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Does the headline from the 2005 Dallas Morning News shake you to your foundation?  Did you realize that MURDER is the number one cause of death of pregnant women in the United States? Two studies published in recent years have shed light on the problem of maternal homicides: A 2003 study in the American College of Nurse-Midwives' Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health identified homicide as the leading cause of death among pregnant women. That conclusion also was reached in a study published in 2001 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

I don't think people realize how dangerous pregnancy can be for some women.  This morning's headlines on Jessie Davis' death in Ohio is a very grim reminder that it is not a bed of roses for pregnant women.  We have NO IDEA what a pregnant woman is going through.  None.  Do we American's have a social contract with pregnant women?

Pregnant women.  Let's just focus this Sunday morning on pregnant women.  We can discuss contraception at another time as for pregnant women it is a TOO LATE.  For now, we are beyond contraception as we have a PREGNANT WOMAN before us.  Do we as Americans owe this woman ANYTHING?  

I happen to think we owe this woman a great deal if we want HEALTHY FAMILIES...which requires HEALTHY WOMEN.  This is where healthy the family starts...and CAN END TRAGICALLY.

Right now pregnant women are denied quality abortion care in many parts of the United States.  To see women denied abortion care you only have to look to Mississippi.  PBS Frontline did a wonderful documentary entitled The Last Abortion Clinic which chronicles the ramification of Mississippi being left with only ONE PLACE, ONE CLINIC remaining where you can receive abortion care.  No private doctors, no hospitals provide abortion care.  Click on The Last Abortion Clinic and you can watch the documentary via video streaming.  Pay special attention to these very real women of the delta.  Mississippi has only one "abortion clinic", only one "administrative" Planned Parenthood offering NO PATIENT SERVICES and a very very hostile state legislature.  Look at these women who are trapped in the delta.  See what Crises Pregnancy Centers offer these women and families.  Since Frontline released The Last Abortion Clinic in October of 2005 things have only gotten more dire for pregnant women in the deep south.  Clinics are closing because fighting the state with NO HELP FROM ANYONE becomes ridiculous.  Abortion CARE has to come from somewhere.  Resources for abortion care for poor women has to come from somewhere.  So folks, we are making abortion rare in the United States, under the guidance of our policy makers.  Are we happy?  Is this what we intended?  Poor women and their families suffering? I DON'T THINK SO.

Why is it so hard to focus on the pregnant woman?  We sure seem to have no trouble focusing on the pregnancy...fetus, gestational sac, pre-born BABY.  But the "post-born" woman and her post-born children go UNSEEN. (This reminds me of the Beatles song "Lady Madonna".) How did that happen?  What can we do about it?

We have systematically looked away from the pregnant woman and her post-born children.  At best, we give a disdainful tisk, saying things like "Abortion is horrible, now let's talk about prevention".

What to do?  We need to draft a Reproductive Bill of Rights that addresses the issues of pregnant women in the USA.  It should cover everyone without exclusion. And it needs to include ALL OPTIONS FOR WOMEN.

Because finally it gets down to "Do we as Americans have a social contract with pregnant women?"  Right now this focus on the pre-born to the exclusion of the post-born is hurting women and families. I view our Mississippi sisters as our canaries in the coal mines, dying daily because we have failed to protect them.  These voiceless and faceless women have been pawns at best whose lives are traded daily in the hallowed halls of Congress and in elections out of expedience for the common good. Which is about as far from REALITY as it gets.

A pregnant woman deserves a village of care, including quality abortion care.  Quality abortion care for pregnant women has to come from somewhere.  Resources have to be put toward ABORTION CARE.  We can't all look away in disdain.  Universal abortion care makes women stronger and this makes families stronger.  And SOMEONE has to provide this care or the rest is just empty talk.

This is the right thing to do and it will win elections!  No one wants a family member to be forced to bear a child for the state.  No one.  Everyone wants to strengthen families and insure justice and protection to pregnant women.  And when we GENUINELY help women and families Americans will respond and support this effort.  We are not dummies!

This headline about homicide being the number one cause of death of pregnant women speaks volumes.  It is a very sad statistic.  But there is something we can do.  We can understand that we cannot make judgments about a pregnant woman and her situation.  We MUST GUARANTEE that all women have full access to universal reproductive health care, across the board.  Because "forced" pregnancy by the state is IMMORAL and makes women DEPENDENT and that dependency sometimes turns murderous.

Originally posted to Readrock on Sun Jun 24, 2007 at 08:55 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  My first tip jar! (33+ / 0-)

    Hard to talk about, hard to think about but PREGNANT WOMEN DESERVE ACCESS TO ALL OPTIONS, including quality abortion care!  It is the moral thing to do!

  •  Not sure it's a sad statistic,* (0+ / 0-)

    but great topic nonetheless.

    • Better homicide than, say, botched backroom abortions, or cancer, or suicide.  Something's gotta head up the list, and better something that doesn't portend badly for environmental risk or physical or mental health.
  •  Mississippi... (14+ / 0-)

    and the state is doing everything they can to close the clinic in Mississippi.  They've already put every restriction known on the clinic and made it harder for women in Mississippi, especially the very poor from the Delta, to get care.

    In a state with an abominable record on healthcare, jobs, and education...this is a travesty.

    Well thought out diary.  I remember the brou-ha-ha about Lacey Peterson, and now Jessie Davis.  There's something about this society that triggers a man's violence when his wife/girlfriend is pregnant.  What gives?

    HotFlashReport - Opinionated liberal views of the wrongs of the right

    by annrose on Sun Jun 24, 2007 at 08:59:58 AM PDT

  •  It is not just about abortion (10+ / 0-)

    But that is symptomatic for a certain deep strand of mysogyny that exists in the US.  

    I am confused a bit by the origin of mysogyny.  It is too deeply rooted in society to be a reaction by individuals to being punished by their mothers.  It is too silly to be resentment of women at being the child-bearers (and who would be jealous of that discomfort, etc.?).  

