Slow Days at the Abortionplex

Planned Parenthood’s forced abortion press gangs must be slacking:

The abortion rate in the United States dropped to its lowest point since the Supreme Court legalized the procedure in all 50 states, according to a study suggesting that new, long-acting contraceptive methods are having a significant impact in reducing unwanted pregnancies.

There were fewer than 17 abortions for every 1,000 women in 2011, the latest year for which figures were available, according a paper published Monday from the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion-rights think tank. That is down 13 percent from 2008 and a little higher than the rate in 1973, when the Supreme Court handed down its landmark Roe v. Wade decision.

The serious Burkean response is obviously to remove contraception from insurance plans and to move Plan B behind the counter.






104 replies
  1. 1
    slippytoad says:

    So if we eliminated the need for abortions through widely available contraception, what phony moral high ground would the right try to set up next?

    And what is the exact moral argument against preventing unwanted pregnancies, and thus abortions, in the first place?

    I wish Rush Limbaugh would weigh in on this . . . oh wait.

  2. 2
    Belafon says:

    The forced-birth crowd will just claim that this is all because of their success at closing down clinics.

  3. 3
    Mnemosyne says:

    Weird how giving a lot more women access to birth control at no additional cost leads to the abortion rate going down. Must be a coincidence since Jeebus didn’t do it.

  4. 4
    maurinsky says:

    Is there no Clash song that contains a lyric about an abortionplex?

  5. 5
    Corner Stone says:

    That is one confusing ass report.

  6. 6
    Corner Stone says:

    “If the abortion rate continues to drop, we can’t assume it’s all due to positive factors” such as better adherence to contraceptives, she said, calling the laws passed in 22 states “onerous.”

    What does this statement even mean?

  7. 7
    gvg says:

    Hmm, I doubt the conclusion. I think they have effectively prevented some number of poor women from getting abortions through shutting down clinics.

    I know that better access to birth control will reduce abortions but I have not seen better access yet wheras these pre obama care coverage rules stats seem more likely to be the impact of driving abortion providers far away. The last 5 years or so have increased the pace of intimidation.

    In the long run if it continues it will cause the reemerging of illegal abortions but I think it takes a little time for word of mouth and desperation to build.

  8. 8
    The Red Pen says:

    How long before MiniTru (the wingnut media) announces that the abortion rate has skyrocketted to 17 per thousand?

    The lead diary on RedState opens with this sentence:

    When the White House and Congress of the United States of America were controlled by Republicans, the nation found itself at war. It was a war not asked for by America, but one we were dragged into by terrorists who wished us dead.

    The fact that there exists a place in 2014 where this statement is not met only with howls of derisive laughter gives me a sad.

  9. 9
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Corner Stone: She’s saying that there are almost certainly women who wanted to terminate an unwanted pregnancy who were nonetheless forced to give birth thanks to onerous state laws that restrict access. I have no trouble believing that.

  10. 10
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Was last night’s football game included in this study?

  11. 11
    Cervantes says:

    @Corner Stone:

    That is one confusing ass report.

    You have a way with words!

    There were fewer than 17 abortions for every 1,000 women in 2011 […] That is down 13 percent from 2008 and a little higher than the rate in 1973, when the Supreme Court handed down its landmark Roe v. Wade decision.

    They seem to think they know how frequent abortions are; and more to the point, how frequent they were in 1973. Maybe I’ll see if I can figure out why.

  12. 12
    jonas says:

    It would be interesting to survey women to find out how many *would* have gotten an abortion, but couldn’t afford/find one, or if they just had an illegal one. I’m sure the wider availability of contraception has helped, but wouldn’t be surprised if some of it is due to the sheer lack of availability — which of course is a feature, not a bug, for the anti-choice crowd.

  13. 13
    FoxinSocks says:

    @gvg:

    DIY abortions are already back. Had a friend who did one a couple of years ago (she was fine) and especially in Texas, I hear it’s relatively easy to get Cytotec. Doctors and emergency rooms in Texas are already reporting an increase in women coming in with unfinished miscarriages due to the drug Most of the time (85-90%) the drug works as intended, but in a small number of cases, a woman needs follow-up care to complete what the drug started.

  14. 14
    Aimai says:

    @gvg: yeah.is there any way of knowing what the real demand for abortions would be absent the financial, social, legal, and geographic constraints placed on women trying to get them? I also hate the locution “unwanted pregnancy”. Lots of abortions–ultimately an irreducible minimum number–need to happen in a sane modern society to families with wanted pregnancies. Things go wrong, circumstances change, pregnancy is physically dangerous.

