A different point of view

Here is someone with a unique perspective:

Woman Conceived in Rape Responds to Akin Abortion Controversy

Rebecca Kiessling, a pro-life attorney from Michigan, fully understands the national debate going on concerning the controversial comments Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin made about abortion and rape. Kiessling was conceived when her mother was victimized by a rapist.

“It seems to me, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, if it’s a legitimate rape, that’s really rare. The female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down,” Akin said. “The punishment ought to be on the rapist, and not in attacking the child.”

Kiessling responded to the comments saying that the use of the term “legitimate rape” was unnecessary and improper and she gave her advice for how pro-life candidates can thoughtfully and articulately address the sensitive subject of rape and abortion.

“First of all — never say ‘legitimate rape,’” Kiessling said. “Ron Paul used the same terminology last January and he got lambasted for it too. This kind of remark only serves to perpetuate the suspicion of rape victims’ accounts. It’s estimated that only 1% of rape victims ever see their rapist convicted as charged. Rape is rape. “Legitimate rape” almost sounds as if it was somehow justifiable.”

“If you are 100% pro-life with no rape exceptions, there is no need to question the veracity of a rape victims’ account, because you are against all abortions. It would not matter if a woman was not or not raped,” she continued.

While abortion advocates often talk about supporting a woman’s right to privacy, Kiessling says rape exceptions in abortion laws turn that notion on its head.

“Rape exceptions in the law actually put the government in the position of having to ascertain when the child was conceived, who the father is, whether the child was conceived during the alleged rape or during intercourse with her husband or boyfriend, and if the child was conceived during the time frame of the alleged rape, then the government would need to determine whether the sexual intercourse was consensual or not,” she explained. “So rape exceptions serve to perpetuate the injustice against rape victims that their accounts are to be viewed with skepticism, and it further leaves the majority of impregnated rape victims wholly unprotected under the law. Rape exceptions suggest that a “real rape victim” couldn’t possibly love “the rapist’s baby” and that rape victim mothers don’t exist.”

If you disagree with her don’t take it out on me.

I will point out, however, that biologically there is no difference between a child conceived in rape and any other child. A child is wholly blameless for the manner in which it was conceived.

It has been my experience that the two sides in the abortion argument have a tendency to talk past each other. One side talks about the rights of the unborn child and the other talks about the rights of the mother.

I think the right-to-lifers have a legitimate argument when they say life begins at conception. Your genetic program was set the instant that your father’s sperm fertilized your mother’s egg.

On the other hand I am pro-choice because I do not believe that a zygote is a human being. That’s why I agree with Roe v. Wade. A woman’s right to control her own body take precedence over the child’s rights in the first trimester. But as the child develops physically it begins to develop rights as well. That’s why abortion is restricted to extreme cases in the third trimester.

Todd Akin is a fucking idiot. But his belief that women can’t get pregnant from rape is no more ridiculous than the belief that vaccinations cause autism. Neither one has any scientific basis.

I do not believe that the right-to-life movement is a secret plot by men to control women. A lot of men are pro-choice and a lot of women are pro-life. My sister is pro-life. If she’s a fan of the patriarchy somebody forgot to tell her husband.

We need to stop acting as if the radical fringe represents the mainstream. OWS does not represent the political left in America. Despite what you’re gonna be hearing for the next couple of months Todd Akin does not represent the mainstream of the Republican party.

Abortion is an emotional issue for both sides. There are people on both sides who want to exploit the issue to get you angry or scared. Because those are powerful emotions and emotion clouds reason. If they can rile up your emotions they can use them to manipulate and control you.

Always pay attention to the man behind the curtain.

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64 Responses to A different point of view

  1. Hear, hear. Well said, klown.

  2. I’ve been saying for years that the two sides in the abortion debate present an asymmetrical argument, and I’m happy to see that you’ve put up another point of view. I am also pro choice because I don’t think that government needs to get involved in this decision. Maybe the Akin situation will have some good because maybe just maybe that whole stinking debate needs to recalibrate and update itself. I have alot of respect for the other side in the debate as well. Both sides have bad actors too. However, the abortion debate has stalled women’s progress so badly. We forgot to keep working on women’s parity and all we talk about is our uteruses these days. And threats of what government will do to your uterus if you don’t shut up about anything else of interest to women’s advancement. It’s so frustrating.

