Sick of Abortion

In a country where abortion is legal, how did the anti-choice goons so thoroughly game the system that their one pet issue can not be funded federally? I have tons of things that are “moral issues” to me that are funded against my will, but no one gives a shit. And you know what- I’m ok with that, because I understand how our democracy works. You don’t get any trump cards. And unlike the anti-choice squad, my “moral issues” are not dictated to me by the lunatics at Focus on the Family or by the hypocrites in a couple thousand year old business run by old men who look the other way when child rape happens.






144 replies
  1. 1
    soonergrunt says:

    THIS.

  2. 2
    aimai says:

    Applause. Applause. Applause.

    aimai

  3. 3
    slag says:

    In a country where abortion is legal, how did the anti-choice goons so thoroughly game the system that their one pet issue can not be funded federally?

    Sexism? Institutionalized.

  4. 4
    cyntax says:

    Damned good question. Of course how did many of them manage to not get labeled as home-grown terrorists? I thought assassinating people who didn’t agree with one’s views wasn’t covered by the Constitution.

  5. 5
    Trinity says:

    Damn right Cole!

    I’m agree with @slag: I think this boils down to good old fashioned sexism.

  6. 6
    Tom Hilton says:

    In a country where abortion is legal, how did the anti-choice goons so thoroughly game the system that their one pet issue can not be funded federally?

    Amen.

    Also, if they’re really so het up about abortion, shouldn’t they be all in favor of a measure that will probably reduce the number of abortions?

  7. 7
  8. 8
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    Theocracy.

  9. 9
    Bulworth says:

    Abortion opponents have a very loud and active presence.

  10. 10
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    Nuh uh! We can’t expect taxes to be spent on things unless there is literal unanimous consent among everyone in America! Well, unless its war… or corporate givebacks… or a court system that vastly favors corporations and the rich… or institutionalized sexism/racism… or an infinite level of police power… or….

  11. 11
    Remember November says:

    For those so-called “individual liberty” fappers they sure have a shit ton of chutzpah telling the rest of us how to live.

    See also : hypocrisy |hiˈpäkrisē|
    noun ( pl. -sies)
    the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense.
    ORIGIN Middle English : from Old French ypocrisie, via ecclesiastical Latin, from Greek hupokrisis ‘acting of a theatrical part,’ from hupokrinesthai ‘play a part, pretend,’ from hupo ‘under’ + krinein ‘decide, judge.’

  12. 12
    JGabriel says:

    John Cole:

    In a country where abortion is legal, how did the anti-choice goons so thoroughly game the system that their one pet issue can not be funded federally?

    The Hyde Amendment via Adulter and Ignorer of Marriage Vows, Henry Hyde.

    Interestingly enough, the Hyde Amendment, according to Wikipedia:

    is not a permanent law, rather it is a “rider” that has been routinely attached to annual appropriations bills since 1976. The Hyde Amendment applies only to funds allocated by the annual appropriations bill for the Department of Health and Human Services. It primarily affects Medicaid.

    So, Stupak’s, et. al.’s, contention that federal funding of abortion is prohibited by federal law is, in fact, pretty misleading given how restricted in scope and term the Hyde Amendment really is.

    .

  13. 13

    I can only imagine what the wingnuts would say if people who are morally opposed to funding war got their way.

    ETA:

    … hypocrites in a couple thousand year old business run by sexually repressed old men who look the other way when child rape happens.

    Thought it needed a bit of clearing up.

  14. 14
    mantis says:

    While I agree with your argument, it should be recognized that abortion is a rather unique political issue. I can’t think of any other issue where the differences between both sides are as stark as with abortion, in terms of perception of the issue. Most on the left see it as a medical privacy/women’s rights issue, while most on the right see it as the murder of innocents. What other issue is like that? I can’t think of one.

  15. 15
    David in NY says:

    @Tom Hilton:

    if they’re really so het up about abortion, shouldn’t they be all in favor of a measure that will probably reduce the number of abortions?

    Makes you think that it’s not just abortion they care about, doesn’t it? Like curtailing the availability and use of contraception. Like allowing women freedom of choice. Like punishing women who have sex by forcing them to carry pregnancies they don’t want.

  16. 16
    ed says:

    It’s like the NRA . They gin up a controversy and get people to donate dough. As with carney games, it’s a “profit deal”. Funny thing is, when Roe went down, religions mostly said “meh,” whatever (Baptists among others who now froth). But they figured out that it could be a money maker and viola, you got yourself a wedge issue way to print your own money. Hallelujah.

  17. 17
    Quaker in a Basement says:

    a couple thousand year old business run by old men who look the other way when child rape happens.

    Well that’s an improvement. “Looking the other way” is way better than actively protecting the offenders.

  18. 18
    Napoleon says:

    @JGabriel:

    Some think that is Stupak’s game, to get it written permanently into law not something that has to pass every year.

  19. 19

    @JGabriel:

    So, Stupak’s, et. al.’s, contention that federal funding of abortion is prohibited by federal law is, in fact, pretty misleading given how restricted in scope and term the Hyde Amendment really is.

    Interesting question: If the Hyde Amendment is so restrictive, does that mean that abortions can be provided by the military hospital system? And if so, wouldn’t that be using federal dollars to fund abortions?

  20. 20
    YellowJournalism says:

    @ed: Yup, throw up a few pictures of cute kids, call them snowflakes or some crap like that, wail about how they could have been “murdered” by the thoughtless tramps who spawned them, and you’ve got yourself a fundraiser.

  21. 21
  22. 22
    Stooleo says:

    Like punishing women who have sex by forcing them to carry pregnancies they don’t want.

    Yep, they just don’t like people fucking.

  23. 23
    Splitting Image says:

    I’m even more amazed that they were able to frame banning abortion as not only a conservative idea, but as the conservative idea.

    As far as I can tell, the only one of the lot of them who got it right was Barry Goldwater. Yes abortion is completely wrong, but there is no organization less safe to put in charge of it than the federal government, and the states are hardly any better. More than one jurisdiction in the U.S. and Canada has practiced forced sterilization on “undesirables”, and abortions wouldn’t have been much of a stretch. Goldwater grew up when Hitler and Stalin controlled much of the world, and he was more afraid of them than he was of abortion.

    Hence his involvement with Planned Parenthood. Yes, you work to stop abortions from happening, but you do it at a local and an individual level. It’s true that giving women the final say in the matter will mean some abortions will happen, but in the long run the safest protectors of the unborn are the people who bond with them.

    Somewhere along the line Goldwater turned into a liberal and Planned Parenthood turned into the International Brotherhood of Gay Satanists. Astounding.

  24. 24
    riffle says:

    I think a lot of people are sick of the anti-abortion zealots. If I had the money I’d buy airtime for an ad in Stupak’s district which just featured countless clips of Stupak, in different clothes at different times, repeating the word “abortion”
    for thirty seconds.

    “Abortion, abortion, abortion, abortion;” from Stupak’s mouth over and over, because that’s his obsession.

  25. 25

    @mantis:

    I can’t think of any other issue where the differences between both sides are as stark as with abortion, in terms of perception of the issue.

    Civil rights certainly was, desegregation, slavery, immigration, war/peace, death penalty, legalized drugs, welfare. Saying abortion is a “unique” issue in American politics because it’s so polarized is simply wrong.

  26. 26

    I spend a pretty fair amount of time bitching about 30 some years of rightward slide and then you ask,

    how did the anti-choice goons so thoroughly game the system that their one pet issue can not be funded federally?

    The level of stupidity in this country is truly awesome. Since the Fed is specifically tasked with conducting warfare we’re pretty much stuck with that one, but surely the Founding Fathers were in favor of corporatism despite corporations being a pretty recent legal fiction.

    You ask that question when these people were your cohorts. I can’t answer it, I have never “understood” these people and I sure as hell never voted for them or worked to support them.

    I’m sure that was a rhetorical question…

  27. 27
    batgirl says:

    @mantis:

    Most on the left see it as a medical privacy/women’s rights issue, while most some on the right see it as the murder of innocents. and more see at a way to punish and control women.

    Edit: Most was to be strikethrough — didn’t work

    Fixed.

  28. 28
    scav says:

    Cheers John!

  29. 29
    Chat Noir says:

    Rest in peace George Carlin.

  30. 30
    freelancer says:

    You should see one of the Headlines in the Local section of today’s World-Herald.

    “Ashford sees abortion epidemic”

    Six low-income women have told a south Omaha health clinic that they will opt for abortions because they cannot afford prenatal services, which are no longer government-funded.

    The report from the OneWorld Community Health Centers, coupled with the earlier confirmation of an abortion by a Schuyler, Neb., woman, prompted at least three state senators to say Thursday that the issue has reached a “crisis” level.

    They said the Legislature must revisit the controversial issue.

    “It’s not just a crisis, this is an epidemic of abortion,” said Omaha Sen. Brad Ashford. “This is totally contrary to the values of our state, which are to protect unborn children. The Legislature has to come together on a solution, just like we did on the safe haven crisis. If we don’t, these abortions are going to continue.”

    Smaller government vs. Theocracy. The wingers must choose.

