11 comments posted
You're right

I never thought of it that way, but you're absolutely right.

Posted by zoom (not verified) on Sat, 09/20/2008 - 17:38

I feel the same way about people who say "abortion is okay as long as you're not using it as some kind of contraceptive." You know, either women have the right to make a choice or we don't. We are not all going to be in perfect agreement about how that choice gets exercised. We can certainly have a conversation about our opinions, or about the public health implications of different sets of choices, but... yeah. What you said.

Posted by 'col (not verified) on Sat, 09/20/2008 - 18:52
Well put. Even so, I expect

Well put. Even so, I expect that "Even for victims of rape" and "Even when the mother's life is endangered" will remain standard terms in American political discourse for the indefinite future.

In a way, it is extremely unfortunate that abortion has become such a dominant aspect of American politics, doing so much to determine the composition of the Supreme Court and the acceptability of candidates to different groups. If only the political mainstream could finally settle on the "safe and legal" position that is the de facto standard throughout the democratic world...

Posted by Milan (not verified) on Mon, 09/22/2008 - 15:08

Because I am a curious geek, I looked it up for you:

* The overwhelming majority of all abortions, (95%), are done as a means of birth control.U.S. Abortion Statistics, U.S. State abortion statistics, by Race, by Age, Worldwide abortion statistics, teen abortion statistics

* Only 1% are performed because of rape or incest;
* 1% because of fetal abnormalities;
* 3% due to the mother's health problems.

Source: Central Illinois Right To Life
Reasons Women Choose Abortion (U.S.)

* Wants to postpone childbearing: 25.5%
* Wants no (more) children: 7.9%
* Cannot afford a baby: 21.3%
* Having a child will disrupt education or job: 10.8%
* Has relationship problem or partner does not want pregnancy: 14.1%
* Too young; parent(s) or other(s) object to pregnancy: 12.2%
* Risk to maternal health: 2.8%
* Risk to fetal health: 3.3%
* Other: 2.1%

Source:Bankole, Akinrinola; Singh, Susheela; Haas, Taylor. Reasons Why Women Have Induced Abortions: Evidence from 27 Countries. International Family Planning Perspectives, 1998, 24(3):117–127 & 152 As reported by:The Alan Guttmacher Institute Online.

Posted by Jackson (not verified) on Mon, 09/22/2008 - 19:02

i love it when people comment.

zoom: just thanks.

'col: i believe it's impossible to use abortion as a form of contraception. too late! we've conceived! maybe throw that back? but without the exclamation marks, prolly.

milan: as long as evangelical christians are woven into every aspect of the US government, i don't think abortion will disappear into the safe and legal forest.

jackson: just thanks. very interesting.

Posted by megan on Tue, 09/23/2008 - 08:55
Uh, oh! Here comes right wing boy!

Well I'm afraid that you're not exactly, right and Sarah Palin isn't exactly wrong. Yes, I agree that all people have the right to autonomy over their own bodies. The poroblem with abortion is we aren't talking about a tumour or a cist, it is a human life. My kids are no different, genetically speaking, today then even probably hours after they were concieved. While the womon's body carries the embrio, it isn't her body being carried. It is something different from her although related. To say she has the right to end that life is wrong in my opinion.

It's like your saying children (embrios, feti) concieved on purpose have more rights than ones concieved otherwise. I'm sure you can imagine why that might get my dander up a little bit.

Sarah Palin's views are her own and don't become wrong until she starts trying to bend the laws to her view of how the world should be. In my head I know that abortions must be provided in a medically safe manner. They must be legal, and that must never change. It is far too hard on society any other way.
That doesn't mean it's easy for my heart to take.

Posted by Dave (not verified) on Tue, 09/23/2008 - 10:55
Speaking of religious views.....


I know I just took the debate in a whole other direction, but let us not forget that this is a woman (and an administration!!!) who WANTS the world to end so the 'chosen' can go to heaven.

Unfortunately, as a public servant her views are not her own, since they will inevitably inform policy and law.


Posted by jackson (not verified) on Tue, 09/23/2008 - 15:24
Which is why I said that she

Which is why I said that she isn't wrong until she does that. Maybe I should say she will be wrong when she starts to skew policy and law to what she considers the one true way.

