So if it’s a wanted pregnancy, then it’s wrong to kill an unborn baby.
But if it’s an unwanted pregnancy, then it’s okay??
The pregnant person has domain over their body. Either they consent to pregnancy or they…
One of my previous co-workers posted this on his facebook and it made me want to scream out in frustration at the ridiculousness.
1) “It’s not about choice; it’s about abortion.” Yeah, the debate is partially about abortion, but unless you want to take on the burden of taking care of the fetus being aborted you need to focus on the choices you make in YOUR life and stop trying to force other women to FOREVER change their lives by adding an unwanted child into the picture.
2) “Abortion DOES hurt women.” Yeah, abortion can leave an emotional scar on some women, but you know what also leaves both an emotional and physical scar? Knowing that you were forced to go through the physical and mental scarring of pregnancy, birth, and then parenthood when you didn’t want to because someone else decided that you no longer had a say in your future.
3&4&5) ”Level of development and degree of ability don’t determine worth.” “ Size doesn’t determine worth.” “Just because you’re in someone’s body doesn’t mean you are her body.” If you want to make those arguments, then I hold the position that life begins at semen ejaculation. Those little swimmers could be a little boy waiting to get born. So if a man masturbates or ejaculates at all without seeking to impregnate a woman, then he is killing children. They were independent human beings with a potential life and purpose staying safe inside male genitalia waiting to be put into an egg to grow. I think that male masturbation should be against the law. Yeah, if anyone actually tried to do that, society would laugh in their face. Why? Because it’s a position that tries to decide for men what they can or can’t do and that’s freaking ludicrous! I don’t care if you personally would never get an abortion even if got pregnant when you didn’t want to. Don’t enforce your beliefs on an entire gender though.
6) “Men have a right to be pro-life.” Men have the right to hold the opinion that they wouldn’t want their child to be aborted. However, they do not have the right to enforce that opinion and basically take ownership of women’s bodies to force them to have children. If men had the ability to give birth to children, I guarantee you abortion would never be questioned.
7&8) “Women are strong enough to make this work.” “Children are worth making sacrifices for.” Not every woman WANTS to be a mother. And while there are some government programs designed to help mothers support their children, the fact of the matter is that most Republicans in government DON’T want to help mothers after their child has been born. We forced you to have a child, but you’re the one who got pregnant in the first place so why should we use other people’s tax money to fund your mistake? Oh yeah, we’re not because we only care about the child until it makes it out of your womb. Then you’re on your own.
And I can’t believe the author even SUGGESTED putting off college to take care of a baby. Most students are tens of thousands of dollars in debt trying to get a college education in this society that deems it necessary in order to make it financially in this shitty economy and you want to force them to have a child which costs so much I don’t even want to think about it? THEN you want them to have time and money to take care of while ALSO going to college later on? I think your expectations of women is far too high. Funny how this woman doesn’t once mention the responsibility of men in this whole childbirth equation.
9) “Life isn’t all about “ME.”” Yes, a woman is selfish because she doesn’t want to throw away the future she had planned for herself just to fulfill your EXTREMELY invasive and controlling opinion. Again, I’m going to point out my argument in point 3&4&5 and also the fact that male responsibility seems to be nonexistent. Also, unless you are able take the pregnancy scars of another woman and also fund her pregnancy and birthing costs, I’d suggest you look after yourself.
10) “Women don’t get an exception to kill their children.” You’re a feminist? Really? So you think that forcing a woman into motherhood, into her gender role given to her by the oppressive patriarchy is a feminist position? I think you need to read up on feminist theory.
11) “Pregnancy resource centers are women’s friends.” You know what I think? I think that the legislation that men have enacted isn’t about truth, as you say. It’s about trying to shame and make women as uncomfortable as possible when they’ve made a decision that was thought out, contrary to a belief you seem to have apparently. Abortion isn’t something that someone does nonchalantly. It’s a decision that has a lot of thought behind it. And then to force a woman to look at an ultrasound, have a rod shoved up her vagina, shamed for getting pregnant in the first place, and THEN having to wait for a period of time before actually being able to go through the already difficult process of an abortion; it seems to me like you care more about the barely developed fetus than the woman with thoughts and feelings who is being abused by pro-lifers.
Let me tell you what is going to happen if you shut down abortion clinics or ban abortion. Women are going to try to get an abortion anyways because they want to have a choice in which way their life goes, and they are going to do it by any means possible. Probably very dangerous ways that would result in a lot of women being severely injured, unable to have children in the future, or dead.
Just because you have an opinion does not mean that you can force it on others! If it is NOT your body, then it it NOT your business!
