that normal, everyday women do have abortions. As a few people have mentioned, abortion is treated like some dirty little secret,and the shirts are an attempt to bring the issue out into the open. It's similar to the "this is what a feminist looks like" t-shirts.

I have a morality question for those who profess to be pro-life. Just under two weeks ago, I allowed my OB to remove the otherwise perfectly healthy fetus that was growing in my fallopian tube. Was that an abortion, since technically, she "killed" the fetus? In your viewpoint, should I have waited until the tube burst naturally, "killing" the fetus and, possibly, me?

Posted by: NewSAHM | June 13, 2007 9:31 AM

From jefferson:
What about for financial reasons? What if a couple has an unplanned preganancy and financially they cannot raise a child? Is it a responsible decision to terminate a pregnancy knowing well that the child will not be provided for or should the parents have the child anyways?

The couple could put the child up for adoption. If the couple has no insurance, I'm sure they could probably find a prospective set of parents who would pay for the prenatal care and childbirth -- one of those couples who spend $50,000 going to Russia or China and adopting a child.

from anon at 9:24:
Life does begin at conception.

In that case, birth control is solely the province of the male. He's responsible for that life beginning, so he should be 100% responsible for it not beginning.

You make a valid point. However, since the woman has to bear the child or not, she should be perpared to prevent the pregnancy in the event that the man is not.

Posted by: e | June 13, 2007 9:32 AM

What age do you think is too young for your unmarried underage daughter to carry a pregnancy to term? Some guys get girls as young as 11 or 12 pregnant. Would you let her attend middle school or high school while pregnant?

Posted by: Just wondering | June 13, 2007 9:34 AM

It is a separate human life, all the building blocks are there, all is needed is time.

Yes, including the destruction of selected cells so that there are fingers, not paddles. What's your point? As was pointed out earlier, until there is a brain, there isn't a person.

For this, and other reasons, I am very much in favor of abortion continuing to be a legally available procedure.

I would prefer that contraception be 100% effective, 100% of the time, and that people used it perfectly 100% of the time, but I know better. If we were capable of THAT, we wouldn't ever have car accidents.

I'm all for vasectomies, too. Men who state I do not want to have children, ever, are men who best take control of that issue for themselves.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 9:34 AM

Life does begin at conception.

In that case, birth control is solely the province of the male. He's responsible for that life beginning, so he should be 100% responsible for it not beginning.

You make a valid point. However, since the woman has to bear the child or not, she should be perpared to prevent the pregnancy in the event that the man is not.

No--she shouldn't ever be in that position. He is 100% responsible for her pregnancy. So it is up to him to protect his semen from being deposited somewhere his child could be unwelcome.

But that would be so much harder than to point fingers at the female, now wouldn't it?

This is yet another reason I have such problems with the "boys will be boys" outlook. It's demeaning.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 9:38 AM

In your viewpoint, should I have waited until the tube burst naturally, "killing" the fetus and, possibly, me?

Posted by: NewSAHM | June 13, 2007 09:31 AM

Even the Catholic church recognizes situations such as your as a valid reason. If it is truly a choice, as in your case, of the life of the mother vs. the life of a child.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 9:38 AM

To the people saying how birth control is effective and available and has been for a long time?

My sibs and I are all products of birth control of one form or another. Granted, this is late '60's/early 70's birth control which may not be as sophisticated as birth control methods today, but we were not strictly planned.

Me? I'm an IUD baby. 2% failure rate.

My sister's oldest? Birth control pill baby. So is my neighbor's soon-to-be arriving baby. And several of my friends tell the same story.

Birth control isn't infallible - even the surgical kind. Both Fallopian tubes and the vas deferens can spontaneously reconnect after poorly performed tubal ligations / vasectomies. Rare, but it can happen.

The thing about life is that it wants to reproduce itself...and it will always find a way.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 9:38 AM

I just did a quick Google to see what abortion rates are in various countries. I found that the United States has significantly higher abortion rates than Western Europe, the countries that are most like us.

Does anyone think that, perhaps, the greater openness about sexuality, in general, has something to do with that? How about the availability of tax-supported healthcare? We could do a lot to reduce the rate of abortion that would be more effective than accusing people who support the availability of legal abortion of being heartless and immoral.

For anyone interested in facts about abortion, The Guttmacher Institute at www.guttmacher.org is a good source. A quick glance at their web site will tell you that it's not easy to generalize about who has abortions or in what circumstances they have them.

Posted by: THS | June 13, 2007 9:39 AM

Lisa, sorry for the double post - I was typing my last one when your question showed up.

It's difficult to articulate why having DD has made me pro-choice, but I'll give it a shot. For me, pregnancy and parenthood have been intensly emotional experiences. There are times when I feel as if my whole being has been turned inside out, in both good and bad ways. I wanted my daighter very much, and she is one of the greatest joys in my life. But I can imagine how it would feel not to want the being growing inside of you, and not to welcome the gut-wrenching changes that come along with parethood. I'd never want someone to be forced into the experience.

Posted by: NewSAHM | June 13, 2007 9:39 AM

Whoever said uptopic that there aren't any "accidents", since everyone knows that sex can cause a pregnancy, needs to get out more. Birth control measures can and do fail, some medications can interfere with the pill's effectiveness, even the pill (with different strength levels) may not be effective for everyone.

Or are all these failures simply, in your opinion, God's will that this woman become a mother, and therefore she's got no further say in the matter? As someone said earlier, this country isn't run by the Taliban, at least not yet.

Posted by: John L | June 13, 2007 9:42 AM

For those who think abortion should only be available for rape and incest cases -- I worked for a large police department and in my years there maybe 2 rapes resulted in pregnancy. There are far, far more unplanned pregnancies between husband and wife or boyfriend/girlfriend than there ever were from rape and incest.

Posted by: Anon for today again.... | June 13, 2007 9:42 AM

sorry, 9:32 was me.

New SAHM:
Having surgery to remove an ectopic pregnancy is not the same thing as having an abortion (big clue: you can have the surgery in a Catholic hospital -- I did). Until medical science devises a way to reimplant the fetus in the uterus, there is no way the child can ever be born, and not treating the condition will kill the mother as well as the baby.

I had an ectopic pregnancy before I had my sons. It was discovered when I began hemmoraging at a party and passed out; I was, in fact, bleeding to death internally. I ended up with one fallopian tube, which makes it all the more amusing that I got pregnant with #1 on the first try and I got pregnant with #2 while I was taking birth control pills.

Posted by: educmom | June 13, 2007 9:43 AM

Maybe your view has something to do with not wanting your daughter to suffer an unwanted pregnancy and be forced to carry it to term someday, especially while very young.

Posted by: To NewSAHM | June 13, 2007 9:45 AM

This discussion is exactly why women feel overwhelmed by children and work and struggle to find balance. In the United States, abortion is legal, most women have access to birth control, and women CHOOSE to have children. It is a personal decision. And as a personal, private, decision, it is not the responsibility of the employer or the state to provide months and months of paid materinity leave, required part-time options, etc (i.e. France).

So what if the U.S. had a different view and put forth pro-natalist policies (again, France). What if abortion wasn't legal? The women wouldn't have the ultimate, private choice to end the baby's life. If we assume that the U.S. won't convert to Puritanical feelings toward sex any time soon, would the burden of having children not fall to the mother anymore? Would that mean that it is not her "fault" when she gets pregnant, therefore the employer or the state should step in to help the woman with more balance oriented policies?

Read no advocacy into my post, just a question. Could the thing many women value the most about feminist power, the ultimate my body no interference from a man decision is - ultimately - the one thing that prevents keeping balance?

Posted by: Balance | June 13, 2007 9:46 AM

NewSAHM, I firmly believe you made the morally correct decision by terminating your tubal pregnancy.

I'm sorry you had to go through that, and I hope your health insurance provided you with an opportunity for counseling if you thought it could help.

Posted by: Father of 4 | June 13, 2007 9:46 AM

OK, now what about the issue of severely retarded or deformed babies. Now with amniocentisis (sp?) and other pre-natal tests it can be determined before birth if the fetus is healthy. Suppose you found you were carrying a child with Downs syndrome or any of a number of genetic conditions. Do you all have the financial and emotional resources to raise a special needs child? Could you justify abortion then?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 9:49 AM

Talk to your rabbi, in judaism, life begins at birth.

Posted by: atlmom | June 13, 2007 9:50 AM

For those who think abortion should only be available for rape and incest cases -- I worked for a large police department and in my years there maybe 2 rapes resulted in pregnancy. There are far, far more unplanned pregnancies between husband and wife or boyfriend/girlfriend than there ever were from rape and incest.

Posted by: Anon for today again.... | June 13, 2007 09:42 AM

Right. And some of the ultra-right wingnuts used to claim that if a woman was truly raped she'd secrete a supposedly anti-conceptual substance that would prevent a pregnancy from occurring as a result, therefore if she got pregnant from the encounter it was proof positive that she wasn't raped but consenting. Yea, right.

Go read a biology book before you spout off.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 9:50 AM

I've never really understood the point of arguing whether life begins at conception. Of course it does. Anyone who has an abortion recognizes that she is terminating a process that began with intercourse and, if left to run its course, would, in the usual case, end with a full-term baby---a human life.

But I don't see how that changes anything. The point of an abortion is to halt progress toward the development of a full-term baby, for any of a number of reasons.

Why not just call it that? Why bother arguing when life begins?

Posted by: THS | June 13, 2007 9:50 AM

I used the patch and found myself pregnant with my son. I talked to the doctor and he said that the pill and the patch have risks in unplanned pregancys. So everyone who says just use birth control -- it is not always that simple.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 9:51 AM

fr Chris1458:

>....I tell them that everyone is equal under the law but I don't advocate a homosexual lifestyle as an equal choice...<

Chris, being gay is NOT a choice, nor is there a "homosexual lifestyle". My partner and I get up in the morning, get ready to go to work, eat breakfast together, do errands, grocery shop, go to the gym, church, school, etc. Just like straight couples! I suggest you contact your local PFLAG chapter for further clarification, or go to www.pflag.org.

Posted by: Alex | June 13, 2007 9:51 AM

to 9:49:

Suppose you found you were carrying a child with Downs syndrome or any of a number of genetic conditions...Could you justify abortion then?

No.

I was under the impression that the eugenics movement had been discredited.

Posted by: educmom | June 13, 2007 9:52 AM

Anyone who has an abortion recognizes that she is terminating a process that began with intercourse

Which is why the wackos are against contraception as well. They don't want you to be able to have sex and control of your body. Pregnancy is to them a punishment for pleasure, or being a victim of a man's lust.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 9:52 AM

He's responsible for that life beginning, so he should be 100% responsible for it not beginning

So a woman is only a (empty) vessel without any culpability or responsibility? Following your line of reasoning, a man should have 100% of the decision to have or not have an abortion.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 9:53 AM

So a woman is only a (empty) vessel without any culpability or responsibility? Following your line of reasoning, a man should have 100% of the decision to have or not have an abortion.

Yes. In effect, that is what we do whenever we point the finger at her and bray, "You knew better! Now have that child no matter what!"

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 9:59 AM

"A Modest Proposal" anyone?

Posted by: Maryland Mother | June 13, 2007 10:00 AM

"need birth control, including abortion, to plan their careers -- sometimes, you need to say "no" to motherhood in order to build your reputation, get more training or an advanced degree, accept a promotion, or simply to work very hard for a certain period of time. Childless women often stay happily childless thanks specifically to birth control."


Leslie, I am absoltely HORRIFIED by your description of abortion as "birth control". Why is your attitude so lax on such an important issue? It's a serious medical procedure- and should be used as a last resort, not just something women use as BIRTH CONTROL on a routine basis!

Also, it's NOT "no choice" or "pro choice".

Every single woman has a choice to spread those legs or use the pill or a condom. THAT'S the choice.

Before anyone thinks I'm some crazy pro-lifer:

I had an abortion was I was 18. It was AWFUL. I was totally "pro choice" until that point. I broke down in the recovery room and have never thought of abortion the same way.

I was recovering with a young woman who had just had her THIRD abortion. She told me this to comfort me, I suppose. Saying that I'd be fine...blah blah..."This is my third"...And this was in a lily white suburban town.

Talking about abortion- fine. But we shouldn't talk about it in order to NORMALIZE it- as you seem to want, Leslie.

It's a horrible thing to go through and I'd seriously question a woman's mental health if it didn't affect her negatively in some way.

I still think of my son/daughter and what life would have been like.

I look at my daughter now and wonder how I could have gone on without her. I feel even more strongly against abortion now that I have a child.

I still belive abortion should be legal- but with restrictions. There should be a lot less of it.

Posted by: SAHMbacktowork | June 13, 2007 10:01 AM

Leslie, I wanted to address the use of the article from the Times. It seems like all the good articles on "balance" and "parenting" issues come from there. Can't you use your pull at the paper to get more articles written in these areas? The WP never appears to me as a good national paper, except for politics. Thanks

Posted by: Bob | June 13, 2007 10:01 AM

I should have been more clear. "A Modest Proposal" by Jonathan Swift.

Posted by: Maryland Mother | June 13, 2007 10:01 AM

As all of you regulars know, my wife and I are trying to start a family.

I'll admit this right now; once she becomes pregnant, if the tests indicate that the baby will have Down's Syndrome or some other severe birth defect, we will abort. We are in 100% agreement on this.

Posted by: John L | June 13, 2007 10:03 AM

*I should have been more clear. "A Modest Proposal" by Jonathan Swift.*

There is another?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 10:04 AM

7:58 said "To become pregnant would be to lose my life." Father of 4 replied "If sex is going to kill you, I suggest you avoid it."


Fof4, I'm surprised that you would say this to a married woman who, through no fault of her own, is in a position where it would be life-threatening for her to carry a pregnancy to term. She has every right to be in a loving relationship with her husband regardless of a physical condition that imposes risk to her. It's not as though she's acting irresponsibly; they use birth control.

Mainstream protestant religions recognize the place that sexuality has in a marriage for nurturing and affirming the relationship of a husband and wife. While procreation is one purpose of sex in a marriage, it is not the only one. Your comment is cruel, and if you were trying to be funny, you weren't.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 10:05 AM

My mom always said that for her if abortion were illegal, that would be fine since she could just fly to another country and get one-where it was legal. Her concern was for those who could not do that (like her mom who was raising two kids alone while her husband was dying-should she have been forced to have the baby?). Which is why she thought it should be legal.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 10:06 AM

I think the reasons why we have such a tough time discussing this in an honest, empathetic (for the baby/embryo/mom) manner are numerous - it involves religion, science, personal responsibility all in one topic. I was touched in Barack Obama's recent book when he recounted hearing from a constituent who said he probably wouldn't vote for Obama when he was running for Senate because on his (Obama's) website, the part on abortion cast the debate in solely protecting a woman's right to choose an abortion from the right wing fringe (or something along those lines). The constituent then said not all people who ar pro-life are members of a right wing fringe who want women to remain in the kitchen. It strikes me that this is true of both sides - not all people who are prochoice want to hack the heads off babies heartlessly, and that all prolifers want women to stay in the kitchen forever. There are certainly bad apples on both sides, but we should remember there are a lot of folks in the middle who are conflicted and trying very hard to do the right thing.

That said, there was a new york times editorial recently that completely reshaped how I feel about abortion in the U.S. Atul Guwande (Gawande?) wrote about how most abortions in the U.S. are had by women older than 20 and how many of those allege they were using birth control at the time of conception. For the poster who wrote that we need to come up with 100% effective birth control - it almost exists (and already exists in the form of abstinence, oral rather than intercourse, etc) - IUDs are 99.9% effective, hormonal birth control is more than 99% effective WHEN USED PROPERLY, etc. Gawande wrote that many of the women having unintented pregnancies used contraception wrong (missed pills, etc). As we've heard many times on this blog, sure, "birth control can fail" - but it often fails because people missed a pill and didn't think anything of it, didn't insert a diaphragm properly, etc. If we're talking about the incidence of abortion in this country, then we need to be honest about how it happens, and the fact that the majority of the time, it happens because women didn't take proper control of their own fertility. Is that unfair to focus this discussion entirely around women when "it takes two to tango?" Sure, but the fact remains that for all women, women themselves have the ability and the power not to get pregnant if they don't want to (rape obviously excluded). Since contraception was legalized for single women in the late 1960's, we have had the power over our reproductive system, and this prevention, I believe, is more powerful than the power to terminate a pregnancy after one has occurred. For the record, at this point, I remain pro-choice (especially in cases of rape and incest), but there is something intellectually dishonest about discussion abortion rates when we have data to support the fact that many of them could have been prevented by propely using one or two forms of birth control, taking the morning after pill, or abstinence. I agree with the earlier poster that, for the most part, ther really is no such thing as an unintended pregnancy. If you consensually have sex, you know you could become pregnant.

Posted by: Alexis | June 13, 2007 10:06 AM

When I was 15, doctors told me I would never get pregnant due to severe scarring from endometriosis. At 19, I found myself pregnant from a 1-night stand and decided to keep my "miracle," which I subsequently miscarried. At that same time, a friend of mine got pregnant and had an abortion. A year later, I became pregnant while using a diaphragm and kept the baby. My friend had a second abortion.

While I considered myself pro-choice, I believed that abortion was the wrong choice and one I would never make, and my friend and I had a falling out. However, I'm now a mother of three; my husband and I divorced, and subsequently two of my children have been diagnosed with high functioning autism. The third has depression. I have had my tubes tied to help ensure I do get pregnant again, but my doctor claims that it is not 100% failsafe.

My new partner does not want children, and I have concluded in the unlikely event that I were to get pregnant, I'd certainly have an abortion. Money is tight, I have all I can handle emotionally, and my kids need all the time and attention I can give them. With their sensory processing issues, a baby that cries and screams is the last thing I need in the house. I have very vivid memories of what it was like having my third son, unaware that his brother had an autism disorder but very aware that his brother had meltdowns every time the baby was upset.

I believe abortion should remain safe and legal and that when we question the morality of those who have them, we should remember the adage "There but for the grace of God go I." We cannot always know the backstory.

Sometimes there are very legitimate reasons for having abortion; sometimes it's just a convenience for some women. But in any case, if they are not ready to be mothers or to go through with a pregnancy, who are we to judge? Men especially have no business telling a woman what she has to do about a pregnancy. My pregnancies were the worst experiences of my life--24-hour morning sickness that lasted five months, high blood pressure, edema, sciatic pain, gestational diabetes--no one has the right to tell me I *have* to go through that again because birth control methods have failed.

Posted by: Cat | June 13, 2007 10:10 AM

OK, a couple of thoughts.
1) Being pro choice says you support a women's legal right to choose her own family planning methods. It does not mean that you yourself would have an abortion. It also doesn't mean that you are free from moral judgement of women who choose to have an abortion. It means you will in no way act to limit a women's access to a legal and safe abortion, you support a her legal right to do so. There are many laws that I agree should allow people to do all sorts of things that I would choose not to do or find unfavorable. I find the adult entertainment industry displeasurable but in no way would I prevent consenting adults engaging in this behavior from exercising their right to do so. I also do find alchoholic establishments a bit unfavorable but I do not try to limit consenting adults from go to bars either.
2) Again, Leslie's blog was using abortion as a work/life balance solution. Not whether abortion should be allowed in the case of rape, poverty, young mother, or severly unhealthy fetus.
3) I always found the when does life begin issue funny. It isn't really about when does life begin because all cells in your body are living cells. They have the same DNA as in each cells. Of course an 8 week old fetus is a simple form of life. What is questionable is, "is it a person." Who the heck knows when something becomes a person. Some would even argue that a person on life support has ceased to be a full person. Some people would tragically argue that a person with severe handicaps like Downs Syndrome are also not a person. But it is a valid argument that no one can really prove yet, "is an 8 week old fetus a person." But don't kid yourself it is a very simple form of life. So are the cells in your mouth that the doctor removes on a swab to test for strep. But no one in their right mind would argue the cells from the strep test are people. Because clearly they are not.
4)No one is arguing that the insane demands of work/family has actually caused some families to consider abortion for career advancement. What does that really say about our work culture, our values, and the future of our country?
5) I can't believe people do not see that the mother that shared her abortion story with Leslie was not brave. Although you may disagree with her choice, and I do, she most certainly was brave to share that most intimate decision with another person. Abortion has been so demonized by the pro life movement that these women, doctors, and the men who make these choices live in secrecy. Even if you think abortion is always wrong, where is your sense of forgiveness? Your sense of learning from other mistakes as you view abortion as a mistake? Do you scorn everyone who makes mistakes? You must live a wonderful world of denial if you do.
6) Lastly, one of the thing that I absolutely hate about the pro life movement is that they do little to nothing to help support women and their children after they are born. It is kind of sick when you think of the money, time, energy, political forum that pro lifer put into ending the practice of abortion. Compared to how much they support life after it has been born. In fact a good portion of pro lifers are also anti welfare, against funding for social programs like free lunch etc... I would actually respect the pro life position if one of their leaders actually either adopted one of these unwanted children, set up social programs to help these unwanted children, or donated time and money to improve the world for children who did come into the world. Life may begin at conception but it doesn't end at birth. Put your money and energy into that. Enough ranting today.

Posted by: foamgnome | June 13, 2007 10:13 AM

Too many woman publicly express that it is "no big deal" to have an abortion then spend their lives struggling with the decision and unfortunately regretting it. The woman that brought about Roe v. Wade regretted her decision 25 years later and is now pro-life.

Leslie's column gives the impression that this is an easy decision when justified, but just the opposite is true, it is one of the hardest decisions a woman will make even under the best circumstances.
Posted by: | June 13, 2007 08:09 AM

It was the right decision at the right time. It was not one of the hardest decisions I ever made - the decision was so clearly right and was a decision made concurrently with my then-long-term boyfriend. Responsible adults do on occasion experience birth control failures -- and the key word is, "responsible." Making a decision to have a baby because of an emotional response to a sonogram is gutless. Make the decision that is right for the baby, not because you are scared, or spineless, or don't know what you believe. If there is anyone who hasn't fully thought through how he or she intends to handle an unintended pregnancy if it occurs, she is not mature enough to have sex.

I recognize that Jane Roe has taken the position that her decision was a mistake for her, and I am sorry that her entire life is stuck on that moment. One woman does not equal "many". I don't see any statistical basis for the statement that many women spend their lives struggling with it or regretting it. This is nothing more than a scare tactic used by anti-abortion zealots to suggest there is long-lasting mental trauma. The truth is, most women who opt for abortion have thought about it, are comfortable with it and never look back. Life goes on. No angst. No misery.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 10:13 AM

I haven't read all the comments. I just saw "Knocked Up" and they do discuss abortion (at least I'm pretty sure that's what they mean by "taking care of it"), the main character just decides not to have one.

Posted by: georgielou | June 13, 2007 10:14 AM

Many problems could be prevented if people didn't make mistakes; unfortunately, they do. The question, then, is what the price for making the mistake--assuming there was one--should be. Bearing and raising an unwanted child is too high a price for a mistake, and it is no favor to the child.

Posted by: THS | June 13, 2007 10:15 AM

"Every single woman has a choice to spread those legs or use the pill or a condom. THAT'S the choice."

Where is the choice with rape (including date rape) where is the choice in sexual harrasment (sleep with me or lose your job and you and your children are out on the street) Where is the choice when the condom breaks? Where is the choice with a perimenopasual women who's hormones are changing and the pill no longer works? All these cases may be rare, but they do exist so where is the choice in these cases?


later post

"ther really is no such thing as an unintended pregnancy. If you consensually have sex, you know you could become pregnant." So according to you no woman can get pregnant from a rape (including from an abusive husband - may not be a legal definition of rape, but definiately fits into the moral discussion)


The point is in these rare cases there is no choice for the woman.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 10:17 AM

"IUDs are 99.9% effective, hormonal birth control is more than 99% effective WHEN USED PROPERLY, etc. Gawande wrote that many of the women having unintented pregnancies used contraception wrong (missed pills, etc)."

Ok, let's look at that statement.

There are currently around 270 million people in the US. Assume half of them are women, and a third of those are in their childbearing years (that gives you 40,500,000 women who could become pregnant, BTW).

If we assume Alexis' numbers are accurate and the IUD is 99.9% effective, and all those childbearing women are using it (they aren't, nor are all childbearing women trying to avoid getting pregnant), that will mean that there would STILL be tens of thousands of unplanned pregnancies each year.

That doesn't even account for the women who want to get pregnant but find themselves in life threatening situations due to the pregnancy, rape/abuse, or pre-BC pregnancies such as in very young girls. What options should they have?

Posted by: John L | June 13, 2007 10:17 AM

I am an amateur genealogist. In 1996 I started researching my maternal great - grandmother who died in Sept. 1918 in the great flu epidemic, or so the story went. I got her death certificate from the state archives and was shocked to learn that her "primary cause of death" was listed as septicemia - blood poisioning - and the "contributory cause" was self - induced abortion. She died at age 32 and left 4 children ages 14 to 8 years of age and a husband. The eldest was my grandfather. This apparently was a big dark secret because no one in the family who was still alive in '96 knew this truth. I have yet to hear any pro-lifer talk about what would happen if Roe v Wade was (God frobid) overturned. Do they think abortions would just "go away?" What would be the consequence of overturning Roe v Wade...women will take matters into their own hands as my great-grandmother's life and tragic death exemplifies.

Posted by: Kris | June 13, 2007 10:18 AM

"Every single woman has a choice to spread those legs or use the pill or a condom. THAT'S the choice."

Where is the choice with rape (including date rape) where is the choice in sexual harrasment (sleep with me or lose your job and you and your children are out on the street) Where is the choice when the condom breaks? Where is the choice with a perimenopasual women who's hormones are changing and the pill no longer works? All these cases may be rare, but they do exist so where is the choice in these cases?"

If you had bother to read the rest of my post my "choice" comment would have made a little more sense.

Leslie, I am absoltely HORRIFIED by your description of abortion as "birth control". Why is your attitude so lax on such an important issue? It's a serious medical procedure- and should be used as a last resort, not just something women use as BIRTH CONTROL on a routine basis!

Also, it's NOT "no choice" or "pro choice".

Every single woman has a choice to spread those legs or use the pill or a condom. THAT'S the choice.

Before anyone thinks I'm some crazy pro-lifer:

I had an abortion was I was 18. It was AWFUL. I was totally "pro choice" until that point. I broke down in the recovery room and have never thought of abortion the same way.

I was recovering with a young woman who had just had her THIRD abortion. She told me this to comfort me, I suppose. Saying that I'd be fine...blah blah..."This is my third"...And this was in a lily white suburban town.

Talking about abortion- fine. But we shouldn't talk about it in order to NORMALIZE it- as you seem to want, Leslie.

It's a horrible thing to go through and I'd seriously question a woman's mental health if it didn't affect her negatively in some way.

I still think of my son/daughter and what life would have been like.

I look at my daughter now and wonder how I could have gone on without her. I feel even more strongly against abortion now that I have a child.

I still belive abortion should be legal- but with restrictions. There should be a lot less of it.

Posted by: SAHMbacktowork | June 13, 2007 10:01 AM


Posted by: SAHMbacktowork | June 13, 2007 10:20 AM

I see the choice issue as being an extension of the other choices opened by the women's movement.

You now have a choice to run your own busniiss, get credit in your name, be a doctor or lawyer, or a sahm.

No judgement, just your choice.

same with abortion.
It is gut-wrenching for some, vehemently opposed by others, but the choice is left to the women who will carry the child, go through labor, and probably end up as the main caregiver for the next 18-21 years.

You do not have to have an abortion, that is your choice.

Others have their own choice.

Posted by: One or the other... | June 13, 2007 10:21 AM

No matter what...as a man...it is hard to be involved in this discourse. I am married with 2 kids and my wife and I are both pro-choice. The question I have is...why is it that the same people who are strongly anti-abortion tend to be the same people who don't believe in teaching sex-ed in schools, in providing birth control at clinics, or in some cases using birth control at all. To me it seems as if the two positions don't work well together. I am sure I will hear arguments that abstience is best, but we all have to face the fact that that simply does not work. It has not worked in the history of mankind and it never will...no matter what religion you are. I am not saying it has not worked for some individuals, but as a strtegy for the population as a whole it has not, and never will work.

Posted by: HappyDad | June 13, 2007 10:25 AM

To the knuckleheaded anonymous poster at 10:17 - what do you thnk CONSENSUALLY means? I used that word specifically so as not to include coerced intercourse.

And to John L - as I stated, I'm procoice, so I obviously think abortion should be one of those choices, I'm just saying that we are being intellectually dishonest when we, in the face of data that outlines how many pregnancies could have been avoided by proper use of contraception, don't discuss how, by supporting women to take more responsibility for their contraceptive choices, we could strongly decrease the abortion rate since so many of them happen for this reason.

Posted by: Alexis | June 13, 2007 10:26 AM

"It's a horrible thing to go through and I'd seriously question a woman's mental health if it didn't affect her negatively in some way."

I'd seriously question a woman's mental health if it DID affect her negatively in some way. Anyone who focuses years later on a single life event from when she was 18 needs counseling badly. Get some counseling, lady. We're not all fruitloops.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 10:29 AM

John L, you wrote "I'll admit this right now; once she becomes pregnant, if the tests indicate that the baby will have Down's Syndrome or some other severe birth defect, we will abort. We are in 100% agreement on this."

Just wanted to let you know that you're not alone. My husband and I aren't trying right now, but we will be in two or three years, and we're 100% in agreement on the same thing.

Posted by: Kate | June 13, 2007 10:29 AM

To alex and everyone else:

It really doesn't matter if homosexuality is a choice or biological. You aren't hurting anyone, you should be able to live as you please

If it's a choice, so is religion. Should we legislate against that?

If it's hereditary, so is being black or asian. Should we legislate against that?

Posted by: atlmom | June 13, 2007 10:30 AM

To 9:50: Ok, so everybody who has a different opinion than you is an ultra-right wingnut? I do not believe in the drivel you spouted about raped women produce some chemical that prevents pregnancy. What kind of garbage are you spewing? That's ridiculous. I suggest YOU read a biology text book instead of snickering over science fiction comic books. Yes, there are a lot of rapes in the world. Most go unreported. Many are within the marital bed. But of the ones I know about that were reported and investigated by law enforcement officers, only 2 resulted in a pregnancy.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 10:31 AM

"Gee thanks, father of 4 for your understanding. We use birth control, and through no fault of my own, I am physically incapable of carrying a pregnancy to term, and yet, you suggest that if having sex would kill me, we shouldn't do that."

Why in the world don't you and/or your husband get sterilized? If being pregnant could kill you and you don't want to give up sex, it seems that tubal ligation with or without additional birth control would be a better choice than birth control alone.

Posted by: huh? | June 13, 2007 10:31 AM

Dear Kris,

I am so sorry.

Thank you for posting.

Posted by: to Kris | June 13, 2007 10:32 AM

"Birth control is very effective these days -- USE IT!!!!!! "

Actually anon, a few months ago the FDC published a report saying that the new generation birth controll pills are less effective than the earlier versions.

I don't think that abortion should be a political issue in this country. In many developing countries, one of the main causes of maternal mortality (besides access to health care) are illegal abortions. Do we really want to be in that situation in this country? We have enough with the high infant mortality rates in poor areas.

Posted by: MV | June 13, 2007 10:34 AM

Some (note to flamers - I say some and not all) pro-lifers are hypocrites who feel it is tolerable to kill as long as the killer is an adult who is performing a legal procedure. In my mind gives their cause a lack of credibility.

Posted by: DC lurker | June 13, 2007 10:36 AM

"Why in the world don't you and/or your husband get sterilized? If being pregnant could kill you and you don't want to give up sex, it seems that tubal ligation with or without additional birth control would be a better choice than birth control alone. "

Posted by: huh? | June 13, 2007 10:31 AM


My fault for not being explicit. He has had a vasectomy, AND I am on the pill, so the likelihood of me getting pregnant is small. Still, it is a comfort knowing termination is possible if all else fails.
I am not the best aneshtetic risk, or I'd have a hysterectomy or tubes tied, as well.

Posted by: 7:49 | June 13, 2007 10:39 AM

If you're anti-abortion, the best thing you can be is pro-comprehensive birth control. I cannot for the life of me understand those who are anti-choice and also advocate against sex education. Abstinence only programs don't work and studies have shown that kids who make abstinence pledges are less likely to use birth control when they do have sex. And they do have sex! They may delay for a few months, but eventually, most folks have sex before marriage. Comprehensive sex education will lower the number of unintended pregnancies and the overall abortion rate as a result.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 10:40 AM

I have yet to hear any pro-lifer talk about what would happen if Roe v Wade was (God frobid) overturned. Do they think abortions would just "go away?" What would be the consequence of overturning Roe v Wade...women will take matters into their own hands as my great-grandmother's life and tragic death exemplifies.

Posted by: Kris | June 13, 2007 10:18 AM

Kris,

If Roe v. Wade is overturned, it means that each state legislature has the authority to regulate or permit abortion consistent with the preferences of its voting citizenry. Most states had laws on the books that remain, and would be enforceable, if Roe v. Wade was overturned. I am not minimizing, but all pro-choice voters should know that the battle wouldn't be over, it would move to the states.

Posted by: Pro-Choice Chick | June 13, 2007 10:40 AM

there's hope for me, yet.

Mr. Mako

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 10:44 AM

Leslie, Leslie (shaking my head)are you hurting for topics these days? Abortion?
I will throw a shocker out there. I agree with Hillary Clinton on this one, Safe, Legal and RARE. I am against abortion for many reasons but I am also pragmatic. Some people can't or shouldn't have children for many reasons. The sticky part is the details of course.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 13, 2007 10:44 AM

"Abortion is not perfectly fine, it is crime against a defenseless life. Please stop perpetuating the idea that it is fine..."

Middle,

Anyone in this country is entirely within their legal and ethical rights to "perpetuate the idea" that abortion is "fine." That is because a woman's right to have an abortion is the law of the land.

You have no basis on which to insist that citizens refrain from publicly supporting the right to abortion. The right to voice this support is legally protected, as is the abortion procedure.

You may not like it, but abortion is legal. Certainly, you can oppose it. But scolding other people for showing their support is hardly an effective strategy for changing policy.

Posted by: pittypat | June 13, 2007 10:45 AM

The battle would move to the states, but at that point we'd be one Republican-majority Congress and a pro-life president away from a total ban on abortion.

I'm not over-reacting; for all the outcry about overturning Roe so that abortion can be a state decision, Congress certainly didn't allow the states to decide on partial-birth abortion, did it? Instead of letting each state ban or permit partial-birth as they wanted, Congress legislated for the entire country.

I think it's unfortunately naive to believe that if Roe is overturned, we won't have to worry about Congress doing the same thing with abortion as a whole.

Posted by: To Pro-Choice Chick | June 13, 2007 10:47 AM

You're right - that's a shocker, pATRICK. We are once again in agreement on all counts (esp., why this topic in this forum?). I'd like to see a lot more emphasis on the RARE part since the stats still show that 52% of abortions are being performed on women having their first one, and 48% of abortions are repeat choices.

Posted by: MN | June 13, 2007 10:48 AM

I have two kids and one abortion in between and have been happily married the whole time.

