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When I first arrived on Daily Kos almost 10 years ago, I was pro-life, having hopped the fence on abortion back in 2003.  But that changed two years ago, when a growing trend of disregard for privacy and basic human dignity made me realize I couldn't call myself even a non-traditional pro-lifer.  However, I was still on the fence on this issue, though leaning pro-choice.  No longer.  The prospect that it could potentially be legal to desecrate a corpse has pushed me off the fence and firmly on the side of a woman's right to choose.  I posted last night, but I'm reposting since it got lost in the discussion about the State of the Union.

What finally prompted me to resign from the pro-life movement was learning about a horrible law in Florida that would have required every woman getting an abortion in the state to get a vaginal ultrasound beforehand--a procedure that essentially amounted to state-sanctioned rape.  I didn't think it was even remotely possible to come up with anything more monstrous than that--though a proposed law in Wisconsin that would give in-laws the power to stop an abortion came pretty close.  

But then came the recent ordeal that the Munoz family had to endure.  Marlise was brain dead as of November 28, and may have lost all spontaneous brain function when she collapsed two days earlier.  Despite this, and the fact she had let it be known she did not want to be kept alive by artificial means, John Peter Smith Hospital claimed that state law didn't allow them to turn off the machines because she was pregnant.  Never mind that according to her husband, Erick, Marlise was already showing signs of decay.  

When the decision finally came, Operation Rescue and Texas Right to Life wrung their hands, claiming that Wallace was sanctioning the murder of an incapacitated woman and her child.  As ignorant as that sounds, it isn't surprising.  After all, we are talking about a movement that gives succor to pregnancy centers that have been proven to put out inaccurate information.  Dangerously so, in some cases--some of these centers claim that STDs can disappear with time.  Now consider that these people are pushing laws that would effectively force abortion clinics to close while doing nothing about pregnancy centers that are almost unregulated.  What's wrong with this picture?

Erick's lawyers pointed out that if a hospital is really required to keep a legally dead woman on life support if she's pregnant, hospitals could potentially be required to check dead women for signs of pregnancy, and hook them up to life support if they are.  If that is even remotely possible, then there's no longer any doubt--the pro-life movement doesn't have a damn thing to do with the sanctity of life, and everything to do with eroding our privacy through the back door.   It's a scenario that could potentially become a reality if Monday night's Republican lieutenant governor's debate in Texas is any indication.  All four candidates said that they would have kept Marlise on life support, and two (and possibly three) of them would support amending the law to require brain-dead women to stay on life support if they're pregnant.

SemDem told me two years ago that I didn't leave the pro-life movement--the pro-life movement left me.  It took the prospect that it could even potentially be legal to desecrate a corpse to convince me of it.

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Comment Preferences

  •  welcome back to sanity (6+ / 0-)

    "pro-life liberal"  is an oxymoron.

    don't always believe what you think

    by claude on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 07:11:39 AM PST

    •  Actually, pro-life is the definition (10+ / 0-)

      of liberal. Just not in the way the right uses the term.

      Certainly from our standpoint, this gives us a sense of momentum -- when the United States has accolades tossed its way, rather than shoes. - PJ Crowley

      by nsfbr on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 07:30:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not an oxymoron at all. (15+ / 0-)

      Stricter gun legislation is pro-life.
      Anti-military intervention is pro-life.
      Combating climate change is pro-life.
      Anti-death penalty is pro-life.
      Affordable health care is pro-life.
      Anti-poverty efforts is pro-life.

      “I care about the life of every child: every child that goes to bed hungry, every child that goes to bed without a proper education, every child that goes to bed without being able to be a part of the Texas dream, every woman and man who worry about their children’s future and their ability to provide for that future."
      -Wendy Davis
      People who call themselves "pro-life" are not pro-life, they are merely anti-abortion, anti-contraception, anti-sex, anti-women's rights.

      The fact of the matter is liberal values are far more "pro-life" than any conservative value these days.

      "In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.” -Confucius

      by pierre9045 on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 07:33:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The wonderful Wendy Davis' rational view (0+ / 0-)

        made it clear to me when she filibustered that these liars called Pro-Lifers are actually "Forced Birthers."I saw the reference on Twitter, but sadly can't attribute it to the astute tweeter who tweeted it, but it was tweeted while. or soon after Sen Davis's great stand that she took in opposition to the draconian measures of the Texas lawmakers. Besides, it's mostly men coming up with these repressive measures and they can't get pregnant, which makes clear, also, that gender parity in US legislatures, state and federal,  is needed for women to have true representation.
        Indeed. the label 'forced birthers' is perfect, too, cuz' that's what they want to do, force pregnant women to give birth and to have no say on what is the second part of the women's consent for sexual relations, the possibility she will get pregnant. Why should a women have consent for sex, but not for deciding on its outcome?

