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my secret healthcare superpower is invulnerability to other people’s cognitive dissonance.
March 4, 2011 8:11 AM   Subscribe


 
Article aside, that picture really freaked me out.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 8:13 AM on March 4, 2011


Good stuff, worth the read.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:21 AM on March 4, 2011


That article is just fucking fantastic.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 8:24 AM on March 4, 2011 [7 favorites]


Great article.
The dude forgave me for my method of breaking it to him, which was asking “So, do you want to see what a positive pregnancy test looks like?”
Ha.
posted by grouse at 8:25 AM on March 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


Good for her and everything, but the beginning of the article kind of reads like she's the adult version of Juno. Ugh. (But she got much better toward the end!)

Thanks for posting.
posted by phunniemee at 8:27 AM on March 4, 2011


I need to gift an account to my best friend and former roommate, who was a clinic director at a medical practice that (among other services) performed abortions.

She had to tolerate protesters and had her picture taken on her morning commute and posted to a couple of anti-choice websites. She had to help patients find supplemental funding to pay for their procedure. She had to deal with patients who were there for their 5th abortion that year. She had to deal with patients who would say "I'm not like those other people in the lobby. I'm anti-abortion, but my situation is different."

I got to know several of her coworkers as they'd come over for dinner and drinks all the time. Everyone was passionate about providing quality health care to the community. They had to entertain the authorities constantly, as people would call various state departments and report false allegations.

With all the problems Texas is currently facing, governor Rick Perry "named [mandatory] sonogram legislation as an emergency item that needs quick attention."
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 8:30 AM on March 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


Her e-mail intrauterinista [at] gmail is probably one of the most awesome sauce, fitting emails I came across. Like, ever.
posted by mooselini at 8:30 AM on March 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


I love that site and that post, and I'm glad to see thehairpin getting so much time on metafilter's front page.
posted by lagreen at 8:33 AM on March 4, 2011


Her conversational style of writing is unclear and hard to follow. Otherwise, good for her.
posted by Daddy-O at 8:34 AM on March 4, 2011 [10 favorites]


That was totally awesome. It makes me want to go back to school.
posted by padraigin at 8:34 AM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Sixty-five percent! Damn! I did not know that figure.

Thanks for posting this, emjaybee.
posted by Greg Nog at 8:34 AM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


I have a had time following that someone speaking/writing as that was able to pass high school, more or less get into medical school.. Interesting read, but came across as, hmm, unintelligent.. The sarcasm, bad wit, language, grar/axe-to-grind makes me think it's bogus..

Ahh. I see, buried in there, not a MD, NP.. Still, doesn't come across as someone I'd entrust my healthcare and wellbeing to..
posted by k5.user at 8:36 AM on March 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


On the comments at Hairpin- what's with people who are all "I'm pro-life but I think abortions should be legal." WTF does that mean? Like, are you socially pro-life in that you will castigate people who've had abortions, but you won't hold up a sign? Because that's still pretty fucked up.

Her conversational style of writing is unclear and hard to follow.

...for you. I found it quite clear.
posted by muddgirl at 8:36 AM on March 4, 2011 [10 favorites]


Couldn't even get through one paragraph without rolling my eyes at her aggressively "hip" writing. Oh, and good for her.
posted by ReeMonster at 8:36 AM on March 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


Yay, my favorite part: Tone arguments! If only her tone was more respectable!
posted by muddgirl at 8:36 AM on March 4, 2011 [56 favorites]


I'm pro-tone.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:38 AM on March 4, 2011 [7 favorites]


I have a had time following that someone speaking/writing as that was able to pass high school, more or less get into medical school.. Interesting read, but came across as, hmm, unintelligent..

Have you heard the phrase, "people who write in glass houses"?
posted by Greg Nog at 8:39 AM on March 4, 2011 [74 favorites]


people who write in glass houses

...shouldn't throw tones?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:41 AM on March 4, 2011 [96 favorites]


Ahh. I see, buried in there, not a MD, NP..

I hope you don't think that being an NP doesn't mean she's not educated up the yin-yang. Also, if you think medical professionals are universally held to some Strunk and White standards of writing ability, I should forward you some of my father-in-law's emails to disabuse you of the notion.
posted by padraigin at 8:41 AM on March 4, 2011 [27 favorites]


I'm so surprised to read that people here didn't like her tone. I love the tone of all the authors on hairpin; it makes me LOL constantly. I don't get the sense that they're trying to be hip at all, just funny and honest and conversational.
posted by lagreen at 8:44 AM on March 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


Ahh. I see, buried in there, not a MD, NP..

Ahh, I see; someone with an M.D. would obviously be a much better writer.

I didn't have any trouble following her piece. It was good; it set out what it intended to do. Written pieces about abortion do not need to be solemn and flowery, or distant and technical, or whatever you think this piece should have been.
posted by rtha at 8:44 AM on March 4, 2011 [9 favorites]


Her conversational style of writing is unclear and hard to follow. Otherwise, good for her.

If her writing style is what stuck out most in this article, you're doing it wrong. Grar, what an incredibly stupid derail. She is awesome, end of freakin story.
posted by pwally at 8:47 AM on March 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


For those who want a more journalistic approach to the writing, here's an article from a Toronto newspaper about somebody who made the choice to become an abortion provider.
posted by sardonyx at 8:47 AM on March 4, 2011


I must say that I too am surprised that some people found the article hard to follow or thought that use of the vernacular implied a lack of intelligence. The style immediately put across her personality and as she made her various points it became clear why that very personality could be such an asset in her field.
posted by MUD at 8:47 AM on March 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


I find her writing to be witty, thoughtful, and informative. This was a fantastic read. I love her conversational style, which actually came across to me as superbly well-written.

Thanks for posting. The world is a better place with this woman doing what she's doing, and writing eloquently and thoughtfully about it.
posted by ORthey at 8:48 AM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Jiminy Christmas, this woman has chosen to follow a profession that makes her a direct target for some of the worst people in the world, in a country where one state is actually trying to legally sanction her murder. And people here have a hair up their asses because she tries, in the face of all of this, to be jocular.
posted by Shepherd at 8:49 AM on March 4, 2011 [67 favorites]


"I'm pro-life but I think abortions should be legal." WTF does that mean?

To me it means: I think that I, personally, could ever get an abortion--if that would ever be the right choice for me, but I absolutely believe that other women should get that choice.

i.e. They're pro-choice for everyone but would choose to be pro-life for their hypothetical unborn baby--and they don't really understand what the terms mean so they phrase it that way.
posted by phunniemee at 8:51 AM on March 4, 2011 [9 favorites]


The protesters only figured out that I was a clinician-in-training and not a nightmarishly fertile young woman by my 3rd or 4th visit, and when they called me “babykiller” I was like “No way, I’m still working on ultrasound technique!”

There are a lot of people, myself included, who would have cracked under getting crap like that every day while focusing hard on difficult and technical medical training. Good for her for maintaining a sense of humor and some confidence.
posted by The demon that lives in the air at 8:51 AM on March 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


I don't think that I, personally, could ever...
My kingdom for an edit window!

posted by phunniemee at 8:53 AM on March 4, 2011


Ahh. I see, buried in there, not a MD, NP.
I'm gonna go ahead and assume that you don't know that becoming a NP in most jurisdictions requires at least an MSN degree. Which means that you have to have your BSN first. Which is a four-year degree, sometimes five-year, including heavy clinical rotations, internships and externships.

You can look up a representative MSN/NP program here,from the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing.

You're also clearly unaware that the vast majority of actual hands-on healthcare in this country is done by nurses. And, at this point, I have to stop writing, because I'm going to need an NP and possibly an ER for my blood pressure.

But, hey, by all means, let's perpetuate the myth that the smart people in medicine are the ones with the MD after their names. Because, otherwise, we might have to start understanding that, at this point, the real difference between an MD and a nurse is that one is willing to endure 8-10 years of bullshit and a mountain of debt, and the other one is a nurse.
posted by scrump at 8:56 AM on March 4, 2011 [70 favorites]


Article aside, that picture really freaked me out.
I found it very informative. Now I have a visual for what my gyn had to do during an emergency D&C.
posted by kimdog at 8:56 AM on March 4, 2011


I kind of want to give this lady a hug.

Or at least buy her a really excellent cup of coffee, over which we could chat about her awesomeness.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 8:57 AM on March 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


Brave and admirable, good luck to her.
posted by londonmark at 8:57 AM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


How many providers do you think there are in this country?

And what country would you be referring to, dear?

Why do the OP and the author herself never mention that this narrative is about the US and its uniquely fucked up abortion situation?

THE US IS NOT THE WORLD. I get so God-damned tired of restating this.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 8:59 AM on March 4, 2011


Ahh. I see, buried in there, not a MD, NP..

what the hell is that supposed to mean?

on preview: thank you scrump
posted by jammy at 8:59 AM on March 4, 2011


Why do the OP and the author herself never mention that this narrative is about the US and its uniquely fucked up abortion situation?

The article is about the fucked up abortion situation you're referring to... it seems pretty clear to you that this is about the US.
posted by tjenks at 9:01 AM on March 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


Why do the OP and the author herself never mention that this narrative is about the US and its uniquely fucked up abortion situation?

THE US IS NOT THE WORLD. I get so God-damned tired of restating this.


Dude, if you were reading that and left thinking, "golly gee willickers, could she be talking about my beloved Canada????" the problem lies with you. She even talks about US Military servicewomen. So calm down, dawg.
posted by phunniemee at 9:02 AM on March 4, 2011 [36 favorites]


Ahh. I see, buried in there, not a MD, NP.

Ahh. I see; buried in your comment is the evidence that you are an arrogant and ignorant person, who really should not be criticizing anyone else's writing style or chosen profession.
posted by lydhre at 9:04 AM on March 4, 2011 [7 favorites]


THE US IS NOT THE WORLD. I get so God-damned tired of restating this.