  15. 15
    Sly says:

    @slippytoad:

    And what is the exact moral argument against preventing unwanted pregnancies, and thus abortions, in the first place?

    God will get mad and kill us with fire.

  16. 16
    Ash Can says:

    @Belafon: This was my first concern. As the passage that Cornerstone cites indicates, the closing of clinics might be taking a toll. If we see increases in poverty, as well as in maternal and child mortality, then we can assume that negative factors are in play here, unfortunately.

    @Corner Stone: Read it again, slowly. I’m sure you’ll figure it out.

  17. 17
    Roger Moore says:

    @slippytoad:

    So if we eliminated the need for abortions through widely available contraception

    That would greatly reduce the need, but not eliminate it. Contraceptives are not 100% effective even when used correctly and people don’t always use them for reasons beyond just lack of availability. There are also times when abortion is used to terminate a desired pregnancy, either for medical reasons (fetal abnormality, ectopic pregnancy, etc.) or because the parents’ circumstances change.

  18. 18
    Cervantes says:

    @The Red Pen: I regret to say that “howls of derisive laughter” is not my first reaction to that statement. What comes to my mind is … something far less humane than that.

  19. 19
    Corner Stone says:

    @jonas:

    It would be interesting to survey women to find out how many *would* have gotten an abortion, but couldn’t afford/find one, or if they just had an illegal one

    Good luck getting that one answered by any approximation of accuracy.

  20. 20
    dmsilev says:

    @The Red Pen: Let me guess. The piece goes on to blame Democrats in generally, and Obummer in particular, for losing China Afghanistan.

  21. 21
    monkeyfister says:

    How is the Liberal Fascist Left supposed to depopulate the brown people with ROIs like this???!!! Dunham and Fluke clearly need to step up their games.

  22. 22
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Aimai: Good point about the term “unwanted pregnancy.”

  23. 23
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:

    @Corner Stone:

    It means that, going forward, onerous anti-abortion laws will increasingly affect the number of abortions performed in those states.

  24. 24
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:

    @Corner Stone:

    It means that, going forward, onerous anti-abortion laws will increasingly affect the number of abortions performed in those states.

  25. 25

    Super Bowl Derp Alert v. 2.0.

    Because it isn’t a national event unless the nuts weigh in on it with their special brand of crazy.

  26. 26
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:

    Uh oh. FYWP is pooping the bed.

  27. 27
    Botsplainer says:

    @Belafon:

    The forced-birth crowd will just claim that this is all because of their success at closing down clinics.

    There might be some truth to that.

    I’m running into an appalling number of young women who never lived with the fathers of their children, and are even having them after one night stands.

  28. 28
    Botsplainer says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    She’s saying that there are almost certainly women who wanted to terminate an unwanted pregnancy who were nonetheless forced to give birth thanks to onerous state laws that restrict access

    It isn’t just the law – it is the climate. They’re expected to have the children, and don’t even think about a quick D&C.

  29. 29
    aimai says:

    @Botsplainer: Then the pregnancy isn’t unwanted. Despite the fact that the culture warriors like to confuse all these categories

    1) teenage pregnancies and pregnancies for women who are not married are not all, by definition, unwanted.
    2) not all wanted pregnancies can end in a successful birth.

    There was always a ton of teenage and single woman pregnancy before legal abortion–those babies were taken away (a la magdalene laundries) or given away (normal adoption) but sometimes the women would have liked to keep those pregnancies and those babies. Now they can. That has nothing to do with abortion–that has to do with cultural assumptions about the necessity of wealth and two parents to successfully start parenthood.

    Poor people have always had to have their children without all the things in place that wealthy people think are normal/necessary/routine. I well remember a friend of mine explaining to me that she had “1000 dollars in the bank” (thirty years ago) so she felt she had sufficient cushion to have her first child. That seemed ludicrously short sighted, to me. People have really different ideas about what is a sufficient economic base to have and raise children.

  30. 30
    The Red Pen says:

    @dmsilev:

    Let me guess. The piece goes on to blame Democrats in generally

    Oddly, no.

    The post points out that while Bush was brilliantly keeping us safe (except the for 13 Benghazis we won’t mention), the GOP back home was exploding government. He then laments that many of the Tea Party candidates have also followed the established in “lock step.” He calls for even more churn — more Tea Party upstarts — until the GOP is finally rid of the last vestiges of Goldsteinism.

