Santorum’s wife’s abortion was different, you see.

Senator Rick Santorum, not to be confused with the neologism coined by Dan Savage meaning “a frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter sometimes the byproduct of anal sex”, is publicly very much against abortions, especially “partial birth abortions” where the baby is terminated any time after three or four weeks and has to be passed out of the woman’s body via the birth canal. Basically meaning any abortion. The description I’ve given is in no way an exaggeration or a falsehood, and the whole point of the term “partial birth” is to demonize the concept of abortion out of hand, making it seem like you’re giving birth to a viable human baby then stabbing it in the heart before it’s out the door. It’s a dirty tactic, but one in line with Santorum’s namesake neologism, certainly.

Santorum’s views are unapologetically black-and-white. He advocates that any doctor performing an abortion under any circumstances should be criminally charged.

Even for rape. Even for incest. Even for saving the mother’s life. None of them justify abortion in Rick Santorum’s world.

Unless it happens to be Rick Santorum’s wife, and she might have died if not for her 20-week-old fetus being “partial birth” aborted. That’s different. Because, you know, that’s JUSTIFIED. Unlike all those other mothers.

In October, 1996, his wife Karen had a second trimester abortion. They don’t like to describe it that way. In his 2004 interview with Terry Gross, Santorum characterizes the fetus, who must be treated as an autonomous person, as a practically a gunslinging threat, whom the mother must murder in self-defense. Karen has had to justify her decision to save her own life by explaining that if she died her other children would have lost a mother.
[…]
Karen Santorum is the wife of right-wing, anti-abortion Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.). In 1996, Senator Santorum led the debate on a bill that attempted to ban late-term abortions, and refused to make an exception even in the case of “grievous bodily injury” to the woman. In Santorum’s article, she expresses her view that carrying a non-viable fetus to term is the only option, and apparently does not think the woman’s health or future fertility should be a consideration.

I hereby call on Rick Santorum to sue the doctor who performed the surgery that saved his wife’s life. While it may not be a criminal act yet, at least you can get damages from the doctor for daring to save your wife’s life at the expense of your wife’s constitutionally endowed infection source. That act was a second-trimester abortion. It was a “partial birth abortion”. It was done only to save your wife’s life. It is done generally only to save other mothers’ lives. It is not a criminal act in any respect. If you do not sue this doctor, you are a hypocrite of the highest order, and deserving of the worst epithets people can Google-bomb you with.

Choosing abortion is not an easy choice to make. Sometimes, it’s the only option. People do not have abortions out of hand, despite what right-wingers and religious nuts would have you believe. Oftentimes, choosing abortion is choosing life — for the mother, who is often also the mother of other children.

Do not legislate that their wombs become pressganged into being baby factories for rapists or a death sentence for the womb’s owner. Trust doctors, and trust women, to make the choice only when necessary. If you don’t like abortion, then simply don’t have one, even if it costs you your life and your children their mother. And if you aren’t a woman or a doctor, shut the fuck up and stay the fuck out of the argument altogether. Especially if the reasons you’re horning in on this conversation — the reasons you believe you have any moral say in the matter whatsoever — have anything to do with a really old book.

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Santorum’s wife’s abortion was different, you see.
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370 thoughts on “Santorum’s wife’s abortion was different, you see.

  1. 253

    And what of the child’s body? What about the child’s life? It didn’t ask to come into existence, it just did. Call it a fetus to get around it. Call it a woman’s choice and get around it. Talk about male oppression and get around it. Talk about life not meaning what it does and get around it. Talk about the real definition of abortion and death and zygotes and fetuses and get around it. Talk about rape and incest. Talk about poor women and coat hangers in alleys.
    People do what they wanna do. Then, when they’re forced to live in their own skin, they’ll jump through all kinds of hoops and rationalize things they never would’ve rationalized before. The same way I’m sure a girl grows up believing she’ll give herself to her husband one day, and have more ‘purity’ in that way, until she discovers at 18 that it doesn’t take as much to give herself to a man as she thought. Or how that little girl thought she’d have standards, until she has an abortion, and then whaddya know…all of a sudden, let’s not judge, and most everyone else is just like me, and hell, we need to shape U.S. policy around it, even. That’s how this shit works.
    Is it EVER wrong to kill a life growing inside of you? I guess that only depends on whether the woman thinks it is or not. Talk about ‘moving goalposts’, lol. Wont pretend there’s a lot of use in having this conversation. One woman can get pregnant and think it’s a gift from God Himself. Another can get pregnant, and feel herself one with what nature wants to happen (I mean, after all, why are we here, to get pregnant and abort?). Another woman gets pregnant, decides she doesn’t want her daddy or her hubby or society to know, so scrape it out. And that’s supposed to be equally admirable. That is not true. I guess what pro-lifers would like to hear, is a bit of honesty about what the significance of the act is, even if the act will be done. Rather than jumping over here, over there, distracting, running around in circles to pretend that what is, isn’t actually what it is.

  2. 254

    And what of the child’s body? What about the child’s life? It didn’t ask to come into existence, it just did.

    Well, that’s because it doesn’t do anything. You know, those 90% of first-trimester abortions, there’s no brain, no central nervous system, no consciousnes.
    Only a possible potential to become a person.

    Another woman gets pregnant, decides she doesn’t want her daddy or her hubby or society to know, so scrape it out. And that’s supposed to be equally admirable.

