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Feb 17 2009

North Dakota lege to women: “Murderer!”

Meanwhile, in North Dakota, life officially begins at conception (you remember conception; it’s when the sacred seed of life enters a lady and spreads Jesus around inside her tummy.). So sayeth a nice piece of misogynist, uterus-colonizing legislation that passed the state House of Representatives yesterday, 61 to 31. If the bill passes the senate, abortion providers in ND will have to inform their patients that abortion is the termination of a human life.

“Sponsors say its intent isn’t to ban abortions, but rather to decrease the number of them,” says a Bismarck TV station.

I’m too sure.

Republican Representative Chuck Damschen, pretending that he thinks that women’s suffering is a bad thing that can be abated through legislation limiting their personal sovereignty, is quoted as saying “If it prevented even one woman from having an abortion, and suffering remorse from it later on, it would be a good bill.”

What is with this national obsession with decreasing the number of abortions? You expect this line from the godbag right, but more and more frequently the left, including the “feminist” president, are joining this constant “reduce abortions!” refrain.

Hey, lefties! The godbags are getting in through the chinks. You’re letting yourselves get all emotional about blastocysts. At this rate, you might as well just concede the point that abortion is murder and be done with it, fools.

More abortions, fewer abortions — what’s the diff? The numbers are irrelevant. Either women are human under the law or we’re not. If we are human, and not just meatsocks for incubating the heirs to patriarchy, the number of abortions performed will reflect exactly the number of abortions required. The North Dakota lege’s transparent attempt to guilt women into carrying unwanted pregnancies to term by convincing them that they’re committing murder whenever they have parasitic growths removed from their personal internal organs is bogus to the max.

Also bogus to the max is this dimwit politician’s faux concern for women’s suffering. You wanna mitigate women’s suffering, Representative Chuck Damschen? How about rape prevention legislation? Money for battered women’s shelters? Birth control programs? Equal pay? Decriminalizing prostituted women? Health care? Quit trying to commandeer our uteruses, you fucking knob.

Women without access to safe, legal abortion are slaves.

70 comments

5 pings

  1. janna

    This whole “where human life begins” debate is irrelevant to abortion anyways. The patriarchs focus on it to distract from the real question, which is of course whether or not women own their own bodies. Don’t forget, the same dudes wanting to own their wives’ and daughters’ reproductive organs are the same ones who want the right to shoot people who walk on their lawn.

    Personally, if a 24 year old dude climbed into my womb and started living there without my permission, I’d kill him, too. Forget tiny clumps of cells.

  2. Isis

    Sometimes I think it wouldn’t be such a terrible thing to define life as beginning at the moment of conception. Because once you can shut up all of the evangels, you can get to the crux of the argument: there are some things you cannot force a person to do *even if someone dies.* Then the only thing they’d have left to say is, “Yes, but what we *meant* was God hates women and wants them to be subservient…” Which just somehow isn’t quite as catchy as what they say now.

  3. Popes (formerly Laurel)

    I’m changing my handle, since there’s another Laurel ’round here. I’m not trying to confuse anyone, but there it is.

    In any case, I wanted to hip you to the fun happening in Arizona right now. Specifically, House Bill 2564 was introduced this week. This particular bit of legislation, according to our esteemed AZ Central.com, aims to “allow any hospital worker or health professional to refuse to participate in an abortion or dispense medication to abort a pregnancy,” citing ethical grounds. This includes pharmacists.

    Other bits of note: It requires that minors seeking an abortion first receive written, notarized consent from a parent or guardian, it mandates a 24-hour “reflection period” before any adult woman could undergo the procedure, and it bars nurses (anyone not a doctor) from performing an abortion.

    I note that it does not seem to have any proviso stating that each and every health care dispenser/pharmacy be required to have on staff at all times at least one person who is willing to provide these health care services.

    Blame away.

  4. A local cook

    Dear Twisty,

    I believe that the state-and-society should not regulate the choice of an individual’s writing implement, be it pencil or plastic pen. Doing so clearly, if hyperbolically, impinges on the individuals’ rights, yadda yadda. (Certainly I in no way intend to place the importance of access to abortion on equal footing with the importance of access to good writing implements, but only to compare the logic of the two situations.) Indeed, I am made nervous by any state action to limit access to pens or pencils. At the same time, Bic pens contribute to landfill much more than, say, pencils made from recycled wood. So shouldn’t the state at least probide some incentive to make one choice over another?

    Let me try a different example. One way to _save a human life_ is to donate blood, bone marrow, or a kidney. The state, it seems, can legitimately incentivize such donations, but should not require them. On the one hand, some of us have medical reasons forcing us to choose not to save lives: my partner, for example, has a family history that includes kidney problems; the Patriarchy is to blame for preventing me from donating blood. But even those who do not have “life-and-health” reasons for refusing to donate their bodies still should not be required to do so. Even though society has a legitimate interest in encouraging organ donation.

    As such, I think it’s perfectly consistent to say, for example, “abortion, by its very nature, includes the loss of a life.” This loss is not necessarily a bad thing, but loss-of-life is almost always a sad thing: I’ve had to put animals down, and we then gave them a proper funeral. A blastocyst, certainly, is not worthy of emotion. But prenatal late-term fetuses can suffer traumas that manifest, if the embryo is brought to term, as PTSD later in life. Might it not even be consistent to say “a fetus is at least something a lot like a human”, and perhaps feel sad, give a funeral, etc., if the fetus is lost, even if that loss is by choice? People I know who’ve had miscarriages certainly feel that they are _mothers_, who have lost _children_.

    It is truly despicable that the government feels like it has the authority to co-opt my body, but it is not despicable that the government feels like abortions should probably be something to disincentivize.

