Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Send NARAL Some Money

Me & Jenn did, and we're poor and have no money. But hey, that's $20 more to stuff down some asshole's throat.

If SD pisses you off, why not send some money to somebody worthwhile? Even $5. It'll make you feel better. That, or you could send hangers to the governor of SD. I'm getting increasingly pissed off, and that'll be my next act of anger.

Cause it's abortion today, and birth control tomorrow, and isn't that exciting!

IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE IN ABORTION, DON'T HAVE ONE. Don't try telling me what my "empty vessel" body's good for. That's my decision.

And whoever these women are who believe that they're "aborting babies" by taking the pill because they're confused about what the pill does (makes your body think you're pregnant, so you don't ovulate), and what abortion is ("abortion" doesn't happen until *after* a *fertilized egg* *attaches itself to the uterus* and is *removed from the uterus after having been attached*) - DON'T TAKE THE PILL. IF YOU THINK YOU ARE KILLING "BABIES" THEN DON'T USE BIRTH CONTROL OR DON'T HAVE SEX.

Don't tell me what to do with my own girl parts, thanks. That's my decision.

You know, Iran tried this "ban contraception" thing and doubled their population in 10 years. They had to retract that particular little law because they couldn't support the excess population - too many abandoned babies, too many poor men and women who needed help from the state to raise their children, huge drain on social services.

But nobody reads history anymore.

10 comments so far. What are your thoughts?

Stacey said...

Another excellent candidate for donations is one of the many funds that assist low-income women in need of abortion. The Hersey Fund in Minnesota is one such fund, and gives grants & loans to many, many South Dakota women who must travel long distances to obtain this most common and simple of procedures. The fund is far under budget this year...

See also the National Network of Abortion Funds.

Anonymous said...

"IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE IN ABORTION, DON'T HAVE ONE."

I believe that abortion is murder. Taking that into consideration, I hate that weak justification statement.

IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE IN MURDER, DON'T COMMIT ONE.

Sounds ridiculous doesn't it? This is about saving lives that haven't even had a chance to live yet. I would not sit idly by and let other people commit murder, so why would I do that when it comes to abortion? This isn't about men trying to control you or any of your body parts.

AO

Wendryn said...

"I would not sit idly by and let other people commit murder" - what, exactly, do you do about people committing murder? Are you a vigilante? Are you a cop? Because if you are simply sitting back and letting your government take care of it for you, you are sitting idly by.

You do not have the right to come into my house, my bedroom, and decide what I can or cannot do. There are certain circumstances in which my life/health would be seriously threatened by a pregnancy. If you could force me to continue that pregnancy, would you? If you did, you would be committing murder absolutely unquestionably - my murder.

If that's an exception, then where, exactly, do you draw the line? If a women will be irreparably harmed, mentally or physically, by giving birth, who gets to choose then? Girls who have been raped and become pregnant have been known to try and to suceed at suicide because they did not have access to an abortion and they could not take the result to term. These are not urban myths. Look up some of the statistics from before Roe v Wade.

Once you call it murder, you box yourself in. You don't get to take it back. Your sister, your daughter, your mother, your lover - you could be responsible for their death by saying that they cannot have an abortion when, in their opinion, they need it for health or sanity. If your sister, mother, daughter, lover, was impregnated by a rapist, damaged by that same rapist, and was suicidal about the pregnancy, you, on your high moral ground, could watch that person die because you think they should? Do you care about any woman enough to make that a question, or are you just so far removed from anyone female that you can afford not to care?

This is about people trying to control me and what I can do with my body. Making abortion illegal is not acceptable.

Go adopt kids and take good care of them. Give them some stability. Put money towards a homeless shelter. Do something useful and helpful instead of trying to add to the unwanted, unable to be cared for children out there. Have you been to a low income school? Have you had to work three jobs just to get by? Have you tried to survive on welfare? Have you raised a child with a disability because someone said you had to?

No?

Try to understand what people are dealing with before you decide it is murder to abort one child so you can feed the other two. You don't know what you are dealing with, and you have not looked at the results of your opinions.

When abortion was illegal in the United States (from the late 1800s until 1973), more pregnant women died from complications from self-induced abortions or abortions performed by untrained practitioners than from any other cause.

Think about that.

Kameron Hurley said...

Yea, what Wendryn said.

I don't believe abortion is murder, because without a woman's body, there's no life. You can take out the zygote and put it in a jar and see what happens, but I think you'll be sorely disappointed.

