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An amazing amount of simple factual truth has not dawned upon many of us or is generally actively denied since we all have a strong tendency to believe only what we want to believe, what we feel we must believe, what we have been manipulated and indoctrinated into believing, what we think will win favor with important others if we believe it, what we believe is good and proper to believe, and/or what we have a compelling emotional need to believe, and to resent and defend against acknowledgment of anything that threatens or runs counter to such belief - all in the service of believing that we know we are "right" - so "right" that everyone else in the world should think, feel, and behave just like us, and be made to by force if necessary.

• Trouble is, no matter how fervently one believes that one knows what one merely believes, one merely believes it and one might be wrong - very wrong.

I don't believe in evolution. I am convinced by the evidence. The implied converse should be equally true, i.e., to quote Mark Twain, "Faith is believing what you know ain't so." (Well, if you don't know it "ain't so," based upon the complete lack of evidence of its being so, you should, because this is the 21st century, and you have every opportunity to either educate yourself or shut up - please pardon the arrogance. I’m fed up.)

There is perhaps no area of human behavior in which clear rational thought and understanding of factual reality is more obscured by emotionally charged irrational belief and misinformed opinion, and in which the consequences of this failure to face and accept factual truth are more catastrophically cruel, than in matters concerning sexuality and reproduction, even among some physicians and others who have had every opportunity to know better. I will lay out here a few factual truths that are so unpleasant or threatening to some in all walks of life that they are commonly denied and smothered by contradictory belief and even blatantly lied about by those fanatical enough to strive to force their unfounded beliefs upon everyone.

The current Supreme Court is composed of five devout Roman Catholic believers: Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, Alito, and Kennedy, making up the 5 - 4 majority in the 2007 Gonzales vs. Carhart decision that, under the rubric of a made-up scourge termed "partial birth abortion," ripped complex medical judgments out of the hands of experienced physicians and placed them into the fickle, untrained, and inexperienced hands of politicians and makers of broad-brushed and ambiguous criminal law.

What is happening to religious freedom in this nation? Oh, I know the stock replies, such as [1] this is a Christian nation and [2] freedom of religion doesn't mean freedom from religion. As appealing as the former is to some who want so much to believe it, it is abundantly demonstrated not to be true by knowledge of the varied religious persuasions of the founding fathers and reading of the public records of what they said and wrote about it, including the United States Constitution. As for the latter assertion, of course freedom of religion means freedom from religion. How could one be free to be Baptist without the freedom from Roman Catholicism and vice versa? How could one be free to be Christian without being free from Islam and vice versa? Could anyone be free to be atheist without freedom from all religions?  No, of course not. Enough said. The last time I checked there was no legal requirement in this state or nation that I be a Roman Catholic, a Southern Baptist or any other variety of Christian, a Jew, a fundamentalist Muslim, an Aztec believer in Huitzilopochtli, a worshipper of Thor, or a believer in any religion, or that I conduct my life according to the dogmatic teachings of any religious belief system and I am not and I don’t.

Simply and clearly stated, those who refer to themselves as "pro-life" are pushing to create conditions in this country and around the world in which many women (and their children) and teenage girls are sure to suffer and die because of the imposition by law on them of the religious beliefs of others. Does it get more un-American than that?

Laws to force you or me into such compliance with dogmatic religious belief, however cleverly camouflaged, are profoundly inappropriate in a country that truly values individual freedom as reality, not pretentious jingo.

However, I do not believe abortion rights are right. I am convinced by the evidence.

As an abortion care provider I performed a first trimester abortion on a college senior some years ago. Prior to meeting me she had told a clinic counselor that she was the president of her campus "pro-life" organization. Think about that. That must mean that she was one of their most committed and hardest workers against legal and safe professional abortion care for several years, but when she got pregnant herself, she was in the clinic having an abortion within a week of her positive pregnancy test.

Just after I completed her abortion, I asked her what she was now going to do about her affiliation with that campus anti-choice club. Startled, she gasped, sat abruptly up on the operating table, and with horrified expression and popping eyes blurted out in a tremulous voice, "You're not going to tell them, are you?" I, of course, assured her we were not going to tell anyone. She likely returned to her (now unequivocally hypocritical) role of being the champion antiabortionist on her campus - unalterably opposed to safe, legal abortion for every woman in the world but herself.
Many "pro-lifers" believe abortion should be outlawed with only four exceptions: endangerment of the life of the pregnant woman or girl, rape, incest, and "me."

Many others would omit the first three.

We see that degree of hypocrisy, and worse, regularly. However, it is not always simple hypocrisy. Many women (and men) just don't "get it" until they are personally faced with unexpected and unwanted pregnancy in themselves or in someone they care about. That's just often the way it works - it's often hard to relate to or understand until you experience it personally in yourself or in someone close to you.

Abortion is a decision that's very easy to judge when you're not in the position of having to make it for yourself. For a not uncommon example (I see several women who fit this description every day in my work and don’t see many more who never get to me due to inability to pay and lack of funding assistance or by being tragically defeated by the draconian legal obstacles that have been strewn in their paths by state and federal laws drafted and passed by lawmakers endeavoring to cram their personal religious beliefs down the throats of all of us), when was the last time you were a young single mother and sole support of one or more young children and facing losing your low-paying job in a faltering, inflated economy because of unintended and unwanted pregnancy? Who are you to judge and deny these women and girls moral agency over the contents of their own insides?

Abortion providers, and thus the personal liberty of American women and teenage girls, are being regulated and restricted under false pretenses. In their effort to write the dictates of their religious beliefs into laws requiring the obedience of all to those beliefs, while falsely claiming they are not, the lawmakers behind such regulations and restrictions are striving to deny, on purely sectarian ideological grounds not related to the false justifications they claim, religious freedom to any who disagree.

"Abortion hurts women!," they proclaim in a sweeping generalization. That is as untrue as saying up is down or left is right or 2 + 2 = 22 but this does not mean that those who proclaim it are lying. By and large, they are not lying at all, because they really and truly believe it to be true. Why do they believe it to be true? Because it is what they desperately want to believe. Why do they want to believe it? Because they are so habituated to pleasing, and fearful of displeasing, those they regard as authority figures, whether their concept of a supreme being, or just their pastor or favorite TV evangelist, or their father, or their supervisor at work, or the prevailing attitudes of their political party, or merely what it takes to get funds and votes in their district and/or to succeed in politics or business. At their core they tremble in fear of losing the approval of such authorities and others of like mind. Their sense of self-worth, and indeed on a deeper level their sense of survival, relies upon this approval - they need those feathers in their caps, those merit badges of approval - those trophies on their tables and walls - and those dollars in their coffers - not that they are likely to admit it, insisting as they do on framing it in the more abstract and mega-authoritarian terms of supernaturalism and spirituality - of religious belief.

REMEMBER: No matter how fervently one believes that one knows what one merely believes, one merely believes it and one might be wrong - very wrong.

In actual fact, legalization and availability of abortion, comprehensive sex education, and effective contraception have represented probably the greatest advances in the history of the world in bettering the health and lives of women and teenage girls. There is no doubt about this to be debated by lay ideologues and demagogues in government cynically pretending to know and understand enough about modern medicine to micromanage medical practice from under the ivory towers of capitol domes. However, the cruel deception is prevalent that reality (e.g., science) should be trumped by belief.

Well then, what about reality? Following are some examples of what really hurts women.
 
The World Health Organization has estimated that in those parts of the world in which abortion is illegal, about 70,000 thinking, feeling, desperate women and teenage girls die every year from illegal attempts to abort unwanted pregnancies. That is more than one every 10 minutes DEAD because they are prohibited by law from accessing a reputable legal clinic for safe, legal, professional abortion care. Many times that number are seriously injured and maimed for life.

In addition, every minute, night and day, no holidays or weekends off, around the world
• one woman dies of complications of pregnancy and childbirth (every minute),
• ten teenage girls undergo unsafe illegal abortions (every minute),
• thirteen infants under twelve months old die (every minute),
• fifty seven people contract an STD (every minute),
• eleven people are infected with HIV (every minute),
• and the already-burgeoned-beyond-the-planet's-capacity-to-sustain human population increases by one hundred fifty more people(every minute),

all sanctioned, encouraged, and even required by our callous right-wing-dominated government through international interference with and withholding of funding from worldwide reproductive health programs.
 