    I haven’t made up my mind about whether the society should do anything to disincentivize abortion, and I recognize that most of the reasonable-sounding rhetoric comes from unreasonable people. But I do think that the “reduce abortions” refrain is a reasonable one, just like “reduce textbook prices” or “reduce automobile use”.

    Sincerely,
    A local cook

  5. virago

    “Either women are human under the law or we’re not. If we are human, and not just meatsocks for incubating the heirs to patriarchy, the number of abortions performed will reflect exactly the number of abortions required.”

    This is exactly the point that these idiots do not get. Abortions would go way down if women are given full legal autonomy under the law, and laws were made that actually benefitted women such as full pay maternity leave, universal healthcare, and daycare funding.

  6. Katipo

    Speaking of abortion, can someone tell me whether or not teenbreaks.com is ironic?

    I mean, I’m sure it’s not uncommon to run across Christian websites masquerading as objective resources for knocked up teens, but the “Abortion docs speak” section is just too much.

    Dr. Nathanson’s personal responsibility for 75,000 abortions apparently “legitimizes [his] credentials” to tell us that “human life begins at conception” and abortion is wrong wrong wrong. Likewise, former-radfem McMillan expounds on horrifically botched procedures at the “abortion mill” she used to work at before spitting scripture at us. Because, you know, she’s saved, which legitimizes her credentials to lay massive guilt trips on vulnerable teenagers.

    And the “Abortion survivors” tab? WOAH…

    Well I guess I’ve decided it’s not ironic after all. Sorry for the ramblings.

  7. Kathleen

    I sometimes think that we are fighting this the wrong way — abortion *does* end a human life. Ask the fundies to start charging women (*not doctors*) — women who have made conscious adult decisions to have abortions — with murder. If they balk (and they’ll have to), start pushing back and put the burden on them to explain why. Abortion is not like anything else, they’ll have to admit it, and retreat to their real grounds: it’s about control over women’s sexuality and unique reproductive capacities.

  8. Cottonpants

    Gee, I’d hate to be the unlucky lady who has a miscarriage. Or who, Gahd forbid, has her period after unsuccessful implantation of said fertilized egg. What’s the going sentence for involuntary manslaughter in North Dakota these days?

  9. Courtney

    Nah,they’d charge the woman with murder and then kill her too. Remember the Inquisition?

    I still think this could be prevented if contraception was mandatory for everyone, all the time. Self-limiting factors, there.

  10. mj

    okay–but if abortions were reduced because of better sex education & available birth control–wouldn’t that be a good thing?

    & i agree that it is a moot point as to when the fetus can be called human. i think it’s more cruel to bring an unwanted baby into the world than to terminate a pregnancy.

  11. Kate Dino

    Is there a term for godbags against forced meatsockery?

  12. Serene Wright

    Note to self: Thank God I was born sterile.

  13. ElizaN

    “If it prevented even one woman from having an abortion, and suffering remorse from it later on, it would be a good bill.”
    Regretting an abortion is better than regretting having a child. Every child has the right to be wanted.

  14. Anna Belle

    They’d have to kill her Courtney; she’s a promiscuous whore and they always have die (citation: Forrest Gump).

    Both parties have used abortion as a specter to manipulate women. That’s why I don’t for candidates of the power structure anymore unless they have vaginas. (Why don’t auto spell checkers recognize the plural of vagina? They recognize the plural of penis…sigh)

    I always just say that I don’t think there are enough abortions. That pretty much shuts people up.

  15. nails

    I do not get sad over the number of abortions and I dont think its relevant in a moral sense at all, but I do think that its really painful (especially compared to most birth control methods) and the surgical kind carries risks of infections and such so less abortions is a good goal in my book just because its such a pain in the ass to go through. Being harassed by protesters and the cost to women isn’t much fun either. I am for any precaution that can reduce the risk of injury to others via medical procedures. I know abortions are less risky than pregnancy but I still feel like its worthwhile.

  16. Cat Ion

    Ask the fundies to start charging women (*not doctors*) — women who have made conscious adult decisions to have abortions — with murder. If they balk (and they’ll have to), start pushing back and put the burden on them to explain why.

    Except when they don’t balk. There is a subset of forced birthers who really do think that women who get abortion are murderers who deserve jail time. I’ve met them. They are frightening.

  17. Stella

    Criminalizing abortion is about punishing women for having sex.

    Women = sluts.

    The lie is revealed by the fact that even most godbag anti-choice types promote an exception for rape or incest. Apparently, a fetus that is the result of a rape has less rights than a fetus that is the result of slutty, slutty sex. And even people like Obama and his ilk balk at those who do not bow to these “exceptions” – when really the anti-choicers who are consistently against all abortions are the only ones who have any moral credibility whatsoever. Of course their morals are separate from scientific fact, and should be separate from legislation, but it seems like only about 100 people in America realize this, and most of them read this blog.

  18. Twisty

    “The lie is revealed by the fact that even most godbag anti-choice types promote an exception for rape or incest. Apparently, a fetus that is the result of a rape has less rights than a fetus that is the result of slutty, slutty sex.”

    Nice blaming, Stella.

  19. jezebella

    The goal should be *less unintended pregnancies*, not less abortions, but try asking the ND lege to fund family planning & sex ed and see how far that gets you.

  20. Miriam

    Has anyone ever considered filing abortion under “killing in self-defense?”

  21. Lexie

    Whenever I argue choice with someone, I grant them that life starts at conception. Who the fuck cares? Give them that, and then talk about how maybe we should force people to give blood/organs/their life to prevent another life from ending and see how far they get with their “life starts at conception” argument.

    The ND law isn’t about life starting at conception, it is about trying to guilt and shame women.

