The Push Is On

Beyond the fact that I still, like DougJ, can’t figure out why conservatives are so damned caught up in trying to analyze culture through their own myopic lens, but this Ross Douthat piece matches a trend I’ve noticed lately, the push to provide legal protections for the unborn. I’ve been picking up rumblings about this for a couple weeks, and I’m not sure what is going on. My best guess is with the tea party wingnuts in the GOP sucking all the air out of the room with their new fiscal austerity, and the social cons stinging from their defeat on DADT, they have decided to ramp up the abortion issue to remind the GOP that the godbotherers are still relevant in the party. My favorite portion of the piece:

In every era, there’s been a tragic contrast between the burden of unwanted pregnancies and the burden of infertility. But this gap used to be bridged by adoption far more frequently than it is today.

What exactly is he suggesting? Who knows, but every time the anti-abortion crowd starts trying for new restrictions on abortion, they always use the language of compromise. Yet time and time again, they fail to realize we already have compromised on this issue- if Ross and his wife don’t want an abortion, we won’t force them to have one. Likewise, he can pipe down about what other couples do when they get pregnant. That, folks, is a compromise. How many kids has Ross adopted?

And btw, it is worth pointing out that aside from Douthat’s usual drivel, he still has not managed to figure out that those unborn babies he so cherishes all reside in, you know, actual people who might just have a say in what Ross wants to do to their bodies.

Also, this.






100 replies
  1. 1
    kdaug says:

    “Look – over there! A Jackalope!”

    ETA: To say, I think any time “social issues” enter into the conversation, it’s a distraction from the structural fissures which really need to be addressed.

  2. 2
    Bulworth says:

    those unborn babies he so cherishes all reside in, you know, actual people who might just have a say in what Ross wants to do to their bodies.

    This must be more of that conservative “less government” agenda I keep hearing about.

  3. 3
    GregB says:

    Are they going to propose that a fetus read the Constitution before each House session?

  4. 4

    Hey, Cole, since you’re around – what happened wrt the big site update? did that happen already and we missed it?

  5. 5
    mem from somerville says:

    Ah, not to worry. I just found out the rapture is enroute for May 21.

    So we only have a few months left where we have to deal with them–and then *poof*!

  6. 6
    trollhattan says:

    Where’s the “Chunky Reese Witherspoon” tag?

  7. 7
    sb says:

    Just read it.

    Reading comp help, please.

    Is Ross Douthat actually suggesting that poor women be baby vessels for rich women? I could swear that’s what he was saying but a buddy of mine says I’m mistaken.

    Apologies to anyone who would like to respond since, you know, you may have to read Douthat. Not a happy thing, that.

  8. 8
    John Cole says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: Should be this week. The blogmistress got overwhelmed with sick kids and the holiday.

  9. 9
  10. 10
    curious says:

    imagine the beautiful silence if straight male conservatives could stop fretting about gay sex and uteruses.

  11. 11
    mem from somerville says:

    @kdaug: Yeah, that’s what the news story said:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/201.....lypse_soon

    My friend noticed it, since it’s his birthday. But seems like a good gift to me. Party could be messy, though.

  12. 12
    kdaug says:

    @mem from somerville: Hrm. On further reflection, I’m failing to see the significance of 5212011.

    Perhaps BoB can decipher this for us?

    ETA: What does makoto think?

  13. 13
    curious says:

    @curious: of course, i do enjoy reading critiques of the latest “birth the danged baby!” editorial.

  14. 14
    Ash Can says:

    When people start talking like this I want to beat the shit out of them. Not only are they demonstrating that they have zero understanding of the actual dynamics of adoption, they’re doing so in a thoroughly offensive way. Douthat can fuck off and DIAF.

  15. 15
    PurpleGirl says:

    @sb: No, he means that poor white women be baby-making vessels for rich white women.

    SATSQ

  16. 16
    catclub says:

    @sb: “Is Ross Douthat actually suggesting that poor women be baby vessels for rich women? I could swear that’s what he was saying but a buddy of mine says I’m mistaken.”

    Of course not. He is saying that poor white women be baby vessels. D’oh!

    Great minds and all – see post above.

  17. 17
    Carnacki says:

    Long ago, just as a way of shutting her up, I told my rightwing, evangelical little sister she couldn’t talk to me about abortion unless she adopted children.

