I used to be a pro-life Republican.

I had a favorite line, in high school, when debating people on the subject of abortion. It was “Hey, that thing in your stomach’s not gonna come out a toaster, right? It’s a baby!”

Oh, I thought I was really, super clever with that one. Because I loved talking about the babies. I talked about the babies at the high school Young Republicans Club–not only was I the president, but also the founder. I talked about the babies at Club 412, the evangelical punk teen hang-out in Fort Worth I frequented with my friends. I talked about the babies in class. I cried about the babies while I strummed my guitar. I wrote songs about the babies, imagining myself as a broken, murderous whore who regretted her abortions.

I didn’t have an opinion one way or the other on abortion until I started hanging out with right-wing punk rock kids in high school. Then, somebody–probably one of the older teenage punk rock boys I would later fend off in the back of a car or behind the chapel at church camp–handed me a pamphlet with an aborted fetus on the front. The pamphlet told me all about how abortion causes breast cancer and about how women who abort can never be redeemed in the eyes of God and will live with heartache and depression for the rest of their lives, a shell of the beautiful thing they could have been if they’d only carried to term. I was outraged. I couldn’t believe women were killing members of my own generation–my sisters and brothers!–just because they couldn’t keep their legs together.

Because while I said it was about the babies, it wasn’t. It was about slut-shaming. I absolutely loved slut-shaming. Because I was saving myself for marriage–well, oral sex doesn’t really count anyway, does it?–I knew that I would always be right and virtuous and I would never be a murderer like those sluts. The issue couldn’t possibly be up for real debate, to my mind: either you were a baby-killer slut, or you behaved like a proper Christian woman and only let him get to third base. Babies were simultaneously women’s punishment for having premarital sex and beautiful gifts from Jesus Himself. That didn’t seem like a contradiction in my mind. It was just another one of God’s perfect mysteries.

After all, I was 16, 17, 18. I knew everything. And what I knew more than anything else was that anyone who got herself into the position of having an unwanted pregnancy was filthy in body and soul. And again, since I would absolutely never have premarital sex, I would absolutely never make the decision to murder my child. Because I was pure, and so were babies, and together, me and the babies and my perfect hymen, we were all going to be fine if we could just fight the ignorant sluts. So that’s what I did. I talked and argued and cajoled and pontificated. I ministered to the heathen nerdgirl sluts in Telnet chats and online bulletin boards. I stood up for what I believed in, which was: If you do not believe like me, you deserve whatever brand of God’s wrath comes your way.

But, you know, to hear me talk, it was all about the babies. The innocent children. The mass genocide! Perpetuated, of course, by millions of American women who I imagined happily scooping out their wombs with ladles before heading back out for another gang-bang. In private, my anti-choice friends and I would laugh and laugh (or, in some cases, LOL and LOL, if we were chatting online) about how stupid women were for having premarital sex. How evil they were for not being able to control themselves. How great I was for not having sex with my boyfriend. How loved and special I was in the eyes of God because I didn’t let my boyfriend, you know, do it with me.

If I’d thought about it any, I might have realized that it takes two to create an unwanted pregnancy. But the conversation was never, ever about men or their behavior. It was only about women.

So, what happened? How did I come to be editing a lefty, pinko-assed feminist blog?

Well, I got off my religious high horse and on to a sex life I enjoyed and found fulfilling.

At college, I met a wonderful, sweet Jewish boy who fell in love with me and who I fell in love with right back. And he didn’t have any hang-ups about sex, though he was also a virgin. And we did all of the things except for The Big Sex, and the more I grew to love him, the more I thought back on those people I knew back home who told me sex was awful and would break me. How could sex with this guy, this absolute sweetheart, break me? And so we had The Big Sex. And it was great and fun and loving, and we kept having all of The Big Sex, for about three weeks, until I realized it was about time for my period.

Suddenly: I was the dirty, filthy slut. I was the horny bitch. I was the callous murderer-in-training. What, did I think my womb was going to grow a toaster if we had a condom mishap?

Of course not. I didn’t think babies were toasters and I didn’t believe I was going to birth a toaster if I got pregnant, so how had I managed to belittle women for years with this condescending, patronizing line about a small kitchen appliance? I was frozen in a kind of moral limbo–I couldn’t believe I found myself simultaneously relieved that I could access an abortion if I wanted to, and saddened and stressed out by the possibility of having to make that decision.

So I went right the fuck out and got myself some hormonal birth control, is what I did.

I marched into my college women’s health center–oh, thank God they had one–and I got my first pap smear and the Ortho-Evra patch and talked to the nurses about STD’s and pregnancy and how to take care of my body. I had never had any of those conversations with my family or church or friends or teachers back home in Texas. I learned more in a two-hour visit to that college women’s health center than I had in the 19 years leading up to it. And yet as a passionate anti-choicer, I had considered myself an expert on sex and reproductive health–my own and everyone else’s–because of a few pamphlets and preachers.

Today, I see that nothing about my religious anti-choice views did anything to prevent abortion. They did a lot to shame myself and my friends, but nothing to prevent abortion. Today, I hear anti-choicers talk about the babies and the unborn and the American genocide, but what I really hear beneath all that is slut-shaming and fear of female sexuality. I hear that language clearly because I spoke it once, myself. It is a familiar language to me.

And I even have a little bemused sympathy for old men who try to pass anti-choice legislation. Because they really will not ever have to worry about abortion. And once, I thought I wouldn’t, either. So I see where they’re coming from. I see how blind to the experiences of others they are. Privilege does that to people. If they weren’t so damned full of themselves, and so damned politically powerful, I might even find them funny.

What saddens me more than anything else are women who want to make abortion either so inaccessible as to render it impracticable, or who want to outlaw it altogether. Because I truly believe that most women, anti-choice or otherwise, who’ve experienced even a flicker of uncertainty about a pregnancy in this country since 1973 have been glad, in their hearts, to have a choice. I believe wanting to take that choice away from others is deeply about shame and punishment and judgment, and not about righteousness and love. I believe that because I rarely see those who want to outlaw abortion doing anything to combat its cause: unintended pregnancy, and I see them doing a lot to punish and shame women.

There is nothing “pro-life” about sonogram bills and denying Medicaid funding to (some!) rape victims or allowing doctors to opt out of giving pregnant women life-saving abortions. I know that what has kept me from having to make a decision about an unintended pregnancy is not the prospect of hearing a fetal heartbeat or having to go through a 24-hour wait period, but safe, easy and affordable access to contraception and good, honest medical information disseminated by doctors and medical professionals without religious agendas.

I was a girl growing up in Texas who was failed by abstinence-only education and soured by extreme religious dogma. I don’t want other girls to go through that, too. And so if you’ve gotten through this whole essay, consider donating to Planned Parenthood. Get on a NARAL mailing list. Fight HR3. Stand up against empty religious and political pandering and stand up for real solutions like affordable health care, comprehensive sex education and contraceptive access.

About andrea grimes

Andrea is a journalist living in Austin, TX. She has a master's degree in anthropology and did her thesis work on gender and stand-up comedy. Seriously. Also, she has a bunch of cats. Three of them. Is three a bunch? Discuss.
This entry was posted in abortion, health care, legal issues, personal essays. Bookmark the permalink.

267 Responses to I used to be a pro-life Republican.

  1. Elle says:

    “I know that what has kept me from having to make a decision about an unintended pregnancy is not the prospect of hearing a fetal heartbeat or having to go through a 24-hour wait period, but safe, easy and affordable access to contraception and good, honest medical information disseminated by doctors and medical professionals without religious agendas.”

    Damn right. Thank you for speaking out. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  2. Pingback: Tweets that mention I used to be a pro-life Republican. | HAY LADIES! -- Topsy.com

  3. NYCprochoiceMD says:

    This is fierce. Thank you.

  4. Marysia says:

    Andrea-There are some of us who combine the (secular/interfaith/nonsectarian) belief that abortion is prenatal lifetaking with the belief that sex can be positive and life-affirming when voluntary and fully informed and supported. Regardless of whether or not it takes place within male/female conservative Christian church sanctioned marriage or results in procreation.

    Comprehensive sex education, voluntary contraception, and freedom from slut-shaming are human rights in their own right, as well as essential to
    preventing and reducing unintended pregnancies & abortions.

    The kind of antiabortion view you evolved out of is indeed severely limited and self-defeating. I’d venture to say it CAUSES many unintended pregnancies and abortions.

    But it is not the only possible way of opposing abortion. There are ways to be genuinely pro *everyone’s* life, before during and ever after birth.

    I for one have been trying my best to do this for over 25 years! As a woman who conceived her child through nonmarital sex, I have been personally subjected to slut-shaming, and so I have fought against it for decades, even before the term was coined. I have just as much fought for positive solutions to difficult pregnancies.

    You and I may not agree about whether abortion is among those positive solutions-but as for the rest-we apparently agree!

  5. Maude says:

    Thank you for stating it for what it is. I was thankfully given access to contraception and sex education BEFORE I found myself in trouble. The more I see those who are against choice, the more I see how they are exposed for the real agenda which you so eloquently described.

  6. Chloe says:

    It is uncanny how often we see anti-choice women waving, screaming and spitting (or worse) at patients as they cross the sidewalk to enter a clinic and get an abortion. I say it is uncanny because what comes next is truly baffling: too often, we see these aggressors screaming and fighting one day, and the next shuffling their daughter through the back door, or casting their eyes down as they leave the outstretched, pamphlet-bearing hands and walk through the doors themselves.

    In Rachel Maddow’s piece on Dr. Tiller, one of Dr. Tiller’s coworkers said something that stuck with me: “no one ever WANTS to get an abortion.”

    You have succeeded in taking a deeply personal, deeply classist and deeply racist (I am sure I need not mention the misogyny) political issue and showing us the current of truth beneath the surface. Thank you!!!!!!

    -Chloe Heintz
    http://www.twitter.com/grrlEconomist

  7. Jessica says:

    Fantastic read. I linked to this on my blog. Have you heard about Walk for Choice? It’s an event being planned around the country to protest HR 3 et al.

  8. Sileny says:

    I used to be just like you (I wasn’t nearly as vocal and active anti-choicer as you, though) and my view on abortion did a complete 180 when I went to college. I never had a pregnancy scare, but one of my friends and I had a serious debate on the topic and she asked what I would do if I got pregnant (now) at 18? That’s when I realized how happy I was to just have the option available for me. Otherwise I would have had to drop out of school and end my professional career before I even had the chance to begin it. Plus, there would have been no way I could ever raise a child at that age or deal with my slut-shaming parents.

  9. kristinmh says:

    millions of American women who I imagined happily scooping out their wombs with ladles before heading back out for another gang-bang

    Kudos – it’s rare that a phrase makes you both LOL and reach for the brain bleach. ;)

    I was similarly anti-abortion as a teen from that lovely combination of smugness and Catholicism. After a late period and reading “Sex for Dummies” at the public library (no, really – my high school sex ed classes amounted to “Birth control is unsafe and doesn’t work, and if you have an abortion you’ll die, you dirty whore”, so where else was I going to learn how to put on a condom or what a blow job was?), I got better.

    Thanks for writing this. We need to hear more of these stories.

  10. Allison says:

    Andrea, I’m racking my brain trying to remember.. but I think we might have known eachother. I was at 412 EVERY WEEKEND in High School. I hung out alot with the Shmunks and Infirmity guys. Glad you’re doing well and fighting a better fight. I’m doing the same. Take care, sister.

  11. callmemisspriss says:

    “If I’d thought about it any, I might have realized that it takes two to create an unwanted pregnancy. But the conversation was never, ever about men or their behavior. It was only about women.”
    SO TRUE.

  12. Aly says:

    Very well written and very persuasive essay. A lot of Pro-life people need to read this.

    • Michelle says:

      I read this and am Pro-life and all it did was make me more pro-life. Not one time did she mention the poor innocent HUMAN BEING that is being killed. Just because you made the poor decision to not use protection does not mean the human being should have to suffer.

      • Nia says:

        And pregnancy involves no suffering whatsoever on the part of the woman? Or are we not counting women as human beings?

      • megaman3 says:

        Just because you made the poor decision to not use protection does not mean the human being should have to suffer.
        The only human being that’s suffering during an abortion is the woman. Fetuses cannot feel pain.

      • David says:

        Michelle, I’m curious, if a woman does all the “right” things and, say, her method of birth control fails, does that change things? Or are you only opposed if she made a “poor decision” that resulted in pregnancy?

        I’ve had dozens of women just like you sit in my office and go on and on about how abortion is murder and they think it should be illegal.. but they “just can’t have this baby” right now. People see things differently when conditions are right.

        Even someone like Sarah Palin, who makes plenty of money speaking to anti-choice groups, and who has said she is against abortion even in cases of rape/incest, considered it as an option when faced with her own unintended pregnancy. People like that need the option available to them in times of need; they just don’t want it to be available to you.

      • Cara says:

        I’ve had dozens of women just like you sit in my office and go on and on about how abortion is murder and they think it should be illegal.. but they “just can’t have this baby” right now. People see things differently when conditions are right.

        Yes, astonishing how much more sense abortion makes when it’s her abortion. After all, SHE isn’t having one because she’s a slut, it’s just because she can’t have a baby right now, her reasons are good and pure…but all those other sluts should have kept their legs closed.

        There’s an essay on the topic…I think it’s called “The Only Good Abortion is My Abortion” or something like that.

      • allen says:

        Megaman, please read a biology 101 textbook. An unborn child can feel pain starting at 20 weeks at the latest. Yes, they can feel limbs being ripped off and the feeling of having their head crushed. Michelle, thank you for your input. It took chutzpah to do that on this site.

  13. Choose Life says:

    I understand your conversion from being anti-choice to ‘pro-choice’, your body,hormones, sexual desires and love for your college boyfriend changed you. Your lifestyle changed and you became someone who no longer respected herself but her desires. This is a mistake many women make, the fear of an unwanted pregnancy only becomes a fear when you put yourself in the position to risk pregnancy. If you do you need to be responsible and respectful of yourself, but also not self-serving. Real love and respect for humanity is caring for others not just yourself and your needs. When you become a mother[pregnant or after birth] you mature, you find that the world doesn’t evolve around you and your needs. You find real meaning to life and the importance of taking care of yourself&your unborn child. Having freedom and the free will to choose between abortion and giving birth is about maturity,responsibility and recognizing that love is also about recognizing the body&soul within you. If you made the choice to have sex you also took the risk at becoming pregnant you should also take the responsibility to give birth to your own flesh&blood. You said you went on birth control to prevent pregnancy, but as you know it is not 100% safe, so you still have/had the risk of becoming pregnant. If you found yourself pregnant it is sad to hear that your new lifestyle&freedom from home would have made you choose to abort your own flesh&blood. You didn’t mention it, but did you also turn your back on all your religious teaching and become an atheist? I found those who fight to keep abortion a legal option and those against HR3 are often atheist and think the value of human life in the womb is equivalent to enslavement. They like to dehumanize the fetus, which is the life of a human being, genetically proven through DNA, which is unique to every human being on earth. Our DNA is what makes us who we are today, our body&soul is formed from our DNA, those first living cells can not be replaced once destroyed by the violent act of abortion. Those who do not value this life are denying true freedom, the freedom to live and the right to life, liberty and happiness. Whether you become pregnant or not, saving lives should always be the only option. Thankfully more younger women are becoming prolife and are not buying into the pro-choice movement because they are recognizing the value of life and how irreplaceable life is. I hope and pray you find yourself advocating more for ways to end unwanted pregnancy by teaching abstinence, it worked for you for 18 years! Also I hope you will consider advocating for adoption over abortion. The more our society pushes for abortion the harder it will make preventing abortion. As someone posted earlier, Dr Tiller said ‘nobody WANTS an abortion’….then why should it be an option?? The point is there is no safe sex even with contraceptives, except abstinence, therefore we need to take personal responsibility and put the human life within us above our own needs and truly empower ourselves with unselfish love and choose life! I will pray for your conversion to be the voice for the unborn, the most vulnerable in society.

    • bluejeans says:

      Lady? If you get pregnant, your job is to make the most responsible decision possible — ultimately, the most responsible *parenting* decision. Lots of us aren’t willing to jeopardize the future health and happiness of a potential child, of a future family, because of some sentimental attachment to the fact that a bunch of cells with DNA — which is really the potential for strings of amino acids to produce proteins that will express genes that would eventually form a whole person, later — could, at some point, become a person. That’s why I made the decision I did. If I had a kid now, I would be depending on the government for a lot of assistance. Slice it any way you want, but I would be a burden — on my partner, on my extended family, maybe, on the government. Do we really want to say that’s a good idea?

      I do not regret my abortion one bit. Ever. Period. Did it suck? Absolutely. I wish I hadn’t had to go through it. But you know what? One day, when I talk to my future kids about sex, love, relationships, intimacy, and pregnancy, I can tell them that I’ve been there, and if they make a mistake, I will help them no matter what, whatever decision they choose to make. And they’ll know I’m telling the truth.

      Enough troll patrol. Andrea, this article is amazing. Every smug high-school pro-lifer could do to take a gander at it. I know it could have saved me some brain-melting paradox contemplation back in the day.

      • The Champ says:

        “If you get pregnant, your job is to make the most responsible decision possible — ultimately, the most responsible *parenting* decision. Lots of us aren’t willing to jeopardize the future health and happiness of a potential child, of a future family, because of some sentimental attachment to the fact that a bunch of cells with DNA — which is really the potential for strings of amino acids to produce proteins that will express genes that would eventually form a whole person, later — could, at some point, become a person. That’s why I made the decision I did. If I had a kid now, I would be depending on the government for a lot of assistance. Slice it any way you want, but I would be a burden — on my partner, on my extended family, maybe, on the government.”

        Where does that end? A newborn cant live without help from others. Hell, I know 20somethings who are still a burden on their family and draw alot of government assistance. Maybe we ought to abort them too?

    • megaman3 says:

      I shouldn’t even be replying to this troll, but seriously? A whole essay that claims a fetus is more valuable than the mother’s right to control her body because it has DNA? Let me school you with a bit of science: a tumor also has DNA, it is your own “flesh and blood” and it also has unique DNA from the host. But does a tumor have a right to life? Absolutely not. Good try though. I “pray” that you see the light.

      • joereform says:

        You are honestly making a biological comparison between an entire human organism and cancer?

      • Soporificat says:

        @joereform

        An embryo or fetus is not an “entire human organism.” It is only a part of one, which is why it is not viable outside of its human host (at least until about 6 or 7 months into the pregnancy). I would, in fact, say that it is more comparable to a tumor than it is to a full human being.

      • joereform says:

        @Soporificat

        Really? Part of an entire human organism? Where is the rest of it?

        There is a difference between being at a different stage of development and not being an organism in and of itself. There is no getting around the biological reality that what is aborted is alive, 100% human, and a discrete organism, dependent upon the mother but distinct from her. You may argue whether this human being has the rights of personhood, but it is completely erroneous to claim that it is not a genetically human organism itself.

      • megaman3 says:

        @joereform
        I’m guessing science isn’t your strong suit.
        “Really? Part of an entire human organism? Where is the rest of it?”
        It hasn’t developed yet, that’s why it cannot survive outside of the womb. A fetus is not just a tiny baby that’s growing, it is a developing organism that does not have all the parts necessary for autonomous survival.
        “…but it is completely erroneous to claim that it is not a genetically human organism itself.”
        See here you’re just dancing around the real issue with your original argument. No one is saying that a fetus is not a human organism, we’re saying that this quality is also found in tumors and organs, therefore it is not a guarantee of the right to life. And as stated above, just like a liver is not a complete organism, neither is a fetus. A fetus lacks many crucial parts that limit it’s survival outside of the mother.

      • joereform says:

        Megaman3 says:

        I’m guessing science isn’t your strong suit.

        Really? I am not the one using the terms “organ” and “organism” interchangeably.

        Then comes this:

        It hasn’t developed yet, that’s why it cannot survive outside of the womb.

        That does not make it any less an entire human organism. A symbiotic relationship between the fetus and its mother does not make the fetus any less of a genetically human organism.

        A fetus is not just a tiny baby that’s growing, it is a developing organism that does not have all the parts necessary for autonomous survival.

        By that argument, neither does an infant. Try leaving a newborn alone for three weeks and see how well it survives.

        In pro-choice world, a woman is lauded for killing her unborn and proclaiming, “My body, my choice!” Would these same people laud a woman who refused to feed or provide shelter for her newborn, declaring, “My finances, my choice!”?

