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that’s fine. i’m going to figure out a way to do this on my own
July 1, 2014 4:14 AM   Subscribe

the rise of the DIY abortion in texas
posted by and they trembled before her fury (107 comments total) 54 users marked this as a favorite

 
Thanks Hobby Lobby!
posted by oceanjesse at 4:19 AM on July 1 [4 favorites]


This is isn't just about Hobby Lobby. This is intended consequence of the multi-pronged approach of restricting access to any procedure or medication that changes the function of a woman's reproductive system. All these decisions are forcing women, especially poor women, to make risky choices.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 4:31 AM on July 1 [34 favorites]


So mind boggling that this is even a story.
How great is the distance between not allowing women to drive and restricting basic health care?
What is this fucking madness? When do the grown-ups get to write some legislation?
posted by From Bklyn at 4:41 AM on July 1 [11 favorites]


'Miso' or Cytoteca recommended dosage:

women are supposed to take 12 pills over nine hours if they’re in their first trimester. That’s what most doctors recommend.
posted by From Bklyn at 4:43 AM on July 1 [1 favorite]


I'll follow up with: since is very, very clear that access to not only abortions but to the very medications and the devices that prevent conception and pregnancy is at risk, we will be well served to start preparing for the worse case scenario and beginning educating all women on how they can obtain and use misoprostol safely.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 4:55 AM on July 1 [12 favorites]


Horrifyingly enough, Cytotec is additionally used off-label to induce labor, often with disastrous consequences. You don't want this drug.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:55 AM on July 1 [1 favorite]


It's pretty disgraceful that we in America can pretend to be some sort of leaders in healthcare, when this is happening. This is how you should buy military surplus equipment, not medicine or treatment. This is what ignorance mixed with oppression can do.
posted by oceanjesse at 4:57 AM on July 1 [2 favorites]


Anyone speak Spanish? I'll host a one-page web site with instructions on the correct dosage/usage of miso if anyone can write it out in Spanish. Good URL like "abortoconmiso.com" and we'll stick it in Google. Make sure it works well on the most basic smartphones, see if we get a helpful Google ranking.

But how would we know the strength of pill? Don't want to poison someone by saying "twelve pills" and it should be three. On the plus side, I'm not American, so I'm harder to sue. Hmmm.
posted by alasdair at 4:57 AM on July 1 [16 favorites]


The article gave clear instructions for the use of the pills. I can see a seller saying, "Here's your ulcer pills, and here's an interesting article printed out from the Atlantic."

It reminds me of old catalogs where you could buy laudanum and cocaine-infused wine along with your shoes and paper collars and electrified corsets, and there'd be ads for "Pennyroyal pills" that "promote feminine regularity".

You know, from 1914, not goddamn 2014.
posted by lovecrafty at 5:02 AM on July 1 [30 favorites]


The article also gives details on where to buy it online, and described the steps involved in going down to Mexico and actually getting some. The article is pretty much a one-stop-shop on how to do this.
posted by and they trembled before her fury at 5:06 AM on July 1 [3 favorites]


I was a clinic escort for several years, and a running topic of conversation was when/if/how we were going to know when to start setting up/training for a modern day version of the Jane Collective.

Increasingly I get the sense that not only is it time for that, but it's been time for quite a while and we just...missed it, or didn't want to believe it, or something.
posted by Stacey at 5:08 AM on July 1 [29 favorites]


As miso became more popular, Latin American doctors from Peru to Brazil started noticing a trend: They were seeing, it seemed, a dramatic decrease in abortion-related complications. Fewer women were carted through hospital doors with gruesome infections from back-alley botched abortions, and ob-gyns saw a reduction in the grisly abortion complications that had so frequently plagued providers, including perforated uteruses, heavy bleeding, and fallen intestines, according to a 2012 study by the global health organization Ipas.

Illustrating once more that the main difference between an environment where abortion is safely available and one where it isn't is the number of women who die.
posted by kagredon at 5:10 AM on July 1 [46 favorites]


What is this fucking madness? When do the grown-ups get to write some legislation?

I agree that it's madness.

But the proposition that the people writing bad or irrational legislation are not 'grown ups' needs to die. I've worked in law reform and I've seen how the sausage is made. It's certainly not pretty. It's often craven, shortsighted, overtly political, ideological, petty, irrational and downright stupid. Laws are written by people, and adult people are often some or all of those things. You need to accept that if you want to work effectively to change bad legislation.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:12 AM on July 1


The article also gives details on where to buy it online, and described the steps involved in going down to Mexico and actually getting some. The article is pretty much a one-stop-shop on how to do this.