    She and her husband are adopting three.

    Fuck.

    I hope she doesn’t remember what I once said.

  18. 18
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Ash Can: Further, he has no idea of the physical and mental aspects of pregnancy. As I think several of our community can attest, there are some very serious health issues associated with pregnancy. It ain’t 9 months of sitting pretty, watching TV, and eating bon bons.

  19. 19
    Jim, Once says:

    Enjoying the comments at TBogg:

    If small collections of cells are going to be considered an individual “life”, then the amount of brain cells destroyed every time anyone reads a column by Ross Douthat make him a mass murderer on a weekly basis.

    And this …

    Kindasorta OT, but not totally so – the following from a commenter at Roy Edroso’s site, too good not to share, would seem to apply to much of Chunky Reese’s commentary as well:

    “Christ, it’s a Jonah Goldberg essay. Looking for an actual argument in there is like taking the back of the TV off during The Lone Ranger so you can grab yourself a miniature horse.”

    And finally …

    If the unborn figured out a way to unionize, the Republicans would enact legislation making abortion free and legal thisfast.

    Sorry … probably not honoring the Internet Traditions here. But damn.

  20. 20
    PurpleGirl says:

    @catclub: Thank you.

  21. 21
    kdaug says:

    @sb: Vessel, or vassal?

  22. 22
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    I refuse to read it, but:
    1. There have been recorded abortions since the 13th century, and in the US since settlers first came here.
    2. If people are so desperate to adopt, then why are there any foster homes at all?

    Yet time and time again, they fail to realize we already have compromised on this issue

    As with Republicans in congress: It’s not a compromise unless everyone else adopts the anti-abortionist’s terms. Their terms in this case are no abortions, and our terms are everyone gets to choose. What would the average of that be? Some people get to choose?

  23. 23
    Jim, Once says:

    @Jim, Once:

    Well, blockquote screwup once again … but at least I’m not Russ Douthat.

  24. 24
    beltane says:

    The only way to end this is to declare that the unborn have the right to socialized health care, a free college education, a living wage, and a guaranteed pension.

    Do this and they will make abortion mandatory.

  25. 25
    David says:

    I think Ross should be ☞ ✝Catholic Dear Abby✝ ☜ rather than whatever he is now.

  26. 26
    Rick says:

    “In every era, there’s been a tragic contrast between the burden of unwanted pregnancies and the burden of infertility. But this gap used to be bridged by adoption far more frequently than it is today.”

    True enough. But there are plenty of children available for adoption — just so happens that they aren’t perfectly healthy white infants that middle-class parents generally want. [BTW — No moral judgment on adoptive parents, of whom I am one — just a demographic reality].

    Criminalizing abortion (or “providing legal protections for the unborn”) isn’t likely to change that.

  27. 27
    Kiri says:

    Douthat wants to deflect the dearth of adoptive babies to abortion, while giving a quick nod to the acceptance of single motherhood as a minor, secondary cause.

    Bull. If you want to know where all the adoptive babies went, they are with their single, teenage mothers who were told by rightwingers a load of romantic notions about the baby they would love and how wonderful it would be. Pink clouds and blue gingham galore. Lots of grandmothers bought in to this crap, too, and they have supported their young daughters’ choices to keep their babies. So we have babies raising babies, supported by grandmothers who probably never actually reached maturity themselves.

    And where are the pro-lifers? Nowhere to be seen to help ameliorate the devastating consequences of this social tide they created.

    And then there are the mothers who do choose adoption—
    I work for a nonprofit organization that has an adoption agency, and we have a burden we carry forward: Dozens of mothers who once surrendered a baby for adoption, and who have other kids–but no job, no husbands, no fathers. They found our social workers so kind and supportive that they never cut the umbilical cord they grew to our agency when they were pregnant. Years and years later, they come to us whenever they are in trouble. We get no money from any source for the ongoing social work and substantive support we offer these women and their children. We’re delighted that they gave us babies to give to loving homes, but, again, where are the pro-lifers? Where is their support for these mothers?

  28. 28
    Ash Can says:

    @Carnacki: Unless and until she has experience with unwanted pregnancy herself — either her own or that of someone she knows — she still can’t talk to you about abortion.

  29. 29
    Pat says:

    The word douchbag was invented for this guy.