    I’ve decided that the people perpetrating that debate are a bunch of social nerds who finally found their cohort, and the abortion debate is the code for remaining part of the crowd. Those folks have forsaken their own advancement so that they can stay as part of the group. Cowering faux intellectuals. Blech…….

    • myiq2xu says:

      We regularly keep hearing people talk about forming new coalitions and reaching out to the other side to make things less divisive.

      But then you try to take a nuanced position on a polarized topic and the knives come out.

    • freespirit says:

      The issue should not be reduced to “talk about our uteruses”. It is about the basic, fundamental right to control our own bodies. While I abhor the fact that both parties have exploited women by using reproductive rights as both a carrot and a stick, I disagree with the argument that women should shift focus entirely away from this issue. As long as there is the potential for government to usurp the right of women to terminate a pregnancy, and until political parties and candidates stop making points by preaching that government has that right, it is unwise to treat this issue as unimportant.

      Many of us, myself included, voted for John McCain in 2008, assuming that had he been elected, he would probably not attempt to attack reproductive rights. My guess is that Romney and Ryan will not do so either, which makes a vote for them at least – tolerable (a vote for Obama is not). But, it damn sure doesn’t make it easy. Women who are seriously concerned about women’s rights (of which reproductive rights is an inextricable component) do not serve their interests well by adopting the attitude that this issue is no longer important. It’s fundamental. While serious efforts by the federal govt to control women’s reproductive systems may not pose an immediate threat, if we ignore it for another four years, then, another four years – we will soon have walked so far backward – we may not be able to recover.

      I’m not saying people should vote against R/R – God knows, we have little alternative. But, women need to begin to use their leverage to make sure that the candidate who represents them – does not also support the government’s right to control them.

      • DandyTiger says:

        I assume by women you mean pro choice women. The issue is of course very important to women of both sides. I think the point is that other than that issue, women of both sides of this argument agree on a lot of other stuff. It’s the parties that keep them divided otherwise. Maybe it’s time for pro choice feminists and pro life feminists to recognize each other and to work together on all the other issues.

      • you know, I am one of the women of which you speak freespirit, and I think you are missing one of the nuances of our argument. It’s not that that issue isn’t important. I agree that it is. It’s just that women have put all of their eggs into that basket (or have been herded into doing so) and many other parts of women’s progress have been shelved as a result. I believe that there are plenty of good people fighting that fight, and they will continue to do so. I and many others of my ilk just feel that it is time to move the rest of the agenda forward. And the top of that list is parity—–political, economic, and professional representation equal to our numbers. And when that is achieved, it just might happen that the dialogue on reproductive rights will change as well.

        It’s not a zero sum game, either or. It is in addition to….

        • freespirit says:

          Cynthia, I have read your articles, and understand that you are attempting to strike what you believe to be a balance related to this issue. I respect you for trying. But, I do think it’s fundamental – maybe not, as you say, myiq “absolute”, but it is one of the most basic, human rights we have, in my book.

          I agree with you, it’s a matter of degree. That’s my point entirely. Since 2008, when it became necessary to fight to get Obama out of office, pro-choice women have had to ratchet down their concern about this issue. Some have begun to move even further away from this iit as a core women’s rights/human rights issue. I respect the right of anyone to her/his own beliefs, but I felt it was important to (at least to me, as a feminist) to wave the pro-choice flag for a moment, and ask that pro-choice women not forget it’s importance.. To do otherwise, I believe, in framing one’s political position (if they are pro-choice) is to throw the baby out with the bath water, so to speak.

          I agreed with the author of the article to a great degree, especially her condemnation of Akin’s reference to “legitimate rape”. WTF – would he speak of “legitimate murder”?

          The arguments against women’s rights begin with the fundamental components of respect and value. Anyone who respects women, and does not, as some of the fundamentalist Christian, Muslim, and other religions do, regard them as having less importance and fewer rights than men, would find that statement vile and reprehensible. Nor, in my opinion, would anyone who accords women the same value as men, support the government’s right to dictate whether or not a women is prohibited from terminating a pregnancy.

        • gxm17 says:

          ITA. And, IMO, the term “legitimate” rape is like the term “honor” killing. It’s deeply disheartening that the terms exist and that anyone would use them in an affirmative fashion.

      • myiq2xu says:

        It is about the basic, fundamental right to control our own bodies.

        One of the things you learn in law school is that no rights are absolute. My right to control my own body doesn’t include the right to put drugs in it. If you try to kill yourself they will lock you up. Prostitution is illegal too.

