13 year old Pennsylvania girl home-aborts with a pencil

If you are ending up here thanks to a Google search looking for resources on how to perform abortions at home, please, PLEASE use Planned Parenthood’s resource finder to find your closest available family planning clinic. Don’t try to perform an abortion at home, no matter how desperate you are. You will probably end up dying without proper medical treatment if you try any such “back-alley” treatments.

And I lay at the feet of all anti-abortion religious organizations any deaths that result from your campaign against safe, legal abortions.

This is absolutely heart-rending. A thirty-year-old Poconos man got his 13-year-old “girlfriend” pregnant, and seeing no other recourse, where the local clinics do not provide or refer abortions as they are very religiously oriented, she used a pencil to abort her pregnancy. The action made her sick for three days, after which she went into contractions and delivered the aborted fetus. She had to be hospitalized for complications thereafter.

The reporting is wishy-washy around this case. The man is “believed to be” the father, the couple “were in a sexual relationship”, it is “reportedly consensual”. I, for one, am horrified. Just, absolutely appalled. Rape is a component of many, if not most, relationships with an age disparity that large, especially if it crosses over the age of consent, so I have no doubt in my mind that a 13-to-30 relationship is outright rape. A thirteen year old girl can’t possibly understand the depth of danger she was in, not only in performing the self-abortion, but in staying in the relationship she was in. Call this what it was. Whether she consented or not, she was hardly mature enough to make an informed decision. And the fact that safe medical abortion was unavailable to her, well, that pretty well closed the one avenue back onto the path of sanity after she’d gotten pregnant at the hands of her repeated rapist.

In the aftermath of this horrific story, some people amazingly enough consider this story a success for the pro-life movement. They say that if she had not self-aborted, she wouldn’t have ended up in the hospital, and her “boyfriend” would never have been caught and charged — with statuatory rape and concealing the death of a child, as it happens.

“I am sure this story probably has most people wanting to vomit and cry at the same time as their hearts break for this little girl. I would also guess however that many of those same people would not even bat an eye if her method of killing her child had been a RU 486 prescription from the local Planned Parenthood,” Kemper said.

“I would goes as far as saying many would praise her for making such a brave choice,” he added. “The method of killing the child should not matter.”

About abortion advocates and their reaction to the story, Kemper said: “I can also hear the spin now, ‘this is why we need safe and legal abortion,'” — even though abortions are already legal and are supposed to prevent such self-induced abortions.

Kemper says he’s glad Lisk was arrested and hopes he is brought to justice for his alleged crimes.

“If the girl had gone to Planned Parenthood he would probably still be raping her as I doubt they would have turned him in,” Kemper explained.

She had no access to said safe, legal abortion though, as she lives in Pennsylvania, a parental consent state, which means she had absolutely no path to a safe, legal abortion. Even if she HAD been able to get a legal guardian to consent, she would have had to go through counseling that would have discouraged the act, would have had to pay for it out of pocket as insurance companies don’t provide coverage, and would have had to luck out on finding a health care provider who wouldn’t refuse on absolutely no valid grounds whatsoever (e.g. because the doctor is pro-life, or figures the girl must be promiscuous). She was probably living in a climate of fear with her thirty-year-old boyfriend, on top of that total lack of access to a proper medical option. And considering how her stunt played out, I am solidly of the opinion that she was in grave danger of becoming little more than a second count of “concealing the death of a child” on her rapist’s rap sheet. It’s fortunate that she ultimately ended up in the hospital at all.

Had safe, legal abortions been accessible to her, she might have ended up in the hospital under better circumstances, to have the abortion, and her rapist would have been brought to justice just as quickly and easily. When you provide no access to abortion referral, you’re effectively making it impossible to have abortions, whether they’re safe and legal or not. It’s not a surprise that little girls in these environments, who get raped and get pregnant as a result, end up taking matters into their own hands. A tragedy, maybe, but not a surprise.

I am fucking tired of “pro-lifers” only giving a damn about “life” that isn’t even fucking born yet. What about the life of the thirteen year old? It’s only by mere dint of chance that she didn’t do more serious damage to herself. And that a pro-lifer would spin this deadly incident as a victory for their movement is sickening.

Abortion rights are human rights. It’s not like there’s some kind of shortage of people who can procreate, and who DO procreate, so ability to make a choice about whether to carry your rapist’s baby to term when you’re a mere baby yourself is nothing short of a fundamentally necessary right for any so-called humanistic society.