    And I will also grant that in most cases, the impregnated woman in question would have rather not gotten knocked up at all vs. the whole abortion procedure thing. So if they really want to reduce abortions, then they need to increase access to birth control. How hard is that to figure out? (Or eat through their argument with?)

    And, if after the impregnating fact, they really want to reduce abortions, shame is not the way to go. They should provide potential mothers to be with support, child care options, equal pay employment options, freedom from fear of violence, etc. Until they do that, I will never really believe they give one iota of crap about the poor womens and their poor guilt after an abortion. Where is their shame?

  22. slythwolf

    Probably the most effective way, in practical terms, to reduce the number of abortions (short of just killing all the women, to which I’m sure some of these douchebags would not actually say no) would be to dismantle the patriarchy and consequently–and this is the relevant part–rape culture. If dudes did not feel entitled to women’s bodies, and if they did not feel entitled to every sexual encounter’s being specifically and explicitly all about them and their penises, there would not exist appalling circumstances such as the fact that only 20% of sexually active men regularly use condoms. There would not exist relationships in which the woman wants the man to put on a fucking condom but the man refuses and the woman can’t do anything about it. There would not exist rape, in fact. Cultural narrative would not decree that penises in vaginas was the only real way to have sex, and quite probably most people who didn’t want to have actual babies would not be putting penises in vaginas most of the time. And since birth control would be safe, effective, and freely available, people’s pregnancies would be wanted ones the vast majority of the time.

    I don’t think anything will ever completely eradicate the need for abortion, for the simple reasons that A) every woman will always retain the moral right as a sovereign human being to change her mind about a pregnancy at any time and B) there will always exist cases in wanted pregnancies where something goes wrong and the pregnancy has to be terminated. That’s just the way it is.

    So if these pro-”life” douchebags were actually interested in reducing the number of abortions, they’d be helping us overthrow the patriarchy. But they aren’t, because what they care about is controlling women from all possible directions. In some cultures there are seven directions: north, east, south, west, above, below, and within.

  23. FatWhiteMaleEngineerHumanist

    The same folks who want to control your uteruses because “all life is sacred” are also very keen on state executions. They see no inconsistency in their belief set.

    Twisty is quite right: it is a humanitarian crisis, and deeply interconnected.

    More mutual respect, more love; less controlling bigotry and hatred.

    David

  24. TheLady

    The same folks who want to control your uteruses because “all life is sacred” are also very keen on state executions.

    There’s all kinds of stuff underpinning these positions, implicit racism being the biggest one: most people who are executed are not white, and as the recent octuplet furore clearly demonstrated, the far-right support for fecundity evaporates when the fecundity imperils homogeneity.

    Fundamentaly (hah) though, this contradiction is about deep mysanthropy. Fetuses aren’t actors in the world, and are not therefore capable of sin (“sin” being defined as anything which pisses the fundies off, from walking on their grass to advocating that their litters be broken up and given over to gay couples to adopt). As such it’s not so much that they deserve the same protection as other living people – they are the *only* ones who deserve protection at all.

    This nihilism is rooted in fear, which in itself is an expression of a deeper recognition that the patriarchal position is irrational, untenable and doomed to self destruct. The rabid extermination of the other – women being defined as the ultimate other, the other within, the fifth column of otherness – is like Lady Macbeth’s handwashing; a self destructive impulse born of paranoia.

  25. CLD

    Quit trying to commandeer our uteruses, you fucking knob.

    Twisty, I love you. Sheer poetry.

  26. yttik

    They never want to do the things necessary to reduce abortion, like eliminating the rape culture, providing access to birth control, forcing men to take responsibility for creating unwanted pregnancies, allowing women economic autonomy, empowering women with actual choices.

    I’m of the opinion that even the most rabid pro-lifer doesn’t actually want abortion to end. It’s too convenient for the patriarchy. And the politicians. Both sides of the issue use it to rally their base and to hold women hostage. Safe abortions are really a non negotiable demand, but we are lead to believe they are a blessing the government bestows upon us and can take away at any moment.

  27. lawbitch

    How about vasectomies all the way around? That’ll solve the problem. Let’s start with the fucking knobs.

  28. Jezebella

    You know, lawbitch, it occurs to me that whenever knobs decide they want to discourage the poor from having children, they want to pay *women* to get their tubes tied. How come they never propose paying men to get vasectomies?

    Oh, wait.

  29. gare

    What would happen with abortion in a PP society? Without gender, you’d still have a few unique surgical things that need doing, plus different haircuts. Maybe. If PP (post patri) I just flashed on Laura Patri. sorry… in PP society, perhaps abortion would be rare, because perhaps men would have stepped up and got their swimmers (no not Phelps) stored and themselves fixed early, realizing this guaranteed a more funner life with their like or unlike partners. Childbirth could then either be done the usual way (bowing to Harry Chapin) or in a lab, and unwanted situations (unwanted as they are) would be vastly minimized! Men are actually biblically asked to step up, so even my own faith supports this. As to when intelligent life begins? I’m personally still waiting in my own case .. thanks gare

  30. Serene Wright

    Most women don’t want economic autonomy. They want to breed and to make some poor sap pay for their breeding hobby. Believe me, I wish it wasn’t true. I was surprised to grow up in the 70′s and 80′s and discover that in a post feminist world, most women would rather run back into the burning barn of patriarchy than take control of their lives. 99% of women EMBRACE all this oppression. So, how about blaming all those women who have betrayed us along with all the dudes who think broodmare is our default status?

  31. Notorious Ph.D.

    …it mandates a 24-hour “reflection period” before any adult woman could undergo the procedure…

    Right. Because women at the abortion clinic have not spent any time reflecting.

    Translation: abortion-seeking women are not only sluts, they lack rationality and the capacity for higher thought unless explicitly directed to do so.

