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This is a personal diary, and is actually painful to write, but I feel I must.  Certainly, not all of you had my experiences, but I feel as if this is deja vu all over again.  I remember growing up in the 50's and 60's.  Yes, I am female, too.  

I started my first full-time job after graduation from high school in 1969, because I had 6 months before I started college and I'd wanted, and needed, to earn money.  About two weeks after I started, I was typing away at my desk, and one of the senior (compared to me) guys came up to me and started massaging my shoulders.  Then he leaned down and whispered in my ear, 'You're so cute, I could help you go far here.'  

I was terrified.  Frozen, literally.  He leaned down to kiss my neck, and I jumped out of my seat and ran to the ladies room.  

You see, I was one of those poor fools who'd been molested at age 10 by a 17 year old, (You're so pretty, I adore you, now show me what you have. Boring, I know.  As someone with a modicum of intelligence, I blamed myself for being so stupid.  )

I hid in the ladies room till I was sure he was gone.  And then I went and told my (female) supervisor.  She was not sympathetic.  She was currently sleeping with the director, which is why she was a supervisor.   Needless to say, I didn't do 'well' at that company.

I went to college, thinking I'd rise above all that.  I met a guy I 'wanted', so went to get the pill so I'd have some freedom.  My doctor told me I was a sinner, and since he had no time for sinners, I did not leave with even a prescription.  (Remember here:  those who use moral objections to even filling a prescription for the morning after pill.)

You guessed it.  I got pregnant.  Before abortion was legal in my state, there I was.  

Do you know what it's like to be single, pregnant, and alone?

I won't tell you the sordid story, but I insisted on abortion.

Do any of you know what it's like to sit and tell yourself, I know the odds, I may very well die, but the alternative is worse?  

Do any of you know what it's like to knowingly put your life in the hands of a simple moneygrubber, and take your chances?

You keep telling yourself, oh no, that won't happen again.    

I'm sitting here, and it's deja vu all over again.

Originally posted to xyz on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 04:06 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  thank you for posting this (4.00)
    Your story is exactly what I think many here are hoping to prevent, although daily it seems like it is more and more inevitable.
    •  I sit here, (4.00)
      and so many women haven't had to go through what I went through, so they don't know what's at stake.

      I tell this story for one reason.  Maybe they'll see a glimpse of themselves.

      •  I have two daughters (4.00)
        ...and I will do all I can to prevent them from having to go through what you did.  Thanks for tell us your story.

        Rubus Eradicandus Est.

        by Randomfactor on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 05:19:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Two as well ... (4.00)
          And, Alito making it to SCOTUS might just drive me to the point where one needs to run rather than fight anymore.

          My wife -- who immigrated here because of our marriage -- stated that she could not live in a country where a woman does not have a right to control her own body, make her own decisions.  Sadly, the American Taliban's stranglehold over the monstrocity known as the Republican Party might push this country past that point.

          I am fighting ... because it is the right thing to do ... but also because I don't want to run ...

          •  I've said this as well to my husband (4.00)
            I am not interested in living in a country that wants to undermine the health and well-being of women and treat them like property.

            I am currently in the process of shoring up my international friendships -- just in case.

            •  To put into context ... (4.00)
              Well before I met her, I was strongly 'pro-choice' and have done more 'pro-choice' type rallies / activities than probably any other 'single issue'.

              I rate this -- a woman's right to choose -- as a fundamental bell weather for privacy rights and for the relationship between religion and the state.  

              I am morally 'uncomfortable' re abortion -- really like the idea of 'legal, safe, and rare' -- but clearly understand that my 'discomfort' does not mean that I have the right to tell someone else what to do with their body and their life decisions. And, now, as the father of two (beautiful, amazing, etc ...) daughters, I know that I don't want anyone having that power over their decisions.

              We have overseas paths -- just would prefer not to have to follow them.

      •  I grew up at the same time (4.00)
        and unfortunately know quite a few women who went through what you did. I attended an "all women" college that was quite small, and such secrets were hard to keep.

        I am still in contact with some whose lives were permanently scarred.

        Can't tell you how much I fear we will soon be taking a 50 year step back in history. What must the rest of the civilized world think of us?

      •  I'm also a female in my 50's (3.95)
        And I remember well what it was like...

        Thank you so much for posting this in a diary.  I am also afraid... I could also tell stories of what it was like back then to be a woman.  

        Personally I am pro-life and every time someone has come to me to discuss an unwanted pregancy (as has happened with family and close friends)I have listened with my heart to them and spoken from my heart... these have been conversations between myself and those who I love and who love me.  It's personal... and as much as I am against abortion, as much as I want to offer help and whatever words I can to encourage women who have spoken to me to not choose the abortion option... I STILL strongly also believe that this is a personal decision for the woman to make.  It should not and in fact cannot be controlled by a law.  Give to Caesar what is Caesar and give to women what is ours.

        I have occasionally convinced girls in my family who have confided in me not to have abortions.  I feel deeply gratified when I see the children who might not have been, and I know that thier mothers do also.  This is the way to promote the pro-life philosopy... keep the government out of it, otherwise we will be back to the time when women were accorded even the dignity to make our own decisions about our bodies and our reproductive right.

        •  Real progressives walks the walk (4.00)
          no matter where they stand on abortion.

          And that means caring about such things as good health care, good child care, equal rights for women, civil rights, consumer protection and all the things that make a quality of life for our children.  These things make it easier for a woman to decide to keep her baby in the worst of circumstances.

        •  You are a pro lifer - for choice! (4.00)
          The people who call themselves 'pro-life', but want to take away a women's choice in this very personal matter are dogmatic control freaks.  On top of that, these 'pro-lifers' are usually also pro-death penalty, and pro-war, which is a complete bafflement.
          •  I wish it were that simple. (2.14)
            I hate that the discussion takes place around whether abortion should be against the law.  This is a distraction from the central question and it turns any discussion about whether abortion is right or wrong into a shouting match.

            Abortion kills a human life.  

            That's what I want to discuss with women.

            •  You're the one being simplistic (4.00)
              Let me start off by saying that YOU said you wanted this you're getting what you asked for.

              First of all, your arguement assumes that there is consensus on when human life begins. Obviously not everyone agrees on this matter...not science, not religion, and certainly not the layperson. So that assumption alone is subjective. The crux of the issue here is that some people want to decide when life begins by using their aribtrary emotional/religious beliefs that they hold and enforce this across the board. That is and always had been impossible. If this weren't so, there'd have never been illegal abortions....

              To be honest, I see an early term abortion as less of a killing than more of there not being a birth. I plain and simply don't see a fetus as an independent "human life", but as potential human life. Potential can or cannot become what is was potential to be, but never fully was for many reasons, including natural ones (ie miscarriages).

              In the purest sense of the word (harsh tho it sounds, it's accurate...look it up) a fetus is a parasite dependent on it's host (ie mother) to survive. Until that fetus comes into the world and is unattached from the umbelical cord, it's entirely dependent on it's mother (ie host) to survive. This being the case, at the best, the fetus is apart of the the worse, it's a drain on the resources of it's host.

              Even if you view this as a killing of a human being, exactly why is this something so remarkable? Human beings (already born) die everyday of preventable causes, do you feel so strongly about that? Why is the life of someone who's not been born yet have more value than someone who has been born? A death penalty is a prime example of that. If abortion is taking a life (tho not yet one who can survive w/o it's mother-host) and members of society can't countence that because they believe it's murder....they should also feel the same about the death penalty. At least in the case of abortion it's on the conscience of the woman whereas the death penalty is society sentencing someone to death.

              Since you didn't want to talk about the legal issues, but the moral one....if someone's conscience allows them to abort their fetus, why is this your concern? If you feel this way about fetal life, then you know what decision to make for yourself, but don't for a second start to think that your views or universal or even right (be that by religion or science).

              BTW, how many children have you adopted? If you really feel abortion is the killing of human life, than you should be on the front lines to protect it......and not by standing in front of clinics traumatisizing women, but by adopting children of any race or age.

              •  Did You Even Read What DoDi Wrote Above ? (4.00)
                It doesn't appear that you did.  There are millions of people who believe that a fetus is a life but support pro-choice abortion laws because they are aware that there are differences in judgments and values concerning the issue.  On a personal basis, they are willing to counsel and even support a woman who chooses to have a child but recognize the choice is up to the women herself.

                But apparently that isn't good enough for you.  Pro-choice for you means dehumanizing a fetus, an unborn baby, in the crudest way possible as a rationalization for your position.  If you have a problem with others believing that a fetus is a life, then that's your problem and no cold hearted description of human development before birth is going to change opinion.  It's really analogous to anti-abortion advocates showing pictures of cut up fetuses to support their position.

                Pro-choice means a woman has the choice to make the decision between herself, her doctor and her conscience.  Pro-choice does not mean that those who support legalized abortion are supposed to mute their opinions and set aside their values.

              •  Yes, it does sound cruel (none)
                You write so callously:

                "In the purest sense of the word (harsh tho it sounds, it's accurate...look it up) a fetus is a parasite dependent on it's host (ie mother) to survive. Until that fetus comes into the world and is unattached from the umbelical cord, it's entirely dependent on it's mother (ie host) to survive. This being the case, at the best, the fetus is apart of the the worse, it's a drain on the resources of it's host. "

                Well, I'm sorry, but by that logic it should be legal to kill a 3 year old child, or a 14 year old, for that matter, because even at those ages the children are still dependenct on its "host", as you put it.  Many adults who are disabled, unemployed, or just plain down on their luck are also ripe for the death chamber based on your cruel logic.  The elderly in nursing homes, hey, their dependent on their "hosts" to survive, so, "harsh as it sounds", according to you, I guess all of these lives are a "drain on the resources of it's host."

                I don't know who raised you or others of your ilk, but they did a horrible job of instilling compassion, sensitivity, and just basic human decency in you.  I'm sorry to be so "harsh", but when I hear this cruel talk my "emotions" just spontaneously react.  Its evil in the worst sense of the word, this nihilistic philosophy that you advance,  your utilitarian contract with the Devil that you propose we all follow.

                I'm sure the author of this diary did not intend for it to descend into a shouting match over abortion, but such a cruel philosophy enunciated by yourself and others on this blog carries over into other areas of society.  What a choice modern politics in America has descended into-choosing between "pro-life Republicans" who at the same time sponsor pre-emptive wars of aggression which kill hundreds of thousands, and at the same time cutting back on social programs for those already living-and "pro-choice Democrats", who will go to the barricades to stop the death penalty of a convicted mass-murderer but who think its ok to kill a human baby at anytime during a woman's pregnancy, and based upon your utilitarian logic, it would be ok to kill any life dependent on others for its survival.

                •  A fetus is not a "human baby." (none)

                  Roe protects the right to reproductive choice absolutely only during the first three months.  We're talking about a mindless glob of cells here.

                  How dare you pretend to be a liberal and preach this sort of cruel idiocy - that any abortion is the "murder" of a "human baby"?  How dare you try to make women feel guilty for valuing themselves above a blob?  How dare you try to destroy the peace of mind of women who had abortions - who did what they had to do, and what you will NEVER have to do?

                  How dare you ask for broad-minded acceptance of your own differences from the mainstream - as indicated by your post below - and yet harangue others for their beliefs that are different from yours?  I know a couple of fundies who would love to come on this website and harangue you for a while.

                  If your purpose is to force your religious beliefs on other people, you're in the wrong party, I don't care what your other beliefs are.  This is the fundamental difference between liberals and conservatives:  liberals are not into control of other people's behaviors and beliefs. As a corollary, we do not give heartless sermons signed to destroy other people's peace of mind.

              •  Joan... that's just the discussion I want to have (4.00)
                thanks for posting it.

                My basis for saying that abortion is killing a human life is not religious and here's why:
                A fetus is alive and has the complete DNA makeup of the new and unique individual.  It's living, it's a life... What type of life is it then?  The DNA is human DNA so we would have to say scientifically that the life is human.

                If the life is not human than what is it?

                So aborting it is taking a human life, which is morally wrong unless done in self-defense.

                As a woman in her 50's I know that laws won't convince other women of anything... I know the panic of unwanted pregnancy in the age when abortion was illegal and I remember when women who I knew went to back alley abortions and even aborted themselves in desparation.  I'm against making abortion illegal, it doesnt stop abortion and it doesn't help women like me who want to talk calmly and in friendship with women like you and vice versa.

                About your last question "BTW, how many children have you adopted? If you really feel abortion is the killing of human life, than you should be on the front lines to protect it......and not by standing in front of clinics traumatisizing women, but by adopting children of any race or age".

                That's fair.  Here's the answer: I've raised two adopted boys, I've been the foster parent to five children of immigrant workers who had no housing.  They went back to Mexico and thier father (my 'compadre' since I'm godmother to one of the girls) tried to come back to the USA in search of work but was killed (we assume since we've never heard from him) trying to cross the border so I send them money every month and visit.  My comadre has nine children.  Also although I'm not rich (I work as a computer programmer) I have been able to save a bit for retirement so I took $20,000 and built a primary school in Kerala in a fishing village where I know the village priest.  The school was old and falling down and so the government condemned it.  It was an emergency and I could chip in so I did... so there's some examples of things, and over the years I've tried to help when opportunities present themselves.

                •  Not Human Till the Brain is Formed (4.00)
                  The DNA argument doesn't hold up for a few reasons.  First, just because something contains complete human DNA, it is not necessarily human.  A heart being readied for transplant has complete human DNA, but it is not itself a human being.  Second, identical twins (and soon, clones of people) have the same DNA, so the "uniqueness" is not relevant.  Third, once a person is fully brain dead, even if the remaining organs are kept alive on life support,I think you will agree that the person is gone, even though there has been no change in the DNA.

                  What does distinguish a living object with human DNA and a human being is the presence of a human brain.  Until the brain (specifically, the cerebral cortex) is formed, there is not a human being there.  Thus, before this point in the pregnancy (around the fifth month usually, I believe), abortion for any reason is not murder.  After this point, abortion is the taking of a life and whether or not it is murder or self defense or a mercy killing depends on the particular circumstances.  As far as policy goes however, since it is near impossible to monitor and control the activities of pregnant women and still have a just society, the decision should remain within the private confines of the doctor's office and not be subject to government interference.

                  •  chicagoan... you make a good argument, but... (none)
                    1. I don't think the body part argument is very strong because if you kill just a living body part the individual still goes on living (or remains dead if they already were dead).  The individual's state is not affected by what is done with a separate body part.

                    2. If you kill a fetus you directly affect the status of the individual in that they cease living.  This is attributable directly to what was done to the fetus and it makes no difference if the abortion occurs before or after the cerebral cortex has developed.
                    •  Reply (none)
                      As to your first point:  Why is a bady part not "the individual"?  If my kidney is removed, but kept alive, why is the kidney not "the individual"?  It has the DNA.  What makes the leftover parts more important than the kidney? (answer:  the brain)

                      And also in response to your first point:  Every body part but the brain, right?  You must admit that the brain plays a very different role than any other organ.

                      As to the second:  Yes, you cease the life of an individual form (or two in the case of siamese twins), but not a person.  If I killed an unfertilized egg, I would also be ceasing the life of an individual form, but not a person.  It's the same thing.  

                      •  chicagoan... (none)
                        One could also keep a brain alive in a box on a table.  Is it an individual?
                        •  If it was capible of maintaining consciousness (none)
                          I would say yes, it is an individual...

                          Keeping a brain alive in a box would be a fate worse than death for that individual though, unless there was some way for it to interact with the world...

                          I don't view my body very differently than a brain box (with some added features for observing and manipulating my suroundings).  It is the only brain box I will ever get, so I try to take very good care of it...

                          "That blood was already on the flag; we just made it visible." - Clare Grady

                          by tamman2000 on Tue Nov 01, 2005 at 12:25:32 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  haha.. (none)
                            chicagoan,  you are reminding me of a movie called "Kaliman and the Sinister World of Humanon".  This is a movie you should not see!

                            The possibility of love defines the human individual.  The possibility to give and/or to recieve it.

                            Over the years I've been an atheist, an agnostic, and a believer... but is unimportant.  Everyone has the ability for recognizing the humanity in others and themselves.

                          •  that wasn't chigagoan... (none)
                            It was me...

                            I am not sure what your point in this most recent post is?

                            Are you saying that a brain in a box can't love?

                            Or was the rather scifi notion of a brain in a box independant of the latter part of the post?

                            "That blood was already on the flag; we just made it visible." - Clare Grady

                            by tamman2000 on Tue Nov 01, 2005 at 01:06:04 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  sorry tamman... (none)
                            I didn't see that it was you and not chicagoan who posted the comment.  Sorry for my smart aleck remark about horror movies ;-)

                            "Are you saying that a brain in a box can't love?"  

                            OK! you got me! I'm speechless now.

                            "Remember, we are here but by the grace of plate tectonics... Just some perspective, apply it to your idealogies as you will." -- read in a comment by roboton

                            by DoDi on Tue Nov 01, 2005 at 01:20:55 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I hope you're not serious (none)
                            Certainly you don't think my daughter had the capacity to love me when she was still in my womb, do you?

                            And if we are going by the "everyone has the capacity to recognize" standard (which, we definitely should not), I can tell you that the point of conception is definitely not where most people have drawn the line throughout history.  If you show someone a blastocyst and then an 8-month fetus, there is no doubt in my mind that they would be more likely to confer personhood on the second than the first.

                          •  love is what makes us human (none)
                            Certainly you don't think my daughter had the capacity to love me when she was still in my womb, do you?

                            Maybe not, but you had the capacity to love her.

                            "Remember, we are here but by the grace of plate tectonics... Just some perspective, apply it to your idealogies as you will." -- read in a comment by roboton

                            by DoDi on Tue Nov 01, 2005 at 04:22:36 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I love my cat, too (none)
                            I love all sorts of things.  I certainly wouldn't want to confer personhood on my cat.  Or my house.

                            If our personhood is only granted by other people having the capacity to love us, then that's a pretty poor standard.  There are people without friends or family to care for them.  Still people in my book, even thought they are not loved.

                          •  You took my point backwards... (none)
                            If our personhood is only granted by other people having the capacity to love us, then that's a pretty poor standard.

                            I meant it differently.  Personhood isn't granted by the capacity of others to love us, but rather by our capacity to love them.