Abortion is, IMO, a tragedy, under any circumstances. Women (often times with the support of their partners) choose abortion for a number of reasons. It is not for me or anyone else to tell some woman I don't know and who's life I don't understand what she should or should not do with her body. Truly pro-life people should understand that the best thing to do is to keep abortion legal so it can be regulated. And to also examine the reasons why women have abortions. Sometimes it is for medical reasons, sometimes it is our of fear and shame. As a society, we can't do much for a woman facing serious medical problems, but it seems to me that women who feel they have no other choice but to abort for social reasons, that is where society needs to make changes. I wish no woman had to contemplate abortion for financial reasons. I wish the workplace was more equitable and family friendly so that pregnancy wouldn't hinder a woman's ability to advance in the workplace. I wish young girls (and the men and boys who get them pregnant) had better moral instruction and practical access to BC so they wouldn't have to abort out of shame. I don't mean to suggest that we should stigmatize sexuality or glorify sexual freedom, but there has to be a happy medium. And the bottom line is that under no circumstances, should a woman ever have to go to an un-licensed doctor in an un-regulated facility for an abortion.

Posted by: Anon for today | June 13, 2007 10:48 AM

We're not talking about a woman who was raped or a young girl who gets herself knocked up on accident. Does nobody see the difference between those situations and Leslie's friend's mom (and apparently the future Leslie)?

I find it shocking that a woman who had experienced the miracle of birth three times would willingly abort a child fathered by her own husband, presumably from an act of love and not rape. There are ALWAYS other options. If she's so open and willing to talk about her abortion she should have been able to go through the pregnancy and give the child up for adoption. THAT would be an act of courage that I would say "good for her!" about.


Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 10:49 AM

Abortion is a medical issue and it's really a shame that a medical procedure has been politicized. A woman has a right to choose to carry a baby to term or not. And the hyperbole surrounding the procedure is just awful. Precious few people choose to abort during the 2nd trimester (after 12 weeks) for "choice" reasons (career, don't feel like a baby, etc) and even fewer to none choose to do this after 18-20 weeks. The vast majority of the time it is done because the fetus has a very serious medical condition (lethal genetic condition, no brain, etc) or the mother has a very serious medical condition where the pregnancy can kill her. So these "partial birth" discussions and bans are misleading and cruel to those families that need to terminate a pregnancy for the reasons I cited.

With regard to the vast majority of abortions (that occure prior to 12 weeks), no one can tell a woman/girl what she can bear. For one woman, a career ending pregnancy can be devistating and she may have regrets her entire life carrying the pregnancy to term. So for her, termination is the right decision. The same for the mother of 3 who may not be able to bear a 4th, afford a 4th or whatever other reason she may have for termination. How dare anyone judge someone in that situation. If you "accidently" get pregnant and choose to carry to term, good for you. But you are no better than the woman who chooses to terminate.

And the stupid extremist argument that women are scarred for life is too much hyperbole. There may be some women who regret the decision, but anyone scarred for life most likely had an underlying mental illness to begin with. Women are capable of making these decisions and understanding the consequences. These arguements make me cringe.

My birth control failed and I got pregnant at the worst time for my career--I was married but so not ready for a child. I chose to proceed with the pregnancy but it was because I had a choice that I chose to have the child. If I was denied this choice, I might have found illicit means to terminate it.

Posted by: anon for obvious reasons | June 13, 2007 10:51 AM

The reason we see so few characters on TV shows choosing abortion is because surprise pregnancies have to be written into scripts when series actresses intentionally get pregnant in real life. Only a few series characters are pregnant when the actresses palying them aren't. Bea Arthur's character of Maude, who was 48, was the one major show where a lead character had an abortion. But that was back in the 70s when the memories of unsafe back-alley abortions were still fresh.

Posted by: | June 13, 2007 07:52 AM

This is absurd.

First of all, the reason so few TV characters choose abortions is that the networks won't play fast and loose with their enomous profits. They're terrified of boycotts of their sponsors by the evangelical right, and so they won't do a story line even remotely approving of abortion as a choice.

Second, pregnant actresses don't have to alter storylines to manage their pregnancies. Unless you're talking about a character who spends a lot of time in a bikini and is usually filmed full-body, then a pregnancy can be concealed in all sorts of ways.

During the 9-year run of "Everybody Loves Raymond," Patricia Heaton (who has four children) was pregnant at least three times, but no pregnancy was ever written into the story lines. Clothing, furniture, camera angles, and upper-body shots were all used for camouflage.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 10:55 AM

YAWN, I am sitting this one out. Have a nice day.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 13, 2007 10:56 AM

The reality is that those in the movement are dramatic and overreactive. The supreme court should never have made the decision and contrss should be passing the laws, or the state legislatures, but everyone is a coward

I don't give anymore to reactionary groups because they should not be fighting the fight every few yrs at the supreme court level they should be fighting the fight at the state level.

Posted by: atlmom | June 13, 2007 10:56 AM

My wife and I decided that she would have an abortion after an amnio showed a genetic problem. The decision was more difficult because of the uncertainties involved. For one thing, the nature of the genetic problem was such that we didn't know how affected a child would be. For another, she had previously had two early miscarriages, so we didn't know that she could successfully carry a pregnancy to term. (It is possible that the previous miscarriages were also due to genetic issues.) We were lucky - we did later have a child.

I'm with those who see the primary issue - balancing the rights of the mother and of the embryo/fetus/baby - as occurring on a continuum with few absolutes. Yes, at the end point there is a person, but at the beginning there is not. Figuring out where to draw the lines in between may be a painful process, and the lines may change over time.

Posted by: Cambridge, MA | June 13, 2007 10:57 AM

"My birth control failed and I got pregnant at the worst time for my career--I was married but so not ready for a child. I chose to proceed with the pregnancy but it was because I had a choice that I chose to have the child. If I was denied this choice, I might have found illicit means to terminate it."

HUH? So you're saying that if you didn't have the option to have a "safe" abortion in a doctor's office, that you would have chosen to go into a back alley somewhere to get rid of your baby? But because you did have the option to have a safe abortion, you didn't have one?

What an idiotic argument. Does your child know this?


Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 10:59 AM

I am pro-choice, 100%. My husband runs a business and of his minimum wage workers:

• One younger sister of a gentleman working for my husband, age 13, pregnant (had baby, it died from lack of prenatal care). This gentleman's family could not afford even a phone. He has 6 children of his own.

• One worker, age 16, pregnant and had baby. Her family could not afford the cost of an abortion. She no longer can work for my husband and has dropped out of school.

Both girls lived in poverty. Do you think that getting pregnant will be the thing to make their lives better? No, most likely it will doom them to further poverty.

Let's work to improve the lives of these young girls, so they have no need or time to go have unprotected sex. But if they do get pregnant, they should have easy accessibility to an abortion. It's heartbreaking to watch things like this happen to girls with their whole lives ahead of them, who are children themselves.

Posted by: Rebecca | June 13, 2007 11:00 AM

If sex is going to kill you, I suggest you avoid it.

Posted by: Father of 4 | June 13, 2007 08:16 AM

Nice one, Father of 4.

If crossing the street blind might kill you, I suggest you not cross any streets.

Seriously, can you really say you'd want to deprive another human being of a fundamental human activity when she can experience that activity with abortion as a back-up plan?

That's just plain ignorant.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 11:04 AM

Rebecca

"It's heartbreaking to watch things like this happen to girls with their whole lives ahead of them, who are children themselves."


You think the state has the right to prevent people on welfare from having children.

Posted by: Top Cat | June 13, 2007 11:04 AM

"A Modest Proposal" anyone?

I don't understand how a Modest Proposal has anything to do with modern day abortion rights.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 11:05 AM

*John L, you wrote "I'll admit this right now; once she becomes pregnant, if the tests indicate that the baby will have Down's Syndrome or some other severe birth defect, we will abort. We are in 100% agreement on this."

Just wanted to let you know that you're not alone. My husband and I aren't trying right now, but we will be in two or three years, and we're 100% in agreement on the same thing.*

Posted by: Kate | June 13, 2007 10:29 AM

So, both of you would abort if the child you were carrying had the trisomy-21 defect.
Wuold you abort if the child had some other defect which often, but not always, resulted in profound mental retardation?
How about if the condition only resulted in mild retardation?
How about if the child just won't be very bright?

What if the child will be autistic?
What if the child would be somewhere on the autism spectrum, but there's no telling where?
What if the child will just be antisocial?

What if the child will be born with a heart defect?
What about webbed fingers?
What if the child's just going to be plug ugly?

What if the child has a high probability of becoming scizophrenic at age 20?
What about a slight chance of bipolar disorder?
What if the child will just become strange?

What if the child is likely to have dyslexia, dysgraphia, ADHD, or processing disorders? What if the child just has a predisposition to hate school?

What if the child has juvenile diabetes?
What about allergies to gluten, nuts, lactose, cut grass or cats?

What about blindness or deafness?
What if the child will need glasses and braces?

What if you have five embryos (a common result of IVF) -- how will you choose who lives and who dies?

What if it's a girl, but you don't know how you will pay for college AND a wedding? Or a boy, and you have to come up with money for auto insurance AND college?

As soon as you have criteria for choosing which child is "good enough" to be carried to term, you are tumbling down the slippery slope. The distance from large flaws to minor imperfections is short indeed.

Posted by: educmom | June 13, 2007 11:06 AM

• One younger sister of a gentleman working for my husband, age 13, pregnant (had baby, it died from lack of prenatal care). This gentleman's family could not afford even a phone. He has 6 children of his own.

• One worker, age 16, pregnant and had baby. Her family could not afford the cost of an abortion. She no longer can work for my husband and has dropped out of school.

Both of these girls would have qualified for prenatal care under most state CHIP programs and nobody made #2 keep the baby. Coincidentally, why didn't your father help them out, or provide health benefits for these families?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 11:08 AM

"Honest, maybe we don't talk about it publicly because some things should be private. Remember when sex was something that happened between two people, behind closed doors and wasn't some slogan you wore on a tee-shirt?"

Yeah. And remember the days when those trashy girls who got themselves "in trouble" (yes, I said got THEMSELVES in trouble, because we all know it's the girls' own fault, apparently they can procreate on their own) risked their lives to get illegal abortions from people who may or may not have been medical professionals?

Man, those were the days, huh? I bet those trashy girls would think twice before they had sex (or were raped, whatever) again. I mean, those girls who lived through the back-alley abortions, of course, without dying of sepsis.

Posted by: nostalgia | June 13, 2007 11:09 AM

or rather, why didn't your husband provide health benefits for these families?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 11:10 AM

Rebecca,

My niece is 16 and due in August. I am not happy that she made such a stupid mistake when she had access to birth control. However, it is her body and her baby. Some people in our family wanted her to have an abortion; others wanted her to give the baby up for adoption. She chose neither. She is still in school and is going to go to college. She has the support of her family. Like some other bloggers on here told me, it's not the end of the world. I couldn't see it at the time, but now I do. People who want to get ahead in life will find a way no matter what obstacles befall them.

Posted by: scarry | June 13, 2007 11:11 AM

"or rather, why didn't your husband provide health benefits for these families?"

Isn't the husband a vicar?

Posted by: Elaine | June 13, 2007 11:13 AM

I think I am going to get totally slammed for this, but I agree with Leslie (loosely) about the concept of using abortion as a part of career planning.

When I was 22 I was a restaraunt manager, living alone, making barely $30,000 a year and found myself pregnant. I went to the doctor and got the ru486 pill and terminated the pregnancy. I was awful, painful, but in the end I felt it was the most natural way to go and I will never forget the experience of having a miscarriage. $600 for the series of pills was a small price to pay when comparing it the the long term expenses of a child.

Flash forward two years, I again found myself pregnant, now with a different job making significantly more money. This time I went to a different clinic that accepted insurance. Thank god for the liberal mind of the owner of my company. Abortion is 100% covered under our policy, all I paid was a co-pay on the day of the procedure.

Both times, terminating has been the right decision for me both personally and professionally. Who is to say I have to have a child because my pills didn't do their job? I would not have the amazing life and career I have now if I were two children deep into single parenthood. There is sadness and loss, but I look forward to the day that I will be able to provide a stable and loving life for the eventual children I will have.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 11:13 AM

educmom:OK, I say this as a mother of a child with a treatable genetic disorder, sleep disorder, and mildly on the autism spectrum. I would probably not ever choose to have an abortion myself for personal and religious reasons. But it is very different to compare a known condition like downs syndrome with treatable conditions such as my daughter's genetic disorder or spectrum disorders, such as autism. My daughter is very mildly on the autism spectrum and I think if you could test for this in the womb most reasonable people would choose to continue a pregnancy if their child had the same level of autistic traits as my daughter. But downs syndrome is different then autism. Because there has been a great deal of knowledge acquired about the condition and even in it's mildest form, it is much more limiting then the mildest forms of autism. So I am not sure it is fair for you to compare the two. I doubt JohnL and his wife is looking for a genetically perfect person, as one probably does not exist. But ruling out known genetic disorders that have a profound effect on limiting your life is very different then saying I would abort anyone who was less then 100% perfect.

Posted by: faomgnome | June 13, 2007 11:14 AM

I can recall a couple motion pictures set in Europe where women had abortions -- "Darling" in about 1966 when the main character had an abortion without a second thought, then cried over a dead goldfish. The other was "Cabaret" where Sally Bowles hocks her fur coat to have it done. Not being a TV watcher, I don't bother with what characters in TV series are doing. A lot of those 1960's English 'kitchen sink' films dealt with unhappy wives and abortion, too. Apparently abortion is very common in Russia where they have production line procedures. Kind of scarey but you either deal with a dead fetus or a dead woman from a botched illegal procedure.

Not all babies are a gift from God unless people are having religious experiences in the back seat of Buicks.

Posted by: Surfin' & Lurkin' | June 13, 2007 11:16 AM

"HUH? So you're saying that if you didn't have the option to have a "safe" abortion in a doctor's office, that you would have chosen to go into a back alley somewhere to get rid of your baby? But because you did have the option to have a safe abortion, you didn't have one?

What an idiotic argument. Does your child know this?"

Wow, comments like that only perpetuate the view that the far right are a bunch of idiots who don't understand nuance.

Because I had a choice, I could think through the issues carefully. If I didn't have this choice, I would feel desperate and perhaps impulsively seek an "illicit" solution. My OB brought up the issue in a very kind and non-judgemental way so that we could discuss the issues and I concluded I wanted to proceed with the pregnancy. If abortion were not a legal option, the discussion may not have taken place and I would I have sought other means to terminate the pregnancy.

Posted by: anon for obvious reasons | June 13, 2007 11:16 AM

Both times, terminating has been the right decision for me both personally and professionally. Who is to say I have to have a child because my pills didn't do their job? I would not have the amazing life and career I have now if I were two children deep into single parenthood. There is sadness and loss, but I look forward to the day that I will be able to provide a stable and loving life for the eventual children I will have.

Posted by: | June 13, 2007 11:13 AM

Please don't have kids. You clearly lack any self discipline or any ability to make sacrifice for them. You didn't have to keep either child. YOu could have worked while pregnant and then given them up for adoption - oh, but that probably would have been embarassing for you. Better then to terminate and deny the child a chance than you be even the slightest bit embarassed.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 11:16 AM

scarry

Who is paying for your niece's child?

Posted by: anon | June 13, 2007 11:17 AM

Who is to say I have to have a child because my pills didn't do their job.

Abortion is not birth control. Can't you use another method is your pills don't work. I can see one time, but two? That is just carelessness.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 11:17 AM

If abortion were not a legal option, the discussion may not have taken place and I would I have sought other means to terminate the pregnancy.


You are a simple, simple woman. It scares me that you might be in charge of children or a motor vehicle.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 11:18 AM

I have not had an experience with abortion. I am a stay-at-home-Dad of two lovely young girls. I have two points. First, I'm pro-choice which is not to say I am pro-abortion. I am simply pro-choice. I think a woman should have the right to decide for herself, however she comes to that decision, on her own, through discussing it with loved ones, on the advice of clergy, etc. I just don't think anyone has the right to apply their beliefs or values to someone else. We are after all, a pluralist nation, founded, at least partially, on the principle of religious freedom. If you are pro-life, that is great. If your religious belief system teaches you that life is sacred and should be cherished, then by all means teach that to your children, but leave my daughters out of it. I simply do not want someone else prescribing what is "right" for them. My wife and I will do that thank you.

Secondly, there is a lot of suffering, especially by children, in this nation that could benefit from the attention of all of us. If you are really pro-life, why not make the lives of these children better and give them a chance by supporting and getting involved in organizations that fight child abuse and neglect or children in poverty, etc., as opposed to the self-righteous positoning of telling someone else they are wrong for choosing to have an abortion or calling them murderers. Yes, I disagree with the choice, but again, it's not my choice or your choice and it's not our place to impose our religious beliefs and values on another individual. It just seems to me there are so many other serious issues that negatively impact the life of so many people, including children, in this nation that could benefit from all this focus and attention.

Posted by: Father of Daughters | June 13, 2007 11:19 AM

educmom,

What my wife and I decide to do based on those tests is our decision, and it's none of your business what we do. If the fetus will have severe defects we'll abort.

If we find ourselves in a situation where there are serious defects but not Down's or one of the other severe abnormalities, our decision will be based on much discussion with her doctor, research and soulsearching for both of us, and yes, you can think whatever you like about me; it won't change our decision one iota.

But hey, thanks for caring (not).

Posted by: John L | June 13, 2007 11:19 AM

"Maybe we should start filling out death certificates and holding funerals every time a woman gets her period, because her egg died."

Oooh...Is this a prosecutable offense? I think we should go after all those skanky women and charge 'em with murder!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 11:20 AM

If Roe v. Wade is overturned, it means that each state legislature has the authority to regulate or permit abortion consistent with the preferences of its voting citizenry. Most states had laws on the books that remain, and would be enforceable, if Roe v. Wade was overturned. I am not minimizing, but all pro-choice voters should know that the battle wouldn't be over, it would move to the states.

Posted by: Pro-Choice Chick | June 13, 2007 10:40 AM

For a few years before Roe v. Wade, DC was among several jurisdictions where abortion was legal and safe. So women from other states just came here to get their abortions. If abortion were outlawed in the entire US, women who could afford it would go to other countries for the procedure. Or, like in the bad old days, get unsafe back-alley abortions or self-induce (see Kris posting above), with a high risk of death or serious medical complications.

The solution is morning-after pills and abortion drugs like RU-486, to eliminate most of the need for surgical abortion.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 11:21 AM

scarry

Who is paying for your niece's child?

Why would you ask that?

Posted by: scarry | June 13, 2007 11:21 AM

"When I was 22 I was a restaraunt manager, living alone, making barely $30,000 a year and found myself pregnant."

"Flash forward two years, I again found myself pregnant, now with a different job making significantly more money."

Perhaps if you would figure out what caused pregnancy you wouldn't keep "finding" yourself pregnant.

Karma has a way of biting people in the a**. I really hope for your sake that you don't "find" yourself with infertility issues when you're 38 and finally decide that the time is right to have children.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 11:21 AM

Foamgnome,

I was not really trying to directly compare Down's and autism. I was trying to make the point that, as you said, there is so such thing as genetic perfection, and it seems to me that choosing to continue or terminate a pregnancy just because the baby would be born with a predicted disorder seems immoral to me.

BTW, you must be one tired mom -- sleep disorder, mild autism, and another genetic problem! Do you have support?

Posted by: educmom | June 13, 2007 11:22 AM

Educmom, your hypotheticals are incredibly weak. You seem to imply that not wanting to bring a child with *genetic mutations* that will require a lifetime of assistance into the world is the equivalent to not wanting to have an ugly child or not being able to afford to pay for a wedding. Are you serious?

You claim that "The distance from large flaws to minor imperfections is short indeed," but that isn't what your list of supposed flaws addresses. You're talking about crap like paying for car insurance. How in god's name does that equate to Downs syndrome?

It doesn't. At all. If you're going to try to take away a woman's right to choose, you should at least have the decency to be upfront about it, and not try to rely on straw man arguments that have nothing to do with the subject at hand.

Posted by: Kate | June 13, 2007 11:22 AM

I think we should go after all those skanky women and charge 'em with murder!

Posted by: | June 13, 2007 11:20 AM

I think we should go after all those skanky men they're hooking up with and charge 'em with failure to keep it in their pants!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 11:22 AM

Again--how dare anyone judge anyone else's reasons for seeking a termination of a pregnancy? It is an intimately private decision and calling it a slippery slope is not accurate. Each decision is its own decision and each person (family) decides how much he/she or it can bear. Abortion must remain legal and we need to work for insurance and medicaid coverage of this important medical procedure.

Posted by: anon for obvious reasons | June 13, 2007 11:22 AM

To topcat: açtually, if someone is on welfare, then I'm paying the bills and I (ie the govt) should most definitely have the ability to tell people how to live.

Same as my roof my rules. You don't like it? Get a job.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 11:23 AM

"if someone is on welfare, then I'm paying the bills and I (ie the govt) should most definitely have the ability to tell people how to live."

That is a lazy, stupid argument. You pay taxes and our representative government decides how to spend it. It is no longer your money once it goes to the IRS and you have no right to tell others how to live. This is the United States of American, not a fascist dictatorship.


Posted by: To anon at 11:23 | June 13, 2007 11:27 AM

To topcat: açtually, if someone is on welfare, then I'm paying the bills and I (ie the govt) should most definitely have the ability to tell people how to live.

Same as my roof my rules. You don't like it? Get a job.

I pay taxes too, should I get to deny people the free clinic bases on ethnicity or if they work? Should I get to tell people they can't go to school because I don't like how they live their lives? Tell you not to drive your car on my roads because I don't like what you drive?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 11:27 AM

Medically, all abortions are divided (like Gaul) into three classes. Approximately one in every five pregnancies ends in a spontaneous abortion -- the medical term for a miscarriage. Since complications from pregnancy, labor and delivery can sometimes do serious damage to a woman's body, a physician can perform a therapeutic abortion to halt or prevent the damage. The abortions that Leslie Morgan Steiner '87 is describing fall into the third class, known as elective abortion. The Random House College Dictionary gives, as meaning No. 5 of "elective," "open to choice; optional; not required."

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | June 13, 2007 11:27 AM

educmom: Yes, we have support and yes we are tired. But we actually go back to the neurologist this Friday to deal with her sleep disorder. We are hoping to get melatonin for her. So that should help a great deal. I do understand where you are coming from. I know, even though I don't like it, that there are people in the world who would choose to abort children with my daughter's condition. Even though my daughter is a fully functioning and wonderful child who has a lot to give the world. But frankly, maybe those people shouldn't be parents and abortion might be the most humane way to deal with people like that. But I do think Downs is radically different and I think even if I disagree with their decision, I respect it is their choice to make. But if you think about it, there are people in the world who would abort my daughter just because she is a girl-think China or India. Sad but true. Everyone needs to live with their own choices.

Posted by: foamgnome | June 13, 2007 11:27 AM

To topcat: açtually, if someone is on welfare, then I'm paying the bills and I (ie the govt) should most definitely have the ability to tell people how to live.

Why don't you live in China, they love to tell people how to live their lives.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 11:28 AM

scarry

"Who is paying for your niece's child?

Why would you ask that? "

I want to know if I am paying for this baby.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 11:29 AM

". . . it seems to me that choosing to continue or terminate a pregnancy just because the baby would be born with a predicted disorder seems immoral to me."

educmom, it's clear from your statement at
9:15, referring to "prenatal infantacide" that you believe terminating a pregnancy for ANY reason is immoral. You, of course, have the right to your opinion. Nonetheless, someone who approaches to the topic of abortion with the attitude that abortion is infanticide has no business engaging with other parents on whether to abort because of a birth defect.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 11:30 AM

As a followup,

"educmom" is engaging in what is called a strawman argument; throw out stupid arguments that no rational person would agree to in order to strengthen her position.

Neither I nor my wife would want to terminate a pregnancy simply because a child was ugly, "strange" (hell, I'm strange by some people's definition), need to wear glasses or some other minor non-perfect characteristic.

Severe physical/mental defects aren't the same as food allergies, though, as several other posters have already called her on.

Posted by: John L | June 13, 2007 11:31 AM

YOu could have worked while pregnant and then given them up for adoption - oh, but that probably would have been embarassing for you.

What about if the pregnant girl is in high school, or middle school? The shame and embarrassment would be more than many girls are equipped emotionally to handle. But you would probably think that pregnancy was their punishment, their scarlet letter, for having had sex, even if they didn't know how to prevent it, or how to convince the boy to prevent it.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 11:33 AM

What my wife and I decide to do based on those tests is our decision, and it's none of your business what we do.

___________________

If you write about in a public blog, then yeah, other people have the right to comment. If it's so private, then keep it private. I don't agree with what the poster said, but geesh, if you put it out there, it's fair game.

Posted by: R | June 13, 2007 11:33 AM

scarry

"Who is paying for your niece's child?

Why would you ask that? "

I want to know if I am paying for this baby

Am I paying for yours?

Posted by: scarry | June 13, 2007 11:34 AM

"educmom" is engaging in what is called a strawman argument; throw out stupid arguments that no rational person would agree to in order to strengthen her position

You disagree with them, so that automatically makes them stupid?

Posted by: ? | June 13, 2007 11:34 AM

Yes, abortion should remain legal; I never indicated otherwise (in fact,I already said as much in an earlier post).

I did not set up straw man arguments. I posited hypotheticals; try to imagine what might be concluded if the base assumptions were taken to their logical conclusions. You seem to disagree with my conclusions.

If a person wants to kill a child because the child will have difficulties that can be predicted by prenatal testing, then perhaps that person isn't ready to have children. The severity of the difficulties does not matter; the potential parent has already decided that some children do not deserve to live.

That is not my decision to make. I don't presume to make it. My decision, in that situation, would be different.

My beliefs about the sanctity of human life may be different that some others' beliefs, but they are not radical or controversial. John L's are not either; I simply do not share his moral beliefs in this matter.

Posted by: educmom | June 13, 2007 11:36 AM

scarry

My child is 36 years old; there is little chance you paid for much of this kid's life.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 11:37 AM

"What about if the pregnant girl is in high school, or middle school? "

But she WASN'T. She was a grown woman in her 20's.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 11:37 AM

They're stupid arguments because they are entirely unrelated to the issue she was commenting on. This isn't about agreeing with her point or not; it's about her trying to change the subject to one she seems to think she's more likely to win.

Posted by: Kate | June 13, 2007 11:38 AM

Back when I was in high school, there were always a couple of girls each year that would get pregnant. The rule back then was that, as soon as they began showing, they were no longer allowed to attend school and were tutored at home, at the school system's expense.

I suppose this was to avoid having the rest of us ask questions like "why is Gail getting fat?" to our teachers, and cause them to actually have to address the whole issue of how she got that way in the first place.

Of course, everyone I knew understood quite well why the girls were "getting fat", but for some reason the school system couldn't bring themselves to recognize this. To them separating the pregnant girls from the rest of us needed to be done, as if they might contaminate us all (or cause us to start screwing in the hallways...).

Posted by: John L | June 13, 2007 11:38 AM

I am a 26 year old female whose mother was VERY open when discussing sex, birth control, abortion, etc. Even though it made me red in the face when I was a teenager I am so grateful she was so open and honest about sex. As I grew up I always had someone to go to when I had questions or was given good resources. Friends of mine whose families were not as open would come talk to my mom because they felt like they had no one else to talk to and because they trusted her.

My group of girlfriends in high school (large public high school)was not your typical group there were 15 girls who ALL remained virgins in high school. A statistical anomaly!

I now have a healthy sex life, am on birth control and know that I can still speak openly with my mother or my doctor about anything.

There is SUCH a need in our country for a more open healthy discussions about sex. We need to stop funding abstinence only education which as been proven over and over to be ineffective.

Sex should not be a taboo subject especially between parents and their children.

I feel so fortunate to have a mother who believed in being open and honest.

Posted by: More discussion needed! | June 13, 2007 11:39 AM

"What about if the pregnant girl is in high school, or middle school? "

But she WASN'T. She was a grown woman in her 20's.

Posted by: | June 13, 2007 11:37 AM

So you're saying you would consider abortion an acceptable solution for a pregnant high school or younger girl?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 11:40 AM

Alex--while I do not believe that being gay is a choice--I believe it is how people are born--there has been some kind of shift in the view of sexuality. Take a look at college campuses and their view of "hooking up" one weekend it is a woman the next it is a man...there are people who choose to be both because it is in and somewhere along the line we made it acceptable. I have no problem with gay couples and I support the right of gay couples to have the same legal rights that hetero couples have...I think sex is a private matter and I think we should keep it that way.

Posted by: Chris 1458 | June 13, 2007 11:40 AM

scarry

My child is 36 years old; there is little chance you paid for much of this kid's life.

Okay, well maybe my parent's paid for him or her.

Posted by: scarry | June 13, 2007 11:42 AM

John L.: I am impressed by your courage in sticking around for this today, with your civility in responding to the uncivil, and wish you and your wife all the best.

to anon at 11:29 who asks, "I want to know if I am paying for this baby," regrettably, I pay for the roads you drive on and the services of the FBI in the event someone commits a federal crime against you. You have the same responsibility for scarry's niece. That's the nature of the federal government, bub. You couldn't possibly be attempting to embarrass scarry by needling her about whether her niece might qualify for public assistance, because what kind of desparate low-life derives satisfaction from bashing the personal choices of extended family members of strangers on a blog?

Posted by: MN | June 13, 2007 11:43 AM

Back when I was in high school, there were always a couple of girls each year that would get pregnant. The rule back then was that, as soon as they began showing, they were no longer allowed to attend school and were tutored at home, at the school system's expense.

The rule when I was in school was that, as soon as pregnant girls began showing, they were expelled, and became drop-outs. That taught 'em a real lesson

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 11:43 AM

"If a person wants to kill a child because the child will have difficulties that can be predicted by prenatal testing, then perhaps that person isn't ready to have children."

I don't agree at all. Perhaps that person is simply evaluating the costs to his/her family and society of bringing a baby with known genetic deformities into the world and deciding that the costs are too much. The costs are huge - to the parents, to the school system, to the baby's siblings once the parents are dead. And we're talking about a child that might not have survived one hundred years ago, but only can now because of modern medicine.

It's not good for society to start from the standpoint that every single human being that can be born deserves to be. It might be good for our consciences, but it's not ultimately a productive use of resources. I don't think it's unreasonable for a family to evaluate these issues before deciding whether to carry these pregnancies to term.

Posted by: anon for now | June 13, 2007 11:45 AM

"Gee thanks, father of 4 for your understanding. We use birth control, and through no fault of my own, I am physically incapable of carrying a pregnancy to term, and yet, you suggest that if having sex would kill me, we shouldn't do that."

Why in the world don't you and/or your husband get sterilized? If being pregnant could kill you and you don't want to give up sex, it seems that tubal ligation with or without additional birth control would be a better choice than birth control alone.

Posted by: huh? | June 13, 2007 10:31 AM

Sterilizing a woman is abdominal surgery and is performed in a hospital.

A vasectomy is outpatient. He's home within a few hours, with an ice-pack. Easy to get samples to see if any little swimmers show up after one year.

Posted by: "V" is for more than victory! | June 13, 2007 11:45 AM

In ancient societies, infants with birth defects that would not cause us to bat an eye today were routinely killed.
Children who were unwanted often "died" at childbirth.

That is infantacide. Just because it takes place in the womb does not change the end result -- a child is no longer living.

I DO have strong beliefs about abortion. I also strongly believe that men and women should use pregnancy prevention methods to reduce their chances of having to make the decision in the first place.

*Nonetheless, someone who approaches to the topic of abortion with the attitude that abortion is infanticide has no business engaging with other parents on whether to abort because of a birth defect.*

Please explain why my moral beliefs must be set aside in this instance.

Posted by: educmom | June 13, 2007 11:45 AM

Thanks MN,

I am not embarrassed at all by the rude questioning. For someone to think that their tax dollars are going to end up paying for my niece (I mean really can you direct deposit for her) is rather silly.

Posted by: scarry | June 13, 2007 11:46 AM

Please, everyone, stop referring to abortion as a "convenient" choice. How many times has it been discussed on this blog that having a kid (even a fourth kid) is more than inconvenient: it changes your whole life. Changes your marriage/relationship, your other kids, your job, your finances, your hobbies, every part of your life... oh, and you had better not screw it up!

I truly doubt that a choice to terminate a pregnancy comes from a distaste for being inconvenienced.

Posted by: sfgirl | June 13, 2007 11:46 AM

Hear, hear, Kate @ 8:59 a.m.!

You state your position beautifully, and I second everything you said.

Posted by: pittypat | June 13, 2007 11:49 AM

"Abortion is a medical issue and it's really a shame that a medical procedure has been politicized."

Politicized, yes. But it is definitely NOT just a medical issue.

Posted by: anon | June 13, 2007 11:49 AM

I find it shocking that a woman who had experienced the miracle of birth three times would willingly abort a child fathered by her own husband, presumably from an act of love and not rape.

Psst...he was probably in on the decision too.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 11:50 AM

Reston, face up to the fact that there ARE children who are not wanted....they ARE dumped in trashcans, left on doorsteps, dropped off at firestations....becoming yet another mouth for the STATE to feed and to potentially be abused and further unloved.

I've had children and I had considered having an abortion with my second b/c the father and I were thinking of splitting up (still are) and having to take care of two kids just seemed like something I couldn't do alone. Matter of fact, the only reason we are together is because we have two kids. So, we have two kids we love that I can't provide for if I had to do it alone and I love my second to death, but now I have about 15 years of personal unhappyness and sacrific ahead of me.

Posted by: tlawrenceva | June 13, 2007 11:50 AM

scarry

"Okay, well maybe my parent's paid for him or her. "

Maybe your parents paid for the private schools, braces, camps, cars, college, etc.

Why would they pay for my kid to have a better life than yours?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 11:51 AM

"Please explain why my moral beliefs must be set aside in this instance."

I didn't take that as an insult, exactly - more as a statement that because you think all abortions are wrong, it's not really fair for you to debate the morality of aborting for a specific purpose, because you're always going to oppose abortion regardless of the purpose. Your opposition makes it impossible for you to participate from the standpoint of purely evaluating one purpose or the other, because to you all purposes are presumptively invalid.

I don't think the person was trying to insult you.

Posted by: To Educmom | June 13, 2007 11:51 AM

Reston, face up to the fact that there ARE children who are not wanted....they ARE dumped in trashcans, left on doorsteps, dropped off at firestations....becoming yet another mouth for the STATE to feed and to potentially be abused and further unloved.

I've had children and I had considered having an abortion with my second (who was an accident) b/c the father and I were thinking of splitting up (still are) and having to take care of two kids just seemed like something I couldn't do alone. Matter of fact, the only reason we are together is because we have two kids. So, we have two kids we love that I can't provide for if I had to do it alone and I love my second to death, but now I have about 15 years of personal unhappyness and sacrific ahead of me.

Posted by: tlawrenceva | June 13, 2007 11:51 AM

MN,

Yeah, I know I painted a bullseye on my chest when I said we had conditions where we'd terminate the pregnancy. I wanted to make it clear there were reasons why even a married couple who want a child may find it necessary to terminate a pregnancy, though, and used my own situation as an example.