    And as for Twisty’s “Quit trying to commandeer our uteruses, you fucking knob,” I want to see this saying replace “protect choice” on signs at the next rally. The signs would have to be larger (or printed on both sides), but it would be cool.

  32. lawbitch

    Serene, how about shutting the fuck up? Blame the patriarchy, not women.

  33. B. Dagger Lee

    Lege? J’accuse, pedant, j’accuse!

    Next it will be puns: Ribbit, ribbit.

  34. Lu

    “They never want to do the things necessary to reduce abortion, like eliminating the rape culture”

    or, even more to the point, even entertaining the idea that such a culture of rape exists. The very word “patriarchy” is to them a risible throwback to some mythical era (the 1970s) when deluded feminist beasts roamed the earth raising consciousness, terrorizing the innocents, and making men feel guilty for Being Men. Thank god we don’t believe in the existence of a patriarchy or that women have anything to be angry about. Right?

  35. Claire (CJ)

    Until society stops actively punishing women for having the children they are pushed to have, by refusing to pay for maternity leave, healthcare, and daycare, shaming women for breastfeeding and pumping and everything related to childbearing/rearing, women will keep right on doing the sensible, sane thing and aborting pregnancies they are ACTIVELY PUNISHED FOR BRINGING TO TERM. Poverty and social isolation/shunning are big deterrents, you know.

    Want to ‘reduce abortions’, motherfuckers? Support women in caring for the children you so desperately want them to have. Want to increase abortions? Keep punishing women for having the children you so desperately want them to have, by refusing to support them in any way, shape, or form after said children are born.

    Fuck. Few things get my hackles up more than this. I terminated three pregnancies before I had my son. I was working crap jobs, could barely pay my rent/afford food (and would’ve had no way to pay for daycare) and no real support of any kind all three times I was impregnated. I was also extremely mentally and emotionally unstable from a lifetime of familial and partner abuse. The last time, I had just broken up with a fairly wealthy guy who would’ve raised the child on his own, but was a wackjob godbag who told me in no uncertain terms that the kid would be ‘indoctrinated’ (he actually used that word) in church. Um, fuck that. If I hadn’t had access to abortion I would’ve rather given the kid up for adoption. Anything but godbag brainwashing. Anything. That is a fate worse than death. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt, will have to live with the consequences forever. I refuse to bring a child into that situation. I’d rather kill myself.

    Abortion is *always* preferable to a lifetime of suffering. I can say that with absolute conviction, from extensive personal experience.

    You would not *believe* (actually, since it’s the lot of you, you probably would) the people that came out of the woodwork trying to guilt and shame me into bringing to these pregnancies to term. I had people calling me at WORK, begging me to ‘spare the innocent being in my womb’, and ‘give life a chance’ (good advice, actually, I took it and gave my OWN life a chance, spared theirs, and had an abortion!).

    I asked each and every one of these assholes if they’d be willing to take/raise the baby after I had it, since I didn’t want it and couldn’t raise it (not that I would’ve ever endured 4 months of hyperemesis/labor to provide any of these jerks with a baby they’d just raise to be another godbag who would eventually try to force someone else to have a baby somewhere down the line). Not a single one of them would. They all said it was ‘my responsibility’. I replied that in that case, since it was ‘my responsibility’, it was ‘my choice’, ‘my business’, and ‘my right’ not to bring an unwanted child into the world to make them happy and please their infantile, woman-hating fairy godfather.

    That shut them up real quick. No more harassment.

    Apparently, fetal life only matters when the resulting baby/burden are someone else’s responsibility. Surprise surprise.

    Moral of the story? Yeah, these fuckers suck. Especially the more vocal/rabid among them. But they’re all full of shit in the end. Not a single one of them actually wants abortion to go away, because if it did, they might actually have to put their money where their rhetoric is, and fork over some of their ill-gotten gains to support the hundreds of thousands of unwanted children that would flood the system if abortion were outlawed. Or come up with a damn good excuse why they couldn’t/wouldn’t, which we know they can’t.

    Since we’re all well-acquainted with the tight-fisted selfishness and utter commitment to the appearance of morality of the average godbag, we should all feel pretty confident that abortion is here to stay…albeit in a form that is inaccessible to the average woman, which is obviously something that needs to change yesterday.

  36. Hollywood Marie

    Seriously, Serene. Why are you here? This is your second day of misogyny and that’s just two days too long.

    Sorry, Twisty, sometimes it’s hard not to respond to trolls.

    As for the actual topic, I think it was right here at Blamer HQ that the question, “At what point does the life of the fetus become more important than the life of the woman?” was originally posed. The P, of course, responds, “At conception. No wait, sperm is more important. No, our knobs are the most important! Well, let’s just stick to conception. So the fetus is more important than the woman, unless the fetus becomes female, in which case it’s moot ’cause both are worthless.”

  37. mir

    Serene Wright:”Most women don’t want economic autonomy. They want to breed and to make some poor sap pay for their breeding hobby. Believe me, I wish it wasn’t true. I was surprised to grow up in the 70’s and 80’s and discover that in a post feminist world, most women would rather run back into the burning barn of patriarchy than take control of their lives.”

    Jesus Jumping Christ, do you HEAR yourself?

    I am unsurprised to have grown up in the 70s and 80s and discover that in a patriarchal world, most people still blame women for every fucking torment, oppression, repression and iota of subjugation that women labor under.

