Planted Parenthood

Dateline: Thu 02 Jun 2011

Abortion was made legal by the United States Supreme Court decision Roe vs. Wade on Jan. 22, 1973. According to Wikipedia, " 'Roe' established that a woman has a right to self-determination (often referred to as a 'right to privacy') covering the decision whether or not to carry a pregnancy to term, but ... this right must be balanced against a state's interest in preserving fetal life."

Oh, yeah...the state has an interest. Hmmmm....

The problem with the Supreme Court's decision in 1973 is that many states felt that the "right to abortion" was foisted on states that preferred to set their own standards. Or, as some critics have said, the decision was crammed down our throats, whether we wanted it or not. With no regard to "preserving fetal life," which is, indeed, within a state's interest.

However, abortion is, for better or worse, the law of this land, and not many of us would choose to go back to pre-1973, when abortion was illegal in most states (10 states had an exception to the abortion ban). 

As Ms. magazine pointed out in an article with very vivid pictures published about the time the Supreme Court acted, abortion was too often a dirty back-alley procedure that cost the lives of many women (and babies). The famous photo from that issue was a woman lying on a bed, on her belly, with her legs spread out, bleeding out darkly on a dirty mattress...she was a victim of a botched, illegal abortion. No pictures of aborted fetuses were included.

Planned Parenthood has never completely told the truth about abortion -- that it is also bloody, just as were illegal abortions, that babies (fetuses) die, and that women who choose to have abortions are often left depressed and empty. Hence the play on its name: Planned Parenthood is really Planted Parenthood (with babies being planted in graves).

This lack of objectivity on the part of Planned Parenthood, and the fact that legal abortion was a Supreme Court decision as opposed to one made by each state, as well as all the recent baggage with Planned Parenthood (employees supporting underage abortion, refusing to report child abuse, etc.), is one valid reason Indiana has passed a law that bars federal funding for abortions. From Gary Welsh's blog Advance Indiana: the new Indiana law "bars funding to family planning clinics and facilities that provide abortion services...."

Now the new Indiana law, so the pro-choice argument goes which will be heard in the courts, has "violated federal Medicaid law and has threatened to cut off billions of Medicaid dollars that flow into the state budget each year," writes Welsh.

Hence "the  U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has sent the administrator of Indiana's Medicaid program a letter" advising that our new law is problematic, reports Welsh.

Indiana faces, according to feds' argument, the cutoff of milliions, if not billions, of dollars in Medicaid funding.

Oh, dear.

Lawsuits are piling up; the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana rushed into the fray, asking that our new law be declared invalid.

Friends who are rabidly in favor of abortion rights have lamented the fate of "poor women in rural counties in Indiana" who will be left without choice; what will they do? Since abortion providers are not prevalent in rural counties, I suspect nothing. As always, they will have to travel to urban centers in the state for abortions (or to Bloomington). Under Indiana's new law, women can still get abortions; Medicaid will simply not pay for them.

As with most of these arguments, the reality is not always so black and white. Abortion remains legal in this nation. The Supreme Court's decision stands intact. And the threat of cutting off Medicaid funding for the procedure in Indiana seems not the end of the world. Perhaps family planning will improve? Perhaps, since abortion is legal, pregnancies will still be terminated -- without federal dollars paying for abortions?

I am a Catholic with pro-life sentiments. In my own case, I might have been aborted in 1946, when my then 41-year-old mother became pregnant for the first time with me, and my eugenics-minded father had two fits and a bad spell -- had the pregnancy taken place in 1973, my end likely would have been set, and it would all have been legal.

However, I also have faced (in the 1960s) the potential dilemma of an unplanned pregnancy. I am not immune to that pain. I am not without empathy for women in that position. But I also think too little focus, at least since 1973, when abortion became "a right," has been on the unplanned baby.

These arguments today are healthy for a democracy, especially one in which the Planned Parenthood/pro-choice/feminist rights lobby has been so strident and dominant in the last 30 plus years.

Finally, maybe it is all ado about nothing. As Gary Welsh at Advance Indiana points out:

"The federal government's position seems to contradict existing federal law. The annual appropriation for the Department of Human Services' budget has contained a rider known as the Hyde Amendment that prohibits expenditure of federal dollars on abortions since 1976. Federal employees and military personnel are required to pay for abortions out-of-pocket. And Obama's new health care law includes a ban on the expenditure of any federal funds for any health insurance plan that includes coverage for abortions. It's not like there is anything in this law that is inconsistent with current federal law. States have always had the right to fund abortion services out of their own funds, and a number of states do fund them despite the Hyde Amendment. Federal law has consistently barred use of federal funds for abortions for more than 35 years"

Thanks to Welsh for some legal clarity on this complicated issue.