    Well, or she just decides that having a baby right now would fuck up her life and that of her family, her husband, her existing children. I don’t care why she does it. You don’t get a cookie for being Michelle Duggar.
    But I get the feeling that you would not be very nice and caring for a single mum with 5 kids from 4 men who lives on wellfare…

    The Jews not born are just as non-existent as the ones who died in the holocaust, you know.

    And here’s your Godwinn award. And way to go for being a jerk who dares to compare the suffering of millions of real people with lives and feelings and sensations to the abortion of embryos and fetuses who have no capacity for feeling, experiencing or thinking.

    Well, if life doesn’t begin at conception, why wear a rubber? Why take a pill every single day?

    You must be very stupid to think that to be a clever argument.
    But since you’Re asking: Because it’s way cheaper, healthier and all around more practical than having an abortion. They’re not exactly fun, you know.

  3. 255

    “Well, that’s because it doesn’t do anything. You know, those 90% of first-trimester abortions, there’s no brain, no central nervous system, no consciousnes.
    Only a possible potential to become a person.”

    Poor Giliell. You don’t know what cards you’re showing. Such passion. I respect that. I really do. However, my post before your reply says it best, but I’ll continue where you left off anyway. Don’t you know how one might ask say, a baptist, whether it’s right or wrong to get drunk, and they might reply that the bible says it’s okay to drink but not get drunk..and how you know they’re full of shit, and really like a beer? The abortion argument is still very telling, even in 2012. That baptist likes a drink, but he makes it sound like something that’s wide open, and shouldn’t be judged. Same thing here. Are you a female? I bet a hundred bucks, if you are, you used to be a little girl, and never thought you’d grow up to be an advocate (or participant) in abortion. That is fact. Now that you’re older, you stick up for pro-abortion for one reason or another, not because of natural thought…but because you do not like the condemnation of behavior. It’d be like being a right-wing christian, and having a gay brother….you don’t want to believe your brother may go to hell, so you find yourself restructuring your own belief system over and over and over again, because you have to live in your own skin.
    Likewise with abortion. You’d like to zigzag into legalese, or semantic circles about definitions of words, when all it comes down to, is a condemnation of behavior. Women don’t flaunt abortions in the light of day…why? do you actually think that ‘society’ came up with it’s standards of behavior out of the blue? No. It evolved. Hell, I remember being 13, and seeing my cat gnawing off the head of one of its kittens…now, there’s the crux of it. Should I have my natural reaction, which is, damn, that’s fucked up..or should I be more like you and believe that constitutionally protected life is primitive and stupid, and believe that any woman who has an abortion, REALLY SHOULD be having that abortion..that way, we dont have more women in this world like that?
    Would/do you like the idea of your sister having an abortion? Would it make you feel good to know your brother made his wife have an abortion? how about you? would you rather have been aborted, if it made ur mother feel less inconvenienced?
    I have children. I guess I could’ve pushed my wife for an abortion for any number of reasons. These children who I love, who I want the world for, I should feel they could’ve been aborted and it makes little difference, really. Well, I’m not you.
    “But I get the feeling that you would not be very nice and caring for a single mum with 5 kids from 4 men who lives on wellfare…”
    Unlike you, I believe most women have control over whether they fuck someone else or not. You’re from a different frame of mind.
    “way to go for being a jerk who dares to compare the suffering of millions of real people..”
    You’re chiming into an argument you didnt start, and that was a mistake. It was not I who made the comparison between never-borns and murdered fetuses. Notice, in all my posts, I’ve never resorted to calling people jerks, assholes, sluts, cunts, liars, etc. etc…. I don’t have to. I only wish I had shit to make up to make my point, but unfortunately, I dont.

    “You must be very stupid to think that to be a clever argument.
    But since you’Re asking: Because it’s way cheaper, healthier and all around more practical than having an abortion. They’re not exactly fun, you know”

    Calling me stupid. Fine. “Cheaper” should be a concern, naturally..right?
    Healthier? Come on…most females do not abort their children for health, don’t be full of shit, please.
    “And all around more practical”…why do you have such a cause for this? Nevermind, it’s not my business, I guess. It’s kinda like someone blasting their opinions on a board under a pseudonym, in a way. Not enough conviction to give their real name, but oh, so opinionated.
    Doesn’t matter. It’s sad. It’s a damn shame, is all. Sigh.

  4. 256

    I guess what pro-lifers would like to hear, is a bit of honesty about what the significance of the act is, even if the act will be done.

    Oh, and I have to say I’m sorry (I’m not, it’s a figure of speech), but what you want to hear, it’s not going to happen.
    It’s not that we’re secretly ashamed of it and just for the matter of propaganda not admitting that oh well that of course it is a huge thing and that the abortion is only the lesser of two evil but still technically an evil
    How much of a thing it is, that’s down to the individual woman. Some take a lot of time to decide, some don’t, for some it isn’t even a question at all.
    You can try as much as you want, but you’re not going to make us feel ashamed for our position.

  5. 257

    I bet a hundred bucks, if you are, you used to be a little girl, and never thought you’d grow up to be an advocate (or participant) in abortion. That is fact.

    You owe me a hundred bucks.

    As for all your christian comparissons:
    Wrong, too.
    I don’t defend a woman’s right to choose because I’m afraid of condemming her behaviour.
    It’s because I absolutely don’t think there’s anything condemable in that behaviour
    It is not as if she’d engage in something I’d otherwise disagree with.

