My Problem With the Anti-Choice Movement


A few weeks ago I had a conversation with someone who considered themselves pro-life. During the conversation she accused women who have had abortions of killing their babies and said that teenagers who get pregnant are “sluts” and “whores.” Every time I see the anti-choice posters at my university I think about how problematic their movement is, but the conversation I had with this person has convinced me to post my concerns on my blog.

This persons words didn’t so much disturb me because of what she said: I have heard all of that before. The words were problematic, but I was more concerned with the fact that a 17 year old girl thought it appropriate to lay such charges against other women. 17 is about the average age when most people begin having sex. This girl has been taught that she should be ashamed of something that most people begin to do around her age. She feels the need to judge her peers for being normal. She feels the need to hide feelings that she probably experiences daily (she could be asexual or demisexual and not experience said feelings, but in all likelihood she does feel them). I can’t help but feel anger towards the culture that makes teenagers feel ashamed of their own sexuality.

And the anti-choice movement takes full advantage of this culture to shame those of us who have had abortions. When you hear the anti-choicers speak, they talk about how they are pro-women, and how they are simply trying to put an end to an immoral act. They talk about helping and supporting women. That language is problematic in that it ignores trans men who can and have had abortions, but it sounds good. It doesn’t seem problematic. But then you look at their signs. Those signs are very far from being pro-women. They are made to shame and condemn women.

anti-abortion2

Her blood is on your hands? That is how you choose to speak to someone who is already emotionally strained? You call this pro-woman? You call this support? This is using guilt to shame people out of a decision. Personally, I would never go to this woman with my issues because I wouldn’t trust her to be supportive. I could only assume that she would be judgmental and emotionally hurtful. If you want to help people, this is not how you do it.

anti-abortion3

This one has all sorts of judgement thrown in. “Abortion kills babies.” Definitionally, this is not true. If it’s in the womb it’s an embryo or a fetus. We don’t define them as “babies” until they are born. This is another guilt tactic. There is no real meaning behind the poster other than to redefine “baby” and “murder” in a way that suits the protestors interest. “Does your doctor kill babies?” Family doctors generally don’t perform abortions. This is an obvious attack on Planned Parenthood, since they are one of the few places that both perform abortions and offer health care to women. Being as they offer affordable care, and their patients often can’t afford to go else where, this is also an attack on low-income women. “Boycott doctors who kill.” And go where? “Stop the baby slashers.” Baby slashers? Really? These are all emotionally charged judgements. They are meant to shame people. One poster directly shames those who have had abortions by saying that they killed their babies. The rest shame the professionals who perform a necessary procedure.

anti-abortion

These posters are the worst of them. Rather than simply state why I don’t like them, here are some articles that go into detail about why they are misleading and wrong:
http://www.lifeandlibertyforwomen.org/truth_about_photos.htmlhttp://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2014/10/27/bloody-fetus-pictures-arent-persuasion-theyre-bullying/
http://www.prochoiceactionnetwork-canada.org/articles/bible.shtml
http://www.thisismyabortion.com/
That last one showed a more accurate picture of a surgical abortion. Mine, which was performed at 6 weeks, was a medical abortion. It certainly did not look like the picture above. It looked like an early miscarriage. What does that look like? My period. My abortion looked like my period. There was no visible body parts, there was no obvious fetus or embryo. There was blood. Not even very much of it. It was a light, crampy period.

anti-abortion4

I find it odd that a largely religious group would use this set of pictures. The holocaust was a religious choice? If that were true, wouldn’t that be damning towards religion? Personally I would say it was the result of racism, not religion. I’d also say that racism was an excuse. They used the racism, which was very common at the time, to justify starting a war that was more of a power play than anything. Hitler wanted to prove to the world, including the German people, that they were still a force to be reckoned with. The second picture shows a white man lynching a black man. The American slave owners used the Bible to justify slavery. So, if the holocaust can be said to be caused by racism, the slave trade can be said to have been allowed because of religion. But I don’t see how it can be said to be a choice. Hitler chose to begin to kill the Jews, slavery wasn’t the result of one man’s (or person’s) choice. It was the result of a culture. I doubt that white man in the picture ever said “I think I’ll accept slavery now.” More likely he was raised into it. It’s unlikely a choice was involved. That doesn’t make what happened right, but it does make “choice” the wrong word to use. But again, this poster is all about shame.

The way the anti-choicers treat women who have had an abortion is wrong. They put up posters that publicly shame and humiliate. They tell people that they are murderers and that they are participating in a genocide. In some cases they encourage women to shame themselves by encouraging them to wear posters that say “I regret my abortion.” How is that any different from a parent making their child wear a sign that says “I am a thief”? How is it pro-women or supportive? Shame is not a good way to encourage anyone to stop an action, it is only effective at making people feel bad about who they are. Don’t believe me? Here’s my evidence:
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/love-and-sex-in-the-digital-age/201401/guilt-good-shame-bad
http://www.gydoindy.com/7-differences-between-shame-and-guilt/
http://io9.com/whats-the-difference-between-guilt-and-shame-1605122600
http://www.beyondintractability.org/essay/guilt-shame
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/01/04/anti-obesity-ads-won-t-work-by-telling-fat-kids-to-stop-being-fat.html
http://www.nbcnews.com/health/diet-fitness/fat-shaming-actually-increases-risk-becoming-or-staying-obese-new-f8C10751491
http://www.naturalchild.org/robin_grille/good_children.html
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-legacy-distorted-love/201209/shaming-children-is-emotionally-abusive

Bottom line: the anti-choicers methods are not helpful when it comes to stopping abortions. They don’t convince people to not have abortions. They don’t support people who are trying to decide if they should have an abortion, or anyone who has already had an abortion. And they are not pro-woman.

If you would like some more sources in defense of the pro-choice side, or would just like to read into it a bit more, here are some articles that I think are great and well worth the read:
http://civilliberty.about.com/od/abortion/tp/abortionmyths.htm
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-seven-most-common-lies-about-abortion-20140226
http://jezebel.com/5454015/the-pro-life-movement-is-not-pro-woman-an-open-letter-to-sarah-palin
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2012/10/how-i-lost-faith-in-the-pro-life-movement.html
http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/2411798.html
http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1472-6874-13-29.pdf
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/07/teen-abortion-judicial-bypass-parental-notification
http://1in10blog.wordpress.com/page/2/

Here’s another article I forgot to add. This one is about why anti-choicers are less likely to hear about abortion than pro-choicers: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/11/08/1342580/-If-you-oppose-abortion-there-may-be-something-your-friends-aren-t-telling-you#

Here are some more resources:
http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2014/10/20/adoption-universal-alternative-abortion-matter-anti-choicers-say/
http://www.73adoptee.com/2009/08/adoption-isnt-a-choice-for-everyone/
http://www.imnotsorry.net/faq-about-abortion/

