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There’s a nasty lawsuit going on in Texas. A sixteen-year-old girl is pregnant by her  sixteen-year-old boyfriend, a not-uncommon occurrence, sadly. She wants to have the baby. Her parents want her to abort.  With the help of lawyers from the Texas Center for Defense of Life, she’s obtained a TRO against her parents to prevent them from pressuring her to end the pregnancy.  Lots of nasty claims about her parents are being made, and they are not talking. The article  I am linking to makes the point that legally NO ONE can force a woman to have an abortion against her will.

http://www.cnn.com/...

I saw this on CNN, and they had on a spokesman for the anti-choice group defending the girl. He was kvelling the fact that pro-choice groups hadn’t commented on this  situation, and were steering clear of it and being silent. CNN didn’t interview any pro-choice groups on this, needless to say.

I have news for this anti-choice guy: pro-choice people aren’t taking because being pro-choice means you support a woman’s right to decide whether  (or not) to continue a pregnancy. Period. The End. We may think her decision is unwise., but we support her right to make it.

This is what the  Forced Birthers (I refuse to call them pro-life, when most of them are the same folks backing the death penalty and decrying the ACA, food stamps and welfare) don’t understand about pro-choicers: we respect the individual’s right to make a choice about her body and her pregnancy, even if we disagree with that choice. They, on the other hand, want to take away women’s choices, and only permit them to make the choice THEY consider right and moral.

I will give you an example. I cannot stand the Duggers.  I don’t watch their show. I avoid their website like the plague.  I consider their decision to have 19 kids damned near obscene in a world that is running out of resources—and I don’t care if their reason is religious r that they don’t take a dime from the government or anyone else

However, despite my strong negative feelings about this family and their lifestyle, I would defend to my last drop of blood Michele Dugger’s right to attempt to carry another pregnancy to term-=-even knowing that her last one ended in a miscarriage. It is her body.  It is her life. She and only she (one would hope after consulting the idiot she’s married to)has the right to decide what she will do with it. I don’t have to agree with her decision to support her right to  make it.

I would also defend her right to not use contraception and to teach that value to her children—though, again, I consider that decision irresponsible.  It is HER body,

Here’s the big difference between pro-choice and Forced Birthers: I am willing to grant to others the right to make choices I dislike, because I respect their right to control their own bodies.  Forced Birthers don’t think women have or should have that right. While someone like me would fight to make sure that this teenage girl has the right to carry her pregnancy to term, you won’t see the other side defending her right to terminate if her parents were against it (hell, even if the parents supported it, though that’s unlikely to make news). THEY, not we, are the ones who pushed for parental notification laws and get upset if those laws have to contain a judicial review—you know, for the girl whose father is the father of her  child or whose parent would beat the crap out of her if they knew she was pregnant.

I’d like to hear NARAL and other local groups stand up and speak out on this—to make it clear that WE, not the the Forced Birthers, are the ones who respect a woman’s right to choose what to do about an unwanted pregnancy, whether it be to continue that pregnancy or end it. THEY only defend the right to continue it, and will, if permitted, force her to do so against her will, judging by the many laws they tried to pass last year.

CNN, get off your collective lazy arse and find some pro-choice people to interview, instead of ceding this one to the Forced Birthers. Just because, by sheer accident, they’re on the right side of this case, doesn’t mean they’re right on the principle. One phone call to a local Planned Parenthood would have actually made this balanced but no,. that was apparently too much work.

And in case anyone’s wondering, I do not think this girl’s decision to keep her baby is a very wise one, Statistics show teen mothers are unlikely to marry the father of their child (and to end up divorced if they do) and very likely to live in poverty.  It’s not a choice I would encourage, but it is her right to make that choice, and I respect it. There is always the possibility that her parents will change their minds once the baby's born, and help her (ironically considering the TRO, the girl still lives at home) so that she stays in school and graduates and perhaps is able to do college at night or part-time while supporting her child. I wouldn't count on it, but it does happen.

Originally posted to irishwitch on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 03:24 PM PST.

Also republished by Feminism, Pro-Feminism, Womanism: Feminist Issues, Ideas, & Activism.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Yes, we support a woman's right to chose. (23+ / 0-)

    This young woman can make this choice, last time I checked this is one aspect of freedom, the right to chose is basic to human rights.

  •  Wholly agree. (21+ / 0-)

    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

    Who is twigg?

    by twigg on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 03:43:42 PM PST

  •  Well said. (14+ / 0-)

    I'd bet the Texas Center doesn't get that choice means either choice.

    Oh for crying out loud!

    by 4mygirls on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 04:00:07 PM PST

  •  I am off to dinner (5+ / 0-)

    Will check back later.

