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  •  I had an interesting Facebook exchange (96+ / 0-)

    with a friend of mine from High School.  She informed me that Wendy Davis represents her.  

    "I voted for her, but I really disagree with her on this subject.  How could any woman want to kill her baby?  I misscarried two before I had my daughter and it was heartbreaking."

    I responded:

    "I'm so glad that Ms. Davis represents you.  She is fighting for the very sort of health care for poor and disadvantaged women that will give them a chance to keep their wanted, unborn babies healthy and alive.  You want that and I want that.

    "I'm sorry for your heartbreaking loss.  I, too, know what it's like to miscarry a child I wanted.  I also know that being able to turn to good, affordable health care when I became pregnant again was critical to keeping me sane.

    "As for women who 'want to kill their babies...' the converse of that is that we, as a nation, would force women to have babies against their will.  Their entire humanity and life would be reduced to that of a breeder.  It would't matter if they had a heart condition, or depression, or even a horrible congenital disease that they've passed on to the fetus.  We would tell them that their only importance in life--the only thing that matters--is to have this baby.

    "And because of the actions of the legislature in an all-or-nothing elimination of all health facilities for poor women, they would not have the health care they would need to bring that baby to term in a way that creates the best outcome.  The result will be dead babies and dead women and I don't think you or I really want that."

    She hasn't responded, but I really hope my response was food for some thought.  

    And keep this in mind, there are WOMEN behind the anti-abortion movement.  A lot of their thinking is emotional and reactionary.  It's best to counter with some degree of sympathy and sensitivity--but don't let them get away with not knowing the real facts!

    •  Which is a little ironic since (25+ / 0-)

      "being possessed of all the facts" is what the forced birthers claim to WANT.  that's why the ultrasounds and the "counseling" and the "education" they include in their legislation.

      I agree that such a weighty decision should be well informed. But infomred by fact, not by fundamentalist rhetoric.

      I'll believe corporations are people when one comes home from Afghanistan in a body bag.

      by mojo11 on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 10:15:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Infant mortality rate in Texas (28+ / 0-)
      There were 2,362 infant deaths to Texas residents in 2010 for an infant mortality rate of 6.1 infant deaths per 1,000 live births (see Table 29). The Black infant mortality rate (11.4) continued to be considerably greater than the rate of Whites (5.5) and Hispanics (5.5).

      The top five leading causes of infant death in 2010 were congenital malformations, deformations, and chromosomal abnormalities (21.9 percent of all infant deaths); disorders related to short gestation and low birth weight, not elsewhere classified (13.8 percent of all infant deaths); Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (9.8 percent); maternal complications of pregnancy (7.3 percent); and complications of placenta, cord and membranes (5.0 percent). For the selected causes of infant death among Texas residents, see Table 31.

      Fetal Deaths and Perinatal Mortality

      In Texas, a fetal death is the death of a product of conception before complete expulsion or extraction from its mother. It is required to be registered with the Vital Statistics Unit as a fetal death for any fetus weighing 350 grams or more, or if the weight is unknown, a fetus aged 20 weeks or more. However, all reported fetal deaths, regardless of weight or length of gestation, are included in this annual report. There were 2,144 fetal deaths to Texas residents in 2010. The fetal death ratio was 5.6 fetal deaths per 1,000 live births in 2010, which is less than in 2009 (5.7).

      Perinatal mortality includes fetal and neonatal deaths. The perinatal mortality rate was 9.0 per 1,000 fetal deaths and live births in 2010 (8.9 in 2009). For perinatal mortality figures, see Table 28.

      Maternal Mortality

      In 2010, 95 women died as a result of pregnancy or childbearing, for a maternal mortality rate of 24.6 per 100,000 live births. The maternal mortality rate for Black women of 53.9 is lower in 2010 than it was in 2009 (66.0) but continues to be higher than the state value. The maternal mortality rate for White (excluding Other) women decreased to 27.0 in 2010 from 30.8 in 2009. Among Hispanic women, the maternal mortality rate decreased to 17.5 in 2010 from 18.4 in 2009. However, rates based on small numbers may be misleading (see Technical Appendix).

      Source above.

      In North America in 2000 we had a rate of perinatal death rate  of  33% per 100,000 , stillbirth rate of 3, Early neonatal mortality rate of 4, and a neonatal mortality rate of   5
      WHO source.

       The UN stats  say the U.S has an estimated maternal death rate of  17 (low estimate 11, high 22) and an infant mortality rate of 7.

