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I'm pro-choice, always have been. But I've been admitedly tepid in my support. After all, the law wouldn't affect ME personally if it were to change.

After all, I've got two kids, and I'm married. Although I don't plan on having any more children, if I were to get pregnant it certainly wouldn't be the end of the world, right?

Well, all of that changed this week...

So, it dawned on me today that when it comes to abortion, I have been commiting the same sin that so many women commit everyday; I was unable to see how this law really affects my life.  I always backed it, but you'd never have seen me on the front lines of this fight. I always counted myself grateful that I never found myself in a position to have to make that choice. And maybe, I patted myself on the back a little too much for never getting "in trouble." I always said things like "if I were 16 and pregnant, I would have gotten an abortion."

Of course I never went so far as to make the ultimate dissconnect and vote against my best interests, but really, my apapthy level when it came to the abortion debate was increasing. I was willing to offer my verbal support, backed up by my vote, but little else.

Then, a few months ago, my husband and I seperated. And a week ago, I found myself having to do something I hadn't done in over a decade: insure that I wasn't going to get pregnant by insisting on birth control. Yep, I got back in the game and made a choice to spend the night with someone. <gasp> That's right; I had casual sex. And yes, of course I used protection.


My mind has swirled with "what if's" today as I listen to to the Alito confirmation hearings. What if I suddenly found myself pregnant? The scenario that didn't seem too terribly tragic as a married woman now took on a whole new meaning.

Well, I have to say, my first instict was one of sheer panic. Then thankfullness. Thanks to timing, abortion would still be an accessable choice for me. And because I'm just posing a paranoid hypothetical here, I'm lucky that I won't really have to make that choice....

But the point is, women who are like I was are all over the country, not even paying attention to the Alito hearings, because they can't see how it affects thier own life. Never mind the fact that I have TWO young daughters, it really took this new PERSONAL situation for me to reconnect with the issue and it's importance for all women.

I simply can't imagine and America where my choice would be taken away. Where I, a single-mother of two would be FORCED to have an illegal aborition or have a child that I don't want. <Shudder> And in Alito's world, I would have to track down the father of this child and ASK HIS PERMISSION first!

Front lines.....I hope there's room for one more in your ranks, even if I'm a little late to the fight.

Originally posted to valleycat on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 01:34 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  One can hope... (4.00)
    ...that the Alito hearings will be a wake-up call for American women, that their rights are being taken away while most of 'em aren't looking....
    •  They won't be. (4.00)
      For most of the female morons in this country (as opposed to the male morons -- don't ask which side is leading, it changes form day to day), the only wake-up cal they'll notice is the one where the headlines of every single paper, the lead story of every single newscast, blare out the news that abortion is officially illegal in half the states in the union.

      And most of the fucking morons in the "safe" states will actually shrug and think, "Oh, well -- at least I'M in one of the GOOD states."

      Sorry -- I woke up this morning and discovered I'd been transformed into a mopey grey donkey with a tail half-pinned to my... ass.

      •  Problem is (none)
        that abortion is already de facto illegal in most places in the country.  Because no doc will do it.  And looking up "abortion clinic" in a lot of white pages will result in a call to an anti-abortion group in disguise.  And no newspaper that I've seen has trumpeted that as a headline.  

        California, New York, maybe Massachusetts...I seem to hang out in mostly the middle, so maybe there are more I don't know about other "safe" states.  But when the reality of abortion comes around, many women find it impossible anyway.  That's what infuriates me most; something that is currently legal is virtually impossible for a huge proportion of women.

        (apparently there is a furry grey thing half-pinned to my ass as well)

        "Why, Tom, we're the people that live. They ain't gonna wipe us out. Why, we're the people--we go on." Ma Joad, The Grapes of Wrath

        by rocketito on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 06:21:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Florida (none)
          There are plenty of clinics in florida, several in each city.
        •  Abortion clinics need a common trademark icon. (4.00)
          If a pro-choice group would register a symbol as a trademark for certification of a legitimate abortion provider, then allow clinics to register to use the trademark in advertising in return for being inspected and confirmed by the trademark holder.  Then clinics could put the trademark into their ads.  With a small ad campaign funded by the registration fees it would be possible to educate women about the trademark.  

          Just an idea.

        •  How is this not fraud? (none)
          How can an anti-abortion organization advertise itself as an abortion clinic?

          Nobody likes big government until they need something. -5.88, -6.82

          by Debby on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 09:22:29 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It is fraud (none)
            But they have to be caught, and they have to be prosecuted, and then the next time the group pops up with a new name two blocks over the cycle gets repeated.

            Also, it's much, much harder to prove fraud if these places never take any of the patient's money.

            Here's a typical scenario: a woman goes to one of these "clinics" and, when she sees a "nurse" about getting an abortion she gets some right-winger line about how awful that will be, is possibly shown "Silent Scream" or whatever the latest updated version is, and told misleading statements about fetal development.  And so, the patient is talked out of it and goes home.  (Having been basically lectured for some number of hours by someone she thought was a health care professional interested primarily in her - the patient's - well-being, unaware that she was attending anti-abortion counseling)  Note that no money ever changed hands.

            Now, false advertising is a bit tough too - after all, if they take out a full-page ad. in the phone book and advertise themselves as, say, "Women's Health Center of Podunk", without ever mentioning abortions in their ad., that ad. probably wouldn't be enough for a conviction.

            Note that the phenomenon of false abortion providers is not totally and completely unheard of in popular culture - after all, there was a Law & Order episode centered around it a few months ago.

      •  THREE CHEERS FOR YOU! (none)
        Finally, someone who isn't afraid to tell it like it is.

        The meek won't inherit the earth because they're weak.  The main indication of their weakness is their inability to consider an issue behind their own little fragmented, marginalized life. They deserve to be ruled by their masters.....

    •  Both genders need a wider wake-up call... (none)
      as the efforts to overturn Roe is only the first step.  The much broader right threatened is the right to birth control itself.  Things such as birth control pills, iuds, sponges, diaphrams, the morning after pill, etc. are considered "abortifacients", things which prevent the implantation of the egg in the uterous.

      This is really the utlimate goal of those seek to set aside Roe...

    •  Unfortunately, (none)
      I think Alito is as good as confirmed. I'm not getting a good vibe from the hearings.

      I mean, am I--a male with only his liberties at stake--wrong, or do people here think the Dem Senators are going to filibuster?

      I don't see it happening and I certainly haven't heard about a flood of phone calls to the Capital demanding one. Isn't that the only way to block his confirmation? Aren't we all at this point just sitting in our boats with out paddles drifting towards the waterfall?

      This is a nice diary, though I fear a day late and dollar short. I'm now left to fear (more so for the women of this country who will find themselves driven further into economic second class status and with less rights then their embryos) what schemes the likes of Cheney and Rove will hatch knowing the Supreme Court is tucked nicely in their back pocket.

      "...I have reauthorized this program more than 30 times since the September the 11th attacks" - George W. Bush, 12-17-05

      by Pescadero Bill on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 04:59:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  they will send you to war and to the mines (none)
        or any other job where you must "work all day for the sugar in your tay" with no benefits, no recourse if you are hurt on the job - and ever more of us will be, as they strip away the obligations on those poor Corporate Overlords to give up some of their Very Own Money looking after us ungrateful peasants.

        It's all part of the same thing: first they come for one set of rights, then they go for another, and everyone thinks "oh it's just happening to them, I'm safe, and they probably deserve it, no skin off my nose" - until they end up like a former fascist head-breaker and U-Boat captain turned minister who realized that his own turn had come...

        "Don't be a janitor on the Death Star!" - Grey Lady Bast (change @ for AT to email)

        by bellatrys on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 06:06:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Valleycat (4.00)
    If you really want a reproductive wake up call, check out Ms Magazine online "Between a Woman and Her Doctor" in the Spring 2004 issue.  (

    This article is a wonderful article showing how chipping away at this right to privacy for women doesn't just hurt the "single women" or the "slutty women", but all women.

    It put me back in this fight...and its an important one.

    Now, on the flip side, Republicans use "abortion" to raise huge amounts of money - so will it ever be overturned?  Probably not.  Will it be chipped away at so that its basically an empty shell?  Likely.

    •  Thanks (4.00)
      I'll check out the article. And your so right, it affects everyone, not just us "sluts." <grin>

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

      by valleycat on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 01:44:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You put a great deal of faith in that thin sheet (none)
        of latex, huh?

        Life happens! Latex breaks, incest is an ugly reality, rape occurs, and living situations change.

        Why are women the only ones not allowed to decide the outcome of this situation, as it relates to their body?  

        I plan on reading the article suggested above, but we need a legion of women to understand that this issue is far from a simple abortion right.  

        Nothing short of an aroused public can change things, nothing less than democracy is at stake- Bill Moyers

        by maggiemae on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 03:54:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Holy fricking hell. (none)
      That article was one of the worst things I have ever read. That poor woman.

      I hope she changed doctors. Damn.

      •  hmmm... (none)
        ....sounds to me like all the doctors she encountered didn't give a shit. it's sooooo great to be a woman...

        Crime is contagious....if the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for the law. -- Justice Louis Brandeis

        by FemiNazi on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 07:07:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Thank You (none)
      so much for that article.  I've just read it and sent it along to my best friend.  She is under the mistaken impression that abortions are easy to get because we have one mutual acquaintance who has had 3 abortions.  Even after explaining to her that in our home state there is but ONE abortion clinic, she still tried to tell me that anyone can get an abortion.  I don't know that she'll read the article, but if I have to send it to her a hundred times I will.  

      Although I have always been pro-choice, it was only recently that I realized why late-term procedures are necessary.  This article has put a fine point on precisely why it is necessary, and I will never forget it.  

      "I said no deal; you can't sell this stuff to me" - Townes Van Zandt

      by btrflisoul on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 05:39:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've always thought it weird... (3.55)
    that so many lesbians were on the front lines fighting this and a lot of straight women, like yourself, were less active.

    but then, lesbians tend to be on the front lines with AIDS too, and gay men sure aren't knocking down doors to fight breast cancer.

    -8.75;-5.28. But it don't mean nuttin if you don't put your money where your mouth is

    by ultrageek on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 01:44:44 PM PST

    •  You haven't met my brother, then. (4.00)
      •  And I think here in Columbus, Ohio... (4.00) men and lesbians have been pretty much mutually supportive. Maybe being on a small island of enlightment in the desolate wasteland of the Bible belt has forced us to work well together.
    •  I'm not straight, I'm bi. n/t (none)

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

      by valleycat on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 02:06:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thats why we call it PRO CHOICE... (4.00)
      It's about having a choice (ie control without interference from govt or some asshole down the street). It's about LIBERTY of the human spirit.  The pregnancy part is merely a technical aspect about abortion fight. Granted, a very important technical aspect.

      That's why lesbians take this so seriously.  It's about a woman having liberty over her body, then her mind, then her spirit...

      Valleycat.. if you read this comment, I encourage you to put your money where your mouth is and join the National Organization for Women.  It isn't the most socially acceptable thing to do....given the feminazi moniker it gets... but that's the reason to join!

      LetsFight. re handle: Fight the radical right is the sentiment!

      by letsfight on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 03:15:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  More than just abortion (none)
        You are so right, letsfight.

        This has less to do with abortion than it has to do with the fact that these people, these so-called conservatives, don't trust women to make *any* choices for themselves. They have to take our options away, put barriers in front of us, shame us if we choose anything other than the most narrow path.

        •  Not to mention the impracticality.... (none)
          of actually having to empower 52% more people (women) and have to compete with them for education, jobs, resources, etc.

          On the same page is the Reagan/Bush War on Drugs, which seemed awfully productive in terms of making sure crack cocaine decimated the black population.

          Keep the competition unempowered... the cornerstone of CAPITALISM (by white men)

          LetsFight. re handle: Fight the radical right is the sentiment!

          by letsfight on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 04:12:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Just Women?? (none)
          They don't accept ANYONE (male or female) falling outside their very narrow norms....