    The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

    by irishwitch on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 04:07:50 PM PST

  •  a few thoughts ... (8+ / 0-)

    " THEY, not we, are the ones who pushed for parental notification laws and get upset if those laws have to contain a judicial review—you know, for the girl whose father is the father of her  child or whose parent would beat the crap out of her if they knew she was pregnant."

     or a girl who is ousted from the home on to the streets because she got pregnant.  i know because,  as a nurse in the DC area,  i took care of a few of the girls who developed health complications from their pregnancies.

    "A sixteen-year-old girl is pregnant by her  sixteen-year-old boyfriend"

    i am surprised that the boy is not being vilified for having sex @ 16 from these "forced birthers!"

    Faux News ruined my state

    by sc kitty on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 04:15:12 PM PST

  •  I have a friend who fought her daughter's (15+ / 0-)

    decision to abort. I was surprised because she is adamantly pro-choice. Knowing that, I was careful to keep criticism out of my voice when I asked her why she fought her college-age daughter's decision. She said that she supports the right of women to choose but that she would never choose abortion for herself or anyone in her family. She was prepared to stand by her daughter during her pregnancy by helping her get all the prenatal care she might need and supporting her if she could no longer attend school (she was on scholarship). She hoped that after carrying a baby to term, her daughter would choose to keep the baby, but would help her give up the baby for adoption if, after the birth, the daughter still didn't want the baby.

    I admit being conflicted over her response, but overall, I think I respect her even more for opposing abortion for herself and her family while demanding that it remain an available option for all women.

    (In case you're curious, the daughter did abort and my friend went with her to care for her; her daughter may not have honored her wishes, but she stood by her anyway.)

    I'm a Democrat - I believe that government has a positive role to play in the lives of ordinary people.

    by 1BQ on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 04:15:18 PM PST

    •  I am glad the mom stood by her (5+ / 0-)

      But it is hypocritical to say, "I support choice unless it affects someone I actually know," which is what her stance boils down to.

      History should teach humility and prudence, but America doesn't seem to learn. I've never seen a virgin who loses her innocence so often. -- Gordon Wood

      by stormicats on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 04:48:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  if her daughter were college aged, at that time (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      irishwitch, chimene

      she was an adult.  So the parent's objection would have been seen as pro forma
      (BTW my adult daughter came to me when she found she was carrying her third and I, for a multitude of reasons, advised her to keep the baby.  It turned out to be a fortunate choice for her and one of the few times I actually gave good advice as a parent)

    •  I don't respect her attitude. NOT pro-chocie. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Munchkn, chimene, coquiero, splashy, filkertom

      It is one thing to reject abortion for oneself--but she wanted to take that decision away from her daughter who was a legal adult and able to make that chocuie herself. I AM glad she stood by her.

      I am not sure my parents would have stood by  me if I  had gotten pregnant. The one time I thought I was at 23,  I decided to abort without telling them.

      The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

      by irishwitch on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 05:04:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh please (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marykk, chimene, happymisanthropy, 1BQ

        Being pro-choice doesn't mean I think abortion is morally right in all circumstances. But it DOES mean that I get to make the morally right or morally wrong choice when it comes to ME.

        As a parent it's my job to teach my kids MY morals.

        As a parent of daughters I'd do exactly the same thing. We support them HAVING a choice, but we are under no obligation to agree with the actual choice they make. Sometimes it is enough to understand that at least they won't be choosing to get maimed or murdered in a back ally. THAT is why we are pro-choice.

        That doesn't make me anti-choice. It makes me one of those people who believe that abortion should be safe and it should be rare. You can only legislate one. The other one happens as a result of many cultural pressure points (which the forced birthers have yet to discover or appreciate.)

        •  I think the woman above is slightly hypocritical. (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Munchkn, chimene, sngmama, coquiero, Naniboujou

          I DO think she is weakly pro-choice. I have a best friend who is similar--we have agreed to disagree. I DOknwo she'd have made the same decision your friend did and supported her daughter if one of them had chosen abortion. Their father? The self-righteous Catholic Republican who likes to visit prostitutes and blames his wife for hsi infidelity? He'd likely throw her out on the street.

          And who said I would disagree about a parent's right to teach her children her morals? Yoru kid, you teach 'em. But I ALSO get to disagree with you--first amendment and all that.  And legally you don't get to force them to have an abortion--nor should you be able to force them NOT to have one, unless the girl truly is a child.

          I think women have abortions for reasons that seem moral to them--and most likely to me.  Too young? Moral to me. Unable to care for another child? Moral.  Need to finish school so you can afford to have a baby? Moral. Unable to face single motherhood with no support network? Moral.