  31. 31
    boatboy_srq says:

    @maurinsky: I think that’s in a Big Audio Dynamite track.

  32. 32
    shortstop says:

    @gvg:

    Hmm, I doubt the conclusion. I think they have effectively prevented some number of poor women from getting abortions through shutting down clinics. I know that better access to birth control will reduce abortions but I have not seen better access yet wheras these pre obama care coverage rules stats seem more likely to be the impact of driving abortion providers far away. The last 5 years or so have increased the pace of intimidation.

    Yes, but read the story. These numbers are from just before the biggest wave of anti-abortion legislation was passed, and certainly before it took effect. As for better access to contraception, I think we can trust Guttmacher on this more than our gut feelings. They’ve been doing this, and only this, for a long time.

  33. 33
    Botsplainer says:

    @aimai:

    that has to do with cultural assumptions about the necessity of wealth and two parents to successfully start parenthood.

    Trust me – these women had no business becoming parents. their moms were lousy parents, and the people I see are broken – struggling with multiple jobs, frequently substance abusers. The only reason they can walk through my door is through the generosity of aunts, uncles and grandparents.

    Poor people have always had to have their children without all the things in place that wealthy people think are normal/necessary/routine.

    Nutricious, adequate food. Clothes that fit and aren’t embarrassing rags. Reliable transportation. Proper access to information services for the purposes of schoolwork.

    When Mom drunkenly spins through several “roommates” a year and the child is rotating through different schools like a speed dating service, then that child’s life isn’t great.

  34. 34
    balconesfault says:

    I often hear wingnuts referring to abortion as a lefty “sacrament”.

    Just one more example of liberals abandoning religion, I guess. We can’t even be counted on to properly worship Baal, I guess.

  35. 35
    Cervantes says:

    @Belafon:
    @Corner Stone:
    @gvg:

    Disregarding the newspaper article for now, here’s a quote from the actual study:

    CONTEXT: Following a long-term decline, abortion incidence stabilized between 2005 and 2008. Given the proliferation of state-level abortion restrictions, it is critical to assess abortion incidence and access to services since that time.

    […]

    CONCLUSIONS: The national abortion rate has resumed its decline, and no evidence was found that the overall drop in abortion incidence was related to the decrease in providers or to restrictions implemented between 2008 and 2011.

    Caveat: new restrictions have come into effect since 2011.

    The study will appear in the March, 2014 issue of Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health.

  36. 36
    Cervantes says:

    @shortstop:

    Yes, but read the story.

    Words to live by.

  37. 37
    shortstop says:

    @balconesfault: It’s because we love ourselves so much and consider ourselves deities. I personally have a pretty nice altar to me. It’s quite well done, because you know how urban liberals are about the arts.

  38. 38
    Roger Moore says:

    @balconesfault:

    We can’t even be counted on to properly worship Baal, I guess.

    It’s our unwillingness to worship Mammon that winds them up the most.

  39. 39
    Corner Stone says:

    @Cervantes:

    The national abortion rate has resumed its decline, and no evidence was found that the overall drop in abortion incidence was related to the decrease in providers or to restrictions implemented between 2008 and 2011.

    Well, hell. Now I’m more confused than ever.

  40. 40

    Respect the culture:

    Man Allegedly Pulls Gun On Girl Scout Selling Cookies

    TEMECULA (CBSLA.com) — Authorities in Temecula say a man pulled a gun on a girl scout who was going door-to-door selling cookies Sunday.

    The incident took place in the 31000 block of Strawberry Tree Lane.

    Police responded to an assault with a deadly weapon call.

    Officials said the victim, a minor, was selling cookies door-to-door when a resident opened his door and pointed a gun at the girl.

    The scout’s father witnessed the alleged incident and called police.

    Thank you, NRA and gun loonz.

  41. 41
    Rob in CT says:

    I haven’t dug into the report, but this doesn’t surprise me. IIRC, teen birth rates have been falling, driven by a drop in teen pregnancies (abortion explains some of the state-to-state differences in births to teens, but not the national trend). Generally, unwanted pregnancies (teen or not) seem to be falling. Could be more use of contraception, could be folks being more cautious about sex generally, could be lots of things.

  42. 42
    Theotherwa says:

    Denied abortions and the results

    Reproductive Health (ANSIRH) used data from 956 women who sought abortions at 30 different abortion clinics around the U.S. 182 of them were turned away.

    The women were turned away either because they didn’t have the money, or we’re too far along to legally abort. Basically, the women who gave birth anyway has worse life outcomes than women who did get abortions. More poverty, stayed in abusive relationships, etc.