      •  i'm a lifetime member... (none)
        ...and i don't care about the moniker. heh!

        Crime is contagious....if the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for the law. -- Justice Louis Brandeis

        by FemiNazi on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 07:09:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  welcome to the fight (none)
    now you know why we've been so noisy.
  •  right to HAVE the kid (3.40)
    the "right to choose" should also be about the right of women who WANT to have the kid--but can't because of the safety net system. i think too often, the pro-choice side forgets that side of the equation and in trying to help women who WANT to have the kid.
    •  aoeu (none)
      What sort of help do you suggest?  federally funded IVF treatments?  Adoption information?
    •  Everybody should be concerned (4.00)
      with the safety net.  I can't really see why pro-cboice women should be busy worried about the women who vote on purpose to take away our rights.
      NO ONE is trying to stop women from having babies.  I have NEVER seen legislation trying to force women to have an abortion for the good of society.
      •  I think what ihlin is saying is that (4.00)
        some women can't/won't have kids because they can't support them and that pro-choice people should be providing for these children, who are wanted but unaffordable.  I'm pretty sure most people who are pro-choice also support pay equity, health insurance for all, and an end to discrimination against women and motherhood on the job.  But I don't think you can advocate supporting every woman who wants to have a child, short of a complete revolution in our economic system.  And that is outside of the immediated issues of abortion rights.  

        You fell victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of which is "Never get involved in a land war in Asia".

        by yellowdog on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 02:06:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  But then Call it What it Is (none)
          Which is advocacy for the right for people who want to abort to have that right.  But it is not advocacy for choice, because advocacy for choice advocates for life circumstances for women that leave them with more than one choice.

          Womanists have been trying desperately to get the mainstream white pro-choice movement to see that there would be a lot more buy-in across all women if the fight was broadened from just the right to abort.  If you're not willing to fight for the right of women to be mothers whether or not they are poor, then stop claiming to be fighting for choice.  You aren't.

          My separate place for mental meanderings: Political Sapphire

          by shanikka on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 03:44:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Man, I'm sick of taking the rap (4.00)
            from both sides. I'm pro choice--yes, I am. I'm pro women deciding when, where, and how to have sex, use contraception, and have children. I'm also on record supporting all aspects of the welfare state that would enable women of all classes to have and keep the children they want in reasonable comfort. For example, I support universal health care, and universal excellent public schools. If that isn't enough then what is enough for a "buy in."

            Here's a clue--the far right isn't interested in your vote on the matter of pro or anti abortion. They are interested in the vast white middle class and their votes to control women's bodies. They use abortion as a club to get those suburban moms who could give a s*&^t about poor women's right to be mothers to vote against their own interests and against yours.

            So I suggest aligning with the "mainstream white pro choice movement" which has been struggling along with little money and less support from anyone because its a "woman's issue" and because its anti patriarchal to insist on women having--choice.

            And lets be clear, you've got the "right to be a mother"--in fact, you have very little right to be anything else. Poverty doesn't stop you from being a mother, oppression doesn't stop you from being a mother.  If you can't mother your children sucessfully under the current regime its not the fault of the few liberals who are fighting for choice.


            •  We're All Sick (4.00)
              It's easy to say I'm sick of.  From my perspective, I've got just as much beef as you.

              But answers to your questions:

              "I'm also on record supporting all aspects of the welfare state that would enable women of all classes to have and keep the children they want in reasonable comfort."

              And I'm "on record" with each of these things too.   BFD.  But the issue in this thread is:  How much work have you done to fight for it as an issue of reproductive choice for poor women - one that is just as important as the right to abort?

              "For example, I support universal health care, and universal excellent public schools."

              Great - So do I.  I think all progressives should.  But excellent public schools are of most benefit to children that have already been born and, thus, peripheral to a discussion about reproductive choice.  A minimal, universal standard of prenatal care at least theoretically exists for most women, now because of the "babycare" legislation that virtually all states have adopted.

              "Here's a clue--the far right isn't interested in your vote on the matter of pro or anti abortion. They are interested in the vast white middle class and their votes to control women's bodies. They use abortion as a club to get those suburban moms who could give a s*&^t about poor women's right to be mothers to vote against their own interests and against yours."

              I'm not talking about the "other side" and I don't believe in a progressive political strategy that pretends that the only inappropriate stuff rests on the other side of the political aisle (particularly since it is not true.)  Progressives have just as much moral housecleaning to do on this issue as the rabid right does, whether you wish to believe it or not.  Perhaps more so - the right wing admits it does not give a shit about women except in a narrow box.  The left says it cares about all women, but only fights for women's reproductive right to be rid of pregnancy if they want to be.  That's not choice, because a choice means that there are equally viable options available to select from.  The left fights (in terms of expending energy, money and emotional excess) for only one thing, it seems, in the area of reproduction: the right to avoid pregnancy.  I personally am all for that, even though where I draw the line on choice is middle of the road (viability).  But I'm also not for calling that fighting for "choice" - because I've known too many women who wished they had a choice when they got pregnant to give birth, and knew that they could not because of their poverty.

              "And lets be clear, you've got the "right to be a mother"--in fact, you have very little right to be anything else."

              Thank you so much for educating me about what my rights are.  The haughty presumption that someone who doesn't agree with you is ignorant is part of what makes it impossible to have a serious, productive, coalition building discussion about this issue and perhaps put the issue of how best to fight for abortion rights to bed for the country once and for all.  And thank you for your suggestions about what is best for me and other women who feel as I do:  get with the "mainstream white pro choice movement".  Forget if these other women might have something to teach that movement, which the movement refuses to listen to from folks who have been in the trenches on issues of reproductive choice, including abortion, a lot longer than many who are out there insisting that they know best how to have this fight.

              Because of course you know best, right?

              My separate place for mental meanderings: Political Sapphire

              by shanikka on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 04:43:58 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I don't think "I know best" (none)
                but I do think that just as its true that I can't speak for you, you can't speak for me. You aren't "more of a woman" than I, and your rights aren't of more interest to me than mine and my daughters.

                You've chosen a very common political strategy, and its has its advantages and disadvantages. You are attacking those who are closer to your position than others politically because you hope that you can get them to more fully support what you want. And you know that you can get 0 percent from the far right. I admire that, its practical politics. But you are telling me I need to make common cause with you while it is equally true, as I"m arguing, that you need to make common cause with me. (insofar as we are standing for archetypes--you for all women of color and I for all women of privilige.  It is you who are acting as though middle class white women have all the power, not I. Im out there fighting for what I think of as "all women's rights" and you are out there fighting, by insulting me and other women, by telling me that I'm fighting all wrong because I'm not priviliging your rights over those.

                You could be right. God, I could be the most hypocritical, terrible, selfish, woman of all time but how is telling me that I'm so evil going to get me over to your side?

                And yes, I'm saying that I routinely get out and fight for health care, better schools, and etc...--yes, get out and fight for them, vote for them, badger for them and, frankly, I dont need them. I have reasonable health care, my kids go to private school. I don't have to give a damn about the issues of poor women. In addition--and it is in addition--I support choice for women. That doesn't take away from other things, it enhances it. And choice/abortion is and always has been an issue that supersedes class. The women who fought for abortion rights are the same women who fought for contraceptive rights when women without access to either were having ten and fifteen children that they didn't want or couldn't pay for who simply couldn't carry safely to term.

                The fact that abortion rights seem to take up so much oxygen isn't because liberal white women chose to fight for abortion 'cause we like aborting babies. ITs because other aspects of our fight were rather sucessful and because the legal strategies that have been pursued against us have hived abortion off of other rights/priviliges and made it particularly vulnerable.

                •  Honest, if IMO Proving Why We Fail (none)
                  but I do think that just as its true that I can't speak for you, you can't speak for me.

                  You could have fooled me, trying to tell me what I "should" be doing when it comes to dealing with the issue of "choice."

                  You aren't "more of a woman" than I, and your rights aren't of more interest to me than mine and my daughters.

                  I never claimed to be "more of a woman" than you: perhaps you could show me where? I claimed only to be a different woman than you, one who sees the issue of abortion as having a different priority in the fight for "choice" than you do.    

                  It is also clear from what you write that your daughter's rights are indeed of more interest to you than the rights of women generally.  Sort of an "it's all about me and mine" approach, which has its place.  But if that's so, you don't get to claim to be fighting for all women, because all women are not you and your daughters, either.  Should I take your statement about what you are "interested in" to mean that your daughters are immune from the harm that is caused by the deprivation of reproductive choice for poor women and the failure of other women to fight for them unless they want an abortion? If so, they are blessed, I guess.  I can certainly understand your tunnelvision when you don't have to live in those circumstances - such tunnelvision is quite common.  As for me, having been blessed with abject poverty and financial comfort and having developed empathy from the experience of both throughout various phases of my life, and knowing the impact of each on women's lives, I tend to fight politically based not just on where I stand personally, or where my daughters stand, but based on a "there but for the grace of God go I" stand.  But then again, some people are unable to truly care about and fight for anything that doesn't directly affect or benefit them.  /shrug

                  God, I could be the most hypocritical, terrible, selfish, woman of all time but how is telling me that I'm so evil going to get me over to your side?

                  You know, another key problem in terms of trying to build coalition is when folks get so defensive as their initial response to legitimate criticism that isn't even personal that they project, i.e. believe someone has called them evil when, in fact, no such thing occurred.  You and I are not on "opposite sides" except in your narrow framing of the issue of reproductive choice - We don't agree about some aspects of the issue/framing (to use a word I despise); but seem to agree about others.  But obviously, you don't agree.  Perhaps because of that irrational defensiveness thing I just mentioned.

                  I don't have to give a damn about the issues of poor women.

                  No, you've made that clear.  And you get points for honesty if nothing else.  But nobody does - not even poor women.  (Sort of like when I was growing up, my mama always told me I only had to do two things in this life:  stay Black and die.) Ours is a culture where it is easy to stop caring about people who are not like yourself.  Women are just as vulnerable to this "I got mine, get yours" mentality as men.  So I guess would be fine, except that one doesn't get the right to claim to be fighting for them.  Since you've admitted that you don't give a shit about what may be an equally or more important issue for them - you're just using them as poster children for what matters for you.  

                  As for the remainder, the history of the fight to legalize birth control options was a fight that ultimately changed strategies to include issues of more relevance, and themes of more relevance, to oppressed women's populations.  Perhaps, at a time when the fight to preserve abortion rights continues to lose ground, the mainstream movement might finally take a listen to some other ideas about how to build women's coalition on this issue?  Of course it doesn't have to.  But then again, if women's groups continue to focus on a narrow definition of "the problem of choice" I suspect all of this will be moot in about 10 years for all women:  the ones you care about and the ones you don't.  Moot in a depressing sort of way.

                  I do give you points for honesty, though.

                  My separate place for mental meanderings: Political Sapphire

                  by shanikka on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 05:34:31 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Shanikka, I did reply to this but accidentally (none)
                    put it lower down somewhere.
                  •  I made a mistake though (none)
                    1) I should not have used a thought experiment with you. I see you've quoted my remark "I don't have to care" down below as being synonymous with "I don't care at all." That isn't correct, as should be clear from my writings.  My point was that if you are trying to appeal to someone you clearly feel has completely different interests from you you might want to think through the basis on which you are appealing to her.

                    You say you have votes, or could have votes, to form a kind of coalition. And you want my vote. You ask me to support what you say are the interests of your group either because its the "right thing to do" or because its identical to my interests.  I've pointed out that I do support the causes you say are yours, even though they are not "in my interest" in a purely utilitarian sense at the moment. You've taken that to mean that I have no morality, or no morality that jumps with yours. mY point was the direct opposite. I argued that although what you are advocating out of self interest is in fact what I am arguing out of dis-interest and disinterested moral compassion. I advocate precisely the same politics you do although it does not benefit me.

                      I simply tried to tease out the differences in appealing to others on the basis of similarity (we are all women together which would be my preferred course of action) or hostility (you rich, priviliged white women should support me because I'm right...).

                    Sorry you didn't get that.

