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After reading a number of diaries correctly decrying the compromise of women’s rights concerning their reproductive health in the current HCR legislation, I was struck by the arguments of those who want to continue and expand their choices over those of others.  I cannot call this group "pro-life" as they would wish because many people in favor of another human being having the legal and financial ability to make choices about her health for herself also believe in policies that promote life as they define it.  From a policy, non-religious perspective the limiters are against women having the legal and financial choice to bring a pregnancy to term or not, thus "anti-choice".

No doubt others here will venture into their strongholds for their arguments, like good, if not honest debaters as I have seen time and time again.  They will define terms in their favor (and accuse me of the same).  They will quote dubious statistics as facts.  They will claim to be in the majority based on surveys worded in their favor.  They will discount anything they don’t like as being un-true or unimportant in comparison with the impact they see as paramount in the argument.  They really will not care about the views of those who don’t share their opinions, made evident by browbeating, deeming arguable equivalencies as fact, and adopting condescending postures.  I’ll wonder, as I always do, what is progressive about that?  

Many substantive debates here in this most imperfect of social interaction media have brought me to the conclusion that not all of the people who seek power in this conversation are trolls, some probably honestly self-identify as progressives.  Thankfully we don’t have a litmus test.  No, I’m not talking about the struggling seekers, as I hope we all would be, dealing with the complexity of our existence through accepting and exploring many different points of view.  I’m talking about the shouters, the bullies, the blinded, and the defensive who can’t accept another view as valid.  What is progressive about that?  

I know why some churches are in this game--many have been trying to control women and their bodies from the very beginning.  It is part of having a monopoly on life, in this world and as they believe, the next.  Many so-called "witches" persecuted by churches were practitioners in women’s reproductive health.  There was a time when the church was the only source of state legitimized medicine in the Western world.  They didn’t give that up without a fight and they won’t give this up without a fight either for obvious reasons.  Insurance paid prayer therapy, anyone?

The Stupak’s and Nelson’s of the world can be at best cold politicians judging the political winds of their constituents and acting to stay in power.  They could also believe in their moral right to force their views on others who by the very nature of the discussion are driven to silence.  This is in part about privacy, remember?  But they aren’t progressives.  They don’t pretend to be.

My question is for those self-identified progressives who support the Stupak’s, Nelson’s, and unfortunately many others in practically, as a matter of policy, limiting choices for others in this most debatable of issues.  What is in it for you?

To those who claim unwanted pregnancies are sentences for stupidity, immorality, and affronts to the common good and seek to impose their own views about women’s reproductive rights on others--what is progressive about that?

Originally posted to Balanz on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 04:43 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  No (9+ / 0-)

    EOM

    We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

    by delver rootnose on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 04:54:34 AM PST

  •  Huh? Who in the progressive camp says this? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shanikka, mamamedusa, Theston

    To those who claim unwanted pregnancies are sentences for stupidity, immorality, and affronts to the common good and seek to impose their own views about women’s reproductive rights on others--what is progressive about that?

    He who distinguishes the true savor of food can never be a glutton, he who does not cannot be otherwise. - Thoreau

    by the fan man on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 04:58:42 AM PST

    •  Statements like this were said (5+ / 0-)

      in response to comments just yesterday in La Feminista's post--repeatedly.

      •  I'm speechless. What the fuck is wrong with (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kimberley, mamamedusa, ShempLugosi

        people?

        He who distinguishes the true savor of food can never be a glutton, he who does not cannot be otherwise. - Thoreau

        by the fan man on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 05:16:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I Read the Comments (5+ / 0-)

        And nobody said anything remotely this.  That's just flat out a lie.  There was only one reference to that type of argument and it was a sarcastic comment from someone saying they were just waiting for this argument to be made.

        It never was, not in response to that diary.

        Here is a link to LaFeminista's diary so folks can confirm this for themselves.

        What was said is that despite the anti-abortion provisions of this health insurance bill, the upside of providing additional health care benefits to women other than abortion services made the Stupak-Pitts fiasco acceptable.  What was debated was the general debate that always rages:  does this bill really deprive women of the abortion right by restricting the sources of funding for it?  Does the fact that many women will now get prenatal care they previously could not access mitigate? Things like that.

        To paraphrase Sen. Franken from the other day, we are all entitled to our own opinions.  What we are not entitled to are our own facts.  You have just made up some, out of whole cloth, based on your political views.  That's the same tactic the right wing uses.