  31. 31
    ed says:

    For Moloch’s sake, the plenty of Republicans still provide abortion on their health care plans, as Think Progress points out:

    McMorris-Rodger’s initial indifference to her own state party funding abortion coverage reveals the partisanship of her ploy to lie about the health bill and claim that it covers abortions. Like McMorris-Rodgers, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Newt Gingrich have health insurance plans for their campaign employees which provide abortion coverage. And until recently, even the staunchly anti-choice Republican National Committee provided abortion coverage to its employees.

    And the RNC provided abortion coverage for many years until someone finally called them on it. They’re horrible people.

  32. 32
    Xenos says:

    @Splitting Image:

    Yes abortion is completely wrong

    Not to turn a quibble into a stupid, redundant and boring flame-war, but please note that this is not a universally held opinion.

  33. 33
    Dollared says:

    @ mantis

    Really, you don’t think Iraq qualifies as completely polarizing? Some on the right see it as the first battle in the Middle East that signals the rapture battle in a coming world war with 1 billion muslims, and some on the left see it as an illegal invasion and occupation that literally destroys all foundation for the moral standing of our country and killed one million innocent people

  34. 34
    mainsailset says:

    Hey keepin them womenfolk barefoot and pregnant worked for centuries, these people just want to revisit simpler times…everybody knows once you bring a womanperson into the conversation things just get complicated and life just ain’t fun no more.

  35. 35
    Kyle says:

    a couple thousand year old business criminal organization run by old men who look the other way when child rape happens.

    Fixed.

  36. 36
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Hear, fucking hear.

    And furthermore to that, if the Bishops are going to act as an arm of the Republican Party, I don’t want my fucking tax-dollars subsidizing their politiicking, the fuckwits.

  37. 37
    mantis says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    Civil rights certainly was, desegregation, slavery, immigration, war/peace, death penalty, legalized drugs, welfare. Saying abortion is a “unique” issue in American politics because it’s so polarized is simply wrong.

    Well, first I should have said “current issue,” I guess, as you do have a point with slavery. But I didn’t say it was unique because it was polarizing, but because the two sides perceive the issue so differently. None of the other issues you list above are perceived through such different lenses as abortion is, IMO. Slavery was, at least by some, in that it was seen as a states’ rights issue by many in the south (and simply an economic issue by many others), while the other side obviously saw it as a human rights/morality issue.

  38. 38
    Dollared says:

    the hypocrites in a couple thousand year old business run by old men who look the other way when child rape happens.

    John, I live for the moments when a perfectly apt description just leaps out of your fingers. Thanks!

    Now, where do I go to baptize my kids? Do you think my mom won’t notice that “St. Mark’s” is actually Episcopalian?

  39. 39
    Mark S. says:

    @ed:

    Personally, I don’t think most GOP leaders (the non-fundy ones at least) want Roe overturned, and it isn’t just that privately they are pro-choice. They know that if turnout was ever very high in this country they would get creamed. The last thing they want is some issue that would get a lot of apathetic people suddenly very interested in voting.

  40. 40
    YellowJournalism says:

    @Stooleo:

    Yep, they just don’t like people fucking.

    No, they don’t like women fucking. It’s pretty obvious that they love men fucking.

  41. 41
    mantis says:

    @Dollared:

    Really, you don’t think Iraq qualifies as completely polarizing?

    Again, I didn’t say abortion was a unique political issue because it’s polarizing.

    Some on the right see it as the first battle in the Middle East that signals the rapture battle in a coming world war with 1 billion muslims, and some on the left see it as an illegal invasion and occupation that literally destroys all foundation for the moral standing of our country and killed one million innocent people

    Either way, it’s war. Bad war vs. good war. There’s no fundamental disagreement about what the issue at hand is, just whether it’s the correct/good/right course of action. Abortion, it seems to me, is one group talking about women’s rights and privacy, and another talking about what they perceive (quite wrongly) as genocide. The two perceptions of the issue are wildly divergent.

  42. 42
    Mark S. says:

    @Xenos:

    I think Splitting Image was describing Barry Goldwater’s thought process on the issue.

  43. 43
    Karen says:

    @Konnaghkinnego Ballymagan

    Theocracy is right. We supposedly have a secular government and not a theocracy. Yet marriage is based on the church’s idea of morality. Sex is a matter of the church’s idea of morality. Hatred of gays and lesbians are based on their “morality” and antiabortion is also guided by the church’s morality. Surprising that they care so little about nothing but fetuses, nothing but the unborn. They call the unborn innocent which implies that the born are evil criminals. Especially when they’re poor.

    So much for a secular government.

  44. 44

    @mantis:

    But I didn’t say it was unique because it was polarizing, but because the two sides perceive the issue so differently. None of the other issues you list above are perceived through such different lenses as abortion is, IMO.

    Two words: Death Penalty, which I actually participated in a debate about in college. The two sides of that debate have just as much Biblical scripture to argue over as abortionists.

    The others are not quite as polar opposite, but just because there is an enormous perceptual difference between the sides of an issue doesn’t make it “unique” IMO.

  45. 45
    Darkmoth says:

    I’m going to go with “biological imperatives and taboos” for 100, Alex.

    The unique thing about the abortion debate is that it hinges on one and only one question – “is a fetus a child?”. There’s are no other considerations, or relevant factors. While the question itself is as nuanced as any in human existence, the issue doesn’t lend itself to equivocation or equivalence. There is no “but”.

    To approach the position of it’s saner opponents, you have to ask yourself “under what condition would I condone the killing of a child?”.

    I’ve always been very glad I don’t think a fetus is a child. Because if I thought it was, my politics would change completely, quite against my natural inclinations.

  46. 46
    Karmakin says:

    The reality is that there’s no real there there with the abortion issue, which is why it gets so much traction. It’s a purely emotional subject, that for so many moderate folks, is simply that they can’t understand why someone wouldn’t want a “bundle of joy”.

    But if you talk to people, people don’t actually want to do anything about it, even most of the most staunch anti-abortion people. It’s a simple question.

    If abortion is murder, how long should a woman who has an abortion go to prison for?

    See how fast they hmmm and hawww over that question. The truth is that very few people actually believe that life begins at conception. Very very few people.

    This is about controlling sexuality, but more so, about proving social dominance and cultural normality. That’s why this issue has the legs that it has.

  47. 47
    Karmakin says:

    @Darkmoth: Read my post.

    If anti-abortion activists believed life begins at conception, they’d have no problems with throwing women who have them in prison.

    But they do have a problem with that, and thus they don’t really think life begins at conception. It’s something else.

  48. 48
    SpotWeld says:

    The most charismatic people, who can tell people to do what they want unquestioningly (eps. how to vote and where to spend money) are the religious leaders.

    It’s a core moral religious tennant that abortian is wrong.

    Ergo, religious leaders have a big stick when it comes to getting what they want.

    Since most of these leaders are men, there’s no blowback to them if abortions are illegal.

  49. 49
    Redshift says:

    @Mark S.: Not to mention that once they figured out the religious right base would keep voting for them if they were “pro-life” no matter how many times they completely failed to do anything much about it once elected, they knew they’d found the golden goose.

    Which is of course why the Republican Party and institutions are falling over each other to try to absorb the tea partiers — taxes appear to be the closest thing to a coherent issue they have, and they have even less idea than the typical conservative base voter whether their taxes are going up or down, so they appear to be the perfect marks for the ongoing GOP scam of cutting taxes for the wealthy, corporations, and their contributors and then telling the base “we cut your taxes!” (And tarring the Dems with the reverse if they try to change the tax structure to help these clowns.)

  50. 50
    slag says:

    On the flip side, though. I do find myself frustrated with Planned Parenthood and NARAL and other abortion rights advocacy groups insomuch as I get the sense that they tend to give way too much ground on the moral arguments surrounding abortion and possibly enable these kinds of middling abortion restrictions along the way.

    I do think of abortion as a moral issue. And I think it’s fundamentally immoral to restrict a woman’s right to an abortion. Unfortunately, abortion rights organizations tend to discuss the issue in terms of practicality and legality and have, consequently, retreated a little bit from the moral front of the fight.

    To be fair to those groups, though, they are up against the theocracy and over 2100 years of patriarchy.

  51. 51
    Dollared says:

    @ mantis

    Actually, I disagree with where you took that.

    Iraq is a war, to both sides. But one is an illegal war of invasion, and the other is a frontier skirmish in defense of our freedoms.

    Abortion is a surgical procedure, to both sides. To some it is an illegal, invasive procedure that kills babies, and to others it is a simple procedure to protect the health and/or wellbeing of the mother.

  52. 52
    BR says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    You hit the nail on the head.

    George Lakoff in “Don’t Think of an Elephant” points out that a good way of framing the “federal dollars for abortion” issue is to ask this: if a female soldier is raped (something that happens often despite the fact that it is underreported), should she be allowed to receive an abortion? Since she receives all her medical services from the military, and nobody sane would deny a rape victim access to an abortion, this constitutes federal funding for abortion.

  53. 53
    brantl says:

    A large portion of this is due to the fact that the Senate rules allow a substantial amount of blackmail by lunatics.

  54. 54
    Mary says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: Military hospitals do not provide abortions.