          Safe legal and rare is an ideal. It would be much better if every pregnancy were wanted or planned. As a defensible position, it  ONLY works  if you accept the reality that people who aren't married or in a stable position to raise a child WILL have sex--and not all of them will use or afford birth control.  Unless birth control is free and available to teenagers and young women--and the Catholic church is doing its best to make sure that never happens (which is why I left it 40+ years ago).

          The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

          by irishwitch on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 05:53:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  THIS is my point, that my friend supports all (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          marykk

          women having a choice, even if she disagreed with her daughter's. Parents can disagree with their grown children's choices even while they demand that they be given that choice.

          I'm a Democrat - I believe that government has a positive role to play in the lives of ordinary people.

          by 1BQ on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 07:38:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes but the notion that she disagrees with it for (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            splashy, marykk

            herself AND her family is the problem.  There's a strong element of coercion there when you add the "And family" bit.  You may not see it, but I do--because I had Catholic parents who would NOT have supported that decision. They wanted abortion legal--but not for me.

            I chose not to have kids.  But if I had, I'd have sat down and discussed birth control and sex frankly--I know I'd do this because when I was in college I had a surrogate  "little sister" with whom I had this discussion and told her flatout that if she became sexually active, she needed at least to use condoms for STIs as well as birth control--but the Pill was a better choice for pregnancy prevention.  This was 71, BEFORE ROe, so we didn't discuss abortion--but after 73, I'd have held her hand if she needed one.

            The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

            by irishwitch on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 08:25:07 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I guess you didn't read my original comment. Even (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Naniboujou

              though she didn't want her daughter to have an abortion, when her daughter insisted, my friend not only paid for the procedure, she took her daughter to the doctor's office and stayed with her. She overcame, or disregarded, her own objections in order to support her daughter. I think that's admirable, although I would have preferred that she not object to begin with.

              I think that family, and even friends, have the right to hold their own opinions and to voice them. They just don't have the right to prevent a woman from exercising her own right to a safe, legal abortion. But no one is obligated to support a woman's decision to abort. Although we'd like everyone to be pro-choice and open-minded about exercising that choice, that's not the world we live in. We'll keep working on that :-)

              I'm a Democrat - I believe that government has a positive role to play in the lives of ordinary people.

              by 1BQ on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 09:14:03 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I read the comment. (0+ / 0-)

                I stand by what I said.  There is still a strong element of coercion in it when she said she was fine with abortions for others but not for her AND HER FAMILY. Yes, she changed her mind in the end. But in her mind she still had the right to make the decision for her family as well as herself.

                I tend to think family and friends should keep their opinions to themselves unless they are requested. I will assume the daughter requested the opinion.

                The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

                by irishwitch on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 11:02:52 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  I had catholic parents too (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Naniboujou, Ahianne

              There is a difference between accepting someone's choice and condoning it.

              There are not degrees of being prochoice depending on one's enthusiasm for choosing abortion. Or on their quickness to label every reason for abortion as morally right.

              I'd be exactly as this mother. It is much easier to be prochoice when you're not ever put to the test. When real life hands you a test such as a daughter getting pregnant when she doesn't want to be...well, that is when you EARN your prochoice badge. This mother definitely did. Had the daughter given the child up for adoption against her mother's wish but the mother stayed with her in the hospital and delivery...same thing.

              Acceptance of our ability to choose for ourselves is ALL that is required for labeling ourselves prochoice. Kudos to anyone whose belief in this is tested in real life and comes through it even when their heart is breaking.

              •  I was put to the test. (0+ / 0-)

                I knew my parents and I chose to go it alone. Becuase I KNEW what their reactions to be. I knew because a close friend got pregnant and put the baby up for asoption. They approved heartily. They did NOT approve at all when I told them I'd accompanied another friend back in 70 to get the early version of Plan B--basically the Pill with instructions.  My father was very inflexible, and he would not have forgiven me. Hell when I was 29 and chose to marry a divorced man without getting the church approval and was married out of the church--even though I hadn't been a Catholic for years--he almost didn't forgive THAT.

                Have YOU ever had to make the choice for yourself?

                The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

                by irishwitch on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 11:06:39 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  The thing is, why does she think her family (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      irishwitch, filkertom

      Decisions should be made by her?

      We are all separate people. Only the person that is pregnant should make the decision, since they will bear the costs.

      Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

      by splashy on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 07:54:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The point I was trying to make and failed. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        splashy, filkertom, marykk

        The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

        by irishwitch on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 08:25:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, I saw that after my comment (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          irishwitch

          Only those that will bear the costs should make decisions regarding their lives.

          Otherwise, it's slavery - when someone else who won't bear the costs makes the decisions for them.

          Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

          by splashy on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 08:55:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Yeah the Forced Birthers are so pro-life that (8+ / 0-)

    they protest Planned Parenthood where I live while up the street is a Marine Recruiting Office and down the road a couple of miles is a pawn shop selling Guns among several other places.