        If you don't stand for something, you will go for anything. Visit Maat's Feather

        by shanikka on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 06:20:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I suspected as much (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          shanikka

          Thanks, Shanikka.

          Stop Rob "The Job Outsourcer" Portman. Jennifer Brunner for Senate http://www.jenniferbrunner.com/

          by anastasia p on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 07:02:35 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I strongly disagree--and I don't know ... (0+ / 0-)

          what you read or when.  

          You can say that the people who commented in this way are trolls or not really progressives but to claim that I made it up is the height of disingenuousness.

          I'm not even sure what the motive of a statement like this is?  You've boiled down hundreds of comments to your one sentence description.  I mentioned what some said during the discussion.

          Perhaps it will come down to who will invest in rereading all of the comments to find evidence first to protect credibility.  I suspect you will dismiss the results of such an inquiry also.

          •  Maybe you should link to (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            delver rootnose, the fan man

            such comments, if they do exist. It ought to be easy to settle this one...

            "Well, you've got to understand, they're Republicans. They're just doing what comes natural." -John Dingell

            by happy camper on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 07:56:34 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Disagree All You Want (0+ / 0-)

            But then link.  I just linked to the entire series of comments which were posted that diary.  Are there some invisible comments I didn't link to?

            If you don't stand for something, you will go for anything. Visit Maat's Feather

            by shanikka on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 08:00:44 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  See below for what I found but (0+ / 0-)

              along with this sentiment was the expressed view that women who believe in the right to end a pregnancy simply aren't working hard enough to convince others to support their view.

              You did not have the burden of proof based on your comment but I can't beleive you haven't seen comments like the ones I expressed here on DK.  

              Though o the umanity said she/he has seen the "then don't get pregnant" argument on DK in LaFem's conversation, s/he didn't link either so I guess that's doesn't help in your view.

              •  You're Sticking and Moving (0+ / 0-)

                Had you contended that folks weren't "working hard enough to be persuasive" you'd have heard not a peep from me.

                You didn't.  You claimed that progressive folks were using right wing rhetoric of the foulest sort, i.e. pregnancy as punishment.  That claim, and only that claim, I responded to.

                Because it was a lie.  Nobody said any such thing.

                If you don't stand for something, you will go for anything. Visit Maat's Feather

                by shanikka on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 06:23:47 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  I question that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        the fan man

        Can you provide links? It's the classic right-wing anti-sex, abstinence-only position. Show me where anyone masquerading as progressive said that.

        Stop Rob "The Job Outsourcer" Portman. Jennifer Brunner for Senate http://www.jenniferbrunner.com/

        by anastasia p on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 07:01:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  See Independent Thinker and Voter (0+ / 0-)

          And no this person did not put it the way I did.  He/she took a positive route and I took the negative of it.

          j1mmy flirted with but did not come out with that sentiment.

          And I wonder what stokecityfan12 who comments below would say if directly asked?

          I have seen comments stated as I put it on this site and o the umanity has too according to a comment he made during the LaFem conversation.

          And the point anastasia makes is clear--anyone who would say that is "masquerading as a progressive" any way.  It is a clear answer to my question from anastasia's perspective.

    •  It's usually the just-under-the-surface (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mamamedusa

      motivation for the theocratic right actually — the reason they don't suppose Prevention First-type bills. They feel "bad" women who have "unapproved" sex need to be punished. This is also the ACTUAL underpinning of the Catholic Church's ban on abortion — punishing women for having illicit sex.

      Stop Rob "The Job Outsourcer" Portman. Jennifer Brunner for Senate http://www.jenniferbrunner.com/

      by anastasia p on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 07:00:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What could be more (0+ / 0-)

    progressive than working to  save the lives of the helpless unborn?

    Strength of character does not consist solely of having powerful feelings, but in maintaining one's balance in spite of them - Clausewicz

    by SpamNunn on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 05:02:59 AM PST

  •  How about we ditch the labels altogether? (3+ / 0-)

    My activism, and my personal political, economic, and social agendas, do not revolve around how someone else -- or ANYBODY else -- labels me.

    "Progressive," "pro-choice," and "pro-life" are meaningless to me, and I save myself a lot of grief by avoiding them entirely.

    "Lash those traitors and conservatives with the pen of gall and wormwood. Let them feel -- no temporising!" - Andrew Jackson to Francis Preston Blair, 1835

    by Ivan on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 05:08:59 AM PST

    •  Good idea and I guess (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ivan, Fabian, mamamedusa

      part of the fascination in labels is using them as a shorthand for why we are working together and to what end.

