The “choose life” crowd is Making Hypocrisy Great Again

Hypocrisy Concept

Irony is dead.

In the wake of the most deadly mass shooting in American history, Republicans in Congress are preparing to introduce the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, a ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

CNN reports:

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Choose life — support health insurance & gun restrictions and oppose capital punishment & police brutality.[/pullquote]

The House of Representatives will vote Tuesday on legislation that would criminalize abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, with exceptions for instances where the life of the mother is at risk and in cases involving rape or incest.

The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which is similar to legislation that failed in 2013 and 2015, has support from the White House this time around.

The divisive issue of abortion has once again been brought to the forefront of national conversations since President Donald Trump assumed office. Trump issued support for the bill even before he won the election.

The same group of people who can’t be bothered to restrict guns, which kill more than 30,000 people per year, are rabid to restrict late term abortions, of which there are less than 10,000 per year. It’s hard to imagine how they could be bigger hypocrites.

Perusing their favorite slogans merely highlights their hypocrisy.

Choose life.

That’s an argument for universal healthcare, not an argument for banning abortions. Curiously, many of those who staunchly oppose pregnancy termination have no problem denying life saving healthcare for others, including children.

The same Congressmen who are enthusiastically promoting anti-abortion legislation had no trouble opposing Obamacare and had no trouble letting CHIP expire last week. CHIP is the program that provides low cost health insurance to 9 million children across the US.

The program, created under a 1997 law passed with bipartisan support during the administration of President Bill Clinton, provided coverage for children in families with low and moderate incomes as well as to pregnant women. It was instrumental in lowering the percentage of children who were uninsured from nearly 14 percent when it started to 4.5 percent in 2015. It was last reauthorized in 2015 and was due to be renewed by Sept. 30, 2017.

Amid unsuccessful efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, the Republican-led Congress allowed the CHIP deadline to pass without action.

Providing health insurance for poor children is choosing life, but apparently for the anti-choice crowd all life is not equal. They are keen to protect life from conception up to, but not including, birth. Once you’re born, your life is worthless if you are poor.

Abortion stops a beating heart.

You know what else stops a beating heart? Capital punishment. Despite that incontrovertible fact, many of those who profess “pro-life” beliefs have no problem letting government stop the beating hearts of those convicted of crimes. If your reason for opposing late term abortion is to preserve life, it is hypocritical to promote mandated death at the hands of government.

They feel pain.

We could argue about whether or not science supports the claim that a 20 week fetus feels pain, but there is absolutely no doubt that everyone born, regardless of age, race or economic class feels pain. So why do the same Republicans who feel they must protect the unborn from pain have no problem letting the people of Puerto Rico suffer in pain, literally and figuratively, in the wake of widespread destruction of Hurricane Maria?

Pro-life means every life has value.

If every life has value, why isn’t everyone supporting Colin Kapernick’s campaign to kneel when the national anthem is played in order to draw attention to the black lives lost to police violence? Those opposing Kapernick justify it by claiming he is disrespecting the flag. That’s a lie, but even if it were true, are we supposed to believe that a piece of cloth has greater value than the life of a young black man?

Abortion is murder.

We could argue whether abortion is murder, but there’s no argument that murder is murder. Guns facilitate murder. Indeed, hand guns and semi-automatic and automatic weapons have no purpose other than to murder or threaten to murder others. If we actually cared about murder, we would ban murder weapons, but you won’t see anyone in Congress stand up to the gun lobby.

These five slogans of the anti-choice movement put its hypocrisy into high relief. The so called “pro life” crowd has no problem being anti-life whenever it suits them. So if ending late term abortion isn’t about saving lives, what is it about?

It’s about punishing women — but never men — for sex.

Providing medical care for children is more pro-life than preventing late term abortion, yet many “pro-lifers” don’t want to do it.

Banning capital punishment is more pro-life than preventing late term abortion, yet many pro-lifers are pro government spondered death.

Relieving the suffering of Puerto Ricans is more pro-life than preventing late term abortion, yet many pro-lifers seem curiously unconcerned about it.

Stopping the wanton police violence toward black men is more pro-life than preventing late term abortion, yet many “pro-lifers” are more concerned about a piece of cloth than actual human lives.

Regulating guns is more pro-life than preventing late term abortions, but when the choice is between right to life and right to guns, guns win every time.

Anyone who wants to choose life should be campaigning aggressively for health insurance for all and gun restrictions and against capital punishment and police brutality.

Otherwise, they’re merely Making Hypocrisy Great Again.


83 Responses to “The “choose life” crowd is Making Hypocrisy Great Again”

  1. Russell Jones
    October 6, 2017 at 3:43 pm #

    That POS legislation passed the House, will all four of my state’s GOP reps voting yes. Cuz nothing says “reverence for life” like making a 12-year-old carry to term, deliver and care for a child conceived as a result of getting raped by her stepfather.

    And don’t even think about suggesting to these knobs that they appropriate public funds for child care when the family proves utterly incapable of paying for their precious gift from God. It’s GOP dogma that these little bundles of joy have the full panoply of rights – until they’re delivered. At that point and beyond, they’re on their own.

  2. attitude devant
    October 5, 2017 at 12:47 pm #

    Abortion is a social good. Yes, I believe in education, in ready access to free birth control, and in social support for women and families. But there will always be birth control failures. There will always be women without means to get reliable contraception. There will always be mistakes. There will always be rape and sexual abuse. There will always be terrible birth defects detected on wanted babies. There will always be women with medical contraindications to pregnancy.

    Abortion is a social good. I have never had one, for the record, but I was always lucky. Lucky to have good birth control. Lucky to have a well-paying job with good benefits. Lucky to have children who were clearly healthy in utero. Lucky to be healthy enough myself to be pregnant and carry them. But that was all luck.