      • megaman3 says:

        @joereform:
        You have to ask yourself “why can’t a fetus survive outside of the womb?” Is it because all of it’s parts have not formed yet? The answer is yes. Because it is missing parts necessary for survival it is not “a complete human organism.” Simple as that.
        And an infant is autonomous because it does not rely on another’s body parts for survival. A well programed robot could raise an infant.
        In pro-choice world, a woman is lauded for killing her unborn and proclaiming, “My body, my choice!” Would these same people laud a woman who refused to feed or provide shelter for her newborn, declaring, “My finances, my choice!”?
        I’ve already answered this question down below, but I’ll do it again seeing as you missed the point. Yes part of the consequences of sex (and giving birth) is facing the financial consequences. One of those financial consequences is providing food and shelter for an infant. However, like I stated before, paying financially and paying with your body are two very different things. Unwilling having to pay financially for some things is part of life. Unwillingly having to pay with your body is NEVER an acceptable consequence of any action you can take. So your scenario does not correlate to the pro-choice stance.

      • joereform says:

        You have to ask yourself “why can’t a fetus survive outside of the womb?” Is it because all of it’s parts have not formed yet? The answer is yes.

        Irrelevant to the topic of whether a fetus is a discrete, living human organism.

        Because it is missing parts necessary for survival it is not “a complete human organism.” Simple as that.

        Simple, yes, but not in the sense you were aiming for. The only thing a fetus needs for survival is nourishment and physical protection, which the womb is uniquely suited to provide.

        A fetus is (1) alive; (2) developing; (3) genetically human; (4) a discrete organism — absolutely dependent upon the mother at that stage, yet a separate entity from her. After conception, there is absolutely nothing that a mother genetically adds to her unborn child to make it more of a human being.

        You accuse me of being scientifically illiterate, megaman3, but it is you who fail to distinguish between an organism (e.g. a fetus), and organ (e.g. a liver), and a mass of mutated tissues (e.g. a tumor). Don’t worry: I know that it is not cognitive failure, but rather intentional obfuscation of the truth to escape the horror of what abortion actually is.

      • allen says:

        So megaman, everyone who disagrees with you is, by definition, a “troll”? That’s one way of avoiding dealing with what people have to say in a meaningful manner.

    • Octopodi says:

      “Having freedom and the free will to choose between abortion and giving birth is about maturity,responsibility and recognizing that love is also about recognizing the body&soul within you.”

      So why not give prochoicers the right to exercise that “maturity,responsibility and [recognize] that love is also about recognizing the body&soul” by, you know, giving them the “freedom” to exercise “the free will to choose” instead of outlawing it?

      • Choose Life says:

        Because the choice to end a life should not be anyone’s decision but the one who created life. There is no Constitutional protection of ‘reproductive rights’;but there is Constitutional protect to the ‘right to life’;an inalienable right endowed by our Creator!

        A women was by nature given the gift &ability to carry life in the womb;it is not enslavement,it is not a parasite, it is another human being which you have been entrusted to care for,nurture and love! If you can’t care for them it doesn’t give you the right to end their life! What is wrong with promoting adoption over abortion? I don’t hear that much from your side, most of you fight tooth &nail for the right to end your baby’s life rather than give them a chance at life, even through adoption. You are so caught up in yourselves you are not seeing the value in another human beings life and right to exist!

        Those who are unable to carry to full-term rarely die, more women &babies die from abortion than birth, we have more medical advancements to protect&save lives than in 1973 and before! Abortion should never be an option! I would give my life to bring a new life into the world than to know I took another human beings life away. Abortion ends a LIFE! Abortion is MURDER!

        What will you do when Roe v Wade is overturned one day or doctors no longer want to participate in killing babies?? Go back to the stone age?? Find a way to live with your choices or stop unwanted pregnancies rather than using abortion as your only backup plan!!

        Maternal Mortality: Childbirth vs Abortion http://j.mp/eRadF5

        Former abortion counselor,Nita Whitten:It’s a lie when they tell you they’re doing it to help women.They do it for $$ http://bit.ly/eqPgQa

        http://bloodmoney.com

        Former abortionist M.Hill,M.D:Ive taken lives of innocent babies&I ripped them from mother’s wombs w/powerful vacs http://bit.ly/eqPgQa

        Former abortionist,ALevatino,MD:I want public to know Drs know this is a person,this is a baby;not a blob of tissue http://bit.ly/eqPgQa

        Fomer Abortion Clinic Dir,Carol Everett:”We weren’t helping women — we were destroying them — and their children.”

        Abortion complication:rarely publicized,Dr. perforates uterus&pulls the bowels through the vagina,resulting in colostomy

        Common abortion complications:perforations or tears in the uterus;often result in hysterectomies. [can't have another child again!! YOU may KILL your 1st and ONLY child]Dr might cut or harm urinary tract

        Carol Everett,former abortion clinic director/owner:we put babies down a garbage disposal.Some 2nd&3rd trimester babies’ there muscle was so strong;we had to put in trash receptacles

      • Cara says:

        Because the choice to end a life should not be anyone’s decision but the one who created life.

        So you agree that only the woman carrying the pregnancy should get to make that decision! Wonderful! I’m glad you’ve seen the light.

    • Charlie Ford says:

      Should people who cannot carry a fetus to term be forced to go through a pregnancy? Of course not. I will pray for you to have compassion for people that lead real lives and make the decisions that are best for them and their families.

    • PatronStOfTofu says:

      Sometimes I just can’t resist a little troll feeding.

      Nearly 2/3 of women who have abortions already have children.

      Also, whether a fetus is human or not is irrelevant. Nothing/no one (if you insist that it’s a person) has the right to be inside a person or use a person’s body without consent.

    • Chris B says:

      I know it’s ad hominem, but I can’t help it. Is there any reason why so many anti-life/fundamentalist/right-wing/evangelicals seem to be allergic to paragraph breaks? Seriously, any possible point in the wall of text you wrote has been negated by the fact that there’s no way I can read that as is. Try studying proper writing and/or grammar techniques and try again.

    • LD says:

      The thing that really strikes me about your response is this passage:

      “When you become a mother[pregnant or after birth] you mature, you find that the world doesn’t evolve around you and your needs. You find real meaning to life and the importance of taking care of yourself&your unborn child.”

      The overall message I’m getting from this is that you believe that a woman’s highest calling in life is to bear children and nothing except that makes life worth living or allows a woman to “find real meaning to life”. It’s really disgusting that you would even make that statement. This would imply that woman that are naturally infertile and unable to bear children or cannot carry a fetus to term for a medical reason, as well as women who choose not to bear children because they don’t want to pass down deadly, dangerous, or/and painful medical disabilities (my and my S.O’s case) will never have a meaning put to their life.

      You and your kind set women’s rights back everyday in your construction of women as nothing more than incubators for more people.

      Also, you talk about the “choice” to have sex a lot, what about those unfortunate women who don’t choose to have sex? Do you think they should have to relive that trauma by bearing a child from what is an already traumatic event? Would you be willing to raise a reminder of a non-consensual encounter and be reminded daily of the horrifying experience you had to live through? Could you grow to love a child that bore a resemblance to a man who degraded you, invaded your body, and reduced you to nothing? I certainly couldn’t, and NEVER would I make someone live through that.

      I hope I never have to make that choice, I try as hard as I can to make sure that it will never be an issue (hormonal birth control and barrier method, ALWAYS), but I’m glad that the option to terminate is there.

      • Laradoll says:

        That is the same passage of her monstrous paragraph I was going to quote as well. It’s also where I stopped reading, because the rest doesn’t matter if she thinks that “becoming a mother” is a woman’s highest goal.
        If a whore can become a mother, but an influential female leader chooses not to, would she choose the whore as the “complete woman”?

    • poet says:

      Pro-life-troll: How can you respect yourself if you don’t respect your desires? Acknowledging and respecting your desires and making responsible decisions that help you both fulfill them and negotiate everything else is only the first step towards respecting yourself. What you call self-respect is actually respect for an external authority that neither knows nor asks about the individual’s feelings and reasons. Way to twist concepts.

      Concerning abstinence from (penetrative) sex, I actually think teaching that is an option, but only if it goes along with making a lot more general knowledge about sex available – e.g. teaching girls that what their bodies crave in terms of sex is orgasmic pleasure, and that penetration will, for most of them, not be the thing that causes this kind of pleasure, and there are better and safer ways to reach it that neither transmit STDs nor risks pregnancy… Of course as long as the abstinence-only advocates also consider these means sinful, there is no way that abstinence is going to become a realistic option.

      Awesome article, Andrea. As a person with a similarly constraining religious background who turned more liberal as she grew up, I appreciate whenever stories like this are told. Thanks!

    • one humanist says:

      Like I’ve always said, an issue that is often overlooked in these anti-choice debates is QUALITY OF LIFE. If a woman is unequipped to support another life – monetarily, physically, emotionally – often the best and most humane decision is to terminate. Unplanned pregnancies happen even, like it or not, when a woman and her partner use contraception responsibly; planned pregnancies sometimes have to be terminated for medical reasons, too. Hypothetically, should a woman be forced to endure a pregnancy when she knows that the child will not survive outside of the womb or will have a debilitating condition for which she cannot financially, psychologically, or otherwise maintain? Should she be stripped of her right to abort when her life is in jeopardy and carrying to term could mean her death sentence? If her IUD slips out of place, should she be demonized for using a trusted method of birth control in the first place?

      Just today I read an article that sums up the anti-choice position. “Life begins at conception and ends at birth”. Surely the definition of “pro-life” should include some regard for life outside the womb until a person’s death, no? If you want to call yourself pro-life, consider universal healthcare, not the abolition of choice.

    • Rinna0601 says:

      First of all, you’re a judgmental, holier-than-thou, self-righteous individual, but someday you will have to answer for those character flaws to a higher power than me so I’ll leave that alone.

      Second, your entire essay was about how the world doesn’t revolve around women’s needs, it’s only about people other than women. That kind of attitude is EXACTLY THE PROBLEM. Women have been told since the beginning of time that they don’t matter. That their needs aren’t important. That they were only placed on the earth to be unpaid servants and victims of society. The anti-choice movement seeks to continue this draconian attitude with its rhetoric about how only selfish women have abortions. How dare a woman actually think about herself? According to your movement, she should know better than to think she actually matters!

      Go spread your misogyny someplace else.

    • Cara says:

      Dr Tiller said ‘nobody WANTS an abortion’….then why should it be an option??

      Because sometimes things go wrong. Yes, even with a WANTED pregnancy, things can sometimes go horribly wrong and endanger the woman’s life if the pregnancy isn’t ended.

      (Oh, and also because it’s none of YOUR business what another woman does with her body.)

    • DJ Shiva says:

      @Choose Life:

      Thank the universe run-on sentences, lack of paragraph breaks and long-winded rants are not inherited through DNA.

    • ProThought says:

      @Choose Life – Dr Tiller said ‘nobody WANTS an abortion’….then why should it be an option??

      I think I understand what you’re saying here but I think you’re missing the point. It is a part of life to have to do things we don’t WANT to do. With abortion it’s not I WANT to have a baby and I DO NOT WANT to have an abortion, it’s often I do not want to do EITHER. Since many women do not want to have babies should that not be considered an option either?

      Life often forces us to make decisions that we would prefer not to have to deal with. Really choosing life, I choose to support the autonomy of every women to know what is best for themselves, keeping or aborting a pregnancy.

      It often seems to me that anti-choice rhetoric is absolutely filled with the need for consequences to “slutty” behavior. It seems to me that Andrea has done a good job of exposing the use of “slutty” to mean sexually active women (honestly it pains me that there are women who have never experienced an orgasm) but to bring this to a higher level the following article does an excellent job or articulating the obsession with consequences that the morality of the conservative movement is hinged upon.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/george-lakoff/what-conservatives-really_b_825504.html

  14. bookworm1394 says:

    This is amazing. It takes a big person to change their views on anything, and I applaud you for having the guts to tell everyone all about it.

  15. johnnykaje says:

    “Dr Tiller said ‘nobody WANTS an abortion’….then why should it be an option??”

    Why are root canals and invasive surgeries and breast augmentations options? I don’t think anybody “wants” them either.

    • Annie says:

      Um, I HAD to have a root canal. It was infected and the poison from the infection could have killed me.

      And I CHOSE to have an abortion because it was the best thing for my health, my life, and my future children’s lives.

  16. Marysia says:

    Choose Life–Sounds like you believe that wanting to have a normal, healthy sex life while minimizing the chances of pregnancy and motherhood is somehow inherently selfish. And that a woman almost has to become a biological parent before she can become anything but selfcentered!

    with such unfair and demeaning attitudes like that, it’s understandable why the “prolife” movement loses a lot of young women. I have been fighting such attitudes for decades now and I’m not going to quit doing this–because I respect *all* lives, including the lives of women!

    And don’t tell me I’m “not really prolife”–not after the gauntlet of slut-shamers I had to run through in order to give my daughter life!!! I shouldn’t have had to face that. No woman should.

    Prolife needs to be about preventing prenatal lifetaking through abortion. By actively helping young women-and all women who might experience unintended pregnancies to *prevent.* And to get through & beyond difficult pregnancies with nothing but the utmost support for themselves and their children.

    Of course, this means *at every turn* boys and men must be educated and called to the utmost responsibility for their sexual and reproductive behaviors!

    You are praying for Andrea’s conversion. Now, I disagree with her on abortion itself…I
    But maybe it is you and much of the “prolife” movement as such who need a conversion–to the plan of action for reducing unintended pregnancies and abortions that she articulates. Abortion would become practically a moot point if such a plan were realized.

  17. Annie says:

    AMAZING! I LOVED this!

  18. Not Guilty says:

    I’ve always been pro-choice (likely by virtue of being Canadian) so it is very interesting to read these “conversion” stories.

    Also, I really love the anti attacks on atheists. @Choose life, I assure you I value life more than you. I don’t just “pray” for those in need, I go help. Give it a try someday.

  19. Choose Life says:

    Obviously the pro-choicers/my body,my uterus women disagree with me…because that is what your movement is about…you…you all have me,myself&I syndrome. Yet you all support social welfare for poor&needy but at the same time turn around and say you didn’t want to burden society with your ‘mistake’. A child is NOT a mistake, regardless how conceived, a child is a gift from God. Oh yeah most of you are atheist and don’t believe in God,that is why you attack those who are Christian and pro-life. Those without faith are also without hope. What will you do if there is 1% chance there is a God and you chose to deny him in order to fulfill your own desires?? Live your life, but real freedom isn’t true freedom unless there is respect for ALL life, regardless of age,race,or economic status. Learn to accept all and find ways to stop abortion rather than fight for it as a backup plan for your ‘mistakes’! Have some personal responsibility!!

    This is not 1973, times have changed and there are more options to help support new moms,there are crisis pregnancy centers, safe-baby drop offs at hospitals, etc and there is of course adoption. Don’t be so self-serving, show true love and give life! It is only 9months of your life you need to ‘sacrifice’ if you can’t take the responsibility to be a loving parent. But you will give your child a chance at life to become someone and have a life!

    • Adrienne says:

      So…serious question here- have you ever actually read the portions of the Bible that deal with the worth of an unborn child/a fetus…? Because I think you’re being a “buffet Christian” and only choosing the things you want from that book.

      If men have a fight and one of them causes a pregnant woman to miscarry, the penalty was a fine; if the mother was harmed, it was “life for life” (Exod. 21:22,23). While a small number of politically correct fundamentalist Bibles try to fix this verse (NIV), all of the major scholarly translations think the best way to translate the literal “goes forth” in Ex. 21:22 is with the word “miscarriage.”
      This includes:

      Revised Standard Version
      The American Standard
      New English Bible
      Today’s English Version
      The Douay-Rheims Bible
      The Jerusalem Bible
      Numbers 5:17-31
      …and the priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel, and take some of the dust that is on the floor of the tabernacle and put it into the water.
      This passage describes a method by which the husband could induce an abortion, with the help of the priest. If a husband suspected that his wife had engaged in an adulterous relationship, then he would bring her to the tabernacle and the priest would make a magical drink consisting of holy water and sweepings from the tabernacle floor. He would then have the woman drink the water while he recited a curse on her. The curse would state that her abdomen would swell and her thigh waste away if she had committed adultery. If she were pregnant at this time, the curse would certainly induce a miscarriage. There is no concern about the fate of the fetus. There was no similar magical test that a woman could require of her husband if she suspected him of adultery.

      Leviticus 27:6
      If the person is from a month old up to five years old, your valuation shall be…
      A child was only given a value after the age of one month; boys were worth five shekels; girls three. Below the age of one month they were given no monetary value.

      Numbers 3:15
      …every male from a month old and upward you shall number.
      Only male babies over one month of age were counted as persons during a census. A baby under one month of age and a fetus were not counted as a person.

      Hosea 13:16
      …their little ones will be dashed to the ground; their pregnant women ripped open.
      Genesis 38:24
      Tamar was found to be pregnant and because she was a widow, without a husband, she was assumed to be a prostitute. Her father-in-law Judah ordered that she be burned alive for her crime. If Tamar’s twin fetuses had been considered to have any value whatsoever, her execution would have been delayed until after their birth. There was no condemnation on Judah for deciding to take this action. (Judah later changed his mind when he found out that HE had impregnated Tamar when she posed as a prostitute.)

      2 Kings 15:16
      He [Menahem, king of Israel] sacked Tiphsah and ripped open all the pregnant women. He apparently was angry that the people of Tiphsah refused to open the gates of the city. The king obviously gave no value to the life of a fetus.

      Numbers 31:17-18
      Now, kill all the boys. And kill every women who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.
      Moses, under orders from God, ordered the soldiers to kill every boy and non-virgin woman. Many of the latter would be pregnant so their fetus was killed too. Thirty two thousand female virgins were spared because they had value to the men. The fetuses were destroyed, because they were perceived to have no value.

      Deuteronomy 2:34
      And we captured all his cities at that time and utterly destroyed every city, men, women, and children; we left none remaining;…
      They exterminated all of the people, including children and the fetuses of pregnant women –- under the instruction of the God of the Bible. This is an early example of ethnic cleansing.

      1 Sam. 15:3; see Ezekiel 9:6
      Thus says the LORD… kill both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.
      The Bible contains over 600 laws governing everything from fabrics to how to cut a beard yet contains no law prohibiting abortion. Jesus never mentioned it. As the Oxford Companion to the Bible notes:

      Biblical legislation, as in Leviticus 27:3-7, indicates that the lives of children as well as women were not valued as highly as those of adult men, while no value whatsoever was given to a child under the age of one month. There is no indication that a fetus had any status.

      • SoyShake says:

        This is really interesting – thank you for posting this!

      • The Champ says:

        Thats all old test, and so rendered sorta irrelevant. Like eating shelfish.

      • megaman3 says:

        @ The Champ
        Oh sure when it comes to fetus rights the old testament is irrelevant, but when it comes to homosexuality it’s the indisputable word of god. Talk about pick and choosing your morals.

      • poet says:

        I love it when a non-extremist knows this historical document called Bible well enough to use it to refute extremist arguments.

      • allen says:

        Sorry to spoil your fun, but you do real that Christians don’t follow the legal codes of the Old Testament, don’t you? As for abortion, the reason for a Christian to oppose it is the same as the reasons for opposing capital punishment, warfare, racism and the lack of health access for the needy – because we are all made in the image and likeness fo God and all human life is sacred.

      • Personally, I don’t think God made man in his image. -I think it was the other way around.

    • Fi says:

      It is medically safer to have an abortion than to carry a baby to full term. The dangers of pregnancy are quite high, and for a woman to ‘put up’ with this is hardly a small ask.

    • Claudes says:

      “you all have me,myself&I syndrome. Yet you all support social welfare for poor&needy but at the same time turn around and say you didn’t want to burden society with your ‘mistake’.”

      If we all have this supposed syndrome then why do we support social welfare for those in need of it? You shot yourself in the foot right there – surely if we were all that selfish we’d insist on keeping all our money for ourselves and leave the poor to make their own way. Just because we support something it doesn’t mean we have to join the ranks of the people it’s helping.

      I think you must be a man. No woman would say that pregnancy is merely 9 months of sacrifice, you are completely ignorant of the physical and mental strain it puts on her body. You need to actually sit here and read this fantastic article and then have a good, hard think about what you’re saying.

      • Choose Life says:

        You have ‘me,myself&I syndrome’ when it comes to the life of the unborn;yet you are the biggest hypocrites when you claim to care about humanity and fight for social welfare programs. It makes me question what you truly believe, some on here have already said that the poor should not be allowed a life because they will ‘burden’ society. Yet at the same time you claim to care about the poor. That is my point!