  55. 55
    Ms. Wankerl says:

    @mantis:

    Either way, it’s war. Bad war vs. good war. There’s no fundamental disagreement about what the issue at hand is, just whether it’s the correct/good/right course of action.

    The Sanskrit word for “war” means “desire for more cows.” From literally the dawn of recorded history, at least one side (sometimes both) in a war has engaged in mass murder — typically in the service of greed, sometimes out of sheer malice — at the behest of a sociopath. Nowadays oil is more valuable than cows, but that’s about it.

    Yes, in the 20th century, civilization threw up its collective hands in dismay and decided that if we weren’t going to end the practice of war then we ought to at least regulate it. But I think there are people who take a broader view than you as to what the “issue” with any given war is.

  56. 56
    ed says:

    @Mark S. #39:

    Well, yeah. If Roe goes, the money stops coming in. You get token gestures to prime the pump, but please. But I guess people are stupid sheep and politicians will continue to play them for fools. Why kill the golden goose?

  57. 57
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    In a country where abortion is legal, how did the anti-choice goons so thoroughly game the system that their one pet issue can not be funded federally?

    In a country where a large majority of Americans supports abortion rights to varying degrees……

  58. 58
    Stooleo says:

    YellowJournalism @ 40

    Nope, if you’re poor, some shade of brown, and a man the don’t want you fucking either.

  59. 59
    Mark S. says:

    @Karmakin:

    If abortion is murder, how long should a woman who has an abortion go to prison for?

    Exactly. Also, it is illogical to carve up exceptions for rape and incest, since you’d be murdering an innocent person. Hell, it would be hard to argue for the life of the mother as well, if the fetus is a person and entitled to equal rights.

  60. 60
    Kennedy says:

    @mantis: Every divisive issue has two sides that perceive it completely differently. That is why it is a divisive issue. Abortion is no different. Pretending that it’s some special case that should be given deference in its position as a very serious or unique matter only gives further credence to the dicks that continue to make it a wedge issue. You’re missing the entire point of the post.

  61. 61
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @YellowJournalism:

    No, they don’t like women fucking. It’s pretty obvious that they love men fucking.

    So, teh ghey sex is really about keeping the women pure?

  62. 62
    mantis says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    Two words: Death Penalty, which I actually participated in a debate about in college. The two sides of that debate have just as much Biblical scripture to argue over as abortionists.

    Umm, ok? Scriptural ammunition was not a factor I was pointing to. What does that have to do with anything I’m saying? What are the arguments surrounding the death penalty? “Is it a deterrent?” “Are innocent people executed” “How does it impact crime rates?” “What are the economic costs?” “Is it morally right?” etc. The two sides are largely speaking the same language, if from opposite sides. Not so with abortion.

    The others are not quite as polar opposite,

    Again, I wasn’t talking about polarization.

    but just because there is an enormous perceptual difference between the sides of an issue doesn’t make it “unique” IMO.

    Ok. Why the scare quotes around unique?

  63. 63
    Kennedy says:

    @J. Michael Neal: You have it all wrong. They want the fucking done properly, complete with wetsuits and dildos.

  64. 64
    slag says:

    @Karmakin: I would argue that life began way before any of us were conceived. Nonetheless, I can’t tell you how many plants I’ve killed in my lifetime. Or bacteria. And in my darker days, I’ve even killed a cow or two (assuming that by eating something I have killed it first). From a purely “pro-life” perspective, I’m a one-person death squad.

    But the issue is that the term “life” for “pro-lifers” comes with all kinds of qualifiers that we enable them to completely ignore. We’ve let them frame the issue in the most ridiculously illogical way, which, I think, is the crux of our problem.

  65. 65
    kay says:

    Well, I’ll tell you, I dislike the zealots a lot more than I did a couple of months ago, so if the intent was to change my mind, it completely back-fired.
    I’m not sure I want my tax dollars mingling with their tax dollars, at this point.

  66. 66
    Darkmoth says:

    @Karmakin:

    I don’t disagree with you. Isuspect most of the people on the “pro-abortion” side are classic wingnuts, in the sense that their worldview isn’t logically derived from a set of inferences, it’s a package deal that forms their sense of identity.

  67. 67
    Redshift says:

    @Karmakin: An nowhere is this made more obvious than in the rare instances where they do move in that direction. I know this has happened in various states, but the one I am most familiar with is when a legislator here in VA introduced a bill that would have required women to report miscarriages to the police within 48 hours. If “pro-lifers” actually believed that a fetus is a child legally, and abortion is murder, then this would be a no-brainer — if a child dies, you don’t get to just treat it as a private family matter, and if abortion is murder, then a miscarriage obviously should be investigated as a possible manslaughter, at least.

    And instead there was an absolute shitstorm from a lot of people who normally aren’t active politically (once the story hit mothers’ groups, it spread like wildfire), “pro-life” groups didn’t particularly back him up, and he immediately started backpedalling, making excuses that he had been misunderstood, that he had only introduced it at the request of police in his district (not that he could name any), and so on.

    (Speaking of which, anyone know what’s going on with that law in Utah?)

  68. 68
    mantis says:

    @Kennedy:

    Pretending that it’s some special case that should be given deference in its position as a very serious or unique matter only gives further credence to the dicks that continue to make it a wedge issue.

    I’m not pretending anything, I’m sharing my opinion in response to a question that John asked in his post:

    In a country where abortion is legal, how did the anti-choice goons so thoroughly game the system that their one pet issue can not be funded federally?

    I’m interested in exploring the reasons for this. And I never said it should be given special deference, and I’m pretty sure my discussing the issue with you folks here does not give further credence to anyone.

    You’re missing the entire point of the post.

    Am I?

  69. 69
    Darkmoth says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    But even in the DP it’s not really a “perceptual difference” as much as a difference in morality. Both sides see the same thing happening (a person is being killed), they just feel differently about that thing.

  70. 70
    Mark S. says:

    (I’ll try again by taking out the word that I think put me in moderation hell)

    @Karmakin:

    If abortion is murder, how long should a woman who has an abortion go to prison for?

    Exactly. Also, it is illogical to carve up exceptions for rape, since you’d be murdering an innocent person. Hell, it would be hard to argue for the life of the mother as well, if the fetus is a person and entitled to equal rights.

    ETA: Did the trick

  71. 71
    jacy says:

    @slag:

    Yeah, they’ve staked out the terms they want to use. I for one refuse to refer to them as pro-life, because that’s not even close to accurate. At best they’re anti-choice, but it’s more accurate that they’re anti-autonomy or anti-women’s rights.

    I refuse to take the anti-choice contingent seriously until they show that they actually care about real children, but I don’t think I have to worry about that ever happening.

  72. 72
    kay says:

    @Redshift:

    Oh, sure. He introduced it at the request of police in his district?

    They were hoping they’d have to investigate every miscarriage?

    They’d love that.

    Sure they were. Nothing police like better than a domestic call!

  73. 73
    slag says:

    @mantis:

    What are the arguments surrounding the death penalty? “Is it a deterrent?” “Are innocent people executed” “How does it impact crime rates?” “What are the economic costs?” “Is it morally right?” etc. The two sides are largely speaking the same language, if from opposite sides. Not so with abortion.

    This has not matched my experience. My experience is that pro-death penalty people largely ignore all those questions and focus on the victims of the crimes. In other words, they tend to play the fear card when it comes to the death penalty.

    Besides my own experience, the evidence that I’m right is pretty simple: If the issue were largely argued on the basis of those questions you mentioned, we would have eliminated it a long time ago.

  74. 74
    Tsulagi says:

    hypocrites in a couple thousand year old business run by old men who look the other way when child rape happens.

    Okay, no need to push the hyperbole envelope. Have no doubt the official Vatican position is adamantly opposed to child abuse and their priests shouldn’t condone child rape. By others. Their own moral high ground and conduct is covered by a subset of the GOPper Golden Rule: IOKIYAP

  75. 75
    Shinobi says:

    Also do not underestimate the power of brainwashing in the creation of the pro life faction. Pretty much the first thing I learned about embryos is that they are alive. I learned this very very young, like, we were learning about baby chickens in second grade young. I’m surprised they didn’t tattoo it on our classmates foreheads so we would not forget “ONCE A SPERM TOUCHES AN EGG IT IS ALIVE.”

    It is really really hard to overcome that level of brainwashing. I myself am pro choice, but I know if ti came down to it I could probably never have an abortion because I would suffer serious psychological consequences. Not because I hold a logical well thought out belief that an embryo is a child, but that as a child I was indoctrinated with this as the absolute truth.

    I’m working on it, but I am still not there. And I’ve been an athiest for about 10 years now.

    The amount of misinformation and brainwashing done by pro life forces is simply staggering. They have no interest int he truth as long as what they say encourages people to agree with them. And they do all of this, ultimately, to keep women from actually having the lives and the sex they want.

  76. 76
    mantis says:

    @slag:

    Besides my own experience, the evidence that I’m right is pretty simple: If the issue were largely argued on the basis of those questions you mentioned, we would have eliminated it a long time ago.

    That’s not evidence. It’s an assertion, and an incorrect one.

