Hell yes, abortion should stay legal!

I wasn't going to blog my two cents about the abortion debate that is raging across the internet right now, but the NY Post has removed three of my comments that civilly disagree with Michael A. Walsh in his piece No Middle Ground On Abortion. You don't put baby in a corner, Mr. Walsh. It's on. (Why I even grace him with a shout out when he's wrong about the facts anyway?)

First, I'd like to state I don't like abortion. I distinctly dislike it. Never once have I had one myself and if a friend were saddled with an unwanted pregnancy and solicited my advice I would say, "let's talk about adoption" plus "lay off the melted-cheese tortillas lest you want to gain a metric ton". Sage.

But should abortion be legal? Hell yes.

What I would choose for myself and the advice I would give a friend are not the law. No one has to listen to me. (Thankfully, because I also suggested everyone make their own dishwasher powder out of Borax. Shit is nasty!) But seriously, I think abortion is a very bad, terrible, no good thing.

You and me and our crew of abortion-dislikers can choose not to have abortions since we hate them so much but the laws need to stay out of our draws. People need to be free to make decisions and mistakes we don't agree with like drinking whiskey, smoking cigarettes and committing the atrocious sin of wearing knock-off UGGS* (in summer!) What would Jesus say about that, my friends? Tack-eeeey!

Last year I had the audacity to suggest schools should have the power to control what's on the lunch menu in their own building and I was criticized into oblivion by conservatives who sang, "it's up to families to decide what's best for themselves, not the state". YES. Finally we agree on something! Right?! I mean, that's just school lunch, surely a minor point in the context of a family, so surely they want bigger issues like family size and dynamic to be left up to families? For families to decide what's best for themselves? Let's go skipping off into the sunshine, conservatives. Oh wait. Conservatives' stance on a woman's body is the running platform for presidency. Wah-wahhhh.

I like life. As a matter of fact, I wish every pregnant woman would choose life. I wish every woman had adequate resources and was surrounded by a loving support system and had gobs of money. Everybody sing! But that's not the case with every woman who finds herself staring at two pink lines on a pregnancy test and it's none of my damn business how she proceeds.

The stark truth conservatives need to get over is it's not our business to come between a stranger and her health care provider or get in the middle of medical decisions they make about her uterus. There is enough shame in economic hardships (those aborting because they can't afford to feed another family member) and certainly dealing with the crisis of rape . We don't need to rub salt in the wounds of the hurting.

I am not "pro-abortion" or "anti-life". I am appalled and offended by the insinuation that I somehow don't care about "life" when I choose to place my empathy with those who are already breathing. Why is it that conservatives care so much about a baby before it's born, but point the finger back to the family when it comes to providing healthcare and other necessities of life? The public education system is screwed, the government is broke and we're all obese - yet let's focus on punishing a rape victim? Right.

No one loves abortion, certainly not those getting them. Let's abolish the term "pro-abortion". Now. And for the love of God, keep it legal.

 

*The only thing worse than UGGs are fake UGGs

 

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  • Thanks for stating it like this Jenna!

    It's a Pro Choice stance, so the opposite is not pro life, it's Anti Choice. If one were truly pro life, he / she would not support the death penalty and would also be opposed to war. The true term for those that don't support a woman's right to choose is Anti Choice. It's about time that we not only started referring to them as such, but pointing out their hypocrisy when it comes to their limited role of government / "don't want no Nanny State" views.

    I wrote a blog back in late October about the Personhood Amendment the Anti Choice crowd was pushing in Mississippi. They actually want to give legal rights to a mass of cells that cannot survive outside its host. This would effectively change the Constitution to make the rights of all women in America SUBORDINATE to the rights of an embryo!

    Beyond flying in the face of all that is Constitutional (and holy), this hierarchy of rights would result in unfathomable incursions into the lives of all women in order to enforce it. Would a woman have to report every menstrual cycle to the government? Be investigated for attempted murder for a late period? Face arrest while a forensic investigation is performed after an "alleged" miscarriage?

    Would a woman be left to die if she had an ectopic pregnancy and saving her life meant destroying that of the barely fertilized fetus? After all, the fetus can't speak for its own rights and the host (mother) would not be allowed to. The fetus would trump the host in a court of law and the mother would be handed a death sentence.

    These well meaning "pro lifers" have clearly not thought this process through. A law that protects the unborn against its host could only be enforced by an incursion of privacy into the life of every single woman in America! I'll bet if you gave each of these Anti Choice supporters the choice - report every cycle to the US government under penalty of law or support a woman's right to choose, very few would continue with their Anti Choice stance.

    But let's not forget the male pro lifers in this debate. Talk about hypocrites! Not a single one can be compelled by law to carry a child to term, let alone acknowledge paternity or be forced to pay child support under penalty of law. But if you required every man to report his every ejaculation to the government and be charged with murder for every sperm cell he let die in the palm of his hand, then you might finally get some equality in this war on reproductive freedom.

    Until then, men have no right to tell a woman what she can or cannot do with her body. As they say, if men could get pregnant, abortions would not only be legal, they would be paid for by a free government healthcare program!

    Keep pointing out the distinction between Pro Choice and Anti Choice, sister!

  • In reply to Brent Cohrs:

    Absolutely. BOOM, you're hitting on all cylinders. Yes, yes, yes. Thank you.

  • In reply to Brent Cohrs:

    PS, To your point about regulating the, um, male reproductive function check out this Senator who attached the "Every Sperm is Sacred" clause to the personhood bill:

    http://jezebel.com/5883026/brilliant-democratic-state-senator-tacks-every-sperm-is-sacred-clause-to-oklahomas-personhood-bill

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    In reply to Brent Cohrs:

    Brent, so thoughtful for a man. I could not have said it better myself. If jobs, housing, healthcare, education, child care, etc etc was in place then conservatives might have an argument. Nah, not even then. You cannot tell me the anti-choice people aren't on some kind of birth control. You also shouldn't tell me I can only have sex except to procreate. Ain't happening for the majority of humans. So let's make prevention the order of the day and abortion for life saving measures. Birth control should be made available for anyone who needs it.

  • Miss Jenna- This article is ridiculous. You say there is no "middle road" but that's exactly where you're trying to take us. You've contradicted yourself terribly here - you claim you're in favor of life, but very careful to stay away from the term "Pro-Life" - this is Chicago of course... we don't use phrases like that. You say you would counsel a friend to look into options other than abortion with an unwanted pregnancy. Then you go on to compare the decision to whether or not to wear Uggs or use Borax. You apparently have a reason you don't like Abortion - well, what is it? WHY wouldn't you suggest your friend have one if she didn't want a child? It's about as heavy a decision as what kind of shoes to wear, right? So what's the big deal - spit it out!
    I think you just can't commit to the idea that an unborn fetus is potentially a person. Because to do that, assuming you actually do have this sneaking suspicion that all people have a right to be alive - as in, not have anyone take that away from them - protecting that right would infringe upon someone else's right to make choices that affect her body. Dang! That's the conundrum, isn't it. It's totally not cool to say a woman can't make her own decisions about her body, so to commit to saying you care about a fetus is totally unacceptable. But you have this nagging need to say you care about life. This is that whole rock-and-hard-place thing.
    My two cents - abortion needs to stay legal. I say this because of the people that are going to have one. If it's illegal, they'll still have one, and that means unsafe conditions and someone's baby (as in a pregnant woman - not the fetus) is going to be subjected to possible harm. I think it should be heavily regulated and not an option once a fetus is viable except for medical necessity. Why? Because I am certain a fetus is a person and my conviction is that all human beings deserve to not be murdered. It's as simple as that. So, I'm with you on keeping abortion legal - but just not for the same reasons.