  •  Pretty freakin' much. (9+ / 0-)

    As you say, we may not think it a wise choice.  But it is ultimately not our business; it is hers and hers alone.  And I wish her and her family, all of them, well.

    -----
    Tom Smith Online
    I want a leader who shoots for the moon. The last time we had one, we got to the moon.

    by filkertom on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 04:37:37 PM PST

  •  The Duggers I disagree (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    radarlady, irishwitch

    Having 19 kids from coitus, sure, everybody makes their own decision.

    But using IVF to have children can reasonably be limited to some number, say 6. If they want to have more children naturally after that, or adopt, fine, go ahead.

    •  Acknowledge that 6 is arbitrary. nt (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      radarlady, irishwitch, marykk
    •  remember that in some cases such as with (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      radarlady, irishwitch

      fertility drugs, in rare cases you can end up with multiple births so for couples with fertility problems, sometimes pregnancy is literally a crap shoot  

    •  Didn't think any of their kids were IVF. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Catte Nappe, chimene

      I DO know the last pregnancy was  very har done her--and the doctors advised her nOT to get pregnant. Still her choice.

      ANd with IVF, lots of doctors will only implant two embryos at a time--Octomom is not the rule. Others may uimplant mroe if the mother is older, but usually terminate a couple because carrying 5 or 6 is a very high risk  pregnancy for mother and babies.

      The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

      by irishwitch on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 05:07:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I stand corrected - according to wikipedia (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        irishwitch, Catte Nappe

        all natural with two pairs of fraternal twins.

        Yes, I'm all for free choice, even though social security will kick in if the parents die.

        Personal choice is sacrosanct, and we will even support your offspring if you aren't around to do so.

        •  I disagree with the Duggers' choices (6+ / 0-)

          and, frankly, disapprove of them. I think th eir child-rearing practices come damned clsoe to child abuse--if those kids tried tog et jobs doing some of the thigns they do on the property, no one would dare hrie them. You don't let 13 year olds use heavy equipment--except on the privacy of their parents' property.  

          Still, disagreeing and disapproving though I am, I would not take away their rights to make thsi chocie *though I DO think we can limit how many kids you get to deduct on your income tax---a change I would support).

          The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

          by irishwitch on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 05:26:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  good point - about tax policy (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            irishwitch, chimene

            I'd divert that into early childhood education.

            Say, for example, tax break for the first two kids, and after that what would have been a tax break for the 3rd child and so on would go to prenatal care for someone else (1st two pregnancies) and part-time developmental daycare beginning at age 2.

          •  The oldest girls raise the kids (5+ / 0-)

            "Mother of the Year" Michelle (according to some Xtian organizations) doesn't raise her kids once they are around 6 months old.  One of the older girls, Jessa, seems to be in charge of schooling although that likely skirts, if not outright breaks, Arkansas law.  The kids are getting a piss-poor education at the School of the Dining Room Table.  None of the kids are allowed to attend a brick-and-mortar college, even one as conservative as Bob Jones or Hyles-Anderson.

            The youngest kids are just running wild. They are also not getting screenings that they would get if they attended public school. Several of the youngest kids seem delayed especially the youngest Josie who is a micro premie.  The Duggars are so bent on their claims that Josie is perfectly normal that she is unlikely to get the follow-up therapy she needs.

            Their friends, the Bateses, are not much, if any, better. They have 19 kids. Their daughter Erin is able to attend classes at Crown College, an extremely conservative fundamentalist school in Tennessem but only if she is chaperoned to class. Erin had to turn down a music scholarship to UT.  Mama Kelly Bates has to take hormone injections to sustain pregnancy at this point.  Hormone injections seem hypocritical if you are set on leaving your fertility up to god.

            •  Duggar kids are taught (4+ / 0-)

              to read, write and do basic arithmetic by someone (likely, as you sou suggest, an older girl).  Then they do everything via computer. I suspect it's either the one from Pensacola Christian College (having lived in that town, I am all too familiar with the school and what it stands for--bleeech) or a similar one.   Arkansas doesn't seem to care so long sa they pass the GED exam and "graduate". Of course, this IS the state that put away the West Memphis Three  as Satanic killers based on absolutely no evidence other than a parole officer and sheriff's personal dislike of the Goth kids and the testimony of soemone who claimed to be an occult expert whose degree came from a mail-in diploma mill...they did no DNA testing (and this was 92).

              You hit the nail on the head about their child-rearing style.  I feel like the older kids are unpaid nursemaids, teachers, housemaids and home repair and yardwork people.  They have no childhood. The Bateses seem the same way.