I'm not saying go back to pre-1973, when the procedure was illegal in Indiana, and abortion doctors in Indianapolis were well-known (in some sets) and available to provide abortions.

I'm saying don't use federal dollars for the procedure. Which, apparently, is illegal, and has been since 1976.

So maybe the big fuss is mostly about Planned Parenthood -- Planted Parenthood -- trying to retain its predominance and its lucrative funding. In Indiana, at least, that position is being challanged.

Just a thought.....

 

 

 

Comments

Wilson46201 [unverified] said:

NO FEDERAL FUNDS HAVE GONE TO PLANNED PARENTHOOD FOR ABORTIONS since the Hyde Amendment years ago.

NONE

ZIP

ZERO

you wrote "the Planned Parenthood/pro-choice/feminist rights lobby has been so strident in the last 30 plus years" -- tell me, kind lady, how many pro-lifers have been shot, bombed and killed by those strident feminist rights lobbyists?

2011-06-02 20:30:30

hendy [Member] said:

The info about the Hyde Amendment is correct, although there's lots of disinformation regarding Planned Parenthood and their mission. They do a lot more prevention than choice counseling.

I sit with Ruth, where I was raised a Catholic and have great difficulty with abortion. But I'm not of the gender that must deal with it, just its possibly unintended results. It's not my body, but I respect the reproductive rights of others. When does it get complicated? Fetal viability, at least for me. I think the SCOTUS set the bar far too late. Some argue it should never need to be set.

But the law passed by the Indiana Legislature is another example of a nationwide agenda-- if it won't fly in the Congress, then get it to work in the states. Planned Parenthood provides counseling and drugs and referrals. What people do with them is their own business, just like smoking in a bar or casino. Whoops-- got my talking points mixed.

Maybe the reason that Gov Daniels isn't going to run for prez is because one by one, all of the Rural Alabama-like legislation that was passed is going to get taken down, expensively, limb by limb. Maybe the South won't rise again.....in Indiana.

2011-06-02 20:56:52

ruthholl [Member] said:

You are absolutely correct to point out this hypocrisy. When I bitched to my kids recently (a sounding board, since they are young and I am old) about the salary Betty Cockrum receives), one son pointed out, "Yeah....but she has to put up with having her life threatened and being killed by nuts"), and he is right.
I used to be involved with Right To Life in the early 1970s. I saw the movement change from responsible critics to nut jobs who smeared fetus photos in peoples' faces.
The pro-lifers, including me, have to take our lumps for shooting, bombing and killing...
I will concede the point. Life is life, and it must be preserved at all costs. The radical "pro-life" movement has done a terrible disservice to a legitimate concern.
My apologies. Radical is never good.
Hence the request to have a meaningful dialogue.
Thank you.

2011-06-02 21:07:11

ruthholl [Member] said:

My comments were addressed to Wilson. Hendy, you are up next!

2011-06-02 21:11:14

ruthholl [Member] said:

I do not believe this initiative was at the top of Daniels' agenda. He said on WISH that he signed this bill because it was attached to something else (what?) that he believed in....
Nationwide agenda, hello? Again, back to my point: that the Supreme Court shoved this down our throats. It was radical then, and now the states are reacting.
I understand that PP does good; my own child is a PP recipient, or she has been. I just think the organization has become too radical to be relevant to us in the sticks.
And again, I say, bully for Indiana for challenging it.

2011-06-02 21:25:49

Wilson46201 [unverified] said:

Apology gladly accepted Ruth. You're basically too nice a person to hold a grudge against !

The majority of abortions in Indiana are NOT done at the three PP centers that do them -- they're done at hospitals. The new Hoosier law was particularly crafted and worded to defund only Planned Parenthood. You can bet the zealots have their eyes on how to cut out hospitals that perform abortions on the premises from ever receiving government funding for anything else UNLESS they stop performing abortions.

