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Sunday afternoon, Plutonium Page marked the outrageous hypocrisy of George W. Bush having declared January 21, 2007 "National Sanctity of Human Life Day."  Page showed the callous disregard of the Bush administration for human life and dignity, at home and abroad - and it is a gut-wrenching display.

It's important also to note that the date - January 21 - was clearly chosen to be the day before the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion.  The "sanctity of human life" in this context means only preventing abortions, and only through the following means:

We are vigorously promoting parental notification laws, adoption, abstinence education, crisis pregnancy programs, and the vital work of faith-based groups.

Parental notification laws: The costs of parental notification laws are perhaps most famously illustrated by the case of Becky Bell, an Indiana teenager who died after having an illegal abortion rather than telling her parents she was pregnant and asking their permission for a legal abortion.  And even for teens who seek legal abortions despite parental notification laws, there are costs:

Young women who live under these laws and cannot tell their parents about their pregnancies must either travel out of state (enactment and enforcement of CCPA pending) or obtain approval from a judge — known as a "judicial bypass" procedure — to get an abortion. The result is almost always a delay that can increase both the cost of the abortion and the physical and emotional risk to the woman, since an earlier abortion is a safer one.

In Minnesota, for example, the proportion of second-trimester abortions among minors terminating their pregnancies increased by 18 percent following enactment of a parental notification law. Likewise, after Missouri's parental consent law went into effect in 1985, the proportion of second-trimester abortions among minors increased from 19 percent in 1985 to 23 percent in 1988.

Adoption: Adoption can be a wonderful option for biological mothers, adoptive parents, and children - when it is freely chosen.  Before legal abortion, young women were often forced to give their children up for adoption.

Though two-thirds of teenage mothers in this era married before their babies were born, one-third remained single, and 1.5 million children were relinquished for non-family adoptions between 1945 and 1973.

In The Girls Who Went Away, birth mothers speak of other shared experiences: guilt, isolation, and shame. During the three decades Fessler chronicles, social stigma against unmarried mothers prompted high schools and colleges to require that pregnant students withdraw immediately. "Some families made their daughters hide in the house so their pregnancies wouldn't be seen, drawing the drapes, and making them duck down when they were in the car," writes Fessler.


In Fessler's book, one teenager in the throes of a difficult labor is denied pain medication until she signs adoption papers. A second refuses to surrender her child, only to have her parents place her in a mental institution until she complies. A third says, "I never felt like I gave my baby away. I always felt like my daughter was taken from me."

Legal abortion means that women who give children for adoption are more likely to do so of their own free will.

Crisis pregnancy centers: These are one of the anti-abortion movement's slimiest tricks.  They advertise as if they offer medical care, but their true function is to persuade women not to have abortions.  BarbinMD laid it all out about a year ago:

But the center does have a doctor and nurse practitioner and offers free ultra-sounds, so if you did have a medical question about abortion, you could get the answers at A Woman's Choice, right?   Wrong.  According to the medical director, the ultra-sound's function is, "persuasive, not diagnostic."  

And if the religious arguments, the fake risks or the ultra-sound picture of your bouncing baby embryo didn't convince you to forego an abortion, you could talk to some of the women from their post-abortion group.  They might even comfort you with a poetry reading, "written in the voice of an unborn child"

Planned Parenthood offers Five Ways to Prevent Abortion.  In brief:

  1. Make contraception more easily available.
  1. Give young people a better teacher than experience.
  1. Increase the involvement of men.
  1. Create new birth control methods.
  1. Make America friendlier to children.

And a list of Medical and Social Health Benefits Since Abortion Was Made Legal in the U.S.:

  1. Roe v. Wade did not "invent" abortion.
  1. Since Roe v. Wade, women have obtained abortions earlier in pregnancy when health risks to them are at the lowest.
  1. Deaths from abortion declined dramatically during the past two decades.
  1. Medically safe, legal abortion has had a profound impact on American women and their families.
  1. The health and well-being of women and children suffer the most in states that have the most stringent anti-abortion laws.

Elise has Roe v. Wade-related action.  The anti-abortion movement is especially motivated on this day.  Let's match them.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Jan 21, 2007 at 11:23 PM PST.


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Comment Preferences

  •  I get SOOO Pissed off at Pro Lifers... (8+ / 0-)

    If you are morally opposed to Abortions... DON'T HAVE ONE!

    ESPECIALLY if you are a man.

    •  If you are morally oppossed to murder don't kill (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fladem, I


      Not my point of view, mind you, but that's the way the anti-abortionist see things.

      My point would be, is that the question is more complicated then all that, so must be the answer.

      I actually think that Roe works out quite well. In general, the law needs to draw a line. In general the law will draw the line where it is mores easily drawn.  The problem is, there are few inflection points between conception and birth in which to draw a line.  

      The point is further complicated between the soveriegnty of the individual and the states interest in preserving life and in the states role in regulating behaviour between individuals to protect that interest and our rights.  

      At some point, the fetus takes on personhood and thus has rights that need to be protected. But projecting influence into the womb violates the personal sovereiegnty that we all intrinsically have.

      English common law has traditionaly found the inflection point to be 'quickening'.  Thus if you beat a women within an inch of her life, and her fetus died, if it was before quickening it wasn't murder because it wasn't considered a viable human life; if it was after quickening, and the fetus died, then it was considered murder.

      Quickening was the inflection point the law needs to draw a line and a place to balance the conflicting interests.  

      Roe vs. Wade, using the trimester approach, basically re-established the old English common law approach. It worked.

      The real problem that anti-abortionist should have is not with Roe v Wade, but with other subsequent cases that blurred Roe.  

      •  Exactly. The position that most of us take, (0+ / 0-)

        similar to nhcollegedem, does nothing more than talk past the pro-life crowd.  Sometimes you need to do that, but sometimes people can be convinced.