  30. 30
    cmorenc says:

    It’s hard to have any sort of rational, productive discussion or even argument with someone who’s convinced they are on a MISSION FROM GOD. (And you’re not, and are possibly even under captive influence from E-V-I-L forces you scornfully refuse to recognize.)

  31. 31
    General Stuck says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    Two weeks. Money Pit

  32. 32
    Jay C says:

    Well, this is pretty unsurprising: it’s a pretty reliable truism that as soon as righties get into power in ANY legislature (local, state, Federal), some sort of antiabortion initiative is going to be coming down the pike sooner or later – maybe not the absolutist ban the wingnuts want (even assuming they’d want to cut off the flow of Outrage donations); but some restriction or other just to show they can, and to get it on the books. It’s what the wingers expect, and a easy cheap diversion from having to deal with the real business of government. What else is new?

  33. 33
    curious says:

    @Ash Can: truly. douthat writes as though the real tragedy is not in having to choose between abortion or near certain poverty but in not being able to find a baby to adopt.

    perhaps instead of whiling away good column inches obfuscating with treacly poetry he could have addressed some of the reasons why choosing adoption might have made sense for a pregnant woman in the 70s but no longer does.

  34. 34

    It doesn’t work to talk to somebody about very serious, very personal decisions, and try to get them to appreciate your concerns, when you’re holding a fucking gun to their head.

    The “we should change the culture so that fewer women elected to have abortions when they accidently get pregnant” impulse cannot possibly accomplish anything, as long as there is the threat that abortion services will be criminalized.

    We can’t even start talking about the points anti-abortion people like Douthat raise until he puts down the gun.

  35. 35
    RedKitten says:

    @PurpleGirl: That’s the thing that a lot of the pro-lifers just do not acknowledge. Pregnancy is HARD on the body. In some cases, it does irreparable damage.

  36. 36
    Ash Can says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    What would the average of that be? Some people get to choose?

    I believe that this is in fact what anti-abortionists generally want — no abortion for anyone except them, when things, er, go wrong.

  37. 37
    BGinCHI says:

    Does his last name rhyme with “douchebag” or “asshat”?

    I picked a bad week to kick phonics.

  38. 38
    gnomedad says:

    Yet time and time again, they fail to realize we already have compromised on this issue- if Ross and his wife don’t want an abortion, we won’t force them to have one.

    I wish pro-choicers would drop this meme. AFAIK, compulsory abortion has never been on the table (and I mean legal, not economic compulsion) and this implies it it something pro-choicers would like. Roe v. Wade was already a compromise in the sense that the state cannot restrict up to some gestational age, after which it may. It’s perfectly true that these guys are bullshitting about compromise, and will take whatever restrictions they can get, up to and including contraception. This. of course, leads to more abortions, and I think it’s much more effective to hit them on this kind of hypocrisy.

  39. 39
    General Stuck says:

    Why would anyone read dufous doofwat. He should be reporting for some HS newsletter somewhere in Wingnuttiaville, USA, and not the NYfrigginTimes.

    Besides, since white women have most abortions cause they can afford them, and there is a shit pot more of them to begin with, everyone knows the secret libtard plot for aborting future republicans is working like spit for shine.

    All Hail, the George Soro’s fetal death camps.

  40. 40
    Mary says:

    @beltane:

    The only way to end this is to declare that the unborn have the right to socialized health care, a free college education, a living wage, and a guaranteed pension.

    You misunderstand their position. They do want all of that for the unborn. It’s just that it they want it all to expire as soon as you can breathe with your own two lungs. Then it’s time for you to pull yourself up from your bootstraps and stop sucking on the government teat.

  41. 41
    beltane says:

    @Rick: Only a sick, depraved individual would make a connection between the unwanted pregnancy of a poor woman and the unfulfilled desire for children of a wealthy, infertile woman. Just because a woman is poor doesn’t mean her body should be used to serve the needs of her “betters”.

    What Ross Douthat is proposing is a form of sexual servitude. He must pine for the days when rich people could just buy a baby at the local foundling home. A cute little Aryan baby, of course. He needs to go f*ck himself.

  42. 42
    FoxinSocks says:

    Douthat is just pining for the good ol’ days, when contraception and abortion were illegal, so women either risked their lives to get an abortion or were sent to a maternity home, where they endured physical and emotional abuse and had their newborn babies ripped out of their arms so that more ‘deserving’ couples could get them through sketchy adoptions.