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78 responses to “My Problem With the Anti-Choice Movement

  • caelesti

    Abortion is only just barely legal here (U.S.) too, considering all the restrictions and how so few clinics offer it. Doctors are too afraid to become abortionists, and there are funding restrictions on clinics that offer it. History is pretty clear about how much the “pro-life” movement actually gives a crap about women’s lives & health. Heck, many of them don’t really care about the babies either, it’s really political opportunism. In the ’60’s the same political faction was in favor of legal abortion & birth control, but after they lost the struggle over school segregation they needed a new issue, so they adopted that & got support from Catholics that way (a group that previously they’d never associated with!) http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/05/religious-right-real-origins-107133.html#.VGuGS_nF_To

    Liked by 1 person

    • James C. Samans

      I don’t think it’s opportunism. I think that virtually everyone who opposes abortion does so from a place of moral conviction, but there are two problems: one, a large subset of those people are not inclined to want to incur the cost associated with caring for a child when his or her parents cannot afford to bear it themselves (i.e. fiscal conservatism); and two, no one is really sure what to do with women and girls who do have abortions.

      This second point is not given nearly enough attention. “Abortion is murder” signs can be found everywhere, but it is a rare protester who believes that a woman or girl getting an abortion should be executed or sent to prison for life, despite these being typical responses from the same people when asked how child murderers should be punished.

      Liked by 1 person

  • iggy

    I have said quite often that if all the pro-choices and pro-lifers but their money and efforts into PREVENTING unwanted pregancies, then abortions would reduce automatically. I also think that just yelling slogans isn’t an answer, if you want the women walking in not to have the abortion, then YOU, yes the one with the sign and slogans, need to be able them an alternative, rather then shame, can you offer them a place to stay, food to eat, and a way to get an education & a job so they can make a better life for themselves and the child, If so stand right up and take them home with you, but if you aren’t willing to stand up and put your home, life, money on the line (like will have to) to make a difference maybe you should stand down, shut up and go home.

    Just saying….

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    • hessianwithteeth

      That reasoning is why a lot of pro-choice groups hand out condoms. They also usually have information about other forms of contraception. Birth control doesn’t eliminate the need for abortions, but it does drastically lower the number of abortions that occur.

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    • James C. Samans

      You write that as if there are no such groups out there — as if the pro-life side of this vast debate is made up solely of one sort of person — but that is not the case. From faith-based groups like Buckner International to secular ones life Feminists for Life, there are a lot of voices out there devoted to actually helping women and girls deal with life as mothers, whether that means childcare and educational assistance or finding partners for adoption.

      I also see very little attention paid to the lack of actual choice afforded by those who call themselves “pro-choice” when it comes to women and girls who do choose to give birth to their unplanned children. Visit a college campus, and you’ll find endless supplies of free condoms and people who can arrange visits to abortion clinics. Look for family housing, however, and you’ll typically come up short. It’s a rare dorm that accommodates toddlers, and the “choice” offered by that side is generally little more than “have an abortion, or kiss your future goodbye.”

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      • iggy

        That is the sad thing, lots of the choices offered are poor choices from all sides. Not having sex is the only 100% solution to not getting pregnant. I wonder why this isn’t promoted more, it doesn’t have to be a religious thing, it is a common sense thing, don’t have sex until you are ready to have a baby, because it can happen.

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        • hessianwithteeth

          No it’s promoted a ton, a huge amount. in place where the focus is abistiance prengancy goes up. Why becuase people are going to have sex, not everyone ,but many people including teens are going to have sex, and are not going to pass up certain opportunities. So telling them not to have sex is next to pointless. Instead tell them how to have safe sex, and give them good information so that they can make informed decisions. There is tons of research telling people not to have sex is never going to be a substitute for having safe sex options. Absitnace only does NOT work it doesn’t never and focusing on it and only giving marginal information about safe sex is only slightly better.

          We need a robust sex education program for all our children. One that teaches about sexuality, consent, safe sex(abstinence is always an option), reproduction and healthy romantic relationships and abuse identification and prevention.

          Focusing on abstinence does none of this and this is not what we need, and not what the next generation needs.

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          • iggy

            What really needs to happen is they need to start having Sex Education in 6th grade, right before dating and boys become interesting instead of “yucky”, they need to tell the truth, not just scare them with the “you’ll get pregnant or a disease” but You will get a bad rep and he will get a good rep. Tell them, if you kiss your first boyfriend, the second boyfriend will be like “you like him more them me” so we should go farther, this will continually repeat. Also sex isn’t as great for girls as boy, “oral sex” they may give it, but that age they ain’t getting it back, be realistic, give them the truth. They need to be taught that “sex” doesn’t equal love, that waiting is a “smart” choice, and the only way to just have sex with the guy you marry is to do it on your honeymoon. Just like avoiding drugs and drinking, avoiding sex can be hard, there is lots of peer pressure, but in the end, completing HS, and or going to college, getting a job and not having become pregnant or get a disease will help them in the future. Just because “everyone” is going to do it, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t warn against the real dangers, to teens they aren’t going to get pregnant, they aren’t going to get a disease, but they know all about reputations, HS can be hell. Once you have sex, you will always be pressured for it by the next “boyfriend” if you don’t start, you don’t have to worry about the next level. If they are given this advice young, and it is repeated every year in more detail as they get older, we can only hope if they can make it thru HS without having sex, they will have the tools to help them make a good decision after they become 18 and go one. I think abstinence should be in the schools for 6th thru 9th grade, then a “if you going to do something stupid, at least use protection” so it is still don’t do it, but if do…just like with drinking, you don’t encourage it but as they get older and peer pressure builds you say “don’t be stupid and drink, but if you do, don’t drive, call someone to get you”. Sex needs to be treated like drugs and drink, don’t do it. Starting at a young age, just don’t. As they get older and pressure gets worse, they still “don’t do it, but if you do…..”

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          • hessianwithteeth

            I wrote a post on what I think would be a robust sex education program would look like here.

            https://hessianwithteeth.wordpress.com/

            The biggest issue I hear in what your saying is consent. That we need to teach kids that no means no, not maybe. That you can say no at any time, and put a stop to say kind of sexual activity at any time. This applies for boys and girls. As well as we need to tackle male expectations of needing to have tons of sex to be a “man.” Though I wrote more about it in the post and in the comments.

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          • iggy

            I read your post and I like it. Cause lets face it parents say “I will talk to them” but how many really do a complete job of it? It is often ackward and incomplete. A good place to start is in school, I agree, we need to teach the male side also. There is a lot of pressure on them also to have sex, which translates to them pressuring the girls, and sometimes the other way around. Girls can be agressive to. They need to teach the difference between having sex to be “cool and/or popular” and having sex in a mature relationship.