    Perhaps it is just a distrust of others in general.  National health care and even a single-payer system that guaranteed neonatal care, infant and pediatric care, and a safety net for every family would make such a difference.  I think, of course, that this package would include abortions if desired (by the woman who is carrying the child, and by only her and with the input of her physician), but certainly its provision of birth control would help cut down on the number of abortions (which we should all be able to agree would be a good thing).

    Sigh...  I know I am preaching to the choir here...

    •  I am not so sure this is the choir (4+ / 0-)

      I seriously think we need to draft this Reproductive Bill of Rights.  

      Women have never needed it more! Policy makers have a major disconnect these did that happen?

      •  We Liberated the Top of the Economy 30 Years Ago (6+ / 0-)

        which allowed corporate and media and fundamentalist forces to outgrow control by Enlightenment society.

        There are several huge allied forces that are willing to support each others' programs, in this case the corporatists supporting a much more theocratic society in return for theocracy's support for military empire and an aristocratic wealth distribution.

        The humans get squashed underneath like bugs.

        This is why there is such a thing as too rich.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Sun Jun 24, 2007 at 09:21:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Both are alpha male hierarchies, like primate (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          moiv, julifolo, docswede, Readrock

          social structure. The primate alpha male rank ordered society is maintained by violence toward both male and female primates. We evolved from the primates and changed our social structure in the process to a more male/female bonding pattern.

          We need to fight hard to move things in the right direction. Giving women exclusive and absolute control of childbirth decisions and the support necessary around access to birth control, pregnancy services, abortion services, post delivery services and social supports. That is part of what it means to become more human and less apelike.

          The idea of pushing for federal legislation to guarantee universal supports for women to manage their own reproductive lives and support them in the process is long overdue. I think it would reduce violence against women because the primate alpha male dominates through violence in large part due to expanding his breeding rights and the spread of his genetic material. We need to cut that impulse at its root with a social structure/contract that takes that option off the table.

          If national legislation isn't immediately successful this would be a great state by state campaign, much like combating global warming at the state level when the federal government won't move. As part of the state level initiative it would be great to fund relocation of women at risk in states where there is  little access to birth control, abortion, and supportive services during and after pregnancy. Maybe we could make Mississippi and all male state after a while.

          Our economy sucks up our environment, people, and government. Redesign it at Beyond Political Center

          by Bob Guyer on Sun Jun 24, 2007 at 09:55:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thank you Bob (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            for bringing your expertise to this.

            This is a great!  I like the idea of Mississippi an all male state!  Very creative.

            This is a difficult issue and I appreciate your broader historical perspective.

            And I agree national legislation is needed and will help craft the political rhetoric in the up coming election.

          •  Have you read 'Ape and Essence' (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            moiv, Bob Guyer, megaera, Readrock

            by Aldous Huxley?  You've just summarized the theme of that work in your comment.  If you're looking for a frightening read, I highly reccommend it.  It's a lesser known follow-up to Brave New World.  It's another futurist novel, except this time the world has been decimated by war.  

            •  I've never heard of it, thanks for the ref (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              moiv, Readrock

              I have been reading about evolution, Before the Dawn, by Nicholas Wade, and I really liked A Natural History of Peace, by Robert Sapulski where he reports his observational research about a Baboon troop that made a spontaneous change in social structure and behavior away from a violent troop to a peaceful one.

              Our economy sucks up our environment, people, and government. Redesign it at Beyond Political Center

              by Bob Guyer on Sun Jun 24, 2007 at 04:41:39 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  We're Getting Into Basic Human Behavior (5+ / 0-)

      here I'm pretty sure. Same for the pattern of men abusing and killing step children more often than biological children.

      It's a sobering problem to tackle in an Enlightenment society. A wide array of sociological, biological and economic factors have to be considered for a comprehensive set of programs to drive the incidence down to negligible levels.

      In our fundamentalist corporate 3rd-world society, it's a really sad challenge.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sun Jun 24, 2007 at 09:15:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Patriarchal (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      moiv, saralee, shanay

      is what it is.

    •  Misogyny is also rooted in religion... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      moiv, julifolo, megaera

      as many of our societal norms are.  Think about it: who fell from grace first?  Eve.  Who turned into a pilar of salt because she disobeyed god? Lot's wife.  How did Samson lose his god-given powers?  His love for Delilah.  Women, save perhaps the Virgin Mary, are portrayed as temptresses and the sinful vessels which transmit orginal sin onto each and every baby born on the planet.  And only god can wash you clean again.

          And it's not just the bible.  Muslim women who are menstruating can not enter a temple.  Mormon women are not allowed to hold offices or be ordained in their church.  Some sects of Buddhists believe that only men can attain enlightenment.  

          Religious authority has been used for centuries to sanction the subjugation of women all over the world.  Why do you think religious authorities are so scared of reliable birth control and safe abortion care?  Its the end of their reign over women's freedom.  

      •  There is a group called God Said Ministries (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        out of east Texas.  They are led by a retired Marine who is now a prophet.  They are fighting the spirit of Jezebel and believe abortion and homosexuality are the result of women not following the Bible.  If we were more "womanly" and didn't cross dress (wear pants) there would be no homosexuality and no need for abortion.

        These folks are scary and extreme...and they are from TEXAS and that hasn't worked well for us historically...

        Amazing when you mix the power of MAN and the power of religion and use it as a club against poor pregnant women!

      •  the other way around (0+ / 0-)

        that is early religious stories explaining human nature.  If there were no religion someone would have to invent some other set of reasons to hate and fear women.  Religion is just one of many tools.  

        •  but it's not universal (0+ / 0-)

          there have been cultures in which women have been respected and highly valued and the feminine principle, the goddess/goddesses, was much more powerful than it is in our current major religions. the mother goddess was revered and respected in all her fullness, ie., not merely a virgin serving as handmaiden to a male god.

          it is not human nature to hate and fear women.