There are 525,600 minutes in a year. You do the arithmetic. The numbers are so huge as to be virtually impossible to contemplate, but those are the kinds of numbers we deal with when describing events in a world population of 6.5 billion individuals that is growing exponentially toward the point of severe degradation and destruction of the biosphere upon which all life depends.
 
In the United States we are vastly more fortunate. Almost 4,000 women every day obtain high quality abortion care in the United States that is legal, professionally provided, and therefore extremely safe. Approximately 40% of all adult women in the country have had an abortion. 40%. Maybe your sister - the teenage girl next door or down the street (yes, no matter how perfect her Sunday School attendance) - your daughter your best friend's daughter - your wife - your mother - your teenage son's girlfriend! You just aren't likely to hear about it because they fearfully keep it secret. Its one of those taboo subjects most people don’t feel free to discuss. Nor do many people want to hear about it, preferring to bolster their comforting false beliefs that it just couldn't be so by screening out and denying factual knowledge of it.
 
Abortion was not always so safe in the United States, because it was illegal in most states here, too, until January 22, 1973, when the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in the case of Roe vs. Wade. Prior to that momentous decision, which declared unconstitutional, and therefore unenforceable, all state laws prohibiting abortion, the statistics in the U.S. were similar to those quoted above for illegal abortion forced underground in the third-world, and many major U.S. hospitals were forced to provide entire (and often overflowing) wards for the victims of injuries from illegal abortion attempts -  those who didn't wind up on slabs in morgues. Even so and so tragically, there are today those willfully ignorant and misguided persons and their narrow and uncompromising political, legal, and religious organizations in this country who are fervently struggling to throw history into reverse and turn the clock back to those horrific times. They strive to create a modern edition of the blood bath and the wrecked lives that existed prior to Roe vs. Wade as one especially pernicious plank in their ardent campaign to transform our free society into a religious tyranny motivated by much the same sort of fervent and uncompromising beliefs that moved other religious fanatics of a different religious persuasion to guide large airliners full of people into large buildings full of people on September 11, 2001. (I'm merely connecting the dots.)

Incredibly, those obsessed individuals who strive, contrive, and deceive in order to criminalize abortion and throw us all backwards into the suffering and death illustrated by those statistics quoted above call themselves "pro-life." To emphasize the absurdity of this I never use that misguided, hypocritical term outside of quotation marks.

Those politicians who believe their personal political ambitions and those of their party will be favored by further restricting women’s access to professional abortion care and who are callous enough to value their political ambitions and agendas above the lives and well-being of women and teenage girls and their families - have a rude awakening ahead as the body count in dead and injured women and teenage girls mounts in direct proportion to their tragically misguided legislative "successes." Oh, to be sure, they might continue to succeed in mercilessly oppressing the human rights of women until the tally in wrecked and extinguished lives grows large enough that it can no longer be ignored or covered by denial, pretense, delusion, and lies, and falsely justified by beliefs, but a time of reckoning is inevitable.

You can't fool most of the people all of the time.

I continue to believe that an assertive, truthful defense of abortion rights would be a winning political strategy. (Yes, I have beliefs, too, but I don't delude myself that my beliefs are demonstrable factual reality.)

Originally posted to Beket on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 10:53 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This just sounds incredibly unethical... (8+ / 0-)

    As I completed her abortion, I asked her what she was now going to do about her affiliation with that campus anti-choice club. Startled, she gasped, sat abruptly up on the operating table, and with horrified expression and popping eyes blurted out in a tremulous voice, "You're not going to tell them, are you?"

    I certainly hope that you just made this up.

    Try as you might, you cannot spell HOPE with the letters GOP.

    by David Kroning on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 10:56:20 AM PDT

    •  This is like McCain's cross in the dirt story (4+ / 0-)

      popping up now and again, and like the "spitting on Vietnan veternans" allegations, most likely is 9 parts urban legend . ..

      •  Well, this diarist seems to be claiming that... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        william f harrison, Larry Madill

        he is an abortion doctor and he did this.  I don't see where he attributed these words to a quote of someone else, do you?

        Try as you might, you cannot spell HOPE with the letters GOP.

        by David Kroning on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:03:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  BS (7+ / 0-)

        This happens all the time.  It's not at all like an urban legend.  Anti-abortionists come into abortion clinics every day and get abortions.  Then, they go off and continue their anti-abortion activities.

        It's called hypocrisy.

        HotFlashReport - Opinionated liberal views of the wrongs of the right focusing on abortion and reproductive rights.

        by annrose on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:21:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Look, I don't think that anyone is (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BoiseBlue, David Kroning

          disputing that.

          The problem here is the completely unprofessional behavior on the part of the (so-called) health care provider.

          •  No shit...who in the fuck would treat a patient.. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Roadbed Guy

            in such a completely judgemental way.  The guy claims to have this woman's feet up in stirrups and doing an abortion and threating to expose her as a hypocrite.

            And, he seems to be proud of it.

            Try as you might, you cannot spell HOPE with the letters GOP.

            by David Kroning on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:28:51 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  He ddn't threaten to expose her... (5+ / 0-)

              he asked a question about her beliefs.  Beket states clearly that he told her that her confidentiality would be maintained.

              HotFlashReport - Opinionated liberal views of the wrongs of the right focusing on abortion and reproductive rights.

              by annrose on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:30:26 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Fucking disgusting... (1+ / 1-)
                Recommended by:
                Roadbed Guy
                Hidden by:
                annrose

                I go to a doctor for treatment...not a fucking political lecture.

                I'm pretty sure you learn this in Med School 101.

                Try as you might, you cannot spell HOPE with the letters GOP.

                by David Kroning on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:31:50 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  She didn't get a political lecture. (5+ / 0-)

                  She got a question and reassurance.

                  The idea of a "political lecture" resides only in your head.

                  No matter how fervently you believe that you know what you merely believe, you merely believe it, and you might be wrong - very wrong.

                  by Beket on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:47:07 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  OK, just help me understand the mechanics here . (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    David Kroning

                    As an abortion care provider I performed a first trimester abortion on a college senior some years ago. Prior to meeting me she had told a clinic counselor that she was the president of her campus "pro-life" organization. Think about that. That must mean that she was one of their most committed and hardest workers against legal and safe professional abortion care for several years, but when she got pregnant herself, she was in the clinic having an abortion within a week of her positive pregnancy test.

                    So, this woman - in confidence I would imagine - divulged information to a counselor.  How did you become privy to this information?

                    As I completed her abortion, I asked her what she was now going to do about her affiliation with that campus anti-choice club. Startled, she gasped, sat abruptly up on the operating table, and with horrified expression and popping eyes blurted out in a tremulous voice, "You're not going to tell them, are you?"

                    JESUS CHRIST - couldn't the third degree on her political beliefs be raised at some other time?  

                    •  Wild guess here... (8+ / 0-)

                      The counselor works at the clinic. The doctor works at the clinic. The patient came to the clinic for a pregnancy test, and subsequently an abortion.

                      Unless you're one of those proponents of "Every doctor should restrict himself solely to the body mechanics of a procedure with no silly crossover as to characteristics of the patient existing as a human being" theory of medicine, I would think that the patients background was entirely relevant to the procedure at hand.

                      I sure wish my government gave me as much privacy as they demand I give them.

                      by Daddy Bartholomew on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 12:03:06 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  That doesn't address the critical question here (0+ / 0-)

                        "was the counseling confidential?"

                        I suspect it must have been - or at least "supposed to have been" - based on the gyrations you went through in that response.

                        •  Confidence (5+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          moiv, Beket, choice joyce, Jain, Womantrust

                          So, this woman - in confidence I would imagine - divulged information to a counselor.  How did you become privy to this information?

                          What degree of confidence do you imagine it was?

                          "I'm going to tell you this, but don't even DREAM of breathing a word of it to anyone who might need it for my medical care! Don't write it down, for God's sake!! Someone might SEE it!"

                          I sure wish my government gave me as much privacy as they demand I give them.