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          • equippedcat

            Abstinence by itself does not work. The advantages of abstinence need to go hand in hand with how to avoid getting “screwed” if you don’t choose abstinence.

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          • iggy

            They need to be given real info, both males and females. Having sex to be “ccol, liked, popular” isn’t the way to go. Males get peer pressure also. TV, Movies romantise it, commercials sell it, no wonder it is every where.

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  • synapticrevolt

    For people who think of themselves as emotionally enlightened and compassionate, surgically tearing out an unborn human from its womb and then flushing it is by far the darkest, most horrific thing progressives have come to support. When you look at the act objectively, there is no way to support it, no way to feel okay about it, no way to consider it any different than throwing infants into furnaces.
    Basically, here’s the pro-choice argument:

    “So I heard you got yourself a new puppy.”
    “Nope. I killed it.”
    “What? Why?”
    “It was inconvenient. Don’t look at me like that. Anyway, it was fully dependent on me for its survival, so since it couldn’t survive on its own, it wasn’t really ever alive.”
    “But you yourself went and got this dog.”
    “It wasn’t intentional. And it would’ve had a horrible life, because I’m not able to raise kids yet.”
    “So you do plan on having kids. And what happens if one of them is Autistic, and can’t ever feed himself or wipe his own ass?”

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    • hessianwithteeth

      You need to do some research. For one thing, not all abortions are surgical. For another, the puppy can feel. The fetus can’t. Physically, it feels no pain. And it’s not a simple case of “I bought a puppy, but didn’t like it.” Having sex is not consenting to become pregnant. Birth control can fail. And babies are a huge investment. You need to have both time to raise them and money. If you don’t have that, then having a baby can ruin any chances you had of getting ahead. Seriously, I gave resources. Read some of them.

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      • James C. Samans

        Birth control can fail, but the vast majority of abortions are sought by women and girls who made no use of highly reliable contraception in the first place. As for the line that “having sex is not consenting to become pregnant,” neither is bringing home a puppy consenting to support the dog into the future. Heck, virtually no decision is necessarily consenting to deal with its consequences.

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        • equippedcat

          Every decision has, or at least should have, a requirement that any consequences will be dealt with. I realize that the trend of society is to remove consequences, but that is really insulting and harmful to the individual, and to society as well..

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        • hessianwithteeth

          One where is your data coming from on your first comment, what are the demographics? Are we dealing with areas with high levels of abstinence only education so those having the abortions would necessarily have any knowledge of those contraceptives? If that is the case

          Well I’m sure it’s not the case every where, but when we got our cats we had to sign an agreement to take care of them. Wasn’t legal binding or anything but we did consent to taking care of our cats. Any pet store or adoption which cares for it’s animals does this.

          Though the analogy fails regardless because sex and buying puppies comes with very different expectations. When you buy a puppy your getting a living thing, which has needs in order for it to survive. When your having sex which could result in a pregnancy (as this is not always a concern) you may have no intention of having a child. When you buy a puppy I’d hope your interested in having a living creature.

          They are not directly comparable.

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      • James C. Samans

        Indeed, they’re not directly compatible – though since you brought up cats, I’ll take a moment to observe the more-relevant fact that a substantial part of “caring for” your cats is pledging to control their reproduction by reducing or eliminating their fertility (birth control), while no one suggests abortion as a means of preventing the substantial problem of kitten overpopulation.

        Regarding birth control itself as opposed to abortion, it’s patently obvious that we’d not have nearly so many abortions in America as we do if every woman or girl who was regularly sexually active obtained proper birth control. There are many barriers to this happening, including a requirement in some states for parental consent, but THAT is the root cause of the problem and also where the solution is best found if we are interested in eliminating unwanted pregnancy. Chemical contraception was created for that purpose, and it’s effectiveness — while just short of 100% — goes far, far beyond what one gets with a barrier method that relies too much on the individual, moment-to-moment behavior of the participants in sexual activity.

        That’s what frustrates me most about the abortion debate: while the central argument is essentially unbridgeable between the two sides (for reasons I have previously articulated), what IS bridgeable — indeed, where a great many of the pro-life crowd would readily break with their Puritanical brethren — is the issue of ready access to birth control. But we have a hard time rallying around it because the people who should be making birth control their priority get spun up arguing in favor of abortion, which pushes the matter back to the unwinnable divide and prevents anything useful from getting done.

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        • hessianwithteeth

          Well I don’t disagree with what your saying other then that the real fight is for birth control. That’s one fight, but so is ex education, and so if push back against and repealing anti abortion laws which take away women’s right to their own bodies. Women have been held prisoner because they wished to take risks (like vaginal birth after c-section) which others felt that was a unnecessary risk. While so cases I feel the risk was silly, the point is you shouldn’t suddenly lose bodily autonomy because your pregnant and a doctor doesn’t like your plan can can force surgery on you. It sets a very dangerous president.

          Though if you want to help bridge the divide and work on it from the angle of birth control you definitely should do that.

          Like

  • Why I’m Not Pro-Abortion | KassaFrass

    […] from voicing it for a multitude of reasons.  However, last night, after reading a post by hessianwithteeth, I decided to give it a […]

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  • Eric John

    We ought not try to legislate morality. People need to be free to make their own choices. It’s important to remember that the fetus isn’t the only entity involved in abortion. There is a Mother making a difficult and possibly gut-wrenching decision, and quite possibly she is making that decision without supportive family around her. I hold not only the unborn in the light, who’s chance at life was terminated, but the Mother as well, who may be going through her own struggles as well. The hate and lack of compassion surrounding this issue tears at my Heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Free Hugs don’t have to be creepy! | Decoctions

    […] thought of this because I was just reading hessianwithteeth’s post on the tactics of protesters at abortion clinics, and it occurred to me that abortion clinics would […]

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  • cliffrad

    Emotionally strained from what? An abortion! Abortion is good in your and their eyes so why the strain? Instead be proud of your opinion that to abort is good. People disagree, just a descenting opinion.

    Sounds like you believe being judgmental is bad, but you seem to judge too.

    Sorry, slavery has existed well before the US. It wasn’t caused by religion.
    Don’t we wish that more would have stood against the genocide of the Jews and American slavery? So now there are some standing against abortion? This seems consistent.

    Given abortion is believed to be legalized murder, it isn’t surprising the heavy use of image and language is used. The object is to show it is bad. This is consistent!

    I can see how it would offend some that others disagree with abortion and stand against those who defend it, welcome, to the America of open communication and opinions. Cool, huh?