Obviously there are some here who have a different opinion on this subject, and that's fine, as long as they've got no control over what WE decide to do.

I do find the underlying tone of "educmom"'s comments rather sanctimonious ("immoral", "kill a child", "should not have children", etc), but as I said, she's got her opinion and she can think what she likes about me.

Posted by: John L | June 13, 2007 11:52 AM

I had an abortion when I was 15. Getting pregnant at that age was a ridiculous mistake, for which I have always taken full responsiblity. I have always felt nothing but relief that there was a way to undue the huge problem I found myself facing.

Fast forward 30 years -- age 45, daughters 9 and 11, and a "second honeymoon" in Paris. You know where this is going. A few weeks later I thought my peri-menopause symptoms were increasing. Then I realized there might be another cause, which a home pregnancy test confirmed. I was pregnant. I again made the decision to abort the fetus.

In both cases, my abortions were in the first trimester. I had no romantic feelings over the fetus growing in me. My health care was provided by supportive individuals. And I have absolutely no regrets.

Some of you have speculated that Leslie's friend's Mom must have felt regret, even if she didn't share it. I'll bet she didn't. For some of us, it's not an earthshattering decision. It's a simple decision for reasons that make sense at the time and continue to make sense as we get older.

In terms of "balance," at age 15 a baby would have completely disrupted my life. At age 45, it would have done so as well. Having lived through it twice, I know that the first five years of a child's life are physically hard work for parents. I have relished getting beyond that stage. We now have a pretty good family life, with time together, time with friends, time for active church involvement, time for extra curriculars at school, and time to do what we, as a family, love best. We can also afford some things that we like -- cross country skiing in the winter together, camping in the summer, being able to buy nice outfits for piano recitals, etc. All this would be in jeapordy if we added a third child. The balance we have worked for over the past 12 years would disappear.

I respect people's choices that are different than mine. What I don't like is when people tell those of us who easily choose abortions that we're secretly conflicted, or upset, when we aren't.

Posted by: RosieReader | June 13, 2007 11:52 AM

*Nonetheless, someone who approaches to the topic of abortion with the attitude that abortion is infanticide has no business engaging with other parents on whether to abort because of a birth defect.*

Please explain why my moral beliefs must be set aside in this instance.


Posted by: educmom | June 13, 2007 11:45 AM

Don't set them aside. Stop foisting them on others.

Based on your own comments, you are not capable of engaging in a rational discussion about whether it makes sense to abort any fetus with any defect. If you really don't understand why you have no business in the birth-defect conversation, because of your repeatedly expressed view that abortion is infanticide (and please spell it correctly), then consider the same sort of moral argument in a different context. Potential jurors who express the belief that the death penalty is morally wrong are routinely dismissed from juries in cases where the prosecutor, if she obtains a conviction, intends to seek the death penalty. Back to discussing abortion, if you don't acknowledge any instance in which abortion is acceptable, how can you participate in a nuanced conversation about birth defects?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 11:53 AM

YOU DON"T HAVE TO KEEP THE BABIES! Why do so few women have the courage to carry them and let another family raise them? In the great scope of your life, how much is 9 months really (really more like 7 since generally for 2 of them, you don't even know.)

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 11:53 AM

"Didn't Christina from "Grey'a Anatomy" have an abortion? That's one show where there wasn't a convenient miscarriage."

I don't know if anyone else pointed this out, but it was a convenient miscarriage. Ectopic pregnancy, burst Fallopian, the works. Nothing more convenient than that. Although I do have to note that she had planned on having an abortion.

Posted by: Mona | June 13, 2007 11:53 AM

But ruling out known genetic disorders that have a profound effect on limiting your life is very different then saying I would abort anyone who was less then 100% perfect.

Let's not forget that there are reasons for genetic testing. Sickle cell, anyone?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 11:54 AM

I'm honestly interested in how you reconcile your stated belief that life begins at conception with your surgery for an ectopic pregnancy. I understand that an ectopic pregnancy cannot be carried to term, but why do you (and the catholic church) think of it as something other than an abortion? Is it because it is fatal to the mother?

Posted by: to EducMom: | June 13, 2007 11:54 AM

"I say the old men can keep their laws off my body, but I feel the same way for the pro-choice women as well."

Scarry,

The pro-choice women don't want anything to do with your body. They're not advocating forcing you to do anything you don't want to -- such as have an abortion.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 11:55 AM

"Leslie's column gives the impression that this is an easy decision when justified, but just the opposite is true, it is one of the hardest decisions a woman will make even under the best circumstances."

Not true for all women. Some women really aren't that conflicted about it. I wasn't. I knew exactly what I wanted (or, should I say, didn't want-- to be pregnant and to be a mother). It absolutely WAS NOT a choice that I agonized over. Never a second in my heart did I think I wanted to be a mother. I will do anything in the future to avoid being in a similar circumstance (unplanned pregnancy), but for that moment, the decision was certainly not a difficult one. It was easy.

Posted by: Anon. today | June 13, 2007 11:56 AM

"Please explain why my moral beliefs must be set aside in this instance."

For the same reason that if you oppose the death penalty on moral grounds you won't be allowed to serve on a jury in a case where capital punishment is a possible penalty if the defendant is convicted.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 11:59 AM

The author seems to have missed the point of "Knocked Up."

It does discuss abortion: Unfavorably. Remember when the mother callously advises her pregnant daughter to "take care of it" and "have a real baby" sometime down the road? The entire film carries a message of taking responsibility for one's actions -- on her part, and on his part too -- and about the change made to your life once you've brought another into the world

I think our society has reached an interesting conclusion on abortion: Sure, it's legal, but it's also something that most people look down up -- and properly so.

It's a shameful enough act that "Knocked Up" portrays people speaking in euphemisms about it. And with the exception of Leslie, who is in the minority who doesn't have this sense of shame, this is the norm, I think.

Posted by: Travis | June 13, 2007 11:59 AM

As to my own part, having turned my thoughts for many years upon this important subject, and maturely weighed the several schemes of other projectors, I have always found them grossly mistaken in the computation. It is true, a child just dropped from its dam may be supported by her milk for a solar year, with little other nourishment; at most not above the value of 2s., which the mother may certainly get, or the value in scraps, by her lawful occupation of begging; and it is exactly at one year old that I propose to provide for them in such a manner as instead of being a charge upon their parents or the parish, or wanting food and raiment for the rest of their lives, they shall on the contrary contribute to the feeding, and partly to the clothing, of many thousands.

There is likewise another great advantage in my scheme, that it will prevent those voluntary abortions, and that horrid practice of women murdering their bastard children, alas! too frequent among us! sacrificing the poor innocent babes I doubt more to avoid the expense than the shame, which would move tears and pity in the most savage and inhuman breast.

[snip]

I am assured by our merchants, that a boy or a girl before twelve years old is no salable commodity; and even when they come to this age they will not yield above three pounds, or three pounds and half-a-crown at most on the exchange; which cannot turn to account either to the parents or kingdom, the charge of nutriment and rags having been at least four times that value.

[snip]

I do therefore humbly offer it to public consideration that of the hundred and twenty thousand children already computed, twenty thousand may be reserved for breed, whereof only one-fourth part to be males; which is more than we allow to sheep, black cattle or swine; and my reason is, that these children are seldom the fruits of marriage, a circumstance not much regarded by our savages, therefore one male will be sufficient to serve four females. That the remaining hundred thousand may, at a year old, be offered in the sale to the persons of quality and fortune through the kingdom; always advising the mother to let them suck plentifully in the last month, so as to render them plump and fat for a good table.

Posted by: I looked it up | June 13, 2007 11:59 AM

I fooled around and fell in love....

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 11:59 AM

I disagree with many of points made in this article.
The main point I have a problem with is this one:
"Most working women (at least the sexually active ones) need birth control, including abortion, to plan their careers -- sometimes, you need to say "no" to motherhood in order to build your reputation, get more training or an advanced degree, accept a promotion, or simply to work very hard for a certain period of time."
Why are women still "forced" to choose between a career and a family? Why can we not have both? Understandably, as a young woman who just started her career a child would not be on the top of my priority list. But if I so chose to have a child, why should I be discriminated against because I have one? Why am I not qualified because I have a child? I think the burden lies on employers and companies to understand that women are a vital addition to the workplace and yes, women get pregnant and have babies. I think this is the real abuse or subjugation Ms. Steiner is talking about. That in a corporate world women are "forced" to choose between work and motherhood, she should be able to succeed in both.

Posted by: SM | June 13, 2007 12:01 PM


"Please explain why my moral beliefs must be set aside in this instance."

I didn't take that as an insult, exactly - more as a statement that because you think all abortions are wrong, it's not really fair for you to debate the morality of aborting for a specific purpose, because you're always going to oppose abortion regardless of the purpose. Your opposition makes it impossible for you to participate from the standpoint of purely evaluating one purpose or the other, because to you all purposes are presumptively invalid.

I don't think the person was trying to insult you.

Posted by: To Educmom | June 13, 2007 11:51 AM

I didn't take the post as an insult. Basically, I don't see why generalized moral opposition to abortion precludes me from any debate on circumstances. John L. was offering a justification for abortion, and I was making the point that I don't think there are any really good justifications for it. But, again, all I can do is make my point (and, if I come across as superior, sorry, but so be it); I will not picket clinics, donate money to rabid anti-abortionists, or support politicians who advocate overturning Roe v. Wade -- even though I am morally opposed to abortion. I don't have to answer for others' choices; I am only responsible for my own.

Posted by: educmom | June 13, 2007 12:02 PM

"I do feel that there should be severe limitations on late-term abortions - any one who can't decide after six months, you don't have the choice anymore. The only way that it should be legal is in the case of danger to the woman's life or where there are serious problems with the baby and it will not survive."

Posted by: | June 13, 2007 09:06 AM

Oh, so? Suppose she's seven months pregnant with a healthy fetus, and she breaks up with her boyfriend who is the father of the fetus. And suppose she knows that if carried to term, her baby would be a constant reminder of the failed relationship, and a damage to her psychological and emotional health. Should the government be able to force her to go through two more months of pregnancy, and then the pain of labor and delivery?

"I think more work needs to be done to make abortion less common, but it should never be anything less than a women's choice, in the end." (9:06 AM)

In the end? Even after six months?

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | June 13, 2007 12:02 PM

Sixthly, This would be a great inducement to marriage, which all wise nations have either encouraged by rewards or enforced by laws and penalties. It would increase the care and tenderness of mothers toward their children, when they were sure of a settlement for life to the poor babes, provided in some sort by the public, to their annual profit instead of expense. We should see an honest emulation among the married women, which of them could bring the fattest child to the market. Men would become as fond of their wives during the time of their pregnancy as they are now of their mares in foal, their cows in calf, their sows when they are ready to farrow; nor offer to beat or kick them (as is too frequent a practice) for fear of a miscarriage.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 12:03 PM

What about if the pregnant girl is in high school, or middle school? The shame and embarrassment would be more than many girls are equipped emotionally to handle.

and

Back when I was in high school, there were always a couple of girls each year that would get pregnant

Hey, you been to HS recently? For most schools, these two statements are not true anymore! There is little or no shame anymore! Girls who have delivered even go back to class with some schools providing childcare!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 12:03 PM

oh, please. Are you saying that people on welfare should just be able to take the money (YOUR money) and do whatever they want? What incentive would they have to get off welfare?

Same with your kids - if you gave them everything they wanted, they'd never leave. But they should. There are rules that come along with the money you give to them.

Again, if they don't like it - they can get a job. The roads in our community provide for everyone. The check for welfare provides only for those few that receive it (person, children). Again...an argument unrelated to what I said.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 12:04 PM

fooled around and fell in love....

Posted by: | June 13, 2007 11:59 AM

How difficult is it to use protection? You want to fool around, you buy the condoms.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 12:04 PM

That in a corporate world women are "forced" to choose between work and motherhood, she should be able to succeed in both.

Well someone has to take care of the children. Why is it the job of employers to make allowances so you people can have all the kids you want, all the time with them that you want and cheap, high quality child care so you can do what you want. Having children and raising them takes time and effort. Why does everyone act like this is a surprise and act like that added work might affect your ability to work as effectively?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 12:04 PM

I fooled around and fell in love....

Posted by: | June 13, 2007 11:59 AM


Elvin Bishop!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 12:05 PM

"So you're saying you would consider abortion an acceptable solution for a pregnant high school or younger girl?"

For me, no.

But the point was that the poster was saying that SHE was in her 20's and kept "finding" herself pregnant, and someone said "but what if the pregnant woman was a teenager - she would be far more embarrassed if she was to carry the pregnancy to term". In this situation, it doesn't matter what would happen if the pregnant woman was a teenager because she WASN'T.

An adult woman who gets an abortion soley because it's not in her plans to be pregnant at that point is not brave as Leslie suggested, but a coward. A brave woman would have the baby and grant the wishes of the thousands and thousands of people out there who would love to have a baby and can't.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 12:07 PM

ere is little or no shame anymore! Girls who have delivered even go back to class with some schools providing childcare!

Posted by: | June 13, 2007 12:03 PM

But would you want YOUR young daughter to be pregnant while in school? Didn't think so.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 12:08 PM

An ectopic pregnancy cannot ever be carried to term. It can't be transplanted into the uterus. The reuptured fallopian tube will cause internal bleeding and, if untreated, death.
I was told by the gynecologist that, by the time mine was discovered, the baby had already died.

BTW, this isn't a trial; it's a discussion. I'm also opposed to the death penalty (culture of life); if we discuss that, will I be told I have no right to an opinion?

Posted by: educmom | June 13, 2007 12:08 PM


educmom wrote

>If a person wants to kill a child because the child >will have difficulties that can be predicted by >prenatal testing, then perhaps that person isn't >ready to have children. The severity of the >difficulties does not matter; the potential parent >has already decided that some children do not >deserve to live.

educmom,

Many of these genetic abnormalities have risks ranging from likelihood to near-certainty that such a child, if it survives to birth, would have a short life filled with pain and medical procedures, and still die within its first year. For these genetic abnormalities, it's not just one deficit or issue, it's as if the very fabric of the child's body is woven from unraveling thread. If you feel parents are morally bound to bring such a life into the world and into their families, to share in the wrenching suffering and loss, to deliberately sign their current children up for a family life transfixed by death and suffering of a baby sibling, then your choice is ready-made should - god forbid - you ever confront such a situation. But you've no right to impose that choice, that hypothethical abstract preference, on others who face very real devastation of very real potential babies, siblings and parents.

Parents have responsibility for the babies they bring into the world and they must make the medical choices for them, even pre-emptive choices during pregnancy. A parent who trusts in god or fate to always work out for the best will make one choice; a parent who believes that early embryos have no consciousness, and that actively fostering the emergence of consciousness in a body doomed to extreme suffering and early death is wrong, will make another. Either way, it is the parents who are most vested in their potential baby's and family's suffering, and who will actually reap the consequence of the decision and care for the affected child; it is they who must weigh the risks and decide.

Posted by: KB | June 13, 2007 12:09 PM

if I come across as superior, sorry, but so be it

Not superior, but sanctimonious.

Posted by: to Scarry | June 13, 2007 12:10 PM

"So you're saying you would consider abortion an acceptable solution for a pregnant high school or younger girl?"

For me, no.

So what do you think she should do? What if she's so young that she's not yet emotionally and intellecturally mature enough to handle a pregnancy responsibly?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 12:11 PM

*I haven't read all of the comments, so apologies if this is a repeat of what someone else has posted.*

We're looking at comedic movies to determine whether Hollywood (and thus the rest of society? Because we can't make decisions outside of what Hollywood feeds us??) is pro-choice or not? Really? This part of the argument is ridiculous to me.

Think about this as if you are writing/directing/producing a movie. Is it simply easier and more commercially appealling to have 2 hours of humor about an unprepared woman trying to adjust to being a mom or a woman going in for a short abortion procedure? This is a no-brainer. Mainstream, non-documentary, movies are focused on making money, not about making statements. And frankly, a 2 hour comedy about abortion probably wouldn't even be possible, let alone a commercial/financial success.

Posted by: reality check | June 13, 2007 12:11 PM

Sorry, that should have been "to educmom", not Scarry.

Posted by: oops | June 13, 2007 12:12 PM

I'm curious what everyone thinks about the issue of abortions related to medications that the mother takes. What if a woman needs to take medications that have been found very likely to severely disable or even possibly kill her child? I would find it very difficult to raise a severely retarded child when I knew I had caused it, even if the medications were necessary. Is it wrong to stay on needed medications when you know it could kill your child? What is a necessary medication? What about mothers with mental illness? Without medication, some could be at risk for suicide, but if that risk is low, should they (with the help of their doctors of course) stop taking their mmedications to reduce the risk to their children, even though it will significantly reduce their quality of life and put them at some risk, however low? Medication as a reason for abortion is a fascinating question, and I think one that does not generally enter into the debate.

To 10:01 and 10:29, it is unnecessary and offensive to use mental illness as an insult to those who disagree with you. People with depression are not "fruitloops," they have a terrible, often chronic and debilitating disease that can be fatal.

To 9:38, the Catholic Church recognizes that it is ok to remove the fallopian tube in cases of ectopic pregnancy, since the removal of the embryo/fetus is seen as a side effect of saving the woman. They DO NOT recognize the procedures available for ectopic pregnancies whose main aim is removing the embryo/fetus, even though these could allow the woman to keep her fallopian tube. My entire family is Catholic, I'm not one of those church-bashers who knows nothing about what's actually going on, but I still think that permitting mutilation in the service of the appearance of a consistent doctrine is, to say the least, disrespectful to women.


Posted by: vim876 | June 13, 2007 12:12 PM

"So what do you think she should do? What if she's so young that she's not yet emotionally and intellecturally mature enough to handle a pregnancy responsibly?"

What I think about teenage pregnancy has NOTHING TO DO with what I was talking about before.


Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 12:13 PM

I'm also opposed to the death penalty (culture of life); if we discuss that, will I be told I have no right to an opinion?

Posted by: educmom | June 13, 2007 12:08 PM

Prosecutors will eliminate you from a jury pool in a death-penalty case.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 12:13 PM

"Prosecutors will eliminate you from a jury pool in a death-penalty case."

Ummmm.....so?


Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 12:14 PM

'"So you're saying you would consider abortion an acceptable solution for a pregnant high school or younger girl?"

For me, no.

So what do you think she should do? What if she's so young that she's not yet emotionally and intellecturally mature enough to handle a pregnancy responsibly?'

Stone her for adultery!

Posted by: Cause the Bible tells me so... | June 13, 2007 12:15 PM

"Well, maybe I'm in the minority, but pro-choice is pro-choice. I'm not about to pass judgment on a woman for having an abortion, no matter the circumstances."

If you're in the minority, I'm in there with you. People have abortions for all different reasons, just as people have children for different reasons. I'd prefer a woman/family know their limitations and be comfortable with their ability to control the size of their household than have a child just to placate the people who disagree with their motivations. I support abortion regardless of the reason, even if the reason is what some would consider frivolous. Some people want to have children based on tradition, gender, they want someone to love them, etc., and these are reasons I feel are too silly to bring a child into the world. But do you think for a minute I'd deny them that right to do so? (Go ahead and bring up the eugenics discussion from the other day. I'm prepared to rebut.)

The reason we can't talk frankly about abortion is because the vehement anti-choice types scream and whine about murder and babies and call names. Their arguments are often based on emotion rather than science (see "I'm a mom and I just don't see how someone can have an abortion after seeing a sonogram" and "the heart beats at eighteen days!" arguments), and it's difficult to get them to listen to reason. While cooler heads sometimes prevail (I am sure there are some regulars and non-regs here who are against choice and express themselves rationally, but they will always be drowned out by the name-callers).

Posted by: Mona | June 13, 2007 12:16 PM

What I think about teenage pregnancy has NOTHING TO DO with what I was talking about before.

Posted by: | June 13, 2007 12:13 PM

It has EVERYTHING to do with it. Either you're consistent or you're not, and if you're not then you're a hypocrite.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 12:17 PM

John L.: I am impressed by your courage in sticking around for this today, with your civility in responding to the uncivil, and wish you and your wife all the best.

You consider telling someone their ideas are stupid to be responding civilly?

Posted by: just askin | June 13, 2007 12:20 PM

"Prosecutors will eliminate you from a jury pool in a death-penalty case."

Ummmm.....so?

Posted by: | June 13, 2007 12:14 PM

So you don't have a legal right to arbitrarilty impose your views against abortion or the death penalty on society when these are legal.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 12:20 PM

National Review had a hilarious and interesting take on this article.

Yes, it is very easy to balance work and family if you kill your family...

(or, alternately, if you quit your work, I suppose).

Sk

Posted by: Sk | June 13, 2007 12:21 PM

But would you want YOUR young daughter to be pregnant while in school?

I made sure that my dd would not get pg. She attended classes with many of her pg friends.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 12:22 PM

Daniel Boone
What a doer
What a dream-comer-truer
Was Daniel Boone!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 12:23 PM

"So why can't we -- or don't we -- talk openly about the tradeoffs of keeping or ending a pregnancy, whether our feelings are painful, matter-of-fact, or somewhere in between?"

The reason so many people are profoundly disturbed by the widespread use of abortion as another family planning alternative is that human life is not just another ordinary "good" to be traded off against others. We can illustrate the concern by recasting the question for other situations.

"So why can't we -- or don't we -- talk openly about the tradeoffs of keeping or ending a severely disabled child, whether our feelings are painful, matter-of-fact, or somewhere in between?"

"So why can't we -- or don't we -- talk openly about the tradeoffs of keeping or ending a parent with Alzheimer's, whether our feelings are painful, matter-of-fact, or somewhere in between?"

Some people will argue strongly that there should be no moral objection to infanticide or euthenasia if we're making appropriate decisions about the quality of life involved and the cost to society. I disagree - human life has a unique value, and every human is of equal dignaty, regardless of individual mental and physical endowments.

Does that mean we are never required to weigh life against life? Of course not. When dealing with disaster rescue, military action, and the judicial system, there are many situations where we must make life-or-death decisions. Someone must decide who lives and who dies. But it's morally obnoxious to make them based on considerations of personal convenience, preference or profit.

So, back to Leslie's question. The answer depends on whether or not you believe you are dealing, at the particular point in time involved, with a form of human life worthy of special consideration, or with something that can be traded and balanced against the everyday things we want like career advancement, free time, more money, the ability to go to school full time, etc.

Posted by: Demos | June 13, 2007 12:25 PM

I made sure that my dd would not get pg. She attended classes with many of her pg friends.

Posted by: | June 13, 2007 12:22 PM

Great role models for her. Bet she can hardly wait to be a baby-mama too and get one of those cute babies for herself because teenage girls are such conformists.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 12:27 PM

A call to "blog stats":

"I am surprised that there seem to be so many pro-lifers here. Where are the pro-choice people? This is THE problem - we are in danger of abortion becoming completely illegal because the pro-choice groups are so quiet."

Posted by: | June 13, 2007 09:06 AM

Can "blog stats" do a count on the number of posts today that advocate abortions being made illegal?


Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | June 13, 2007 12:27 PM

"I just lost what little respect I had for Leslie -- her share of "scares" over the years??????? Geez, what is this, high school??? Isn't she "Ivy league" educated? I guess the tuition costs didn't include common sense. I'm in my late 30's, married with 2 kids, and I've never had a "scare."

Birth control is very effective these days -- USE IT!!!!!!"

Oh come on. BC is not 100% effective and sometimes your period is a day or two late, even if you've done everything right. So you worry that maybe you fell into that 1% and you get freaked out for a few days until the blood comes. You are lucky that you've never had a scare, but for goodness sake, please stop scraping for reasons to criticize Leslie. When you make ill-informed jabs at her like that, you just look bitter and insecure.

Posted by: pregnancy scare | June 13, 2007 12:28 PM

I made sure that my dd would not get pg. She attended classes with many of her pg friends.

Posted by: | June 13, 2007 12:22 PM

Keep your daughter away from those skanks.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 12:28 PM

But would you want YOUR young daughter to be pregnant while in school?

I made sure that my dd would not get pg. She attended classes with many of her pg friends.

Let me guess, chastity belt? Followed her around, 24/7? How did you "make sure" that my dd would not get pg? I have a daughter and a son. I want to "make sure" neither of them procreate until they are in their 20's, or beyond!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 12:30 PM

"Get pregnant by accident." How would that happen, exactly? You can get pregnant on purpose. You can get pregnant against your will,unfortunately. But by accident? You were just walking down the street, and a man, about to ejaculate, fell out of a window and landed on you, and you just happened to be naked, and...well, it's really difficult to get pregnant by accident.

Posted by: jb | June 13, 2007 12:31 PM

So what do you think she should do? What if she's so young that she's not yet emotionally and intellecturally mature enough to handle a pregnancy responsibly?

Posted by: | June 13, 2007 12:11 PM

I would hope that her parent(s)or other responsible adult would see her through. Yes, I know the reality of this but to abort is not necessarily the best idea to help her develop emotionally and intellectually either. I have seen many cases where the grandmother raises the grandbaby as her own while the mother is still attending school. This happens more than you suppose. There was an article in the NYT about this not too long ago.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 12:32 PM

We are only free to choose so long as that choice doesn't kill or harm someone else, and our government exists to take away those choices that do. Nobody argues that a man should be free to choose when the context is sexual assault. What a fool he would be to try and justify rape by saying, "My body, my choice." Why? Because rape is a violent assault which involves more than just one body. And so is abortion. The heart of the issue is not "choice". The real question is humanity, and nothing short of anarchy can guarantee the perfect freedom of choice.

Calling it a "right" does not change its result: death

The brain develops in the first 3 weeks. The pain systems are active before natural birth.

The intrinsic humanity of unborn children, by definition, makes them persons and should, therefore, guarantee their protection under the law.

Scientifically, abortion is a PC term for murder. Quit rationalizing.


http://www.abortionismurder.org/

http://www.justthefacts.org/continue.asp

Think about this, it is often true that newborn babies, born prematurely, are smaller than other fetuses who are still inside the womb. All those fetuses still in the womb, may be legally aborted in all fifty states despite the fact that they are bigger than many premature newborns. To argue that abortion is justified because early embryos and fetuses are so small is a rationale with no logical basis. Size doesn't determine personhood after birth and it shouldn't determine personhood before birth.


Posted by: Chris | June 13, 2007 12:34 PM

if I come across as superior, sorry, but so be it

Not superior, but sanctimonious.

Huh, I am pro-choice for other people. I mind my own busniess, don't ask people how they are paying for their kids, and in general don't care that much what other people do.

To the other poster, I don't know what you are smoking, but there are some crazy people on both sides of the issue. A teacher at my neice's school encouraged her to have an abortion. It's none of her business what my niece does, so yes, I tell the crazy pro-choicers to mind their own damn business too.

Posted by: scarry | June 13, 2007 12:34 PM

it's really difficult to get pregnant by accident.

Posted by: jb | June 13, 2007 12:31 PM

THe condom breaks? The IUD falls out? Another med decreases the effectiveness of the BC pill? The guy doesn't pull out in time? Let me count the ways.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 12:34 PM

This is tough issue. Has this type of discussion ever changed anyone's opinion?

Posted by: Arington Dad | June 13, 2007 12:36 PM

http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/homicide/children.htm


Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 12:37 PM

Thank you Leslie, for a great article. This is definitely about balance, because without choice there can be no balance. I am an avid pro-choicer but at this stage in my life (25 and about to get a masters degree) I do not think I would get an abortion if a "surprise" happened to me. Knowing I have the choice has always been a comfort and has allowed me to change what I personally would do as I have matured. I can't imagine being in high school or college and not having that choice.

Posted by: Florida | June 13, 2007 12:37 PM

At the sixth month of gestation:

The cerebral hemispheres now cover the whole top and sides of the brain including the cerebellum. Cerebellar development begins from this moment.

So that brain isn't firing until now. No brain, no pain. No brain, no person.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 12:40 PM

"Planned parenthood sells tee-shirts that say I had an abortion, as if it were something to be proud of?"

By the same token, should you be proud to have a baby? It doesn't take talent to get pregnant. Being a good parent, okay, be proud. But just because you choose to keep when another chooses not to doesn't mean you should be proud because you did something that animals do naturally.

Posted by: Mona | June 13, 2007 12:41 PM

Unless it is a case in which the life of the mother is endangered, all of the arguments for abortion could be used to justify infanticide. Babies cause financial hardship, they cause disruption to the career, they are inconvenient etc. etc.

Yet, no one here (I hope) would condone infanticide, even for disabled infants.

So the question really does come down to "when does human life begin?". Since medicine and law label death as 'the absence of brain activity', the logical corollary would define 'life' as the presence of brain activity.

Posted by: Anon | June 13, 2007 12:41 PM

Summary Table of the Stages of Brain Development

Developmental Stage
Main Feature of Developmental Stage

Induction
Production of cells that will become nervous tissue

Proliferation
Cell reproduction (mitosis)

Migration
Location of cells in appropriate brain areas

Differentiation
Development of neurons into particular type

Synaptogenesis
Formation of appropriate synaptic connections

Selective cell death
Elimination of mislocated cells and cells that failed to form the proper synaptic connections

Functional validation
Strengthening of synapses in use, weakening of unused synapses

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 12:42 PM

How do people who support abortion rights rationalize/justify (insert your word choice here) late term abortions? These types of "procedures" just seem so horrific, especially when you hear some of the horror stories. At what point do the rights of the women no longer outweigh the rights of the baby that can survive outside of the womb. I have a serious physical reaction to these procedures.

Posted by: mountainS | June 13, 2007 12:42 PM

"I do feel that there should be severe limitations on late-term abortions - any one who can't decide after six months, you don't have the choice anymore."

Late-term abortions are not elective in this country. You may not terminate in any state after the second trimester except in life-threatening cases. Partial-birth abortions are largely a myth perpetuated by the anti-choice community to get people to their side by appealing to their emotions.

Posted by: Mona | June 13, 2007 12:44 PM

This was brought up at 9:10:

I don't claim to have the definitive answer, but medical science has declared that life ENDS when brain electrical activity stops. It is, therefore, quite reasonable to conclude that life BEGINS when electrical activity in the brain begins. This generally occurs around or during the 7th month of pregnancy. Since pain is a perception, a brain without electrical activity cannot feel pain, it cannot sense light, sound or anything else.

Personally, I agree.

Maryland Mother

Posted by: to 12:41 | June 13, 2007 12:44 PM

Mona,

I have never seen a shirt that says "I got pregnant, yippie for me." If people want to wear a shirt saying they had an abortion, more power to them. I can still think it is gross, immature, and tasteless.

Posted by: scarry | June 13, 2007 12:45 PM

"It has EVERYTHING to do with it. Either you're consistent or you're not, and if you're not then you're a hypocrite."

It is not hypocritical or inconsistent to see that there is a big difference between an adult, sexually active woman in her 20's (much less a 40-something mother of 3) who "finds herself pregnant" and a child of 14 or 15 who may have never been given information on how someone becomes pregnant. In the former, an educated choice was made to be sexually active knowing that one might (or apparently in the cases listed, probably) become pregnant. In the latter, the child is not necessary aware of the fact that she might become pregnant or at the very least, she's not as experienced or educated on the subject as the adult women.

I'm not advocating for or against abortion in either case. I'm just saying that it is NOT courageous or commendable for an adult woman (who is very aware of how people get pregnant and that birth control isn't 100%) to choose to have an abortion because it doesn't fit in her plans. The brave, commendable thing to do would be to have the baby and give it up for adoption.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 12:46 PM

Weeks 25 to 28
the fetus reaches a length of 15 inches

the fetus weighs about 2 lbs. 11 oz.

rapid brain development

nervous system developed enough to control some body functions

eyelids open and close

respiratory system, while immature, has developed to the point where gas exchange is possible

a baby born at this time may survive, but the possibilities for complications and death remain high

Posted by: ain't Medline great? | June 13, 2007 12:46 PM

What's sad is, in many states, "choice" is in name only. As I mentioned earlier, one of the Dakotas has one clinic that performs abortions; that's a big state to have only one location. I'm sure there are other states with limited access to clinics as well, or with such restrictive rules that make it difficult to get an abortion.

I called "educmom"'s attempts to compare my example (Down's Syndrome) with food allergies stupid because it was a blatant attempt at a strawman argument. She was trying to get me to start listing which condition my wife and I would terminate a pregnancy for and which ones we would not, and therefore legitimize her argument.

I'm not falling for that, and yes, it was a stupid attempt to justify her position.

Posted by: John L | June 13, 2007 12:47 PM

I have never seen a shirt that says "I got pregnant, yippie for me."

What about all those maternity T's with the word BABY and an arrow pointing down to the belly?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 12:49 PM

Arlington Dad, actually, my mom. She was pushed into having one before she had me. She had no information or knowledge on development after living a sheltered life, but she later learned, and made a stand and had me despite being pressured to have another abortion. The memory haunts her. Anyone who does a few minutes of research can find charts, photos, scientific evidence, and logical reasons why abortions are murder.

Anything less is rationalizing murder, making excuses for behaving like a monster.

Posted by: Chris | June 13, 2007 12:49 PM

The same people who advocate keping the baby or adoption in all situations as opposed to abortion, in my experience, are also the same people who don't want to fund social programs that provide foster care, free housing, food stamps etc. If you want to force your beliefs on people...then you better put your money where your mouth is and support all of these "liberal" programs.

Posted by: HappyDad | June 13, 2007 12:49 PM

"Oh come on. BC is not 100% effective and sometimes your period is a day or two late, even if you've done everything right. So you worry that maybe you fell into that 1% and you get freaked out for a few days until the blood comes. You are lucky that you've never had a scare, but for goodness sake, please stop scraping for reasons to criticize Leslie. When you make ill-informed jabs at her like that, you just look bitter and insecure."

No, modern birth control isn't perfect, but used properly and consistently, it really is pretty darn effective. It's understandable that a young single woman might be a bit freaked if her period is late if she's in a position where a pregnancy would seriously disrupt her life, but you would expect an older, well-established married professional woman to be more mature and steady minded. Leslie should know the odds on modern birth control, should be perfectly well aware that periods can vary, and should know that - however inconvenient and disruptive it might be - she can handle a pregnancy.

Otherwise, what are we saying about her? If she's going to freak over a period that's a couple of days late, how could anyone take her seriously as a competant professional? How would she handle a merger? Being fired? Having to fire someone else? Facing the possiblity that her company is going under? Making a serious mistake - and facing the possibility of being sued for it?

To be considered an adult, you have to act like one.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 12:49 PM

I made sure that my dd would not get pg. She attended classes with many of her pg friends.

Posted by: | June 13, 2007 12:22 PM

Keep your daughter away from those skanks.

Posted by: | June 13, 2007 12:28 PM

Actually I am more worried about the boyfriends - after all the girls didn't get pregnant by themselves.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 12:52 PM

Chris---

In your opinion is the death penalty murder?

Also, you say "Anyone who does a few minutes of research can find charts, photos, scientific evidence, and logical reasons why abortions are murder."

Anyone who does a few minutes of research can also find evidence that supports the exact opposite conclusion. The facts you are using are just the ones you want to hear.