    “Cheaper” should be a concern, naturally..right?
    Healthier? Come on…most females do not abort their children for health, don’t be full of shit, please.

    OK, you are stupid (See, I have no problem condemming or judging people).
    It’s fucking healthier not to get pregnant in the first place than having invasive medical treatment.
    Are you too thick to understand?
    It’s like it’s better not to break your leg in the first place.

    Women don’t flaunt abortions in the light of day…why?

    Because there’s idiots like you around who’d compare them to Nazis who murdered millions in gas chambers.

  6. 258

    I don’t have the need to call you names, why do you do that to me? I like you.
    “It’s fucking healthier not to get pregnant in the first place than having invasive medical treatment.”
    I agree.
    “It’s not that we’re secretly ashamed of it and just for the matter of propaganda not admitting that oh well that of…”
    Propaganda? I’ve no agenda here, politically..I’m talking as if abortion as a means of birth control is not something as admirable as measures that could’ve been taken before. I like you.
    call me

  7. 259

    I don’t think Trent cared for my question at 248. Probably because it’s unanswerable: he doesn’t care about the fate of “babies” who die from natural abortions and therefore reveals that for all his crap about “the child’s life”, he doesn’t really believe that a brainless, semi-differentiated mass of cells is a person. Or he’s a psychopath who is ok with letting massive numbers of children die. Whichever, I don’t think he’s a good person to be taking ethical advice from.

  8. 260

    It was not I who made the comparison between never-borns and murdered fetuses.

    This statement is so confused I must assume that you got carried away with your own rhetoric and lost track of what you were actually saying. A fetus that is aborted, whether by spontaneous or induced abortion, is never born. By definition.

  9. 261

    Now that you’re older, you stick up for pro-abortion for one reason or another, not because of natural thought…

    What is “natural thought” supposed to be, exactly? In this context, it appears to mean “ideas formed without considering logical and social consequences”, which most people would probably call “gut feeling”.

  10. 262

    Trent #259

    I don’t have the need to call you names, why do you do that to me?

    Just because you’re a prissy prig doesn’t mean everyone else has to be one.

    Propaganda? I’ve no agenda here, politically.

    Are you one of those idiots who don’t think most anti-abortion folks aren’t pushing a socio-political agenda? If so, you’re incredibly naive. Or you’re a liar.

    Incidentally, propaganda is not necessarily political. The Vatican’s Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (Congregatio pro Gentium Evangelisatione) used to be called the Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith (Sacra Congregatio de Propaganda Fide).

  11. 263

    “Miscarriage” is merely a more palatable word to use than “abort/ion”. Face it, when a woman loses a baby (before viable) her body ABORTS it. Now we have wiped away any pretense of pretty, or ‘difference’~

    Everybody gets riled up at the thought of terminating the pregnancy…is it always in the best interest of the child to be born? Can YOU control every outcome of those who ARE born?

    Mother’s a drug addict
    Where’s dad to support this child
    Without hope of adoption, this child will suffer in poverty & abuse, probably starved or beaten to death. After all, didn’t Santorum ALSO say it’s preferable to have an imprisoned father than a stable, same sex couple raising kids >;{D~

    Or child has severe defects. Who are YOU to sentence this child to that kind of “life”?

    Parents need to wake up & stop telling their daughters they’ll ‘kill’ them if they get pregnant young. Talk to your kids, prepare them, support them-but most of all teach them PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY. Yeah, even the BOYS- It starts at HOME.

  12. 264

    What is “natural thought” supposed to be, exactly? In this context, it appears to mean “ideas formed without considering logical and social consequences”, which most people would probably call “gut feeling”.

    I suppose this refers to the age when you’re equally young and clueless. You know, that age when you, if your parents were good people, understand how babies are made, but still have no idea that adults have sex just for fun and not with the explicit goal of making babies.
    The age when you hear that somebody’s going to have a baby and you think about your baby-doll, not about toadpole (which the fetus resembles in outward appearance, I’m not saying it is one).
    The age when you want to marry daddy, although I’ve never heard that argument made in favour of incest or pedophilia as an example of “natural thinking”.

    I don’t have the need to call you names, why do you do that to me?

    It’s not because I need it, it’s because I like it.
    Really, you’re as condescending and offensive as you can get. Just because you don’t use “bad words” doesn’t mean you’re polite.

    I like you.

    You have a strange way showing that. I also have no clue why you do.

    Propaganda? I’ve no agenda here, politically..I’m talking as if abortion as a means of birth control is not something as admirable as measures that could’ve been taken before.

    I admit to having difficulties understanding that sentence, but if you’re especially talking about abortion as after the fact birth control:
    Nobody said it was admirable.
    If you ask me what I think of a woman who, although she has reliable birthcontrol readily obtainable say “why should I bother, I can have an abortion”, I think that such a woman would be foolish and probably irresponsible.
    Doesn’t have anything to do with the fact that her abortion is her decission.
    Why would I say that abortion is OK for women who were raped, victims of incest or just simply contraception failure and think that a woman who made a really stupid mistake or a seriously bad choice should go on and have the child?
    That makes no sense.
    Actually, the more stupid, foolish and irresponsible she behaves the more happy I am that there are abortions. If she doesn’t get one, the result is a child, an actual person who deserves better than that.
    Pregnancy and children are not punishment for women daring to have and enjoy sex (unless you believe an old book).