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    • hessianwithteeth

      Double bypass surgery is a good thing too. Do you think people don’t feel emotional strain when they need one? Going through counseling is emotionally strenuous, but it is more often than not a good thing. Do you really think that abortions can’t still be emotional for those of us who think that they should be legal? Nobody wants to get an abortion, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t necessary. And supporting legal abortion doesn’t mean you’re ecstatic to discover that you need to get one.
      I never said the US created slavery, or that it was caused by religion. I said that the American slave owners used the Bible to justify owning slaves. Maybe you should try actually reading before you make comments.
      I’m not American. Here in Canada we don’t actually have free speech laws. These people still have their posters out. But the country in question is irrelevant. If you go back to my last paragraph, you’ll noticed that I not only said that the posters are meant to shame those who have had abortions, but they are also ineffective at stopping abortions. If the so called pro-lifers actually wanted to stop abortions, you’d think they’d use a tactic that was actually effective. Instead they are happy to bully people. Dos that sound consistent with their rhetoric to you?

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      • cliffrad

        I’m sorry to hear you do not have free speech.

        “So, if the holocaust can be said to be caused by racism, the slave trade can be said to have been allowed because of religion.”

        You make to many assumptions about slavery and religion and there connection in the US.

        It is good to let people see the horror they are involved in to get them to see it as it is. It isn’t surprising that people redouble their effort to justify this act and become more militant.

        I can see that they need counseling, in order to cover there act to justify it and suppress the natural guilt of murder.

        Like

        • hessianwithteeth

          I said “allowed” not “caused by.” It is a historically accepted fact that slavery was justified by people using the Bible. You may not like that fact, but it is a fact nonetheless.
          You can feel bad that I don’t technically have free speech, not that that has ever negatively impacted me. I feel bad you live in a police state. It seems your freedoms are a lot more limited than mine.
          Abortion isn’t murder. Those who say it is are trying to redefine terms. It is actually not that common for people to regret their abortion. I know I don’t regret mine. So no, counseling isn’t generally needed. And the person who requires counseling usually needs it because their support network isn’t actually supportive, or they don’t have a support network.
          I have a lot of sources at the bottom of my page that debunk a number of the myths about abortion. They also discuss why people get abortions and what it means to get an abortion. I’d suggest reading some of them.

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          • cliffrad

            You over generalize “religion and slavery” and this fits your approach. I know you do not like to call it what it is and this has helped many to live with it.

            But a better way is to see it for what it is “murder” and discourage others from committing the same atrocity. This heals instead of self-justification.

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          • hessianwithteeth

            I’ve not generalized any more than the poster itself is a generalization.
            Where is your evidence that abortion is murder? Where is your evidence that calling people murderers help them heal from their supposed guilt? Because I’ve actually offered evidence to support my argument. You’ve only offered your own opinion.

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          • cliffrad

            The child is dead…duh…you want to make it out to be a glob of nothing which fits the mind of the self-justifying. You know…

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      • Eric John

        Compassion, understanding, and love are a lot more likely to stop an abortion than a graphic poster of an aborted fetus.

        The same people that stand at the entrance of a clinic trying to convince a woman not to have the abortion ought to stand at the exit waiting to offer her compassion and support on her way out.

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      • James C. Samans

        That’s likely true, Eric. On the other hand, a great deal of angst and effort goes into the pro-abortion camp’s attempt to prevent people from understanding in purely clinical terms what is happening when an abortion occurs. When the pro-choicers give up their “it’s no big deal” angle, perhaps we can ask the pro-lifers to give up their counterargument.

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        • hessianwithteeth

          There is no significant pro-abortion movement. That’s can anti-humanists or human extinction movement. Don’t conflate them with pro-choice. Very different outlooks.

          Also most pro-choicers I know don’t think abortion is no be deal, but think that abortion option is necessary for a healthy society. Like I honestly don’t know where your getting this, except maybe from random bloggers. Though maybe there a bigger problem, but I haven’t seen it any significant number of people hold the “abortion is not big deal” opinion, except for people without uteri though those people tend to be only nominally pro-choice and don’t actually do much other then speak up occasionally.

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  • equippedcat

    Just an aside, the choice of words used is not meaningful. “choice” is a good thing, so being “pro-choice” has an implication of good, and “anti-choice” has an implication of bad. Conversely, “life” is a good thing, so “pro-life” has an implication of good (I have not heard of the reverse being applied, but it may just be a matter of time). Unfortunately, calling something by a term which implies good or bad has little or no impact on whether it really is good or bad. A thing is what it is, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”.

    For that matter, very few things are all good or all bad. In the case of this debate, both sides have some good elements and some bad elements. It seems like the extremes on each side are the worst problem area, although the extremely religious seem to drift to the extremes.

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    • hessianwithteeth

      I call them anti-choice because “life” isn’t really part of the debate. They don’t care about life in general, they care about protecting one life, the fetus’s, over another, the mother. The pro-choice side wants to give women the choice, the pro-life side wants to take that choice away. As such, “life” isn’t being debated, the option to choose is.
      Having a choice isn’t always a good thing. It’s not a good thing to be able to choose to murder. Likewise, it’s not a good thing to be able to choose to steal from someone, or commit fraud. That’s why those aren’t choices that we have.

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      • equippedcat

        There are those who are so focused on the fetus that they don’t feel that the mother or an abortion doctor have any right to life. These people are not “anti-choice”, they are crazy wack-jobs.

        As for people who wish to limit abortion, you disagree with them, and you have that right. Let me suggest that you looked for a derogative term to describe them, so you can express your displeasure with them whenever you even mention them. Also your right, but keep in mind that lumping a whole class of people with a derogative term and assigning every member of that class with the negative aspects of some members of that class, is a very steep, very slippery, slope.

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  • writergurlny

    The problem is that, regardless of whether you are pro choice or anti-choice, this issue is never black and white. While I am staunchly pro-choice, I believe that we need standard sex education in our schools. We also need to teach our girls to respect themselves and teach our boys to respect girls.

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    • hessianwithteeth

      What do you mean by “respect themselves”? We live in a culture that tells girls that respecting yourself means not having sex until marriage and dressing modestly, yet looking pretty. But not too pretty, otherwise the boys turn into animals. I don’t see how that is respectful towards girls or boys. To me, a female is respectful of themselves if they aren’t behaving self-destructively. Their clothes don’t matter. The fact that they have sex doesn’t matter. What matters are their reasons for doing so. “Because I like this shirt” or “because I love my partner and am ready to have sex with them” are just as good of reasons if you’re 17 or 27. But the anti-choicers would convince girls that they are dirty if they don’t wait until marriage. That is certainly not respectful.

      Liked by 1 person

      • writergurlny

        What I mean respecting yourself as a woman is looking in the mirror and being ok with what you see, even if the rest of the world disagrees. Too often women are labelled either the good girl or bad girl with nothing in between.

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      • James C. Samans

        You said earlier that “no one wants to have an abortion,” yet your support for abortion in the course of the threads woven here frequently reaches a fever pitch that comes close to veneration. Which is it:

        (a) no one wants to have an abortion, yet this sad outcome may be necessary because the world has flaws; or

        (b) abortion is no big deal?