                            Love is what makes us human individuals... our possibility to love others and receive love in return.  

                            This also applies at the societal level... our capacity to love mothers and help them rather than criticize them when they are in desparate situations.  That's why you'll never find me marching in front of an abortion clinic, but you might find me listening quietly over coffee with a woman in trouble about how we can both come up with a solution that might expand rather than diminish us both as human beings.

                            "Remember, we are here but by the grace of plate tectonics... Just some perspective, apply it to your idealogies as you will." -- read in a comment by roboton

                            by DoDi on Tue Nov 01, 2005 at 05:19:22 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  We need a clear definition (none)
                            You're going back and forth of this.  My daughter could not love me when she was in the womb, so that does not confer personhood on her at that point by your definition.  I could love her, but I also loved my cat, so that does not confer personhood on her by your definition.  She simply did not meet your definition of personhood while she was in my womb.  (Actually, she doesn't even meet it now, at 2 months of age.)

                            You started with an argument about DNA.  You seem to have abandoned that and are now defining personhood differently.  Why the change?  If you are willing to change your position, please give some consideration to my point about the brain.  I think that logically it's the only definition that stands up to scrutiny (and believe me, I've given it years of careful consideration).

                          •  OK (none)
                            Actually, she doesn't even meet it now, at 2 months of age.

                            haha, that I agree with.  let's both agree to exclude kids from 2 months until 21 years old from being included in the personhood classification.

                            My assertion is a package deal that includes:

                            1. DNA of the fetus is not the DNA of the mother nor of the father.  It is the DNA that is complete and new and unique (except for identical twins, in which case you got two brand new individuals).
                            2. I have no idea what a fetus feels... perhaps someday science will be able to answer that question.  But a fetus is the beginning of a new life that carries the possibility and promise of loving others, unlike for instance, a kidney or a pet rock.  i.e. it's alive and it's human.
                            3. We respond instinctively to the unborn human life with love.  We value it and even those who claim to support abortion rights often make the remark that they hope that rates of abortion are reduced.  Why would they feel that way if abortion only kills a blob of cells?  I think like many moral questions... it's an instinctive knowledge.

                            I wish there never were laws against abortion and I hope there never will be.  The debate about legality makes it difficult to really talk about abortion itself.  As a woman I'm quite insistant that men keep thier laws off my body... we women drew a line around ourselves when we rose up in the 50's and 60's to claim our own personhood.  We have always made the decision about whether or not to carry a child to term, and abortion laws didn't stop us... even to the point of aborting ourselves.  So I'm pro-choice... but also very pro-life.

                            "Remember, we are here but by the grace of plate tectonics... Just some perspective, apply it to your idealogies as you will." -- read in a comment by roboton

                            by DoDi on Tue Nov 01, 2005 at 07:56:17 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  But Conception is not the Correct Place (none)
                            Here is my response to your 3 assertions:

                            1.  Identical twins can form from up to 12 days after conception.  At what point did the second "individual" show up?  And, you can't appeal first to "unique DNA" as being the definition of an individual and then claim that identical twins are two individuals.  Either unique DNA counts for something or it doesn't.

                            2.  Here you're just arguing circularly.  That is, it's human because it's human.  Some fetuses will never develop a brain.  That fetus does not carry the possibility nor the promise of loving others.  It is not until the brain develops that that possibility becomes a reality.  If an egg and a sperm are sliding toward each other in a petri dish, and I stop them 2 seconds before meeting, you don't think that is the taking of the life that would have been formed, but 2 seconds after they meet, you do.  Doesn't make sense.  If it's potential we're talking about, both situations are the same.  Conception just doesn't cut it.

                            3.  Why, you wonder might abortion be a tragedy, even if it is not the death of a person?  Well, it can only result from one of two things:  an unwanted pregnancy or a wanted pregnancy where something went wrong.  Both of those are tragedies.  And, again, if we're going by instinct, do you dispute that almost everyone in the world considers a miscarriage at 8 months of fetal development more tragic than one at 3 weeks?  If, as you believe there is no difference in personhood, why the instinctual difference?
                        •  Of Course (none)
                          Not sure why you think it's not.  It passes your DNA test.
                •  Thank you (none)
                  for putting your money (and your time) where your mouth is.

                  If all the pro-life people were like you, we wouldn't have these problems.  

            •  Apparently (none)
              human life only counts for something with the conservatives up until the point one is actually born.

              Halley Seven, United States Nil - You see, it can be done!

              by ian1973uk on Tue Nov 01, 2005 at 04:04:19 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Then God does an awful lot (4.00)
              of killing. A LOT of pregnancies don't come to term, by God's hand.

              I, myself, would rather have abortion be unusual. But until we worry more about the people who are here than the people who aren't born yet, women WILL get abortions. Legal or not.

              •  About half of all fertilized eggs (4.00)
                are flushed out every month. And then there are the large percentage of embryos that don't make it past the 14 week marker. ( All doctors tell women not to tell anyone about a pregnancy until they pass 13 weeks, because too many don't make it)

                That is a lot of "souls" that this omniscient God is killing.

                So, if you believe Christian myths, then you have to think either

                A) half the souls in heaven never spent a day outside of a womb in earth
                B) god does not magically zap a soul at conception, but at birth

                •  false dicotomy (none)
                  Human life doesn't have to begin either at birth or conception, you are ignoring 9 very formative months.

                  "That blood was already on the flag; we just made it visible." - Clare Grady

                  by tamman2000 on Tue Nov 01, 2005 at 08:44:25 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  then we don't know (none)
                    when this mass of cells gets a soul, if you believe that human animals get souls at some point and other animals don't.

                    so it is no one else's business
                    THAT is the whole arugment.

                    •  When the brain forms (none)
                      Personhood is in the human brain.  Once the cerebral cortex forms, it's a person.  Before that, it's not.
                      •  And if that never forms correctly? (none)
                        Because sometimes it doesn't, but the fetus still continues developing.

                        Is an abortion OK then? What if other parts don't form correctly? What about Siamese twins, especially if they share vital organs?

                        What about life-threatening birth defects? Ones where the child, even if carried full term, will never be able to live a full life, and may not even realize it HAS a life?

                        Would you want to force a woman to carry such a pregnancy to term, only to have the child die after a few months because health ins refused to continue paying the hospital?

                        •  I Didn't State Anything About Policy (none)
                          I didn't discuss any policy in that post, just stated when life begins.

                          If you want my views on policy, however, I will repost what I posted above:  Whether a termination past that point is murder, self defense, or a mercy killing depends on the circumstances.  However, because policing pregnant womens' activities is impossible in a just society, the individual decision should be made in the privacy of the doctor's office without government interference.

            •  Shouldn't have been zero rated... (4.00)
              DoDi is entitled to her opinion.  We, collectively, need to have a better responce to what she, in a calm maner, stated.  We need better than loud disagreement.  Escalateing the argument to the point of trying to censor/overpower does nothing to convince people either way, it only cements positions.

              zero rating this comment, and some of the replies to it, are counterproductive to the discussion. (some of the replying is good too though...)

              That said, how do we know DoDi isn't right?  We state all the time that nobody knows when life begins.  Personally, I think it is obvious that it is not at conception, and that it is equally obvios that it is before birth.  I can't get more precise than that.  She might be mearly employing these facts in the conservative maner.  I say conservative not meaning the political movement, but the true meaning of the word, the scientific/data analysis/engineering sence of the word, playing it safe...  

              If her ultimate objective is to prevent the taking of human life, and she believes that life begins before birth, at an unknown time, the limit on the potential time that it starts would be conception, or implantation of the zygote in the uterus.  By employing the limit case she is just doing all she can to preven unnessisary human life loss.

              I want to make it clear, that abortion should be legal, and, at least in early pregnancy I have no objection to it (after the formation of the central nervious system, I am less sure about my position).  I just don't think the reaction to DoDi that we are displaying is warrented.  We need productive debate, we have to be better than the other side!

              "That blood was already on the flag; we just made it visible." - Clare Grady

              by tamman2000 on Tue Nov 01, 2005 at 07:06:39 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  I am probably 10 years older than you (4.00)
        and I remember these days well.  Fortunately, I never had to deal with the abortion issue for myself but I had friends who did. One had money and 'went on a trip'. another did not and went on another trip to a back alley clinic in Philly. She never came home.

        There were girls who 'went away' for a while to homes where they would have their babies who would be immediately placed for adoption. These attempts to preserve their reputations never worked and they were always considered lesser and soiled beings after that - not that women didn't start out as lesser beings but we all know that that's the way God planned it, don't we?

        I was discussing the possibility of losing the right to abortion with the younger women in my family when one of them said, 'Well, we're going to have to learn how to do this for ourselves, aren't we?'

        I'm very proud of her.

        We must have stem-cell research. How else will Congress and the media grow spines?

        by bablhous on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:23:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  WHEN I WAS IN COLLEGE (4.00)
      There was one student nicknamed Crazy Charlie who, in addition to the stories of the crazy risks he'd taken, also made it known that he had a connection to a "doctor" in Philadelphia who performed backstreet abortions.

      For $200, Charlie would drive you there. Thank god I didn't get pregnant while in college, but if I had, my ownly option would have been Crazy Charlie and the so-called "doctor."

      And I would have taken that option. Even though I knew there were odds that I'd end up as a black and white photo of a bloody corpse on the pages of the Daily News, dumped if my abortion went awry.

      No Roe? Then your options will be the Crazy Charlies of this world, and whoever they claim is a doctor, for an abortion with no anesthia.

      And it's an option you, or your daughter, will take, if you're desperate enough.

      •  No. (4.00)
        We must Vera Drake this.  We must create a network of safe providers, or some underground railroad system.

        I'm sorry that I have to say this.  But I will participate in this.  

        I'm sure "they" are already watching--I'm sure it isn't safe to say any more.  But we will find a way to save these women.

        •  There will (4.00)
          be some states in which it remains perfectly legal. Perhaps a fund could be established to cover transportation costs for women in other states.
          •  That's not good enough..... (4.00)
            That is not acceptable.  Roe recognized a right to reproductive freedom of ALL women. Not women who live in New York or Florida.  States can and do regulate abortion clinics and some have imposed parental notification and other requirements but the core of Roe applies to all 50 states and ALL women. Fight to uphold Roe.  Don't settle for anything less.

            "He that sees but does not bear witness, be accursed" Book of Jubilees

            by Lying eyes on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:14:00 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I don't think it will play out this way (4.00)
            I am horrified by the current anti-abortion backlash by the American Taliban, but I do not believe it will play out this way.

            • a couple of states have seen the likelyhood of patchwork laws and included clauses to go after any adult, except a parent, who helps a child get to a provider.  This will have a significant chilling effect.  There has already been some discussion of putting reporting onus' on the providers to 'rat' on clients.  I recognize that there is a long way to go to enact such a regulatory scheme, but be warned.

            • RU 486 exists today, and it didn't in the 1960s.  What we'll see is the addition of RU486 to the illegal pharmacopia available from your local illicit pharmacist (along with some serious pain meds like heroin, coke and ecstacy).  Actually, I think the Medical Marijuana provider networks will step in and provide this.  

            I still believe Republicans are signing their own political death warrants by giving in on this.  I hear far, far too many women who glibly assume it'll never happen, supporting the Republicans on the basis of other policies. I think they'll turn.  

            Most people do not believe a new human exists at conception - they may not have a well-formed idea,  but their fuzzy thinking will allow them to support first trimester abortions given the setback.

          •  I wouldn't rely on abortion (4.00)
            remaining legal in any states. I believe the aim of the Right is to get the Supreme Court to not only reverse Roe, but to recognize a constitutional right to life.
        •  That's more or less what the NY Times said (4.00)
          in an article a couple weeks back.

          The less a man knows about how sausages and laws are made, the easier it is to steal his vote and give him botulism.

          by SensibleShoes on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:40:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Vera Drake (3.93)
          Damn skippy!  I'll not let some white middle-aged male asshole decide which women live or die.  I'm younger than some of the women speaking here - but I still remember how it was.  Rich daughters getting a little 'vacation' overseas, while their poorer sisters endured the torture of having a knitting needle shoved into their uterus.

          There's been an underground railroad in this country for years helping women and their children escape abusive husbands.  We can do the same thing for women needing a safe abortion.  Yes - in some states it will still be legal - we can get them there.  In the case of a national law banning abortion - we will transport them to Canada.  I'm damned if I'll let shit like that stand unchallenged.  Think you can stop me?  Go ahead - just try and shoot me down.  There's a thousand more lined up to take my place.  You'll lose, motherfuckers - trust me - you will lose!

          •  we can't let misogynistic extremists (4.00)
            return us to the dark ages of Henry V--we know how well that sick fuck and his backward society treated women. Fuck these sick twisted corrupt evil motherf*ing bastards. Also shows that their bs pr spin line justifying their illegal wars to liberate women in Afghanistan and Iraq was total freepin bogus bs. And after willfully bringing about so many unnecessary deaths to our citizens and those of other nations they now want to harm our women at home, they should be thrown out of office on their asses immediately. All of them. right now. period. This is beyond ethical and legal transgression. These sick sexist lying murderous bastards have shown that they are grossly without calibre, truely NOT qualified or competent to be serving in our highest office. They have shown and proven without doubt that they do not deserve the honor and privilege of these high positions. They need to be removed. It is entirely unacceptable. There is no place for them in our government or our fair minded democratic society. We need to rectify this. NOW.
            is: it will help so few women.

            Because of secrecy, you will not know who the pregnant, and desperate, women are.  And they will not know who you are.

            That's why Roe can't be overturned.

            Two of my friends got pregnant in high school, at 14 and 16.

            Another may have -- she went to "Arizona for her asthma."

            But believe you me, none of us heard of any "underground railroad" if there was one then.

            So, two forced child marriages, one baby maybe adopted. Maybe. Who knows?


        •  Today (none)
          Mem, that will happen.  We're not in the same psychic position we were in the 50's and 60's - women will create an alternative universe where options are possible.
  •  Yes, unfortunately, I know. (4.00)
    I will leave it at that for now.
    I'm afraid too.
    Let us fight those whom we fear now.
    •  I as well know, unfortunately (4.00)
      what you have been through.

      And I greatly admire your bravery in reminding us all who have faced this "choice" at some point in our lives.

      Thank you.

      •  Thank you (4.00)
        It wasn't easy to write this.

        But you know, we have to educate those who were too young to remember.  They have no idea of what we, and they, stand to lose.

        •  I DO know, xyz, (4.00)
          And honestly, until the reality of this actually happening occurred today, I had truly hidden the memory.

          Oh, it was always there mind you. Never too far from  awareness, but now, today, it is so very, very different.

          Fortunately, I didn't have to go to back alleys in the 1980s. The idea that I'm even speaking of this is, well, astounding. I've never spoken of it to anyone since we made the decision. Please don't misinterpret that statement. I don't have any regrets. I don't wonder "what if..."

          But it is such a personal, private choice that those of us who have grown up since Roe have taken for granted. The fact that this right, and I DO believe it is a right, might some day soon be taken away, was unfathomable, until today.

          And today, I cried for my granddaughter. And possibly for my as-yet-to-be-great-granddaughter.

  •  Thanks for sharing.. (4.00)
    I'm an ex-nurse (Male).

    I support a womans right to choose. For me, it was to prevent the very story you just told.

    I'm sorry for what happened to you, and I would do anything to prevent more women from facing that choice.

    Stop mad cowboy disease!

    by wrights on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 04:15:36 PM PST

    •  I ended up in the hospital, it was botched, (4.00)
      of course.

      To this day, I don't regret it for a second.

      That is how important it was, and is.  

      It was humiliating beyond belief.  We currently protect our dogs better than these nitwits want to protect us women.

      It'd be funny if it wasn't so pathetic.

      •  THE abortion frame (4.00)
        Abortions have always existed, and will always exist.  The only choice is between safe legal abortions and potentially deadly back-alley ones.

        Are you pro-coathanger or anti-coathanger, Sam?

        Now a New Mexican, and much the better for it.

        by Dallasdoc on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 05:38:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's pretty much it, (4.00)
          there will always be abortion.

          Cave women had abortions.  Women are NOT going to have children they do not want to have.

          We are going to give them safe options not to have those children, either through birth control or safe abortion, or they will resort to the hanger or knitting needle.

          I even tried the knitting needle.  It didn't work.

          Desperate women do desperate things.

          •  Thank God you survived (4.00)
            Just saw Vera Drake on cable the other night.  Its simplicity -- the stark contrast between Vera's heroic simple decency and the sanctimonious judgments of the male power structure  -- was an overwhelmingly eloquent argument against going back to those desperate, benighted days.

            Thanks for a scary, beautiful, sad diary.

            Now a New Mexican, and much the better for it.

            by Dallasdoc on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:11:59 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  "Thank God you survived" (none)
              Yes, thank God she survived, my only regret is that her baby did not survive as well.  I don't want to put a load of guilt on this woman or others, but I don't quite believe it when they say they never regretted it.  Deep down, inside, they must mourn for the death of their baby.

              Abortion is a tragedy.  I'm sorry, but that is the only word to describe it.  Women who have had abortions, for whatever reasons, surely have regrets.  To ignore this or rationalize it away will not work in the long run.

              This is between this woman and her conscience, and her God if she is a believer.  All I can say, is, one day she, as we all will, will have to make an account of our life to God.  That is my opinion, and I also want to point out that God is compassionate and merciful, and will forgive all who come in sincere repentance.

              That is what I believe.  I need forgiveness for my many sins, and I will have to deal with the skeletons in my own closet.  But to say that one does not have any regrets for so tragic an action, (and I'm sure you were under intense personal pressure), does not mean that you will be able to live in denial all your life.

              As we all must, own up to it, face it, and go to God in trust and repentance.   God will welcome you, as the Shepherd did, when abandoning the 99 sheep who did not stray, he went to search for the 1 sheep that was lost.

              "Surely I say unto you, there will be rejoicing among the angels in Heaven over one sinner who has repented, for he had been lost, and now he has been found."  

              •  Your beliefs are yours (4.00)
                Hers are hers, and we each have our own belief system.

                Please do not assume that your spiritual truths apply for anyone else.  No matter how fervently you hold your religious beliefs, that doesn't make them true for others.