  43. 43

    @slippytoad:

    And what is the exact moral argument against preventing unwanted pregnancies, and thus abortions, in the first place?

    There are three.

    1) Sex is bad. Anything that encourages people to have sex is bad. Contraception allows sex without the burden of pregnancy. As they used to say in my mother’s 50s small town, ‘You play, you pay.’ Incidentally, this was not just aimed at women. Shotgun marriages were very much a thing.

    2) Special snowflakes must be kept innocent. Their daughter cannot have sex if she does not know sex exists. Since they know from their own experience that sex is about men using and victimizing women, the idea of their daughter ever hearing the word ‘sex’ is terrifying. If contraception is available, it is much harder to keep them innocent and safe. This emotional process works even when they don’t have daughters.

    3) Catholics have a peculiar biblical interpretation that is very close to ‘every sperm is sacred.’ Nonprocreative sex is not just immoral because of lust, but because it wastes precious bodily fluids. This on top of 1 and 2.

    Okay, there is also 4) Some of them hate women and want to hurt women. I don’t think this is the prevailing motivation, but Rush’s rants paint an eloquent picture that for some people it’s the most important argument.

  44. 44
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Aimai:
    @Betty Cracker:

    I think that, generally speaking, Guttmacher and other researchers refer to first-trimester abortions as “unwanted pregnancies,” since those generally happen before things can really go wrong medically. They tend to change their terms when referring to second and third-trimester abortions, because those are the ones that tend to happen when medical problems have been discovered or start to crop up like birth defects, pre-eclampsia, etc.

    IOW, I think it’s poor reporting, not Guttmacher.

  45. 45
    The Red Pen says:

    @Southern Beale: This story may be more On Topic than it appears. Wingnuts have called for a boycott of the Girl Scouts after the GS Twitter feed tweeted praise for Wendy “Abortion Barbie” Davis.

    This assault may be part of the right-wing’s measured and thoughtful response to that.

  46. 46
    Rob in CT says:

    @Southern Beale:

    Responsible gun owner, Michael Dunn, take it away:

    http://newsone.com/2742724/jor.....hael-dunn/

    Clearly, that boy needed killin’

    http://www.theatlantic.com/pol.....ns/283534/

    An armed society is a polite society, they say. They say lots of things, don’t they?

  47. 47
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Southern Beale:

    Thank you, NRA and gun loonz.

    Have you ever been charged by an enraged Girl Scout? Well, have you?

  48. 48
    Belafon says:

    @Rob in CT:

    An armed society is a polite white society

    I now believe that the point of guns is that if conservatives can’t win their argument by convincing people to fear change, they are going to win it through intimidation.

  49. 49
    Rob in CT says:

    Look, the Girl Scouts are pushers, ok? But shooting them is a bridge too far.

  50. 50
    1toughlady says:

    @Mnemosyne: Who says Jeebus didn’t do it?

  51. 51
    Bendal says:

    @Rob in CT: Or the women who find themselves pregnant are going ahead and giving birth whether they want the child or not. One of my coworkers is in that category. She was engaged and planning her wedding when she told me “omg I’m knocked up” after taking antibiotics while on the pill.

    Under no circumstances did she want a pregnancy at this time, but she also told me there was no way she could accept an abortion either, as her family was Catholic and she had all that weighed down on her (she called herself a lapsed Catholic, since she was living with her fiancee’ and was obviously having sex with him).

  52. 52
    1toughlady says:

    @Corner Stone: It means that new TRAP laws targeting abortion that have been made since 2011 will begin to have an affect, by reducing the availability of abortion in many states.

  53. 53
    Roger Moore says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:
    I think you missed an important argument: whites are more likely to use contraceptives than Those People, so allowing their continued use will cause white civilization to be overwhelmed by the giant brown horde. See also, freakout over Coca-Cola ad.

  54. 54
    scav says:

    @Southern Beale: Grown man threatened by unchecked libido-toting fledgling wimminz on own property? Grounds must be stood. In full daylight! On a mission of commercial exchange! Accompanied by Male of Designated Authority Over Her but still! Can’t be too careful — haul out the Second Amendment. Everyone’s out to get them.

  55. 55
    aimai says:

    @Mnemosyne: I’m not criticizing Guttmacher for this but the discourse about abortion generally. There is an overwhelming focus on the idea that abortions happen because women carelessly or accidentally get pregnant and “don’t want the pregnancy.” At the same time there is this politicized, right wing, trumped up focus on the idea of the late term/nearly a baby abortion. But definitionally all those abortions (to the extent that they happen at all in any meaningful sense) are not of unwanted pregnancies at all.