        The real question is how far those rights extend. When should a woman lose the right to terminate a pregnancy?

        • DandyTiger says:

          I think after the kid reaches 18 years, you really shouldn’t be able to terminate it.

        • Thanks freespirit!! I appreciate the exchange….

        • gxm17 says:

          I’ve always found it interesting that in the case of suicide, the state steps in to keep one from hurting oneself, but in the case of reproductive choice, the state (can) override a personal decision regarding self-preservation. Given that women’s reproductive choice is considered a state matter, should the state also have the right to sterilize “undesirables”? And who gets to pick who’s undesirable? How about repeat rapists? Or should the government just stay out of the reproductive business altogether. I lean toward the latter because, IMO, if the law says that it’s okay to enforce pregnancy then it logically follows that it’s okay to enforce sterilization.

          Having intimate knowledge of a suicide attempt and more general knowledge of a chronic patient, with a history of “gestures” that finally turned fatal, I have never known of a suicide patient being criminally charged. That’s just my experience, but I’m pretty sure it’s the norm.

          As for prostitution, IMO that’s the beauty of Sweden’s law. Buying sex is illegal, not prostituting one’s body.

  3. myiq2xu says:

    Via Jim Geraghty:

    But Akin has really stepped in it, and his interview with Sean Hannity Tuesday night suggested he wasn’t in complete connection to reality, with the GOP nominee complaining that Mitt Romney shouldn’t be weighing in on the matter. In a race where a right-leaning ham sandwich could win, Akin leaves us yearning for the common sense, message discipline, and far-sighted vision of a right-leaning ham sandwich.

    First, he’s very badly misinformed on an issue that is near and dear to him, abortion, asserting that “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to shut that whole thing down.”

    There were an estimated at 84,767 forcible rapes reported to law enforcement in 2010, according to FBI statistics. The good news is that this number has been slowly descending in recent years. Here’s the big X factor when looking at pregnancy statistics; this number is for reported rapes. Not all women report all rapes. (However, in some of the coverage of this topic, you’ll see some numbers that seem incongruent; one CDC report asserted, “one percent, or approximately 1.3 million women, reported being raped by any perpetrator in the 12 months prior to taking the survey.” If that is true, it means that only 6.5 percent of all rapes are reported to law enforcement.)

    Here’s a 1996 report putting the figure of rapes that result in pregnancy at 5 percent; this study puts it at 6.4 percent.

    So we’re looking at a number somewhere in the neighborhood of 4,239 to 5,426 cases per year. Depending on how many rapes go unreported, the number could be a little higher or a lot higher. (This section is for all the folks who doubted the 31,000 number cited from CNN in yesterday’s Jolt.) Now, whether or not you find those numbers indicating that pregnancy from rape is “rare,” I hope we can all agree on the political danger of referring to the phenomenon as rare in a political campaign.

  4. I will remain pro-choice til the day I die, Church notwithstanding. I have also quit arguing with the no abortion any time ever crowd as I am never going to get them to answer me on the question I always asked “What about the life of the woman/girl.” For make no mistake about it, pregnancy and giving birth are life altering events. Never ever to be forgotten.
    Often of late I have thought the whole abortion issue is one neither “side” actually gives a shit about. It has become, imo, nothing more than a convenient club they drag out and dust off and use to great effect every election cycle. Nothing like being able to split what should be the most powerful majority in the country.

    • I agree with PMM. The abortion issue has become a means of bludgeoning women into “behaving themselves.” It is not a useful thing to debate at every election.

      Abortion should be tabled, and reserved for discussion amongst those who are serious about the issue. That does not include most Liberal men, who are the most likely to whip out the bludgeoning club.

  5. myiq2xu says:

    New Romney ad:

  6. votermom says:

    I’m someone who manages to piss off both sides of the debate with my pov.

    I’m pro-choice who believes that the ethical choice is life, but that it violates the woman’s personal liberties to have the state force her to continue a pregnancy against her will.

    I came from a country where abortion is illegal. I don’t think the result is good. Aside from the back-alley abortions, there is also the reality of poor kids being neglected and abandoned by society. When abortion is legal, pro-life organizations are motivated to provide better alternatives – pregnancy support, adoption support.