                Now a New Mexican, and much the better for it.

                by Dallasdoc on Tue Nov 01, 2005 at 08:41:05 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Individuals (4.00)
                Yes, thank God she survived, my only regret is that her baby did not survive as well.  I don't want to put a load of guilt on this woman or others, but I don't quite believe it when they say they never regretted it.  Deep down, inside, they must mourn for the death of their baby.

                No, they don't have to. Your problem is you can't believe the inside of anyone else's head is any different from yours.

                If you feel this way don't get an abortion. I'll support you in that decision.

                But keep your lack of empathy for other people's situations, minds, feelings and understandings to yourself.

                It's none of your business.

                Republicans are men of narrow vision, who are afraid of the future. -- Jimmy Carter

                by elsaf on Tue Nov 01, 2005 at 08:50:23 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Can it with the whole sermon please! (4.00)
                Not all women grieve or regret when they have an abortion. Some women like me, have misplaced greif over the whole damned thing. I'll explain.

                I had an abortion when I was 21 and it is just now that I realize that I don't regret it.

                Why should I feel like a sinner with something to regret? Why not the asshole boyfriend of mine who got me pregnant and pretty much said that he would dump me if  I didn't get rid? What about that spineless fucker that wanted me to use some concoction that he heard about so he could avoid paying for it?

                How fucking dare you tell me how to feel?! Abortion is a tragedy?! A tragedy is something that could have been avoided that ends up ruining someone's life. Katrina, Rita, the Boxing Day tsunami and the Pakistan earthquake are tragedy. Abortion is a private matter between a woman and her doctor.

                I don't regret shit, except going with him and getting pregnant in the first place.

                My grandmother used to be the go-to woman in the halcyon days of pre Roe v Wade. She mixed up the concotions and she once held her 13 year old sister's legs while she had a back alley abortion. You will not hear of a more vocal supporter of women's rights than my 85 year old granny. She has given many an abortion to her neieces that were sexually abused by fathers, uncles, cousins and brothers. She regrets none of it.

                Take your preaching and guilt and suck on it. We women don't want or need it.

                Peace if possible, justice at any rate

                by conturnedred on Tue Nov 01, 2005 at 08:51:17 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Sorry forgot to add (none)
                  I'm a mother and I'm pretty sure the reason I am a good mother is because I (and my husband) actually wanted my son, instead of having him forced on me.

                  Peace if possible, justice at any rate

                  by conturnedred on Tue Nov 01, 2005 at 08:53:43 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  sorry if I was preaching (none)
                  Conturnedred and others:

                  I know how you feel. I hate it when people preach to me, I really do.  That is why I hesitate to get into the abortion debate, because although I must admit I'm pro-life and always have been, in the last several years I have been uncomfortable as a progressive Democrat being associated with a viewpoint that seems to be so foreign to progressives and so acceptable to rightwingers.

                  I empathize with the situation a woman who has an abortion encounters.  And although I directed my post to a woman who said she had an abortion, and has no regrets apparently, I would not for a single moment let the selfish boyfriend or husband who abandons a woman he impregnated and pressured her to have an abortion off the hook.

                  A man who would do that, in my opinion, is not a man at all.  He is scum.  

                  I will get a little personal with you.  I understand your aversion to people "preaching" because I react that way when I hear ministers or priests preaching to me, only for another reason.  I am a gay man.  We all know who fundamentalist and conservative Catholics feel about us.  They view us as sinners and the Catholics call us "intinsically disordered."

                  Well, I hate that.  But it has humbled me.  I realize many feel I am a sinner, so it gives me pause, (in Fitz's terms) when I confront someone else with a possible moral failing.  That is what I meant when I would have to deal with the skeletons in my own closet.

                  But, I will tell you this.  As a gay man, I have never got a woman pregnant.  But I will tell you one thing.  I have had 3 cats at one time.  At times they were a "burden" to me, kept me from going on weekend trips, moving places, etc.  But I could not abandon them because I loved them.  If I ever had a child, I could not see me abandoning an innocent child as well.  I would love that child with my whole heart and soul.

                  I "preached" to that woman because I truly believe there must be regret in her heart and others.  I dont believe there is no regret.

                  I hope this is not too much "information" for you but I wanted to share it so you don't think I'm some holier than thou rightwing hypocrite.

                  Abortion is a tragedy for all, and whoever aids in that, or pressures a poor woman to have one, is equally, if not more guilty and culpable in that tragedy.  

                  •  FUCKING CATS??!! (none)
                    Dude, hand me the shovel.  You're in deep enough already.
                    •  yes, cats (none)
                      apparently you're not an animal friendly person.  Well I am.  I used the example to show how, if one loves life, as I do, one bears the burden for that life and does not abandon it out of difficulty or expediency.

                      I know to many people it sounds a little cornball or strange, but I was reaching for an analogy, and with my situation, since I don't have children of my own to point to, that is the best I could see.

                      •  Admittedly I'm not a cat person (none)
                        but I do love dogs.  (And dogs are usually more work than cats.)  But to compare even taking care of a dog to the raising of a child is just utterly ridiculous.  I've given birth to two children...I've carried them inside my body and I've nourished them and I've taken care of them and worried about them and basically given up my life and my career for them.  And you know what, as wonderful and fulfilling as it all has been, it's also been fucking hard.  So hard that I don't ever want to do it again and would probably choose abortion if I got pregnant again.

                        I know you probably mean well, but comparing raising a child to taking care of cats really isn't helping your argument.  So you didn't get to go on a vacation; I didn't get to go to work for 6 years, how about that?

                  •  Regret (4.00)
                    I know it is hard for pro-lifers to understand why someone would feel no regret for having an abortion. To you, a fetus is a human life and you can't imagine taking a human life without feeling something no matter how justified you were. But your moral intuition that a fetus is a human life is not universally-shared. I have no moral intuition that a blob of cells that happens to have human DNA deserves the same moral respect as a child. It just doesn't compute for me, in the same way that killing that same blob of cells without regret does not compute for you. I would never support abortion rights if I thought abortion were the moral equivalent of infanticide. But I don't - no one has ever been able to explain to me why a bunch of cells that can't suffer, feel, or sustain a relationship with anyone should have any rights at all.

                    I know I'm not going to talk you out of any of your deeply held beliefs about when life begins. But please realize that all morally-serious people do not agree with you about whether fetuses deserve any moral concern at all.

              •  Oh Michigan Paul, you who know the mind of God... (none)
                and apparently everyone else.  You have NO idea what you are talking about.  Until you have been pregnant with an unwanted child you will have no idea what you are talking about.  All the religion in the world cannot give you that kind of knowledge.

                It is wonderful you are so secure in your religion.  But it doesn't make you right, or even good.

        •  I always do this (none)
          But Digable Planets song Femme Fatale spoke to this:

          it has always been around
          it will always have a niche
          but they'll make it a privelege not a right
          accessible only to the rich
          pro-lifers should dig themselves
          cause life doesn't stop after birth
          and to a child borne to the unprepared
          it might even just get worse
        •  That's right! (4.00)
          Before Roe v. Wade I protested with other women (and men) at the Minnesota state capitol in 1972. I had a sign with a coat hanger on it, saying stop the murder of women! I've worried over the years that people would forget why we needed safe, legal abortions.  Women died, and not infrequently, from unsafe abortions! Back then, there were articles in the paper with names of famous women from all over the world (I recall that women in France started it) that had had abortions and stated so publicly to make the point that abortions won't stop, so they must be made safe and legal!

          "The election's over. We won. It's all over but the counting, and we'll take care of the counting." Rep. Peter King (R-NY) at WH function, 2003

          by kathika on Tue Nov 01, 2005 at 11:49:39 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  No vote for Alito (4.00)
    okay you convinced me, he is going to be a danger to the average American. I only hope we survive the Bush era so called moral improvements.they will be the personal destruction of all our moral rights

    James M Joiner Gardner, Ma.

    by jmsjoin on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 04:17:27 PM PST

  •  O you women, always putting your social privilege (4.00)
    (Righty sexist argument) before the careers of men and (leftist's sexist argument)poor people's economic survival.  <little eye rolling smiley goes here>

    Liberal, Christian, Feminazi, Mom.

    by TeresaInPa on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 04:33:42 PM PST

  •  LOL, the ultimate irony (4.00)
    Ignored on Kos.

    Thanks, folks.  

    •  You are not ignored (4.00)
      Last I remember the average age around here is 20-35 or something like it.

      It is not that you are ignored -- it is just that they cannot relate.  Since they cannot relate - I doubt that they even believe your diary.  

      I must be around your age too - and I hope that a lot of young people wake up really fast because the threat to their lives of the ban on abortion - will affect them more and their friends more than any other events in their lives.

      They will get to know friends that have been killed - they will get to know friends/relatives that are mained forever - either by the backdoor abortions or the after effects of them - either mentally or physically - or both.

      So young friends here at Kos - it is time for you to take up the gauntlet - because by the time you have lost most of your personal freedoms it will be too late.

      Too may in my generation fought hard for you guys so that you would not have to go through the horrors of many of our generation.

      Your turn is now.

      Proud to be a Bleeding Heart Liberal

      by sara seattle on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 05:25:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  actually, i think the average age was like (4.00)
        35-65.  I remember thinking I was in the minority when we had the age poll (and I'm 23).
        •  The FUCK? (4.00)
          How are you younger than me?
        •  Georgia10 (none)
          my memory could very well be lagging -

          as ever I bow to your intellect.  

          I must tell you - I am in awe of you.  I love your diaries and comments.  You are so wise - so bright, - you always make me see things from another point of view.  

          Proud to be a Bleeding Heart Liberal

          by sara seattle on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 05:44:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I, too, am impressed (none)
          by your intellect and amazed that you are only 23. I read your blog every once in a while, and I noticed on your pofile that your favorite childhood book was "The Secret Garden" and got a kick out of that, because my favorite childhood book was "The Little Princess" by the same author, Frances Hodgson Burnet.

          "The election's over. We won. It's all over but the counting, and we'll take care of the counting." Rep. Peter King (R-NY) at WH function, 2003

          by kathika on Tue Nov 01, 2005 at 12:07:38 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  its already too late (4.00)
        we are going to lose that right and many more....we will have to fight for them all over again...a 30 year fight in my opinion.

        and then hopefully that will be that and people will remember and never let it happen again.

        I wish I had a penis on the back of my head.

        by anna in philly on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 05:54:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The young shouldn't need (4.00)
        to wait until our own lives have been affected in order to "relate."

        I think that's the whole point of the idea that you must "learn from history or be doomed to repeat it."

        Which is why this type of diary is important.  You say that the young (myself) cannot relate to this tale.  I disagree.  What does this boil down to? Beyond the actual event, this is a tale about suffering and misery.  Avoidable suffering and misery at that.  I think even the young can understand and relate to base human emotions such as those.  

        We cannot wait until enough people have been affected by something to deem it important.  We, like xyz, must break down a case into elements that can be understood and related to by those who cannot understand the situation itself.

        I would say even the most brainwashed fundie doesn't want to cause suffering.  They just cannot understand the scope of a situation.  It's up to us to open their eyes.  Everyone can see if they want to.  We all have a third eye.  Most of us just remain ignorant of it, or willfully keep it closed.

      •  There are still non-professional abortions today (4.00)
        >>is not that you are ignored -- it is just that they cannot relate.  Since they cannot relate - I doubt that they even believe your diary.<<

        A teenage girl in Macomb County Michigan got pregnant and her boyfriend induced a miscarriage by hitting her in the abdomen with a baseball bat (apparently a "faith based" family planning clinic gave them misleading information on Michigan's abortion laws).  The fetus was aborted, the boy was charged with inducing a miscarriage (if memory serves he has not gotten jail time), and the girl could not be charged with anything.  

        The boy was lated called before the court for making threatening comments towards her and her family.  

        While I started out on this blog pro-life everything does bring to mind the question.  What gets loosed when you play "pro-life by legislative fiat"?  From what I'm seeing it is nothing that I would want to have any part of.

        "All Politics is Local" - former Speaker of the House Tip O'Neil

        by Mister Gloom on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:15:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'm 27 (4.00)
        And because of this great web site, I'm Not Sorry I do know what it was like. Up until reading these stories, I certainly did take abortion for granted, having been alive since around the time abortion was made legal and living in a blue state where there are fewer restrictions to abortion.

        I was chilled by these stories...I am afraid too.

        Even though I live in the northeast, I'm afraid that the anti-choice people will come out of the woodwork if Roe is overturned. I'm afraid for the millions of women who live in states where it is hard enough to get an abortion already. Very afraid.

        But you know what? I'm certainly NOT sorry.

        Stop saying that blue state people are out of touch with the morals and values of the red states. I'm not out of touch with them, I just don't share them.

        by missreporter on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:21:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you (none)
        again and again.

        Hey, ya know, life is life.  I have no regrets.  LOL, well, very few, and nothing to do with the diary.  Bruce comes to mind.....

        This is about telling my story for those who don't have the perspective to imagine what an unintended pregnancy means.

      •  I'm 23 (4.00)
        And i immediately recommended this. Even though i didn't live in that period it, and the other things implied by Scalia-clone Alito's ascendence, worry me.

        Or maybe "worry" is too light a word. They keep me up at night.

        The Shapeshifter's Blog -- Politics, Philosophy, and Madness!

        by Shapeshifter on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 08:13:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  i wouldn't worry about the young women (none)
        i think they get it.  it is after all, those women who still have to make those decisions after all.  complacency is most likely found in older women (not on this site) who don't have that to worry about.  people like my mother who has helped her unmarried daughter (not me)get an abortion. trying to convince her to write to our Republican Senators hasn't been successful. it would mean more from her b/c she is in fact a bloody republican and voted for these bastards.

        i am 29.  i have experienced the beauty of motherhood and the humiliation of an abortion and i have never doubted, regreted, or mourned either of those decisions.

        and i am so incredibly scared--terrified--of slipping backwards in time to a place my young liberated heart has never had to live.

        the young will fight.

    •  You're not ignored. I'm guessing that we're all (4.00)
      reading your diary.

      I'm from the same era.  We had no choice, no control.

      I may be wrong here, but it's possible that younger people cannot relate to what happened to you because they've never found themselves powerless, without choices.

      Your story is a warning.  We'll see how we do.  

      •  Same Era (4.00)
        I became involved in the cause for safe and legal abortions after my sister became pregnant after a rape. I was sixteen and it was the year or so before Roe. I may not know exactly what you went through xyz, but I do know how her experience has affected my sister's entire life. Watching my sister go through this horrible experience also changed me.  
        She was one of the lucky ones. She managed to convince a medical board made up of six old and very unsympathetic men to grant her request for an abortion. She had to relive the every aspect of that terrifying night for over three hours as she was questioned. In the end, she was allowed to have a therapeutic abortion. She has always felt it was only because her rapist was black. Most of the women who had the courage to go before the board were turned down.
        I have kept up the good fight because of my daughter. I am tired and disappointed in those younger women (and men) who have never take the threat of Roe being overturned seriously. I guess you had to experience the bad old days, in order to fully appreciate the importance of Roe.
    •  Respectfully, your diary title may seem (4.00)
      ambiguous to casual passers-by.  Just a minor consideration.  Sure, there are an increasing number of abortion issues diaries moving through the site at this time, but it still took me a few sweeps of the "new" list to decide on trying your diary - primarily to see if it possibly concerned what I thought it might (it did, btw).

      I am very sorry to hear that these terrible people and their narrow attitudes generally converged on you over those years.  All of what you described that impacted you is so unfair and wrong.  Thank you for being so open and trusting to share it all with us, especially at this time.  This does help to keep a truly human grounding to our fighting, I feel.

      My wife is pregnant with our hopeful second child.  We both have long-shared interests in her being comfortable and healthy as much as possible, but I'd fully support her decision to abort, if she that's how she felt at some point.  Despite all we talk about, plan and hope together, it's my role to support her own health choices - before, during and after her pregnancy.

      We talk about factors involved with medical decisions I make for myself, but she respects my personal health choices, of course . . . forever why shouldn't I be doing the same for her at all times?

  •  Thank you thank you thank you (4.00)
    We always need to be reminded what it's like to live in the sick world of social conservativism.

    Thank you for sharing your heart-rending story. This is the most important social issue in the United States and the world. Women must have equality and control over their bodies, PERIOD!

    OOOOOMMMMM . . . . .

    by MarkosNYC on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 05:13:39 PM PST

    •  Thank YOU (4.00)
      Do you have any idea what it cost me to write this diary?  Things I'd buried for years.

      It took me 35 years to even admit I'd been molested.    One of my dearest friends said to me, when I told him, 'Oh, that explains so much about you.'  LOL

      I didn't have as many problems admitting I'd had an abortion. Even illegal.

      I cannot tell you how demeaning it was.  How I sat there and rationalized to myself, rather dead than stuck.  Go for it, babe.

      I have zero regrets.  All I wish is that there will never be another woman to have sit there and go through what I went through.

      •  You're very brave. (none)

        Mariva's Guide: Stuff for the mind, for passing time, for sharing, for yourself, for fun.

        by mariva on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 05:58:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I know others who have a hard time (4.00)
        Admitting to sexual abuse as a child, many.

        I on the other hand seem to introduce myself, "Hi my name is ..... and I was sexually abused as a child."

        No matter how many times I say it, write about it, it's still so painful .... it wasn't just the events (which spanned years), but also the lifelong effect.  First sexual relationship was with someone I cared naught for, second one that cared naught for me ... on and on.  Years of therapy ..... I finally was diagnosed as suffering PTSD and then I read ....

        One recommended treatment of PTSD is to expose the traumatized person to a similar trauma over and over, only in a safe environment, to desensitize.  Imagine that one!

      •  While I do know what it's like (none) be pregnant and single and alone (twice, actually), I was fortunately able to have a safe and legal abortion in 1989. But even then, before some of the restrictive measures passed in the 90's, it was difficult to get an appointment.
        The second time I decided against abortion because the circumstances were completely different. It's been VERY tough, but I'm glad I made that decision and I'm glad I had a fucking choice in the matter.
        All these diaries have really been hitting home, helping me remember how hard it is to raise a child alone and how the male-dominated society really doesn't give a shit--for them, it's all about control.
        I overheard a conversation in a restaurant yesterday--a woman was saying if Roe v. Wade was overturned, she's leaving the country. I found myself wondering if it really would be overturned because of the argument that if it's overturned, the wingnuts will lose quite a bit of their funding--from those who oppose abortion, because it was finally overturned, and from those who are pro-choice but supported Republicans for other reasons.
        If it gets overturned, God forbid, I will add my name to the network of people helping women who find themselves in the situation I found myself in before. I don't think abortions will ever be illegal in Maryland, so if nothing else, we can set up a travel fund.
        Goddammit, this shouldn't even be a discussion. Grrrr!
        Thanks for your honesty.