              •  sorry but this is nonsense (none)
                Choice is about whether or not women are forced to carry a pregnancy to term or not. That's it.

                The other is a separate issue, one we all care about and campaign for.  But the system is what it is.  It sucks just as bad for people without children, maybe worse.

                •  I don't see how one can start (none)
                  with the premise of the more difficult thing - gaining economic improvement, over the basic necessity first - the initial decision to carry or not. Without the first thing taken care of, there is no chance of the other happening.

                  If some of these judges could read into the law the criminalization of fathers that do not financially support their children there might be a shot at starting with the financial part. Wouldn't hold my breath though, as they are predominantly men. And half the time they protest at the insistence of a condom, let alone anything extra like paying for the consequences of their actions.

                  I see the back and forth over economic/right to make one's own decisions similar to the middle class/poor going at each other over what one group has or doesn't. Serves no purpose but divide people that have a lot in common and actually could be of help to each other. Doesn't mean that one ignores their own "most important" issues in the process though. It is not either/or.

                  The Democratic Party is suppose to represent both. The reproductive group(s) are there to keep reminding them of their interests. I am sure that if we wouldn't have to keep revisiting what is a settled issue in this society (right to privacy) we could move on to the next step - the ridiculous economic disparity.

                  On that note; I have been and/or known a range of classes - poor to upper middle class. All of the upper middle class that I've known are made of up two professional working people. Some do not have any children - the most anyone has is two. They work so much I wonder if they even have time to cotemplate having sex. The poor? All were born into it. It's amazing to me the assumptions that if you are raised a certain way, you will be that way as an adult - with the EXCEPTION of being born into poverty. Our society assumes, upon reaching adulthood, a light goes on and the person is automatically suppose to be self supporting. The odds (or call it system if you want) are very much against this person ever gaining anything more than a working poor to middle class existence. The latter is their dream. In general, the poor have to completely give up on any thought of having a personal life in young adulthood to have a chance at improving their economic status. Not likely to happen, as it goes against human nature.

                  Bottom line to me though is that taking away a right to medical decisions helps nobody that is actually living on this earth, regardless of what group you fall in.

                •  That's what it is (none)
                  To YOU.

                  And, you're welcome to keep your narrow view of the problem, as long as down the road, as we continue to insist on this approach and continue to go backwards, not forwards, in terms of the right to abortion being secured, folks don't whinge.  The birth control movement ultimately succeeded because it finally listened to these different voices about how to advocate for family planning in communities that legitimately were concerned about the eugenic intentions of certain advocates.  It would have failed, but for a few women finally waking up and realizing that they'd better heed what other women had to say and take that into account when developing strategy, at the risk of alienating women from the cause.  Most folks of course don't know that history, because it's convenient not to know it.

                  But as the saying goes, those who do not learn from their history are doomed to repeat it.  And the pro-abortion movement (since it's clear no other choice matters enough to fight for, so it is disingenuous to call it pro-choice) appears not to have learned anything about how to succeed advocating for women's reproductive rights from its own history.

                  Sad, but apparently true.

                  My separate place for mental meanderings: Political Sapphire

                  by shanikka on Wed Jan 11, 2006 at 05:45:00 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Nope , Not buying it (none)
                    There is a group of people trying to attach the right to use narcotice to the choice movement too.  That boat doesn't float either.  

                    One issue is choice, the other is the social safety net. Most of us fight for both.  But attaching them, saying you must support more welfare or you are a hypocrite on choice, sorry that's nothing more than trying to play on people's guilt.

                    •  You Don't Have to Buy It (none)
                      But the history is what it is.  The false dichotomy you (and it seems, most of the mainstream abortion rights movement) wish to impose on the definition of reproductive "choice" is self-serving.  But no need for us to go back and forth on it - we clearly do not, and will not, agree.  So you work on what you think is choice, and I will do the same.  

                      My separate place for mental meanderings: Political Sapphire

                      by shanikka on Wed Jan 11, 2006 at 06:49:20 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  I agree 100% (none)
                      it's total BS ..

                      Trying to paint anyone who is 'pro-choice' as 'pro-abortion' is the wet dream of every lunatic right wing whacko out there.

                      End of discussion.

                      Sick of it.


                      "Rovus Vulgaris Americanus" nasty soon-to-be-indicted co-conspirator. -7.63, -9.59

                      by shpilk on Wed Jan 11, 2006 at 08:38:56 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

        •  I sincerely don't understand. (none)
          Whyever would anyone want a child if they have absolutely NO way whatsoever of supporting it?  We have to change minds so that people make responsible choices and realize that they are indeed choices.

          New Orleans WILL rebuild because she is more than the sum of her architecture.

          by NOLAWitch on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 06:00:03 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Really (none)
        Is that why TANF punishes a woman who has another child by refusing to give her any additional money to support it?  If that isn't a "law trying to stop women from having babies", I don't know what is.

        And I presume you've seen it?

        My separate place for mental meanderings: Political Sapphire

        by shanikka on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 03:27:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not a liberal-supported law (none)
          That law is a direct result of their being a Republican majority in Congress, which wanted exactly that result for its own eugenic reasons.  That is not something that the choice movement had ANYTHING to do with.  I agree with you that it is a hideous law, but don't blame the choice movement for it.  

          If the lifers get their way, women will be having children whether or not they can afford them.  More mouths, but no more money.  Now, at least, women can keep feeding the children they have...

          When you are going through hell, keep going! - Winston Churchill

          by flo58 on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 04:22:06 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  "Not Liberal Supported" (none)
            But I don't see any women's rights groups -- other than those who fight for the rights of women of color -- putting any energy into fighting against it either.  None whatsoever.  Spouting platitudes is meaningless - it's where folks put their actual energy that matters.

            I guess because there is no energy left over fighting so hard for abortion rights?

            My separate place for mental meanderings: Political Sapphire

            by shanikka on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 04:25:53 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't know how it is where you live (none)
              but here, the people on public assistance rarely, with few exceptions, ever even show up to vote much less work for candidates or issues.  
              Maybe the rest of us are tired.
            •  Sorry .. (none)
              they may not be perfect, but I have heard many Democrats on the Floor of the House and Senate fighting for the poor, be it urban blacks or rural whites - to get their fair share of pre-natal health care, living wages to support families and the complete social safety net.

              I have NEVER heard a Democrat say, even in jest, that abortion is a solution to crime or poverty. But I sure have heard it said, seriously and in jest by leaders of the GOP.

              Yes, a lot of Democrats are rich white folk, but they sure the hell get it better than the rich white Republicans do.

              The food stamp and WIC program is not a GOP program. Ending 'welfare as we know it' - which Bill Clinton tried to "own" - is a GOP canard, foisted upon him by a GOP majority in control in the House. This new 'workfare' program is just one more tool in the GOP box of dirty tricks to hold down people without means.

              Yes, the Democrats are weak - in part because they are not getting the votes they need from the poor, the poor that are not exercising their right to vote. It's tough; there are roadblocks at every turn to being heard, to even to get to the polls to vote, to even get that vote counted properly - but that is what has to happen to effect change.

              What HAS happened since 1994 is that the House has been in the control of racist white male pigs - otherwise known as the GOP, and they are trying to exterminate the poor - be they black or white.

              And on the other hand, the GOP refuses to ban firearms, and has encouraged both a false war on drugs and encourage sale of alcohol in urban neighborhoods which is continuing to destroy the fabric of society in urban black neighborhoods.
              The GOP is doing this deliberately to keep the inner cities in disarray, to continue to enslave people of color and the poor in general from organizing, from being empowered. To make poor people felons, felons who cannot vote.

              "Rovus Vulgaris Americanus" nasty soon-to-be-indicted co-conspirator. -7.63, -9.59

              by shpilk on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 11:41:56 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Firearms, Bad Drug Policy (none)
                Have nothing to do with reproductive rights and the question of reproductive "choice", the issue which I thought was under discussion.  The issue is that by never fighting for any women who wish to exercise a reproductive choice other than the right to abort, the movement is not really fighting for the right to choice:  it's fighting for the right to abort.  The narrow definition of choice insisted upon, however, alienates entire communities of women who simply do not define either their womanhood or their freedom in terms of whether they can avoid giving birth.  Building coalition among women means expanding the definition of choice, and placing abortion rights back in perspective as one of many issues involving reproductive choice.  

                It is very easy to dismiss any criticism of the tunnelvision as ignorant, rightwing, the enemy or what have you.  What is harder is to step back, take a look at it, and determine whether the pro-choice movement reached its' current state of failure (and given that states are growing even more bold circumscribing the abortion right, that is not an unfair conclusion to reach) because it decided to make as the sine qua non of reproductive freedom the most controversial aspect of reproductive choice, instead of fighting equally for all of them for all women, including abortion.

                You rail about not getting the votes of the poor, yet when someone tells you that a core campaign of the party overemphasizes a single, narrow, part of a large issue and deliberately ignores broader issues that could engage those women more directly and emotionally in the fight, it appears to go right over the heads of the folks supposedly fighting for "all women".  Here's a free hint:  why don't you go out and ASK them why they don't vote? And this time, perhaps, LISTEN and act accordingly?  And stop focusing on the other side of the aisle: as is the case with most issues, it is not enough to tell folks about how bad the opponent is.  Many poor folks would tell you that in terms of their willingness to engage in political action (as opposed to just talk) there isn't much difference on the ground.  Whether that is true or not, that is the perception and if you wish to improve both their engagement and turn out at the ballot box when critical things such as fighting for abortion rights come up, it is wise to take that to heart and act accordingly.

                (P.S. I don't know where you got that revisionist understanding of PRWORA, TANF and its draconian attack on poor women's reproductive freedom through family caps got to be on the books.  But William Jefferson Clinton advocated this program as his own.  It was not forced down his throat - he was quite proud of it.  While he vetoed the original bill as it came out of the Congress, he was also clear about why:  the lack of sufficient child care funding and food stamp allocation.  He did not oppose the issue that implicates the reproductive function of poor women.  Not at all.  You might wish to go back and review the history.)

                My separate place for mental meanderings: Political Sapphire

                by shanikka on Wed Jan 11, 2006 at 06:04:41 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Firearms and bad drug policy have (none)
                  everything to do with quality of life issues.

                  "never fighting for any women who wish to exercise a reproductive choice other than the right to abort"

                  That's a wide brush, as wielded by right wing whackos.

                  I question that it is factual.
                  Please back it up, since you make the charge.

                  Let's find pecentage of women's groups that ONLY support abortion as a 'solution'. The percentage of 'liberal' lawmakers that ONLY support abortion.

                  Yes, I agree - the VISIBILITY of other issues seem to get buried BY THE PRESS.

                  But you are confusing what you see on CNN and MSNBC as reality, and by doing so becoming just another shrill voice bashing 'liberals'.

                  Direct your fire at THE PRESS.

                  "Rovus Vulgaris Americanus" nasty soon-to-be-indicted co-conspirator. -7.63, -9.59

                  by shpilk on Wed Jan 11, 2006 at 08:34:39 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

      •  there are places (none)
        where I have "seen legislation trying to force women to have an abortion for the good of society."

        China, for one - and they supported by the Bush Corporation, to boot. Oh, they protest, Bushie and his shills may - but when it comes down to brass tacks, they want only profit.

        That is what guides it all  in GOOPer-land. Profit, and keeping the hoi polloi under control.

        It is a damn insult to progressives and liberals to imply that we, as a group would ever encourage abortion as a solution to a social or economic problem; it IS not beyond extemist capitalists to encourage abortion for the sake of profits.  

        It's certainly not beyond such stellar GOP figures like Bill Bennet to let slip what he REALLY feels - and I think he speaks for a lot of 'right to lifers' - a lot of them - "it's true that if you wanted to reduce crime ... you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down."

        Liberals and progressives that have tried to ensure since the early days of labor unions, health care, prenatal care, environmental protections, living wages, fair working conditions, fair and equal housing, education should not have to answer to those who bring this up in this manner.