  38. D

    The arguments and frustrations expressed thus far in the comments -though they make sense to all of us- are so radically removed from the paradigm which the supporters of this ND bill inhabit that they won’t have any effect on these people. Damschen et al. are arguing from patriarchy couched under Christian scripture. They may use words such as ‘moral’, ‘morality’, ‘human life’, but what they mean is ‘GOD’ and ‘JESUS’. They go on and on about aborted fetuses because they are ‘innocent’ in the eyes of GOD – The dirty whores who give birth are not -particularly if they aren’t white. The criminals on death row are not -particularly if they aren’t white. The dirty, lazy socialists who want universal healthcare are not. If people suffer it is because they have sinned and they deserve what they get, particularly if they aren’t white (or are liberals). Little babies deserve a chance at life. Sinners deserve punishment, NOT anything that would preserve or better their lives.

    The patriarchy wants to control women, whether by violence or legislation – period. Men want unfettered, on-demand sexual access to women. The result of this sexual access is conception. Men have no interest in eliminating rape culture. It is to their benefit to maintain it. Men to want conception to mature to birth, to pass on the genes so to speak. Women weigh the costs of allowing conception to go on to birth and beyond. And, since the vast majority of the burden falls on them, to thus consider terminating a pregnancy.

    You are never going to convince people like Damschel that women have a fundamental right to sovereignty over their own bodies or that abortion is about equal access to medical treatment. That’s not the paradigm under which they operate. To them, we are just meatsocks for incubating the next generation of the patriarchy. Instead of hurling accusations at women – which hasn’t been all that effective – they are instead trying to get women to look inward and internalize all that hatred through guilt. Women now have the power to save an innocent from MURDER!

    What we must do is out them for all their godbaggery – don’t let them hide behind terms such as ‘moral’ – make them say JESUS and THE BIBLE. That won’t get through the courts.

  39. D

    99% of women EMBRACE all this oppression.

    I ? fantasy statistics!

  40. Ariann

    Quoth Miriam:
    “Has anyone ever considered filing abortion under ‘killing in self-defense?’ ”

    Indeed, this is one of the earliest understandings of abortion, seen in the Mishnah written about 1800 years ago. It was obvious even to ancient people that a being invading the organs of a grown woman was analogous to an adult pursuer that one is allowed to exercise reasonable self-defense against. And it was even obvious to religious people! And it didn’t bother them to classify this being as “something sort of like a living person,” because they could then dispense with the whole “innocent being who for some reason deserves to inhabit the body of a grown woman” problem. What the hell happened?

  41. Claire (CJ)

    Serene -

    Women are human beings with a strong survival instinct, trying to live in an impossibly oppressive environment.

    That is why most of us ‘run back into the burning barn of patriarchy (rather) than take control of (our) lives’.

    Most of us never left the barn, Serene. Many of us are trapped and held hostage inside of it. Most of us have no way out that doesn’t involve starvation, homelessness, and/or social isolation/shunning. Most of us have children to feed, clothe, and house…which is essentially impossible to do in most parts of the world without the financial and social support of a man somewhere.

    This is painfully obvious. If you can’t see it, you’re not looking very hard. I understand that it’s easier to blame the victim. I understand that it makes you feel safer by distancing yourself from us with the rhetoric of choice. But the simple fact of the matter, Serene, is that most women don’t have the choice to leave the world of men without paying a serious, often deadly price.

    Get it?

  42. Rozasharn

    Claire, you have all my sympathy for the hardships you’ve gone through.

    You add a lot to the discussion here with your clear vision and perspective.

  43. Hattie

    If only we would just face it that women are not important. Then we could stop worrying about trivia such as who uses our bodies for what, how many babies we have, whether we are treated fairly in the workplace, whether or not we are respected as individuals…because We receptacles and incubators need to be reminded now and then of our true worth.

  44. Jezebella

    Serene sounds really familiar. Is it that she is an old troll with a new name, or is it just that her victim-blaming is lockstep in line with so many other trolls?

  45. rows

    But I do think that the “reduce abortions” refrain is a reasonable one, just like “reduce textbook prices” or “reduce automobile use”.

    I absolutely disagree. Pro-choice rhetoric tends to succumb to a serious logical error: abortion is framed as some repugnant act that we must, grudgingly, concede to committing. Which effectively confirms the pro-life position on the subject: that abortion is murder, and you simply cannot commit murder, even if it violates human sovereignty, well, okay, maybe maybe in some far out circumstance you can commit murder, but you should nevertheless be mindful of how morally fraught it is and forevermore feel great apprehension about having commit it, even if it were to spare your own life.

    FUCK THAT! Abortion is not murder because what you are terminating is a growth that is simply not a human life commensurate to, say, you or me. Ergo, it is morally neutral to dispose of said growth. As soon as you consider reducing abortions a good goal, you acquiesce to the mentality that terminating a pregnancy is, on its own terms, a bad thing. Otherwise, it would categorically not matter how many abortions there were, any more than it would matter how many knee surgeries there were.

    When Obama et al. say, “no one is pro-abortion” or “we can all at least agree at we’d like to reduce the number of abortions” they do not speak for me. I AM pro-abortion. There are probably not enough abortions; I do not say this to be provocative. I say it because I genuinely believe, and find it logical, that abortion is, if not morally neutral, in many cases, the MORE moral choice than carrying a fetus to term. No child deserves to be born unwanted. We should not be arguing for safe, legal access to abortion via whimpered pleas of “but what if she were gang-raped by all her uncles?” or “what if it endangers her life?” or “what if there was some horrible, unintended failure with her contraception?” Because the subtext of this argument is: “please, oh, please, just this once, and she’ll promise never to do it again!” We should be DEMANDING abortion access on the grounds that it is her growth to dispose of–even if she intentionally impregnated herself and simply changed her mind for the fifth time. Her decision should not be met with derision or the demand for an explanation, and she should not be made to feel ashamed. A woman’s body is either her own, or it isn’t.

  46. Twisty

    Hey rows. Excellent blaming. All my favorite points, neatly expressed.

  47. Claire (CJ)

    Rozasharn -

    Thank you. I appreciate the sentiment, I really do.

