Sunday, March 08, 2009

The Gloves Come Off On The Abortion Debate

Women's rights are a cornerstone to progressive's so imagine my surprise the stunning silence from Oklahoma progressive bloggers in support of the Freedom Of Choice Act. Perhaps they are intimidated by paste eaters like Red Tater and Fried Green Onions with their bellicose rants. For those who are interested I will repost in its entirety the best "Why I'm Pro-Choice" post ever written, by Jill over at Feministe.

I am pro-choice because I believe women’s lives matter. I am pro-choice because I think women themselves are the best people to decide when and if they get pregnant, give birth, and raise children. I am pro-choice because I believe that the right to control your own reproduction is a fundamental right, and is protected both under our Constitution and basic human rights ideals — and I believe that fundamental right includes the right to prevent pregnancy, the right to get pregnant, the right to carry a pregnancy to term, and the right to terminate a pregnancy. I am pro-choice because I believe that if we outlaw a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy, there is no legal argument against forcing a woman to terminate a pregnancy, or disallowing certain people from reproducing. I am pro-choice because I do not believe that anyone should be subject totalitarian laws which impose unwanted occupations on certain classes of people. I am pro-choice because I don’t believe that women should be legally compelled to maintain another life at the expense of her own wishes, her body, her health, or even her life. I am pro-choice because I don’t believe that women’s bodies should be used against our will. I am pro-choice because I believe that compulsory pregnancy and childbirth is immoral, cruel, and flies in the face of basic notions of freedom, liberty, and human rights. I am pro-choice because I believe that forcing women to carry pregnancies against their will is involuntary servitude. I am pro-choice because I believe that children should be wanted, their entrances into the world joyous occasions — that they should never be considered punishment. I am pro-choice because I want women to be physically and emotionally healthy. I am pro-choice because I don’t believe that pregnancy should be a punishment (or, as anti-choicers say, a “consequence”) of sex. I am pro-choice because I realize that my rights to birth control, to have children, to make my own decisions, to be a fully autonomous human being all hinge on my very basic ability to decide when and if I reproduce.

I am pro-choice because I trust women.

I am pro-choice because reproductive rights are far more than abortion, and because I want to see us live in a true culture of life — one where men, women and children are truly valued, and where pregnancy doesn’t turn a woman into a second-class citizen.

I am pro-choice because those who attack abortion rights don’t plan on stopping there — they’re also going after contraception, science and even sex itself. And they’ve got a whole lot of political capital.

I am pro-choice because I see what places look like when “pro-life” policies are the rule of law. I see it again and again and again.

I am pro-choice because I see what places look like when abortion is safe, legal and available, contraception is accessible, and sex is considered natural, normal, and something we should take responsibility for, not be ashamed of.

I am pro-choice because “pro-life” policies kill and maim women. I am pro-choice because abortion rates are no higher in countries where abortion is legal than in countries where it is outlawed — but countries where abortion is legal see lower maternal mortality rates, lower infant mortality rates, greater economic prosperity, and greater gender equality.

I am pro-choice because women who live in the developing world account for 95 percent of the world’s illegal abortions, and I believe that access to safe health care should not be contingent on where you happened to be born. I am pro-choice because the countries with the lowest abortion rates — Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland — have liberal abortion laws, good health care, comprehensive sex education, and accessible and affordable contraception.

I am pro-choice because many countries where abortion is illegal or highly restricted have significantly higher abortion rates than we have in the United States, and astronomically higher rates than we see in Western Europe. Some of those countries include Brazil, Chile, Bangladesh, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Egypt, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru, and the Philippines.

I am pro-choice because of the number of women hospitalized after unsafe illegal abortions in these countries:
Bangladesh: 71,800
Brazil: 288,700
Chile: 31,900
Colombia: 57,700
Dominican Republic: 16,500
Egypt: 216,000
Mexico: 106,500
Nigeria: 142,200
Peru: 54,200
The Philippines: 80,100

I am pro-choice because 80,000 women die every year from complications from illegal abortion, and hundreds of thousands more are injured.

I am pro-choice because the risk of dying from abortion is far higher in countries where abortion is illegal than where it’s legal.