      Upshot: Texas by it's own report already has extremely high fetal, infant, and maternal mortality rates for minorities.  Take away perinatal and maternal health care and things will only get worse.

      "It is from the Bible that man has learned cruelty, rapine and murder; for the belief of a cruel God makes a cruel man." -- Thomas Paine

      by sailmaker on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 10:20:46 AM PDT

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    •  I don't engage the "kill a baby" accusations. I (34+ / 0-)

      frame the issue about bodily autonomy for everyone.

      If your friend is open to further discussion, perhaps you could explain it to her this way:

      If I would die without a new kidney and uncle has the only match, and he is healthy and would survive the surgery and loss of a kidney just fine, he is still not obligated to support my life. He has bodily autonomy and can decide when and how his body is used according to his own assessments of what's best for him. My right to life does not supersede his right to bodily autonomy.

      If he opts out of providing me a lifesaving kidney, is he "killing his niece?" Do we need laws which force people to donate organs when others need them? Even if the donor might be at risk?

      When we start telling women that they must let their bodies be used to support a life, we open the door to all kinds of government control of our bodies.

      Thank you for trying to communicate with a friend who is seeing this from a different perspective. We need to find a way to keep channels of communication open. I hope she doesn't walk away from the conversation.

      Building Community. Creating Jobs. Donating Art to Community Organizations. Support the Katalogue

      by UnaSpenser on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 11:26:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe if women had unlimited access to both (8+ / 0-)

        sex education and birth control medicines and devices in a society that doesn't constantly shame them for being sexual creatures, that accusation might rarely arise if at all.

        An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

        •  I have problems with this, for this particular (8+ / 0-)

          point of discussion:

          1) I simply refute the accusation as a justification for controlling women's bodies. so, I don't want to justify it by trying to talk about how their would be fewer "baby killers if...." You basically agree with the accusation of baby killer when you start doing that. it's a trap.

          2) most of the people who throw out these crappy accusations believe that birth control is baby killing. they have no interest in empowering women, so trying to "address" their "baby killer" accusations by discussing how to reduce the number of undesired fertilized eggs, is not going to change their attitude about giving women bodily autonomy.

          3) by saying that if they would allow and fund for good education and access to birth control, the number of people who need abortions would be reduced, you set up the possibility for them to say, "ok, right. we'll support education and birth control and then no one has an "excuse" for getting an abortion.

          If you try to address any point they make about a woman's right to choose, other than every person's sovereign right to bodily autonomy, you are getting trapped into supporting their view that abortion just shouldn't be allowed.

          It's all a red herring. If I don't want my body to be used to incubate a fetus, it has no right to my body. Period. there is nothing else to discuss.

          The need for better education and better access to birth control is a completely different discussion. Those are also things which need to be fought for. Just not at the expense of them becoming bargaining chips for giving up bodily autonomy rights.

          Building Community. Creating Jobs. Donating Art to Community Organizations. Support the Katalogue

          by UnaSpenser on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 12:34:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I wasn't disagreeing with you at all. (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Lujane, swampyankee, lyvwyr101, Janet 707
            If I don't want my body to be used to incubate a fetus, it has no right to my body. Period. there is nothing else to discuss.
            I don't believe that education is a different discussion. You cannot have the discussion without the education.

            Therein lies the problem with the attacks of misinformation and fake crisis pregnancy centers. Women who try to inform themselves find themselves at the mercy of some rather unfriendly gate keepers.

            Women who try to access BC pills or other items via a pharmacy that allows their pharmacists to practice sexism as a Do-Not-Serve option, find themselves at the mercy of some rather unfriendly gate keepers.

            It's all intertwined. Not only if I decide to get pregnant or stay pregnant, but also where I have birth and how, and who is allowed to attend.

            It's all about the ability to maintain legal and physical bodily integrity without the fear of the state, acting as a proxy for a church, intervening or even retaliating.

          •  Closely tied to sex ed & contraception (5+ / 0-)

            I want to make them address those issues.  If the don't, they simply expose their own hypocrisy.

            This doesn't mean I agree that abortion is the murder of a child.  That is a point I don't care to address.

            I do, however, want to see if they are arguing in good faith about wanting to reduce the number of abortions.  Because if they are, we know that sex ed and contraception are the way to do it.

            Otherwise, I have nothing to discuss with them.