        I didn’t say you should have a child because you want to live on welfare, it is suppose to be a temporary system,yet some abuse it. However, if you are all about empowering yourself and being independent and able to take care of yourself, why can’t you also care enough about another human being which you carry in your womb?? Why do they have to become a victim to your ‘selfish’ ways because you believe pregnancy is uncomfortable or you don’t want to be pregnant. Should have thought about that before taking the chance at having a baby!

      • toad says:

        Why do they have to become a victim to your ‘selfish’ ways because you believe pregnancy is uncomfortable or you don’t want to be pregnant. Should have thought about that before taking the chance at having a baby!

        Are you twelve? Pregnancy isn’t “uncomfortable,” it can KILL YOU. I can’t imagine how clueless you must be to miss the fact that your comment is dripping with the very slut-shaming that Grimes described in her post.

    • Not Guilty says:

      What if you believe in the wrong God? What if the Hindu God Krishna is the one true God? Or Allah? Or Ganesh? Or Zeus? You and I are both atheists, I just believe in one god less than you. If you picked the wrong God, you are in no better position than me, but something tells me you aren’t worried about that and perhaps are even scoffing at that idea. Well I scoff at your God as much as I scoff at Krishna, Ganesh, Allah and Zeus.

      Yes I believe in the social welfare state but a) why would I WANT to be be on welfare and b) not having kids right now has nothing to do with not wanting to be a burden. I don’t want kids now, or maybe ever. And that is a good enough reason.

      Take some of the other advice, actually DO something to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Support comprehensive sex-ed, free birth control, and stop slut-shaming.

      • Choose Life says:

        I never said anything about slut shaming…but if that’s how you feel it must be your own self-conscience. Whether you believe in any god or God you are not showing a sense of compassion for human life when you are so willing to end it. Thank God more women don’t think like the pro-choice movement or we’d all become extinct one day.

      • megaman3 says:

        @Choose Life
        “Thank God more women don’t think like the pro-choice movement or we’d all become extinct one day.”
        Of course! If every woman does not keep every pregnancy she has, we will for sure become extinct!!! /sarcasm
        Oh you’re always good for a laugh. Clearly you’ve run out of steam as your arguments are getting more and more ridiculous.

    • bluejeans says:

      “Merely nine months of sacrifice?”

      Give me a break.

      People acting like “oh, just HAVE the baby and give it up for adoption if you don’t want it!” really piss me off. As if it’s no big deal. As if there aren’t risks. As if there aren’t lasting physical and psychological consequences. I have never met a mother who would minimize pregnancy this way. Have you ever been pregnant? Had a kid?

      Listen, I made the decision I did for reasons that were both pragmatic and personal. It was not the right time for me to have a baby, and, as I said, it would not be a good decision for the welfare of a potential future baby anyway. A child is not a burden, you say? Okay, well, look at the number of kids on government aid. Look at the number of kids in foster care. Look at the complex laws around adoption that vary by state — giving a kid up for adoption is not somehow “easy.” And yes, it might be nice to say “no child is a burden” from where you sit, but it smacks of idealism and not pragmatic experience with the facts. If I had a kid, yes, I would walk hell to keep us supported, but why would I put either of us in a dodgy, tricky, unstable situation like that?

      George Tiller used to wear a button that said “Trust Women.” Maybe you should think about that a little.

      • Choose Life says:

        “As if there aren’t lasting physical and psychological consequences”

        And like there are not physical and psychological consequences of having an abortion?? Your argument is fruitless and like I said above, the whole pro-choice movement is a ‘me,myself,and I’ syndrome. A loving person would put their child in the womb or out before their own needs and wants!! A child in the womb is the result of the act of sex, it is a fertilized egg, a natural consequence to having sex. I hate how you pro-abort people care so little about another human life because you are so much more important. It’s no longer all about you when you make the decision to have sex and it results in a pregnancy, planned or unplanned. Birth control is not 100% safe&effective, live with the natural result of your actions and take some PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY! It’s not ‘slut-shaming’, stop making it all about you!! Many women who have abortions are married and in relationships, that doesn’t make them sluts. If they choose to have an abortion it just makes them immature, or uncaring and puts their needs above another human life, one of their own flesh&blood! Stop dehumanizing a fetus, a human life in your womb just so you can live your life the way you want!! It’s unbelievable how you don’t see how selfish it sounds!! Then you wonder why people call you selfish….geeze!

        You people who choose abortion as an alternative to having a baby treat it like a form of birth control when your method fails or when you failed to use contraceptives,then you argue it should be to save women’s lives. What a lie! 98% of women who have abortions do it for ‘convenience’ because they weren’t planning to have a child, and want to put their life first. You continue to call the result of your decision/’choice’ a ‘mistake’ and compare another human life to enslavement, a parasite or something else but another human life. Pregnancy is a NATURAL result, you and no other human being should have the right to take another innocent human life. There is another life inside you, one with it’s very own unique DNA, heart, organs, etc depending what stage you choose to abort. YOU ARE ENDING ANOTHER LIFE!!

        What kind of society do we live in when women like you justify having an abortion, ending the life of your own flesh&blood, as a ‘reproductive right’! It is not a ‘reproductive right’, because it takes two to create that life, the male sperm and the female egg. Where are the fatherless men who lose their rights to parent these aborted children?? What about their reproductive rights and parental rights?? Sure a woman has the womb and carries the child for 9 months but that does not make the baby more yours than his. When a child is born the child is equally his as it is yours, and this should also be true in the womb. Father’s are not given equal paternal rights and reproductive rights to their kids, look at how courts often find in favor of mother’s in custody suits! More men need to stand up for their rights to parent the child if you are not able or willing to be the nurturing and responsible adult.

        Parenting is about RESPONSIBILITY! Becoming a parent is also about MATURITY! Whether you are a teen or an unmarried woman doesn’t mean that you have the right to end anyone’s life. You will live with the psychological consequences and in some cases physical consequences, [http://rachelsvineyard.com] including the possibility you become sterile and unable to have another child ever! Stop claiming to be concerned about the welfare of others and demanding social entitlement programs when you turn around and say a baby doesn’t deserve to live because they may live on government assistance! Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, would love the ‘pro-choice’ women, she was all about eugenics, population control and ending the life of those less worthy, such as the poor, disable or certain minorities like the blacks. See http://blackgenocide.com for more info or http://maafa21.com
        Desperation doesn’t excuse acting desperately;like the thief who robs because he’s broke.

        Adoption laws should be improved, but it still doesn’t make it RIGHT to end another HUMAN LIFE!! Give them the equal chance to live as you had. If everyone thought like you self-serving, ‘pro-choice’ women, there would eventually no longer be a society! We would become extinct! Thank God their are people willing to take responsibility for their actions and raise the child or put them up for adoption. We live in a society that is more accepting of single parents, along with more assistance out there for these women&children, there is even less reason to choose abortion as an option. Empower yourself and make the right decision by choosing to give LIFE! After all, the feminist movement is about empowerment and independence, if you are so independent and empowered then you must also be successful or capable of caring for yourself and another person! Get off your high-horse!!

        PS
        And yes I have two children, I wouldn’t change that for anything. I had two difficult pregnancies, as I didn’t have my children until 35 and 38! Thank God they are healthy and happy! I am blessed to be in a loving marriage and found a responsible and loving husband who would want another child if we unexpectedly have another. We aren’t wealthy but we are loving and care about humanity and the future of society. If we end children’s lives in the womb before they have a chance to begin we take away valuable contributors to society in the future. No wonder social security is broke, 51M children have been aborted and weren’t able to contribute to society!

        Women with post abortion regrets tell their stories http://www.gargaro.com/regrets.html

      • megaman3 says:

        Oh choose life, you’re fighting a loosing battle. Let me sum up your essay: lies about abortion, judgment, judgment, and more judgment, and then an anecdotal website about women who have had abortions. I have one of those too: http://www.imnotsorry.net/
        Check it out, you might learn something…

      • toad says:

        And like there are not physical and psychological consequences of having an abortion??

        Even if postabortion syndrome were a real phenomenon— the best research indicates that it isn’t—that doesn’t eliminate the risk of postpartum depression, or change the fact that maternal mortality rates are more than twenty times greater than abortion mortality rates.

        Sorry, Choose Life. Try again.

      • Laradoll says:

        “Pregnancy is a NATURAL result, you and no other human being should have the right to take another innocent human life. There is another life inside you, one with it’s very own unique DNA, heart, organs, etc depending what stage you choose to abort. YOU ARE ENDING ANOTHER LIFE!!”

        Weeds are also a Natural result. Imagine all those lives you are ending when you pay for your chemlawn, or even simply pull them from your garden. They have DNA, and even intricate organs as well.

        I’m not saying that abortion isn’t ending a life, I just want to emphasize that Innocent Lives are ended every second for your meals, your clothes, and your very breath.

    • Sarah B. says:

      I hope and pray that you will be converted to the joy of using the space bar. Sheesh.

      • Bridge says:

        Someone needs to enroll in English 101 and learn the proper use of commas, spaces and apostrophes. I cannot even take her argument seriously.

      • megaman3 says:

        Haha, no kidding. I’m just glad she learned how to make paragraph breaks. She’s evolving!

    • Allison says:

      “Obviously the pro-choicers/my body,my uterus women disagree with me…because that is what your movement is about…you…you all have me,myself&I syndrome. ”

      Of course, this above all is the point. There is nothing wrong with having a family when you make the decision and I fully support it. However, women are not predetermined to serve others, bear children, or make the “proper” and “lady-like” decision. I am proud to say that I put myself first and I do what is best for me. I chose who and what is important in my life and I set my own priorities. We as women finally have the right to be selfish and I am not ashamed to say that.

  20. megaman3 says:

    “Live your life, but real freedom isn’t true freedom unless there is respect for ALL life”
    Exactly. You are soo focused on the fetus that you can’t see the fact that pregnant women have rights too. Whether a fetus has the rights of a child or not is irrelevant. No one has the right to use someone else’s body parts to survive. Fetuses are not the exception to this rule. Let me put this into perspective. Let’s say that you need a blood transfusion to survive. If the hospital has no supply of donated blood, you’re out of luck. You cannot force anyone to donate blood to you, no matter how badly you need it. The same goes for a fetus. A fetus cannot force the mother to donate her blood, her organs, her body to itself. It nor anyone else has that right.
    The moral of the story is, if you’re going to say that abortion can be restricted, then you’re also saying that we can force others to give blood and donate their organs. If so, then I’ll make sure to call upon you if and when I need a new kidney.
    Also, atheists call out christians when you guys are trying to force your ideology onto everyone else. You christians all act like you have the right to mandate how I live my life. Why do you care? Live your life the way that you think is right and I’ll do the same. It’s not your job to judge me.

  21. Jen says:

    “The issue couldn’t possibly be up for real debate, to my mind: either you were a baby-killer slut, or you behaved like a proper Christian woman and only let him get to third base.”

    Andrea, I respectively would like to make a case that you are still presenting the argument in terms of the same overly simplified dichotomy, as suggested by the following quote.

    “I believe wanting to take that choice away from others is deeply about shame and punishment and judgment, and not about righteousness and love.”

    I agree with one of your other commenters that there are a whole host of other positions in the middle of these two polar opposite possitions you occupied at different points in your life. I’m not arguing your current position is wrong, I’m just saying it doesn’t leave room for anyone with a less black and white view of the issue. I think what cripples us on this issue is both sides’ inability to hear the other side or consider the more nuanced positions that do not fall into simple boxes. There are some people who have deep spiritualities and spiritual convictions about this issue that have nothing to do with shame or arbitrary judgement, something that I think has nothing to do with a truly contemplative spirituality. Not every religious, spiritual or even Christian person has this fundamentalist view of spirituality or abortion. I do personally think it’s morally questionable, and because of the word “questionable” and inpart because of the word “moral” I don’t think it should be legally banned, and certainly not in the case of rape or incest. In fact, I would argue that extremist considerations recently to limit abortion in either of those cases have only arisen due to this stringent dichotomy between the two sides that fight tooth and nail for the most extreme positions rather than realizing this is a nuanced issue with a middle ground. There are moral issue we do legislate, like outright murder for instance, but we legislate them because they are for the most part less morally nuanced issues (except in the case of capital punishment and some would argue abortion) that we for the most part collectively agree should be legislated. I also don’t consider the day after pill an abortion. But again, that is another very nuanced distinction on a very nuanced question that I don’t think is easily reduceable to the dichotomies you present. Is the position you present a point of view worthy of consideration? Of course? But I would argue it doesn’t fully capture the moral, ethical, political, spiritual, religious, social and personal complexity of the issue. I do think abortion is something we should discuss soulfully and contemplatively as a nation, and is something we should want to actively limit, if not legislatively at least in terms of how we move through this world, whether it through increasing access to sex education, increasing services to women of low ecomomic status who may choose an abortion for financial reasons, and engaging people to think comtemplatively about the issue etc. I think the pro choice camp is so afraid of losing ground on the issue, in the same way the pro life camp is, that it doesn’t want to consider the moral implications because that would require concessions or risks of losing ground, which I would argue is a machievalian way to address the issue. I think we should want to limit abortion at least in terms of our own personal choices because we cannot say for sure when life begins whether you consider yourself pro life, pro choice or some nuanced place in between. And whenever there is a chance we could be ending a life, it’s certainly something we should want to limit. The saddest part to me about how I experience your commentary though is the idea that a fulfilling sex life somehow justifies this choice without a self reflective process of what that means in terms of personal responsibility and moral culpibility, something more nuanced than shame and judgement. I am in full support of a full and fullfilling sex life, but also for embracing the consequences of that choice by both parties involved. It’s one thing to challenge dogma and what I would call the frequent misinterpretation and misapplication by many fundamentalist religions that sometimes claim to have a hubristic hold on exactly what “truth” is. It’s another to completely remove the moral context of an issue, and even worse, a deeply moral issue… because any time you are discussing ending what may in fact be life, you are grappling with a deeply moral issue. I accept people will come to different moral conclusions on when life begins and how to address the issue of abortion, but to throw out with the bathwater the spiritual and moral context of this issue and life in general would make for a not very comtemplative discussion. I would also make the case that when we sexually connect with another person with the full awareness of what that connection means and could mean… that it could involve creative a beating heart… a living being… that that sex is going to be epically more fullfilling than varrying degrees of less connected sex. And I think if someone disconnects from all the implications of sex, they are in part disconnecting from the sex on some level. I think you made a good point about how the way you were raised to judge the issue did not prepare you to think about it contemplatively when you first began having sex and had a pregnancy scare. But I would also make the case that removing the moral context creates the same situation. Taking birth control may make getting pregnant less likely, but it’s not going to necessarily make a person more contemplative about the implications if that birth control were to fail. Birth control is also a whole other complicated issue. I had a friend become seriously ill from complication from birth control when the high copper content of her pill triggered an underlying condition that nearly caused irreparable cognitive damage. Knowing the known and often underreported health effects of taking a drug that alters your hormones, I would never take the pill. The pill is another way women have been forced to alter their bodies in this society and another way where women have been expected to take responsibility for birth control. For those looking for a healthier alternative, indiginous cultures have successfully used topical neem oil to prevent pregnancy, and in fact, neem extract taken internally by men has worked as a male birth control as well. There has been one study that has supported this, but more studies are needed to find a way to standarize the amount needed and determine what percentage of birth control is achieved.

    With all that said, thank you for sharing your deeply personal journey in a really raw way. It definitely made me think about this issue. And I think anytime we all think about it, that we all are going to grapple with it a little bit more fully each time. I know there must be ways I can think about it more contemplatively, less judgementally, and all the other adverbs we could throw in here.

    • bluejeans says:

      I respect where you’re coming from — but take a second to think about the statement that “abortion shouldn’t be banned, especially not in cases of rape or incest.” Why *especially?* This is where I think the logic fails, particularly with folks who say that abortion should *only* be legal in cases of rape or incest — you are not one of those, and I recognize that, I’m just pointing out the echoes in your phrasing. Women in those cases are “innocent.” They have not done anything to *deserve* pregnancy. Do you see how that kind of thinking aligns with what Andrea is outlining above? The rest of us who get pregnant by our own sexual decisions should have to bear the child, because we should have to bear the consequences of our actions. The *consequences.*

      Such a view of abortion can’t help but fall into that logic. I respect your personal moral qualms about the issue, and willingness to defend those who want to think hard about the ethics involved, but I have my own spirituality, and I have no such qualms. I think the reason Andrea is coming out of the gate fierce on this is that the people who DO have moral qualms are often not content to make their own decisions about what is right or wrong, and seek to impose limits on others — unlike you, who want abortion to remain legal while not necessarily believing it would be the right decision for you. If people would stop seeing “pro-choice” as “pro-abortion,” maybe we’d all get somewhere. :)

  22. Marysia says:

    Choose Life, instead of berating women as selfish and irresponsible-why not instead put that energy into criticizing and challenging a society that makes unintended/crisis pregnancies and abortions practically inevitable?

    What about all the failures of shared, public, collective responsibility that are involved in the high US abortion rate?

    What about the selfishness and irresponsibility of a society that is perfectly willing to squander trillions on destroying life through pointless wars but begrudges a poor pregnant or parenting women every stingily meted out penny of any social welfare program that she or her child might qualify for?

    As much as I oppose abortion itself-I’ve never met someone who had one just because they were some feckless, bored, egomaniacal person. No, they were trying to do their best in the face of difficult circumstances, where they felt they had few to no other or better choices.

    if you don’t want women to have abortions, then you have an unavoidable responsibility. you must work your rump off so that women have substantive reasons *not* to have abortions!

    As for religion-there are plenty of Christians who identify as prochoice on abortion, and plenty of other-than-Christians who identify as prolife. This issue does not divide up in the ways you insist it does.

    • Choose Life says:

      “What about all the failures of shared, public, collective responsibility that are involved in the high US abortion rate?

      What about the selfishness and irresponsibility of a society that is perfectly willing to squander trillions on destroying life through pointless wars but begrudges a poor pregnant or parenting women every stingily meted out penny of any social welfare program that she or her child might qualify for?”

      Society has failed collectively in NOT ending abortion. However, it won’t end as long as there is a demand for it. As I said above: The more our society pushes for abortion the harder it makes preventing abortion. As someone posted earlier, Dr Tiller said ‘nobody WANTS an abortion’….then why should it be an option?? Why not encourage women to have the babies and find ways of coping with their pregnancy, choosing adoption or learning to accept they are now responsible to someone other than themselves?? That is why many crisis pregnancy centers exist now and why there are safe baby programs now. There is NO excuse to abandon a newborn in a toilet nor abort it because you are afraid to carry through the pregnancy. The many women I have spoken with who defend their ‘choice’ to abort say it comes down to THEIR choice,THEIR reproductive rights, THEIR body, blah,blah blah. Or there are those who say a fetus is not a baby, therefore not a person,therefore it isn’t murder. They dehumanize the fact that a fetus is a baby,another human life in order to justify abortion as not being murder. But, the fact remains abortion terminates, ends a LIFE forever! Even with so called, ‘safe,legal’ abortions there are survivors, like http://giannajessen.com who survive botched abortions and may have disabilities, but still find life fulfilling and have to learn to overcome the fact that there own mother once tried to end their life before they had a chance to love and be loved! True love is giving, not self-serving, but the willingness to give of yourself to someone else. Just like the love Andrea had for her new boyfriend, but it doesn’t mean you give up responsibility or yourself to share your love.

      As for spending money on self-defense for our military,that is one of the main roles of our federal government, our government must protect&defend our borders and sometimes it requires having to go to other countries where the enemies reside to keep them from coming into our country or attacking us again like on 9/11. We don’t deny women & children welfare, who really need it, however we do NOT want to encourage irresponsible behavior and want people be to productive citizens in society. The more handouts you give the more people tend to abuse the system, such as those who continue to have more kids just to collect more welfare. There has to be a limit to how much we help people get back on their feet or to make something of themselves. You have a responsibility as a citizen and responsible adult to do that for yourself and your children. It is not anyone else’s job to do, but we do have welfare programs when needed. However, if you haven’t noticed our country is 14+Trillion in debt and money doesn’t grow on trees, though this administration seems to think they can keep printing and borrowing us into debt without regard for currency devaluation and leaving our children and grandchildren in debt! This is why we have to have limits on how long someone should collect welfare, unemployment,etc.

      Why aren’t pro-choice women more about supporting other ‘choices’ rather than keeping ‘abortion’ as the only solution to their ‘failed choices’ or ‘failed birth control’? It is final and ENDS a LIFE!