  • In reply to suburban reader:

    Where is the contradiction? I am not in favor of abortion for myself the same way I' m not in favor of eating meat for myself. I don't think either of those things should be laws that govern other people. Just because I would choose not to have an abortion doesn't mean I think everyone should be forced to make my choice. I have two daughters and while I'd like to think they will be raised to respect life, I also don't have a crystal ball. If one of them is raped and decides to end the resulting pregnancy, I'll support her because ultimately she is my priority. Her decisions are her own.

    If you think you're going to goad me into saying unborn babies should have all the rights and privileges and protections as a breathing person just because I wouldn't personally abort my own child, you are wrong.

    Rights are earned all along the course of life. You earn the right to drink at 21, the right to vote at 18 and the right to life the day you are born. Not sooner.

  • PS- I realized I never answered your question as to why I wouldn't have an abortion. If I'm completely honest, it's because I'm in a comfortable spot. I'm married, secure, happy and want more children anyway. That is to say, I'm speaking from a place of privilege which is pretty dangerous considering people like me make laws all the time.

    If I suddenly found myself single and I was raped? I'd probably give birth and put the baby up for adoption. Again, if I'm really honest, it comes back to me and that I like to be pregnant and give birth.

    All of this comes back to me. I had children in the first place not because they were great before they were conceived, but because I wanted to be a mother. Parenting is selfish in a way, don't you think? It's the ultimate narcissism.

  • In reply to suburban reader:

    Here's a practical question for you - how would the State "heavily regulate" legal abortions and how would it enforce these strict regulations?

    If you prohibit providers from performing the procedure after an arbitrarily agreed to viability date, how can the State decide with certainty if the procedure was performed within that date? How can the State determine if an individual performed the procedure on herself (or with the assistance of someone unlicensed and unregulated) or a miscarriage occurred?

    Whether the State bans the procedure outright or adds restrictions, how can the law be practically enforced? Seems to me that the State would only know about an unlawful attempt if a witness complained or a woman showed up in the ER with self-inflicted wounds. Who would be the likeliest demographic to be indicted in this manner? The same women who make this choice when it is legal?

    Basically, the law would allow a man to impregnate a woman and force her to carry a pregnancy to term under threat of bearing witness against her. When the child is born, he can't be forced to admit paternity or pay child support. Is this a fair application of justice when both parties are equally responsible for the resulting pregnancy?

    Feel free to push for laws that will either be unenforceable, selectively enforced, or will result in more government intrusion into women's private lives. Just remember that once you begin signing your rights over to the state, they will be impossible to get back. If you want to live in a world where women's rights are subordinate to both men's rights and the rights of the unborn, vote accordingly.

    As this argument is being fought, the reason there is no middle ground and the reason for your "conundrum" is that a choice must be made between those who already have a life and those who "may" have a life. If you want to make decisions about your life, you have to trust that other pepole can make decisions about their own.

    The middle ground does exist - sex education, contraception, and non-judgmental support of the vulnerable - the Anti Choice movement just doesn't want to acknowledge this option. IMHO, they would rather see Social Darwinism played out on the most vulnerable...

  • Suburban reader, I can respect everything you said, and these are definitely the kinds of discussions we all need to have (and more importantly, the WAY we need to have them), but I'm going to second Jenna's assertion that she's not taking a middle road here. That's the beauty of being pro-choice: it's exactly that, a choice.

    Anti-choice advocates need to stop framing this discussion as "People who love killing babies" and "People trying to protect babies". I can't say I've ever heard of, met, read, etc. ANYBODY who is truly "pro-abortion". In fact, there very well may be pro-choice people out there who are more steadfastly against abortion in all cases than anti-choice people, who may offer some reasonable caveats or exceptions. The key is Choice.

    I applaud a lot of what you said, how you said it, and WHY you said it, especially your concern for people who will get an abortion or die trying, likely endangering themselves and others no matter what ends up happening. These untold thousands are often forgotten in these discussions, and given the similar outcomes for the fetuses in question in both scenarios, supporting education, counseling, and medical standards for these procedures (whenever they become, sadly, the chosen option), likely results in a greater protection of life overall.

    If anti-choice people weren't so resolute in trying to outlaw choice in all cases, I think it would be relatively easy to put laws on the books banning abortion in lots of cases, including something as simple as most cases after the first trimester, with nearly total public support. But it's a slippery slope to give ground on, with opponents of personal freedom and choice still pushing.

    This is my way of saying that we have a very similar vision of our nation and the way it should be, in this respect, just not from the same starting point.

  • Jenna, As an attorney who is quite well versed in abortion law and policy, I can tell you that your "I wouldn't do it but it should be legal" position is nothing new in history. People supporting legal slavery used the same arguments as those who support legal abortion do today. In fact, it is the very same stance taken by Stephen Douglas in the Lincoln-Douglas debates. Douglas noted, “I am now speaking of rights under the Constitution, and not of moral or religious rights. I do not discuss the morals of the people favoring slavery, but let them settle that matter for themselves. I hold that the people who favor slavery are civilized, that they bear consciences, and that they are accountable to God and their posterity and not to us. It is for them to decide therefore the moral and religious right of the slavery question for themselves within their own limits.” Just substitute "abortion" for slavery in his statement above and we pretty much have the substance of your column.

  • In reply to HappyMom:

    With all due respect, I'm surprised you are an attorney and deem "slaves" interchangeable with "fetuses" in this argument. According to your logic, fetuses and their parents should be equals. That obviously makes no sense because the relationship isn't reciprocal. I can provide oxygen and a lifeline to my fetus, but what can the fetus do to sustain me? If the fetus dies, I continue to live but the inverse is not true. However a slave doesn't need a master.

    I'm not a champion for anyone else's fetuses. Only my own, and on a case-by-case basis. (So far I've rooted for all of them :)

  • In reply to HappyMom:

    I agree with Jenna on this one, as well.

    By supporting a law that gives fetuses personhood, you are advocating for a class of citizenry that has a higher level of civil rights than another. Basically, women would be forever subordinate to the rights of their fetuses.

    Ironically, you are making the Douglas argument by enslaving women to a master that cannot sustain its own life outside of its host. Worse yet, you are actively lobbying for this law versus Douglas who was just accepting it.

    If anti-choice advocates are so hell bent on preventing others from having abortions, they should become counselors at healthcare centers and offer their persuasive arguments to one vulnerable woman at a time...