  13. 265

    So Trent….if it was your wife or daughter and her health were at risk due to a pregnancy or she was raped by say a stranger or an uncle…would you let her die? would you let her have a baby produced by incest or rape?

  14. 266

    And you still continue to argue abortions as an alternative for a reckless behavior…again, in 2008 41.2% of women 40-49 had abortions (the highest percent and that number still holds…something like 20% were 50-59). I highly doubt they were trying to shirk responsibility due to the major complications that having a child that late in the game entails. Abortion has also declined in the past two decades drastically because young girls don’t have to worry about being ostracized,or worse, beaten to death for the mistakes they made. I don’t deny that some women probably do seek abortions as a means of birth control but they are retarded to continually spend that much money while putting themselves at risk health-wise. If the scenario of using it as birth control is feasible, they must have an ass ton of money at any given time. Also, I highly doubt that abortion for birth control happens as often as you might think. Find some numbers to support your argument.

  15. 267

    No, built… We argue that if the issue is reckless behavior, the male should equally carry the embryo to term.

    Males have always transferred the liability in the sexual realm to women, which they can do because of biology, but that accidental difference in no way renders them immune from the responsibility of their own recklessness, overreaching, or opportunism. In a fair world, reckless men would wake up pregnant; then abortion would become an inviolable sacrament.

  16. 268

    No, built… We argue that if the issue is reckless behavior, the male should equally carry the embryo to term.

    Males have always transferred the liability in the sexual realm to women, which they can do because of biology, but that accidental difference in no way renders them immune from the responsibility of their own recklessness, overreaching, or opportunism. In a fair world, reckless men would wake up pregnant; then abortion would be an inviolable sacrament.

  17. 269

    Abortion has also declined in the past two decades drastically because young girls don’t have to worry about being ostracized,or worse, beaten to death for the mistakes they made.

    Or didn’t make.
    My cousin’s ex-girlfriend got pregnant when she was 16 because a doctor talked shit. If you’re 16 and your doctor tells you “not to worry” about the pill and antibiotics, you’re not going to question that.
    Fun fact: Two heavily liberal pro-choice families who never tried to shame either resulted in a healthy baby-boy.
    I mean, an awefull lot of the people I know are the result of failed birth-control.

  18. 270

    I totally agree with both of you…I think Trent posted farther up that about 90% of abortions were due to reckless behaviors. Failed birth control is definitely a bitch, and my comment was in regards to using abortion as a sole form of birth control. I completely agree that men should shoulder the responsibility for their behavior as well. I think that any couples decision to seek an abortion should be just that, their decision.

  19. 271

    I interpret Trent’s argument to mean women not wanting to have kids to avoid, in his words, “stretchmarks and bills” lol…thats what I interpret reckless behavior to mean. Abortions to get out of responsibility which I feel doesn’t occur as much as some people insinuate it does.

  20. Leo
    272

    I went back to what Trent said in response to “what about the 80%” of non-implanting zygotes (blastocysts really). Trent said “I guess we’ll deal with that after we get rid of tearing flesh, bone, and cartilage apart.” So it was an offhand remark, but Trent appears to have expressed at least some concern about it.

    Mind you, if they were born the population would be much more worse off for it, what with the quintupling of the population. But no one can say anti-abortion folks are concerned about the consequences of their actions.

  21. Leo
    273

    As for fetuses and organs, a much better comparison is between fetuses and cancerous tumors. Back in the 1950s, the folks pioneering organ transplants noticed something unexplained about fetuses: they should be rejected by the mother’s body as biological foreign invaders, yet they usually are not.

    Turns out fetuses have a lot in common with cancerous tumors: in addition to wrecking the body of the mother and threatening her health and life, fetuses use the same T-cell suppression methods used by cancerous tumors to make the mother’s body think the fetus is nothing more than one of her organs in her body. Shut off this T-cell suppression mechanism (termed the “Fetal Immune Evasion Mechanisms“), and the pregnant woman’s body immediately rejects the fetus and miscarries. Obviously the main studies have been done on animals, but several drugs cause miscarriages in humans by shutting off the Fetal Immune Evasion Mechanism, notably some drugs used to treat cancer.

    So the fetus only sticks around in the mother’s body, wrecking her health and possibly killing her, because fetuses LIE to her body, making her body believe that the fetus is not a life-threatening parasite more akin to a tumor, by suppressing the pregnant woman’s immune system. This symptom of pregnancy is in fact a symptom of the parasitical invasion of the fetus and its attempts to survive against the “wishes” of the pregnant woman’s own body.

    So there is no “mutual understanding and respect” between the fetus and the woman’s body. Its a fight between mother and fetus for the fetus to survive to birth and for the mother to survive to birth.

  22. 274

    Leo, the immunosuppression of pregnancy is one reason why pregnancy is and throughout history has been a leading cause of death among young women. In 2007, pregnancy was the 6th-7th leading cause of death in women age 15-34. (Source: http://www.cdc.gov/women/lcod/). Also to note, there is a type of cancer that is, essentially, a pregnancy gone wrong. It’s known as a molar pregnancy and is deadly.

    I disagree with you that Trent’s response to my bringing up the uncomfortable reality about spontaneous abortion suggested any interest in investigating the problem. He essentially dismissed the death of, according to him, 80% or so of babies as unimportant because they weren’t (according to him) homicides. At best he said he would consider supporting research into spontaneous abortion only after there was no more induced abortion. If we take Trent’s claimed world view seriously, this is the equivalent of saying that one should not investigate infant deaths until infanticide was completely eliminated. Which is just crazy: no reasonable person would ignore the suffering of millions of children just because it wasn’t the specific type of suffering he or she was concerned with.