      • Marysia says:

        Choose Life, I don’t understand how you can oppose abortion, then support war–especially wars which most just war proponents not only pacifists like me would define as unjust- and slashing social programs in practically the same breath.

        it is not true that our social welfare system serves everyone who needs help. my family has lived in poverty, in a predominantly low income neighborhood of color, i have also been a social worker, and i can tell you quite confidently that (1) the available aid is a mere drop in the bucket (2) millions of people can’t access even that little bit and they sink like stones.

        the crisis pregnancy centers you praise, in order to help pregnant women, rely heavily on their connections and referrals to those very “handout” programs you criticize! trust me, i’ve worked in maternal child welfare!

        in my own family, such programs have eased women’s difficulties in unplanned pregnancies and made it possible for them to choose life. don’t knock these programs! please campaign militantly for them!

        “unhealthy dependence on welfare” is far, far less an issue than the fact that one of the wealthiest nations on Earth also has one of the highest abortion rates–and it’s not like we don’t know what the solutions could be.

        and anyway the welfare dependency thing has some really nasty overtones and origins that i as a multiply disabled woman and feminist from the working classes and as a member of a Black/White family cannot countenance!

  23. Margo says:

    I’m going to print this article out and bring it to the man who stands on city hall lawn with giant anti-abortion posters all the time. I have been meaning to ask him why he doesn’t volunteer to teach comprehensive sex ed with all that free time, but I think this article might hit closer to home. Thanks!

  24. Pingback: I used to be a pro-life Republican. | HAY LADIES! – Christian Headlines

  25. Wonderful article, Andrea. It’s one of your best.

    “safe, easy and affordable access to contraception and good, honest medical information disseminated by doctors and medical professionals without religious agendas”

    Absolutely. If pro-lifers *really* cared about reducing abortions, they would be the leaders in safe, easy, and affordable access to contraception. Instead, I can’t tell you how many lies and half-truths I’ve heard about the dreaded Pill. Is it possible that pro-choice supporters have been more effective in reducing abortions through contraception advocacy?

  26. Tony says:

    Great article that really contrasts political opinions handed down from childhood authority figures with realities faced by women like yourself in everyday life.

  27. Kerry says:

    Why comment on an article discussing slut-shaming with phrases that urge women to face the “consequences” of a healthy sex life? Newsflash: that’s slut-shaming. Saying things like “take responsibility for your actions!” assumes that all women who engage in pre-marital sex and subsequently have abortions are immature, irresponsible whores who have no self-control.

    Have you ever considered, even for a moment, that the decision to have an abortion was the most responsible decision? For many women, this decision is a PARENTING choice, one that is made with the fetus’s well-being at heart.

    Adoption is a solution for those who do not wish to be parents. It is not, however, a solution for those who do not wish to, or simply cannot be pregnant. Sometimes abortion is the best (or even only) option. Most women who have abortions do not come to this decision lightly, and they most certainly do not come to it out of selfishness.

    Andrea, thank you for writing this article. It really gets to the heart of the issue, and it is refreshing to hear from someone who made a conscious decision to change her way of thinking. Change is scary. It is so difficult to look yourself in the mirror and say, “I’m wrong. I’ve always been wrong,” much less do it publicly. I have so much respect for you.

    • bluejeans says:

      You said what I was trying to say, but possibly more calmly. If more people understood that abortion can be — often is — a parenting decision, I think a lot of arguments would fall by the wayside.

      Of course, I also don’t understand why “making a medical choice about your own body” is “selfish.” So there’s that.

  28. Jack Richards says:

    Prochoicers favour allowing the woman the right to have the child killed if she deems the pregnancy inconvenient. Abortion is wrong because it is the deliberate killing of the innocent unborn child in the womb. Its a deliberate killing. The unborn child’s life is just snuffed out. You are forgetting that a life is being snuffed out.
    Just take a look at a few sonograms such as the following:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNOzLYG3ep8
    Note the babies moving. The term fetus is often used to deny this. The sonograms prove the existence of the baby. Prochoicers are prepared to allow the killing of babies such as these. This has nothing to do with religious extremism. You are dealing with children’s lives. You must focus on that. Does your conscience allow you to have an unborn child deprived of its life? Even if you dont believe in any religion that is the reality.
    The fifth commandment of God states that thou shall not kill.
    If a woman is uncomfortable with a pregnancy she can have the child ADOPTED. Many married couples would love to adopt a child.
    Much better to have the child adopted rather than killed. Abortion is FINAL. The child is killed and there is no come back. The mother is then deprived of son/daughter/grandchildren.
    Please think about what I have posted.

    • Donovan says:

      “If a woman is uncomfortable with a pregnancy she can have the child ADOPTED”

      Right out of her womb? Can they do that now? Cause that’s the only way I can see ADOPTION helping out with PREGNANCY. There are many other problems with your argument, a lot of false assumptions about what people who aren’t yourself want and feel.

      I’m weary of anti-abortioners swinging around misunderstood scientific evidence to prove that pro-choice kills all the babies; it is often irrelevant to the actual conversation we are trying to have, and it often strikes of ignorance or deliberate misrepresentation.

    • Octopodi says:

      There are many, many children in our world and in our country who do not succeed in getting adopted. Adoption is not the magical cure for unintended pregnancy. Furthermore, until about 6 months into pregnancy, the fetus cannot survive without the mother’s ecosystem around it. This is why our CURRENT abortion legislation makes 3rd trimester abortions illegal (also because they are dangerous) and restricts 2nd trimester abortions. The fetus is not “murdered” – it is simply taken off life support. You could never legislatively force me to hook myself up to another already-born person and support his or her life for 6-9 months, why should a fetus have the right to shackle my body in this way?

      Murder is what Kermit Gosnell did to both women and independently viable fetuses that were born alive, and he was able to do what he did because safe and affordable abortions were not available to those women, and because many people failed to follow up on numerous reports about his clinic’s violations. Prolifers should be conducting investigative reporting about clinics like that, rather than bogus stings on Planned Parenthood, and prolife preoccupation with attacking prochoicers verbally but allowing a clinic like that to keep on running for so very long and claim so many lives just goes to show how much is rhetoric and how much is true humanitarian concern.

      (And, as many posters have reiterated, better sex education and access to contraceptive measures would do wonders to reduce the number of abortions – there are kids out there who still believe you can’t get pregnant if you do it standing up, or using plastic bags as prophylatics…)

  29. I’m a mom of two, an advocate for reproductive rights, and I loved this essay!

  30. Morgan says:

    My story is almost identical to yours. But unlike you, I have not shared it with anyone who didn’t know me “back then”. You are brave, articulate, and an important contribution to ongoing conversation surrounding reproductive rights. Thank you for speaking up because there’s some of us who still can’t.

  31. Valerie says:

    Please speak for yourself. When going through an unplanned pregnancy, I was not glad or grateful that elective abortion was an option, because to me, it meant a trip to the hospital for a kidney stone turned into a battle for my daughter’s life as a nurse who never examined me kept trying to pester me into getting an abortion.

  32. Pingback: Why They Are Pro-Choice « Speaker's Corner

  33. Marysia says:

    Andrea, I think Valerie is making a valid point here. Not all women look upon abortion as a welcome alternative.

    When I was pregnant unexpectedly, in very tough circumstances, with my daughter, I felt horrified that I could have taken her life away. Just as I felt horrified by the people and societal institutions that tried to abort my own human potential, before during and after the pregnancy, through sexism, ablism, classism, racism.

    For most sexual and reproductive alternatives, I think, the appropriate response is to actively support people’s rights to make their own fully informed, publicly funded and sanctioned decisions.

    Abortion is different, though, because it involves lifetaking. And it all too often arises from a lack of better options. Thus it is a valid and necessary matter for public concern.

    But by public concern I do not mean moralistic, judgmental busybody stuff. I mean commitment to practical solutions that make it possible for women to resolve reproductive dilemmas without loss of anyone’s life.

    • Not Guilty says:

      No, Andrea has the valid point. Not all women in every circumstance will look upon abortions a reasonable alternative but all women in every circumstance appreciate being able to make decisions about their bodies without interference from others. That is the point Andrea is trying to make and you completely missed it because you are so intent on insisting that society have some discussion about “morals”.

      I think the death penalty is heinous but many US states still practice it. The point is, society doesn’t agree on morality outside general propositions that murder is wrong. The REASON people believe murder is wrong is because it infringes on the rights of another person. You telling me that abortion is a valid public concern is insulting. What I do with MY OWN body has NOTHING to do with “public concern”. Infanticide is a “public concern”. Poverty is a “public concern”. The contents of my uterus is not a “public concern.” Stop trying to make it so.

      I do NOT see abortion as amoral. Period. Your continued insistence that there is some moral discussion to be had about the contents of my uterus is getting tiring, frankly. I personally think that aborting a fetus that could survive outside the uterus, eg) 25 weeks is suspect, but I TRUST WOMEN and don’t think that we need laws to enforce MY moral belief. That being said, if a woman decides she doesn’t want to be pregnant at 25 weeks, she has every right to deliver the fetus and it can continue living outside her body.

      Stop telling me that abortion is “life taking”. It isn’t. It simply removes my uterus from the equation and if that results in the fetus not surviving, that is no different than me refusing to donate blood to save somebody’s life.

      • joereform says:

        It is vastly different than refusing to donate blood.

        In the majority of cases, the dependence of the fetus on the mother’s body was a situation she voluntarily helped to create. While the one who refuses to donate blood is, in effect, saying, “I don’t want to enter into a life-sustaining relationship with another human,” the mother who aborts is saying, “I want to escape the life-sustaining relationship I took part in fostering in the first place.”

      • megaman3 says:

        No joereform it is the same thing. Having sex is not consenting to being pregnant, just like driving a car is not consenting to dying in a car accident, just like swimming is not consenting to drowning, just like smoking is not consenting to lung cancer. Consent is consent.
        Consent is a continuous process, and while you think that having sex is consent to have a fetus rely on her body for life, a woman still has the right to recede her consent and end that process. Just like if you were to commit to giving blood and in the middle of the process decide against it, you have that right. Let me make the point obvious: no matter how desperate you are to punish women for having sex, you cannot force them to donate their bodies to a fetus. You don’t get to give fetuses extra rights just because you feel like it.

      • joereform says:

        @ megaman3

        It is this kind of childish, disingenuous comment that causes your side to lose credibility. Being pro-life may have been based on “slut-shaming” for teenaged, virginal Andrea, but there are far more well-thought-out pro-life arguments than those of your typical high school girl.

        As usual, the spin is that old men and prudish women are trying to “punish women for having sex.” The fact that we are advocating saving a human life couldn’t possibly be the motivation behind our actions, right?

        What’s funny about the blood donor analogy is that I would probably be looked at with revulsion by most of you if I had been in the hospital last week and allowed a woman to die on the operating table because I took a stance of “my blood, my choice.” No one here would be celebrating me exercising my “right to choose.” People would be accusing me of being some kind of insensitive monster, especially if I were the only one in the facility that was a viable donor for her.

        Creating a human life, even if it was an unintended consequence, carries responsibilities with it. Or are you in favor of fathers not having to pay child support if the mother carried the child to term against his wishes? Are his rights not taken away from him in that case? He was just having sex; why “punish” him for that?

      • megaman3 says:

        @ joereform,
        you’re missing the point. We’re not talking about the morality of these situations, because morality is subjective. Your personal feelings on blood donations do not trump the right to control your own body parts. I can’t help if someone judges you for not donating blood, but you will always have that right. That’s the whole point, you have a right to not donate your body parts. The morality of the situation is up to the individual.

      • megaman3 says:

        @joereform
        Also I just have to add my two cents about this comment:
        “Or are you in favor of fathers not having to pay child support if the mother carried the child to term against his wishes? Are his rights not taken away from him in that case? He was just having sex; why “punish” him for that?”
        There’s a difference between making someone pay financially and making someone pay with their body. No matter what someone does they never, ever have to give up their body parts to another. Paying financially as the consequence of an action is perfectly acceptable. Good try though.

      • Kristen says:

        @megaman3

        I have a giant logic crush on you. <3

      • joereform says:

        megaman3 spoke thusly:

        There’s a difference between making someone pay financially and making someone pay with their body. No matter what someone does they never, ever have to give up their body parts to another. Paying financially as the consequence of an action is perfectly acceptable. Good try though.

        Thanks. I think I got it now:

        For a woman, willingly having sex is not giving consent to taking on all the responsibilities of unintended motherhood. She has complete choice in the matter.

        For a man, willingly having sex is giving consent to taking on all the responsibilities of unintended fatherhood. He has absolutely no choice in the matter.

        So much for “choice.”

        And the inhumane selfishness of describing a human being that you helped create as if it were a parasitic invader shows where the hearts of most pro-choice activists are.

      • megaman3 says:

        @joereform,
        I don’t know what you are getting upset about, I’m simply pointing out the parameters in which rights work in this country. When it comes to paying financially, it is not always required to give consent (i.e. taxes). When you do something, like driving a car, you do so knowing that there could be consequences which require you to pay financially. However, there is NO action that you could take which requires that you give up the use of your body parts without your permission. Your body is personal property, and your body parts cannot be used by anyone else without your permission. This is simply how rights work here. If you don’t like this system, then that’s a totally different discussion.

      • megaman3 says:

        @joereform,
        I forgot to add this into my last post:
        For a woman, willingly having sex is not giving consent to taking on all the responsibilities of unintended motherhood. She has complete choice in the matter.

        I feel like I’m beating a dead horse hear, but yes, sex is not consent to give up your body to a fetus. Consent it consent.

        For a man, willingly having sex is giving consent to taking on all the responsibilities of unintended fatherhood. He has absolutely no choice in the matter.
        Yes, exactly, men are not the ones risking the physical consequences of pregnancy, therefore they have NO decision in someone else’s health choices. Both the man and the women pay financially when a pregnancy occurs, however only the women pays with her health, therefore only she gets to decide whether she wants to take that risk. Conclusion: not his body, not his decision. It’s as simple as that.

      • joereform says:

        I don’t know what you are getting upset about

        Don’t get a swelled head; I am hardly losing sleep over our exchange. :)

        I’m simply pointing out the parameters in which rights work in this country. When it comes to paying financially, it is not always required to give consent (i.e. taxes). When you do something, like driving a car, you do so knowing that there could be consequences which require you to pay financially. However, there is NO action that you could take which requires that you give up the use of your body parts without your permission.

        Sure there are. Here’s two that come right off the top of my head:

        1. Incarceration/the death penalty. Your actions can limit your physical freedom and even result in your bodily functions being shut completely terminated. You may be morally opposed to the latter, but, hey, “I’m simply pointing out the parameters in which rights work in this country.”

        2. Involuntarily becoming an amputee in the process of a life-saving operation. Waking up to find oneself missing limbs is hardly consensual.

        Neither of those is identical to an abortion situation, but both illustrate that control over one’s bodily destiny is not as absolute as you claim it to be.

        Your body is personal property, and your body parts cannot be used by anyone else without your permission. This is simply how rights work here. If you don’t like this system, then that’s a totally different discussion.

        “Anyone else”? I thought that the fetus was an “anything,” not an “anyone.” :)

        This is the coldness of the typical abortion advocate: the defenseless unborn child the mother helped create is looked upon as some invasive, parasitic stranger usurping the bodily rights of the woman. In order for one to justify elective abortion, one has to transform the fetus into the villain rather than the victim. I have to hand it to you: that has to take some serious psychological work to continuously maintain that position.

      • Cara says:

        For a man, willingly having sex is giving consent to taking on all the responsibilities of unintended fatherhood. He has absolutely no choice in the matter.

        Of course he has a choice! He can keep it in his pants unless he wants a baby. After all, that would be the responsible thing to do. Right, Joe?

      • joereform says:

        Of course he has a choice! He can keep it in his pants unless he wants a baby. After all, that would be the responsible thing to do. Right, Joe?

        It absolutely would be the responsible thing to do, Cara. That’s my point. Actually, it would be more accurate to say, “He can keep it in his pants unless he is willing to deal with a baby.”

        I am not anti-contraception and utilize it, but I know that every time I do “The Big Sex,” there is a possibility I may end up a father (again). If that happens, I do not expect to shirk my responsibilities in the slightest.

        But you argued for men “keeping it in their pants” if they don’t want to deal with the responsibility of a baby. Why does that not apply to a woman, again?

      • Cara says:

        Marvellous, Joe!

        So you can do your best to fulfill your responsibilities and mind your own business about other peoples’.

      • joereform says:

        Way to completely dodge the issue, Cara.

        So, in summary of Cara’s position, men are the only ones who must “keep it in their pants” to dodge the responsibilities of parenthood. Unlike the woman (according to your “logic”), once the man has sex, he has tacitly bound himself to all the possible consequences of an unintended, unwanted pregnancy.

        So much for “equality.” So much for “choice.” :)

      • Cara says:

        You’re the one dodging the issue, kiddo. The issue is that it’s none of your business. Not only is any stranger’s pregnancy your business, but, since you’re (presumably) a man you’ll never have to make that choice. You’ll never have to weigh your health against a pregancy. You’ll never have to decide whether you want to give birth or not.

        You’re a man. You simply have no dog in this fight. And that’s what pisses you types off. How dare unowned women run their own lived! Sacrilege.

      • Cara says:

        You’re the one dodging the issue, kiddo. The issue is that it’s none of your business. Not only is any stranger’s pregnancy not your business, but, since you’re (presumably) a man you’ll never have to make that choice. You’ll never have to weigh your health against a pregancy. You’ll never have to decide whether you want to give birth or not.

        You’re a man. You simply have no dog in this fight. And that’s what pisses you types off. How dare unowned women run their own lived! Sacrilege.

    • Octopodi says:

      I believe Andrea was saying that Valerie’s point is EXACTLY *THE* valid point! Valerie was uncomfortable and angry that a nurse was pestering her to make a decision that Valerie disagreed with.

      We’re falling again into the utterly false conflation of “pro-choice” with “pro-abortion” – I certainly think, and I’m 99% sure that Andrea and other pro-choice advocates would agree, that Valerie certainly should not be pestered and pressured to get an abortion – just as I should not be pestered or pressured to keep a fetus if I choose not to.

      • joereform says:

        Why not conflate? The original post attempts to universalize her teenage attitude of a pro-life stance being “slut-shaming. She continues with an ageist and sexist (and inaccurate) remark that the pro-life movement is the product of what “old men” in Congress come up with the aim of keeping women oppressed.

        Being pro-life is not a position held solely by men, nor only by anti-feminists, nor only by those who believe in God, nor only Republicans. But, hey, why be discerning when sloganeering is so much cooler?

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  35. khan says:

    Babies were simultaneously women’s punishment for having premarital sex and beautiful gifts from Jesus Himself.

    I’ve always wondered about that.
    ——————————————-
    I’ve been pro-choice ever since I can remember.
    I had an abortion in my 40s.

    Sex isn’t enjoyable unless the woman is willing to get knocked up? I’ll take your word for it.

  36. Marysia says:

    Not Guilty-I do understand that thoughtful people disagree over the status of prenatal life, and over whether abortion belongs under the rubric of privacy or not.

    But what if pregnancy is not about the woman’s body and uterine contents alone–any more than it is about the Almighty Fetus in an inert fetal container? What if each pregnancy is a matter of *two* sentient beings, *two* profoundly interconnected bodies and lives?

    From that vantage point…I hope you can see that my intent is not to insult, when I identify abortion as lifetaking. The intent is to expand the circle of human concern.

    And for the record, I have been an activist against the death penalty, too…it makes no sense to treat life as if it begins at convception & ends at birth.

    • megaman3 says:

      According to Marriam-Webster:
      Sentient: finely sensitive in perception and feeling.
      A fetus does not posses this quality, so it is not “a matter of two sentient beings.” And the two are not “profoundly interconnected bodies,” the fetus relies upon the woman for life, not the other way around. This relationship defines what kind of rights the fetus has. Even if we are granting the fetus the same rights as a child, it does not have the right to use another’s organs without their permission. When a woman gets an abortion, she is simply removing the life support that the fetus had no right to.

  37. Marysia says:

    By the way, when people tell me they are pro choice, not pro abortion, I believe them. Just as I hope that prochoice advocates will believe me when I say I am pro all lives and pro every choice but abortion.

    And here is a large area of agreement: support for women who wish to go through unintended pregnancies but need the resources to do so.