      This is not entirely personal--it is social in that we decide together to work for something and the labels are of course a very imperfect way to self-identify with others who have the same goal.

      The only meaning labels have is what we give them and yet many do seem to give them meaning.  Labels perform a basic grouping function that many have difficulty escaping.

      •  All that's true, but (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mamamedusa, gramofsam1, Balanz

        Have you noticed how much time people around here waste -- yes, WASTE -- debating who or what is "progressive" and who or what is not?

        Whatever happened to "This is what I want to see happen, or this is who I want to elect, and this is how I think we should go about it."?

        When we boil what we do down to these questions and try to answer them, it becomes far more productive than worrying about who is a "progressive."

        "Lash those traitors and conservatives with the pen of gall and wormwood. Let them feel -- no temporising!" - Andrew Jackson to Francis Preston Blair, 1835

        by Ivan on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 05:54:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm with you (as far as I understand) (0+ / 0-)

          I see the labels as shorthand for "This is what I want to see happen and why I want to support this person because she wants the same things too."

          And yet the labels have become more important at times than what should be behind them--agreement about policy in our community (the larger one we share, not here on DK).

          In the marketing of public policy decisions, labels have begun to dominate--leading to stereotyping and more excuses not to accept others than to do so.  But they are here and influential.  People choose to self-idetify for their own reasons.  

          Is an anti-label campaign worthwhile? Can sharpening our definition for self-identifying be a step in that direction?

          •  No-brainer (0+ / 0-)

            Is an anti-label campaign worthwhile? Can sharpening our definition for self-identifying be a step in that direction?

            Yes and yes.

            "Lash those traitors and conservatives with the pen of gall and wormwood. Let them feel -- no temporising!" - Andrew Jackson to Francis Preston Blair, 1835

            by Ivan on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 06:44:55 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Labels are how people identify others (0+ / 0-)

            No, an anti-label campaign would work about as well as a third party. You'd have to START by binding the right and the mainstream media to it. Without that, it's unilaterial disarmament. So, no.

            Stop Rob "The Job Outsourcer" Portman. Jennifer Brunner for Senate http://www.jenniferbrunner.com/

            by anastasia p on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 07:07:11 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Like bikers fighting over who (0+ / 0-)

          is entitled to wear the colors.  

          Strength of character does not consist solely of having powerful feelings, but in maintaining one's balance in spite of them - Clausewicz

          by SpamNunn on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 07:03:45 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  The labels (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      homogenius, esquimaux, mamamedusa

      can be useful.
      I like to keep track of who does not think I am capable of running my own life, especially if suck people hold political office or practice medicine.

      I could have been a soldier... I had got part of it learned; I knew more about retreating than the man that invented retreating. --Mark Twain

      by NogodsnomastersMary on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 06:40:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That would be nice (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      homogenius, esquimaux

      if the other side would give up labeling  us. Unfortunately, nothing  is to be gained by unilateral disarming, except us getting crushed. And unfortunately, the debacle being visited on us by the Ohio Democratic Party on this very issue doesn't put me in a good mood to be all starry-eyed and idealistic and "Oh, let's not label people."

      Stop Rob "The Job Outsourcer" Portman. Jennifer Brunner for Senate http://www.jenniferbrunner.com/

      by anastasia p on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 07:06:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm a pro-life progressive, yet banning choice (12+ / 0-)

    doesn't reduce abortions, in fact it increases them and increases the danger to women.

    I'm of the camp that thinks the problem is with unwanted/unplanned pregnancies and that there are several effective means to reduce the number of abortions. I'm about abortion prevention.

    I simply can't support anti-choice. Countries that have banned abortion have made it very tough for women with pregnancy complications. Doctors refuse to treat these women, for fear of a miscarriage and then being accused of abortion.

    •  The only people I know who aren't "pro-life" (5+ / 0-)

      are serial killers, and people who jealously defend the death penalty and global war apparatus.  Everyone else gets the benefit of doubt.

      I don't know what anymore.

      by peterborocanuck on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 05:18:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  As a 50-something adoptee (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gramofsam1

      abortion is a troubling issue for me.  I often have wondered if I'd have been born if abortion was as easily available in 1957. I am most certainly pro-choice but I would like to hear more talk about adoption.  Don't jump all over me for feeling this way.  I'm not judging anyone nor pushing my views on anyone, but I too am about abortion prevention.  

