March 16, 2006

Sex: Don't Worry, Toots, You'll Thank Us Later

Generally speaking, I like to wait a little while before commenting on something on-line; after all, there is a big difference between arguing a point with a single person and committing the same argument to writing.

In my case, it's mostly the differnece between slander and libel, but we'll leave that go for now.

There are exceptions to this rule, especially when I've spent quite a bit of time already thinking about a subject, like abortion. "But" you may note, "the South Dakota ruling to ban almost all abortions was ten days ago!" That is, of course, true; but the Missouri ban on funding birth control in state clinics happened yesterday. A little side note about South Dakota: there is one state clinic that provides abortions. One. I'm reminded of Sen. Lieberman's comment that a woman who is rejected at one hospital or clinic could always go to another...

So what kind of special insanity would cause people to prevent the poorest and most vulnerable from having kids? Why, because it would "promote a promiscuous lifestyle", of course! Gee, where have we heard this before? Oh, right! Every time people try talking about sex education in schools (or anywhere else), trying to come to grips with prostitution, dealing with sexual harassment, setting up crisis lines in case of sexual assault, proposing non-traditional roles like women in the military, discussing homosexuality... You'd almost think there's a group of people out there who are so terrified of sexuality in any form that the only response they can muster is "If we don't talk about it, it can't happen!"


South Dakota's ban on abortion is a direct challenge on Roe v. Wade, of course, and comes from the state that already has the strictest abortion laws in the country. Remember the so-called "Morning After Pill"? Scares the hell out of these folk. The (public) rallying cry is, as you might expect, "Save the Children!" The real phrase should read "Screw the Children, Save the Zygotes!" The zygote is what is formed after the sperm and ovum meet; this stage lasts about 30 hours. Just over half of these never actually get to the uterine stage, and are expelled during the woman's next menstruation. As a further side note, about 15% of embryos are miscarried 4 to 12 weeks in. Miscarriages: God's Little Abortions!

Oh, and anyone who may be offended at the phrase "Screw the Children!" can please fuck off now. I'm not the one interested in banning abotrions for twelve year olds who have been raped by their fathers. Okay? Okay. Just getting that out of my system now.

Proposed moral dilemma: if you were in a fertility clinic and a fire broke out, and you could save only one of the following, who would it be: a 16 year old girl, a 40 year old woman, or a petri dish containing five blastocysts? The answer is, of course, "the one with the biggest -"

Wait, wrong joke. Back to the subject at hand. How about a little wander through some myths about abortion?

First off, anyone who thinks this isn't a woman's issue is simply out of their minds. Count the number of woman who have been killed by their boyfriends or husbands (common law or official) who were pregnant at the time. According to the Journal of the Americain Medical Association (March 21, 2001), that was the leading cause of death in pregnant and recently pregnant women, followed by cancer. Way to go, guys.

Second, the vast majority of women who have abortions are, wait for it, relieved to have had them done. You were expecting guilt, perhaps? Emotional trauma? Well, no: those come before the abortions. You see, every clinic I've ever heard of requires at least one counselling session before hand, and most seem to average three sessions before an abortion is performed. Some women change their minds, some don't, but every opportunity is given for that change to happen.

Third, all sorts of women get abortions. Rich, poor, every race and, yes, religion. Yes, some pro-life women do have the abortions that they would deny others, and count on them not telling any of their family members, be they parents, children or husbands.

The question of whether you are a supproter of abortion or not really comes down to one thing, and one thing only: which is more important to you, the woman or the embryo? And if you doubt that the availability of abortions actually helps women, may I suggest reading Keith Simpson's "Forty Years of Murder". Professor Simpson was England's first criminal pathologist, and his reasons are very, very clear: he was sick of finding dead young women who had soapy water in their vaginas dumped in back alleys. That was the most common method of abortion at the time, which occasionally led to a "bubble embolism", or a bubble of air entering the bloodstream and disrupting the continuous motion of the heart. Infection was another common cause of death among abortion patients, especially when scraping (the classic "wire hanger" method) was used. The men who caused these pregnancies were frequently unknown, and when they were known went unpunished, naturally.

For those who think anti-abortion laws will stop abortions from happening, may I suggest this link to Molly Saves the Day, where you will find a bit of history of the Jane group in Chicago, plus how abortions are performed safely. And I suggest reading all her later posts on the subject, too, should you find yourself curious or angry or both. The comments section is mostly trolls, as expected, but she enforces a strict "actual dialogue ONLY" rule for later comments, and those are of far more value.


Sorry, had to add this little piece from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Democrats have been buzzing about comments made by state Sen. Nancy Schaefer (R-Turnerville) at a recent eggs-and-issues breakfast in Hart County. We quote from the Hartwell Sun newspaper: "Commenting on illegal immigration, Schaefer said 50 million abortions have been performed in this country, causing a shortage of cheap American labor. 'We could have used those people,' she said."


Doubt their veracity? Here she is in her own words.


posted by Thursday at 10:42 pm


Blogger Gazetteer said...

Thanks Thursday - will definitely check out the work and words of Dr. Simpson.

btw - In case you missed it when first posted awhile back HST's wife Sandy ran into this problem a couple of years before Roe v. Wade.

10:10 pm  
Blogger Thursday said...


I remember that post, but it's good to have a reminder. It's a shame Roe v. Wade is such a bad precedent law... It will probably, sooner or later, be overturned and replaced with a better law (possibly an unforseen side effect of South Dakota's challenge?), but the in-between period will be a challenge.

1:04 am  

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