    Creep.

  43. 43
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jim, Once: That realization can get you through a lot of screw-ups.

  44. 44
    trollhattan says:

    @catclub:

    Clearly, what’s needed is more FEMA trailer parks to house these poor white mommies-to-be. Maybe Michele Bachmann can work on that.

  45. 45
    Don says:

    Someone help me with the paper he links as support because I just don’t see how these numbers are possible.

    The table on page 4 supposedly shows abortions since 1973 and claims a number that is “*Abortions per 1,000women aged 15–44 as of July 1 of each year” and says for 2005 it’s 19.4.

    19.4 per 1000 is 1.94 per 100, or 1.94%.

    I’m to believe 2% of American women of typical child-bearing age had an abortion in that one year? And, if their supported 1 in 5 numbers are to be believed, 10% of women aged 15-44 got pregnant in that year?

    This doesn’t seem like a realistic number to me. Am I way off base here?

  46. 46
    beltane says:

    @gnomedad: The truth of the matter is that the policies favored by Douthat and the rest would not only lead to more abortions, but to increased instances of actual infanticide. We may not like to put it in such blunt terms, but the pro-lifers are also pre-dumpster baby. They are EVIL child-haters.

  47. 47
    Jay C says:

    @BGinCHI:

    Does his last name rhyme with “douchebag” or “asshat”?

    Both.

  48. 48
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .
    I don’t understand why Ross Douchehat wouldn’t abort Adolph Hitler.
    .
    .

  49. 49

    @RedKitten: But that’s what God wants – says so right in the Bible. Besides, it only affects women. It’s not like we men have to worry about it other than having to run to the store at midnight to buy pickles and ice cream.

    * do I really need to add a snark tag to this for BJ readers?

  50. 50
    BGinCHI says:

    I said, “Healthy white baby? Five years? What else you got?”

  51. 51
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @beltane: You want to send the unborn to Denmark?

  52. 52
    cleek says:

    @Rick:

    But there are plenty of children available for adoption—just so happens that they aren’t perfectly healthy white infants

    the black market white baby dealer
    is hunting around overseas
    the black market white baby dealer
    brings back clean fresh white babies for me!

  53. 53
    JCT says:

    Whoa, that was one grotesque little essay by that idiot douchehat.

    +1 to FoxinSocks, this is a long- forgotten component of the gauzy rose-colored glasses view of life in the 50s that these Republican asshats “miss”.

    Looks like it’s time for another letter to the NYT asking where they found this asshole and requesting he be sent back.

  54. 54
    jl says:

    Here is an idea for more kids, conceived unaborted and birthed and raised by the biological parent the supposedly old fashioned way, or adopted: give new families money and resources and perhaps some real social prestige for raising kids (as opposed to empty talk and disguised requests to go back to legalized oppression of women). It might even work for those precious white people Douthat mentioned in passing.

    Works in s * s h * l * s t Scandinavia.

    Tom Paine thought of this idea way back in the eighteenth century (Rights of Man, and Agrarian Justice).

    And fake Tom Paines are the costumed spokesmen of the Tea Peoples.

    Sounds like a win win win plan to me: please us degenerate liberals, Douthatian social cons, and the Tea People.

    Except women might come out a little better on the deal, which might sour Douthat on it.

    Has Douthat and his ilk ever recognized the little objection that a real live currently living person is involved in bearing a child? And this real person might have a say? Ever? Anyone have a link where Douthat or Saletan or similar sages ever noticed that?

  55. 55
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Ash Can: I totally agree with you. I’m not sure where the link is anymore, but there’s a site with stories from abortion providers who treated people they knew from the protest lines outside. One of them even had a woman start screaming about how abortion was wrong, while she was lying on the table.

  56. 56
    Shinobi says:

    Amanda Marcotte also had a good post on this today.

    I think more than anything I hate how Douchehat ignores that adoption can sometimes be extremely traumatic for the mother and also for the children. There are some serious hormones involved in making a woman attached to that child she’s making and it is erroneous to assume she can just pass it off to someone else like it is no big thing. It also assumes that those kids are adopted into good families and are not upset about being adopted.