      •  As a 60-something grandmother (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sylv

        of two fabulous kids who came into our family through adoption, I would also like to hear more talk about adoption.  I happen to know that my grandson's birth mom considered abortion, and I cannot imagine our lives, or this world, without him.
        It is possible to be pro-choice, and still feel that better solutions than abortion should be available in many cases.

        •  Let's support adoption, by all means. (0+ / 0-)

          But not as a means to reduce the abortion rate--it won't. The data are conclusive--the only thing that reduces the abortion rate is the widespread availability of contraception and education in its proper use. Period. Across cultures, economic strata, geography, religions, etc., this fundamental reality applies around the world.

          Contraception.

          Adoption is worth supporting for its own sake.

          Schadenfreude--it's the new catnip. (Someone stop me before I become addicted--but not just yet!)

          by homogenius on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 07:27:57 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  The circumstances of one's birth (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        esquimaux, anastasia p, martydd, Balanz

        shouldn't be a reason to limit someone else's options.

        I know for a fact I wouldn't have been born if (a) a physician would have performed the sterilization my mother wanted without my father's signature on the consent form, and (b) my mother's contraceptives hadn't failed.  I can recognize that my being born is a direct result of reproductive injustice while advocating for greater reproductive justice, so more women don't have a series of unplanned/unwanted children like my mother did.

        I don't think there are any pro-choice activists trying to prevent adoption, either.  Real reproductive justice would have to include an improved legal/advocacy system for voluntary relinquishment.  For some women, it's absolutely the right thing to do, and they deserve society's full support.

        I do have a problem with the way some people present relinquishment as an alternative to abortion.  Everyone must be honest about the real lives of the women carrying unwanted pregnancies.  There's a world of difference between the experience of a safe, legal abortion in the first trimester and the relinquishment of an infant after carrying a socially visible pregnancy.

      •  There's a much higher likelihood today (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        homogenius

        you wouldn't have been an adoptee, but stayed with an ineffective mother. But what ifs are what ifs. My problem is with people uncomfortable with abortion who also oppose pregnancy planning. Like the Ohio Democratic Party's candidate for Secretary of State, who had basically already lost our hold on that key office because people are in such revolt against her. Last night at a Christmas party, a field director ended up hiding her petition under his chair and going around to tables with the other three only, because people were refusing to sign.

        Stop Rob "The Job Outsourcer" Portman. Jennifer Brunner for Senate http://www.jenniferbrunner.com/

        by anastasia p on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 07:09:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I do think it's possible to be (11+ / 0-)

    personally anti-abortion but politically, and therefore legislatively, progressive (which I understand to be very pragmatic with regard to reproductive freedom--pro-choice).

    It's certainly getting harder for people to draw a line around what they want and what they're willing to impose on the world around them. But I do think it's possible for this dichotomy to exist and function well for an incredibly diverse public.

    Throughout the debates here, I keep seeing people write about how tough it is for the Nelsons and Stupaks in our party because their constituents are more conservative. Let's address this.

    Liberal Democrats across the country didn't draft Nelson or Stupak and foist them onto their respective constituencies. Those men were duly elected, as Democrats, by their constituents. If this reproductive issue was all their constituents cared about, they would have been passed up for a Republican--any Republican. But they weren't.

    So what does it mean to be an anti-choice Democrat? It should mean that on a personal level, they refuse to abort any child they had something to do with creating. They can even dearly hope and pray that everyone in the country follows suit one day.

    But from a legislative perspective, they're bound by their own party's platform or the platform doesn't mean a thing.

    As of 2008, the national party's platform, with respect to Choice, reads (from pg. 50):

    The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman's right to choose a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay, and we oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.

    Tipped and Recommended, for hosting what could turn out to be a pretty contentious debate.

    •  Thanks Kimberley (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kimberley, bfa, Fabian, mamamedusa

      and posts like yours make the potential nastiness worthwhile.  

      I'm not sure the party platform means much to the party or the people in it as a practical modifier of policy positions.

      The compromises felt necessary to have the power to make policy seem to trump any declarations made for the faithful.  

      We seem to have fallen into a zero sum game with an intractable opponent over the support of the non-committal.

      •  That's probably true (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        delver rootnose

        It's a bad idea but it's probably true just the same.