        I have NEVER EVER heard a 'liberal' or progressive say that abortion is an answer to economic or societal issues. I would challenge anyone to post such a quote.

        Let's see those rich elite GOP white bastards that are so high and mighty with their 'right to life' provide the basics to those in need, first, before they open their damn mouths. What they need to do is to stay the damn hell out of out lives, and let us decide individually ourselves what is best for us.

        "Rovus Vulgaris Americanus" nasty soon-to-be-indicted co-conspirator. -7.63, -9.59

        by shpilk on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 11:24:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  once again, you're talking to the wrong crowd (4.00)
      i would bet that almost everyone here would support a living wage (at bare minimum a much higher minimum wage), universal healthcare, a healthy social safety net, parental leave for sickness and pregnancy, child care, and a nationwide attempt to eliminate the sort of abject poverty that forces families to make these kinds of unbearably hard choices. it is not the pro-choice democratic crowd that has abandoned the poor, especially those of us at the grassroots. you keep trying to make this accusation stick, and it just doesn't work. the rich repubican pro-choice minority, and the pro-life-for-you-but-not-for-my-children hypocritical religious conservatives are indeed that way, but the left is pretty consistent in its focus on families and children's welfare all the way from prenatal nutrition and health care through pensions and elder care. that some of the democratic party's corporatist wing does not give a damn about the poor enrages the left here as much as it does yourself. stop trying to make us into this other you want to play off of; we're not them, and it's stunningly obvious to anyone willing to look beyond their own prejudices and political agenda.

      crimson gates reek with meat and wine/while on the streets, bones of the frozen dead -du fu (712-770)

      by wu ming on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 02:53:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  i don't doubt (none)
        the pro-choice crowd supports this agenda. but we so seldom hear it. and that's why they are losing the PR war to the pro-life side. Pro-choice to them means "right to an abortion" "right to my body", etc. for a lot of low=income women of color, a lot of them WANT to have the kid, but can't. talking about that side of the pro-choice equation would take a lot of the sting out of the "pro-abortion" accusations. by focusing solely on the right to kill fetuses, the pro-choice crowd has let itself be boxed in.
        •  exactly (none)
          we (everyone who's pro-choice) are essentially portrayed as baby killers, and there are going to be people who will always view us as baby killers but there are others out there who are rational or convinced by logic and reality who we are not speaking to, and we can tie it into the other important parts of the agenda. There are millions of women right now of all classes who have access to abortion here in New Jersey who choose not to have a baby because they cannot adequately support themselves plus one. Imagine maybe getting them to think "what if I didn't have that option?" Not all of them are WIC eligible - a lot of the working, middle class and even some of upper-middle class are struggling right now! And it is only going to get worse because it's just been a couple of months since the brutal bankruptcy bill and loan sharking regulations. This is something that cuts across class. But you never hear this in the media. I guess this is a "framing" problem. Have we grown lazy on pro-choice? Where is the momentum from the March for Women's Lives? Where are the protests on the steps of the Supreme Court? This shit is getting serious!


        •  This is (none)
          A succinct description of what I believe is a key reason we're going backwards in terms of abortion rights.  But good luck getting anyone to seriously listen - as someone upthread made clear, they don't have to care about anything but what affects them personally (and their daughters).  

          Go figure.

          My separate place for mental meanderings: Political Sapphire

          by shanikka on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 05:33:18 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  DKos is a place of white privilege (none)
            We know this Shanikka, we know that women of color approach this issue very differently than our counterparts in the white middle class pro-choice movt. they are killing themselves and they are just so deluded with their thinking that has managed to alienate most of their allies, and so we end up with a govt that is entirely hostile to their position, even when most Americans support Roe. amazing isn't it? and they have no idea why it is they are losing, when we know exactly why.

            listening ot the Supreme Court crap and all the endless diaries on here about abortion, i remarked to my coworker today, "if Democrats wasted as much oxygen and breath as they do talking about poverty as they do about abortion, poverty would be eradicated by now."  

          •  Yup (none)
            all us selfish rich white women who have everything so easy.  Brilliant. lol.  You know nothing about many of the women here apparently.  
        •  you are not being honest, I think (none)
          you are not pro-choice, am I right?  

          Killing fetus's indeed.  

          Again, any woman who gets pregant and wants to have the child can.  The fact that the social system sucks is a side issue.

        •  That's framed just like (none)
           a freeper would frame it ..

          The backhanded compliment is not valid, and it's insulting.  

          Why do you insist upon being this way?
          Think it will score you points?

          "Rovus Vulgaris Americanus" nasty soon-to-be-indicted co-conspirator. -7.63, -9.59

          by shpilk on Wed Jan 11, 2006 at 08:42:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Give Up the Ghost (none)
      How long have womanists been trying to get folks to broaden their focus, largely without success? The pro-choice movement remains firmly ensconced in the tunnelvision of middle-class women (primarily white.)  And frankly, they've made clear by their response to other choice issues, such as forced invasive birth control when Norplant was on the table and being used in the criminal justice system, to TANF, to drug addicted mothers that they don't give a shit about the reproductive rights of all women - just those that find pregnancy and delivery something they don't want.

      My separate place for mental meanderings: Political Sapphire

      by shanikka on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 03:46:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Barking Up the Wrong Tree (4.00)
      Comments like this make me want to scream. Liberals and progressives who advocate choice are the same people who advocate raising the minimum wage, single-payer health care, funding good, funding good day care, and other measures that support mothers and children. Just because we don't always work "living wage" and "abortion" into the same sentence doesn't mean we don't support a "right" to have children.
    •  That's True (none)
      The right to choose has to include the right to decide to have a child or to adopt one, as well as the decision to have an abortion or to use birth control measures.  The spectrum of reproductive choices is broad.

      However, some of the debate has been driven by state legislatures which have focused on the abortion decision and the rights of adoption (by unmarried individuals and gays and lesbians).  If, as a Virginia legislator has suggested, unmarried women should not be provided access to fertility services, this would be a good test of how the right to choose is viewed.

      I fully support providing government assistance to women who want to have a baby, but I think the government also should provide assistance to women who believe it is not the right time for them to have a child.

    •  Fascinating... (none)
      I can't decide if I disagree or agree with you. On the one hand, I would wholeheartedly support creating a social safety net that truly supports mothers and I agree that liberals are too quiet about this. On the other hand, for the sake of the environment, I would hate to promote higher birth rates. We are already destroying our environment at an incredible pace, so do we really want to create economic incentives for more women to choose motherhood?
    •  "pro-choice side forgets" ? prove it (none)
      .. a totally unfounded and unsubstantiated viewpoint. Please back up this obnoxious Randall Terry talking point with some facts.

      'The pro-choice side' - at least from what I see here, and from everyone I have ever talked to - is  about the personal choice of the individual to make their own decision without interference from the government. It's about empowering those people, mostly the poor, since the rich get to do what ever they want anyway, to have choices about the quality of their lives, and their families lives.

      Being pro-choice has everything to do with quality of life - and that includes health care, wages, education, freedom from violence, freedom from discrimination and opportunity.

      Barney Frank {?} seems to have this issue pegged.
      To Republicans, "Life begins at conception
      and ends at birth."

      I have yet to meet someone who is pro-choice who is not also concerned with "pro-life" issues - in the real world, what real people need to have quality of life for themselves and their families. The GOP cares only about quality of profits and corporations.

      "Rovus Vulgaris Americanus" nasty soon-to-be-indicted co-conspirator. -7.63, -9.59

      by shpilk on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 11:09:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Had my wake-up call 15 years ago (3.66)
    while my kids were 1.5 & 3.5 -- two herneated discs in my neck due to an accident while I was a teenager. Neurologist suggested that having more children was not in my best interest; I ran the risk of paralysis in my left arm.

    Now that wouldn't be life threatening; but it sure as hell would make caring for a new baby and two toddlers difficult.

    In the end, though, it's a privacy issue for me. My government does not belong in my bedroom, in womb, my  phone calls, my mail, my computer. It does not have the right to access my medical records or credit reports without a court order.

  •  Oh I've taken it into account (none)
    The rapid erosion of reproductive rights is one of the factors in my decision to emigrate.  I won't raise any future/potential daughter in a country where she can't even get the Pill, much less an abortion if she should need one.  

    "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent."

    by ssundstoel on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 01:55:05 PM PST

  •  and it won't stop at abortion (4.00)
    more moral laws will be passed, more moral sinners found - oops I mean citizens.

    the sky is falling, the sky is falling!

    by leftout on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 01:59:08 PM PST

  •  about five years ago (4.00)
    My ex sister in law had her third child.  She asked her doctor to tie her tubes during the delivery.  He  refused and at that point she was too far along to switch doctors.  She was told that it was too big a decision to make during childbirth and she would have to wait a few months and then he would do it for her.

    You guessed it, about 11 months later she had her fourth child. She threatened the doctor and this time he did it for her.
    The paternalistic society is still with us and around here it is CATHOLIC. Forget the Protestant fundamentalists, they are around but have no influence or power.  It's the Catholic Church that is interfering in women's lives.

    •  I'm Catholic (4.00)
      and I agree that it helped me pat myself on my very moral back, but I don't see any point is singling out the Catholic church here. At least the Catholic church is consistent in it's support of pro-life issues, while many others are total hypocrits.
      But don't worry, I'm not going to defend the hierarchy. But please don't tar and feather all Catholics. Lots of us are reform minded, and face great personal risk in battling the church on many issues.

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

      by valleycat on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 02:05:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Forget reform (none)
        The RCC is wedded to two thousand years of tradition. And who can blame them?

        Seriously, I just stopped trying to change something that won't change. And I'm much better for having found a different path to follow.

        •  The Church & Choice (none)
          Correct me if I'm wrong - but isn't this anti-choice a rather recent development?  I thought that the church only became anti-choice a couple centuries ago - when it became more a financial issue than anything else.  The bigger the families, the more catholics there are.  The fuller the pews and the fuller the collection plates etc.

          by Alegre on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 02:40:36 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Actually (none)
            the change was some time in the 1800s. The Catholic Church did not view a fetus as a life until quickening. Official church dogma changed in the 1800s. Not sure when exactly.
            •  The trend is not heartening (none)
              Didn't the Church just beatify or canonize a woman who died in childbirth rather than end a pregnancy she knew would almost certainly kill her?  Such a decision is unfathomable to me, not least because she left behind at least two other small children to grow up without a mother as well.        

              No one likes armed missionaries. -- Robespierre.

              by Gator Keyfitz on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 03:09:33 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  asdf (none)
                I don't know who they beatified. All I know is during Pope John Paul II's reign, he made more saints than all the previous popes put together. I think he started counting card tricks as miracles. It is quite possible that people were "buying" sainthood for others, the way the church hands out annullments for those with the right connections or money.
        •  spiritual journey (none)
          glad you've made peace by moving on. But we each have to walk our own spiritual path, and right now, I'm commited to church reform, even if I never see change in my life time.
          Dinosaurs like the church DO change, just veerrrryyyy sloooowly....
          Why just ask Galileo, and Joan of Arc...

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

          by valleycat on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 03:25:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Did I tar and feather all Catholics? (4.00)
        I said very specifically that in this area it is the Catholic Church that is hurting women and interfering in their rights.  The reason I say so is that on this sitem, it is the Baptists and other fundamentalists who get blamed for the anti-choice movement...but it really is a Catholic movement in the majority and around here the RC has a stranglehold on politics.
        •  In PA (none)
          you may be right; The CC DOES have a stranglehold on politics, but that is far from the case around the rest of the country. By and large, I'd wager that it's mostly a protetstant movement. You forget that the CC is all but non-existant in the south and most of the west.

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

          by valleycat on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 02:40:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Two Words (none)
        The Roman Catholic Church is not going to change until the laity vote with their feet and leave. The two words I tell my unhappy Catholic friends is "Episcopalian Church".