  • In reply to Brent Cohrs:

    "Ironically, you are making the Douglas argument by enslaving women to a master that cannot sustain its own life outside of its host. Worse yet, you are actively lobbying for this law versus Douglas who was just accepting it."

    I like what you did there!

  • "HappyMom", I don't recall her saying anything at all about morality or religion, and given how your own morality/religion not only covers more than half your comment but is the very heart and soul of it, I don't see at all how a simple word substitution would make your comment equivalent to her post. That's just for starters, of course.

    Most people would recognize your dragging of an unrelated, hot-button issue like slavery into this discussion as a (lazy, even sinister) straw-man argument, and thus not productive.

    But to address it despite that fact: You could use the same technique to demonize alcohol, cigarettes, gambling, and other "sinful" activities plenty of people advocate for the legality of, while stating they aren't personally interested in partaking in. Those subjects are easy comparisons, though, and since you might readily jump on board with the connection, let's instead look at how you could take something else, like home schooling, boating, or jogging, and say, "Well, I don't personally have any interest in participating in these activities, but I think they should be legal," and eventually declare everybody in the world but yourself to be as good as a slaveholder.

    And that's the story of how you completely discredited your own opinion. The End.

  • Actually, Jenna, the analogy is quite apt. (In fact, Harrison Hickman, a pollster for the National Abortion Rights Action League, has admitted publicly that the "pro-choice" argument is derived from the Lincoln- Douglas debates.) Read the Dred Scott decision. In it, you will see the Supreme Court defines the slave as property. Similar reasoning was used to de-humanize the unborn child in the Supreme Court abortion decisions Roe v. Wade and its companion case, Doe v. Bolton (which as you know, legalized abortion for all nine months of pregnancy, for any reason, even post-viability). RE: "Fetuses and parents should be equals": The pro-life movement asks that unborn children be given that same right not to be privately killed that you and I enjoy. And if you have friends who are expecting, do you seriously ask them how their "fetuses" are doing? If you were exepecting, would you have your friends throw you a "fetus shower?" "Fetus" is actually the Latin word for "litle one" or "offspring" but it is most often used by those who support legal abortion to detract from the shared humanity of those who are unborn. My doctor never once called any of my children while in utero a "fetus."
    Perhaps you have never visited a neo-natal intensive care unit. You might do that before you blog on abortion again. My daughter was born two months prematurely; the smallest diapers used in the NICU are no bigger than your cell phone. My daughter's lifeline was the ventilator she was on; she could not breathe on her own. So, by your logic, she does not posses the same right that I and her father do -- the right not to be killed?
    If you hold the position you do because you claim to be a feminist, someone who is "for women," then you should also know that your position is in stark contrast to those of our founding feminist foremothers, all of whom were pro-life. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Alice Paul -- all of them realized that to harm unborn children was to harm their mothers. (they even called abortion "child murder.")

  • In reply to HappyMom:

    Perhaps I shouldn't blog until I know more - like I should visit a neonatal unit? Honey, I've had two miscarriages that I grieved eternally. I lost two of my children and I was very, very upset about it. I'm not saying babies born early aren't babies or that anyone should be forcing abortions on anyone who doesn't want them. I'm saying what another woman chooses to do with her body is none of my business. (A baby in an incubator isn't physically dependent on anyone's body as a host.) Don't condescend me with your "you might want to visit a hospital to see the light" bullshit. Why don't you just show me pictures of aborted fetuses to shut me up? (Which would not change my mind either.)

    True fact: I left by first OBGYN when I was 20 weeks pregnant with my older child because an acquaintance told me that doctor terminated her pregnancy at 6 months. It skewed me out. When it comes to *my* babies, nothing will keep me from protecting them.

    Again, I'm not PRO-abortion. I'm pro-choice. I choose to keep my pregnancies and you can do with yours what you see fit because the law has no business governing our reproduction.

    You didn't address my point that a slave doesn't need a master, therefore severing the relationship does not harm.

  • Jenna, you began this discussion by noting that your comments in another forum on this topic were removed for incivility. I am trying to engage you intellectually, and I have no desire to engage in ad hominums nor respond to them, so I won't address your personal attacks. That being said, I am truly sorry for the pain you must have suffered in your miscarriages and the loss of your children.

    RE: your "slave doesn't need a master" argument, again, the movement in favor of legal abortion doesn't really have any new arguments and you are rehashing something that's been around a long time. That's just a reworking of Judith Jarvis Thomson's "violinist" analogy. If you argument is that unborn children ("fetuses" to you, although I noted you didn't refer to your own children that you tragically lost prior to birth, you called them "children") do not deserve the right not to be killed because they are dependent on others to survive, then a one-year-old baby is no more viable than an unborn baby. Neither can survive alone. That could also be said about people who are severely disabled or suffering from some debilitating illness, as well as people who are senile, comatose, unconscious, or under general anesthesia. If the ability to survive without others is what creates the right not to be killed, these people have no more right to life than the unborn. And a scenario where you might die and your unborn child could live is entirely plausible. Current law in Illinois allows for murder charges against anyone who kills an unborn child in any other circumstance other than abortion. Look at the Illinois criminal code if you don't believe me. Many supporters of legal abortion oppose this law because it implies that unborn children somehow deserve a shred of protection. What say you?

  • In reply to HappyMom:

    1. I am familiar with the Jarvis "famous violinist" argument. While that famous violinist might have relationships independent of her host, fetuses have no existence outside the uterus of a woman. No one, not even a future world famous violinist, has the right to camp out in my belly without my blessing.

    2. I said "civilly" not "incivility". I was very civil on the NY Post, but my opinion was removed simply because I made hella sense and might have made the op ed writer look bad.

    3. To quote the great Bill Cosby, "I brought you into this world and I can take you out!" That is to say, no one can end my pregnancy but me. If someone accosted me and stabbed my pregnant belly, killing my baby, they would have robbed ME of something dear in MY life and would be put away in prison.

  • In reply to HappyMom:

    I think we should take all those fetuses and make slaves of them.

    There, I've made just as much sense as Happy Mom.

  • In reply to Cheryl:

    WIN!

    Things I could use a set of tiny hands for:

    - Threading sewing needles
    - Cleaning between the keys on my computer
    - Freaking people out by making a tiny peace sign

  • Oh my f%#*ing God. That is the funniest thing you have ever wrote.

    I for one, am tired of all the pearl clutching and hand wringing over making the distinction between being pro-choice and anti-abortioin. I think lots of it is disingenuous at best, and meant for placating the anti-choice and religious right at worst. I think you are being honest, Jenna, and get the sense that you truly find abortion distasteful, but I don't truly get that sense from others.

    As for me, I unabashedly proclaim to be pro-abortion. News flash my fellow Americans, abortion is legal in this country and there is no need to feel shame if you have one and you don't owe anyone an explanation as to why you chose to have one. The whole rape argument really chaps my ass. I understand why people use it because it is so definitively sets the issue in high relief and anyone who says an underage girl who has been raped should be forced to carry the pregnancy to term is obviously a monster who hates women. But, it annoys me that somehow only the most extreme cases are acceptable to agree to abortion, and the woman should still have to feel an appropriate level of shame to compensate for her decision. Drop the slut shaming already. If a woman, for whatever reason, feels she does not want to carry a pregnancy to term has the right to terminate that pregnancy. End of story. Full stop.