        Democrats are going to regret signing anything like the current bill into law, if for no other reason than because people will become doubly jaded by having the hope/change/yes-we-can messages become "open for business" to all of the same corporations that have driven this country to the brink of destruction.

        Societies that poisoned against their own governments lash out eventually.

        But there's no standing between fools and their folly, eh?

        Thanks for a great diary and a necessary conversation starter.

    •  well said. n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kimberley
  •  anti-choice? (0+ / 0-)

    I would think a progressive would have to better than that in describing the opposition's position.

    if we can't accept change, things will never be the same again

    by le sequoit on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 05:27:04 AM PST

    •  Well, who's pro-abortion? (5+ / 0-)

      I can't think of a soul who relishes the idea of abortions, not a soul.

      So, in an ideal world, we're all anti-abortion and pro-life. My opposition can't co-opt those phrases because they can just as easily apply to those of us that are ardently pro-choice.

      What would you call it?

      •  maybe believers in the subservience of women? (6+ / 0-)

        I'm with you on that nonsense.

        Clark had a good argument on this years ago.  When pressured on the issue he said that he and his wife wouldn't have chosen an abortion and hoped his son and his wife would never be in the position to need one, but he would not force his personal beliefs on another human being.  While some were nervous about that position, I think it is a acceptable position for a progressive that has religious concerns about the issue.

        We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately - Ben Franklin

        by DanD on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 05:42:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I still wish we could have convinced (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DanD, mamamedusa

          the majority to give Clark the nod for nomination in 2004. I'll never forget people writing me back from places like Oklahoma to say that my letters written on his behalf convinced them to support him. Oklahoma.

          It is an acceptable, and honest, position for a progressive. Nobody hopes to have one.

    •  Educate me. Care to give it a shot? EOM (0+ / 0-)
  •  How about this? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    esquimaux, marybluesky

    Can one be for discrimination of people with pre-existing conditions and progressive at the same time?

    I hear a lot of outrage over the mandates/abortion but very little sympathy for all the millions of people with pre-existing conditions who for the first time ever will now be allowed to buy health insurance.

    •  I have a real bad feeling... (4+ / 0-)

      ...as a person with a pre-existing condition that I'll end up being treated like a driver with a real bad accident history.  Either I can purchase a legit policy at huge premiums or I'll end up with the health equivalent of a minimum coverage policy that really only serves to avoid the penalties for not having it.

      We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

      by delver rootnose on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 05:30:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  There are shouters and bullies on both sides (0+ / 0-)

    And yes, there are "pro-life" progressives. Being "progressive" is historically generally about economic and social justice and government reform. Was Dorothy Day progressive?

    That said, I do think we need to stop allying with the Stupaks and their ilk. If people are personally pro-life, but don't wish to have government impose their views, fine. Even those who will support for pro-life laws, but are willing to sacrifice that in favor of supporting progressives because other issues are more important, fine work with them, and even respect that they have differences on this issue. Those who supported Stupak, for instance, but would still support health care reform regardless of whether that amendment is included.

    But those who would hold up progressive legislation on this issue, and try to force us to compromise womens rights, let them go elsewhere if they want to threaten to. I would rather we forge more alliances with small government types, who want government out of peoples lives altogether.

    •  Dorothy Day opposed contraception. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mamamedusa

      In that, she was not progressive. Sorry if you are a fan.

      I could have been a soldier... I had got part of it learned; I knew more about retreating than the man that invented retreating. --Mark Twain

      by NogodsnomastersMary on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 06:43:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah that was my point (0+ / 0-)

        So did Teddy Roosevelt, the founder of the Progressive Party. It's hard to say that makes someone less progressive when it had nothing to do with the progressive movement.

        The movements for birth control rights, and for abortion rights, were more a product of 1940s and 1960s liberalism, respectively. Progressivism was always more about economic justice, while liberalism always put more emphasis on the rights of the individual.

        Of course you can say that this is still an essential value to a modern progressive, but I'm not clear then what the difference is from a modern liberal, if any. If people are genuinely progressive on economic issues, and want to call themselves pro-life progressives, or some such, I'm inclined to let them.

  •  No, not in the existing anti-choice paradigm (4+ / 0-)

    Coercive anti-choice is incompatible with being a progressive, period.  Progressive anti-choice would mean promotion of abortion alternatives and on obsession with addressing the socioeconomic and institutional determinants of abortion, and it would mean a metric that looks at reducing the actual incidence of abortion rather than bans here and restrictions there.  