  56. 56
    Roger Moore says:

    @Rob in CT:

    An armed society is a polite society, they say.

    And what they really mean is that an armed white society leads to a non-uppity brown society. I would add that it’s a strange definition of “polite” that considers death threats an acceptable means of enforcing social norms.

  57. 57
    Roger Moore says:

    @Southern Beale:
    Fortunately, this incident happened in California, so there’s a decent chance that the gun loon will be charged and convicted.

  58. 58
    🎂 Martin says:

    @Southern Beale: This is why GSA doesn’t want girls going door-to-door or selling on the corner. The NRA is determined to destroy America’s time-honored tradition of Girl Scout cookies.

  59. 59
    Rob in CT says:

    @Bendal:

    Right, that too. Lots of possible reasons.

    Huh. I didn’t know, or have forgotten, that antibiotics weaken the effects of the pill. For all I know, my wife and I dodged a bullet or two over the years (though it’s also possible we didn’t, as she’s very rarely ill and if she is it’s a cold, so no need for ABs).

  60. 60
    Rob in CT says:

    @Roger Moore:

    This has become crystal clear of late. “Polite society” in this construction means a society in which a guy like Michael Dunn (a violent man, drunk) can yell at some black kids to turn their music down, and they do, because GUN. If not, they die, and the lesson is learned.

  61. 61
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Rob in CT: Fortunately, the shooter in this case will almost certainly be convicted of murder and go to jail since he neglected to kill all the witnesses. But as you point out, the mindset is “do what I say because GUN,” which is the most dangerous thing about the SYG laws. Murder over nothing can happen between two not-so-young white men over something as trivial as texting in a theater too.

  62. 62
    Poopyman says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    Have you ever been charged by an enraged Girl Scout? Well, have you?

    Yes. Four damned dollars a box.

  63. 63
    some guy says:

    “The jail is full of blacks and they all act like thugs. This may sound a bit radical but if more people would arm themselves and kill these (expletive) idiots, when they’re threatening you, eventually they may take the hint and change their behavior.”

    says the gun nut who shot into an SUV with 4 unarmed teenagers whose crime was “Black Music, Too Loud.”

    Florida is full of these loons.

  64. 64
    Botsplainer says:

    The only cookies worth a shit are thin mints. The rest are useless, mediocre calorie bombs.

    He was right to stand his ground.

  65. 65
    Jamie says:

    @maurinsky: @maurinsky:

    I think “Working For The Clampdown” might be appropriate.

  66. 66
    NonyNony says:

    @Southern Beale:

    Thank you, NRA and gun loonz.

    At least this had a decent outcome this time:

    * Guy didn’t shoot
    * Dad called the cops
    * Cops arrested guy

    I’m pretty sure that most other places this would have either ended in tragedy or gone unreported.

    Though honestly – you’re such a frightened coward you feel the need to brandish a gun at a girl scout selling cookies door-to-door? If I ever reach the point where I am that scared, I hope to Grod I remain coherent enough to get myself some psychological help – or have some family or friends who get it for me – because that would have to be a nightmare of a life to live in that much constant fear.

  67. 67
    Epicurus says:

    “The serious Burkean response is obviously to remove contraception from insurance plans and to move Plan B behind the counter.” Stop giving them ideas!!

  68. 68
    Keith G says:

    Well, since the Democrats have decided that not fighting the GOP on SNAP is actually a good thing for the poor, will they also decide that not fighting the GOP on abortion rights is a good thing for women?

  69. 69
    Cervantes says:

    Ash Can:
    Mnemosyne:

    Off topic but it’s something we were discussing a few days ago: SodaStream (the article, by Bernard Avishai, is entitled “Yes, Scarlett Johansson’s Defense Of SodaStream Is Problematic”).

    And Bernard Avishai, currently at Dartmouth, is also Adjunct Professor of Business at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He used to teach at Duke and at MIT.

  70. 70
    Cervantes says:

    @NonyNony:

    Though honestly – you’re such a frightened coward you feel the need to brandish a gun at a girl scout selling cookies door-to-door?

    Maybe it’s the other way around: what’s the point of brandishing a gun if you can’t threaten a girl with it?

  71. 71
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: Death by Thin Mint is a fate not delivered by Girl Scouts.

  72. 72
    Belafon says:

    @Cervantes: Good catch. It won’t matter at all to the forced-birthers, but at least we’ll have the evidence to the contrary.