  57. 57
    JGabriel says:

    Ross Douthat:

    No life is so desperately sought after, so hungrily desired …

    And suddenly I have the image of Ross Douthat waiting between a pregnant woman’s legs with a bowl and a spoon for his next meal to drop.

    I mean, we’ve seen plenty of instances where conservatives seem to be using Orwell’s 1984 or Politics and the English Language or Atwood’s A Handmaid’s Tale as user manuals rather than cautionary tales, but I think this is the first such instance of using Swift’s A Modest Proposal that way.

    .

  58. 58
    Rick says:

    @beltane I agree on all points (including that RD is a sick depraved individual) — Just pointing out that his premise is false (which doesn’t imply that its not also perverse)

  59. 59

    According to that pdf doughy pants links to abortion costs average $413. A normal pregnancy runs $9000-$17,000 and a c-section costs thousands more. I’ll take anti-abortion arguments seriously the day they agree to offer fully funded pre-natal and delivery insurance for all women. Until that happens, they can go piss up a rope.

  60. 60
    cleek says:

    @Don:
    the raw number (1.2M/year) is correct.

    we’re sixth per capita, in the world. but Russia beats us nearly by a factor of 5.

    @jl:

    Works in s * s h * l * s t Scandinavia.

    actually, Sweden has a slightly higher per-capita abortion rate than we do. Norway and Finland are much lower, however.

  61. 61
    Martin says:

    What exactly is he suggesting?

    Abortion + adoption + free market + elimination of income taxes = Awesome America

    Abortion and birth control are illegal (that behbeh has economic value, bitchez!) Every child born in America goes up for adoption automatically, auction style. If you really want your offspring, you’ll be willing to pay big for it. Why should some super cute, brilliant kid be given to whatever couple just for birthing it when the free market could certainly find a better solution? 4 million children born each year * $700,000 per child average sale price = all federal revenues covered.

  62. 62
    Sly says:

    Its not abortion that is a taboo subject in American culture, it’s any pregnancy that doesn’t end with a live birth. The number of pregnancies that end with a miscarriage closely mirror the figures on abortion: 15%-20%. Is miscarriage a common subject in TV and film? No. Is it often wrapped in euphemisms? Yes. Do women receive the kind of open support and care that they need after a miscarriage? Usually not. Does our culture offer any kind of meaningful comfort for this phenomenon? I can’t say for certain, but I doubt it. A high percentage of women who experience miscarriages blame themselves regardless of the cause, and depression risks after miscarriage are often overlooked.

    The plain truth of the matter is that we glorify pregnancy and birth because we live in a society with a comparatively very low infant mortality rate. Women who do not bring a pregnancy to term are often seen as failures, precisely because we have been conditioned over the centuries to expect successful births. That abortion is considered a taboo subject is merely an outgrowth of this development.

  63. 63
    Carnacki says:

    @Ash Can: I just wanted to have an easy out without debating her. Girl’s got a wicked punch.

  64. 64
    Violet says:

    Any adult who is against abortion and hasn’t adopted a kid should STFU. In every abortion discussion pro-choice individuals should consistently and constantly ask every anti-abortion individual how many kids they’ve adopted. If this were the discussion point, the hypocrisy of anti-abortionists would be a lot more obvious.

  65. 65
    JGabriel says:

    Sly:

    … we have been conditioned over the centuries decades to expect successful births.

    Minor fix for accuracy. The expectation of an easy, successful, low-risk birth/delivery is pretty much a post-WWII phenomena.

    .

  66. 66
    kdaug says:

    I can’t generally understand the cognitive dissonance – Pro-War, Pro-Indefinite Detentions, Pro-Capital Punishment, Pro-Mandatory Minimums…

    Pro-Life?

  67. 67
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @kdaug: Anti-freedom or pro-cruelty covers most of it.

  68. 68
    jl says:

    @cleek: I was talking about getting people to have kids and start familes, not the abortion rate.

  69. 69
    Ash Can says:

    @jl: Proof positive that anti-abortion yahoos don’t really care about stopping abortions, they care about punishing women for having sex: With very few exceptions, none of them are the least bit serious about addressing the reasons women have abortions. How many of them are agitating for free/affordable health care, like Motley Moose says, or against poverty, or for women’s/families’ rights in the workplace, or — heaven forbid! — for free/cheap, plentiful, safe, effective, and readily available birth control for all people of child-bearing age?