    Abortion is a social good. Look at the Turnaway Study. Women denied abortions (or more precisely women without access to desired abortion) followed for five years were more likely to be poor, sink deeper into poverty, and to see their children (including the older sibs) miss developmental milestones. How anyone with a heart can look at that and think that’s ok is beyond me. This is not a trivial issue for these families.

    Women know what’s right for them and their families. We should get out of their way and make sure that safe procedures are available when and where needed.

  3. Chi
    October 5, 2017 at 2:56 am #

    This is one of the few issues that makes me truly, indescribably angry (well women’s rights and sexism in general really, but abortion specifically).

    I understand that people have the right to their opinion on abortion, and I understand that a LOT of people consider it immoral/murder/whatever. That’s fine, you’re allowed to have your opinion on the subject, where I draw the line is when you start trying to stop them from happening. Either by picketing abortion clinics, lobbying for restrictions and ridiculous bills that make them harder to access etc.

    Because -takes a deep breath-

    1) At the end of the day, you’re FORCING your opinion on someone else, whether they want it or not (much like evangelists trying to convert a lost soul), in order to try and be smugly morally superior to the woman in question.

    2) You don’t know what that woman’s situation is and frankly, it’s none of your damn business. Women seeking abortions are already in a vulnerable place (what with having to jump through hoops and hormones already starting to make them feel crazy) and the LAST thing they need are people judging them, calling them vile names like a baby killer/murderer etc. And the absolutely last thing they need is to be questioned on their motives, especially if the pregnancy is the result of a rape, being asked surely only makes them relive the trauma. If these people were TRULY Christian, they’d show a little fucking compassion.

    3) Be honest. The majority of you are NOT pro-life, you’re pro-birth. Because as soon as the baby leaves that womb, you’ll be complaining that the mother needs social welfare to support her and the baby and thus are a drain on your hard-earned tax dollars.

    4) I agree with someone down thread who says that anti-abortion laws are basically punishing women for daring to have/enjoy sex. Why is the onus on the woman to prevent pregnancy? When it takes 2 people to make a baby?? Yes, there are more BC options for women, but I suspect that’s because they designed all the BC and were like, cool, we can’t knock them up and condoms work well enough, so we don’t need hormonal BC for men. Why can’t we get BC for BOTH sexes??

    5) Here in NZ we have a HUGE problem with children living in poverty. Only just over 1000 children are privately adopted here every year and yet we have over 5000 children taken into custody by the state every year. People are popping out children they seriously cannot afford and expect an already overburdened and underfunded system to pick up the slack. If abortions were decriminalized and made easier to access (along with better sex education and access to BC), then we’d probably see a large reduction in children becoming wards of the state.

    It’s a hot topic here in NZ, because our Labour party have said that if they get into government, they are going to start looking at decriminalizing abortion. Because right now, we have a scenario that’s similar to Northern Ireland. Right now if a woman wants an abortion, she needs to claim mental illness (and all the stigma that goes with it) and then get 2 different doctors to sign off on said mental distress, along with attending pre-abortion counselling. And the problems there are;

    a) It can be hard to get appointments with all 3 doctors in a timely fashion, meaning the abortion is done later, or you miss the cut-off altogether.

    b) Women in rural areas may find it especially difficult to access these doctors and again, not get the abortion in time.

    c) Even if you get appointments in a timely fashion, there is still a decent chance that you don’t ‘tick all the right boxes’ and have your abortion denied (up to 400 a year are denied).

    It’s the 21st century. We need to acknowledge that women are intelligent beings who are more than capable of deciding what is best for them, instead of forcing them to do what WE think is best for them.

    In other words, please, keep your opinions out of my uterus.

    • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya
      October 7, 2017 at 11:17 am #

      I had no idea NZ was so backwards on this issue.

      • Chi
        October 7, 2017 at 4:02 pm #

        Yup. Which is why I’m hoping for a Labor government this time around because then at least there’s a CHANCE it could be decriminalized.

        If our National party get in, it’ll be business as usual on this topic, because the leader of the party is a fundamental Catholic. And his wife is also. She is also a GP, and because of her ‘religious convictions’ not only will she NOT be one of the doctors signing off on an abortion referral, she also refuses to prescribe/recommend birth control.

        Also, apparently the counselling is available, but not mandatory, but then, all it takes is one of the doctors saying they won’t sign off until you’ve attended counselling so it can be practically mandatory. Also one of the doctors HAS to be a OBGYN, which can be tricky because they’re considered specialists and it’s REALLY hard to get an appointment with a specialist through the public system (we’re talking months in some cases) unless it’s considered an emergency.

        So unless you have private insurance that covers specialists, you may be screwed.

  4. Sarah
    October 4, 2017 at 11:03 am #

    Is anyone else not able to see the most recent posts on the main page? I can only get to this one through clicking on comments at the side. Not sure if it is disqus acting up, my laptop or both. Sorry if this has already been raised and I’ve not been able to see it.

    • BeatriceC
      October 4, 2017 at 11:10 am #

      I can’t get to it from the very top of the page, but if I scroll down to the list of most recent posts it’s the first one on the list.

      • Sarah
        October 4, 2017 at 12:06 pm #

        It’s actually fixed itself now. Dunno what happened there.

  5. Gene
    October 3, 2017 at 8:57 pm #

    OT: “I have no amniotic fluid, but baby’s heart rate is fine. My meanie OB wants to induce! Can I refuse??”

    • Chi
      October 3, 2017 at 10:16 pm #

      *headdesk* Nooooo, of COURSE you shouldn’t listen to your OB who has experience in these kinds of things /EXTREME sarcasm.

      Seriously???? What is WRONG with these people? I mean I understand wanting to give the baby as much time to ‘cook’ as possible, but if she’s had an amniotic fluid leak, then the membranes have ‘ruptured’ slightly, and if doesn’t matter if the leak magically resealed itself (which I doubt), it means the baby has now been exposed to the foreign bacteria inhabiting the uterus.