                          by Daddy Bartholomew on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 12:14:12 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  This whole scenario is getting (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            David Kroning

                            more and more bizare - this woman's participation in a political organization had to be determined (most like with some breach in confidentiality) to determine her mental health which in turn predicated her medical care.  Sounds like something out of Soviet Russia - if that's we've become, double Egad!!

                          •  "Had to be determined"? (6+ / 0-)

                            Where'd you pull that one from?

                            Prior to meeting me she had told a clinic counselor that she was the president of her campus "pro-life" organization.

                            A literal reading would suggest that it was a voluntary disclosure.

                            (most like with some breach in confidentiality)

                            Another pink monkey.

                            to determine her mental health which in turn predicated her medical care.

                            Bzzzt! Sorry, no more questions for you. Her medical care took precedence. Once the procedure was finished, the doctor investigated her mental/emotional state.

                            I would suggest a course in formal logic might help, although it's possible you may want to brush up on basic reading comprehension first.

                            I sure wish my government gave me as much privacy as they demand I give them.

                            by Daddy Bartholomew on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 12:27:16 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Sure, she met with a counselor (0+ / 0-)

                            and voluntarily disclosed things.

                            And I'm willing to wager the the she voluntarily disclosed these things because of the implicit or explicit promise of confidentiality.

                          •  What specific elements of a patient's history, (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Beket

                            voluntarily submitted, should be selectively omitted from the clinical record -- and thus withheld from the attending physician -- by his or her own support staff?  And considering the possible consequences of such an act, with what medical or legal justification could such an omission be excused?

                            As a specialist in the legalities applicable to medical documentation, I assure you that the answer to both of these questions is: NONE.

                      •  So, let's say somebody needs heart (0+ / 0-)

                        bypass surgeory due to years of bad diet and lack of excercise.

                        Are you likewise a proponent of the anethiesiologist using just a little less anethestic so that the patient is not fully uncounscious but rather can hear the heart surgeon spew platidues about diet and excercise during the surgery?  

                        I'm looking forward to your next - and most likely even stranger - argument!

                        •  Wow. (4+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          annrose, moiv, Beket, Themistoclea

                          That's really... just way out there.

                          A more consistent position would obviously be that once the patient is no longer anesthetized, he be given advice on diet and exercise. And yes, I would think that THAT would be entirely relevant.

                          Where in the world did you get the idea that the girl was under anesthetic? Or not in control of her faculties? What part of the narrative could possibly lead you to believe that Beket was confrontational, or unprofessional?

                          It's quite obvious that your beliefs are overpowering your ability to reason.

                          I sure wish my government gave me as much privacy as they demand I give them.

                          by Daddy Bartholomew on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 12:37:28 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  It's a similiar situation (0+ / 0-)

                            Beket confronted this woman about being an anti-abortion hypocrite while he was performing the surgery.  How is that professional or not confrontational?  Why couldn't he (or his staff) waited for a day or a week to follow up with her if they were legitimately concerned about her mental well being?

                •  When your patient thinks you're a murderer (7+ / 0-)

                  for the treatment SHE came to you for, I think the doctor has every right to ask a couple pointed questions, at the very least as a check on her mental health. He could have refused to provide her the abortion, but he didn't, he gave her the healthcare she needed, instead of denying a patient her rights because of his own "beliefs" (something anti-abortion doctors do routinely). That woman should consider herself extremely lucky to have been treated so compassionately and professionally by Beket.

                  And of course, Beket is a doctor and abortion provider, a very good one, and I can vouch for the accuracy of his story. It was first recorded for an article I wrote in 2000, reproduced in this diary, documenting the routine occurrence of anti-abortion women having abortions.

                  To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. Elbert Hubbard

                  by choice joyce on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:54:52 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The point being, she wasn't treated compassionate (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    David Kroning

                    ly and professionally, she was treated judgementally and coldly.

                    •  And she left the clinic (5+ / 0-)

                      smiling because?  She was treated 'judgmentally and coldly'?  No- because she was treated with respect, compassion and professionality.  Don't find that with many docs of any kind much any more.

                      •  You're getting desparate now, (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        David Kroning

                        just making shit up - I cut and pasted the diary so I could search (just to make sure my feeble eyes weren't missing it) and nowheres is the "left the clinic smiling" line come in.

                        Egad.

                        •  You're right- I 'read it in', based on (4+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          annrose, moiv, Jain, william f harrison

                          my own personal experience with many anti-choice patients over the years.  So, apologies to all for my error.  However, I'd like to ask if there's a problem with not using profanity?

                        •  "left the clinic smiling" is in the comments (8+ / 0-)

                          And you're still confusing the issue of Beket's internal personal reaction to the patient, with how he actually treated her. Two totally different things of course. (Why does that even need to be explained? It's blindingly obvious!)

                          To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. Elbert Hubbard

                          by choice joyce on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 12:36:30 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Actually Beket said... (6+ / 0-)

                            "She left the clinic with a smile." It's in a comment, if you want to search for it.

                            Womantrust, take back your apology! ;-)

                            To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. Elbert Hubbard

                            by choice joyce on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 12:40:18 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Believe, after going through all that (0+ / 0-)

                            I'd be mighty happy to be leaving the clinic, too and would have a big smile on my face.

                            Nice how Beket's making shit up as time goes on - I like how he can think on his feet!

                          •  LOL! (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Daddy Bartholomew, Womantrust

                            You are the one making things up. I wonder why. What button did this push in you to cause such an overwrought and delusional false certainty on your part?

                            No matter how fervently you believe that you know what you merely believe, you merely believe it, and you might be wrong - very wrong.

                            by Beket on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 12:58:03 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  What button did this push? (0+ / 0-)

                            You state that this woman told one of your counselors that she was (in so many words) an antiabortion hypocrite.

                            Then, you being her physician, decided to confront this woman with this information at the very time that she was most vulnerable - during surgery.  Could you not have done it before? Or afterwards?  All your insider groupies on this thread are defending your right to behave this way - from the outside however, it just seems like a horrific way to treat this person.

                          •  Ha ha! (5+ / 0-)

                            "Insider groupies". I like that.

                            So far as I recall, I've never read one of Beket's diaries before.

                            It's possible, I guess. We've both been around a good long time. But I generally avoid abortion diaries, because they always bring in people who can't seem to get past their own particular roadblock, and just won't give up. It's like inviting the Mormon bicyclers in for a cup of tea.

                            I hit this one because of the reference to evolution in the title, and I've got no students for another two weeks.

                            I sure wish my government gave me as much privacy as they demand I give them.

                            by Daddy Bartholomew on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 01:08:53 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Well, you guys and gals are all jumping (0+ / 0-)

                            in with complete revionist history.

                            Now, the story is that Beket was concerned with this woman's mental health, hence the inquiries that transpired during surgery.

                            As stated in the diary, however,there was no mention of any concern over this persons' mental health - just a rather gleeful "gotcha" comment about confronting her when she was most vulnerable about her political hypocrisy.

                          •  Based on your "no students for two weeks" (0+ / 0-)

                            does that mean that you teach at the university level?

                            And if so, does this statement ring at all true?

                            Prior to meeting me she had told a clinic counselor that she was the president of her campus "pro-life" organization. Think about that. That must mean that she was one of their most committed and hardest workers against legal and safe professional abortion care

                            To me, that seems like a huge leap - about all that can be said with any certainty is that this woman was trying to embellish her c.v.

                          •  So, any Jane Doe (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Beket, Womantrust

                            can become the president of a campus pro-life organization without being committed or hard-working?

                            It's no wonder that all their efforts have fallen so totally flat over the years, the slackers!

                            Well, if you can call them efforts, given the low bar you've assigned to their most senior members - it's really just a hobby to them, eh? And not even one they truly believe in! Just something that they can point at to get a REAL job with later!

                            I sure wish my government gave me as much privacy as they demand I give them.

                            by Daddy Bartholomew on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 01:37:04 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Oh yeah, absolutely (0+ / 0-)

                            you look at the c.v.'s of the "go-getters" in college and they're littered with executive positions in 10 to 15 organizations of this type.

                            Hillariously, it's not unusual for several of these organizations to be at cross purposes with each other.  Essentially, in many cases it is not possible - because of these conflicts - for all of the organizations to represent the core believes of the student.  But, like you suggest, their "efforts" typically totally fall flat, so it's no-harm, no-foul.