    What women like me (and many, if not most, women are in situations eerily similar to mine. Wonder why. According to people like Serene, this can be explained by dismissing us all as self-hating morons. *applauds* So fucking helpful! So not oppressive and cruel at all! Guilt and shaming the victims of thousands of years of suffocating oppression is a tried-and-true method of assisting the oppressed! Brava, Serene! You’ve totally just contributed to the intolerable environment you claim to detest, and made life infinitely harder for all women, including yourself. Holy flaming irony, catwoman!) need most, in addition to the compassion of other women (because men can be counted on for exactly shit-squat genuine help and support), is real options, and real paths out of our dead-end life circumstances.

    Those real options and real paths out would include, but are not limited to :

    1. MONEY. Those of us trapped in horrible partnerships and family situations are almost always so because of lack of financial resources. Can you even IMAGINE how many women would flee in droves from these death-pits if they had the monetary means? Is there any doubt in the mind of a single person here that the divorce rate would fucking skyrocket? That the number of shotgun/’whirlwind’/'Vegas’ marriages would slow to a trickle, if not stop outright? The cold, hard fact of the matter, is that a huge number of women marry and partner with men for financial security. Because they WANT to? Because they would CHOOSE to if they had any other viable option? Hell the fuck no. No. Because they are practical beings who can see very clearly that marriage and partnership to a male is the only legitimate road into some measure of financial security for most of us. Please remember, people, most women are not upper or middle class. Most women are POOR. Most women do not have access to higher education or jobs that pay a living wage. Most women have no real way out of marrying to survive and fucking to live. You have no idea how much I wish this wasn’t the case. You have no idea how many years of survival I owe to having room and board literally taken straight out of my asshole and cunt. You do not want to know.

    Add to that social indoctrination to love and support until death and dismemberment any man they come across, in addition to overwhelming and constant pressure to reproduce, and you have the exact clusterfuck we find ourselves in. So yeah, we need money.

    2. FREE OR EXREMELY LOW-COST/NO COST, HIGH QUALITY CHILDCARE. Women can’t raise children and work at the same time for the most part (and most of them, partnered or not, are raising them with little to no help inside the home either…), so without either of these two, they will never be freed from the mind-killing, will-destroying chains of never-ending domestic bondage and drudgery, and sexual slavery. Never.

    Better yet, let’s just tear down white capitalistic heterosupremacy, and replace it with a humane, automated, leisure-loving and sane society where people can just go about their business without having to drive themselves into the ground just to survive, let alone raise healthy productive human beings. Sounds better.

    3. Full paid maternity leave, with full benefits, for a calendar year after birth. Ever tried to breastfeed/pump for an infant, work 40 hours and week, try to keep your living space from drowning in filth, get enough sleep/to eat, and have a life to boot? I don’t recommend it. Babies need breastmilk. It behooves women to nurse (lowers breast cancer risk). Nursing and the grinding 40 hour work-week do not mix. Most babies cannot reverse-cycle (that is, wait for milk until mami gets home) until they are over 12 months old (some older than that…so let’s push the limit to 18 months). Some women cannot pump (I was one of those whose breasts would only respond to my child, not a plastic milking device). Without paid maternity leave, women cannot care for their babies and work. Without work, women cannot make money and support themselves. See how it’s all inter-related? And no, women shouldn’t feed their children breastmilk substitute to work or for any other reason, unless there’s no other choice. Not healthy for babies or mamis.

    Then again, we could just tear down white capitalistic heterosupremacy and replace it with a humane, automated, leisure-loving sane society…

    4. Until the terms ‘welfare mother’, ‘whore’, ‘slut’, ‘gold-digger’, and all woman-hating, woman-shaming terms and social sanctions are stricken from the vocabulary and culture of every society, women will not be free. Women will not be able to support themselves or their children without men until they DON’T NEED MEN to support them or their children.

    5. Replace capitalistic, white heterosupremacy with a humane, automated, leisure-loving, sane society in which people can go about their business without having to drive themselves into the ground just to survive, let alone raise healthy productive human beings. This should actually be number 1. And 2. And 3…

    Women need support, not sympathy (though it’s nice to know that some feel we are at least deserving of that). Women need money. Women need access to the resources that will help us to learn to care for ourselves and our children without male governance. Most women don’t. That’s why most women choose marriage and babies. It’s the only way they know, that has any societal support, therefore the only option they have.

    Support women, and women will leave their husbands and families en masse. Socially validate their freedom and autonomy, and they will rise to the challenge of learning new life skills and ways of beings in record numbers.

    Continue to shame, isolate, and punish them for becoming exactly what they were conditioned to be, keep barring them from bettering themselves in any meaningful way, and we will keep having this conversation until we’re all dead, and leave it to the next generation to keep having until they’re all dead. That’s not what I want. That’s not what you want. It can’t be what people like Serene want, either.

    So let’s break with routine and tradition and instead of vilifying women for conforming to a culture they were given and born into and forced at veritable knifepoint to accept, SUPPORT THEM IN ESCAPING IT IN WHATEVER WAY WE CAN.

    Right?

  48. Donna

    In any case, I wanted to hip you to the fun happening in Arizona right now. Specifically, House Bill 2564 was introduced this week. This particular bit of legislation, according to our esteemed AZ Central.com, aims to “allow any hospital worker or health professional to refuse to participate in an abortion or dispense medication to abort a pregnancy,” citing ethical grounds. This includes pharmacists.

    Popes, did you get a load of HB2400? It’s the so-called partial birth one. Here’s what Rep. Andy Tobin (R – natch) said about it: “It’s the ultimate health care bill for children”. Once those children exit the womb, however, they can apparently fuck off and die because the state is slashing most social services, including the ones that help children.