To be fair, there aren't many countries in the world that this article could be about.
posted by londonmark at 9:04 AM on March 4, 2011 [17 favorites]


I'm really impressed with how she dealt with the anti-abortion women who are coming in for their own abortions and telling her she should be dead. That has to be a hard thing to learn -- and maybe the most important thing to get right in interacting with them. I do badly with hypocrites who don't acknowledge their hypocrisy.


I thought the article was really interesting, I could follow it, I thought it was well written, and I didn't think the author was stupid. I agree with her beliefs about abortion (on demand! whenever!). I just do not like her style of writing. I don't think it's inappropriate for the piece, I just don't like it in general.
posted by jeather at 9:05 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't know that I could maintain her sense of humor in the face of the daily stress she has to put up with. (And I thought her writing was fantastic, even though as a middle-aged woman, I'm probably not in her target demographic.) While I'm pretty sure I'm past ever needing her abortion-related services, I hope if I'm ever in that situation, or a woman I care about is, she gets someone as compassionate and awesome as the writer is.
posted by immlass at 9:06 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I thought the done made it an easier article to read. I read somber discussions of shitty situations all the time and they kind of run together, it's nice to see a little sparkle every now and again.

Also, sorry non-American denizens of the web but there are a lot of us here on the English-speaking internet and we're pretty self-centered so it's tough to remember that we should preface all of our discussions with "Here in the United States..."
posted by ghharr at 9:08 AM on March 4, 2011


THE US IS NOT THE WORLD. I get so God-damned tired of restating this.

If it makes you tired, then stop restating it, eh?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:10 AM on March 4, 2011 [8 favorites]


Canada has some fucked-up abortion problems too, like when Henry Morgentaler had people attacking him and bombing his clinics, and people throwing hissy fits over him getting the Order of Canada. But the states do pretty much win for all-out insane fuckwitted asshattery re: abortion, it's true.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 9:12 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


What a rad lady. Wish there were more like her out there!
posted by brand-gnu at 9:12 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


So we have:

1. Oh she's not an MD!
2. Oh but her tone!
3. Hey what country is it Goddammit?

But I'm thankful we also have some folks here who get the article, too.
posted by ORthey at 9:13 AM on March 4, 2011 [8 favorites]


I also had issues with her tone, and couldn't finish the article. Why is mentioning that offensive? It's an honest reaction. I applaud what she's doing, but her writing...not so much.
posted by zylocomotion at 9:13 AM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


I liked her writing style. It worked well to communicate both her experiences and her personality.

But I also think it works to provide a protective layer for her, irreverent and joking, for such a difficult and sensitive topic.
posted by Forktine at 9:15 AM on March 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


"I'm pro-life but I think abortions should be legal." WTF does that mean?

To me it means: I think that I, personally, could ever get an abortion--if that would ever be the right choice for me, but I absolutely believe that other women should get that choice.


When people says this I assume they believe abortion is morally wrong, but think it should still be legal because outlawing it doesn't reduce the number of abortions, it just makes them more dangerous to women.

I suppose it probably depends on who is saying they are "pro-life", but I always took it to contain a moral component.
posted by ODiV at 9:17 AM on March 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


I would juggle speculums if they asked. I have not yet been asked to do this.

I so know what I'd request were I ever to need this fine woman's services.
posted by sonika at 9:22 AM on March 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


...the US and its uniquely fucked up abortion situation...

To be honest, there are a lot of countries where the abortion situation is fucked up. How unique the situation is in each country is another discussion.
posted by TedW at 9:25 AM on March 4, 2011


Pro life, pro choice paradox.

It's a perfectly coherent ethical position (my own in fact).

1. I think this is an issue people have to have the right to decide for themselves.

+

2. I myself would choose not to have an abortion.
posted by Philosopher's Beard at 9:25 AM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Tone be damned. To take a quote out of context, "…this is someone’s life, not the New York Times Most Emailed Article". This was a great article, and I'm glad she wrote it. Sure, there's slang, 90s alt rock references, and a thorough disregard for journalistic conventions, but if you push on through, there's an important message, and the story of a good person doing a difficult job.
posted by zamboni at 9:26 AM on March 4, 2011


Some of you people are going to abort your pearls if you clutch them any harder at this woman's sense of whimsy.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 9:29 AM on March 4, 2011 [21 favorites]


Philosopher's Beard: That position is indistinguishable from pro-choice though. Pro-life pretty much involves thinking abortion is wrong, doesn't it?
posted by ODiV at 9:30 AM on March 4, 2011


Pro life, pro choice paradox.

Its not a paradox. Its called not pushing your belief system on everyone else.

I'm of the same opinion WRT abortions - I don't care if others have them or don't, but I'd do everything I can not to have one.

Its the same in other areas of my life. I don't smoke pot, but I don't care if others do (at least if they do it safely). I'm incredibly conservative personally, but I vote and endorse liberal beliefs, because I don't think everyone should live the way I choose to live. If the world were 7 billion SirOmegas, it would be pretty fucking boring.
posted by SirOmega at 9:32 AM on March 4, 2011 [12 favorites]


Good for her and everything, but the beginning of the article kind of reads like she's the adult version of Juno.

I read this essay yesterday, I was thinking of it this morning when I tweeted, "If there's one thing I've learned from the Internet, it's how many bad writers there are out there."
posted by deanc at 9:33 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am so glad we discuss this stuff on the internet and not like sitting around a coffee table. It would be so fucking awkward with ya'll.

Love my meetups, love you people, but damn.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 9:34 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


For every person who finds this individual's writing super annoying (like me!) there will be others with whom it resonates (cite) who need to hear this message. Because it is not just people who are opposed to abortion that are a problem. It is people who think sure, choice, great, but they are comfortable in the assumption that abortion is reliably legal and available - something they don't really have to think about or worry about.

In fact abortion is under a constant, organized, sophisticated attack that chips away at its legality and availability on all fronts - by people who, while fighting the public battle with the graphic rhetoric and images of late term abortions, also engage in concerted efforts to make people have to wait longer to get a legal abortion, to deny people choice in early abortion (e.g. obstructing access to abortofacient medication), to obstruct people's access to emergency contraception (on the grounds that it might in some extremely rare instances result in a very early term abortion), to obstruct the education of young people in the prevention of pregnancy, and to obstruct access to contraception, particularly in any context where abortion might also be provided. There are not many overtly political causes I will give money to any more but NARAL still gets my check every year. Hows that tone, do I sound smart?
posted by nanojath at 9:42 AM on March 4, 2011 [18 favorites]


Fascinating article by someone more people should be like. I think the style is more of a "cracking jokes as hard as I can to keep from screaming" effect; it's familiar because I also become sort of relentlessly humorous and fraught sounding as the stress or tension of my situation rachets up. It also happens when I have to write something that reflects well on me, a deeply uncomfortable authorial position.

Great line: "The best I can promise to a child is to be convincing enough that they can't tell I secretly wish they were an adult instead."
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:45 AM on March 4, 2011


I think for myself I have to add a #3 to Philsopher's Beard's position:

3. Abortions aren't so great and we should work to reduce the number.

So I end up being very strongly pro-choice, but yeah, I'm not a fan of abortion (duh). I think the right answer is supporting women (and people who have sex with women) with contraceptive choices *before* there's an unwanted pregnancy, as much as possible.

This position is also often stated as "Abortions should be safe, legal, and rare". Kudos to this woman for helping to provide for the safe and legal, what an incredibly difficult job.
posted by nat at 9:49 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why do the OP and the author herself never mention that this narrative is about the US and its uniquely fucked up abortion situation?

Oh, please. As it was written in English and published on an English-language site, there are a limited number of countries it would be about. And since, as you pointed out, the US's "abortion situation" is "uniquely fucked up," then it must have been obvious to you from the context what country she was writing about. So quitcherbitchin.
posted by rtha at 9:49 AM on March 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


1. I think this is an issue people have to have the right to decide for themselves.

+

2. I myself would choose not to have an abortion.


=

I AM PRO-CHOICE.
posted by hermitosis at 9:49 AM on March 4, 2011 [21 favorites]


THE US IS NOT THE WORLD. I get so God-damned tired of restating this.

I believe the response you meant to type is: "Here are some articles about the situation in my country," with some nice juicy links to make the discussion more inclusive of your geographic area of preference.
posted by mykescipark at 9:52 AM on March 4, 2011 [19 favorites]


For those who haven't seen it already: The Only Moral Abortion is My Abortion, anecdotes about anti-abortion advocates who get abortions themselves.
posted by runningwithscissors at 9:55 AM on March 4, 2011 [7 favorites]


If this article was written by a dude, do you think anyone would be as patronizing as to refer to the author as "dear"? I sincerely doubt any issues of tone would even come up. This lady is funny, smart, and a good writer. Not everyone has the same sense of humor, not everyone's going to like her style. She is saying something important.

And for the record, i don't think you can claim to be pro-life because you think you know what decision you would make if you became pregnant. Life doesn't always happen like you plan.

I'd also like to second her point that having an abortion doesn't need to be a scary, traumatic experience, and perpetuating this myth doesn't help anyone. That doesn't mean it isn't a difficult decision, but it could be the best decision of your life (the father's life, the potential human being's non-life).
posted by butterteeth at 9:55 AM on March 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


"I also had issues with her tone ... Why is mentioning that offensive?"

That isn't offensive at all. The issue isn't whether or not you like her tone -- it clearly appeals to some people and doesn't appeal to others. The issue is that some people have cast aspersions on her intelligence because her tone doesn't appeal to them, e.g.:

"I have a had time following that someone speaking/writing as that was able to pass high school ... Ahh. I see, buried in there, not a MD, NP.. Still, doesn't come across as someone I'd entrust my healthcare and wellbeing to .."