        Several years ago, there was someone on DKos (I really wish I could remember the username) who had as his or her signature: "Pro-life means pro-criminalization."  I don't think that perfectly addresses the concerns of pro-lifers, but I do think it gets closer than, "If you don't like abortion, don't have one."

      •  Griswold (0+ / 0-)

        Your wrong no offense. The anti crowd's real beef is with Griswold. they don't like PRIVACY period. Read some of what the radical RTL'ers say about contraception! They want Griswold tossed not just ROE!! If Bu$h gets his 5th fascist judge that's what will eventually happen. The Bu$hist disaster is going to have consequences for American women and families for decades!

        "It's better to die on your feet then live on your knees" E. Zapata

        by Blutodog on Mon Jan 22, 2007 at 08:14:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Belated Reply: We have Right to Privacy (0+ / 0-)

          The constitution confirms, rights not specified, are retained by the people and or the state.  So the Federal government can't take a right not specified in the constitution. The question is can a state - and what did the founders think.

          Well, a right to privacy existed in English common law before the constitution.  We adopted English Common law, it's in the constitution.  Privacy is an ancient right held in the law of torts. One cannot disturb you peace.  It belongs to you.

          Privacy right existed in Tort Law before the constitution was written.  Tort Law existed in Common Law before the Constitution. The constitution expressely adopts common law.

          There you have it, there's your privacy right.

  •  Thanks for this info. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    splashy, Elise, Pitin, mariva

    Here in California, the religious right was in full force arguing in favor of Prop. 85 back in November, about parental notification.  When talking about the safety of the young girl in cases of family abuse, they brushed it off saying that they could just go get a judicial bypass, saying that Planned Parenthood would have an army of lawyers just waiting to help them out.

  •  I'm a strong pro-life registered Democrat (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wayward, begone

    and if you think GWB gives a red rat's ass about the pro-life movement, you're nuts. Georgie Boy plays to the pro-lifers in his party and pays them lip service, that's about it.  

    For my friends justice, for my enemies the law.---Benito Juarez
    What is wrong is that we do not ask what is right.---G.K. Chesterton

    by Marcello the Roman on Sun Jan 21, 2007 at 11:28:55 PM PST

    •  He's done plenty (12+ / 0-)
      most recently by making up for the revelations of David Kuo with the appointment of Dr. Eric "Just Say No" Keroack to administer the entire country's Title X family planning programs.

      As if the "PBA" Ban, the UVVA, and the establishment of embryos as persons in federal law and policy hadn't been enough.

      The TEA Fund: Practicing random acts of kindness

      by moiv on Sun Jan 21, 2007 at 11:52:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Are you the guy who just said in another diary (7+ / 0-)

      that you'd gladly fuck Michelle Malkin?  What if the birth control failed?

      My apologies to students who took my U.S. Government class in the 90s: evidently the Constitution doesn't limit Presidential power after all. Who knew?

      by Major Danby on Sun Jan 21, 2007 at 11:58:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Abortion is a tragedy. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ask any woman who's had one.  But making abortion illegal simply pushes it into back alleys or makes it available for those who can travel to where it's legal and unavailable for those who can't.  More likely both:  rich women go where it's legal; poor women get the coat hanger treatment.

      I'm with Big Dog on this one:  safe, legal, and rare.

      That's Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid to you, Mr. Bush.

      by DC Pol Sci on Mon Jan 22, 2007 at 05:05:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It was NOT (7+ / 0-)

        a tragedy for me, when I had my abortion 14 years ago at the age of 19.  If it weren't for the political aspect to it, I would consider it a non-event.  

        I appreciate your point of view, but just remember that to many women, an abortion is simply an medical procedure.  

        •  and many women feel it a moral tragedy (0+ / 0-)

          that devastates them for the rest of their lives. and the women's movt wonders why choice is under so much assault when they blithely dismiss murdering the unborn as a "medical procedure"?? I know women who have been devastated by abortion, their stories are just as real and relevant as the "i'm not sorry" crowd. it's too bad, pr-wise, embracing those who feel  their abortions were a "mistake" would probably strengthen and make the choice movt more sympathetic. instead, i have to tell my pro-life friends that though I am pro-choice, I am evangelical and completely disavow the radical feminists who treat the fetus like it's a piece of tissue. I am very sympathetic to the Catholic theology  of the garment of life, and that as a liberal who cares about the defending the poor, oppressed and marginalized, that the unborn are part of that group.

          i, howeve,r believe the solution to the abortion problem should be one of grace, not legalism, as Christ lays out in the NT.  

          •  how about this... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Elise, illusionmajik, KansasLiberal

            We stop saying that every woman considers having an abortion to be a moral tragedy, and we stop saying that no woman considers having an abortion to be a moral tragedy (though I'm not sure there is anyone saying the second one).  

            Why don't we say that it's an individual decision, and it's right for some people and wrong for some people and however a woman feels about her decision is fine with us and there's nothing wrong with her for feeling the way she does?

      •  Not every woman considers abortion a tragedy (7+ / 0-)

        Saying "Abortion is a tragedy.  Ask any woman who's had one" is just buying into the new anti-abortion meme that argues that abortion should be illegal because it destroys the mental health of women who've had abortions.  

        For some women, abortion may be a tragedy, and there is clearly no joy in the experience, but having control over your life is also empowering.  Making a choice to put off having children until you are ready, even when birth control fails, is not a tragedy.  It is a hard decision that should only be made by the person whose life it most immediately impacts.   The pregnant woman.  

        I have no doubt that I would not be the fulfilled and happy mother of three children today, if I hadn't made the decisions in the past that brought me to this point.  No one has the right to say that I should have had a child twenty years ago, when I was uneducated and unmarried, rather than waiting until I was a mature, responsible adult with a loving husband at by my side.  