Posted by: HappyDad | June 13, 2007 12:53 PM

At 23 weeks, a child can be born and live and be almost entirely normal. According to someone above, this is still not a human. Seems weird to me.

I'm a big fan of Plan B, and hopefully people will use it.

Can we please take pull-and-pray off the list of birth control methods? The rhythm method is only marginally better. I always used a hormonal and a barrier method together. You're either committed to not getting pregnant or you aren't. This supposes you have access to and use infomation, of course. I love information.

I grew up incredibly afraid of AIDS (early 90s), and thus condoms were never a choice, but a prerequisite for sex. Anyone else really creeped out by unintended pregnancies because it means people aren't protecting themselves from STDs? Long-term relationships excluded, of course.

Posted by: atb | June 13, 2007 12:54 PM

the child is not necessary aware of the fact that she might become pregnant or at the very least, she's not as experienced or educated on the subject as the adult women.

I'm not advocating for or against abortion in either case.

So you're really against abortion for the early teen as well but just ashamed to admit it publicly?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 12:54 PM

Actually, on brain development, it is much sooner than 6 months. Try 3 weeks.

By the third week of pregnancy (approximately 21 days after fertilization), the heart begins to beat, pumping blood throughout the body, and the brain begins dividing into three primary sections (forebrain, midbrain, and hindbrain).

Posted by: Chris | June 13, 2007 12:54 PM

I have never seen a shirt that says "I got pregnant, yippie for me."

What about all those maternity T's with the word BABY and an arrow pointing down to the belly?

Yes, that is exactly the same thing. How about a shirt that says "I beat my wife" or "I killed the cat today." I can't see anyone being proud of having an abortion. You may not regret it or not feel bad, but why would you broadcast it?

Posted by: scarry | June 13, 2007 12:54 PM

"The same people who advocate keping the baby or adoption in all situations as opposed to abortion, in my experience, are also the same people who don't want to fund social programs that provide foster care, free housing, food stamps etc. If you want to force your beliefs on people...then you better put your money where your mouth is and support all of these "liberal" programs."

I'm someone who is pro-life and supports all of your "liberal" programs.

But aside from that, what exactly does adoption have to do with social programs? I understand "keeping the baby" in your argument but it's not like people on welfare are out there adopting children.


Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 12:57 PM

"I made sure that my dd would not get pg. She attended classes with many of her pg friends."

I didn't know you could get a tubal ligation in high school! They told me it was medically irresponsible! :-(

"Unless it is a case in which the life of the mother is endangered, all of the arguments for abortion could be used to justify infanticide."

Why is it different if a mother's life is at stake? Be consistent: if you are anti-abortion, you are anti-abortion. If a mother is in danger of death, and the fetus is aborted, the fetus STILL DIES. It's still abortion, and in your opinion. it's STILL MURDER. Or would you call it self-defense, as if the fetus was attacking the mother, and her only recourse was an abortion? If abortion is murder, except in self-defense, would the mother go to trial?

Posted by: Mona | June 13, 2007 12:57 PM

Adoption isn't right for everybody either. I say this as an adoptee. Not everyone wants to adopt. Not everyone has the courage put their children up for adoption. Not everyone can afford to adopt or pay the heavy financial and emotional cost of adoption. Not every adoption turns out well.
One size does not fit all. What works for you, may not and often times will not work for someone else.

Posted by: LM in WI | June 13, 2007 12:57 PM

"I have seen many cases where the grandmother raises the grandbaby as her own while the mother is still attending school."

These children usually ended up pretty messed up.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 12:59 PM

the hypocrite comment, I believe, was where i was stating there is a difference between government providing for roads and government providing welfare.

Yes, there's a difference, but no, stupid people don't understand that.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 1:00 PM

Facts I choose to hear? Dude, there are pictures! How would that be me being selective in my choice? The evidence is irrefutable proof. Anything else is sugar-coating murder in our politically correct society.

Posted by: Chris | June 13, 2007 1:01 PM

i agree with you mountainS.

The idea that there is no functioning brain until the 3rd trimester strikes me as a plausible dividing line-- i.e., the fetus is at that point a person and no abortion permitted except in life saving situation-- but then I consider that there are premature babies being born and surviving BEFORE the third trimester. It doesn't happen all the time, but it does. and i certainly believe that those premature babies are just as entitled to legal protection as those born at term-- but why would those in the womb at that point be any less protected?

so . . . my previous definition of "life begins at" swings back to the old fashioned (even Old Testament?) idea of life beinging at "quickening." Once the woman can feel the fetus move, then that fetus is entitled to full protection of the law. That is what I believe. before that, I feel it is entirely a woman's right to choose, but after that point, I think it should be limited. i think there should be more support offered by society to those women who choose to continue with an unwanted pregnancy and then give up the baby for adoption. Cash incentives, free pre-natal care, her right to select the adopting parent(s), etc.

By the way, I do consider myself pro-choice, although I am sure there are lots of people on both sides that would say I can't call myself that. But I imagine my middle-of-the-road, nuanced (many would say wishy-washy) take on abortion rights is VERY common.

Posted by: Jen S. | June 13, 2007 1:02 PM

Brain waves in the fetus are detectable at 13 to 16 weeks.

To be consistent with our legal definition of death, that would seem to be a legal way of defining the beginnings of human life.

I used to be pro-choice too. That is until my twins were born prematurely and I saw them and the other babies in the neonatal unit and realized that these human beings could have been aborted, looking just like they were there, looking just like a small baby. Frankly, it made me sick to my stomach.

Posted by: Anon | June 13, 2007 1:02 PM

I made sure that my dd would not get pg. She attended classes with many of her pg friends.

Posted by: | June 13, 2007 12:22 PM

Great role models for her. Bet she can hardly wait to be a baby-mama too and get one of those cute babies for herself because teenage girls are such conformists.

Posted by: | June 13, 2007 12:27 PM

For some strange reason she made it through HS and College without wanting a cute baby! Maybe her parents taught her that conformity for its own sake is not the best path to take?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 1:04 PM

Just a thought for those who consider abortion to be murder and life to begin at conception - I had a miscarriage (spontaneous abortion) at 13 weeks. Other people have miscarriages at both earlier and later points during pregnancy, not to mention that there are stillborn babies.

We have no way of knowing if a pregnancy would actually have resulted in a live birth if a first trimester elective abortion hadn't been performed.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 1:05 PM

"I have never seen a shirt that says "I got pregnant, yippie for me." "

http://www.cafepress.com/buy/maternity/?click=true&recexp=a&CMP=KNC-G-LB-FAM&ovchn=GGL&ovcpn=Baby+Kids+and+Family+Prime&ovcrn=sr2LB17go6799gx4068pi7ai1665+maternity+t-shirts&ovtac=PPC&SR=sr2LB17go6799gx4068pi7ai1665

The first t-shirt is one that reads "Knocked up girl." Classy.

I see these all the time. Usually they have some cutesy-wootsy saying with a big arrow pointing down toward the uterus. Again, classy.

Posted by: Mona | June 13, 2007 1:05 PM

For a reason why there's no civil discourse about abortion in this nation, one only has to see how vehement Chris' and "educmom"'s posts are to understand.

Both of them are so convinced of their positions that there's no chance of having a discussion about the subject; to them, if you have an abortion, you murdered someone, are immoral, etc.

Posted by: John L | June 13, 2007 1:07 PM

A question I have always wanted to ask of those you say abortion is murder and life begins at conception. If I have a miscarriage (ie spontaneous abortion) would you regard it as I had a child I lost? Would you ask for a funeral? Would you ask for a funeral for a still birth? If you would ask for a funeral for a still birth but not a miscarriage, what is the difference if life begins at conception?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 1:07 PM

"By the same token, should you be proud to have a baby? It doesn't take talent to get pregnant. Being a good parent, okay, be proud."

Mona -- isn't being proud to have a baby an important step toward being a good parent?

Posted by: Arlington Dad | June 13, 2007 1:08 PM

Interesting that people who claim to be so secure in their positions and decisions continue to get bent out of shape when they are not validated by Hollywood comedies like "Knocked Up."

Posted by: JohnMcG | June 13, 2007 1:08 PM

So, advocating murder is classy...

Posted by: Chris | June 13, 2007 1:09 PM

Just a thought for those who consider abortion to be murder and life to begin at conception - I had a miscarriage (spontaneous abortion) at 13 weeks. Other people have miscarriages at both earlier and later points during pregnancy, not to mention that there are stillborn babies.

The anti-abortion police probably would like to investigate you for possible murder of your fetus. At least issue a death certificate, with a name, and a proper Christian burial of the remains.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 1:09 PM

To topcat: açtually, if someone is on welfare, then I'm paying the bills and I (ie the govt) should most definitely have the ability to tell people how to live.

Same as my roof my rules. You don't like it? Get a job.

Posted by: | June 13, 2007 11:23 AM

No, you ignorant putz.

You're obliged to pay your taxes, but you don't have the legal (or moral) right to lecture to those whose lives are being helped by your tax money.

I pay taxes, but does that entitle me to a say in how the Iraq war is being conducted? Do my tax dollars entitle me to a say in foreign or domestic policy? Do my taz dollars entitle me to go down to the local police station and demand to see their expense ledgers to determine if they're spending their budget as I see fit?

Of course not!

The only resource you or I have in these matters is to elect representatives whom we hope will legislate according to our values. Paying our taxes doesn't give us any hands-on opportunities to change society to be our personal standards.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 1:12 PM

The development of better medical technology that can make younger and younger fetuses survive outside the womb makes the determination of when life actually "begins" harder and harder to pinpoint.

Suppose that medical technology improves to the point where a few weeks' old embryo could be transferred to a machine and successfully developed into a full term infant? Would that make all pregnancies terminated after that stage in development "murder", even though the cost of using that technology might be well beyond the affordability of the average woman?

Posted by: John L | June 13, 2007 1:13 PM

For all you people who are saying "it is so SELFISH to have an abortion for convenience," etc. etc.: if you feel that way, do you really want to guilt-trip these selfish women into having children against their will? For every woman who experiences a change of heart and says she is SO GLAD she changed her mind about the abortion, there will be another one who never gets over resenting that child for derailing her life, and she will take it out on the child. (I know, many people on here will argue that the mother derailed her own life by getting pregnant - but she's selfish, remember? She won't see it that way. Besides, it might have not have been her fault, because birth control really does fail on occasion.)

Selfish people who resent their children are bad or even abusive parents. Shouldn't we let them acknowledge that they aren't ready to be parents? If a person's priorities are that a career is more important than a baby, and you think that is so wrong, then do you *want* her to have the responsibility for a baby? For myself, if a woman feels strongly that her career or her lifestyle is important enough for her to abort a baby, then I support her decision. She is correct. She is not ready to have a baby, and I would not want to subject a child to her parenting, or lack thereof. As a child of a resentful mother myself, I can tell you that it is pure hell to grow up that way.

However, I would ask the mother if adoption could be a solution, rather than abortion. I support the right to choose, but with so many people willing to adopt, why not turn your pregnancy into a positive for someone else? That is, if adoption is a doable option in your circumstances.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 1:14 PM

Both of them are so convinced of their positions that there's no chance of having a discussion about the subject; to them, if you have an abortion, you murdered someone, are immoral, etc.

Yes because pro life has the monolpoly on rude,uncivil people. What crap!

Posted by: get a grip! | June 13, 2007 1:15 PM

"Mona -- isn't being proud to have a baby an important step toward being a good parent?"

I wouldn't say it's necessary. You can be proud of your kids, and that's necessary. But being proud of yourself for having sex and allowing sperm to fuse with an egg, and the resulting 40 weeks of pregnancy is not necessary to be a good parent. You can be happy and responsible without being proud of something millions of other people can do.

I mean, I can read and write, and that might help me become a good lawyer, but being proud of reading and writing won't have anything to do with it. Bad analogy, I know, but hopefully you get my point: being proud of pregnancy (or being "knocked up" as that t-shirt read) does not lead to being a good parent.

Posted by: Mona | June 13, 2007 1:16 PM

Let me guess, chastity belt?

Yes absoulutely, I have the key to this day!

Althought no method is 100% effective, if you can't figure out the specifics of how to avoid unwanted pregnancies, maybe you sign up for a sex ed class or ask your dr. how it happens!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 1:16 PM

"I have never seen a shirt that says "I got pregnant, yippie for me." "


How about those stupid "Baby on Board" shirts?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 1:17 PM

1:09, you can mock and make sarcastic comments, which is usually my realm, but it does not change the fact that before they are born, babies are alive, and though dependant, they are human.

I have presented logical statements, yet have not gotten a straight-forward logical response in return. Is the reality so harsh that it is rejected by those totally self-absorbed?

Another is the dependency argument.

We must never forget that newborn babies, too, are utterly dependent upon their parents for survival. They are helpless and will die if left to themselves. Such dependency doesn't make them non-persons, and it shouldn't make unborn children non-persons either.
In our society, the younger and more dependent a child is, the more care and compassion we have for them.

Posted by: Chris | June 13, 2007 1:19 PM

Also, something as subjective as "wantedness" can never be the basis for granting someone the right to life, and abortion advocates know this. They don't argue that mothers should be free to kill their "unwanted" children after birth because they know these children are living, human beings with full rights of personhood. The only reason they argue that mothers should be free to kill their unwanted children before birth is because they're ignoring the scientific reality that these children, too, are living, human beings. The question is humanity.

Posted by: Chris | June 13, 2007 1:21 PM

My cousin delivered a stillborn at 6 months and had a funeral. It was entirely appropriate. She held that baby in her arms. If you think that's stupid/insane/unhealthy, I think you're lousy person. Losing a baby at 10 weeks was awful, so I can only imagine losing a baby you named, who you felt kick, whose nursery you decorated.

Posted by: atb | June 13, 2007 1:21 PM

"Adoption isn't right for everybody either. I say this as an adoptee. Not everyone wants to adopt. Not everyone has the courage put their children up for adoption. Not everyone can afford to adopt or pay the heavy financial and emotional cost of adoption. Not every adoption turns out well. One size does not fit all. What works for you, may not and often times will not work for someone else. "

There are an awful lot of "what does that have to do with the price of tea in China" comments today.

Nobody is saying that everyone wants to adopt or that all adoptions turn out well.
Or at least I'm not. But there are many, many, many people who DO want to adopt healthy babies and can't because they aren't available. And if people are going to call themselves courageous, then they should be pursuing adoption as opposed to abortion when they find themselves with an unwanted pregnancy.


Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 1:22 PM

if you have an abortion, you murdered someone, are immoral, etc.


Yes Einstein, that is the their position. That is why they don't believe your position. Hence the difference.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 1:23 PM

On Money (what many here probably consider most important):
Isn't it true, that there are born-children in America today who are growing up in poverty? Yes it is true, but has anyone ever heard someone argue that the mothers of these born-children should have the right to kill them, since they can't afford to raise them? While pro-choice are careful to use noble and compassionate language, they are essentially arguing that if a baby is going to be too expensive, the mother has a right to kill it.

There are now more crisis pregnancy care centers in this country than there are abortion providers. They all function to help bring women through their pregnancies by providing them the emotional and financial assistance they need to carry to term and, if need be, place for adoption (which would relieve all future financial obligation).

Posted by: Chris | June 13, 2007 1:25 PM

Actually, Jen S - prochoice or antiabortion usually only applies to whether you would like to see abortion legal or not, not whether you personally would have an abortion or whether you consider it murder or not.

That's why Chris' arguments are spurious. Who cares when people think that the fetus is a baby? Do you want it legal or not? Legal means it's safe.
'Illegal' means women will die or have babies they don't want.

It all boils down to that for me. Whether or not I would ever have one is immaterial.

Posted by: atlmom | June 13, 2007 1:27 PM

"While pro-choice are careful to use noble and compassionate language, they are essentially arguing that if a baby is going to be too expensive, the mother has a right to kill it."

True, and there is not a damn thing you can do about it!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 1:28 PM

Fact: Those countries with the most restrictive policies regarding abortion, and the least access to contraception (Peru, for example) have the highest rates of illegal abortion.

Fact: Those countries which do the most to make contraception and information about it available to everyone have the lowest rates of abortion, legal or illegal.

Fact: Banning abortion, especially with the hardline position against contraception that's also usually advocated by fans-of-a-ban, WILL NOT SERVE YOUR EXPRESSED END. Period.

What prevents abortions is access to contraception. Access to contraception gives women power over their lives. Yes, "working on my career" sounds like a shallow reason to have an abortion. But extrapolating from that to "murder for frivolous reasons," and using such reasoning to deny funding for organizations which support family planning in poor countries, as many of our so-called pro-lifers do...THAT is disgusting. Perhaps they should visit a country where women have no "choice," to see precisely how children are treated in such places. Heck, go read Dickens.

Posted by: Jill in Denver | June 13, 2007 1:29 PM

Time/right of way:

A car is driving down the street while a person is crossing the street. The law requires the driver of that car to slow down and stop (giving up their right to drive where they want, when they want, and at what speed they want) so that the pedestrian may cross the street in front of him. Why? Why must the driver temporarily give up his right to drive down the street just because someone else is walking across the street? Why is the right of the man on foot upheld while the right of the man in the car is denied? It is not because the pedestrian is more valuable than the driver but rather because, if the driver doesn't stop, the pedestrian will likely be killed. In order for the driver to proceed down the street at full speed, at that moment, it will cost the pedestrian his life. In order for the pedestrian to finish crossing the street, at that moment, it will cost the driver a few minutes of drive time.

If a baby is not to be aborted, then the pregnant mother must remain pregnant. This will also require of her sickness, fatigue, reduced mobility, an enlarged body, and a new wardrobe. Fortunately, it is not a permanent condition. On the flip side, for a pregnant woman not to be pregnant, her child must be killed (unless she is past her 21st week of pregnancy, in which case the baby may well survive outside the womb). Abortion costs the unborn child his or her very life and it is a thoroughly permanent condition. This is what's at stake, both for the child and for the mother. It is not an issue of who is more important, but rather who has more on the line.

Posted by: Chris | June 13, 2007 1:30 PM

Killing a person to keep your career on track or your "life in balance" is barbaric. How strange and tragic that this is in fact legal in the United States today.

Posted by: Sad, sad, sad | June 13, 2007 1:31 PM

to atb: being Jewish, I never understood doing all that. The baby is named typically within a few days of birth (for boys, 8 days) and no bringing in of anything for the baby til it's born. a big superstition, but you just never know.
Yeah, it's a pain to put together a crib when you only have a few days (used to be weeks!), but not impossible. And you don't need all that much stuff in the beginning anyway...

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 1:32 PM

There are now more crisis pregnancy care centers in this country than there are abortion providers. They all function to help bring women through their pregnancies by providing them the emotional and financial assistance they need to carry to term and, if need be, place for adoption (which would relieve all future financial obligation).

Posted by: Chris | June 13, 2007 01:25 PM

Crisis pregnancy care centers function for one purpose: to delay, delay, delay and guilt-trip and brainwash pregnant women into having babies they are not emotionally equipped or mature enough to raise. Then they can spend the rest of their lives wondering whether they are bad women because they gave up their babies, and our egregious Open Adoption laws that provide children with contact info for birth mothers.

and the Catholic-funded ones won't explain to the women about how to most effectively use birth control.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 1:32 PM

"Okay, well maybe my parent's paid for him or her."

scarry,

Plural nouns don't take an apostrophe. Use apos only for possessives and contractions.

This is pretty basic stuff.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 1:32 PM

I'm just glad neither my mother nor my wife think like Ms. Steiner. She writes as if the choosing whether to carry the fetus to term is on par with deciding whether to buy a new car or not, this year or next. It is shocking to me that people think this way, whether you think abortion should be legal or not. Are the only valuable lives those to which another person has ascribed value? The reason movies don't portray their key characters have an abortion is that audiences, for the most part, would be repulsed by a character who made such a decision. The movie depends on the viewer's empathy for the character.

Posted by: Mark | June 13, 2007 1:33 PM

"Killing a person to keep your career on track or your "life in balance" is barbaric. How strange and tragic that this is in fact legal in the United States today."

Yes, it is legal and there is not a damn thing you can do about it!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 1:33 PM

Someone mentioned "Fast Times at Ridgmont High" earlier and Stacy's abortion. I thought it provided a good example of mores 25 years ago...she was 16, got pregnant from a one night stand with a loser, and an abortion was really the only thing that made sense. There was no popular outcry or outrage. Any movie nowadays that depicted a similar storyline probably would not get made. My problem with much of the pro-life side is that many also oppose widespread availability of sexual education and contraception. Fairly or not, this reinforces the perception that they are more concerned with the limitation of women's sex lives than with abortion itself.

Posted by: Mike | June 13, 2007 1:33 PM

My cousin delivered a stillborn at 6 months and had a funeral. It was entirely appropriate. She held that baby in her arms. If you think that's stupid/insane/unhealthy, I think you're lousy person. Losing a baby at 10 weeks was awful, so I can only imagine losing a baby you named, who you felt kick, whose nursery you decorated.

Posted by: atb | June 13, 2007 01:21 PM

If they felt that is appropriate more power to them, and if it helped them grieve I would be there if they were my friends/family but the question is not for your cousin, but for you - why didn't you have one at 10 weeks? If you are pro-choice and don't believe life begins at conception, I understand but if you do believe life begins at conception, what is the difference?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 1:34 PM

check out the movie "Silent Scream" if you wonder about the pain unborn babies feel. it is a sonogram of abortion, done by Dr. Bernard Nathanson, a founder of NARAL

Posted by: to Maryland Mother | June 13, 2007 1:34 PM

Women have been trying to prevent or terminate pregnancies for milleniums and will continue to whether it's safe and legal or unsafe and illegal, whether the anti-abortion side likes it or not, it's just human nature. Better for society to make it safe and legal, so there aren't as many innocent women's deaths from botched attempts or hospital stays needed afterwards if the woman survives.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 1:34 PM

Fact: Those countries with the most restrictive policies regarding abortion, and the least access to contraception (Peru, for example) have the highest rates of illegal abortion.

Fact: Those countries which do the most to make contraception and information about it available to everyone have the lowest rates of abortion, legal or illegal.

Fact: Banning abortion, especially with the hardline position against contraception that's also usually advocated by fans-of-a-ban, WILL NOT SERVE YOUR EXPRESSED END. Period.

What prevents abortions is access to contraception. Access to contraception gives women power over their lives. Yes, "working on my career" sounds like a shallow reason to have an abortion. But extrapolating from that to "murder for frivolous reasons," and using such reasoning to deny funding for organizations which support family planning in poor countries, as many of our so-called pro-lifers do...THAT is disgusting. Perhaps they should visit a country where women have no "choice," to see precisely how children are treated in such places. Heck, go read Dickens.

Posted by: Jill in Denver | June 13, 2007 1:34 PM

Jill of course supports partial birth abortions too. You know where they pull part of a late term baby out and kill it. Can you believe those pro lifers think that is murder? How ignorant can they be? -Sarcasm

Posted by: a baby is a baby | June 13, 2007 1:35 PM

Oh my, yes indeed, I have a hard time recognizing sarcasm - thank you for point that out. NO, I have two small children of my own, both unplanned. And NO, I DO NOT SUPPORT ABORTION. Read the post again. I support ACCESS TO CONTRACEPTION TO PREVENT ABORTION.

Posted by: Jill in Denver | June 13, 2007 1:37 PM

"Okay, well maybe my parent's paid for him or her."

scarry,

Plural nouns don't take an apostrophe. Use apos only for possessives and contractions.

This is pretty basic stuff."

Not to worry. Scarry plans to teach someday.....

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 1:37 PM

That's a crappy analogy. How can you not recognize that it's a crappy analogy?

I agree with whoever posted above with the analogy to forcing a person to be a bone marrow or kidney donor against his or her will. If we value life in our society to the point that we're willing to require women to sacrifice their bodies for nine months to host the fetus, why in the world aren't we willing to force people to be marrow and kidney and liver donors whether they want to or not? We could save thousands of lives each year if we forced people to share their marrow/kidney/piece of liver with someone who needs it. Why do we not do that?

If we truly value life, it's the only solution to the organ donation crisis.

Posted by: To Chris | June 13, 2007 1:40 PM

Anyone who advocates "abortion rights" should read Peter Singer. He's a philosophy professor at Princeton, and the New York Times has called him one of the world's most infuential living philosophers.

He takes the abortion-rights argument to its logical conclusions, and says that parents should have the right to end their child's life at their own discretion for any reason, at least through the first year of life. Lately he has said that he would hesitate to put a time limit on that right, implying that the parents should be able to do so until legal adulthood.

After all, it's a lot harder to care for an infant than it is to be pregnant. I can see his point.

I'm not kidding. Go check him out!

Posted by: Modern philosophy | June 13, 2007 1:40 PM

"My cousin delivered a stillborn at 6 months and had a funeral. It was entirely appropriate"

Delivering a stillborn is the same process as having a baby - you go through labor and delivery. In my mind, there is a definite distinction between this and a miscarriage where there is no delivery. I can understand a funeral for a stillborn, but not for a miscarriage.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 1:41 PM

check out the movie "Silent Scream" if you wonder about the pain unborn babies feel. it is a sonogram of abortion, done by Dr. Bernard Nathanson, a founder of NARAL

Posted by: to Maryland Mother | June 13, 2007 01:34 PM

Silent Scream contains a lot of fuzzy science.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 1:41 PM

"But there are many, many, many people who DO want to adopt healthy babies and can't because they aren't available."

The problem is that potential adoptive parents want a child that fits what THEY want; they care not about the children who might need them, they only want a healthy newborn of their same race, or mayyyybe a European or Chinese baby. There are over 100,000 adoptable children in the U.S. right now. Why aren't people scrambling to adopt them? Oh, right, because they are black, older than 2, or have health problems. It is NOT the responsibility of women to provide healthy white infants to people who can't have them. Adoption was created to find homes for parentless children, not the other way around. If someone wanted to be a parent so badly, they wouldn't discriminate so heavily.

I should note that while a rudimentary heart tube does begin to pulsate in the first trimester of pregnancy, it is indeed rudimentary and more resembles that of a reptile than a young human. The atria and ventricles do not fully form until much later on. So "the heart beats at eighteen days!" is not exactly accurate.

Posted by: Mona | June 13, 2007 1:41 PM

John L.: I am impressed by your courage in sticking around for this today, with your civility in responding to the uncivil, and wish you and your wife all the best.

You consider telling someone their ideas are stupid to be responding civilly?

Posted by: just askin | June 13, 2007 12:20 PM

Yes, just askin, I consider that criticizing and labeling ideas as "stupid", rather than labeling the expressers of those ideas as "stupid", is a most civil approach to debating concepts an ideas - particularly on the Internet.

By way of background, this is what John L posted at 11:31: "'educmom' is engaging in what is called a strawman argument; throw out stupid arguments that no rational person would agree to in order to strengthen her position."

I assume you disagree that John's approach is quite civil. If so, your definition of civility leaves no room for the candid identification of baseless silliness. It's difficult enough to debate sensitive topics without imposing limits on the debate that eliminate all candor. I consider that John L has handled himself admirably. If you have a different view, share it. Civilly.

Posted by: MN | June 13, 2007 1:41 PM

John L wrote "As all of you regulars know, my wife and I are trying to start a family.

I'll admit this right now; once she becomes pregnant, if the tests indicate that the baby will have Down's Syndrome or some other severe birth defect, we will abort. We are in 100% agreement on this."

I am pro-choice myself. My wife and I are trying to have more children and are in our mid to late 30s. I understand the concerns about raising a Downs child. But I'd have to think good and hard about this, if we were faced with it ourselves. There's a nagging feeling in me that I'd be trying to take an easy way out. I know the difficulties but still...

Posted by: Bob | June 13, 2007 1:43 PM

Why is no one calling the anonymous posters Gutless Cowards today?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 1:43 PM

Until someone recognizes their own guilt, they will see no need for repentance.

1:32, again you do not use logic to refute murder. You just sugar-coat it and make excuses. Look, I'm not saying having a baby is easy. I am not saying giving it away is easy. I am saying that killing it as an alternative to dealing with the "problem" should not be the norm. Gosh, what are the psychological traumas for killing a human child?

Would it bother you more if they used guns?

Posted by: Chris | June 13, 2007 1:44 PM

atlmom, I didn't make myself clear-- I feel abortion should be legal, but NOT for the entire pregnancy. There are pro-choice women who feel that even through third-trimester it should be strictly the woman's choice. I disagree. I think it should only be used for life-saving purposes at that point. And strictly limited after quickening. And because of that, I've been told to my face that that means I am not "really" entitled to the pro-choice label. I think for a lot of people it's just not black or white about abortion being legal- it should be illegal in some circumstances and legal in others.

As for myself, i can see having an abortion if it were prior to quickening. I can't imagine the circumstances, but I can't rule it out entirely. Maybe if the child would likely suffer if the pregnancy were to continue. It's personal and I think it is important to give women the choice-- after all, as already mentioned, abortion is likely to happen anyway, so it is better for society to make it safe and legal, but certainly rare too.

Posted by: Jen S. | June 13, 2007 1:46 PM

"Silent Scream contains a lot of fuzzy science."

Not only that, the "doctor" who appears in "Silent Scream" has admitted to fraudulent manipulation of numbers in his research and medical work. I'm not sure we can trust his word. He doesn't exactly seem a paragon of reliability.

Posted by: Mona | June 13, 2007 1:46 PM

Anyone who advocates "abortion rights" should read Peter Singer. He's a philosophy professor at Princeton, and the New York Times has called him one of the world's most infuential living philosophers.

He takes the abortion-rights argument to its logical conclusions...
****
Um, no those are only "logical" conclusions in you choose to ignore a rather important distinction, or several of them, between a newly implanted embryo, a 7-month pregnancy, and a newborn baby that can survive independently of the mother's body. Drawing distinctions is a rather basic part of being logical. Sounds like Mr. Singer enjoys spuriously shocking people.

We can all agree that abortion is ugly and unpleasant, I think. So let's talk about how to prevent it, really prevent it in the real world, instead of some "abstinence" fantasyland.

Posted by: Jill in Denver | June 13, 2007 1:46 PM

"oh, please. Are you saying that people on welfare should just be able to take the money (YOUR money) and do whatever they want? What incentive would they have to get off welfare?"

You seem to think that welfare gives poor people some huge stipend to blow at whim.

The amounts of money welfare mothers collect get eaten up pretty quickly paying for food, rent, utilities, and public transport. There's nothing left to spend on "doing whatever they want."

Are you really so stupid that you believe that barely -- or not -- making ends meet isn't sufficient incentive to try and improve your life?

You think living on welfare is a big ol' vacation? Here's a suggestion. Find out how much the average welfare family in your area gets from the govt each month, and then try living on the exact same amount for a few months.

Then come back and tell us how well those folks have it.

A$$h0le

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 1:46 PM

If abortion is murder, does that mean not donating your organs is murder as well? What if someone needed a liver donation and you were a perfect match? Your argument would seem to indicate that you have a duty to undergo an inconvenient and potentially dangerous operation because to refuse to allow another access to your body in order to survive is murder.

I think abortion is not only about when life begins, but also about individual autonomy. One of the hallmarks of our society is that no one own's another person's body. A woman is not a slave to be subjected to those who speak in the name of a fetus.

Posted by: elsa | June 13, 2007 1:47 PM

"By the way, I do consider myself pro-choice, although I am sure there are lots of people on both sides that would say I can't call myself that. But I imagine my middle-of-the-road, nuanced (many would say wishy-washy) take on abortion rights is VERY common."

Jen, I so agree with you on this. My feeling is that abortion should be safe and legal, within limits. I am not sure where I would place those limits. Probably within the first 20 or so weeks of pregnancy. That should be enough time for someone to decide to terminate, for whatever the reason may be. While I don't like the idea of abortion, I am not against very early ones, regardless of the reason. As the fetus develops, it becomes a more difficult issue for me. I have had a few miscarriages in the early weeks of pregnancy, and although it was a disappointment, I did not consider them to be deaths in the family. They were simply embryos that failed to develop. They were not babies. But during my last pregnancy, I had an ultrasound at 12 weeks, and it definitely felt like a baby to me. Yes, perhaps its brain is not fully developed yet. But at that point, in my mind, it was a baby to me, and I realized that I would not be able to abort it, even if it had Down Syndrome or some other genetic abnormality. Before that point, when it was all theoretical, I always thought I would abort for something like Downs. But now, I feel differently. But I recognize that that is my decision, and it is a decision I can only make for myself, knowing who I am, what my family is like, what my resources are like, and what I am able to handle. I would never in a million years insist that anyone else ever make the same decisions that I would make. It is too personal.

That said, I do think that if a fetus is judged to be viable outside the womb, it should be protected from abortion. That is the only restriction I would place on abortion.

Posted by: Emily | June 13, 2007 1:48 PM

As a late, unwanted 4th child, whose mother actually wept out of anger at the thought of having another baby when she found she was pregnant with me, I feel for that unfortunate 4th child in this story. My mother's ob/gyn had told her she would never have another child due to health problems. He was wrong. My mother had gotten almost all her kids to the teenage years and was going back to college to finish her degree, had already signed up for classes, paid her deposit. I was not wanted. I thank my mother everyday for not killing me. Her doctor told her she could. She knew it was her "right" according to the men in Washington to kill me before I ever took a breath. But she didn't. She and my father thank God for me now, the child of their old age, the child that kept them young, gave them so many good memories, finally and gave them a beautiful grandson. I guess God knew what he was doing when he "knit me" in my mother's womb and turned her heart inward so that I might live.

Posted by: LadyHen | June 13, 2007 1:48 PM

"the Catholic Church recognizes that it is ok to remove the fallopian tube in cases of ectopic pregnancy, since the removal of the embryo/fetus is seen as a side effect of saving the woman. They DO NOT recognize the procedures available for ectopic pregnancies whose main aim is removing the embryo/fetus, even though these could allow the woman to keep her fallopian tube."

Oh god, is this true? If so, I find it disgusting. As painful as losing my pregnancy was, the much more difficult part of my ectopic has been facing the loss of one fallopian tube and learning that my other one is (for unknown and presumably unrelated reasons) so messed up that I may never be able to have another child. Why would any church that makes claims of compassion force women to surrender part of their fertility in the service of a fetus than can never, ever survive? Sick.

I originally posted my question about the morality of removing an ectopic because I see it as very much analogous to the case of a woman who learns much later in pregnancy that her fetus has a fatal birth defect. I've heard people say that it's wrong for such women to have abortions (and our fabulous Supreme Court apparently agrees), but I simply don't see the distinction. Like I was, those women are carrrying fetuses that have no chance of survival. Like my case, the failure to remove that fetus carries a risk to the mother's health and future fertility. SO why do some people think it should be illegal for these women to terminate, while I've gotten sympathy and understanding? It's so strange.

Posted by: NewSAHM | June 13, 2007 1:48 PM

"Late-term abortions are not elective in this country. You may not terminate in any state after the second trimester except in life-threatening cases."

Posted by: Mona | June 13, 2007 12:44 PM

This mis-statement of the law may mislead some women in the late stages of pregnancy into thinking that they are not entitled to terminate their unwanted pregnancy because their lives are not in danger. That is not the case. Yes, states are permitted to outlaw late-term abortions, but such laws must contain an exception for the health of the woman.