  49. rubysecret

    It has always seemed to me that the root of this insanity lies not in the idea that life begins at conception, but in the idea of sin. The cell cluster is innocent, the woman is a sinner (for having sex, for being an unloving mother, for being female.) Obviously the innocent’s life is worth more than the sinner’s (which is perfectly congruous with the death penalty.) Babies are cute, after all, and their mothers are whores who are going to hell anyway. I don’t think it’s such a leap for most godbags to start criminalizing women for abortions. Be careful what you wish for.

    Is there any other legal medical procedure for which there are so many and various legal limitations and hand-wringing? I just wish abortion-supporting politicians would change the dialogue. Medical decisions are private, period. End of discussion.
    Maybe we should start deconstructing and legislating viagra in the same way. Men need to wait 24 hours, go before a judge, go to counseling to discourage and shame them. Medical providers can refuse to issue it. A man needs to have notarized permission from a woman who actually wants to have sex with him. Oh, wait. Under patriarchy, women cannot technically consent. Sorry Dude, no viagra for you.

  50. Nolabelfits

    Claire,

    Thank you. That was fucking perfect.

  51. Fireflew

    Want to make a pro-liar who believes fertilised eggs are as important as living people admit they’re full of shit? Set them a dilemma: they’re alone in a burning building, along with a darling little blue-eyed baby in a cute little romper suit and a frozen fertilised egg in a test tube. They can only carry one or the other out before the building collapses. Which do they save? They’ll all instantly say ‘The baby of course!’ at which point you point out that they must not really think a fertilised egg is clearly not the equal of a born human and that they are clearly full of hot air and sanctimony and that their support of the egg=full human notion is based on something other than actually believing an egg=full human. You know, like hating women and sex without consequences. Fun times for all concerned!

  52. Schnanneken

    It’s not much consolation, but if this heinous piece of woman-hating legislation (oh, wait–is there any other kind?) is voted into law, the people responsible for enforcing it are the abortion providers themselves. You know, medical professionals who long ago made the decision that women are, in fact, human beings who get to decide what to do with their bodies and any blastocysts that crop up in their uteri from time to time. In most cases, these people will pay grudging lipservice to this ridiculous legistation while also making it clear that the state is forcing them to insult the patient in this way.

    For example: A while back, my dermatologist prescribed me Accutane for my acne. The drug is known to cause severe birth defects and my doctor informed me of this, as well as the fact that I would have to get an abortion if I were to get pregnant while completing my course of treatment. He went on: “Now, that clown in the White House thinks you are too stupid to understand that you shouldn’t get pregnant while you’re on Accutane, so you have to fill out this workbook and take a quiz every month that’s going to ask you things like, ‘Is Accutane good for a baby?’ I’m really sorry, but this is the kind of bull we have to put up with.”

    Again, it doesn’t change the fact that this legislation is an affront to women’s rights and intelligence, but I am hopeful that the doctors charged with disseminating this info will cut it off at the knees.

  53. ivyleaves

    Serene Wright is a patriarch. A damn MRA patriarch at that.

  54. MLH

    My body. Mine. Not yours. Not God’s. Mine. All mine.

  55. Interrobang

    If Chuck Damschen thinks a single human cell makes a human life, I say he needs to think about giving HeLa the right to vote, civil rights, and all the back Social Security and pension owing. I’d support that; a clump of human cells from a dead black woman has done more for humanity than Chuck Damschen ever will. I’d send him a letter stating that fact and hope he dies of shame, but I don’t believe people like him have a sense of shame, alas.

    I really sincerely believe that right-wingers don’t believe that human beings own their own bodies; it’s the only framework in which being pro-war, pro-executions, and anti-abortion (as well as not grokking the concept of “consent”) makes sense. The way I figure it is they think “Men’s bodies are owned by God and The State. Since God says whatever we say He says, and we run The State, no problem. Women’s bodies are owned by God, The State, and Men. Any other people we define as less than human (e.g. black people) are owned by God, The State, White Men, White Women, and everyone else.” A lot of people seem to get really touchy when I mention this, though.

  56. eb

    Indeed, The Patriarchy works tirelessly to make sure this one simple truth does not leak out: The only reason you exist is because a woman deemed it so.

    When The Patriarchy realized this, many moons ago, it needed a plan. Aristotle had some wigged out ‘heat’ theory, but that simply wasn’t outrageous enough.

    The plan that stuck involved a man making a man from a glob of clay and then making a woman from a man. No, seriously.

    To further solidify the idea that women don’t own their own bodies, women were blamed with basically fucking up the entire world via a trap set by the man with the most power. Then, the man with the most power deemed women MUST bear children in order to make up for having fallen for the trick that fucked up the entire world. See how that works?

    All the laws in the modern, Western world involving the subjugation of women have been derived from this one, colossally fucked-up-on-a-pogo-stick-in-a-very-short-room fallacy of human reproduction.

    When people stop believing this bullshit, we shall all be free.

  57. Hedgepig

    eb said: The Patriarchy works tirelessly to make sure this one simple truth does not leak out: The only reason you exist is because a woman deemed it so.

    That truth is really all the explanation we need for why society will continue to insist that women cannot be allowed to decide for themselves whether or not to continue a pregnancy. Woman as life giver/denier is anathema to the religion that is patriarchy.

  58. Claire (CJ)

    What eb just said. I could tap dance! What a joyous day that none of us will ever live to see! Let’s just hope for the sake of humanity it eventually happens.

    Should one be inclined to hope for the sake of anything, especially humanity, of course.

    Thanks Nola.

  59. felicity

    I love what Hedgepig just said! Serene should be filtered from now on, she or (probably he) is a troll. Her posts have the make- stupid-arguments- to- at- least- have- an- argument tone of a dude.