        "There is far too much violence, inequality, & disrespect shown to women in the forms of sexism, misogyny and more, around the world, and it must stop, NOW, & I, as a male human being, pledge to do what I can to that end." -RNash

        by Ray984954 on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 04:10:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Pro- forced birth n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      qofdisks, spacecadet1

      The tyranny of a prince in an oligarchy is not so dangerous to the public welfare as the apathy of a citizen in a democracy. -Charles de Montesquieu

      by dawgflyer13 on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 08:03:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yeah (10+ / 0-)

    The state forcing a live, thinking independent human being to be an incubator against her will isn't that bad, but desecrating a corpse? OVER THE LINE.

    If you think education is expensive, wait until you see how much ignorance costs in the 21st century. --PBO

    by kismet on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 07:16:12 AM PST

  •  Better late than never, I guess (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marleycat, IL clb, Penny GC, spacecadet1

    but if this is what it took for you to realize that women deserve control over their own bodies, then to be blunt, you certainly live up to the "Christian" part of your name.

    TX-17 (Bill Flores-R), TX Sen-14 (Kirk Watson-D), TX HD-50 (TBD - Likely Celia Israel-D)

    by Le Champignon on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 07:17:26 AM PST

  •  I can understand a pro-life lean (16+ / 0-)

    (though I do not share it). The moral questioning is valid.

    But abortion opponents seem to have embraced the position that torture of the living and even the dead, that murdering doctors, is the higher moral ground. And they do not see the slightest contradiction in these positions.

    You demonstrate a deep desire to make correct, moral decisions. This must have been a difficult one.

    I live under the bridge to the 21st Century.

    by Crashing Vor on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 07:20:57 AM PST

    •  Anyone who claims it's an easy decision (0+ / 0-)

      has to rely on straw men.

      Do women have the right to control their own bodies? Absolutely.

      Does life begin prior to birth? Absolutely.

      Houston, we have a problem.

       I have a granddaughter delivered 3 months early due to an incompetent cervix ... literally only a week or two after she could have been legally aborted had Mom & Dad not wanted her. She's 6 now and doing great, although still tiny. I find it extremely disingenuous to argue that she was not in the slightest degree alive 2 weeks prior to delivery. I reject the "alive / not alive" approach (morally) in favor of a "sorta-alive / more alive" sliding scale.

      For me it comes down to a practical decision; outlawing abortion doesn't reduce the number of women who wish they could have abortions, but it does make abortions far more dangerous. And given that the nations with the highest abortion rates are also those where abortion is illegal, it's not going to save any babies either.

      I'm on a mission! Testing the new site rules.

      by blue aardvark on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 11:24:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Beliefs and law should not always be the same (10+ / 0-)

    is what this is about

    people who believe the fetus is sacred can educate others, write books, go on TV, but the law cannot address the multiple issues around pregnancy and personal autonomy so the woman and whatever creator might care, should be the only ones making the decisions

    "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

    by merrywidow on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 07:25:33 AM PST

  •  I too made that transition (4+ / 0-)

    Back in the seventies and early eighties there were a lot of pro-life Democrats.  Certainly in my state where over a third of the population is Catholic, that was not surprising at all.  Many of us still believe that abortion is a moral wrong though sometimes perhaps the lesser evil.  Well, you learn to embrace the "lesser evil' on a lot of issues.

    What happened in Minnesota and I expect most places was that it became politically impossible for a Democrat to take a principled pro-life position.  Both sides of the issue became increasingly intolerant.  Caucuses would divide up on just this issue.  You couldn't be supported as a delegate by any but the pro-life caucus if you admitted to a pro-life position.  

    But what drove me out of the pro-life caucus were the pro-lifers who were just plain zealots, mean zealots, and willing to cut any dirty deal if it got a vote for their side.  The last straw for me was when they backed a really rotten union breaking hotel owner for public office when he took a pro-life position.  

    But it was a war in the party and of course now between parties and it became impossible to hold a position on the issue anything less than extreme.  Oh, some candidates may spout the "safe, legal and rare" b.s. in the general election but within the party, you better tow the line or you'll never get beyond your precinct.  There are a few exceptions, like Senator Casey, but I always think of him as a Republican anyway.  

  •  "Pro-Life" is a misnomer (6+ / 0-)

    This is not political messaging. Those people who call themselves "pro-life" are not being accurate. If they are "pro" anything, to be the most generous, they are ONLY pro the "life" of fertilized eggs, embryos and fetuses. MOST of those people are against programs that support the lives of living breathing children (WIC, SNAP, expanding access to Pre-K) and of grown people.