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        • hessianwithteeth

          Okay before I go and answer any more of your comments. I understand you feel passionately about this issue, but 7 comment in the last 15 minutes? You don’t have to reply to every single person in this thread all at once, and this is quickly approaching spamming levels. Not yet, but consider this a polite warning.

          As for your question it’s a false dichotomy.

          I’d say a, and then I’d go on to argue that abortions will and do, and have happened regardless of laws surrounding the issue. Plus allowing for abortions benefit the over all health of society by allowing women to better control their reproduction. By allowing abortions you allow families to control, and reduce the number of children they have and better take control of there finances, time, and resources to put back into society and themselves.

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      • James C. Samans

        My apologies. I ended up on this page through a series of interlinked articles, and I mistook the discussion as belonging to a public article rather than a private blog.

        I’m astonished that you would apply to the word “spam” to refer to a series of respectful, on-point responses that deal with the particular nuances of each thread to which they were addressed, but that is your prerogative as the page owner.

        Best of luck.

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  • ryan59479

    Of course the worst part of this is that there are living children who already exist that suffer everyday, yet these sign wavers do nothing to help them. Apparently it’s immoral to kill a small cluster of cells, but it’s perfectly acceptable to let children wallow in the streets and die of illness and hunger. The hypocrisy is staggering. If these people put half the effort they used for making those signs into, say, making sure children have access to clean drinking water–which kills more people around the world than all forms of violence–the world would be a better place for living, breathing children who are suffering right now.

    “Supporting a pregnant woman” is fine rhetoric, but they’re empty words unless these people are going to adopt all the unwanted babies this results in. Ironically, these people are also most likely to support cutting funding to social programs that help support pregnant women and single mothers.

    It seems ridiculous to me that some people will do everything they can to save a fetus, but won’t lift a finger to help the millions of children on this planet who are starving or living in war zones. The hypocrisy is mind boggling. If you feel morally bound to save an unborn child, why is this logic and duty not extended to children who have already been born?

    Liked by 6 people

    • James C. Samans

      Your handy characterization that anyone who marches with the “pro-choice” crusaders is on the side of helping young families or struggling mothers while those on the other side of the issue would just as soon consign them to poverty and death might make you feel good about yourself and your own affiliation in this regard, but it’s not actually true. There are over 100 million people in America who oppose abortion, and about the same number who support it. Within those camps, every position imaginable is represented vis-à-vis helping or not helping anyone else.

      Like

      • ryan59479

        If this is true, though, these people are conspicuously missing from the National conversation. It also really does nothing to address the numbers involved. The pro life people of the world can’t or won’t direct their resources to stop child suffering around the world from hunger or disease, and they aren’t doing anything in terms of making sure all the unwanted children in the world are adopted or cared for. It’s fine to make a moral argument about pregnancy, but if you aren’t willing to extend or apply that moral obligation to ALL children, then you really aren’t “pro life,” you’re simply pro fetus.

        Liked by 1 person

  • whichgodsaves

    I think the previous comment speaks volumes: claim to be Christians. In the Bible, Jesus says many who claim to know Him will hear Him say to them – “I don’t know you”. This is not what Christianity is supposed to be about. I cannot imagine Jesus being part of anything like that. I do believe that there are times when abortion could be wrong, but even if it was, where is the Grace and Forgiveness that Jesus would be offering? He would be looking to have a meal with you and offering love, not doing these things.
    To anyone in this situation, I sincerely pray that you not assume these people are truly representative of Jesus. Only God can condemn, not people. Christians are told to forgive, else we won’t be forgiven. That’s what Jesus teaches.

    Every person’s soul is important to Him, and should be to us. I urge the protesters to learn what our faith is really about or stop using Jesus’ name. I also urge the victims of these protesters to not turn away from God because of the protesters.

    No matter what any of us did, Jesus offers forgiveness. And if you’re not aware, Jesus also said that being angry with someone is the same as killing them. Think about what that means to the protesters.

    A true Christian wouldn’t treat you like that. I pray that you find the real Jesus, and I’ll see you in Heaven!

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    • clubschadenfreude

      Each Christian claims that Christians who don’t agree with him aren’t “real” Christians. We know that the supposed savior of Christians had no problem with either killing or his father killing children left and right. The whole murder the first born thing back in Exodus is all about that, plus the supposed flood, plus the murdering of children in the battles all through the OT. Then we get the promise of more murdering in Revelation. Jesus himself says that one should leave one’s family and children to follow him. He says that anyone who doesn’t accept him as king should be brought before him and killed. And anyone means anyone. So, there is no reason to think that this character would just as likely be with the anti-life twits as with more liberal Christians. Again, each Chrisitan makes her god in her own image, not the other way around. What is “really” your faith, someone else says isn’t and that his way is what JC “really” meant. And none of you can show this to be true, that your god approves of one of you and not the other. I can point you to a woman who is sure that she’s the true Christian and is sure that everyone who doesn’t agree with her should be killed cannibals in The Walking Dead http://narrowwayapologetics.com/2014/11/15/the-walking-dead-and-the-conquest-of-the-canaanites/

      Incidentally, there is one instance of your bible saying that this god is concerned with every soul, the part about the shepard looking for the lost sheep. Then we have all of the bits that say that there are some people intentionally damned, where JC says he uses parables to keep some people from ever accepting him and in Romans where it says that some vessels are to be used as examples. Which parts are we to believe?

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      • whichgodsaves

        Wow – there’s a lot in here – so let’s look at it.

        “Each Christian claims that Christians who don’t agree with him aren’t “real” Christians.”
        Remember, I said that Jesus will tell many people who claim to be Christians that they really aren’t? No person – me and you included – get’s to decide who is a “real” Christian. That’s up to Jesus. I’m just saying – for your benefit – that I don’t believe the sign carrying folks represent Him. He was known for – and the religious leaders of His time complained about – Him spending all His time with prostitutes, tax collectors, and other people they wouldn’t give the time of day to.

        The firstborn death in Exodus – those were people who had already turned against God. Like it or not – if what the Bible says is true – God does get to set the rules. I believe it’s true. For others that don’t believe, it’s not whether they believe or not that matters – it’s still whether it’s true. If I’m right – we have free will – to follow God or not. If we choose to follow a path that He has said leads to our death – that was our choice. I believe the sign carriers have made a choice that leads to what’s called the second death – Hell. Any one of us can make the choices we want. All of us will reap the consequences of our choice. Whether anyone reading this chooses to believe it or not, I do actually care about everyone reading this. I honestly don’t believe – looking at Jesus that He would condemn someone for having an abortion. What condemns us is our refusal to accept His love for all of us. Anything can be forgiven. Anything. He even forgave the very people who killed Him. There is absolutely nothing He said that justifies what those protesters did. Again – anyone can choose to believe that – or not.