    Indeed, in the real world, vaccines were invented, hygiene improved, safe c-sections developed, and many, many other methods of decreasing loss of young lives came into being without anyone saying, “Wait. Let’s not worry about (pertussis, measles, dysfunctional labor, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, malnutrition, etc) until there’s no more infanticide.”

    Again, I see no way to avoid the conclusion that Trent doesn’t believe a word of his supposed belief in the sacredness of fetal life either.

  23. 275

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  24. 276

    There is a discussion, above, about the low rate of zygotes developing into embryos, and of embryos developing into fetuses. This is something about which we need not worry ourselves.

    Every month, there are millions of tadpoles-seeking-egg; at most one will find it. Then the combined cell begins a long and dangerous obstacle course. The tad or the egg may be defective, or the tad may not have fully penetrated, and nothing develops. Or the zygote may be fine, but just float around and never attach itself to the uterine wall. Or it may attach in a place where it can’t grow into a fetus and may kill the woman, such as a fallopian tube. Or the hormonal environment may be, for a variety of reasons, inhospitable at the moment. Or they attach and are unable to develop for genetic reasons and are washed out at the end of the month. And so on. So you see there are masses of zygotes that don’t become fetuses for every one that does.

    That’s why these ignorant idiots of candidates who want to declare a fertilized egg to be a “person,” who claim that not only are abortions criminal, but failing to do everything possible to save the “life” of any zygote is to be a crime, are ludicrous. Also, they apparently missed sex ed in the 8th grade.

  25. 277

    There is a discussion, above, about the low rate of zygotes developing into embryos, and of embryos developing into fetuses. This is something about which we need not worry ourselves.

    Every month, there are millions of tadpoles-seeking-egg; at most one will find it. Then the combined cell begins a long and dangerous obstacle course. The tad or the egg may be defective, or the tad may not have fully penetrated, and nothing develops. Or the zygote may be fine, but just float around and never attach itself to the uterine wall. Or it may attach in a place where it can’t grow into a fetus and may kill the woman, such as a fallopian tube. Or the hormonal environment may be, for a variety of reasons, inhospitable at the moment. Or they attach and are unable to develop for genetic reasons and are washed out at the end of the month. And so on. So you see there are masses of zygotes that don’t become fetuses for every one that does.

    That’s why these ignorant idiots of candidates who want to declare a fertilized egg to be a “person,” who claim that not only are abortions criminal, but failing to do everything possible to save the “life” of any zygote is to be a crime, are ludicrous. Also, they apparently missed sex ed in the 8th grade.

    You do know, that these lying jerks’ concern for stages of development of an unborn fertilized egg is phony as a three dollar bill, right? It’s just that they can’t arouse voters into a passionate following by explaining the state of the economy–especially since the crash was the brain child of the far right. Too bad it didn’t miscarry.

  26. 279

    As for the conflict between the interest of the embryo/fetus and the woman, I recommend PZ Myers’ post on Why do women menstruate?, which sheds light on one tiny part of this conflict, namely that the mechanism that makes human women build up that thick lining every month is exactly a defense mechanism against those greedy suckers.
    Conceiving and carrying a baby to term is always more detrimental for a woman’s health than not doing so.
    Still women decide to get pregnant or to keep an unplanned pregnancy and have the kids because they decide for themselves that the result is worth the risk.
    That can change rapidly, like in the case of Mrs. Santorum, where the result, a dead baby anyway, clearly wasn’t worth the risk of dying. That can change no matter how much you wanted to host the fetus, how much you wanted to have the baby.
    And the cost-benefit ratio is different for every woman, for every pregnancy. That’s why you need to leave that decission for the woman who has to take the risk, nobody else.

  27. 281

    Gingrich and his wife #3 is also a hypocrite. They’re Catholic but have no children together. Doesn’t the Catholic Church prohibit the use of birth control? How come Calista has no children after being in a longterm sexual relationship (before and after marriage)?

    Keep your religious views out of your politics. And stop forcing religious beliefs on society as a whole.

  28. 282

    Whether one is religious or not, one will find that the loss of separation of church and state will not only hurt everyone in the society, in one way or another, but will end any semblance between the U.S. and a free country.

  29. 283

    Christians think it is a debate they will “win,” and be able to impose their values on everyone, but the fact is that in ending separation of church and state, no one will win. Everyone will lose.

    All you need to do is look at ANY period in history in ANY country where religion and government were mixed, and you will realize there is only one way that has ever ended, and only one way it ever will: with civil war, persecution, death, and hardship.

  30. kat
    284

    If you’re going to pretend to be a feminist, at least get your facts straight. Before people flame, I’m a Harvard student minoring in Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality. I’m unmarried but sexually active and use an IUD, which is the most effective form of birth control.

    Fact check:

    Partial birth abortion is performed only after ***16 weeks*** and constitutes a FRACTION of a percentage of all abortions in the United States—NOT “three or four weeks” and “all abortions”. It involves killing a viable fetus by vacuuming out its brain through an incision in the skull, after the rest of the body has been pulled out through the cervix (that is to say, after it has been partially delivered). Yes, the fetus is viable. Babies have been delivered at 14 weeks and survived into childhood; PBA takes place at 16+ weeks.