              This type of fundy Christian does not regard education beyond the asics as important, so natch college doesn't matter to them--unless one of the kids got the Call and wanted to beclome a preacher. SInce the Duggers attend a non-denominational church (I think it's some form of Baptist but not SBC which at least has real seminaries to ordain ministers)  where just getting the Call is enough (you don't need no stinkin' degree to read the Bah-bul), I doubt even then they'd see a need for it.

              And god help the kids who turns out tobe gay--with 19 kids, there's a good chance statistically that 1 or 2 of them are.

              The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

              by irishwitch on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 08:35:11 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  That's been my thoughts (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                irishwitch, emeraldmaiden

                About at least one being gay. The chances are high, and that poor child will really be lost, not understanding what the deal is.

                Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

                by splashy on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 09:24:06 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  I think it's child abuse too (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            emeraldmaiden, marykk

            Especially for the girls, who are expected to take care of everyone else when they are not ready to, which means that children are raising children.

            Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

            by splashy on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 08:57:59 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  That's a little tougher (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        irishwitch

        because what the patient wants and what the physician believes is ethical based on the facts known to him/her may not be the same.

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

        by marykk on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 05:49:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  A lot of states Medical Association (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          marykk, LilithGardener, chimene

          ahve standards about how many embryos they'll implant, depending on the age f the mother.   Many will recommend removing some of the embryos if they implant 6 and all actually take.  This is the reason why choosing an IVF doc, like any other kind of doctor, requires doing your homework and asking lots of questions tomake sure you're on t he same page.

          Of course, I consider myself to be hiring a doctor for the job of my physician, and the first visit is a paid jopb interview. If I  don't like his answers, I thank him,. and look elsewhere.

          The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

          by irishwitch on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 06:13:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  There are a lot of people who don't know you (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            marykk, chimene, irishwitch

            can screen a physician over the phone, a 10-20 phone interview can reveal a lot, and save both parties a lot of time, if it isn't a good fit.

            •  I prefer my own judgment. (0+ / 0-)

              A rec from a friend or a nurse from a rec line isn't the smae as talking to the doc. SUre, I check crednetials.  But a rec from others just means the doc works for them. I was sent to a gynie by y  GP--husband checked her out, she got good refs. He forgot this is the SOuth and women seem to LIKE and Prefer condescending docs--I loathe them.  My clothes never came off. The tip-off was the nurse calling me "dear" instead of taking the time to use my NAME. I am 63--at the time 62. SHe was 25.  Yup that was the genral attitude. The doc was more of same, a SOuthern lady dripping iwth condescnsion. I left--and I told her if she dared to bill Triare for an appt I didn't actually HAVE with her, I'd get a lawyer. She didn't, and next time I'll check mroe aefully.  

              YOu need tot alk with them in person.  Even theri staff isn;'t necessarily enough. Love my GP but all his staff is Hispanic, becuase many of his patients are.  Love him,. but soem of his staff leave a lot to be desired on the phone--ENglish is not their first language and their views do not represent his. My GP is basically CLiff Huxrable, a alrge ex-college football jock with a good sense of humor who listens and respects my intelligence. His staff? Not so much,

              The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

              by irishwitch on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 08:40:43 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Okay, now, Sweetie, (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                irishwitch

                The bathroom is at the end of the hall, on the right. Do you see it there? Good.

                Just pee in the cup and leave it on the little shelf. Don't forget to write your initials on it. Just your first and last, yes, dear.

                I know exactly the type you describe! LOL

  •  My best friend's Catholic parents tried to force (9+ / 0-)

    her to have an abortion at 16.  Pro-choice me was the only one to stand up for her and support her in her (insanely stupid) decision.  

    pro-CHOICE is just that...I mean, what is not to understand by pro-CHOICE?

    "I watch Fox News for my comedy, and Comedy Central for my news." - Facebook Group

    by Sychotic1 on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 04:42:26 PM PST

  •  Wow. I admit that if I had a 16 year old pregnant (8+ / 0-)

    daughter I would beg her to get an abortion- but it would ultimately be her choice and I would support her no matter what.

    I agree with your point about choice 100%. I've been around a lot of pregnancies, some of which I thought should be terminated and some I thought should be carried. But my opinion didn't matter. As a friend and sister, I wasn't there for my opinion, I was there for support and I supported every choice with all that I could.

    P.S. I am not a crackpot.

    by BoiseBlue on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 04:45:03 PM PST

  •  19 children take a terrible toll upon a (10+ / 0-)

    woman's body, something the Quiverfull folks try to hide.  Women who have had that many kids have all sorts of health problems later in life (ever try to deal with urinary incontinence or a uterine prolapse?  Now that would be a reality show)

     

  •  There is value in knowing you were wanted (6+ / 0-)

    That's a fact.  Many people feel inspired by stories of women who had children in difficult situations and how well they turned out.