        "People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of their character."--Ralph Waldo Emerson

        by rioduran on Tue Nov 01, 2005 at 04:50:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Important reading material. (4.00)
    For those of us who didn't live that time, those of us who don't remember, those who need to hear more, two books:

    Back Rooms, edited by Ellen Messer and Kathryn E. May, is a collection of short essays by women about their experiences with illegal abortion.

    The Story of Jane, by Laura Kaplan, is about the Jane Collective, which provided women with illegal but safe and affordable abortions and counseling.  

    These books are important reading for anyone who thinks things would be just fine if Roe were overturned.

    •  After reading The Story of Jane (4.00)
      I had a dream that I'd opened my home to women who had travelled to my state to have an abortion because it was illegal in their own states.

      This was very dangerous because they'd passed a law that made it illegal to transport a woman of any age across state lines to have an abortion.  The women had to stay until they were absolutely sure that there would be no complications. The penalty for being caught was death.

      Yet the women came in droves.

      •  Death penalty? (4.00)
        Jesus H.F. Christ!

        Someone above suggested establishing a fund to transport women to states that allow abortions if Roe v. Wade is reverse. You can bet that it would be made a federal offense.

        There was also a time in US history when it was punishable by death to teach English to a native Indian...

        Land of the free?

      •  The penalty for illegal abortion (4.00)
        is often death. It's the leading cause of maternal mortality in most places in the world where abortion is against the law.

        Complications of illegal abortion kill over 70,000 women worldwide every year. Bush's refusal to fund the UN's family planning programs is directly responsible for many of those deaths, and now his murderous foreign policy is headed home.

        We already know Alito's record on reproductive freedom and other civil rights for women.  So don't ask your Republican senators why they oppose abortion. Ask them why they support killing women.

        Support the Lilith Fund: equal access for the women of Texas

        by moiv on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 08:09:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  "So don't ask your Republican senators (4.00)
          why they oppose abortion. Ask them why they support killing women."  Well said!

          "The election's over. We won. It's all over but the counting, and we'll take care of the counting." Rep. Peter King (R-NY) at WH function, 2003

          by kathika on Tue Nov 01, 2005 at 12:23:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  What conservatives don;t realize is.. (4.00)
    ..they won't be STOPPING abortions, just driving them again into the back alleys. We could again see the day when 17 year old girls are taken away to jail. People forget we did not legalize abortion for the fun of it - it happened because middle class people got sick of hearing about how their own pure and sweet little Suzie bled to death at the hands of some hack. Republicans think they'll be immune in their little picket-fence communities; they won't -    and the blood will be on their hands...
    •  You are so right (4.00)
      My answer to Republicans - is a question:
      So how many adoptive children or foster children do you have??

      What taxcuts are the Republicans willing to give up to pay for the children? - pay for their healthcare - pay for their schools etc.

      as I continue - when you have that figured out come and talk to me about pro-life - because you are not pro-life - very few of you care for the children once they are born.

      If you did care about pro-life - you would live it - not just giving it lip service.

      Proud to be a Bleeding Heart Liberal

      by sara seattle on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 05:32:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You nailed it, Sara. (4.00)

        I've often wondered about the "pro-life" argument to overturn Roe. And have always wondered what happens to those unwanted babies who are born because of the forced births? Pro-lifers have never offered one single plan of the "after-birth" of the child.

        This is not pro-life, rather it seems to me, from personal experience, it is pro-poverty.

        And shame on them for selling out innocent children for politics.

        Until they put their money, their hearts, and their homes where their mouthes are, they can cry "pro-life" until the ... come home.

        •  What happens to these children after birth? (4.00)
          It starts before birth, when the mother who can't get a legal abortion also can't get good prenatal care because of cuts in Medicaid.

          The child seldom if ever sees a pediatrician because her mother can't get a job with employer-paid medical care. Such jobs are all but non-existent in the post-unionism, all-out-sourced world.

          If she survives her early childhood in this country that has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the industrialized world, she ends up dumped in an unsafe, unlicensed day care because her mother has to go to work at a minimum-wage or sub-minimum wage job to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads.

          She goes to a school where there are 35 or 40 children in a class and little if any learning is going on because of right-wing attacks on the public schools like "vouchers" and "No Child Left Behind."

          Even if she avoids pregnancy in high school because of limit access to birth control and the school's reliance on proven-ineffective abstinence education, she won't be able to go to college anyway because the cost of higher education puts it out of reach for any but the rich.

          Oh, yeah... Pro-Life is such a good tag for the anti-choice crowd.

          Republicans are men of narrow vision, who are afraid of the future. -- Jimmy Carter

          by elsaf on Tue Nov 01, 2005 at 05:47:38 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  thats not how they think (4.00)
        and that argument wont turn them

        they just want us all to stop having sex and give our bodies over to jesus and our husbands

        I wish I had a penis on the back of my head.

        by anna in philly on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 05:55:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  exactly right (4.00)
      Your point about that it could be "your family" is very important.  It reminds me of an ad campaign I read about in New Zealand.  I guess in the 80's after homosexualty had been legalized, there was an government campaign to try to change the discriminatory attitude.

      The billboard had a cute baby with "filthy faggot" scrawled across the picture.

      Yes, we're talking about YOUR children.  

      •  Non sequitur (4.00)
        But "after homosexuality had been legalized" is such an absurd statement.  It is so sick that just being who you are could be illegal.

        I know, I know.  But putting it like that just really drives the point home.

        Damnit.  Anyone else want these angry, sad little people out of their bedroom?

        Furthermore, xyz:
        Oh, man.  A knitting needle?  So horrible.  Thank you so much for sharing and I'm so, so sorry for all you've been through.  This young person's going to fight this fight with you.

        War is NOT a preventative measure.

        by demandcaring on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:26:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  absolutely (4.00)
      The argument over abortion is not now, nor has it ever been, whether there will or will not be abortions, but whether they will be safe, legal, and available to all.

      The irony is that safe, legal abortions will always be available to the wealthy as long they are legal anywhere in the world. It will be those without the means to hop a jet to Europe or pay off a competent doctor who will be forced to resort to the back-alley abortionist, the coat hanger, or whatever chemical stew the latest urban-legend du jour claims will trigger a spontaneous miscarriage.

      I think you have exactly the frame that is needed.  "Always have been, always will be."  The question is whether safe and legal will be the exclusive province of the wealthy and powerful.

      Here, in strictness, the people surrender nothing... --Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 84

      by dsteffen on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:44:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  And with today's hypervigilance on surveillance (4.00)
      it's more likely backroom practitioners will be caught performing abortions.

      Thanks again, paranoics!

      OOOOOMMMMM . . . . .

      by MarkosNYC on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:13:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The sad thing (4.00)
      >>they won't be STOPPING abortions, just driving them again into the back alleys. We could again see the day when 17 year old girls are taken away to jail. People forget we did not legalize abortion for the fun of it - it happened because middle class people got sick of hearing about how their own pure and sweet little Suzie bled to death at the hands of some hack. <<

      The sad thing is that, to many in the active pro-life community, this doesn't make a damn bit of difference.  I have met many "casual" pro-lifers who are otherwise good and compassionate people (some are even family...interestingly many of these voted for Kerry) but "movement" lifers strike me as some of the least feeling people I have ever met.

      "All Politics is Local" - former Speaker of the House Tip O'Neil

      by Mister Gloom on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:19:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That was my point.. (4.00)
        There are a hell of a lot more casual pro-lifers than movement people. The casual folks are against it but don't want to think about the realities - until it happens to their pretty little blonde daughter. That is the thing with Republicans - they never care until something happens to them directly.
        Would Nancy have given a rat's ass about stem cell research had it not affected Bonzo?
    •  They realize it, (none)
      they just don't care (this is frequently the case with conservatives).

      Look,the people who count (rich, white) will still be able to control their health care decisions and have access to good health care.  

      The people who don't will not (kind of like right now,only worse).  They don't care that poor women can't get decent prenatal care, why would they care if they die from an illegal abortion?

      By the way, there are times Jewish law mandates abortion (if the mother's life is endangered, it is considered suicide, forbidden, to continue the pregnancy).  This is, of course, open to interpretation, but it's a fairly widely accepted rabbinic interpretation.

      Ergo,banning all abortions is a violation of Jewish law.  (want to point out that I don't approve of mandating abortion for a woman anymore than I approve of banning it - it should be the choice of the person who's body is hosting the fetus, as they are the one who is assuming the risks).  

  •  It's so easy (4.00)
    For anti-choice folks to say "I would Never". But for 99% of them, it's self deception. What if an unwanted pregnancy endangers your life? What if an unwanted pregancy endangers your daughter's life? There are almost always exceptions, extenuating circumstances.
    Abortion is illegal in Brazil, and they have one of the highest abortion rates in the world. Denying women control of their bodies is no solution. Giving them control of sexual choices, occupational, educational, and legal equality has been proven to work much better at reducing the number of abortions, and deaths from clandestine procedures.

    This is what we need to call attention to.
     Illegal abortions=more abortions.
     Safe legal abortions + progressive social programs?
     Fewer abortions. So which policy works?

    •  Compare it to birth-control (4.00)
      Many religions are very much against birth-control.

      But if you take Catholic women - they have a very high use of birth control - even when it is against the teachings of their church.

      Yet many of these women on birth-control now (or have used it themselves earlier) - are many times the very sames that preach to the rest of us about the horrors of being pro-choice.

      I am pro-life for me -- pro-choice for everyone else.  --- what is so difficult about that choice.

      Proud to be a Bleeding Heart Liberal

      by sara seattle on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 05:39:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  both of us (4.00)
        and you know what, it is not all that hard.  I make the decision in my life, you make the decisions in your life. : )

        "September 11, 2001, already a day of immeasurable tragedy, cannot be the day liberty perished in this country." Judge Gerald Tjoflat

        by SanJoseLady on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 05:41:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  It is easy (4.00)
      for most to think that they would "never" have an abortion, yet they have never really had to make that decision.  

      One of the reasons that I am so strongly pro-choice is that I never have had to make that decision, never had to face what I would do.  For example, now? I am 46, what if I got pregnant now?  Would I still hold to my self imposed "no abortion" choice?  Can I say that without a doubt? No, I can't, even with my strong conviction that I shouldn't abort.

      "September 11, 2001, already a day of immeasurable tragedy, cannot be the day liberty perished in this country." Judge Gerald Tjoflat

      by SanJoseLady on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 05:50:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If someone does not want to be a parent, (4.00)
    why in the world should we make them?  

    Do not forget that these fundies claim that the life begins at the moment of fertilization so there is no getting around a pregnant woman being a parent for at least 7 - 10 months.  

    Those of us who understand the science, understant that those 7-10 months are critical to the child's long-term welfare and health.  So why do they want to set everyone involved up to fail?

    Forced pregnancy should not be allowed.

    •  Are there any scientific studies (none)
      and I doubt there are ... that show the biological effects on a fetus in the womb of a mother who does not WANT to carry the fetus?
      •  Well there are a lot that focused on (none)
        Mothers who didn't take care of themselves and or connect with the fact that they were having children.  I have no idea if there are any studies that have focused on women who objected overtly to the fact that they were pregnant.

        I think we will see a lot more preemies and birth defects than we have in a long time if women are forced to carry children that they don't want.  The interesting research might be to compare the low-birth weight rates and the rate of birth defects pre and post Roe v. Wade.  

        There are other factors that obviously contribute to shifts in those two markers, but it would still be interesting to see if there were any statistically scientific drops associated with the change in social behavior.

        •  Human body fantastic and not understood (none)
          Surely there is a way to measure the chemicals that are transmitted from mother to fetus .... during various emotional states like fear, depression, anxiety, happiness.  Surely there are studies that show the effects of increases and decreases in certain chemicals during fetal growth.

          I'm not talking about babies with physical deformities, but babies having received out-of-normal-range chemicals during fetal development.

          Probably no studies out there ... unless of course the drug companies could come up with a DRUG that would make them $millions to give to mothers to offset the chemical imbalance.

          •  Well actually I used to work on a drug (none)
            specifically designed for preemies and as I recall there are studies that address the causes of premaure birth and there are lots on low birth weight as well.  These studies weren't my focus because this drug was designed to protect kids from a virus that is commonly contracted by premies often resulting in death - so we thought more about the next steps than what got them there in the first place, but there are definitely studies.  If you are really interested the first two places I would start would be with the March of Dimes and UNICEF.  The UN does a lot of really good work and research surrounding human social issues like this one.
  •  Not only more abortions but more infanticide (4.00)
    there is a direct correlation between illegal abortions and dramatically higher infanticide rates.  Hey pro lifers:  like infanticide? The end of Roe is a dream come true for you!

    My big question is:  how the FUCK DID WE GET HERE?


    (sorry. eyes bulging.)

    •  One question about the Dems (none)
      Is it acceptable to you for the Dems to choose an anti-choice leader in the Senate?  If it is okay, why?

      "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

      by Pesto on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:19:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, it is (4.00)
        because everyone is entitled to their own personal beliefs and desires. It's called freedom and Dems are for it.

        Now, if Harry decides to in any way indicate that he is for a constitutional amendment to outlaw abortion in any way shape or form, then he should be bounced as Minority Leader and hopefully voted out of office by his constituents the next chance they get.

        •  Here are some of his actual votes (4.00)
          Reids votes include:

          Voting to maintain the ban on abortions on overseas US military bases.

          Voted to ban "partial birth" abortions.

          Voted for the "Unborn Victims of Crime Act," a Trojan Horse law designed by the right wing to establish fetuses as legally-recognized people.

          Reid has also received a broad range of ratings from NARAL, ranging from a high of 100% in 2001 to 29% in 2003 and 20% in 2004 -- I couldn't find these ratings on NARAL's site, but they were referred to both on wikipedia and on the issues2000 link above.

          Reid is certainly not on the far right of this issue, but he has cast votes, such as the ban on abortions at US military facilities overseas, that have actually put women in the position described so powerfully by xyz in this diary.

          And I think that the position we're in now is not the result of one or two stolen elections, but really the result of the Democratic party constantly capitulating to the right wing in search of "moderate" votes, always retreating, virtually never standing its ground, basically being afraid of its own shadow since 1972.  The Dems have compromised on nearly every other issue of principle -- disarmament, national health insurance, media regulation, tax policy, you name it -- and if they keep giving ground on the rights of over half of the population to control their own bodies they will share responsibility for the disaster that ensues.

          "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

          by Pesto on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:08:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Booo! (4.00)
            Thanks for the details; I'd wondered about the specifics of his stance, and it's terrible.

            And I agree with you entirely on the Dems capitulating. I remember Kerry and Clinton trying to find "compromises" with Republicans on anti-contraception pharmacists (Kerry) and abortion (Clinton). In each case, they were capitulating. The Republican idea of compromise is "you give, they take".

          •  It's not just that the Dems capitulate (4.00)
            in the blue states, they are bought and paid for by various Right To Life organizations.  

            How do you think that very blue RI has atrocious abortion laws?  Rhode Islanders, despite being in the most Catholic state in the nation, support abortion by over 60% (check the SUSA poll).  This is a percentage virtually unchanged for 19 years.

            However, there is a strong group of PaleoCatholics (I don't know what exactly else to call them, so maybe that will do) in RI, and they have a lot of power in the Dem state party.  And they contribute.  That's where the Langevins come from.   And the state legislators who vote in these repellent state TRAP laws.

            There is already a federal law that you can't transport anyone (including your granddaughter) across state lines for an abortion if her parents aren't notified.  I can see myself (here in mostly prochoice CT) doing an exchange as teens walk across the state line after being dropped off by RI women.  

            Thank you for your diary.  I remember those days.  When I was young, even contraception for married women was illegal here in CT.

            What saddens me is that the people who most should read it, won't.  

            And don't forget the married women without financial resources to raise a child.  Half the abortions are theirs.  The antichoice people never acknowledge that.  All their solutions are related to adoption, something that just doesn't work when you're already married.  Especially if you can't work while pregnant.

            •  It's really about (4.00)
              controlling sex, which is why none of the reasonable arguments get anywhere.  Can't afford a baby?  Don't have sex.  

              If you have sex, then there must be 'consequences'.  

              The 'it's a human life' argument is somewhat specious because, with few exceptions, they are wholly inconsistent on this.  Health care, after all, is a pro-life issue as is peace.  The silence on these topics from the pro-life crowd is deafening.

              I don't think that one can argue it from any angle other than pointing out that if the government can compel a woman to sustain a fetus against her will, the government can mandate other medical procedures that will 'save a life'.  You have a kidney you are not using. Person X needs one and you are compatible, ergo, you must sustain his life with your own body.

              It's a question of who makes these decisions.  The individual or the government.

              •  Sexual "consequences" (none)
                You know, for most of human history, one of the most likely consequences of sex for women was death.  In the 18th century, as many as 20% of women died after childbirth from puerperal fever, and many, many other women died of other pregnancy-related causes -- hemoraging in labor, preeclampsia, and fatal c-sections.

                Griswold is definitely one of the big targets for the right wing, especially the religious right wing.  So the next time some idiot starts pontificating about contraception eliminating the "generative consequences" of sex from women's lives, ask him (and I do mean him) whether he wants his daughter to have a 1 in 3 chance of dying because she has unprotected sex and carries the pregnancy to term.  Because that's the "natural" thing for women to experience.

                "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

                by Pesto on Tue Nov 01, 2005 at 06:35:10 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  That's what it is, all right. (4.00)
                Image hosted by

                How can we get over it when people died for the right to vote? -- John Lewis

                by furryjester on Tue Nov 01, 2005 at 06:44:38 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  There is a lot to the place we are right now. (4.00)
      Oh there is so much more to this than Ralph Nader's runs.