13 year old Pennsylvania girl home-aborts with a pencil
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19 thoughts on “13 year old Pennsylvania girl home-aborts with a pencil

  1. 1

    This story makes me ill. And if the story itself weren’t enough to make me ill, to see that the pro-lifers are claiming this as a victory has me reaching for anti-nausea remedies.

    This isn’t a situation where anyone should be attempting to claim victory.

    I commend your ability to write this. In my current state of anger, I wouldn’t have been able to. At least not without a hell of a lot of swearing. Well spoken, my friend.

  2. 2

    You shoulda seen the first draft. And yeah, I’m still seething. Only distracting myself with Twitter and food seems to be doing any damage to my rage levels.

  3. 4

    They don’t give a damn about children or life. That’s clearly apparent in the fact that they express no concern for the health or safety of the girl who was so desperate not to be pregnant that she jammed a pencil into herself. In fact, they rejoiced over it. Sick, depraved scum.

  4. A

    I can’t decide if I want to scream or cry. Thanks for writing this post. How disgusting to make this into an anti-birth control argument!

  5. 10

    If you don’t know that people have a soul then no, it doesn’t matter that babies are murdered.
    In the aforementioned case, nothing matters – there is only the here and now, and actions, consequences etc. will all become nothing once your accidental existence ends. So if I were to go and kill lots of people for no reason, it wouldn’t matter because they wouldn’t care – they couldn’t care, because they’re dead and there is “nothing after death” – and if anyone was upset or outraged I could just kill them as well and they would no longer care either, as they would be dead. The only reason it would be “wrong” would be because someone else thinks so, and since this “someone else” has no power or authority over me, and doesn’t even offers me a good reason to listen to them, the fact that they think it is wrong is irrelevant as they are only philosophical zombies, pretending to have the same power of thought and reason which I possess, because belief in something I cannot prove (i.e. that other people have conscious thought) is stupid.
    Then I could go and murder some innocent ‘foetuses’ and deny them the right to be given every possible chance at life simply because “I’m not ready to have children” or they were an “accident”.
    If there is no ‘higher power’ then there is no reason to have ‘morals’. The fact that someone else doesn’t like what I’m doing simply “doesn’t matter” because I have the right to choose to do whatever I want.

    I am all for Pro-choice – people can choose to do whatever they want (for example this 13-year-old girl has the right to “choose” to have sex with a 30-year-old if she wants) but if they do the wrong thing (i.e. kill someone, rape someone) then they should be punished. Your choice in having a child ends when you conceive a child – if you don’t want a child don’t have sex.
    You can say I’m close-minded, heartless, stupid, etc… but you’re just a philosophical zombie, anyway, so your argument is invalid.

  6. 11

    If you ‘know’ that people have a ‘soul’, I’d question the authority of your source of information. Any evidence to back it up, outside of the Bible? Or is that something that’s impossible to test, and therefore specious?

    We have morals because the very concept of keeping a human society stable, demands it. Each society has its own morals, and they are subjective, based on what the members of the society deems necessary to maintain that society’s stability. These morals are subjective, and often the morals don’t have a lot of overlap with the existing laws, especially when people clinging to 1600-year-old compilations of 2000+-year-old fairy tales get to make the laws.

    Your own particular “zombie” affliction, the mind-virus that is your religion, means you attempt to export what your holy scriptures tell you are valid morals onto other people forcibly (as you do here), and you use the concept of a deity as a way to bully others into agreeing with those morals, even if those morals are horrifyingly immoral by today’s standards. If you assume the Bible is the infallible guide to morality granted humanity by an infallible deity, then you also assume that the actions of that deity are bound by those morals, because otherwise, your deity is immoral (and not just amoral).

    We are all meat puppets, subject to the influence of our upbringing and our surroundings. Our morals are shaped by them, as are our beliefs. Because you were brought up a believer, or because you recently converted into a believer, you have internalized all the morals you have been exposed to in your religion. Or you have picked and chosen those morals you deem to be good, ignoring all the bad ones mentioned in the link above. Even the very “objective morality” you claim to espouse is thoroughly subjective — as evidenced by the frequent rebuttal by theist apologists that the morals of the Bible were “appropriate for the time” but not, by extension, appropriate now.

    Your grasp of theology is hamfisted, and lacks the nuance needed to talk about serious things, like thirteen year olds being raped and being forced to abort using a pencil because other people with your particular philosophical bent have created such a situation. If you truly value all life, you should do something to stop situations like this, rather than killing the baby girl along with the fetus. To do otherwise exposes yourself as the immoral wretch that you are.