    But part of what makes those stories beautiful is that it is a testament that they were wanted from the get go.  Their parents wanted them and were willing to endure hardships/etc., they had a choice, and they chose to have a child.

    The same cannot be said from a situation where a child is NOT assured in any way they were wanted, because their parents were forced to have them.

    And the beauty of the story of the nature of their birth will be tainted because they can never be sure if they were an option their parents fought for.

    There is something desperately sad about that.

    Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

    by Chris Reeves on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 04:50:58 PM PST

  •  Right wing language games (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    irishwitch, chimene

    By calling themselves "Pro-lifers" they rigged the game. To oppose them meant what? "Anti-lifers"? "Pro-abortion"?

    I don't remember how many times I had to correct someone explaining that no one in the right mind would be supporting abortion. Supporting choice has nothing to do with supporting abortion.

    They control the message by selecting frames and memes.

    Pathos heavy memes include " family values," "American," "Patriot," " Freedom," "Homeland," " Liberty,"" Prosperity,""Job creators,"etc etc...

    "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

    by zenox on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 05:04:54 PM PST

  •  A needed perspective, thanks. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marykk

    I'd ask, as others have, does a young mother's statistical likelihood of "ending up in poverty" have anything to do with our lack of a family-friendly society, generally? You know, here you pay through the nose for education, child care, healthcare, all those things they take completely for granted in "socialist" countries. You talk to many women who had children in their teens, they say, "It's the best thing I could have done. Forced me to grow up and to be responsible. I cleaned up my act, because I didn't want my baby to have an (addict/ne'er do well) for a mother..."

    Yes, I agree completely with your absolutist stance on "choice" regarding personal reproductive matters. I also wonder if the "downside" of young motherhood isn't simplified in our popular rhetoric, to make it more palatable to guardians of the status quo.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 05:08:22 PM PST

    •  I taught junior high. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      karmsy, marykk, sngmama, Naniboujou, Ahianne

      We had pregnant 13-year-olds.  I don't think anyone that young is prepared for motherhood.  I tend to be doubtful about most 16-year-olds. Without a high school diploma, you're pretty much screwed. Yes, you can get a GRE, but it's hard. I say that having spent a semester teaching single mothers, most of them under 18, who had dropped out (one had been offered a scholarship to Emory) of high school. Their attendance was required as part of their welfare check, and some I could see would get the +GRE and go on to A.S. programs--three of them, to be exact.  It was heart-breaking.  The fathers wanted to play with the baby but gave them nothing--nor did they even buy toys for the baby.

      But yes, the lack of a support system and a safety neck makes it even harder.

      The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

      by irishwitch on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 05:13:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The cultural moral default is to (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      irishwitch, karmsy

      carry a pregnancy all the way through. I am to change that cultural moral default.

  •  What if the girl was 11? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    irishwitch, BluejayRN

    I believe strongly that women should have full reproductive rights and be able to exercise their choices.

    But what constitutes a woman? Who should have the choice if the woman is still a girl?

    I know of a family where the 11 year old was pregnant (she'd had her period one time and then "fooled around" with the older brother of a friend in their basement.) She didn't even know she'd had sex, per se. Her parents made her have an abortion and I'm pretty sure I'd have done the same thing.

    Sixteen is a hard one. If the forced birthers win this one then they need to be held accountable when sixteen year old girls can't independently decide to use birth control (or take sex education.) If 16 is the cutoff then it's THE cutoff for everything having to do with their reproductive choices.

    •  With a child of 11 (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marykk, eltee, Munchkn

      it's a different ballgame. I think then it becomes a medical decision--most girls aren't developed enough to  handle a pregnancy. In many ways, it's no different than a parent choosing for her daughter ot have her tonsils removed. AT that point, it becomes the parents' decision. But a 16-year-old--while not a legal adult and not necessarily capable of raising a child--is capable of making her own moral decisions.  

      as I said, I back her right to choose. I think her choice sucks.

      The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

      by irishwitch on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 05:32:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  So what's the line? (0+ / 0-)

        Is it age? Is it a physical demarcation? Who decides?

        Is it 12? 13? 14? 15? 16? 17?

        Insofar as the law goes, I'm not sure there's a difference between the decisions a parent is allowed to make between 11 and 16, is there?

        This is an interesting case simply for revisiting this question because, as a mother with daughters, I think it should be hashed out.

        •  difference between 16 and 11 is the chance (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          marykk, irishwitch

          for emancipation.  A 16 year old has a much better chance

        •  I think 16 is likely the minimum age (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          marykk, chimene, Ahianne

          to be an emancipated minor.  But this is NOT a medical decision from the parents. There is no reason to think the girl's health will be impaired by carrying to term.