            The terrorists thought that they would change my aims and stop my ambitions,but nothing changed in my life, except this: weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage was born. - Malala Yousafzai

            by rsmpdx on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 04:18:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm simply saying that the question of bodily (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              autonomy needs to be established as a stand alone question. It applies to more than pregnant women.

              and if you don't establish that as an absolute thing, in and of itself, the topic always get derailed by accusations of "baby killing" and the fetal "right to life" and abstinence and birth control.

              What I'm saying is, let people argue about those things until the cows come home, but the right to bodily autonomy should not be dependent on any of them.

              Building Community. Creating Jobs. Donating Art to Community Organizations. Support the Katalogue

              by UnaSpenser on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 08:50:48 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Bodily autonomy needs to established without (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              any dependency on other topics. It applies to far more than pregnant women. And allowing it to get trapped into a negotiation about education and contraception undermines it as an absolute right regardless of the resolution of those questions.

              I'd like to at least not be worrying that I don't have the right control my own body, while the other topics get debated.

              Building Community. Creating Jobs. Donating Art to Community Organizations. Support the Katalogue

              by UnaSpenser on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 08:52:59 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  whoops. when I posted the first comment, it (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                had disappeared. even when I refreshed the screen. forgive the duplicate.

                Building Community. Creating Jobs. Donating Art to Community Organizations. Support the Katalogue

                by UnaSpenser on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 08:53:46 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  My advocacy of sex ed and contraception (0+ / 0-)

                as I said above, gives nothing away on the question of a woman's autonomy.  Again, it is to expose that their aim actually has nothing to do with preventing abortion.  Because legal restrictions on abortion don't achieve that aim, obviously, as well as sex ed and contraception do.

                I am an absolutist for legal abortion in early pregnancy, say 1st two trimesters.  Late-term, I am willing to consider arguments for legal restriction, but the woman's health still has priority.  (Pardon me for lack of precise definitions here: I don't have them.)

                The terrorists thought that they would change my aims and stop my ambitions,but nothing changed in my life, except this: weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage was born. - Malala Yousafzai

                by rsmpdx on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 09:22:39 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  That's the part I don't get (7+ / 0-)

        No one is forced to give parts of their bodies to born children and adults, so why do they expect that of girls/women with unborn children in them?

        Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

        by splashy on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 01:46:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  That dances around the issue (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Janet 707, rsmpdx

        The anti-abortion crowd considers that early-term fetus a human being with it's own rights as an individual. That's why these discussions are so futile. It's very hard to convince someone otherwise.

        I think the best we can do is try to tell people that this belief of theirs is part of their faith, and they shouldn't want their faith imposed on someone who doesn't share it... Just like they wouldn't want my faith imposed on them.

        Also, that with more women's health clinics serving poor people, there will be fewer unwanted pregnancies, and fewer abortions as a result.

        Freedom isn't free. So quit whining and pay your taxes.

        by walk2live on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 11:03:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Tell her she should be glad that people like (18+ / 0-)

      Wendy are keeping her from being prosecuted for having a miscarriage. Yes, some of the proposed anti-women laws are that dreadful.

    •  Women are NOT "behind" the anti-choice (10+ / 0-)

      movement. While some women may support it, they control almost none of it. The leaders, the people driving it, are primarily men. The angry, hate-filled letters to the paper are mostly from men. The people guiding the laws are mostly men, even when they put someone like Jodie Laubenberg out there as the face of it.

      I suspect some of these women feel that by punishing the women viewed as "whores," they are somehow inoculating themselves from that outpouring of hate.

      Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it.

      by anastasia p on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 04:48:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  progeny (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lyvwyr101, Janet 707, Gemina13

      When people have children, they are either providing them with a gift of a good life if they are fortunate, or some years in hell if they are not.   And at the time of conception, and even at birth, they don't know which.  The morality of having children vs not is certainly not as clear as some among us would make it.

    •  Top commented (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Janet 707, Gemina13

      "But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your enemy. It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die." - - Cherokee saying

      by brillig on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 06:12:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Defunding Planned Parenthood (0+ / 0-)

      is a part of this pro-life movement, forgetting that the vast majority of its services actually is pro-life: health care for pregnant women, speaking with them about all options (adoption, raising the child, and, yes, abortion - that has to be part of the discussion.

      Instead, conservatives (mostly Republican) want to stifle the First Amendment (no discussion about abortion), shame the woman by being forced to look at an ultrasound picture, and greatly reducing health care providers.

      If conservatives believe in extending "Thou shalt not kill" to fetuses (who do not have rights; the Constitution notes minimum ages to be a federal politician and states based on age after BIRTH, and citizenship shall be granted to someone upon being BORN in this country.

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