        I hope ever to see America among the foremost nations of justice and liberality. -- George Washington

        by gailfr on Mon Jan 22, 2007 at 06:50:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Disagree. (0+ / 0-)
          While I am obviously wrong about asking any woman, since at least one has responded above that an abortion was not a tragedy for her, I still think abortion is tragedy.  Unplanned pregnancies are a tragedy, whether they end with abortion, adoption, or somehow figuring out how to take care of the child.

          Mind you, I fully support abortion rights.  But the medical evidence is beyond doubt that either a human life or a potential human life (depending on how you define the beginning of life) is being destroyed.  That, to me, is a tragedy.

          Not all tragic events are or should be illegal (divorce is tragic, too!)  And for many, if not most, people who consider the decision, it is a very difficult one to make, regardless of the circumstances.

          I am not in any way buying into the meme that abortion should be illegal because it ruins women's mental health.  I think in many cases, there are emotional effects.  Again, we should not ban all things that have negative emotional effects.  That is what the idea of freedom of choice, in the abortion arena or elsewhere, is about.  And obviously, in some situations, there isn't a negative emotional effect.

          I still hold to my position:  safe, legal, and rare.

          That's Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid to you, Mr. Bush.

          by DC Pol Sci on Mon Jan 22, 2007 at 09:36:49 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Then, please, call abortion a tragedy only (0+ / 0-)

            in the privacy of your own mind, not out in public. Stick to "safe, legal, and rare' if you're out where other people can find it and quote you. You know, in a way, we are all ambassadors of Kos - just posting here, we're creating the possibility that somewhere, sometime, a crazed conservative may write "And even over on dkos, that hotbed of liberal insanity, some of them admit that ...".

            Oh - and btw - I had an abortion in my first semester of law school, right after final exams. No regrets at all. It was physically painful, though ... might encourage others to be a little more careful about their birth control if thy're all like that.

            •  You see... (0+ / 0-)

              I'm one of those who thinks that diversity of opinion actually differentiates us from the folks on the other side and makes us stronger.

              I am not saying abortion should be banned because it traumatizes women.  Even if it does traumatize a woman, that's a choice she makes.  People choose to join the Army and go to Iraq.  That's sure as hell traumatic.  We don't ban the Army.

              I agree completely with the thesis of this thread and with the vast majority of posters.  Abortion should be legal; restrictions should be minimal and designed to regulate things like clinic hygiene.  I don't support any of the restrictions that states have put into place.  I think minors should be able to get abortions without parental consent or notification.

              My only point is that this issue is a complex one.  It's not as simple as "we're right; they're wrong; that settles it."

              For me, however, despite all of that complexity, the argument that carries the day is that you can't end abortion; you can only make it unsafe by criminalizing it.  Thus, even if you think abortion is murder, you are not ending it by criminalizing it; you are simply pushing it into back alleys where the woman's life is in jeopardy.

              That's not to say I don't agree with all of the other arguments that support a woman's right to choose.  I am a feminist and fully support a woman's right to choose.  However, I think by ignoring the opposition's arguments and pushing the choice angle to the exclusion of all others, we do not do ourselves a favor.

              That's Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid to you, Mr. Bush.

              by DC Pol Sci on Mon Jan 22, 2007 at 06:25:17 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  My abortion saved my life. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        It was the furthest thing from a tragedy for me, and I'm certainly not the only person that I know who has had one and felt the same way.

        •  I'm sure it's true. (0+ / 0-)

          Was there no emotional effect whatsoever?

          That's Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid to you, Mr. Bush.

          by DC Pol Sci on Mon Jan 22, 2007 at 11:16:32 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thank fucking god. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DC Pol Sci

            That's what I felt. Thank god I could get there and back safely. Thank god I had a friend who could drive me the 2 hours there and back. Thank god for security around the building keeping who knows what sort of whacko protesters at bay.

            I was raped. Get this fucking thing out of me was about the extent of my emotion. I'm happy that I had an abortion. I'm not kidding when I say it saved my life. And you know what, if I got pregnant today by some freak accident because various birth control methods didn't work, I'd likely have no emotional qualms about having another abortion. For several reasons...among them being that I don't believe I WANT children ever, and that I simply could not afford to provide for a child and I refuse to have a child that I can't provide for. Those things aren't "tragic", they're life. Do I wish people never were raped? Obviously yes. Do I wish birth control ALWAYS worked for everyone? Of course. Do I wish I had more money? Yes, but I still wouldn't want a child.

            My point is that there's nothing to feel guilty about. There's nothing to feel BAD or horrible about. It isn't WRONG. It isn't a person, it's not a life. It's a ball of cells.

            This may seem callous to you, and I'm sure that every woman doesn't share my perspective, but that's why abortion MUST remain legal...because every individual's rights matter in these decisions and they should be made between a woman and her doctor. No one else.

            So, do some women feel guilt? I suppose, but I certainly didn't. And it's been 10 years. Actually, this week makes it 10 years...Jan. 24th...the day my life was literally saved. Thank god.

          •  I had no emotional effect whatsoever - (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DC Pol Sci, Elise

            except for being terminally pissed off at the right-to-lifers who convinced me I would be emotionally affected - so I put it off until after exams, and had some physical sequelae as a consequence of waiting.

    •  So what does that mean (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Elise, CParis, KansasLiberal

      You are in favor of banning all abortions in the US?  If yes, then you (and the other pro-lifers) need to answer the following questions about enforcement:

      1. What is the punishment for women who obtain and/or seek abortions.  Without holding the women liable for the act, the law will be unenforceable.  It is easy to punish the doctors politically, but the reality is that until women on the hook they will find a way to break the law.  A law will just make it more difficult, expensive and unsafe.
      1. What funding would you propose for investigating all of the new mysterious miscarriages that would occur?  Since abortion would be illegal and miscarriages would be a "legal loophole" there would be a marked increase in miscarriages to skirt the law.  Would you increase taxes or divert other law enforcement in these efforts.