So yes, instead of running around screaming murder, you may want to do something that actually promotes a culture of life and helps living, breathing, sentient human beings right out here in the non-utero world.

Adopt some children. Ask your representatives to come up with a universal healthcare bill so woman who *do* want to have children have the medical support they need for themselves and the children that may result from their pregnancies. Go volunteer at a woman and children's shelter and support women who chose to have children. Go teach parenting classes at a local church or shelter.

In brief, go and do something useful with your body. And stop trying to tell other people what to do with theirs.

You may even find saving actual lives more fulfilling than grabbing at women's bodies and bemoaning the "death" of potential lives, fetuses in jars, zygotes in petri dishes. When "pro life" movements get behind supporting actual lives, I'll believe they mean well. Until then, I know it's all about control. Who's got it, and who wants it.

Anonymous said...

Wow, quite the response that I have gotten here.

I guess first of all I will address the personal attacks, though they probably aren't even worth that. You make it sound like all I do all day is sit on my moral highhorse... yeehaw! I don't feel the need to brag about what I am doing with my life, but be assured that I plan to make plenty of difference in the world. I am not a horrible person because I believe that a life begins when a sperm meets an egg, nor does this mean that I don't care about women and their lives. I do, in fact, have a social conscience.

I have a sister, I have a girlfriend, I have many female friends. I am not far removed from the female gender. If they were to be raped, then I would support them and help them in whatever way necessary to get them through the horrible experience. I don't believe that taking the life of a baby, a baby that had no choice in the matter is necessarily part of that process. When it comes to health concerns for the mother, well that is where things get messy and it should be the choice of the mother as to what should be done.

Maybe I wasn't clear on my original statement about murder. If murder were legal, then I would not sit idly by and just let this be. The actions that I would take would not be in the form of vigilante justice, rather writing letters, peaceful protest, whatever was necessary to better our society by making murder illegal.

It truly is sad that a woman would take her life because she didn't have access to an abortion. Obviously this needs to be countered with counselling and support. I don't think that simply making illegal abortion and not offering any further support is the proper response, this is only half right. I find it reprehensible that you think another human so cold hearted that they would simply sit on their moral high ground and not reach out. For shame.

This past summer I had the opportunity to go to Africa and volunteer at a shelter for children who were brought there because their parents could no longer afford to feed them. I held starving, sick, children (some three year olds that were the size of an infant because of malnutrition) whose parents were among the poorest on the planet. I plan to go back, and donate significant portions of my life, when I am further along in my schooling and more able to help these poor children out.

I know that people face horrible circumstances in life and I just don't see how having an abortion is supposed to fix that. Not one woman who gives birth is forced to raise that child, there are other options.

In regards to your comment on the deaths of women due to abortion. Well, keep in mind that health care has advanced a lot since then and if women did resort to desperate measures then they have a better chance of surviving that they did in the 1800's. Hopefully it wouldn't come to that though. Like I said earlier, making it illegal is only half of the equation.

When a sperm meets an egg they unite and the DNAs mix and create a unique genetic makeup. At that instant this is not fetal tissue, but a living being. Over the next 9 months, that one cell contains everything necessary to make a human life. One cell becomes two, two four and so on, until at 22 days you have a fetus with a beating heart and blood flowing through the circulatory system. Tell me that isn't amazing, I dare you. Now what abortion does is prevents this from all occuring. At one point you were one cell, we all were. All that cell needs is for someone to not scrape it out of the uterus and it will be a baby in 39 weeks.

As for universal healthcare, I am Canadian, my country already has universal healthcare, my "representative" would think that I was crazy if I asked for this.

Again implying that I don't do anything useful with my body. What is with the assumptions? It's funny that you tell me what to do with my body and then immediately chastise me for "telling others what to do with theirs."

Here's a question for you (both of you): when does life begin?

AO

Kameron Hurley said...

Great! Keep up your good works! And again: start adopting some kids, because the foster care system is already overflowing.

Over the next 9 months, that one cell contains everything necessary to make a human life. 

Except, uh, a woman's body. You know, her breath, her blood, what she eats, etc. etc.

Yea, easy to forget that one.

And you know, when it's not your body, it seems real easy for people to say, "Gee, it's only nine months of pain, discomfort, sleeplessness, etc and a day or three of body-wracking pain and labor, but she can just give it up whenever she wants to!"