      For starters how 'bout the smarmy vanilla religiosity of Clinton of which Gore (and Tipper) were happily a part of. Then Gore's own choice to distance himself from Clinton during his run, lest he tainted with Bill's immorality... that kind of shit helped pave the way for these theocrats.

      •  Nope. (none)
        While there were problems before, NONE of this would have happened were it not for Ralph Nader, his childish arrogance, and his stupid, stupid, selfish, shortsighted followers.

        Fuck you, Ralph.

        •  wingnuts... (none)
          Wingnuts love views like this- conficting views of freedom. A person can choose to end a pregnancy yet some people should not choose to run for office.

          I admit you haven't said that Ralph shouldn't be able to run, tho it's clear that you and others hate his guts for doing so.

          I disagree that Ralph' supporters are/were shortsighted. There was a lot of talk about things maybe needing to get worse before they could better. You could arguee that Gore voters were the ones voting for the short term. I recall a lot of "now is not the time for Ralph to run" etc.


          I do know that Ralph bashing now will only further exhaust and divide our already fractured side.

  •  My Grandmother (4.00)
    died from getting a "back alley abortion".  This was 1932.  She already had one child, they were desperately poor and America was recovering from the Depression.

    Obviously, I never got to meet her.

    This is an issue that I am beyond passionate about.  

    In fact it makes me want to rip neocon heads off.

    •  Makes me want to... (4.00) Neocon BALLS OFF!

      What peeves me the most is that all the "government control" is foisted off on the women, and not a thing is done about where the problem REALLY comes from-- which is men.  I notice I don't see NEARLY enough right-wingers holding their teenage sons in check-- they have this fantasy that raising their sons with Jesus will prevent them from becoming horny, sex-crazed monsters when their hormones kick in, which it won't.  But men are the ones doing this, they're the ones running around without enough restraint and without feeling the consiquences of their actions-- they have always been the originators of this problem, and they ALSO have the LUXURY of being the ones who don't have it do jack shit to their lives.  This is a big part of why life was so unfair back before Roe v. Wade.  Because men had no clue there were consiquences.

      But NOWADAYS with genetic testing, women are never going to be as defenseless as we were before.  Now there can be proof and consiquences for both sides.   With DNA testing, women can, in many cases, name their betrayers and prove their culpability.  If women lose the right to terminate babies, than I say we should strip men of the right to foist them on us unwantedly.  There should be a law that says if a man fathers a child on a woman who isn't his wife, and we can prove it with DNA tests, then he goes right to jail, and/or for mandatory sterilization.  Two can play this sick fundi dystopia game.  If life has to be horrible, I say we make it equally horrible for everyone. :P

      •  I Agree (none)
        let them know what it feels like to have no control over their own body.  And worse, to have the freaking government have control over their body.
      •  If men could get pregnant, (4.00)
        abortion would be a sacrament. I remember hearing that in the 70's when I was a child. It drove home, for me, the inequities between the sexes in concrete terms.

        When I heard about Scalito's ruling that a woman had to inform her husband before she had an abortion, I thought, what about a law requiring a man telling his wife when he has had an affair?

        I agree with your "pile the shit higher" strategy. Let's also have a law making it illegal to have leave your family to start another one.

        To drive the point home, I propose a "Great American Sex Out Week"--just like the Smoke Out Day, but all women in America stop having sex for the same week and then let's see who has the power.

        •  YES YES (none)
          One family per man. If they have biological kids with one woman, they don't get to father any with another woman.

          do these religious people want to support families or not??

          AND, every man who fathers a child is liable for that child financially for the next 18 years. If they are not married to the woman, they don't get to sue for custody either.

  •  Those who seek to (4.00)
    take away the right of choice don't do so because they value life, they do so for control reasons.  Valuing life includes health care, food, good education, day care and so many other things these same people keep eliminating.

    Thank you for sharing your story, it is a story that will repeat over and over in our society if we allow Roe v Wade to be overturned.

    Here in CA I am beyond worry that prop 73 will pass: the parental notification one.  What will young girls do if they can't get an abortion without either telling their parents or going to a judge?  They will seek to get abortions through other means, there is no doubt that many, many of our young women will suffer horrific situations, all because some people just can't see the forest for the trees.

    "September 11, 2001, already a day of immeasurable tragedy, cannot be the day liberty perished in this country." Judge Gerald Tjoflat

    by SanJoseLady on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 05:44:57 PM PST

    •  Prop 73 has another hidden agenda, (4.00)
      they want to change the language to define abortion as the 'death of an unborn child'.

      What are they setting us up for?

      "But sanctuary never comes without some kind of risk" - Bob Seger

      by YukonJack on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 11:04:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yes, I know what it feels like (4.00)
    I've posted this here before, and I was 16.  A summer job between my junior and senior year.  The guy was 32.  No abortion for me.  Walked around my neighborhood obviously pregnant followed by an adoption.  

    We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home. ~Edward R. Murrow

    by elveta on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 05:46:58 PM PST

  •  Take That Fear... (4.00)
    and forge it in to courage of steel.

    People, especially young ones my age, need to be know what's at stake, here. They need to know that it has only been within living memory that women have been elevated above the legal status of chattel. I wish I could cite cases on the matter, but look fore cases on marital rape - the law didn't even acknowledge that such a thing existed not too long ago. The husband was merely "taking what was his."

    Coming from my mouth it sounds abstract and lacks credibility, as well it should - I'm an early 20's male. At best I can be erudite on the matter. Erudition lacks the emotional impact necessary to turn the tide.

    This is why I ask, nay beg of you and every other woman old enough to have experienced that world: keep telling us the stories from your life. It may be painful to have to go over that experience again, but you do it for the noblest cause of all - to save others from having to experience that same pain.

    Turn your fear in to strength and fight. You have nothing to lose but the fear you use.


    •  Thank you (4.00)
      I have fought my entire life. For good or bad, I can stand here and say, I am what I am.  I'm reticent usually, about myself.  I am much more comfortable arguing ideas rather than self.  It is the danger of loss which made me not want to open up my personal experiences.

      I may not be what others expected of me, but I have grown to be happy with myself.  

      One thing.  I do not blame anyone for my failures.  This diary was not about blame.  It's about learning.

  •  Is evangelical an synonym for pushy? (4.00)
    I've never understood why we have freedom of religion and not freedom from religion.

    Religious beliefs are opinions, nothing more, yet we are constantly going round and round about abortion.  AND, IMHO we got the preznit we have because of all this flap over the issues of the radical religious right.

    How about your opinions are interfering with my freedom?  Isn't the latest in a long line of casus belli freedom for the Iraqi people?  How about some of that freedom at home?

    Everything is funny as long as it is happening to somebody else. --Will Rogers

    by groggy on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 05:52:26 PM PST

    •  Except (4.00)
      The talibangelicals don't believe that it's opinion, they believe that it is FACT.  They don't differentiate.  I'm with you & understand completely.

      Political Compass: -6.00, -5.64

      by BlueInARedState on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 05:59:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  yes, it is (4.00)
      exactly. The whole central point of evangelicals IS to cram their religion down other people's throats. That is completely central to them, if they don;t try to convert people, they are not being good christians. I had a little run-in with them way way back in high school, and the amount of guilt they feel if they don't try to push their faith on other people is huge. It's hard to explain, but there it is. It's very very specific, too: to be a good evangelical, you go through a cathartic, very very public experience of surrendering your life, soul, everything, to Jesus. It's important you do this in public, and it is a very very emotional and powerful experience. It's not about personal faith at all. I did this, and I totally believed in it for a while. Then, you MUST get other people, your family, your friends, etc. to go through this, too, or else you are sinning. You must be pushy, you must try and try again. Even if you are saved, if you don't try hard enough to convert other people (again, get them into a situation where they go through this ordeal), you will burn in hell. I only am writing this in detail, because I think that there are a lot of people who don't know what Evangelism is. You really have to see it to believe it, and you have no idea how seductive it is to emotionally vulnerable people, how hypnotic. I was lucky, I had some really great friends who stood by me, who knew me really well, and who could tell it was just a phase. It's more than sticking your head in the sand, it is the answer to every question, it is the shortcut to wisdom, it is comfort, and it is DANGER, because it replaces critical thinking. This is the tent-revival people passing out speaking in tongues thing, you need to understand that it's not T.V., it's real. Competing religions that aren't pushy, like Catholicism or the Unitarians, are, in my mind, excellent alternatives, because they leave the worshipper free, sure there are problems with all organized religion, but compared to fire-breathing snake-handling evangelism, most religions are actually constructive forces in society, and we need to see the difference, and we need to know what we are up against, and yes, we are up agaist them. So go see for yourself, go to a heavy duty christian rock concert, go to a mega church, watch people get "saved", you need to see it to believe it.

      We can be like by beloved friends, we can be understanding, we can be real, we can help people come back to earth when they've had enough of this nonsense.  

      I recommend everyone try to understand this.

      •  I have a Catholic friend (none)
        with a pretty extreme personality.  Although her religion and especially her parish were non-pushy, she felt so terribly saddened by the fact that everyone she cared about was going to hell that she couldn't help proseltyzing.  So sometimes it's more than the religion's mandate to witness witness witness.  Sometimes it's a deeply felt danger.
        •  This is what they should be doing. (none)
          I have always said that Christians who are not spending their time and energy trying to get everyone into heaven, are either cold and selfish, or they don't really believe what they say they believe.

          I know it is annoying to the rest of us, but if they really believe that billions are going to spend eternity in hell, they damn well better be spreading the gospel.

          AND they better stop trying to legislate Jesus because no sould was saved by passing laws against sin.

      •  I was in the maternity ward (4.00)
        with five other women - one of whom was a fervent and energetic evangelical.

        By the time I was allowed to come home, I had threatened her life if she didn't STF up (and in those days, I NEVER used profane language but I got better) and another new mother had launched a full pitcher of ice water at her in a vain attempt at murder by ice cube.

        They finally had to move her into a private room for her own safety and our sanity.

        I'll never understand it.

        We must have stem-cell research. How else will Congress and the media grow spines?

        by bablhous on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:48:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I have 'flake insurance' (none)
        In the mid '70's, walking down Main Street in Newark, Delaware where I went to U of D.  a friend who was managing the State Theater literally dragged my companion and I in to see Carrie.  Bart was obsessed with the scene where Carrie's mom chastised her and locked her in a prayer closet.

        When the movie was over, we formed a pact called 'flake insurance', whereby the three of us agreed that if we saw either of the other two handing out Jesus pamphlets or preaching on a street corner or otherwise behaving erratically, the others would to the utmost of their ability, do their best to blow the brains out and put them out of their misery.  

        I can understand that evangelicals think they are acting on our behalf, but I really wish they'd fucking drop it.  There are much bigger issues to deal with, like the budget.  The rest is noise.

        Everything is funny as long as it is happening to somebody else. --Will Rogers

        by groggy on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 08:04:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I have an answer for them (none)
          it's worked every time I've used it.

          If God wants me saved, he'll save me. If he wants me in your church, he'll make sure I'm there. Thanks for caring.

          It pretty much leaves them speechless.

          •  Great advice (none)
            I was in the campus watering hole, Deer Park, on night and a guy told me if he couldn't save me, he didn't want to live anymore.  I offered him my Swiss Army knife, he got the message.  

            But I'll try your suggestion next time.

            Everything is funny as long as it is happening to somebody else. --Will Rogers

            by groggy on Tue Nov 01, 2005 at 10:48:18 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  I had a similar experience in College (none)
        With a group of Evengelicals who tried to convert me. They baited me in with friendship, then did the switch when a "party" became a bible-study group. The pressure was intense, and the guilt they lay on you was what turned me off from organized religion for the rest of my life. Evengelicals believe that if you are not actively being a "fisher of men" then you are going to hell. They even said my dead grandmother was in hell because she was not an Evangelical Christian. That was the last straw. Ever since then, religious zealots have been my nemesis.
  •  Thank you, xyz (4.00)
    ...for sharing this.  We are indebted to you.

    Political Compass: -6.00, -5.64

    by BlueInARedState on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 05:54:31 PM PST

  •  OK, people with two X chromosomes: (4.00)
    You need to convince your sisters to speak with one voice on this issue. The choice of whether or not to bear a child should be your choice, not my choice, not any man's choice, not anyone else's choice, and most of all, not the government's choice.

    Women need to make clear that this is a personal issue, and is NOT to be legislated, and anyone who votes for an anti-choice judge will never get your vote.

    Sure, there are other issues in politics, but this isn't  about politics, it's about whether women get treated as human beings, or as property, and that is far bigger than any political party.

    •  Abso-fucking-lutely (4.00)
      That's all there is to it. We have to get the other half of OUR OWN gender who do not seem to understand -- or care -- that they are selling us ALL out to put an immediate halt to this bullshit.

      Bearing a child is not something that ANY man, no matter how much you think you love him, has any business deciding for you. It is not to be legislated, debated, hell, even so much as discussed by any person with a penis. Until they can get pregnant and bear a child, it cannot be their decision, and any opinions they have on the matter cannot count.

      And I can speak from experience. I am incredibly sad, xyz, that you had to go through what you did. Luckily, it was safe and legal for me. And despite the fact that I was married to an incredibly macho man, HIS opinion didn't enter into the equation at all. I can't explain that fully, and I'm sure lots of men (and some women) who read that will think, "what a cold-hearted bitch." Thing is, we already HAD two kids, we were in an economically devasted position, I was the only one working, and we were out of options. Adoption was out of the question -- my kids would never have understood that. So, that's pretty pro-life to me: pro the lives that were already out there. I shudder to think what would have happened to all of us if I hadn't had the option.

      This has got to be taken back to a woman's basic human right to exist as a free and equal being. Until that happens, we will never be more than about 3/4 of a male. It has to stop being a right-to-life issue. Until we can take that out of the mix, we will never win this fight. They always pull out the "abortion is murder" card.

      Perhaps some of the women opposed to abortions for other women as well as for themselves will come around when the fundies manage to get birth control outlawed. Most women don't think they'll ever need to have an abortion if they are "responsible" about their birth control. (I was using two different kinds of birth control. Shit happens.) Most women of childbearing age today have never lived in a period when several different methods weren't easily available. Once they get abortion and medically regulated birth control (pills, IUDs, diaphragms) outlawed, will they go after the non-prescription methods too?

      I don't think even Democratic men see how serious this can be, and I weep for the loss of my future grandchildren's rights. I don't know how to start the fight, but I'm ready to support whoever does.

  •  I want to thank you people, and Kos (4.00)
    this wasn't easy to write.
    •  Thank you, xyz. (4.00)
      I'm a golden child, maybe, and God forbid, maybe one of the only ones who ever will be so -- in a country where the freely-made choices of my life path should be the birthright of every human being born with the XX chromosomal pattern.  

      Because of the successful struggles of those who went before me (I was born in 1953), I had access to contraception when I became sexually active, and therefore it came to pass that when my marriage imploded and collapsed, there were no innocent little victims to be stunned or confused or frightened or hurt by our divorce.  My ex and I went our own ways in peace, or what passed for peace, and made our own lives over according to our own needs.

      I ache for the young women coming up who might not -- make that WILL not, if BushCo prevails -- be able to sever the ties of a bad relationship without having to deal with the needs of innocent kids who were brought into the world because their moms weren't allowed/couldn't find other options.  

      Count me among the older women -- safely post-menopausal now, and be damned to BushCo! -- who will contribute whatever they can toward underground networks that will make contraception (and abortion, if needed!) available to our young women so that mistakes made in their young stupid years won't ruin their lives, educations, and careers, going forward.

  •  maybe you lived in a red (none)
    state, but my 16 year old gf at the time (1970) had no problem
    getting birth contol pills. her mom insisted. she knew i was a
    no good scoundrel looking to "score" with her little darlin'.
    God bless ya, "mom!"
    but, point taken.
  •  my story (4.00)
    I was born in 66, to a teenage mother and given up for adoption, i don't know much about her, but i'm pretty sure had it been 76, she would have had an abortion. i'm pro-choice aways have been, and now as a single mother of two, i'm more so, not that i reget the kids, but parenting is a very tough gig, and not to be taken lightly. Should my daughter become prego as a teenager, i want her to be able to decide given her circumstances and the likely ones for the potentional child, not some wingnut
    •  I've never had a problem (4.00)
      with those who decide, for whatever their reason, to go through with a pregnancy, go the adoption route, or go with abortion.

      None of those options is THE answer for all of us.  

      What I myself have always resented is that there are legislators (99% men) who think that women need counseling to decide, as if we're incapable of thinking.

      I mean, duh.  I got pregnant, and I need you to tell me what I need to think about.

      It never ceases to amaze me.  LOL

  •  The CDC reports that (4.00)
    one in three women in the US have had an abortion.


    So, all you guys out there (like me), think about it a little bit: the odds are that every third women you talk to has had an abortion. You will not know who many of them are, because it is not something that anyone feels good about. And no one has a right to pry - because it is a matter of privacy, a personal decision made by a woman, because she thought that it was the correct thing to do at that time.

    Are you gonna tell her it wasn't?

    •  Interesting thing about "telling". (none)
      I'm a woman, and no woman of my acquaintance has ever told me she's had an abortion.

      But several men have told me that their girlfriends or former girlfriends have had abortions. In some cases I actually knew the women. But they didn't tell me-- wouldn't have.

      I'm not sure what this means, except that maybe women feel much more shame about abortion than any wingnut could possibly wish to imbue them with.

      The less a man knows about how sausages and laws are made, the easier it is to steal his vote and give him botulism.

      by SensibleShoes on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:46:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe YOU (4.00)
        have let your women friends feel as if they'd lose you as a friend if they told you.  Women, as much, if not more, look for acceptance from their peers.

        One of my dearest friends, as we women-sat each other through our pregnancies, told me one day how she had a niece who'd so disgusted her when she found out she'd had an abortion.

        Until then, it hadn't been a point of contention between us.  We'd both carried each other through our pregnancies.

        But when she evidenced her disgust, I had no recourse but to tell her I'd also gone through an abortion years earlier.  I mean, after all, if she was disgusted at her niece, what relevance could I possibly have to her?

        Our friendship ended.  I was relieved.

        You either like and respect me for what I am, or walk.  

        •  Whoa, Nellie. (none)
          Not sure what I did to deserve this attack. I'm sorry that you feel that way about me, and would like to think that if you actually knew me as something other than font as a screen, you would have some notion of just how unfair that particular attack was.