      There is a REASON they give pitocin for labors where the membranes have ruptured but contractions haven’t started or are weak. The longer that baby is in there, the longer its at risk of infection and dying.

      But, you know, keeping it in you is obviously WAY more important than the kid living at the end of it /more sarcasm.

      I. Just. Can’t. Even.

      • Empress of the Iguana People
        October 4, 2017 at 9:09 am #

        They counted my first labor as starting from my water breaking. Never even contracted until I go pitocin. And I was at the L&D as soon as it was possible, considering we’d all gone to bed when my water broke. Never did get to vote in that election, lol

    • Heidi
      October 4, 2017 at 8:32 am #

      Oh my gerd, she has the nerve to say her OB isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer when she’s the idiot seeking medical advice on a legal advice subreddit. I would take the actual legal advice with a grain of salt FFS. Like I dunno, if you don’t think your OB is competent, why is she your OB, lady?

  6. Mark
    October 3, 2017 at 7:27 pm #

    Well said

    Abortion should not require waiting periods, mandatory counseling, scans. There should not be so much regulations that purport to be in the interest of the mother.

    It is indeed the height of hypocrisy because they all pretend to be neutral. Also no regulations for buying guns, we don’t want government involved in people’s lives.

    I call that pseudo-libertarian.

    • J.B.
      October 4, 2017 at 4:00 pm #

      I can’t claim this one but saw it in a comment section years ago: “government just big enough to fit in my bedroom and my uterus”.

  7. Mark
    October 3, 2017 at 6:48 pm #

    For people who are against abortion should be against the death penalty.

    The right wing loves the pope for anti abortion stand, but just ignore the Pope when it comes to the death penalty.

    Hypocritical is the answer. And without any support for the mother and child, it’s also hypocritical.

  8. carovee
    October 3, 2017 at 5:00 pm #

    This bill is incredibly cruel. There is an exception for rape but the women must seek counseling for rape or treatment for rape related injuries prior to getting an abortion. There is an exception for incest (or rape of a minor) but only if it is reported to the police or other government authority. In both cases, the woman doesn’t actually get an abortion – instead labor is induced and the attending physicians must include someone trained in neonatal resuscitation who must attempt to revive the child in case it can survive. I can’t even imagine going through something so awful.

    • Dr Kitty
      October 4, 2017 at 3:55 am #

      So how would that work for a para 3 with 3 prior CS?
      You can’t “induce labour” on a scarred uterus at 20 weeks without the risk of very bad things happening.
      So, what, she has to have a CS with a classical incision to deliver a foetus that isn’t viable?
      Making subsequent pregnancies incredibly high risk, and submitting to a risky surgery?
      When the safest option for her health in this pregnancies, and in any subsequent pregnancies would be a surgical termination.

      This is exactly why medical decisions should be left to medical experts and their patients.

      In fact, second or early third trimester surgical termination is safer than carrying to term and delivering full stop.

      • Empress of the Iguana People
        October 4, 2017 at 9:11 am #

        *shudder* hadn’t considered that. good thing i’m not telling people what they should be doing with their bodies and their pregnancies.

    • mabelcruet
      October 4, 2017 at 4:35 pm #

      And in Northern Ireland, we ship our raped children over to England for their termination. Because, you know, it’s perfectly acceptable for a 12 year old to be raped by her uncle (and not charge him as its not in the public interest to expose her and the family to a court case), but heaven forfend that we upset the public by her shameful and wicked desire to have a termination.

      • Dr Kitty
        October 4, 2017 at 5:26 pm #

        Back before John Larkin stuck his nose in, terminations for rape, incest, foetal abnormality and maternal mental health *were* done in NI.
        Quietly, compassionately and for free in NHS hospitals here.
        Basically, the legal defence to criminal abortion being that two doctors judged that a woman would be left a physical or mental wreck by carrying a pregnancy to term, and two NI doctors agreeing that if she was carrying an anencephalic foetus or was 13 and raped by her uncle, she probably would be.

        No offical forms, no real paperwork, just a sort of gentleman’s agreement that an abortion was justified a brief note that DR X and Dr Y agreed that they felt there were sufficient grounds to justify ending the pregnancy because of a substantial risk to the health of the woman, and there you go.
        It was all hush hush, and coded as “ elective ERPOC” or “ pre-term induction of labour” or something similar, but it happened and everyone knew it happened.

        It was happening as late as 2008 to my certain knowledge.

        Then our delightful pro life AG decided to produce guidelines that rape, incest and foetal abnormality *alone* didn’t meet the threshold for accessing legal terminations in NI, and that doctors left themselves open to prosecution if they flouted this.
        The current sentence for a physician convicted under the 19th century Act which criminalises abortion is 10 years in prison, with hard labour.

        Which, you could say, had a somewhat chilling effect.
        But, despite there being plenty of evidence that apparent criminal activities occurred *for years* you’ll note not one prosecution was brought.

        So, he didn’t care about the law, he didn’t care about the apparently criminal doctors still practising, he didn’t even care about the pregnancies that had apparently been ended illegally in NHS hospital using public funds- it was just about shutting it down for the future.

        IMO- That man has a special place waiting for him in hell.

        • mabelcruet
          October 4, 2017 at 6:49 pm #

          Completely agree with every word. It all went wrong when Edwin Poots (as the health minister) set up an enquiry into terminations in NI-this was in 2009. One of the stipulations in his ‘guidance’ was the requirement that a woman seeking a termination of pregnancy must be examined by a perinatal psychiatrist to confirm that continuing the pregnancy would result in severe and enduring mental health issues. He declared at the time that the case law we were working under in NI would still stand, meaning that we could continue doing terminations in the event of mental health issues and that he wasn’t restricting it at all. Except he was-there is no full time perinatal psychiatrist in Northern Ireland, and he knew that. That meant that it would be impossible to get a termination at all. Professor Jim Dornan was very outspoken about it-obstetricians for the past 50 years have been assessing maternal health issues and they were perfectly placed to assess the impact on the mother, but Poots wouldn’t have it.