    •  Misogyny is also rooted in oportunism ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TeresaInPa, moiv

      also: it's nice having the default that woman are the natural servants. If the default is: men get to decide and women take care of the children (and everyone else) -- I think the patriarchy would like to keep a status quo of women being there to serve, be a homemaker, make sure everyone one is happy and comfortable.

      In a history about something else, there was mention of an early medical school trying to get funded, and it was hesitant about accepting the last, largest bit of necessary money -- because the stipulation attatched was that the new school would accept female students. I think the unspoken fear was of women becoming independant. If women had the means, gasp, they might not want to get married. Too many uppity women in the town and a guy won't be able to find a wife to serve him.

      If your local service workers don't get a living wage (including healthcare) then your local social contract is broken

      by julifolo on Sun Jun 24, 2007 at 04:31:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  religion has a lot to do with it (0+ / 0-)

      misogyny is deeply rooted in the major religions.

  •  I thought they all died during botched abortions (8+ / 0-)

    Wow, I guess the right-wing was wrong after all.

    What matters the most in all cases, not just in this, is the individual must be able to choose for him or herself how they want their lives to be run.  The state should have no say in what we do with our bodies, who we love, what religion we chose to practice (or not to practice one at all) and how we live and die.

    The state is the way the individual seeks to protect himself from outside threats and to assist in conduction of business and contracts.  It is not the state seeking out the individual, to ensure he does as the state wants.

    •  Making gov't abortion neutral (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      julifolo, Dcoronata, megaera

      is difficult.  We do not want the state forcing women to bear a pregnancy against their will.  At the same time we need the state to pay for abortion care and provide abortion care training.

      In order for the government to give women and their families true choice we need the government to pay for poor women's health care if they have a baby or an abortion.

      •  Your definition of "forcing" is...imaginative. nt (0+ / 0-)

        Never trade luck for skill.

        by valion on Sun Jun 24, 2007 at 09:20:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It shouldn't be neutral, it should have (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        moiv, annetteboardman, marykk, Readrock

        no position at all!

        Bearing this in mind; part of "promoting the general welfare" of a nation includes ensuring its citizens are of good health, both physical and emotional.  We need to adopt a more modern approach to government; a balance between "the nanny state" and the "supply-side" that does not overly restrict either rights or freedoms, without similarly burdening individuals with too much government.

        I know, I've just summed up 3000 years of philosophy in  one paragraph!

        •  why do I think that what (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          you really want to say is that if the state would stop forcing men to support children they don't want they would stop having to murder pregnant women?

          •  That's really TR-worthy. (0+ / 0-)

            You know, it really is hard to discuss this topic with you.  First you want to sterilize boys, then you make a medical claim that isn't valid (we've had an 18-week fetus survive birth) and now you make this horrific allegation about me.

            Not going to play that game.

            •  I dare say all would be interested (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TeresaInPa, megaera, Readrock

              to know more about a viable 18-week fetus, since the earliest surviving premature baby on record was born at 21 weeks 6 days after in-vitro fertilization (equal to 23 weeks 6 days LMP, what any doctor would call a 24-week fetus).

              The TEA Fund: Practicing random acts of kindness

              by moiv on Sun Jun 24, 2007 at 05:27:38 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  troll wrothy? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              megaera, Readrock

              why is it so shocking to men when you suggest to them that the state should have some control over their body?  I make that point to see exactly how outraged men will get and I am never disappointed. Hypocrisy much? Wow! In fact having a vasectomy is a MUCH less invasive, much less dangerous and carries much less serious life long consequences than forcing a woman to carry a pregnancy to term when she does not want to.

              And the idea that 18 weeks is the point of viability in any but the most unusual of circumstances is ludicrous.  But feel free to make up you own set of facts.

              You made your own point about yourself.  You couldn't wait to try and make this about your libertarian point of view.  To you it's not about why would men murder the women who are carrying their children, it is about them being forced to take care of their responsibilities.    You think that if they are not ready they should not be forced to pay child support.  Children have no rights and the state has no right to interfere. Buddy, you brought my scorn on yourself.

  •  Abortion prevents homicide? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marykk, shanay, valion

    I'm sorry, I don't get it.  If a woman WANTS to be pregnant, and INTENDS to carry the pregnancy to term, how does having abortion services available prevent her from being murdered?

    I agree that abortion services should be available to any woman who wants them, I just don't see the connection between the murder of a woman who didn't want an abortion and the availability of abortion.  Unless you are saying that the presumed father of a fetus should be allowed to demand that the fetus be aborted, even if the pregnant woman wants to continue the pregnancy.

    •  we do not know what pregnant women face (0+ / 0-)

      That is the point. All situations are different but forcing women to continue pregnancies compromises their safety and puts them in dangerous dependency situations. That is why universal abortion care must be offered.

      Did you know homicide is the number one cause of death of pregnant women?

    •  The connect I get (9+ / 0-)

      is that homicide being the #1 cause of death in pregnant women (usually by the one who impregnated them) follows a line of thought in our nation about women being third class (behind men and fetuses) and somehow 'dispensable'- which carries over into eliminating safe abortion care for women.  I understand when the pregnant woman is killed, so is the fetus- but both are still considered secondary to men therefore 'dispensable' in too many minds.  This is a patriarchal society- as evidenced by men making laws that control women's bodies and health- and we need to work to change that.  Access to safe abortion care is the tip of the iceberg that is sticking up above the waterline on this blog.
      Anyone else see it that way?

      •  In our nation? (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        moiv, julifolo, fiddlingnero, marykk

        Kind of like that in the world!

        When I hear about "honor" killings and the impact they have in central Asia and the ME, I wonder if evolution took a wrong turn with humans.

        •  so what do you think the root problem is? (0+ / 0-)

          are the males of the human race biologically determined to abuse and kill human females?

          that doesn't make much sense to me.

          it is interesting that we have evolved to be so highly intelligent and capable of creating immense complicated civilizations yet we still habitually treat the females of our species like shit.