    On the other hand, abortion-on-demand really repulses me. The fact that we are practicing eugenics by aborting babies with suspected birth defects disgusts me, and I think if this trend continues it may damage the future diversity of our gene pool.

    I think the pro-choice attitude toward abortion needs to change. Abortion should be the absolute last resort. It is a medical intervention that violates the integrity of the female body and is the end result of a series of events all somehow connected to a lack of respect for a woman’s body. Whether it’s her own lack of respect for herself by engaging in sex without considering the possibility of conception (no contraception method is 100% effective), or lack of respect of a man who rapes a woman.

    If pro-choicers want to attract more support they should work on making “rare” “safe, legal, and rare” the priority.

    • Safe, legal and Rare! YES!
      I do not believe in abortion as birth control. And third trimester abortions sicken me- fcs- that decision could have been made months earlier.
      Perhaps I come from this from a very personal place- having a sister who was raped by another sister’s husband- and did not have choice available to her. She bore that child, was forced to give it up, and has been damaged forever. Alcoholism, depression, anger. Nobody talked about those things back in the day. And she talks only to me about the child that is gone.
      And so I always ask
      What about the life of the girl/woman. Giving birth and giving the child up and the gd platitudes about what a blessing and gift she gave to some other family DOES NOT fix my sister. It does not give me or my family back the beautiful, bright and happy soul we once had. So in giving life to a rapist pedophiles child, my sister was murdered in a sense. And nothing can ever bring her back and we will never know what her life might have been. All that was killed by a pervert.

      • Oh- forgot to mention- she was two weeks past her 16th birthday when she gave birth.

      • votermom- no he did not. Back in the day things like that were not ever brought out to the light of day to be disinfected. She carries still to this day a burden of shame- I guessed it was him. She has only in the past few years dared speak of it- and only to me. The sister who was married to that pervert? We don’t know if she guessed the truth or not.

    • sadly the nuances within the abortion debate are never mentioned either. Thanks for sharing your principled position votermom. When I was running for Congress in the 90’s, there was so much screaming from both sides, it really drowned out positions like yours. My guess, and there is empirical evidence to back this pov up, is that for the vast majority of us in the middle, the position on abortion is highly nuanced and never black and white. This discussion here today really highlights the norm, not the screaming mimis on the far ends of the spectrum.

      • WMCB says:

        People want to make it into an “It’s simple!” issue, when it isn’t. Nothing where two rights (the right to life and the right to liberty) directly conflict and collide is simple. Accommodation for both has to be made. Neither the baby nor the mother has THE preeminent claim for the duration. Screamers on either side want to say that THIS right always trumps THAT right, but most people (and most women) recognize that it’s kind of a sliding scale.

  7. Anthony says:

    This might be a different spin but then again, its only my opinion.

    I am pro-choice, and I am pro-choice because of the child that will be eventually born into a home where he or she was initially unwanted.

    My circle of friends and my business clients alike include many women who have opted to have an abortion. Whether it was for economic reasons, accidental pregnancies or rape, that decision was one of the most difficult they had to make. It took a lot of soul searching and thought to make that choice, and there were always psychological repercussions that followed.

    In the case of women I know whose religion or personal beliefs removed that choice, there was lingering, underlying guilt about not wanting to have that child in the first place, no matter how much they loved it afterward.

    The most tragic experience to date that has informed my decision to be pro-choice is the ward of abandoned children with AIDS that I visit from time to time. One of them recently asked me “If someone had wanted me, would I still have AIDS?” I assured him that he was more ‘wanted’ than most children I know, and having AIDS had nothing to do with that one way or the other. A few minutes later, I went into the restroom to catch my breath.

    Knowing that you’re not wanted – whether you are in a hospital ward or in a home complete with parents and siblings – is the most devastating and heart breaking reality that a child could endure.

    In this ramped up debate, the focus seems to be on the children whose lives will be taken should a woman exercise her right to choose. Its time we started thinking as seriously and passionately about the children who will be born into a home that is not welcoming. No matter how their parents try to conceal that, the child always seems to know.

    Sorry for the long comment, but this post touched a very tender nerve, and I felt compelled to let the “other” children’s voices be heard.

    • votermom says:

      A pro-lifer would ask if you think those unwanted kids are better off dead? Would they prefer to be dead?

      • imusthavepie says:

        A pro-choicer would say they’re not dead if they were never born.

      • Anthony says:

        I can’t speak for them, but I can speak for myself.