  73. 73
    Rob in CT says:

    @Keith G:

    From where I sit, the Dems decided no such thing. Seems to me they did fight the GOP over SNAP. The outcome was less than wonderful, but then the majority in the House of Representatives is a repulsive hive of scum and villany.

  74. 74
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Rob in CT: Yes, less cuts versus more cuts. In both cases, cuts.

  75. 75
    boatboy_srq says:

    @some guy: Black Music, Too Loud (in this case); Black Person, Too Ambulatory (Trayvon Martin); White Persons, Not Speaking Ahmurrcan (those unfortunate German tourists in Pensacola to whose untimely deaths we owe rentacops at every FL rest stop). How FL’s population keeps growing with these ID10Ts shooting everyone in sight is nothing short of amazing.

  76. 76
    Corner Stone says:

    @Rob in CT: The default offer from the D’s was cuts. That’s not a lot of “fight”, a term I am leery of in the abstract.

  77. 77
    Cervantes says:

    @Corner Stone:

    @Cervantes: The national abortion rate has resumed its decline, and no evidence was found that the overall drop in abortion incidence was related to the decrease in providers or to restrictions implemented between 2008 and 2011.

    Well, hell. Now I’m more confused than ever.

    Maybe ignore the newspaper article and anything derived from it; read the original report (forthcoming in PSRH).

  78. 78
    Helen says:

    @Southern Beale: The article says her father witnessed it and called the police. Thank goodness he had the wherewithall to go with her on her rounds. Imagine if that baby had been alone?

  79. 79
    Roger Moore says:

    @Jamie:

    I think “Working For The Clampdown” might be appropriate.

    They seem to be working hard in Harrisburg to make sure that there are plenty of young believers to teach their twisted speech.

    @NonyNony:

    Though honestly – you’re such a frightened coward you feel the need to brandish a gun at a girl scout selling cookies door-to-door?

    I strongly suspect that it’s more a matter of genuine, needs medical attention paranoia than ordinary fear. We do a crappy job of keeping guns out of the hands of people who should be receiving mental health care rather than means of doing great violence.

  80. 80
    JaneE says:

    Let’s check the rates again in 2-5 years, after women start realizing that they can get free contraception with their health insurance. There is an amazing amount of plain ignorance out there. Once women get more information about all their options on contraception, and the ability to actually have it provided free of charge, I would expect the abortion rate to drop again.

  81. 81
    Svensker says:

    @slippytoad:

    So if we eliminated the need for abortions through widely available contraception, what phony moral high ground would the right try to set up next?

    What I didn’t understand until quite recently is that many on the far right consider any contraception — except condoms or withdrawal/rhythm method — to be abortion. My cousin explained that even the Pill frequently results in a non-implantation of a fertilized egg, i.e., “a baby”, and is therefore abortion. He is not Catholic, but Protestant fundie. And, to him and some others I heard from, the 5 day old zygote is just as much a person as a 9 month old baby, so aborting the zygote via contraception (even though that doesn’t happen) is just like murdering a 9 month old baby.

    So you say “more contraception = fewer abortions”

    What they hear “more abortions = more abortions”

    Also, “more unsanctioned sex.”

  82. 82
    Bokonon says:

    The anti-abortion crowd isn’t going to feel this is good news. They won’t like this at all – because their lunatic fringe has moved the goalposts, so that the pill and IUDs are now considered “abortion”.

    But that is a pretty difficult position to sell to the American public. Which is the reason why we are having these ridiculous shadow wars over whether contraception should be covered by insurance, or trying float state laws and constitutional amendments that define “life” as “beginning at conception” … which in turn means “the moment an egg is fertilized.” Or claiming that large corporations like Hobby Lobby have religious viewpoints and free speech rights that devolve down to refusing to follow insurance coverage mandates for contraception. Or drawing a bullseye on the legal idea that family planning and contraception is none of the government’s durned business. All of this is the deeply dishonest public relations face that is put on the long-term game to make CONTRACEPTION both hard to get and potentially illegal.

  83. 83
    Violet says:

    Isn’t part of the reduction in the number of abortions related to the fact that being a single mother has less stigma? That doesn’t fit the moral scolds’ agenda, but it’s the way the culture has moved.

  84. 84
    Mnemosyne says:

    @NonyNony:

    It happened in California, which is not a “Stand Your Ground” state so it’s still illegal to threaten children with guns.

    Not surprised it happened in Temecula, though. That’s meth country.