During the third trimester, when the fetus is viable, prohibitions are permitted provided the life or health of the mother is not at stake. Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 at 163-166 (1973).

The state cannot prohibit abortion where the health of the mother is at stake. In this context, the "health" of the mother includes "all factors -- physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman's age -- relevant to the well-being of the patient." Doe v. Bolton, 410 U.S. 179, at 192.

If you are in the late stages of pregnancy, and your physician agrees with you that continuing your pregnancy would adversely affect your emotional or psychological health, you are legally entitled to terminate.

Clunkus, bunkus, skunkus -- it is the law!

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | June 13, 2007 1:48 PM

By some people's comments here, once a woman becomes pregnant she no longer has control over her body; she's become an incubator for a fetus that MUST be brought to term, or it is murder.

Is that correct, Chris? That's what results from this comment of yours: "It is not an issue of who is more important, but rather who has more on the line."

That statement says that, once the woman is pregnant, the fetus IS more important than her wishes on whether she wants to stay pregnant or not, and IS more important than whether she can support the child, how it impacts her life from that point onward, her physical/mental well being, etc.

Posted by: John L | June 13, 2007 1:49 PM

What really gets me about the pro-choice absolutists is that they claim to have logic and science on their side. They condemn the pro-life people as being extremists.

Yet they support abortions at 6, 7 or 8 months of pregnancy, at a point when the baby could be born and thrive.

Who is the extremist? Who isn't using science to define human life?

Posted by: Anon | June 13, 2007 1:51 PM

If abortion is murder, does that mean not donating your organs is murder as well? What if someone needed a liver donation and you were a perfect match? Your argument would seem to indicate that you have a duty to undergo an inconvenient and potentially dangerous operation because to refuse to allow another access to your body in order to survive is murder.

John L, where are you? we have another stupid strawman argument. ALERT!ALERT!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 1:51 PM

As the law stands today, if a pregnant woman on her way to an abortion clinic (where her child will be legally killed), is assaulted in the street, causing the death of her unborn child, those who assaulted her would be guilty of manslaughter under the Unborn Victims Act. They would be guilty for bringing about the exact same result (the death of an unborn child) that the abortion doctor would have legally secured (and been paid for) just a few minutes later. In one instance, the child in utero is a human being, in the other it is fetal tissue. Or how about this? When Scott Peterson was convicted and sentenced to death for killing his wife and killing his own unborn son, the law made it abundantly clear that fathers do not have the right to kill their unborn children. On, the flip side, however, every mother in America has the legal right to kill her unborn children, up until the very moment of birth. This is legal insanity.

Posted by: Chris | June 13, 2007 1:53 PM

1:32 (atlmom?): Being Jewish does not stop you from feeling the baby move or attaching yourself to it. You may not decorate a nursery, but that doesn't mean you didn't imagine him/her graduating from law school or learning to tie his/her shoes. Maybe you didn't, I don't know, but the difference is simply whether you've intellectually or physically prepared to bring a person into the world.

1:34- I didn't deliver a baby. I had a D&C after the heart stopped beating. It wasn't developing properly, so never really looked like a baby. If it had died at 20 weeks and I had to go through labor to push out a perfectly formed person, I would have wanted to do something formal, if only with my family. Maybe it's size? Because even if it wasn't perfectly formed and still 20 weeks, I'd want to do something. I think it's the knowledge that it WOULD have been a tiny person if it had been healthy. But then a perfectly formed 12 week old baby deserves some sort of recognition, too. Her baby was viable and healthy and died of an infection. That seems like a no-brainer.

Posted by: atb | June 13, 2007 1:53 PM

"Why is no one calling the anonymous posters Gutless Cowards today?"

Sh! pATRICK is taking a little snooze....

Posted by: Nigel | June 13, 2007 1:54 PM

umm-- anon at 1:51, did you read my post? I consider myself pro-choice and I do not support abortions after third trimester except when doing so would save the life of the mother.

Posted by: Jen S. | June 13, 2007 1:55 PM

Mona you are being a bit riduclas today with the abortion shirt. There is no comparision between being happy you are pregnant and being happy you had an abortion?

Posted by: scarry | June 13, 2007 1:55 PM

"Or would you call it self-defense, as if the fetus was attacking the mother, and her only recourse was an abortion?"

That is exactly how most religous groups that oppose voluntary abortion have viewed it. While there is, of course, no malice on the part of a fetus, in certain situations it will almost certainly take the life of the mother if allowed to grow and develop. In that case, someone is going to die (and perhaps both will die), so the question becomes not "will we kill" but "who will live?"

As it happens, my wife forced this conversation on me when she became pregnant with our first child (she can be a bit morbid at times - I think it comes from her being a worrier). Her answer was "save the child." I tried to suggest that this, in my opinion, might not be the best answer - I didn't get very far with that, though.

Posted by: Demos | June 13, 2007 1:57 PM

scarry

"Mona you are being a bit riduclas today with the abortion shirt."

PLEASE learn how to spell!!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 1:57 PM

"The problem is that potential adoptive parents want a child that fits what THEY want; they care not about the children who might need them, they only want a healthy newborn of their same race, or mayyyybe a European or Chinese baby. There are over 100,000 adoptable children in the U.S. right now. Why aren't people scrambling to adopt them? Oh, right, because they are black, older than 2, or have health problems. It is NOT the responsibility of women to provide healthy white infants to people who can't have them."

Mona, I agree that no woman is responsible for supplying infants for adoption. On the other hand, your highly inflammatory comments are not accurate and are insulting to many prospective adoptive parents. Very, very few parents are looking for white children. For years, it was the position of those placing children domestically that Black children were not permitted to be adopted by white parents, because cross-racial placement was deemed by the government to be not in the best interests of the Black children. That discriminatory position continues to be the policy of the Black Social Workers union. You have only to look at the children parents ARE adopting internationally to know that race is a non-issue, but health and age are big issues in order to maximize the chances of successful bonding and because adoptive parents want to experience the infant years with their children in the same way that biological parents get to experience those years. They ARE looking for healthy and they ARE looking to raise a child from as close to day 1 as possible. Aren't they permitted to know whether their family can effectively attend to the needs of and raise a special needs child? Aren't they permitted to know what it's like to hold a 2 month old baby, or a 1 year old? The reason that two year olds are available is that they've been removed from a home where the care was so poor that Social Services stepped in. Not all of us are in a position to take a child someone else has abused, or who suffers from fetal alcohol syndrome, or severe autism, and give him or her the care she or he needs to thrive. Please think before you post inflammatory, insulting stuff like this.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 1:58 PM

Matt in Aberdeen, thanks for setting me straight, but I have to admit that it seems like your further explanation of the law appears to illustrate my point. Nowhere in your explanation does it imply that a woman may electively abort in the third trimester for any reason. The reasons you give are health reasons. I simply stated that elective abortions are not permitted in any state, which is the same as your saying there must be health reasons involved. If I'm wrong, and a woman can abort at any time, for any reason, in some states, please let me know, because I haven't researched it as thoroughly as you have. However, it seems that what you're saying is that a woman can only abort that late for health reasons, and it seems that is close to what I said.

For example, if a woman wants to terminate at eight weeks for financial reasons, she may. But she will not be able to do so at eight months. Am I wrong here? Or is the law so subject to interpretation that anything can be considered a health reason?

Is the distinction simply "poor health" vs. "life-threatening," or can a woman simply abort at any time for ANY reason in some states? I'd like to know just how off I was on that. Thanks! :-)

Posted by: Mona | June 13, 2007 1:59 PM

Okay, well maybe my parent's paid for him or her."
scarry,
Plural nouns don't take an apostrophe. Use apos only for possessives and contractions.
This is pretty basic stuff."
Not to worry. Scarry plans to teach someday.....

Yes, she should be disqualified from teaching because some anal retentive person on a blog picks out a typo and some weirdo remembers everything she says. Get a life people.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 1:59 PM

The organ donation thing is actually not a straw man argument - not all analogies are straw man arguments, only those that are so outrageous as to force others to agree with you so as not to adopt the arguments themselves.

The organ donor analogy is how a lot of women see the abortion debate. Pro life people want to protect the fetus, but are willing to sacrifice the mom's health and well-being for nine months (if not longer) to do so. The organ donation analogy is one of the only ways to impress that loss of personal autonomy onto others who might not fully understand the pregnancy example.

Posted by: KSMd | June 13, 2007 1:59 PM

There has to be a middle ground. I know there are some people who think abortion is murder under any and all circumstances. And others who think it should be legal under any and all circumstances. I think there is a lot of room in between for the rest of us, who think that there must be a middle ground. I consider myself pro-choice, but I object to abortions in the third trimester, unless the life of the mother is at risk. And I don't have objections to first trimester abortions or abortions where the fetus has severe genetic abnormalities. I think a lot of people have a very nuanced, complicated view of abortion. The black and white arguments will not get us anywhere.

Posted by: Emily | June 13, 2007 1:59 PM

Jen S: You may not support abortion in the 3rd trimester but the abortion advocacy groups and their supporters do. Ergo, all the handwringing over the recent Supreme Court decision over partial birth abortion.

They simply don't want to consider an unborn baby a human life at any point before birth, no matter what medicine or science says.

They are the unreasonable extremists who aren't basing their decisions on science or medicine, but on some sort of political theology.

Posted by: Anon | June 13, 2007 2:01 PM

Actually, the baby has more on the line. The long term implication being DEATH by dismemberment. If you find that a better alternative to putting up with the baby until it is born, there is something wrong.

Here's a nice little 10 week old face for you:

http://www.abortionismurder.org/HTML/I-A-4-photos10.html

Here's one at 22 weeks (under 6 months):
http://www.abortionismurder.org/HTML/I-A-4-photos22.html

Gruesome? Yes, and this is what you are advocating! Can you look yourself in a mirror after that and be pro-murder?

Posted by: Chris | June 13, 2007 2:03 PM

Don't want one, then don't have one.
otherwise, mind your own beeswax.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 2:03 PM

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 2:05 PM

1:58, you're right that non-black parents are often discriminated against when trying to adopt black children. That is one factor I forgot. However, ask a potential adoptive parent what he or she would prefer and you rarely hear "oh, we just want a child." They usually have some qualifiers, and they're usually along the lines of gender, race, or age.

Posted by: Mona | June 13, 2007 2:05 PM

How do people who support abortion rights rationalize/justify (insert your word choice here) late term abortions? These types of "procedures" just seem so horrific, especially when you hear some of the horror stories. At what point do the rights of the women no longer outweigh the rights of the baby that can survive outside of the womb. I have a serious physical reaction to these procedures.

Posted by: mountainS | June 13, 2007 12:42 PM

This is a very good question, and the answers are varied and complex. I will answer from my point of view, but I'm sure there are others.

I am 100% pro-choice. However, I too find the concept of elective late-term abortions to be pretty horrifying. Also, I can't quite get wholeheartedly behind the idea that girls under 18 should be able to get abortions without their parents' knowledge (not approval, just knowledge), because the parents will be financially responsible for any medical outcomes that are unexpected.

Nevertheless, in spite of these feelings, I would never vote against any abortion measure that would weaken the availability of abortion on demand. Why not? Because the anti-abortion armies have made the controversy totally, completely black and white. For or against.

The way things are now, any willingness pro-choicers show to discuss middle ground is simply ceding that ground to the anti-abortionists. They are so all-or-nothing on the issue that pro-choice people of good conscience can't even follow their consciences by acknowledging the kinds of doubts I outlined above.

Because there is no room for compromise on the anti-abortion agenda, pro-choice supporters are forced to cleave to the other bank, even if they would be willing to meet in the middle.

That's my point of view, anyway.

Posted by: pittypat | June 13, 2007 2:05 PM

The organ donation thing is actually not a straw man argument - not all analogies are straw man arguments, only those that are so outrageous as to force others to agree with you so as not to adopt the arguments themselves.

The organ donor analogy is how a lot of women see the abortion debate


That's rich! If you make an outrageous straw argument but it's pro choice it's ok, the other way, stupid. Thanks for clearing that up.

Posted by: not a choice, a baby | June 13, 2007 2:05 PM

If you don't like abortion, don't have one. It's that simple.

Posted by: Vapid | June 13, 2007 2:05 PM

Give scarry a break - we've all had our thoughts outrun our fingers while typing. If she's not thinking straight, then by all means, say so. But if we're going to start taking cheap shots at typo's, we might as well all log off and go home.

Posted by: Demos | June 13, 2007 2:07 PM

OK, but why do you give them the right to state that i am not pro-choice? Why are you buying that argument that you are only pro-chioce if you think abortion should be entirely unrestricted? I doubt you think I belong in the pro-life group, right?

Posted by: Jen S. | June 13, 2007 2:10 PM

Some people are not viable, or are dependent on medication to live. Does that mean you can kill people who are dependent? Babies, after they are born, are not independent either. Dependency or lack thereof should not be what defines your humanity.

9 Weeks (graphic? disturbing? Not if it is just cells without rights!):

http://www.abortionismurder.org/HTML/I-A-4-photos9.html

Posted by: Chris | June 13, 2007 2:10 PM

"Because there is no room for compromise on the anti-abortion agenda, pro-choice supporters are forced to cleave to the other bank, even if they would be willing to meet in the middle."

Pittypat, but it could also be seen from the other angle, where the prolifers think that the prochoicers are all or nothing, and therefore, cleave to the other bank even if they would be willing to meet in the middle.

Someone has to take the first step to come to a reasonable position. I am not too distressed by the ban on partial birth abortions. I do not see it as eroding the freedom of women to choose. I see it as a reasonable restriction.

But I still consider myself pro-choice. My sense is, a pregnancy spans a long time. People should make their minds up as early as possible, and waiting until the 3rd trimester for an elective abortion is just disgusting.

Posted by: Emily | June 13, 2007 2:12 PM

"If you don't like abortion, don't have one" isn't a logical argument. The same could be said for any law that others are doing but you aren't, i. e. "if you don't like abusing children, don't do it".

Posted by: Anon | June 13, 2007 2:13 PM

"The organ donation thing is actually not a straw man argument"

Of course it is. There's a huge difference between taking an affirmative action that causes harm to another (murder) and declining to offer assistance when you're under no legal obligation to do so (organ donation). Is offering assistance praiseworthy? Of course. Is it something our society should encourage? Absolutely. Should moral people strive to help others? Yes. But we choose when to help, how to help, and whom to help. We may choose to donate our organs. On the flip side, not commiting murder is an obligation, not a choice, and is enforced by the full weight of the law.

Posted by: Demos | June 13, 2007 2:14 PM

She had no information or knowledge on development after living a sheltered life

Hadn't she heard of the public library? Talk about irresponsible decision-making on her part. She had unprotected sex, she had an abortion that she didn't want, because she didn't take on the responsibility of seeking out information on her own!

Posted by: to Chris | June 13, 2007 2:14 PM

Mona you are being a bit riduclas today with the abortion shirt. There is no comparision between being happy you are pregnant and being happy you had an abortion?

Posted by: scarry | June 13, 2007 01:55 PM

scarry, you posted "I have never seen a shirt that says "I got pregnant, yippie for me." Mona's response was spot-on.

Sure, you can think it is gross, immature, and tasteless to wear one of the Planned Parenthood shirts, but, as today's responses show, there's a lot of misinformation out there, e.g., women regretting their abortions forever, feeling excessive shame, etc. If Planned Parenthood and those individual wearers are willing to take the risk of being beaten up by the pro-lifers in order to reassure other women that average, every-day, normal, average women sometimes opt to abort, I can't see what's gross about that (recognizing that Chris or educmom would find it gross simply because of its content). I'm not one to wear t-shirts to spread a message, but I can understand why a woman would choose to do so, particularly in the current political and social climate.

Posted by: MN | June 13, 2007 2:14 PM

Demos

"Give scarry a break - we've all had our thoughts outrun our fingers while typing. If she's not thinking straight, then by all means, say so. But if we're going to start taking cheap shots at typo's, we might as well all log off and go home."


There are MANY grammatical errors. Too many for an educated person who plans to be a teacher.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 2:14 PM

Thanks Demos. This is a blog not work and there are a lot of mistakes in many posts. I chose to ignore them and look at content.

Posted by: scarry | June 13, 2007 2:14 PM

Mona: What I think Scarry is trying to say is the Baby on Board shirts are not about being proud you can procreate. It is about the intense love and joy that a parent, typically, feels in regards to the addition of a new family member. It is the pride that parents feel when they bring new life into the world or rear a little person. The knocked up shirt is just as repulsive and should be considered classless. But the the Baby on Board or Baby with arrow, is really about celebrating new life no matter how that child enters their family. Just as adoptive parents, who did not successfully procreate, feel intense joy of bringing a new member into their family, so do biological parents. It certainly isn't the same statement as I had an abortion t-shirts. The I had an abortin T-shirts aim was to say look regular people have abortions and it is nothing to be ashamed of. Everyone knows regular women have babies and that having a baby is not something that is shameful. So different message. BTW, I am not at all offended by the I had an abortion T-shirts. Unfortunately, I am not sure their original message is expressed so clearly. Because, unfortunately, people will misread it and think it is saying, "hey, I am proud of having an abortion" versus, regular people have abortions (your mother, your sister, your daughter, your neighbor, your fellow church member) etc...

Posted by: foamgnome | June 13, 2007 2:15 PM

Chris,
Your arguments, and I suspect the links you are posting (which I have not and will not look at), are just inflammatory. Save them. I am interested in having a reasonable discussion. You will get nowhere with reasonable people.

Posted by: Emily | June 13, 2007 2:15 PM

Chris, do you really believe that those of us who disagree with you will consider your source reliable and unbiased when its website's URL is "abortionismurder.com"? Honestly, most of us are rational enough to listen to the facts, but a site so extremist and charged with bias as that one will not likely be taken seriously as a reference by those whose minds you are trying to change.

Posted by: Mona | June 13, 2007 2:15 PM

By the third week of pregnancy (approximately 21 days after fertilization), the heart begins to beat, pumping blood throughout the body, and the brain begins dividing into three primary sections (forebrain, midbrain, and hindbrain).


Posted by: Chris | June 13, 2007 12:54 PM

Dividing into sections isn't the same as having the brain functioning and responsive.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 2:16 PM

Elsa: You can't donate organs until you're dead already, except maybe a kidney. One kidney can take over the function of the missing one. However, donating hearts, lungs, livers, skin, eyes, whatever happens after death. DUH!!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 2:16 PM

I have a friend who grew up one of 5 children in Mexico. He has two daughters with his wife now and they will not have any more. Why? Because he said he never wants to have to make the choice about which children get shoes. I think there is a very valid reason for limiting your family size after you've already had kids.

And let's try to remember that we are talking about the issue of legality vs. illegality here. Not whether we would or wouldn't condone abortion for ourselves or others. This is a LEGAL issue, let's not kid ourselves into thinking that laws dictate morals.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 2:16 PM

Where do you draw the line and condemn murder? Right now that line is after birth. "Pregnancy spans a long time." So does death.

http://www.abortionismurder.org/

Posted by: Chris | June 13, 2007 2:17 PM

The Baby on Board shirts are stupid!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 2:18 PM

where's the hollywood depiction of innocent human children being killed to "maintain a family balance"? Abortion is murder. It sickens me to see it treated as something less than that.

Posted by: humanadvocate | June 13, 2007 2:18 PM

You said it, pittypat. I don't know many pro-choice people who think late-term abortion is just ducky. Most, like me, think it is quite horrible. But that's a "nuanced position," and we live in a time where "nuanced" is equivalent to "wishy-washy" or "wimpy."

And I know I'm like a broken record here, but again, why exactly is it that those who are most adamantly "pro-life" are also usually adamantly anti-contraception? I am sure that many are not, but I don't hear those voices very often.

If they don't want to support the most reliable and proven means toward their stated end (prevention of abortion), then what exactly IS their real agenda? And do they have any interest in the "success" of historical efforts to ban abortion? (OK, I can answer that one myself...no.)

Posted by: Jill in Denver | June 13, 2007 2:18 PM

Chris.........Murder is not something you can prove by showing a picture of a fetus that was aborted. Murder is a legal construct that was developed by society. It has a legal definition. Showing anyone a picture does not make it murder. The debate is whether or not the fetus inside a woman's body is a life. If someone objectively believes that life does not start until the fetusbecomes a baby outside womb then abortion does not meet the legal defition of murder...no matter how many pictures or charts you show. In the same someone who believes the opposite will agree with your pictures.

When life begins is the ultimate philosophical question that your charts and pictures do not answer. The law can try to answer it but it is clearly something our society is split on.

Posted by: HappyDad | June 13, 2007 2:19 PM

You don't see the difference between, on the one hand, analogizing the question of aborting a baby with Downs to aborting a baby because it was ugly, and on the other, analogizing the question of forcing women to be pregnant for nine months (with possible ensuing complications) with forcing people to donate bone marrow, a kidney or a piece of liver if they are a compatible match and it would save the life of the donee?

A "straw man" argument is typically defined as one that draws a false representation of your opponent's argument - for example, if you don't support the war in Iraq, then you must want the terrorists to win. I think that the first of the abortion analogies above is pretty clearly a straw man argument, given the massive difference between raising a child with Downs and raising a child who's ugly. I do not think that the second abortion analogy is a straw man argument, because there's not much difference between forcing you to carry a baby to term and forcing you to donate a piece of your liver.

If you disagree with me and consider the organ donation analogy to be ridiculous, I would very much appreciate hearing why. To me, it seems to sum up the personal autonomy issues with abortion pretty well.

Posted by: To "not a choice, a baby" | June 13, 2007 2:20 PM

I'm one of those people who opposes restrictions on late-term abortions. My reasoning is that there must be some reason why a woman would seek an abortion this late, and I have no interest in second-guessing that reason.

I have searched in vain for reliable statistics on late-term abortions -- how common they are, the reasons they're sought, etc. I've never seen any evidence that a significant number of women simply procrastinate in seeking an abortion for "convenience" reasons. In the absence of any such information, I presume that late-term abortions are sought mostly in situations where there's something wrong with the fetus and/or continuing the pregnancy poses a risk to the health of the mom. And I don't see any point in making what is already probably a difficult time in a woman's life any harder.

Posted by: NewSAHM | June 13, 2007 2:21 PM

A cultural tidbit from the Ring, amidst today's stormy discussion:

". . . den hehrsten Helden der Welt hegst du, o Weib, im schirmenden Schoss!"
(Brunnhilde tells Sieglinde: "the greateast hero of all time you are carrying, O woman, in your protecting womb")
-- Richard Wagner, Die Walkure, Act III

'By the way, I do consider myself pro-choice, although I am sure there are lots of people on both sides that would say I can't call myself that. But I imagine my middle-of-the-road, nuanced (many would say wishy-washy) take on abortion rights is VERY common.' (posted by Jen S.)

"Jen, I so agree with you on this. My feeling is that abortion should be safe and legal, within limits. I am not sure where I would place those limits. Probably within the first 20 or so weeks of pregnancy. That should be enough time for someone to decide to terminate, for whatever the reason may be. . . .

"That said, I do think that if a fetus is judged to be viable outside the womb, it should be protected from abortion. That is the only restriction I would place on abortion."

Posted by: Emily | June 13, 2007 01:48 PM

"Protected from abortion"? How can one "protect" a viable, healthy, late-term fetus from abortion without requiring its mother to continue her pregnancy and go through labor and delivery, or at least a Caesarean section? If Sieglinde does not want to stay pregnant, if *she* no longer wants to protect the fetus in her womb even though Brunnhilde tells her she is carrying "the greatest hero of all time," is society -- is government -- is even Wotan, today's (Wednesday's) "god of the day" and the chief of the gods -- gonna tell Sieglinde that she cannot have an abortion and must carry her fetus to term? What if bearing Siegfried -- who is the child of her incestuous relations with her own brother, Siegmund -- will harm Sieglinde's psychological or emotional health? Are we still supposed to protect Siegfried after 20 weeks of pregnancy?

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | June 13, 2007 2:21 PM

Mona- Do you know anyone adopting? The only qualifiers I've ever heard anyone state is that they'd like the baby to be young, preferably less than a year, and healthy.

Posted by: atb | June 13, 2007 2:21 PM

Becoming a mother has cemented my pro-choice stance. Motherhood is really really difficult when it's planned and expected. If this isn't what you want, it should be your right to choose an abortion. My biggest fear if abortion because illegal is knowing it won't end abortions, just make them more dangerous

Posted by: md | June 13, 2007 2:22 PM

foam, I appreciate your take on the "I had an abortion" t-shirts. I wouldn't wear one either, simply because I'm tired of the debate (wonder why I'm here, then?). It will be very hard to change another's mind, and an inflammatory t-shirt won't do it. I appreciate the courage and solidarity of those who would be willing to take on verbal attacks on behalf of those who aren't willing to announce their decisions, as MN posted. It can't be easy to stand by your choice when you know perfect strangers will call you horrible names. I agree with you, and the original poster: the abortion t-shirts are NOT the same as maternity t-shirts. Both are silly and classless in my opinion, but for altogether different reasons, as are their motivations. I definitely see the difference; all I wanted was to point out that I think "LOOK AT ME I'M KNOCKED UP" t-shirts are just as silly as the "LOOK AT ME I'M NOT--NOT ANYMORE!" t-shirts.

Posted by: Mona | June 13, 2007 2:22 PM

There are MANY grammatical errors. Too many for an educated person who plans to be a teacher.

You have a problem. Your bias is revolting concerning scary. There are typos all over this board, if you signed your name; I bet we could find one in your posts too.

Perhaps you should take your obsession one step further and find out where she attends school and petition the dean to drop her from her program of study.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 2:23 PM

I keep noticing Chris won't answer the question I asked, as in, is there a condition where you would support abortion, or is terminating a pregnancy for any reason murder in your opinion?

I'm not talking about an ectopic pregnancy; I'm asking if there is ANY reason (fetal brain stem only, endangered mother's life, etc) where a terminated pregnancy would be acceptable to you?

Posted by: John L | June 13, 2007 2:24 PM

Oh Scarry, in regards to this:
if I come across as superior, sorry, but so be it

Not superior, but sanctimonious.

Posted by: to Scarry | June 13, 2007 12:10 PM

The poster apologized. It was meant for educmom; See this:
Sorry, that should have been "to educmom", not Scarry.

Posted by: oops | June 13, 2007 12:12 PM

Posted by: foamgnome | June 13, 2007 2:25 PM

"Are we still supposed to protect Siegfried after 20 weeks of pregnancy?"

Tough questions, Matt. I don't know if the dividing line should be 20 weeks of pregnancy. Maybe it should be 24. When is a premature baby considered to be viable outside the womb?

But I would say that at whatever point it is medically considered viable, abortion should no longer be allowed, unless the life of the mother is at risk. The pregnancy should be allowed to continue to term at that point. And at that point, it makes no difference to me if the child is the result of an incestuous relationship or rape or whatever. I know a lot of people will disagree with me.

Posted by: Emily | June 13, 2007 2:27 PM

"Mona- Do you know anyone adopting? The only qualifiers I've ever heard anyone state is that they'd like the baby to be young, preferably less than a year, and healthy.

Posted by: atb | June 13, 2007 02:21 PM"

I know many who've adopted in the past, and some who are still hoping to adopt. Most want a white newborn, which is why pregnant women have so many prospective parents to choose from.

But young and healthy ARE qualifiers, and they are among the ones I mentioned above.

If you were a natural parent, and you had an unhealthy child, would you be unhappy with it? It seems to me that if someone is so desperate to adopt, they'd be more than happy to have a child regardless of whether it has MS, HIV, a wheelchair, cancer, CF, etc.

Posted by: Mona | June 13, 2007 2:28 PM

"Is the distinction simply 'poor health' vs. 'life-threatening,' or can a woman simply abort at any time for ANY reason in some states? I'd like to know just how off I was on that. Thanks! :-)"

Posted by: Mona | June 13, 2007 01:59 PM

I don't know whether financial considerations qualify under the mandatory "health" exception to laws restricting elective abortions. You'd either have to look at the case law, or find examples of women who bore unwanted children because their financial reasons were deemed insufficient by the local abortion provider. I do know what I quoted from Doe v. Bolton, namely, that emotional and psychological reasons do fall within the "health" exception.

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | June 13, 2007 2:31 PM

MN those tee shirts will only make people angry. It's not like people will look at them and think, wow, I am pro-choice now. I think they are inflammatory on purpose and won't help the cause. I think the "keep your hands off my body shirts" are nice and represent something deeper than "I had an abortion" because they can apply to other issues.

And, yes, I agree with foamgnome on the baby shirts. I am not saying "hey look at me," I am just happy to be pregnant. Although I have to say that someone in my family bought me a Winnie the Pooh shirt that says "mom to bee" on it, you can bet that I will not be wearing that.

Posted by: scarry | June 13, 2007 2:32 PM

Too many for an educated person who plans to be a teacher.

This is a fragment and your use of "too" is incorrect.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 2:38 PM

John L, sorry, didn't see it... not ignoring you. :)

Only in the instance where it can be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that the baby is already dead. If it has not through due passage of time developed, and is incapable of developing a brain. In other words, if it is dead and will never be able to survive.

Abortion permanently takes away the life of the unborn. Pregnancy temporarily takes away some of the freedoms of the mother. Since there is far more at stake for the child, the more fundamental right to life must be upheld.

If it is healthy, and somehow a threat to the mother, that is a risk, though a rare one, but not a definite death sentence for the mother, and thus the baby should not be killed.

Posted by: Chris | June 13, 2007 2:40 PM

Scarry, will you be using cloth diapers? That t-shirt sounds like a good candidate! ;-)

I don't completely dislike all mom-to-be t-shirts. There was one on the cafepress site that said "Unless you're my husband, hands off my belly!" I loved that one. But most of them were just ridiculous. Cartoon character t-shirts are the worst. What, because I'm pregnant, I'm no longer an adult?

Posted by: Mona | June 13, 2007 2:42 PM

"You are a simple, simple woman. It scares me that you might be in charge of children or a motor vehicle."

Wow, what an ignorant a** you are. I am not simple at all--you are simple--I'm guessing a bible thumping bimbo blindly being led by crazy megachurches and you live in a trailer park (my apologies to people living in trailers). This is why most Americans hate the far right--they claim to be "christian", but have no love for other humans. You are an idiot.

Posted by: To anon | June 13, 2007 2:43 PM

Mona- When it's the old fashioned way, you take what you're given (or abort or abandon or give up). Given a choice, as you have with adoption, you choose young and healthy. I've just never heard anyone seriously requesting a gender or race, to the point of passing on a baby who doesn't meet your exact criteria.

Posted by: atb | June 13, 2007 2:47 PM

Wow, what an ignorant a** you are. I am not simple at all--you are simple--I'm guessing a bible thumping bimbo blindly being led by crazy megachurches and you live in a trailer park (my apologies to people living in trailers). This is why most Americans hate the far right--they claim to be "christian", but have no love for other humans. You are an idiot.


I am not a bible thumper, I'm not even Christian, but I can have feelings about this issue and morality w/o being a theist. I object to your childish response and logic in regards to something this serious.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 2:47 PM

Chris:

Then based on your 2:40 post, if the fundamental right belongs to the fetus, where do you draw the line.

Can the government/you tell a woman to see a certain doctor?

Can the government/you tell a woman that she can't use a midwive and must use a physician because it is better for the baby?

Can the government/you tell a woman she is required to have a c-section regardless of what her beliefs/thoughts are on the surgery?

Can the government/you tell a woman that she must exercise a certain amount each day because she is gaining too much weight and it is unhealthy for the baby?

The list of these questions can go on and on. I think you see my point though, if the rights of the fetus are more important than the mothers...where do you sraw the line?

Posted by: HappyDad | June 13, 2007 2:48 PM

"If I have a miscarriage (ie spontaneous abortion) would you regard it as I had a child I lost? Would you ask for a funeral? Would you ask for a funeral for a still birth?"

My SIL miscarried three time, at 5, 10, and 8 weeks. She sends out annual "please pray for my dead baby" reminders. She wears one of those birthstone necklaces with 5 stones, 2 for her children and 3 for her miscarriages.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 2:48 PM

The list of these questions can go on and on. I think you see my point though, if the rights of the fetus are more important than the mothers...where do you sraw the line?

Draw the line at not taking an active step to harm the fetus.

The ironic thing is that the other questions on your list, which you apparently mean to be ridiculous, are all much more likelt to be enacted than meaningful restrictions on abortion.

Posted by: JohnMcG | June 13, 2007 2:52 PM

Mona,

I will be selling that shirt in the yard sale next year. My daughter asked if the shirt was for her, I said NO, it shouldn't be for anyone. I have a tank top that says "baby bump" on it, I bought it on sale. I am not against abortion in the least and have had friends who have had them. I have also counseled one lady who had one. She had an abusive, very abusive boyfriend (think cut her with a knife, burned her with a light bulb, came after me when I tried to be her friend, etc). I told her that under no circumstance would I bring a baby into that house.

She asked me if I thought it was wrong to have an abortion and I told her no. She had one and I have never told anyone about it. She is still with him. Her situation is one of the main reasons I believe in abortion.

Posted by: scarry | June 13, 2007 2:52 PM

Re: the adpotion discussion. Look around our foster care systems nation-wide. The vast majority of kids in the system are african-american or kids with disabilities. I once did some research on this and throughout the country there are plenty of health minority children under the age of one not being adopted. So assuming that all kids can be adopted is just not true. Our society is not that utopian yet.

Posted by: HappyDad | June 13, 2007 2:52 PM

As a woman without children, I'd rather be known as child-free, not childless. I have no children by choice and design. No, I haven't had an abortion, but my then 50 year-old Catholic mother told me openly that she thought abortion was an option women had to had. I'm a practicing Catholic myself, and pro-choice. I love my nieces and nephews, but I've never wanted to raise a child of my own.

Posted by: Childfree | June 13, 2007 2:53 PM

I certainly don't have time to read over 400 posts, so if this has already been said, sorry.

Christina on Grey's Anatomy had an ectopic pregnancy, so it was not an abortion.

Soap operas always have a convenient miscarriage, and no one ever talks about or considers abortion. However, last summer, on General Hospital, Luke and Laura's daughter, Lulu found herself pregnant at 16 (she and her partner had used a faulty condom--don't ask...) She decided to get an abortion and went through with it. It was the first time in my memory (and I've watched for almost 20 years) that a character actually went through with an abortion. They handled it well.

Posted by: Emmy | June 13, 2007 2:55 PM

"Abortion permanently takes away the life of the unborn. Pregnancy temporarily takes away some of the freedoms of the mother. Since there is far more at stake for the child, the more fundamental right to life must be upheld."

Posted by: Chris | June 13, 2007 02:40 PM

It's not just the mother's freedom that gets taken away if the law forbids her to terminate her pregnancy. It is her Equality! Since a man cannot be forced to be pregnant, forcing a woman to remain pregnant violates her rights under the "Equal Protection Clause" of the U. S. Constitution, Amendment XIV. At least, this is the argument that Larry Tribe '62 makes in his book, _Abortion - the Clash of Absolutes_, in the chapter entitled, "What if the fetus is a human being?" He quotes a professor from the Other Place (i.e., Yale Law School) to support this argument.