          The other issue is the stillbirth ruling. I have absolutely no doubt that the AG insisted on that because he knew that there are a few women who go to England for fetocide for lethal anomalies, but who return here before delivery, and I genuinely believe he pushed this through so that he could identify those women who went for fetocide-its basically him ‘naming and shaming’. Those cases are referred to the coroner, even though the procedure is completely lawful in England. This means that, potentially, the fact they sought a termination on the grounds of lethal anomalies becomes public, so what should have been a private family grief could end up in the papers. Sickening, an obscene invasion of privacy and thankfully being challenged by the human rights commission.

          • Dr Kitty
            October 5, 2017 at 10:19 am #

            He’s a dick.

            The fact that the first draft of the 2009 abortion guidelines (which I have read) referred to the “unborn baby” and the “mother” throughout.

            That it had to be pointed out to the AG’s office by RCOG, BMA and NMC that it is inappropriate language for a supposed medical and legal document was telling.

          • mabelcruet
            October 5, 2017 at 1:36 pm #

            Unfortunately he’s an utter dick who has the ear of both sides, because his ultra-conservative attitudes appeal to all the micro-brained pro-life Neanderthals and misogynists at either end of the political spectrum. The only time I have ever agreed with Ian Paisley Junior was when he urged Peter Robinson not to appoint Larkin, saying it would be mad to do so, that his personality was utterly unsuited for the role and that he would embarrass the government. The man is wholly unpleasant, and his ego is monstrous. He was slapped down by the Prime Minister for interfering in the European courts-the PM made it very clear that Larkin’s involvement in a case in Austria (a gay adoption case) was without the PM’s knowledge, consent or permission. He openly allows his own personal religious beliefs to decide what cases to get involved with, and he can’t detach from his own personal view. He’s supposed to represent the rule of law and ensure that the people of Northern Ireland are represented-he does nothing of the sort. There is a significant majority of people who would accept termination on the grounds of lethal anomaly or sex crime-he denies that. Most people would welcome same sex marriage-he denies that. He regularly over steps his remit-he actually volunteered to take on the role of chief inquisitor to question the Marie Stopes clinic staff personally, so determined is he to frighten off anyone suspected of supporting termination. The man is a total arse.

          • Sarah
            October 5, 2017 at 10:28 am #

            One of the many reasons my friends and relatives in NI know they have an open invitation to stay with us while obtaining a termination if needed, and to use our address.

            To my certain knowledge, there was at least one family planning clinic in England that had some sort of wangle for getting NI women abortions on the NHS as late as 2007. I don’t know how it worked because I was a temp and it was a senior member of staff dealt with it. Hopefully they are still managing to do it now.

      • Sarah
        October 5, 2017 at 10:24 am #

        Yeah but the budget airlines do nicely out of it. So that’s ok.

  9. kilda
    October 3, 2017 at 3:23 pm #


  10. Juana
    October 3, 2017 at 3:15 pm #

    “Choose life.”

    How can you choose when you’ve got no choice?

  11. anh
    October 3, 2017 at 2:29 pm #

    Ugh. Ugh. I’ve been there. I’ve had the 20 week ultrasound that leads to more testing that leads to news you never wanted to hear. I’ve had to decide if I have it in me to raise a medically complex child or if the best thing I can do is terminate a pregnancy when I already feel a baby moving inside me. It fucking sucks and I would not wish this process on anyone.

    I made the choice to go forward with my pregnancy. Something that made the choice easier is that I have a high paying job that’s secure and comes with really good health insurance.

    What if I didn’t? If I had to wonder could I afford the surgery my baby will get when she’s born, or if I had to worry about paying for her therapies, or if I had a shit job that would fire me if I took time off when she needs treatment…if those were realities I had to face I don’t think I could have made the decision I made. And I have nothing but compassion for women who’ve made the choice I didn’t.

    You want us to carry these pregnancies to term? Don’t make it impossible to do so! Create a system where we know our children are legally required to receive top notch treatment for free. Don’t force us to carry children to term that we cannot begin to provide for.

    • sdsures
      October 3, 2017 at 5:47 pm #

      *offers hugs and tea*

    • Mark
      October 3, 2017 at 6:45 pm #

      Some anti abortion groups work by offering the mother support to have the child. And support afterwards.

      • October 3, 2017 at 7:06 pm #

        Not really. They offer guilt beforehand and platitudes (and very occasionally very paltry aid) afterwards. They also tend to be extremely pushy Christian, which is its own barrel of fuckery.

        I might be a little unfair here, it’s definitely possible, but I’m really quite done with giving anti-choice groups the benefit of the doubt. The facts are out there and they are known. The policies they espouse hurt a lot of people and don’t even work; banning abortion doesn’t make it happen less. At some point, willful ignorance turns into willful malice, and the anti-choice movement has arrived at that point in my mind.

        • Mark
          October 3, 2017 at 7:09 pm #

          Some, I said.
          I have heard of these groups in Israel.

          They offer real help and aide for mothers who are looking for an abortion because they lack help and support.

          I am not sure how many, if any are in the US

          • October 3, 2017 at 7:10 pm #

            That’s fair. I have a very US-centric view of the anti-choice movement, which is extremely evangelical Christian here. They don’t tend to offer much tangible help.

          • Mark
            October 3, 2017 at 7:11 pm #

            Believe it or not there are some gun groups that actually believe in gun safety.

          • October 3, 2017 at 7:14 pm #

            Oh, that I’m well aware of. The NRA is very loud, but there are other groups out there. They’re just not nearly as well-financed or politically connected.

            I live in Texas, so I’m in pretty close proximity to a lot of anti-choicers and gun advocates. Those other gun groups aren’t nearly loud enough, and I think they’re scared of making people angry at them, but they do exist. Pro-life groups that actually help and don’t shame people, though? Haven’t seen or heard of it around here. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, but if it does, it’s much more rare than a sane gun group (gun owners are usually in favor of sensible gun regulation, but the gun enthusiast groups … vary).