      2b. How would you enforce the illegal shipments of RU-486 to people's residences?  Would you divert postal inspectors from other duties or hire a whole new department for this purpose.

      1. How would you stop travel to jurisdictions where abortion was still available?  There would be daily bus trips to Canada for abortions to those who were within a 1 day drive.  Indian reservations could also provide abortion services as well.  Would you prosecute women when they returned?  I could even see people who live on the coastal US going on boats outside the jurisdictional 3 mile limit to obtain an abortion.

      3b. Since the laws would define life at conception, how would you protect these new lives that are in utero?  Would you require some reporting system when you become pregnant so that the newly defined lives could be tracked and/or protected?  If you don't then how would you know if there was a suspicous miscarriage.

      1. Who would pay for all of the unwanted babies, many of which would be disadvantaged and unhealthy?  Say 1/2 of all abortions if illegal would end in childbirth, that is an additional 500,000 (conservatively speaking) per year of babies to care for and be adopted or cared for in orphanages and hospitals.

      All of the so-called pro-lifers have to not only say they are in favor of outlawing abortion that has been legal for over 30 years and show how you are going to enforce a ban and who will pay for the massive enforcement budget.  In order to enforce we would need a system like Nicaragua.

      •  If abortion were made illegal again, the solution (0+ / 0-)

        to the penalties and whatnot would be the law as it was pre-Roe v. Wade. It's not brain surgery or rocket science to figure it out. After all, it was thus so before Roe; it's not like we would be sailing in uncharted waters.

        For my friends justice, for my enemies the law.---Benito Juarez
        What is wrong is that we do not ask what is right.---G.K. Chesterton

        by Marcello the Roman on Mon Jan 22, 2007 at 09:43:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  If abortion were made illegal again.... (0+ / 0-)

          After all, it was thus so before Roe; it's not like we would be sailing in uncharted waters.

          It depends on how it's made illegal.  The GOP platform, along with the anti-abortion movement, want to amend the Constitution to define life as beginning at conception.  They've also been adding such language to countless pieces of legislation, presumably to establish some legal basis for court decisions recognizing fetal "personhood".  

          If our laws recognize the developing embryo/fetus as a person, we are indeed in uncharted waters.  During our nation's failed experiment in abortion prohibition there were many laws prohibiting the practice, but only as something that was considered immoral, like gambling or prostitution.  Never, to my knowledge, did the law equate abortion with murder, or the embryo/fetus as a person.  

          •  I would favour a simple return to the (0+ / 0-)

            pre-Roe v. Wade state of the law, as opposed to a constitutional amendment. As for foetal personhood, been there, done that too. A foetus has had inheritance rights at common law since at least the 14th century, maybe longer. For the purposes of probate law, a foetus is treated as a living person.

            For my friends justice, for my enemies the law.---Benito Juarez
            What is wrong is that we do not ask what is right.---G.K. Chesterton

            by Marcello the Roman on Tue Jan 23, 2007 at 12:44:43 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Bush isn't Pro-Life, he's just Pro-Birth (13+ / 0-)

    We need to make this distinction loudly. Pro-Life means making sure kids receive healthcare, good nutrition, good education, have decent shelter and school supplies and healthy places to live and play. Otherwise, it's just Pro-Birth.

    Not giving kids the above guarantees is like promoting post-birth abortion. Young lives thwarted due to neglect, poverty, etc.

    WE are the pro-life people, because we think life is sacred from birth til death, regardless of nationality, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, class and politics.

    "If religion is the opiate of the masses, then fundamentalism is the amphetamine." Miz Vittitow

    by MillieNeon on Sun Jan 21, 2007 at 11:29:55 PM PST

  •  Thanks for this reminder.... (8+ / 0-)

    of how important birth control is for most of us in planning our families.  

    I am old enough to remember when catholic girls from my school were sent "away" for a year and came back with a rumored pregnancy.  And when Catholic girls almost died from back alley abortions.  And when birth control could only be obtained by lying and saying one was engaged to be married.  

    Anyone who thinks those were the good old days is deluded.

    You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

    by murrayewv on Sun Jan 21, 2007 at 11:31:34 PM PST

  •  History and Update on Jane Roe (Norma McCorvey) (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Elise, Pitin, mariva

    by SECURITY on Sun Jan 21, 2007 at 11:34:39 PM PST

  •  This is one of the most important anniversaries (10+ / 0-)

    of the last half of the 20th century. I hope everyone here will
    realize how important it was--and I say that as someone who
    didn't have to "make use" of it 31 years ago, although we
    considered it.

    On one pro-choice (which I do think of as pro-life, in the most
    profound sense) march, I carried my sign proudly:

    The three daughters I chose to have must also have the right
    to choose.

    It is never too late to be what you might have been...George Eliot

    by begone on Sun Jan 21, 2007 at 11:36:41 PM PST

  •  Walk for "Life" was held in SF this weekend (8+ / 0-)

    A Walk for Life anti-abortion event was held in San Francisco this weekend. Here are some photos from the counter-protest.

    Threat to Miss USA's crown could tip Senate back to Republicans (and other "true" stories)

    by insaneliberal on Sun Jan 21, 2007 at 11:49:48 PM PST

  •  It's a Family Affair (7+ / 0-)

    What a lot of these fire-and-brimstone anti-abortion Christ-o-fascists don't realize is that much of the funding for their organizations comes from the Scarlet Empress (i.e., the Roman Catholic Church), a religion which many of them consider akin to devil worship.

    I remember when discussions came up among Catholic school classmates, when we were told that saving the life of the baby was more important than saving the life of the mother. Our answer was always the same, "Hell, no. my life comes first. I can always have another baby."