        There is more than one way to abandon a child besides leaving it on the side of the road. I was one of them. I grew up in a very comfortable home, but I overheard a conversation where I was referred to as a “mistake” that caused a rift in my parents’ marriage. I wished I had never been born.

        Of course I’m now delighted to be defiantly alive, but that only happened after I reached my teenage years. Until that time, yes votermom – I wished I had never been born. I guess that’s the nerve that I said was touched by this discussion.

      • myiq2xu says:

        Like the death penalty (and abortion is a death penalty) there are easy cases and difficult cases.

        The easy cases are where the facts lean heavily in one direction. A brutal serial killer. A badly deformed fetus.

        The difficult cases are the ones where there doesn’t seem to be a right answer.

        The problem is how do you make a bright line rule? Every case requires that someone exercise judgment. Every exercise of judgment will leave someone dissatisfied.

        If you say always or never it’s fairly easy to come up with a set of facts that would justify making an exception.

        • elliesmom says:

          There is no right answer to the question of abortion. There will always be two lives to consider, and one of those lives will always have dominion over the other. Making abortion illegal doesn’t make it go away. The only solution for those of us who have ethical problems with women aborting their babies is to always the make the decision to not get pregnant in the first place easy, and if you do get pregnant, to have good support systems in place to carry the child to term. Since aborting a child only disrupts an afternoon, that’s a difficult task.

      • LandOLincoln says:

        Please define “death,” votermom. I don’t believe in it myself, and don’t believe for a minute that any aborted child is permanently and totally obliviated.

        On the contrary, I believe aborted children know well ahead of time they’re to be “aborted,” and so never occupy/enliven the fetus in question in the first place.

        P.S. I’ve never had an abortion myself, but many of my friends have*, and as far as I know they’re never had any regrets. (We’re all of the sex, drugs ‘n’ rock’n’roll 60s and we very happily f**ked our brains out when we were young and gorgeous.)


        *I remember in particular a former friend (a fundie Christian who’d aborted the child of the man she later married and had more babies with). She inhabited a world so dark and ugly and punitive I couldn’t stand to be around her anymore, so I had to break off the friendship. Those good people are (IMO) so sad and sick and mislead that it’s heartbreaking.

  8. yttik says:

    For me the whole issue comes down to, “are women allowed to practice self defense?” Are we allowed to defend ourselves against unwanted pregnancy? I say yes, absolutely. It doesn’t matter when life begins, women have an unconditional right to defend themselves. Everybody loves children, most of us anyway, but the reality is that they are a horrendous assault on a women’s body. You can actually die in child birth. They are also an assault on our finances, they impact our ability to survive, emotionally, psychologically, physically. Just because many women happily make this sacrifice, does not mean we have the right to force all women to make it.

    • votermom says:

      Look at it this way – in almost every state in the USA, a person is within his rights to shoot a home invader. Someone breaks into your house, you can shoot them. Self-defense.

      But I don’t know of any state where a person can invite someone over to dinner, and then because the guest is boorish or overstays his/her welcome and refuses to leave, then be allowed to shoot said guest. (As much as it may be really, really, tempting to do so.)

      That’s the rape / health of the mother exception in a nutshell.

      • WMCB says:

        Sorry, but except in the case of rape, pregnancies don’t descend upon and “assault” a woman out of the blue. The stork doesn’t drop a baby into her uterus out of the sky, while she’s standing around minding her own business.

        The law says to men that ANY time they have sex, they are consenting to be responsible for any ensuing child. Period. They don’t get to say, “Well, just because I wanted to have sex doesn’t mean I wanted a baby!”. Tough noogies. You knew that it could happen, and the fact that you had sex anyway means your ass is responsible for that child, want it or not. And guess what? 18 years of child support can have a huge negative impact on the life of a young man. Still, we say to him: “Tough shit. You made your choice already.”

        The REASON women are given an “out”, while men are not, is because we as a society believe we need to make allowances for the fact that the pregnancy itself is hard on a woman. She bears a greater physical burden, so she gets an extra window of having an “out”. But there is no contradiction between agreeing to allow that extra “mulligan” for a short window of time, and saying that in most cases the woman already made ONEchoice to potentially have a child – the same choice a man makes. So whatever window of choice she gets in the form of opportunity to terminate is in fact her SECOND chance to change her mind. Men only get one choice. Women get two. Saying that unless that second window of choice extends throughout pregnancy, one is “forcing and assaulting” women is poppycock.