When the TV Networks need a "talking head" on Constitutional Law, they often turn to Professor Laurence Tribe of the Law School. Is Larry an extremist?

In her decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor also makes an argument based on Equality: "The ability of women to participate equally in the economic and social life of the Nation has been facilitated by their ability to control their reproductive lives."

Is Justice O'Connor an extremist? Even if the fetus is a human life, doesn't the overriding principle of Gender Equality keep us from requiring the woman to continue protecting that life? Or is there maybe something more important than Equality?

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | June 13, 2007 2:56 PM

The topic of funerals for miscarriages evades the entire point.

Funerals for miscarraiges seem ridiculous to American society because there is not a societal respect for unborn life. This is precisely what the pro-life movement is trying to change.


Posted by: JohnMcG | June 13, 2007 2:56 PM

Emmy

"Soap operas always have a convenient miscarriage, and no one ever talks about or considers abortion. "

Ever watch "Coronation Street"?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 2:57 PM

Is Justice O'Connor an extremist? Even if the fetus is a human life, doesn't the overriding principle of Gender Equality keep us from requiring the woman to continue protecting that life? Or is there maybe something more important than Equality?

Yes.

Posted by: JohnMcG | June 13, 2007 2:57 PM

JohnMcG...yes I was making a point. But there are plenty of things a woman can do that is a "active strp" that can harm the fetus.

If a woman eats too much sugar/starch she can develop diabetes which puts the fetus at risk . That is an active step.

The choice not to seek medical care during pregnancy is an active step.

The choice to drink caffeine during pregnancy is an active step.

Since all of these can harm the fetus can we as a society force a woman to not do otherwise legal things?

Posted by: HappyDad | June 13, 2007 2:57 PM

Leslie, first, horrible topic to choose today.

Second, do you know what a "right" is? Or do you just throw the term around like other ignorant Americans? I'm referring to your statement: Nonetheless, she exercised her right to family "balance." Maybe I missed that part in the Constitution. Perhaps it's an implied right. If so, please find the right that implies the "right to family 'balance'".

Really, being able to achieve family "balance" is just that -- an ability, not a "right". The term "right" has a specific meaning. Your throwing it around renders it meaningless (e.g. I do not have a "right" to eat ice cream, though many idiots would say something like that).

Posted by: Ryan | June 13, 2007 2:59 PM

Abortion permanently takes away the life of the unborn. Pregnancy temporarily takes away some of the freedoms of the mother. Since there is far more at stake for the child, the more fundamental right to life must be upheld.

If it is healthy, and somehow a threat to the mother, that is a risk, though a rare one, but not a definite death sentence for the mother, and thus the baby should not be killed.

Posted by: Chris | June 13, 2007 02:40 PM
So Chris if my abusive husband forces me to have unprotected sex he can force me to have a child?
I can have the risk of my diabities being out of control and need to go on dialysis and need a kidney transplant (not a definite death sentence)I need to go through a full pregnancy?
I will need to go off my depression medicine and possibly be suicidal (not guaranteed) because I was raped?
Chris I am not a chattel that can be forced to have a baby just as I cannot be forced to give up kidney or my bone marrow. And this is a good analogy because in the case of rape which Chris says I should carry the baby is not voluntary.
And if it is OK to have an abortion in a rape, why is the child whose father a rapist any less entitled to a life than one's who isn't? And once we start thinking about the mother then it becomes her situation and her decision of what is to much to bear.

Posted by: To chris | June 13, 2007 3:01 PM

Fine, HappyDad, I would draw the line at things that are not intended to harm the child.

Yes, intent is hard to prove. But we do it all the time in other contexts, why not here?

Think about child discipline -- harshness of discipline crosses from negligence to acceptable to abuse. One can advocate prosecuting abuse without drawing hard and fast lines without specifically drawing those lines.

Posted by: JohnMcG | June 13, 2007 3:02 PM

The choice to drink caffeine during pregnancy is an active step.

Some caffiene is okay.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 3:02 PM

I wonder why a woman has to be "brave enough" and "at peace" to discuss her abortion? Perhaps because the writer knows in her heart that abortion ends a life.

Posted by: Jim | June 13, 2007 3:03 PM

livers

You can donate a portion of your liver, while alive, to another.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 3:03 PM

It seems to me that if someone is so desperate to adopt, they'd be more than happy to have a child regardless of whether it has MS, HIV, a wheelchair, cancer, CF, etc.

Posted by: Mona | June 13, 2007 02:28 PM

Mona, Many parents and singles desparate to adopt have neither the financial resources nor the time to care for a special needs child, but they have plenty of love. Is it really inconceivable to you that many parents know what they can handle and know they can't handle a child with the needs of a child with Downs or MS? You plan to return to work almost immediately. How would raising a child with MS fit into your life? In your efforts to insult one group of pro-lifers, you are managing to insult another: adoptive parents. Your ignorance about adoptive parents is rather startling.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 3:05 PM

I wonder why a woman has to be "brave enough" and "at peace" to discuss her abortion?

Because anti-abortion extremists think it's OK to kill abortion providers, so it's only a short step down the slippery slope to those who've had abortions.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 3:07 PM

I've read all of the posts until now, and someone posed the question as to whether this discussion today changed any minds.

Perhaps it hasn't changed any minds, but I, for one, who was rather on the fence and undecided about much of this argument, have come to some conclusions.

1) Whether or not I would have an abortion is immaterial, it is the law of the land, and like so many have written (particularly haunting was Kris' post about her great-grandmother dying due to a botched abortion) there is greater danger in NOT having safe access.

2) People are going to have sex. Period. It is a biological drive, like the need for sleep and food. Granted, there is a continuum for "appetite", but by and large people will have sex. And there will be mistakes---and pregnancy.

3) If anything, this discussion has pushed me more to prochoice than I've ever been inclined.

And yes, I am a highly educated (doctoral degree) young woman who is happily married.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 3:07 PM

Too many for an educated person who plans to be a teacher.

This is a fragment and your use of "too" is incorrect.


Posted by: | June 13, 2007 02:38 PM

No, that is the correct use of "too". It is a fragment though.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 3:08 PM

All those responses account for less than 1% of abortion cases. Usually, it is just birth control.

Do two wrongs make a right? If you get raped by one person, you get to murder another? Where is the logic in that? No, life is not fair. No, men can not carry babies. Does that mean it is ok for women to kill them? You are not using logic. A baby is a human. You kill a human when you abort. When you have sex, you take a chance. If it was unwilling, I am sorry. People don't usually get willingly murdered either, even if they inconvenience you.

www.abort73.com

Posted by: Chris | June 13, 2007 3:09 PM

Well Chris, I haven't seen you respond to "To Chris" yet about your analogy. That poster took the words right out of my mouth. If you're looking for a logical response, you got one. So, where's yours?

As a refresher: "That's a crappy analogy. How can you not recognize that it's a crappy analogy?

I agree with whoever posted above with the analogy to forcing a person to be a bone marrow or kidney donor against his or her will. If we value life in our society to the point that we're willing to require women to sacrifice their bodies for nine months to host the fetus, why in the world aren't we willing to force people to be marrow and kidney and liver donors whether they want to or not? We could save thousands of lives each year if we forced people to share their marrow/kidney/piece of liver with someone who needs it. Why do we not do that?

If we truly value life, it's the only solution to the organ donation crisis."

Posted by: To Chris | June 13, 2007 01:40 PM

Posted by: PolicyGirl | June 13, 2007 3:09 PM

Because anti-abortion extremists think it's OK to kill abortion providers, so it's only a short step down the slippery slope to those who've had abortions.

They should be more than welcome in your eyes then since you kill defenseless babies.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 3:09 PM

Mona, how times a week would you say you get scolded on this blog?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 3:09 PM

It seems to me that if someone is so desperate to adopt, they'd be more than happy to have a child regardless of whether it has MS, HIV, a wheelchair, cancer, CF, etc.

Posted by: Mona | June 13, 2007 02:28 PM

Mona, Many parents and singles desparate to adopt have neither the financial resources nor the time to care for a special needs child, but they have plenty of love. Is it really inconceivable to you that many parents know what they can handle and know they can't handle a child with the needs of a child with Downs or MS? You plan to return to work almost immediately. How would raising a child with MS fit into your life? In your efforts to insult one group of pro-lifers, you are managing to insult another: adoptive parents. Your ignorance about adoptive parents is rather startling.

Posted by: | June 13, 2007 03:05 PM

Well--then why are so many up-in-arms regarding prenatal testing, or aborting a fetus because they are unable to care for it in a way they deem fit?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 3:11 PM

3:09, you'd have to ask Blog Stats. That would be an interesting factoid, don't you think?

Posted by: Mona | June 13, 2007 3:14 PM

Wasn't much of this covered in "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood?

Posted by: Maryland Mother | June 13, 2007 3:16 PM

Thank you MD mother, that is exactly the book title I was trying to remember, and if I recollect correctly, yes, it was.

Posted by: 3:07 | June 13, 2007 3:17 PM

This topic has been hashed and rehased a number of times on this blog and elswhere. Today's posts have added NOT ONE SCINTILLA to the debate.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 3:20 PM

to 3:17.

You're welcome. If I'm not mistaken, I think it was made into a movie as well. I never saw the movie, I wonder if it passed the "smell test" by Atwood fans.

Speaking of which, "The Handmaid's Tale" won the first Arthur C. Clarke Award in 1987. It was additionally nominated for the 1986 Nebula Award, the 1987 Prometheus Award, and the 1986 Booker Prize.

Posted by: Maryland Mother | June 13, 2007 3:21 PM

"the Catholic Church recognizes that it is ok to remove the fallopian tube in cases of ectopic pregnancy, since the removal of the embryo/fetus is seen as a side effect of saving the woman. They DO NOT recognize the procedures available for ectopic pregnancies whose main aim is removing the embryo/fetus, even though these could allow the woman to keep her fallopian tube."

This is what happens when you turn over your will and decision-making capacities to a bunch of old men in dresses.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 3:22 PM

I love how people attack me rather than my logic, or that presented on www.abort73.com

Where does a person choosing to murder a baby equal a person needing a transplant? It's not good logic. It is not the same issue even.

Toxic waste is bad for you, so why not just make everyone wear their seatbelts to save lives? Killing babies and donating organs is not the same issue.

"If cars kill people, why not make it illegal to drive them" is even better "logic," as at least it is the same issue.

If people could save lives by killing terrorists, why aren't we? Oh that's right, you're too busy advocating killing babies! Gosh, you make their job easy!

I'm for organ transplants, so long as it is voluntary- but requiring it would be a slipperly slope to exploitation. Even better, treat it as a separate issue, like it is. It has nothing to do with any sugar-coating of excuses to kill babies.

Posted by: Chris | June 13, 2007 3:23 PM

Chris, in response to your 3.09pm post, all I can say is, I hope you never personally have to face that situation.

Posted by: pd | June 13, 2007 3:23 PM

I love the Handmaid's Tale. It was not only a really good read, but it also provided great fodder for thought.

Ironically enough, if I remember correctly, in the book, babies that were imperfect were aborted. Interesting.

Posted by: Emily | June 13, 2007 3:24 PM

Hiya

Coming late to this discussion as I often do (I read this on my afternoon break).

I think this is the longest time that we've stayed on topic, no sharks today.

Maryland mother--I read "The Handmaid's Tale" in college, and it was a chillign premise.

Posted by: NW vet | June 13, 2007 3:27 PM

"My problem with much of the pro-life side is that many also oppose widespread availability
of sexual education and contraception"

I have no problem with the widespread availability of sex education. My problem with the sex education programs especially in public schools is when it combines contraception as well as the idea as Leslie puts it "Women NEED birth control including abortion" implicitly teaches teenagers that it is an accepted attitude that people have no control of their sexual desires, and whatever can be done about preventing pregnancy, should be done, including the termination of human life if necesary to maintain an acceptable standard of living.

The attitude that contraception and abortion is "needed" for women to maintain an equally significant role in our society as men, not only robs the dignity of the female gender of which the principle is intended to empower,, but also minimizes the exclusive role that women have as the childbears of the next generation.

Now, if we can teach an entire generation that it is nnecessary to terminate human life to maintain an acceptable standard of living, what will prevent that generation from applying the same principle to euthanasia, even on their own parents? I read the Parenting blog where Stacey wished her own mother would die. I cringed, but I can understand that everybody, especially the very people we love, find it difficult to witness the suffering of others.

that's why I'm pro-life. I think that the attitude that human life is above economic gain, gender roles, and convenient living preserves the dignity of the soul and provides us with our purpose.

Yes, human life, it's something to live for!


Posted by: Father of 4 | June 13, 2007 3:28 PM

It is tricky to explain my views. Can you be pro-choice but anti-abortion?

(From June 13, 2007).

Many people have been posting about how they are personally opposed to abortion, but think it ought to be legal. Here is why the pro-choice but anti-abortion stance results in more abortions--because people to look to other people to decide what is morally right. It is what humans, being the social creatures that we are, do. If every single person in the world decided that abortion was an abomination, and they were vocal on that point, girls and women would be MUCH less likely to have it done.

Leslie's posting about her mother's friend, whom she obviously thinks highly of, is EXACTLY the point. When you tell the world you support a woman's right to choose, you are telling the world and women who might consider it, that while you might not care for it too much yourself, you don't think it is horrific enough to ban.

The separation of Church and State argument is a red herring--there are plenty of things we ban as a State because they are morally repugnant and involve someone who cannot protect themselves--rape, child molestation, murder.

I understand the desire to have dominion over one's own body and not to abrogate that control to the State, but this is a unique situation when there is another person's life at stake, even if it is not always recognized as such by people for whom it is inconvenient to do so.

If you truly think abortion is murdering a human life, as much as you might want the State not to have rights over women's bodies, if you take a prochoice stance you are giving others not only legal license, but also your witting or unwitting moral assent.
Is it inconvenient to be prolife? Yes. Socially difficult to do in a prochoice world? Yes. Necessary? Yes.

Again, I truly feel sorry for people who have had abortions or who have participated in them and I do not hold them as morally culpable as perhaps I ought to precisely because there are so many people they look up to==academics, politicians, friends of their mothers, who tell them it is a perfectly reasonable choice.

If you don't think it is a perfectly reasonable choice it is your duty to stand up and say it.

Posted by: Middle | June 13, 2007 3:29 PM

Give scarry a break - we've all had our thoughts outrun our fingers while typing. If she's not thinking straight, then by all means, say so. But if we're going to start taking cheap shots at typo's, we might as well all log off and go home.

Posted by: Demos | June 13, 2007 02:07 PM

Demos,

That would be "typos," not "typo's."

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 3:29 PM

Father of 4

"Yes, human life, it's something to live for! "


I don't believe you are the sole author of this post.


Posted by: Top Cat | June 13, 2007 3:31 PM

Please clarify, are you for contraception or not? I couldn't see where you addressed it separately from abortion.

Posted by: to Father of 4 | June 13, 2007 3:31 PM

"Ironically enough, if I remember correctly, in the book, babies that were imperfect were aborted. Interesting."

Didn't they kill them afterwards too, calling them shredders or something?

Posted by: scarry | June 13, 2007 3:31 PM

Demos,

That would be "typos," not "typo's."

Posted by: | June 13, 2007 03:29 PM

No, that would be "Demo's."

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 3:32 PM

A fetus is dependent on the mother for life. So the question is, can a woman be forced to provide her body against her will to support a life that she does not want to support?

There are a lot of analogies that can be made. Can any of us be forced to provide others with life sustaining services against our will if the benefit is that these services keep them alive? Should we be forced to pay for others health services so that they don't die? Should we be forced to provide others with food so that they don't starve? Should people with two kidneys be forced to give one up to people who need kidney transplants? Should people with healthy blood be forced to donate?

I don't think so.

Posted by: Emily | June 13, 2007 3:32 PM

I admire the writer for the honesty and the matter-of-fact way that she dealt with the topic of abortion. This is part of life. Sexually active women always have to be mindful of their fertility. So true. Abortion is an option when birth control fails or when we fail as humans to take it properly.

We may all have different opinions about the topic and different reasons for making the choices we make. But as a society we will be much better off when we start respecting each other's life choices.

Having an unplanned pregnancy is not a welcomed situation for everyone. As thinking people we have got to get past the name-calling and piousness over this issue.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 3:33 PM

That would be "typos," not "typo's."

SHUT UP ALREADY.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 3:33 PM

You kill a human when you abort. When you have sex, you take a chance. If it was unwilling, I am sorry.

Let's hope that neither Chris, nor any of her female relatives is raped at all, much less impregnated.

Chris, if abortion is murder, is miscarriage suicide?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 3:33 PM

So let me get this straight. Because most of the children in the world who are available for adoption are non-white, abused, non-American, unhealthy, drug addicted, etc. the rich, educated, healthy, American white women who become pregnant should just abort their babies?

Yeah....that's the ticket.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 3:34 PM

"SHUT UP ALREADY."

Facts is facts.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 3:35 PM

9:08 am wrote:
You know this only because she has since changed her mind. When she wanted that abortion, had it and took it to court she got some money. You know what she did with it? Saw a dentist for the first time in many years. The woman couldn't afford to take care of herself at the time, now she can. Now she has the luxury of second-guessing.


She has wisdom and realized she was used. The woman behind Roe V. Wade was propped up as a cause and whether or not she got her teeth fixed is irrelevant. If she got money it was to pay her off to keep quiet, which she did not after a life-time of regret.

You reasoning is actually quite sickening: So if I am in need of dental care and pregant I should abort my baby so that I can get my teeth fixed? That is utterly stupid. Give the woman some credit, she lived it, you did not. Her judgement is the law suit was wrong and she regrets it, despite the dental work.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 3:36 PM

Sadly, in much of Asia "imperfect" means being female. 60 million girls are 'missing' in Asia due to sex-selection abortion and infanticide.

The slope is getting more slippery.

Posted by: Anon | June 13, 2007 3:36 PM

the rich, educated, healthy, American white women who become pregnant should just abort their babies?

Any particular reason you singled out white to the exclusion of anyone else of a different hue?

Posted by: to 3:34 | June 13, 2007 3:36 PM

"I certainly don't have time to read over 400 posts, so if this has already been said, sorry."

I love how people post this, and then post their thoughts. It's so disrespectful, and yet seemingly acceptable!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 3:36 PM

SHUT UP ALREADY."

Facts is facts.

Facts are facts, moron.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 3:36 PM

For the people who think it is not taking a life, how would you feel if your pregnant sister, wife, friend were murdered? Would you feel like all you lost was the adult or would you mourn the loss of the fetus and potential child as well?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 3:36 PM

Actually, have been. I have a little brother, who while he was a pain in the neck growing up, is getting his act together. Then again, a lot of people have had struggles getting their act together. That does not mean they should be killed before they have a chance.

Heck, lets one up everything posted today and say that unless you served your country you don't have a right to vote.
:-) After all, if you think life is cheap, and should be sacrificed for convenience, why not add a little more value to it by sticking yours on the line?

Posted by: Chris | June 13, 2007 3:37 PM

How is an innocent person who needs a liver or kidney transplant so as not to die any different from an innocent baby who needs the mother's womb so as not to die?

Posted by: To Chris | June 13, 2007 3:38 PM

A couple of comments on the issue of abortion and severe health problems----

First, there was an interesting and very serious discussion of this issue (i.e., what would you do if you knew you were pregnant w/ a child who had a severely disabling condition) in Gene Weingarten's chat a couple of weeks ago. It's in the archive of his chats, so you can read it if you like. It's very illuminating, as there are a number of posts from people who are raising children w/ severe disabilities and, if I recall correctly, one from a poster who had aborted a fetus with known genetic defects.

Second, and obviously, raising a child w/ disabilities has not only for the child and the parents, but for the whole family. I have a sister who had polio as a toddler (yes, I'm pretty old; her illness occurred just before the vaccine became available). Her treatment involved multiple surgeries, long hospitalizations, extensive physical therapy, and, more generally, special treatment of many kinds. My parents, of course, did everything they could for her, and, like everyone, they had to make a living and do all the things needed to sustain a family. That meant there wasn't much time left for their other kids--me and my older sister. The effect on me was profound. I was only three when she became ill and, essentially, my childhood came to an end. As an adult, I can understand the strain my parents were under and recognize that they did the best they could, but the "aloneness" and resentment I felt as a child had a big effect on me and required a long time to get beyond. And her disability, serious as it was, was relatively easy to deal with compared to kids who have developmental disabilities that mean they will never be able to be independent or illnesses that require constant medical attention.

Third, it's worth noting that a condition such as Down syndrome presents problems not only to the parent, the child, and siblings as the child grows up within the family setting. That child is likely to outlive the parents and his or her care will become someone else's responsibility--likely a sibling. That's a lot to impose on a person who didn't volunteer for the experience. People w/ Down syndrome develop Alzheimer's at 3-5 times the rate of other people. That means that the sibling will be responsible for the care of an adult whose limited cognitive abilities are further deteriorating due to dementia. I have a cousin, now 65 and retired, who, after caring for her parents as they aged and, eventually, died is now caring for her brother, also in his sixties, who has Down syndrome.

I present these examples not to judge anyone. People must choose for themselves whether to bring a child w/ severe disabilities into the world. Resources for people w/ disabilities are much better now than when my Down syndrome cousin was growing up. The severity of the syndrome varies, and some people w/ Down syndrome are able to live semi-independently. Still, I believe people should think long and hard about this decision because the ramifications are both enduring and far-reaching. It's far from easy.

Posted by: THS | June 13, 2007 3:38 PM

Anyone else see "Citizen Ruth"?

Posted by: Maryland Mother | June 13, 2007 3:38 PM

I think I am in the middle. I am uncomfortable about first trimester abortions but am highly skeptical to anything after that.

We are celebrating what would have been our daughter's 11th birthday this week - she was stillborn at 36 weeks. i can't imagine aborting children during this trimester. She was a perfectly formed child. I just don't know how anyone could do that - it just seems so... wrong.

We also had a small funeral for her (it was nice closure) and I have a scrapbbook of a few pictures that I treasure.

Love the "hands off" t-shirt.

Posted by: mountainS | June 13, 2007 3:39 PM

"Mona, how times a week would you say you get scolded on this blog?"

Not nearly as many as she should.

"It seems to me that if someone is so desperate to adopt, they'd be more than happy to have a child regardless of whether it has MS, HIV, a wheelchair, cancer, CF, etc."

Question: How many children have MS? (Multiple Sclerosis.) Answer: not many. Do you mean MD (Muscular Dystrophy?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 3:40 PM

"I love how people attack me rather than my logic"

You don't have any logic. You think that being pregnant means that the woman's tummy gets bigger and maybe her feet swell up a little bit - how annoying! But she can deal with it, right?

When you ignore the reality of a situation in order to claim an absolute, you do nothing more than convince people that your ideas are dangerous. You've certainly helped me make up my mind about whether abortion should be legal, and it's not the result you were hoping for.

And if you continue to support the idea that women should lose control of their own bodies for the sake of a zygote, then I'm just going to have to enact legislation that forces all anti-choice men to be castrated. That's the Equal Protection Clause for you.

Posted by: Annoyed by Chris | June 13, 2007 3:40 PM

For the people who think it is not taking a life, how would you feel if your pregnant sister, wife, friend were murdered? Would you feel like all you lost was the adult or would you mourn the loss of the fetus and potential child as well?

I would mourn my sister or friend. I'm only politely interested in their baby-to-be, until it hits the ground.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 3:41 PM

For all you people who are saying "it is so SELFISH to have an abortion for convenience," etc. etc.: if you feel that way, do you really want to guilt-trip these selfish women into having children against their will? For every woman who experiences a change of heart and says she is SO GLAD she changed her mind about the abortion, there will be another one who never gets over resenting that child for derailing her life, and she will take it out on the child. (I know, many people on here will argue that the mother derailed her own life by getting pregnant - but she's selfish, remember? She won't see it that way. Besides, it might have not have been her fault, because birth control really does fail on occasion.)

Selfish people who resent their children are bad or even abusive parents. Shouldn't we let them acknowledge that they aren't ready to be parents? If a person's priorities are that a career is more important than a baby, and you think that is so wrong, then do you *want* her to have the responsibility for a baby? For myself, if a woman feels strongly that her career or her lifestyle is important enough for her to abort a baby, then I support her decision. She is correct. She is not ready to have a baby, and I would not want to subject a child to her parenting, or lack thereof. As a child of a resentful mother myself, I can tell you that it is pure hell to grow up that way.

However, I would ask the mother if adoption could be a solution, rather than abortion. I support the right to choose, but with so many people willing to adopt, why not turn your pregnancy into a positive for someone else? That is, if adoption is a doable option in your circumstances.


Yes, she should have to deal with it even if she's selfish. Men have to deal with the result of the woman's choice all the time. They don't get the "opt out" choices that women do, like adoption, abortion, or even safe abandonment at certain locations with no questions asked.

Lots of people on here seem to think that someone is forcing all these women to have sex and get pregnant. These are conscious choices. Why should abortion be legal under regular circumstances? No one HAS to have sex. So why should women get free passes on the consequences of sex if they "can't handle it"..or its "inconvenient".

No one makes you have sex. Sure, it's your choice. But unless you are raped or coerced...it's your free decision to engage in the activity that leads to pregnancy. All this "it's my body" crap is fine. But if women need so many options to get out of the consequences of having sex....maybe they shouldn't be having sex. Or maybe they should be making MUCH better choices of the men they choose to do it with.

Fire away

Posted by: Selfishness isn't an excuse | June 13, 2007 3:41 PM

T"he woman behind Roe V. Wade was propped up as a cause and whether or not she got her teeth fixed is irrelevant. "

Jane Roe lied when she claimed her pregnancy was the result of rape. Jane Roe's lawyer advised her to frame herself as a rape victim to garner sympathy. This fraud was perpetrated up to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 3:41 PM

"Would you feel like all you lost was the adult or would you mourn the loss of the fetus and potential child as well?"

Having had a string of miscarriages, I can honestly say I never felt like I lost a child. It was more like losing the possibility of a child. I have a child, and losing him would be completely devastating. The miscarriages were more like mild disappointments.

Posted by: Emily | June 13, 2007 3:41 PM

Speaking of regret, the "roe" woman later changed her mind on her abortion, too bad her child never lived to see the day.


"Norma McCorvey stated tonight that she had felt responsible "for all the children murdered" until she was "saved through the blood of the lamb" Her lawyer added that abortion hurts women physically which is a fact unknown previously.When Colmes asked Roe if more women didn't die from illegal abortions,she claimed that she didn't know.Parker claimed that suicides among women who had abortions are very high. Roe added that she is trying to make up the loss of children with re population."

Posted by: how about that? | June 13, 2007 3:42 PM

"Pittypat, but it could also be seen from the other angle, where the prolifers think that the prochoicers are all or nothing, and therefore, cleave to the other bank even if they would be willing to meet in the middle."

Emily,

I agree with you about third-trimester abortions.

But regarding the above comment, I don't think the pro-choice camp has the same all-or-nothing focus that anti-abortionists have.

The AAs have basically drawn a line in the sand: all abortion is murder and, therefore, should not be legal. This leaves no space for discussion. They've painted themselves into an ideological corner they have no option but to defend.

The pro-choice camp defends a woman's right to choose but acknowledges that that right will have certain limitations -- as it must if we are to be an ethical society. What those limitations should be ought to form the basis for our discussions, but the anti-abortion people insist that all abortion is murder. Conseqeuently, we can't have the discussion.

Posted by: pittypat | June 13, 2007 3:42 PM

For the people who think it is not taking a life, how would you feel if your pregnant sister, wife, friend were murdered? Would you feel like all you lost was the adult or would you mourn the loss of the fetus and potential child as well?

Let me clarify my position. I already know and love or like my family and friends. A baby is not my peer, and may or may not mature into someone I like.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 3:43 PM

I understand the need and demand for birth control I use it myself to regulate my periods and prevent pregnancy I am aware of the risks I also know I do not want any children I have known this for years My sister became pregnant in high school TWICE because birth control failed The father wanted abortion she was undecided

Eventually after much thought she decided to give her babies up for adoption My sister chose an open adoption She met with the adoptive parents and she corresponds with them regularly to this day She knows her children are with people who love them and are capable of giving them the life they deserve She knew that she could not give them a good life and neither could the biological father My sister made a very difficult choice but she knows deep in her heart it was best for the children

I am proud of my sister for making such a difficult decision She was honest with herself She made a choice that was selfless

Posted by: jlei | June 13, 2007 3:43 PM

"Any particular reason you singled out white to the exclusion of anyone else of a different hue?"

Possibly because OTHERS, including Princess Mona the Saver of the Orphans of the World, have suggested that potential adoptive parents only want WHITE children. So in order to produce white babies, the parents (duh) must be white.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 3:43 PM

Abortion is not a contraceptive. It is a choice. Don't confuse this issue. There are lots of ways to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Choose one that works for you before you need to make a more difficult choice.

If everyone would take responsibility for their actions, we would probably have fewer abortions. (Think of it as putting a drop cloth over your furniture before you paint the ceiling.)

Posted by: a correction to offer.... | June 13, 2007 3:43 PM

"The attitude that contraception and abortion is 'needed' for women to maintain an equally significant role in our society as men, not only robs the dignity of the female gender of which the principle is intended to empower, but also minimizes the exclusive role that women have as the childbears of the next generation."

Posted by: Father of 4 | June 13, 2007 03:28 PM

The attitude that abortion is needed for Equality may well do all the things that Father of 4 says it does, but it is Justice O'Connor's attitude, and she is a woman. What are you gonna do? Take her off the Supreme Court and replace her with another judge with a different attitude?

As I wrote before, "Clunkus, Bunkus, Skunkus -- It is the Law."

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | June 13, 2007 3:43 PM

"After all, if you think life is cheap, and should be sacrificed for convenience, why not add a little more value to it by sticking yours on the line?"

Because I won't risk my life, or take anyone else', for the sake of a war for oil.

Posted by: Emily | June 13, 2007 3:44 PM

I have never read why any woman has to have a late term abortion for medical reasons. At the point when the child is viable, why wouldn't her OB do a C-section and have the child born alive, if it's risky to continue the pregnancy?

Except for babies that are dead in the womb or anencephalic (without a higher brain and therefore terminal), why would any woman abort a viable fetus?

Posted by: Anon | June 13, 2007 3:47 PM

Um ... that already happened.

Posted by: To Matt | June 13, 2007 3:47 PM

Abortion is murder

-Chris
Abortion is murder

-Chris
Abortion is murder

-Chris
Abortion is murder

-Chris
Abortion is murder

-Chris
Abortion is murder

-Chris
Abortion is murder

-Chris
Abortion is murder

-Chris
Abortion is murder

-Chris
Abortion is murder

-Chris
Abortion is murder

-Chris

So Chris, we haven't heard your opinion, what do you think about abortion?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 3:47 PM

Because I won't risk my life, or take anyone else', for the sake of a war for oil.

But you will drive a car, use petroleum based products and accept a check to live on from companies dependent on oil. How hypocritical can you be?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 3:47 PM

3:41, I'm with you. I don't know why, but I'm really not interested in family members' pregnancies. Possibly because I'm not that close to them...but I do know if one of them lost a pregnancy, I'd feel more empathy for them than mourning for the fetus. I don't know if it would be different if it were a friend I'm actually close to, but if I imagine were I ever to lose a female friend or relative who was pregnant, I imagine myself mourning the friend or relative, not the pregnancy. Maybe I'm heartless, but it's the way I feel.

Posted by: Mona | June 13, 2007 3:50 PM

Mona, how times a week would you say you get scolded on this blog?

Posted by: | June 13, 2007 03:09 PM

She needs to consult with her tarot cards to answer that one!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 3:50 PM

Times "murder" is in this blog so far today

84

Posted by: blogstats | June 13, 2007 3:51 PM

"If they don't want to support the most reliable and proven means toward their stated end (prevention of abortion), then what exactly IS their real agenda?"

Jill --

Their real agenda is ABSTINENCE UNTIL MARRIAGE -- a position fully endorsed and energetically imposed worldwide by the Bush administration.

Posted by: pittypat | June 13, 2007 3:52 PM

"That said, I do think that if a fetus is judged to be viable outside the womb, it should be protected from abortion. That is the only restriction I would place on abortion."

Posted by: Emily | June 13, 2007 01:48 PM

"A fetus is dependent on the mother for life. So the question is, can a woman be forced to provide her body against her will to support a life that she does not want to support?

"There are a lot of analogies that can be made. Can any of us be forced to provide others with life sustaining services against our will if the benefit is that these services keep them alive? . . .

"I don't think so."

Posted by: Emily | June 13, 2007 03:32 PM

Who is it who said that none of the postings to today's blog has changed anyone's mind? Something must have changed Emily's mind between 1:48 PM, when she thought that a viable fetus "should be protected from abortion," and 3:32 PM, when she did not think that any woman can be "forced to provide her body against her will to support a life that she does not want to support?" Emily, you cannot protect a fetus from abortion without forcing the woman to continue to support that fetus's life, even if it is only for two months or one month or even a week.

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | June 13, 2007 3:53 PM

Their real agenda is ABSTINENCE UNTIL MARRIAGE -- a position fully endorsed and energetically imposed worldwide by the Bush administration.

Posted by: pittypat | June 13, 2007 03:52 PM

Scary and highly unrealistic.

Posted by: foamgnome | June 13, 2007 3:54 PM

"I don't know why, but I'm really not interested in family members' pregnancies."

Wow. Should you ever actually get over yourself and decide to have a baby, I hope your family is as happy for you as you are for them.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 3:54 PM

For the 8 hrs you have been jibber jabbing, app 1200 babies have been killed,just today.

Posted by: abortion is evil | June 13, 2007 3:55 PM

Father of 4

"The attitude that contraception and abortion is 'needed' for women to maintain an equally significant role in our society as men, not only robs the dignity of the female gender of which the principle is intended to empower, but also minimizes the exclusive role that women have as the childbears of the next generation."


Please cite the source of this quote.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 3:56 PM

"Their real agenda is ABSTINENCE UNTIL MARRIAGE -- a position fully endorsed and energetically imposed worldwide by the Bush administration."

Someone should tell them that by going after abortion, they're not necessarily attacking sex before marriage - since apparently plenty of married women are having abortions.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 3:57 PM

Why should abortion be legal under regular circumstances? No one HAS to have sex. So why should women get free passes on the consequences of sex if they "can't handle it"..or its "inconvenient".

-------------
why? Because what is the effect on the CHILD on being born from such circumstances? the child is an innocent, yet forcing the woman to continue with an unwanted pregnancy is likely to result in great harm to the child. the woman is perhaps unlikely to eat corectly, get pre-natal check-ups, perhaps will even take drugs and drink alcohol. This could result in severely handicapped children or even "just" unloved children coming into the society and society will have to deal with the ramifications for the lifetime of that child.

Besides, if the woman really wants to get an abortion, she will get an illegal and dangerous one and that will also have costs to society if she dies or is injured.

Posted by: Jen S. | June 13, 2007 3:58 PM

Matt,
You are right. The extremism of the antiabortion posters does make me go into a corner that I would not otherwise go into. If it has to be all or nothing, then I would go into the extreme pro-choice position and say that a woman should have the right to abort at any time. I don't like it, but I will take it over the extreme pro-life position that abortion is murder with no exceptions.