2011-06-02 21:42:35

Gary Welsh [unverified] said:

An important point not to miss is that Planned Parenthood can avoid any loss of funding by simply separating the abortion services into a separate legal entity. A lot of people aren't convinced that, despite the Hyde Amendment barring the use of federal dollars for abortions, they aren't in fact indirectly subsidizing the costs of them because the money is going into the same pot. Planned Parenthood didn't help its case with the undercover operation a couple of years ago that raised serious questions about the type of counseling their staff members were providing to underage girls who show up at their clinic claiming to be pregnant. Their counselors did not exactly come off as being very professional in the way they handled these delicate cases.

2011-06-02 21:54:33

ruthholl [Member] said:

I agree with you, Gary. Put abortion service into a separate facility/entity. Seems obvious, and everyone (well, except for dead babies) wins. PP can provide abortion services AND other services under two separate roofs. One clinic for abortion; one for pregnancy planning, etc.
I agree, and alluded to, the problems with PP undercover. Dug their own grave.

2011-06-02 22:16:28

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

When religious beliefs trump laws, not too mention the Constitution, we become no better than the Islamists, who hang homosexuals, unmarried unvirgins, men and women having adulterous affairs. Zealots of any persuasion are not helpful.

2011-06-03 08:53:13

Jason [unverified] said:

I think there's a strong argument that churches get tax dollars in reverse by being exempt from property taxes (which ties into the earlier debate about school funding/lack thereof.) Likewise, if PP's funding is that tied to tax dollars then it goes to the heart of their solvency so it's difficult to argue definitively one way or the other on the abortion issue.

PP also doesn't do themselves any favors in the court of public opinion, as they are viewed as supporting social eugenics in the way they dispose of aborted fetuses, some of the counseling they provide, etc. Not that it's true, but they seem to have no problem wearing the mantle of the bad guy. Of course, in light of the steady stream of threats this could be a circling of the wagons.

Good point Wilson, do your sentiments extend to hospitals who routinely have their federal funding threatened because they do not perform abortions?

2011-06-03 09:17:32

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Jason, of course you're right, but that's local and state property taxes, NOT federal funds. A huge difference.

I think almost everyone may be right in this case. Except the Indiana legislature. What happened there?

I think it's simple--the far rightwing of the GOP finally controls things. They've been sitting on the back bench, in small numbers, for three decades. THey're in a position now to extract some social legislation of their own.

They're wrong, of course, and they'll likely lose a lot of federal court battles, where the stakes are larger and judges serve for life, not a six-year campaign-financed term.

And I still think there's something creepy about mostly-older white guys, in legislatures or robes, making decisions for women's health and reproductive rights.

The pendulum will shift back. It always does.

I'm very, very sympathetic to your argument, Ruthie. This issue has dusted the edges of my life. It was not easy.
We chose life. The key word is "chose."



2011-06-03 11:11:30

Whitebeard [unverified] said:

This Planned Parenthood controversy is way too complex for my addled brain to get a handle on.

On the general issue of life, I would like to offer up the following website link in case anyone is interested:

http://www.democratsforlife.org/

2011-06-03 11:33:47

brian [unverified] said:

I hear many people make the claim that the federal money does not "fund" the abortions. Does the money fund the lights in the building? Pay for the heat in the building? Pay the water bill? Pay the maintenance? It may not fund abortions directly, but maybe indirectly.
I agree with putting the abortion services into a separate entity

2011-06-03 13:26:45

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

I gotta admit, Bryan, you've got a point. Hence the solid suggestion which Ruthie and other shave made: totally separate facilities, funding sources, budgets.

Transparency demands it. Isn't "transparency" the 50-cent word these days?


2011-06-03 19:53:16

hendy [Member] said:

Yeah, separate but equal.

I like the idea that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Some need the cure. Go ahead you Solomons: wield the sword.

Long ago, I read the Cider House Rules. It was a BS book about rationalizing abortion. It's part of birth control, and legal in the land. We don't fund guns for the poor, so why abortions?

Well, we don't. The distinction, however, has to be so strong as to further limit the free speech rights of others to make the distinction. Let's also invade privacy to do so. We all know the funding of abortions by PP is illegal-- when Federal funds are to be used. So they don't do that. But you'll hoist them up, and flashlight them, pat them and their patients down.

Welcome to America. Home of the free.

2011-06-03 22:07:11

DwightSchrute [Member] said:

Here's a simple motto to live by.

Don't like abortion?