        No one forced her to have sex (with exceptions). And no one is forcing her to keep the pregnancy in the early weeks. She gets two bites at the choice apple. That’s plenty. Once that baby is developing a conscious mind and is recognizably human, her rights have to be balanced against his/hers. She’s had ample time to make her choices if she didn’t want to be pregnant.

      • gxm17 says:

        A pregnancy is not always an “invited” guest. A pregnancy is just as often an “unexpected” guest which, I think most would agree, the host is allowed to turn away. Having gone through two medically horrific pregnancies, I just can’t comprehend your comparison that pregnancy impacts a woman in the same way a dinner guest does.

        • votermom says:

          Aside from rape, having sexual intercourse is literally inviting sperm into your body. Women should be aware that no contraception method is 100% guaranteed.
          If contraception fails, there is the morning-after pill. (Which is not abortion, btw).
          As wmcb points out, women get 2 chances to decide – at the point of having sex and within the 1st trimester.

          When the pregnancy becomes a life-threatening health issue for the woman, abortion literally becomes self-defense (in my metaphor, I guess that would be when the invited guest suddenly starts waving a gun around).

          I simply don’t agree with the premise that there is any inalienable right to consequence-free sex. Nice if it happens, but millennia of evolution and biology is simply against that reality. In fact, it’s pretty obvious to me that the ideal of consequence-free sex is a patriarchal construct.

          *edit to add: As I said in my earlier comment, I am pro-choice – I don’t think that govt should have a say in this decision at all. But I think there ought to be a cultural shift – abortion should be regarded as an absolute last-resort. Keep it rare. Promote the other options that make it unnecessary.

    • gxm17 says:

      ITA. Great comment.

  9. WMCB says:

    A woman’s right to control her own body take precedence over the child’s rights in the first trimester. But as the child develops physically it begins to develop rights as well. That’s why abortion is restricted to extreme cases in the third trimester.

    I think this is where those with dogmatic views on either side of this talk past each other. MOST women don’t want all abortion criminalized. By the same token, most women recognize that there IS in fact a real live human being developing there, and at some point we ought to start weighing his/her rights as part of the equation as well. But there is no hard and fast, easily ascertained dividing line for where that “point” lies.

    I also think that the advancements of modern science, ultrasounds, much earlier (and cheap) pregnancy detection, etc have changed the debate somewhat since the 70’s. I think people were much more comfortable with abortions straying into 3rd and 4th months when it
    was common to not even be certain you were pregnant until later on.

    Now? With such early and widely available pregnancy tests, it becomes reasonable to assume that a smaller window allows plenty of time to decide.

    Yes, women should be allowed to rid themselves of an unwanted pregnancy. But no, I don’t think that is a limitless window. Sorry, but she needs to fucking make a choice, and make it early. We are already putting the rights of the woman ABOVE the rights of the child by allowing abortion (and I agree that’s as it should be). I just don’t think it’s too much to ask to have the rights of the child become the bigger consideration as weeks pass, and more restrictions acrue.

    This is why I didn’t freak out over those “horrible” R bills that wanted resrictions past 20 weeks. Excuse the fuck out of me, but you are 5 goddamned months pregnant at that point. You could have KNOWN you were pregnant within a few days after conception. Terminate away at that point. But don’t cry to me about your rights being trampled because we GAVE YOU FIVE MONTHS to make a choice, and now the scales of “rights” start tipping toward the baby, barring medical need.

    I know I piss off some pro-choice friends by saying things like that. I don’t care. There are TWO human beings with rights here. I want the woman to have ample opportunity to exercise hers. But I also want the child’s rights to kick in at some point. Feminists and pro-choice activists ignoring that reality is a big reason why YOUNG people are more pro-life than ever before. Because they didn’t grow up in 1971. They grew up in a world of color ultrasounds and instant pregnancy tests. The very strident “It’s her body, period, no more discussion needed!!” approach does not ring true to them – and frankly comes across as stubborn, blind, and selfish.

    • tommy says:


    • WMCB- I agree with that. A decision needs to be made as early as possible. And of course the procedure becomes more complicated the more developed the fetus.
      Why anyone would wait until 5 months or more is beyond me. How could anyone not know they are pregnant at that point?

      • I was 16 weeks when I found out. Just shy of 5 months. I was very thin — 104 pounds and 5’5″ — so my periods were v irregular already. By the time I figured it out I and made an appt with the doctor it would have been a 19-20 week abortion.