But if I were dealing with reasonable people, I would be able to make some concessions that I consider more morally palatable. Pittypat, you were right on that point.

Posted by: Emily | June 13, 2007 3:59 PM

Well, I think this comment section proves that it is impossible to have an intelligent discussion on abortion.

Posted by: Matt | June 13, 2007 3:59 PM

Emily, I'm sorry to hear about your miscarriages. You seem to be handling them very well and with your characteristic level-headedness.

jlei, I think it's wonderful that your sister figured out the best course of action and took it. So few people can be that comfortable with their choices. It would be nice if we could remove the stigma from reproductive choices so that everyone could do what they felt most comfortable with, but it's against human nature, I think, to refrain from judging others. I wish I could say I don't do it, but as we all know, I do, just like everyone else. Still, I think it's great that your sister made the right decision for herself.

I'm having trouble with my new moniker. Shouldn't it be "savior" instead of "saver"?

Anon, that is a very good question, and does seem to be a reasonable course of action if the fetus is viable at the time it's determined to threaten the health of the mother. I'm largely ignorant on obstetric issues, does anyone else know?"

Posted by: Princess Mona, the Saver of the Orphans of the World | June 13, 2007 3:59 PM

Mona- Do you know anyone adopting? The only qualifiers I've ever heard anyone state is that they'd like the baby to be young, preferably less than a year, and healthy.

Posted by: atb | June 13, 2007 02:21 PM

atb,

That's a pretty big qualifier -- a healthy newborn.

Many poor women and girls who give up their babies for adoption are unable to practice good prenatal health habits -- especially getting good nutrition and adequate vitamins.

These are the women whom the anti-abortionists are always urging to carry to term and put up for adoption. Well, they're not going to be particularly healthy babies, and, let's face it, unhealthy babies don't exactly get adopted very quickly.

So, these potential adoptive parents who just want a healthy baby under a year old aren't exactly open to whatever's available.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 4:01 PM

Mona, how times a week would you say you get scolded on this blog?

Posted by: | June 13, 2007 03:09 PM

No more than any other shrieking blowhard here who supports her opinion with emphatically inaccurate statements of fiction.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 4:02 PM

"the child is an innocent, yet forcing the woman to continue with an unwanted pregnancy is likely to result in great harm to the child. the woman is perhaps unlikely to eat corectly, get pre-natal check-ups, perhaps will even take drugs and drink alcohol."

So Jen - let's say you have 3 children and are now 39 years old and you get pregnant, by your husband, on accident. (Because the IUD fell out or whatever.) You absolutely do not want to have another child because your other children are 14, 12, & 10 years old and you have just returned to your career and you've just started a new part of your life which you love. Let's also assume that abortion is illegal.

So according to your logic, your only option would be to drink, drugg, and junk-food eat your way through your pregnancy without ever seeing a doctor.

Just because a pregnancy is unwanted doesn't mean that the mother is going to purposely harm the fetus. Yes, that happens in many cases, but I really don't think that the upper-middle class women spoken of today (Leslie's friend's mom, the future Leslie, the others who have said that they had abortions after already had children) are going to be in that category.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 4:06 PM

"Emmy

"Soap operas always have a convenient miscarriage, and no one ever talks about or considers abortion. "

Ever watch "Coronation Street"?"

I've never heard of it. Is it on a major network?

Posted by: Emmy | June 13, 2007 4:06 PM

For the 8 hrs you have been jibber jabbing, app 1200 babies have been killed,just today.

Posted by: abortion is evil | June 13, 2007 03:55 PM

I am aware that 1200 fetuses were aborted, but missed the baby story. If you could jibber-jabber the link to a credible news source, I'd be interested in hearing about babies - you know they are small humans who've been born.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 4:07 PM

"No more than any other shrieking blowhard here who supports her opinion with emphatically inaccurate statements of fiction. "

The typos get on my nerves more than the windbags.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 4:07 PM

"I am aware that 1200 fetuses were aborted, but missed the baby story"

And I bet that a good number of those fetuses do not even qualify as fetuses. They were probably embryos.

Posted by: Emily | June 13, 2007 4:09 PM

Why should abortion be legal under regular circumstances? No one HAS to have sex. So why should women get free passes on the consequences of sex if they "can't handle it"..or its "inconvenient".

-------------
why? Because what is the effect on the CHILD on being born from such circumstances? the child is an innocent, yet forcing the woman to continue with an unwanted pregnancy is likely to result in great harm to the child. the woman is perhaps unlikely to eat corectly, get pre-natal check-ups, perhaps will even take drugs and drink alcohol. This could result in severely handicapped children or even "just" unloved children coming into the society and society will have to deal with the ramifications for the lifetime of that child.

Besides, if the woman really wants to get an abortion, she will get an illegal and dangerous one and that will also have costs to society if she dies or is injured.


Posted by: Jen S. | June 13, 2007 03:58 PM

Jen S.

I respect the opinion. However...I think that diverting the discussion to the impact on the child does not address the central issue. In this society, women have no responsibility for the consequences of sex. They may CHOOSE to be responsible, or accept the consequences, but they don't HAVE to.

That indicates to me that women must be protected above and beyond in these situations. If women need these protections in the age of multiple forms of birth control, then they either should not be having sex or they are making bad choices in who they sleep with.

Lots of women on the board say that men should not get away with just having sex without consequences. What is not mentioned is that women get this option. Which means that ultimately, females can choose to be less responsible. They are not forced to be responsible under the laws of this society. (see safe abandonment laws, abortion, etc.)

Bottom line....why should women get to make their bad choices go away if males can't? (once again, rape and incest are not included in this discussion. That's a different discussion)

Posted by: Selfishness still isn't an excues | June 13, 2007 4:11 PM

"And I bet that a good number of those fetuses do not even qualify as fetuses. They were probably embryos. "

There goes a fried egg sandwich for dinner...

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 4:11 PM

I am aware that 1200 fetuses were aborted, but missed the baby story


say it with me BABIES- bay bees, the ones with hands, feet, hearts. The ones that were killed so their mother could be on track for her promotion.

Posted by: abortion is evil | June 13, 2007 4:12 PM

Ryan questioned the idea of balance being a "right" and said it wasn't in the Constitution. IMO, that would come under "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 4:13 PM

Hillary Clinton said, years ago, "Abortion should be safe, legal, and rare." no one's said it better since.

Posted by: clinton | June 13, 2007 4:14 PM

"(once again, rape and incest are not included in this discussion. That's a different discussion)"

How?
Why do you get to make the rules?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 4:14 PM

Good grief, I popped back in after a busy day and I missed a lot on here, apparently. I'll bet that there were a disproportionate number of anonymous blogs today. Tough topic. See you tomorrow!

Posted by: WorkingMomX | June 13, 2007 4:15 PM

When you tell the world you support a woman's right to choose, you are telling the world and women who might consider it, that while you might not care for it too much yourself, you don't think it is horrific enough to ban.

-middle

Well, some of us believe in freedom. My belief on a subject, doesn't give me the right to impose my views on other people, no matter how horrific I may think their views are.

"If you truly think abortion is murdering a human life, as much as you might want the State not to have rights over women's bodies, if you take a prochoice stance you are giving others not only legal license, but also your witting or unwitting moral assent."

-middle

Who died and made you God? I have no power to be the lone arbiter of morality, and niether do you. My assent is of no moral standing to anyone but myself. Take this line of thinking to its extreme, and I get to tell you you can't be a christian because I am an muslim an all christians are immoral. (sorry if I offended any muslims)

Posted by: devils advocate | June 13, 2007 4:15 PM

"say it with me BABIES- bay bees, the ones with hands, feet, hearts"

I don't know about that. At my six week sonogram, I saw an embryo. No hands, not feet no head. There was a heartbeat. But the rest had not developed yet. It was definitely not a baby yet. It was an embryo.

A chicken is not an egg, and an egg is not a chicken.

Posted by: Emily | June 13, 2007 4:16 PM

"say it with me BABIES- bay bees, the ones with hands, feet, hearts"

I don't know about that. At my six week sonogram, I saw an embryo. No hands, not feet no head. There was a heartbeat. But the rest had not developed yet. It was definitely not a baby yet. It was an embryo.

A chicken is not an egg, and an egg is not a chicken.

Posted by: Emily | June 13, 2007 4:16 PM

Of COURSE no widely released movie today is going to feature a woman who has an abortion. Do you think theater owners want their venues to be bombed by fundie freaks?

Posted by: Lily | June 13, 2007 4:17 PM

If abortion were completely illegal and I were somehow a middle class woman that felt it I really did not want to have the developing child, then I suppose I use my resources as a middle class woman to go to some other country where it was legal and safe to do it.

Posted by: Jen S. | June 13, 2007 4:17 PM

In the book "Breakfast at Tiffany's" Holly Golightly goes horseback riding in order to induce a miscarriage.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 4:17 PM

A chicken is not an egg, and an egg is not a chicken.

Posted by: Emily | June 13, 2007 04:16 PM

tell us about the 8 week one......

Posted by: abortion is evil | June 13, 2007 4:18 PM

"The extremism of the antiabortion posters does make me go into a corner that I would not otherwise go into. If it has to be all or nothing, then I would go into the extreme pro-choice position and say that a woman should have the right to abort at any time."

Posted by: Emily | June 13, 2007 03:59 PM

What you call "the extreme pro-choice position" is in fact the law of the land, considering the emotional and psychological health exception mandated by Doe v. Bolton and cited earlier today.

"But if I were dealing with reasonable people, I would be able to make some concessions that I consider more morally palatable." (Emily)

Given the choice, the elected branches of government (Congress, State legislatures, etc.) would undoubtedly make concessions on both sides. They would permit some abortions in circumstances that would offend pro-lifers, and ban some abortions in circumstances that would outrage some pro-choicers.

However, the whole idea of the Republic is that the Guardians are wiser than the rest of us mortals, who are superstitious, selfish, self-righteous, stupid and lacking Harvard Law School diplomas. True, that's Plato's Republic, not ours, but according to Marbury v. Madison, 1 Cranch 137 (1803), the U. S. Supreme Court takes the place of Plato's Guardians. So the "reasonable people" you wish you were dealing with will have to be appointed to the Supreme Court. Maybe you could put in a good word with President Clinton when she takes office in January, 2009.

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | June 13, 2007 4:19 PM

Bottom line....why should women get to make their bad choices go away if males can't? (once again, rape and incest are not included in this discussion. That's a different discussion)


Huh? Men get away with their bad choices all the time! They just leave the woman with the mess, whether it's an embryo or the mortgage payment being due. No muss. No fuss.

Just slip out the back, jack
Make a new plan, stan
You don't need to be coy, roy
Just get yourself free
Hop on the bus, gus
You don't need to discuss much
Just drop off the key, lee
And get yourself free

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 4:19 PM

"(once again, rape and incest are not included in this discussion. That's a different discussion)"

How?
Why do you get to make the rules?

Posted by: | June 13, 2007 04:14 PM

Well, I don't, really, I was under the impression that this was a discussion about the pros & cons of the abortion choice under the circumstances that sexual contact was not forced.

Forced sexual activity (rape, incest) is horrible, and in those circumstances a woman really should not have to bear a nine month reminder of it. If this is inconsistent, so be it, life is not consistent.

I refer more to those who engage in consensual sexual activity, fail to use proper birth control methods, then say "I can't handle this now" or "It's inconvenient", when they are pregnant. And at least you get to decide as a female whether or not you want to deal with it. You could be a male and just be at the mercy of the woman.

Bottom line....people in this country need to make better choices about when and with who they have sex. But until we are a more rational, and less emotional nation, these things will happen.

Posted by: Selfishness is not an excuse | June 13, 2007 4:20 PM

A chicken is not an egg, and an egg is not a chicken.

Posted by: Emily | June 13, 2007 04:16 PM

tell us about the 8 week one......

She can't there isn't an 8 week one.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 4:22 PM

I dislike that incest is separated from rape. In many cases, incest is rape.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 4:22 PM

"If abortion were completely illegal and I were somehow a middle class woman that felt it I really did not want to have the developing child, then I suppose I use my resources as a middle class woman to go to some other country where it was legal and safe to do it. "

So I guess you WOULDN't drink and drug your way through your pregnancy. Point made.


Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 4:23 PM

The idea that it's okay for any person or group of people to try to force a woman to bear a child is anathema to me. I am incontrovertably, unapologetically supportive of a woman's right to choose whether to bear a child. I don't care why; indeed, I don't even want to know why. The idea that anyone else, and I do mean ANYONE else, is entitled to know why, much less judge that choice, supports the absurd idea that ending a pregnancy for some reasons (rape, incest, mother's mental stability) is somehow different and/or more acceptable than ending a pregnancy for other reasons. Worse, it supports the punitive idea that someone other than the woman should be permitted to decide whether her reasons for terminating a pregnancy are acceptable. The law doesn't get to decide whether a woman's reasons for bearing a child are acceptable and decide yay or nay; why then do people expect the law should be permitted to know her reasons for terminating a pregnancy, much less judge them?

Those who think women should not be permitted to terminate pregnancies for any but a very short list of "acceptable" reasons need to get over themselves. You don't get to know why; you don't even get to ask why. IT'S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. Those who are convinced abortion is murder need to acquaint themselves with the difference between matters of opinion and matters of fact.

No law can or will prevent a determined woman from ending a pregnancy, and no amount of semantics or religion will change that. Passing laws that restrict a woman's ability to make choices about how she would live her life only establishes a precedent for the passage of more laws to restrict more choices, and I cannot support any law that would make it easier for the government to decide that I can't be permitted to choose the next one.

Posted by: Zee | June 13, 2007 4:24 PM

THS thanks for your post about your experiences with your sister and cousin. Having read about how difficult things were and are, I know I can't judge anyone's decision here. Still I wonder if there's a reason for all of this. My bottom line is I would have a hard time living with myself if my wife and I terminated b/c of Downs. I just hope we never have to face that prospect.

Posted by: Bob | June 13, 2007 4:25 PM

Huh? Men get away with their bad choices all the time! They just leave the woman with the mess, whether it's an embryo or the mortgage payment being due. No muss. No fuss.

Posted by: | June 13, 2007 04:19 PM

This is true, but not because we legally sanction it as we do with women.

If it is an embryo, she can easily make it go away.

I don't get the mortgage statement. Are you saying that pregnant women are entitled to a house paid for by the father to be?

Posted by: devils advocate | June 13, 2007 4:25 PM

why should women get to make their bad choices go away if males can't?
-------------------

why don't we also ask why procreation is an entirely pleasurable experience (don't lie to me and tell me guys think sex is really uncomfortable and they just do it to have babies) for males and whole lot of pain and misery for women (and yes, pleasure too, but WAY MORE pain than anything the man goes through during pro-creation)? Hey that's not fair!! Nope. that's life.

Posted by: Jen S. | June 13, 2007 4:25 PM

Too many for an educated person who plans to be a teacher.

This is a fragment and your use of "too" is incorrect.

Posted by: | June 13, 2007 02:38 PM

Actually, the use of "too" is correct. It's expressing degree.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 4:26 PM

Those who are convinced abortion is murder need to acquaint themselves with the difference between matters of opinion and matters of fact.


Gee thanks we will all just go home and watch tv and play cards now that you have spoken. Knucklehead

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 4:26 PM

Zee:

That's fine.

But if no one else can make her choice, then maybe she alone ought to be responsible for it...rather than the government, welfare, etc

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 4:26 PM

say it with me BABIES- bay bees, the ones with hands, feet, hearts. The ones that were killed so their mother could be on track for her promotion.

Posted by: abortion is evil | June 13, 2007 04:12 PM

I'll say it with you, Ba - bees! They have hands, feet, hearts, brains, the ability to survive independently. I had three and they are delightful. They're irrelevant to this conversation, however.

An egg is not a chicken, as Emily has sagely said.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 4:28 PM

"tell us about the 8 week one......"

Didn't have an 8 week sonogram. But I've seen pictures. They don't look like babies yet either. There is a huge head and a tail and some buds for limbs. The 12 week sonogram looked closer to what a baby looks like, but still not a baby. More like a little alien.

It's a continuum, of course, the longer the pregnancy lasts, the closer you are to having a baby. Again, the reasonable side of me says that abortion should not be allowed after the fetus is viable outside the womb, with an exception for the life of the mother. But if you press me on the all or nothing debate, I'm pro choice all the way.

Posted by: Emily | June 13, 2007 4:28 PM

I am aware that 1200 fetuses were aborted, but missed the baby story


say it with me BABIES- bay bees, the ones with hands, feet, hearts. The ones that were killed so their mother could be on track for her promotion.

Posted by: abortion is evil | June 13, 2007 04:12 PM

2 questions----

1) Where did you get your numbers from...I'd love to see the "neutral" source

2) I am sure the 600 of those 15-18 year olds were really worried about their promotions!

Posted by: HappyDad | June 13, 2007 4:29 PM

What? Only 583 comments? I don't what possessed you to open up this can of worms, Leslie.

Anyway - I could write a novel on this topic, but I'll just say that I'm extremely pro-life, and I don't believe there is ever a good reason to kill an unborn child. I completely understand that some pregnant women are in really horrible situations. But the solution isn't to kill their children. The solution is to give them the support they need so that they don't feel that their only option is to kill their child. No woman should ever be made to feel like that. Abortion is a reflection that we have not met the needs of women. It's a horrible thing - pitting a woman against her own child. I don't know if any of you have heard of the group Feminists for Life, but they have this same philosophy.

And yes, I have had an unplanned pregnancy. I know what it's like. I was even fired from my job when I was 7 months pregnant. Fortunately, I was married and we were ok financially. It was a horribly stressful time, but we got through it. Our beautiful daughter is now 3. I know there are women in much worse situations. I do not judge women who have abortions, because I know they are in a horrible position. Rather I judge the people who put her in that position to begin with, who did not give her the help she needed and made her feel like she had no option but to kill her child.

Posted by: Wannabe SAHM | June 13, 2007 4:29 PM

What? Only 583 comments? I don't what possessed you to open up this can of worms, Leslie.

Anyway - I could write a novel on this topic, but I'll just say that I'm extremely pro-life, and I don't believe there is ever a good reason to kill an unborn child. I completely understand that some pregnant women are in really horrible situations. But the solution isn't to kill their children. The solution is to give them the support they need so that they don't feel that their only option is to kill their child. No woman should ever be made to feel like that. Abortion is a reflection that we have not met the needs of women. It's a horrible thing - pitting a woman against her own child. I don't know if any of you have heard of the group Feminists for Life, but they have this same philosophy.

And yes, I have had an unplanned pregnancy. I know what it's like. I was even fired from my job when I was 7 months pregnant. Fortunately, I was married and we were ok financially. It was a horribly stressful time, but we got through it. Our beautiful daughter is now 3. I know there are women in much worse situations. I do not judge women who have abortions, because I know they are in a horrible position. Rather I judge the people who put her in that position to begin with, who did not give her the help she needed and made her feel like she had no option but to kill her child.

Posted by: Wannabe SAHM | June 13, 2007 4:29 PM

My SIL miscarried three time, at 5, 10, and 8 weeks. She sends out annual "please pray for my dead baby" reminders. She wears one of those birthstone necklaces with 5 stones, 2 for her children and 3 for her miscarriages.

Posted by: | June 13, 2007 02:48 PM

She needs bereavement counseling.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 4:30 PM

So, abortion is evil, have you donated your spare kidney yet?

4,000 Americans die every year for lack of a kidney. If life is so sacrosanct that women's health/life should be put at risk for pregnancies, why isn't organ donation mandatory? Why aren't the prolifers out giving away their kidneys?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 4:30 PM

why should women get to make their bad choices go away if males can't?
-------------------

why don't we also ask why procreation is an entirely pleasurable experience (don't lie to me and tell me guys think sex is really uncomfortable and they just do it to have babies) for males and whole lot of pain and misery for women (and yes, pleasure too, but WAY MORE pain than anything the man goes through during pro-creation)? Hey that's not fair!! Nope. that's life.

Posted by: Jen S. | June 13, 2007 04:25 PM


If it is so uncomfortable and painful, why the hell are you doing it?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 4:30 PM

"(don't lie to me and tell me guys think sex is really uncomfortable and they just do it to have babies)"

Well, sometimes sex is uncomfortable for men.

pATRICK can explain

Posted by: Nigel | June 13, 2007 4:32 PM

why should women get to make their bad choices go away if males can't?
-------------------

why don't we also ask why procreation is an entirely pleasurable experience (don't lie to me and tell me guys think sex is really uncomfortable and they just do it to have babies) for males and whole lot of pain and misery for women (and yes, pleasure too, but WAY MORE pain than anything the man goes through during pro-creation)? Hey that's not fair!! Nope. that's life.

Posted by: Jen S. | June 13, 2007 04:25 PM

So you believe that if the sex that created the pregnancy was really, really, really, really, really good, the woman should have her right to an abortion rescinded?

Seriously, what does the pleasure of sex have to do with parental rights? You do realize that you just used the "she spead her legs, she should have to deal the consequences" reason that the pro life people use all the time.

Posted by: devils advocate | June 13, 2007 4:32 PM

Oh - and let me add that while I can understand why a woman would want to have an abortion if she was raped, in an abusive relationship, in a bad financial situation, etc., I have no sympathy for upper-middle-class women who want to have an abortion so that they don't interrupt their career. Please.

Posted by: Wannabe SAHM | June 13, 2007 4:33 PM

"Please clarify, are you for contraception or not? I couldn't see where you addressed it separately from abortion."

Tough question. For me, contraception is not right, only because I have been trained in a spiritual life that has shaped my perspective by logically presenting me with facts, considerations, and the theoretical understanding of how sexuality plays a role in it contribution
to the expression of love under the context of marriage.

In other words, how can I maximize the happiness I get out of my marrige? How should I treat my wife? What should I teach my daughters about sex, men, making babies, and selecting a life long partner? These are my own personal considerations.

As for dictating to others if they should avoid using contraception, this would be stupid on my part. Unless a person can fully understand and accept the principals of how the "contraceptive mentality", as I call it, can be a barrier to not only the profound love experienced between a man and a woman, but also interfere with the essential communication where true happiness is derived, I cannot expect that person to accept my perspective on thisissue.

I Hope this answers your question. Thanks for making me think!

Posted by: Father of 4 | June 13, 2007 4:34 PM

She had one and I have never told anyone about it.

Posted by: scarry | June 13, 2007 02:52 PM

Until now.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 4:35 PM

Stay tuned for tomorrow's cheap topic-BALANCE AND YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE IRAQ WAR

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 4:36 PM

Huh? Men get away with their bad choices all the time! They just leave the woman with the mess, whether it's an embryo or the mortgage payment being due. No muss. No fuss.

Posted by: | June 13, 2007 04:19 PM

This is true, but not because we legally sanction it as we do with women.

If it is an embryo, she can easily make it go away.

I don't get the mortgage statement. Are you saying that pregnant women are entitled to a house paid for by the father to be?

Posted by: devils advocate | June 13, 2007 04:25 PM

Of course, we legally sanction it. The law permits men to impregnate a woman and skip town. If they are tracked down, a man may be required to provide child support. He may actually pay it, but many do not.

She can't "easily" make it go away if she lives in Mississippi or South Dakota or approximately 80% of the US now - and that's if her employer will permit her to take a couple of days off of work to comply with all of the mandatory overnight waiting periods in place in many states. Only a man could consider taking a couple of days off, spending money you don't have, and going through an abortion procedure - the cramps are excruciating - to be "easy."

Finally, what is unclear about leaving a woman with a mortgage payment coming due? The payment is due on the 1st. He skips town on the 30th. Your ludicrous misinterpretation is just that - ludicrous.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 4:37 PM

This is what you said--

"So according to your logic, your only option would be to drink, drugg, and junk-food eat your way through your pregnancy without ever seeing a doctor."

I didn't say that-- I said that forcing a women to continue with a pregnancy would likely cause this behavior. A middle class woman with access to a safe and legal abortion elsewhere is no forced to continue with her pregnancy.

Now if your hypothetical were changed so that I would be forced to continue with an unwanted pregnancy, then yes, that would possibly plunge me into such a deep depression that there is no telling what i might do or neglect to do!


Posted by: Jen S. | June 13, 2007 4:38 PM

Well, sometimes sex is uncomfortable for men.

pATRICK can explain

Posted by: Nigel | June 13, 2007 04:32 PM

it's a bird! it's a plane! it's humor!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 4:41 PM

"She had one and I have never told anyone about it."

Posted by: scarry | June 13, 2007 02:52 PM

"Until now."

On the Net. On a Washington Post blog.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 4:43 PM

Devil's advocate I specifically was talking about PRO CREATION-- which isn't just sex! there is nine months plus a tiny little thing called labor-- perhaps you've heard of it? I pain that only a woman has to go through-- then there is the breastfeeding, which in my case at least was for several months far more painful than the childbirth.

Geeezzz . . .

Posted by: JEn S. | June 13, 2007 4:43 PM

I wasn't going to comment today because this is such an emotional issue from both sides and one rarely changes another's opinion on this particular issue.

But, I find myself being sucked in . . .

From the time I knew about abortion as a young teen, I have been pro-choice, with the caveat that I don't think I could ever have one myself. However, this is such a personal decision and has so many medical, physical and emotional consequences (regardless of the choice), I couldn't see letting the government make that decision for me. FWIW, I came to this conclusion growing up in a very conservative, pro-life home.

I believe it was MN who noted Hillary Clinton's comment that abortion should be legal, safe and rare. I wish we could have more of a dialogue in this country on how to do this without fistfights breaking out.

Medical science has made my pro-choice decision harder to cling to sometimes. Fetuses are viable earlier and earlier. I find myself wavering sometimes, and I agree with Emily that a dialogue on viability, timing, and other "restrictions" might be appropriate. I say that with some trepidation, as such a dialogue will certainly bring out the extremists on both sides.

Side note to Chris: Please let us know how your wife is doing. Many chatters have expressed some concern since you mentioned her poor health. I also want you to know that I agree somewhat with what you say. Please reconsider how you choose to argue this issue. A gentler approach might win you more converts.

Posted by: Vegas Mom | June 13, 2007 4:45 PM

"She had one and I have never told anyone about it."

Posted by: scarry | June 13, 2007 02:52 PM

"Until now."

On the Net. On a Washington Post blog.

Posted by: | June 13, 2007 04:43 PM

She never identified who it was so the secret is still safe.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 4:45 PM

>

Would someone please cite the appropriate section of Canon Law or some other primary Church document to support this statement? I have never heard of anything like this being promulgated by the Church.

If someone chooses to have a funeral or a memorial service for a miscarried baby, who has the right to criticize? Let them grieve if they so choose.

For the record, I am one of the MANY people who are pro-life who put their money where there mouth is. I support organizations that provide financial and emotional support for women with unwanted/problem pregnancies, I support the concept of government help for children, of government help for the expenses of pregnancy and child-rearing.

Posted by: destinysmom | June 13, 2007 4:46 PM

After reading almost all these blogs daily, and yet never commenting, I just have to say, with incredulity, I truly think Leslie is the weirdest, craziest lady! I disagree with her on about 100% of these posts! Come on. Is she really a real person, or is she someone invented to create a rise out of the rest of us? I just have to laugh everytime I read her breathless posts about some new type of minutae. And, for the record, I am a Master's educated female with a MSc from the London School of Ecomomics. Please - stop the madness! Tell me Leslie's a figment of someone's imagination! Someone at washpost.com invented her and is having a good laugh at us reading her sill drivel day after day after day, right? Wiping breathless tears of laughter off my face and clutching my sore stomach. . .

Posted by: Leslie's Mirror Opposite | June 13, 2007 4:46 PM

After reading almost all these blogs daily, and yet never commenting, I just have to say, with incredulity, I truly think Leslie is the weirdest, craziest lady! I disagree with her on about 100% of these posts! Come on. Is she really a real person, or is she someone invented to create a rise out of the rest of us? I just have to laugh everytime I read her breathless posts about some new type of minutae. And, for the record, I am a Master's educated female with a MSc from the London School of Ecomomics. Please - stop the madness! Tell me Leslie's a figment of someone's imagination! Someone at washpost.com invented her and is having a good laugh at us reading her silly drivel day after day after day, right? Wiping breathless tears of laughter off my face and clutching my sore stomach. . .

Posted by: Leslie's Mirror Opposite | June 13, 2007 4:46 PM

After reading almost all these blogs daily, and yet never commenting, I just have to say, with incredulity, I truly think Leslie is the weirdest, craziest lady! I disagree with her on about 100% of these posts! Come on. Is she really a real person, or is she someone invented to create a rise out of the rest of us? I just have to laugh everytime I read her breathless posts about some new type of minutae. And, for the record, I am a Master's educated female with a MSc from the London School of Ecomomics. Please - stop the madness! Tell me Leslie's a figment of someone's imagination! Someone at washpost.com invented her and is having a good laugh at us reading her silly drivel day after day after day, right? Wiping breathless tears of laughter off my face and clutching my sore stomach. . .

Posted by: Leslie's Mirror Opposite | June 13, 2007 4:46 PM

Why do women have babies even though the procreation part can really suck?

Because what happens afterwards can be utterly rewarding given that the mother has the resources and support to enjoy childraising.

Posted by: Jen S. | June 13, 2007 4:47 PM

Probably late in posting, but that's ok. I definitely don't think abortion should ever be used as a form of birth control. On the other hand, there are times when there is no good option. My own mother had difficult pregnancies with all 3 of us. A doctor told her that if she got pregnant again, neither she nor the child were likely to survive. Thankfully bc always worked. But had she become pregnant again I'm not sure what would have been the more selfish decision. Her options would have been terminating the pregnancy or most likely leaving three children mother-less. Talk about balance.

Posted by: Silver Spring, MD | June 13, 2007 4:47 PM

"Let's hope that neither Chris, nor any of her female relatives is raped at all, much less impregnated."

Omigod, is Chris a woman? I've been assuming all along that Chris is a man.

Chris, are you male or female?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 4:48 PM

"This is what you said--

"So according to your logic, your only option would be to drink, drugg, and junk-food eat your way through your pregnancy without ever seeing a doctor."

I didn't say that-- I said that forcing a women to continue with a pregnancy would likely cause this behavior. A middle class woman with access to a safe and legal abortion elsewhere is no forced to continue with her pregnancy.

Now if your hypothetical were changed so that I would be forced to continue with an unwanted pregnancy, then yes, that would possibly plunge me into such a deep depression that there is no telling what i might do or neglect to do! "


This doesn't say much for the female gender and the human race as a whole, does it?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 4:48 PM

IF the procedure is done early enough it's no more than a clump of cells, or an endometrial biopsy. Some may call it a D&C and get insurance coverage for it. No matter what you call it, if it were made illegal there would be a lot of back-alley butchery again.

Did you see the film 'Vera Drake' where Vera was put in jail for doing what wealthier doctors got paid for?

Further, so-called 'abortion clinics' provide other services for women besides abortions. They provide low-cost health care, pre-natal exams, OB/GYN exams for women who can't afford the $400+ bill for a 5-minute exam by a rich doctor uptown.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 4:49 PM

I think the only females that could give up a baby for adoption in this country without being stimatized forever would be a teenager. Anyone else would be abused by family, co-workers, etc. How could you ever be at peace with that decision even it was a better choice for the baby.

Posted by: giving up the baby | June 13, 2007 4:49 PM

Omigod, is Chris a woman? I've been assuming all along that Chris is a man


Why because you think that all women should, of course, think just as you do?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 4:51 PM

Chris is a man.

Posted by: Emily | June 13, 2007 4:52 PM

Of course, we legally sanction it. The law permits men to impregnate a woman and skip town. If they are tracked down, a man may be required to provide child support. He may actually pay it, but many do not.

Posted by: | June 13, 2007 04:37 PM

The law permits no such thing. If we legally sanctioned it, there would be no tracking him down, or forcing him to pay child support or putting him in jail when he doesn't.

The fact that this is difficult and not always done, doesn't mean it is legal.

Poor choice of words on my part "easily" should be "legally". I assume abortion is not an easy thing to do.

A man that leaves on the 30th is still responsible for the mortgage, whether he is there or not. If he is the only one on the mortgage, she has no right to the house, if he decides he no longer wants to pay for it. If they are both on the mortgage, she is in the same position that a man whose partner left him for the mailman would be in. If she is the only one on the mortgage, why would he be responsible for it?

Posted by: devils advocate | June 13, 2007 4:53 PM

"This doesn't say much for the female gender and the human race as a whole, does it? "

No, it doesn't. But thankfully I can count myself safely in the "not Jen S. camp" on this one.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 4:53 PM

just got back...


"Prosecutors will eliminate you from a jury pool in a death-penalty case."

Ummmm.....so?

Posted by: | June 13, 2007 12:14 PM

So you don't have a legal right to arbitrarilty impose your views against abortion or the death penalty on society when these are legal.

Posted by: | June 13, 2007 12:20 PM

I am not trying to legally impose my views (which would be obvious if you actually READ all my postings today). I am simply expressing my views.

I think one reason people have a problem with my post is that I don't sanitize the language. I think it was Mona who described meat as dead flesh during the vegan discussion. She got a lot of grief, because she didn't sanitize her language.

When an abortion takes place, an organism dies. Period. Termination is just a euphemism for death. If you believe the organism has not achieved personhood, then you will have less moral opposition to killing it than someone who believes the organism should be considered a person by virtue of its very existence.

Chris:
Calling it a "right" does not change its result: death
The intrinsic humanity of unborn children, by definition, makes them persons and should, therefore, guarantee their protection under the law.

Scientifically, abortion is a PC term for murder. Quit rationalizing.

Thank you. I was beginning to think I was the only person here who felt that way.

The same people who advocate keping the baby or adoption in all situations as opposed to abortion, in my experience, are also the same people who don't want to fund social programs that provide foster care, free housing, food stamps etc. If you want to force your beliefs on people...then you better put your money where your mouth is and support all of these "liberal" programs.

Posted by: HappyDad | June 13, 2007 12:49 PM

Nope, not me. I think abortion is the only issue on which I am at all to the right of center. Perhaps you are confusing the demagogues on TV and in the press with the average person.

And I know I'm like a broken record here, but again, why exactly is it that those who are most adamantly "pro-life" are also usually adamantly anti-contraception? I am sure that many are not, but I don't hear those voices very often.

I will say it again: I THINK THAT ALL SEXUALLY ACTIVE PEOPLE SHOULD HAVE ACCESS TO RELIABLE BIRTH CONTROL!! I THINK STUDENTS SHOULD RECEIVE INFORMATION IN THE SCHOOLS ABOUT BIRTH CONTROL!! I THINK **ALL** INSURANCE PLANS SHOULD COVER ALL METHODS, EVEN CONDOMS!!

A question I have always wanted to ask of those you say abortion is murder and life begins at conception. If I have a miscarriage (ie spontaneous abortion) would you regard it as I had a child I lost? Would you ask for a funeral? Would you ask for a funeral for a still birth? If you would ask for a funeral for a still birth but not a miscarriage, what is the difference if life begins at conception?

Posted by: | June 13, 2007 01:07 PM

Personally, I wouldn't, but I could understand people who would.