    I can't think of a single anti-choice progressive by that definition.  Can anyone?

    Al que no le guste el caldo, le dan dos tazas.

    by Rich in PA on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 05:46:19 AM PST

  •  Progressive anti-choice (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    esquimaux

    There are quite a few Catholic progressives who are pro-union, pro envronment, pro single-payer yet anti abortion.  Nonetheless, for me pro choice is an absolute pillar of liberal thought. In passing, in my own rhetoric I call it 'pro liberty' as opposed to  pro choice, since I think that cuts closer to the real issue. Also, I've been disrturbed recently, not just by Stupak, that there needs to be more of a real public campaign on this issue. Naral and Planned Patrenthood concentrate on the legislative/ Judicial. We need a real strong public voice as well.  And finally, I wish the movement could find a way to be more encouraging of male partiipation.

  •  There are plenty of pro-life liberals (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SpamNunn

    Ignore the silly purity tests.

    Greenbelt, MD loves Barack Obama!

    by Prince Georges for Obama on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 05:56:36 AM PST

    •  agreed--the question is are they anti-choice? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mamamedusa

      Is that silly?  Is this not a social justice issue?  

      Anyway, it's about self-identification on one hand and communal recognition in another.

      Can one be Roman Catholic and refuse to believe in the primacy of the Pope in religious matters?  Sure one could do so but how many other Roman Catholics would accept that person as a member of the church?

      Perhaps in political matters what we believe and say we beleive doesn't matter in this environment.  

      It is one disadvantage of a two party system.

  •  If one sincerely believes that a fetus is a (5+ / 0-)

    fully conscious and sentient human being, then one must be pro-life, especially if one is progressive.

    On the other hand, if you believe that, you're probably superstitious and deeply ignorant of the science on fetal nervous system development.

    Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

    by Robobagpiper on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 06:13:58 AM PST

    •  I'm so glad you finished that comment that way. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      homogenius, cassidy3, esquimaux, Balanz

      I tend to finish it with "...you're probably bullshitting yourself."

      Funny how no one is trying to shut down reproductive endocrinologists' practices.  Fertility docs do selective reductions routinely.  Carrying one or two fetuses to term is a lot more likely than carrying five or six or more.  If it's ethically justifiable to "reduce" a pregnancy from five fetuses to two, surely it's justifiable to reduce from one to zero.

      No one is up in arms about state laws defining when products of conception must be treated as human remains (as opposed to medical waste).  No one is demanding funeral services and memorial sites for every early pregnancy loss.  There is no Tomb of the Unnamed Embryo honoring the kazillions of spontaneous early pregnancy losses that occur all the time.  Who, when researching genealogy, asks every aunt and granny about every miscarriage, so all those deceased "relatives" get a line in the family tree?

      No one is petitioning Hallmark demanding a line of sympathy cards for women who spontaneously miscarry wanted pregnancies.

      No one is proposing legislation extending Family Medical Leave Act maternity coverage to women who miscarry before they even have their first prenatal visit at the doctor's office.

      So yeah-- anyone who tries to tell me they're anti-choice because they sincerely believe life begins at conception is announcing that they haven't thought this one through very well.

      •  What if we forced men to use their baby makers (0+ / 0-)

        only for making babies?  

        Shouldn't each sperm be protected thus making the willful spilling of seed illegal?

        It's only fair.

      •  I think this argument is poor (0+ / 0-)

        I believe that the fetus is a baby. So before you tell me I am an idiot who doesn't think things through, I'd like to address your post here.

        None of your arguments address the basic question, whether the fetus is a baby. It just illustrates what you believe to be absurd extensions of the logic. However, that line of argument chooses to attack those "absurdities" rather than address the fundamental question itself. Until then, you are setting up "easy" figures to attack, all in the guise of calling people superstitious (which you adopt from the previous poster) and morons.

        •  You are free to believe that. (5+ / 0-)

          But if you try to translate that "belief" into public policy, I will fight you with no reservation or hesitation.

          I dont care if we call it belief or superstition--the difference is meaningless to me. I am a progressive and I want laws based on the best scientific fact available, not belief or superstition.

          I don't care if you believe that a fetus is a baby. It is enough to me that I view a fetus as something with the potential for sentient life, and this informs my desire to reduce the abortion rate as much as possible without demonizing women and healthcare providers.