  77. 77
    DBrown says:

    @mantis: Yet the mass murder of children and unborn children by our miltary in Iraq because asswipe cheney sucked off bush’s dick is ok? War is far, far worse than abortion and you have the idea that it isn’t? I could think of a few choice names but what you believe speaks volumes.

  78. 78
    slag says:

    @Redshift:

    If “pro-lifers” actually believed that a fetus is a child legally, and abortion is murder, then this would be a no-brainer—if a child dies, you don’t get to just treat it as a private family matter, and if abortion is murder, then a miscarriage obviously should be investigated as a possible manslaughter, at least.

    Yes. Indeed. And so goes Utah.

  79. 79
    Martin says:

    Abortion is legal because SCOTUS said that it is, not because Congress did. I’m 100% pro-choice, but consider the parallel between Roe v. Wade and the Citizens United Not Timid decision.

    The reason guys like Stupak have gone all-in on the HCR bill is that it’s the only bill he’s ever really seen that allows him to vote on abortion. It’s as close to abortion legislation as anyone is likely to ever see.

  80. 80
    ruemara says:

    Because men are still upset that they can’t cuff us and shove us into a kitchen. Although, I will say, some men are. some men aren’t stupak.

  81. 81
    MBunge says:

    “In a country where abortion is legal, how did the anti-choice goons so thoroughly game the system that their one pet issue can not be funded federally?”

    If you add up the folks who want abortion banned with the folks who want access to abortion restricted in at least some circumstances, you get somewhere around 70% or more of the American public.

    Any other questions?

    Mike

  82. 82
    slag says:

    @mantis:

    That’s not evidence. It’s an assertion, and an incorrect one.

    So, let’s get this straight. You think that evidence has shown that the death penalty is:

    A. A deterrent
    B. Doesn’t execute innocent people
    C. Impacts crime rates
    D. Is economically efficient
    E. Is morally correct
    ?

    Or

    You think we keep it around because we, as a society, have determined that we explicitly want ineffective, inefficient, arbitrary, immoral punishment?

  83. 83

    @mantis:

    Umm, ok? Scriptural ammunition was not a factor I was pointing to. What does that have to do with anything I’m saying? What are the arguments surrounding the death penalty? “Is it a deterrent?” “Are innocent people executed” “How does it impact crime rates?” “What are the economic costs?” “Is it morally right?” etc. The two sides are largely speaking the same language, if from opposite sides. Not so with abortion.

    I get your point that the two sides are arguing different points from different viewpoints.

    What does that have to do with anything I’m saying?

    It has everything to do with what you’re saying because the vast, vast, OVERWHELMING MAJORITY of anti-choice zealots are fueled in their opposition by scriptural authority or the people wearing funny hats who claim to represent that scriptural authority.

    But using your examples above re: death penalty, the same could be said about abortion: “The two sides are largely speaking the same language, if from opposite sides.” Is it morally right? No, according to anti-choice because every sperm fetus is an innocent human life. Yes, according to pro-choice because a fetus is not yet a human life.

    Should there be federal funding for abortion? No, say the anti-choice side, because the government should not fund murder; yes, say the pro-choice side, because abortion is a legal medical procedure sometimes needed by citizens who can’t afford it.

    Does a woman have a right to choose an abortion: No, say the anti-choice side, because a fetus is a human life and killing it is murder. Yes, say the pro-choice side, because a fetus is only “potential” life, and a woman has a right to choose medical treatment for her body.

    My point being that abortion is not “unique” (scare quotes because I don’t think it is one-of-a-kind, and that’s the term you used – if you prefer, i could use italics) in terms of the different frames of belief among the people who discuss it.

  84. 84
    The Moar You Know says:

    It’s the world’s best wedge issue. You get the fundies and the libbers fighting over abortion, and they don’t even notice that their standard of living has gone to shit, their constitutional rights have been thrown in the gutter, that their CEO/owner/church leader spent their retirement on booze, cocaine, private jets and hookers, and that they’re now chattel of whatever big business they happen to be working for.

    Every dollar that big business gave to anti-choice and pro-choice groups (and there have been a lot of corporate contributions to both sides, more than you might think) has been paid back 100-fold.

  85. 85
    mantis says:

    @DBrown:

    Yet the mass murder of children and unborn children by our miltary in Iraq because asswipe cheney sucked off bush’s dick is ok?

    I never said anything of the sort. I was talking about how the issue is perceived by people on both sides, and how I see this as unique (or at least unusual), and that may partially explain why it is treated differently than so many other contentious issues.

    War is far, far worse than abortion and you have the idea that it isn’t?

    Again, I never said, or implied, anything of the sort. If you’re looking for a declarative statement, I’ll give you one: War is far worse than abortion in every way.

    I could think of a few choice names but what you believe speaks volumes.

    You obviously have no idea what I believe, choosing to simply invent it. I have a name for you. You’re an asshole for trying to paint me as a wingnut (or whatever man of straw you’re constructing) just for trying to discuss the issue honestly. Fuck off.

  86. 86
    Darkmoth says:

    @DBrown:

    What is that shit? Generally, if you’re going to use a strawman, that’s sufficient to obfuscate the argument. You don’t have to call the other guy a war criminal to boot.

    And yes, people are wildly inconsistent on questions of human life and justice. the fact of a draft (or even prison) sort of puts paid to the idea that our society respects any right as unalienable. America is Unconstitutional. Duh.

  87. 87
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @ruemara:

    Because men are still upset that they can’t cuff us and shove us into a kitchen. Although, I will say, some men are. some men aren’t stupak.

    Well, duh. You take women out to dinner, then cuff them . . .

    Uhm, I’d better not finish this.

  88. 88
    scav says:

    @MBunge: Yeah, why it can’t be federally funded under restricted, that is, just to be really REALLY WILD say, “legal” circumstances — cause damn knows the bats don’t want federal funding to go to a legal procedure.

  89. 89
    mantis says:

    @slag:

    So, let’s get this straight. You think that evidence has shown that the death penalty is:

    No, you asserted that if the death penalty had been argued on the basis of the factors I mentioned, it would have been abolished, and the fact that it hasn’t been is evidence that it’s not been argued that way. It has been argued on that basis, by many, including in the Supreme Court, and it’s still not abolished. Therefore, your “evidence” is false.

  90. 90
    LuciaMia says:

    No, they don’t like women fucking.

    Oh, they like women fucking, fine. As long as they can watch.

  91. 91
    kindness says:

    Oh John, don’t hold back….

    Tell us how you really feel.

  92. 92
    Kennedy says:

    @mantis: Mantis, you have stated a few times now that you believe abortion to be different because of how it is perceived by either side.

    I am interested to hear specifics on what you see to be the differences in perception, and how and why this is more unique/unusual than other contentious issues.

    It just seems like you are arguing relativism. There are always two sides to an issue, and different parties will feel more/less strongly about them depending on who you ask and what their perspectives are.

    So again…what makes it more unique/unusual?

  93. 93
    slag says:

    @mantis:

    No, you asserted that if the death penalty had been argued on the basis of the factors I mentioned, it would have been abolished, and the fact that it hasn’t been is evidence that it’s not been argued that way. It has been argued on that basis, by many, including in the Supreme Court, and it’s still not abolished.

    So, then you choose option B:

    You think we keep it around because we, as a society, have determined that we explicitly want ineffective, inefficient, arbitrary, immoral punishment?

    Just wanted to get that clear.

  94. 94
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Ms. Wankerl:

    The Sanskrit word for “war” means “desire for more cows.”

    Really? What is it? I am not a Sanskrit scholar, but none of the Sanskrit words for war that I know I have any thing to do with cows.

  95. 95
    mantis says:

    @slag:

    You think we keep it around because we, as a society, have determined that we explicitly want ineffective, inefficient, arbitrary, immoral punishment?

    That’s one way of saying it, but I would probably put it differently. We keep it around because humans have a predisposition towards vengeance that’s tough to overcome.

  96. 96

    @mantis:
    Returning to your original question:

    I can’t think of any other issue where the differences between both sides are as stark as with abortion, in terms of perception of the issue.

    Israel/Palestine? Just thinking off the top of my head, but that one gins up quite a bit of heat more than light.

    LBGT Marriage? Because that one is right up there with abortion.

  97. 97
    celticdragonchick says:

    @mantis:

    While I agree with your argument, it should be recognized that abortion is a rather unique political issue. I can’t think of any other issue where the differences between both sides are as stark as with abortion, in terms of perception of the issue. Most on the left see it as a medical privacy/women’s rights issue, while most on the right see it as the murder of innocents. What other issue is like that? I can’t think of one.

    Speaking as a transgendered woman, my same sex marriage to my wife does come to mind.

  98. 98
    jl says:

    How many of my tax dollars went to blowing up innocent Iraqis, and resulted in the death of US soldiers, in an unjustified war sold with lies?

    Murder is a moral issue that is very important to me.

    But the anti-abortion fanatic crowd will not care about that kind of killing, since only ‘innocent life’ is important, and they get to choose who is ‘innocent’.

    From what I can tell, for anti-abortion fanatics, ‘innocent life’ means those who are not born yet, thouse who are comatose, and those who are just like them. Anyone else… whatever…

  99. 99
    DBrown says:

    @mantis:You made the statement ” None of the other issues you list above are perceived through such different lenses as abortion is, IMO” (referencing war, slavery.)