It's not that easy. It's called "labor" for a reason. Forcing someone to labor against their will is called slavery.

The reason I agree with the Roe v. Wade decision (and why are you commenting on this if you're Canadian, anyway? We're working in the US. You may want to aim your ire inside your own country, then branch out) is because it allows abortion until the 3rd trimester, at which point states can ban abortion unless the health or life of the mother is in question.

Why the third trimester? Because that's when the fetus can exist outside a woman's body, breathe on its own, eat on its own, etc.

The pairing of egg and sperm, a zygote, is about as much "living" tissue as growing a liver in a petri dish.

Take out the woman, her body, her breath, her blood, and all you have is a handful of dividing cells that will eventually wither and cease to divide. You need a woman to make a baby, not just the egg and sperm.

Basic reproduction 101 stuff.
 

Posted by Kameron Hurley

Anonymous said...

The pairing of egg and sperm, a zygote, is about as much "living" tissue as growing a liver in a petri dish.

Well, actually there is a great deal of difference between the two things (liver tissue and an embryo). I challenge you to conduct an experiment in which a piece of your liver is implanted into your uterus and 9 months later a child emerges. That would be truly amazing and would completely silence me on this point. Let me know how that works out for you. Until then I will have to argue that an zygote/embryo/fetus is quite a bit more than a few liver cells.

You make it the focus of your post to try and tell me that pregnancy requires a woman, and not just a "handful of cells." I actually had heard that somewhere before... thanks! Your argument is humourous and with the substitution of a word here or there would also suffice as a decent argument for infanticide. A fetus depends on its mother for nutrition, exchanging wastes, a warm safe environment etc. This is not so different than a newborn which completely depends on his/her parents for food, diaper changing, comfort, shelter etc. Because a child depends on its parents for life, does that make it any less of a life? What about the disabled? Those in an intensive care unit relying on machines to keep them alive?

Your response implies that you believe life begins at the moment of viability, or the arbitrarily chosen 3rd trimester. (The transition from 2nd to 3rd trimester is not any special moment in the development of a child. Many children born at 22 weeks survive). The major problem that I have with using viability as the defining moment of life is that the date of viability is always changing. Increasing technologies are bringing that day earlier and earlier. What if a machine existed that could effectively keep any age fetus/embryo alive, would you then stand up against abortion? The beginning of life should not be dependent on what technologies exist.

You know, I am a man, and I will never know what it is to have another human being depend so utterly and hopelessly on my existence for their own, such as is the case with pregnancy. I am really sorry that that is the way people are designed, that women have to "lend out" their uterus for 9 months and then undergo labor so that another can have life. It truly is the ultimate sacrifice, but if it means the difference between life or death for another individual, isn't that worth it?

AO

Kameron Hurley said...

I challenge you to conduct an experiment in which a piece of your liver is implanted into your uterus and 9 months later a child emerges.

Again, we come back to this troublesome matter of "the woman." And "implanting" tissue into "a woman." A woman being a human being. A woman being an independent, sentient human being with a choice as to what she does with her body - her uterus, blood, and breath being parts of her body. Men have full autonomy and choice over what they do with thier bodies. You can't force a man to give blood, donate a kidney, or his bone marrow, even if it's a matter of life or death. Because he owns his body and what he does with it.

At this time, we can't divorce reproduction from a woman's body. Children don't just "grow" inside a woman's body like a plant inside a pot. Zygotes, fetuses, potential children, and the children that result from a woman's labor are intrinsically tied to her body, her labor. This is why the choice of whether or not to carry a child to term, to produce a child, is a decision that must be within a woman's hands - because it's her body that labors.

This is not so different than a newborn which completely depends on his/her parents for food, diaper changing, comfort, shelter etc.

Actually, it's hugely different. A child can be passed off to another person to take care of. A fetus attached to the uterus of a woman, sharing her blood and breath, can't be torn out and raised in a jar.

If people wanted to take out all unwanted zygotes, throw them in a jar and name them, I'm all for that - go for it! You can keep them in your garage and adopt them.

Many children born at 22 weeks survive

Yea, and lots don't.

And none would without medical intervention. Again: you want to raise all these potentially viable fetuses, great. But you can't force a woman to labor against her will.

We have a word for that.

What if a machine existed that could effectively keep any age fetus/embryo alive, would you then stand up against abortion?