          • LaMont
            October 5, 2017 at 12:39 pm #

            The fact that there are *some* good ones doesn’t counteract the fact that the Republican establishment is controlled by extremists who believe that any regulation of guns is verboten, and that all abortions are of 39 week healthy term babies (seriously, “killing a baby right before birth” is ALL they talk about in debates when they know full well it never happens). Sorry, when our real opponents are cartoon villains who want to torture women and make sure that every domestic abuser has a gun, you don’t get to say “but that one anti-choice guy wanted to help someone once!” like it means anything.

          • Mark
            October 5, 2017 at 1:04 pm #

            Did I say that?

          • Cynthia
            October 17, 2017 at 7:15 am #

            Israel also has universal healthcare. Abortion is legal and funded if there is a serious fetal abnormality.

            Organizations like Efrat and Just One Life do provide some genuine assistance but it not a replacement for health care funding. It is mainly baby supplies, a monthly stipend and some social support.

      • anh
        October 4, 2017 at 4:49 am #

        bullshit. no one is offering to pay for a life time of surgeries, PT, OT, and other things my daughter may or not need. These groups occasionally offer a car seat and some baby supplies. Not 18 years of support.

  12. Angela
    October 3, 2017 at 1:30 pm #

    Yes, agree with everything written.

    I don’t think anyone sees abortion as a good thing. Let’s have proper sex education and easy access to birth control and prevent most unwanted pregnancy to begin with.

    • Dr Kitty
      October 3, 2017 at 2:47 pm #

      Abortion can absolutely be a good thing…
      If the alternatives are worse.

      Being a physical or mental wreck or financially destitute because of being forced to carry a pregnancy to term is not a price that should be unwillingly paid by someone who finds themselves, for whatever reason, pregnant when they don’t wish to be.

      I’m afraid that as I’ve seen more and more in Northern Ireland I’ve got progressively more Pro-Choice.
      I now think it should be a private medical decision between a woman and her doctor, based on a mutual assessment of her best interests and with almost not caveats.
      I’ve seen so many hard cases, where NI’s “culture of life” is actually a horrendous violation of the human rights of women and girls.
      Women don’t terminate without good reason and doctors don’t perform terminations without good reasons.

      • EmbraceYourInnerCrone
        October 5, 2017 at 10:33 am #

        Some women terminate without what “average person” would consider a good reason. Bottom line: I do not want to carry this pregnancy to term, is a perfectly valid reason. I would make a terrible mother, is a perfectly valid reason, I want to finish college, stay in the military, take this fellowship, be able to pay my rent is a perfectly valid reason. We can’t or don’t want to have a third kid, is a valid reason. Also it should not be up to the doctor to determine if one’s reasons are “good” enough.

        • Dr Kitty
          October 5, 2017 at 11:07 am #

          I don’t disagree that those are all good reasons.

          “We do want a baby, but just didn’t think it would happen so quickly, we don’t want to cancel a skiing holiday we’ve booked in a few months and we can always try again when we get back” is the one and only time I’ve personally felt that it was…not such a great reason.

          But I still gave the information about abortion clinics in the UK, but suggested she have a think about how she would feel if she didn’t get pregnant easily after an abortion (she was in her late 30s, this wasn’t strictly a hypothetical).

          She went away, thought about it, realised she could get the money back for the holiday and decided to continue the pregnancy.

          Which is good, because that second baby they wanted never did arrive, and this was the only baby they got.

          • kilda
            October 5, 2017 at 11:54 am #

            A few years ago I had a friend who had an abortion at 20 weeks. Her fetus was diagnosed with XX/XY mosaicism. They were told that the fetus was a boy with normally formed genitals, but depending on where the few XX cells ended up there was a chance of him having internal ovaries which would have to be removed, and a better than average chance he would be gay or very short. 95% chance he would have no special issues at all.

            I felt a little uncomfortable at the time, because I didn’t feel like it was a great reason to terminate, especially that far along. But I wasn’t the one who was pregnant, and she didn’t ask my opinion, so I was a supportive friend and that was all.

            People are going to have abortions for a variety of reasons. Some of them are going to seem to me like better reasons than others but if I ever wanted one I wouldn’t want to have to convince someone my reason was “good enough.” Each woman gets to decide for herself what reason is “good enough” for her.

          • Dr Kitty
            October 5, 2017 at 1:25 pm #

            Except- who ever performs the abortion still has to sleep at night with an easy conscience. I don’t think you can *require* someone to perform an abortion if they think it is unethical or against their moral code to do so.

            If you say “the only way you can perform any abortions is if you’re willing to perform *all* abortions, no questions asked, I really don’t think your pool of prospective abortion providers would be acceptable.

    • Roadstergal
      October 3, 2017 at 3:41 pm #

      “I don’t think anyone sees abortion as a good thing”

      Abortion is a big umbrella that encompasses a massive variety of situations and motivations that lead to it being different things to different people. I hope that I would understand and support any women who thinks of _her_ abortion as a good thing, and the same goes for any woman who finds it devastating, who finds herself in a horrible situation trying to choose among impossible options. Either way, the last thing women need is utterly arbitrary rules made by men who will never be in their situation.

      I will confess that I used to think about it in much simpler terms, and Kq from this site called me on that, for which I’m grateful.

      But I do think we can all agree that giving women free and easy access to a variety of birth control reduces the number of wanted abortions and saves on health care costs in the long run, and that’s good across the board. And I don’t think you can call yourself pro-life if you’re not open to the ugliness and moral messiness that is _real_ life.