    Also, being morally opposed to abortion does not make a person a monster. I believe abortion is unethical. I do NOT believe it should be made illegal: Instead, I advocate government-mandated provision of resources such as free birth control; mandated, comprehensive sex education for ALL students; universal health care and free or subsidized childcare; an improved adoption system, including one that allows gay couples to adopt; and tax breaks for low income women and families.

    Also, forbidding men from opposing abortion is like saying, “You can’t be against war because you’re not a soldier!” or “You can’t support taxing corporations because you’re not a corporation!” It’s a disturbingly ignorant way of ignoring unwanted opinions.

    Finally, the issue is not that women NEED a way to terminate pregnancy; the issue is that most women lack the resources or even CHOOSE not to avoid getting pregnant in the first place. 77% of women who get abortions were not consistently using birth control when they got pregnant. Most women who did use birth control used only the pill or condoms, which have failure rates of up to 10%, rather than more effective (and cheaper in the long term) forms, such as an IUD or a shot, or a combination of forms, such as condoms + pills + withdrawal (which is quite effective when used consistently). If women DID have the resources they needed to prevent pregnancy in the first place, ABORTION WOULD NOT BE SOUGHT AFTER except in medical emergencies.

    STOP treating the SYMPTOM. Take one minute and think about how much better the world would be if instead of fighting over “abortion rights”, women had everything they needed to NEVER NEED AN ABORTION IN THE FIRST PLACE. THOSE are the women’s rights I want to promote.

  31. 285

    Kat,

    Latest scientific studies support that IUD’s act in two ways to prevent pregnancy. They lessen the probability that the sperm will merge with the egg (conception), but they also lessen the probability that the fertilized egg, if conception occurs, will be able to implant in the uterus. So basically you never know if you’ve induced a very early abortion, or prevented conception. So the fact that you rely on an IUD doesn’t insure you are preventing conception.

    The vast majority of abortions are done because the woman doesn’t feel it’s the “right time” for her to become pregnant, not because of some medical issue. A woman always has the right to control her OWN body, but when another human is involved, his or her right to life needs to be considered. Death of another human vs personal happiness is not a justifiable “choice” in my book. The mother’s continued existence is.

  32. kat
    286

    docwatson,

    I’m aware of how IUDs function. While I understand that many people feel strongly about that, I don’t believe that using an IUD is equivalent to aborting a fetus. I do not hold this belief merely because of the embryo’s state of development; I firmly believe that it is difficult if not impossible to draw the line of when personhood begins, which is why I believe abortion is unethical in the first place. If you’re willing to dialogue, I’ll explain my reasoning here:

    IUDs work by thinning the uterine lining, so that a fertilized egg cannot implant and cause pregnancy. When the uterine lining thins, it is evidenced by women getting their periods late, light and/or only briefly, or not at all. These same symptoms can be caused by illness (even minor illness such as a cold or flu), malnutrition, dieting, heavy exercise (particularly long-distance running), use of certain prescription drugs, and stress. This happens because women’s bodies evolved to interpret these states and activities as signs that pregnancy would be unhealthy or potentially dangerous: Illness, malnourishment, and hunger can all be dangerously exacerbated by pregnancy and in turn harm the baby, at the time these mechanisms evolved, constant exercise both depleted the woman of important nutrients and signaled that a woman was on the move or in danger, in which case becoming pregnant could cause her death. Notably, these activities do not usually prevent ovulation; they only affect the uterine lining.

    This means that if having sex while using an IUD amounts to inducing abortion, then having sex while ill, dieting, malnourished, stressed, using certain prescription drugs, or exercising more than a certain amount also necessarily amounts to inducing abortion, since both allow that an egg may become fertilized but ensure that it will most likely not be able to implant. The fact that dieting etc. is not intended to harm the embryo is irrelevant: Women who drink or smoke while pregnant do not do so with the intent of harming their baby, but it is harmful and unethical nonetheless because of the harm it causes. Therefore, only two logical arguments may be made:

    1. IUD use amounts to electively inducing abortions and is unethical; therefore it is also unethical to have sex while ill, dieting, malnourished, stressed, on certain prescription drugs, or exercising heavily, because this also amounts to electively inducing abortions. In addition, we must seriously question whether it is ethical for women to have sex if there is the possibility that their uterus or its lining are defective and might not allow a fertilized egg to implant, since proceeding with sex, even when pregnancy is desired, might cause a large number of abortions. We may even question the ethicality of having sex at all, since about half of all fertilized eggs fail to implant even when the uterus and its lining are ideal: In order to avoid causing unnecessary abortions, the most ethical procedure might be for all men and women to abstain from sex entirely unless sterile and only create children through in vitro fertilization (ensuring somehow that all fertilized eggs will implant).

    or,

    2. IUD use is not unethical and does not amount to abortion because the loss of embryos resulting from IUD use also results from a number of healthful activities and physical and emotional states, and even naturally without any interference. The natural thinning of the uterus in response to the abovementioned factors is a form of birth control hardwired into the human DNA by evolution, and using an IUD to temporarily induce this naturally occurring state is no different than using prescription drugs to temporarily induce desirable states such as sleep, concentration, or healthy mood (as with antidepressants or antianxiety medications). The loss of embryos through IUD use is no more tragic or reprehensible than the naturally occurring loss of half of all fertilized eggs resulting from natural, unprotected sex, or of the loss of embryos in a woman whose uterus or uterine lining is not able to support pregnancy.