    •  Some men, do not wish the obligations forced on (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      moiv, julifolo

      them to support a child.

      So they lash out.

      It is a complex world out there; some people aren't fit to be parents, some aren't fit to even be in relationships.  The state should have no say; it is up to the individuals involved, and until we men can bear children, we should have no veto power.  That should also mean, we can opt out of support (if it is early in the game) if we choose.  Again, it's the "slavery" argument.

      •  You got that right (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sharoney, moiv, annetteboardman, julifolo

        One of the things I saw in adoptions all the time was women fleeing an abusive partner.  Often the same guy who was livid because she didn't get an abortion, and who made it clear he had no intention of supporting the child, would show up to demand his parental rights, thereby attemptint to prevent the adoption - the last measure of control he had over her.  

        If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

        by marykk on Sun Jun 24, 2007 at 09:38:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  so the state should not contribute (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sharoney, moiv, julifolo, Dcoronata, docswede

          by forcing a woman to continue a pregnancy against her will.  The state in this role does serve a very nasty patriarchal position when this occurs.

          Yes, women should be able to continue a pregnancy and receive protection.  AND they need to be able to terminate a pregnancy when they deem it necessary for their SURVIVAL and the survival of their family.

      •  ooops there it is (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        moiv, julifolo, marykk, megaera, Readrock

        so men should have no responsibility and children no rights.  Just as long as you can get off with women you have no obligation too and the states stays out of it, the murder rate will go  down.  Nice

      •  If it's not a child until the Mother accepts ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ... the pregnancy, there's a corollary, IMO, for the father. Since my goal is "medical guidelines" not legislation, I'm not as worried about fuzzy lines. My opinion is the fetus isn't an "unborn baby" until the mother says it is ... or some amorphous time latter, it becomes "too late". IOW, "It's between the woman & doctor & her chosen counselors."

        Since I believe that I feel I need to support the other side, if the father doesn't want the pregnancy, then it's not an "unborn child" to him.

        I'm ambivalent about support laws, especially if it's two teenagers who got into trouble. What kind of sex ed did they get?, etc. Frankly, I think all the stress on "making the fathers pay" is another backhand way of the government avoiding social spending so it can have more tax resources for pork profits and Halliburton profits for illegal/immoral wars. Going after "deadbeat dads" is just another way for government to shunt aside its responsibility while (at the same time) insisting the little people need to be "more responsible". Besides, it has the added "advantage" of supplying excuses for more "Jane Crow" laws.

        And (taking the opposite case) when the pregnant woman aborts and the father wanted the pregnancy, then he's going to feel it's some kind of "killing". Well, this is tricky, obviously: if he's treating her and the child as property, he's protesting "theft" and pfttt, tough luck. OtOH, if this had been a relationship of equals (or attempting that), then I'm sympathetic. But it's still the mother's choice.

        However, in symmetry, I think there should be mechanisms for fathers to appeal support judgments.

        I don't think it should be easy for a man to release himself from parental rights & responsibilities, and I know scumbags with money and fancy lawyers will take advantage -- but I'd rather than that than have an excuse for legislation that women must have the father's or government's permission to abort or continue a pregnancy.

        If your local service workers don't get a living wage (including healthcare) then your local social contract is broken

        by julifolo on Sun Jun 24, 2007 at 04:20:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Maybe someone's assuming (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      moiv, marykk, Readrock

      that because Jessie Davis was carrying the child of a total PLAYER who had kids with at least two other women (one of whom he was legally married to) then abortion would have helped her.

      But there is a whole world of issues wrapped up in that situation, including enforcement of child support liability, the cavalier attitude of a man who clearly doesn't take any responsibility for his own fertility and doesn't want to take responsibility for the consequences either, the questionable judgement of a woman who would have not one, but two kids with an obviously skanky guy (her whole family knew he was married to someone else), etc.  Of course she didn't deserve to die because of it but christ on a pony it was dumb to have that guy's kids knowing his situation.

      Abortion also won't help a woman if she's married to and already has kids with a sociopathic family-killer, like that guy in IL who just shot his wife and 3 kids.

      There are some cases where freedom of choice seems not to help because people persist in doing things that are dumb, careless, or just plain evil.  Would more church stop this from happening?  More birth control education?   More empowerment language to help women feel that it's OK to be without a guy and you don't have to take any creepy toad who comes along just to have one?  I have a feeling there would still always be some situations like this, especially if people are feeling more tightly squeezed economically, which at least some of these cases seem to be related to lately.

      •  We don't know what pregnant women face (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        which is why universal abortion care is necessary.  Of course, not all pregnant victims of homicide would have an abortion if it was available.  BUT THEY DESERVE THAT RIGHT.  

        And right now, women in the USA increasingly are being forced into carry a pregnancy.  And that is dangerous to women and their families.

      •  Two people are responsible for fertility (0+ / 0-)

        I can't accept that it is purely the man's responsibility, as well as his obligation should the woman be pregnant to support a child.

        It has to go both ways- neither party should be forced to do what they does not want, and they both bear the obligation, should they chose to carry.

        What we really need, is to ensure as best as possible, that both parents want the child, and are willing to pay for that.  And to be quite frank, perhaps we should examine the possibility that some people aren't ever going to be fit parents, and should receive no government benefit should they find themselves in that position.

        •  this diary asks that we focus on pregnant women (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          so if Dcoronata, we refuse ALL CARE (including Medicaid and food stamps) for pregnant women who are not good motherhood candidates what happens to the children?  

          We really can't allow childbirth to take on a punitive measure.  We hear this a lot from folks judging women who for whatever reason have trouble contracepting. And do we really think women who can't control their fertility are good candidates for motherhood?

          •  They clearly aren't (0+ / 0-)

            and that is when the state might have to make the terrible choice to take the children away.