    My response to the anti-abortionists who are always shouting that 40 million "babies" have died since Roe v. Wade was passed is always the same: "We don't have enough housing, jobs or food for those alive now. Just where in the hell would we have put these other 40 million people?"

    I'll respect a woman's right of protest against abortion -- I'll vehemently disagree with it, but I'll respect it. But as far as men protesting -- and worse leading the anti-abortion movement -- f*ck that. When any male protester is willing to carry a baby to term, I'll be more than happy to listen to their arguments. Til then, shut up and go play with your wrestling action figures.

    Despite what these people think, abortion is not the first option for most women, it's the last option. And if they'd do a little research into the birth records of their antecedents, they'd learn that there sure were a hell of a lot of four to seven month post-marriage pregnancies back in those "good ol' days" they're so fond of.

    •  I went to a Catholic school for junior high... (11+ / 0-)

      and I was kicked out of my "religion" class because our teacher went on a tirade about how evil it was to be pro-choice and how everyone should be pro-life... of course, after telling everyone that pro-choicers and abortionists would burn in hell forever, she asked the class who was pro-choice...

      I was the only person to raise my hand. She asked me why I felt murdering babies was okay (now remember, I was 12)...I said that I didn't think it was my right to tell other people what they could do with their bodies. And I said that I didn't know what I'd do if I got pregnant, so I couldn't say it was wrong until I was faced with that decision myself.

      Well, she sent me to the Principal's Office...and the next day I was switched to another religion class because she refused to allow me in her classroom anymore. I was fucking pissed. My mom taught there though...and we were broke as hell at the time, so she just let them get away with it...and she yelled at me for speaking out. I was SO mad at her for that.

      I dunno though...I never stopped speaking my mind, and a lot of the other kids in my grade said they agreed with me, but were afraid to raise their that was somewhat comforting.

      •  I remember those discussions (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Elise, KansasLiberal

        I just had no idea of what the issues were about.

        I can't believe you had the presence and clarity of mind to take such a stand.

        I tried to be flexible with the catholic church, but when the local bishop swung Missouri's election to Bush in 2004 saying that it was a sin to vote for Kerry, I lost all faith in organized, institutional religion.

        God is like the air we breath - ubiquitous - you don't need an institution to commune with God nor Nature.

        •  I was always a little mature for my age, (0+ / 0-)

          so when I was 12 I had good friends that were 14 and 15. Also, my parents never censored anything that I watched or read or listened to, so I pretty much had free reign. They also answered all my matter how uncomfortable they were (my dad was always better at this than my mom was).

          I wasn't catholic for very long. I was Confirmed, but shortly after that I became an atheist.

          Incidentally, I was the ONLY girl who graduated in my year who did not find herself pregnant in high school and married shortly afterward.

          •  Coodles to you (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            And I was always young for my age. Still am. But immaturity in an adult male is very American.

            My father is not any religion, and my mother was a converted catholic. She is pro-choice on abortion. Amazingly so, even though she feels it is morally wrong.

            My father was all for me figuring things out on my own, sometimes not answering my questions on politics. My mother however was prepared to tell me what to think.  

            Both are nominal independents, but ardent Republicans in practice. I think the last time my father voted Democrat was Kennedy. My mother probably has never voted Democratic.  I talked my father into voting Perot in 1992 - but after Clinton got elected he returned to the Republican fold. This was aided and abetted by his retirement in 1992 - he spent every day since, listening to Rush Limbaugh as he builds cabinets and furniture out in the garage.  He's now so far to the right that it disturbs me.

            The long term effect of Bush is going to be the decline of the United States brought forward by anwere from 50 to 100 years.  At best we will share global parity with China and India.  This parity can be augmented only by alliance with Europe and Japan. More probably we will be to China what Britain or France is to us - one fifth the power of the real leader.

      •  I know adults (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lirtydies, Elise

        who don't have the reasoning skills you demonstrated at 12 years of age not to mention the courage to voice your convictions in such an environment.  

      •  I Can Believe It (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lirtydies, Elise, CParis, KansasLiberal

        Having been raised Roman Catholic and attending Catholic elementary and high school, nothing would surprise me as far as the actions of any teacher, and a lot of the students. Penguins could be a lot more intimidating than priests.

        To placate my mother, I attended church on a regular basis up until somewhere between seventh and ninth grades, but the church already lost me in first grade with their teachings that only those who believed in their version of God could get into heaven. My questions always received non-answers or the "you must have faith" ones. (It also didn't help my "faith" that my dad died on the first night in years that I'd begun praying again, and my prayers were ones for the intercession of St. Perigrine, the patron saint of cancer patients.)

        I have a lot of Roman Catholic friends -- one (a female) with a doctorate in theology and several who are gay -- and I've never understood why they would remain in church that doesn't nurture them. For my part, I respect their beliefs, but I only step into an RCC for weddings and funerals.

      •  I had a girlfriend who went to Catholic HS (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        And she got in trouble with the nuns on a regular basis for being pro- Birth control, choice, women's rights

        But we had a good laugh talking about her getting in trouble!

    •  I'm a guy, (8+ / 0-)

      and I can't think of a single circumstance in which I could look a woman in the eyes and say "No, you can't have an abortion."

      But these chickenshit people mostly hide behind their desks, or preach from a pulpit, and make other people do the dirty work.  They make doctors tell women, in the worst emotional distress of their lives, that they can't have an abortion because someone doesn't think their life is important enough.

      It's hatred.  They hate women, they hate life, they hate their god, and they hate themselves.

      Mark Twain -Let me make the superstitions of a nation and I care not who makes its laws or its songs either.

      by Kingsmeg on Mon Jan 22, 2007 at 12:57:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  And you can take action to protect Roe (7+ / 0-)

    in my diary from earlier today, Sunday Action Diary: 34th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade Decision.