That *is* offensive on a number of levels, about on the level of assuming a person is stupid because they have a mode of speech or accent that marks them as Southern, ethnic, city native, lower-class, or similar. Added to that was the additionally offensive remark implying that being an NP is something any idiot could do, not like real doctorin' or something actually hard and all.

Dislike her tone all you wish. If you think it says anything about her intelligence, however, that says far more about you than it does about her.
posted by kyrademon at 9:56 AM on March 4, 2011 [12 favorites]


That position is indistinguishable from pro-choice though. Pro-life pretty much involves thinking abortion is wrong, doesn't it?

Only if you accept the definitions that have been thrust upon all of us by the propagandists.

Right now, there are only two "camps" in the abortion debate -- these two camps have named themselves "pro life" and "pro choice." The most extreme members of both these camps have been defining those two terms for the rest of us for a long time now -- so the rest of us all think that they mean:

"pro-life" = "abortion is wrong for everyone and should be illegal for any reason"
vs.
"pro-choice" = "there's nothing wrong with abortion it's just another medical procedure".

Now -- you'll note that for each of these definitions, it's THE OTHER side that's defined things. It's not accurate to say that the "pro-choice" position is "abortion is hunky-dory" -- but that's what the pro-life side has been claiming it means. And vice-versa.

So-- that's why there's this paradox, because the argument has gotten away from the actual issue -- the issue of whether the government should or should not legislate upon this one issue.

And that's left a huge gray area which leaves a lot of people undefined -- the people who think that abortion is morally something wrong, but that the moral question is something the government should not legislate. A devout Catholic friend says he believes abortion is morally wrong, but is pro-choice. When I asked him why, he said that God should be the only authority on whether or not you should be penalized for having an abortion. When I asked what he felt about the morality of abortion in the case of rape, he just shrugged and said "there are venial sins, after all."

So there's this huge gray area of people who think abortion is hinky and a last-case-scenario kind of thing, but also think the government should butt the hell out and let each individual decide whether it's something she does or doesn't need to do. These people don't always feel comfortable calling themselves either "pro-life" or"pro-choice", because the definitions have gotten so polarized. So they punt.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:58 AM on March 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


I find the underscoring of her awesomeness, end of argument, and how everyone should be like her kinda odd.

I dunno what's going on in this thread.
posted by the mad poster! at 9:59 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Isn't this whole "tone" thing kind of not what this is about? I don't think it matters that if she writes annoyingly, but people who are pointing that out aren't arguing with her tone, they're criticising her style. Which is different from those tone arguments you get from people who are actually just covering for the fact that they're uncomfortable with the essence of what someone is saying. Do the people who say her writing is bad have some secret problem with legal abortion? If not, then maybe they just think it's bad.

Hats off to her, by the way.
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 10:04 AM on March 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


She has probably seen at least 1,000 vaginas.

n00b.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 10:10 AM on March 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


muddgirl: On the comments at Hairpin- what's with people who are all "I'm pro-life but I think abortions should be legal." WTF does that mean? Like, are you socially pro-life in that you will castigate people who've had abortions, but you won't hold up a sign? Because that's still pretty fucked up.

Some people recognize the importance of safe, legal abortions and understand that outlawing abortions won't stop women from having them it will only stop them from having them done safely. They believe that abortions should be legal.

At the same time, lots of those same people believe that a fetus is a proto-person and that terminating that fetus is the same or comparable to killing a child. They believe that abortions are wrong.

Disclaimers: Didn't RTFA yet- didn't read the comments either- I think abortion is just fine and that this woman is doing a great thing.
posted by paisley henosis at 10:11 AM on March 4, 2011


Tone, schmone. This woman is awesome.

I wish my gyno juggled speculums, because that would probably make it at least 75% more likely that I would remember to get my yearly pap smear.
posted by romakimmy at 10:17 AM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'll take my licks for believing someone performing a surgical operation like an abortion should be a MD, not a NP.

The debate over who is more/better educated, who does the "real work" of health care, who is licensed (by what agency and how), who you would trust more, etc is one I'm happy to have, though I doubt this is the place for it.

I'll also stand by my premise that someone doing surgical work, and advocating for it with both politics and lives as stake, doesn't get my vote of confidence when they come across as the author here does.
posted by k5.user at 10:19 AM on March 4, 2011


Great article. Thanks for posting.

I have a had time following that someone speaking/writing as that was able to pass high school, more or less get into medical school..

I have a hard time believing that someone who wrote this group of words on Metafilter was not attempting irony, much less sincerely criticizing another person's writing style or intelligence.
posted by zennie at 10:24 AM on March 4, 2011


I really appreciated the article and her for what she does,and I'm glad it was shared, and I'm glad that she doesn't feel that she has to be all...official...or whatever with her language. That said, I really didn't care for the flow and found her a lulzy.
posted by TomMelee at 10:24 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I find the underscoring of her awesomeness, end of argument, and how everyone should be like her kinda odd.

I dunno what's going on in this thread.


I think people here are refreshed by an honest defense of a very necessary but very controversial and unpopular profession, as well as the personal insight into the day-to-day lives of these people whom some of us consider "heroes."

I only wish I could do work that made me as proud.

I'm pro-tone as well: "when they called me 'babykiller' I was like 'No way, I'm still working on ultrasound technique!'"
posted by mrgrimm at 10:27 AM on March 4, 2011


I'll also stand by my premise that someone doing surgical work, and advocating for it with both politics and lives as stake, doesn't get my vote of confidence when they come across as the author here does.

I appreciate that a more authoritative and/or formal tone might make her more appealing to some who like to see medical professionals as, well, authorities, but having been patronized up to my eyeballs by formal authoritative doctors who thought that breasts and body fat somehow diminished my ability to be properly sick and and intelligent and worthy of their time, I am totally down with knowing that there are medical professionals out there who see themselves as being as human as the rest of us.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 10:31 AM on March 4, 2011 [12 favorites]


I'm really impressed with how she dealt with the anti-abortion women who are coming in for their own abortions and telling her she should be dead.

Yeah, I'd be like ...

"Here you go, kid. Bottle of gin and a bent coat hanger. Go and fucking do it yourself..."
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:33 AM on March 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


Well, k5.user, in your first comment on this thread:

You said "a had time" when you meant "a hard time"
You said you had that hard time "following that someone" was able to do something-- an odd and unclear phrasing
You said you had such a hard time with it because it was someone writing "as that" when the more proper form would be "like that"
You then used the phrase "more or less" when you meant "much less"
You used odd, nonstandard two-period ellipses a total four times
You used referred to the article as "bogus", without it being very clear whether you actually meant you thought it was a fake article or you just thought it was bad
Plus you used "a MD" instead of the more typical "an MD", sentence fragments, colloquialisms such as "hmm" and "ahh" (and what's with your double consonants ending those, anyway?) ...

And this was in a four line post just a few sentences in length.

If I were to judge you by your own standards, I don't think I'd trust you to serve someone lunch without messing it up.

Or maybe, just maybe, your taste for someone's stylistic writing choices isn't a completely reliable way to judge their intellect?
posted by kyrademon at 10:35 AM on March 4, 2011 [24 favorites]


IRFH is back! Yay! I hadn't noticed.

We now return to your regularly scheduled abortion discussion.
posted by Aizkolari at 10:35 AM on March 4, 2011


The style of writing is completely irrelevant to the content of the post. Why is it that intelligent people, like so many of you, feel compelled to find something to criticize in an article that is otherwise a Good Thing? You take yourselves way too seriously.
posted by sunshinesky at 10:35 AM on March 4, 2011


the real difference between an MD and a nurse is

About £70,000 p.a.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:38 AM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


(PS. I am aware that there was a mistake in my corrections above. PPS. I don't care.)
posted by kyrademon at 10:38 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


The tone works because it says, "Hi, I am a real person. I'm not going to apologize for not taking a second essay-writing class when I was an undergrad." I'm certain there is plenty of literature about abortion providers that is written in a way that could be described as more professional. If you didn't like this piece, you can find something you do like.

Also, Hi! I talk like this and I'm a person who manages your money! I'm actually really good at my job, and the way I write and speak has nothing to do with my ability to perform my duties! Tee hee!
posted by giraffe at 10:39 AM on March 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


and I'll take my licks for not proofreading as I ran out the door for lunch.

Anyone wanting an operation, I open after 9pm. Bring your own surgical supplies.
posted by k5.user at 10:39 AM on March 4, 2011


I don't trust the opinions of anybody who doesn't know how to properly use an ellipsis. I do have some questions about NPs doing surgical work, but I think the primary problem is that I'd rather see the funding and space to send most of 'em to med school, not that they're not competent.

And oh my fucking god, I'm being conversational, this must make me stupid. Scuse me, I'm going to go cry into my Mensa membership.

This was very awesome, though. All kinds of little tidbits I loved and I wanted to go back and draw attention to all of them but then this would be serious teal deer. I have sent links to this to a whole bunch of my choice-y friends.
posted by gracedissolved at 10:40 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


There is no possibility that this person is in the medical profession. Or has a college degree.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:43 AM on March 4, 2011


As for the unique to the States thing, here's a frightening summary of one aspect of this issue from Canada:

And a 2006 study published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology found just half of Canada's ob-gyn programs routinely include abortion in their training, and that a minority of residents felt competent in doing abortion. The study also found more residents participated in abortion training and more said they intended to be providers if they attended programs that had integrated abortion training. (The study's author, currently a professor at the University of Montreal, declined to be interviewed about her research due to concerns about being put in a “delicate position with the general public,” according to a media officer.)