                            Basically, for years the College Republicans were the poster child of this type of organization, completely ineffective but useful for resume-building.  But then Abramoff (sp?) came along and turned it into something sinister . . .

                          •  Well, then... (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            moiv, Beket

                            Since she was clearly using the anti-abortion college group strictly as a cold-blooded maneuver to embellish her resume, and was secretly harboring fervent desires to kill babies in her spare time, I'd say all your concern for her emotional well-being during her procedure is clearly misplaced, eh?

                            Maybe it's time to drop it, and move on to something more intellectually stimulating...

                            I sure wish my government gave me as much privacy as they demand I give them.

                            by Daddy Bartholomew on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 01:56:47 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You just don't get it do you? (0+ / 0-)

                            The key issue here is not the conduct of college students - for better or worse they are young, inexperienced, and do things they later regret - the issue here is how she was treated by an experienced medical professional who really should have known better.  

                          •  Sounds to me like she got great medical care (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            moiv, Beket, Daddy Bartholomew

                            and emotional care too.

                            A counselor documented her current situation -- which, in here case, I would say could be a potential problem.  When most people have some medical procedure and something goes wrong afterwards, they can tell someone and get furter treatment.  That wouldn't be so easy in the case of this woman.

                            An experienced doctor performed her abortion.

                            A caring doctor asked how she would manage this contradiction in her life.

                            A thoughtful doctor reassured her.

                          •  Thanks choice joyce- I withdraw my apology. (5+ / 0-)

                            Does anyone have a problem with posting without profanity?  It reflects unintelligence- and with such a serious issue and majority of posts and bloggers having an intelligent discussion- it is a shame that anyone is limited to expressing themselves in profanity.
                            For any who don't already know: FOCA (the Freedom of Choice Act- which now has at least 100 sponsors in Congress needs to be supported and passed to our next prez for signing into law.  Obama is committed to signing.
                            FOCA will roll back a lot of the damage done by SCOTUS and state legislatures that are now causing women to lose their health and in some cases their lives - and prevent future such legislation from passing.  
                            Since McCain has said publicly 'life begins at conception'- if elected, we can expect to see an end to safe and legal abortion care and losses of women and girls in the numbers Beket details.  All methods of 'artificial' contraception will also be outlawed- causing even more unplanned pregnancies where women will abort whether safe and legal or not- as we always have.
                            If you care about women's health and lives in this country- please join us in supporting and assuring this act passes out of Congress to be signed into law by Pres. Obama- if McCain is it, we can kiss Roe and the protections is provides as well as 'artificial' birth control good bye.  And the body count of women and girls will be the end result of the anti- choice movement and McCain.  Remember, the Republican platform says no abortions- not even to save a woman's life.

                          •  Well, I do have a little problem posting without (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            moiv, choice joyce, Womantrust

                            profanity, woman trust.  As a former sailor, and dealing with the anti crap that you and I see every day from TGDSOBGWB and his minions and the Religious hypocrites we deal with, I have a great deal of difficulty not cussing a blue streak,  :-)

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

                            by william f harrison on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 01:24:14 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Thanks Doc- we never expected it to be (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            moiv

                            easy, did we?  Astounding how much vitriol exists toward women and those of us who love them enough to risk our lives (so they don't have to).  
                            As your writings are intelligent and only lightly 'salted' with profanity occasionally and certainly not directed toward a fellow blogger (not that I've seen anyway)- I think you have the respect and admiration of all.  It's those who can't seem to make a statement without resorting to profanity that appear unable to do it otherwise- and we know that certainly doesn't apply to you.

                •  OK... (4+ / 0-)

                  Have a donut.

                  I'm sick of your disgusting comments.

                  HotFlashReport - Opinionated liberal views of the wrongs of the right focusing on abortion and reproductive rights.

                  by annrose on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 12:01:57 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I find the comments of this diarist... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Roadbed Guy

                    towards a patient to be quite disgusting and your HR is totally against the FAQ.

                    Try as you might, you cannot spell HOPE with the letters GOP.

                    by David Kroning on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 12:10:07 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Your interpretation and 'beliefs' are plain (7+ / 0-)

                      for us all to see.  Just like the diarist's are.
                      As one involved in the provision of safe abortion care for years, we almost daily dealt with very similar circumstances that Beket describes- quite common.  
                      As after care and medications to be taken after an abortion are important- it's actually our responsibility to discuss and stress this with patients.  And their lifestyles and company they keep can interfere with their safe recovery.  
                      We saw way too many women who didn't follow aftercare instructions or take their meds because they were in situations where they felt they couldn't. They also felt they couldn't use any method of contraception- for fear of being 'found out', as the anti-choice movement now opposes sex education and all forms of 'artificial contracepton'- the safest and most effective.

                •  Read the FAQ on HR's... (0+ / 0-)

                  Try as you might, you cannot spell HOPE with the letters GOP.

                  by David Kroning on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 12:09:02 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  You have a completely (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              annrose, moiv, Themistoclea, Womantrust

              mistaken interpretation of (belief about) this event, and one that has unfortunately derailed this discussion into oblivion, but one you are apparently unwilling to reconsider.

              I regret that.

              No matter how fervently you believe that you know what you merely believe, you merely believe it, and you might be wrong - very wrong.

              by Beket on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:45:22 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  No, I actually read your diary... (0+ / 0-)

                whereas most other people did not.

                And, I see where you put your political beliefs above the emotional well-being of your patient.  

                You might want to reflect upon that, because if I had a doctor who did that to me, I would make a complaint to the medical board.

                Try as you might, you cannot spell HOPE with the letters GOP.

                by David Kroning on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:48:15 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You read, but you don't seem to comprehend... (6+ / 0-)

                  I'm not a doctor, or even in any medical field. However, from reading all the various comments, and the ability to process data and make rational decisions, it seems clear that to NOT probe the issue as to how having an abortion is going to mentally/emotionally affect a fervent anti-abortionist would be more of a failure than asking.

                  Had the good doctor started shoving pamphlets in her face of an aborted third trimester fetus while screaming about hellfire, you might have a valid point.

                  I sure wish my government gave me as much privacy as they demand I give them.

                  by Daddy Bartholomew on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:56:06 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Your opposition is inexplicable, therefore... (5+ / 0-)

                  You must have anti-abortion religious beliefs.

                  Trouble is, no matter how fervently one believes that one knows what one merely believes, one merely believes it and one might be wrong - very wrong.

                  Let me get this straight David - If you went to an abortion clinic and had an abortion, which you were desperate to keep secret so you could maintain your position in an anti-abortion club, you would then sign an official complaint to the medical board, on the grounds that after you voluntarily told the doctor about your involvement in the anti-abortion club, the doctor innocently assumed that you might not be anti-abortion anymore, but gave you the abortion anyway, in spite of your own hypcocrisy? Hahahahaha! That's a really good one, thanks.

                  To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. Elbert Hubbard

                  by choice joyce on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 12:15:56 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Not unprofessional at all. (10+ / 0-)

            Doctors and patients talk all the time.  And in this case, her feelings about abortion are part of her care, and most importantly part of how she will take care of herself afterwards.

            I know of at least ONE anti-abortion patient who got an abortion, then had some minor complications afterwards. She called the clinic and was told to go to the ER, but refused to go because she didn't want anyone to find out she'd had an abortion...and she died.

            So, go figure...

            HotFlashReport - Opinionated liberal views of the wrongs of the right focusing on abortion and reproductive rights.

            by annrose on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:29:36 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Not a problem? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            moiv, Beket

            Hypocrisy on the part of anti-abortion activists is normal and not a problem. They don't practice what they "believe", yet are willing to go to extremes to force others to conform to those self-same hypocritical beliefs.

            And this is not a problem?

            Seems kind of anti-Christian, even. Look to the beam in your own eye, and all that. But hey, got to give you credit for a successful derailment, anyway. Nice one.

            I sure wish my government gave me as much privacy as they demand I give them.

            by Daddy Bartholomew on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 02:07:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Egads (3+ / 0-)

      I missed that.

      Troubling, indeed.