  60. felicity

    ooh i meant what Eb said.. Hedgepig also made good points! :)

  61. Courtney

    rows I’m with you. I’m pro-abortion as well, and so is my 94 year old grandmother. It was actually she that convinced me to be so.

    FYI, I was lucky enough to have 2 “medical” abortions, and they were actually pretty easy-peasy. And the actual drugs for it are really cheap. I live in a college town, and it’s nice to see Plan B readily available on all the pharmacy shelves. No invasive medical procedure, etc. No regret, either, because now I can raise my adorable 15-month-old daughter without having to worry about Pampers versus generic.

    And ditto Claire (CJ). We can start whining about abortions when there are no more unwanted children. For every shmuck that is all “abortion stops a beating heart”, I want to ask, where is your adopted child. Hey, I’ve got mine!

    FWIW, my DBH is seriously thinking about RISUG. I suspect there are more men than would admit it who really would like some birth control besides a condom or a vasectomy.

    Plus, I’m all for test-tube babies. Why should we have to go through 40 weeks of someone else inhabiting our bodies? If it were men, you betcha it’d exist now.

    “In some cultures there are seven directions: north, east, south, west, above, below, and within.” I love it! Love it!

    Where can I read more about abortion and the Mishnah?

    For eb’s point made clear, one need only read “Mother Nature” by Sarah Blaffer Hrdy (not a typo) In it, she details some of her work about what happens when abortion is not readily available. Would you rather a child starve to death or die of exposure or be aborted? I’ll take aborted any day.

    I invite education, here:
    Would mandatory birth control for both sexes be equivalent to dismantling the patriarchy?

  62. Kuleana

    (you remember conception; it’s when the sacred seed of life enters a lady and spreads Jesus around inside her tummy.)

    OMG, I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard at something on the Internetz. If you taught sex ed, Twisty, I think everybody would remember conception.

  63. Flores

    slythwolf wrote: “Cultural narrative would not decree that penises in vaginas was the only real way to have sex, and quite probably most people who didn’t want to have actual babies would not be putting penises in vaginas most of the time.”

    I’m perpetually amazed that this never comes up in the debate about abortion and unwanted pregnancies. I guess folks consider avoiding that one act equivalent to complete sexual abstinence. They think there’s no possible way humans could refrain from traditional het intercourse in large numbers.

  64. Twisty

    “’Men’s bodies are owned by God and The State. Since God says whatever we say He says, and we run The State, no problem. Women’s bodies are owned by God, The State, and Men. Any other people we define as less than human (e.g. black people) are owned by God, The State, White Men, White Women, and everyone else.’ A lot of people seem to get really touchy when I mention this, though.”

    Ha!

  65. speedbudget

    Who the hell is Serene Wright and how did s/he get on my blog?

  66. Jonathan

    @Courtney:

    “FWIW, my DBH is seriously thinking about RISUG. I suspect there are more men than would admit it who really would like some birth control besides a condom or a vasectomy.”

    Funny how RISUG isn’t mentioned at all in US media. I never heard of RISUG before today, and I can’t find a single mention of it in Google News. It also sounds like development of the drug is being stalled. Looks like the P is fighting hard against that one!

  67. blondie

    If a fertilized egg is a person with all of a person’s attendant rights, then the egg should also bear all of the attendant responsibilities.

    Thus, a fertilized egg should not be able to hold hostage another person, i.e., the mother, thereby creating a grave risk of serious bodily injury or death to the mother. If the fertilized egg insists on this unwelcome invasion of the mother’s body, the mother should be able, i.e., have the right to personal bodily integrity, to act in self-defense, even with deadly force, against that grave risk of serious bodily injury or death.

    Otherwise, a mother has a lesser ability to protect herself from a grave risk of bodily harm or death than a person who thinks a burglar is on his deck trying to steal his barbeque grill. (In many states, if you’re home and think someone is trying to burgle your home, you get to shoot them. yeehaw.)

  68. Tigs

    Kudos blamers, my only objection is to note however, that continued breastfeeding is also something that women, even when they become mothers, should not feel pressured to do.
    Yes, breast is best, blah, blah, but there are generations of human beings who have survived just fine on corporate fake-milk.
    If a woman does not want to sacrifice her body, she should not feel like she has to–at any point.

  69. Ariann

    I apologize in advance for the links, these are in response to Courtney’s question:

    This site is a good overview of the relevant texts and opinions related to abortion:
    http://www.religioustolerance.org/jud_abor.htm

    This is a much more complex dealing with the issue:
    http://caae.phil.cmu.edu/Cavalier/Forum/abortion/background/judaism1.html

    Let me state up front that these views are NOT entirely in accordance with rad-fem views on abortion – while I as a rad-femmer would say that abortion on demand is necessary and good and that a woman as a human being has a fundamental right to make such decisions for herself without consulting anyone else, this is not the view supported by these sources. Rather, they deal with the classification of fetuses as part of a woman’s body rather than separate entities, “potential lives” rather than human lives requiring the protection other human lives require, and the idea that a woman’s life or emotional well-being always takes precedence over the potentiality of someone else’s life. Also, there’s an idea here that abortion is not simply permissible but REQUIRED in certain circumstances, because you’re not allowed to let a woman die if killing the fetus would save her (even if the way she would die would be by suicide).

  70. SouthDakotaBlamer

    “The goal should be ‘less unintended pregnancies’, not less abortions, but try asking the ND lege to fund family planning & sex ed and see how far that gets you.”

    Ah, yes, Jezebella, but don’t you realize that more unintended pregnancies are good for the economy? Feast your eyes on this from one of my state’s loudest fundegelicals:

    http://www.voicescarryblog.com/476/

    So now my body is enslaved to blastocysts AND the economy. Oh happy day! Fuck.

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