          The less a man knows about how sausages and laws are made, the easier it is to steal his vote and give him botulism.

          by SensibleShoes on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:21:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  And furthermore (none)
          This is an excellent example of the kind of knee-jerk anger and antagonism that makes the left so divisive. We are so ready to jump all over each other without bothering to find out what people actually believe that it's no wonder the wingnuts are able to eat us for breakfast.

          I troll-rated the dickwad who attacked you, for Pete's sake. What are you jumping all over me for? I am not the woman you had the unpleasant experience with. Jesus effing Christ.

          The less a man knows about how sausages and laws are made, the easier it is to steal his vote and give him botulism.

          by SensibleShoes on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:26:33 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think this may have come from confusion (none)
            When you said "that lousy abortion-causing doctor" you were referring not to the doctor who performed abortions, but to the doctor who refused to write a prescription for birth control, yes?

            If so, then I hope you people can make peace. If not, well, then I guess I'm with xyz...

            •  Of course I meant that, evil penguin. (none)
              But I have no desire for peace now. Jesus Christ, I've had enough of being crapped on tonight.

              The less a man knows about how sausages and laws are made, the easier it is to steal his vote and give him botulism.

              by SensibleShoes on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:41:17 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  And you know I just reread my comment (none)
          and can't see anything in it to account for your scathing attack on me. So I'm on my merry way (or "walk"ing, if you prefer) with my conscience intact... hope you're feeling better soon.

          The less a man knows about how sausages and laws are made, the easier it is to steal his vote and give him botulism.

          by SensibleShoes on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:30:33 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I apologize if you think I'm 'scathing' (none)
            that's not my intent.

            This isn't or will never be the first time people misundersand what's being said.

            The only thing I will not apologize for is what I've done.  I've no regrets.  

            Whatever choices anyone else makes, it's for them to decide.

            All I am fighting for is choice.


      •  telling (none)
        It must be one of those things.  I lost the first baby we tried to conceive to an ectopic pregnancy.  It was amazing how many of my friends and relatives told me about miscarraiges and losing babies after my experience.  It's just something no one talks about but once it happens to you, you're somehow initiated.  Then all of a sudden it seems like it happens to everyone but no one talks about it. Maybe abortion is like that too.  I can't speak from experience there though.
  •  Have we got 41 to fillibuster yet? (4.00)
    Well? Who cares what the Republicans threaten us with, if there was ever a time to fillibuster it would be Alito.
  •  Another Female of the 50s Weighing In (4.00)
    I just experienced a flashback during a separate post on Alito's position regarding Planned Parenthood vs Casey: where I remembered that I almost had to have my father cosign my first home mortgage in 1978. Not because I was incapable of paying the full costs of my home ... but simply because I was a single female. Luckily, the lender laws had just changed, but I still had trouble getting a credit card, due merely to my single marital status.

    After reading your post, I'm feeling that not only would the military have to pry my son out of my cold dead hands, but I'm ready to go to the barricades for my daughter's rights. We need to mobilize the 50-something females (calling Barbara B. and Hillary!) with a BIG DOSE of deja vu.

    My thoughts on Dems vs Repubs? Democrats treat the general public like shareholders, while Republicans treat them like sharecroppers--Me

    by Robert de Loxley on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:35:45 PM PST

    •  Do you know that (4.00)
      even into the late 1960's, women in Louisiana had to have a man's name in addition to their own in order to open a checking account?  LOL, does that tell you what some men thought of us?

      I'll tell you another secret.  (whisper) Feminists have gone too far.  Read William Farrell, if you doubt me.

      •  My Response to Guy-Centric Believers ... (4.00)
        I believe in the unalienable rights of Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness (as long as it harms nothing other than the warped innards of control freak minds). I've never adopted the feminist mantra, because I strive for balance between the rights of males and females, and I don't see balance in radical feminists (I remember being at college the night of the military draft's first "birthday lottery", and thinking "Why are only men obligated to serve their country? ... Women owe JUST AS MUCH back to this nation, even if through volunteer service rather than military service").

        Maybe it's because I grew up with several brothers and uncles who never treated me any different because I was a girl. It was real strange my freshman year at college to be asked repeatedly why I was pursuing an engineering degree (like my brother, father, and uncles before me, I might add).

        Hopefully, this Republican attempt to reward their base will backfire as woman realize that we've reached a turning point--where sticking with the Republican party line will take them back to a time which was much uglier than it's portrayed. I do have a litmus test for candidates to the SCOTUS: It's "What WAS your position on the Equal Rights Admendment and what is it now?" (They can't really claim it as a potential issue before the SCOTUS, now can they?)

        You've got friends and supporters here ... just keep that in mind. And if you want to learn something else about me, just Google my nom de plume.

        My thoughts on Dems vs Repubs? Democrats treat the general public like shareholders, while Republicans treat them like sharecroppers--Me

        by Robert de Loxley on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:36:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  So much of how women perceive themselves (none)
          goes back to family.  In my family, girls and boys had different objectives.  

          My father, who was the smartest man I ever knew, unfortunately lived within those confines.  Yet this man, my hero, learned to understand, and most importantly, accept me for who and what I was.

          I regret nothing.  And I'm smiling.  

          •  Good job tonight, (none)
            take a deep breath. Freaking scarey shraring this kind of thing but look at the way people have shared in return.

            My father was the wisest man I have ever known but I taught him a thing or two! That acceptance is everything; good reminder to this mother here. The last thing my father taught me before he died was how to change all the fluids in my car. I was 40.

            Thank you for the diary, xyz

            "If you're going through hell, keep going". -Winston Churchill

            by One bite at a time on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 08:25:20 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  That doctor (4.00)
    what a self-righteous, abortion-causing jackass. I suppose he's gone to his reward now, but when are we going to start publishing the names and addresses of these so-called professionals who stand in between women and contraception? Like the right wing does to  abortion providers?

    The less a man knows about how sausages and laws are made, the easier it is to steal his vote and give him botulism.

    by SensibleShoes on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:38:56 PM PST

    •  Are you kidding me? (none)
      I was fucking grateful.

      Do you hear me?  GRATEFUL.

      I had a chance at a life.

      Wait a minute.  Do you understand what having a child means to a woman?

      I don't think so.

    •  I see now (none)
      where you and I parted, cognitively.  You were talking about the doctor who didn't give me birth control.

      But I was talking about the doctor, and he was a doctor, who performed the abortion.  And although it ended up being botched, with me in a hospital, I was still grateful.  

      I'm sorry I didn't understand your point.

  •  The wingnuts (4.00)
    oppose the pill to prevent pregnancy and oppose abortion - but willingly cut assistance programs for families.

    Cheney died a natural death - on the phone with Halliburton.

    by annefrank on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:39:15 PM PST

    •  Personally, I agree with them .... only ... (none)
      I go another step ....

      I'm anti-male-masturbation.  All those million little lives left to die at the, um, hand of a heartless male.  Men should be required, nay forced, to keep all their sperm within their bodies until they can attempt fertilization of a viable ovum, not just intercourse, but intercourse with a woman who is ovulating!

      •  We must institute morning sheet checks! (none)
        Men who "spill their seed" in their sleep will be prevented from sleeping until they gain control over their bodies!

        Republicans are men of narrow vision, who are afraid of the future. -- Jimmy Carter

        by elsaf on Tue Nov 01, 2005 at 05:52:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Agree - "Stop Sperm Loss Now!" (none)
          Oh my, you are so correct!  Perhaps some device needs to be developed to prevent this occurence.  Better yet, the drug companies could develop a new drug to stop this loss of sperm.

          Studies should be conducted to understand what causes a man to needlessly "abort" these human lives from their bodies!  Perhaps there is a deep emotional disturbance and psychological counseling would be of benefit.  Also, perhaps forced physical labor would prevent.  

          We must stop this senseless loss of human life!

  •  I am afraid, too (4.00)
    I know this is somewhat off topic, but I am afraid that there are many young women out there that have taken the gains that women's rights activists achieved over the years for granted.  It is the only explanation I can find for Bush getting in office, even though it was clear his intent was to overthrow Roe vs. Wade.  This very real threat just did not seem to resonate loudly enough to get women to value their right to make personal decisions about their bodies.  My personal experience no way compares to your heartbreak, but in 1967 I went to a job interview at an insurance company right after college.  I had just gotten married.  One of the first questions out of this executive's mouth was, "what kind of birth control method are you using?"  I do not want to go back, however, I am afraid we are essentially headed back to that time when women were considered chattel.  It breaks my heart.
    •  In 1973, I was a military wife (4.00)
      with 6 children and a husband who was listed as Catholic in the military records. I was not eligible for birth control because of his religion and he was happy to keep it that way. After all, he only had to take 'what was his' and I'd be pregnant again.

      I found the Planned Parenthood office in Monterey, CA and they prescribed birth control pills and pro-rated the cost so I could scrape the money out of the food budget.

      That allowed me to stay not-pregnant long enough to find a job, save some money, and escape to San Jose with my kids.

      I've never looked back and I ALWAYS find some money to send to those folks at PP. They saved my life.

      If this turns out the way we fear it might, I'm in for whatever it takes to keep options for women open - legal or not. I owe that much.

      We must have stem-cell research. How else will Congress and the media grow spines?

      by bablhous on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 08:05:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Taking it all for granted (4.00)
      I have to admit that I'm one of those 20-somethings who has been taking this whole Roe v. Wade business for granted.  The issue that I am generally the most concerned about is the environment.  I know several people who voted for GW Bush ONLY because of the abortion issue.  I have found myself thinking in the back of my mind for some time "If Roe V. Wade gets overthrown, then those people who are only voting Republican over abortion will no longer have that issue and might start voting Democrat."  I'm probably going to be blasted for just suggesting that.

      But as I've thought about it further, I realize the fear of returning to Roe v. Wade will keep these people in the Republican camp so there is absolutely nothing to gain... and a whole heck of a lot that we're probably going to lose.  This is a sad era for America.

  •  Thanks for sharing xyz (4.00)
    I'm from the same era. I happened to be in Las Vegas in 1974 -- just out of college -- when I faced an unexpected pregnancy. This sounds so unbelievable to me now, but getting birth control pills back then for a Catholic girl was not easy.

    So coming from a small suburb of Chicago, I was more than devastated and could not even consider going home to get help from my family. The worst possible fate was for an unmarried "girl" to get pregnant. I remember 2 friends from my high school that got whisked away to a "home" for "unwed" mothers.

    Anyway, it was a terribly painful and bleak time for me. Fortunately for me though, Las Vegas had doctors who performed abortions, so I did not have to endure the back alley. However, I'm sure I would have, if not worse, because in my mind there were no options at the time.

    It's heartbreaking, really, to think of what it was like for women back then. We fought so hard for proper rights -- now, again, how frightening our times are.

  •  I read Freakonomics (4.00)
    The most controversial part of the book "Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything" by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner is the chapter where Levitt shows quite clearly that the sudden and dramatic drop in violent crime towards the end of the 1990's is clearly due to Roe v. Wade.

    Now, it is of course a dangerous argument to make that because something has a social benefit that it is a moral act. I would not make that argument, for many horrors may be (and indeed have been) justified in this way.

    But what it does point up very clearly is that the system which existed before Roe v. Wade did not do enough to support those mothers and their unwanted children. If it had, then we would not have seen the effects of legal abortion in a decrease in crime. It would have made no difference.

    I'm a white middle class male. I don't buy the argument that I have nothing to say about abortion because of that, but I would say that my opinions on the subject should have lesser weight simply by virtue of the fact that a fetus cannot gestate in my body.

    The first victim of a pro-life society is the woman. The second is the child. The third is the society that must accept the dangers of the adulthood of an unwanted child.

    I am pro-choice. Not because I am pro-abortion, but because there controversy about the rightness of abortion, and where there is no clear moral concensus, I believe that liberty demands this choice be left to the individual.  Oddly, I think this should be the wingnut's position as well. If we are to be judged at the latter day, as these right-wing Christians believe, it is because we have moral choice.

    (BTW, to leap off on a tangent, this is one of many reasons why I believe niether in God nor in "intelligent design." The burden of sexual dimorphism falls so heavily on the female, story of the fall notwithstanding, that I simply don't think the design shows intelligence!)

    xyz, I was very glad to read your diary. And I'm very glad you had the courage to write it. We can never truly know what it is to walk in another's shoes, but yours is hardly the first diary here to help me see the world a little differently, a little closer to the axis of your eyes. I will always be a white male. I can't change that. But I can open my mind to try to see how the world looks from another point of view.

    (I just said I don't believe in God, but I go theistic in my rhetoric all the time, because sacred tropes sound good, so here I go again...)

    God save us from people who Know What's Right.

    •  Was this the argument (none)
      that got Bill Bennett in hot water (again)?

      Look up, not down, Look out, not in, Look forward, not back, And lend a hand. -Edward Everett Hale

      by deadinthewater on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 09:04:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No. (none)
        But Bill Bennet's argument is an example of using a consequence as a moral justification.

        His comment was explicitly racist. Steven Levitt simply found that 16-20 years after Row v. Wade made abortion legal everywhere in the United States, the crime rate dropped. And it was the only variable that correllated. The economy didn't. Police to population didn't. Prisons didn't. Convictions didn't. Job programs didn't. Graduation rates didn't. Safe, legal abortions did.

        The danger of this is that one might choose to "reason" like Bill Bennett (sp?) did.

        I don't think the observation says anything about the race or genetics of single mothers or their children. I think it simply says something about how hard it is to be an unwanted child, and how unlikely it is that such a child will be successful in our culture. It doesn't say anything about why. In fact, I would say that it is as likely as not the fault of the rest of the culture, which tends to shun and look askance at a child of single mother. As far as women and children have come in the last century, we still talk about "unwed mothers" and "bastard" children. "Orphanges" still have to exist. And while there are many waiting to adopt babies, there are few waiting to adopt older children.

        It is important, vitally important, not confuse an observation with a rationale. That safe, legal abortion results in a reduction in crime doesn't imply that abortions are to be encouraged or, God forbid, mandated. But it does lead to the logical question: What is wrong with our society and its policies that leads to children from unwanted pregnancies having bad outcomes in life?

        I believe in the right to safe, legal abortions. But I dream of a world where no woman needs to have one, and no child would be worse off for being born.

        I don't think you get there with the right-wing combination of banning abortion and dumbing down sex education. I think that is the worst possible system for women and children, and thus, indirectly, for the smug white men who lead the right-wingnuts.

        I think you get there by teaching children about sex, really teaching them. By nurturing their tendencies to love, and discouraging their tendencies to violence and sexual aggression. And finally, by creating substantial penalties (meaning long jail terms) for those who refuse to learn and engage in sexual assault. Finally, for consensual sex where the male abandons the mother and child, you create real binding financial obligations and you enforce them. I wonder how many men would be "pro-life" if they were really on the hook for their promiscuity?

        I realize none of these are "the solution." I'm not sure there is "a solution." But they aren't bad steps.

        And any sex education cirriculum that avoids "uncomfortable" things, from homosexuality to birth control is worse than useless. Abstinence-only sex education is a joke. I even think that a sex ed class should include a safe place to talk about fetish and fantasy, because that is real, and it has light and dark sides. I'm personally convinced that it is when these are driven into the dark and into shame that they come to express themselves most inappropriately.

        Of course, I realize this idea is itself a fantasy. Most people are uncomfortable with elements of their own sexuality and I'm trying to imagine the PTA meeting where this idea would be reviewed and discussed.

        My point is that the "pro-life", "pro-family," "pro-moral" right is locked into a complete delusion that there is one simple answer to these almost literally insoluable problems and that answer is "Shhh! It doesn't exist!"

        Yeah.  That's working really well...

        •  Reads badly (none)
          "for those who refuse to learn and engage in sexual assault" is phrased really badly. Reading back, I realized one might read that in exactly the opposite of the way I intended it!

          I mean that there must be penalties for those who do not learn to love and instead engage in agression and sexual assault. Boy, that was the poorest sentence I have written in a long time, even in the informal world of blogs!

  •  I too am frightened for the young. (4.00)
    I had my tubes tied at 26 because there is no doubt in my mind I would have been an abusive mother. So in a way the abortion issue is not as important to me now becasue I will never need one. But I remember being 16 and having classmates die from illegal abortions and having other classmates be beaten by abusive fathers for getting pregnant and then being forcibly married to another abusive bastard. I remember being told that women shouldn't be educated because all they were good for was cooking cleaning and having babies. I'm not anyone else's property and I'll be damned if I'll let my niece's daughter and my nephew's stepdaughter become property either.

    We have to make people understand what these asses are trying to take us back to:
    they believe that women are property
    they believe that non-whites are property
    they believe that poor people are lazy and that if they worked hard they would be well off
    they want us to return to the world of unregulated commerce - where people had to work 6-7 days a week, more than 8 hours a day, where industrial safety was unnecessary because it costs money, where as long as the privileged few are getting richer than no one else has a right to complain. They want to return to scarlet letters and lynchings and nice white boys getting all the good jobs without competition from their inferiors. They want to control my body and my thoughts and my prospects for making a better life for myself and my family. They believe that only rich people deserve health care. They think that only rich people are entitled to an education. They want me to do as they say and not as they do. Because priviledges are only for the few at the top and the rest of us shouldn't get uppity and demand them as well.

    When I was growing up in WV in the 60's and early 70s, my classmates started getting pregnant when I was in the 7th grade. By the time I graduated at least 25% of them had had a baby and who knows how many had illegal abortions. The only gynocologist in town refused to prescribe the birth control pill to anyone who wasn't married. Many of the little girls who found themselves "in trouble" were there because of rape and incest. We have to make people understand what it's like to be 12 years old, pregnant by your uncle or brother and knowing that your father will beat the crap out of you for being immoral if he finds out. These people have to have an option. Having a baby isn't a good option for a 12 year old. And we can never forget that pregnancy itself is life threatening for some. Who has the right to insist that a woman whose own life is threatened be forced to continue a pregnancy? And what about a woman who has been given the heartbreaking news that her wanted child has a 0% chance of survival. Who could be cruel enough to make that woman carry what is essentially a dead baby to term?

    We cannot lose this one folks. Our children's futures depend on winning.