    • Octopodi says:

      Very glad to hear that, and I’m with you about the support for women dealing with unintended pregnancies. However, something in your previous comment struck me: “it makes no sense to treat life as if it begins at convception & ends at birth.” To me, it also makes no sense for people to say they have a moral duty to protect the fetus, but once the baby is born, their job is done. Essentially, while introducing legislation for restricting abortion, certain lawmakers have also been working to slash budgets for supporting homeless and underprivileged children and their parents – a huge blow to the people most vulnerable to the abortion-restricting legislation. And yet there is not an iota of prolife outrage directed at that, even though it will probably cause even more women to consider abortion. This is the gap that *everyone* wants to see addressed, and it would be lovely if we could start organizing some kind of action around this and get our lawmakers moving some decent legislation in this direction.

  38. Bart says:

    I actually think this article confirmed my views on pro-life. I’m sorry that her religious upbringing caused her to go down this path, but our views are irrelevant. Is abortion worng or not? If it is, then it should be illegal and punished. If its right, then why is there always an emphasis on the life of the mother, rape victims, and so forth? WHy not defend all of it if it is right?

    • bluejeans says:

      We do — those of us who are pro-choice. Abortion as an option, for all women — not just women who are underage, raped, etc. It always seems to be the anti-choice side of things who insert those caveats.

      Which reveals that it *is* more about the “innocence” or “guilt” of the mother than anyone will admit.

  39. Meghan says:

    I would just like to point out to those who think that only atheists are pro-choice/have had an abortion: I am a Christian and I had an abortion. I actually prayed about my abortion for a few days before making my final decision. The second it was over I said “Okay, God. Bring me my punishment.” And guess what? NOTHING HAPPENED. I had very little bleeding and no cramping/other side effects. That was my sign that while He might not necessarily like what I had done, it was the best thing for me in that situation. Especially since my boyfriend at the time got another girl pregnant right when I would have been giving birth to our child. I have never, ever regretted my decision and do not feel like a dirty, slutty whore whom God no longer loves because of what I did.

    And I was under the impression that if you truly believe in God and give your life to Him, He will forgive you for ALL of your sins. Thou shall not kill is a commandment, yes. But so are thou shall not lie and thou shall not covet. Every single person on this Earth is a sinner, so why should my abortion outweigh your trillion lies you’ve told? Oh and also, at the end of the day, I am the ONLY person who will be dealing with God and the decisions that I have made throughout my life, not you. Just like I won’t be sitting there ready to weigh in on what you’ve done when you get to meet with God. So get your nose out of my business.

    • Choose Life says:

      Christian love recognizes the unity of body&soul;a unified creature composed of body&soul- such as the unborn http://j.mp/dZlP

      Nothing may have happened to you physically or mentally at the time, but you will be judged and one day you will pay for your sins accordingly.

      • Meghan says:

        So, everything I have been taught about being forgiven for my sins was all a lie? What makes one sin worse in God’s eyes than another? A sin is still a sin, no matter what sin it was.

        You will also be judged for your sins and you will also have to “pay accordingly” based on how you see Christianity. Again, I am the only person who has to deal with the consequences of any of the actions I choose, during life and after life. Not you, not the person down the road, no one. I will never allow anyone to ever tell me what I can and cannot do to my body.

      • Cara says:

        Pfffffft.

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  41. PatronStOfTofu says:

    This spoke to me so much! While I came from more of a “seamless garment” Catholic perspective (antichoice, anti-death penalty, anti-war, anti-poverty, etc – no worries, I still hold the last three in my heart!) I still held the perspective that the best birth control is to cross your fingers or cross your legs. Seriously. Gross.

    What got me to open my mind and heart and embrace a more mature and nuanced perspective on women’s sexuality (including my own) was my work in the anti-sexual violence movement. Working with diverse women and men on behalf of bodily autonomy, respect, and human dignity showed me the importance of respective individual choices. I knew then that, no matter the circumstances, no one has any right to another person’s body.

    I am forever grateful to feminists who have shared their stories with me through the years.

  42. Maribel says:

    Every woman in my family have had an abortion for the many different reasons. But we all have in common one thing:

    None of us have ever regret it !!!!!!!!!!
    In fact the most famous line we use is “it was the best decision I have ever made for my life”
    There is no shame is saying I had an abortion.

    I hate to see women who had an abortion and then go on to rally with the pro- death(lifers) saying how terrible they feel now after realizing how wrong abortion is and that women who have had one are all going to hell. F* hypocrites!!!!!

    Sorry ya’ll I’m mad!!!

  43. sadie says:

    this is my first time here and this post is fantastic. thank you.

  44. Arista says:

    This is one of the best written commentaries on abortion that Ive read (and Im 42). Thank you.

  45. Zas says:

    Why do so many of the comments say it’s SUCH a hard decision to choose to abort? It wasn’t for me. The instant I knew I was pregnant, I made an appointment. I don’t want kids and never will. If I was rich, educated and had all the time in the world, I would have STILL gotten that abortion. Nothing under the sun could have convinced me otherwise–not the ‘oh, it’s a life’ bullshit to ‘look at it’s toes!’.

    Honestly, I have a harder time deciding if I want Thai or Chinese for take-out.

    And I don’t feel an smidgen of remorse or ‘aww, my baby woulds haves beenz x years old, sobs!’ Nope, I’m a remorseless baby-killer. :P

    Oh, also, ChooseLife? You think I’m selfish? Oh, hell yeah am I. Just like you. You let poor brown children slave away so you can have cheap clothes and food. Oh, wait, why should you care about them, right? How much food do you waste? There are a lot of American children going hungry. Do you own jewelry? First off, you’re making life hell for the people in the Third World country that the corporations are stealing the materials from, which means you’re starving a bunch of children. Not only that, but you selfishly choose to buy diamonds, gold, ect instead of feeding or educating children. You ENTIRE way of life depends on abusing poor, non-white children. So how about YOU start with the selfless acts?

    Oh, and it was selfless of you to bring two children into this world? Where do you live? America? Oh, great then, you have the largest carbon footprint! Now you’ve contributed to over-population and screwed the environment even more. In fact, strictly speaking, I’m more selfless for having that abortion!

    • Thanks for raising the environmental point. I like how so many pro-lifers will say you are taking a valuable contribution away from society. Really?! Human beings and our society as a whole are the most morally bereft species on this planet. And the only one with enough sentience to realise it and yet still destroy the beautiful Earth and harm its creatures.

      I wonder if those who harp on about the rights of a bunch of cells eat battery farmed chicken or bacon from pigs that spend their whole life in crates? I’ll rejoice for there being more humans when I see most of human society doing good for the world. I’m dedicating my career to trying to solve problems humanity has created for each other and for the Earth. I will not have children until I have achieved some head way with that and probably will never have them. If it wasn’t for abortion, and I got pregnant now, my pro-humanity, pro-Earth career would be over. Pro-lifers have said on here that “it’s only 9 months” well, there is no maternity leave for a PhD and the minimal funding we have to fight tooth and nail for doesn’t continue beyond your 3 year limit once you start. Financially and in terms of the time commitment I would have to drop my studies and return to my native UK (I currently live in South Africa) to take welfare support until I could get to the point of trying to start some new career which would likely never match what I had before. This is without the fact here that I would resent this child. And also excluding that I would probably rather die than give up my career now for a child I don’t want.

  46. Robot says:

    I will take the anti-choice crowd more seriously when they devote equal resources to putting a stop to Assisted Reproductive Therapy in all its forms. In the pursuit of successful conception many, many embryos are created and destroyed and once the desired number of children have been conceived (or money/time runs out) there are many leftover embryos, the vast majority of which will never be gestated. Can you imagine the same kind of sick slander and manipulation against women who engage in fertility treatment as is routinely heaped upon women seeking abortion? I can’t. My favorite mental exercise to pose to the embryo=baby crowd is to pose the following: You are in a burning building and have to choose between rescuing a box containing a million frozen embryos or one live infant. Which would you choose?

    People ought to mind their own business.

  47. Bryan says:

    This story sounds completely fabricated. And to the clever poster above who is a self described remorseless baby killer… Its not that shocking to make statements like that. The pro abort types are always making them. It is however sad to know that sociopaths like that probably will never get the help they need.

    • bluejeans says:

      Oh, I see what you did there. Reposting the same comment below under a gender-neutral name, eh? Guess you’re the “clever poster.”

      Hey Bryan: you’re never going to have to worry about YOUR period coming late, so how the hell can you say this sounds fabricated? I’m pretty sure it’s a wake up call for a LOT of women. Certainly was for me.

  48. Meh says:

    This entire “story” sounds fabricated by the pro abort agenda. And to the clever poster who is a self described remorseless baby killer, it isn’t at all shocking to see a statement like that. Pro abort types are always trying to be shocking. But it’s really just sad, because it’s very likely she will never get the mental help she needs.

    • Dina says:

      You mean Andrea’s story? Because it sounds a hell of a lot like mine, too.

    • Jenny says:

      Absolutely. Remorseless baby killer has to be fake.. If not, I love how she actually deemed herself a baby killer though. If her story is true, she is one.

      Is no one worried about going to he’ll for committing murder? I would be…

      • Zas says:

        Poor under-socialized creature. I used that term jokingly. I’m pro-choice and I don’t call women ‘baby-killers’. Didn’t you notice the smiley face at the end?

        Sheesh.

  49. Robot says:

    Bryan/Meh, your macro is as flawed as your logic. Run along now.

  50. Michele says:

    Wonderfully written. It’s encouraging to know that growing up allows perspectives to change pretty dramatically. Thank you, it makes me believe there’s still hope for some. Then I had to wade through the comments- ugh – need a brain enema to wash away the ugly fo some of them.

    I think crediting not having had to make the decision regarding abortion to “safe, easy and affordable access to contraception and good, honest medical information disseminated by doctors and medical professionals without religious agendas” would be more accurate by adding “and a shitload of dumb luck” cuz there is no 100% effective means of birth control (sans abstinence) and you presumably were not forced to have unprotected sex. Just sayin.

    • bluejeans says:

      It sounds like she was having sex with a condom to me…but yeah, people forget that no birth control is 100% effective! So even if you are being safe, and smart, there’s still a chance that an accident happens. Yet another reason why demonizing women over pregnancies they didn’t plan and don’t want is foolish.

    • Choose Life says:

      She didn’t grow up;she grew to disrespect herself and turned her back on her faith and God!

      • megaman3 says:

        @ Choose Life
        “She didn’t grow up;she grew to disrespect herself and turned her back on her faith and God!”
        Ha this was a good laugh. Above you claimed that you don’t slut shame, but that is exactly what this sentence is. As for the religion part of this comment, as one pointed out with numerous bible quotes above, I don’t really think that god disapproves of abortion. I think it’s you that disapproves of abortion. And even so, it’s not your job to judge her life, so worry about yourself.

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  52. bluejeans says:

    @joereform

    So you’re offended by the “ageist, sexist” remark that old men run the pro-life movement? Well, I can’t speak to the ageism charge, other than to say “nice try,” but I just did a little tallying of the genders of people commenting on this very forum (where genders were stated or obvious via usernames or experiences). Here are some numbers:

    Pro-choice commenters:
    Women: 26
    Men: 6
    That is a ratio of 13 women for every 3 men; or to put it nicely, men make up about 19% of the pro-choice commenters. Hi guys! We <3 you!

    Anti-choice commenters:
    Women: 3
    Men: 4
    That is a ratio of, well, 3:4. Or, to put it better, men make up 57% of the anti-choice commenters.

    Not an ideal sample size, but you get the point.

  53. Majin-ne-Drak says:

    this is a wonderfully stated article, and all the better considering that it tells of your almost complete reversal of thinking after you had personal experience with a pregnancy scare.
    personally, i hate the idea of abortions, i hate the thought of doing that to a child. but that is MY personal choice, and i don’t try to force that on others. keep in mind, as well, that i have never been in a situation to need to make that sort of decision, beyond the “what-if” scenario’s that happen to everyone, especially if they’re stupid kids (aka “young Adults” that are barely out of puberty) that never LEARNED the value of being responsible.
    Being responsible and mature isn’t just about accepting that sex naturally leads to pregnancies. it also means accepting that there are SAFE and LEGAL ways to prevent unwanted pregnancies. such as birth control. and don’t even TRY to tell me that birth control is unsafe and unaffected, i am 23 years old and have been on birth control since i was 17, just after the first time i had sex. as soon as i made the decision to have sex with my boyfriend at the time, i also took it into my own hands to ensure that i would never have a child without both myself and my partner’s full and willing knowledge. no, birth control is not 100% effective… only 99.97%. i feel fairly confident in that ratio, especially when in conjunction with the 99.7% protection afforded with a condom. put the two together, and hell, if i get pregnant with BOTH of those precautions, i’ll account it a miracle from the GODDESS Herself, and think twice about either giving up the child or aborting it.
    but again, MY PERSONAL choice…. if another woman is on birth control, finds herself pregnant after being responsible enough to try to prevent it, and decides on an abortion, she is FULLY within her right to do so, because it is HER body, and not mine.
    the rights of a father are accounted for, but the father does not carry the fetus for 9 months, does not put up with the physical and mental strain beyond going out at 2 in the morning for a pint of mint choco-chip and then fainting in the delivery room. yes, his opinion is taken into account, but until HE has to face the decision concerning HIS body, and wants to be the pregnant one, then he cannot deny the woman her right. and please, Choose Life, don’t start claiming rights for the child. until you live my life, don’t make my decisions for me. take into account that pregnancy is a physical strain… not all woman are able to carry a fetus to term without dieing herself in the process, endangering both her AND the fetus you claim to revere above all else. yes, medicine has progressed wonderfully, so that less and less women die from childbirth, but what of those women that try and try to be the “good God-fearing woman” and giver her husband a son, only to strain her body with miscarriage after miscarriage? THAT is a sin on the christian ideal, saying that a woman’s worth to her husband is through her womb.
    Andrea – Kudo’s to you, for having the maturity and wisdom – at 19, no less- to realize that you might have been wrong, and to take steps to educate yourself and change your way of thinking.

  54. Ashley says:

    I agree and have another point to add: All of those religious anti-abortion groups should be asked: If you ban abortion, do you care enough to take on the responsibility of raising the children you believe you are saving? In many instances, the woman seeking the abortion is not in a situation in her life (be it financially or in a safe environment for raising a child or other reasons) to enable raising a child the way a child deserves to be raised. A child deserves a safe, healthy life. Are those anti-abortion people willing to take in all of those kids resulting from unplanned pregnancy and give them a good life out of poverty, abuse, and neglect? Or is it better to bring kids into the world who live in fear of getting killed or starving or having no hope for a future?

    A child deserves to be wanted and come into the world being cared for by parent(s) with the resources and stability to raise a happy healthy child. A child deserves no less, so if those religious groups can provide that to each child resulting from unwanted pregnancy, they have at least some minimal justification to be anti-abortion.

  55. emjaybee says:

    I was like you too! I even started a pro-life group in college. But I did believe in birth control, and I got real tired of the excuses from the larger national groups as to why we couldn’t support it. Also the complete lack of interest in doing anything to help women who *did* have babies they couldn’t afford. And the lack of women at the highest points of the organization. After awhile, I dropped out, and decided that they did not have a good grasp on the reality of the situation.

    In the end, I agreed with a commenter elsewhere who said “Having a baby has to be an act you volunteer for, never one you are forced into; it is dangerous, and it is hard, and no compassionate person would ever force it on another.” Yup. I’ve never had an unwanted pregnancy; I’ve been fortunate and careful. But even my wanted one was chock full of scares and tension and of course, my beloved son is also a giant money-suck and time-suck, because that’s how kids are; how would I feel towards him if I hadn’t really wanted him? It makes me sad to even think about it.

  56. Jenny says:

    So frustrating! Not all pro-life people are using anti-abortion as a way to slut shame. That’s bullshit. I am fiercely anti-abortion and also very much pro- active sex life. I don’t care if women have lots and lots of sex with whomever the f they want. Good for them! I’ve enjoyed my sex life.

    But I believe that abortion is murder, and no one will change my mind. The fetus is a human being. I heard my son’s heartbeat when he was just a “clump of cells” around 2 months.

    You cannot deny that at that time he was a living human being who deserved the right to live.

    I’m a pro-life feminist – YES we do exist.

    • Sue B. says:

      It’s an interesting position, the one you bring up – and I do know of several people in my church who are fervent members of Feminists for Life, and other groups like that. I am an ardent feminist – I even believe the draft, if it comes back, should apply across the board (which makes some of my girlfriends a bit squeamish. :)

      Believe it or not on a sort of thread like this: I am not asking the following question to troll. :P Someone – my mother, my friends, etc. – tells me that abortion is the murder of a living human being, and I ask him/her in return:

      Then what should be the punishment for a woman who has an abortion?

      I have never been given a straightforward answer to this question. Inevitably, my mother will say something about the woman “being punished by G-d”; my friends will say something similar, or that the woman is “punished in her heart;” I have heard others say that the doctor administering the abortion, and not the woman receiving it, should be punished …

      The last position reduces women to moral imbeciles, and the first ignores the fact that a law outlawing abortion as murder would need to have a punishment befitting murder. (And premeditated to boot.)

      There are so many states where a woman who aborts could thus be executed.
      http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/crimes-punishable-death-penalty

    • Ealasaid says:

      How can you be pro-active-sex-life and strongly anti-abortion? Those who don’t want kids or who cannot bear children safely are supposed to … what, exactly? Never have sex? That’s hardly a pro-sex standpoint!

      Love love love this article, and the comments have been an interesting read.

    • Choose Life says:

      Jenny, Good to see there are other women like me on here and advocating against abortion. It is sad and disgusting how these pro-aborts continue to ignore the fact that they are carrying another LIFE in them yet think of that life as a parasite or something that has no right to live and occupy there womb. Women’s bodies were made to have children, not all women can conceive, but those who can should be greatful they have the ability to bring another life into the world. If they can’t share there love and that life with the child at least be selfless and give the baby up for adoption and give the baby a chance at life.

      What is wrong with these women who think so twisted. I do not call them sluts, they are the only ones who call themselves that. It must be there own guilty conscience talking to them?? Anyway, you would think and I will continue to pray that these women see the error of their ways and find a way to truly love another human being by giving of themselves. A baby in the womb should not be thought of as a parasite or someone they can just ‘pull the plug’ on because they don’t want to be pregnant or they are afraid of the future, how they will support the child, etc. I guess the biggest problem is that when you have no faith, you have no hope for the future so you tend to live in the here and now.

      Very sad…where is a sense of humanity?? Why live in the stoneage using abortion to end lives of ‘unwanted’ children. Perhaps some women shouldn’t have children at all, if only God would not give those women the ability. It appears most of these ‘feministas’ are so into themselves and what is important to THEM that they can’t see how they have been given a gift that men aren’t able to do, the gift of carrying life in their womb and giving that life a chance to be someone! I don’t even think they read nor comprehend what I have shared.

      It is sad to hear and see how Andrea’s lifestyle change is like some big revelation that made her see that her original beliefs were so wrong that now she converted to a pro-abortion advocate. It is sad that some will live for their own needs&wants;while punishing and ending the life of a child in the process. It is shameful and those who say they aren’t ashamed or don’t regret it, I can hear your anger and I don’t believe you!! God is forgiving, but he is also a just God and when it comes time I am sure He will not accept anyone who led a life against His will, especially those who do not even believe in Him. I pray for those who seek true forgiveness and hope He will see through your heart and know that you are sincere. Those who don’t regret and don’t believe will be left to suffer the consequences later. You may not have suffered during or after, but your time will come.

      PS True feminism is one who believes in life, loves men and believes in their parental rights and responsibilities as well. Susan B Anthony was one of the first feminists, it’s a shame the hippies have hijacked the true meaning of strong women, who are independent, outspoken but also nurturing, loving and selfless!

      • Ashley says:

        On a practical note: how is it reasonable to disregard issues like means of support and the future of mother and child (if brought to term)? I believe a woman has a right to choose abortion for whatever reason she may have, but if that reason is that she feels the child will hinder pursuit of her dreams or that she cannot emotionally or financially support a child, this is a valid reason. A child is a huge responsibility to take on and a woman must be ready for one in her life both emotionally and financially in order to give the child what is best for the child. If she is not ready for whatever reason, both she and the child will suffer because of it. It is the mentality of the dumb and religious fanatics who justify bringing a child into the world without consideration for planning the future. It is not fair to the child. It is a basic principle of responsible adult thinking that such issues be considered because family planning is responsible parenting. If that involves abortion, so be it.

      • Bridge says:

        Each comment is more hilarious than the last!