          Will her lfie be ruined? Possibly. Will it be challenged if she keeps the baby? Very likely.  

          But whether you approve or not,the law in TX says her parents cannot force the abortion.  Sadly, they MAY be able to prevent one were the case reversed.

          I don't think there's hard and fast case law on this. I think every case is different. It's the same with judicial review in parental notification states--a 14 year old might be mature enough to explain to a judge that she knows that there is a potential (and that is as far as I am willing to go) human being in the fetus inside her--but she also knows she won't be able to care for it, won;t be able to finish high schoola nd will ahve no future, and thus she needs an abortion.  I think  it's at 15-16 that things get touchy--and I really hate the idea od parents forcing their choice on the girl, either way it goes.

          I have no kids, chose not to, have had to face the possibility of an abortion  t age 23--and was spared going through with it because it was a Pill malfunction.  But I HAVE taught junior high stuetns and I have taught GRE students, all of them single Moms, most of them under aged at the time of the birth. I've seenthe consequences of early motherhood, and don't recommend it. Still I DON'T like the idea of a aprent forcimg an abortion on a 16 year old. Frankly I would rather see parents have the brains tot ake their daughter to a gynecologist and give permission for the Pill at age 16--even if you disapprove of sex that young.

          The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

          by irishwitch on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 06:04:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I seem to remember an eleven year old in (4+ / 0-)

        a Latin American country who was preggers by her father and denied an abortion
        Wait a minute, this is more common than I thought
        http://afp.google.com/...
        http://wireupdate.com/...
        http://community.babycenter.com/...

        and I did not find the case I was looking for; these are other cases I was not aware of

  •  This is why I don't understand how women (6+ / 0-)

    can be "pro-life". Why don't they see that if you give big government the right to make one choice for you? you're also giving them the eventual right to make the other choice for you.

    That's what choice means.

    somewhere down the road some sort of 'ethnic cleansing' might seem like a good idea to one duly-elected "physcocpath-caucus" or another

    seriously

    "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

    by Sybil Liberty on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 05:37:15 PM PST

    •  it is because of what is good for me is not good (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marykk, irishwitch, Munchkn, Shishapangma

      for thee syndrome.  Take Schlafly for example, the spearpoint of the anti-feminism movement who is an attorney, has had a voice on the national stage and a professional career but who advocates that women remain barefoot and preggers and not pursue a career

      We have heard of "Uncle Toms", "Tio Tomas" so could we now say "Aunt  Thomasina?"  

  •  Our first foster child (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    irishwitch, jlms qkw, chimene, Ahianne

    was a girl from Texas in exactly this circumstance.  She was seventeen, and wanted to have the baby.  She did, and eventually placed him for adoption, and it has been successful all around (adoptive parents are lovely, she went back to school and got job trainng, kid is now in college and they all visit at least annually).  Now others' mileage may vary, but she did what she chose to do.

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

    by marykk on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 05:42:58 PM PST

    •  This girl soesn't seem to have the realsitic view (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marykk

      pof your young women. She wants to keep it.

      The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

      by irishwitch on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 06:05:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't know that the kid was realistic (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        irishwitch

        at the time, but she knew she could not go home with the baby and wanted to find a way to maintain contact with him.  Over the long haul, however, it worked out well.  Of course the family she chose was excellent, something she could not really have predicted.  

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

        by marykk on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 06:07:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Republicans FAVORED forced abortions in the... (4+ / 0-)

    Northern Mariana Islands.  When corporation do it, it's okay.

  •  Choice--and the Canada argument (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marykk, Whatithink

    Canada has no laws about abortion and 1/7 the number of abortions than the US. WHy? National Health Care.

    I oppose abortion, because I feel it is too often the choice of desperate women.

    I support free birth control (and define it as any medication in the first few weeks.) I support complete, wrap-around health care so that the ability to support a child well will not be any factor in a woman's decision. I support the strong, aggressive defense of women (or any gender) who are threatened in any way.

    When we remove finances, health care, threats and social stigma from the table, now we really have "choice." The government has no place in the doctor's office. But freed from all the threats that the conservatives want to make women into brood mares, I trust women to make the best choices with advice from those they choose to consult.

    And when they do, I support complete government help for their child's needs...from birth, through free preschool, through end-of-live care.

    •  That's food for thought (5+ / 0-)

      although even with good community supports, there will always be those situations in which the woman decides there are sound reasons for discontinuing the pregnancy.  Even universal availability of Plan B will not eliminate all those situations.

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

      by marykk on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 06:04:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nope. (5+ / 0-)

        And that is why abortion must be legal.