DON'T HAVE ONE!!

2011-06-03 22:38:43

Jason [unverified] said:

Kinda like:

Don't like guns?

DON'T OWN ONE!

Or is it?

2011-06-04 00:02:52

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Uh, no, it's not like that at all.

2011-06-04 09:25:54

Pete [unverified] said:

A couple of things would likely occur in the unlikely event that Roe v Wade were overturned and abortion was made illegal.

1. Obviously the back alley abortions and subsequent spike in women's deaths would once again be front and center. Ruth, your little disingenuous jab about how the pictures from those days didn't include fetuses is an indicator that a bunch of dead desperate poor women won't sway the emotions of the zealots.

2. Considering that abortion will remain legal virtually all over the civilized world, women with financial means will simply hop a plane to Toronto or drive down to Mexico or other points to have a safe and legal abortion. How exactly would the anti-choice zealots deal with that? Would we screen all women going to or coming from overseas for pregnancy to make sure they didn't violate US law? Perhaps a national registry of pregnant women will be proposed?

3. Each and every MISCARRIAGE that occurred would require the police to open a homicide investigation to make sure that there wasn't an illegal abortion. Leaving aside the sheer cost of having to do this, doctors presumably would be compelled to turn over patient medical records to the police.

4. After the zealots got their way with Roe v. Wade, Griswold v. Connecticut would be next. Don't remember that case? That's the one that said that states couldn't ban the sale of birth control. Anti-choice zealots don't exactly hide the fact that they also want birth control criminalized as well.

Ironically, the same good Christians who cry about nonviable fetuses and pray in front of clinics are by and large completely in favor of both the death penalty and the current US practice of torturing prisoners of war.

Not your finest hour, Ruth

2011-06-04 10:19:34

Pete [unverified] said:

As for the suggestion that PP has to "split up" their services, why is that necessary? The Hyde Amendment is pretty clear about what Federal Funds to PP can and can't cover. There is this amazing tool called a "financial audit" that could be employed to see if PP is holding to the letter of the law. Oh, that's right, in the fevered minds of the zealots, PP would simply fake their books, right? Well, if you think that's the case, then prove it.

Ironically, when Federal Funds are given to religious groups with the understanding that the money isn't to be used for evangalizing, there are no similar suggestions that the churches split into multiple physical entities to keep in the spirit of the law. Nor are there suggestions that they are cooking their books. Hmmmmm

2011-06-04 10:24:50

Jason [unverified] said:

While I understand the need to utilize a touch of the old sensationalism to get your point across Pete, your conclusions don't really bear to scrutiny.

That's like saying if abortion was legalized, eugenics would become the societal norm. Proponents of abortion, made extremely popular during the Third Reich by the way, would use subterfuge to weed out society's "untouchables," which is what it's really all about, ushering in the Brave New World!

Don't be silly. There are reasonable restrictions on abortion to varying degrees in most of the developed world. I don't see countries burning to the ground based on their pregnancy laws. Abortion was illegal for years and we did just as well as we are doing now. The law simply reflects the culture of our time and sometime in the future it'll probably evolve again.

2011-06-04 11:22:10

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

The discussion about abortion has devolved from one about the ethics of public funding, to one about the elimination of birth control. The personhood advocates would have there be no birth control, asserting that when sperm meets egg, life begins and the zygote should have full personhood rights.

2011-06-04 11:59:02

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Jason--please cite "most of the developed world." Geeeesh. Talk about "scrutiny."

Pete: separation of federal money from religious purposes SHOULD be the Order of the Day. In private schools, PP clinics--everywhere.

Name me one other federally-funded facility that has something as severe as abortions under its roof.

If I ran PP, I'd INSIST on a separate budget, at least.

And you're completely right about Griswald. Sadly.

2011-06-04 12:25:12

Pete [unverified] said:

1. Jason. Explain how pointing out the reality that women with financial means would hop on a plane to Toronto if abortion were made illegal in the US doesn't stand up to "scrutiny". Wouldn't some sort of enforcement mechanism be needed to prevent that eventuality?

2. Tell the Truth, again the magical tool known as "financial audits" should apply equally to churches and clinics receiving federal funds. By the by, a couple thousand hospitals in the US receive federal funds, and abortions are often performed in the same hospitals. Glad you can see that Griswald v. Connecticut is right in the line of fire.