[TW for abuse, anti-choice rhetoric]
In most states, in order to obtain an abortion, a teenager must go before a judge and request an exemption from the parental notice requirement. Usually, the young woman requesting such exemptions is terrified of what her…
On the same day that Texas Governor Rick Perry signed a controversial abortion omnibus bill into law, three Republican legislators introduced yet another anti-abortion measure, this time looking to ban abortions after 6 weeks.
On the same day that Texas Governor Rick Perry signed a controversial abortion omnibus bill into law, Republican legislators in the state introduced yet another anti-abortion measure, this time looking to ban abortions after 6 weeks. And while it seems very unlikely at this point that the bill will make it through the state’s legislative process by July 31, the end of the current special legislative session in Texas, the timing is still drawing a decent bit of attention.
There’s only one state in the U.S. with an abortion ban after 6 weeks: North Dakota. And that law is being challenged in the courts as unconstitutional. The 6-week bans, like the one proposed in Texas, rely upon the detection of a fetal heartbeat by a doctor. Arguing that a fetal heartbeat is “a key medical predictor that an unborn child will reach live birth,” the Texas bill, HB59, would require doctors to determine whether a fetal heartbeat exists before legally performing an abortion. Fetal heartbeats typically register at around 6 weeks, meaning that the bill would effectively make that the cut off for the procedure.
Like Texas’s new abortion law, which, among other things, bans abortions after 20 weeks, the bill directly challenges the current constitutional standard for determining the legality of the procedure. Based on the Roe v. Wade decision, that standard is fetal “viability,” which state laws usually set at about 24 weeks. The new 20-week law, by comparison, uses "fetal pain," a scientifically challenged notion that fetuses feel pain at that point, to set a new legal limit to abortions.
Normally, a just-filed bill like this doesn’t really warrant a look — it’s not even yet recommended to a committee, and the Republicans who support it would have to really hustle to get it through the entire legislative process by the end of the month (especially given that they’re tentatively on break until July 25). But after a weeks-long fight in Texas to stop a the new abortion laws, HB59 is bound to get some attention.
Plus, the unlikelihood that HB59 will become Texas law doesn’t mean that the state is free from future attempts to reduce the time window for legal abortions, or to eliminate the legality of the procedure altogether. As anti-abortion activists have noted, later-term abortions are somewhat politically unpopular, which makes something like a 20-week abortion ban, from an anti-abortion perspective, an easier, incremental sell to the American public. But the procedure isn’t really representative of the vast majorities of abortions performed in the U.S.: abortions after 20 weeks also very rare. Then again, anti-abortion legislators, as is vividly apparent from the rhetoric used in defense of the bills, are by no means looking to end the abortion fight at a 20-week ban. That’s where “fetal pain” comes in: by changing the constitutional standard to a scientifically dubious set of claims, abortion opponents would open up a giant opportunity to push the time limit back to eight weeks, based on the research the fetal pain standard relies on. At Slate, Will Saletan flagged why, while writing about a similar 20-week ban passed in the House of Representatives:
Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., managed the debate for pro-lifers. “We know that at eight weeks, babies feel pain,” she told her colleagues. Eight weeks? What happened to 20? The answer is that fetal pain is ambiguous. You can stretch the definition to justify banning abortions much earlier than 20 weeks. Maureen Condic, the pro-lifers’ go-to neuroscientist, laid out the timeline at a recent House subcommittee hearing. Here’s the text of her presentation slide (shown just before the 1:15 mark on the hearing video):
Milestones in pain development
4 weeks: Basic structures of nervous system established.
4 weeks: Earliest neurons in the cortex are born.
7 weeks: Synapse formation begins in cortex.
8-10 weeks: Spinal circuitry for pain detection is established. The fetus is capable of reacting to painful sensory input.
8-10 weeks: Subcortico-frontal pathways established.
12-18 weeks: Spino-thalamic pathways established. The fetus is capable of mature pain perception.
22-24 weeks: Long-range cortical projections form.
Meanwhile, Texas’s new abortion law won’t even go into effect by September, and it’s possible that the bill, like similar bills passed in other states, could become mired in litigation by that point.
My uterus sat up and flipped off Rick Perry and TX after reading this. Fuck you TX GOP. For real.
TW: Discussion of rape culture, child molestation, racism
I think my “favorite” part of this horrible nonsense is that “pro-lifers” DO believe the first three statements according to their actions.
“Legitimate” rape anyone? She wasn’t raped because she was unmarried? She was asleep so she didn’t say no? What was she wearing/drinking/doing that made this her fault? These are all things we’ve heard from the so-called pro-lifers - frequently.
If I recall correctly, there is a giant and powerful institution that has actively enabled, protected, and covered up for child molesters for decades. If I continue to recall correctly, the GOP has been largely silent on this issue, choosing to focusing instead on the unborn rather than deal with the suffering and abuse of those who are already born, and thus endowed with legal rights and protections.