        The moral values crowd is a bunch of lazy people who deep down in their hearts want the government to do their job as parents.

        by phinky on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 03:49:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, there's somewhat "reformed" (none)
          Catholic congregations, too.  I know people who happen to be such members, and they uniformly strike me as extremely respectful folks when it comes to acceptance of various belief systems, private decisions such as birth control, abortion procedures, etc.  Perhaps my experience is skewed, but the very nature of their searching out a more lenient tone in a shared community with whom they worship probably supports my limited observations as being not entirely unreasonable.

          In general, I fully support your sentiment - even those folks just mentioned tend to be somewhat subdued in their "protest" (for lack of a better word) of the undying heirarchy and strict dogma, because they apparently have nothing to prove in that regard.

          •  skewed and subdued (none)
            My view of church reform may be skewed too, because I AM a church reformer, and am part of a radical catholic congregation.
            Is our approach "subdued?"
            We are welcoming to the gay community, delegate a lot of lay ministry, including lay preaching (not permitted by the Church) and some of us have taken it even further. Recently, I attended a mass con-celebrated by a woman and a married priest, risking excommunication.

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

            by valleycat on Wed Jan 11, 2006 at 04:52:55 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  I don't necessarily agree with that (none)
      I think it's more than just the Catholic Church - I do think it's the religious Right and how many of those are Catholic?

      I was brought up Catholic but I am not a practicing Catholic because their stance on homosexuality. Their stance on birth control is just icing on the cake ;-)

    •  My 20 year old sister (none)
      has often talked about getting her tubes tied. She has NO desire for children....

      of course, no doctor would perform that operation for her because, well, of course she'll change her mind!

      I think that's ridiculous...sure...she may very well change her mind...but if she does, she'll only have her own CHOICE to blame for it...(although I highly doubt she will).

      •  They told me the same thing . . . (none)
        I had to be over 28 or have had 3 kids before they'd tie my tubes because I might "change my mind" - I'm 40 and I haven't changed my mind yet.

        Everyone's left of the extreme right.

        by gnutpnut on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 02:31:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  same here (none)
          They told me the same thing when I first asked about a tubal at age 26. In fact the first doctor refused to even give me any information.  He also told me the terrible menstrual cramps I had were my imagination.

          I got it done when I was 28 and I'm 42 now, and mostly happy with the decision. I got married at 35 and my husband is older anyway, and didn't really want to have any of his own. I've gone through periods of wishing I could have a baby, especially when 3 of my longtime friends had babies in their late thirties. Two of them went through all sorts of difficult and costly reproductive therapy.

          Feeling envious of their baby joy, we checked into getting the tubal reversed (reverse sterilization is not covered under insurance), and in the process I had my eggs checked, to see if it was worth the effort. Turns out I didn't have many eggs anyway, all these years, probably due to endometriosis, which I had symptoms of since age eleven. I had surgery for the endo at age 33, and had one ovary removed then, but I thought the remaining one was still healthy.  

          So that was my reproductive wake up call. Ladies, if you are waiting to have a baby into your mid or late thirties, be sure to get your eggs tested ahead of time.

      •  Same here... (none)
        I asked to have my tubes tied when I was 22 because some of the more popular forms of birth control were not available to me. Every single doctor I asked for the next 15 years said "no - you'll change your mind." Well, I'm almost 40 with no kids, and I'm not changing my mind. I've always wondered how many vasectomies they performed on men under the age of  30...

        "Science is defined by how you ask the question, not the question you ask."

        by themis on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 02:38:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  A friend of mine had it done... (none)
          ... when he was 21.  He was in the Navy, and it took about a year for them to authorize the procedure.

          They said: "You're 21!!"

          He said: "I've got four kids!!"

          After he had the procedure, his wife told him that she was pregnant with their fifth. :)

          Last I talked to him, they'd been happily married for 15+ years.

        •  My husband (none)
          had a vasectomy around age 32.  The asked him if he was sure.  He said yes(We have two children)and they said OK.  I wonder what they would have said if it was me asking for my tubes tied.  I was probably 28-29 at the time.

          Does the devil wear a suit and tie, Or does he work at the Dairy Queen- Martin Sexton

          by strengthof10kmen on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 04:21:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not sure that's so outrageous. (none)
        I know someone who had her tubes tied when she was 27 and single.  At 35 and recently married, she would like to get the procedure reversed.  

        Also, why go to the time and expense and risk of having a procedure done which is medically not necessary, when there are so many alternatives?

        •  It's not the doctor's choice (4.00)
          It's MY choice. I thought I had the right to make decisions that affect my body, even stupid ones:) Regardless of the reasons for the decision, it is (or shouldn't be) up to the doctor to decide for me. Basically, I'm hiring the doc to give advice (whether I take it or not) and perform the procedure. That's it - s/he is an expert mechanic.

          And yes, I've probably pissed off a lot of doctors in my time:)

          "Science is defined by how you ask the question, not the question you ask."

          by themis on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 02:46:13 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It it, partially. (none)
            The doctor is bound by ethics, and quite frankly by law, to "do no harm."  If you want to do something stupid to your body, and you need a doctor's assistance in doing said "stupid" thing, the doctor is bound by his or her ethics not to do it if they feel it present too high of a risk or for some other reason.  If you want to amputate your little finger because you think it looks cool, is a doctor under an obligation to do that?  Or, more likely, if you weigh 145 pounds and you really, really want to have weight loss surgery so you can get down to 115 pounds, is a doctor obligated to do that?

            On a practical level, I don't think it's unreasonable to think a sterilizing a 20 year old may be "causing harm".  I knew lots of women who swore at 20 that they never wanted children. Now, at 34 or 35, they are actively trying to get pregnant, some to the point of spending thousands of dollars for fertility specialists.  And yes, I would say the same about a 20 year old man who wanted a vasectomy.  There are too many birth control options to resort to the most permanent one for a person who has just attained the age of majority.  

            •  Reversible choices (none)

              When I was 27 and childless, and wanted a vasectomy, I had to shop around for a doctor who would do the procedure.  Happily, I found one.

              One argument I kept hearing was "How do you know you're making the right choice?  Reversal isn't reliable, you know."  They're right on reversal - it can't be counted on.

              What about being a parent?  Is that reverible?  Or is regret simply not going to happen?  I think both those notions are unrealistic.

              I know many parents who concived when they were in their early 20s, and kept their lovely children, but dearly wish their lives had been different.  Point is, having the children was their choice at the time.  Just as not having them was mine.  And unlike a few of my friends, I have no regrets at all about my decision.

              "Why, a child of five could figure this out! Someone fetch me a child of five." -Groucho Marx

              by kiwifruit on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 04:00:57 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I love this (none)
                "on being a parent, is that reversable?"

                I've got two kids, two birth control failures, and my husband had a vasactemy after we were told more children would be a health risk for me.

                I love my children; I'd go to the ends of the earth for them. I'll fight Bush's illegal war, which they're both prime candidates to get drafted into should we move on to Iran.

                But the choice to have them was mine; the choice not to have more was mine, and I'd like to keep that choice out there for every other woman.

            •  What about adoption? (none)
              It seems that people are so hung up on breeding their own offspring.  I think it has to do with a primal urge to procreate.  Our instincts tell us to pass on our genetic material.  That's evolution after all.  We as human beings should strive to be above that though.  There are so many children that don't have any family.  I see kids being passed around the foster care system and they need someone to love them.  When people choose to breed another child into this world rather than adopt, there is a child that could have had a loving family that still does not.  I think it is one of the ultimate acts of compassion as a human being to adopt a child and nurture it.  To breed a new one into being is selfish.  I'm not saying that makes someone a bad person, just a bit selfish.  You don't NEED a son/daughter to carry your DNA.  To insist one's child contain their DNA is a bit conceited.  I know a lot of people that would argue with me but logically it's true.  Besides, you can get a child that's already potty trained.
          •  My friend had the opposite happen... (none)
            After the birth of their fourth son who was a second unplanned surprise, they decided to do both -- get her tubes tied, and get him the big snip.  The doctor had no problem with tying her tubes, but he had to have counseling before they would snip him -- they told him he might get divorced and remarried and want more kids.  He let them know how offensive and stupid they were being, and he got it done.  

            Geez.  I don't get it.  I can see making sure that the patient knows the consequences and is making an informed decision, but I hate that attitude that they know better than you what you want.  And why people think they have any right at all to think they should be allowed to have an say in decisions that are so wholly unconnected to them.  I mean, really, isn't it in their best interests to discourage liberals and feminists and all of us "America haters" to NOT have children to brainwash?  I am raising three liberal anti-republicans, who are willing to stand up to their friends and classmates when they praise the President and other republicans...

            Move along. There's nothing to see here.

            by jules too on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 03:18:36 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  That's my point though... (none)
          it was your friend's choice...she made it. She's the one that has to live with the consequences of that choice. That's her problem, not mine or the government's problem.
          •  When did you and the government (none)
            enter into this?  I was under the impression that the doctor was the one who didn't want to do the procedure.  Due to malpractice and lawsuits, it could quite possible become a problem for the (hypothetical) doctor.  I am totally against the government mandating or totally disallowing sterilization for any segment of the population, but I have no problem with doctors counselling their patients.
        •  The alternatives, (none)
          Also, why go to the time and expense and risk of having a procedure done which is medically not necessary, when there are so many alternatives?

           including pregnancy, are far more risky. There are a great many women who don't wish to have children, lots of women who cannot tolerate the most effective forms of contraceptives and physicians have absolutely no business second guessing that decision to not have children as their almost universal policy.
          It's a lot more practical and reasonable a request than, say, a breast augmentation and, god knows, physicians don't habitually deny those.

          "...the definition of a gaffe in Washington is somebody who tells the truth but shouldn't have." Howard Dean

          by colleen on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 03:31:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Very salient point. (none)
            ...particularly about the breast implants because, as you may know, many/most insurance plans do not cover sterilization anymore, just as they do not routinely cover breast implants.  When the onus of payment is solely on the patient, s/he should have yet more say in what gets done.

            There are many reasons why someone might choose a tubal.  In my case, they were: latex allergy, intolerance of systemic estrogen (pill, patch, Norplant), medical issues in both my family and my boyfriend's family (we're sure we're together for the long haul), psychological issues that have not been resolved despite years of therapy and medication, and our desire to adopt a child needing a home when/if we find ourselves in a position to care for children.

            As I mentioned upthread, I chose an IUD for the time being, due to logistic and financial considerations (as well as unease about some complications my mom had w/ a tubal done by a less-skilled surgeon).  But it's not always possible for nulliparous (never having given birth) women to have an IUD b/c the opening in their cervix is extremely small and tight.  If they can insert it, it hurts like hell (uterine contractions, pain, vomiting) in many cases.  So, for me, the "many options available" became very few.

            So, IMHO, it is the doctor's ethical responsibility to schedule a consultation, listen carefully to the patient's history and reasoning, and then give her professional advice.  The patient, then, is entitled to take this advice or seek the opinion of another physician.  

            Medical issues, particularly those involving a great deal of personal choice, are rarely black-and-white.  It is the doctor's ethical responsibility to treat them as such.

            Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. - Benjamin Franklin

            by gkn on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 04:37:32 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  How many reconstructive surgeons (4.00)
          ever say no to a woman who asks for breast implants "because she might change her mind"?  Or because they are not medically necessary?

          How about tattoo artists?

          Yes, physicians have a tremendously important role in our society, but then so do other groups.  They are quite glorified as a profession, but that doesn't mean they should be paternalistically protecting me from myself.  

          The garbage collector does not knock on my door and ask me "now, are you sure you want to throw this away?  Sure you won't change your mind?"  The waiter doesn't say "hey, are you sure you aren't allergic to eggs?"

          Ego to the contrary, my physicians are working for me.  Have me sign a release, that's fine, but don't make my decision for me, and don't impinge upon my choice-making process.  Once you've explained things fully, and I decide, step off and do your job.

          "Why, Tom, we're the people that live. They ain't gonna wipe us out. Why, we're the people--we go on." Ma Joad, The Grapes of Wrath

          by rocketito on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 03:34:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  When I was 29, a physician (4.00)
        ...refused to treat me for a life-threatening illness because the chemotherapy would nuke my ovaries.  I explained that I didn't want children, but that didn't matter to him.  His advice to me was to let the disease progress instead.  When my kidneys were in failure, he said, I should come back.  