    I find argument 1 to be absolutely untenable and argument 2 to be reasonable. I cannot find any additional arguments that maintain integrity of reason and logic.

    For example, one could argue that using an IUD is different ethically from exercise because exercise is intended to promote health while an IUD is directly intended to prevent pregnancy, but there are several flaws with that argument. For one, exercise is often recreational rather than healthful; no small number of competitive athletes are forced to retire early because of the physical damage they sustain as a result of their exercise; and so, as with an IUD, embryos are prevented from implanting in the interest of recreation. For another, some women elect to use IUDs (rather than, say, the pill, which prevents ovulation rather than implantation) because they are approved to treat heavy or painful periods, and so the IUD is intended to promote health. Etc.

    If you DO have an argument that I have not addressed as to why IUD use is unethical, I am interested to hear and consider it. If your views have not changed, I understand. If they have, I would be quite eager for you to let me know. Either way, you get a cookie for reading this much.

    Cheers!
    Kat

  33. 287

    ” Trust doctors, and trust women, to make the choice only when necessary.” Yeah, sure. A more ridiculous statement on this topic does not exist. The primary cause of abortion is failure to use birth control. Using abortion as a form of birth control is utterly unnecessary.

  34. 288

    Yes, Julie, rape victims aren’t competent to decide what to do with the product of rape. If the decision is made, not by the doctor or the mother, then WHO makes it? You? Or a U.S. Senator (running for pres on a personal-freedom-for-a-few ticket) who says that in the interest of efficiency (Wha?), NO woman should be allowed an abortion. Some will die, yes, but it’s so cost-effective. Or a guy with no problems, cases of good wine delivered regularly as a gift, and a preference for boys who have the merit that they never get pregnant? [I particularly like the case of the priest who got legal custody of a 10-year-old incest victim so nobody could allow her to have an abortion. She died.]

    But the real bottom line on people’s decision to have or not have this procedure performed is–listen carefully–it is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. Not your business to decide; not your business to decide who should decide; not your business to attack and humiliate a person who has gone through enough already. So go home and make your own pregnancy decisions, and leave the rest alone.

  35. 289

    Under the proposed legislation, by the way, the events with Santorum’s wife would have put her on trial for manslaughter. The fetus couldn’t survive; she was going to die; and under the proposed legislation, her choice not to take every possible heroic measure to assure her own death [including NOT allowing even a natural abortion to occur without trying everything possible to stop it] would have resulted in charges of manslaughter and a trial.

  36. kat
    290

    fionamackenzie,

    I 100% agree with you in the case of medical necessity. I must, however, point out a few flaws in your arguments:

    1. Rape and incest combined for only 1% of abortions in the United States, while medical necessity accounts for only 6%. So however compelling your arguments for abortion in those cases may be, they cannot be extended to elective abortion as a whole, since 93% of all abortions are not motivated by the reasons you have cited.

    2. I believe Julie’s point was that doctors and women will choose abortion even when it is NOT necessary, not that (as you seem to think she meant) doctors and women do not have the capacity to decide when it is necessary or unnecessary. Current data inarguably show that the overwhelming majority of abortions are not performed out of necessity, but simply because the pregnant woman does not wish to continue the pregnancy. More than three-quarters of such pregnancies result from, as Julie said, the failure of women to use birth control.

    3. I wish the issue of abortion were actually as simplistic as you make it out to be: that it came down to a woman’s right to do what she wants with her own body, a decision which effects no one but her. But the reason there is any debate at all is that elective abortion necessarily involves, by medical definition, killing a human being. Whether or not that human being is also a human person, and at what point during pregnancy it becomes a human person, is hotly contested.

    It is a medical fact that merely being moved from the uterus to outside the woman’s body does not alter a baby in any discernible way, and since it has been established that a baby is a human person that it is not acceptable to kill, it follows that the baby becomes a person at some point during pregnancy (and not at birth). Were scientists able to discover exactly this point and declare, without a doubt, that before said point the baby were not a person and therefore it were acceptable to kill it, and that after said point the baby were a person and therefore it were unacceptable to kill it, abortions before that point be without a doubt ethically permissible and abortions after that point ethically forbidden (except for medical necessity).

    The problem is that no such point has been discovered, and as such, elective abortion at any point during pregnancy may or may not involve the willful and unnecessary killing of a human person. Until such a point is discovered, elective abortion at any stage cannot be viewed as anything but gambling with human life, since there is the possibility of killing a person. Therefore, just like other actions which, deliberately or not, kill persons—such as murder, drunk driving, war, HIV transmission, unsafe medical practices, and so on—abortion is subject to legal regulation and disapproval by those who believe it is harmful and a violation of human rights.

    Therefore, not only do individuals have a right to disapprove of elective abortion and express their disapproval openly: They also have a right to disapprove of abortion in the (rare) case of rape or incest, since that too potentially involves killing a person and is therefore also potentially ethically reprehensible, whatever the circumstances of that person’s conception.