        And so many of the folks who want to ban it--are the oens sneaking around to the backdoor of the clinic with their kids because the onoy good abortions are for rape (maybe), health of the mother (maybe) and theirs.

        The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

        by irishwitch on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 06:07:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I AGREE (5+ / 0-)

        Because the government has no place beyond my front door or beyond the door of my doctor's office.

        Those "constitution addicts" who think they know history need to think hard about that line about "no quartering of troops." What the "Founding Fathers" were saying is that privacy starts--and ends-at your front door.

        But that said, I don't believe that choices are "free" unless we commit to one another that health and wellness choices will be supported by all of us.

        A case in point: In Florida Governor Skeletor is cutting women with income between $11000 and $20000 from Medicare. An abortion costs ~$300, a delivery ~$10,000.
        What would you choose?

        I'm saying that we must trust women. But to do that, we must tell them that their choices will be supported.

  •  I'll check back in later. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marykk

    My back and I need a break.

    The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

    by irishwitch on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 06:20:53 PM PST

  •  Yes, it's the choice of the host (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    irishwitch

    And no one else's, because they will bear the cost.

    Forced birthers, on the other hand, don't think it is.

    Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

    by splashy on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 07:50:23 PM PST

  •  Lack of pro-choice media coverage (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    irishwitch
    I saw this on CNN, and they had on a spokesman for the anti-choice group defending the girl. He was kvelling the fact that pro-choice groups hadn’t commented on this  situation, and were steering clear of it and being silent. CNN didn’t interview any pro-choice groups on this, needless to say.

    ...

    CNN, get off your collective lazy arse and find some pro-choice people to interview, instead of ceding this one to the Forced Birthers. Just because, by sheer accident, they’re on the right side of this case, doesn’t mean they’re right on the principle. One phone call to a local Planned Parenthood would have actually made this balanced but no,. that was apparently too much work.

    This attitude on the part of progressives is the whole problem. We're not living in the 60s or 70s, or even the 80s any more. If you want to get your viewpoint on the media, you have to approach them directly. You cannot sit around and expect them to call you. It simply doesn't work like that any more.

    Yeah, that sucks. Yeah, that's not real journalism. But it's reality. And it's a reality that our opponents understand, and for some reason they don't have the same moral qualms we do about taking advantage of it.

    This will rub many people the wrong way, but the reason the forced-birthers got the first media coverage, and apparently all of it, has nothing to do with ideology on the part of the media. It's that they went out of their way to minimize the amount of time and money that the media would need to expend to cover their side.

    That's what it means for the media to be "corporate"; it doesn't mean that they're ideologically committed to right-wing-views on social issues, it means that they'll do what makes them the most money. They'll cover at least part of our side if we can learn to approach them the same way the regressives do. We need to goddamn assert ourselves publicly.

    And for heaven's sake, we need to start promoting our viewpoints rather than simply trying to inform. We've got to stop acting like we're teachers and our audience are students. Teachers can reasonably expect work from their students. We cannot expect that from our audience. That's just the way things are. Regardless of how self-evident our ideas seem to us, we can't just toss them out and expect the public to take the initiative to study them. We have to sell our ideas, and to do that we have to get over our aversion to selling.

    Writing in all lower-case letters should be a capital offense

    by ebohlman on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 07:55:35 PM PST

  •  Here's a hypothetical (0+ / 0-)

    (1) minor girl, pregnant, chooses not to have an abortion
    (2) girl's doctors identify medical problem that will with virtual certainty kill both children unless the pregnancy is terminated
    (3) parents (and/or a judge) intervene and force their daughter to undergo an abortion

    This is completely parallel, it seems to me, to a situation where a minor child had some other life-threatening medical condition and chose not to have surgery that would save her life. The parents, and in some cases, even the state, could intervene in that case and force her to undergo the procedure.

    I agree this would be a horrible situation for everyone, but it is a case where a forcible abortion might well be the best option.

  •  The only thing I disagree with you on (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    irishwitch

    is that no parent should have the right to keep their child in ignorance about how their body works. We all now know that STD's kill people. With HIV and HPV being known killers and anti-biotic resistant strains of other diseases evolving, it is really a public health concern even if you ignore the childs right to a complete education.

    That passed by; this can, too. - Deor

    by stevie avebury on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 07:08:58 AM PST

    •  Unfortunately, the law ALLOWS parents to keep (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stevie avebury, marykk, LadyMiseryAli

      their kid ignorant by demanding they not take sex ed. Because RELIGION is more important than someone not getting HIV, natch.  And it's not like they can actually keep the kid ignorant. There are libraries and the internet where the kid can learn the truth.

      Of course, if it were an abstinence only sex ed class, I would not want my child participating in it--because FACTS.  But then my kid would already know the facts.

      The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

      by irishwitch on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 11:52:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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