    These people all make me want to scream.

  70. 70
    jl says:

    @Don:

    You can work out the numbers here:

    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss.htm

    check out the link
    Recent Trends in Births and Fertility Rates Through June 2010 (12/2010)

    Rough estimate is about 65 births per 1000 women age 18 to 44, add abortion rate and miscarriages, maybe 100 conceptions per 1000 women per year?

  71. 71
    Violet says:

    @Ash Can:

    Proof positive that anti-abortion yahoos don’t really care about stopping abortions, they care about punishing women for having sex

    That’s it exactly. They don’t care a whit for the babies once they’re born. But heaven forbid a woman has sex and gets pregnant. She must be punished!

    It’s all about controlling women and not at all about the actual babies.

  72. 72
    guster says:

    I’ve dreamed for twenty years about starting an organization to agitate for the rights of the post-alive.

    Why should the pre-born have all the fun?

  73. 73
    Janet Strange says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    I’m not sure where the link is anymore, but there’s a site with stories from abortion providers who treated people they knew from the protest lines outside

    I think this is what you’re looking for:

    The only moral abortion is my abortion.

  74. 74
    aimai says:

    @JGabriel:

    Brilliantly observed!

    As for me, I assumed the whole argument was related to the notion that only rich people “make jobs.” Similarly, rich people would be “making families” if it weren’t for the brutal taxation and poverty programs that Obama and poor women are foisting on them. Just let the free market in babies work, damn it, and all the unwanted babies will be given a home. Douthat promises.

    aimai

  75. 75
    Cermet says:

    @Carnacki: What? That upsets you? You should praise them and point out they are actting like true christians unlike 99.99% of amerikans who claim to be christian – good for them and you should be very proud of your sister.

  76. 76
    cleek says:

    @jl:

    I was talking about getting people to have kids and start familes, not the abortion rate.

    didn’t realize the two weren’t related. my bad.

  77. 77
    Lysana says:

    Truly, the Gray Lady is dead.

  78. 78
    suzanne says:

    I don’t know why I read Douchehat’s latest tripe. Nothing good comes of it. The way he mentally contorts himself trying to be both “moral” and “rational” reminds me of a dog vomiting on the floor, then immediately eating it.

  79. 79
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @suzanne: Except Luna is cute and snuggable, whereas Douthat is not.

    As I noted over at TBogg’s place, my New Year’s resolution is to trust TBogg’s shorter and never, ever click on a Douthat link again. The only positive is that the comments were vastly against him, pointing out many of the same things being stated here.

    Douthat makes me very angry in part because his writing does not suck. He sounds very reasonable until you realize what he is actually writing (unlike, say, Erick the son of Erick). I cannot believe he has a column for the New York Times. I really can’t.

  80. 80
    schrodinger's cat says:

    NYT can get rid of most of its current op-ed staff. Douthat is probably the worst.

  81. 81
    Sly says:

    @JGabriel:
    Relatively speaking. I was comparing the modern period to an era where miscarriage (and dying in childbirth) were the norm. In such circumstances a support structure for the woman who has a miscarriage is essential, and in the West this usually took the form of a midwife. As professional medicine (dominated by men) advanced following the Medieval period and midwives were persecuted by religions authorities, this support system was gradually phased out.

    Incidentally, midwives were also central to abortion in the West but rarely anywhere else, especially in the Medieval period. They were considered by others to possess a kind of special, almost mystical knowledge about birth and pregnancy, which was one of the main reasons why they were a major target during witch hunts. Controlling pregnancy thus shifted from a subject of medical “philosophy” (physician-writers like Hippocrates, Galen, and Soranus wrote extensively about it) to a taboo domain associated with evil.

  82. 82
    hitchhiker says:

    Remember that this is the guy who went limp when his bed partner told him she was on the pill.

    Is it irresponsible to speculate? It’s irresponsible not to.

  83. 83
    Sly says:

    @Ash Can:

    Proof positive that anti-abortion yahoos don’t really care about stopping abortions, they care about punishing women for having sex

    I don’t think so. Ask any pro-life person what they believe the punishment should be for women who have an abortion, and they’re usually silent because they don’t think about it in those terms. Yet, followed to its logical conclusion, such women would be prosecutable under, at the very least, conspiracy to commit murder. Like someone who hires a hitman to off their spouse for the life insurance money.