        No matter that the kidney failure would not be reversible, or that the condition would be more likely to kill me then, and permanently make life difficult if it didn't.  No matter that kidney failure would make pregnancy unlikely too. My ova, unused though they would be either way, were just more important than my own life.  Just the potential life, the theoretical life.  Not the real life, mine.

        I went to another doc and am alive today because of it.  

        Most new drugs are not tested for safety to pregnant women, and many make docs worry about women who MIGHT become pregnant.  Docs don't want liability, so they sometimes withhold treatment. Not all are stupid enough to tell a patient flat-out that her ovaries are more important than her life to him/her. This is another reason why every woman should be worried about laws enacted to control reproductive decision--even if she's not single, fertile, heterosexual, or what have you.  

        "Why, Tom, we're the people that live. They ain't gonna wipe us out. Why, we're the people--we go on." Ma Joad, The Grapes of Wrath

        by rocketito on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 03:26:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Gotta find a better doctor... (none)
        I had an appt for having my tubes tied last month (I'm 23) and only opted for the new & improved IUD b/c of logistical/financial issues and complications my mom had with her tubal.  But when the time on this thing is up (5 yrs) and I've got a bit more disposable income, I'm getting a tubal and looking forward to eventually adopting children from a less-fortunate country.

        They should talk to her first to make sure it's what she wants to do, but then respect her choice.  As you mention, she'd only have herself to blame if she changed her mind (and they can always try reversal or IVF).

        Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. - Benjamin Franklin

        by gkn on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 04:07:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  not a total hijack... (none)
          I am unable to take the pill without serious side effects and as a result have been stuck with condoms for years, even in stable, monogomous relationships with sex twice a day-- you know what my breakage/slippage/aw fuck stats are?  It's a brutal reality.  

          I met w/my OBGYN Monday re: the copper IUD.  Was this your choice as well?  Any input for me?

          BTW, my doctor was really resistent to giving it to me the last time I asked, about two years ago.  His concerns were primarily about expense, but led him to ask the standard, but what if you want kids next year question.  I found I had to really insist that I had thought it through, was fine with the cost, and wanted this.  He wasn't being an ass, he's just a cautious old man.  HOwever, it required me to be really persistent with a doctor I really like, and I have a feeling I'm not the only woman (or person) on earth who has a hard time pushing issues with her doctor.

          •  Cu-7 IUD (none)
            I used the copper-7 in my early 20s for a relationship I was in for about 5 years. This was back in the early 1980s, so the technology may be different now.

            I never had any problems. The IUD was a great birth control device for me, really ideal. No unusual bleeding, cramps, nothing. It was great.

            After that relationship, I had the IUD removed. This was now around 1985, HIV had been around about 5 years, and I started using condoms as my BCM--religiously. For some reason, I never had an "accident" with one despite lots of sex. I always insisted on condoms even for the guys with vasectomies because I am a stickler about STD prevention.

            I never wanted kids, now I'm 46, couldn't be happier with my decision, but for the life of me I never could figure out why I didn't ever seriously consider a tubal. I've known since junior high that I never wanted kids. (I was born without the "mom" gene, I guess. That and the "bride" gene, because I also never got married, nor did I want to.)

            But I've had friends who had tubals in their early 30s - no regrets, and two of them didn't have any kids when they did it.

            •  thank you! (none)
              I really appreciate the input.  I haven't been able to get as many first hand accounts of IUD's-- once they lost favor it seems people have been slow to readopt, which is crazy to me considering the side effects and inconvenience of the pill.

              Thanks again!

      •  I had my tubal ligation when I was twenty. (none)
        It's been over two glorious decades of childfree years and I haven't regretted the decision once.

        Doctors should read the CDC study on women who request reversals of tubal ligations.  By far the nulliparras are happiest with their decisions and have the lowest rate of requesting reversals.  The ones who seem to want their sterlizations reversed are those who already have kids and then change partners wanting inexplicably to have even more kids with the new partner.  Obviously not the brightest crayons in the box.

        New Orleans WILL rebuild because she is more than the sum of her architecture.

        by NOLAWitch on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 06:10:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  This is a greater moral issue (none)
      One current research area (started by Thomas Schelling, who just won the Nobel Prize in Economics) is that people can be of "two minds" about a decision.  

      A classic example used is that a woman tells her doctor that she wants to have a totally natural childbirth, and that he should not give her any pain medication during the birth.  When going through childbirth and feeling the pain, the woman demands medication to help mitigate the pain.

      Does the doctor refuse because of her earlier strong demands?  Or does he give her pain medication and cause her regret that she didn't experience a natural birth?  There's no easy answer.

      This type of situation can be easily modified for a number of similar (though perhaps less salient) examples.  Either way, the issue is which "mind" does the other party listen to?

      In your family's situation, he obviously chose to not listen to a woman in the midst of a serious life transition.  Was he right?  I have no idea...  but there is a good moral argument for either side.  Suppose he had done it and after the birth of her child she re-considered?

      Just bringing this up because it was a class topic a few weeks back in grad school...

  •  Congrats on gettin' some! n/t (4.00)
  •  Welcome indeed! (4.00)
    Now you can understand why most of us have been a bit loud in our support of our freedom to choose...

    that choice goes either way though...and I think that's important to point that out. When you make a choice...Roe supports your right to make whatever choice is acceptable to you...THAT is freedom...and I won't give that up.

    If Alito is confirmed I will continue to fight...if he's not confirmed I'll continue to fight...

    I don't have kids...but if/when I do...I'm going to raise them in a country where they will be free to make their own choices....if that means leaving this country eventually, so be it! But I won't give up my rights...and I'm glad to see you become a bit less apathetic about this situation...I hope you take your new perspective and tell other women you know about it....

    we need all the help we can get at this point!

  •  My wake up call was the birth of my 2 daughters (none)
  •  asdf (4.00)
    My mother consistently votes Republican.  I'm unclear why since her Party and her beliefs have definately parted ways the past few years. But she punches the card for the R's every time.

    She's always believed that men should have no say in the matter of abortion.  Every time she's sees another old white guy pontificating on the subject, she fumes. What could they possibly know about the dilemma's women face?

    I about fell out of my chair a month or so ago when Senator Alan Simpson (R of Wyoming a few years back) agreed with my mother's beliefs nearly word for word in an interview.  

    These are all just random thoughts.  I can't imagine the Society of Old White Men will give up their dominion over women anytime soon, but we can dream.

    The only life that matters to a conservative is that which can't talk back.

    by cls180 on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 02:28:48 PM PST

    •  my parents were old-school Republicans (none)
      who voted for Nixon and Reagan, and they were very dismissive of the whole pro-life movement.  They thought it was just a pile of religion-driven claptrap.  They didn't think it was anyone else's business whether someone had an abortion or not.

      FYI, Mom was an escapee from the Catholic Church, and Dad would have been a neopagan if he had known that was an option back then.  We were only nominally Christian, and the flavor was Protestant.  

      Perhaps some mighty victory is growing in you now. - Mike Finley

      by hrh on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 02:51:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's all part of.... (4.00)
        ...that uneasy alliance between old-school conservatives and the religious right.  It never ceases to amaze me that the Party of limited government wants the right to rummage around in my vagina.  What's conservative about that?

        The only life that matters to a conservative is that which can't talk back.

        by cls180 on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 03:06:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Welcome Aboard (none)
    There's always room for another warrior.

    And make no mistake - they've declared war on our (and our daughters') rights.  This is a fight we cannot afford to lose people!

    by Alegre on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 02:32:23 PM PST

    •  BTW (4.00)
      I'm right there where you once were - married with two young children (adaughter will be 5 on the 22nd and a son who just turned 3).  I'm still in that comfort zone and I truly hope that'll never change.

      But I've been to more marches, clinic defenses and phone banks than I can count.  And now it's not just a matter of my rights - my daughter's rights are on the line.  

      It comes down to this - if anyone tries to take her rights away they'll be met with the fury of a lioness.

      For now, I'll keep going to the marches, call my senators to urge their active opposition of Alito, send money to groups when I can, write LTEs to the papers... I won't give up until this battle's won and our rights are secure.

      by Alegre on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 02:37:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm in the comfort zone, too (4.00)
        Three kids (including a baby) and I'm married. Should I get pregnant unexpectedly right now, I would not choose an abortion; the baby was unexpected, but I didn't entertain the notion of abortion then, either.

        However, I've been outside of the comfort zone before. I was in similar circumstances as you, valleycat, a few years ago - two kids, separation, and I got pregnant while I was dating. (FWIW, I was also on the pill. It's not 100%, you know.) I was single and raising two kids, and life was damned hard. Adding a newborn to the mix would have made things so much harder for both me and my kids, and I don't think it would have been fair to the potential baby - or the kids I already had - had I chosen to have the baby. And having had two kids before, I knew I wouldn't be able to be selfless enough to carry the baby for nine months and then give it away to someone else.

        Some might argue that I shouldn't have been having sex if I wasn't prepared for the potential consequences. Sex was one of the few pleasures in this single woman's very difficult life. And I was taking precautions againt pregnancy; they just failed. The father bailed as soon as he heard I was pregnant, flinging a couple of fifty dollar bills my way to "take care of it." I never heard from him again. He wouldn't have helped me with the child. Life would have been harder for all of us.

        So I made the choice. I am grateful that I had a choice to make. I want that for my daughters, and I want that for other women I don't even know, regardless of their circumstances, and regardless of whether I, personally, would choose to have an abortion at this point in my life.

        Having a choice is so important and affects so many lives - not just the life of the mother and the potential baby, but also for other children the mother might have had. Pro-choice is the only choice, in my book. Pro-choice is not anti-life. It's simply being for a woman's right to make decisions about her own body and her own life instead of having a bunch of bureaucrats make those decisions for her.

        •  exactly (4.00)
          it's not about killing babies. it's about self-determination and choice and freedom and medical privacy.

          i'll never understand why it's always men who are so obsessed with abortion. i mean, i know all about history, patriarchy, and issues of control - but just thinking about Coburn and Alito up there obsessing over my womb - in my mind, there is no logic there.

          i also hate this:

          Some might argue that I shouldn't have been having sex if I wasn't prepared for the potential consequences.

          This is absurd. We are human beings. Anyone who makes this statement and believes it clearly has never had sex or never had good sex. This logic stems from the same type of sexual repression that results in backlash against LGBT. Keep the issues in your bedroom out of mine, dammit.

          •  Right on! (4.00)
            Yeah, it's as if they think sex isn't supposed to be fun. I guess if you're not doing it to make babies, it's wrong.

            Funny, you never hear anti-choice people talking about how the man shouldn't have been having sex in the case of an unwanted pregnancy. The onus is on us women to suck up the full responsibility.

            And ugh, the whole conservatives vs. GLBT community - it IS creepy how sex-obsessed conservatives seem to be. My mother remains convinced that my friends' gay marriage threatens the sanctity of hetero marriage. Like my marriage, or hers, is at all affected by what two lesbians (or two gay men, or whoever) does in the privacy of their own home. It's not about the sanctity of marriage - it's all about power and an unhealthy obsession with the sex other people are having. But that's another can of worms altogether. Related, but a different soap box. : )

          •  Those obsessed with abortion tend to be male (none)
            because they're the ones trying to control women.  

            Women as a group don't have a lot of stake in trying to gain power by reducing the power of other women, although some individuals gain by doing so.  

            "Why, Tom, we're the people that live. They ain't gonna wipe us out. Why, we're the people--we go on." Ma Joad, The Grapes of Wrath

            by rocketito on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 06:52:20 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  the right (4.00)
    I've never heard the "rights" plan for health care, education, fighting dead beat dads when they talk about the "morale" values they hold.  Do they even have one?  This is so clearly about holding power over women.  I think it's time they see we're a force to be reckoned with.
  •  We can use you... (4.00)
    ...and a million more like you. I tried to broach this subject with in-laws from Texas - the reaction was the generic "la la la, I can't heeear you"; that is common among evangelicals. Considering the fact that I am just coming off of a year of chemo during which I absolutely had to use birth control (and had that failed, would have been forced to abort for my own safety), I found it insulting that my mother-in-law considers birth control abortion, and abortion murder.