        More killing in Revelation.
        That is talking about what is going to happen. People will do that. Again – free will. People get into wars all the time. Free will. Someone wants to impose their will on someone else. Start a war. Revelation talks about a time when God finally has enough of people rejecting Him. Even there – we have the choice to reject Him or not. The fact that you’ve apparently read Revelation means you should be aware of it, so when it comes, if you’re still alive – it shouldn’t be a surprise. Once again though – being warned is only that – a warning. No one is forced to believe. We all have a choice. If some thinks it’s all a lie or a fantasy – no problem – don’t believe and don’t heed the warning. But if it turns out to be true?

        Jesus telling people to leave their family.
        That wasn’t meant for everyone. Depends on the family. Mine disowned me because of my beliefs. My father had no use for God – thought he could take care of everything himself. At the end – I think he changed his mind, but since he had Alzheimer’s, it’s really hard to know. My mother – she keeps changing her mind. That’s the kind of scenario Jesus was talking about. If I believe what He says is true – I had to make a choice between Him and what my birth father believes. My father would only accept me if I submitted to his way of thinking – namely that we was essentially god. I made my choice.

        He says that anyone who doesn’t accept him as king should be brought before him and killed.
        This is not actually what He said. He said anyone who doesn’t believe in Him has condemned themselves. Free will again. Anyone who doesn’t believe in Him – and doesn’t want to spend eternity with Him – doesn’t have to. The choice between Heaven and Hell really comes down to life with God – or completely without Him. And – it’s totally our choice. In the end, we get what we want. Again – if He’s correct – Heaven would be eternity with no evil – like with no sign carrying protesters. Hell will be an eternity with no God – no restraints on evil – people like the sign carrying protesters will be the rule, not the exception. If He’s right – and I’m correct to follow Him – and people who choose to reject Him – that person will spend an eternity with the sign people and no one like me who cares about you around at all. It’s hard to imagine, because the world is a combination of good and evil right now. Making the wrong choice leads to eternity with absolutely no good at all.

        And anyone means anyone. So, there is no reason to think that this character would just as likely be with the anti-life twits as with more liberal Christians. Again, each Christian makes her god in her own image, not the other way around.
        Again – Jesus decides who followed Him – not us. The sign carrying people are more like the Pharisees from the Bible – and Jesus was constantly telling them that the sinners would get to Heaven before they ever would. Once again – we can choose to believe or not. Picking verses out of the Bible to make a point is dangerous. It can lead to the conclusions we want – rather than looking at the whole thing and seeing what is was really about. Do you think Jesus would have come here – die the horrible death He did – just for the chance to join the sign carriers? If He thought they were right – there would be no need to come here. They’re already causing enough grief for people. No – He came to tell the people who the sign carriers hate – that He loves them. And then the sign carriers killed Him for saying that. That’s what the New Testament is about.

        What is “really” your faith, someone else says isn’t and that his way is what JC “really” meant.
        Again – Only Jesus can and will decide what He really meant. And again – I believe that there’s nothing the sign carriers or anyone else can point to that says Jesus would be with them. All indications from Jesus’ own life is that He’d be inside that clinic telling the folks in there that He loves them. And then going out to have dinner with them.

        And none of you can show this to be true, that your god approves of one of you and not the other. I can point you to a woman who is sure that she’s the true Christian and is sure that everyone who doesn’t agree with her should be killed cannibals in The Walking Dead
        You’re right. Only in the end will we know for sure. And at that point it’s too late to change our minds. Don’t know about you, but I’m staking my eternity on a God that hates the sign carriers and loves the targets of those sign carriers.

        Finally – I still pray for all of you who have been through these situations. I don’t believe Jesus would have been with the sign carriers. I believe He would tell them they should be supporting you, not condemning you. And I pray that you will not let the sign carriers win in the end. Reject their view of Jesus. You don’t even have to accept mine. Pray to Him yourself. He says He stands at our door and knocks – waiting for us to answer. I opened the door – and He answered. And that’s why I’m trying to let you know what I believe His message really is. Because – even though I don’t know you – I care about you – because I believe He cares about you.

        I know – others will say the opposite. But again – ask Him. Honestly ask Him – and be open for the answer. He died so that we would be forgiven – not to support the sign carriers and spread hate. Why let them win?

        Like

        • clubschadenfreude

          Yes, I do go on. Thanks for slogging through and replying. If you’d ever wish to come to my blog, and discuss things, you are welcome. It may be better than clogging up hessian and with teeth’s comments.

          Yes, I know that you said that there will be many people saying that they are true Christians. You say the same thing, that you are the true Christian, and there is no way to distinguish who is the “real” ones. We have all sides saying that “those other people are the goats; we’re the sheep”. I used to be a Christian too and I know just how it works. I know that you don’t want to think that your god is respresented by the sign carrying twits but that is again you creating your god in your image. You seem to be a nice person. So your god is nice.

          And JC wasn’t all beer and skittles. He compared a Samaritan woman to a dog. Now, there is a way to determine who the true Christians are, if you believe the bible. Those true baptized believers are promised to have special abilities just like JC or better. In that we see *no* one having these, there appears to be two possibilities: that no one has it right, or that there is no such thing as God or Jesus.

          The murder of the first born in Egypt weren’t just adults, WGS, they were animals and children. Can children turn against this god, especially when they may not have heard of this god? And quite the collateral damage to kill all of the firstborn. It seems that this god is rather limited, needing blood on lintels to figure out who not to kill. One wouldn’t think an omniscient being would need such things.

          Yes, God does set the rules. And changes them repeatedly. We start with a god that either intentionally allows a magic snake/satan into his garden or has no idea it’s there. Then we have a flood that murders more people, and the fellow he chooses as the survivor gets drunk and curses, not his son, but his grandson, for seeing him naked, where we get the “curse of Ham” nonsense. Then we get an exodus that has no evidence for it at all, and a set of laws to follow, ot supposedly be the ultimate covenant between this god and his people. They ignore the laws, despite this god supposedly being right there, and this god doesn’t know that these laws will fail too. Finally, we get this god deciding that it needs a blood sacrifice to get rid of the sin it caused, and requires a violent bloody death of part of itself to do this. But it doesn’t quite get the details right and its supposed chosen people quite correctly say “hey, this isn’t the promised messiah”.

          here is nothing about free will in the bible, WGS. Not one word. We have this god interfering constantly in the bible stories and, if they are to be believed, by people claiming miracles. As soon as god intervenes in anything, there goes free will. And one then has to explain why some people don’t have free will in the bible. The pharaoh has his will removed by this god so this god can show off and that’s exactly what this god says in Exodus. In Romans 9, it has that this god says that some people are intentionally created to be discarded. JC himself says that he uses parables for this expressed purpose. So, we have a few options: you are right, there is free will, and the bible is wrong; or the bible is right and there is no free will; or there are no gods and everything is deterministic, but since we can’t know all of the influences, we act as if there is free will (that last is my preference). Again, this part of the discussion underlines the fact that Christians don’t agree on much. I was a Presbyterian, all Calvinist predestination. Can you show that this idea is wrong and yours is right?