  85. 85
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cervantes:

    I’m still of two minds about the actual boycott — I think that (in some ways) the SodaStream guy is well-meaning, though obviously he’s also benefiting from their apartheid system. ETA: My spouse has forbidden me from buying a Soda Stream on the grounds that I’ll use it once and then it will sit unused until he throws it in the Goodwill box, so I don’t really have a dog in that specific part of the fight.

    Still can’t decide if the one-state and two-state solution is better as a permanent decision, but the more I read about how entwined the “settlements” have become on Palestinian land, the more fair it seems to bring the Palestinians on board as full Israeli citizens so they can exercise their rights and receive compensation for what has been stolen from them.

  86. 86
    Roger Moore says:

    @Svensker:

    My cousin explained that even the Pill frequently results in a non-implantation of a fertilized egg, i.e., “a baby”, and is therefore abortion.

    Which, unsurprisingly, is false. Hormonal contraceptives work by preventing ovulation, not implantation, so fertilization never takes place; that’s why many women have a reduced or absent period when on long-term hormonal contraception. As usual, though, actual facts have nothing to do with wingnut positions on the matter.

  87. 87
    Cervantes says:

    @Mnemosyne: Wait, you’re acknowledging that Israel has an apartheid system? Do you see this as being compatible with your insistence that it’s a democracy?

    (I know you spoke about your “more expansive definition” of the term — but then does it apply to apartheid states? If that’s our shared definition, then even I might agree with you that it applies to Israel.)

  88. 88
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cervantes:

    IMO, having a democratic form of government (aka a “democracy”) does not necessarily imply that every adult is allowed to vote. As I said last time, if that’s your definition, then the US was not a democracy until 1965, and Switzerland was not a democracy until 1971 when they finally allowed women to vote in national elections.

    South Africa was an apartheid state that was also a democracy since the people who were permitted to vote elected leaders and did not have a dictator or strongman running everything. Israel and Iran are both functioning democracies. Democracy is a good place to start, but it’s not enough in and of itself.

    ETA: If the US was not an apartheid state up until 1965, then the definition has no meaning.

  89. 89
    Cervantes says:

    @Mnemosyne: Sure, all other things being equal, I can accept a definition of “democracy” that excludes both Israel today and the USA prior to (your cited AD) 1965.

    After all, that was sort of my point to begin with.

  90. 90
    Nutella says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Sex is bad. Anything that encourages people to have sex is bad. Contraception allows sex without the burden of pregnancy. As they used to say in my mother’s 50s small town, ‘You play, you pay.’ Incidentally, this was not just aimed at women. Shotgun marriages were very much a thing.

    If wingnuts still think sex is bad, why aren’t shotgun marriages still a thing?

    Either wingnuts think that men having sex with women is great but that women having sex with men is a dreadful sin that must be punished, which makes even less sense than most of their positions, or they feel that all sex between men and women is a sin that can only be punished by making women and children suffer.

  91. 91
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cervantes:

    What about Switzerland circa 1971 being a non-democracy? I would say that not allowing an entire gender to vote means you have gender apartheid, at least when it comes to voting.

  92. 92
    Corner Stone says:

    @Cervantes: I hope, for your sake, that you have a very firmly fixed piton somewhere near the top of the bottomless well of mendacity that is commenting with Capt Mnemo.

  93. 93
    Cervantes says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    What about Switzerland circa 1971 being a non-democracy? I would say that not allowing an entire gender to vote means you have gender apartheid, at least when it comes to voting.

    Sure. Women could vote in about half of Switzerland’s cantons by 1971 — but not in the other half and not in federal elections. So yes — that’s not a democracy.

    And again, for a different set of reasons, neither is Israel today.

  94. 94
    Cervantes says:

    @Corner Stone: Oh, I’m OK, thanks.

    Have to quit now for today, though. Entropy is calling.

  95. 95
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cervantes:

    As long as you make sure to define your terms and be clear that even the US did not meet your standards until recently, then fair enough.

    Though when arguing with wingnuts, it can be fun to point out that, using the wingnuts’ standards, Iran is equally as democratic as Israel is and watch their heads go into does.not.compute. mode.

  96. 96
    good2go says:

    @Belafon: Ding! We have a winner. Yes, I would like some analysis that measures whether or not these results are due to a lack of access or stringent disincentives.

  97. 97
    Cervantes says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    As long as you make sure to define your terms and be clear that even the US did not meet your standards until recently, then fair enough.