            And more to the point, we have to do whatever we can to prevent these women from having children in the first place.  Primarily this should be done through education, as early as possible, repeated as many times as possible!!!

            Then there should be absolutely free preventative services- birth control and medical.

            And there should be services available for women who have had children, to assist them.  But there has to come a point, when there are three or four children, often by different fathers when someone has to step in and say "enough"!

            •  take children away? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TeresaInPa, moiv

              To where?  To be cared for by whom?

              The poor children of Mississippi have no one clamoring to take them in...really.

              Before we JUDGE WOMEN let's give them REAL REPRODUCTIVE CHOICE.  We might be amazed what happens when we start trusting women and stop dictating to them.

            •  wow (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              marykk, docswede, Readrock

              all that Nanny state just so you don't have to pay child support for your own children. Did it ever occur to you that men should stop having sex with women they aren't married to?

              Here is my solution.  Sterilize all men at puberty after they freeze some sperm.  That way women never have to have another abortion and men can never be a daddy against their will.  But on the other hand, you don't ever get to walk away from child support either and 15 year old girls can't sign up for Mommyhood instead of finishing school.

              •  Responsibility has to be two ways (0+ / 0-)

                Again, if you refuse to abort a child the father doesn't want, he can't be responsible.

                Similarly, I need not remind you that women have the right to say "no" to any sexual partner that refuses to provide his own birth control.

                Just like I can't condemn a woman for wanting to abort an unwanted pregnancy, I can't condemn a man to support a child he doesn't want.

                You want to eliminate the paternalistic society, you have to eliminate the thinking that parenthood is achieved through conception, not through childrearing.

                And kindly refrain from the sterilization bullshit.  I could just as easily say the same for women, and it would have the same effect.

              •  I've always thought that a 'fertility pill' (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                TeresaInPa, moiv, Readrock

                would be a good idea.  First, we give you something that makes men and women sterile after puberty.  Then, when you want to get pregnant, the couple comes in for counseling, signs consent forms, then takes the 'antidote' so they're both fertile again.  That way, we'd be almost guaranteed that all pregnancies would be desired and planned appropriately.  Plus, at the counseling session, we can inform them of all the risks involved in pregnancy and all of the hardships they're going to face when they have the baby.  Seems fair to me.  

        •  It isn't purely the man's responsibility (6+ / 0-)

          But god, didn't that guy draw any connection between his wandering dick and the fact that he had to pay a metric ton of child support?  Dude, wrap that bad boy!  How hard is it? (Heh.)

          Note:  My #1 sign of a guy not to get involved with?  He refuses to use a condom.  Means he's a) got poor judgement or else REALLY doesn't give a shit, b) likely to be carrying STDs and c) probably has a baby-mama or two he's not telling you about yet.

          •  Just say no? (0+ / 0-)

            I know, ridiculous!

            There are more than adequate methods of contraception out there; safe, reliable, very easy to perform.

            If he fails to provide the basic form of defense, it is her responsibility.  If she fails that, and she wants the child, I can't force him to pay for a child he doesn't want.  They both had equal chances to prevent the pregnancy, and she has the chance to eliminate it if she chooses.

            Part of the cost of equal rights, is equal obligations and equal ability to make decisions.  If the two disagree on the decision to abort, the obligations must go their own ways as well.

            •  equal chance to prevent pregnancy (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              moiv, marykk

              According to Guttmacher women would experience 30 pregnancies in their lifetime if they did not contracept.  So women are contracepting. We have no idea how many pregnancies a man might experience in a lifetime of not contracepting.  And for men, we still ONLY HAVE THE CONDOM.  What is up with that?

              At this point in time under this administration funds for family planning and contraception for poor women have been diverted to abstinence and crises pregnancy centers where women are LIED to and never given real information about abortion care.

              Besides FOR THIS DIARY I asked that we suspend contraceptive talk and come way DOWN STREAM and consider the already pregnant woman, trapped, scared and desperate.

            •  She has the chance? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              to eliminate the pregnancy they both had equal
              chances to prevent?  What planet are you on?
              We're talking about the elimination of legal and safe abortion care- the outlawing of safe care and the doctors who provide it.  Please dialogue on this topic.

              •  Just a p.s. We're on the same side on this. (0+ / 0-)

                I do not want to eliminate the right of women to abort, up until the time of proven potential viability.  That's when the potential for abortion to morph into murder comes into play (crap, it is hard to type when cat is in lap.  This is killing my shoulders!)  I'm a progressive liberal, but I also believe we need to reach a workable consensus with those who disagree, and I also have a problem with the state either taking life or permitting the taking of life.  It's the idealist in me- I won't let it happen again...

                But there is a major problem in this nation, about the ability to receive high-quality health care throughout the entire nation.  You can't get an abortion, if the local doctors refuse to perform it based on their own moral preferences.

                And just like I can't force someone to do something against their will, I can't force a doctor to perform a procedure he/she's morally opposed to, providing that he/she will perform the same procedure to someone else.  (For the record, I can force a pharmacist to dispense prescribed drugs because he's not performing anything more personal than taking something from one bottle into another.  If he's got a problem with that, he should change jobs...)

                So we are really moving again into another topic- availability not just of abortion, but of simple medicine.

                •  This is too much of a cop out Dcoronata (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  and besides since you have cats you have got to get this!

                  Abortion care needs to be universal FIRST for many reasons.  First it is easy to provide, and very safe and low cost.  Second, it solves so many health issues down the road for many, many women.  Women with high blood pressure and diabetes can abort safely if they need to and the aren't forced into high  risk situations that jeapordize their health and possibly livelihood. And are expensive for the system.  Try continuing to work everyday with a pregnancy that is sending your blood pressure off the charts.  And we must not forget the little ones waiting at home for mom after she gets off work.  

                  The point is that universal access to abortion care will do so much to improve the health of women and it will make families stronger.  We need to do this first because abortion care is a basic human right being denied women.