    • megaman3 says:

      “You cannot deny that at that time he was a living human being who deserved the right to live.”
      These are nothing but strawman arguments. No one is denying that a fetus is human life, but that is not a guarantee of rights, after all a tumor is human life too. Also, even if the fetus does have the right to life, it’s right to life does not grant it the right to use another’s body parts without their permission.
      Abortion isn’t murder, it’s merely the end of life support. But, I’m not here to discuss morals with you, you’re free to feel whatever you want about abortion, I just want you to know the correct arguments for pro-choice.

      • joereform says:

        Are you still doing that “fetus = tumor” thing?

        A tumor may be “human life,” like a skin cell or a kidney, but a fetus is a human life. No amount of semantic dishonesty will change that fact.

    • Cara says:

      You’re against abortion for yourself. Do you think it should be illegal? Do you think a woman (say, for instance, YOU) should have a baby no matter what, even if something’s gone wrong and it will kill her to do so? Do you think a twelve-year-old girl raped by her father should have the baby that results from such a heinous assault?

      Because if you’re NOT anti abortion in those circumstances? Guess what. You’re not pro-life, you’re PRO-CHOICE. Pro-choice includes choosing to have a baby.

      You get to be squicked out by someone else’s choices but still respect their right to make them. You get to say “I could never do that” but let other people make their own decisions.

    • KV617 says:

      You are a pro-life feminist for YOU. What is good and moral to you may not be good and moral for someone else.

      And while I respect your belief about what you would choose to do or have done in your own pregnancy YOU made that CHOICE for yourself and your son. No one made you have him, you were not forced, coerced, or otherwise made to give birth – you were an active participant in his conception, gestation and birth.

      Being pregnant is a minimum 9 – month commitment (it could be 18+ years) – many women, for whatever reason are simply NOT ready, willing or able to make that commitment.

      Women always have found ways to terminate pregnancy – Evidence of and documentation of contraceptive use and abortion procedures amongst women is found in early human history, and in most every society studied. Whether or not abortion is “moral” should not be the question. The question should be what are we doing to help women and their partners be less likely to face an unintended pregnancy, and how are we supporting them to make the best decision for themselves if facing that decision?

  57. Sue B. says:

    “It is sad that some will live for their own needs&wants;while punishing and ending the life of a child in the process … G-d is forgiving, but he is also a just G-d and when it comes time I am sure He will not accept anyone who led a life against His will, especially those who do not even believe in Him.”

    [Edits mine.]
    The advantage of having a separation of church and state in this country is that one need not wait for G-d to punish for “ending a life.”

    Your beliefs are very fervent, Choose Life. You are courageous to share them in what is a corner of the blogosphere that might not be welcoming to them.

    I would still like to ask the questions that I ask of those who believe abortion is the murder of a human being.

    1) Do you believe abortion should be outlawed as murder, here and now? i.e., in the U.S.A, in the year 2010?

    And if so:
    2) What should be the punishment, under the law of #1, for a woman who has an abortion?

    • Choose Life says:

      I believe those who have abortions and willingly do so knowing that they are ending a human life, should serve time in jail, perhaps life in jail depending on whether she has other children to care for. If she does have other children to care for then she should be held in contempt if she ever chooses abortion again on her own or out of the US. Taking the life of another in this country and most others is not something to be taken lightly and should be punishable by law. I don’t necessarily this is a case where the death penalty should apply since they will have to live with their ‘choice’, but they should not have the freedom to live as they wish without concern for other human life.

      If abortion becomes illegal and when it does, I also think anyone who knowingly assisted or knew about it and didn’t do anything to report or prevent it should be held responsible and serve time as well. How much time should depend on how involved they were in the act and when they knew about it. Such as the case for women who abandon newborns in toilets or throw them out with the trash.

      • Sue B. says:

        OK, see … this is something that is never said by pro-life folks who are consistent. (nb: props for consistency.)

        One thing that is inconsistent, of course, is this: “I don’t necessarily this is a case where the death penalty should apply since they will have to live with their ‘choice’.”

        ? If you say abortion is murder of a human being, a person who has an abortion is making that choice. With this logic, it is the same choice as someone shooting someone else in the head. And in the states listed above, those shooters do not “live” with their choice; their choice means that they are executed if convicted.

        Unless you are campaigning to outlaw the death penalty too! Which would be awesome.

        Anyway, I challenge you, and all who agree with you, to say so loud and clear, *whenever* an abortion debate begins, that you support _jail time_, “perhaps life in prison” for a woman who has any kind of abortion.

        After that, you might just see how quickly even allies back away. It is consistent, yes, but those with the money and influence to do anything about abortion (i.e. the folks in D.C. referenced in the above article) know that their political careers would be toast if they campaigned to imprison thousands upon thousands of women, for life.

        … unless of course they campaigned on it as job creation. :) Yay, prisons!

      • Jill says:

        “..perhaps life in jail depending on whether she has other children to care for.”

        By that logic, why should this woman be allowed to care for her children if she’s already “murdered” another?

      • Cash's Girl says:

        Too bad that none of this is reflective of how the legal system in the United States actually *works*.

        As someone else mentioned, if abortion = murder, then there would be no legal difference between shooting someone else in cold blood and having an abortion. And no, the sentence for murder will not suddenly be commuted just because the murderer has had children previously. (After all, this is about *responsibility*, and she knew what she was doing!)

        Also, women who had abortions outside the US in countries where abortion is legal *could not* be punishable by US law. That’s simply not how it works, and that’s why the wealthiest among us will always have access to abortion.

  58. Sue B. says:

    Beg pardon for the double-post! I replied in the wrong place. I have copied and pasted the above as a reply to Choose Life (as it should be.) Could I please ask you to delete the above, and this P.S.?

  59. Jojo says:

    A beautiful article, very poignant. I was always pro-choice for as long as I understood the issue, but my opinions came from a very conservative hometown rather than conservative ideals.

    I grew up in a very, very conservative area, so much so that they used to say, “If Jesus ran as a Democrat in this area, he’d still lose.” People in my town loved their money, and they loved their Jesus, and they loved explaining how their Jesus wanted them to have ALL their money. The logic was breathtaking.

    I was one of the fortunate high schools that got federal funding by President Bush so long as our sex ed programs were abstinence-only. This was pretty interesting, since we were no small town; my high school was well over 2,000 students. The vast majority of questions were answered as, “Well by then you’ll be married.”

    And yet, despite our 2,000+ students, during my time in high school, not once did I ever encounter a pregnant girl. Never. Which you’d think would be obvious since no one really had a good understanding how to protect themselves (a very vulnerable feeling). But it wasn’t because we were all too conservative for sex; it was because the conservative overtones were so stifling, girls were too afraid to have babies. So they were all taken care of, so no one had to deal with 2,000 pairs of eyes staring at them, “slut shaming” them. In a conservative area, girls chose to do the “liberal” thing, because the pressure was just so intense.

    I was always saddened by how that was the “norm” at my high school, and that is in large part why I remain pro-choice today. Because for a lot of girls, it’s a lot more complicated.

  60. Pepper says:

    Yeah, it’s amazing how it changes when it might be us, isn’t it? I used to be a rape apologizing asshole. Then I found out that several of my good friends were survivors and suddenly it didn’t seem so easy to blame and shame. I agree with you and other commenters that speaking out is incredibly important to ending the stigma and ending the erasure of women’s lives and needs. Because seriously, insisting that abortion be eliminated because pregnancy is a consequence of ladies Getting Ourselves Pregnant (it’s almost as though we’re parthenogenetic or something) is like insisting that seat-belts be eliminated because car accidents are a result of Getting Into the Car. In other words, ridiculous.

    It’s quite easy to ask another person to make sacrifices that you yourself will never suffer for. I suppose that sums up how so many anti-choicers can call themselves “pro-life” and still be totally fine with wars that kill other people’s (brown, non-Christian) children.

    Shorter Pepper: this is an awesome fantastic post, and I applaud you heartily :D

  61. Gilf10 says:

    “All of those religious anti-abortion groups should be asked: If you ban abortion, do you care enough to take on the responsibility of raising the children you believe you are saving? In many instances, the woman seeking the abortion is not in a situation in her life (be it financially or in a safe environment for raising a child or other reasons) to enable raising a child the way a child deserves to be raised. A child deserves a safe, healthy life. Are those anti-abortion people willing to take in all of those kids resulting from unplanned pregnancy and give them a good life out of poverty, abuse, and neglect? Or is it better to bring kids into the world who live in fear of getting killed or starving or having no hope for a future?”
    YES I AM!!!!! If you are old enough and responsible enough to have sex, then you should be old enough and responsible enough to know the consequences. You have sex, you may have baby!!! Get over it, suck it up and grow up!!!!!!!!!!!!! What right do you have to create a life, just so you can have fun, and then destroy that life just because you want to continue to just have fun?
    If having an abortion, KILLING A HUMAN BEING, does not bother you then you are an idiot without the sense and decency that God gave a rock (for those of you who don’t believe in God, He gave rocks none of the afore mentioned traits). You are cold, callous and a murderer. And if your partner knows about it, he is the same!
    I know unplanned pregnancies happen, one happened to me and NEVER once did I even consider an abortion, not because I was raised Catholic, but because I believe that there is, at conception, life and I could never intentionally kill an innocent being.
    As for any comments about safe, healthy, reputable doctors and clinics, take a look at Dr. (and I use the term VERY loosely) Kermit Gosnell. That fucking hack killed women, and babies that had the audacity to survive the botched abortions and actually be born. He caused many women pain and suffering that was uncalled for, unethical and inhumane!!!! And don’t think he is the only one that has done this. There are more that are like him than there are ones that aren’t. And they keeping doing it to make money from these poor women (a lot of them literally very poor) and because the anti-abortion groups and law enforcement and the government are too scared of being “politically incorrect” that they look the other way.
    I do believe there are a few cases where abortion may be necessary but not one of those cases is merely because the baby would be an inconvenience to your life at this time. May be it’s too bad that your mother’s didn’t think that way when she got pregnant with you. Every thought of that?! If she had decided to abort you, then you wouldn’t have to be worrying over this issue now. Maybe you should have been one of those cases. Think about it!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Ashley says:

      What constitutes a valid reason for abortion is subjective and no one has a right to tell someone else what to do with her body or unborn child. Perhaps you believe having an unwanted child is ok in a given situation but another woman may see that same situation in a different light as not being conducive to raising a child for whatever reason. Who are you to say what is valid or not as a reason for abortion? By telling people they must carry to term and not have the choice of abortion, you are shutting your mind to cultural and religious differences within the female population that may necessitate choices different from yours. Telling a woman abortion is not a choice is telling her how to live her life. That is no one’s choice but hers.

      • The Champ says:

        What about the father. Isn’t it his kid too? And what about about the kid? We obviously can’t askk him/her, but I know Im happy Im here.

      • megaman3 says:

        @The Champ
        It may be the father’s child, but it is not the father’s body that is physically nurturing the fetus, therefore all health decisions must be left up to those that will endure the risks.
        And once again, the fetus does not have rights in this situation because they depend on another’s body to survive. No one has the right to use another’s body to survive without their permission. Even if the fetus did have the cognitive ability to make a decision, their opinion is unimportant.

      • bluejeans says:

        @TheChamp: You, and all the other folks fretting about “the fathers,” apparently have never seen the inside of a PP surgical waiting room (this is probably a good thing, because the last thing a woman about to go through a painful, invasive, and emotionally fraught procedure needs is this kind of judgment).

        However, if you had, you would see the number of husbands, boyfriends, partners there with their significant others, holding hands, rubbing backs, trying to make them smile.

        All this framing like, “the woman decides to murder the child and the poor father has no say!” ignores what I have noticed is the reality — in committed couples, the decision to abort is not one a woman makes in a vacuum.

      • Cara says:

        And what about about the kid? We obviously can’t askk him/her, but I know Im happy Im here.

        Yes, but think of all the poor, poor other babies who didn’t get to be born because you were taking up space in your mother’s womb for nine months. Aren’t you ashamed? Think of the children.

    • Sizzle says:

      I do think about my mother’s decision not to abort me. She and my father did talk about it, they were in school and unmarried. But they chose to bring me into the world and were not just resigned to because they felt they had no other choice. I like knowing my mother was pro-choice because that means I was wanted from the very beginning.

      And when I got pregnant all of my parents said they would do whatever I needed, no matter what choice I made. I aborted. I do not regret it. I want to be a mother, I love children and babies and all of it. I never want to resent my child. I want to want my child.

    • Sue B. says:

      [Question]:”Are those anti-abortion people willing to take in all of those kids resulting from unplanned pregnancy and give them a good life out of poverty, abuse, and neglect?” …

      [Answer]: “YES I AM!!!!!”

      Fantastic! I am sure you will be in touch with Andrea, about where you will be donating your money, how you will be donating your time, and just how long it will take you to be approved by an adoption agency.

      *crickets*

  62. The Champ says:

    WRONG WRONG WRONG

    “I believe wanting to take that choice away from others is deeply about shame and punishment and judgment, and not about righteousness and love”

    No its about protecting human life. I acknowledge its difficult to draw a line. When does a bun…ch of sand become a mountian? But one must be drawn, some where. My wanting this line has nothing to do with Slut Shamming.

    “There is nothing “pro-life” about sonogram bills and denying Medicaid funding to (some!) rape victims or allowing doctors to opt out of giving pregnant women life-saving abortions. ”

    Im sure there are a few such women i the world. But all that Ive known have used abortion as a contraceptive, a cover up for their irresponsible (slutty?) behavior. They had not just lost their virginity and wernt on their 1st (or second or fifth) sexual partner. Of course this is just anecdotal.

    “Because they really will not ever have to worry about abortion”

    I may never actually carry a child, but my kids will be as much my kids as my partners. Id hate for her to kill them against my will. I oughtta have a choice too.

    “I know that what has kept me from having to make a decision about an unintended pregnancy is not the prospect of hearing a fetal heartbeat or having to go through a 24-hour wait period, but safe, easy and affordable access to contraception and good, honest medical information disseminated by doctors and medical professionals without religious agendas.
    I was a girl growing up in Texas who was failed by abstinence-only education and soured by extreme religious dogma. I don’t want other girls to go through that, too. And so if you’ve gotten through this whole essay, consider donating to Planned Parenthood.”

    without agendas? we do recall the agenda of the Planned Parenthood Founders, no?

    • megaman3 says:

      Wow this is quite the essay of contradictions.
      “But one must be drawn, some where. My wanting this line has nothing to do with Slut Shamming.”
      First off, there is a line drawn, and it’s at the point of autonomy. Second off, you claim that you don’t slut shame, but a few lines down that’s exactly what you do:
      “…a cover up for their irresponsible (slutty?) behavior…”
      “Id hate for her to kill them against my will. I oughtta have a choice too.”
      You don’t have a choice in someone else’s health care. It’s not your body, therefore it’s not your choice. You don’t get to control a women’s body just because you feel like it. It’s just that simple.
      “without agendas? we do recall the agenda of the Planned Parenthood Founders, no?”
      I’m assuming that you’re talking about Margaret Sanger here. Was Margaret Sanger racist? Probably, however not all of her ideas were, like her idea for birth control for all. The principles of Planned Parenthood are not founded upon her racist ideas, they are founded upon the idea that every woman should be able to control her fertility. And if the idea of separating the history of a figurehead from the goals of an organization consider this: the pope was in Hitler Youth, and no one hold this against the Catholics.

      • megaman3 says:

        And if the idea of separating the history of a figurehead from the goals of an organization (*is difficult to understand) consider this: the pope was in Hitler Youth, and no one hold this against the Catholics.
        Oops, I forgot a part of the sentence!

  63. D says:

    Thank you for a very well-written article. I have been saying some of these things for years. I just want you to consider one thing. As the pastor of a church in a mainline denomination that allows for a woman’s freedom of choice when it comes to abortion, please know that not all churches or Christians wish to condemn women for unplanned pregnancies or premarital sex. Some of us recognize that it takes two to make a baby and acknowledge that abortion is a difficult, painful choice for most women to make. Having been faced with making that choice once myself in my younger years, I can tell you that being allowed to choose freed me from the resentment I would have likely felt towards the child I have borne and raised alone. It was my decision to make to have and raise this child, it was not forced upon me by any law. I have lived the pain and shame of an unmarried pregnancy and can tell you from experience that God loves me anyway. He loves you, too. Let’s continue to work so that ALL will know God’s love and forgiveness and live in ways that are responsible and life-giving (spiritually) to others. Shalom to you.

  64. Marysia says:

    This discussion has taken some really ugly turns. Too much energy in the abortion debate, on both “sides,” is squandered on demonizing and scapegoating “The Enemy.” On dogmatically lecturing others about how horrible and morally bankrupt they supposedly are, simply because they disagree with you.

    But at the end of the day, what does this do to help women have prevent unintended pregnancies, or have substantive choices in parenting and adoption? I want to work on those practical, pressing issues instead.

    • Cara says:

      Um, no. “Both sides” (good grief) are NOT each telling the other side what to do with their own bodies and trying to legislate against women having reproductive freedom of choice. Only one “side” is doing that. It’s not even remotely equivalent.

  65. Marysia says:

    ps–instead of “have prevent” the above should read “have ways to prevent”

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  68. kris says:

    This was amazing. :’)

  69. Jackie says:

    The older I get the less complicated the abortion debate is for me.
    1. Women have no obligation to host a fetus for nine months if they’re not willing to for whatever reason.
    2. Sex is in a no way an act that, if engaged in, forfeits a woman’s right to her body autonomy.
    3. Religion should not be used to explain away someone’s misogyny and obsession with control over women.
    4. If someone has a problem with a woman having an abortion, its THEIR problem.

  70. HP says:

    As a young woman who escaped the exact same mentality (and the same state), I thank you for writing this. People don’t realize how damaging the rhetoric against choice — and by extension, women — can be. I shake my head nearly every day remembering the things I said in the name of Jesus. Glad I’m not alone.

  71. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much for writing this. It’s also nice to see a point of view change like this. It gives me hope for other girls and women who I see bash and bash but don’t understand the real problem.
    <3

    Thank you

  72. Annie says:

    I just don’t understand the antichoicers who constantly refer to ‘God’s will’.

    Just wondering, does God talk to you?
    Remember the saying, “If you talk to God, you are religious. If God talks back, you are probably crazy.”

    You don’t know God’s will any better than I do.
    And if God is upset with me because I had an abortion, well, that’s between myself and God, isn’t it?

    And what if I don’t believe in YOUR image of God? You can’t claim your’s is the correct version. Again, you don’t know.
    You have faith, yes, but you don’t know. (The whole basis of faith is NOT knowing and still believing.)

    Seriously. My sex life and my abortion is between me, my boyfriend, and God.

    • TTMAMDG says:

      There are many things that can be learned about God, his existence, and his truth… which points to what his will is for our lives and this world at large. It is something that takes sincere effort, discipline, and scrutiny. There are many people who have come to an understanding of that truth, mostly through lives dedicated to prayer and seeking ways to glorify all of creation and show sincere gratitude for all we have. We have the ability to seek and find God and understand his will. And it is not by doing whatever we want and keeping it between us and God.

      So, truly… Yes, there are people who knows God’s will far better than others.

      Generally speaking, God is unconditional love… THE source of love, compassion, and kindness. He is omnipotent and just, but merciful to those who seek forgiveness. It is beyond our understanding because we are not God.

      Billions of people have agreed about “this version” of God for thousands of years. Perhaps other versions are of something or someone else entirely.

  73. Pingback: I used to be a pro-life Republican. « Femañana

  74. My mother was a midwife for a portion of her life before she became a housewife for two young children. She delivered hundreds of babies, mostly in Texas, some of them to 12 to 14 year old girls who had been forced by their families’ beliefs to carry to term. She described the mutilated look in their eyes and how they barely looked at their babies or wanted to hold them, and those visions still haunts me. I know girls like that. I know girls who have been raped and were forced to carry to term, who couldn’t afford formula and after they stopped breastfeeding would go into the bathroom and self-injure.

    My mother lost a child; the umbilical cord wrapped around its neck and it died the day before she gave birth. Its’ name would have been Rosemary, but it never got to be a person, and that fact is sad because it was wanted and happy because it never faced the life it would have had.

    My mother knew what losing a child was like. She also knew that a child can either be a gift or a punishment, but it can’t ever be both.

    My mother is still pro-choice. Having seen all she has seen, and having brought many babies into a world where they would be loved and some babies into a world where they were a religious/”moral” duty instead of a gift, she decided it was not okay, ever, to force any girl or woman into having a child.

    My mother would never have existed if abortion had been legal for my grandmother, and she knows this, and she doesn’t care.