Taken from the article I linked to above.
posted by sardonyx at 10:44 AM on March 4, 2011


There is no possibility that this person is in the medical profession. Or has a college degree.

Unless you have information the rest of us aren't privy to, that's an incredibly ignorant position to take.
posted by Mooski at 10:46 AM on March 4, 2011 [6 favorites]


There is no possibility that this person is in the medical profession. Or has a college degree.

From some of the emails I've seen from doctors, I agree. Punctuation and capitalization was pretty much properly used throughout. That's almost unprecedented.
posted by ODiV at 10:47 AM on March 4, 2011 [16 favorites]


This the most awesome article about abortion ever posted to Metafilter and if you disagree, you're wrong and I hope I'm never stuck in a dungeon with you.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:48 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


The tone works because it says, "Hi, I am a real person."

I don't see it that way. The tone screams, "Look at my snappily-written blog post in which I seem to trivialize and "humanize" a very difficult situation in order to make it easier for people to digest. I will use sarcasm, vulgarity and witty references to "dumb down" my subject in order to make "regular people" identify with what I do. I will also parenthetically praise myself and my witty inner-thoughts ad nauseum."

In other words, this woman doesn't come across as normal in any way to me. If she had just written an informative article that wasn't so self-aware and full of itself, then maybe I'd find her more normal.

As for the comment about her not being in the medical profession, I would tend to agree, as most people in the medical profession do not have such a flippant viewpoint on their work. Then again, there is the NP vs. MD argument.
posted by ReeMonster at 10:48 AM on March 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


What if we had a safeword, Brandon?
posted by ODiV at 10:48 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


That was great.

I didn't know there were so few abortion providers. That's pretty crazy.
posted by thehmsbeagle at 10:49 AM on March 4, 2011


If she had just written an informative article that wasn't so self-aware and full of itself, then maybe I'd...

never have seen it.
posted by ODiV at 10:50 AM on March 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


but I think the primary problem is that I'd rather see the funding and space to send most of 'em to med school, not that they're not competent.

The NPs I know are NPs because they wanted to be NPs, not because they couldn't get into or afford med school (nursing school ain't cheap, either, not to mention the required grad programs). They became NPs because the specific role appealed to them, and they wanted to work with underserved populations, and they wanted to be in medicine but not be doctors.

There is no possibility that this person is in the medical profession. Or has a college degree.

There is no possibility that you're not full of shit.
posted by rtha at 11:01 AM on March 4, 2011 [7 favorites]


I don't see it that way. The tone screams, "Look at my snappily-written blog post in which I seem to trivialize and "humanize" a very difficult situation in order to make it easier for people to digest. I will use sarcasm, vulgarity and witty references to "dumb down" my subject in order to make "regular people" identify with what I do. I will also parenthetically praise myself and my witty inner-thoughts ad nauseum."

Or maybe she was just trying to write about something really heavy in a light way to avoid being all debbie downer, and you're reading all kinds of personal issues into it?
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 11:01 AM on March 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


There is no possibility that you're not full of shit.

OK, let me be clearer. I don't believe for a second that anyone who was an abortion provider would write an article that flippant about their profession.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:04 AM on March 4, 2011


I think people here are refreshed by an honest defense of a very necessary but very controversial and unpopular profession, as well as the personal insight into the day-to-day lives of these people whom some of us consider "heroes."

yeah but that doesn't mean she gets some sort of Moral Cult of Personality by default does it? it really seems like people are getting upset and engaging in a silly back and forth because they're reading any unsupportive responses to the article as a proxy for criticism of their position on a contentious issue.
posted by the mad poster! at 11:05 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


People are free NOT to label themselves either pro-choice or pro-life. But to accept either label is to accept the trappings of that label: IE, you can not be pro-choice and anti-legal abortion, and you can not be "pro-life" and pro-legal abortions. That's just the way it is nowadays. If someone identifies themselves as pro-life, they are identifying a coherent sent of political and social beliefs. If they don't actually believe those things then they should not label themselves as such.

I mean for fucks sake, I am "pro-life". Of course I am. Life is awesome. Murder sucks.
posted by muddgirl at 11:05 AM on March 4, 2011


I don't think a serious topic can only be talked about in serious ways.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 11:06 AM on March 4, 2011 [6 favorites]


OK, let me be clearer. I don't believe for a second that anyone who was an abortion provider would write an article that flippant about their profession.

Do you think she duped the Hairpin, or that they didn't check her out to make sure she was legit? Or do you think the Hairpin just fabricated the entire thing?
posted by mikepop at 11:09 AM on March 4, 2011


OK, let me be clearer. I don't believe for a second that anyone who was an abortion provider would write an article that flippant about their profession.

Why, watch too many medical dramas where doctors are always grabbing each other by the lapels and shouting "Jack, it's your job"?

God, the constant "Hissss! It's different!" from provincial-ass forum dwellers around here about any deviation from house style gets completely soul-crushing sometimes.
posted by furiousthought at 11:09 AM on March 4, 2011 [12 favorites]


"... they're reading any unsupportive responses to the article as a proxy for criticism of their position on a contentious issue."

Nope. I am genuinely angry at the assumption that someone who writes or speaks in a colloquial style could either not possibly be a medical professoinal, or could not possibly be a competent medical professional. It is an attitude and issue that affects my life directly, channels countless bright kids away from the sciences, and carries unexamined assumptions that are almost always classist, and often racist or sexist.
posted by kyrademon at 11:10 AM on March 4, 2011 [45 favorites]


I just wanted to say that this was a niece read. Everyone can pretty much STFU about her style and how she's probably too stupid to really be a medical professional. Seriously. It's ever so unbecoming, y'all.
posted by that's candlepin at 11:10 AM on March 4, 2011


I don't believe for a second that anyone who was an abortion provider would write an article that flippant about their profession.

I don't see flippant in this post at all. I see a woman who's trying to convey what it's like to work in the profession without turning it into some sort of turgid, plodding, self-righteous treatise from The Nation or some sort of meandering but entirely content-free Huffington Post write-up.
posted by blucevalo at 11:10 AM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


someone who writes or speaks in a colloquial style

Oh, come on. That's not a colloquial style, it's just a Wonkette pastiche. No one actually talks that way.
posted by enn at 11:13 AM on March 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


OK, let me be clearer. I don't believe for a second that anyone who was an abortion provider would write an article that flippant about their profession.

Why not? I think being "flippant", or as I would suggest, putting a positive spin on a profession that is rarely advertised, let alone spoken about positively, is just awesome. What abortion providers need is to be normalized within society. The less they talk about themselves, the more power is given to their enemy to define who and what they are. If an abortion provider can't talk about themselves confidently, who will set the record straight?
posted by sunshinesky at 11:14 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why not? I think being "flippant", or as I would suggest, putting a positive spin on a profession that is rarely advertised, let alone spoken about positively, is just awesome

...because there's nothing about providing abortions for people, even people who NEED them, that's awesome.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:15 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Nope. I am genuinely angry at the assumption that someone who writes or speaks in a colloquial style could either not possibly be a medical professoinal, or could not possibly be a competent medical professional. It is an attitude and issue that affects my life directly, channels countless bright kids away from the sciences, and carries unexamined assumptions that are almost always classist, and often racist or sexist.

it's genuinely written in an annoying fashion though. at least for me. And although you're criticizing the assumption that it makes her incompetent, plenty of people were ready to read pernicious or substance-related dismissal into others' expression of that criticism standing by itself, not as it relates to her level of competency.
posted by the mad poster! at 11:16 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


...because there's nothing about providing abortions for people, even people who NEED them, that's awesome.

I wholeheartedly disagree.
posted by sunshinesky at 11:17 AM on March 4, 2011 [7 favorites]


What if we had a safeword, Brandon?

I don't speak Russian.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:19 AM on March 4, 2011


That was a fascinating read. She's a very funny writer. People who prefer not to read things in that tone can go pick up a fucking medical journal.

I'd rather have this woman stick dangerous instruments up my vagina than your "authoritative" doctors any day of the week.
posted by NoraReed at 11:19 AM on March 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


OK, let me be clearer. I don't believe for a second that anyone who was an abortion provider would write an article that flippant about their profession.

You've never known anyone who's worked in a clinic, I take it. I have, and you are wrong.

(That is, they are not "flippant", but they are irreverent and oftentimes black-humored, which is how I read this piece. I do not see her as not taking what she's training to do very seriously.)

On preview:

because there's nothing about providing abortions for people, even people who NEED them, that's awesome.

Again, your opinion, and one that clashes with the experiences of people I know who have done this kind of work. They do think it's awesome that they can provide a legal medical service to people who need it, especially in the face of ignorance, hatred, and violence, and do so in a manner that is nonjudgmental, safe, and compassionate.
posted by rtha at 11:19 AM on March 4, 2011 [20 favorites]


Why not? I think being "flippant", or as I would suggest, putting a positive spin on a profession that is rarely advertised, let alone spoken about positively, is just awesome

...because there's nothing about providing abortions for people, even people who NEED them, that's awesome.


My guess is, you've never needed one or are likely to? Because if you had, I think you'd find it pretty awesome that you could get one, and that your life was now in a much better place.

Did you read the piece? She describes her own abortion as pretty much awesome and a huge relief.

Is this going to turn into an Obama-birth-certificate thing where you won't believe she's really qualified without a hands-on examination of her medical degree and possibly a trial by fire?
posted by emjaybee at 11:26 AM on March 4, 2011 [6 favorites]


A couple weeks later I finally got my shit together to look directly at them and I saw that they were (a) a scraggly group of five or so and (b) all old white dudes, historically the least likely demographic to spiritually or morally lead me. Relief!

Ha!