    Though I believe that elective abortion is unethical, I do not believe that all abortion should be made illegal. I view the high incidence of elective (medically unnecessary and not in the case of rape) abortions as a symptom of a larger problem: Women (and men) lack comprehensive sex education, access to affordable and reliable birth control, an efficient and inclusive adoption system, childcare, financial aid, health care, and, most of all, respect as sexual beings. Were it not for the shame and stigma associated with unplanned pregnancy and rape, including pressure and blame from parents and partners, studies have shown, a significant number of women would not seek abortions. I believe a woman who feels she is forced to abort a pregnancy she would rather keep due to pressure from loved ones, stigma from society, or financial hardship is just as much a victim as, if not more than, a woman prevented from terminating a pregnancy she does not want. The real “solution” to the problem of abortion is to prevent unplanned pregnancy in the first place and give women who do become pregnant the respect and support they deserve. Regardless of the law, I believe that were such wrongs righted, the incidence of abortion would decrease dramatically.

    fionamackenzie, if you object to any of my points, I would very much like to hear why.

  37. 291

    The people here who are saying that a miscarriage being sped up medically and an abortion are the same thing are stupid. I am sorry, but they are 2 completely different things; and to say they are the same is showing your stupidity. That’s like saying being sick and vomiting is the same thing as sticking your finger down your throat to make yourself vomit means that you are sick. Dumb people… just dumb. And yes, I am a woman, and I am also an RN.

  38. 292

    To Jason Thibeault: I would have liked to have posted a link to your article, but you used unnecessary expressions that cannot be used in polite society, and so I cannot recommend it to others. To bad – you made some excellent points. I suggest you write here for public consumption in the same way you would if you were telling the story to your Grandmother. That way, more people will be able to recommend your articles, thus driving up traffic. Thanks.

  39. 293

    Colorado Springs, #293: I suggest you write here for public consumption in the same way you would if you were telling the story to your Grandmother. That way, more people will be able to recommend your articles, thus driving up traffic. Thanks.

    Jason, I just read this article. Me, I would have had no problems suggesting this to my grandmother. She may not have liked the language, but I’d probably suggest that she grow fucking up.

    Sincerely,

    A very bad Chiroptera

  40. 294

    Dear Colorado Springs,

    What expressions were “unnecessary”? Be specific, so Jason knows how to rewrite his post so your grandmother won’t be offended. And after that, you might pull the stick out of your ass, it must be very uncomfortable.

  41. kat
    295

    Dear Chiroptera and ‘Tis Himself, OM:

    The fact is, statements like “shut the fuck up and stay the fuck out” do not belong in any rational or well thought-out argument, and both are offensive to anyone who happens to have a dissenting view—or in the case of men, any view at all—and dash any credibility Thibeault might have had to bits. If you want to sway someone’s opinion in your favor, you should not lash out in rage at them. If Thibeault cared about convincing anyone who didn’t already agree with him, he wouldn’t have included that. Thus, no, this isn’t the kind of article anyone should show to a family member in the hopes of changing their views.

  42. 296

    kat, #296:

    There is a time and place for everything.

    There is a time to engage dissenting views with rational or well thought out arguments in order to try to change their views.

    And there is a time to call a fuckwad a fuckwad.

  43. kat
    297

    Chiroptera,

    I totally agree that Rick Santorum is a fuckwad, and deserves the definition Savage has provided for his name.

    However, since you seem totally uninterested in trying to garner any support for the pro-choice ideology, which I assume you promote, and since Thibeault seems totally unconcerned with alienating those who might be on the fence about abortion, I can only infer that the entire point of this article was for people who ALREADY think Santorum is a fuckwad to hear he’s a fuckwad from someone else, and make them feel better about the fact that they aren’t doing anything to change it.

    Because like you said, this article isn’t going to change anyone’s mind.

    If there’s any time to call a fuckwad a fuckwad, I think it’s when people consider factually incorrect, rageful, goalless rhetoric—of ANY opinion—to be praiseworthy, and demean those who value legitimate articles and forward progress.

  44. 298

    those who might be on the fence about abortion

    Do these people really exist? Anyone willing to cite one? (You know, that’s actually unswayed, rather than claiming to be aloof to troll the subject.)

  45. 299

    Now that we’ve kicked around all the variations and fillips on the matter, let’s agree that the REAL problem is that Americans, for some inexplicably self-destructive reason, are actually considering electing as PRESIDENT an a’hole who wants to delete Roe v. Wade from the law–with all that entails.

    For you who are too young to remember, what that entails is entire hospital units filled with young women who are septic, hemorrhaging, and all sorts of other sequelae of desperation, of whom many ultimately die a painful, awful death. In other words, they have been administered the death penalty for the biology which enabled them to get pregnant in an impossible situation, while the partner to the error goes back to his wife, or wherever.

    Daughters and wives of wealthy families like Santorum’s NEVER had a problem getting safe, illegal abortions, which is one reason it took so long and was so difficult to get help for the rest of us; it was, coldly, nothing to them. Meanwhile, just ONE hospital, in Los Angeles County, had a 32-bed ward for victims of illegal and self-administered abortion (and were unable to save many of them). When Roe v. Wade became law, they were able to simply close the unit.

    THAT is what it’s really about, not some squeamish male or infantile female who thinks abortion is yukky.

  46. kat
    300

    Fiona Mackenzie,

    I 100% agree with you that making abortion illegal would only hurt women. That is not the same as believing that abortion is ethical, or that access to abortion is a solution for the problems women face. I explain why in this comment: https://the-orbit.net/lousycanuck/2011/06/19/santorums-wifes-abortion-was-different-you-see/#comment-46106

    And yes, there are people who are on the fence about abortion. I was for a very long time. Several of my male and female college friends count themselves in this group.

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