                  It is the right thing to do and is within our power in our lifetime.

                  We can do so much with so little.  So I stand by my universal abortion care premise! We must address this now.  The provision of care has been ravaged in the last decade and women and families are suffering.  We can do something to change this.

                  Thank you for caring Dcoronata! This has been a good discussion.  And in keeping with this diary, I do believe a woman must decide where, when AND WITH WHOM SHE CAN BEAR A CHILD because to require her to continue a pregnancy with a man she knows is abusive is putting her in harms way...SO in the name of JUSTICE women deserve abortion care as an act of self defense.  Which could be another diary!

                •  and we can get the doctors (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  have you ever heard of Medical Students for Choice?

                  We do need to stop the ban on public monies.  We need to teach abortion care in all medical schools...because it is not that medical students don't want to learn abortion care, IT IS THAT IT IS NOT OFFERED AND BANNED, BANNED IN SOME STATES!

          •  Also think about (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            his not caring enough about himself to use a condom with you so he probably didn't with other partners.  Whatever they may have had (STD's) he brings to you- the gift that just keeps on giving..........

    •  abortion prevents homocide? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      moiv, julifolo, Readrock

      Sometimes, yes.

      A private gyn office offering full gyn services including abortion care to 18 weeks.

      by william f harrison on Sun Jun 24, 2007 at 10:01:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And sadly (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        moiv, julifolo

        the reverse as well.

        If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

        by marykk on Sun Jun 24, 2007 at 10:22:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Either way, she loses (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          julifolo, marykk, shanay, Readrock

          Some women are murdered because they refuse to have an abortion, while others are injured or even killed because they did have an abortion that the man involved opposed.

          It's all abouut control.

          The TEA Fund: Practicing random acts of kindness

          by moiv on Sun Jun 24, 2007 at 11:15:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And some (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            don't even get the chance to figure it out for themselves. Right on target, moiv.

            If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

            by marykk on Sun Jun 24, 2007 at 11:17:38 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  remember (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            moiv, marykk

            Ray Carruth of the Carolina Panthers, he killed his ex because she refused to have an abortion.

            ``I like to say that the 51st state is the state of denial.'' - Kurt Vonnegut

            by shanay on Sun Jun 24, 2007 at 11:23:41 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Should a woman be coerced? (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              moiv, julifolo, marykk, docswede

              Finally I guess we have to decide:

              Should a woman be FORCED to have a baby by the state or by the man who has impregnated her?


              Should a woman be FORCED to have an abortion by the state or by the man who impregnated her?

              Do you think everyone would agree with a resounding


              That seems fairly matter of fact.  Can we all agree and begin working toward that end? That would mean more than talk.  That would mean policy changes allowing universal abortion care including state resources going toward abortion care.  Do we think that will happen anytime soon?  What can we do to make it happen? Requiring training in abortion care in all medical schools which receive public funding would be a very good start.

              •  Absolutely (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                moiv, docswede, Readrock

                and its hard to believe its been so marginalized when its one of the most common medical procedures in this country.  The medical schools need to get this training (which includes managing complications from abortion) in place regardless, cause if its outlawed, they will deal with it in their offices, emergency rooms and hospitals just like in the bad old days before abortion was legal and safe.

  •  In Texas (9+ / 0-)

    the homicide of a woman might be adjudged as anything ranging from manslaughter to murder, depending on the circumstances. But if she was pregnant -- even if her killer was unaware of it, even if she herself was unaware, even if her pregnancy was first diagnosed by autopsy -- the crime becomes capital murder.

    From the time of fertilization onward, it is not the life of the woman that matters to the state so much as the worth of a pregnancy that she might not yet even know exists.

    The TEA Fund: Practicing random acts of kindness

    by moiv on Sun Jun 24, 2007 at 09:26:10 AM PDT

    •  THANK YOU Moiv! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      moiv, julifolo

      Very illuminating.

      Texas is just getting worse and worse. I still can't believe that the state could shut down all second trimester care for all of TEXAS without any public outcry.  I still wonder what is happening to the women in need of second trimester care...particularly those who have gone through amniocentises (which only begins at 15 weeks) and have horrible results.

      And the silence is deafening.

      •  Not the entire second trimester (6+ / 0-)

        but beginning at 18 weeks LMP (16 weeks from conception), abortion care is permitted only in ambulatory surgical centers or hospitals. There are only three ASCs in the entire state, and the cost ranges from $2,000 upwards, far beyond the reach of most women or families.

        And hospitals? Forget it. Since extensive mergers have put hospitals under control of religious organizations, even women with severe fetal anomalies are lucky if their doctors can get permission for second trimester procedures.

        As far as I am aware, no hospital in the state will admit a woman for an elective procedure.

        So for all but the financially fortunate, abortion after 15 weeks of gestation is unavailable in Texas.

        And countless 13, 14 and 15 year-olds who waited too late simply because they were scared to tell their mamas they were pregnant are much more scared when they find out that they are going to be mamas themselves -- and that there's nothing anyone can do about it.

        The TEA Fund: Practicing random acts of kindness

        by moiv on Sun Jun 24, 2007 at 09:59:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Thats why they pregnancy test (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TeresaInPa, moiv, Readrock

      women in the childbearing years who have died from homicide.

  •  not just murder (12+ / 0-)

    but murder by the "baby daddy" or spouse.

    Yes we have talked about this many times.  But when women talk about this sort of thing we get accused of being shrill or too concerned about our own issues rather than the good  of the whole party.  