3. Back to Jason, your comment about the "culture of our time" made me wonder. In Europe, their children receive comprehensive sex education that is based on reality instead of sub-Victorian prudishness and religiously based shame. Additionally, sex education fully covers all birth control methods, and said birth control devices are readily available. Unsurprisingly, Europe has a LOWER rate of abortion per capita and a LOWER rate of teen pregnancy per capita than the US. Perhaps, just perhaps letting preachers dictate sexual practices in our country isn't the right way to go.

2011-06-04 12:33:34

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Pete: it's hard to argue with logic.

But I'd still segregate the budgets. If for no other reason that to shut up the constant critics.



2011-06-04 15:07:07

Pete [unverified] said:

Tell,

I don't think "segregated budgets" would accomplish anything. As the birth certificate nonsense showed (hi, Gary you fuckwit), trying to appease people who seek a desired outcome instead of the truth usually results in the goal posts being moved. PP could segregate the budgets, and the zealots would accuse them of faking their books.

By the by, the personhood/birth control assault is well underway

http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2011/06/03/235552/personhood-bills-attack-contraception/

2011-06-04 16:18:55

hendy [Member] said:

The US has been full of zealots that believe that they're given God's permission to rule the lives of others. There's seems to be a permissiveness to have various charlatans cite scripture, then go on pogroms.

Here in Indiana, the northern most southern state, we had de facto segregation, lynched uppity black people, and have a hideous history of KKK control of government. Here. Indiana. Why? The KKK claimed the Christian Bible gave them a right to do so.

Before that, we had the Christian Temperance Union do their best to shut off alcohol. That didn't work.

Indeed this year, our homophobic legislature in Indiana decided that gay marriage was unGodly, and made a constitutional amendment against it. They might have well declared that the Ohio River was running the wrong way, and passed a constitutional amendment to have it flow back to Pennsylvania.

Pete is right when he cites European attitudes towards sex-- although we're also watching a double standard in sex in France backfire; seems what's good for the gander's making the goose unhappy.

As a gender male, born that way, I took a step to insure I don't have any more children, voluntarily. Now, there's a shot men can have that render them sterile for ten years. It's much easier. It's easier than BC pills-- they have lots of evil side effects.

But then there might be a slip. Ya never know. Some are equipped to handle children. Some simply cannot. I think it strikes fear into men at a limbic level that women can have abortions. I don't like the idea. But I don't have the anatomy, and men seem to be off the hook for raising children in many situations. I raised my children, and took on more step children.

And I know women that have had abortions; some had children afterward. It was their choice, legally. That PP counsels both birth control, and alternatives-- perhaps abortion, perhaps not-- is wonderful. Segregation isn't equal protection under the law, TTT. It plays into the hands of the zealots. Let them choose: no. Let others choose as they will. It is not their right to force the decision, and it's not your right, either.

2011-06-04 16:27:36

Pete [unverified] said:

Hendy,

I think the French reaction to the IMF rape scandal is based more on elitism and status more than sex. Yes, upper crust politicians and elite media types in France baffingly played the "it's not rape if the victim is poor" card, but does the rank and file French citizen REALLY feel that solidarity with a scumbag rapist banker? Probably not.

Anyone interested in a good read about the incoherent American attitudes towards sex and "godliness" ought to find an old book called "The Lost Sisterhood" by Ruth Rosen. It's a history of prostitution in America at the turn of the 20th century. It spells out fairly starkly how upper crust men could sleep with prostitute after prostitute and be seen as "sowing their oats", but said prostitutes were nothing more than filthy whores. Yet, that generation propogated the myth that sex only occurred within the confines of marriage for the purposes of making babies. We haven't really evolved much past that era, and the abortion/birth control debate typifies that.

2011-06-04 17:28:30

Ms. Cynical [unverified] said:

It always amazes me that Republicans (the get the government out of my life by reducing business regulation etc.) are so pro interfering in women's issues.

Or, should I say, are so interested in monitoring what happens inside a woman's body.




2011-06-04 18:31:15

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Wow. Full circle? Planted Parenthood to sex with hotel maids by an IMF leader.

A very entertaining blog, Ruthie, dear.

I still vote for the segregated budget, Hendy and Pete. Sometimes, if you stay at the arena and fight over the same issue, day in and day out, it just wears you down.