    And I’m not exactly defending their sentiment. The necessity of punishing someone who has no human agency is a contradiction. So they’ll usually say that a woman who has an abortion should go into counseling. Not forced into or offered counseling (that they can reject), but that they should just “go” as if the woman in question has no ability to think about her needs and act accordingly.

    Put another way, in 1851 a prominant American physician named Samuel Cartwright came up with a mental illness he termed “Drapetomania.” Put simply, drapetomania was the condition responsible for a slave’s uncontrollable urge to escape bondage. Thinking that slavery was the natural position of a black person, Cartwright therefor surmised that the desire to not be a slave was a deviant condition that could only be explained through a medical anomaly in the slave’s psyche.

    Extreme pro-lifers tend to see women in the same light.

  84. 84
    BruceJ says:

    aside from Douthat’s usual drivel, he still has not managed to figure out that women are actual people who might just have a say in what Ross wants to do to their bodies.

    There, fixed it for yah.

  85. 85
    Nicole says:

    @Sly: But I think Ash Can’s point holds in that many of these pro-lifers are willing to permit abortion in cases of rape or incest, which is inconsistent with a view that abortion is murder. A life conceived from rape is just as innocent as one conceived from a broken condom. The only difference is consent.

    As some of the other posters have pointed out, one of the most infuriating parts of this thing is the assumption on the part of these asshats that pregnancy and childbirth are no big deal to go through. I gave birth six months ago, induced five weeks early, due to preeclampsia (and the gestational diabetes was no fun, either). I was gaining a pound a day in water weight at the end and couldn’t walk without pain. It sucked. Especially when the epidural, which I gratefully took because my blood pressure was up at seizure levels, wore off after three sets of contractions. Childbirth sucks. Sucks sucks sucks. I can’t imagine going through it if I didn’t want it.

    I watched that documentary on HBO about the abortion center located across the street from the “pregnancy crisis” center (argh; I can’t remember the name of the documentary) and what stuck out to me was the woman who ran the “crisis” center talking about how she was particularly well suited to the job because she was single and had no family; just her cats. It’s so easy for those who have not and likely will not ever go through it to tell women how easy it is. Assholes. Stupid, ignorant assholes.

  86. 86
    JGabriel says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    NYT can get rid of most of its current op-ed staff.

    Well, I’d definitely want them to keep Krugman. Rich isn’t bad, either. Kristof has his moments. Hell, I could live with an Op-ed page that has MoDo as the bottom of it’s barrel.

    But Brooks and Douthat, my god.

    Also, note to NY Times: If John Tierney wasn’t good enough for the Op-Ed pages (he wasn’t), then he DEFINITELY isn’t good enough for the Science section.

    .

  87. 87
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @JGabriel: I agree with you about Krugman. Rich has become too much of a concern troll for my liking. Gail Collins can be understated and funny. She too can stay. What about the mustache of wisdom though, does he go too, or do we keep him for comic relief?

  88. 88
    Barb (formerly Gex) says:

    And he’d be the first to tell gay couples they can’t get married and adopt these kids he doesn’t want aborted. But I doubt he wants the taxes that would be required to increase child services for these kids not wanted by their parents and not adopted by good Catholics like him. The only time people like him give a rat’s ass about whether every human being is treated justly is when they are in the womb. After that they don’t give a fuck. I guess that’s how you get fodder for your religious war in the Middle East.

    This whole topic smacks of the whole false equivalence thing. Setting up pro-choice and pro-life as polar opposites is a way to seriously skew perception of the pro-choice side. It allows all those pro-life jerks to entertain the idea that pro-choicers want more abortions.

    Conservative Catholic white males are generally concerned that their authority over their lessers (women for example) is maintained. They can’t figure out any other way to get women to have their babies than devise a whole myth that forces them to have the baby conceived because birth control is banned.

  89. 89
    JGabriel says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Gail Collins can be understated and funny. She too can stay. What about the mustache of wisdom understanding though … ?
    __
    (Minor fix. Freidman is the MoU, not MoW — though I’ve got an idea for the MoW, see below).