    But I guess if you believe in talking snakes and that labor pains are the punishment for all women because the first woman ate some magic fruit, then it probably seems perfectly reasonable that a teeny tiny clump of rapidly dividing cells has more rights than a living, breathing woman. And if you can't see that as misogyny than there is no arguing with you.

  • In reply to code14j:

    You have some excellent points and I'm glad you're here to share them. Women really need to hear that. I have so many friends who beat themselves up over their past and I always feel like I fall short of being able to make them feel better. Thank you for being a frenemy*, Jada.

    *copyright: The Golden Girls, backstage

  • Jenna, Dr. Kermit Gosnell of Philadelphia ran an abortion clinic you would have LOVED! It's too bad that women died in his clinic and the DA had to bring charges against him. But he shared some of your "fun" ideas. From the Grand Jury report: "One of the most bizarre things about this case is Dr. Gosnell’s fetal foot collection. He cut the feet off the fetuses he aborted and kept them in a row of jars." Maybe you could add the feet to the stuff you'd do with the tiny hands!

  • In reply to HappyMom:

    I can't decide if you just don't understand humor of if you're being intentionally assholey. Hm. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt while gently pointing out for the hundredth time I don't love abortion clinics or abortions. Also, feet creep me out.

  • Hmmm. You don't love abortion clinics or abortion, BUT, you want abortion to stay legal so that women can die in abortion clinics and living babies can have their spinal cords severed by people like Dr. Gosnell? And you post things like:
    Things I could use a set of tiny hands for:
    - Threading sewing needles
    - Cleaning between the keys on my computer
    - Freaking people out by making a tiny peace sign
    And somehow think you are being cute or clever? Sit yourself down and read the Grand Jury report on Dr. Gosnell, who by association you defend when you say you want abortion to stay legal. The case is only a few months old, and it's all on line. Read what he did to LIVING babies, how brutally he ended their lives. Read about the women he killed and all the money he made doing it. You've dodged most of my questions to you, although I have tried to respectfully respond to your points. Do you think unborn children have ANY rights? Any at all? Or are you like most abortion supporters who believe NO rights exist until the moment of birth? What about providing pain control to babies before abortions are performed on them? Any neonatologist will tell you that pain sensors are present in unborn children and from a very, very early stage in development. Should they die in pain when they are chopped up, or suctioned up?

  • In reply to HappyMom:

    No, actually I've addressed nearly every point you've made. It this point I will stop because your macabre interest in the mechanics of abortion are a distraction. I will leave you with an article citing facts from the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology about the danger of childbirth trumping that of abortion (since you brought it up.)

    http://parlourmagazine.com/2012/01/childbirth-more-dangerous-than-abortion/

    Good night.

  • Jenna, you claim you have responded to my points, yet you have not answered the following questions I put to you:
    Do you oppose fetal homicide laws in contexts other than abortion?
    Do you support laws that would require abortion providers to give unborn children pain control before they are aborted?
    Do you believe that unborn children have ANY rights? If so, what are they?

    Finally, your position is that abortion is bad, but should be legal. If it should be legal, would you support any limitations on abortion at all, or do you support the Roe decision, which legalized abortion for all nine mothns, for any reason?

  • In reply to HappyMom:

    1. "Feticide" doesn't come without assault to the mother, which is already illegal. Should special punishment come to those who attack a pregnant woman and kill her fetus?* That is for the court to decide on a case-by-case basis. Was she 5 weeks pregnant and mugged on her way to have an abortion or was she past her due date and attacked by her estranged boyfriend who doesn't want to pay child support? This has to do with the woman's right to keep her fetus, not her right to get rid of it.

    *ETA- I guess I'm just speaking to the severity of the punishment. Of course that crime should be punished, but the difference between you and me is I think the injustice is the mother's right to her fetus and you think the injustice is the fetus's right to life.

    2. Whatever drug a woman takes crosses the placenta, so if she is given pain meds the problem of pain management, if there is one, takes care of itself.

    3. No.

    4. I support Roe v. Wade for reasons I stated in another response last night (read above)

  • In reply to HappyMom:

    So, by your logic as laid out above, we are to believe that you condone the actions of anti choice warriors who bomb abortion clinics and murder abortion doctors?

    No, of course you don't, why would we try to brand YOU with guilt by association?

    As a lawyer, you certainly must understand that prohibition does not lead to compliance with the law. In point of fact, it nearly always creates a set of problems that are worse than those it sought to correct.

    If you were to write legislation to ban abortion, how, exactly, would you seek to enforce it?

    Would only the women who have a witness against them be indicted for the crime? Sounds an awful lot like the Fugitive Slave Act to me...

    Would women have to randomly submit for an examination to ensure compliance? Would they have to report menstrual cycles in a timely manner so an auditor or supercomputer could analyze the data for variances that might indicate a crime occurred? Would all miscarriages be investigated for foul play? Would the fetus have precedence in the case of an ectopic pregnancy?

    Let us know how you would write penal code that doesn't violate Due Process for the host...

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    In reply to Brent Cohrs:

    HappyMom, I agree 100000%. The similarities between slavery and abortion is obvious.... One person claiming to "own" another person. This whole feminist idea of "well they are using me to grow!" YES. You're right. IMO, its the most beautiful thing that God has put on this earth, the fact that women are able to carry their own babies inside of themselves in order to grow. Its just wonderful! How it has been twisted into this prideful, utterly selfish idea is beyond me.

  • In reply to Hilary:

    Hi Hilary! Thanks for showing up :)

  • In reply to Brent Cohrs:

    Hi Brent, I have been off line for a day or so, so I am sorry I wasn't able to respond to your points more promptly. Of course, I don't support violence against ANYONE, born or unborn. In fact, to harm those who are involved in the abortion industry (in addition to being just plain wrong) isn't even practical, as it doesn't allow the possibility for those who support abortion to switch sides. Some of the most powerful spokespersons in the pro-life movement are those who used to work in the abortion industry. For example, Dr. Bernard Nathanson, who produced the movie "The Silent Scream," was a former abortionist and was a co-founder of the National Abortion Rights League. Abby Johnson, a prominent pro-life speaker, was once Planned Parenthood's "employee of the year." And re: enforcing laws that protect unborn children, those who would be prosecuted would be (as it was pre-Roe) the abortion providers, not the women who are victimized by the abortion industry.

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    Jenna, why do you pretend adoption doesn't exist? 2 million couples in the U.S. seek to adopt - we were one, blessed to be chosen by a teen mother. Over 1 million abortions annually in the U.S. - that is not disliking abortion, that's loving abortion. Unfortunately, most babies in tough situations in urban areas are aborted, not placed for adoption, because of the huge number of abortion facilities and the incentives to abort. Your approach has it all upside down.

  • In reply to BeingReal7:

    Oh, you didn't read what I wrote:

    "if a friend were saddled with an unwanted pregnancy and solicited my advice I would say, "let's talk about adoption"

    "If I suddenly found myself single and I was raped? I'd probably give birth and put the baby up for adoption."