    You were not pro life in saying you had been against abortions before ie on the issue you changed on, and that is not semantics. Those of us who care for living, breathing children born into difficult circumstances (or were so ourselves) are poignantly aware of the irony every time one of your former comrades calls themselves "pro-life" when their actions and non-actions prove they do not give a damn about real children.

    Then we have the view that people who want to control what women do with their bodies are really forced-birthers. They, you formerly, apparently wanted to force some women to carry a pregnancy against their will. Pregnancy is unlike any other experience, you body is inhabited and taken over by it, with profound changes. Pregnancy to term in fact has a bigger risk of death than most abortions. To FORCE someone to undergo those physical changes against their will feels abusive.

    •  But that was once less true than it is now (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Some of the most authentically liberal old time Democrats were also fiercely Catholic - the Kennedys, Tom Harkin, my aunt who was a Chicago nun, union member and lifelong Democrat.  

      When Democrats lost the Catholic Church on the abortion issue they also lost the ability to leverage the Church on other social justice issues.  I'm not saying Democrats should have done otherwise, but the issue did work to put the Catholic Church pretty much politically aligned with the fundamentalist Christians which was not always the case and that is politically unfortunate.  There were other social factors involved too of course.  The battles over forced school busing hit ethnic Catholics in Chicago and Boston where they lived and soon they lived in the suburbs and became Republicans.  Reagan Democrats are pretty much Catholics.

    •  Feels abusive?! Try being on the receiving end of (0+ / 0-)

      a wand or not being able to get an abortion for a child barely growing inside you with so many deformities that most healthcare coverage wouldn't cover the costs of the care, surgeries, recovery let alone the fact that your own body would/will probably reject the pregnancy anyway, feels abusive, nay IS ABUSIVE!
      Glad you came over the fence, but still have a hard time with the language/laws that takes what happens in MY body away from, well ME!
      Peace and Blessings!

      For those abused, war torn and blood-soaked regions of the world: due to our apathy, our need for cheap shit, and our wars on terror and drugs, we apologize for the inconvenience.

      by Penny GC on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 11:03:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  who are you responding to>certainly not me (0+ / 0-)

        Perhaps you misread/skimmed my post(?!)

        I didnt' have to "come over the fence AT ALL. I was speaking PERSONALLY as many people do when they say the word "feels". I was speaking for myself. That doesn't preclude that I think it IS abusive in general or not.

        FYI I worked in an abortion clinic for 7 years, through the time period  of heavy and aggressive Operation Rescue "protests" and threats to staff in our city, and the bombing of two of the four clinics in Boston by a far right crazy (not my clinic luckily). I have seen and assisted with around 1000 abortions and am ardently pro Choice. In fact--never thought about this before or at least since then-in a way I risked my life to hold the hands of scared women who were getting abortions who had run their gauntlet of abuse.

        •  I had been acquainted with Shannon Lowney, (0+ / 0-)

          the woman who was murdered by that nut Salvi.

        •  It was someone up thread, not you. Sorry fingers (0+ / 0-)

          of fire on a very 'touchy' subject for me having lived this diary.
          Peace and Blessings!

          For those abused, war torn and blood-soaked regions of the world: due to our apathy, our need for cheap shit, and our wars on terror and drugs, we apologize for the inconvenience.

          by Penny GC on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 07:50:12 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  And thank you for all the women you have helped (0+ / 0-)

            in your years of service.
            Peace and Blessings!

            For those abused, war torn and blood-soaked regions of the world: due to our apathy, our need for cheap shit, and our wars on terror and drugs, we apologize for the inconvenience.

            by Penny GC on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 07:55:22 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Semantics and labeling (8+ / 0-)

    Pro-Life does not accurately describe the forced birth crowd.
    And people who support a woman's right to choose are not anti-life. Nor are most of us pro-abortion in the sense of Oh Yeah, lets run out and get one today! "Safe, Legal and RARE".
    When we use the framing of the RightWingNuts, we tangle up in bad arguments.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 08:01:02 AM PST

  •  Christian Dem, please take a (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blue aardvark

    look at:
    Libby Anne

    At her Blog, Love, Joy and Feminism.  This post is about how she realized the "pro life"  movement was seriously wrong.  She had about 5,500 comments.

    United Citizens beat Citizens United

    by ThirtyFiveUp on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 09:39:54 AM PST

  •  This entire diary must be a tissue of lies (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Because Cathy McMorris - Rodgers told us last night that Republicans think your healthcare decisions should be left up to you.

    I'm on a mission! Testing the new site rules.

    by blue aardvark on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 11:15:48 AM PST

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