I am pro-choice because illegal abortion is the cause of 25% of all maternal deaths in Latin America, 12% in Asia, and 13% in sub-Saharan Africa.

I am pro-choice because I will not go back.

I am pro-choice because if Roe is overturned, abortion will be illegal in many states. Even with Roe in place, states like Georgia are considering legislation which would impose life in prison or the death penalty as punishment for women who have abortions and doctors who perform the procedures.

I am pro-choice because I don’t believe we should criminalize women and doctors for exercising reproductive freedom.

I am pro-choice because seeing the impact of abortion rights on a country’s prosperity, gender equality and overall well-being is apparent simply by looking at a map.

I am pro-choice because it’s the pro-choice movement that has advocated for policies which actually decrease the need for abortion, and which make it easier for women to have children: comprehensive sexual health education, affordable and accessible contraception (including emergency contraception), pre-natal and well-baby care, social support for pregnant women and women with children, affordable child care, fair pay for working women, supporting pregnant girls, and gender equality. Comparatively, the “pro-life” movement* has no interest in actually lowering the abortion rate; their ultimate goal is sexual control of women, evidenced by their opposition to contraception and their belief that there is only one singular way to live: abstain from sex until heterosexual marriage, and then have as many children as God gives you.

I am pro-choice because I see the positive impact that the pro-choice movement has had in the United States. Women go to college at the same rates as men. We can define ourselves as something other than mothers, or as mothers and something else. Poverty has been cut in half since Roe gave women the right to control their own reproduction. Men can be nurturing too, and are expected to take part in raising their children. Families can be planned. Men have greater choices in their occupations since they aren’t required to be the sole bread-winner. More people have access to education. Women have more power to escape abusive relationships or bad jobs. Parents of both sexes spend more time with their kids than ever before.

I am pro-choice because I care about children — and according to the Children’s Defense Fund, 100% of the worst legislators for children in this country are pro-life.

I am pro-choice because I believe that my body is mine. I want women, girls, men, and children to be healthy, valued, and cared for. I want families to be healthy.
I want to live in a country that values the lives and well-being of all of its citizens.

I am pro-choice because it is life-affirming. I am pro-choice because it is fundamentally just. I am pro-choice because to be anything else is to devalue and harm women, children, families, and my country.

I am pro-choice because my life is worth something.

Happy Roe day.

*By which I mean the fanatical leaders of anti-choice organizations, not the individual people who identify as “pro-life” to mean that they dislike abortion and want to see the abortion rate decreased, but also support common-sense policies like sex education and contraception.

See, posters like Red and FGO feel their judgement is superior to that of women. This is the very definition of sexism and in opposition to progressive principles. Let them have their hate speech and vile ideology--they are ruined and wholly beyond reason. The debate lies with those in the middle and we must not yield the floor to these fanatics.

10 comments:

Otter said...

"I am pro-choice because reproductive rights are far more than abortion, and because I want to see us live in a true culture of life — one where men, women and children are truly valued, and where pregnancy doesn’t turn a woman into a second-class citizen."

"I am pro-choice because I care about children"

So if you care about children and want all men, women AND CHILDREN to be valued, what about the children that are being murdered? Do you care about them?

As for my pro-life stance, I do not "go after" contraception. I am perfectly fine with preventing pregnancy if that is what you want to do.

The post also states being "pro-choice because I don't believe we should criminalize women and doctors..."

However, you failed to mention that if FOCA is passed, doctors that are opposed to abortion would be subject to penalties for not performing them.

skye said...

This is a comment on another blog I read about this same subject. I did not write this but agree with it.


First, there is a strong and broad consensus in the medical profession that "life" in the sense of recognizably human life does not begin at conception, but much later — generally at 5 to 7 months is when brain activity is detectable. Even Christianity didn't think of life as beginning at conception until very recently. To resolve the seeming contradiction of a loving god and high childbirth and infant mortality rates, church fathers like St. Augustine (if I recall correctly) decided that the soul enters the body after birth.