Posted by dave (not verified) on Tue, 09/23/2008 - 18:54
Ok, I don't want to hijack

Ok, I don't want to hijack this away, but she does make policy as an elected official, and we can reasonably extrapolate what her positions will be should she become Vice President or (gasp) President. So really what we mean is that until she becomes actually elected and begins to make moves towards making abortion illegal again (moves the Republicans have made several times since 1995), or other such overtures, we won't really know. But we know without question that she talks the pro-life talk, though strangely, Newsweek reports that Alaska liberalized their abortion laws under Palin:

"Restrictions on abortion in Alaska have actually been loosened during her tenure. Last November, the Alaska Supreme Court rejected a 1997 law requiring girls younger than 16 to obtain parental consent before getting an abortion. Palin slammed the ruling as "outrageous" and had her attorney general file for a rehearing, but it was promptly denied.

Meanwhile, both this year and last year, she has used her line-item veto to slash state funds for programs providing precisely the kinds of resources Feminists for Life supports for at-risk mothers on the fence about abortion. She cut by 20 percent the funding for Covenant House Alaska, a state-supported program that includes a transitional home where new teenage mothers can spend up to 18 months learning money management and parenting skills. Critics have jumped all over that decision, arguing that the decision looks especially bad in light of the news that Palin's 17-year-old daughter has since become pregnant.

Palin has also voided funds for two other similar projects during her tenure as governor. One, a provider of the WIC (Women, Infants, Children) Program, would have provided additional breastfeeding and nutrition support to low-income rural women, for a total cost of $15,840. Another, the Cook Inlet Housing Authority's student housing and daycare facility project, would have built a childcare facility and family-style housing units for students pursuing vocational education in Anchorage, most of whom come from rural areas.

Even Palin's commitment to pro-life legislation has been questioned back home. In April, the governor denied the state legislature's request for extra debates on two controversial anti-abortion bills, one requiring minors to obtain parental consent before having abortions and another outlawing partial-birth abortion except to save the life of the mother. After state senators failed to reach agreement, the chamber's president tried to attach them to the agenda of a special legislative session being held on Palin's top legislative priority: a new natural gas pipeline. Palin demurred. "Alaskans know I am pro-life and have never wavered in my belief in the sanctity of every human life," she said in a statement. "These issues are so important they shouldn't be diluted with oil and gas deliberations."

So, hold your breath and wait and see! I'm sure Satan is super happy though!! Just kidding, I'm an atheist.



Posted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 09/23/2008 - 23:11
my definition is this

hey dave,

it's a thorny issue, for sure, one that's been debated for a long time with no real conclusion. mostly because we don't have a good answer as to when "life" begins. hell, some people believe that using a condom is wrong because preventing sperm and egg from meeting is just as bad as scraping the resulting collection of cells out.

i want to say this gently, and i'm not sure it'll come across that way, but i do think it is categorically wrong to privilege the life of a potential human over the life of a realized human. of course it's more complicated than that, and there are one hundred "what ifs" to go along with it.

once you love a specific child, i think it's difficult to imagine those kids not being around, heartbreaking to imagine their lives prevented.

of course i don't think that on purpose children have more rights. while i recognize that most abortions are for unplanned pregnancies, i am also quite sure they aren't all. people change their minds, people find out about severe medical disorders with which they're unable to cope (which is an entirely different kettle of fish), people's circumstances change.

more to the point, as it stands now, with the information available to me, i believe that embryos are not yet human, and therefore, the right of the mother - an actual human, not a potential one - to her own bodily autonomy is what must matter most.

to keep my blog from becoming a debating ground, i think i'll leave it at that.

but thank you for commenting, it's been good for me to review what i think and why i think it.

ps to J: Agreed, Sarah Palin is a fucking nutjob.

Posted by megan on Tue, 09/23/2008 - 20:26
good god

I am incredulous that she's even anywhere near the ticket. Be interesting to see if she actually helps or harms the Republicans' chances in the end.

Posted by megan on Wed, 09/24/2008 - 00:16