    Men, we need you guys to talk to each other.  The kind of guy who is going to be violent towards a woman is not going to listen to what we have to say on the topic.  I know from experience that chauvinist men "aren't going to have any women tell ME what to do". But they might start to listen if there was a conversation started about how "real men" act (and it is not winning/controlling life by being bigger and stronger)

  •  The issue is how acceptable violence against (6+ / 0-)

    women doesn't shock us. We're conditioned to it. Every week, I see at least one story buried back on page 5 or 6 of my local paper about a husband/boyriend who killed his spouse, his children, then often, himself. It's common as dirt. Yet there's no real outcry; each case is treated as a horrible exception. wha happened? – people ask. Was he under some unusual stress? No one ever asks – Why is it always men who seek this hideous solution to stress? It happens so often that we've gone numb, and can swallow this poison in high does. No one speaks of the elephant in the room – why do we tolerate so much male violence?

    Even the term "Domestic Violence" demonstrates the problem – it's such a sanitized expression. "Domestic". Sounds cozy. Doesn't sound too bad. Implies that women or other family members might be equally at fault. It sweeps a horrendous problem under the rug. I wish we would drop the term domestic violence and say male violence. Why do we harbor it, then, when it happens, misname it and turn the other way?

    •  This is the one thing I like about (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TeresaInPa, moiv

      one of my senators, Mike Crapo (R). I'll never vote for him, but he's very passionate about "domestic" violence issues (I agree with you about that phrase), and I really respect him for that. He got choked up talking about it the one time I saw him speak.

    •  Don't forget (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TeresaInPa, moiv

      that the police thought the killing had ended after the Virginia Tech shooter's first two victims because the police thought it was simply "domestic violence."

      If they had not made that assumption, or -- more importantly -- if their response to domestic violence had not been one of complacency, who knows how many other lives might have been saved?

      You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war. --Albert Einstein

      by Sharoney on Sun Jun 24, 2007 at 09:55:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think the issue was "simply" at all (0+ / 0-)

        They thought (reasonably, given the circumstance) that it was domestic violence and they tracked down her boyfriend.  It was wrong, but it was a very reasonable thing to do.  They treated it very seriously.  And IMHO they treated it reasonably as well.  Now, they might have proceded differently on informing people, but shutting down the campus when the person was being tracked down just a week or so before finals would have been incredibly disruptive, and if the situation had been what it appeared to be, would have made everyone incredibly angry.  There were other ways people were at fault, but the specific actions of the police and campus in this specific way were both reasonable and appropriate.  That they were also wrong is another issue altogether.

        •  Thought experiment. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          What if the first two deaths had both been male?

          Now, they might have proceded differently on informing people

          That was exactly my point. Because they assumed it was an incident of "domestic violence," the assumption was that there would be no more deaths because whoever was responsible would have no more motive to kill others.

          Why should police consider a man who succeeds in killing a spouse or girlfriend is somehow no longer dangerous to others once she is dead? It doesn't make sense to me. A killer is a killer is a killer...

          You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war. --Albert Einstein

          by Sharoney on Sun Jun 24, 2007 at 10:10:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Given the circumstances (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sharoney, moiv

            They probably would have considered it much the same way -- One person involved in a dispute, the other killed when someone stumbled into it, and the police looking for the first person's partner, who had left campus that morning (at least I think that was what the circumstances were -- that was what I heard the first thing that morning before hearing about the rest of it -- I did hear about the dorm shooting about 45 minutes before the rest of it, as I tend to keep an eye on news in my office).  They did not assume the person was no longer dangerous -- they followed that person off campus and pulled him over.  That is what any decent police force should have done.

  •  Hmmm... (7+ / 0-)

    ...not meaning to hijack in any way, just providing data:  I believe it is also the number one cause of death among transsexual women, unless suicide has taken over the lead.

    Back to your regularly scheduled discussion.

  •  What do Kossacks think (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    of the laws saying killing a pregant woman is a double murder?

    I'm pro-life and like the law, but I recognize I'm in a drastic minority here, so I'm wondering if there's a  pro-choice view on that particular law.

  •  Tag question (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TeresaInPa, moiv, Readrock

    There was a tag on this diary of "spoof" which I didn't understand.  Now it has been removed (I have lost my TU status as of this morning so I couldn't do it).  Can anyone enlighten me as to what was going on?

  •  Hallowed walls of congress (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    moiv, julifolo, docswede, Readrock

    Readrock, are you sure you didn't mean to say

    "hollow walls of congress?"

    The US Congress under the leadership of mostly criminal elements of the Republican Party for the last 11 years, and now under the leadership of mostly cowardly and ineffective Democrats in both the House and the Senate, have been a hollow shell as the second of the three branchs of our national government.  The US Congress, in supporting  or allowing the disasterous policies of the current Bush administration and the congressional Republicans and the truly alarming decisions of the third branch, the SCOTUS under a Catholic Republican majority, to become "the law of the land."  It has abandoned its classic role to "check and balance"  an administration gone mad.

    These policies have been disastrous for the women and the children, and the families and citizens of this country and of the world.  The United States was once called, and rightly so,

    The Last Best Hope Of Mankind


    Who calls it that now?

    A private gyn office offering full gyn services including abortion care to 18 weeks.

    by william f harrison on Sun Jun 24, 2007 at 09:58:50 AM PDT

  •  Violence against pregmant women is horrible (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TeresaInPa, moiv, julifolo, marykk, Readrock

    I've seen it first hand w/ my mother. I think it's a control issue almost a narcissistic God complex that many of the abusers have.

    It's like the abusers feel that they can give life as easily as they can take it away.

    ``I like to say that the 51st state is the state of denial.'' - Kurt Vonnegut

    by shanay on Sun Jun 24, 2007 at 10:31:48 AM PDT

    •  I remember when (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TeresaInPa, moiv, julifolo, marykk, Readrock

      my mother was pregnant with my little sister, her ex-boyfriend literally tried to choke the life out of her. (he was usually drunk, alcohol is associated with the M.O. of most domestic partner homicides) The police were called and nothing was done about it.

      One of the reasons why my mom chose to stay with her abuser was that she wanted to preserve some idealistic western view of the patriarchal traditional family structure. She was raising four kids on her own and she didn't want to live the life of the stereotypical single black mother.