Let the argument shift from budget-bleed, to the actual Roe decision. I think all polls show a firm majority on that issue, for over 20 years. We allow ourselves to be distracted by shiny objects. The issue was, and is, whether abortion should be legal. It is. Period.

I don't have to love it nor do you.

In a very real sense, the Scott Schneider-led Indiana Senate bill is three decades of sour grapes. Let's just call it what it is.

They should be directing their efforts at laws that strike down Roe's effects, or hush.


2011-06-04 20:14:45

Whitebeard [unverified] said:

A Gallup Poll, conducted May 7-10, 2009, found 51% of Americans calling themselves "pro-life" on the issue of abortion and 42% "pro-choice." Gallup reported that this was the first time a majority of U.S. adults have identified themselves as pro-life since Gallup began asking this question in 1995.

2011-06-05 01:11:53

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Pew, USA Today, multiple polls say exactly opposite.

I'm pretty sure they're all accurate.

2011-06-05 06:10:30

Ms. Cynical [unverified] said:

What happens to a woman's body should be controlled by that woman.

Not by "pro-life" (or "pro-choice") strangers.

2011-06-05 10:05:36

Pete [unverified] said:

Tell the Truth,

Yes, polls. Of course, a Knight-Ridder poll taken in January of 2003 discovered that 44 percent of Americans thought that Iraq was involved with the 9/11 attacks.

A poll can produce a desired result even before it's taken.

2011-06-05 10:38:26

hendy [Member] said:

And so, somewhat succinctly in the otherwise nefarious HuffPo, comes this: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/05/indiana-abortion_n_871526.html where one imagines what might happen if the US$4.3B in Medicaid money were to get cut-off. Imagine the amusement.

And still, PP doesn't pay for abortions with Federal funds-- it's not allowed to. It doesn't. No one disputes that fact or at least they haven't so far.

2011-06-05 16:57:06

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Indeed, Hendy.

And Pete isn't necessarily wrong about polls--I just don't think a majority of Americans want Roe reversed. Could be wrong.

2011-06-05 19:35:14

Jason [unverified] said:

Pete, I'll give it to you, that's one of the most interesting applications of the whole free-market thing I've read in a while. I don't buy into the whole free-market thing on very many issues, this being one of them. And if people fly to Canada, what's your point? Do we throw people in prison who smuggle Cuban cigars or buy their scripts from up there? As a species we've never been known for our logic, we're more about habit and short-term convenience. To wit: we still have Christians and Mormons living outside of Utah, potheads living outside of California and Oregon, and people who hate cold weather living in Wisconsin.

When you speak of "Europe," it might behoove you to be a bit more descriptive. You may find it surprising that Austria, France, Ireland, Germany and the Netherlands are just a few of the countries in Europe that actually have more strict abortion laws on the book than we do (obviously enforcement is the key, but that's a difficult one to nail down.) There look to be just as many that don't, but your argument becomes difficult to understand if we're still talking about abortion and you're speaking of Europe as a country and not as a continent.

Either way, framing our reproductive rates around sex education without taking into account any other sociological factors isn't really a debate I'm interested in reading about. It reminds me of the people who blame our high crime on guns. Isn't Europe's reproduction rate in decline anyway? When I hold a mirror up to many of your arguments I see the far right rhetoric that justifies violence on this issue.

TTT, by "developed world" I essentially meant countries with first world economies, though I guess it's a tricky concept anymore.

2011-06-07 04:44:25

Pete [unverified] said:

Jason,

Way to avoid the discussion, chief. Let's try this again. In the event that abortion is criminalized, do you really think that it will magically evaporate? If a women is of financial means she'll be able to travel to a county like Canada where the procedure is still legal. So, if the point is to stop ALL abortions, what kind of enforcement mechanism do you propose to put in place to prevent that from happening. I'm sure your buddies in Operation Rescue would be appalled to hear you compare abortion to Cuban cigars, no?

As for your assertion that I'm somehow ignoring "sociological factors" when pointing out that European teen pregnancy rates and abortion rates are lower than the US, how on earth can a progressive sex education regiment combined with freely available birth control be considered anything other than a "sociological factor"? Would it help clear this up in your mind to learn that not only does Europe have a lower abortion rate than the US and less teen pregnancies, it's overall birth rate is lower. How do you explain that? In comparison, the "cross your fingers and pray to Jesus" philosophy of sex and birth control has had predictable results here.