    • EmbraceYourInnerCrone
      October 5, 2017 at 10:27 am #

      Abortion IS a good thing if you need or want an abortion. I have been pregnant 3 times. I miscarried the first 2, my daughter was a perfectly normal pregnancy. The second pregnancy was non-viable and required a D&C in the hospital. Without an abortion(because that is what it was) I would have had to wait for the fetus to be expelled, with the accompanying pain and possibility of infection. Luckily I was in the military and they scheduled the D&C with no delay and it was quick and relatively pain free. Free, easy to obtain birth control and fully funded, robust medical and education care for medically fragile children would be awesome. But every pregnancy cares the risk of disability/damage or death for the pregnant person so the decision to carry ANY pregnancy to term or not should be up to the pregnant person. It should be safe, legal, cheap or free, and no one else’s damn business.

      • kilda
        October 5, 2017 at 11:56 am #

        yup. Being in a position to need an abortion is never a good thing. THAT I think everyone can agree on. But the actual procedure, depending on the situation, can be a good thing.

  13. NoLongerCrunching
    October 3, 2017 at 12:06 pm #

    As soon as someone says there should be an exception for rape, they lose all credibility in my opinion. That makes it clear that it is all about punishing women who choose to have sex, rather than protecting unborn babies. If it were about the unborn babies, there would be no exception for any reason. You can’t say that “murdering unborn babies” is wrong, and then turn around and say that a little murder is ok as long as the mother got pregnant without her consent.

    • October 3, 2017 at 12:08 pm #

      Also when they don’t allow abortion for conditions incompatible with life; if I am pregnant with an anencephalic fetus, the only merciful thing to do is have an abortion as soon as possible. A very short life full of pain without comprehension is not “life”. I would never force a woman to do that, of course- her body her choice is absolute- but I would judge the hell out of her for it. It’s not an easy choice, but there really is only one right answer.

      • LaMont
        October 3, 2017 at 4:23 pm #

        Plus requiring a woman to risk HER life in advanced pregnancy and childbirth for a fetus that CANNOT live is like the dumbest trolley problem ever. You don’t *require* a woman to do that if she doesn’t want to. It’s freaking cruel.

        • October 3, 2017 at 4:25 pm #

          It is that. I don’t think the anti-choice movement cares about cruelty though. They are absolutely fine with being cruel to women.

      • Jessica
        October 4, 2017 at 10:48 am #

        I recently had a 20-week ultrasound (all well) and was talking about it beforehand with an anti-abortion friend. She asked if I would really consider an abortion at 20 weeks if the ultrasound revealed something wrong. I said, yes, if it was something really bad or incompatible with life. I have complete respect for people who choose to carry a child for another 4 months knowing it will be stillborn or die shortly after birth, but I don’t have that in me and I wouldn’t want to do it.
        As anyone with a tiny amount of common sense knows, very very few people are getting late second trimester abortions because they forgot to do one earlier. They are doing it because there is something wrong with their health (including mental health) or their fetus’s. And I get there are ethical issues with terminating pregnancy because of disability (or gender, which is something people like to rail against but seems very rare in real life at least in the US). But ultimately it has to be up to the person who has to carry and deliver that fetus to term and care for it during any life that it has.

      • crazy mama, PhD
        October 4, 2017 at 12:57 pm #

        Yes to this, very strongly. For all the BS about 20-week fetuses feeling pain, they never seem to care that a full-term baby with a terminal condition almost certainly experiences pain going through labor, delivery, and death. (I get the impression that some anti-choice people avoid thinking about this by pretending that no fetal conditions are truly incompatible with life.)

        • mabelcruet
          October 4, 2017 at 7:03 pm #

          I have heard an obstetrician spout exactly that nonsense, claiming there is no anomaly incompatible with life. His argument was the babies with anencephaly are frequently live born, but will die shortly after. As far as he was concerned, life is life. There is no difference between 2 minutes of life or 100 years of life.

          I’ve mentioned this before, but there is a condition called osteogenesis imperfect. There’s a few different types, some of which are compatible with life, but there is a lethal fetal variant. These babies develop fractures whilst in utero-the pressure of the amniotic fluid can cause breakages, even the baby moving can cause a spontaneous fracture. After a while, there are so many fractures that the bones heal badly and become shorter. The ribs break multiple times, the fracture callus that develops around each fracture site makes the ribs look like a string of beads, and they shorten significantly. The thorax becomes very narrow and the lungs don’t have space to grow and develop, so these babies, if they survive birth, cannot breathe and inevitably die extremely quickly.

          Fractures are painful-imagine being in utero and getting fracture after fracture daily, hundreds of them over the course of the pregnancy. Imagine the pain that baby endures each and every day. And imagine the sheer number of fractures that would occur during delivery as a result of mechanical compression from the uterus and birth canal. What sort of psychopath would demand that a baby go through that sort of pain when the outcome is hopeless?

          • Melissa Wickersham
            October 29, 2017 at 10:08 pm #

            What sort of God would let a human embryo suffer anencephaly anyway? Why would God allow such a horrible defect to occur?
            I often ask this sort of question when I hear about babies suffering from Zika Congenital Syndrome.
            Why does God allow a virus or other causes to severely disrupt the development of a baby’s brain, sometimes so severely that the brain is practically nonexistent at birth?

            If immortal souls exist, and if they are incarnated in human bodies at conception, why would souls choose to incarnate in physical human bodies that, during fetal development, fail to develop such a vital body part as the brain? What use is a physical human body without a brain?

            The brain is the vital control center of the body. The brain would act as the control room and computer for the soul to use. A vertebrate body without a vital control center is useless.

            There are invertebrate animals that function quite well without brains, but human beings are not among those animals. A human being is not a jellyfish.

            In these cases, abortion is an act of mercy towards the immortal souls of the unborn.

      • Melissa Wickersham
        October 29, 2017 at 9:33 pm #

        Abortion would be an act of mercy for the anencephalic baby as well as for the mother. The brain is the vital control center of the human body.