          So, what kind of hell do you believe in, for Christians don’t even agree on that? I have always found that a god that demands eternal suffering for what are finite actions randomly decided by it to be considered “sins” or not, is rather sadistic. You speak of love from this being. I see no love, only the actions of an abusive parent, that demands obedience “or else”. I can understand where the anti-choice people are coming from, they get their nonsense from the commandments, that they pick and choose from. “Thou shalt not kill” seems a good place to start. Now why would JC disagree with what he/his father said? Now, there is the problem where killing isn’t so “thou shalt not” everywhere else in the bible, but Christians do like to pick and choose.

          Yep, there is plenty of killing in Revelation. Yep, that’s supposedly about what is going to happen, though that’s been promised for oh, thousands of years now with still nothing happening. And if one believe the bible, then it *will* happen so it’s still lots and lots of killing. It’s not about people doing that, it’s about your god doing that. Your god causes those wars in Revelation; in its guise of the fellow with the sword in his mouth, it is leading them. Perhaps you don’t think I’ve read the bible. I have, once as a believer, once as an atheist and probably a couple of more times piecemeal. I know what it says. And when your god “finally has enough”? Poor thing sounds like a peevish 3 year old. It isn’t a choice when someone sayd “oh you can run away but I’ll shoot you through the back of the head if you do.” And if the sadistic fantasy turns out to be true? Then we get our nice iron chariots and chase this little god back to its hole. In other words, I am not afraid of threats by people who wrote stories that have nothing to back them up.

          You claim that the command from JC to leave one’s family and follow him wasn’t for everyone. So, how do you know that since it doesn’t say “hey, this is only for these guys”? There is no exceptions, and in the OT, this god of yours says to kill family members who don’t agree with you. Again, it appears that you have added what you want to the bible to make it in your image.

          JC says exactly that those who do not accept him as king are to be brought before him and killed. Luke 19, WGS. This does not say anything like “He said anyone who doesn’t believe in Him has condemned themselves.” Again, we see you rewriting the bible to suit yourself. It’s curious that you think that anyone who disagrees with you are as evil. I do understand that since that is what religion is based on, believing that all but you and your “tribe” are evil. Now, I will ask you: am I as evil as someone who is a serial killer who tortures his victims? According to you, I must be because I deserve hell as much as they do. If you do believe that, you don’t care about anyone but yourself at all.

          Again, you claim that the sign people are not true Christians but you cannot show this to be the case. You claim that no one but JC can decide who follows him but here you are insisting that anyone but you is evil and are “Pharisees”. You do seem to think you *can* judge. Every Christian claims that they and only they know what the bible is “all” about, and you folks don’t agree but can’t show that any of you are right.

          As for JC choosing to come here, that’s a interesting question. Is JC part God or not? If it was always to be that JC had to be murdered for this god to not kill everyone, then there was no choice at all. There is no reason that there had to be a horrible death but that’s what this god supposedly demanded, if one believes in the Gesthemane story (which is oddly missing from the gospel of John). But your logic fails. You argue that if JC thought the sign carriers were right, he wouldn’t have come. But the same things goes for your version too, if he thought you were right, then he wouldn’t have come. Add to this that there’s no evidence anyone came at all, and your argument against those other Christians fails the same as it does for you. If this god finds anyone wrong speaking in his name, then why is nothing done? Why do the sign carriers get as much approval/or disapproval as *you*?

          You are using Pascal’s wager, WGS, which depends on believing: 1. That you have the only right god and 2. That there is no loss for believing in the wrong one. Belief wastes time and resources and can cause huge amounts of harm. You have no idea if you have the right god or not. To stake one’s eternity on such a thing is rather silly.

          You end with a claim that you will pray for me and others. I’ve had hundreds, if not thousands, of Christians make the same promise. And you know what? There is no evidence your prayers are worth the breath expended. None at all. I am left with the following possibilities: you aren’t praying “right”, your god likes me just as I am, you god is damning me no matter what, or that this god doesn’t exist. What excuses would you offer since your prayers will very likely not work? And indeed what would you be praying for, WGS? For the idiots with the signs to get a clue? For us to believe like you? Maybe some smiting from this god to show that these idiots are wrong? If this god does nothing, then it is worthless.

          Their view of JC is just as valid as yours. Again, you need to show that your version is the right one and they are not. Not by some circular reasoning, but by evidence. I have prayed to this god and nothing has happened, not when I was a believer not now. There is no knocking at all. What is the excuse for this god and savior for not saying “hi” when the door was opened? I’m guessing it will be “god’s ways are mysterious and please don’t bother me with facts.”

          Like

      • James C. Samans

        I must have missed the part in which Jesus says that he uses parables to keep some people from ever accepting him.

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        • clubschadenfreude

          Yep, you did evidently miss it. Let me quote it for you: Matthew 13 (also in Mark 4)
          “10 The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”

          11 He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables:

          “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. 14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:

          “‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
          you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.15
          For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.”

          Which is somewhat curious in that it isn’t the prophecy of Isaiah which is: Isaiah 6“‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’
          10 Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes.Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts,and turn and be healed.”

          Funny how JC doesn’t get the story right, and he or his father, supposedly inspired it. We have one version where this god causes the callousing and one version where it seems not to. The idea of this god controlling people is an established fact, if one believes the bible, in Exodus and in Romans 9, which says some people are never going to accep thtis god, but are intended to just be examples that this god can damn for no reason except its whim.

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  • lisasretro

    I think we need to be pro information and pro empathy.
    All this to-ing and fro-ing slinging accusations is not healthy for anyone, for or against, protesters or witnesses. The posters and banners that you used show nasty, nasty behavior that needs to be stopped.
    When I lived in the US I drove past a place that frequently had protesters like this, possibly a women’s health clinic. One day I had my then 16 year old son in the car. I felt ashamed that he had to witness such disregard for people’s privacy and their emotional state. We had a conversation about not judging anyone, that everyone has stories and it’s none of our business why people are going in there.

    Liked by 2 people

    • hessianwithteeth

      Well it’s hard to stick to blanket statements like we ought not judge others ever, but it less difficult to suggest there be a reasonable level of respect with show to those we disagree with, and that those who stoop to graphic imagines and lies to make their point. Have already lost the ability to win honestly so they have to lash out with a many underhanded and damaging tricks they have in order to make their voices suppress all others. Including out right violence as we’ve seen abortion clinics bombed and the doctors associated with them assassinated.