    Actually, I think there’s a clear default meaning — Lincoln put it nicely enough: government of the people, by the people, for the people — and so, if a more particular definition is meant (only men, or only Jewish Israelis, or only Tutsis), then the burden of offering that morally stunted definition should fall on those who propose or use it.

    Anyway, I did something more than offering a definition; I offered you an entire argument (by Yosef Grodzinsky) about the quality of Israel’s so-called democracy.

    And by the way: what is this silliness about “even the US”? Is it your impression that the US is privileged in some way that renders it less subject to human foibles?

  98. 98
    Corner Stone says:

    @Cervantes: She stopped calling me a while back. There just doesn’t seem to be the same kind of passionate back and forth we used to have.
    I would blame myself, but…

  99. 99
  100. 100
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cervantes:

    Just pointing out that your standards are far, far higher than, say, the average professor of political science’s standards.

    You seem to become upset whenever I point out that there are multiple countries that don’t meet your standard of democracy or only started meeting it recently, not just Israel. Why is that?

  101. 101
    Cervantes says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Just pointing out that your standards are far, far higher than, say, the average professor of political science’s standards.

    Not sure why you’d say that. (And it seems irrelevant even if you could somehow justify it.)

    You seem to become upset whenever I point out that there are multiple countries that don’t meet your standard of democracy or only started meeting it recently, not just Israel. Why is that?

    You’re asking why I keep bringing the subject back to Israel? Because that’s what we were discussing originally, remember?

  102. 102
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cervantes:

    No, I’m asking why you keep bringing the subject back to the definition of democracy. You seem very invested in deciding which countries do and do not meet your personal definition of democracy. Why is that?

  103. 103
    Cervantes says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    No, I’m asking why you keep bringing the subject back to the definition of democracy. You seem very invested in deciding which countries do and do not meet your personal definition of democracy. Why is that?

    Now you’re being silly again: I’m “very invested”? The Gettysburg Address contains my “personal definition” of democracy?

    Here’s what happened: (1) Someone posted an article making the (trivially obvious) point that life in Israel/Palestine is “complicated.” (2) Reading the article, you responded thus: “It makes me wonder if […] the best solution is to make every Palestinian an Israeli citizen.” I responded with the following (to suggest why there is no way any foreseeable Israeli government will adopt your “best solution”):

    Israel is not a democracy, nor is it a secular state. Arab (Christian or Muslim) “citizens” of Israel do not have the same rights as Jewish ones. In your best solution, would Israel repeal all its laws that privilege Jews? And how would Jewish Israelis cope with demographic change? What happens if or when (Muslim or Christian) Palestinians are a numerical majority of the population?

    To which you said:

    Israel is absolutely a democracy. […]

    I offered an argument to show that this is not exactly true; and that given the current Israeli version of “democracy,” a one-state solution is unlikely to be adopted.

    How you get from all the above to my seeming “very invested in deciding which countries do and do not meet [my] personal definition of democracy” is a mystery — a ridiculous assertion but still a mystery, especially as you’re the one who keeps bringing up these other countries, not me!

  104. 104
    Cervantes says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    One other thing, about this:

    Just pointing out that your standards are far, far higher than, say, the average professor of political science’s standards.

    Professors have tried to criticize Israeli “democracy” and some have paid a high price for it. Bernard Avishai, for example, whom I mentioned earlier today in connection with SodaStream, once wrote a book to say that:

    The Israel I had discovered, in other words, was not simply a valiant little country whose Labor leaders had (heroically) stumbled into an occupation post-1967 and, owing to Palestinian enmity, didn’t know how to get rid of it.

    It was also a country whose Labor leaders, post-1948, had laid a neo-Zionist trap for their own democracy. Communities of scripture hawks, ultra-orthodox and immigrants with no deep commitment to democratic norms were overtaking the Zionist modernists I had taken for granted. The West Bank settlements, growing in the 1980s to 100,000 people, were the most dramatic proof of Israel’s democratic deficiencies. But so was its treatment of Israeli Arabs, or more precisely the absence in Israel of the kind of liberal social contract that allowed all citizens, Jews and Arabs, to meet as equals in Hebrew civil society.

    For this critique of Israel’s so-called democracy (not dissimilar to Yosef Grodzinsky’s critique, you’ll note), Avishai was denied tenure at MIT — and his case is not unique.

    So when you say that my standards (of democracy) “are far, far higher than, say, the average professor of political science’s standards,” what you need to understand in the case of Israel is that some professors have demanded a higher standard — and been punished for it, pour encourager les autres.

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