    I totally disagreed and pointed out that war is a greater issue (and if anyone remembers the 60’s, it was a far greater issue when the average teen had to put his life on the line) an issue for a huge number of people in this country and I wanted to point out is, in fact, far worse than abortion (which you clearly agree.)

    As for the choice words, I was thinking along the lines of your not thinking in a logical way but four letter words are so common here, I now realize that is what most would assume (as you decided and as you said “You obviously have no idea what I believe. I think you need to take your own advice.)

    I still am amazed that people think abortion is so special when it is notand the majority of Americans do not – only a minority support a ban/outlaw.

  100. 100
    celticdragonchick says:

    @J. Michael Neal:

    Well, duh. You take women out to dinner, then cuff them . . .
    Uhm, I’d better not finish this.

    I thought it was the other way around:

    You take the woman to dinner and then she gets to cuff you

  101. 101
    Darkmoth says:

    @Kennedy:

    Come on now. Protection of children is easily one of our most basic social imperatives, if not the most basic. Protection of adult life pales next to it, and protection of adult freedom is frankly violated on several levels.

    Then of course, child porn is treated entirely different than regular porn. I’d be embarrassed if you found the latter on my computer, if you find the former I’m going to jail. From what I understand even prison inmates treat child molesters differently.

    You can buy 50 assorted video games that let you kill adults in varied and gruesome ways. Show me one game that lets you hunt and kill children.

  102. 102
    slag says:

    @mantis:

    because humans have a predisposition towards vengeance

    A ha! Vengeance. I don’t remember vengeance being anywhere in the options you offered. An outside factor infiltrates this supposedly well-argued issue. I’m shocked!

  103. 103
    mantis says:

    @Kennedy:

    I am interested to hear specifics on what you see to be the differences in perception, and how and why this is more unique/unusual than other contentious issues.

    Well, I’ve already detailed them, but here goes. Anti-abortion people for the most part equate abortion with murder, and that is their primary argument. Pro-choice people for the most part argue the issue as a medical privacy/women’s rights issue, and that is theirs.

    Take the death penalty example. If that debate were equivalent to the abortion issue in the sense that I am discussing, it would be as if anti-death penalty advocates were arguing that death penalty is state-sponsored murder of potentially innocent people, and the pro-death penalty side were arguing that it is a prison management issue, and should be left to prisons to figure out. It would almost seem as if the two sides were not even talking about the same issue.

  104. 104
    Violet says:

    @YellowJournalism:

    No, they don’t like women fucking. It’s pretty obvious that they love men fucking.

    They’re okay with women fucking, so long as they fuck in approved circumstances – their own husbands while married, lesbians in a pr0n video, or prostitutes who service them.

    The real issue is that they don’t want women to have any control over their own fucking or any say in who they fuck. Men should be able to fuck whoever they want, whenever they want, even if they fuck another man – but just don’t let anyone find out about that if they do.

    The issue is control – they want to control women. And the underlying issue is fear. They fear that if women can fuck whoever they want, they won’t want to fuck them.

  105. 105
    mantis says:

    @slag:

    I don’t remember vengeance being anywhere in the options you offered.

    I was offering a reason why we haven’t gotten rid of an obviously wrongheaded and medieval practice. That doesn’t mean that people argue, or even consciously think, about the issue in this way.

    Your sarcasm and lack of desire for an actual discussion is, however, noted. Good day to you.

  106. 106
    celticdragonchick says:

    @ed:

    It’s like the NRA . They gin up a controversy and get people to donate dough.

    Maybe so, but you always have some idiots in law enforcement or some such who actually do the dumb ass unconstitutional shit that the NRA keeps talking about.

    Just ask Balko.

    To hear them tell it, the five police agencies who apprehended 39-year-old Oregonian David Pyles early on the morning of March 8 thwarted another lone wolf mass murderer. The police “were able to successfully take a potentially volatile male subject into protective custody for a mental evaluation,” announced a press release put out by the Medford, Oregon, police department. The subject had recently been placed on administrative leave from his job, was “very disgruntled,” and had recently purchased several firearms. “Local Law Enforcement agencies were extremely concerned that the subject was planning retaliation against his employers,” the release said. Fortunately, Pyles “voluntarily” turned himself over to police custody, and the legally purchased firearms “were seized for safekeeping.”

    This voluntary exchange involved two SWAT teams, police officers from Medford and nearby Roseburg, sheriff’s deputies from Jackson and Douglas counties, and the Oregon State Police. Oregon State Police Sgt. Jeff Proulx explained to South Oregon’s Mail Tribune why the operation was such a success: “Instead of being reactive, we took a proactive approach.”

    There’s just one problem: David Pyles hadn’t committed any crime, nor was he suspected of having committed one. The police never obtained a warrant for either search or arrest. They never consulted with a judge or mental health professional before sending out the military-style tactical teams to take Pyle in.

    “They woke me up with a phone call at about 5:50 in the morning,” Pyles told me in a phone interview Friday. “I looked out the window and saw the SWAT team pointing their guns at my house. The officer on the phone told me to turn myself in. I told them I would, on three conditions: I would not be handcuffed. I would not be taken off my property. And I would not be forced to get a mental health evaluation. He agreed. The second I stepped outside, they jumped me. Then they handcuffed me, took me off my property, and took me to get a mental health evaluation.”

  107. 107
    Citizen Alan says:

    I reject the contention that most abortion opponents give a used fig for the “life” of a fetus. Those factions most opposed to abortion rights (the GOP, the Catholic Church, the Religious Right) are also generally opposed to:

    *comprehensive sex education in schools
    *contraception in nearly any form
    *the FMLA
    *pregnancy anti-discrimination laws
    *Head Start
    *health care reform
    *Aid to Families with Dependent Children
    *Welfare
    *Medicaid
    *government sponsored day care

    and on and on and on. Every program that has every been conceived or suggested that might help a woman avoid an unplanned pregnancy or might help a poor pregnant woman afford to carry a baby to term or might help the children of poor single mothers avoid a lifetime of grinding poverty has been fought tooth and nail by the GOP and their religious allies. Personally, I infer that these people don’t really give a damn about babies at any stage of development. The anti-abortion lobby is based primarily on the belief that an unwanted pregnancy is a punishment from God for sexually active women.

  108. 108
    DBrown says:

    @Darkmoth: Yet in war, children are targets too and every pilot knows this fact and ignores it when dropping bombs – amazing that we hid this truth in our sick games. People are quick to forget this basic fact. We really do NOT protect children, only those we think as ours (look at the murder rate of children in familes – it is something like 99% step children that are killed.

  109. 109
    Mary says:

    @MBunge: But if you add up the people who want abortion on demand with the people who want abortion available for women under most circumstances you’d also probably get about 70% or more of the American public. (See what I did there?)

  110. 110
    Jim C. says:

    They did it the way people usually do it in a Democracy. They organized, were persistent, applied pressure to the right people and basically got what they wanted because they went after it.

    Obama’s slogan of “we are who we have been waiting for” or whatever it was he said was corny, but it was right. For millions of people in the U.S., this is THE issue of their entire lives. They are in full-on campaign mode 100% of the time. With liberals? Not so much. We won big in 2006 and 2008 because we were so damn ticked off with what Bush and the Republicans had done over the course of the decade.

    Then, when we got our huge majorities, we relaxed and assumed that our work was done. We got the people with the (D) next to their name elected. Surely they would repay us by marching forward with all the things that they said that they would and we could relax and go back to mostly ignoring politics other than reading the occasional blog. We’d won!

    Basically, the reason that abortion rights folks get so much attention to their issue is because they work to get it.

  111. 111
    mantis says:

    @DBrown:

    You made the statement ” None of the other issues you list above are perceived through such different lenses as abortion is, IMO” (referencing war, slavery.)

    I totally disagreed and pointed out that war is a greater issue (and if anyone remembers the 60’s, it was a far greater issue when the average teen had to put his life on the line) an issue for a huge number of people in this country and I wanted to point out is, in fact, far worse than abortion (which you clearly agree.)

    I never said war was not a “greater” issue, I was discussing the possible reasons why abortion is treated so differently from many other political issues. This does not in any way mean I believe other issues to be less important, contentious, etc.

    As for the choice words, I was thinking along the lines of your not thinking in a logical way

    Says the person who assumed that by discussing the possible reasons why abortion is such a fucked up debate in this country, I was claiming war is nothing to worry about. Please, tell me more about logical thinking.

  112. 112
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    The anti-abortion lobby is based primarily on the belief that an unwanted pregnancy is a punishment from God for sexually active women.

    I thought that viewpoint was a tad extreme until I read this bit of idiocy from former Bush Sr speech writer Janice Crouse (and numerous similar Taliban style pronouncements from other “Christians”)

    Sadly, there will be no recourse for those who fall victim to this social experiment. America’s women and girls are, once again, subjected to medical experimentation at the urging of those who want to be free of the consequences from sexually [sic] promiscuity regardless of the cost to their own or other women’s health and well-being.