    My mother was an atheist her whole life. I grew up atheist and I chose to be pagan. If your god thinks abortion is wrong, then fine – I stand against your god: because that’s an evil god in my book, and I will fight against such a thing to the end of my days.

  75. Larry says:

    Thanks for posting this story. It was a lot of fun to read, and I actually experienced a similar transition from pro-”life” to pro-choice about three years ago when my girlfriend was raped by another man. That was basically when I realized how important it is for a woman to have access to reproductive rights such as abortion services and contraception.

    Plus, wouldn’t it be rather hypocritical for a man like me to willingly have sex, then not let his partner decide what to do with the pregnancy (especially if he doesn’t use a condom)?

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  79. Lori B. says:

    I’ve gone through a pro-choice conversion of my own since I was a teen — I used to think there was a point in jawboning with people like Choose Life. As I near 30, I’ve realized that engaging “pro-life” activists/pundits/trolls in conversation is a waste of energy. All our efforts should be directed at city, state and national lawmakers, not people who get off on forced-birth chatter.

    For the latter, here’s a Hemingway-simple declaration of straightforward truths: “My body is mine. I do not want children, and have never wanted children. Sex is one of the ways I express and receive love in relationships. If I become pregnant, I will obtain an abortion. I have sufficient resources to obtain a safe termination, no matter what politicians do. Your perspective on this is irrelevant.”

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  81. I was a Roman-Catholic pro-life teen. Then I met real life, and realised I’d been duped. Now passionately pro-choice, it does help a bit, like you say, to understand exactly where the pro-lifers are coming from, and what the key phrases really mean.

    Props to you for writing an awesome post.

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  83. anon says:

    Thanks for the post.

    I linked to it via Twitter and then underwent the wrath of my future brother-in-law, The Pastor, who tried to tell me that this entire post was “bunk,” that Andrea is “bitter” and “has a huge amount of insecurity” and that if I’d ever met anyone who’d had an abortion, I would see that they are so guilt-stricken that they can barely function. (I don’t think the dude has ever met a woman who’s had an abortion, other than reading what Focus on the Family tells him to.)

    Oh, and I forgot the part where he told me how grateful I should be that I live in a society where “someone can’t just come over and terminate [my] life.” I guess he missed the memos about Darfur, Rwanda, um, the Holocaust, etc.

    (I reveled in every moment of his ignorance. Isn’t it funny how pro-choicers simply want to protect their rights and don’t really care about “convincing” anyone, whereas anti-choicers are hellbent on changing the minds of others?)

  84. Chelsea says:

    This is FANTASTIC. Thank you so much for sharing. We can only hope that more people see the light like you did. :)

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  86. Sarah says:

    What an awesome entry :) Thanks, it was a great read.

    and now, joining the ridiculous and pointless internet debate….

    What is there to consider about a fetus? They feel no pain, They cannot think. They have no interests whatsoever to consider within the first trimester, which is when most abortions take place. At the point when it can feel pain, perhaps a certain level of consideration could be given. But certainly you can’t protect the interests of something which has no interests. And the potentiality argument makes no sense whatsoever. Saying that life begins when sperm meets egg seems a bit arbitrary for me. Why that moment? In that case are users of some forms of birth control which stop implantation heartless baby killers by taking precautions not to get pregnant? If you are defining a fertilized egg as worthy of consideration because of its potential, why not sperm? Should we start a mass campaign to stop baby murdering men from jacking off? The whole debate is ridiculous.

    And as far as all this about the emotional pain of abortion, what bullshit! I am sure some women suffer as a result of their choice and I don’t want to silence their suffering, but many people suffer from postpartum depression when they do carry a pregnancy to term.

    I had an abortion. I do not regret it at all. I am a student, thousands of dollars in debt already and only half way through my undergrad. My partner is also a student. What kind of a life could I give a child now? And having seen the reprecussions of life in the BC Foster Care system and I would never bring a child into this world to put them through that. It wasn’t easy, but I made a responsible, ethical decision to end a pregnancy I couldn’t support, just like thousands of other women have. I plan to have one child, only one, in the future at such a time that I am emotionally, physically, and financially ready so that I can give that child the best life and best education possible.
    Like many people here have said, Abortion CAN be a parenting decision, and I believe it can be an ethical one.
    And, again like many have said, if you want to end abortion, help to build a society in which women don’t have to make that choice.

    Women who have had abortions need to speak up. We can’t let these people take our voices and speak for us. I am sure that there are women who regret their abortions, but why should they be the only voice? There are so many of use who know that it was the right decision for our lives.

  87. Kat says:

    I read about halfway down the page, and then my brain exploded.

    @Joereform, Choose life, and others fighting to rid the world of evil, evil abortion:

    You say you are for the rights of the child. Then please, I want to know what else you have done to improve the lives of children and the mothers that care for them (which will, in almost every case, improve the life of the child).

    Right now, there are woman who are having to starve themselves to feed their children. They work two, or even three jobs. Their children never see them,and are raised by a series of babysitters, day cares, after school, programs, and schools. Or, worst case scenario, mom has them at school as long as possible and then they make their way home alone to care for themselves, with the supervision of no one because mom can’t afford to pay.

    There are children in the middle of our current Snowpocalypse living without heat. There are kids living in homeless shelters and on the streets. There are children with inadequate health care, or no health care at all.

    Adoption is NOT a cure all, as most children are not adopted. Parents still prefer blonde haired, blue eyed boys, and white children are highly coveted. (Though, in all fairness, those wealthy enough to adopt tend to be white, if they tended to be black or latino or asian, chances are those would be the babies in high demand.)

    What’s worse about our adoption system is that it is SO expensive and SO complicated that many child-hungry families are now looking overseas to adopt, because they simply can’t do so in America. It’s not that they aren’t perfectly good parents, and not that they aren’t middle class and able to support a child. It’s that the process is prohibitively expensive, drawn out, and complicated, and even those who work in the system will admit that many suitable parents are denied. Not to mention the bans many adoption companies have on allowing single parents (usually wealthy childless women who focused too hard on their career and are now past their ability to bear children) and homosexuals from adopting.

    People who tout adoption as a viable alternative have no CLUE how the system works. Frankly, there simply aren’t enough people demanding to adopt who can actually jump all the hoops. And special needs children–be they autistic or just a child with a few health issues because they had a druggie mother–are right out. Homes for these children are almost never found, they tend to remain in permanent foster care (not orphanages, those are being phased out) until they are 18.

    So, even if pregnancy had NO impact whatsoever on a mother’s health or well being, even if it was so harmless it didn’t even leave a stretch mark, much less risk a woman’s life, adoption is hardly a solution. Children placed in this system do NOT suddenly have a better life with a wealthier family. Instead, a larger chunk than should be acceptable become wards of the state.

    So I want to know–if keeping the child is bad for financial reasons, and giving them up is not a perfect solution because of an adoption system that desperately needs reform (and it does)–what is your solution? What causes are you fighting for alongside the the one that denies woman abortions, to take care of these children once they are born? What charities do you support? What bills that cut funding to families in need have you spoken out against or signed petitions to block?

    What have YOU done lately to help mothers who choose to carry to term, even when their circumstances are not ideal? What have YOU done to improve health care for poor children, so that the US no longer has one of the highest infant mortality rate among first world nations (of preventable causes, no less) simply because poor mothers cannot afford to take their children to the doctor? What have you done to improve food stamps, WIC, and other programs so that poor mothers can feed their children and themselves? What have you done to stand for and improve education, ESPECIALLY in poorer districts, so that children born to poverty have every opportunity to better themselves? Or to stand for increased federal funding for colleges, so that poor students–especially those not eligible for minority help, of which there are many–can get a degree?

    Because if you have done NOTHING, if you do not equally support the rights of a born child with an unborn one, you need to shut up and go away.

    Those who love children, stand for children. Living or unborn, they stand for their right to three meals a day, being warm in winter and cool in summer, being able to afford clothes, living in a safe home in a safe neighborhood, getting proper health and dental care, and every chance through education to better their lives. AND they understand that, by giving children these things, they are bettering their own lives as well, since these poor children will be our future nurses, food workers, police force, firemen, construction workers, and caretakers of old folks homes–you know, people you REALLY don’t want screwing up.

    So I suppose the real question is, DO YOU STAND FOR THESE CHILDREN? Or do you only stand against abortion. There is a very real distinction between the two.

    (And, do not give me “some people abuse welfare, therefore all welfare is bad and welfare should be stingily given or even eradicated to encourage those lazy bastards to work.” By that logic, some people commit murder, therefore all Americans should be jailed. You know, just in case. Because you never know who might be a lazy bastard/murderer.)

    • joereform says:

      All adoption is not expensive. To answer your question personally, all three of my children were adopted as infants through the state’s foster care system. It was not expensive in the slightest. My children are not Aryan babies: two are most definitely biracial and my son’s fatherhood is unknown, but many people say he looks like he may be part Hispanic.

      By the way, the twins were born at 24 weeks of gestation, and they did not emerge from the womb as “tumors” or “things,” but rather as beautiful baby girls.

      I am sure that your head is not so far in the sand that you are unaware that crisis pregnancy centers (ones that provide “abortion alternatives”) actually do a lot more than talk a mother out of aborting an unborn child and sending her on her way. They are most often linked to a network of interested pro-life individuals and families who are more than happy to provide emotional support and material necessities to these mothers. I cannot help but believe that you know this to be true.

      Is there more that could be done to help single mothers of small children? Absolutely. But let’s be honest here: Even if Bill Gates came forward and offered to subsidize the upbringing of every child saved from abortion, you still would be pro-choice. Your reason for being so is selfishness and convenience, not economics.

      So let’s be real, shall we?

      • Cara says:

        Yes, let’s.

        Let’s talk about the thievery of children. Let’s talk about how adoption is supposed to be this happy-happy-joy-joy experience for everyone involved, and if children and mothers feel anything but gratitude there’s something wrong with them. Let’s talk about how GRATEFUL you expect your children to be that you plucked them from the jaws of death.

        If you’re anti-choice, you’re anti-woman. Pure and simple.

        You have no business yammering about the selfishness of a woman who decides that SHE owns her body (not some imaginary sky fairy)–especially when you’ve been the beneficiary of pregnancies that didn’t endanger YOUR health, YOUR life, YOUR psyche. How dare you.

      • joereform says:

        Let’s talk about the thievery of children. Let’s talk about how adoption is supposed to be this happy-happy-joy-joy experience for everyone involved, and if children and mothers feel anything but gratitude there’s something wrong with them. Let’s talk about how GRATEFUL you expect your children to be that you plucked them from the jaws of death.

        More creative biography, I see. One day you might actually address points I actually make, Cara. One can hope, anyway.

        If you’re anti-choice, you’re anti-woman. Pure and simple.

        Try telling them that.

      • joereform says:

        Let’s be real.

        I am not sure what you are getting at, Beau. Is this the part where I am supposed to be shocked that people do what they know to be wrong because it is more convenient for them?

  88. Marysia says:

    Kat writes:
    –You say you are for the rights of the child. Then please, I want to know what else you have done to improve the lives of children and the mothers that care for them (which will, in almost every case, improve the life of the child).—

    I agree, Kat, that if someone opposes abortion, they *must* be pro *every* life, before, during, and ever after birth. Anything less than that is hypocrisy.

    I know I probably am not doing enough, there is so much I am not doing and no one has to tell me that!! But I am trying and I hope it is enough that I can qualify as genuinely prolife.

    In my personal and professional lives, I have been active in promoting maternal and child health welfare and rights and environmental justice in many capacities, too many to list here, for over 25 years.

    Most recently:

    –our daughter is a single mother of an unplanned child. My spouse and I often take care of our grandchild at no charge when she is at work. Although we are financially stressed ourselves, because I am disabled, we support her and our grandchild in every possible way and have from the moment we learned of his conception.

    –Of course it is necessary but not sufficient to care alone for the women and children in one’s own family– one must care for ALL women and children. So I have donated in the last couple months money to a school in India that is free for poor children and stresses gender equality in education; the Carbon Fund and Native Energy (carbon offsets to fight global warming); Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests; a project to plant trees in Haiti; Americans for UNFPA; Prevent Child Abuse America; and a disability service organization.

    –I also write endless letters to politicians to promote Title X contraceptive funding, day care, WIC. Head Start, living wage, environmental cleanup, etc, etc, etc–on anything and everything that will help unborn and already born humans to live and live as abundantly as possible.

    –I volunteer for the organization All Our Lives, http://www.allourlives.org, which seeks to reduce abortions by creating and fostering better options in pregnancy prevention and social support for getting through & beyond difficult pregnancies w/o resort to abortion.

    –Our household tries to live as nonconsumeristic and eco-friendly and nonviolent a lifestyle as possible, to do our part in creating a world that is more hospitable to all living beings. For example, we are vegetarians; we buy very little new clothing and practically no jewelry; and we live somewhere with decent public transit so we do not have to own a car.

  89. khan says:

    And what about about the kid? We obviously can’t askk him/her, but I know Im happy Im here.

    And you would be really pissed off if you didn’t exist?

    • Cara says:

      Oh, but it’s clearly God’s Will that he exists. *eyeroll* Therefore it WOULD be an abomination if his mother had miscarried and gotten pregnant later with a less-special zygote.
      /snark.

  90. Marysia says:

    By the way, if anyone here prolife or prochoice wants to adopt a waiting child or children:

    http://adoptuskids.org/

    They just added this to the website, too (and yes I am all for LGBT foster and adoptive parents):
    http://adoptuskids.org/content.aspx?k=LGBT-Resources

    I am ashamed to say, I have not personally adopted a child. This may be a poor excuse on my part, but my husband and I have never come to an agreement on this subject. I maintained that it was our responsibility; he thought that we did enough already for kids and young people through our chosen professions and activism as well as caring for our own family and other loved ones.

    it’s been a while but i did have a part in finding adoptive parents for several children of color. I have spoken up for open, birth mother-sensitive adoption. And I tell people who are looking to adopt at every possible opportunity about AdoptUSKids. if i can’t adopt myself, then i am obligated to help others with adoption.

    • Zas says:

      Your husband is OBVIOUSLY a selfish twit! I bet if he were a woman, he would get an abortion! Dump him now!

      You’re selfish too if your excuse is ‘my husband doesn’t wanna adopt’!

      • Marysia says:

        Zas, my husband and I have a long and egalitarian marriage.

        In a long, egalitarian relationship there are inevitably things that a couple can only agree to disagree about. For us, adopting children ourselves is one of very few things that have taken us to such an impasse.

        I am not caving in to a selfish, tyrannical husband here. his reasons are not selfish ones, they are reasons I can respect even if I don’t agree.

        In his personal and professional lives, my spouse is consistently and thoroughly generous to young people, including but not limited to our daughter (who came from an unplanned, very difficult pregnancy) and our biracial grandchild who was born with lifethreatening disabilities and lived in the ICU for 3 months.

        If he wasn’t like this in other areas, his reasons for not adopting would not be credible and I would indeed not want to stay with him.

        Parenthood, whether biological, foster, or adoptive is not the *only* way to make a difference with children. You cannot hold “antichoice” people all hostage to the dogma that if we aren’t adopting 12 special needs kids ourselves, we are therefore not doing anything for already born children or whatever we are doing doesn’t count.

        There are many ways to care for the already born besides the one stipulated. Like I’ve already said, if I cannot adopt myself, then I am *obligated* to work on adoption in other ways.

        That much said, I know I have a long way to go in terms of being of unselfish service to other people.

        Your other remarks seem to project onto me an uncritical and problematic view of adoption that in fact I do not have.

        As a disabled person, longtime lowincome person, and grandmother of a biracial child with disabilities, I am totally opposed to the historical system of forcible, closed, slut-shaming adoptions that prizes only white, ablebodied babies for the rich.

        Adoption when and where it takes place should only be when a birth mother really wants it and can arrange for the degree of openness she prefers. And her loss needs to be recognized; it’s no cakewalk.

        Other times for adoption–in cases where children need to be removed from abusive or neglectful homes that don’t improve and so they can’t be returned to their birth families.

        And instead of privileging white, wealthy, heterosexual married couples, the adoption system needs to value and recognize the parenting capabilities of disabled people, people of color, lowincome people, and LGBT families.

        I don’t think adoption is the answer to everything, or a breeze for the birth mother or anyone else involved. I’ve seen it up close more than once. There are no easy answers, but in some situations adoption may be *an* answer.

  91. Larry says:

    joereform: It is probably worth noting that you are not the only prospective adoptive parent. Many of those who DO adopt (and obviously, there aren’t enough, since there are still hundreds of thousands of children in foster care) are often very selective about what kind of child they want to adopt.

    That aside (now talking in general to everybody), I think it’s fair to say that just because a select few claim they’d be willing to adopt a pregnant woman’s child doesn’t mean she should be forced to carry the pregnancy to term just for that. To do so would be asking a ridiculously big favor of her.

    In addition to that, I do not think it would be impossible or wrong to place the act of forcing a woman to give birth on the same grounds as rape, and I have two reasons why.
    *First, raping a woman is a massive invasion of her right to privacy, and forces her to engage in sexual activity against her will. It is usually committed by a person who feels the urge to gain domination over someone else. Forcing a woman to carry her pregnancy to term is also a massive invasion of her right to privacy, and she is forced to decide her fertility, again in non-voluntary manners. And, at the same time, people like John Boehner…er, Boehnhead, as well as many other extreme anti-choice activists, often want these laws established only for the sole purpose of having some degree of control over other people.

    *My second reason is that almost all rapes committed are by men, and the majority of anti-choice activists are also men. In such cases, these people would put not only the fetus, but also the rapist, in higher positions than the woman who was victimized. That amount gets even higher if you factor in adoption wannabes who claim to want to raise that child, and higher still if the fetus doesn’t get cared for once it’s delivered (which tends to apply more often than not). To me, that is the epitome of misogyny.

  92. Kez says:

    What I want to know is why all the anti-choice people aren’t protesting outside IVF/fertility clinics.

    After all, if it’s wrong to oppose Gods choice to put a baby in your body, it follows that it’s also wrong to oppose his choice NOT to put a baby in your body.

    • Marysia says:

      First of all, the word “antichoice” does not apply if one opposes abortion yet supports other choices. Just as the word “antilife” does not apply to you!

      Why am I not protesting outside IVF clinics? because I don’t think my limited time, energy, and resources are best spent protesting outside any clinics where prenatal lives are taken. Better to channel those things into creating better alternatives.

      So, in the case of people who are infertile and want to have children, I encourage adoption, especially adoption of “special needs” kids.

      in this culture we privilege biological parenthood over every other kind of parenthood and every other way to make a difference in children’s lives. that puts a lot of stigma and pressure on infertile people.

      one result is that ivf, with all its trials and tribulations and embryo losses, is widely considered a superior way to become a parent than adoption of children who need a home right now. because biological kids are thought to be “really your children” and adoptive kids “not really” or “second best.”

      • Cara says:

        First of all, the word “antichoice” does not apply if one opposes abortion yet supports other choices.

        Wrong-o. Antichoice means you’re against women being allowed to have a legal medical procedure. That’s all it means.

      • Zas says:

        You’re right! You give women the option of being forced to give birth or being forced to give birth. (No, adoption does not count as a choice, since you still want to FORCE the woman to, you know, give birth; a painful and serious medical procedure which costs about $10,000).

  93. Pingback: Reproductive Rights Under Attack: Give Five Minutes Now, or They’ll Take Us Back 40 Years « Stowaway

  94. Club 412, right-wing punk rock, telnet chat, online bulletin boards… You must have gone to private school, cause that doesn’t sound like any of my Fort Worth High School experiences.

    Twenty one years ago, my wife and I also learned more about sex-ed in our first two hour visit to Planned Parenthood than the previous six years of Texas’ finest public school health classes had taught us. We too had just had a pregnancy scare at the end of our junior year of high school. Praying about it wasn’t working anymore. So, we got some real help. There, she had her first well woman exam (at the overripe age of seventeen.) They were so professional and courteous. They treated us as adults, so we acted like adults. We were all engaging in adult activity. By their example, they inspired a greater intimacy and responsibility in our love life. It was more influence than any religious effort has ever had over us. We then proceeded in using almost the entire spectrum of their services. The result: they saved her life and nine years later gave us our three children.

    Planned Parenthood was close and affordable (even for a teenager working for minimum wage.) I demanded all my sexually active friends go there (especially the ones in committed, monogamous relationships.)

    I’m proud to think of the dozens of unplanned pregnancies Planned Parenthood prevented among me and my friends. We all attended college, got good jobs, and (most importantly) became adults before becoming parents.