    Please do what you can!

  •  I never hear it noted, (6+ / 0-)

    especially by republicans, that Roe V Wade decision was made by a republican appointed SCOYUS. There were only 3 Dem appointees and one of them voted against it.

    I do recall that decision, I was 17, single and newly pregnant. I did not have an abortion but was relieved to have that legal right, that choice, just as I also chose not to marry. My son is 33 now and he and his wife are expecting their first child. They were surprised but happy.
    A couple years ago his wife was found to have malignant melomoma, luckily in situ and only found so early  because she insisted her doctor biopsy the harmless looking flesh colored bump that the doctor insisted was nothing.
    What if it had gone otherwise and this was found in a much later stage after she was pregnant.
    I can't bear the idea of any woman ever having to fight for the right to abortion when she us fighting for her life.

    A great sin of the Catholic church is their stand against birth control.
    I know of many state funded insurances that do not cover birth control, but they do Viagra.
    Medicaid does not cover abortion despit some states that won't add to the grant when more children are born, despite the added difficulties of their work programs when infants are involved, despite no perfect birth control and so on.

    •  Melanoma is malignant at ALL stages. (0+ / 0-)

      Thus, to say "malignant melanoma" is somewhat redundant.  It is the other so called skin "cancers", like basal cell carcinoma, that do not become malignant until later stages.

      My Karma just ran over your Dogma

      by FoundingFatherDAR on Mon Jan 22, 2007 at 09:40:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Never been a huge fan of abortions (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlueEngineerInOhio, Elise

    but I think they should stay legal.

    My opinion is that if you aren't being responsible or safe enough ie using condom's and birth control, than you probably aren't responsible enough to be having sex to begin with.  

    Not that I have the right to inflict that view on people, just my opinion.  

    If the Republicans promise to stop telling lies about us, maybe we'll stop telling the truth about them..

    by Romaniac on Mon Jan 22, 2007 at 12:22:10 AM PST

    •  Well, if we taught sex ed properly... (7+ / 0-)

      a lot of that responsibility could be taught to people early on...and that would prevent a lot of unwanted pregnancies.

      •  Maybe we should (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        redmcclain, Elise, I

        use the "scare method" of Sex Ed that Sgt. Buzzcut uses on Beavis & Butthead.

        "We're gonna be talkin' about the PENIS! We'll be talking about the VAGINA! Do you think that's funny, Butt-head? Do you find it amusing that we'll be talking about the TESTICLES? Yes, we're also gonna be talking about VENEREAL DISEASE! SEXUAL INTERCOURSE! And...and we will definitely be spending a lot of time talking about MASTURBATION!  Now that that's out of the way, let's take roll...BUTKUS! GAYLORD! HIGHMAN!"

        :)  Beavis and Butthead had been banned from laughing, under threat of explulsion, for a week going into that because of previous problems and just barely made it to the end of the day...I know I would've been expelled in their situation.

      •  I attended a workshop (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lirtydies, Elise, sabishi

        on comprehensive sex ed this weekend.  I never realized just how totally bogus the information is that we provide to teens.  The federal guidelines for abstinence sex ed programs have eight standards you are required to include and teach which range from abstinence is the expected standard of sexual activity to bearing children out of wedlock will likely have harmful consequences for all involved, but my favorite is "teaches that sexual activity outside of the context of marriage is likely to have harmful psychological and physical effects"!!!!

      •  I've met women who used birth control (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        (pills), but still got pregnant.  So even those who are conscientious about prevention sometimes have unexpected pregnancies.

        My Karma just ran over your Dogma

        by FoundingFatherDAR on Mon Jan 22, 2007 at 09:42:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  So if you aren't responsible enough (7+ / 0-)
      to use birth control when having sex, that makes you... responsible enough to be a parent?

      The way I look at it is, every child in the world has the right to be wanted and loved. Parenthood is a huge responsibility. Some people shouldn't be parents, ever. And some people still need to do a lot of growing up themselves before they're able to take on such a big load. It's sheer cruelty to bring a baby into the world that you can't care for.

      I respect that you aren't forcing your view on others. That's good, but... I wonder if you have thought much about what kind of unrelieved hell it must be to be an unwanted child. Nobody's a "huge fan" of abortions, but once the pregnancy exists, unless you're offering a time machine, it's too late for the couple to not have had sex. The choices are bring the pregnancy to term, or don't. Sometimes the right answer for everyone, especially the potential child, is: don't.

      Folly is fractal: the closer you look at it, the more of it there is. - TNH

      by Canadian Reader on Mon Jan 22, 2007 at 04:11:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I couldn't agree with you more (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        And I think the resounding statement here is that instead of hiding behind the facade of our schools outdated sex ed programs we can actually educate our own children to make the right decisions regarding sex.

        If the Republicans promise to stop telling lies about us, maybe we'll stop telling the truth about them..

        by Romaniac on Mon Jan 22, 2007 at 08:15:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Five, in brief, is four? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MissLaura, BlueEngineerInOhio, Elise

    MissLaura, thanks for your link to Planned Parenthood, labeled "Five Ways to Prevent Abortion". It's a bit curious, though, that your quote "in brief" lists four items. But maybe that's one way of achieving brevity.

    Number five, incidentally, is "Make America friendlier to children."

    Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    by Buckeye Hamburger on Mon Jan 22, 2007 at 12:26:11 AM PST

  •  I'm not so sure (0+ / 0-)

    I'm not so sure that the adoption section is all that convincing of an argument. I understand that this is a nitpick and I completely agree that it is a woman's choice to decide.  But still, the adoption argument is fairly weak considering that the blockquoted text is stating a condition that arose in the context of a less permissive, more authoritarian society. There is nowhere near the stigma of having a child out of wedlock now.