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    Jenna, BTW, HuffPost always censors out my posts, so I totally know how that feels! For example, there was an article about how great it is that IL's parental notice law still isn't enforced, so a minor girl needs parental permission for an aspirin at school but not for a pervert 40-year-old to take her for an abortion. I posted I would only be thankful for no parental notice if I was a statutory rapist, so I could use abortion to erase the evidence of my crimes. Needless to say, that post somehow violated the HuffPost guidelines, which apparently don't welcome individuals with salient points that disagree with their writers.

  • In reply to BeingReal7:

    That is very interesting about them filtering disagreeing comments. I was very polite and astute, so I was so confused when they yanked m y comments. I actually refreshed the page a few times thinking it was a mistake. The people agreeing with the author who were swearing and being mean stayed up. Bizarre.

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    You do state that, but then you say that abortion is the solution for a pregnancy in economic hardship. Not really, that solution is adoption. The adoptive couple pays all expenses (through an agency) - including the mother's rent, medical bills, etc. if needed. BTW, we love the mother and the child, and it's disingenuous to state that we only care about kids before they're born. All sorts of studies to prove otherwise, but perhaps even more compelling are the personal testimonies. I hope I don't need to toot my own horn about all that we do for born people who are economically disadvantaged for you to believe me and respect that.

  • In reply to BeingReal7:

    No, I did not say abortion was the solution in economic hardship, it's one of the reasons upon which other people base their decisions. Those who choose to abort do so for a variety of reasons that, now that you mention it, aren't any of my business either.

  • In reply to BeingReal7:

    I don't think it's disingenuous to state that anti-abortion activists only care about kids before they're born. The people I know personally who are anti-abortion as well as most of the people I "know" on the Internet who are anti-abortion are the same people railing against food stamps and other programs that help those who need financial help in providing for their families, feeding their children. They're also the same people who vote for those who cut funding for people with disabilities. Among those who test prenatally for Down syndrome, it's believed that 90% chose abortion if the baby will be born with DS. Again, the anti-abortionists rail against those who make those decisions, yet they are the same people who don't welcome people with disabilities to their children's classrooms. Recently, the votes against a law to protect students with disabilities against harmful restraint and seclusion practices - which have also resulted in death - were clearly the same group of representatives who say they're "pro-life". They are only pro-life from conception to birth.

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    In reply to TamaraRR:

    Tamara, you have a narrow view of assisting the poor if you think it's limited to politicians deciding welfare policies or voting on classes for students with disabilities. Those issues are important, but I'm talking about *you personally* doing things, not advocating for policies.

    How about personally paying for an inner-city teen to attend a private high school so he doesn't have to go to the low-quality public school in his neighborhood? Or preparing meals for the homeless and serving them? Or mentoring and tutoring an inner-city student? Or helping a pregnant teen finish high school and get on her feet by providing a crib, some maternity clothes and a shoulder to lean on? You seem to know a very small sampling of pro-life people. Consider socializing with people whose viewpoints that might differ from your own. It's amazing how much we can learn from those who disagree with us.

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    But are those reasons your business if the unborn child is indeed a child? If it isn't a child, then there's no reason to not like abortion, as one of your respondents who said she was indeed "pro-abortion" pointed out earlier. If it is a child, then the reasons for abortion make a huge difference. But you are not pro-abortion. That's why you don't "like" abortion, isn't it?

  • In reply to BeingReal7:

    I don't have time to research the adoption stats, but is there really a shortage of children to be adopted? I don't mean to sound disrespectful, but if there is a surplus of people willing to adopt, wouldn't there be no need for orphanages?

    If, purely for sake of argument, a law were to force all women to bring a pregnancy to term, wouldn't the number of newborns suddenly exceed the number of potential adoptive parents? What of the babies born addicted to illicit substances or disabled? Would there be a strong demand for these unwanted children?

    I have a lot of respect for people who adopt - for whatever reason they choose to do so. But mandating all pregnancies be brought to term to satisfy a demand for newborns sounds like a market-based solution for a human life, complete with a valuation system. At what era in this country's history did this last occur and how did that turn out?

    "I'm going to sell my baby to Baby Mill, they pay more than Adoptions R Us." "Don't sell to Baby Mill, I heard they're involved in subprime adoptions and don't screen the parents that well." "They told me I need to sign now or they can't guarantee the price for my baby if I wait until next week." Yes, this is hyperbolic, but seriously, what happens to all the unwanted children when their supply outstrips demand?

    Prohibition is rarely a good tactic to change people's behavior. It certainly doesn't prevent people from smoking marijuana, does it?

    The best alternative is education. Prepubescent bodies deserve owner's manuals with real science included (not religion). Birth control should be explained and encouraged (not demonized). Girls shouldn't be stigmatized for life because they succumbed to the incessant pressure of a male whose hormones were working overtime and was equally incapable of exercising responsibility for his own body.

    If you're anti-abortion and pro-adoption, spread your message and persuade people to consider that alternative. Threatening their liberty and worse yet, their souls, is neither a powerful nor effective method of persuasion...

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    In reply to Brent Cohrs:

    Brent, I'm certainly not threatening anyone's soul. Staying on point is helpful, not hyperbole. My point is that there is no such thing as an "unwanted" newborn. Have you seen a newborn in an "orphanage" lately? (BTW, we don't have orphanages in the U.S., only foster care, and most of those foster parents are doing foster-to-adoption cases.) There is a HUGE demand for newborns. A woman pregnant with a Downs child contacted us wishing to place for adoption. At that time, I wasn't ready, but sent an email to folks I knew, and was inundated with calls - literally about 100 in a one-week period - from people all over the U.S. Every child is wanted by someone.

  • In reply to BeingReal7:

    Thanks for the reply - it's good to know that the demand currently outstrips the supply. But what about when it doesn't?

    Unfortunately, adoption is part of the global economy because there ARE orphanages throughout the Third World, as well as the Old World. While I realize that there are difficulties adopting from overseas, I don't see the need to compel every woman in America to carry a child to term to satisfy demand for domestic children.

    I admire your noble, compassionate, and thoughtful reasons for wishing to ban abortion. But you have to admit that the anti choice side that is pushing for prohibition is more than willing to incarcerate women for making a single mistake. Meanwhile, not a single man - 50% of the responsibility for the child being created - will ever stand trial or lose liberty for his complicity.

    The vast majority of the anti-choicers are not willing to offer both their compassion AND their tax dollars to help at-risk women. They are more interested in seeing Social Darwinism take its course whether through self-inflicted injury, accidental death, abject poverty, or incarceration.

    You need only witness the defunding of Planned Parenthood at the government level (not Susan G Komen) to see the lengths this side will go to to destroy an enemy out of frustration with their own inability to change legislation. People who are willing to jeopardize all health services for at-risk women because 3% of the legal, non-government subsidized services PP provides is unacceptable, do NOT come across as being compassionate and caring individuals.

    There is just no compromise with these hard-core anti-choicers (much like their GOP counterparts in the House and Senate).