  7. 12

    …If you ‘know’ that people don’t have a ‘soul’ then I’d probably question your information as well… and there isn’t any other information besides the Bible and personal experiences to use to back my opinion, because without God (or the Bible) then as I’ve said, nothing matters – there isn’t a purpose. If the earth somehow came into being without being created, then there cannot possibly be any purpose, unless the few atoms which were around before they existed only made a big bang because they thought it’d be fun to watch.
    Before I start, I’m aware that I’m not addressing all the things you pointed out, which I’m quite sure you denied me of as well… I don’t really want to read a whole lot of reasons why some wo/men think the Bible is wrong. They can believe what they want to… They can’t prove it’s wrong to me, I can’t prove it’s right to them. They may be able to probe it’s wrong to themselves, as I can prove it’s right to myself.
    I’ve also heard the thing about delusions of lots of people being called Religion – fair call I suppose. I hear plenty of people believe the contrary (which is also unprovable and hence is a delusion), and ‘delude’ themselves into believing that unborn babies don’t care if they don’t have a chance to decide what they will believe or maybe even come to know – perhaps the people that were aborted would have become the next Abraham Lincoln, perhaps they would have become the next Adolf Hitler, or perhaps they would have committed suicide because they were denied a loving family, because they were an accident and their parents wished they were dead.
    Everyone believes in things they cannot prove, I sat through lesson after lesson of Chemistry only to find that, while the theories did work in all tested circumstances, they are unprovable. I do believe most of what they’re saying, though – it seems fairly logical.
    As I said (actually, I don’t remember if I said – but anyway…) people can choose to do whatever they want. I’m not trying to force my beliefs upon anyone else – for example, I am objective to homosexuality but I believe that homosexuals have the right (or should have the right if they don’t) to be homosexuals, both biblically and non-biblically. The only reason that abortion is different is because the mother’s choice invades the choice of another individual, in this example it is the unborn baby. I would assume that you and many other people don’t object to the government pushing its views onto society in the form of laws, unless they are laws you don’t like (for example tax hikes, which generally infuriate society) – in the end abortion doesn’t affect me, and neither does slavery, statutory rape, etc… but that doesn’t mean that I should just stand by and let it happen. Or does it? O_o – I have just as much right to type things over the internet as you do…
    Pro-choice persons argue that, “They have the right to choose to do whatever they want to with their bodies. It does not affect people like you (i.e. me), but you have the right to feel the way you do. You don’t have to have an abortion if you don’t want one, but don’t push your beliefs onto me.”
    Pro-slavery persons argue that, “They have the right to choose to do whatever they want to with their slaves, for example owning a slave/sex slave. It does not affect people like you (i.e. me), but you have the right to feel the way you do. You don’t have to own a slave if you don’t want one, but don’t push your beliefs onto me.” – Do their rights matter? Should we push our anti-slave beliefs onto them?
    The Bible doesn’t tell me what to believe, I generally make my own decisions regarding stuff like this. It just gives me the knowledge I need to make as accurate a decision as I possibly can.
    Immoral wretch? ='( *cries on the inside* – I have morals, they are just (obviously) different to yours and generally my reasoning consist of extremes because to say something like an egg yolk not being a chicken, an acorn not being a tree, and silk not being clothes doesn’t really equate to a baby being murdered not being a baby. In case you didn’t pick up, I don’t think everyone should just be killed and stuff like that if they don’t agree with me… I’m quite sure that society will not ever change their minds and believe/realize that an unborn child may or may not want to claim their right to life… and you ask for evidence besides the Bible (I assume because of the whole >40 authors thing, who were imperfect as we are) but all of your evidence comes from people who are also imperfect, and there’s probably not even 40 of them sharing the same view in the same place. Their evidence can’t be proven either (I didn’t read it, just assuming) because unless I have experienced there evidence, they could be lying (or being subjective/omitting detail) – just as if you have not experienced my evidence (i.e. God) then obviously it cannot be proven to you.
    … she isn’t a baby girl, she’s a 13 year old girl – the baby girl is the one that was buried in the shopping bag, remember? People used to marry and have children almost as soon as they started having their periods, it wasn’t ‘wrong’ then, but it’s ‘wrong’ now – in this case it was probably wrong (without knowing all the details) because the man was breaking the law. The girl was only forced to break the law because her society objected to her behaviour – and she chose to abort the baby anyway… You heap blame onto me as if people who don’t like babies being murdered are responsible for this girl’s post-murder trauma and self-harm, no one/few people blame/s the parents for not intercepting. She was “forced” to abort the baby herself in just the same way that rapists are “forced” to rape persons illegally because there is no legal alternative – abortion clinics and rape centres.
    And today’s standards are horrifyingly immoral by history’s standards – murderers are given only a few years in air-conditioned jail cells as punishment, etc. (can’t think of any other examples, rape and stuff… I’m sure people can figure it out). I assume also that you’ve heard of the middle-eastern woman who was/was going to be stoned to death for committing adultery… there was lots of international outrage over that, because of morals and stuff – I suppose the only thing I can say to that is to stop, “us[ing] the concept of [human rights] as a way to bully others into agreeing with those morals.”
    I’m probably judging from an iron tower (or whatever the term is), never having had an abortion, but you probably haven’t had an abortion either… I haven’t lived all that long, and I wouldn’t have lived at all if my grandparents had followed the doctor’s advice and aborted my mother for fear of a highly debilitating affliction inside my mother before she was born, which was either not present or too small to be of any significance. I would assume that most abortions in society are attributed to people who are either deemed too young by society to even be having sex or by people who “don’t understand the risks of sex”, in that sex can result in the terrible affliction affectionately named pregnancy. Abstinence from sex generally results in avoiding any unwanted pregnancies, and punishing a baby because a male raped a female doesn’t seem very just.
    As I mentioned before, I expect that most of society (as indicated by about 90% of my legal studies class) will refuse to deem “foetuses” as human beings, and as such a thing is occurring then there is little/nothing I can do to help them except by not having an abortion. Similarly, there is little/nothing I can do to help 13 year olds stop having sex except by not having sex with them – I cannot control the actions of society or members of society and legal systems don’t really stop crime…
    And I don’t understand why people feel the need to defend their beliefs against ‘people like me’ – if you don’t believe in God or souls or the like, then you have nothing to ‘fear’ for doing what you’re doing (except the opinions of ‘people like me’ for ‘people like you’ – and ‘those people’ shouldn’t care what I think anyway…) – anyone that believed/knew similar things to what I believe/know wouldn’t do anything to physically harm you anyway, because I don’t think that is the right way to deal with the issue – and those persons can’t be spiritually harmed. I’m not one of the people who think that pro-choice people are possessed by Satan – frankly I don’t think he’d waste his time on them. I even agree with Dawkins – it is ‘easier’, more ‘preferable’ and more ‘comfortable’ to live in a world without God.
    In the end either I am going to be wrong or anti-Christs are going to be wrong, and either way they won’t be able to say, “I told you so.”