Thanks for posting. This is awesome.
posted by davidjmcgee at 11:27 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think there's tons of things about providing abortions for people that's awesome. Heck, I bet there's tons of things about, say, oncology that's awesome, and that seems like a much grimmer field.
posted by kyrademon at 11:28 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Being able to help people who need help is awesome.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 11:30 AM on March 4, 2011 [14 favorites]


I'd be curious to learn how many of those who think her tone is flip/unprofessional have been condescended to by a medical professional. I mean, really - because I have and I found her tone refreshingly human and non-judgmental. This is a person I'd be comfortable trusting with the entirety of my experiences and my well-being.
posted by superfluousm at 11:37 AM on March 4, 2011 [7 favorites]


As a nurse, and a hospice nurse at that, I have to say a whole lot of us deal with the grimmer realities of life and death with at least some degree of black humor. Doesn't mean we are being disrespectful but you have to find a way to cope....As for NPs, well I work with both and I'd take a good NP over an MD any day....
posted by yodelingisfun at 11:40 AM on March 4, 2011 [7 favorites]


Nope. I am genuinely angry at the assumption that someone who writes or speaks in a colloquial style could either not possibly be a medical professoinal, or could not possibly be a competent medical professional. It is an attitude and issue that affects my life directly, channels countless bright kids away from the sciences, and carries unexamined assumptions that are almost always classist, and often racist or sexist.
I favorited this so hard the guy in the cube next to mine asked me whether I was really pissed off at my computer or something. And I think I left a fingerprint embedded in my mouse.
posted by scrump at 11:42 AM on March 4, 2011 [17 favorites]


I think there's tons of things about providing abortions for people that's awesome. Heck, I bet there's tons of things about, say, oncology that's awesome, and that seems like a much grimmer field.

THIS.

Seriously, this bullshit about "tone" and not having an MD is just ignorant. Plus, it seems biased against a procedure just because of what it is. You want to talk about flippant? Then try replacing "abortion" in "providing abortions for people..." with "chemotherapy," "corrective surgery," "physical rehabilitation," "cognitive therapy," or any of a number of other medical procedures that have at least the potential to improve the physical and/or mental health and quality of life (to say nothing of saving that life) for people. Sounds kind of stupid and offensive to those cancer patients, people with congenital defects, accident and war victims, and mentally unstable people, right?
posted by zombieflanders at 11:44 AM on March 4, 2011 [6 favorites]


OK, let me be clearer. I don't believe for a second that anyone who was an abortion provider would write an article that flippant about their profession.

She sounds like most of the modern sex educators an alternative sexual practice acceptance advocates I follow. Actually it's a particular conversational style which is done to re-enforce your modesty by overly trumpeting yourself, but with irony and self consciousness. ("So yup, I'm pretty much the most awesome sauce person ever!" is how a bashful member of my peer group would bring it to my attention we needed to congratulate them over their promotion)

Why wouldn't they be that flippant? Does learning dilate/curate or dilate/suction (or administer meds/monitor) suddenly make your sense of humour and detachment? C'mon it's practically a cliche that people in stressful positions use this sort of flippant attitude to cope with things like patients screaming or pieces of client needing to be put back together. How would -you- write about people advocating your death on a day in, day out basis if you were in your mid twenties and grew up with this as an acceptable outlet for emotion, including people you were trying to help?
posted by Phalene at 11:47 AM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


What I think isn't coming across is the fact that being flippant about providing abortions isn't considered "great" or even "help" to a large percentage of Americans. While many of us do feel they should be legal, even if they are "wrong", reading a flippant article with black humor about abortions makes me want to give money to a pro-life organization.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:48 AM on March 4, 2011


The more you complain about someone's writing tone indicating their medical professionalism, and the more you make unsupported statements about how no REAL medical professional would do X or Y or write like X or Y, the less likely it is that you've spent any time with real medical professionals in a working setting.

Those of us who have worked with, and are currently working with, other medical professionals are telling you, sometimes outright, that you are wrong. That you are making demonstrably untrue statements that do not match reality.

Now, you have a choice: you can either admit that you are mistaken, or you can keep arguing. One way, you keep your dignity. The other way, you wind up looking like a fool.

Your choice.
posted by scrump at 11:48 AM on March 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


You don't need any excuse to donate to an anti-woman organization, roomthreeseventeen. Lots of people do it with no concrete excuse at all.
posted by muddgirl at 11:50 AM on March 4, 2011 [6 favorites]


What I think isn't coming across is the fact that being flippant about providing abortions isn't considered "great" or even "help" to a large percentage of Americans. While many of us do feel they should be legal, even if they are "wrong", reading a flippant article with black humor about abortions makes me want to give money to a pro-life organization.
Oh, that's a fact?

Cite, please. I mean, you said it's a fact.

And, frankly, if reading a single article is enough to flip your opinion 180 degrees, I'd rather not have you on my side, thanks.
posted by scrump at 11:51 AM on March 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


Hi! Me again, sock puppet for someone who works at a clinic that does abortions. We make jokes and do occasionally get a little gallows-humorous because our work is emotional labor and sometimes you just need to laugh. It doesn't make us unsympathetic to our patients, unreliable as medical staff (N.B. I'm support staff, not a licensed provider, and my only qualification is an overpriced English degree), or flippant, though you might read it that way. Humor is a way for us to get through the hard days, and it helps us be emotionally available for our patients in a clinical context that could otherwise break your heart daily.

I do think the phrasing of the first few paragraphs of the article was a little off-putting, but a) I think she settled into her subject well enough and b) people who think that perceived "flippancy" precludes one from being an abortion provider probably doesn't know enough abortion providers.
posted by c'mon sea legs at 11:51 AM on March 4, 2011 [16 favorites]


Another visit to Nightmare Town. One week, on a Monday, I read about the Burris Amendment, which was an amendment to the defense bill that would have let soldiers have abortions in military facilities overseas. I read “Current law bans abortions in most cases at military facilities, even if women pay themselves, meaning they must go outside to private hospitals and clinics — an impossibility for many of the estimated 100,000 American servicewomen in foreign countries, particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan.” It was struck down.

People make fun of Roland Burris but his record during his very brief time as the junior senator from Illinois was pretty awesome.
posted by enn at 11:52 AM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


While many of us do feel they should be legal, even if they are "wrong", reading a flippant article with black humor about abortions makes me want to give money to a pro-life organization.

You might want to look into a wrist guard; patting yourself that hard on the back is going to sprain something sooner rather than later.
posted by superfluousm at 11:53 AM on March 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


I've been condescended to by medical professionals. Her tone in this article is not what I'd want to hear from one, either, because it would strike me as a different type of condescending.

I have no reason to believe that the author does not know how to speak appropriately in a medical context, though, or to believe that I would object in any way to having her as my medical provider, because most people know that they behave differently in different contexts -- like writing an article for an irreverent website vs talking to your patient before a medical procedure.

If she had written how she never, ever joked about anything medical, then I would not believe that she really was in the field, but joking about your job is pretty par for the course.
posted by jeather at 11:53 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


...having been patronized up to my eyeballs by formal authoritative doctors who thought that breasts and body fat somehow diminished my ability to be properly sick and and intelligent and worthy of their time...

This.

Or my personal favorite, the offense that got my last MD fired, in which he refused me medication I needed because I "might get pregnant." Not "discussed options to ensure that wouldn't happen," not "had an honest conversation about the likelihood of my getting pregnant," just flat out refused because I am in my mid-30s and MIGHT get pregnant, despite not planning to do so.

Goodbye, Dr. Asshat. My new DO is exponentially better AND he isn't a judgmental dick.

Oh, and p.s., Dr. Asshat is so incredibly fucking stupid that he completely missed a cyst on my father's wrist that was so large you could see it, not to mention feel it through the skin. Not exactly a vote of confidence in his fancy degree, eh?

I'd rather go to this woman any day if I needed the services she provides.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 11:58 AM on March 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


I am genuinely angry at the assumption that someone who writes or speaks in a colloquial style could either not possibly be a medical professoinal, or could not possibly be a competent medical professional. It is an attitude and issue that affects my life directly, channels countless bright kids away from the sciences, and carries unexamined assumptions that are almost always classist, and often racist or sexist.

Writing has different standards than speaking, and it comes with different assumptions. A person's accent and manner of speech has certain regional and class implications which are hard if not impossible to change and don't have much bearing on a person's education and intelligence. By contrast, anyone claiming to have a formal education is assumed to have a background that included a lot of training in writing. If one's writing is poor, it is natural to call into question the writer's education and attitudes towards education. I disagree with roomthreeseventeen's claim that there is "no possibility" this person is in the medical field, but plenty of blogs (pandagon comes to mind) have authors who write in a colloquial "voice" that "works" in a way that this didn't. If I had to come up with a concise criticism, it would be that it actually comes across as "condescending"-- as if we won't be bothered to be able to read about abortion if she doesn't keep trying to show how clever and funny and cool she is.
posted by deanc at 12:00 PM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


If one's writing is poor

Is this author's writing actually "poor?" I mean, it is certainly functional. This tone has worked very successfully for Sady Doyle (who, not coincidentally, also gets lectured at for her lack of sufficient seriosity).
posted by muddgirl at 12:07 PM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


EmpressCallipygos: Now -- you'll note that for each of these definitions, it's THE OTHER side that's defined things. It's not accurate to say that the "pro-choice" position is "abortion is hunky-dory" -- but that's what the pro-life side has been claiming it means. And vice-versa.

I just want to go on the record here and say: "I believe that abortion is hunky-dory."

Ovulation isn't a voluntary, conscious thing. If she thinks she shouldn't be a parent now then it's insane not to trust her judgment.
posted by paisley henosis at 12:07 PM on March 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


What I think isn't coming across is the fact that being flippant about providing abortions isn't considered "great" or even "help" to a large percentage of Americans.