  113. 113
    Darkmoth says:

    @DBrown:

    You are 100% correct. People do kill children in war. I’m not sure that weakens my point though – wartime behavior doesn’t change anything about the way our greater society is structured.

    And now that I think about it, even in war our taboos persist. the most horrifying and impactful pictures from Gaza or Iraq, always include children.

  114. 114
    Tsulagi says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    You take the woman to dinner and then she gets to cuff you…

    Been there. And the woman cuffed in the kitchen bent over…

    Okay, easily distracted, what was the post topic again?

  115. 115
    DBrown says:

    @mantis: One, your quick use of a four letter word does not support your being logical since you assumed what I meant (around here a good point, maybe but just as wrong as what you said I did.)

    Next, I was basing my points on what you said at the time – sorry but your later points did not show until after my post (5 min. delay), so I could only bring up a point that that even you realized was true.

    By the way, you forgot to add that I asked you to take your own advice and you still haven’t – appears you will ignore a point that doesn’t support your cause.

  116. 116
    DBrown says:

    @Darkmoth: All I was trying to say is that we like to believe we are better than others who kill mass numbers of people (including children) but the bottom-line; we are as savage, blood thristy as just about all other world wide killers. We just like to think we are better or more noble. Why? That is a question that needs to be answered.

  117. 117
    Kennedy says:

    @mantis:

    it would be as if anti-death penalty advocates were arguing that death penalty is state-sponsored murder of potentially innocent people, and the pro-death penalty side were arguing that it is a prison management issue, and should be left to prisons to figure out. It would almost seem as if the two sides were not even talking about the same issue.

    Thank you. I still don’t necessarily agree that it’s a wholly unique issue, but I understand your perspective based on the above.

    @Darkmoth: I’m not arguing for or against abortion. I was asking Mantis why he thought this was vastly different than any other issue about which people scream at one another.

  118. 118
    slag says:

    @mantis: First, my sarcasm in no way indicates lack of desire for an actual discussion.

    Second, I was just on the verge of agreeing with this sentiment:

    Take the death penalty example. If that debate were equivalent to the abortion issue in the sense that I am discussing, it would be as if anti-death penalty advocates were arguing that death penalty is state-sponsored murder of potentially innocent people, and the pro-death penalty side were arguing that it is a prison management issue, and should be left to prisons to figure out. It would almost seem as if the two sides were not even talking about the same issue.

    Not in the strictest terms because I still say pro and anti sides of issues regularly debate in cross terms rather than in direct terms and that the death penalty issue is no exception to that.

    But I will say the level of intensity of recent pro-choice arguments has not matched that of the anti-choice side, and that may be where we can agree on this. The anti-choicers have been arguing on starkly absolutist grounds and pro-choicers have not. So, while–like every other fundamental debate–abortion isn’t a direct point-to-point discussion, it is currently an asymmetrical debate based on the differing levels of absolutism coming from the different sides.

  119. 119

    I still think LBGT marriage, not to mention the entire panoply of related issues, qualifies as VERY similar to the abortion debate, under mantis’ definition above.

  120. 120
    geg6 says:

    What concerns me is seeing so many people here and IRL buy into their framing and labels. I have, in just this thread, seen someone say abortion is always wrong. Sorry, but no. It is not. I know because I’ve lived it and, though a hard choice at the time, it is the best decision I ever made in my life because it enabled me to have the life I have now. So fuck you on that one. I also see many call the other side pro-life, a gargantuan oxymoron if I’ve ever seen one. I’ve never met a person who is against abortion who has other polotical views that value life. This is all about control, especially control over women. I call them exactly what they are: forced birthers. Let’s call it what it really is. And the bonus is seeing their face when I call them that. Pisses them right off and they really can’t deny it. Forced birth, use it.

  121. 121
    slag says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    I still think LBGT marriage, not to mention the entire panoply of related issues, qualifies as VERY similar to the abortion debate, under mantis’ definition above.

    I was thinking this at first as well. But then, here’s where I think mantis’ point works–in broad strokes: To some extent, pro-choicers have already won (tenuously). Abortion is legal. Now, the threat of having abortion rights chipped away at is less motivating for people, in general. So, the arguments on the pro-choice side are less moral and more technical. But LGBT marriage hasn’t passed yet. So, it’s easier to get people ginned up on moral terms. Not the same moral terms, of course, since one side cites “equality” and the other “Selective Jesus” but at least with the same level of intensity.

  122. 122
    And Another Thing... says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: Mantis trying to claim that abortion is somehow uniquely stark is effectively ignoring the polling on abortion where, like most other controversial issues, the positions of most Americans fall at points on a spectrum. It’s the positions of those on the extremes that appear stark. Which is true of most issues, the extremes are Manichean. The “unique” thing about abortion is that for many anti-choice activists, it appears to be the issue that trumps all others…witness Bart Stupak who appears to be willing to block health care for 30+ million Americans who ARE real Americans. Fuck him and his own little coven.

  123. 123
    jrg says:

    What pisses me off about anti-choice Catholics the most is the fact that they claim birth control is immoral. Horseshit. You know what’s immoral? Physically and sexually abusing children.

    Talk about fucked-up priorities.

  124. 124

    @slag:

    So, it’s easier to get people ginned up on moral terms. Not the same moral terms, of course, since one side cites “equality” and the other “Selective Jesus” but at least with the same level of intensity.

    I see your point, but I don’t recall mantis talking about which side was “hotter” about the topic originally, but rather the lens through which they saw the debate. It’s the same with LBGT marriage. The anti’s see it as “an assault on marriage as God intended.” The pro’s see it as a basic civil right.

    So by mantis’ original perception: “I can’t think of any other issue where the differences between both sides are as stark as with abortion, in terms of perception of the issue.” I’d say it qualifies.

  125. 125
    And Another Thing... says:

    @mantis: Most anti-choice activists clearly don’t equate abortion with murder. They “say” it’s murder but don’t back that up with legislative action. It’s a rhetorical play, to whip up emotion, but it’s never really followed up with legislation that would actually put women in prison for an abortion. The rhetoric is one tactic that’s used to try and harass women in to not having abortions. Fellow travelers also try to make contraception difficult to acquire. The minute that “pro-life” groups are actively pushing for easily available female contraception then it’s reasonable to reconsider our judgment about their real values and motives. Until then, they’re marginally better than Fred Phelps. Except that they’re played for patsies by certain politicians.

  126. 126
    slag says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: Agreed. I was bridging the gap using mantis’ later qualifying point. Not the original. The original doesn’t work for me either.

  127. 127
    LindaH says:

    @mantis: Mantis I am so glad that we have you here. I mean after all, you and ONLY you can distinguish what is a moral issue and what is not. When we other lowly people point out issues that have been as divisive and polarizing as abortion, you calmly tell us what idiots we are. War, not a real problem. Death penalty, doesn’t hit your buttons, so not an issue. Gay rights, not important enough. The Civil Rights movement of the 60’s, well so a few activists got killed and children died in churches that were bombed, and people were attacked by the police turning fire hoses on them and Governors of states stood outside schools to keep black students out, because THEY were only worth 3/5 of a person, but heck, you don’t care about that, so the world didn’t either. I commend you on your superior intellect and ability to make the issues that YOU care about the only really important ones. How did we ever make moral choices without you?

  128. 128
    Wannabe Speechwriter says:

    Why this isn’t discussed, I really don’t know:

    http://www.politicsdaily.com/2.....abortions/

    In Anne’s Home state, Medicaid dollars are used to provide abortion services to poor women. Yet, because of the universal health care there, abortions actually decreased since they instituted their health care system.

    I’m personally cynical about both sides and see it as a giant Ponzi scheme not just for The Catholic Church and other Christians but also for groups like Planned Parenthood and other feminist groups. It’s like the public option debate on steroids: both sides take one part of both promoting life (on the Christian side) and woman’s rights (on the feminist side) and make it the entire debate for both issues. Stopping abortions will do nothing for creating a culture of life if the state continues to execute people, war is the first response to a crisis and people die because they don’t have health care. Having unlimited access to abortions will do nothing for woman’s rights if they continue to have less access to career advancement and consistently have to choose between having a career and raising a family. However, abortion is the perfect fight-one side sees it as murder, the other akin to rape. The media loves conflict over reporting substance so this makes the greatest battleground.

    I was raised Catholic and while rarely go to church, I honestly believe the Social Justice angle of church teaching greatly affected my life and my worldview. I feel about abortion the same way I feel about prostitution and drugs-wrong but impossible to ban and therefore should be make to cause as little damage as possible to society (ie make the procedure safe). I feel that ultimately you can’t force a woman to not have an abortion (women have been terminating pregnancies since the dawn of time) however you can devise a health care system that covers everyone. And, as the article I linked to shows, health care actually does reduce the number of abortions, even when the procedure receives state funds.

    Maybe this view is a little to Sully for people on this board but I do get frustrated this view is not adequately represented in our media. You have to give credit to the nuns and others who stepped up at this hour to make sure health care passes despite what you may feel toward church leadership (and raw anger is totally justified). Abortion is a tragedy and our religious, political, and media leaders have turned it into a national disgrace.

  129. 129
    And Another Thing... says:

    @Wannabe Speechwriter: Well said. Thank you.