  8. 13

    without God (or the Bible) then as I’ve said, nothing matters – there isn’t a purpose.

    How is that? Why do we have to be given a purpose? Can’t we assume our own purpose? In what way would that be less valid? As a species we seem to have developed a number of purposes. We are attempting to learn more about the nature of ourselves and the universe. And we’ve come quite a ways. The amount we now do know and understand is phenomenal. And we keep going. How is understanding the nature of the universe not a worthy purpose? Or for that matter, enjoying life? Or reducing human suffering? Or reducing human and animal suffering? That’s all purpose, and doesn’t require God.

    In fact, I’m not exactly sure what other purpose God has given us. Be fruitful and multiply? Worship him? Anything else?

    Respectfully, it is a mistake to think a life without God is a life without meaning, or joy, or purpose, or care, or love. It is all of those things.

  9. 14

    I recently put together some links on the origins of morality and morality in non-human animals for a guest lecture I gave at a local college. In short, there’s no reason to think morality is anything but inherent to our social structure as a species and something we share with other social animals. See here: http://almostdiamonds.blogspot.com/2010/09/religious-skepticism-bibliography.html

    I realize you may not want to read any of that. However, I should note that you’re slightly off on your assessment of your online rights. You can type what you want on the internet–in your own space. This isn’t that space.

    Now, I’m not saying Jason won’t let you post here. This is his blog, not mine. I am saying that if you post screeds and refuse to interact with what others say in response, you’re engaging in verbal masturbation. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s a bit rude to do in someone else’s place.

  10. sbh

    Josef: If you really believe that “without God (or the Bible) then … nothing matters – there isn’t a purpose” you may well be clinically depressed. You sound clinically depressed anyway. This may also be why you are so desperately afraid of ideas that counter your own. Having suffered from depression myself I am well aware of the sense of purposelessness that depression can bring. While I personally don’t believe in interfering with whatever private hell a person has chosen to make for himself, you sound, well, desperate. Think about getting help.

    The Bible is a lot of fun to read, what with its naive view of the physical universe and its aggressively pro-slavery stance (or doesn’t that bother you?); it has some great stories and some cool (if rather bloodthirsty) poetry. Aristophanes is fun to read too–but if you start living in cloud cuckoo land, you’re in deep trouble. Reading ancient literature shouldn’t become a substitute for dealing with reality.