Says who? We're eagerly awaiting your copious documentation of how being "flippant" has lowered the discourse or hardened a "large percentage" of Americans to thinking about an issue. In the meantime we'll just look at all of the news articles about how Glenn Beck Sean Hannity Rush Limbaugh The Daily Show is responsible for making its viewers less informed and less likely to change their opinions.

While many of us do feel they should be legal, even if they are "wrong", reading a flippant article with black humor about abortions makes me want to give money to a pro-life organization.

If one "flippant" article makes you want to do that, you're doing a pretty shitty job at convincing anyone that you actually believe they should be legal in the first place.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:09 PM on March 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


Did I misread or did she turn the statistic that 65% of women who have abortions already have children into that there was a 65% chance the mother of a person with siblings would have decided to end the pregnancy resulting in that person's birth? I read the sentence multiple times and kept getting the same meaning, but those numbers aren't the same. I think it just means my mother was more likely to end the pregnancy resulting in my younger brother than she was to end the pregnancy resulting in me.
posted by hoyland at 12:10 PM on March 4, 2011


I don't know how many of you have had education or training in the sciences (health sciences or other). They don't exactly emphasize writing skills. Some of the most highly educated and brilliant people you'd hope to meet are extremely poor writers. Despite any flaws the FPP piece has, the author is not a bad writer. And if you think she is, you need to reassess your standards because they are way too rigid.
posted by zennie at 12:12 PM on March 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


Exhibit A: The one sample we have of the author in her professional environment.
So I told my patient what I truly believe, which is: “I’m so sorry that you feel that way because feeling that way has got to make this an even harder decision than it already is. I imagine it must really feel awful to think that you have to do something that goes against your own beliefs. … I know there is no way you're going to go home feeling you did the absolute right thing no matter what happens today. We are not going to do any procedure until you are absolutely certain that this is what you want. I do not want you to have an abortion. The only that I want you to do is the thing that is most right for you, whether it’s continuing this pregnancy and becoming a parent, or adoption, or abortion.” Then we brought her with her boyfriend to the counselor who talked with them for hours about the spectrum of resources available for not just abortion but adoption and parenting.
Exhibit B: From the "About" section of The Hairpin (the blog where this was posted).
about us, in the abstract: You know how having cocktails at a friend’s house can sometimes be more fun than the Big Party you go to afterward? And not because the Big Party isn’t fun, but just because hanging out with select lady friends is sometimes unbeatable? This site hopes to be a little like that — a low-key cocktail party among select female friends. Imagine like we’re pouring you a drink. That you can’t actually drink, because it is inside the computer.
The author is capable of using different registers in different environments. If went in thinking "this are serious topic", and were thrown by the "cocktail party" tone, adjust your expectations.
posted by zamboni at 12:15 PM on March 4, 2011 [14 favorites]


Rachel Maddow: Serving women in the face of threats
posted by homunculus at 12:22 PM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ha, roomthreeseventeen.

My husband's a pathologist. My best friend is a palliative care physician/oncologist. My husband's best friend is a ER doctor. They all went to med school together.

You don't know flippant until you get all of them in a room. And all three of them are highly respected doctors who work at academic institutions. And I'm pretty sure they take their work seriously.
posted by gaspode at 12:25 PM on March 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


You don't know flippant until you get all of them in a room

Do they publish their conversations online?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:29 PM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Jesus fucking Christ, roomthreeseventeen, put down the shovel and stop digging.
posted by item at 12:30 PM on March 4, 2011 [9 favorites]


They should. Given the furore over "death panels" it's pretty damned interesting having a relaxed conversation about palliative and terminal care with someone who deals with it every day.
posted by gaspode at 12:33 PM on March 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


While many of us do feel they should be legal, even if they are "wrong", reading a flippant article with black humor about abortions makes me want to give money to a pro-life organization.

I think this may be the very definition of a tone argument. Wow.

Sure, if we'll all pretend every abortion is a tragedy that will scar us ladies forever - potentially grovel and weep to your satisfaction - maybe then you'll deign to support our right to get one! How nice of you, roomthreeseventeen. We'll get right on that.
posted by lydhre at 12:51 PM on March 4, 2011 [11 favorites]


Do they publish their conversations online?

You never read doctor blogs, I guess. But you're not shy here about exhibiting your ignorance as if it were fact, so I can't say I'm surprised.
posted by rtha at 12:54 PM on March 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


The article was not flippant at all. I'm not sure how anyone would read it as such.

flippant = "frivolously disrespectual"

Nobody wants a fucking abortion or at any point in their lives thought, “Oh, who cares, I’ll just take care of it.” Not even the woman on her tenth who said to me when I came in the room, “Hm, I haven’t seen you before! You must be new.” I am going to tell you that having 10 abortions is extremely rare, but I am also going to tell you without even starting another sentence that it doesn’t matter how rare it is because there should be no hierarchy of abortion. On demand, without apology? Great, I’m glad we all agree. It all breaks down to this: no one is immune to mistakes, whether it’s a mistake of their own making or (more likely) an end effect of the system, especially our fucked-up broken medical system I hate representing

Passionate and heartfelt? Sure. Flippant? No.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:58 PM on March 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


*disrespectful
posted by mrgrimm at 12:58 PM on March 4, 2011


If we want to talk about medical professionals and HOLY WTF QUESTIONABLE, here's a story that will send chills up your spine.

I have epilepsy. I am also pregnant. This is a tricky balance, for sure. Thankfully for me, I see a neurologist whose very specialty is epilepsy in pregnancy. Yay! (Yeah, she's just about the only one, it's a pretty small specialty.)

So, I go in for check-ups about my medication levels and whatnot once per trimester. My second trimester visit just so happens to occur a few days after my 19 week ultrasound, so I've just recently found out the sex of my fetus. My neurologist is all intrigued and interested - as one would expect from someone who specializes in dealing with pregnant women. So, she asks about the sex and I tell her and then...

... she asks if I've taken the CHINESE GENDER PREDICTION TEST.

And my eyes bug out of my head. My neurologist. A woman who has an MD/PhD and directs clinical research in neurology at fucking HARVARD is asking me about bogus "gender prediction" tests on the fucking internet. I politely answer "no."

And so, she proceeds to find one of these "tests" on the internet as I'm sitting right there and goes on and on about how it's "fascinating" and it's "never been wrong." I fail to see the science behind guessing the sex of a fetus based on *my* birthday (which is how the "test" "works") but I just smile and nod and whatever.

And it's wrong. It had a 50/50 shot, and it was wrong. "Oooh, I've never seen it be wrong before! That's so weird!"

So, just keep this image in your mind when you think about doctors. They still have the capacity to be total weirdos and dorks, just like the rest of us. And yes, I pray that she doesn't start doing diagnosis by fortune cookie. (This incident did not instill confidence in me, no.) (PS: Even *with* her wackadoo tendencies here, she's the *best* neurologist I've ever seen, which should tell you something about the field of neurology.)

As for NPs, well I work with both and I'd take a good NP over an MD any day....

I've seen many awesome NPs and my OB's practice has both OB/GYNs and CNMs (certified Nurse Midwife, which requires NP certification first) and I totally opted to see a CNM for my pregnancy. She's awesome and I trust her just as much as I would if she had an MD on her wall. NPs, from my experience, have a much better bedside manner than MDs, and that was really important to me in picking a care provider.
posted by sonika at 12:59 PM on March 4, 2011 [8 favorites]


Excellent article. I'm sending this to all my ladyfriends.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 1:05 PM on March 4, 2011


If you want to make it harder for women you don't even know to get abortions because someone who they don't even know wrote an article on the internet you don't like, you can just go fuck right off and take your bullying threats with you.
posted by the young rope-rider at 1:09 PM on March 4, 2011 [15 favorites]


Do they publish their conversations online?
Where are you going with this?

This is a serious question. I am trying very hard to understand where you're going with this argument, and I don't, and I would like to give you the benefit of the doubt.

So, without using inflammatory language or generalizations, speaking for yourself only, please tell me what's behind your argument. There's clearly something there that I'm just not getting.
posted by scrump at 1:20 PM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


So, just keep this image in your mind when you think about doctors.

How many doctors have you seen smoking cigarettes? Or doctors who drink heavily?

Doctors live to an average age of 58.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:29 PM on March 4, 2011


In my opinion, the problem with the pro-life position is that it is about controlling womens' reproductive rights. This is why it is bad. "Pro-life" is not about the lives of babies - countless articles and TV/radio rants have shown how the same people who care about 6 week fetuses lose all interest as soon as these people are born and need food, healthcare and education. It is all about telling women what they can do with their bodies.

Abortions happen, regardless if they are legal or not. Look at these statistics Abortion rates are higher in countries where abortion is illegal! Abortion rates are higher in nations where there is a moral stigma to abortion. Here, where abortion is both legal and uncontroversial, the abortion rate is one of the lowest in the world (12 pr. 1000 women). I guess it is because allowing women to control their own reproductive rights also means giving young girls access to sex-education. But what do I know?

I do know doctors and nurses who are flippant, and strangely unscientific. Tone-arguments seem to me to be in bad taste.
posted by mumimor at 1:36 PM on March 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


Not to mention all the doctors who massively abuse prescription drugs. And I say this as the daughter of a chain-smoking, drug-abusing doctor who died of emphysema so, you know.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 1:37 PM on March 4, 2011


EmpressCallipygos: Now -- you'll note that for each of these definitions, it's THE OTHER side that's defined things. It's not accurate to say that the "pro-choice" position is "abortion is hunky-dory" -- but that's what the pro-life side has been claiming it means. And vice-versa.

I just want to go on the record here and say: "I believe that abortion is hunky-dory."