    All she can think of is more babies for the machine, and more grandchildren to cuddle. This is very offensive (not the cuddly part, I get that). People on the far right have no respect for the essential humanity of women - neither my mother-in-law nor Alito views me as an individual, but rather as a baby factory. We are expected to go forth and multiply, so we can feed the armies and the corporations and the religious institutions that the right, in their misguided philosophy, believe are the foundations of this country.

    We can alway use an extra hand showing these folks where the real pillars of society that hold this nation up can be found. Bless you, congratulations on the gratuitous booty, and welcome to the fold, sister!

    •  Essential humanity (none)
      It's true, too many on the right view women as little more than mobile incubators. However, I think the left's denial over the humanity of the fetus is also a disrespectful blind spot, and ultimately counterproductive in the debate.

      I've thought about this a lot, and it seems plain to me that, from the moment of conception, a fetus is alive and human: after all, it grows spontaneously when provided the necessary nourishment, and it has human DNA. Yes, it would die if you removed it from the womb, its source of protection and nourishment; but an infant would also die if you left it out on the curb and didn't feed it, and we don't question whether an infant is human.

      Abortion is killing. Does that make it murder? Not necessarily. We accept killing, and explicitly categorize it as not murder, in certain cases, such as self-defense: killing to preserve our own right to live. A fetus has rights -- but so does the woman carrying it. Unlike the anti-abortion brigade, I'm willing to accept that when a pregnant woman's right to liberty conflicts with a fetus's right to life, there are circumstances in which the woman's right to liberty wins out, and it's morally acceptable, maybe even a good idea, to kill the fetus. But it's still killing, and we shouldn't pretend that it isn't.

      I do not think that people who are pro-abortion rights serve their own cause by rejecting the notion that a fetus is alive at all, by insisting that it's just "a blob of tissue." In order to achieve a lasting resolution to the question of abortion, we have to find a framework in which to balance the rights of the pregnant woman against the rights of the fetus, and to determine the circumstances under which one or the other's rights prevail. Until we can manage that, we're going to have to continue to endure this tedious ideological slugfest in which each side perpetually and singlemindedly pursues the permanent vanquishment of the other. It's not healthy, and it prevents us from establishing a philosophical foundation for dealing with even more complicated bioethical and reproductive technology issues, such as cloning and genetic modification.

      "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk." --Ian McDonald

      by Geenius at Wrok on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 03:52:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have been carping on this for years (none)
        Your fully right on this.  This left wing denial of killing has been the worst mistake of the reproductive rights movement.  It has continued to hand the arguement to the anti-choice wedge issue since day one.
        I am sick and tired of that fluffy wing of the left.  They are just the sort of folks that think hamburger comes from the store.
        I am sick and tired of hearing about how TRAUMATIC abortion is for the woman.  O shit!, how can I ever forgive myself?  Wah Wah.  
        My question is how can you forgive yourself when you and the kid/s are stuck in a shit-hole trailer with a postage stamp size yard surrounded by meth-heads.  
        How can you forgive yourself when there is no way out because you didn't get a chance to finish beauty school (or that physics degree) and now you have to drag that poor kid through the shit with you?
        Sorry but I am just pissed off about it.
        I am sick and tired of this obsessive death fearing culture.  Always bending over backwards to deny the existence of death or the necessity of it.
  •  As for "What ifs..." (4.00)
    ...what if you were sixteen years old and raped repeatedly by your stepfather?

    Oh, wait -- that only happens to girls who ask for it.  Y'know, the ones who are not white and christian.

    Never mind.  Move along.  Nothing to see here...

    "...the big trouble with dumb bastards is that they are too dumb to believe there is such a thing as being smart." -- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

    by Roddy McCorley on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 03:10:03 PM PST

    •  Implications (none)
      I never implied that I judged other women (or girls) for their decision to get an abortion. When I was 16, I was LUCKY that my birth control never failed me, and blessed that I wasn't sexually abused. But I had lots of girl friends who did have those experiences, and even worse.
      When I was 16 I went with my friend who wanted to get an abortion, a girl who was being severely beaten by her boyfriend. I went to protect her from the rabid protesters she might encounter.
      I never thought of abortion as an easy desicion, or one that any women relished having to make. I just didn't see any longer how the issue affected me....
      The blinders are off. But I was never on some "white christian" moral high horse. That's just not me.

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

      by valleycat on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 03:44:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ooops... (none)
        I sure didn't mean this to be taken as a judgement on anyone.  Except, that is, our righteous rightie brethren, who have this amazing gift for turning some of the most egregious misfortunes I can imagine against the unfortunate victims of those circumstances.  Because, of course, it could never happen to them.  Or their daughters.  Or anyone they know...

        "...the big trouble with dumb bastards is that they are too dumb to believe there is such a thing as being smart." -- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

        by Roddy McCorley on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 04:45:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  sorry I'm so sensistive (none)
          I can see you were'nt talking about *me" personally. But, when you describe the scenario of "never thinking it could happen to me," well, I'm totallly guilty.

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

          by valleycat on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 05:34:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  white, christian and BROKE n/t (none)
  •  Welcome to the fight! (4.00)
    Good on you!

    I want to ask how old you are... because I was a teen coming up in the mid-70's.... just right after Roe was issued.  I did not have personal experience of the back alley way of doing things BUT all of a sudden, women became really empowered. In a big way.  Roe is the foundation of the women's liberation movement.  

    So, legal abortions and access to birth control for all women (and girls... cause a 15 yr old could walk right into a planned parenthood office and get the protection she needed) was more than just the medical end of empowerment.  It was a PSYCHIC EMPOWERMENT to women: that our lives mattered, that our bodies mattered, that we could decide EVERYTHING for ourselves.

    It's about total empowerment of the human spirit.  That is a wonderful thing. And since Reagan... good god, I see the conditions of the psychic life of women being attacked, which I liken to a literal direct assault on me.

    LetsFight. re handle: Fight the radical right is the sentiment!

    by letsfight on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 03:10:23 PM PST

    •  Let me clarify this a bit... (4.00)
      For a woman to have the opportunity (the same one men have) in EVERY spectrum of living life, she must first and foremost have power over her body.  Free (and safe) choice is the cornerstone to the very first steps of women living the lives they want.  Take that away, and you take away ALL opportunity.

      LetsFight. re handle: Fight the radical right is the sentiment!

      by letsfight on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 03:25:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Know what bugs the heck out of me? (4.00)
    You know that all these rich repugs in congress will send their daughters out of the country for an abortion at a drop of a hat.  So who is this legislation really directed against?
    •  "slutty" brown girls (none)
      who tempted them and need to be punished for it.  That will make them think twice before they leave the house in short skirt and tight tops.  How will they ever learn to stop asking for it if they don't face any consequences?

      Ick, I've just creeped myself out by going to the fat white creepy evangelical minister place.

      Does the devil wear a suit and tie, Or does he work at the Dairy Queen- Martin Sexton

      by strengthof10kmen on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 04:46:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  When Bush was first appointed by (none)
    the Supreme Court, it should have come to no one's surprise that the wealth would be re-distributed back to the wealthy, the fundamentalists would run roughshod over the Constitution, and finally, women's reproductive choices would end. There were too many elderly Supreme Court Justices that would have to be replaced. When people voted in 2004, no moderates who voted Republican paid attention to the Supreme Court. By voting Bush into office again, there is a possibility another justice will retire before Bush is done. John Paul Stevens will be 86 in April.
  •  Kate Michelman (4.00)
    is scheduled to testify, and she lived through a simliar scenario, with 4 children in tow (her husband had impregnated her and then left her). It was 1970, I believe. She had to appear before a hospital board to get permission from an all male panel, and then was informed she had to get her ex-husband's written permission, that very day, when I don't think he even knew about the pregnancy at that point.

    I'm sure she'll be relegated way down the list of top stories, but your story is not that uncommon, and good for you for connecting the dots. My wife and I were touched by the issue of late abortion, and it made us rabid pro-choice advocates, when we had already thought we were. Thanks for the diary.

  •  welcome to the front lines :) (none)
    there's always room for more. if you are interested in doing something, you can escort girls to an abortion clinic if there is one by you. usually the girls aren't exactly having the best day of their lives and the protestors don't help. it's nice to have a friendly face to walk them past all of the dead baby signs.

    I re-did my website! See how pretty Daily Granola is now!

    by OrangeClouds115 on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 03:59:22 PM PST

  •  The Personal Is Political (none)
    I spoke to so many women (and men) while the 2004 election cycle, and afterward too, who did not understand how important it was to vote, and vote democrat this time around specifically because of the possibility of Supreme Court Appointments. It was interesting how many of them had not even thought about it, and yet supported the right to choose no matter what.
     It is astounding the number of young women who do not think about why it is that they have the right to have access to birth control (which is being taken away), and access to planned parenthood's other services including abortion. I am a member of that generation which grew up not knowing any differently- the generation that does not understand what it was like for women when abortion was illegal. I am glad that women my age have never had to know, but I shudder to think that we are headed down the road back to a time when women died because they had no safe alternative. It is unfortunate that the same generation that has never known still does not understand what they are being faced with.
     So yes, the personal is political- and thanks for the diary!
  •  I'm thankful to be Canadian... (none)
     I was recently able to have a safe, legal & free abortion in a hospital. The care & support for my choice was fantastic. My doctor did not have to question my choice, notify the sperm owner and there were no crazies to harass me as I walk into a user pay clinic.

    I hope you don't end up having to arrange for a Canadian "vacation" in order to exercise your reproductive health care choices.

  •  I appreciate your diary. (none)
    The thought occurred to me today that the direct affect is the possibility that any woman still of reproductive age faces.

    But it is so much more than just the "what would I do if I were pregnant?" scenario.  And you are right - there are many women for whom this isn't an issue given their circumstances or their desires in life.  We have to make it their issue.

    Picture a world where reproductive rights are fuzzier.  A world where abortion isn't illegal but much more difficult to obtain.  You're married and, like so many marriages, yours is less than perfect.    You still give it your best and your best has led you to learn that you're pregnant.  Your future is murky and you question entirely that you will be able to stay with your husband or that your husband will stay with you.  You feel incapable of raising a child as a single parent, both emotionally and economically.  You decide that abortion is the choice you must make after great deliberation and personal emotional pain.  But abortion has gotten fuzzy and you learn you have to notify your husband in order to obtain one.  There are ways for you to avoid this notification, but you will have to go to court and explain yourself and explain your circumstances and let a judge determine if your case warrants a waiver of spousal notification.

    THAT is how it will start and THAT is the story we should be communicating, along with all the other things, on the front lines.  The idea that I can't decide this issue on my own without either my husband or a court hearing my personal business and "judging" its validity is disgusting.

  •  Even married women (none)
    will have to worry.

    I was trying to have my first child after 42. (We did get lucky after 3 failed IVFs, miscarriages etc, and I credit all the drugs + Chinese herbs and acupunture.)

    The chance for birth defects is very high when you get older.

    I know there is controversy over this, but I would have aborted a pregnancy if there were serious birth defects. Will women continue to have this choice?

    AND how long will IVF be available? Doctors only know what they know now because they did research on embryos.

    I also know a woman, married to Bill Keller (he wrote about this in the Times so it is public) who discovered at 15 weeks that there was too little amniotic fluid. This baby was not going to make it and if the Fundies have their way, she would have had to carry it, maybe to term, just to see it die. All those months with strangers asking, oh, when are you due? Boy or Girl?

    ALL women at all reproductive ages, are at risk if the fundies get their way.