    The reduced stigma is a good thing.  The reduction of occurence is an even better thing.  Just like I think having the option of abortion is a good thing, I think not having to make that choice is even better.

    I love the ideals and work of Planned Parenthood and wish the US as a whole would adopt them as policy.

    And yes, I understand this is a somewhat rambling comment and it makes my argument against that argument less convincing.  Irony is my thing, ya dig?

  •  SC Legislation - Woman Must Look At Ultrasound (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I just watched Jesus Camp (forget any other horror movie that's out there; Jesus Camp is more terrifying) and it's no doubt those very same types of people who are pushing for this ridiculous bill.

  •  The REAL Republican record on abortion. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MissLaura, lirtydies, Elise, I, KansasLiberal

    Republicans talk about banning abortion to get votes, but all it is talk. Those who are opposed to abortion should look at the REAL Republican record.

    1970 - California legalizes abortion. This law is signed by Governor Ronald Reagan.

    1973 - A Republican Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade.

    5 Republicans were in favor, 1 opposed.
    2 Democrats were in favor, 1 opposed.

    Republican appointed justices have controlled the Supreme court consistantly since Roe. At no time since Roe has there been a majority of Democrats on the court.

    1976 - The Hyde Amendment to ban federal funding of abortion passes with a wide bi-partisan majority. Republican Gerald Ford vetoes it. His opponent, Jimmy Carter, supports it, but it doesn't matter when congress overrides Ford's veto.

    1992 - A Republican Supreme Court upheld Roe v. Wade in a lawsuit Planned Parenthood brought against the Democratic Governor of Pennsylvania, Bob Casey. If the Republicans meant what they said about abortions, you'd think a court with 8 Republicans and 1 pro-life Democrat would overturn Roe, right? Wrong.

    5 Republicans were in favor of Roe, 3 opposed.
    1 Democrat opposed.

    Now, lets cut the crap. Legal or illegal, like it or not, abortion is a matter between a woman and her doctor. Period. Instead of talking about banning abortion, lets pass legislation that will actually reduce abortions?

    The Democratic 95/10 act is a great place to start. There is no more pro-life legislation than health care for every American. Let's reduce abortion by giving women better choices, not by pushing them into the back alleys.

    "I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat." - Will Rogers

    by wayward on Mon Jan 22, 2007 at 04:10:46 AM PST

  •  Didn't see a link to Roe itself (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MissLaura, Elise

    So here it is.

    People should read it - the opinion's review of the history of abortion laws is very revealing.

  •  Glad someone besides me read that book (9+ / 0-)

    Meaning, "The Girls Who Went Away."  I was one of those.  Only people who lived through those days (the 1950s and early 1960s) know how bad it was, and how strong was the stigma against "unwed mothers."  There was no stigma, of course, against unwed fathers.

    There was a whole industry in those days devoted to trafficking in human flesh--that of the newly born infants.  Girls like me were told we were morally unfit to bring our children, since we were sluttish enough to get pregnant without a wedding ring, so the babies we produced were to be given to "nice people."  

    Talk about an experience that left scars!  I lived from the age of 17 to the age of 51 thinking I'd done something worse than murder by having a child "out of wedlock," as the saying was in those days, and that it was a secret I was supposed to carry to my grave.

    Every time I hear some smug right-to-lifer parrot the phrase "Adoption is an option," I feel like hurling them across the room.  How do THEY know?  And by the way, years later when my daughter found me, I also found out that life with "nice people" didn't necessarily result in a "happy ever after."  Also, my daughter struggles to this day with issues of abandonment, because she was told very early that she was adopted.  Intellectually, she knows why I had to give her up but that doesn't make it any easier for her to bear.

    If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always got.

    by Diana in NoVa on Mon Jan 22, 2007 at 04:46:59 AM PST

  •  On a tangent (0+ / 0-)

    Justice Blackmun, the author of Roe v. WadeRoe v. Wade, in his dissent (joined by Justices Brennan and Marshall) in Beal v. Doe:

    There is another world "out there," the existence of which the Court, I suspect, either chooses to ignore or fears to recognize. And so the cancer of poverty will continue to grow. This is a sad day for those who regard the Constitution as a force that would serve justice to all evenhandedly[.] ...

    Today, the Court purports to be the dispassionate oracle of the law. - Justice Blackmun

    by jim bow on Mon Jan 22, 2007 at 05:45:49 AM PST

    •  D'oh (0+ / 0-)

      Didn't finish my post.

      And Roe shouldn't be mentioned twice in the first sentence.

      Anyhow, the blocked text captures what Roe v. Wade and the law in general really means in terms of human consequences.

      Today, the Court purports to be the dispassionate oracle of the law. - Justice Blackmun

      by jim bow on Mon Jan 22, 2007 at 05:48:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Antichoicers Against Personal Responsibility (4+ / 0-)

    Whenever I get in the face of some Antichoice mouthpiece, I always challenge them with "so how many babies have you adopted?" and sometimes "how many blastocyst embryo babies have you had born, of the 400,000 that will be destroyed this year as they expire?" I've never gotten an answer except spluttering. Maybe we can make the procedures retroactive.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Mon Jan 22, 2007 at 05:59:34 AM PST

  •  Turning Away Catholics (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    My girlfriend attends mass in a big, beautiful old Catholic church here in Brooklyn. In a 95% Democratic, 80% Black, 98% middle class / "poor" (NYC style) neighborhood. Yesterday she sat through a long sermon by the head priest, railing against abortion. No solutions suggested, no exhortations to adopt. Of course no birth control allowed. While his congregation (and their neighbors) has an abortion rate probably higher than average in NYC, and which is about double the national average. In which his Church, one of the bedrock institutions, has been working its part for 3 centuries.