Plenty of people seem to approve of slavery when it comes to prison labor. Why pay the shipping costs to have things made in China when you can pay inmates $.40 a day? If you think that the racism of our laws and how they are upheld and prosecuted in our judicial system doesn’t result in slavery, you are kidding yourself. I haven’t heard pro-lifers say one damn word about all that, but if they did, I’d bet that word would be “CAPITALISM!!!”
So by their actions, it seems that pro-lifers do in fact believe in all of these things…except the one that involves a pregnant person having the right to their own body. Shocker.
And unfortunately, something we really need to stop focusing on.
Is that blasphemy? It might be. Is it hypocrisy, considering I’m currently writing a post about it? Perhaps.
But the movement for reproductive justice has got to move away from Roe and understand that we won…
I used to work in a subsidized daycare for underprivileged kids. It hurt my heart so much- I personally worked with the 12-18mos. We would feed them three meals a day because their parents couldn’t afford to. Most of the parents were in high school (and two were…
This one line in the article pretty much says it all:
“Sure, you can be a feminist and make a personal decision to never get an abortion. But who the fuck are you to actively work at taking away other women’s right to make their own personal decisions about their uteruses?”
It really is very simple. By attempting to eliminate the ability of a woman to choose the fate of her own reproductive possibility, you automatically remove yourself from the feminist category. No, you are not trying to empower women, no, you are not trying to insure that women have equal rights and benefits, no, you are not supporting the idea that women are capable of making their own choices about their bodies. You are doing the opposite of all of those things.
You do not have to personally approve of abortion in order to be a feminist- but you DO have to leave that choice as an option for other women if you wish to claim that title.
Furthermore, let me make one more thing clear right fuckin’ now: I don’t want to hear any more people whining about how pro-choice and pro-life need to find a middle ground and compromise. Guess what? PRO-CHOICE IS THE MIDDLE GROUND COMPROMISE. Pro-choice is the only stance that advocates for everyone to have the opportunity to choose for themselves whether or not they personally wish to have an abortion. Pro-choice does not force anyone to have an abortion, as so many pro-lifers like to claim. I hate to burst everyone’s bubble, but the opposite stance of pro-life does in fact exist, and it is called pro-abortion. It is the stance that advocates for EVERYONE to have abortions, regardless of their personal choice, and it can be based on any number of motivations, most commonly cited as population control or eugenics.
Being actively pro-abortion also automatically removes you from the feminist movement, because just like pro-life, it is advocating for taking away a woman’s choice. It just does so in the opposite direction. So I don’t want to hear any pro-lifers claim about how they always get picked on about this. That’s bullshit.
Moral of the story: You can be pro-life personal and still be a feminist if you are pro-choice political. I lean very strongly towards pro-abortion personal, but in the legal and political sphere, I am rabidly pro-choice because I do not believe that MY personal opinions should be legislated across the board for everyone. All women deserve to make this choice for themselves. If you don’t believe that, then you are not a fucking feminist.
Let the rage commence.
How to tell whether or not you get a say in someone’s abortion. I tried to make it easier to understand.
“Not getting a say in abortion” is not something restricted to men. If you are not the person getting or wanting the abortion, then you have NO SAY. It does not matter if you are a man or a woman. The father or not the father. If you are not the one receiving the abortion, if it is not YOUR body, if it is not YOU yourself, YOU. HAVE. NO. SAY. The ONLY person that has the final and overall say is the pregnant person themselves.
If it’s not your body, you have no say. Period.
Abortion is a hotly debated and poorly studied medical procedure. There are a few studies of dubious validity that connect abortion to mental illness and drug use. Politicians have used these studies to justify greater limitations on women seeking abortion in the United States.
There has been no sustained effort to study what happens to women who want abortions but can’t get them due to restrictive rules. Until now. These women are called turnaways. A new longitudinal study reveals what happens to their economic position, health, and relationship status after seeking an abortion and being denied it.
AP Photo by Peter Morrison
Public health researchers with the UC San Francisco group Advancing New Standards in 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 researchers, led by Diana Greene Foster, followed and did intensive interviews with these women, who ran the gamut of abortion experiences. Some obtained abortions easily, for some it was a struggle to get them, and some were denied abortions because their pregnancies had lasted a few days beyond the gestational limits of their local clinics. Two weeks ago, the research group presented what they’d learned after two years of the planned five-year, longitudinal “Turnaway Study” at the recent American Public Health Association conference in San Francisco.
Here’s the short version of what they discovered, from a post they made on the Global Turnaway Study Facebook page:
We have found that there are no mental health consequences of abortion compared to carrying an unwanted pregnancy to term. There are other interesting findings: even later abortion is safer than childbirth and women who carried an unwanted pregnancy to term are three times more likely than women who receive an abortion to be below the poverty level two years later.