      One failure after another and the final result is anarchy. -edscan

      by BoiseBlue on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:02:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What's unethical about it? (8+ / 0-)

      Doctor/patient confidentiality wasn't breached. I think it was a valid question.

      •  I don't BELIEVE (cough, cough)... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pd, Roadbed Guy, martydd

        that any REAL doctory who was performing something as emotionally sensitive as an abortion on a patient would be so incredibly insensitive.  

        Then of course...that's just what I BELIEVE.

        Try as you might, you cannot spell HOPE with the letters GOP.

        by David Kroning on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:05:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I have all kinds of conversations (10+ / 0-)

          with my patients before, during, and after their procedures, and "insensitive," like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

          I regret that you got this discussion started with such a pointless and imaginary red herring.

          No matter how fervently you believe that you know what you merely believe, you merely believe it, and you might be wrong - very wrong.

          by Beket on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:15:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Umm, but don't you see how (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BoiseBlue, David Kroning

            treating a patient badly (which you admitted doing based on the patient's reaction of a horrified expression and popping eyes blurted out in a tremulous voice) kinda makes you come across as a real ass and more or less diminishes everything else you say?

            •  I merely asked he a pertinent question, and (6+ / 0-)

              one related to how she planned to care for herself after her abortion. The reaction was her doing, and told me that she was really concerned about confidentiality and needed reassurance that we would not tell anyone, which she then received from me and all others in the room. She left the clinic with a smile.

              I am shocked that you don't understand that asking personal, probing questions is an essential ingredient of good medical care!

              No matter how fervently you believe that you know what you merely believe, you merely believe it, and you might be wrong - very wrong.

              by Beket on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:56:56 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You asked her what she was going to (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                David Kroning

                do about her membership in a political organization simultaneous with performing a rather traumatic medical procedure.

                You're coming across as monumentally - at a McCain-like level - naive if you can't see how that could be unnecessarily traumatic.  

                And sure, we all know how Right Winger say one thing and do another - that's just the way they are - but that should have no impact on the medical care they receive.

                •  It's precisely because it was a traumatic (4+ / 0-)

                  procedure for this particular individual that some degree of probing as to her mental/emotional stability might be considered necessary.

                  Perhaps the good doctor could have gleaned her possible intentions as to suicide due to the horror of subjecting herself to such a traumatic procedure simply by remarking on what a nice day it was, but I kind of doubt it.

                  Her membership in the political organization, (obviously, being at the core of the situation) needed to be part of the conversation. It turned out to be a very short conversation indeed, her reaction revealing her as a standard anti-abortion hypocrite rather than as a deeply wounded, psychologically traumatized emotional basketcase in need of therapy.

                  At least, that's my take. I am not a professional doctor, though, so you may know more than me...

                  I sure wish my government gave me as much privacy as they demand I give them.

                  by Daddy Bartholomew on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 12:10:51 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The problem was the Beket (0+ / 0-)

                    was not probing her mental state to ascertain is she was suicidal, or whatever.

                    If he had said to her "I understand that this procedure might be particularly traumatic for you because of your deeply held moral beliefs about what just happened, how are you holding up" (or something like that, tactfully said) then I would totally agree that he was being a compassionate and caring physician

                    BUT THAT'S NOT WHAT HE DID

                    What he did was confront her about what she was going to do about her membership in a political organization.  There was absolutely no mention of any concern about her mental status, etc.

                    •  Quick question (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      moiv, Beket, Womantrust

                      Are you a psychologist? Have any medical training? Legal training? Any training in psychiatry, or other sociological fields?

                      I don't, particularly, just bits and pieces from a liberal education in which I took lots of courses for fun, then filled in with needed bits. Plus the reading of tens of thousands of books, again just for fun.

                      But it shouldn't be too hard to understand that what you are describing there would be considered a "leading question", and less likely to supply a useful response, whether verbal or non-verbal. Her reaction was NOT based on an instinctive, visceral "Omigod, I've killed a baby, my life is over" mindset, it was obviously based on a more pragmatic "Oh, no, I could lose my important position in calling out babykillers!"

                      More useful reaction, less calculated - and less likely to have occurred had the doctor led gently into the question with a long, soothing, leading intro.

                      Although I doubt it was all that coldly calculated. From my reading of Beket, it was probably just the obvious course of action at the time. Impossible to second-guess these kinds of human interactions from a text-driven medium, you know.

                      I sure wish my government gave me as much privacy as they demand I give them.

                      by Daddy Bartholomew on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 01:30:55 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Of course not (0+ / 0-)

                        if I had all that training, like so many of the posters on this thread do, I would fall into the consensus that this woman was treated completely ethically with the highest professional standards.

                        Instead, I'm just a naive dumbass who read the diary, took it at face value, and was horrified at the apparent mistreatment of this patient.

                        •  Finally, we can agree on something: (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Jain

                          I'm just a naive dumbass

                          But not just that. Some naive dumbasses are amenable to reason. Not you.

                          Troll.

                          No matter how fervently you believe that you know what you merely believe, you merely believe it, and you might be wrong - very wrong.

                          by Beket on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 03:32:43 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

            •  Very bad logic, roadbed guy (6+ / 0-)

              How does Beket's personal, INTERNAL reaction to this patient, which he has shared with us here completely anonymously,  have anything to do with how he actually treated her? ?

              As I said above in another comment, Beket could have refused to provide her the abortion, but he didn't, he gave her the healthcare she needed, instead of denying a patient her rights because of his own "beliefs". Anti-abortion doctors routinely deny reproductive healthcare to their patients, as if they're God and their patients are supplicants who may or may not "deserve" healthcare. That is TRULY unethical and "treating a patient badly".

              To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. Elbert Hubbard

              by choice joyce on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 12:04:33 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Beket ADMITTED that (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                David Kroning

                as he was completing the abortion, he set in grilling her about her membership in a political organization.

                You think that's all on the up and up - I don't really know how to respond to that - personally, I'm just thankful that my medical care providers have never probed my political beliefs for signs of mental illness before or while providing care . . .

                •  No way can asking this very important (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Beket

                  question be defined as 'grilling'!  
                  Your 'beliefs' are showing.....

                •  You don't get it Roadbed (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  moiv, Beket, Daddy Bartholomew, Womantrust

                  She was there for a specific treatment that she clearly told him she personally was strongly AGAINST.

                  So it was entirely relevant for him to ask, because how a woman deals psychologically with an abortion is an integral part of her medical care. Anti-abortion women have a harder time that pro-choice women, for obvious reasons. If Beket had NOT asked and said nothing, leaving her to stew in her own juices, that would be unethical. At least, with the compassionate, professional care she got at Beket's clinic, she's unlikely to turn around and blame the abortion doctor later for her abortion, as most anti-abortion women do. In fact, a reputable clinic will spend more time with anti-abortion women and other vulnerable women, to ensure they are comfortable with the decision and can live with it responsibly. That's exactly what Beket and his staff did.

                  To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. Elbert Hubbard

                  by choice joyce on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 12:28:01 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  No I don't get it because somebody (0+ / 0-)

                    is lying.

                    The diarist stated that this woman told a counselor (NOT HIM) about her political view on abortion.

                    Then, as he was performing the procedure he started haranging her about the abovementioned political views.  From her reaction, it appeared clear that she was shocked that he knew (most likely because was under the assumption of confidentiality in discussing these matters previously with the counselor).

                    •  Actually the counselor had a professional (4+ / 0-)

                      and ethical obligation to advise the physician of this- as it has and can interfere with physical and psychological recovery.

                      •  Does the counselor (0+ / 0-)

                        also have a profession obligation to explain the mechanics of the situation to the patient?

                        In particular, did the counselor say up-front, after receiving the above-discussed disclosure from the patient:

                        "I will be telling the physician that will be performing the procedure that you are an anti-abortion hypocrite.  Expect him to raise this issue while he is performing the operation"

                        If not, why not?

                        •  Since I wasn't present (nor were you) I can't (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          moiv, Beket

                          speak to exactly what was said.  
                          The counselors I know of would say that 'this is important information the physician needs to know so I'll let him/ her know'.
                          Not sure if this constitutes the 'mechanics of the situation' but my response is sincere and your respect and sincerety in continuing this blog would be appreciated.