  •  A powerful story...and one (4.00)
    that should NEVER again have to be told. We HAVE to filibuster this nomination. We HAVE to.
  •  And when I was 24 (none)
    I was able to get a legal abortion.  I never felt quilty for that. But another abortion story.  I got marrried when I was 19. Shortly after I discovered that I was pregnent.  I so wanted to get an abortion but they were not yet legal in CA.  I had my child, my daughter, and I am so glad that I was not able to abort her.  

    We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home. ~Edward R. Murrow

    by elveta on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 08:18:14 PM PST

  •  I spoke to a lady who voted for Bush today...... (4.00)
    ...and told her what was going to happen to Roe and she said "Oh, no. That won't happen. We aren't going back to coat hangers".

    "What's to stop it?", I asked. "Alito will be appointed and will be the one vote they need to overturn Roe".

    "Americans won't stand for it", Mary Bushvoter said.

    I said, "Mary, if the election where held today between Bush and Kerry, who would you vote for?"

    "Oh, Kerry he just bragged about his purple hearts. I am not happy with Bush, but the Democrats are going to have to do better than that."

    There comes a point when you realize you are living among the pod people. It makes you almost afraid to go to sleep, lest you wake up to become one of them.

    The polls suggest Bush is down. Well, how could he ever have been up? I put no faith in these flip-floppers. Right before the election, they flop right back. All it takes is a few million dollars, some television ads, a propoganda push, and they they are right back in Bush's pocket.

    It can happen again. It can happen here and I see nothing to stop it. Certainly not Mary.

    "What luck for rulers that men do not think." - Adolf Hitler

    by Bensdad on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 08:18:29 PM PST

    •  bragged about his Purple Hearts? (4.00)
      Jesus! Doesn't that woman have a TV? Didn't she watch Kerry chop Bush apart in the debates? Heck, we had had four years of disastrous Bush policies already.

      There are some people you just can't reach. Thanks for trying.

    •  It will never happen (4.00)
      "...and told her what was going to happen to Roe and she said "Oh, no. That won't happen. We aren't going back to coat hangers".

      "What's to stop it?", I asked. "Alito will be appointed and will be the one vote they need to overturn Roe".

      "Americans won't stand for it", Mary Bushvoter said."

      THERE is the problem with a lot of Bush voters. My Bush supporting cousin says "we won't stand for Bush attacking Syria or Iran."

      Well, once it has happened, what exactly are you going to do about it, Mary? Once the bombs are dropped, they can't be taken back. Once Roe is overturned, it would mean law changes in all states to undo the damage, and that might not work.

      Ask Mary what she means by "Americans won't stand for it." What exactly will they do once the deed is done? Make her think it through and talk about it. I, for one, would be interested in hearing her answers. My cousin just says "Oh, it will never happen" - the eyes and ears shut tight theory of politics. Complete denial of reality - the blithe "It will never happen." I can't get her past that.

      The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud. -Coco Chanel

      by Overseas on Tue Nov 01, 2005 at 01:24:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I honestly believed (4.00)
        that Americans wouldn't stand for Bush stealing the 2000 election.  I really believed that.  I kept waiting for the elected Democratic officials to do something, for the progressive leaders to rally the troops.

        And waited.  And waited.

        Now, I don't wait anymore.  I organize.  I am a progressive leader.  I rally the troops, locally.

        That's what we need to do on this nomination.  Because our elected officials have already proven (the Congressional Black Caucus excepted) that they are unworthy of the job of protecting our interests and the constitution.

    •  Pod People (none)
      There are too many of them.  they are either robber Barons or total ignoramouses.  I have relatives that voted for Bush because Laura is a "classy lady" and they didn't care for Teresa Heintz Kerry.  Great reason right?  They listen only to Limberger cheese, and think Bush is some kind of God.  Everyone else is a liar.  They scare the hell out of me!  They walk with closed minds and think everyone else is wrong.  Frightening people!!!  Scary, sci fi stuff.
  •  For starters, (4.00)
    I refuse to let the heady questions you've raised with this diary overshadow the courage you've displayed by writing it. It is not the threat of retribution that ultimately keeps the victims -- female and male -- of sexual abuse silent.

    It is shame.

    That shame can only be conquered by staring it down, speaking it openly, dragging it from the darkness to burn off like a lake fog at dawn. Yet in doing so, you do not overcome fear -- you overcome terror.

    Congratulations, xyz. Today is good day. Every day you tell someone else is a good day. And though the memories will and must always remain, they will no longer have power, and you will be free. You will choose to add joy to your life, instead of working to remove fear. Be proud of yourself.

    This diary is about choice, as is all legislation addressing abortion. Whether abortion is immoral is impossible to determine, as is the existence of god or the human soul. And those questions that have remained impenetrable, debated unsuccessfully since first we could speak, are not the purview of our judiciary. Questions of faith and conscience are far too important to abdicate to another.

    No one likes abortion. This debate is over choice. And more often than not, no matter what we believe, life demands that we chose the lesser of two evils.

    -- "Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppression...will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day." -- Thomas Jefferson

    by Todd Johnston on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 08:21:39 PM PST

    •  I spent a lifetime (4.00)
      feeling shame.

      Shame that I'd not met my 'upper middle class' values.

      Shame that I'd not met my mother's warnings of 'don't you ever....'

      Shame that I didn't meet my family's expectations of what our 'class' of women did, namely, marry well to achieve value.

      I have no doubt there are many here going, 'Huh???'

      What no one understands is, how fucking hard it is to buck tradition.

      I can only look to the ancestors I've studied, who were born rebels.  It's my cheap consolation.  (g)

      •  The only truism (none)
        about the words "no one," is that no one is ever really alone. No matter how different someone may think they are, millions of others feel the same way.

        And I, for one understand how hard it is to separate. And before you are even tempted to think it is just the two of us, stop :-). Mary Oliver "gets it," too:

        The Journey
        by Mary Oliver

        One day you finally knew
        what you had to do, and began,
        though the voices around you
        kept shouting
        their bad advice--
        though the whole house
        began to tremble
        and you felt the old tug
        at your ankles.
        "Mend my life!"
        each voice cried.
        But you didn't stop.
        You knew what you had to do,
        though the wind pried
        with its stiff fingers
        at the very foundations,
        though their melancholy
        was terrible.
        It was already late
        enough, and a wild night,
        and the road full of fallen
        branches and stones.
        But little by little,
        as you left their voices behind,
        the stars began to burn
        through the sheets of clouds,
        and there was a new voice
        which you slowly
        recognized as your own,
        that kept you company
        as you strode deeper and deeper
        into the world,
        determined to do
        the only thing you could do--
        determined to save
        the only life you could save.

        -- "Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppression...will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day." -- Thomas Jefferson

        by Todd Johnston on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 10:30:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think that's one of the true strengths (none)
          of the internet.

          Nobody ever needs to feel alone. There are so many places to find someone who's had similar experiences, who can offer help and empathy, that wasn't possible before. Especially if you live in a small town, or rural area.

          It's a strength - and it's a weakness. It's a strength, because you can find kindred souls, but it's a weakness because you can also ignore other viewpoints and just live in an echo chamber.

  •  Unlike you (4.00)
    I feel a huge sense of need to hide my own skeletons. Suffice it to say that, although they came to pass during a time period nowhere near as frightening as your own, it's still hard to come out of the proverbial closet.

    We, as women, have the right to choose what to do with our bodies. My son and I survived an excruciating four months in the hospital following preterm labor, and the idea that a past life of mine is to blame still haunts me. We have the RIGHT to choose whether or not to go through the ordeal not only of bringing a child into the world, but whether or not to succumb to what can sometimes be a fight for life when the choice to continue is made.

    You carry my pride with you. I carry the humiliation and grief that comes with not being able to tell my own story.

    Just because the USA is a republic doesn't mean it's REPUBLICAN!

    by Auntie Neo Kawn on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 08:44:27 PM PST

  •  The Tipping Point We Keep Hoping For ... (4.00)
    Like so many others who have spoken here, I keep asking myself why the Bushies haven't long ago been unmasked and driven from office.

    What will get people's attention focused on the peril neo-Republicans present to our great Nation?

    I was very grateful to read xyz's diary ... and then watch in amazement as other women started stepping up, saying "I've been there, and I refuse to go back". I've been there, too, and I suspect that while the Bushies think they've got "libruls" all figured out, they sure haven't counted on the fury of one in three woman ...

    May the tipping commence!

    My thoughts on Dems vs Repubs? Democrats treat the general public like shareholders, while Republicans treat them like sharecroppers--Me

    by Robert de Loxley on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 09:20:26 PM PST

  •  This is such a tired old cliche (4.00)
    but I'll say it anyway.  If men could become pregnant no way would Roe vs. Wade be in danger of being reversed.  And I'm a man.  

    My position on abortion is this.  If someone opposes abortion, they have the option of not having one.  Nobody's forcing them to.

    If someone opposes gay marriage, they don't have to marry someone of the same sex.  Nobody's forcing them to.

    If someone wants to worship Jesus, they have the right to do so.  Personally, I really don't care.  It's not my concern.  

    But the moment someone tries to impose their own beliefs on how I should or shouldn't live my own life they cross a line.  An important one.

    Thanks for telling your story, xyz.  It's an important one to hear.  Although our stories are obviously quite different, and I can't begin to imagine what your experience must have been like, as a 52 year old gay man, I know something about being subjected to other people's sense of "morality".  Of having a "secret" that I was totally ashamed about...for years and years.  All I know is that once I came out, as hard as that was, it was the best thing I ever did.   Kudos to you for this diary.

    •  The problem with that argument (none)
      is that they immediately say this:

      So if you are opposed to slavery, don't own one, but don't prevent someone else from owning one.

      My opinion:  A better argument is this:  Who makes your medical decisions, you or the government?  If the government can compel a woman to sustain a pregancy against her will, the same government (using the same exact sustaining life argument) can compel you to give a living liver donation to Person X if you are compatible and they would die without it.  

  •  I want to thank each and every one of you. (4.00)
    This wasn't an easy diary to write. It was personally excruciating.  

    But, even more than that, judging from the responses, I'd say we need more of those (women) in our congressional/judicial system to reflect what is important to the majority of the electorant (over 60%.)

    We don't want to be superior.  We simply want to be equal.

  •  W is not for Women (4.00)

    The Republican "values" are not for me: I'd rather be a sinful heathen than shun reality while condoning torture, stealing, treason and bigotry

    by lawnorder on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 10:01:44 PM PST

  •  I fear the day it happens to my daughter (4.00)
    I hope if my daughter is ever pregnant, she does tell me. Not out of a need to make decisions for her, but because I love her, and hope that she can come to me (or her mom, or step mom or step dad)and ask for help or advice, or support.

    What scares me is that even with the "consent" of her parents, by the time my child is old enough to be in that situation they may have made it impossible for a woman to have an abortion. They may have made it impossible to leave the country to have one too.  
    How far will the crossing state lines laws go? When will they start giving young women pregnancy tests at the airport?  If you come back home and aren't pregnant, they'll put the burden of proof on you.

    What do members of the Repub. leadership say when they bump into Pres. Bush? "Pardon me."

    by mungley on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 10:12:51 PM PST

    •  It has been done before... (4.00)
      I believe Ceaucescu's Romania was so rabidly pro-natalist (or, rather, Ceaucescu was so rabidly pro-natalist) that birth control and abortions were illegal, young women had to take pregnancy tests every month, and ones leaving the country were checked, going out and coming back.

      Romania was found to have the most horrifying orphanages after Ceaucescu's regime was ended when he and his family were executed by angry Romanians, where children were basically left to live like animals, due to the utter lack of resources and personnel.

      That which you do unto the least of these, you do unto me - Matthew 25:40

      by A Texan in Maryland on Tue Nov 01, 2005 at 01:59:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I forsee a new "Underground Railroad" (none)
      First stop in Texas, my house.

      "Out here in the middle, where the center's on the right, and the ghost of William Jennings Bryan preaches every night..."

      by Nineteen Kilo on Tue Nov 01, 2005 at 09:26:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm in my late 30's (4.00)
    and grew up with Roe v. Wade protecting my privacy.  I never had to make the difficult decision so many other women have faced, but I didn't take my rights for granted either.  I had my share of pregnancy scares, false alarms, thank god, but even 20 years later I can easily tap into that vivid fear, that sickening feeling that if my period didn't come, I was going to have to face choices that were all terrifying.  But at least they were MY choices, and no one else's.

    Even though I'm now in a stage of life where such a horrible decision no longer looms over me, I refuse, I simply refuse, as a woman, to be a second class citizen in this country.  If I cannot make my own moral decisions about what to do with my body, if my sisters and nieces cannot make their own decisions because other people know better than they, then this has finally become a country that doesn't want me as a citizen.

    Jesus H. Christ, I finally get how gays felt last fall.  I finally get it.  Goddamn.

  •  Testing a generation (4.00)
    I am 35 and male.  Roe is roughly the same age I am, so I have never known life without it.  And I do not want a fight.  But let me assure you, everyone here, and the generations of women yet to come, that I will put myself into the breach to protect this right, no matter the cost.  The question is whether the spoiled and complacent members of my generation will stand with me.

    Make no mistake, the culture war has come to a head.  We now have to prepare for a fight that may take 30 years, but that we cannot lose without losing what this great country stands for in the process.

  •  what is needed.... (4.00) a mass mobilization of pro-choice people, a MASSIVE, pre-emptive March on Washington that puts a face on what the prospective overturn of Roe v. Wade will do to the lives of women.  A million people in the Mall by the Washington Monument, just an earth-shattering media event.  

    It needs to be demonstrated that since pro-choice is a majority position, the stacking of the court to prevent safe and legal access to an abortion is the imposition of a minority opinion on a majority population.  We've let the right-wing frame the debate on this issue for way too long, calling themselves pro-life (when they are really just anti-abortion, going out of their way to make the lives of every child born poor as miserable as possible by advocating for the gutting of social programs and so forth), branding 3rd-term terminations as "partial-birth abortions" even though only .3% of abortions actually fall in this spurious category, and such procedures are almost always done only when the life of the mother is threatened, etc. etc.  

    I am a man who worked for 2 years in a women's health clinic, and I think the old saw is true that if men got pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.  It's also true that if you're an unborn fetus in the womb or a vegetative person hooked to a feeding tube, the GOP has your back... but if you're anywhere in between, you're on your own.

    We should have got started taking the initiative on this a long time ago, but now that we face the biggest threat in 30+ years there's no time like the present.

  •  I just don't get it (none)
    I really don't get it. Not the post, I get that.
    Not to say that everything here is better, but, here in the Netherlands, girls < age 21 get their birth control pills for free. Women above 21 have to get an additional health care service.
    If I'm correct, you don't need to get a doctor to write a prescription, you just get it at the chemist. At least, my girlfriend does...
    I heard a lot of my friends in the USA say they don't use the birth control the Netherlands, i don't know anyone who doesn't (Young females that is).
    So, how many women in the USA actually take the birth control pill? I see and hear so many stories about young women pregnant, how much could be prevented if the birth control pill would be free for all women aged 21 or younger?
    •  Good question (none)
      You see, here in the US (and it is ongoing), sexuality is repressed.  I once said to a friend, not American, that we have to be the most sexually repressed people in the world.

      Use the pill, you must be a 'slut'.  Well hell, no woman wants to think of herself as a slut, right?  Men themselves are conflicted.  They want 'fun' but a woman who provides (enjoys) sex has little value when it comes to marriage.  

      We've dug ourselves a wonderous hole, and we're sinking in it.  

      The current 'fad' is to blame feminism.  You look at almost any righty, and it's either a man who wants a patriarchal society, or a woman terrified of freedom.  

    •  Reasons: (none)
      Health insurance. Already unbelievable expensive, insurance doesn't always cover the Pill.  In Illinois, it just became law that they had to.  And we are a pretty progressive state.  Before that I paid about $35/month for it.  Affordable for me, but not for a lot of low income women.  And places like Planned Parenthood are underfunded, understaffed etc.

      Lack of sex education.  This county is so puritanical, you'd be surprised how many sexually active kids don't even know how you get pregnant.

      Religion.  The Pill and other birth control are often considered a sin.  

      Side-affects. Migraines, vomitting, extreme mood swings...  The Pill is getting more tolerable, but it is still making a lot of us sick.

      Society.  There are still places in this country where taking the Pill makes you a slut.

      Fucked up decision making skills.  It's been my experience that a lot of ignorant girls with no decent role models get the idea that happing a baby will make everything in their lives better.  We need to give these girls a lot better options and self-esteem.

      And of course, there is always a level of discipline involved in taking the Pill effectively.  Thank god for that new patch thing!

      "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." -Voltaire

      by poemless on Tue Nov 01, 2005 at 11:14:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you (none)
    Thank you for having the courage to share this experience. It can't be easy to relive those traumas as you write those words.

    Your powerful witnessing is an inspirational truth-telling. This is a fight over real consequences, not just intellectualized ideals.

    "You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result" - Mahatma Gandhi

    by SLJ on Tue Nov 01, 2005 at 03:25:21 AM PST

  •  red state (none)
    You should try to post this on redstate.  They seem more open than some of the other right wing blogs to hearing contradicting points of view and when you post here, well, you're preaching tot he converted.  Spread the story...
  •  We remember (none)
    that which was never discussed until a coat hanger was the most terrible off all choices a woman could make. We never will forget that day.
  •  There are 20 Million American women (4.00)
    with stories like yours.  Thanks for telling it.

    I'm going to propose something radical.  Something brave.  Something helpful that women all over can do.

    And that's come out of the closet!!

    20 Million women who've had abortions.

    That's more than worship at the James Dobson alter.

    That's more than enough to win back this country.

    We're law firms, in politics, in medicine, in sports, in church...everywhere.

    You can't get away from us.  We're sisters, mothers, daughters, cousins, girlfriends, friends, and grandmothers.

    What I propose is simple.  Tell someone about your experience.  It can either be one someone, or alot of someones.  

    Tell your right wing anti-abortion neighbor to shut the fuck up.  They don't know what you and other women went through.

    Tell your husband, your children, your parents, your friends...tell someone.

    Until we women who've had abortions let people know that when they put down abortion and disparage women who've had abortions...they're talking about ME, we'll never win our freedom.