    If we stepped up education - real sex education that didn't demonize human sexuality and taught proper contraceptive use - we could lower the number of unwanted pregnancies. If we stopped stigmatizing one-half of the party that erred (the woman), and showed universal compassion toward helping her raise her child either by herself or by giving her child up for adoption, we might be able to accomplish both a drop in unwanted pregnancies and an increase in newborns given up for adoption.

    But this isn't how that side approaches negotiation or compromise. It's not an attractive quality, won't win any converts to its side, and will ensure that this continues to be a battle that is fought, but never ends (doesn't that sound familiar, as well?).

    Be the compassion you demand of others. Lead by example. Don't compel people to accept your POV - convince them with kindness and sincerity. You can make a difference one frightened pregnant teen at a time. Or you can collectively continue to tell them that their own lives aren't worth as much as the collection of cells they've accidentally fertilized...

  • In reply to BeingReal7:

    There is a shortage of newborns, you are correct. But there is an abundance of children over 5 and with special needs that still need homes that flounder about the foster home system for years without ever being adopted. Why? If there really was SO MUCH care for the children, and not just the precious babies, then shouldn't these hordes of caring pro life be falling all over themselves to be providing these children with homes? No? Huh, I wonder why that is.

  • In reply to BeingReal7:

    Oh, my children are children from the day I get a positive pregnancy test. I assign them little personalities and nicknames asap. It's way fun. I used to call Bianca "Nacho".

    Some peoples' cats are their children. My neighbor Robert has a chicken named Doris who is his child. But cat moms and chicken dads and fetus-namers are the parties validating those relationships, not the government.

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    But do you see the inconsistency in your thinking? "This is a baby because s/he is wanted by her/his biological mother, but that's not a baby because s/he isn't wanted by her/his biological mother." The fact is that every child is wanted by someone, as I mentioned to Brent in an earlier posting. 2 million couples are seeking to adopt in the U.S. - and many more would love to but won't even try because of the expense. Motherhood goes beyond biology. Those kids have mothers who are longing for them right now.

  • In reply to BeingReal7:

    Call it a baby, call it a fetus, call it whatever you want but the pregnant woman is the one deciding the value of what lies inside her. I'm not being inconsistent at all. MY growing clumps of cells are babies from day one. YOUR growing clumps of cells are what you make of them.

    Adoption is a very nice thing to do, but no one should be forced into charity.

  • Jenna, why don't you like abortion?

    You answered why you wouldn't have one, (that you are in a comfortable spot and want more children) but you never answered why you don't like them.

  • In reply to pfk8:

    You know what else makes me sad? Seeing Christmas trees in the alley in January. I don't like that. And do not buy me flowers because when I see them in the trash a week later it breaks my heart. I don't even like to pull weeds in my garden! It's the very same thing. Something living is being wasted. I regard other people's fetuses as plants in their garden. Is it wonderful to see a pile of them in the garbage? No. Is it up to me to police their periods? Also no.

  • So human fetuses have some value?

    You seem to be saying that their value is completely subjective, like the value of different flavors of ice cream.

    What would you say the value of a fetal human is?

  • In reply to pfk8:

    The value of a fetal human can only be measured by the woman it is attached to.

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    Why is that, if that human being has a separate heart beat, brain waves and blood type from the mother? Also, what about babies post-viability?

  • In reply to BeingReal7:

    You mean aborting babies after 24 weeks? That is a very uncharitable thing to do, but not many people are just deciding they don't want to be pregnant anymore. Those cases are usually terminally ill children, right? If it were me, I think I'd probably just face the situation as it came and let it play out naturally.

    Keep in mind, the anti-choice Queen Mary herself Michelle Duggar evicted a baby at 24 weeks due to health reasons. Was it an abortion? No, it was a very premature induction of labor and I don't blame her for a second, but the key point is she did not remain pregnant after her life was threatened. Mrs. Duggar's life trumped the fetus. As it should be. If the child had died, as many do at 24 weeks, would anyone have blamed her? No one having abortions is doing it with glee.

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    I'm not familiar with the Duggar case, but I'm glad you are ready to concede post-viability abortions except in cases of the life of the mother. This is more restrictive than Roe, which legally protects abortions throughout all 9 months of pregnancy.

  • In reply to BeingReal7:

    I think this is a case where you have to have more faith in people. It would take a clinically insane person to demand an elective abortion at 9 months pregnant. Maybe there are cases out there because there's always "someone". But the vast, vast majority of people don't change their mind on giving birth at the 11th hour. That law isn't protecting the lone crazy wolf out there who wants her near-term baby dead. It's a principle to protect a slippery slope.

    I'm not speaking to you personally because I don't know your religious affiliation, but it is very troubling to me that most religious people think non-religious people don't have morals. I have an agnostic friend who accidentally dented a parked car the other day and left a note. When the man called to thank her for leaving her insurance information, apparently he said, "you must be Christian". We were both floored. You don't have to be Christian or bound by the law to make good choices and treat people with respect. Or to know that killing an unborn, yes, "BABY" at 38 weeks gestation for no reason other than women's lib is pretty atrocious.

    While I'm on the topic, this brings me to another point. Why aren't people just good people? Maybe some Christians should think about why they need to be bound by a doctrine to just act decently. My natural inclination is to do the right thing. I don't feel "tempted" by terrible things, nor do I live a life that is mired in "sin". There are plenty of people out there like me who don't need the thought police to simply be a good person and make good decisions.

    Ah, that felt nice. Thanks for chatting.

  • In this sort of 'debate' there is no reasoning with those who have their minds made up, so I will not try. I am Pro-Choice. We should not go backwards into the back alleys where abortions used to take place. Whether you approve or not, abortions will continue. With more education about birth control - also seemingly disapproved by many - it may significantly reduce the number of abortions, but they will always occur. Yes, they should be legal.

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    In reply to maddie:

    The back alley is now in the clinic. I think that's a point of an earlier person posting on here. In IL, veterinary clinics are held to higher regulatory standards than abortion clinics.

    And interestingly, there are no unbiased studies showing that birth control reduces unplanned pregnancies and abortions. Even a study commissioned by an abortion advocacy group - think it was Marie Stopes but can't recall - on many hundreds of women who had the morning-after pill in their purses at all times, compared to the control group who did not - showed no decline in the rate of unplanned pregnancies or abortions compared to the control group.

  • I have been saying this for years. Whether its right or not to have an abortion is irrelevant. A woman should have the right to choose. Not having a uterus myself, it really grates on my nerves and logic to see other men demanding women do as they are told. Any man would not submit himself to the whims of a woman for castration, so that means men as a group should stay out of the abortion debate. Your view is truly pro-life one. Stating only what is right for you but allowing that this may not be the path for all. Using logic when it comes to medical care is a rare commodity these days. Keep up the good fight. Maybe if more people state their positions logically some of the anger can be set aside and more of us will see where we are a like rather than different. this has to be good thing.

  • I think this is little more than an exercise in over-think. The best reason to not make abortion illegal is to keep it from returning to the back alleys.