        It absolutely happens — especially to younger women (I was 21) — and most especially to sexually abused young women who are already traumatized and likely in shock/unable to process normal signs etc.

    • gxm17 says:

      I know it’s hard to believe but there are women who don’t realize they are pregnant until they go into labor.

      And there are also women with tragic fatal fetal anomalies and women whose lives are in jeopardy who choose late term abortion. I think these women deserve our compassion not scorn or legal obstacles.

      Personally, I would love to see the day when people would use the birth control that is now available. And I would like to see greater access to Plan B. But I don’t for a minute think that will end unwanted pregnancies, medically necessary abortions or the abortion debate.

      And IMO, deciding what another person should do with her body is about as stubborn, blind, and selfish as it gets. No one is forcing any anti-choicer, of any age, to have an abortion. They should be happy with their choice and leave their noses out of other people’s.

      • My sister found out her unborn son had rare, deadly, and profound developmental defects (2 chambered heart, liver in the wrong place) when she was 8.5 months pregnant. Abortion was off the table for her, and she delivered him in the PICU. Her son died 14 months later after enduring 8 or 9 horrifying operations, drug overdoses, deafness caused by doctor incompetence, more than $1 million in medical expenses (not exaggerating) and incalculable physical pain. Which choice would have been more merciful to him and to his grieving mother?

        So yeah, the charlatan politicians who use this issue to get people to the polls are assholes who dont really care about women, babies, or individual liberty. But that doesnt mean individual women dont care about it. A LOT.

        WE DO.

        • gxm17 says:

          I’m pro-choice. I do not believe it is my business to judge your sister’s choice and my heart goes out to her.

          And, for the record, abortion has always been off the table for me too. I’m lucky. I was the “high risk” part of the high-risk pregnancy not my children. I have immense compassion for any woman bearing a child with a fatal anomaly and think only she can make the right choice and that it should not be subject to another person’s moralizing.

    • Good points WMCB. I think in addition to ultrasound technology advances etc, the dramatic advances in premie survival and thriving rates has modified many women’s opinions on the matter. The “could the fetus survive on its own” rule of thumb is pretty compelling to many women. That used to be at around 30-34 weeks gestation — now it’s down to what, like 20?

      • gxm17 says:

        It should be acknowledged that the earliest preemies can’t really “survive on its own” and they require substantial medical intervention. Even in this day and age, the earliest preemies can not survive on their own and require critical care and many months in the hospital. Such a preterm delivery outside of a hospital, or at a distance from emergency medical care, will not survive. Not even a hospital delivery ensures survival of the earliest preemies.

        • I totally agree, gxm17. I just mean generally speaking American women have gotten accustomed to the idea that with “substantial medical intervention” as you say, a 20+ week gestation fetus “could” survive. I do think we flog ourselves with this. Of course it is v western/American-centric of me. Women in countries with less access to advanced medical care make much more stark decisions.

    • djmm says:

      I am pro-contraception, myself. But it does not always work for some.

      And I think most pro-choice people generally agree that someone wanting an abortion should decide early. Some people, like a friend of mine, did not learn that her fetus lacked a brain until right at her 3rd trimester. Sometimes triggering events like that come late in the game. And you have to deal with the heartbreak at the same time you are trying to make a terrible decision.

      Others who get caught in the time limit traps are pregnant children, who either do not know they are pregnant or are afraid to tell anyone. Yes, that happens, even today.

      Generally I agree with Roe v Wade, that allowing restrictions in the third trimester makes sense. I am OK with those restrictions. But there must be exceptions to the third trimester rule. Most of the brave doctors doing third trimester abortions do not perform the procedure unless it is really needed.


  10. myiq2xu says:

    From Michelle Malkin, a special graphic for Akin: Self-immolation stick figure man:

  11. foxyladi14 says:

    This Election has to be about Jobs and it is getting distracted, Obama is grinning in glee. 😯

  12. foxyladi14 says:

    I hope this is an open thread??/ 🙂

  13. T says:

    Another thread killer. The photoshopping on that woman’s face is just awful. She looks like she’s made of plastic!

  14. catarina says:

    I like Ryan I lot.
    But on this issue, I want to kick him in his Catholic nuts for thinking it’s any of his business.

    Can’t he stick to budget stuff?

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