      I just wish that this country would stop ignoring domestic violence, mysogyny and sexism. It's real and it goes unreported unless it's a compelling story like Jessie Davis and Officer Bobby Cutts.

      Shoot, do you really think the police in their county didn't know that this guy was capable of this sort of behavior? On top of that Cutts was a police officer too!  Bobby Cutts narcissism, God complex, mysogonistic view, and arrogance was packed with a gun! Geeeeeeez!

      *I know... he's innocent until proven guilty but I can speculate!!*

      ``I like to say that the 51st state is the state of denial.'' - Kurt Vonnegut

      by shanay on Sun Jun 24, 2007 at 11:08:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree with you completely Shanay (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        moiv, marykk, shanay

        and that is why this gets so difficult.  We have to deal with INSTITUTIONAL MYSOGYNY that has become worse under this administration.  What ever happened to the feminist world view anyway?  Has this yet again become the F word?

        And yes, I agree, I noted that Cutts was a police officer which made this incident even worse.

        •  You know what (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TeresaInPa, moiv, docswede, Readrock

          we let feminism become a dirty word. If it wasn't for feminism, many of us wouldn't be were we are now!!! I am proud to call myself a feminist and more women and men should do the same!

          ``I like to say that the 51st state is the state of denial.'' - Kurt Vonnegut

          by shanay on Sun Jun 24, 2007 at 11:15:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It is very sad (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TeresaInPa, moiv, Readrock

            to talk with some very successful women nowadays
            People I admire and respect
            (or so I thought)
            They are in their 30's and will argue to their last breath that they are not a feminist.
            They are in the tops in their field in traditionally male held jobs
            lawyers bankers.
            If there were no feminists they would not have those jobs.
            It is that black and white.
            To me feminism encompasses every choice a woman can make whether it is to stay at home or not.
            I am proud to be a feminist and you won't find one plaid or flannel shirt in my closet;)

            •  Feminism simply means (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TeresaInPa, moiv, julifolo, Readrock

              supporting the right to equal protection under the law, to own your property and to vote and hold elected office.  The right to safe abortion care comes within equal protection as well as the right to privacy- both protected by the U. S. Constitution (but not all states) therefore national precedent (like Roe) is necessary so that individual states can't violate the equal protection clause.  However, they're getting damn close.

  •  Ron Paul would say, "Look for the root causes" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The Ron Paul view is a belief in cause-and-effect.

    As Rep. Paul says, listen to what the killers of innocent victims are saying.

    There's a lot of enthusiastic support for his view here.

    Why would a man kill an innocent pregnant woman?

    Top two guesses according to the Ron Paul/Chomsky school of thought:  He was driven by poverty, or she was oppressing him.

  •  Intimate partner violence (7+ / 0-)

    very often increases with pregnancy. I mentioned this here at dkos once before so if you already heard it I apologize.

    As a grad student I worked as a research assistant on a domestic violence study and my job for 2 years involved in-depth interviews of female victims. I interviewed around 500 women and you would be amazed how many times I heard the physical assaults started, or became more severe, with pregnancy.

    I've heard first hand accounts of pregnant women being kocked down the stairs, nearly drowned in the bath tub, and worse. (These incidents were almost always backed up by police reports)

    Of course these were abusive relationships on many levels before the pregnancy, so it's not like a completely mentally healthy man went nutzo at the prospects of a child. the red flags were already there.  

  •  No coerced childbirth or abortion (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    moiv, julifolo, megaera, docswede

    Does everyone agree with this statement?

    This diary raises a terrible part of humanity we do not want to acknowledge.  And women and their families are suffering.

    Pregnant women need protection and assistance.  Mysogyny under the Bush Regime has reached epic proportions.  And I bet if we track maternal mortality, murder will increase as access to abortion care is reduced.  Soon we will have the figures this administration has created...literal body counts to be sure.  

    We need to introduce a Reproductive Bill of Rights in Congress.  And can we agree its premise will be NO COERCED CHILDBIRTH OR ABORTION?

  •  These male batterer's feel (6+ / 0-)

    so out of control in their  lives  outside  the home that they have to come home and take it out on their partners.This situation  only intensifies when the thought of another mouth to feed   enters their already fragile mix
    As they blame their women for everything that goes right or wrong in their lives  already - a pregnant wife , weight gain , more bills you name it- throws them over the edge.
    If he was already kicking and puching her to try to maintain his "sanity "(no defending him here ) this pregnancy deviation could only add fuel to his  already mental precarious fire.

    It is really too bad that the "pregnancy police" are only after the women .
    It is as if we turn a blind eye to these men until something really bad happens like the case in Ohio - murder
    We still as a society look at women funny if they so much as have a sip of wine while pregnant.
    Well ,all of our parents were drinking a lot more than that as they didn't know about the dangers of alcohol  and we all came out fine.
    All sorts of judgements are placed on women if they don't take care of themselves the way we think we would take care of ourselves during pregnancy -
    I think these  judgments are made   by both sexes equally.
    But where are the naysayers and  judgement police when the man is doing serious emotional and physical damage to a woman during her pregnancy.
    Oh that That is just  a domestic situation.
    A domestic situation sounds almost like a party .
    I think the word domestic should be banned from the lexicon of the day.
    Why not call it like it is.
    It is an ASSAULT
    If I hit another person it is an assault.If it happens between partners , it is a domestic.
    That is BULLSHIT
    Terminology effects thought .Lets take the domestic out of the equation and see how many more men get carted off to jail

  •  Thank you Readrock (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    moiv, megaera, Readrock

    for a most thought provoking diary- in addition to much give and take on restoring and preserving safe and legal abortion care; some other much needed thinking and talking has been done- what a great service to us all!
    So thanks again and please keep writing.

  •  it's also true (0+ / 0-)

    that the vast majority of women murdered in the US, pregnant or otherwise, are murdered by their boyfriends or husbands.

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