                    •  Wow, just total speculation (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      moiv, Beket, Womantrust

                      on something you know absolutely nothing about, while pretending you do! How embarrassing for you. At least you're using a pseudonym, unlike that poor David Kroning.

                      Thanks Womantrust for explaining REAL medical care and ethics.

                      To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. Elbert Hubbard

                      by choice joyce on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 12:46:47 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  "Harangued?" (4+ / 0-)

                      as he was performing the procedure he started haranging her about the abovementioned political views.

                      My, you have a vivid imagination!

                      I guess you would have had to be there to realize how absolutely absurd are your imaginary beliefs about how this actually went down. However, you strike me as the kind of hysterical, know-it-all troll who would never-ever let facts interfere with what you want to believe.

                      As such, you are an excellent illustration for the diary. I’ll try to include you along with the antiabortion girl in my next diary – anonymously of course.

                      Meanwhile, you and that other troll have completely derailed any reasonable and substantive discussion here.

                      I deeply regret that.

                      No matter how fervently you believe that you know what you merely believe, you merely believe it, and you might be wrong - very wrong.

                      by Beket on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 01:25:56 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Absolutely, you haranged her (0+ / 0-)

                        As you said in the diary:

                        As I completed her abortion, I asked her what she was now going to do about her affiliation with that campus anti-choice club

                        Later, your apologists claimed that you were concerned about her mental health.  If that was the case, what relevance does her membership in a political organization have?  Wouldn't it have been more appropriate to ask her about her core beliefs regarding abortion as compared to this completely irrelevant issue?  The only possible motivation I can see for bringing up this membership would be to rub her face in her hypocrisy, which hardly seems like an approach designed to reduce mental duress.

                        Further, you still haven't said why you couldn't have raised this issue (either diplomatically or confrontationally) either before or after the procedure, why did it have to be done during the surgery when the woman had to have been most vulnerable?

                        •  Troll. n/t (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Jain

                          No matter how fervently you believe that you know what you merely believe, you merely believe it, and you might be wrong - very wrong.

                          by Beket on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 03:35:37 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Yeah, since you can't address the substance (0+ / 0-)

                            of the comments . . . .

                          •  The substance has been addressed many times... (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Beket, Jain

                            Starting with fairly thoughtful and courteous replies, sadly it has degenerated into recognition that a troll will not move from under his bridge, no matter what the reasoned approach.

                            I'm not entirely comfortable with "troll", actually. A genuine troll causes mischief without a true agenda, usually. You seem to be sincere, fervent, yet totally blind and unyielding, no matter how you have to twist your own arguments and misinterpret others.

                            Oh, well. I guess troll will do until a more fitting descriptive comes along.

                            I sure wish my government gave me as much privacy as they demand I give them.

                            by Daddy Bartholomew on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 04:09:34 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Well, I just am of the belief (0+ / 0-)

                            that you don't harass somebody because of their political beliefs during a medical procedure, as the diarist bragged about doing.

                            I see that I am in the great minority here - I used to think that abortion providers were a fairly heroic bunch, but taking their frustrations out on their political tormentors just doesn't seem kosher to  me.

                            But whatever,

                •  Sounds like maybe your medical providers SHOULD (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Beket, Womantrust

                  have probed you for signs of mental illness.

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

                  by william f harrison on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 01:49:41 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  Maybe in the old days. (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annrose, moiv, Beket, Catte Nappe, Jain, Womantrust

      I had an aunt who was a nurse and I also worked in the front office of a large family practice over 20 years ago. In the old days, you weren't supposed to acknowledge patients in public unless they said hello to you first. Even then, you never said you knew them as a patient in front of others.

      Fast forward a few years later. I was visiting a friend's house. In the middle of watching TV, his lover who was a Dr. took a call right in front of us and had an extended conversation with a patient. After he hung up he said the patient was a judge. I was appalled! I simply couldn't believe it.

      I'm not as shocked by this abortion story--there is nothing that could identify the person. We don't even know how recent it was.

      "Troll-be-gone...apply directly to the asshole. Troll-be-gone...apply directly to the asshole."

      by homogenius on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:04:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  20 years ago it was normal ethics (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        homogenius

        Today, with HIPPAA, it is the law.

        It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. - Aristotle

        by Catte Nappe on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:50:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes and no. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          moiv, Beket, Catte Nappe

          Like all businesses, many healthcare providers are now less likely to follow broader ethical standards and focus on what the law prohibits.

          Just because it's legal doesn't automatically mean it's moral or ethical.

          "Troll-be-gone...apply directly to the asshole. Troll-be-gone...apply directly to the asshole."

          by homogenius on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 12:36:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think I was unclear (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Beket

            The privacy that was considered proper ethical practice 20 years ago is now mandated by law. It is illegal to be talking on the phone to a patient with others listening in. It is why the grocery store pharmacy has a "wait behind this line" spot to prevent you hearing consults with another patient. If a therapist were to greet a patient at a party they could get sued - and would lose.

            It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. - Aristotle

            by Catte Nappe on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 01:07:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  If by "unethical" you mean "typical"... (7+ / 0-)

      Your abortion is an abomination.  Mine was a necessity.

      "When the President does it, it's not illegal" - Richard Nixon, 1974; US Congress, 2008

      by nightsweat on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:04:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, it is true. (7+ / 0-)

      Now maybe you will explain to me just how it is in any way "unethical."

      No matter how fervently you believe that you know what you merely believe, you merely believe it, and you might be wrong - very wrong.

      by Beket on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:08:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Happens all the time in clinics. (7+ / 0-)

      I happen to believe that anti-abortionism is a psychological contraindication to getting an abortion.

      Doctors and clinic staffs have to confront a patient's anti-abortionism because many anti-abortionists getting abortions will not follow post-op instructions and could therefore suffer a complication because of their beliefs.

      HotFlashReport - Opinionated liberal views of the wrongs of the right focusing on abortion and reproductive rights.

      by annrose on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:17:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I see what you mean (13+ / 0-)

    I don't believe nachos are delicious. The evidence has me convinced.

    "Hey, woman!" --- John McCain as Mr. T as Clubber Lang in "Baracky II"

    by droogie6655321 on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 10:58:15 AM PDT

  •  My position. (7+ / 0-)

    Government has NO BUSINESS on this issue.  None. Do not be distracted by talk of hypothetical, religious, or philosophical issues.  

    If I lose my personal sovereignty, my right to bodily integrity, so does every man in America.  Their bodies will belong to the government as much as mine will.  Just think about the implications of THAT.

  •  If I had one wish... (8+ / 0-)

    ... well, one political wish anyway, it would be that people on all sides stop saying "pro-life" and use the real descriptor: "anti-choice." Nobody is "anti-life."

    The political discussion is all about whether you believe that women should have a choice. Please don't fall into the right-wing frame of "Pro-Choice vs. Pro-Life."  

    •  Anti-abortion... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Beket, Themistoclea

      is the real meme.

      HotFlashReport - Opinionated liberal views of the wrongs of the right focusing on abortion and reproductive rights.

      by annrose on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:12:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not exactly (3+ / 0-)

        It's possible to be anti-abortion (I don't like it and want it to be as rare as possible), yet pro-choice (I believe the decision ultimately rests with the individual).

        See what I mean?

        •  Yeah, sure, I see what you mean, but (9+ / 0-)

          in the contemporary vernacular I think it is generally understood that "anti-abortion" means "anti-legal abortion."

          Why should you care how "rare" it is, and what would qualify as "rare?"

          When I hear that currently popular attempt to come up with a politically correct electioneering slogan, with the emphasis on "rare" as it invariably is, my heart sinks in recognition of the extreme degree of obfuscation and oversimplification of vital issues to which our candidates are convinced they must stoop to be electable. I wonder whether they are really right in believing they must appear to be so bashful about abortion rights. Do they really have much understanding of the profound importance of the right to safe, legal, professional abortion care? Don't they care?

          Then I think of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" and how Goldilocks judged the porridge set out for the three bears and chose the one that was "just right."

          The implication of the word "rare" in this slogan is that there are now "too many" abortions. I have to wonder how many "too many" would be. How many would be "too few?" And . . .
          Intro
          You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long.