No, because technically, if women had all of their embryos taken out and put in those jars, they *would* be having abortions.

So, abortion would still be legal.

I'm also still waiting to hear who's going to be taking care of all of these unwanted babies being raised in jars, though.

You know, I am a man, and I will never know what it is to have another human being depend so utterly and hopelessly on my existence for their own, such as is the case with pregnancy.

No, you won't. So why do you feel entitled to make a woman's decisions about her body for her? Why do you feel entitled to force someone to labor against their will? Because they're women, and that's their "natural" purpose? Because you believe women exist merely as empty vessels waiting to be filled?

I mean, I could argue that black people make perfect slaves, too, but we have a word for that.

I am really sorry that that is the way people are designed, that women have to "lend out" their uterus for 9 months and then undergo labor so that another can have life.

You make a false assumption: you assume a woman's "natural" and "ultimate" purpose on the planet is to carry a child to term. Lots of women don't. Does that make them less natural?

Are men who don't fulfill their "natural" purpose of fathering children less human? Somehow not worthy of human rights and personal autonomy? Are men somehow lacking in wisdom, purpose, fulfillment, because they haven't fathered children?

After all, being a father is the ultimate sacrifice, but isn't it worth it to go out and knock up as many women as possible and make sure they *have* to have the resulting children if it's a difference between life and death?

Patrick said...

My feelings on this are conflicted and muddled enough that I should perhaps just shut up, but it's an interesting discussion, so I'm taking the bait.

Kam, I have to agree with Anonymous on a few points. I personally don't find "If you don't want an abortion, don't have one" a compelling argument -- and I am pro-choice, albeit conflictedly. If the other side believes that abortion is murder (or, less inflammatorily, the ending of a human life), then "don't do it yourself" isn't really viable.

I know that I don't know the science as well as others -- everything I know, I know from reading up while waiting to become a dad, so I know lots of information about when the child starts sucking its thumb and cute stuff like that, and not so much that would give me a solid indicator of "life begins". As someone who does all the hippie aura-energy stuff, I can say what I felt, but that's hardly something to use when arguing for legislation -- at least, not unless you're talking with other hippies who also believe what you do. (And what I felt wasn't necessarily pro-life -- in as much as I felt something when my son was growing inside my wife, I felt a new soul kind of growing out from hers and what I'd put in there, not instantly being created wholly separate. So it wasn't a "conception=baby" feeling for me.) But what I did experience, again, just personally, because that's all I've got, is the moment where my unborn child could differentiate my voice from the voices of other people, demonstrated repeatedly by kicking in response to me and not them. And he was doing that at an age where the pregnancy could still have been legally terminated.

So I do believe that in some cases, it's ending a life.

To speak to what your implication that forcing a woman to labor for nine months against her will is slavery, I'd note that we actually have another system in place that might be more accurate. If a father refuses to pay child support, he can be prosecuted as a deadbeat dad, fined, and even put in prison for failure to pay, even if he didn't want the baby. And as much as I hate how neo-conservatives have co-opted the term "responsibility", if you have sex voluntarily (I'm not touching the rape or incest possibilities), you know what the risk is. If that sex results in pregnancy, why shouldn't a couple (see below) be held responsible for their voluntary decision to risk having sex even if they didn't want a child? Gambling establishments have a fine tradition of forcing people to own up to their responsibilities when those people take a risk on something enjoyable that turns out not to go the way they planned. Even legal gambling establishments. "I didn't think I'd lose on black," does not get you out of debt with the casinos, and if you rack up debt on your credit card, you WILL be forced to pay that debt, because it was your responsibility, your actions that got you into that debt in the first place.

BUT.

In this world, I'm pro-choice, because, while I do believe in responsibility and I do believe that it is a real life in there past a certain point, there are other real-world factors that outweigh that. When fetuses in the first trimester can be transplanted into an artificial womb, run at public expense, or transplanted into a willing carrier to bring to term, that will be a step. When the adoption agencies run out of children to offer up for adoption because so many right-to-lifers have stepped up and adopted rather than just popping out more babies of their own, that will be a step. When the social establishment takes away the social barriers that put young unwed mothers into a rotten, socially ostracized, sometimes hellish lifestyle while offering a few underfunded public services in return, that will be a step. When the legal system makes the man as responsible as the woman according to the law, that will be a step. When safe public access to contraception and sex information means that there are a whole lot fewer unwanted pregnancies, that will be a step.