    My girlfriend wasn't the only one who walked out of mass more divided from her church than from her choices. The point of the sermon was to guilt and "inspire" people to attend a giant antiabortion demonstration in DC this week. I know my neighbors, and I'm sure watching a middleaged virgin with nothing to lose from unexpected pregnancies, and plenty of job security to gain, made plenty of them realize the rigged game that is the antiabortion movement.

    I just wish the Church format allowed for equal time in the pulpit for the righteous with better social planning advice than "stop the abortionists".

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Mon Jan 22, 2007 at 06:11:34 AM PST

    •  I got one of those the other week (0+ / 0-)

      I made the mistake of going to my mother's parish instead of the Fransciscan run parish I usually attend.

      I can deal with the anti-abortion sermon. Abortion is wrong. I can accept that. But then he went into birth control and how the Catholic ban on birth control showed that it was the one true Church, because they didn't compromise with the world. Then he told the congregation that they all had an obligation to vote for public officials who are pro-life, which was a very obvious code word for "Republican", even though many Democrats in this conservative part of the country are also opposed to abortion.

      All it did was make me angry. I didn't even go to communion, I was so mad.

      "I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat." - Will Rogers

      by wayward on Mon Jan 22, 2007 at 03:20:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I attended a Planned Parenthood luncheon (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lirtydies, Elise, boofdah

    last week in Tampa and Sarah Weddington was the guest speaker.  What an amazing woman!  She reminded us of what pre-Roe days were like (I was there so didn't need much reminding).  Weddington was only 27 years old when she argued the case before the Supreme Court.  Can you imagine?  If you ever get a chance to meet her or hear her speak, jump at it.  

    Carrie French, age 19, died in Iraq on June 5, 2005. Why?

    by Susan S on Mon Jan 22, 2007 at 06:17:12 AM PST

  •  Support clinics in your area. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    They do great work and need your good words today.


    HotFlashReport - Opinionated liberal views of the wrongs of the right

    by annrose on Mon Jan 22, 2007 at 06:48:53 AM PST

  •  Didn't see this one till this morning. (0+ / 0-)

    Great post.

  •  And didn't Andrea Dworkin (0+ / 0-)

    research the Catholic Church's original reason for being against abortion, and wasn't it because it was woman's fate to suffer the pain of childbirth for her sin in the Garden, and abortion was circumventing that punishment? Originally, I don't think it had anything to do with the Sanctity of Life, as in the Middle Ages, that wasn't a big deal. That's my memory of it anyway (not from the Middle Ages, of course, from Dworkin's book).

    "If religion is the opiate of the masses, then fundamentalism is the amphetamine." Miz Vittitow

    by MillieNeon on Mon Jan 22, 2007 at 07:21:47 AM PST

    •  Haha. But women suffer in pain (0+ / 0-)

      in abortion, too.

      Not saying it's the same amount of pain as childbirth -I'm sure it depends.

      Just that, if the Catholic church was really watching closely, they'd see there is NO ESCAPING JUDGMENT.


  •  I am probably more greatful for Roe v. Wade than (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    anyone on this post.  My eldest sister was born 9 months and 13 days after our folks got married.  We always joke about her being a wedding night baby.  Being good Catholics they then spit out three more kids over the next 4 and a half years.  Then they stopped for 9 years, until I came along.  A few years ago I did some math and figured out that I was born 9 months and 13 days after Roe v. Wade.  Either my parents thought they were finally in the clear, and then had pangs of guilt or they got their Irish up and said "We'll show them!"  Either way, I owe my life to those 7 Justices.

    "The only difference between me and the Surrealists is that I am a Surrealist" S. Dali

    by SpiderStumbled22 on Mon Jan 22, 2007 at 07:38:04 AM PST

  •  If a 12-year-old girl had her first period . . . (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annrose, Elise, KansasLiberal

    . . .  in 1973, she'd be 46 now, and pretty much at the end of her reproductive life.

    So there are virtually no fertile American women who can remember what it was like to not be able to get an abortion.

    Which is the way it should be, but you worry about them getting complacent in the face of these loons.

  •  How young for parental notification? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nick A

    I've been curious about what ages are being debated for parental notification laws to apply?  I'm assuming anyone over 18 already has legal independence, so we are talking about teenagers, right?  While I could see that a 17-year-old might deserve rights over her own body that trumped her parents', I assume the line has to be drawn somewhere.  Can a 12-year-old make such a decision for herself?  If I had a 12-year-old daughter and someone performed surgery on her without my knowledge, I think I would be understandably upset.  So I'm curious how that line has been determined.

    •  If my 13 year old got pregnant (0+ / 0-)

      ... and felt like she couldn't tell me, I'd be upset if she could NOT get an abortion if she wanted one. I would be more upset about someone compounding the grief of a raped child by forcing them through hoops than I would about my personal "right to know."

      Would I want to know? Yes. But I have a 13 year old girl. There is a darned good reason Judaism considers 13-year-olds adults... and at 12, she was very nearly as competent. I am far more concerned about the "good judgment" of a 13 year old who decides to "keep the baby" than I am with a 12 year old deciding to get an abortion but too scared to tell Mom.

      I do not believe there are many states left which do NOT consider sex at 12 or 13 to be rape.

      I make milk. What's your superpower?

      by jenrose on Mon Jan 22, 2007 at 11:06:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's not just about abortion.... (0+ / 0-)

    The antichoice rhetoric isn't just about abortion.

    It's about control of women's bodies, and control of the memes Americans hear and internalize about male and female sexuality.

    I find it ever more interesting that the antichoice crowd is (essentially) against even basic OB/GYN medical care unless the woman in question is already pregnant....if the care in question isn't more or less directly related to procreation, it's superfluous.

    It's just more evidence of the right wing's war on women.

    Pro-life means pro-criminalization.

    A brilliant meme, and one with which to tar the antichoice nitwits.

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