      The issue is not judging itself but rather it is empathy, and the choice to respect others, and if you feel you must do something about it then you must come to understand both your position and that your opposing. Otherwise you only end up yelling and screaming against the shadow you’ve created and become ever more blinded to the nuance which surrounds you. And this is why these kinds of groups can do so much damage because they neither understand the problem nor do they wish to honestly understand it. They just want to beat back their boogeyman at all costs, and if that means hurting people along the way well then they must be working with the boogeyman all along!

      Obviously more then just the anti-choice movement falls into this, but it’s definitely a problem that come up

      Like

      • James C. Samans

        For most humans, there is a point at which life becomes precious. Killing at any point after it is an egregious violation of morality and must be avenged, while anything before that point is minor and may be debated or overlooked.

        You talk about “respect” and “privacy,” and those things matter to you because you draw the line at which life becomes precious beyond the stage at which abortion occurs. Change the matter at hand from the aborting of a fetus to the dismemberment of a newborn infant, and I am reasonably sure that you’d not say that anyone getting involved needed to be respectful and honor the killer’s privacy.

        To someone who opposes abortion, the killing of the fetus is morally equivalent to the killing of the infant. Your position on this is therefore nonsensical to someone who does not already share it. What’s more, where you or they draw the line is effectively arbitrary: different civilizations have drawn it at birth, at five years of age, or even as late as puberty. Whatever criteria you use, it’s little more than a manifestation of confirmation bias to reinforce a position you have already staked out, one that you don’t want to change and therefore aren’t able to really consider.

        And that’s true for the other side as well.

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    • Tree Hugging Humanist

      When I was a child some kind of group sent out the dead fetus photos in the mail. My mother threw them away but I found them in the garbage. I’m not sure what age I was at the time but I believe I was very young. I still remember it. I was horrified and confused. Small children do not need to see those kinds of things. With those signs, you can’t control who sees them and many of those who go by may very well be children.

      Liked by 1 person

      • James C. Samans

        Given that the alternative is to wait until those children are old enough to be indoctrinated into a worldview that tells them that abortion is a fine thing with no moral downside, I can see the appeal of catching them early.

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        • hessianwithteeth

          Whoa whoa, stop it with these false dichotomies. There are more options then showing dead fetus’ to children, and saying there is no moral down side to abortion. This is not an issue of black and white. There is a lot of nuance to be had and disscussed.

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  • Tree Hugging Humanist

    That 17 year old may very well change her mind when she’s older. Maybe? I did and I know others have too.

    One of my issues with the signage is that it is hurtful to people who have had abortions or miscarriages they did not want. My city has protestors who kept up permanent signs across from a Planned Parenthood. They happened to be close to the doctor I saw for one of my miscarriages, where I also had to have surgery afterward. I couldn’t figure out a way around it. I tried multiple times but there was always construction that pushed me back on the original path. It was very uncomfortable. Okay, no, it made me cry. It was more than uncomfortable. But of course, I know they don’t care if they cause distress to other people.

    Have you watched After Tiller?

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    • hessianwithteeth

      I hope she does, but I can’t help but wonder what harmful beliefs she’s internalizing about herself. I’ve also changed my mind since I was 17, but I also didn’t hold to beliefs as extreme as she has.
      That’s unfortunate. When I had my abortion, there were only two protestors across the street. One had a sign that said “I regret my abortion,” and she was texting the entire time I saw her. The other didn’t even have a sign. I had a miscarriage a week ago. I don’t think I would have been able to handle their signs had they been at my school after the fact.

      Like

  • aaquibjaleel

    The idea you present is very much true. The way they taunt and judge a woman for having an abortion is completely wrong. If they were truly trying to uplift women, what they should be doing is working towards safe sex. Teach kids from a young age about sex and when the time comes to use the necessary protection. We have to be more open minded about this, sex isn’t a sin it’s a way of life. We have to understand that these sort of urges are human and it’s not going to stop. I do not support abortions but think that it would be better to educate kids about safe sex so that this emotional strain does not break them. Prevention is better than cure.

    Liked by 3 people

    • James C. Samans

      If the goal were to reduce abortions, the message would need to be about pregnancy prevention, not “safe sex” or “protection” as such, because those are terms that relate primarily to the spread of infection and disease. I suspect that many abortions end up being sought because women and girls who got plenty of talk regarding preventing HIV with condoms never gave much thought to the ways in which they might better control their fertility, since those other mechanisms don’t do anything about infections.

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      • hessianwithteeth

        There can be more then one goal. Good sex education, which is an on going problem, teach about pregnancy, and STI’s, consent and relationships in general. If all of these thing are not being talked about then it isn’t good sex education.

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  • Kassie

    Thank you so much for posting this! I’ve thought about writing about the topic for awhile, but it’s touchy and I haven’t really decided if I want to. However, you are completely correct as to how horrible it is to shame people, whether it be the women getting an abortion or the 17 year old girl you mentioned. I would further like to point out that, as you mentioned that the slave owner was probably raised in that situation, there are also a few young children in some of those photos holding anti-choice propaganda.
    The truth is, I don’t think most women, if any, are excited about an abortion. It’s not a choice made lightly, but it is one that is sometimes the best option. People in that situation need love, not hate. Thanks again!

    Liked by 1 person

  • equippedcat

    What is interesting (sad, really), is that a lot of those waving that sort of sign and chanting similar slogans claim to be Christians. Where is the love Jesus directs them to display? Where is the forgiveness they are required to extend in order to have forgiveness extended to them?

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    • hessianwithteeth

      What is even more interesting, and telling, about the anti-choice movement in north America is that while almost exclusively motivated by Christian right. The bible doesn’t say much at all about abortion. Only thing I know that explicitly talks about that it’s sanctioned by god if you think your wife’s been cheating on you (involves a spell cast by your local holy man).

      I don’t see it as any more then a further extension of sex shaming, and the further attempts to control women. Heck from my knowledge even the overly negative notions about sex in our culture holds are almost exclusively a result of the Puritan movements over the last couple hundred years.

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      • James C. Samans

        I’m aware of no point in the Bible in which discussion is given to the carrying out of an abortion through spellcasting by a local holy man. Please do provide a reference.

        The link between opposition to abortion and a desire to control female sexuality in particular as well as women in general is clear and present, but you are incorrect in imagining that this is the only aspect of opposition that exists — and I suspect that your misperception in this regard stems from your inability or unwillingness to consider how someone who sees a fetus as equivalent to an infant would necessarily have to behave as a result. It’s not even so hard to grasp, really: even among abortion advocates, it’s a rare person who champions the notion of post-viability abortion on demand, even though the fetus is inside an adult female’s body at the time.

        Take a moment to grasp that many, probably most, anti-abortion activists are motivated by seeing a pre-viability child in the same way that you presumably see a child immediately after live birth, and you’ll have a far better understanding of why the people who feel that way can’t just “get over it” or defer to “privacy” and other such considerations.

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