  •  For a long time (none)
    I was much like you...we had our children, and the idea of an unplanned pregnancy wasn't exactly horrifying.  Then, after our last 10 years ago I developed a medical condition in which undergoing another pregnancy would present a serious threat to my health, if not my life itself.  At the time, our insurance was through a Catholic insurance plan that would not cover all of their big heartedness they said that even though they could not cover a vasectomy for my husband that they would pay for an abortion for me in the event I became pregnant! I'd want my life dependent upon these folks.

    Fortunately, we changed insurance plans a little later and my husband was then covered for the vasectomy...but, I gotta tell you, it was all a very eye opening experience.  I fully understood what it might mean to have others making these kinds of decisions for you.

  •  gives me chills.... (4.00)
    I grew up in a family that was pro choice--my parents were strongly pro choice and were founding members of ZPG.  My grandmother had an abortion in her early 20's (in the late ninteen-teens or early 20's, I'm not sure of the date) and was always strongly pro choice.  In high scjhool and college I went with friends in the 70's and 80's to health clinics to help them through the abortion nightmare (and it is often a nightmare even for those who are pro choice).  I have never had to have an abortion and I have a husband who got a vasectomy early on in our relationship. But, damm, if I were single again, I'd be so worried about my access to abotion if necessary.  

    Thank you for this diary, I'll be sending it on to all my girlfriends.

    "Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is." -Governor George W Bush (R-TX)

    by espresso on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 05:53:31 PM PST

  •  Nice to have another foot soldier. Welcome aboard. (none)
    I've never been in the position myself to need an abortion or worry about any daughters' future needs.  I have no children and I'm happily sterilized for decades.  Why then do I still fight the fight?  My personal life won't be negatively impacted in the least if those sanctimonious swine make it illegal.  Why do I care?

    Maybe I don't want to see any woman's life ruined by having children she doesn't want.  Maybe I'd rather she spent her energies in more useful activities.  Maybe the person who will be able to cure cancer won't be allowed to because she has to drop out of med school to tend to squalling infants.  Maybe I don't support killing the dreams of existing women for the arguably slim potential of clumps of cells.  Maybe there are already too damned many people on the planet and adding to its burden is irresponsible.  Maybe I'm just stupid for giving a shit at all for something which does not affect me one whit personally.

    New Orleans WILL rebuild because she is more than the sum of her architecture.

    by NOLAWitch on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 06:22:26 PM PST

  •  Me too. (none)
    I just decided I absolutely didn't want any more and had myself 'fixed'. the turning point came when I had a IUD inserted and a few months later had a preg. scare.   Thing is - I very decisively didn't have an abortion when I was 20 unmarried and pregnant by a man I would not ever consider living with much less married to.  I found out after the relationship had ended.  I couldn't make that very final step and so entered the world of single parenthood. I got lucky.  I've been with the man of my dreams [& the usual cog dis poster] since before my son was born.  But that's not what made me post.  I was going to write what would amount to this exact same diary today.  Kudos you beat me to it. The reason is this:
    I was listening to the Alito hearings today and heard mike dewine from OH.  He pretty much voiced his plans to do away w/roe v wade.  I was so appaled I felt it needed to be yelled from the roof tops.  I will probably diary it in a few days if people don't catch on.  Here is what he said:
    first he discussed how he felt congress was not getting it's authority recognized by supreme court. Then he brought up how 'they' forced all of the states to raise the drinking age to 21 by threatening to remove state's highway money.  [bear with me]
    Then he started undermining roe-v-wade. stating that it wasn't Really precedent. or at the very most was precedent but that the sup court hadn't even really ratified it more than twice.
    [I left my notes at work dang it!!]
    anyway it seems to me that if this alito nomination goes through we are in some serious trouble. we aren't just looking at loosing our 'right to choose'. we're looking at loosing our right to contraception too. Please all of you help keep this issue alive and as loudly intelligently discussed as possible.
  •  You sinnin' whorin' bitch! (none)

    I am honestly very glad that you divorced that asshole and are now enjoying the world of casual fun, exciting sex.

    You were too good for him anyway, and I distinctly remember your mom warning you not to marry him :-)

    (I am pretending to know the author. I really don't)

  •  Reproductive Rights (none)
    impact far more than the immediate problem of a un-planned pregnancy.
    We are talking about power and the role that women have in our society.
    What kind of employment will be available for women.
    What kind of fulfillment or accomplishments outside her family that she can expect.
    Whether she is worth educating.
    The extent her knowledge concerning her own body and health.
    Her ability to take care of, support and provide security for her children.
    The narrowing of choices and options are without end.
  •  great diary (none)
    My thoughts have just been truncated by the great diary-master in the sky who saw fit to delete my lengthy masterpiece opining on all issues raised in this thread.

    So for penance, I'll give you the abbreviated version.

    The gradual erosion of reproductive rights is a real and serious issue.  When I was in medical school ten years ago, medical students were taught absolutely nothing about abortion, nor were we permitted to observe such procedures.  Even women who had suffered fetal demise and were having labor induced so as to pass the fetuses were off limits to the med students.  I don't know how much training the OB/Gyn residents were getting in those areas, but my impression was that a resident would have to express a particular interest in that area before they were allowed to have much exposure or experience.

    But sometimes, real life intervenes.  An OB/Gyn resident that I worked with at the time was pregnant.  She and her husband had one child and were very happy about this pregnancy.  I happened to be in the OB clinic the day that she came in to have an ultrasound.  Unfortunately, the ultrasound showed that her baby had a severe birth defect.  It was the type of defect that is not uniformly fatal, but that usually causes severe lifelong disability.  They were devastated, but in very short order decided to end the pregnancy.  I have no doubt that every single resident in that program felt that situation very personally.  Yet whether they were pro or con on the abortion issue, they rallied around her and her family and supported them 100% in their time of tragedy.

    I remember thinking at the time--"thank god she has the option of chosing to terminate the pregnancy and the place to get it done."  I know she was in the 2nd trimester, and even 10 years ago, it could be difficult to arrange a 2nd trimester termination.

    I'm a Pediatrician, and I love babies and children--they are my life.  But every time I think of the abortion issue, I can't help but think of the other side of the coin.  Yes, there is a prospective life out there, but there may also be a 12-year-old girl who was sexually abused, or a high-school student with promise who stupidly didn't use birth control, or a college student whose birth control failed, or a mom on government assistance who already has more mouths than she can feed, or a married woman whose fetus has severe birth defects.  Who is the best person to make a choice in any of these situations?  If you ask me, it's the owner of the womb, and no one else.

    And just so this will be long enough to be pendantic, I want to make one other point.  By citing the examples above justifying abortion, I don't by any means want to limit the circumstances in which I think it should be legal.  That is one of the Republican tactics for eroding abortion rights.  Limit the medical circumstances for which it would be approved--or better yet, force the woman to tell it to a judge (most likely male) who would decide if it was justified or not.  The examples I mentioned were only to make a point--there can be innumerable reasons that a woman might chose to end a pregnancy.  The government has no business being involved in that decision.


  •  Welcome welcome! (none)
    It's a fact that many women who consider themselves "pro-choice but not front lines about it" probably just haven't thought about it in personal enough terms yet.

    "What if I needed one?" is a question any correct-thinking woman should ask herself, if she has any doubts at all about how essential it is to be active in support of our reproductive rights.

    It's a testament to the overall acceptability of women's reproductive rights in modern America that access to a safe, legal abortion is so taken for granted by so many women that they simply never really think about what makes this so, until they have to.

    Acceptability is obviously good, but not when it leads to taking rights for granted at a time when people are realistically talking about taking them away.

    •  "What if I needed one?" (none)
      That should be an ad campaign for the groups who are fighting against the erosion of our reproductive rights.  Just a picture of a normal woman, with the caption "What if I needed one?"  

      No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. -Eleanor Roosevelt

      by tryptamine on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 09:13:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  just wanted to say (none)
    go ahead and take a slap at the Presbyterian USA church if you want. = )
  •  Can someone explain to me the whole incest thing? (none)
    This is a bit off topic, but I see people using the phrase "except in cases of rape or incest" here and in other abortion threads.  I don't understand why incest makes abortion okay or not okay.  It takes generations of incest for genetic problems to appear.  If consenting adults that are related consent to reproduce, then why are they lumped with rape victims as far as abortion rights go.  If the incest is not consentual, then its rape, and the whole "rape and incest" is redundant.   Can't we just say in cases of rape, and eliminate the incest part which serves no purpose?  I think it is just slapped on there for sensationalism since incest is a taboo.
  •  Hell, I'm married (none)
    and even more terrified, in some ways, of getting pregnant now than I was when I was single.  I'm already taxed close to the limit with college classes, plus several different part-time jobs to try to make ends meet.  If I quit school to raise a child, all of my loans would come due on top of the ones we're already paying for my husband's education.  Not that I would want to have to go through an abortion, but I wonder what I would do since I don't have the time or the energy to have a child in my life.

    No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. -Eleanor Roosevelt

    by tryptamine on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 09:24:27 PM PST

  •  Because it matters (none)
    I'm participating in Blog for Choice Day, which takes place on January 22, 2006. Won't you join me?

    Go here to sign up.

    "George Bush remains about as popular as a germ at a medical conference." - The Economist, June 23, 2005

    by Kitsap River on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 11:28:46 PM PST

  •  Shanikka, I usually agree with your (none)
    posts and I've thought a lot about what you've posted here and I'd like to say that I think you and I have gotten off on the wrong foot.  Your original point, as I understood it, is that a focus on abortion rights (NARAL's aim) means, somehow, that specifically white women/middle class women are neglecting a larger coalition with poor/non white women.  That white/middle class women privilige pregnancy termination (because that's all they care about) over the ability of poor/minority/of color women to sucesssfully bear and raise children. (you didn't mention NARAL but NARAL has come in for a lot of bashing from middle of the road democratic men as too narrowly focused on abortion rights and not broadly enough focused, in their view, on a democratic agenda so I use that as a shorthand).

    I disagreed. Perhaps ineptly. I disagreed because I see NARAL/limited attention to abortion rights as simply one arm of a strategy of rights preservation which includes (certainly it does in my life) actual political work on a variety of life issues (better schools, health care for all, etc..).  You then accused me of being a fake, of saying that I do political work but really just pretending (the BFD remark).

    And so the battle was joined. But I think the real issues are somewhat different. I objected, and I still object, to the hostility of your first remarks on the grounds of utility. You argued, and still argue, that a focus on abortion rights is necessarily a distraction from a focus on coalition building and pro-family agenda.  I, and others, argued that its not. That an abortion rights focus is simply one aspect of a general political/liberal viewpoint that has historically included a focus on life issues, economic issues, and a pro-family stance.  If its not enough, well, we should do more. But the pro-abortion stance isn't the problem, its just an artifact of the way in which rights are affirmed or denied through our legal system and through test cases.

     A coalition of white middle class/non white non middle class/women as well as men is going to have to be built in order to get anything done in this political system.  You can choose to work with your closest allies, or without them. You can choose to excoriate your closest allies, or you can choose to find ways to accomodate their interests.  I don't disagree with some of your analysis--its quite traditional, in its way, and this kind of "feminism vs. womanism" thing has been going on a long time as a debate.

    but where is it getting you? And I say that with some respect.  You've certainly alienated me from your hypothetical coalition.  No doubt you will tell me to piss off since I'm an upper class white woman with delusions of safety. But of course I'm also a voter, a poliical actor, and a coalition builder in my own right.  So you've come to this thread to tell people to build coaltions to the left of themselves (or to what you assume is the left of their positions) and you've simply pushed one person away.

    These posts make me reconsider my relations with my right wing sister in law.  I see now something that I had really neglected in my dealings with her.  I have tried to offer her a way to move to the center/left but she consistently sees my arguments as self serving, hostile, and zero sum. I haven't found a way to talk to her that truly builds a coalition with her, and with women like her, despite the fact that I think many of our interests are objectively the same. I'm afraid you are having the same affect on me.  IT gives me a lot of sympathy for you, and for me, and for my sister in law.  If you can't allow your counterpart any good qualities, any good intentions, you will never build a coalition with them for any purposes other than naked self interest.


  •  Sorry, the above post was put in the wrong place (none)

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