Below, you can find the longer, more complex version of the story. I spoke with Foster about the groups’ preliminary findings.
The women in the Turnaway Study were in comparable economic positions at the time they sought abortions. 45% were on public assistance and two-thirds had household incomes below the federal poverty level. One of the main reasons women cite for wanting to abort is money, and based on the outcomes for the turnaways, it seems they are right.
Most of the women who were denied an abortion, 86%, were living with their babies a year later. Only 11% had put them up for adoption. Also a year later, they were far more likely to be on public assistance — 76% of the turnaways were on the dole, as opposed to 44% of those who got abortions. 67% percent of the turnaways were below the poverty line (vs. 56% of the women who got abortions), and only 48% had a full time job (vs. 58% of the women who got abortions).
When a woman is denied the abortion she wants, she is statistically more likely to wind up unemployed, on public assistance, and below the poverty line. Another conclusion we could draw is that denying women abortions places more burden on the state because of these new mothers’ increased reliance on public assistance programs.
Violence and Drug Use
In the Turnaway Study, the researchers could find no statistically significant differences in drug use between women who get abortions and women who don’t. There appears to be no correlation between abortion and increased drug use. One interesting bit of data they did find was that drug users who couldn’t get abortions were more likely to give their babies up for adoption.
Unfortunately, when it comes to domestic violence, being denied an abortion makes a really big difference. Turnaways were more likely to stay in a relationship with an abusive partner than women who got abortions. A year after being denied an abortion, 7% reported an incident of domestic violence in the last six months. 3% of women who received abortions reported domestic violence in the same time period. Foster emphasized that this wasn’t because the turnaways were more likely to get into abusive relationships. It was simply that getting abortions allowed women to get out of such relationships more easily. So it’s likely that these numbers actually reflect a dropoff in domestic violence for women who get abortions, rather than a rise among turnaways.
This pattern of violence is also part of a larger pattern that shows turnaways are more likely to remain connected to the fathers of their children. Obviously, this isn’t always a good thing, as the violence statistics reveal. But even in the vast majority of cases where violence isn’t involved, Foster noted that these men aren’t living with the turnaways. The researchers asked women about cohabiting with partners, and found that men were no more likely to live with a turnaway who’d borne their children than they were to live with a woman who had an abortion. “The man doesn’t stick around just because you have the baby — that’s the crude way of putting it,” Foster said.
One of the biggest concerns about abortion is that it causes emotional problems that lead to clinical depression. The Turnaway Study looked at that question from two angles: how did turnaways and women who got abortions feel; and did they become clinically depressed. “It’s important to remember that how you feel is a separate question from whether you have a mental health problem,” Foster said. We’ll look at women’s emotions here, and discuss mental health in the next section.
As the researchers said at the American Public Health Association Meeting, “One week after seeking abortion, 97% of women who obtained an abortion felt that abortion was the right decision; 65% of turnaways still wished they had been able to obtain an abortion.” Also one week after being denied an abortion, turnaways told the researchers that they had more feelings of anxiety than the women who had abortions. Women who had abortions overwhelming reported feeling relieved (90%), though many also felt sad and guilty afterwards. All of these feelings faded naturally over time in both groups, however. A year later, there were no differences in anxiety or depression between the two groups.
In other words, the Turnaway Study found no indication that there were lasting, harmful negative emotions associated with getting an abortion. The only emotional difference between the two groups at one year was that the turnaways were more stressed. They were more likely to say that they felt like they had more to do than they could get done.
None of this translated into clinical depression. “Abortion and depression don’t seem directly linked,” Foster said. “We’ll continue to follow these women for five years, though. So we might find something else down the line.”
Physical and Mental Health
The Turnaway Study found no indication that abortion could be linked with increased mental health disorders. There were no statistical differences between turnaways and women who had abortions when it came to developing clinical depression.
But turnaways did face a greater health risk from giving birth. Even late stage abortions are safer than giving birth. The researchers said at the APHA meeting:
We find physical health complications are more common and severe following birth (38% experience limited activity, average 10 days) compared to abortion (24% limited activity, average 2.7 days). There were no severe complications after abortion; after birth complications included seizure, fractured pelvis, infection and hemorrhage. We find no differences in chronic health conditions at 1 week or one year after seeking abortion.
If you look at all this data together, a new picture emerges of abortion and how the state might want to handle it. To prevent women from having to rely on public assistance, abortions should be made more widely available. In addition, there is strong evidence that making abortions available will allow women to be healthier, with brighter economic outlooks. By turning women away when they seek abortions, we risk keeping both women and their children in poverty — and, possibly, in harm’s way from domestic violence.
The Turnaway Study was funded entirely through donations. If you would like to support more research into the lives of turnaways around the world, please consider donating to the Global Turnaway Study on Indie GoGo.