      • Cynthia
        February 16, 2018 at 3:29 pm #

        I wouldn’t judge the pregnant woman – an anecephalic baby may not have enough brain tissue to feel pain. I would just feel really sorry for her because it is just a horrendous diagnosis and the fact that anti-abortion folks have used the issue in grotesque ways while not being honest about the fact that it is a heartbreaking situation where these fetuses would never have become viable babies is awful.

        The fact is that because of them, a termination for anencephaly can be difficult and expensive and require traveling a long way, plus dealing with the risk of violence.

    • Felicitasz
      October 3, 2017 at 12:15 pm #

      +1, I do not even add anything this is so damn right on.

    • Roadstergal
      October 3, 2017 at 12:19 pm #

      I have indeed heard some say just that – no exception for rape, because fetus is baby.

      And not fringe folk. Mike goddam Huckabee vocally agreed with Paraguay when they didn’t let a 10-year-old rape victim have an abortion.

      Yes, they made an 11-year-old girl give birth to her stepfather’s rape-baby, and that’s a-OK to the right-wing here.

      • Roadstergal
        October 3, 2017 at 12:40 pm #

        I do think it’s still about punishing a woman’s sexuality, though. It’s at a creepy intersection with the ‘consent isn’t really a thing’ crowd. Like the representative who said that in ‘legitimate’ rape, a woman can just ‘shut the whole thing down.’ It’s the ‘she must have really wanted it, despite what she’s saying’ angle.

        And yes, I’m saying that IMO, Akin and Huckabee do think, somewhere in their black hearts, that this 10-year-old girl secretly wanted it and/or is partially responsible because of the sin of appearing sexual to her pedophile stepdad and being fertile. That’s the extreme case that shows that no matter the lip service, they have no sympathy for a woman of any age raped by a stranger, a family member, a friend, a husband, a boyfriend, an ex-boyfriend, you name it.

        • KeeperOfTheBooks
          October 4, 2017 at 5:37 pm #

          And if you want to hear something really, really sad, this pro-lifer agrees with you on Akin, Huckabee, etc. Which is why I refuse to support any of the mainstream pro-life/antiabortion groups. In the last election, they showed themselves to be exactly what I had suspected them to be for some time: a group of sexist, inconsistent, political whores–with all due apologies to the average sex worker, who I suspect of having considerably higher ethical standards than the jackasses in question.
          Pardon the long post, but I’d like to give a bit of background here. First, I was raised what I could best describe as “fundamentalist Catholic,” with an attorney father who specialized in assisting abortion protestors. Like, was on legal teams for people who injured or killed abortion doctors. *That* level of dedication. So I’d say I’m pretty familiar with the inner workings of a lot of the pro-life movement, though I’ll add that the average pro-lifer isn’t actually in favor of walking up to a doctor and shooting him. My father and I were not on speaking terms for the five years or so leading up to his death.
          Second, up until this past election, I would have, if halfheartedly at times, supported a number of big-name prolife groups. No longer. Those who weren’t in religiously prolife circles may not be aware of this, but there was a HUGE (oh, such a bad pun) backlash against those who considered themselves pro-lifers but questioned, I think legitimately, how Donald Trump could possibly be considered a pro-life or pro-woman candidate. The guy is a sexist, racist pig, and at that, one who was historically in favor of abortion, even tried to have one of his kids aborted, but is now saying that women seeking abortions should be punished? What the hell?! (Again, in my experience, most pro-lifers wouldn’t go that far–only the *really* fringe ones would.)
          When we questioned major anti-abortion groups’ public support of him on these grounds (I mean, the guy is on record on this stuff, it’s not speculative!), we were told that we’d sold out, we weren’t really Christian or Catholic or pro-life, and we just had an entitlement mentality. There was a pretty major split between the big name groups and a fair number of people on the ground, who suddenly realized that to these pro-life leaders, keeping universal health care/education at bay and hanging onto their gun rights/ability to apply the death penalty was far more important than what they actually claimed to stand for. Never mind that if a woman is in a crisis pregnancy, she’s often much less likely to decide to have an abortion if she could be assured that both she and her child will have access to food, clean water, health care, education, housing, et all! “What you did not do for the least of these, you did not do for Me” went right the hell out the window.
          It was a truly disgusting performance, but one which I am perversely grateful for, because, as I said, it has caused a lot of us to rethink our strategy and support. You and I, for example, are unlikely to come to an agreement on abortion per se, but you and I working together to ensure that all Americans have access to health care and education and food? Well, that’s a hell of a lot more likely after last November, and I’m sure you’ll understand that I hope, in the long run, that doing so will lead to fewer abortions.

          • October 4, 2017 at 6:27 pm #

            I think all of us would like there to be fewer abortions because there is less need for them. Like a root canal, no one wants to get an abortion or wants to need an abortion. Leaving aside any moral implications, it’s simply not a fun medical procedure.
            Pro-choice is a policy position. It says that abortions should be legal and accessible. Pro-life says that abortions should be banned/illegal. There are a lot of people who call themselves personally pro-life, politically pro-choice; they would never choose to get an abortion, but they understand that it must remain available for those who want them. I don’t know if that describes you or not.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks
            October 4, 2017 at 6:44 pm #

            No, it wouldn’t. I do believe that a child is human from the moment of conception, and vote accordingly. However, I recognize that there are a huge number of factors that go into the decision to have an abortion, and consider efforts to overturn Roe vs Wade, for example, or to legislate directly against abortion, to generally be a huge waste of time and energy best spent elsewhere–i.e., I suppose I could technically donate to *insert pro-life legislative group here*, but it won’t do a damn thing in the long run except fund the jobs of the sort of people who openly attacked a pro-life rape survivor for refusing to support Trump. I might like the idea of Roe somehow going away, but it ain’t gonna, and that’s just the way it is. 40 years of trying to overturn it netted squat; I see no reason to believe that will change if I just scream louder or donate to the Usual Suspects. (And given their behavior last year, they will NEVER see a dime of my money.) Instead, I’ll send my money to the local medical clinic that arranges for low-income people, including pregnant women, to get appropriate care. Or the local food pantry. Or use it to buy an expectant mom a car seat, or…well, you get the idea.