Second, even if human life fully deserving of all human rights did start at conception it wouldn't matter: no one has the right to use another's body, against his or her will, to sustain their own life. If I desperately need a kidney transplant to live, and you're the only match that can be found, and you're not willing to donate a kidney, I don't have the moral or legal right to force you to. If you accept that adult women are fully human and have the same human rights as everyone else, then you must accept their right to bodily autonomy, including abortion on demand.

Red S Tater said...

"See, posters like Red and FGO feel their judgement is superior to that of women. This is the very definition of sexism and in opposition to progressive principles."

See, Kitty you feel your judgement is superior to that of women who oppose abortion.. and by your definition that is sexism and 'progressives' (socialist Democrats) have no principles.

Oilfieldguy said...

See, Kitty you feel your judgement (sic) is superior to that of women who oppose abortion.. and by your definition that is sexism and 'progressives'...

The difference, red, is I allow the choice, the ability for women to choose for themselves, where you do not.

Otter said...

I find it hard to give a woman the right to "choose" to kill a person.

Oilfieldguy said...

Otter said...
So if you care about children and want all men, women AND CHILDREN to be valued, what about the children that are being murdered? Do you care about them?
The answer to your query, dear friend, is in the related post and supplied links. This is akin to one raising their hand at the end of a semester of internal combustion engines asking, "so what makes the engine go?"

The post also states being "pro-choice because I don't believe we should criminalize women and doctors..."

However, you failed to mention that if FOCA is passed, doctors that are opposed to abortion would be subject to penalties for not performing them.


and if people like red had his way, women and doctors would be charged with murder. Somehow I don't think brain surgeons will be fined for not performing abortions.

I find it hard to give a woman the right to "choose" to kill a person.

Setting aside the definition of person and the debate on when life begins for the moment, but would you force a rape victim to give birth to her rapist's child? The victim of incest to give birth to her very own brother? Or if giving birth was a death sentence, due to a health concern, of the mother?

Otter, it is easy to slam down a fist and say what one is against, but face it, these are highly complex matters. Opposition to a particular thing is fine, but legislating your opposition on a condition you will never suffer from upon those who may, eliminates the right for them, and their families and doctor from weighing their very unique circumstances. And ultimately making abortion illegal just means illegal abortions will occur, causing even greater harm, misery and death.

Otter said...

"would you force a rap victim to give birth to her rapist's child? The victim of incest to give birth to her very own brother?"

Let us discuss some numbers:

In a poll conducted by Planned Parenthood, 1900 women were surveyed and as it pertains to the reason for their abortion, these were the results:

21% - not ready for the responsibility
21% - could not afford the baby
16% - concerned over how the baby would change their life
12% - blamed a relationship problem
11% - not mature enough
8% - had enough children
1% - the result of rape or incest

A woman that is raped has other choices. Abortion is not the only choice. It takes several HOURS for conception to happen after sexual intercourse. She has the right and could make the choice to go to an emergency room and be treated with a spermicide.

Another study shows that victims of incest rarely ever voluntarily agree to an abortion. Rather they view the pregnancy as a way out of the incestuous relationship because the birth of a child would expose the sexual activity.

"Or if giving birth was a death sentence, due to a health concern, of the mother?"

I believe what you might be asking here is the ole pro-choice standy 'what about in cases where the woman's life or health might be in danger?'

I don't think this is a valid concern. In any case where a mother's life could be in danger if she were to give birth to a child, a doctor would induce labor or perform a C-section.
A similiar arguement would be if your house is on fire and you had to choose whether to save your wife or your child, who would you choose?

Otter said...

Whoops, forgot part of my response.

"legislating your opposition.....eliminate the right for them...from weighing their unique circumstances.."

What unique circumstances?

And as far as taking a woman's LEGAL right to an abortion?

Does a woman have the LEGAL right to drive 100 mph on the freeway? No, she does not.
Does a woman have the LEGAL right to not pay her taxes? No, she does not.
Does a woman have the LEGAL right to sell her organs on eBay? No, she does not.
Does a woman have the LEGAL right to sell her body for sexual favors? No, she does not.

People have fewer rights in this country than you really think they do but this is a great country and we do have many rights afforded to us. However, I think giving a woman the LEGAL right to KILL another human being should not be included in the rights we do have.

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