    We were provided with real choices and we used them. We weren’t forced to live like livestock: producing litters under the arbitrary demands and restrictions of our rulers, or like animals: with no control at all (hell, even armadillo’s have more control over their own reproduction than conservatives would grant us, they can delay implantation for months until favorable seasons return.)

    Even as older adults we still have real choices: a few months ago we needed an emergency contraceptive after a failed condom. There’s three pharmacies within a mile of my home that provide them over the counter without a prescription. She made me purchase it.

    Obviously, now that the kids are in middle school, it’s time for me to get snipped.

    Funny, I could have elected to have that procedure decades ago, even in my teens. No one would have thought anything less of me: it’s a man’s right to do with his body what he needs and for what’s best for his future. What hypocrisy.

  95. Kirsten says:

    Whoever said “no one WANTS to have an abortion” hit it right on the head. As well as the person who ventured to say slut-shaming could actually cause unwanted pregnancies.

    One of the worst things about the typical strategy of anti-choice people, in my opinion, is how they also oppose free condoms, and birth control, and any kind of sex education. I do not believe abstinence falls under that heading. Do they honestly believe listening to a science teacher discuss contraceptive and STDs encourages teens to have sex? As if teens *need* encouragement to have sex. Obviously, they’ve blocked out any temptation they ever experienced, and seem to believe Jesus advocated turning a blind eye.

    Apparently, they would prefer to see every “slut” branded with a scarlet B on her belly, than for anyone to be at all informed about sexuality, or have any options other than denying the most basic of impulses.

  96. Margarite says:

    Thank you for writing such a beautiful an moving piece. I am grateful that essays like this exist, and to you for sharing your story.

    What I struggle most when discussing abortion is the inherent hypocritical nature SOME (not all!) pro-life advocates are guilty of assuming. Would they still fight as hard for the life of a fetus if they knew it was gay? Additionally, I am insulted that there are hospitals that will not preform abortions even in cases of ectopic pregnancies. The fetus in that case has no chance of survival due to the fact that it is not within the uterus, and when left untreated women with ectopic pregnancies DIE as a result. I am more than my womb, and I deserve to receive medical care. If a woman is going to die without an abortion, how can anyone allow her life to be fore-fitted? Why is a not-yet-developed fetus worth more than the life a woman?

    • Larry says:

      Apparently, they also forget that Adolf Hitler, Osama Bin Laden, and Saddam Hussein were once “innocent little babies” growing inside their mothers’ wombs too.

      • joereform says:

        Apparently, they also forget that Adolf Hitler, Osama Bin Laden, and Saddam Hussein were once “innocent little babies” growing inside their mothers’ wombs too.

        I have always found the pro-life argument of “maybe you will be killing the man/woman who will cure cancer” to be a pretty weak one, myself. The reason is that a human life is intrinsically valuable, before its contributions to society are ever made.

    • joereform says:

      Would they still fight as hard for the life of a fetus if they knew it was gay?

      Aside from the false assumption that homosexuality is genetically determined, it is the pro-choice side that has been guilty of enabling eugenics:

      About 90 percent of pregnant women who are given a Down syndrome diagnosis have chosen to have an abortion.

      Or maybe we should look at how unfettered choice actually could promote the reduction of the female population. If you are going to be consistent, advocating choice means allowing for abortion to favor boy babies over girl ones.

      Thanks for bringing the topic up.

      • Larry says:

        Some people just aren’t cut out to be able to raise children of a specific gender, or can’t handle children with birth defects. You’re not the only person in the world who has ever been a parent.

        Now, since I’m talking to you anyway, after reading a whole bunch of your posts here, I have something for you to think about:

        In the case of a woman choosing to abort, the most likely outcome is that the zygote/embryo/fetus’s life will be terminated. HOWEVER, it will most likely not suffer during the course of it, since its ability to feel pain probably hasn’t developed enough (bear in mind, 88% of abortions are performed before the third trimester of a pregnancy). But even if it does, it’s most likely not going to last very long, since it dies soon after. As for the mother, she probably won’t regret the procedure (most don’t).

        On the other hand, if a woman carries an unintended pregnancy to term and attempts to put it up for adoption, both she AND the child are more likely to suffer; for one, childbirth is more life-threatening to the mother by about 10 times. The child will most likely not be adopted by anyone, so it would be forced to grow up in a foster home or orphanage.

        Lastly, that thing that many anti-abortion activists like to call “Post-Abortion Syndrome”happens much more frequently after a woman gives birth than after she aborts.

      • joereform says:

        Some people just aren’t cut out to be able to raise children of a specific gender, or can’t handle children with birth defects.

        So let’s kill him/her. Makes perfect sense!

        Would you support a parent euthanizing a Down’s syndrome infant on this basis as well? There are methods that would make it very painless, after all.

        In the case of a woman choosing to abort, the most likely outcome is that the zygote/embryo/fetus’s life will be terminated.

        Most likely?

        HOWEVER, it will most likely not suffer during the course of it, since its ability to feel pain probably hasn’t developed enough (bear in mind, 88% of abortions are performed before the third trimester of a pregnancy).

        Irrelevant. There are “painless” ways of terminating life post-birth as well. Whether the fetus feels it or not (and I do note that you use words like “most likely” or “probably” to express your uncertainty of this — when in doubt, let’s opt to cause “possible pain and suffering”?) is irrelevant; it is still the heartless killing of a living, developing, human organism.

        On the other hand, if a woman carries an unintended pregnancy to term and attempts to put it up for adoption, both she AND the child are more likely to suffer; for one, childbirth is more life-threatening to the mother by about 10 times.

        Spurious statistic.

        The child will most likely not be adopted by anyone, so it would be forced to grow up in a foster home or orphanage.

        Again with the “most likely.” I have been a licensed foster parent, and I can tell you with certainty that infants in foster care get adopted relatively quickly (yes, even the little black ones and the ones with disabilities). The claim that mothers who give up their infants for adoption doom them to foster care is a complete myth.

        And I have known people who grew up in orphanages. Strangely enough, not one of them says that their life was so terrible that they wish they had been aborted.

  97. khan says:

    @joereform

    Next time you get knocked up, we can have a discussion.

  98. Jess says:

    What I don’t get is how those Republicans insist that fetuses are human, and yet want to deny them proper health care and education when they are born. Furthermore, they want them to be born into a single-parent family, which is stressful for everyone involved. Because while these rich old white men are forcing women to become mothers, they aren’t forcing the men to become fathers. So what is their deal? Are they wanting to make generations of poor, uneducated and unhealthy children with no paternal figure to look up to?

    • joereform says:

      What I don’t get is how those Republicans insist that fetuses are human

      It’s not a Republican claim. It is a fact of biology. If you need a Democrat to verify that, here are a few.

      • Beau says:

        Okay, Joe. I’d like you to clarify your position.
        -You think that abortions should be illegal
        -And if a woman thinks she doesn’t have the means to raise a child, she should give it up for adoption.

        Is this correct?

        Also, I don’t think you’re proud that I’ve mastered Google.
        I think you’re being passive-aggressively sarcastic.
        -Instead of saying, “Beau, I think you got those links from a Google search -and that doesn’t prove much to me. AND, now I’ll make a point which argues against your logic“… you said, “Beau, I am proud you have mastered Google.

        You don’t know me, and even if Google was a skill to be “mastered” -I doubt you’d have any knowledge about my abilities in that specific skill.

        I’ll admit that I know very little about the Foster Care system.
        I do research on topics as I gain interest in them.
        -For the sake of learning more about this topic, I’ll make a claim.
        After I make this claim, I’ll believe it until I can find research to refute the claim

        This, I think, is your opportunity to offer and share peer-reviewed research with which I can be more informed, Joe -since I’m having a difficult time finding the information I’m looking for.

        So, here is the claim.
        -Over 25% of infants (children under the age of 3) who are put into foster care, remain there for at least 3 years.
        (I picked 3 years, because some of those studies I linked include children 3 and up -therefore, they would’ve been included in the previous argument I made -and excluded from yours)

        Ain’t I correct??? :)

      • joereform says:

        Okay, Joe. I’d like you to clarify your position.
        -You think that abortions should be illegal

        Purely elective ones, yes.

        -And if a woman thinks she doesn’t have the means to raise a child, she should give it up for adoption.

        I wouldn’t put it in those terms, because I don’t believe the poor should be discouraged from raising children on that basis alone. I would say that adoption should be considered as the alternative to raising the child oneself.

        Also, I don’t think you’re proud that I’ve mastered Google.
        I think you’re being passive-aggressively sarcastic.

        I don’t know about “passive-aggressively,” but I was definitely being sarcastic. You regurgitated a list of links to studies that you undoubtedly never read, pushing them in my face as some kind of “case closed” kind of move.

        After I make this claim, I’ll believe it until I can find research to refute the claim

        It’s more intellectually honest to hold something as a working hypothesis rather than to believe it by default until something else comes along.

        So, here is the claim.
        -Over 25% of infants (children under the age of 3) who are put into foster care, remain there for at least 3 years.

        Did you pull that percentage out of thin air? Where’s your support for that? And infancy does not last until age three. Before you get too far out on a limb, I think you need to learn your terms.

        (I picked 3 years, because some of those studies I linked include children 3 and up -therefore, they would’ve been included in the previous argument I made -and excluded from yours)

        Just because some of the children were three in selected studies, that does not mean that they had been in foster care since infancy.

        Listen, Beau: I can tell you from my personal experience what the foster care system is like in Texas. The hardest kids to place are the oldest ones with history of abuse and the behavioral issues. There are a significant number of people who wish to adopt infants through the foster care system, one predominant reason being that the entire adoption process costs under $1,000 (compared to tens of thousands of dollars for traditional adoptions).

        The demand is high for these infants, the ones that pro-choicers insist will be languishing their childhoods away in misery if they are not killed in the womb before being pushed into that horrific situation. It is just another pro-choice lie in an attempt to justify the murder of unborn humans.

  99. Beau says:

    “You regurgitated a list of links to studies that you undoubtedly never read, pushing them in my face as some kind of “case closed” kind of move.”
    Undoubtedly, Joe.

    That’s not what I did, though. What did I type right before the links?
    “-The idea that Foster care is potentially unhealthy and damaging to children is NOT a complete myth:”
    So, to clarify. I made no assertion that it anything was “case closed”.
    The assertion I made was: The idea that Foster care is potentially unhealthy and damaging to children is NOT a COMPLETE myth.

    Regurgitated twice for emphasis.

    “It’s more intellectually honest . . .”
    I imagine that this comment was made purely to insult me. I don’t see how it adds anything to the discussion. The only justification I can think of for adding this comment (aside from offering an insult) is that you figured I might not understand what is “proper” when engaging in an intellectual argument or debate.
    -I do. -and I said I’d “believe it” anyway.

    “Did you pull that percentage out of thin air?”
    -Yep.

    “And infancy does not last until age three. Before you get too far out on a limb, I think you need to learn your terms.”I agree.
    -This is term defining time. Semantics first -debate second.
    What’s the time period for infancy? (please cite source)

    “Just because some of the children were three in selected studies, that does not mean that they had been in foster care since infancy.”
    That’s accurate. -It doesn’t mean they weren’t, either.
    That’s the reason I wrote: “This, I think, is your opportunity to offer and share peer-reviewed research with which I can be more informed, Joe -since I’m having a difficult time finding the information I’m looking for.

    ” The hardest kids to place are the oldest ones with history of abuse and the behavioral issues. There are a significant number of people who wish to adopt infants through the foster care system, one predominant reason being that the entire adoption process costs under $1,000 (compared to tens of thousands of dollars for traditional adoptions).

    The demand is high for these infants. . .”
    Joe, I didn’t ask for a spiel about your personal experience with the Texas foster care system (which is only one, albeit large, state out of 50).
    -I asked for peer-reviewed research with which I can be more informed (although, any research, peer-reviewed or not, may be better than nothing). I prefer numbers to tell the story.

    Anyone can make a claim, Joe.
    I mean, hell, I just made a claim -and rather than offering a source of statistical information to refute my claim -you just respond with your own claim.
    I’m not saying your facts are inaccurate -I’m asking you to cite a source. It’s not rocket-science. Find someone who’s “mastered” Google and have them help you -because my mastery obviously isn’t masterful enough to locate the info I’m requesting (even though I’ve searched around a bit).

    “. . . pro-choicers insist will be languishing their childhoods away in misery if they are not killed in the womb before being pushed into that horrific situation. It is just another pro-choice lie in an attempt to justify the murder of unborn humans.”
    *facepalm* *facepalm* *facepalm*
    -If you think you have cancer, because a doctor told you ya had cancer -would you be lying if you told your friend, “I have cancer” ?
    I don’t think so.
    -What if the doctor turned out to be wrong 2 weeks later?
    Now were you lying?
    No, you were misinformed.

    -Many of the stupid pro-choice/pro-life arguments are based on misinformation.
    Just give us some information, and save some of the insults for in-person, eye-to-eye conversations. That’s when we can most effectively take advantage of the stress-relieving agents of Oxytocin, anyway.

    (also, I don’t think using loaded words and insulting people is the most effective way to convince people that an argument is sound and reputable -it will probably reinforce bonds with people who already agree, though)

  100. Larry says:

    Sorry, Joe, your article didn’t move me, and I have several reasons for saying that. I’m going to quote a few of the phrases from that article and state my responses.

    First off, much of the information there comes from ONE PLACE, published by the American Life League, a website which is no less biased than any other abortion website. Plus, I took the liberty of clicking on that link, and apparently it’s outdated, because the page could not be found.

    Now for some quotes:
    #1:
    “Both citations are by the Alan Guttmacher Institute’s own publications! AGI is the
    Alan Guttmacher Institute ( AGI is the educational arm of Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the western hemisphere) so..they are using their own data stating that abortion is ‘safer’. Where is the use of independent data?”

    My response:
    Frankly, I think scientific data about abortion from an institute that has specialized in and studied abortion and birth control for over 42 years (36 as of the writing of this article – January 2005) is more credible than any ideological claim against it.

    #2:
    “Reported risks of induced abortion are numerous; the reports vary widely in the rates reported. Among the risks are: Increased susceptibility of breast cancer (24 times as likely if first pregnancy ends in abortion)”

    My response:
    Hmm…I smell hypocrisy. Where’s the “independent data” to prove THIS statistic?

    #3 and my response:
    “Ignore the articles”
    Yeah, a bit more of their hypocritical nature right there.

    #4:
    “Blame complications on smoking, drinking or other such factors.”

    My response:
    It is true that some people overstep and will try to establish that abortion is never the sole reason a woman dies. All surgeries and drugs have the potential to be fatal to the recipient. A person can die by getting angioplasty, brain surgery, a bone marrow transplant, or even by getting a flu shot, and the same can be said if people take Aspirin, Tylenol, or who knows what else – they are all capable of impacting the user’s body.

    However, RU-486 has been safe by European standards for decades, and the only objections to its legality in America have pretty much been by anti-abortion groups because of their personal code of ethics, not because of its safety. This article mentioned one time when RU-486 killed a woman, but that doesn’t prove anything, not when you consider the information I posted above.

    Did I mention enough there? If not, I could post a few more flimsy arguments from that article.

  101. Watt says:

    I hope I’m not too late to the party… I made a long-winded reply in the form of a blog post, and have been busy with real life in between.

    Andrea – I agree with your conclusions and share your concerns, but I just got the feeling that “Andrea Past” wouldn’t have been moved by this essay. I could be wrong, but I came from a similar perspective and more or less felt like I wouldn’t have been convinced by your essay if I had read it when I was where you were.

    I wrote about it at length if you’re interested. I don’t mean to get on your case in particular, it’s just that it’s something I’ve been thinking about and it comes up all the time, and your post happened to be what was going around that month.

  102. Alice says:

    I found your article really great and I would like to add another point of view from a foreign country (So please do not mind my not-perfect english from a cheese-eater country ;) )

    I think that what shocked me the most trought the articles and the comment is the poverty of sexual education classes in America. Im still a high school student and every year we have meeting where professionals come and explain us about contraception. I think that church should focus more on explaining to kids how not to fall pregnant that shame them about how a whore you are if you get an abortion. Because, lets look the truth, its not because you say to a teen ‘stay abstinent if you don’t want the wrath of god upon yooouuu’ that it is 100% sure gonna work (Just look at the rate of teen pregnancy in America, it just shows how ignorants most of the teens are about it and how the warning of the religion extremists do not effect that well)

    Personally, I had a sexual education, my parents explained it to me as well. I have a lot of premarital sex, but well protected I care about not falling pregnant. I live my sex life fully and no way I would have waited until the marriage (In Europe if you do so, you are considered as a stuck-up god’s crazy bitch who doesnt now how to to have fun) And do not be mistaken, I study in a catholic high school and most of my friend are catholic but we know how to separe the important part of religion (be a good person, help the others etc) and a point of view too antique to fit with modern society life style.
    PEOPLE SHOULD HAVE TO RIGHT THE CHOOSE WHAT THEY WANNA DO. You dont wanna get an abortion, good for you ! You wanna have one, good for you too. You should not force people to think because you think you know what is better for them (But I think its mostly what religion does unfortunnatly… )
    So please you pro-life people, let people choose what they want and stop thinking that you are the only one who are right. A lot of girls regret their abortion, but a lot dont. Just let people live their life and you should teach them first how not to fall pregnant, it would avoid a lot of familial and religious drama ;)
    Greeting for France (and Europe in general !)

  103. Christian Pro-Choicer says:

    This was a wonderful essay. I am a Christian (non-denominational, neither political party) and I am shocked at how the extreme people treat this issue. Most often it is men and when I brought up a point about how if conservatives REALLY wanted to prevent abortion that they would make birth control available, free, and easy to access everywhere, it drew criticism from a very right wing MAN who said it would promote premarital sex and that women should be more moral. Also, birth control could cause abortions from men who didn’t want the baby and other drugs can’t do that, according to him. LOL. When I said it was unrealistic to expect abstinence as all, I got bashed for that too. You’re right–they think they know all the answers and do not consider other views. Thank you so much for this. I needed to hear it. I’m so tired of the right wing agenda that is all TALK and BANNING.

  104. Katherine says:

    I thank the Virgin Mary and the Blessed Magdalene every day for Roe v. Wade. I use an Ani Difranco lyric for my prayer: “Thank you, Mother, for all the doctors and nurses who daily provide women with a choice; who stand down a threat the size of Oklahoma City just to listen to a young woman’s voice.” Is that sacreligious? I want no part in a religious community that says it is. My worship, like my body, is nobody’s business but my own.

  105. Elizabeth Creely says:

    Love this. I knew I was being slut shamed when i shared news of my abortions. Convincing others was more difficult. Thanks for telling it like it is.

  106. Pingback: Texas Sex and Gender News Roundup, Actually, Just One Round | HAY LADIES!

  107. Pingback: Bodily Autonomy, Abortion and Orange Drink: Or, What I Learned In Youth Group « Health News, Articles, and Information

  108. Annika says:

    Thank you!

    This is important! I live in Sweden, where abortion is legal, but I know there are political forces who would like to change that. I have never needed an abortion, but I’m grateful for having A CHOICE. I like that you bring up that it’s never a question about mens part in the making of unwanted babies, that the responsibility is always on the woman. This is so wrong, it takes two to tango (and to make babies). Thank you once again for a fantastic text. I’m so glad for your sake, that you changed your mind about this subject.

    Best regards
    Annika, Sweden

  109. Linda Valentine-Dean says:

    Just ran across this from a cross posting, marvelously done. You use of the “slut-shamming” is exactly the term I have been looking for (I won’t steal it, promise) when discussing what has been happening to the rights of women.

    Your story of coming of age is quite profound. Young love and revelation will get you every single time, won’t it.

  110. Dogly Mersa says:

    I am for the availability of free, safe abortion. Free, widely available birth control. Scientific sex education. Unplanned sex = unplanned pregnancy. My opinion is that children have the right not to be “HAD”. Bearing a baby you do not want is awful – for the BABY! There are over 7 billion of us! Isn’t that enough? I am for free sterilization for all who want it. Bribes for those who can be bribed to be sterilized. Jail for men who impregnate young girls. Immediate sterilization for child abuse, and other violent crimes. Is it a coincidence that China’s 1 child policy is followed by a period of great economic success? I do not recommend that here. I don’t want to read about baby girls buried in the back yard. We should love, care for , and share among us the responsibility for raising those children, and teens already here.

  111. This unique article, “I used to be a pro-life Republican.

    | HAY LADIES!” was in fact superb. I am producing out a
    copy to present to my good friends. Thanks for the post-Genesis

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