          • October 4, 2017 at 6:58 pm #

            Fair enough, and makes sense to me! I will be honest, I don’t think it matters if a conceptus is a person or not. I get to control who uses my body, how, and when. If my best friend needs blood, I don’t have to donate it- it’s my blood. If my child needs my kidney, I don’t have to donate it- it’s my kidney. There is literally no other situation in which life trumps bodily autonomy, and frankly, I wouldn’t want to live in a world in which it did. A world in which the state can mandate that you turn your body over for the medical benefit of someone else is a totalitarian nightmare.

          • MaineJen
            October 5, 2017 at 11:03 am #

            Exactly. I work in organ transplantation, and…we can’t even take organs from a *dead person*, even to save someone else’s life, if it goes against that dead person’s prior wishes. Let’s at least grant a living, breathing woman as many rights over what is done with her own body as we grant to a dead person, shall we?

        • Steph858
          October 4, 2017 at 5:47 pm #

          I’d lay money on these people agreeing with the Tampon Tax because if we can’t afford to pay it, we can just ‘hold it in’.

          • mabelcruet
            October 7, 2017 at 4:27 am #

            I think their approach would be that God demands you give your husband children, and should should spend your fertile years pregnant or breast feeding, and therefore not menstruating. Tampons are obviously the Devil’s devices, because using them means you aren’t pregnant.

          • Azuran
            October 7, 2017 at 7:02 am #

            Or they think that since they go inside the vagina it causes temptation and increase risky sexual behaviour.

          • mabelcruet
            October 8, 2017 at 5:29 pm #

            If they think tampons could be sex toys, what on earth do they consider speculums for smear tests? Because yes, getting my cervix scrapped is a huge turn-on…

            Those people are sick in the head. And as for roadstergal’s comment on 10 year olds being up for it and leading on their rapist-I hated upvoting that, but it’s true. Northern Ireland fundamentalists have made similar comments blaming the child for leading someone into temptation. They are all as bad, they haven’t moved on for centuries. We had a First Minister who was well known for beating his wife black and blue regularly, but when she had an affair with a younger man, she disappeared from public life and went for ‘spiritual healing’. Meanwhile, the wife beater continued to hold office.

      • Gæst
        October 3, 2017 at 6:55 pm #

        Rape aside she was ELEVEN. It was a threat to her own life and health even if it hadn’t also automatically been rape.

    • Sarah
      October 3, 2017 at 12:49 pm #

      I prefer the ones who make exceptions for rape, though. Better to be a scrote 95% of the time than 100%. Credibility is not an issue because they didn’t have it anyway.

      • Roadstergal
        October 3, 2017 at 12:53 pm #

        The only problem is that an ‘exception for rape’ typically means a process that’s going to be almost impossible to get through at all, let alone in a timely fashion for a timely abortion.

        • Sarah
          October 3, 2017 at 2:36 pm #

          True… although I have come across at least one person holding that view who claimed to be prepared to take the woman’s word for it. I can’t be the only person who’d be prepared to lie in that scenario if I wanted an abortion, so it seemed pretty pointless, but regardless that is still an improvement over not one ever. It is better to have some possible means to obtain a legal abortion than zero, is what it comes down to. Not really any way round that.

      • October 3, 2017 at 1:21 pm #

        Rape exceptions … aren’t though. Because the woman has to “prove it”, either via a successful prosecution of her rapist (not fast and not bloody likely either) or through reliving her trauma in front of a panel of (usually) male physicians who will judge her based on their preconceived notions of how a trauma victim “should” act.

        The actual logistics of a rape exception mean that it doesn’t exist in reality. They’re still 100% scrotes.

        • Roadstergal
          October 3, 2017 at 3:41 pm #

          “100% scrotes” made my day.
          Yea, I had a ‘illegitimate’ rape – in some ways, it was one of the clear cases, because I was sober and said ‘no’ and he went ahead anyway. But it wouldn’t be considered ‘legitimate,’ I’m sure, because he was my boyfriend and we had engaged in consensual sex in the past.

          Now, I would have wanted access to abortion if pregnancy had occurred despite birth control in the consensual encounters – but the thought of me trying to convince a panel of scolds that the rape actually happened (I wasn’t traumatized afterwards, I was just plain angry – broke up with him and put him out of my life) is just that extra misogynistic cherry on top.

        • LaMont
          October 3, 2017 at 4:34 pm #

          100% scrotes indeed!! If you think it’s murder, the only exception that makes sense (tho still a nightmare to implement) is life of the mother. Being the victim of a crime shouldn’t excuse committing another crime. Thank god I consider pregnancy a medical condition of a woman to be navigated as she sees fit (and not a person with legal protections) b/c that helps me stay consistent and compassionate while these people dick around. There is no middle ground, honestly. They want to just ban in all cases b/c the middle ground makes *no sense*.

          Ultimately, they believe in personhood, which means women aren’t people, they are residences. It will be used to incarcerate all women who are young, single, poor, or black. A great way to Repeal 19. I used to be less apocalyptic about this but everything else has gone worst-case-scenario!

    • Who?
      October 3, 2017 at 5:45 pm #

      Nailed it.

    • Mark
      October 3, 2017 at 6:39 pm #

      I am strictly pro choice.

      However in the Jewish tradition, if the fetus is causing the mother harm, then abortion is ok.

      So the mother’s distress is superior to the fetus. An argument could be made that the rape is so traumatic that it’s effecting the mental well being of the mother that abortion is moral. The same as a mother having a physical illness.

    • MaineJen
      October 4, 2017 at 1:21 pm #

      The very idea of having a baby that is the result of a rape is abhorrent and grotesque, to me. It would re-traumatize the woman to an extreme degree. I can’t even imagine.

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