Um, no those are only "logical" conclusions in you choose to ignore a rather important distinction, or several of them, between a newly implanted embryo, a 7-month pregnancy, and a newborn baby that can survive independently of the mother's body. Drawing distinctions is a rather basic part of being logical. Sounds like Mr. Singer enjoys spuriously shocking people.

We can all agree that abortion is ugly and unpleasant, I think. So let's talk about how to prevent it, really prevent it in the real world, instead of some "abstinence" fantasyland.

You have listed distinctions without a difference. These are just stages in development. Perhaps this gentleman does enjoy being needlessly provocative; however, people who think abortion is no big deal really should consider the logical conclusions of their beliefs.

And John L:
I am not stupid. My argument was not stupid. I was trying to show you that, once you start justifying abortion based on major genetic imperfection, another person could justify it based on minor imperfection. If you do not believe that to be true, illustrate why. If you just feel attacked and defensive because someone challenged you, then acknowledge that (to yourself, at least) and think about why I made you so angry.

The separation of Church and State argument is a red herring--there are plenty of things we ban as a State because they are morally repugnant and involve someone who cannot protect themselves--rape, child molestation, murder.

I understand the desire to have dominion over one's own body and not to abrogate that control to the State, but this is a unique situation when there is another person's life at stake, even if it is not always recognized as such by people for whom it is inconvenient to do so.

If you truly think abortion is murdering a human life, as much as you might want the State not to have rights over women's bodies, if you take a prochoice stance you are giving others not only legal license, but also your witting or unwitting moral assent.
Is it inconvenient to be prolife? Yes. Socially difficult to do in a prochoice world? Yes. Necessary? Yes.

Again, I truly feel sorry for people who have had abortions or who have participated in them and I do not hold them as morally culpable as perhaps I ought to precisely because there are so many people they look up to==academics, politicians, friends of their mothers, who tell them it is a perfectly reasonable choice.

If you don't think it is a perfectly reasonable choice it is your duty to stand up and say it.

Posted by: Middle | June 13, 2007 03:29 PM


Perfectly expressed. Thank you!


Posted by: educmom | June 13, 2007 4:54 PM

"Please - stop the madness! Tell me Leslie's a figment of someone's imagination! Someone at washpost.com invented her . . ."

Posted by: Leslie's Mirror Opposite | June 13, 2007 04:46 PM

That's not nice. Leslie's name is in the Alumni Directory. I have heard of phony addresses in the Directory -- for instance, Ted Kaczynski '62 listed his address as being in Kabul, Afghanistan, when he was really in a cabin in Montana sending out letter bombs -- but I've never heard of phony names there.

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | June 13, 2007 4:56 PM

Skipping the whole possibility of the vas deferens growing back, why don't more men take responsibility for the birth control in marriages? I.e. vasectomies. Especially, if they too are at the age where they don't want anymore kids.

The more reliable birth control methods involve hormones which can have a real health effectr on the woman. (blood pressure/stroke/etc).

That 50 something mother Leslie mentioned would have not HAD to worry about getting pregnant had her man stepped up and protected her.

Posted by: getting older every day | June 13, 2007 4:56 PM

I am thoroughly pro-choice. If a friend needed help getting to an abortion, paying for the procedure, or just a hand to hold I would absolutely be there for her. At the same time, if a friend decided to keep an unexpected baby instead, I would empathize with her morning sickness, buy her diapers, babysit when she needed a break and help out in all the ways friends do.

To me, this issue is a non-brainer. To borrow 2 popular bumper stickers: "my body, my choice," and "if you are anti-abortion, don't have one."

Oh, and I have two wonderful, beautiful, WANTED children.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 4:58 PM

i don't think my comment says anything that bad about women or of the human race because we are NOT, thank goodness, at the point where woman forced to have unwanted pregnancies.

Remember-- it wasn't my ridiculous hypothetical that I was responding to!

Posted by: Jen S. | June 13, 2007 4:59 PM

Did you go to college with Leslie?

Posted by: To Matt | June 13, 2007 4:59 PM

What a waste of electronic ink today was

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 5:02 PM

I am aware that 1200 fetuses were aborted, but missed the baby story. If you could jibber-jabber the link to a credible news source, I'd be interested in hearing about babies - you know they are small humans who've been born.

Posted by: | June 13, 2007 04:07 PM

Actually, to takle it a step further, not only aren't they babies, but most of them aren't even fetuses. The majority of abortions in this country are done on first-trimester pregnancies -- embryos, not fetuses. They don't become fetuses until after the first three months.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 5:02 PM

Actually, it really is all about semantics and the use of words to appease any possible guilt and justify a choice. Fetus=baby=person=human being.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 5:05 PM

In Judaism, life does not begin until birth. Expectant parents forced to choose between the life of the mother and the life of the baby are instructed to choose the life of the baby. BECAUSE LIFE DOES NOT BEGIN UNTIL BIRTH. That's also why many Jewish families choose not to find out the gender or have anything for the baby in the house before it is born.

And, birth control is NOT forbidden in Jewish law. Some Orthodox communities CHOOSE (there's that word again) to promote having many children as a way to increase the Jewish population (particularly since the Holocaust).

Please get your facts straight.

Judaism is pro-choice.

Posted by: to atlmom | June 13, 2007 5:05 PM

Actually, to takle it a step further, not only aren't they babies, but most of them aren't even fetuses


wrong, they are considered "fetuses" at 8 weeks medically. They are human beings from the get go. To say a an egg is not a chicken is ridiculous, no egg no chicken.

Posted by: abortion is evil | June 13, 2007 5:09 PM

"i don't think my comment says anything that bad about women or of the human race"

Maybe not all women or all humans, but you said that an unwanted pregnancy would cause you to do who-knows-what to your baby. THAT doesn't say a lot for YOU, in my opinion. If you're not strong enough to deal with an unwanted baby in a way that doesn't involve killing it, you're obviously not the empowered woman you make yourself out to be.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 5:09 PM

Devil's advocate I specifically was talking about PRO CREATION-- which isn't just sex! there is nine months plus a tiny little thing called labor-- perhaps you've heard of it? I pain that only a woman has to go through-- then there is the breastfeeding, which in my case at least was for several months far more painful than the childbirth.

Geeezzz . . .

Posted by: JEn S. | June 13, 2007 04:43 PM

And I am talking about legal parenthood and the 18 years after that.

Your response was to this: "why should women get to make their bad choices go away if males can't?"

You used the man's pleasure as a reason for the inequality. Basically you said, women have to suffer, so do you.

I am pro-choice, but it is naive to think that there is any equality in that choice. I have no viable solution to the inequality that doesn't bother me, but to assume that the mans choice is irrelevant bothers me too.

Isn't the child half the man's and half the womans? Don't we hold the man financially responsible? Aren't fathers valuable at all? Why do they get no say in a decision that will affect him for the rest of his life?

The "his choices ended when he ejaculated", is the same reasoning as "she had sex, why should she be allowed an abortion".

Posted by: devils advocate | June 13, 2007 5:12 PM

"say a an egg is not a chicken is ridiculous, no egg no chicken."

In that case, is a sperm or an unfertilized egg also a human being? By your logic, no sperm, no human being.

Posted by: Emily | June 13, 2007 5:12 PM

"In this society, women have no responsibility for the consequences of sex."

This may be the funniest statement I've read all day. Of course women face consequences for having sex (sometimes), it's just not the consequence you'd wish on them. I'd say dealing with an unwanted pregnancy is plenty "consequence," regardless of how that pregnancy ends up.

Posted by: NewSAHM | June 13, 2007 5:13 PM

Didn't have an 8 week sonogram. But I've seen pictures. They don't look like babies yet either. There is a huge head and a tail and some buds for limbs. The 12 week sonogram looked closer to what a baby looks like, but still not a baby. More like a little alien.

So, if it doesn't LOOK like a baby then its not? What about deformed children, are they "real" or just little aliens? Stupid logic.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 5:14 PM

"And yes, I have had an unplanned pregnancy. I know what it's like. I was even fired from my job when I was 7 months pregnant. Fortunately, I was married and we were ok financially. It was a horribly stressful time, but we got through it."

To Wannabe SAHM,

You may have had an unplanned pregnancy, but you most emphatically do not "know what it's like" for women of little to no means to struggle with the same thing.

If you were married and "ok financially," and if the only thing you "suffered" was stress, then you're really not in any position to say you been through it.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 5:14 PM

I support a woman's right to choose whether to continue a pregnancy or not because I don't want the government telling MY wife that she must keep a child with severe genetic defects, or that MY future daughter must keep the pregnancy that resulted from her being involved with an abusive man.

Anyone who says that once a woman is pregnant, that's it, she's stuck with it until the delivery, is living in the Dark Ages. It's her body, she's got that choice, and not you, not me, not anyone else should tell her "no, you MUST have that child no matter what".

Posted by: John L | June 13, 2007 5:14 PM

In that case, is a sperm or an unfertilized egg also a human being? By your logic, no sperm, no human being.


you said you were a mom and you don't understand how eggs are fertilized?

Posted by: abortion is evil | June 13, 2007 5:15 PM

"In this society, women have no responsibility for the consequences of sex."

-someone

This should read "In this society, women are in total control of the consequences of sex. It is entirely their decision as to what these consequences will be"

Posted by: devils advocate | June 13, 2007 5:18 PM

"Judaism is pro-choice."

Posted by: to atlmom | June 13, 2007 05:05 PM

Oh, so? That ain't what Free Republic says. See:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/935625/posts?page=10

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | June 13, 2007 5:19 PM

Again, I truly feel sorry for people who have had abortions or who have participated in them and I do not hold them as morally culpable as perhaps I ought to precisely because there are so many people they look up to==academics, politicians, friends of their mothers, who tell them it is a perfectly reasonable choice.


I still hold you morally culpable for being a sanctimonious twit.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 5:19 PM

"And, for the record, I am a Master's educated female with a MSc from the London School of Ecomomics."

Oh, and do you have a Master's degree, too?

Tuck the ego and say something useful.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 5:22 PM

Actually, it really is all about semantics and the use of words to appease any possible guilt and justify a choice. Fetus=baby=person=human being.

Posted by: | June 13, 2007 05:05 PM

No - it's about fact.

Fetus=baby=person=human being doesn't make any more sense than dust=brick=wall=cathedral.

A fetus is not a human being any more than the dust under my foot is a cathedral. Additional forces would have to be broad to bear to transform the first item in the series to the last. I'm not destroying a building when I shower. I"m not destroying a person if I abort a pregnancy.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 5:23 PM

I'd say dealing with an unwanted pregnancy is plenty "consequence," regardless of how that pregnancy ends up.


Posted by: NewSAHM | June 13, 2007 05:13 PM

Of course you would, you are a woman and have total control.

And I would say, being the parent of a child you did not want will NEVER be one of those consequences.

Posted by: devils advocate | June 13, 2007 5:23 PM

educmom,

I don't like anyone trying to apply their moral viewpoint to my actions (or anyone else's for that matter), which is what you attempted by saying abortions were "immoral" and equating Down's Syndrome with food allergies.

You don't like abortion and want it banned. That's fine, everyone has an opinion. But, when you start saying how "immoral" it is (or in Chris' case, equating abortion as murder without exception), you're stepping over the line.

And no, I'm not angry at you for feeling this way; I do feel sorry that you are so judgemental.

Posted by: John L | June 13, 2007 5:24 PM

The "his choices ended when he ejaculated", is the same reasoning as "she had sex, why should she be allowed an abortion".

Yes-- His choice in the matter ended when he ejacualted. It certainly doesn't follow that therefore women can't get an abortion. It's her pregnancy-- not his!

if men are ever able to get pregnant, then I would entirely support their right to right to terminate-- as long is it is before quickening.

Posted by: Jen S. | June 13, 2007 5:24 PM

"Devil's advocate I specifically was talking about PRO CREATION-- which isn't just sex!"

Posted by: JEn S. | June 13, 2007 04:43 PM

Hey, I am PRO CREATION, too, just like Senator Sam Brownback. None of this evolutionist hand-waving for me. I know the world is round 'cause I've seen the horizon on the ocean and the photographs from Space. But I have yet to see a mother animal and a child animal of two different species.

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | June 13, 2007 5:25 PM

Yes-- His choice in the matter ended when he ejacualted. It certainly doesn't follow that therefore women can't get an abortion. It's her pregnancy-- not his!

if men are ever able to get pregnant, then I would entirely support their right to right to terminate-- as long is it is before quickening.

Posted by: Jen S. | June 13, 2007 05:24 PM

I guess equality isn't important to you.

Posted by: devils advocate | June 13, 2007 5:28 PM

"In this society, women are in total control of the consequences of sex. It is entirely their decision as to what these consequences will be"

Sorry, also not true. As has been pointed out today, there are many, many forces that keep women from making a free decision as to the consequences of sex. Many women live in states that have few or no abortion providers. "Helpful" laws like mandatory waiting periods remove abortion as a realistic choice for poor women who can't afford to miss multiple days of work to travel to and from the abortion provider more than once.

To the extent that your point is that men have no real control over whether a woman choses to have an abortion, you are right. And it's not fair. But I can't think of any way to remedy the unfairness without straying into very dangerous territory.

Posted by: NewSAHM | June 13, 2007 5:30 PM

"Actually, it really is all about semantics and the use of words to appease any possible guilt and justify a choice. Fetus=baby=person=human being."

Actually, no it's not.

"Embryo" and "fetus" were scientific terms eons before abortion was legalized. They mean the same thing today that they meant a hundred years ago.

The semantic leap here is taking "fetus" and applying to it the definition of "baby": that is, "an infant or newborn."

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 5:34 PM

"And I would say, being the parent of a child you did not want will NEVER be one of those consequences."

Wrong again. My DH is pretty firmly anti-abortion. If we were in a situation where we gor pregnant without wanting another child, I would have the baby out of respect for his position. Just 'cause the choice ultimately belongs to me doesn't mean I can't or won't consider DH's feelings in the matter.

Of course, it's all academic for me. I should be so lucky to get pregnant accidentally.

Posted by: NewSAHM | June 13, 2007 5:35 PM

Sure equality is important-- I think every person who is pregnant has the right to make certain choices in carriying that pregnancy REGARDLESS of gender! :-}

no, but seriously, i can see your point that it is unfair. But men have the choice BEFORE they copulate with a woman whether or not she is the type of person who will consider his feelings in the matter. You don't HAVE to have sex with any lady that comes along-- be selective when you mate, mate!

Posted by: Jen S. | June 13, 2007 5:41 PM

Of course you would, you are a woman and have total control.

Posted by: devils advocate | June 13, 2007 05:23 PM


Anyone who considers that human beings have total control of anything in this life -- other than the temperature of the water in the shower -- is not sufficiently mature to discuss this topic. Most of us begin to appreciate our fallibility and vulnerability at about 20. Catch up with us when you can.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 5:41 PM

But I have yet to see a mother animal and a child animal of two different species.

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | June 13, 2007 05:25 PM

It takes many generation for conspicuous changes to occur in humans.

But there are classic examples of evolution in species in the past couple centuries among insects and birds, like those moths in England after they started burning coal there, and the white ones became extinct while the dark ones who blended in with the coal ash in the air that landed on trees and the ground survived to reproduce (natural selection for survival of the fittest).

Posted by: To Matt | June 13, 2007 6:44 PM

She had one and I have never told anyone about it.

Posted by: scarry | June 13, 2007 02:52 PM

Until now.

Oh my God, I know your secret too and I am going to tell everyone--you are an a$$.

Posted by: scarry | June 13, 2007 7:00 PM

"No more than any other shrieking blowhard here who supports her opinion with emphatically inaccurate statements of fiction. "

The typos get on my nerves more than the windbags.


You get on all our nerves. Isn't there a grammar blog somewhere for you? What are you an unemployed copy editor or something?

Posted by: go away | June 13, 2007 7:03 PM

That 50 something mother Leslie mentioned would have not HAD to worry about getting pregnant had her man stepped up and protected her.

Posted by: getting older every day | June 13, 2007 04:56 PM

You are making an assumption that he was the father! Women do become pg by men other than hubby!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 7:07 PM

I would like to respectfully contribute this personal story and take on abortion to the discussion:

The AmbivAbortion Rant

I had an abortion under very complex circumstances and will regret and mourn it till the day I die, even though it would have been an excruciatingly difficult act of faith to have and raise the child.

I believe that first-trimester abortion should remain legal, but that the culture should discourage it and encourage instead the scrupulous use of every kind of birth control, from abstinence to Plan B. My concern is that the availability of abortion, abetted by the ideology that all that's at stake is a "pregnancy" to be accepted or rejected and not a unique individual who will never come again, encourages women to be more careless with birth control than they would be if an abortion was something they really, really, really wanted to avoid. But I think this can be (and is being) better accomplished by cultural change than by criminalization.

Posted by: amba (Annie Gottlieb) | June 13, 2007 7:21 PM

Sorry, I tried to make that a link and they're not accepted here.

http://ambivablog.typepad.com/ambivablog/2005/01/note_this_essay.html

Posted by: amba (Annie Gottlieb) | June 13, 2007 7:23 PM

Actually, this discussion has been pretty good, not a "waste of ink" - and I think we need MORE open discussion about the topic, not less.

Must respond to one poster who said that women actually have "total control" over their fertility and its consequences. Maybe in one, small, wealthy corner of the world, pal! My husband's mother bore TWELVE babies, 4 of whom died at an early age. There was no contraception, thanks in part to poverty and the good ol' Catholic Church, which is still telling her people that contraception is a terrible evil. And maybe she, like many women, had to choose between "putting out" and another beating. Look past your nose! Because the pro-lifers, as pittypat noted, want to extend their "family values" to the whole world, not just "selfish" American women.

Posted by: Jill in Denver | June 13, 2007 7:25 PM

I think the only females that could give up a baby for adoption in this country without being stimatized forever would be a teenager. Anyone else would be abused by family, co-workers, etc. How could you ever be at peace with that decision even it was a better choice for the baby.

______________________

Then you would be very naive.

My now-wife was 25 when she became pregnant. Her boyfriend - the father - was a fast-tracker who had wooed and wowed her. (Cornell undergrad; Yale law; on his way to the top). Of course, once she became pregnant, he ran like the scared loser he was - wanted nothing to do with her or the baby.

Because of her personal beliefs, and her situation, she decided that the best choice for her was to have the baby and place it for adoption.

Yes, she took a lot of crap from co-workers who taunted her. "Look, Sue's knocked up and the guy left her; boy is she stupid and that guy's my hero." That's paraphrasing, but it was along those lines. But she stuck to her principles. The baby was born; she placed it for adoption. It was a baby girl that went to a loving family. That daughter is now in her early 20s.

My wife has been fine and at peace with her decision.

And how do I know all this? Well, I was one of those co-workers, except I didn't tease and taunt. I marvelled at this woman who was capable of such a loving act. I thought that she was one of the most amazing people I'd ever known.

A year or so after the baby was born, when she was past the "all men are scum" phase, I asked her out. As I've always told her, I admired and respected her long before I loved her. I knew that if the going got tough she wasn't going to leave or quit. We have kids of our own; we're very happy.

And yes, I'm a regular and no, for very obvious reasons, I'm not putting my name on this.

Posted by: No name no how | June 13, 2007 8:05 PM

No name no how - I think your wife and you both sound awesome, and your wife is far braver than any of the adult women I've seen described here who opted for abortion and then called themselves courageous.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 8:52 PM

"Gee thanks we will all just go home and watch tv and play cards now that you have spoken."

If you're going to be pissy about being asked to support your assertions with facts, yes, PLEASE, go home and take your like-minded cohort with you. And don't come back until you're willing and able to think critically.

"Knucklehead"

I can tell you're new to the way rational people discuss serious issues, but let me hip you: name calling without a valid rebuttal means instant victory for me.

Posted by: Zee | June 13, 2007 9:44 PM

No name no how

Now that is courage. Good for her and you by default for marrying a wonderful lady.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 9:53 PM

"Zee:

That's fine.

But if no one else can make her choice, then maybe she alone ought to be responsible for it...rather than the government, welfare, etc"


Whoever you are:

I believe no person or body has the right to force a woman to bear a child. But since a woman who chooses to end a pregnancy is MUCH less likely to even be eligible for government funding, let alone use it, for some purpose related to having or not having children, I'm not sure how your point, whatever it is, has anything to do with mine.

If you're suggesting that any woman who chooses to HAVE a child without getting the government's permission should somehow not be entitled to receive AFDC benefits, that's a COMPLETELY different subject, and I'm not going anywhere near it.

Posted by: Zee | June 13, 2007 9:59 PM

No name no how - You brought tears to my eyes.

My personal belief is that abortion should be legal and safe - illegal abortion leads to back alley abortion. However, I agree with the poster above that, as a society, we should do everything to PREVENT unwanted pregnancies and termination should become a very rare last resort.

As far as woman's body/woman's choice goes, I have mixed feelings. A woman can abort for any reason including financial consideration, both current and future. However, a man who finds it to be a burden financially, both currently and for the future, has no choice in whether or not to proceed with the pregnancy. In addition to not having the choice to proceed with the unwanted pregnancy, he is legally responsible for support throughout childhood. (I know that many men skip out on their responsibilities, but there are many who step up to the plate.)

On the other hand, if the woman wants to abort, the man cannot stop it. I have seen where there have been men who have stepped forward and said that they are the father and wish to raise the babies themselves even though the relationship with the mother may be over. This is also the man's child, but it doesn't matter - only the woman can decide. There is something terribly wrong with this situation, although I don't know how it could be fixed.

Bottom line - a woman can terminate an unwanted pregnancy regardless of whether or not the father wants to raise the child. A woman can have a child that is unwanted by the father and he is responsible for support but a woman who doesn't want to support a child can choose to terminate. An unwanted pregnancy puts a woman in a tough spot, but it puts a man in possibly a tougher position because he has no power to make the final decision. In the ideal situation, both parents will decide together, but in reality, it is rarely the ideal situation.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 10:11 PM

OK, now that we have had this discussion, which changed no one's mind, can we go back to discussing important things like shoes, hair, Ivy League schools and breastfeeding?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2007 10:25 PM

That was me at 10:11. I am a woman in my early 50's who was a teen-ager in the early 70's (before some of you were born!). It was a time of free love, abortion was recently legalized, birth control was new, stigma of pre-marital sex was lifting, and AIDs didn't exist. There was quite a bit of "If it feels good, do it" attitude among both males and females.

With that background, I will say that I would have definitely had an abortion if I had become pregnant mainly because I was not really in a committed relationship even though I was having sex, and I wasn't interested in raising children on my own. As time went on, I married and had 2 first-semester miscarriages. For me, the miscarriages were a loss of POSSIBILITY, not really a loss of a child. I subsequently had 2 healthy babies. Once I had babies, I couldn't imagine ever being able to have an abortion. At the same time, I do believe that I would not be able to have another child and give it up for adoption - how damaging would that be to your children for them to see mom have another baby and give it away? I couldn't do that to existing children. So I guess I'm lucky that I didn't have unwanted pregnancy after I had my children - although, they wouldn't be unwanted - many are unplanned and the parents can't care for them for many reasons.

I guess I'm trying to say that, over time, the way you feel about life issues can change. I went from viewing abortion as something I didn't want to do, but would have done in a heartbeat, to something that should be legal, but extremely rare and heart-breaking to those who must resort to abortion.

Posted by: sally | June 13, 2007 10:25 PM

"Lastly, one of the thing that I absolutely hate about the pro life movement is that they do little to nothing to help support women and their children after they are born. It is kind of sick when you think of the money, time, energy, political forum that pro lifer put into ending the practice of abortion. "

I keep seeing comments like this, but they are made from complete ignorance of the pro-life movement. I will provide links to specific examples, if you like.

I can tell you of many Christian families in my personal aquaintance who are pro-life and work directly and personally with women who decide to keep their babies, supplying all their prenatal and post-birth needs, helping with trips to the doctor, and sometimes even providing a place to stay. Ironically, some of these women are being *pressured* into abortion by partners, parents, etc. when they don't want one. Some are kicked out of their homes. (How pro-choice is that?) These are not the sort of people who sit around whining that government has not yet brought about utopia; instead they jump into the fray and help people with their own time, money and other resources.

I also know many, many pro-life families who have adopted either from overseas or the foster system, some of them multiple times. These are families who value children and open their arms to them. They tend to be larger families and their unifying characteristic is that all have a *positive* outlook on life. They provide a healthy emotional environment for children who have been emotionally neglected, or who are born with FAS or have other problems.

A person who believes in personal responsibility, rather than shifting it all to the government, is actually far *more* likely to be compassionate. In fact, I have never understood how coerced income redistribution to fund state-controlled social experimentation can be spun as compassion. You can't coerce compassion. Compassion is *individuals* (like those described above) empathizing, caring, and acting out of a deep, personal concern. How, for example, can it be called "compassion" for the state to take our hard-earned money from the support of our own children, and spend it to fund abortions, when we find abortion morally repugnant?

BTW, I've held my stillborn baby in my arms and it doesn't take a whole lot of reasoning to figure out that if the same child were aborted at 6 weeks gestation, she'd be just as dead, and I'd be just as bereft of her unique, irreplaceable life.

I think our society would be much healthier and happier if we did away with the sick mentality that invariably pits mothers against their own offspring. I've even heard certain feminist "pro-choicers" describe an unborn baby as little better than a parasite that is stealing the mother's resources! What kind of a morality allows for that kind of thinking? Thanks, but I'd rather not be lectured about compassion by such people.

Posted by: lovingmom | June 14, 2007 1:08 AM

BTW, I've held my stillborn baby in my arms and it doesn't take a whole lot of reasoning to figure out that if the same child were aborted at 6 weeks gestation, she'd be just as dead, and I'd be just as bereft of her unique, irreplaceable life.

There's a huge difference between a mere embryo of 6 weeks (category runs to 13 wekks) and a full-term stillborn baby.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 2:24 AM

There's a huge difference between a mere embryo of 6 weeks (category runs to 13 wekks) and a full-term stillborn baby.

No, to her there isn't.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 8:11 AM

I've had live births, I've had miscarriages. The miscarriages (between children by the way) never phased me.

Other women's pregnancies don't excite me, particularly. If they're happy and excited, I'm happy for them. But I don't want to hear about it daily, I don't want a daily recital of their morning sickness or discomforts (if applicable). I want them to shut up and do their job. If they can't do their job, then let me know so we can all adjust to accomodate them. And please keep the prattle to a minimum.

I'll coo after the baby arrives and goodness knows I'll try and give them something from their gift registry, I'll even offer to babysit periodically so the couple can go out, but that's because one or both of the adults are my friends. Not because I am need of time with an infant.

All of which is pretty funny, given how my kids were so firmly attached to me throughout their young years that I felt like a marsupial at times. Anyone remember that cartoon from "Baby Blues" where Wanda is sighing and her husband says, "Get it off your chest, dear" and she replies, "I can't. It's attached." and there's Hamish breastfeeding? Infancy is a lot like that.

I'm so glad the kids are long out of diapers. Despite the arguments with #2 child, I really prefer this to endless bodily-fluids detail.

Anyone want to join me in a cyber-run to Stella's Bakery this Friday? I want something sweet.

Posted by: Maryland Mother | June 14, 2007 8:53 AM

Hey, 4:13 PM, "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" is not in the Constitution. Go read it if you don't believe me. It's part of the Declaration of Independence. Quite different, but your statement only serves to prove my point about ignorance in this country.

Posted by: Ryan | June 14, 2007 9:09 AM

How fitting that this article came out today:

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=56167

People having abortions for purely social reasons.

I'm done.

Posted by: Chris | June 14, 2007 9:10 AM

I think our society would be much healthier and happier if we did away with the sick mentality that invariably pits mothers against their own offspring. I've even heard certain feminist "pro-choicers" describe an unborn baby as little better than a parasite that is stealing the mother's resources!

*yawn*

Spare me. My children do not pay the bills and cost me plenty. I love them, but they do not pay for themselves.

Parasite (noun) Biology. An organism that grows, feeds, and is sheltered on or in a different organism while contributing nothing to the survival of its host.

You can argue that a baby contributes to the long-term survival of the species, but not to its host.

Posted by: Mom of 3 | June 14, 2007 9:13 AM

http://www.gendercide.org/case_infanticide.html

Posted by: for Chris | June 14, 2007 9:15 AM

Wow, thanks for the link... had no idea that was STILL going on to such an extent.

----

BTW, my link was about late term abortions being done for social reasons.

Now I really am done with this... between "state" sanctioned murder, terrorist camps on U.S. Soil, "North American Union" plans for superhighway from Mexico giving unsafe mexican trucks free access to bring who knows what in, amnesty for law breakers, health-care, social security, WMDs, Political Correctness, funding mismanagement, speech laws, gun laws, imported poisons from China in our food, etc... I wonder what straw breaks the camel's back.

Posted by: Chris | June 14, 2007 9:52 AM

Must respond to one poster who said that women actually have "total control" over their fertility and its consequences. Maybe in one, small, wealthy corner of the world, pal! My husband's mother bore TWELVE babies, 4 of whom died at an early age. There was no contraception, thanks in part to poverty and the good ol' Catholic Church, which is still telling her people that contraception is a terrible evil. And maybe she, like many women, had to choose between "putting out" and another beating. Look past your nose! Because the pro-lifers, as pittypat noted, want to extend their "family values" to the whole world, not just "selfish" American women.

Posted by: Jill in Denver | June 13, 2007 07:25 PM

So, in response to my statement about the women of today (post Roe), you bring up the story of your husbands mother. What does this have to do with the FACT that, today, women legally have total control over their fertility and its consequences?

The choices may not be easy, but they are still the womans and only the womans to make. A difficult choice is usually better than no choice at all.

Posted by: devils advocate | June 14, 2007 12:03 PM

Of course you would, you are a woman and have total control.

Posted by: devils advocate | June 13, 2007 05:23 PM


Anyone who considers that human beings have total control of anything in this life -- other than the temperature of the water in the shower -- is not sufficiently mature to discuss this topic. Most of us begin to appreciate our fallibility and vulnerability at about 20. Catch up with us when you can.


Posted by: | June 13, 2007 05:41 PM

Ooooh, I'm hurt but your non-answer.

In what way, with respect to the topic (which is a abortion) does the woman not have total control over her pregnancy?

Posted by: devils advocate | June 14, 2007 12:08 PM

"In what way, with respect to the topic (which is a abortion) does the woman not have total control over her pregnancy?"

I wish I had total control over my pregnancy. Anyone who thinks that a woman can have total control over a pregnancy has obviously never been pregnant.

First, it is hard to control when you get pregnant. People often try for years and nothing, and some people religiously use contraceptives and still get pregnant. Second, once you get pregnant, you cannot control how it progresses. You may take great care of yourself and still develop myriad pregnancy problems. You can develop high blood pressure, diabetes, pre-eclampsia, your asthma may get worse, you may suffer from hyperemesis, your sciatica may flare up, not to mention all the minor little things, like nausea, increase in urination, sleep problems, difficulty breathing because your belly is invading your lung space, etc.

Aside from all those medical problems that the mother might have to endure, you cannot control whether the baby will be healthy or not. You can suffer from miscarriages for reasons that may never be obvious, including chromosomal problems, endocrine problems, male fertility problems, blood clotting problems, uterine problems, and just pure bad luck. Even if you don't have a miscarriage, there is no guarantee that the baby will be healthy or viable, or that it even will go to term. It could be a little premature, or very premature, or even overdue, which can also cause problems.

Even if you go to term and the baby is healthy at term, you have no idea how your delivery could go. You could dilate fast and furiously, or go for hours in labor with little progress. There are myriad complications that can come up at delivery which is why OB-GYNs' insurance is so expensive. And the complications can result in an otherwise healthy baby being born with serious problems.

So no, women do not have complete control over they origin, progress, or even conclusion of their pregnancies. There are so many issues that may come in during the whole process that abortion must be considered an open option for women, especially if for whatever reasons they decide they cannot withstand the dangers and pressures, sometimes life-threatening, that pregnancy and its risks necessarily imposes on a woman and her body. And it has to be a woman's choice, because ultimately, it's her life and her body that are at stake.

Posted by: Emily | June 14, 2007 1:53 PM

To those in the "total control" camp, must relate this morning's news that the Catholic Church will no longer support Amnesty International's activities because AI has changed its stance against abortion - AI now supports abortion in cases of rape and endangerment of the woman's life.

So apparently, the Church is only "pro-life" when that life is not a woman's.

I realize that the Catholic Church is not the only exponent of the "pro-life" point of view, and that not all pro-life people agree with its positions. But it is a very powerful and wealthy exponent of the pro-life point of view. And in predominantly Catholic countries, such as those producing the impoverished and desperate "illegal aliens" which are so annoying to many of you readers, the Church's morality is law.

Posted by: Jill in Denver | June 14, 2007 2:42 PM

Dependency does not a parasite make. Every one of us exhibits some level of dependency through all stages of our lives. You would be justified in removing a parasite. You would not justified in doing away with your child because he "can't pay the bills" and "costs you." You have a moral obligation to your child that you do not have to parasite. If you are incapable of making that distinction, and if being asked to do so causes you to "yawn" in response, then frankly you are morally unfit to debate the issue.

Posted by: lovingmom | June 15, 2007 1:14 PM

Hi!
Two things:
"If people could save lives by killing terrorists, why aren't we?"

Firstly, I'm not totally against the death penalty but I'm not sure about it either way. I think if we DID kill terrorists it would only make martyrs of them in the eyes of other sick terrorists so that's one reason why.

Secondly in regards to adoption.
Yes, it CAN be an alternative OK. It CAN work out well for all involved.
OR it can work out terribly.
I was adopted and it was fine for me BUT
my birth mother had a nervous breakdown and became mentally ill over adopting me out. She has never worked since and never had a long term relationship.
Secondly, my brother was adopted from a different family. Turned out his parents had alcoholism in their genes so of course did he. He even tried to kill himself at one stage, abused drugs, tried to peddle them at school and so on. He's OK now but me and mum and dad went through hell over it.
Thirdly, I realise these were closed adoptions so some things are different now.
Or ARE they?
Do some parents take on kids they CAN'T in the long run handle - e.g. kids who've been adopted out by alcoholic parents?
Do some mothers who adopt out their babies still suffer from break downs and or mental illness?
Another thing
I don't know my birth father. That sort of thing still happens today. Yes, you can get DNA tests but not every guy agrees to that!
I don't know what genes if I had a child I could give to that child. I also know there's a possibility that the mental illness - which I DON'T have! I've been checked out and I'm FINE!! - could be carried on through me.
Maybe not. Maybe it was ONLY cos of the situation.
Or maybe my birthmother had a genetic disposition to it AS WELL.
Maybe my child could as well.
What mental illness? Depression?
No, my friends --- schizophrenia.
Which can vary in degrees of severity.

Would I risk carrying schizophrenia to my baby? What if they had severe schizophrenia. (Which is a very bad thing!) Was that guy who gunned down students in Virginia not mentally ill too?
I am careful. But should an accident happen
I KNOW what I would choose.
(Could they test for it? I don't know but I don't think so.)
I also believe others should have the same rights as well.

(I also have read that there are adoption centres full of children nobody wants. Should I - or others - add to that? I think not!)

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