          Schadenfreude--it's the new catnip. (Someone stop me before I become addicted--but not just yet!)

          by homogenius on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 07:36:37 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I am not sure how that responds to (0+ / 0-)

            my question. Do you believe that I automatically demonize women and healthcare providers merely based on my belief alone?

            To a more fundamental point, do you believe that morality has no place in the law?

            •  Those are two new questions. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mamamedusa

              Do you believe that I automatically demonize women and healthcare providers merely based on my belief alone?

              No, but that position is part and parcel of the anti-choice movement.

              To a more fundamental point, do you believe that morality has no place in the law?

              Whose morality? And with what respect to observable, quantifiable facts? Morality has long been a force in public discourse and the framing of laws. But the essence of our system of laws is fact and reason.

              Being anti-choice is antithetical to being a progressive. If you want to reduce the abortion rate, support contraception and education and stay out of women's lives.

              Your beliefs are what you choose for your life, not others.

              Schadenfreude--it's the new catnip. (Someone stop me before I become addicted--but not just yet!)

              by homogenius on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 07:55:18 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Relevant though (0+ / 0-)

                I am still trying to see if you are associating me with that "part and parcel" based on my belief.

                That is my point: whose morality? You argue yourself that morality has played a large role in the framing of laws. I agree, in that it is almost inseparable when setting out rights and obligations within the law. However, whichever route we choose, we pick a morality. When we argue about keeping out religion from legal standards, we are adopting or rejecting one morality from the other. There may be times where "religious morality" may have a positive impact to play, and when "secular morality" has a negative impact. I don't see a reason to exclude either from the scene, especially when the constitution doesn't necessarily forbid a role for religion entirely.

        •  you are obviously entitled to hold (0+ / 0-)

          your belief and of course your decisions would then be informed by your belief.

          Others have different beliefs and thus, will make decisions according to their beliefs.

          You have the right to choose the course of action that is right for you.

          Just like everyone else.

          •  I understand this (0+ / 0-)

            I get the part about choice, but that isn't quite what I am addressing here.

            When we talk about "rights," are we talking philosophically or constitutionally? Because there is a stark difference. One is a narrower subset of the other. One could argue that morality plays a role too, in that we believe it is moral to allow such a right to exist. Which then goes to a fundamental question: does morality have a role to play here in the law? If not, isn't the constitution based on a moral and philosophic framework? Why exclude religious morality in favor of secular? Why not allow both ideas to have time in the market of ideas for the law?

            •  Yes. Morality plays a huge role. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mamamedusa, stokecityfan12

              A human being has a moral right to self determination. The woman's womb, being part of an autonomous being, is the concern of the woman who has an inalienable right to choose whether or not she will become a mother.

              •  Ok (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                cassidy3

                So you agree morality plays a huge role. I guess I would ask whether you would agree with others concerning the imposition of morality by "anti-choicers."

                •  Being part of a society means (0+ / 0-)

                  being a part of coming to agreements, actively or tacitly, about what behaviors are rewarded, punished, or considered outside of the public realm.

                  How people arrive at what they think is right, wrong, or none of their business, be it through morals, practicality, utilitarianism or other means is not my policy concern.  It becomes my concern when we need to make a policy decision together and I need to understand what is behind the positions of others.  I can then find out if negotiating is a waste of time or not.

                  Some societies make policies considered immoral by others but they seem to succeed (in a negative entropy sense).

                  I disagree with a policy decision that limits a woman's ability to exercise control over bringing a pregnancy to term or not.

        •  I think this argument is excellent. (0+ / 0-)

          These arguments do indeed address the basic question of whether the fetus has moral personhood.  If people treat the fetus as having moral personhood if and only if the woman carrying the fetus opts to terminate the pregnancy, when in every other circumstance the fetus has a liminal status not equal to personhood, that is a gaping lapse of logic.

          If moral personhood begins at conception, then it always begins at conception, and not just in those pregnancies with which outsiders feel morally obligated to interfere.  That means that the egg fertilized by a rapist has full moral personhood and can't be "killed" without due process of law-- so exceptions for rape and incest go right out the window.

          Selective reduction is a very intentional killing of an otherwise viable fetus in order to increase the survivability of its co-gestating siblings.  We don't typically accept murdering one child to save the life of one of its siblings, but this really is a normal everyday element of reproductive endocrinology practice.

          So yes, I do indeed call bullshit on your moralism.  It's always a person at conception, or it's never a person at conception.  It can't be "sometimes, when I feel like it should be" a person.