          "Abortion should be safe, legal, and rare." When I hear that currently popular attempt to come up with a politically correct electioneering slogan, with the emphasis on "rare" as it invariably is, my heart sinks in recognition of the extreme degree of obfuscation and oversimplification of vital issues to which our candidates are convinced they must stoop to be electable. I wonder whether they are really right in believing they must appear to be so bashful about abortion rights. Do they really have much understanding of the profound importance of the right to safe, legal, professional abortion care? Don't they care? Then I think of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" and how Goldilocks judged the porridge set out for the three bears and chose the one that was "just right." The implication of the word "rare" in this slogan is that there are now "too many" abortions. I have to wonder how many "too many" would be. How many would be "too few?" And . . .

          . . . how many would be "just right?"

          To those who so-call themselves "pro-life" we know that just one is "too many," "too few" is inconceivable, and none at all is "just right." This regardless of the sure knowledge that such attitudes written into law result in death, injury, illness, and extreme life disruption, with excruciating pain, suffering, and hardship, for uncounted hundreds of thousands of women and teenage girls and their families and friends - women and girls who are known, among other quite respectable names, as "mother," "wife," "sister," and "daughter," in answer to "What do you call a woman who has an abortion?"

          I've never seen any reasonable, rational way to argue that "too many abortions" is anything but a completely subjective judgment that would realistically make concrete, rational sense only if we humans were on the verge of underpopulating, underexploiting, and underpolluting the planet. There should be as many abortions as there are women and teenage girls who, for their own reasons, want or need them. Period.

          No matter how fervently you believe that you know what you merely believe, you merely believe it, and you might be wrong - very wrong.

          by Beket on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:27:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You're right... (4+ / 0-)

            ...when you say that "there should be as many abortions as there are women and teenage girls who, for their own reasons, want or need them." While true, this is not, in my opinion, a politically persuasive statement.

            Think of the millions of Americans who believe abortion is "bad," and should therefore be illegal. I believe (there's that word again) that many of these people haven't thought this through. Because the right wing has framed the issue as "Pro-Life," many of our less thoughtful brothers and sisters construe us to be the opposite: "Pro-Death" or "Anti-Life." In effect, they've changed the question.

            I don't think they've considered that something can be "bad" in their values system, yet still remain a legal choice.

            As far as the law is concerned, the issue is entirely about choice. And by saying we want to make it "rare" (however you define that), through better sex education, family planning services, etc., is one way to move people toward our side.

          •  I think you are perhaps a bit on the defensive (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Man is 5, Beket, Cassandra Waites, Jain

            because of some of the other posts on your excellent diary.  However, I would offer that while I thank you for the work you do, providing a necessary medical service to those who need it, that does not in any way alter the fact that a society where fewer abortions that are needed is a better society that the alternative.

            So, it isn't about how many is too many.  It is about providing access when they are needed, a system where the people who decide this are the woman and her healthcare provider, and reducing the need for them in the first place.

            So, when someone says safe legal and rare, what they are really talking about is working to reduce unwanted pregnancies.  Education, access to birth control including emergency contraception, healthcare, childcare and adoption and other support services fall under the heading of reducing the need.  It does not speak to reducing access or placing barriers to jump through.

            Of To We. Proof of Obama's 'plagiarism'. Can we trust a person who blatantly absconds with prepositions and pronouns?

            by nsfbr on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:50:13 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm afraid (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              moiv, Jain, Womantrust

              It does not speak to reducing access or placing barriers to jump through.

              is what it means to a great many.

              No matter how fervently you believe that you know what you merely believe, you merely believe it, and you might be wrong - very wrong.

              by Beket on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 01:29:27 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I recommended your diary. Very well said EXCEPT (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              moiv, Beket

              for the last paragraph about your assumption about what people really mean when they talk about wanting to make abortion "rare."  It means different things to different people -- and to some, it means "reducing access or placing barriers to jump through."

  •  They're two different issues (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, Beket, terrypinder, Focusmarker

    Evolution is as much a fact as anything in the physical world, and denial of evolution means denial of reality.  Further, one's position on evolution, while it may have public-policy implications, isn't a public policy issue itself.

    Abortion isn't a matter of fact at all--it's solely a matter of opinion (how to value one prospective or incipient life vs. an established life); and it's obviously a public policy issue in itself.  To me the only respectable anti-abortion people are progressive Catholics, because they really can claim the "seamless whole" terrain (opposition to capital punishment, advocacy for the poor, etc.), and politically they're only a tiny part of the anti-abortion movement.  But I can't dismiss the others for being "wrong," in the way I can dismiss opponents of evolution.  They just weigh things very differently than I do.  

    -5.38/-3.74 I've suffered for my country. Now it's your turn! --John McCain with apologies to Monty Python's "Protest Song"

    by Rich in PA on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:09:00 AM PDT

    •  You Beat Me to Much the Same Comment! nt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Beket

      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 Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:15:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      moiv, Daddy Bartholomew, Womantrust

      It isn't my intention to epistemologically equate evolution and abortion rights, but to encourage more objective consideration of true facts concerning them and many other matters.

      The degree to which factual knowledge in so many matters is denied or ignored, and deliberate falsifications broadcast far and wide under the cover of fraudulent authority, in favor of unfounded and contradictory belief, in this troubled world appears to be leading us straight to doomsday.

      No matter how fervently you believe that you know what you merely believe, you merely believe it, and you might be wrong - very wrong.

      by Beket on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 12:20:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Actually Evolution and Rights Are 2 Different (7+ / 0-)

    categories of ideas, as I see it.

    Evolution is a collection of testable scientific hypotheses about biology, and biology functions in total independence of what individuals or society claim about it. You're right, it's utterly inappropriate to "believe" for or against such testable ideas.

    But abortion rights are not statements of fact or testable hypotheses, they do not succeed or fail in any way that's independent of our ideas in the way that biological processes do, so it's quite appropriate to believe or disbelieve in them.

    It's totally a societal option whether people should have any right or freedom relating to abortion.

    However some of the impacts on the individual and on society of granting, protecting or revoking a right are matters of fact, such as pregnancy and disease rates. These yes are independent of belief.

    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 Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:14:40 AM PDT

  •  Belief (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stridergambit

    I don't think that word means what you think it means.

    We can lots of beliefs that are grounded in very good evidence. The fact that some beliefs are sucked out of people's thumbs does not impugn the reliability of other beliefs that do not have that genesis.

    •  Beliefs? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Themistoclea, carver, Womantrust

      We can lots of beliefs that are grounded in very good evidence.

      Something grounded in good evidence is not a belief.

      No matter how fervently you believe that you know what you merely believe, you merely believe it, and you might be wrong - very wrong.

      by Beket on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:34:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Of course it is (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        stridergambit, mind unseen

        From the OED:

        Belief: Mental acceptance of a proposition, statement, or fact, as true, on the ground of authority or evidence; assent of the mind to a statement, or to the truth of a fact beyond observation, on the testimony of another, or to a fact or truth on the evidence of consciousness; the mental condition involved in this assent. Constr. of a statement, or (obs.) a speaker; that...; belief in (a thing); persuasion of its existence.

        To believe a proposition is simply to affirm it as true. Some beliefs have evidence backing them up, some beliefs do not.

        And please don't respond that most people use the term in the way you do, because they most emphatically do not. Go and ask someone whether he believes Washington D.C. is the capital of the US and he will say yes.

      •  Incidentally (0+ / 0-)

        Your position would make no sense of the longstanding epistemological question whether knowledge is justified true belief.

        This debate assumes that knowing something to be true entails believing it to be true.

        Very few philosophers dispute that premise and none dispute it for anything close to the rationale you provide.

    •  Quite So (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      moiv, Beket, Jain, Womantrust

      However, how one uses the word "believe" is important.

      No, I don't "believe in" evolution.  I "believe" it to be a fact based on the preponderance of evidence.  But the fundies like to state that we "believe in evolution" to twist the meaning and interpret it as us having "faith" in it, akin to some sort of religious belief.

      I finally put in a signature!

      by Boris Godunov on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 01:17:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I do believe in evolution (0+ / 0-)

        I think that claim is equivalent to the claim that I believe that evolution happened.