2011-06-07 06:56:06

Jason [unverified] said:

One of the nicer things about this blog is the (usual) lack of condescension. No, Pete, I'm not naive enough to think that women are going to stop getting abortions if it's outlawed, do you think women will start getting them just because it's legal? For that matter, what has our legal system been reduced to if we're arguing the effectiveness of it's laws? Child molesters have over an 80% recidivism rate, those laws don't work either I guess we should get rid of them, no? Obviously most of my questions are tongue in cheek and demonstrative, but it would be nice if you would provide a counterargument.

I'm not really able to elevate my level of debate to match your strident, militant (and condescending) orthodoxy that you're putting forth Pete, so you can go ahead and win. Like I said before, put your arguments up to a mirror, I don't think you'll like what you see. It does make for a cool "chicken or egg" debate though.

I don't really keep up with European politics, but I'm not familiar with the EU passing a sex education curriculum for all of it's member countries. Seeing as how they can't even nail down a currency, I find it hard to believe this was ever high on the agenda, let alone that it ever happened.

2011-06-07 13:15:09

Pete [unverified] said:

awww...Jason, you're no fun.

Gosh, speaking of strident, militant, and condescending orthodoxy, consider we live right now in a climate where nutballs kill doctors for performing a legal medical procedure. Do you truly think those folks will back down if they succeeded in gutting Roe v. Wade? A cursory study of "personhood" initiatives and an increasing hostility towards the sale of birth control ought to alarm you, Jason.

As for Europe v the United States. One region is open minded about sex and birth control. One country says "Jesus cries when you spill your seed". Who has the higher abortion/pregnancy rate?

2011-06-07 16:11:03

Jason [unverified] said:

I'm not arguing the extreme pro-lifers are right, Pete, because they aren't. In fact when you get down to it they're just as wrong as the extreme pro-choicers (hint hint). Truth be told, it's just not that deep for me. I guess since I'm not a zealot one way or the other my opinion on abortion doesn't amount to much, thanks for reinstilling my belief on that.

Once again, there are too many moving targets roaming around here. Are we talking about abortion, sex, or birth control? Are you trying to say all 3 have to be tied in, and that we're wrong on all of them or 1 or 2 of them? We haven't even established what part of "Europe" you are referring to. I still haven't seen any kind of evidence in regard to a universal European lesson plan in regard to whichever of the three aforementioned issues you're bouncing around between.

I don't know if they will "back down" if they gut Roe vs. Wade, Pete. If abortion becomes more common do you think the pro-choicers will "back down" or instead push for home abortion kits and post-partum infanticide? I don't see how you can buy into one slippery slope but not the other, it seems intellectually dishonest when you look at it objectively to claim moral high ground on either side of the issue.

2011-06-08 02:56:20

Pete [unverified] said:

Jason

1. Europe, who knows if there is an official "lesson plan", but their attitudes about sex and birth control are fairly well known, and again, stats don't lie here

2. Home abortion kits and post-partum infanticide? Come on now...no one at all reputable has ever proposed that. On the other hand, mainstream Republicans flock to "personhood" initiatives which would criminalize common forms of birth control and require homicide investigations for miscarriages.

I've been banging on the sex ed/birth control thing because if you want to cut down on abortions, that's how you do it.

2011-06-08 07:10:05

Jason [unverified] said:

Key word being 'reputable' here. For Pete's sake, if you haven't heard such absolutely insane sociological ramblings from your side of the aisle on everything from reproductive rights to male circumcision you haven't been listening very closely.

If you're referring to the overall Western and Northern European stereotypes about sexuality, which I think you are, that's fine. Attitudes in Southern and Eastern Europe can be a bit more conservative so I'm guessing that's where you were going and why I was confused.

Okay, thank you for drawing the arguments together in regard to sex ed/birth control/abortion, etc. I will say this, I went to Catholic school for 12 years, and we discussed everything. Birth control, condoms, the pill, where babies come from, etc. I think in our society every sane person knows where babies come from and how you can avoid them. If you really want to cut down on abortions you have to change your culture, and passing out condoms in school and telling kids it's okay to have sex as much as you want as long as you use protection isn't really going to cut it, IMHO. Is that what you meant by "European?"

2011-06-08 15:48:30

Symona [unverified] said:

You?re on top of the game. Taknhs for sharing.

2011-06-11 08:59:39

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