    I knew I was forgetting a couple o’ people. Collins stays. The MoU goes. Krugman can become the MoW (Mustache of Wisdom, in addition to his other titles like The Shrill One). We’ll give Friedman’s slot to Matt Taibbi.

    Who else should get the other two or three slots we still have left open?

    .

  90. 90
    Barb (formerly Gex) says:

    @Violet: I’d go so far as to say any adult who hasn’t been forced by law to gestate and give birth to a human being they did not deliberately try to conceive shouldn’t have any say over this.

  91. 91
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Barb (formerly Gex):

    The only time people like him give a rat’s ass about whether every human being is treated justly is when they are in the womb.

    Even that’s giving them too much credit, because the vast majority of them also oppose things that would benefit the “pre-born,” like free pre-natal care.

    All they care about is being able to arbitrarily dictate what medical decisions a woman can make. Period. Once the decision is made, they don’t give a shit what happens afterwards.

  92. 92
    Barb (formerly Gex) says:

    @Cermet: That’s one way to look at it. Although, I think the problem was with the original bargain. There’s nothing one person can do that would make me think they should get to tell others what to do.

  93. 93
    Barb (formerly Gex) says:

    @Mnemosyne: Too true. I think it all boils down to the idea that until that baby is born, there is the potential that a “real American” could come out of there. That’s what is being protected. And it goes without saying that a good male American is more valuable than a good female American.

    I recently heard a joke where the punchline was “bitches and their cilantro!” Which just fucking cracks me up. Anyhow, that’s what I’m thinking about when I think about the misogyny behind all this.

    THOSE BITCHES AND THEIR CILANTRO!!!!

  94. 94
    TR says:

    “In every era, there’s been a tragic contrast between the burden of unwanted pregnancies and the burden of infertility. But this gap used to be bridged by adoption far more frequently than it is today.”

    No, that gap used to be bridged by the fact that lots of kids used to die young and lots of women died giving birth.

  95. 95
    TR says:

    @Mary:

    You misunderstand their position. They do want all of that for the unborn. It’s just that it they want it all to expire as soon as you can breathe with your own two lungs. Then it’s time for you to pull yourself up from your bootstraps and stop sucking on the government teat.

    True. The Republican position to the children who make it out of the womb is essentially summed up by a classic headline from The Onion:

    Three-Year-Old Told to Take it Like a Man

  96. 96
    tkogrumpy says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Oh, please send me instead.

  97. 97
    tkogrumpy says:

    @Lysana: The grey lady may indeed be dead, but the grey ladies’ commenters are smokin’. Whenever I read a piece and it’s comment in the NYT no matter the original poster the comments are always head and shoulders above the original article in every way.

  98. 98
    demimondian says:

    @JGabriel: I was actually thinking of _The Screwtape Letters_, myself, but maybe _A Modest Proposal_ is a better comparison.

  99. 99

    […] Is This His Business, Anyway? wonders John Cole at Balloon Juice. “Every time the anti-abortion crowd starts trying for new restrictions on […]

  100. 100
    Bill Cole says:

    What exactly is he suggesting?

    I think this covers Douthat’s fantasy land: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T.....039;s_Tale

    If you insist on reading Douthat, don’t ever forget that he is a religious reactionary on sexual issues. He’s smarter and more authentic in his faith than most of the rabidly misogynist right, but he has always made it clear that his misogyny is an article of faith.

    Likewise, he can pipe down about what other couples do when they get pregnant.

    Well, “couples” don’t get pregnant. As a recidivist father I’m absolutely certain of this, having been intimately involved with the full duration of multiple pregnancies and yet never having actually been pregnant myself. Women get pregnant. Usually men help out (at least in getting it started) but no matter how supportive a father-to-be is, if he says “we are pregnant” he’s full of crap.

    Read Douthat’s tripe again, if you can stand it. He’s not mostly talking about couples choosing abortion. He specifically looks back in fondness at how many adoptions used to result from births to unmarried white women before Roe. You know, back when wayward girls of “decent” (i.e. white and not poor) families would be hidden or sent away to give birth to babies to meet the demand for healthy white babies to adopt. Back in the good old days when everyone knew that abortion was evil and when women, especially daughters, could be treated as the chattel that the Church said they were.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Is This His Business, Anyway? wonders John Cole at Balloon Juice. “Every time the anti-abortion crowd starts trying for new restrictions on […]

Comments are closed.