    I knew where I could get an abortion performed when I was 14; that was in 1945. Who told me? Two doctors I used to regularly caddy for at a prestigous North Shore country club: "If you ever get a broad in trouble kid, call either of us. We'll take carry of it for ya."

  • I've always found this an impossible issue to come to a decision about, because both sides make such compelling arguments.

    Yes, a woman should have the right to decide what goes on in her own body; yes, a potential human life is something special that should be treated with some degree of respect. Yes, logic and personal responsibility dictate that someone absolutely not prepared to be pregnant should avoid having penetrative sex; yes, there are also all manner of possible extenuating circumstances, and a fundamental, biologically-dictated inequity to women versus men. Prohibition doesn't really work, and enforcement of laws is problematic and subject to abuse. World population has become a real problem.

    Logically, it just doesn't make sense to grant the same rights to a microscopic clump of cells as to a grown human being, especially considering how many will be lost naturally unbeknownst to the conceptor ('host' implying the embryo is a parasite while 'mother' implies it's a full-blown child, and I don't know that either applies,) but does that means granting it lesser rights or none at all? We can all believe what we like, bt at the end of the day we don't *know* whether souls exist, or whether the unborn possess them. The age of viability is nebulous and continually being pushed back by medical advances.

    It's a minefield no matter how you look at it. Pick a side and you're automatically judged wrong/unjust/evil by a very large number of people. And it's entirely possible that both sides are correct; that some worthy entity will have their rights intolerably violated either way.

    The personal compromise on which I have finally settled is this: abortion is like bankruptcy. It's an evil, but a necessary and in many cases the lesser evil. It is not something that should be entered into lightly. It is certainly not something to be proud of. At best, it's an invasive medical procedure that in very many cases could have been avoided. It means that someone, somewhere along the way--whether it be the individual, society, parents, manufacturers of birth control, someone--has failed. The system didn't work. It shouldn't have to happen.

    But it needs to be legal and available; not trivially available, but not all but impossible to get, either. And having one should be a sobering and regrettable thing; a wake-up call to re-evaluate one's life and take whatever steps are necessary to avoid a repeat--but not a black mark that follows a woman and weighs her down for the rest of her life.

    Society and its laws, imo, should neither approve nor condemn the necessity, but deal with it for the unfortunate reality that it is, and work to see to it that as few women as possible find themselves in the position of needing an abortion in the first place. I stand with those who call for wide availability of birth control and for the abortion procedure to be safe, legal, early, and rare.

  • Actually, I'm not sure you can say with 100% certainty that you wouldn't get an abortion, can you? Until you've really been in a situation, you can't say what you would do. What if this hypothetical unwanted pregnancy were the result of rape? Can you tell me that you absolutely for sure wouldn't terminate it? What if the fetus were diagnosed with Down Syndrome? Anencephalia? What if you were a single mother, recently unemployed, all but flat broke? Still absolutely no way you'd have an abortion?

    Personally, while I don't like abortion any more than you do, a big part of the reason why it should remain legal is that no woman knows when she might need it, including us. Even "pro-life" types need it surprisingly often. There's a whole webpage devoted to "My abortion is the only moral abortion", regarding "pro-life" types who end up on the other side of the clinic door.

    And for all their sputtering, you bet your behind that if any of those loudly vocal "pro-life" politicians found their daughters knocked up, they'd find their way to an abortion provider faster than you can say "shot gun".

  • In reply to Dienne:

    You're totally on point! Yeah, do I *really* know what I would do in those scenarios? No. Who can really know what they would do if they were actually in the shoes of the person making the decisions? (Minor exception in your list is the Down Syndrome thing because I did live and came to the conclusion that it's only a matter of time before we're destroyed by a meteor or something. That is to say the goal of life isn't to procreate into infinity but rather to love the ones we're given.) BUT . . . that was me and I was otherwise in a sweet spot with my life circumstances. Your point is still completely valid and even if I was 100% it's STILL none of my business what someone else decides with her girly parts.

  • In reply to Dienne:

    When I was a fetus, I was mis-diagnosed with Down Syndrome and the doc wanted to have me 'terminated' - In fact, the doc PUSHED for me to be aborted.

    My mom declined.

    At that point I was just a 'fetus' though. So, I guess my life didn't matter.

  • In reply to pfk8:

    This is truly a matter of a difference of opinion. I was, ahem . . . "a surprise" to my parents and if my dad wasn't such a right-wing, single-issue voter I know for a fact I wouldn't be here today. And for some reason that doesn't bother me in the least. My dad and I disagree on this very issue and even though I know the only reason I'm here is because of his (abhorrent) opinion, I still disagree with it.

    It just does not matter to me if the fetus was me or some other lady's fetus. If it's not MY fetus, I can't have a say-so in whether or not it continues to live.

    (But thanks, Dad, if you're reading! I guess!)

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    Jenna, although we disagree, I'm glad your Dad chose life!

  • In reply to BeingReal7:

    I will pass it on to him and I'm sure he will be delighted. Right after he kills me for telling that story. See? He gave me life and he can take it away! ;)

  • It's a choice issue. I'm grateful I never was in the position to decide whether or not to have an abortion. I'm grateful that the friends of mine who did choose to have one were able to make that choice, just as I am grateful that my friends who chose not to have one made that choice as well; and I will defend any woman's right to make her own decisions.

  • I used to sound just like you Jenna. Maybe you're closer to being pro-life than you think. ;-)

  • In reply to siblingless:

    I actually think the older I get, the more liberal I get. I was "pro-life" when I was a kid but I also thought I was a Republican. To this day there is a Bush/Quayle pennant on my childhood bedroom wall from when my parents took me to the inauguration when I was nine. But hello, I was NINE. I also thought the fat in butter disappeared when you melted it.

    Now that I actually know what having a baby means there's no way I'd foist this on some poor unsuspecting person who didn't want it. Also, it seems a little ivory tower to be anti-choice when my own circumstances are so cushy.

    Why did you change your mind?

  • After our second child, I was wavering. My sons are only 13 mos apart and I was devastated when I became pregnant the 2nd time. My husband and I were chosen to bring up the gifts during Mass and I cried all the way up the aisle because I knew that little baby was a gift. But I still wasn't convinced.

    When I got pregnant with my last child (our daughter), I was 38 and the docs wanted to do a cervical sampling to make sure she was okay. (Advanced maternal age was the diagnosis - I wanted to slap that doctor!)

    The test could only be done no later than the10th week of pregnancy. As the doc takes the sample they use an ultra-sound to guide them. As my husband and I watched, our daughter began to move her arm back and forth. She had already perfected the queen's wave!

    It was still a process after that, but that was the turning point for me. Makes me get all sniffly just thinking about it. ;-)

  • Jenna, you hit the nail right on the head!

    You have developed EMPATHY! You can not only put yourself in someone else's shoes, you can do it WITHOUT judging the person. "You must be a Christian" (lol).

    I've stated it up and down this string, but it bares repeating. If the staunch anti-choicers quit villifying women for having sex (as if they're doing it alone), took a pro-sex education, pro-contraception stance, and worked on practicing their compassion toward at-risk women years before they reach puberty, they could actually reduce unwanted pregnancies.