  130. 130
    WereBear says:

    Saying abortion is always morally wrong simply explains the Catholic Church’s overwhelming generosity in proscribing a narrow path through which people are allowed to live without moral censure.

    This group (run almost exclusively by celibate men) rationalizes their extreme views of social ossification (such as keeping people in bad marriages and having children) no matter the physical, emotional, and economic cost.

    In the meantime, they themselves are completely supported despite any misbehavior on their part, up to and including unmarried sex with people below the age of consent.

    And I’m supposed to understand the pull of the mystery and majesty of the Catholic Church?

    This is the part which puzzles me.

  131. 131
    Martian Buddy says:

    You can buy 50 assorted video games that let you kill adults in varied and gruesome ways. Show me one game that lets you hunt and kill children.

    Fallout and Fallout 2: one of my college pals was fond of using the cattle prod for that purpose (I preferred the flamethrower.)

  132. 132
    Dan S. says:

    @Darkmoth “The unique thing about the abortion debate is that it hinges on one and only one question – “is a fetus a child?”.

    Not really. Rather, it hinges on another queston – “Is a woman a person?”

    Also: Ampersand has a nifty chart to help answer whether Do they really believe that abortion is murder?:

    In contrast, the leaders of the abortion criminalization movement have consistently put their political weight behind policies which make little or no sense if they genuinely think that abortion is identical to child murder. And those same leaders routinely endorse policies that make a lot of sense if their goal is to penalize women who have sex – to, as I’ve heard many of them put it, make sure women “face the consequences” of having sex. And they’ve done so with the apparent backing and blessing of the vast majority of the rank and file. Let’s review: . . .

  133. 133
    cs says:

    What always confused me is why Christians, at least American Protestants, would have a problem with abortion at all.

    In the faith I grew up with, Southern Baptists, there’s the concept of the “age of accountability” which means that anyone who dies before they have the mental capacity to understand the gospel will automatically get eternal salvation. This isn’t in the Bible at all, but is the Baptists way of handling an awkward part of their theology, which revolves around someone needing to be “saved” in order to get to heaven. All unsaved will go to hell. But no one, not even the coldest hearted Baptist, wants to think of a toddler ending up in hell just because they weren’t lucky enough to grow up and get saved.

    So if we carry this doctrine to its logical conclusion, abortion is a very good thing. Any aborted fetus will automatically get to go to heaven. If the baby is allowed to be born, then the child would grow up and might reject the gospel at some point, thus dooming that soul to hell. Abortion and infanticide would eliminate this risk completely.

    This is the best argument to use against anyone who has a religious argument against abortion. You may not bring them over to your side but you will leave them hopelessly confused because there’s nothing at all in their faith that will provide a defense against this argument.

    Either they will have to change their theology so that all dead children are sent to hell, or they will have to admit abortion is a fast track to heaven. From their point of view, it’s all lose-lose. And if they really believe in heaven and think it’s a better place than here, then they can only conclude that abortion isn’t so bad after all.

  134. 134
    debbied says:

    So the sides of the issue have been thoroughly stated, and we all understand the “when life begins” and “is it murder” questions that we will never come to any sort of consensus on. But what about the idea that none of that even matters?

    Maybe I’m not supposed to say something so unappreciative of life, but aren’t aborted babies unwanted? And isn’t it pretty terrible to grow up unwanted/neglected/mistreated/abused? Insert your adoption suggestions as you will, and call me truly sick, but I think those unwanted babies that escape the fate of dealing with this world without having a decent foundation to build upon are much better off aborted.

    And the thing is, lots of people with much better home situations wish they had never had to deal with this world either. Everyone that protests “that aborted kid might have been the one to (save us all/cure all diseases/achieve world peace)” needs to focus their energies helping the unwanted children who didn’t escape the terrible reality of being unwanted. Those kids are already here, and might be the next “great contributor.” Until the children already on earth (outside the womb) are given the attention and energy the crazy pro-lifers give their lobbying and protests, their position on the issue seems completely ridiculous.

    When we actually live in a world where children are universally cherished and wanted, then we can start talking about saving every damn “life.” But until then…

  135. 135

    @cs:

    Actually, it’s not difficult to understand at all.

    For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

    But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labor; yet what I shall choose, I know not.

    For I am in a strait between the two, having a desire to depart and to be with Christ, which is far better;

    nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.

    And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy in faith,

    that your rejoicing for me may be more abundant in Jesus Christ by my coming to you again.

    Philippians 1:21 – 26

    Paul’s message is very clear in this; life has value.

    For “progressives”, this is impossible to comprehend, because to them and their Obama Party, life has no value. They believe that if you are “unwanted”, at least by their definition, that you are worthless, that you have no value as a human being, and that you have nothing to offer society.

    Maybe I’m not supposed to say something so unappreciative of life, but aren’t aborted babies unwanted? And isn’t it pretty terrible to grow up unwanted/neglected/mistreated/abused?

    Notice the inherent and complete selfishness in this attitude. A woman who kills her child and claims the baby is “unwanted” draws applause from the progressives — while making it clear that the baby’s value is subject only to her interpretation. If she doesn’t want it, it’s worthless and has no value to society.

    Since we’re carrying things to this logical conclusion, why don’t “progressives” advocate killing all “unwanted/neglected/mistreated/abused” children?

  136. 136
    grumpy realist says:

    Don’t use religious arguments trying to justify being pro-forced birth. I can dredge up similar biblical arguments used to justify slavery.

    Second, this is a secular society and we don’t impose religious beliefs on each other. Go live in Iran in you want to live in a theocracy.

  137. 137
    debbied says:

    Since we’re carrying things to this logical conclusion, why don’t “progressives” advocate killing all “unwanted/neglected/mistreated/abused” children?

    Maybe you should read my post again. This is exactly the opposite of what I said and meant.

  138. 138
    scav says:

    @North Dallas Thirty:

    Notice the inherent and complete selfishness in this attitude. A woman who kills her child and claims the baby is “unwanted” draws applause from the progressives

    if you believe that of progressives, then you’re not even trying. Because it’s as willfully blind as any assertion I might make about Christians applauding the action of pedophile priests. Nor, as best I can tell, is your posting an attempt to persuade anyone to your point as it is just twee & willfully aggressive. Well, we’re a bit knock-about here so that isn’t unusual. I would like to point out though that when swagged out in such ornate religiousity, the view of your sanctimonious self-congratulatory mental masturbation is a bit of an early morning giggle. maybe it was more along the line of an early-morning puke. Certainly isn’t winning any converts to Christ.

  139. 139
    RedKitten says:

    @Darkmoth:

    I’ve always been very glad I don’t think a fetus is a child. Because if I thought it was, my politics would change completely, quite against my natural inclinations.

    And that’s what makes the issue so difficult, particularly for mothers, I think. When I was pregnant, especially once I could feel movement and kicking, I didn’t think of him as “the fetus”. He was “our baby”. I know that legally, biologically, and objectively, he was a fetus, not a baby. But in my heart, he was my baby. So, if that little fetus was a baby (in my mind), then it does become difficult to not think of other fetuses as babies. And from there, when you think of abortion, it becomes a very difficult matter.

    I’m still pro-choice. I’m not as dispassionate about abortion as I used to be, because I now have all of these motherly emotions wrapped up in things. So the thought of abortion, frankly, makes me ill. It breaks my heart.

    But.

    That does NOT give me the right to force another woman to carry a child. No matter my own personal feelings about abortion, I am never going to tell another woman what she can and cannot do with her own body.

    All that these new feelings have done is make me even more convinced that we need to smarten the fuck up and make sure that cheap, effective, and easy-to-use contraception is given to kids as soon as they hit puberty and that it is hammered into them repeatedly that they are to use this ANYTIME they have sex. We need to take the stigma off of using contraception, so that we are not shaming girls as sluts for wanting to go on the pill. We need to get serious about punishing rapists and hammer into kids at a very young age that unless she says “yes”, you should assume “no”. We need to give our girls the self-esteem needed to insist that the guy wear a condom, even if he doesn’t want to, and we need to teach our boys that sex without a condom is only an option if you’re ready to have a kid. Basically, we need to do the best we can to make sure that every pregnancy out there is a wanted one.

    This would have such an amazing effect on our society. Not only would abortion rates plummet, but so would child abuse rates, as people would be much more likely to only have kids when they’re really ready for them. Peoples’ personal finances would improve, as they’d be much less likely to have more kids than they could afford.

    My god, it would just transform society. And it would empower women — especially poor women.

    No fucking wonder there are so many people fighting against it.

  140. 140

    Don’t use religious arguments trying to justify being pro-forced birth.

    When pregnancy becomes spontaneous, then you can call it “forced birth”. It always amuses me how “progressives” who demand “sex education” are so ignorant of how a woman actually gets pregnant. It’s like they don’t understand that it’s directly associated with the woman’s choice to have unprotected sex.

    Is unprotected sex when you don’t want a child a responsible choice? If not, then why should an innocent child suffer because you were irresponsible?

    This is exactly the opposite of what I said and meant.

    It is exactly what you said and meant.

    I think those unwanted babies that escape the fate of dealing with this world without having a decent foundation to build upon are much better off aborted.