Bad word choice on my part. What I was referring to was the perception that every woman who has an abortion gives no more thought to the process than she would to getting a manicure; the idea that women seeking an abortion think of it as "ain't no big thang". In reality, even the women who are 100% sure they want one still seem to feel it's somewhat more serious than that.

That's more what I meant, the "them evil people think that an abortion is just like getting your hair did!" kind of propaganda.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:48 PM on March 4, 2011




hoyland: Did I misread or did she turn the statistic that 65% of women who have abortions already have children into that there was a 65% chance the mother of a person with siblings would have decided to end the pregnancy resulting in that person's birth?

I interpreted that as "My mother, your mother, anybody's mother, may have had an abortion because of wanting to be able to take better care of the kids she already has. But we don't know for sure, because nobody talks about it because of the stigma. This silence erases the reality of how very common abortion is; how common it is among people we know and love, including those you would never in a million years think would ever have chosen one; and how 'compassion' and 'nurturing' are the reasons that so many women choose to abort. Presume to judge if you must, but don't kid yourself that out of all the women you know and love, not one has ever had an abortion."
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 1:52 PM on March 4, 2011


Joel D. Wallach, M.S., D.V.M....

REBUTTAL (apologies)
posted by mrgrimm at 1:56 PM on March 4, 2011


Because my last two posts have been abortion related, I don't really want to do another one, especially in the same day.

So I'm just going to put this here: Proposed Georgia Bill Could Support Death Penalty for Women Who Miscarry. That's the Mother Jones link. NBC news link here.

It's been a hell of a month for reproductive rights, hasn't it?
posted by emjaybee at 2:00 PM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


And other factors — like how only 12% of ob/gyn residency programs require training in abortion — also contribute to our dwindling numbers.
I'm floored that one can hang a shingle as an OB/GYN and not have training in performing abortions. That it is true for Canada too isn't any less flooring.
posted by Mitheral at 2:03 PM on March 4, 2011


So I'm just going to put this here: Proposed Georgia Bill Could Support Death Penalty for Women Who Miscarry. That's the Mother Jones link. NBC news link here

At Tiger Beatdown, Devery Doleman urges women to send Rep. Franklin photographic evidence of their monthly crime of murder.

Here in Texas we're soon going to pass a "sonogram bill" that requires the doctor to perform a sonogram 24 hours in advance of an abortion, and to verbally describe the fetus and make the patient listen to the heartbeat. I feel really bad for women who now have to take two days off work to get a procedure that's supposed to be legal with few barriers to access. Also, if I ever get an abortion here I hope the doctor describes the fetus along the lines of "It's a collection of mostly-undifferentiated cells that's growing parasitically in your uterus."
posted by muddgirl at 2:14 PM on March 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


Not to mention all the doctors who massively abuse prescription drugs. And I say this as the daughter of a chain-smoking, drug-abusing doctor who died of emphysema so, you know.

And Dr. House, MD [not his actual name] who operated on my elbow, accused me of being drug-seeking when I asked a question about my medication, and who ------ I later found out, when I told my physical therapist about his weird comment towards my question ------ got busted by the state for writing himself Vicodin prescriptions.

Yeah, I'm SO GLAD he was allowed to continue working and screw up my arm permanently. Awesome. What a guy. So glad he had an MD after his name.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 2:21 PM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


From the proposed bill in emjaybee's link:

any "prenatal murder" in the words of the bill, including "human involvement" in a miscarriage, would be a felony and carry a penalty of life in prison or death.

And from this link:

Exposure to high levels of radiation or toxic substances increases the risk of miscarriage. Arsenic, lead, formaldehyde, benzene, and ethylene oxide can cause miscarriage.

From this link:

The indictment alleges that in 1995, Koch Industries and Koch Petroleum were informed by an employee that the Corpus Christi refinery had at least 91 metric tons of uncontrolled benzene in its liquid waste streams, some 15 times greater than the facility's permitted six metric ton limit.

So, when Georgia starts inflicting the death penalty on miscarriage causers, they'll go after fat cat industrialists like the Koch brothers first, right? 'Cause we all know this isn't about targeting women, it's about preventing deaths of fetuses, right?

And then, when any Georgia legislators vote against fully funding prenatal nutrition and prenatal medical assistance, we'll have to lethally inject them too, right?
posted by marsha56 at 2:32 PM on March 4, 2011 [9 favorites]


OK, let me be clearer. I don't believe for a second that anyone who was an abortion provider would write an article that flippant about their profession.

It's true. And from the way Mel Brooks writes about Nazis, there's no way I can believe he's Jewish.

What I think isn't coming across is the fact that being flippant about providing abortions isn't considered "great" or even "help" to a large percentage of Americans. While many of us do feel they should be legal, even if they are "wrong", reading a flippant article with black humor about abortions makes me want to give money to a pro-life organization.

Oh I see, you're just a tool. Carry on!
posted by FatherDagon at 3:13 PM on March 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


The doctor says: “Thank you for saving us out there.”
Saved from what exactly? Sounds to me as if he's more in need of protection at home than abroad.
posted by Lezzles at 3:27 PM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Didn't like the constant forced jokiness in the article, but there were some good bits there.
posted by agregoli at 5:43 PM on March 4, 2011


OK, I'm pro-life, not anti-choice. I don't want to kill abortion providers and never have understood the raging pitchfork-and-torch crowd that does. I was touched by the recounting of the pro-lifer's counseling, but the prose in this article is uncomfortably Gidget-like, which makes me a bit squeamish. All of that said, if my attitude is anti-God, then I'm afraid I'll be licked with hellfire in the herafter, and so be it.
posted by nj_subgenius at 6:32 PM on March 4, 2011


I keep visualizing Finn and Jake working in an abortion clinic. Great content though.
posted by benzenedream at 6:47 PM on March 4, 2011


Good thing there is no hell. Alternatively, we can formulate a reverse-Pascal's Wager and say that if a God would send someone to hell for exercising bodily autonomy, then that's not the sort of God we'd want to spend all of eternity with (I mean, it's seriously abusive).
posted by muddgirl at 7:04 PM on March 4, 2011


The problem is that what MDs receive highly specialized training to diagnose and treat disease. Well, that's not the problem at all. That's awesome, it's a hard skill. The problem is that this skill does not address the entire scope of health care needed by patients in our costly, inefficient, medically-underserved country. Nurse practitioners get highly specialized training too, but in a context which qualifies them to provide exactly the kind of integrated patient care that has been demonstrated to improve outcomes and cost far less overall.

I have plenty of respect for the kind of learning that it takes to get through med school -- I certainly couldn't do it. And I know plenty of compassionate physicians. But the more I learn about our health care system in the US, the odder this insistence on ultimate deference to the MD seems.

I don't know how many of you have had education or training in the sciences (health sciences or other). They don't exactly emphasize writing skills.

Quoted for truth. It's not a secret -- for instance, there is a lot of concern over the poor quality of research grant applications and journal submissions by clinicians.
posted by desuetude at 8:00 PM on March 4, 2011


I am disappointed with the response to this post. For shame, MF.
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith at 10:21 PM on March 4, 2011


what's with people who are all "I'm pro-life but I think abortions should be legal." WTF does that mean?

That means that having an abortion is probably the last thing I would ever encourage a woman to do given the option of adoption, as I consider anything with human DNA a human, I define life as that which has a genetic maturity and I consider direct human stoppage of the maturation process unethical - but, I don't think 1) the ethical damage (none?) always outweigh the social, economic and ecological damage of an unwanted child 2) I can dictate to someone how they should interact with their genetic offspring. If they kill them, that is bad for their germ line (dependent on the haploid contributor status)

So be glad I don't try to manage your body, cause many men do. Maybe you should think about managing its inputs better...
posted by AndrewKemendo at 10:51 PM on March 4, 2011


From far down the comment thread on the post:

"Embryos are probabilistic entities that shouldn't be considered human, come the fuck on."

I almost never read that far down in blog comments (except here, of course), but I so love this sentence. Come the fuck on.
posted by kostia at 11:01 PM on March 4, 2011


"pro-life"

In one context, everyone but the disaffected youth is pretty much "pro-life". The issue, I think, is that other people use the exact same term in another context, that of murdering doctors and stuff.

So perhaps some attention needs to be paid to the people you associate with when you adopt a label for yourself, OR police your own community so that many people don't associate "pro-life" with dangerous morons the way they do now..
posted by mikelieman at 11:10 PM on March 4, 2011


k5.user: "I'll take my licks for believing someone performing a surgical operation like an abortion should be a MD, not a NP. "

Perhaps she is seeking her MD?
posted by IndigoRain at 12:04 AM on March 5, 2011


Not to derail, but a (completely unrelated but) hilarious link on the same site: Women Laughing Alone With Salad.
posted by zardoz at 3:30 AM on March 5, 2011


"I'll take my licks for believing someone performing a surgical operation like an abortion should be a MD, not a NP. "

There are non-surgical techniques for abortion.

Maybe you should think about managing its inputs better...

It's not an input, it's a penis, and most of us do the best they can but accidents happen. This is akin to saying that folks who break their leg should suffer the consequences because they should have managed their environment better.

But besides this, I continue to maintain that the label "Pro-Life" comes with a specific set of political beliefs. If you use this label, I will assume that you hold those beliefs. Just as if you use the label "Republican", I will assume that you in general agree with the beliefs of the Republican party. You can't come back and say, "Well, I'm a Republican BUT I don't believe in lowering corporate tax burdens and limiting government spending on social services."