As it is, the conservatives have decided that rather than making the necessary social changes to drastically reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies and change the situation so that an unwanted pregnancy wasn't a drastic life change, they'll just leave the current screw-the-unwed-mother system in place and then wag their fingers (or pass legislation) to make abortion illegal. They're using unborn children as playing cards in their "keep the poor desperate and obedient" game, and that's disgusting, immoral, and wrong.

And as I do believe in God, I can also believe that the souls of unborn children go back to heaven, and they might be sad, but they won't suffer the way a child brought into this world by a mother (and maybe father) who doesn't have the resources to take care of it or the interest to make the effort suffers. There are some beautiful success stories, people whose parents triumphed over the odds to produce wonderful people. There are also a lot of poor abused people whose never had a chance.

I look forward to the hypothetical day in the far future where all that stuff from a few paragraphs above happens, and Kameron and I can have a really interesting argument about whether abortion should be legal then (and then the subject of rape and incest will come up, and unless the entire population gets automatically implanted birth control that has to be turned off by couples trying to have a child, that's always going to be a factor, and one that I'm not even going to touch). Until that day happens, however, from a this-world standpoint, it needs to be safe and it needs to be legal and needs to be readily acceptable. And hell, I'll even say that it needs to be protested, the good kinds of protests, in which people sit quietly and light candles and sing. I can get all behind a sit-quietly-with-candles-and-sing protest.

So anyway.

Probably not making any friends, as I don't exactly agree with anyone. But I can respect both sides of the argument.
 

Posted by Patrick

Anonymous said...

At this time, we can't divorce reproduction from a woman's body. Children don't just "grow" inside a woman's body like a plant inside a pot. Zygotes, fetuses, potential children, and the children that result from a woman's labor are intrinsically tied to her body, her labor.

Again, sorry for the realities of the lesson in reproduction that you gave me in your post, I truly am.

This is why the choice of whether or not to carry a child to term, to produce a child, is a decision that must be within a woman's hands - because it's her body that labors.

This assumes that abortion is a justifiable act. I am not here to argue who gets to make the decision to abort or not, rather that abortion is not a moral act and the decision should not even be on the map.


In regards to the fetuses who survive at 22 weeks:
Yea, and lots don't.

And none would without medical intervention.


Well, let's see here. You're saying that because medical intervention is needed to save a fetus, that it isn't a person? Did you know that the success rate of CPR is like (depending on the underlying condition under which CPR is needed) something like 10-30%? Not that great right, why do people bother with CPR anyways? Could it be because the person requiring it is a LIFE worth saving!!! Same deal with medical intervention in the case of a fetus. It is a life worth saving, that is why there is medical intervention for these little miracles.

No, because technically, if women had all of their embryos taken out and put in those jars, they *would* be having abortions.

Abortion = removing a fetus from a woman's body with the intent of ending the life of that fetus, not keeping him/her alive.

What I was suggesting in my illistration is vastly different than what happens at abortion clinics.

I'm also still waiting to hear who's going to be taking care of all of these unwanted babies being raised in jars, though.

This is the crux of the pro-choice argument: unwanted babies. What to do with all of the unwanted babies? Well, the most logical solution would be to kill them off before they even have a chance at the outside world. Sounds like a great and very sane response. That is terrible. Is that the best solution that you have to offer?

You make a false assumption: you assume a woman's "natural" and "ultimate" purpose on the planet is to carry a child to term. Lots of women don't. Does that make them less natural?

No, I assume that we, as a species, want to continue, and the only way for that to happen is for women to lend their uterus for 9 months. I said nothing of a woman's "purpose" being childrearing. You are assuming, and putting words into my mouth again(not sure if that saying works with comments on a blog, but what the heck).

Are men who don't fulfill their "natural" purpose of fathering children less human? Somehow not worthy of human rights and personal autonomy? Are men somehow lacking in wisdom, purpose, fulfillment, because they haven't fathered children?

After all, being a father is the ultimate sacrifice, but isn't it worth it to go out and knock up as many women as possible and make sure they *have* to have the resulting children if it's a difference between life and death?


I really have no idea what you are talking about here, you've gotten a little bit off topic. I said nothing about a father's role in the family. I think that you may have some hostility towards the male half of the world, and I am going to, by and large, dodge this one. Not all men are out to impregnate as many women as possible.

AO