  11. 16

    Although this is 6 months old, decided to check back – didn’t realise people had replied to me.

    To Rich Wilson: Yes, people can assume their own purposes and such. When I said there’s no purpose, that appears to have been wrong in a/many sense/s. What I mean is that if there is nothing after life then regardless of what someone does now it will have been ‘pointless’ (in a sense) after they die. I know that it will benefit other people, but then the cycle starts over again.
    It is indeed a good thing that people want to help other people, and other stuff like that. What (I think) I’m talking about is more-or-less what is written in the book of Ecclesiastes – everything is meaningless. While my views are probably a bit cynical, I still think that there’s not really any point without ‘God’. Further on in Ecclesiastes 3:12 (I really like this book ^_^) he says something like what you said (at least, I seem to see some link, anyway): “I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live.”
    And lastly, your quote: “Respectfully, it is a mistake to think a life without God is a life without meaning, or joy, or purpose, or care, or love. It is all of those things.” – I do agree that it can, and is, all those things – you can have joy, sense of purpose, care, and/or love.

  12. 17

    To Stephanie Z: Sorry – I think when I originally came here I just came off a google-search or something, haven’t really ever had much to do with blogs. Didn’t really think of it as being someone’s page, I just figured it was a news-ish report or something, with an attached opinion on the matter, and space for comments (whether pros or cons).
    And I do realise that many people (myself as well sometimes) are probably a bit skeptical. I make mistakes and don’t know everything. There’s not really any future in me trying to develop on argument on a topic which I have neither an opinion nor relevant information, I need either one or the other, or both – I suppose I had a bit too much opinion and not enough relevant information… ;D

  13. 18

    To sbh: I don’t know whether or not I’d be diagnosed with clinical depression, but I don’t think that it would help if I was, whether or not I actually was actually suffering from depression. I don’t think I’m ‘afraid’ of ideas that counter my own, something inside me just gets irritated when I see something that I ‘feel’ is ‘wrong’.
    It may be that that feeling I have is in fact the thing that is wrong, or maybe they’re both right/wrong in their own way. I don’t know much about depression – I know my friend’s dad suffers from it, as well as being bipolar, and being a rehabilitating alcoholic. Having no knowledge of how/why/whether depression exists, I can’t really say much about it.
    I do talk to someone about stuff that I deal with, but I’m pretty sure depression isn’t what I’m looking at. And if it was, I don’t see how taking drugs or talking about it with someone that I don’t know could help.
    For more information on my revised opinion, read Ecclesiastes – the ‘teacher’ there is better at explaining it than I am.

    My personal issues aside… 🙂

    The pro-slavery thing has specific rules about treatment of slaves. For example, they had to be bought, and then released after 7 years of service (I suppose like a 7-year contract, but anyway). Also, if the person who owned the slave was a God-fearing owner (or just a decent person) than the ‘slave’ would be more like a servant or something like that – they wouldn’t be mistreated or worked to the death or anything like that. Personally I wouldn’t want a slave anyway, and the sorts of slavery that are around today I doubt would be considered as ‘loving your neighbour as yourself’ – stealing children and selling them as sex-slaves isn’t the kind of slavery they were talking about.
    Also keep in mind that those rules were (I believe) given to the people by Moses. I don’t know if that particular reference to slavery is mentioned by Jesus, but when asked about something else that Moses had said they could do…

    Matthew 19:3-9
    3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”
    4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’[a] 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’[b]? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
    7 “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”
    8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

    a – Matthew 19:4 Gen. 1:27
    b – Matthew 19:5 Gen. 2:24

    (Again) While this doesn’t address slavery, it points out that just because Moses said they could do it, doesn’t mean that it was necessarily /the right thing to do/ (/EDIT/: what God wanted them to do). Moses said, simply, not to kill – Jesus said he didn’t want people to hate their brother (brother: i.e. other people).

    And yes, the Bible (if not taken to be true) is indeed just a good (18+) story-book.

    P.S. I don’t think I overlooked any of the points people raised (this time)… =)

  14. 19

    “And considering how her stunt played out….” Her stunt? I doubt it, it’s even entirely possible he realised she was pregnant before he did. Even if a termination was readily available, given her age and her relationship with him I think it still would have panned out the same way. He had a lot to hide especially given her age and that there was a large power imbalance inherent in the relationship which would have been a powerful motivation to find any way he could to hide his abuse of her.

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