        What the fundies mistake is to think that all forms of believing or believing in share the same level of credibility -- that it is all just a matter of faith or opinion or whatever, except theirs is the correct faith or opinion.

        We shouldn't give up any ground on belief or believing in just because other people misuse these terms.

        There are other things we do clearly believe in. For instance, equal rights, rational foreign policy, health care, etc. These are moral positions rather than factual, but we can still believe in them for good reasons ... the provision of which reasons is sort of my day job.

        •  It is not my position that (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          moiv

          we should have no beliefs, but we recognize them for what they are.

          The central questions in this violent controversy are [1] at what point in development would it be reasonable and just to consider the developing fetus to have attained sufficient attributes and characteristics of personhood to be fully included in the social contract of rights and legal protection of those rights that binds us all and [2] when should the developing fetus be granted a legally protected right to life independent of the consent of the woman in whose body it resides?  This would have to be somewhere between two clusters of DNA sharing a common cell membrane at conception (which is never a "moment," by the way, but a process that takes place over hours) and the birth of a baby, normally about 38 weeks later.  But when?  When morally?  When legally?  At what point in time should the line be drawn?  

          The answer to such questions cannot be found in strictly scientific fact or expert medical opinion, since such disciplines are properly essentially mechanistic, objective, and neutral in their consideration of the objective nature of factual reality.  The question requires its answer not just from accurate knowledge and understanding of objective scientific fact, but from the inevitably subjective philosophical, religious, political, and legal considerations of how the moral and ethical significance of those facts should be adjudicated by law in a free and pluralistic society.  

          Various factual considerations, all with superimposed moral and legal substance, must enter into this determination: sentience (determined by the progressive capability of the developing fetal brain for conscious awareness and volitional behavior), independent viability (the ability of the fetus to live on its own apart from the woman's body), the will and state of health of the pregnant woman, and the health of the fetus.  

          I believe the point, of necessity subjectively determined and inevitably arbitrary to a large extent, at which all these considerations would be reasonably balanced is the junction between the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, or at about 24 to 26 weeks gestation.  At this point, contrary to the sensationalized misinformation common in "pro-life" propaganda, the developing fetal brain is still developmentally at least several weeks short of sentience, and it is extremely rare for a fetus earlier than this stage to survive physical separation from the mother's womb, or birth, with even the most advanced neonatal care.  

          I would personally support the morality of late term (third trimester) abortion only in those cases in which the fetus is discovered to have severe anomalies incompatible with survival or meaningful life outside the womb, in cases in which the life or health of the pregnant woman would be seriously jeopardized by continuation of the pregnancy, and in some cases of rape or incest in which women’s awareness of being pregnant is occasionally delayed by psychological denial related to their post-traumatic mental states – and, of course, then only if freely chosen by the particular pregnant women involved.

          No matter how fervently you believe that you know what you merely believe, you merely believe it, and you might be wrong - very wrong.

          by Beket on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 03:03:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not arguing against your position on abortion (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            moiv, Beket

            Or even your views about what positions are supported by scientific evidence and what positions are not.

            Instead, I'm pointing out that you have misused the term "belief" to refer to only those affirmations of propositions for which there is no good evidence.

            Some beliefs, both factual and moral, are backed up by very good reasons. Thus, you do believe in evolution and abortion rights, even if you say you don't. It's just that you don't merely believe in them. In addition, you have good reasons to support your belief.

            •  Perhaps (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              moiv, Beket, Jain

              the difference between rational and irrational belief? English can be so cumbersome at times. We need another word, here, one that distinguishes between belief bolstered by objective evidence and belief not supported by objective evidence.

              I sure wish my government gave me as much privacy as they demand I give them.

              by Daddy Bartholomew on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 04:13:18 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                moiv, Beket

                I would prefer rationally-grounded belief to be the designation. My belief that, say, Sebelius will be the pick rather than Biden may not be rationally grounded in the evidence I have at my disposal, but is not itself an irrational thing to believe.

                But something along these lines should work as long as we retain the idea that what we are after as rational epistemic agents is not mere belief in stuff, but soundly justified beliefs.

              •  When we have a belief not supported by objective (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                moiv, Beket

                evidence, isn't it just an assumption?  We live our lives based on assumptions....and some times they turn out to be "wrong - very wrong" as Becket would say.

  •  Brilliant analysis. (11+ / 0-)

    Every politician running for office should be required to read this before voting on this issue.  

    And he/she should be required to pledge under oath that he/she has never had an abortion, paid for one, accompanied someone to a clinic to get one, gotten someone pregnant who had an abortion, or that their wives, children, mothers, etc. have NEVER EVER had an abortion before they are allowed to vote against abortion rights for anyone else.

    HotFlashReport - Opinionated liberal views of the wrongs of the right focusing on abortion and reproductive rights.

    by annrose on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:15:03 AM PDT

  •  ugh. (0+ / 0-)

    "Rights" aren't "facts": they're socially constructed entities. (Well, so are facts, but not in the same way.) The facts you quote about abortions etc. don't amount to a "right" if enough people disbelieve in said right.

    Witness slavery: certainly we believe in the God-given "right" to live free of slavery, but this "right" didn't exist until folks created it through debate and consensus (and, in this backwater USA, through the Civil War).

    Even scientific facts depend on subjective things: worldview, education, etc. Not believing in gravity won't make objects float upwards suddenly; quoting facts won't convince a fundie about evolution. This is all pretty simple, or should be.

    And this is from a pro-choicer, BTW.

    •  Ugh. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annrose, Womantrust

      "Rights" aren't "facts"

      I didn't say they were.

      No matter how fervently you believe that you know what you merely believe, you merely believe it, and you might be wrong - very wrong.

      by Beket on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 12:25:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  you certainly did (0+ / 0-)

        by stating that your belief in abortion rights is grounded in scientific evidence. I'd agree, but it's a far cry to somehow "proving" this "right" based on evidence alone. Beliefs, morals, subjectivity play a part in creating rights too.

        The scientific facts of the matter notwithstanding, one might simply believe that abortion is wrong: not a right, then, if enough believe this.

        I'll put it this way: do you think most pro-choicers are so because of science or opinion? Obviously it's a mixture of both for most, but the "facts" in the matter go hand-in-hand with "beliefs." You can't rationally separate belief from fact, BOLDTYPING THEM NOTWITHSTANDING.

        As I said, ugh.

  •   Isn't having doctors talking to patients a good (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annrose, moiv, Beket

    thing. It doesn't mean the discussion isnt protected as private. It doesn't even appear to be a pointed or judgemental comment. Unsure why the discussion on this thread was even needed.
    The whole idea of defining when life begins, or why a belief based on religion should or could be corrected, seems overly optimistic to arrogant.
    We should be working limit abortions and pregnancys. The approach should include conseling, birth control and education. It would also help if the religous right would not demonize everything they disagree with.

    •  Yep. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      moiv, Beket, Jain, Womantrust, creamer

      I'm convinced, from an accumulation of observations over the years, that the issue of abortion is, at root, a religious issue, and therefore completely unresolvable by rational means.

      When one side of the argument has no rational basis whatsoever for their position, there can be no meeting of the minds.

      I'm not particularly religious. I belong to no formal church, I pray to no particular deity. I'm perfectly comfortable with those that do - provided they don't attempt to convert me to their own particular non-rational belief system!

      My father-in-law was a Lutheran pastor for many years. A very nice man, thoughtful, knowledgeable - scholarly, even - and I've learned more about the history of Christianity from him and his daughter than from any other source. (Hint: the history bears little resemblance to The Bible.)

      However, any attempt to discuss abortion between people on opposite sides of the fence inevitably involves religious beliefs, which indicates the end of rational discussion.

      So, in my own pitiful way, I generally begin a discussion with a suggestion that any attempt to limit abortion should necessarily begin with limiting unwanted pregnancies. This has varying degrees of success, depending on exactly how irrational the other person is...

      I sure wish my government gave me as much privacy as they demand I give them.

      by Daddy Bartholomew on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 01:00:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for this and ALL of (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        moiv

        your intelligent an thoughtful comments here.

        No matter how fervently you believe that you know what you merely believe, you merely believe it, and you might be wrong - very wrong.

        by Beket on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 04:28:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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