I consider anything with human DNA a human

OH MY GOD I JUST KILLED A HUMAN!
posted by muddgirl at 7:35 AM on March 5, 2011 [6 favorites]


I consider anything with human DNA a human

Copied and pasted from a previous comment, but clearly this info is not as well known or understood as a functional democracy needs it to be:

L. Lewis Wall and Douglas Brown, "Regarding Zygotes as Persons: Implications for Public Policy," Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, Autumn 2006, 49 (4), 602-610:
If the minimal prerequisite for human personhood is simply the union of human gametes, then gestational trophoblastic disease -- both in its noncancerous form as a hydatidiform molar pregnancy and in its aggressively malignant version as chloriocarcinoma -- are human persons, and the surgical operations and chemotherapy used to kill such tumors are acts of homicide. If we are to allow a genetic definition of personhood to stand, those who advocate this position must be able to tell us what specific characteristics of the human genome constitute the minimal prerequisites for personhood.

If the human genetic package required for personhood means having a 46,XX or 46,XY karyotype, then women with Turner's syndrome (45,X0), Down's syndrome (trisomy 21), or any of a large number of other non-lethal chromosomal abnormalities are not human persons because . . . their genetic makeup is something other than 46,XX or 46,XY. If an attempt is made to get around this problem by specifying that a genetic package somewhat less than a 100% of a normal human chromosomal definition is allowable -- say 98% of a normal human genotype - then we must be exceptionally careful to write our genetic definition of human personhood in such a way that we do not inadvertently include within this category other nonhuman primates such as chimpanzees and bonobos . . .

Without clear specifications as to exactly what constitutes genetic personhood, any line of demarcation drawn on the human genome is both arbitrary and insufficient for the task it is being asked to perform.
The authors go on to explore consequences in law and health care of conferring personhood on zygotes.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 4:20 PM on March 5, 2011 [11 favorites]


Maybe you should think about managing its inputs better..

Maybe you should manage to stop being an asshole. Maybe you should shut the fuck up about what women should "manage." Maybe you should educate yourself about the prevalence of rape in our culture.
posted by long haired child at 5:02 PM on March 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


So be glad I don't try to manage your body, cause many men do.

Oh, seriously? Did you really mean that, because you sound like an insufferable sexist asshole who is telling me I should be grateful he doesn't try to take control of my body?!

Seriously, shut the fuck up.
posted by long haired child at 5:04 PM on March 5, 2011 [7 favorites]


"That means that having an abortion is probably the last thing I would ever encourage a woman to do given the option of adoption."

While it's clear that you are a rather insensitive person-- I have to take this because I think people who aren't so hurtful to say it out loud- wonder the same thing.

And it's wrong thinking.

Consider how many studies have been done on the "consequences" of having an abortion-- just a glancing at pub meds recent articles of relation

The most recent studies find that significant grief and emotional response seems to be a smaller portion of women. The list of applicable studies over the last five years is robust and what seems to be found is that there is an emotional response for some women and that should be respected, but on the whole most women are not at risk of serious mental health issues as a result of having an abortion.

Let's pull up what pub med has to offer of consequences to women of choosing to carry a child to term and hand the child over to other people after bonding with and feeling the child move and having their hormones tell them they are becoming a mother and preparing to do everything in their power to love that child every moment:

"Grief that occurs as a result of relinquishing an infant for adoption is explored. Traditional grief models are cited as ineffectual for the satisfactory resolution of grief resulting from the relinquishment of a child for adoption. The reasons for disenfranchised grief are described and narratives of personal interviews provide insight into the grief process of birthmothers and evidence of their disenfranchisement. The role of psychiatric-mental health nurse is discussed and interventions aimed at assisting the birthmother to grieve are suggested."

What do you mean they need psychiatric mental health nurses? What do you mean normal grieving methods don't work? You mean these women are grieving for years and years? And by the way-- that study is the most recent study you can find. There are only two other large studies that have been done in the last 5 years and they weren't examining the grieve response in relinquishing mothers per se. Because NO ONE CARES.

But from 1999:
"The relinquishing mother is at risk for long-term physical, psychologic, and social repercussions. Although interventions have been proposed, little is known about their effectiveness in preventing or alleviating these repercussions."

Have you watched any of the teen mom adoption shows? Have you read their blogs and seen them go from being a happy normal if self centered teenagers to writing about wanting to die and not having any meaning in life and wishing everything could end and then suddenly saying "Oh it's ok, it's ok and adoption is beautiful!" and then talk about they just started drinking themselves to sleep every night and they are drowing?

Because I do. I support women who have relinquished children to adoption as part of my life and these women--- even the women who think it was "for the best" they are hurting and they are in deep psychological anguish. And that's not some 5%. Ask any adoption agency worker and they will nod. Yes the women are sad often they will be sad throughout their lives but in knowing "they made the right decision" and "their child is happy" they will find inner peace.

The grief response lasts years.

I'm fine with saying that abortion could potential have emotional effects for some research and I think that it's actually great to do that research. Women have the right to know how the after experienec is for a variety of different women and what possible consequences are even rare or extremely rare. However WE HAVEN'T DONE THIS RESEARCH on first mothers. Apparently in animal studies when they remove the babies from the mothers they observe a unique depressive response such as in rats.
"Based on the present results, it is suggested that separation of pups might induce a depressed-like state in the maternal rats with reduced cell proliferation and increased apoptosis in the hippocampus, resulting in memory impairment of maternal rats."

So the first fallacy in your logic is pressume that abortion and adoption have the same psychological affects on women. They don't. They are two totally different experiences.

The second fallacy in your logic is this:

Considering abortion may not indicated the child born from that situation would be unwanted. You pressume that because a woman considers abortion she wouldn't want and love that child if it became a human and were born. People consider abortion for many different reasons. Some people feel that a 4 week blob of cells doesn't feel very much, but would care passionately about the growing being as it came into feeling it's existance.

So you're pressuming that if the mother "chooses life" that she won't be desperately in love with that child when very often (although not always) women who consider abortion but then decide to give birth DO find themselves deeply in love with the baby they felt come into being in their womb.

So to pressume that if she chooses life she WANTS someone else to walk off with her infant forever is likely not very often correct.

She may be considering abortion because she doesn't have enough money, social support, time to spend with the infant, (ETC) and she doesn't feel like the environment she would be bringing would be ideal. And considering that terminating a very small blob is different than "not loving a child that you give birth to"-- the considering of abortion does not mean this woman will not bond to and love her child with all her heart.

And to take a child from a mother who has loved that child with all her heart and wants that child more than anything she could ever imagine in the world is a horribly traumatic experince for many women. To pressume she doesn't deserve resources to help her parent, but should simply submit to giving birth anyway and letting someone else take her child from her because she doesn't have enough resources is a HUGELY horrific thing to hope for someone.

And rape, sexual abuse, and reproductive coersion are all forces you aren't considering in your pressumption that women "do this to themselves".
posted by xarnop at 7:50 AM on March 6, 2011 [10 favorites]


In short, since that was long--- to pressume that women who find themselves in unplanned pregnancy should be expected to become breeders for those who are infertile is dehumanizing and horrific. The solution to infertility is to continue expanding our research into prevention, lifestyle changes, and medical intervention to give women facing infertility the possibility of giving birth themselves.

And further more there are a lot of kids on foster care who can not safely be returned to their family of birth who would love to be adopted.

If there is truly a huge need of adoptable children, there are waiting children who would love to fill that need.
posted by xarnop at 8:07 AM on March 6, 2011 [9 favorites]


xarnop, that was amazing. Thank you.

It seems probably that the biggest obstacle we face in having discussions around abortion is sometimes the vast number of assumptions that people make about women, pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting.

So many have a hard time understanding that the feelings you have about a brand-new pregnancy can be very different from those you have about one that's nearly at term, and that this is not morally inconsistent or a result of carelessness or shallowness. It is simply complicated, and there's no one magic point at which a maternal connection switches on, not even birth (many women do feel alienated from children at birth due to PPD and other factors).

When I was younger, I assumed my antichoice stance would only deepen once I had a child; instead, I became prochoice and having a child only strengthened that stance immensely. My pregnancy was not particularly hard, but I still would never force another woman to go through one.
posted by emjaybee at 10:46 AM on March 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


The issue, I think, is that other people use the exact same term in another context, that of murdering doctors and stuff.

There are tons of people who call themselves pro-life who also consider the murder of abortion providers to be horrifying and wrong. The "and stuff" you are somewhat cavalierly handwaving is the belief that a woman should be made to carry her pregnancy to term; many people would append "no matter what" to that.

Personally, I use the terms pro-choice and anti-choice, since I think that is more accurate.
posted by rtha at 12:47 PM on March 6, 2011


In short, since that was long--- to pressume that women who find themselves in unplanned pregnancy should be expected to become breeders for those who are infertile is dehumanizing and horrific.

I am torn between either "Paging Margaret Atwood! Paging Margaret Atwood!" and perhaps "There you go again, Atwooding the discussion!"
posted by mikelieman at 3:48 PM on March 6, 2011


Mike- Most people don't understand the level of pain that is very common to women who place newborns for adoption and I would like to do my part to describe it honestly from my own experience, from the experiences of many others I know, and from whatever research I can find.

Some others might be able to do that much better than me as I'm not a good writer and I am too long winded. But seeing as not one else responded to the idea that women just give up their children for adoption instead of aborting--- I will present what I know to the best of my ability if adoption is proposed as a "solution" to abortion.

This is commonly proposed in social policy and by people who work in options counseling and I would like to make sure that people are aware that adoption involves a lot of pain and not promote it without thinking about what you're suggesting women actually go through to fulfill your agenda.
posted by xarnop at 5:09 PM on March 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


So be glad I don't try to manage your body, cause many men do.

What do you want, praise for not buying into slut-shaming rape-apologizing culture of douchebags as much as you could?

Maybe you should think about managing its inputs better...

I'm surprised that someone who can reduce a human being to a set of inputs and outputs has an opinion on what constitutes humanity.
posted by NoraReed at 12:04 AM on March 7, 2011 [2 favorites]




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