          •  Funny thing is (0+ / 0-)

            I am not disagreeing with you. But until now, you didn't address that quite as specifically. So there is nothing to call out (especially as you do so ill-manneredly).

            I believe the fetus is a baby, and I do take that to the logical conclusions as you describe. Otherwise, it would be inconsistent.

    •  If I lose (0+ / 0-)

      consciousness, can I be killed?

      Or did you not make yourself clear?

      Let's Adopt the James Cameron school of politics: let the sheer quality of the product sell the ideas.

      by Paul Goodman on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 07:58:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  A person who loses consciousness can regain it (0+ / 0-)

        A lump of cells without the neural architecture to produce consciousness can not have it - until such time as that neural architecture develops.

        There's nothing magic about consciousness or sentience. It requires brain hardware to be in place to produce it.

        Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

        by Robobagpiper on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 06:04:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  you can be anti-choice as long as you believe in (0+ / 0-)

    letting everyone be free to make their own CHOICE. And not judge them for it.

  •  No. Anti-choice is anti-progressive. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    esquimaux, big annie, martydd

    The essence of the anti-choice position is telling other people what to do in their personal and professional lives. That is anti-progressive.

    There are plenty of progressive ways to oppose abortion without being anti-choice. Limiting or removing a woman's right to choose does NOTHING to reduce the abortion rate.

    Pro-life progressives can best follow their conscience by supporting contraception and fact-based, age-appropriate sex education.

    It's jaw-dropingly simple.

    Schadenfreude--it's the new catnip. (Someone stop me before I become addicted--but not just yet!)

    by homogenius on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 07:40:17 AM PST

  •  Anti-choice, yes, but not pro-criminalization. (0+ / 0-)

    Choice and freedom are not absolute goods.

    In nature, we would all be free to kill each other without government interference.

    Progress was shrinking some freedoms so as to increase safety.

    Let's consider the following sequence:

    1. Promiscuity
    1. Conception
    1. Abortion

    Is that the best we can do? What about sex-ed? What about contraception?

    Consider the following scenario:

    1. Rape/incest
    1. Conception
    1. Abortion

    Is that the end point of a good society? It is clear that we need to do a whole heckuva lot better in regards to personal safety in America. There are streets I am afraid to walk down, to say nothing about my wife!

    So yes there is a potentially abortion free society, but criminalization will only make things worse.

    Let's Adopt the James Cameron school of politics: let the sheer quality of the product sell the ideas.

    by Paul Goodman on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 07:55:16 AM PST

  •  The essence of the anti-choice (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stokecityfan12

    position is the belief that this little blob of tissue with no nervous system, that depends entirely upon it's host, has rights equal to a completely formed independent individual. Thus they aren't infringing anyone's rights, but are protecting the rights of the aforementioned bit of tissue.

    At least that's what many of them say.

    The fact that these same people also oppose contraception and reproductive education is instructive, and points to other motives.

    "Well, you've got to understand, they're Republicans. They're just doing what comes natural." -John Dingell

    by happy camper on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 08:07:56 AM PST

    •  If I may respond (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happy camper

      Is there a point during those nine months where the fetus would deserve protection? Arguably, at some point a nervous system exists. And, there is a point where form is completed. What about that line?

      And does the opposition of contraception automatically belie sinister motives?

      Isn't your construct overly-simplistic and assumptive?

      •  There is certainly a point where (0+ / 0-)

        the fetus becomes able to survive outside the womb. I don't believe an elective abortion is an appropriate choice at that point. There are however medical reasons to abort a pregnancy regardless of trimester. Thus, I prefer to let women and their doctors make these decisions, rather than politicians.

        Personally, I think elective abortions ought to be carried out as early as possible, if they must be done, if for no other reason than to avoid the moral issues that come up with late term abortions.

        As far as opposing contraception, I consider it the height of folly as well as moralistic meddling in the private lives of others. Contraception is the only proven, reliable way to reduce elective abortions. Countries with the greatest access to contraceptives have much lower abortion rates than we do.

        Condoms are safe and effective, and prevent disease as well. Modern contraceptives are safe and effective. Morning after pills are safe and effective. Abortion rates could be greatly reduced through their wider use, and I do not understand opposition to them.

        "Well, you've got to understand, they're Republicans. They're just doing what comes natural." -John Dingell

        by happy camper on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 08:37:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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