    And you started out with the perfect capsulization of “progressive” thought; “I think”.

    Now, please define to us “decent foundation”. Lay out specifically what is required and state that any and all babies who don’t have that precise situation should be aborted.

    Next, please again define for us why you believe that you can, at the moment of conception, identify in a most foolproof fashion that a child is better off dead.

    The inherent racism and contempt for the poor that progressives have is nicely demonstrated in their support and endorsement of abortion. Amazing how they’re always saying that poor women are not capable of raising their children and that those children are better off dead.


    Certainly isn’t winning any converts to Christ.

    Jesus pissed off the Pharisees a lot, too. No worries.

    And that’s what makes the issue so difficult, particularly for mothers, I think.

    Oh, it’s not difficult for you at all. You put the promiscuity and irresponsibility of the mother ahead of the welfare of a child in every instance. No matter what choices she makes, she should be able to kill off her child with no remorse and no restraint.

    All that these new feelings have done is make me even more convinced that we need to smarten the fuck up and make sure that cheap, effective, and easy-to-use contraception is given to kids as soon as they hit puberty and that it is hammered into them repeatedly that they are to use this ANYTIME they have sex.

    Oh, the hilarity.

    “Progressives” have pushed for laws in every state requiring speed limiters, restricting the number of people under a certain age that can be in a car, curfews, and whatnot because 16-year-olds lack the emotional and intellectual immaturity to make good choices and cannot be expected to regularly exercise good judgment.

    Yet they hand out contraceptives to eleven-year-olds and expect them to use them correctly every time they have sex. Why you would encourage an eleven-year-old to have sex, I have no idea. The odds of them picking up a disease, getting pregnant, or worse are astronomical. But in the “progressive” world, again, promiscuity is what’s important.

    This is why “progressives” need Federally-funded abortions and for their fellow “progressives” to cover up for the sex they’re having with underage children.

  141. 141

    My god, it would just transform society. And it would empower women—especially poor women.

    No fucking wonder there are so many people fighting against it.

    Again, the “progressive” contempt for the poor comes out in spades.

    Poor women are just as capable of saying no as are wealthy women. Poor women are just as capable of choosing when they wish to have sex as are wealthy women. Poor women certainly should not be automatically assumed to be so stupid as to not be able to make the judgment call when it’s best for them to have children. And most importantly, poor women are perfectly capable of raising happy, healthy, well-adjusted children regardless of the circumstance.

    But then again, if you don’t have the excuse of “the poor”, then there’s no cover for white middle-class women who are perfectly capable of affording and taking care of a child, but simply don’t want to take the responsibility for their action. And that would be the vast majority of abortions performed.

    Finally, the entertaining thing about abortion is how it’s the one area in which progressives actually support individual freedom. The same people who are demanding bans on salt in food, elimination of high-fructose corn syrup, changing zoning laws to get rid of fast-food outlets, taking snacks out of vending machines, smoking bans, you name it, all in the name of “protecting” other people and preventing them from making their own choices will let you do whatever you want sexually — as long as you murder the end product.

    That’s really twisted. You can have individual freedoms, but only if you kill the baby afterward. Otherwise, you don’t have the right to control your own body, and government can force you to do whatever it wants. It’s almost like an initiation ritual.

  142. 142
    Cerberus says:

    Backing away from the linguistics war (is this stark contrast starker than the stark contrasts and delusionary thinking ginned up by far right activists on every issue the world has ever known including innocuous shit like the UN or water treatment) cause it’s besides the point (they don’t believe their own bullshit, I’ve yet to meet anyone either for or against who really truly acts like a fetus is not only a real fully formed person, but that they are one so much better than people that they need additional rights of legalized slavery and rape over the bodies of their hosts).

    As said at the top of the thread, this works because of institutionalized sexism. We do not in this country truly believe that women are wholly human. It hasn’t even been a full lifetime since we stopped believing that men should be allowed to rape their property, I mean wives because they “didn’t have consent after they married”. It’s been less than a hundred years since we stopped believing in this country that women were property entirely and granting them full citizenship. An innocuous amendment merely making women of equal standing under the law got shredded apart a little over 20 years ago. And we still have a rape culture where an overwhelming number of women can look forward to getting raped at least once in their life by a loved one and where elected officials can openly discuss rape wherein marital rape or acquaintance rape aren’t real because they weren’t virgins raped violently by strangers.

    Hell, look at your average media response to any woman who accuses someone of a rape (was she slutty, she’s probably lying, how dare she ruin that young man’s life) and it’s pretty stark.

    The massive block is that women aren’t seen as fully human. Even the debate about abortion, the one thing you’d expect to see women be highlighted over, ends up more often than not to feature two dudes arguing about fetus viability that assumes they grow in featureless white voids with little input or impact regarding the host creature.

    Given that institutionalized sexism means that women are vastly under-representated in media and government and the fact that the Church has been violently pushing back against women’s rights since before they burned Joan of Arc at the stake and well, of course, shit like this would form.

    And it’s not really just this. One of the big reasons that health care reform and welfare debates and “government” debates in general have been like pulling teeth is because of a large overwhelming number of white people who refuse to view black and brown people as wholly human and are more than happy to fuck themselves over if it increases the chance that they won’t personally have to see any black or brown people in their immediate vicinities for as long as possible.

    Gay people have certainly found out how people don’t view them as wholly human whenever AIDS treatment programs or gay marriage come up. Subhuman recruiters? Gotcha.

    Abortion is just the most starkly naked of the deceptions and involves the most disingenuous screaming. But this is probably because it is the best funded and supported by the various Church ponzi schemes. Sure letting black people live their lives or letting gay people get married does destroy a lot of the desperate chains of white male exceptionalism and it’s “inherent right to rule over everyone”. But nothing destroys old white male patriarchy faster than full equal rights and full equal treatment of women.

    Wipe out the house-slave, the sex-slave who doesn’t expect to enjoy her marital rape, the dedicated person to clean your house and raise your children to gain a stress-free environment after work and an ability to focus more on the judge and so much collapses. Including the ludicrous “work until you die” capitalist system we have.

    As such, it gets the most focus and lines in the sand. Abortion is their last “in” for the patriarchal idea that men should dictate the limits of a woman’s life. It’s the vantage point as they struggle to maintain traditional sex roles, reduce contraceptives, etc… Because once women have full sexual freedom, you can’t knock them out of the workplace by knocking them up and you can’t rely on sexual guilt to rein in their freedom.

    It’s basically the last gasp of the patriarchy. And that’s why it gets treated so “special”.

  143. 143
    Cerberus says:

    Oh yay, we now have a forced birther troll as well. Changing it up, freestyle.

    For those who end up playing with it, here’s the cheat sheet. I have yet to find an anti-choice activist whose final argument was not a variation on one of these:

    1) Women deserve to be punished for having sex or generally not following “The Rules”.
    2) I am catholic or an ex-catholic and it’s really hard to shake the childhood programming.
    3) Thinking about not existing gives me existential anxiety and as such I respond emotionally to any issue like abortion that makes me think about that by trying to make it go away.
    4) Sperm Magic, baby. The sperm is the only important part of a pregnancy because it’s the only part that involves a man. Once the sperm hits the egg, it’s all on automatic with little input from the woman because otherwise the man’s role in a pregnancy isn’t as impressive as the woman’s and makes it more about the man and isn’t that what’s really important?
    5) Surgery is gross when visualized and I haven’t bothered to think about the issue in any personal manner yet.
    6) A combination of some or all of these. All share a general disregard for the woman and she is largely left out. 1 and 4 are the most popular by far and are definitely the big sellers, though 2 and 3 often pop up among the “earnestly struggling with it” types. And 5’s pretty much end up pro-choicers naturally when they start dealing with their lives as adults.

    In general, all forced birthers share a general disregard for the woman who is the sole human in the debate. She is viewed rhetorically as a void that stuff happens in rather than her genuine biological role as an active agent, literally leeching the nutrients from her body to literally build piece by piece, the developing embryo.

    They’re also almost always male, almost always either religious or libertarian, and often don’t support anything that genuinely reduces the number of abortions, because those methods often involve improving the lives of sluts (I mean women) rather than punishing them for not slutting up with the men arguing against abortion.

    They will also argue like abortions aren’t the most commonly performed surgery in this country nor that the “sluts” would be 1/3 of all women, most likely including your mother or another close relation.

  144. 144

    And we still have a rape culture where an overwhelming number of women can look forward to getting raped at least once in their life by a loved one and where elected officials can openly discuss rape wherein marital rape or acquaintance rape aren’t real because they weren’t virgins raped violently by strangers.

    “Progressives” openly support and endorse rape as long as it’s one of their fellow liberals doing the raping. And “progressive” women fully support and endorse these rapists.


    Hell, look at your average media response to any woman who accuses someone of a rape (was she slutty, she’s probably lying, how dare she ruin that young man’s life) and it’s pretty stark.

    Two words: Mike Nifong. But of course, as a good racist, you believe those white men should have been sent to prison anyway, regardless of their guilt or innocence, because a black woman accused them. The fact that she WAS a drug-using, lying slut was irrelevant; she was black and they were white, so your good racist instincts kicked in right away.

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