    Sadly, compassion and empathy are lacking from the anti-choicers' approach. The prohibition, zero-tolerance, let-Social-Darwinism-run-its-course tactic being employed demonstrates not a willingness to truly help those at risk, but a guilt about being judged harshly by their God for being complicit in the "sins of society".

    You would hope that more people would become more liberal and more empathetic as they grew up (like you), but ironically there are many that seek to protect their own "blessings" at all costs while conveniently forgetting the calling to share them.

  • In reply to Brent Cohrs:

    "[T]here are many that seek to protect their own “blessings” at all costs while conveniently forgetting the calling to share them."

    Absolutely. You would be great at writing bumper stickers. People are supposed to love each other and show compassion and empathy. Not because a book told them to or the people at church would judge them if they didn't, but because it stems from their own heart. Deciding to focus that love only on strangers' fetuses is shortsighted at best. Love everyone, destigmatize natural human behavior and the other pieces will fall into place. Bravo, friend.

  • I was devastated by my 2nd pregnancy. Our boys are only 13 mos. apart. My husband and I were at Mass and we were invited to bring up the gifts. I cried all the way up the aisle and all the way back because I realized what a gift that little baby was. But I wasn't quite there yet.

    When I got pregnant with our daughter, the docs wanted to do a cervical sampling because I was 38. Advanced maternal age they called it! (I should of slapped the crap out of them!)

    Anyway, they use an ultra-sound so they can see what they're doing. As my husband and I watched, our daughter (as we found out later) began to move her arm back and forth. She had already perfected the queen's wave.

    That was the turning point, but it was still a process. I get all choked up just thinking about it.

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    In reply to siblingless:

    Beautiful story, sibligless! I used to be pro-choice too. Seeing my former college roommate in the mental health unit of a hospital after her abortion changed my mind. In my pro-choice days, I recognized that of course this is a human being, but thought that we (women) needed abortion to be equal. She opened my eyes, and since her, I've spoken with probably at least 30 women - some who are close friends - who have had abortions and are seriously hurting in silence. Actually, the only people who benefit from abortion are irresponsible men who want to sow their wild oats without having to pay child support.

  • In reply to BeingReal7:

    Here's the problem. I've noticed a pattern of women who are pro-choice when they are young and single and then when they are married and comfortable, they are suddenly anti-choice. I don't mean to offend you, but can you see the convenience in this thinking? When you are at an age when you might need an abortion, it's a great feeling to know it's in your back pocket if it ever comes to that. But boom, you get older, go out less, no date rapes on the horizon, less opportunity for . . . old fashioned raping(?). You've had kids, "seen the light" i.e. realize it isn't that scary and it sure is rewarding and gosh darn, this babies are cute. You find a community in a church group because that's where all the other moms are and BOOM. Pro-life. Ready to judge. Ivory tower.

    Think of all the single ladies out there now. We're not all in the same place at the same time. Can't we let them have their security in their back pockets too? And maybe trust that when they get married and settle down they'll "see the light" like most good church ladies and raise fine families? Or are we going to call them sluts and let a few of them fall through the cracks and become struggling single moms? Just something to think about.

  • I will admit to not reading all the comments. I would just like to say that the triumph of feminism and with it the abortion culture means the end of Europe and North America as we know it in a couple of generations. You can call me all the names in the book but demography is destiny and those that are actually having children will call the shots, and those that don't will be at their behest. That's just the way it is and no amount of either sugarcoating, or demonizing those who point this out will change it.

  • In reply to ChicagoExpatriate:

    There are a lot of people having children in India. Do you think they'll come after us? I think they're too busy trying to keep a shanty over their families of ten. Or maybe you meant China is going to come after us - have you taken a look at their abortion policy?

  • Read it for yourself.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_and_territories_by_fertility_rate

    India is well above replacement rate, although the birth rate has declined drastically in the last few decades. You can like it or not, but it isn't even math, just simple arithmetic. A demographic time bomb affecting the most advanced nations of the world. Folks a lot more well versed about this subject than either you or I have dealt with it in much greater detail. It may not be PC, but it is reality. If Al Gore wanted a really inconvenient truth it's in the demographics. Now as for abortion notice that I have not even said that I am against it or that it should be outlawed. Only that it has very grave consequences.

  • In reply to ChicagoExpatriate:

    So India having more people than it can feed is a compelling reason for the US to outlaw abortion in order to *increase* our numbers? You're saying our population is not large enough and we should be emulating a starving country where food is so scarce, 60% of the deaths are hunger related. Alrighty.

    There are good arguments for banning abortion and there are ridiculous ones. Fear of India is in the latter category.

  • Hi Jenna, I just wanted to respond to your last reply to my post on fetal homicide laws and fetal pain. The Illinois Criminal Code contains a separate action for crimes committed against the unborn child and ONLY the unborn child. So, for example, the case here in which the father of the baby shot the mother in the abdomen in an attempt to kill ONLY the child (he was successful, if I recall) resulted in a charge of first-degree murder of an unborn child (the mother lived). Re: fetal pain, the claim that any pain control medicine given to the mother of the child during an abortion crosses the placenta and reaches the child was completely de-bunked during the Congressional testimony on the partial-birth abortion ban. In fact, doctors testified that any type of anethesia or pain control given to the mother (if she gets any at all) does not reach the child in any significant amount to relieve the child's pain during the abortion procedure. In fact, two prominent figures in the pro-life movement (Dr. Bernard Nathanson -- who owned New York City's largest abortion clinic) and Abby Johnson (Planned Parenthood's former "employee of the year") had their "conversion" experiences while viewing abortion procedures on ultrasound machines, because they could see the child reacting to the instruments used in the abortion.

  • In reply to HappyMom:

    Wow, that is certainly very interesting! Thank you for informing me. I will continue to not have abortions.

  • Jenna--I really appreciate your candid opinions on this blog. I like that you don't shy away from "hot button" topics and issues. Thanks for keeping it real. The abortion argument is one that can go on into infinity. I've read some pretty interesting comments on here. I don't agree with the people that are nit-picking your argument. You are a complex human and this is a complex, emotional issue. There is no cut and dry answer or "perfect" argument for either stance.

  • Great, Jenna, that's good to know. You never regret having another child, but you might very much regret having an abortion. I have enjoyed our spirited discussion. Best to you.

  • In reply to HappyMom:

    And to you! I certainly am impressed someone so passionate has engaged me in conversation.

  • Jenna, I know these posts are old but I am writing a paper on agree or disagree to abortions??? I have to say when I saw this blog that you have made I was sooo happy that I was not the only person that thought this. I think that your opinion is great!! Matter a fact our opinions are almost identical. It should be up to NO ONE but the parents weather or not they are ready to be parents. Who the hell are we to tell someone "OH no your pregnant your having this baby??" Now come on people how dumb do you sound telling someone that. None of us know the reasons why women get them, and its none of our damn business either. If abortions are a big deal in your own personal life then don't get them, and get a life and stay out of the lives of people that are. Im sure those people have other things to worry about than some nosy person judging them.

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