    Tell them to mind their own business.  And they should have plenty to mind right now with an illegal war, an idiot President, Katrina, indictments, rising gas prices, job insecurity, health care crisis, etc. etc. etc.

    If you don't speak up now, there may be a day when nobody will be able to speak up.

    HotFlashReport - Opinionated liberal views of the wrongs of the right

    by annrose on Tue Nov 01, 2005 at 04:22:38 AM PST

  •  my mother had an illegal abortion (4.00)
    in the 40s.  Luckily she had a doctor friend who performed it in her girlfriend's house, and she was safe.

    But when she told me this shortly before she died, the whole issue crystallized for me even more than before.

    thank you.

    "Every act of becoming conscious is an unnatural act." - Adrienne Rich

    by marjo on Tue Nov 01, 2005 at 05:03:00 AM PST

  •  my college had a floating fund... (none)
    into which most of the women contributed, to help pay for abortions.  More than 1 of us is now infertile as a result of what we had to endure back then.  I'm scared to death about the future...
  •  I had an abortion (4.00)
    when I was a 19-year old, Ivy League college student (which goes to show that it can happen to anyone).  I was very much in love with my boyfriend, but it was not the right time for us.  

    My husband and I are also in the position that, if we have another child, we may have to choose whether or not to terminate the pregnancy due to a severely disabling genetic disease which our son has.  We would choose to terminate if another child was ill.  It's for people like us that partial-birth abortion exists, btw.  And I am for that too, given the medical circumstances that I personally know can and do exist for many, many women.  Not all diseases or defects can be seen on ultrasound either early in the pregnancy or later on, and most of the several thousand genetic diseases CAN'T be screened for, because the genetic "typo" hasn't been pinned down yet.

    No other human being on earth is going to tell me what I can or can't do with my body.

    It isn't just about our bodies, though.  It's about what happens to the rest of our lives.  It's about who gets to determine what the rest of our lives entail.

  •  Save us, Jane (none)

    Jane will be there for us, I hope.  Scalito, if he's nominated, will definitely have his crosshairs on Roe.

    •  Thanks for this Jane description (none)
      I graduated from high school in 1972... I know that so many of the rights that young women today take for granted were bought and paid for by the hard work of women a little older than myself.

      I couldn't recall the exact dates that some of the items happened... this description of the play "Jane: Abortion and the Underground" by Cheryl ter Hor, provided it and so much more.  

      (If you are too young to remember those days, I urge you to read it.)

      Besides that, the members of Jane also note that women had far fewer options in those times. Single motherhood was taboo, and birth control was not widely available. It wasn't until 1965 that a Supreme Court ruling guaranteed the right of married people to use birth control, and not until 1972 that the justices affirmed that single people also could legally obtain contraceptives.

      "A friend of mine at the time was raped at knifepoint and went to the university health care center, where she was told there were no gynecological services," Booth said. "And she was given a lecture on promiscuity."

      "Getting pregnant in those days was a tragedy--it was the end of your life," recalls Sunny Chapman of New York City, who turned to Jane when she was pregnant at 19. "I knew people who had had botched abortions, and people died from illegal abortions. You really felt safe once you made contact with the Janes."

      The whole website here is a treasure trove of information about what really happened with lots of links to interviews, newspaper articles, etc. on the struggle to help women before abortion was legal. Read it and understand how frightening the reversal potential truly is.

  •  States Rights vs. Fetal Rights (none)
    What are the wingnut justices going to do when it comes down to some states having civil rights for all their citizens, while the state next door is sticking it to women, blacks, and gays?

    Will California be allowed to have it's own constitution, or will the fascists decide states' rights only apply when is has to do with guns?

    Fox News is a propaganda outlet of the Republican Party - DNC Chair Howard Dean

    by easong on Tue Nov 01, 2005 at 07:15:54 AM PST

  •  This is already a fact of life for thousands (4.00)
    of women around this country - right now.

    Clinics are shutting down because of bomb threats or threats to the family - children! - of the doctors.

    Waiting periods (informed consent my ASS) mean abortion's out of reach for women who can't afford a hotel room to stay overnight in the city while she waits the required 24 hours.

    Parental consent laws put this choice out of reach for young women who can't get their parents permission for the procedure (especially if her father's the father due to molestation or rape).

    Even if you have health insurance, this isn't an option.  SOme plans don't cover abortion.

    Let's face it - abortion's not an option in many red states today.  It's already like pre-Roe America and Alito's only going to make it worse.

  •  My own recollection (4.00)

    Sunday mid-day dinner, in the comfortable dorm dining hall.

    Suddenly, from across the room, a scream...

    A woman stood up,  blood flowing down her legs, and collapsed, as everybody else in the room froze. She had  had to resort to one of the back alley abortionists.

    Another friend - a nurse - with tales of women brought in hemorrhaging ... some of them didn't make it.

    Women have sought to terminate unwanted pregnancies through the ages.... they will continue to do so when Roe v. Wade is overturned... and are probably already resorting to old, unsafe procedures now in some of the red states.

    Is this what we want?

  •  timely subject (4.00)

    My significant other and I were discussing abortion last night when she, a person I consider a died in the wool liberal, said she didn't agree with late term abortions.

    To which I replied, "So the 14 yr old pregnant by rape who hides her pregnancy in shame should have to give birth when she can no longer hide it?"  Silence...then "why do you do that?"  "What?" I asked...."Make me think," she said.

    I am pro-life - for me.

    I am pro-choice - for you.

    Abortion rights, among many other issues, are subordinate issues.  The primary issue is the ability of an individual to choose for themselves the correct and appropriate actions in their lives free from undue influence or coercion by anyone or anything (government).

  •  Easy for Men to Talk (4.00)
    My father was a died in the wool Republican, loved Richard Nixon, thought Archie Bunker was hilarious.  He was also a dirt poor farm boy from Jim Crow Georgia who became a general practitioner in rural Alabama, running a medical clinic in back of the one-horse-town drug store.  Apparently, Daddy put more than a few country women back together after their botched abortions from local witchdoctors/butchers in the 1950s.  

    Late in his life, he was prone to having a couple of drinks while watching the evening news (Huntley/Brinkley).  One night, a couple of Congressmen were braying on and on about the evils of abortion.  Out of nowhere, his face contorted and he spat out, shaking his finger at the television, "No goddamn man should have one goddamn thing to say about this."

    I was stunned.  If there was ever a man given to male prerogative, it was Daddy.  And there he was.  Furious at men who felt entitled to dictate what women should do in that situation.  What he saw in country Alabama turned his stomach.  I'm glad he's not alive to see this day come again.

    A sad, very sad day for us all.  

    •  If Men Had Babies (none)
      Abortion would be a sacrament.

      A good Irish Catholic girl said that to me 33 years ago.  It was true then, it's true today.

      "L'enfer, c'est les autres." - Jean Paul Sartre, Huis Clos

      "L'enfer, c'est le GOP!" - JJB, from an idea by oratorio

      by JJB on Tue Nov 01, 2005 at 09:24:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  sacrament? (none)
        perhaps sacriligious, but killing a man's baby would not be considered a good thing, such that a sacrament is.

        My mom was also catholic and told me something similar, if men could have babies then thier periods (menstruation) would be considered a sacrament.

        The thing women have yet to learn is nobody gives you power. You just take it. ~Roseanne Barr (democrats take note)

        by leftout on Tue Nov 01, 2005 at 10:05:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Sacredness has nothing to do with it (none)
    the sacredness and seriousness of reproducing needs to be brought back into the picture.

    There's the rub. Your religion tells you abortion is wrong. Fine. Here's what you can do:

    1. Don't marry a pro-choice woman.
    2. Don't have sex with pro-choice women.
    3. Don't assume that every spiritual person has the same feelings you do.
    4. Don't try to impose your religion on me or anyone else. That's just obnoxious.

    The Constitution tells us not to make laws that make the beliefs of one version of religion mandatory for everybody. There are people these days who'd like to take that idea out of the Constitution (apparently, Judge Alito is one of them), but please don't be surprised if there are a lot of people, many of them people of faith, who will fight to prevent that.

    Here's the thing, the separation of church and state is there for the protection of people of faith -- not to prevent them from exercising their faith.

    I will stand up for the right of any woman to refuse an abortion. If her belief system says it's wrong, then it's wrong. No argument.

    But that decision belongs to each individual woman.

    It's not yours to make.

    Republicans are men of narrow vision, who are afraid of the future. -- Jimmy Carter

    by elsaf on Tue Nov 01, 2005 at 09:20:18 AM PST

  •  Men (none)
    Until a man carries a fetus to birth they have nothing to say!  Walk a mile in a woman's shoes then talk.  I hear nothing from you until then.  You have no understanding and no say, period!  A woman who is controlled by a man has no respect from me either, I do not hear you.

    This is a simple my body, my choice, my decision.  You don't know the circumstances that a woman is under to make these decisions.  If you are a man and concerned then wear a condom, you should anyway to protect you both from disease.  

    •  Nothing about this issue is "simple" (none)
      and your statement that:

      "Until a man carries a fetus to birth they have nothing to say!"

      is every bit as offensive as calling abortion "murder." Both are emotional, over-simplifications of questions without answers.

      As I have stated up-thread, the only rational basis on which to debate abortion is choice, because everything else would require some higher power to drop by and set the record straight.

      While debating abortion is clearly inseparable from issues of gender, for a woman to claim that after conception, her body is the only valid connection to what grows inside, is cruel. From the day they confirmed she was pregnant, my brother was no less 'connected' to his future son than his wife.

      It cannot be said too often: any legislation regarding abortion must focus on the question of choice. And if women want that choice, being lured into debates about morality, feminism, and the sanctity of their bodies are self-defeating distractions.

      Whether or not abortion is immoral depends on defining "life" and that definition remains at the triple-point between religion, philosophy, and science.

      Equal rights for women is a misnomer. The goal of mainstream feminism is to be equally defined by the law, and the much bigger challenge of being accepted as equals in society. There cannot be equal rights because men and women are different. And I believe that most women see the distinction between the right to have an abortion, and the right to decide to have an abortion. Terminating a pregnancy is not the end goal -- an abortion affects everyone involved, patients, family, and even the doctors.

      And what we do with our bodies is legislated all the time. We cannot legally commit suicide, or drive without seat belts, or take steroids. Criminal suspects can be forced to provide DNA and submit to surgical procedures. We cannot be naked in public, or spit on someone, or urinate in the middle of the street.

      The only definitive, arguable question about legally restricting abortion is whether or not that legislation too broadly, unfairly, or disproportionately restricts our freedoms. And really, the answer to that is pretty straightforward.


      Because we will never know for certain when life begins, and because morality is not some universal standard, thus each person's acts must be viewed in context. And because since modern humans first began to consider their existence in a context beyond their bodies, we have struggled to and been unsuccessful at answering the most fundamental question of all: what is life?

      Still, we have no answer.

      Do not be tricked into trivializing or celebrating abortion as a victory -- though women can legally choose that path, I feel sorrow for those faced with the decision. I've yet to meet a woman for whom the experience did not leave a deep emotional scar.

      And above all, for those willing to hear a man's perspective, think carefully before drawing a divisive line in the sand. You cannot win an argument that has no answer, or shout down a zealot without looking equally foolish.

      Fight for freedom based on the recklessness of trying to legislate beliefs. THAT is the high road, the very foundation on which our country was built, and the battle you are most likely to win.

      -- "Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppression...will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day." -- Thomas Jefferson

      by Todd Johnston on Tue Nov 01, 2005 at 12:45:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am pro-choice (none)
    but I'm also gay so I don't relate too well.

    I wonder, if abortion is not available, why don't the women make the men wear condoms?

    I know in instances of rape that may not be an option, ( in those cases tell the guy you wanna give him a BJ then BITE as hard as you can!)

    The thing women have yet to learn is nobody gives you power. You just take it. ~Roseanne Barr (democrats take note)

    by leftout on Tue Nov 01, 2005 at 09:59:20 AM PST

  •  What I don't understand . . . (none)
    Is how come women don't march on Washington tomorrow and raise one hell of a stink.  I say this because I feel abortion is so much more of a personal thing for women, I simply can not believe that women or going to let a bunch of old, frumpy males, make this type of decision for them.  

    Don't get me wrong, I know that this is not a male/female issue.  It just seems to me that women should fly off the handle on this issue.  

    "Constitutional Crisis Forthcoming"

    by egarratt on Tue Nov 01, 2005 at 10:58:11 AM PST

    •  One of the great things (none)
      that has helped conservatives, and damaged all us simple women, is the demonizing of feminists.


      There is no worse insult, and nothing harder to fight against.

      Don't get me wrong.  NOW, which I would love to endorse, has chosen the route of 'hating' men.  It is a sad fact that 'man hating' seems to be their forte.

      I don't hate men.  I love men.  I want to be equal, not 'better'.

      I just loved Mary Chestnut's diary during the Civil War.  Slaves have their freedom, when will that happen for women.

  •  You said (4.00)
    "You see, I was one of those poor fools who'd been molested at age 10 by a 17 year old, (You're so pretty, I adore you, now show me what you have. Boring, I know.  As someone with a modicum of intelligence, I blamed myself for being so stupid.)"

    I hope you don't still blame yourself. Because you weren't to blame, the 17-year-old was.

    You weren't a fool and you weren't stupid.  You were a child.

    Thank you for your diary.

Leslie in CA, CA Pol Junkie, Bob Johnson, J from VJ, No One No Where, spyral, Thumb, Canadian Reader, Alumbrados, OkieByAccident, Angie in WA State, Madman in the marketplace, MattK D1, easong, Cheeky, Stirling Newberry, Go Vegetarian, Terri, tmo, Mark H, Marek, MediaFreeze, CJB, jps, Kascade Kat, Nathan in MD, Blackwaterside, jade, DC Pol Sci, Alexa, dratman, lapin, TealVeal, lordkelvin, Ben P, slinkerwink, Bryan in CT, Mister Gloom, Trendar, windsngr, sarahzb, lrhoke, Raybin, Blue the Wild Dog, Randomfactor, Pandora, TrueBlueMajority, NYmom, mem from somerville, saraswati, BigOkie, juls, Knut Wicksell, wytcld, Bob Love, Lahdee, bread and roses, sara seattle, Lindsay Beyerstein, Shockwave, SwimmertoFreedom04, Titian, kerry, egoldstein, donna in evanston, m maddog, SanJoseLady, wintersnowman, TeresaInPa, adkay, DyspepTex, JK Minnesota, jdld, FredFred, Pesto, kineticdissent, willyr, djinniya, moira977, candace in sonoma, ignatz, MarkosNYC, RKS, figdish, Gary in NY, TarheelDem, HarveyMilk, frisco, lawnorder, marjo, theran, Luam, Carnacki, object16, mataliandy, givmeliberty, gwhayduke, Jerome a Paris, mraker, zeitshabba, redtravelmaster, Nonie3234, dnamj, Cecrops Tangaroa, Vitarai, Soy Lechithin, hotspur, dpc, shermanesq, RubDMC, dc 20005, mlafleur, ellisande, EvieCZ, think2004, sponson, indybend, skrymir, BlackGriffen, macdust, bonddad, Percheronwoman, elveta, cartographer, annrose, brooklynben, groggy, jem6x, lpackard, djMikulec, b2witte, HippyWitch, mxwing, SLJ, Glic, scamp, exhausted by the spin, buckhorn okie, moiv, mrblifil, chimpy, chechecule, EastFallowfield, Prove Our Democracy with Paper Ballots, etherapy, Xray the Enforcer, Dana in MN, javelina, someRaven, peraspera, amanuensis, LondonYank, nycnat, k2winters, House, Fe, timelad, itskevin, The Empress, Rona, Spindizzy, fumie, rioduran, Iberian, lirtydies, admiralh, TheKickingDonkey, Cardinal96, Eddie C, wader, Janet Strange, Melanchthon, bionicKitty, hopesprings, cathy b, chinkoPelinke, Moody Loner, lanikai, NYC Sophia, Dallasdoc, missreporter, media girl, by foot, Kentucky DeanDemocrat, DianeL, brainwave, greenheron, redmcclain, desiunion, mott street, besieged by bush, Rico, Caldonia, NYFM, LiberalBadger, kathika, GN1927, dwahzon, ohiolibrarian, chantedor, PitPat, Maria in Pgh, Robert de Loxley, Mrcia, osf, horsewithnoname, lcrp, 2dot, Democratic Hawk, inclusiveheart, dcookie, One bite at a time, ChiGirl88, Donna in Rome, MyPOV, AllisonInSeattle, nasarius, parkslopper50, Sembtex, eleanora, mungley, YetiMonk, 2livers, LifeForRent408, OrangeClouds115, DrReason, sfluke, Steven D, MetaProphet, bablhous, kd texan, solesse413, demandcaring, califdweller, Shapeshifter, greeseyparrot, cohe, Jensaarai, profmarcus, rapala, acuity, Fabian, Slackjawed, DCleviathan, Bluesee, farleftcoast, 3goldens, kilroy666, ManOnTheBench, pattyp, Skaje, Bensch, writeout, Ckntfld, pammo, el dorado gal, Elise, enough, Alegre, hiredman, dukeraoul, lenore68, JanetT in MD, WildRice, wobblie, offred, Jersey Girl, Alien Abductee, Webster, MarCat, clammyc, Shiva, Todd Johnston, Brooke In Seattle, YucatanMan, maisie, BrenP, KristyZ, GUGA, ocooper, curtadams, Aunt Susan, buckeyedem08, IL dac, majcmb1, flo58, concerned, GoMommyGo, sassy texan, John DE, GreyHawk, tranquility, adornedimperious, evilpenguin, Jawis, The Bulldog Manifesto, WHSwarrior87, SBandini, openYourEyes, Cannabis, EeDan, FindingMyVoice, loggersbrat, LithiumCola, The Fat Lady Sings, JPete, YukonJack, General Tonic, grayscale, mrnarse, maryru, Ian H, vilegrrl, xL, mariva, taracar, Fruitcake, WuChier, AceDeuceLady, martini, occams hatchet, Legolas, poco, esquimaux, Emeriol, BachFan, GeoGrl, PatsBard, SFJen, sherlockandwatson, minimax, Piss and Vinegar, BlueInARedState, DC Scott, Mad Biologist, Yellow Canary

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