When I figured out that this is what the article is doing (basically taking a network of knowledge developed in secret in Spanish and Portuguese, and extending it to English-speaking American women whose access to basic health care is increasingly limited) I honestly teared up. From the article:

In Latin America, miso was a secretive lifeline for many women without means to have other options. Now that the same is happening in the United States, the phenomenon is even more underground here. The networks are just starting to develop and proper information about dosage is not widely available. Moreover, those in the know appear hesitant to distribute material—much of which is circulated around Latin America—about how to safely take the drug.

There have been comments (and maybe some FPPs?) in the past here describing the networks of knowledge and support that existed pre-Roe v Wade, and the recent Supreme Court decisions and legislative restrictions mark the point at which when eventually we look back we will see those networks begin to be rebuilt.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:12 AM on July 1 [12 favorites]


Jesus. Kind of makes you want to start up some sort of Dallas Buyers Club.
posted by graventy at 5:21 AM on July 1 [17 favorites]


♫ Every egg is sacred
Every egg is great
Every egg's proteeeected
In Scalia's caliphate ♫
posted by Mayor West at 5:24 AM on July 1 [21 favorites]


...In Scalia's caliphate ♫

Or... a Scaliphate?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:29 AM on July 1 [5 favorites]


True, the framing of the article is such that it does give very detailed instructions on how to take the pills. But how many women who would benefit from such instructions are going to know to look up an article in the Atlantic from June 27, 2014? It gives a great starting point for distilling the information down into steps that can be handed out on an index card, put on a website or added to a reference list at the local public library.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 5:43 AM on July 1 [2 favorites]


The map shows where licensed abortion facilities were located in August 2013, before HB 2 took effect; the open facilities as of March 2014; and the facilities that could remain open in September 2014 when additional ambulatory surgical center rules are scheduled to take effect.
posted by rtha at 5:45 AM on July 1 [5 favorites]


I thought it would be them, first hit on Google: How to do an abortion with pills from Women on Waves. They have multiple translations too.
posted by viggorlijah at 5:47 AM on July 1 [9 favorites]


We're supposed to be progressing as time goes on. Things are supposed to get better. That women are being backed into such a corner that this is necessary is dreadful, just awful and pathetic. Safe abortions, along with medical backup without judgement when things go wrong (and they can, even in the safest of environments) are necessary. This is such a step backwards.
posted by h00py at 5:53 AM on July 1 [4 favorites]


You don't want this drug.

Maybe not, but if the government is blocking access to contraception and approving the rights of people to stand around the clinic where you could get an abortion and scream at you, what other fucking option is there?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:56 AM on July 1 [51 favorites]


roomthreeseventeen: Horrifyingly enough, Cytotec is additionally used off-label to induce labor, often with disastrous consequences. You don't want this drug.

Where are you getting this information? Misoprostol is considered very safe, especially when used properly. Taking it properly is an issue though, and that information should be disseminated.
posted by bobobox at 5:59 AM on July 1 [5 favorites]


There have been comments (and maybe some FPPs?) in the past here describing the networks of knowledge and support that existed pre-Roe v Wade

The most well-known one was probably Jane, also known as the Jane collective.
posted by rtha at 6:21 AM on July 1 [3 favorites]


Making abortion legal in cases of rape makes NO SENSE. If your argument is that a zygote is a child than why does the fact their father is a rapist make it ok to murder them suddenly? I have a good friend who is the child of rape and a feminist (and pro-choice) and has written some excellent reasons why the rape exception proves that this is not about saving babies at all. "
I ... wished the two would realize that women's privacy and choice in health care extended far beyond how terrible either of them must think it is to be me. A person conceived from rape."
Why is it ok to "kill children" if the woman is morally worth protecting from pregnancy but not if she is "innocent"? Because it's not about saving "babies" it's about punishment for having a sex life and not wanting or being able to support the 10 or more babies a woman could wind up having over the years of being sexually activie without birth control,

If you can suddenly deal with the idea of abortion if there's a rape, there is no reason to think situations where women get abortions outside of rape is suddenly more sad for the supposed "child" you care so much about. If you think life as a child conceived in rape is so terrible and it's a child centered choice BUT ONLY IN THAT CIRCUMSTANCE, why not consider all the other terrible things children are subjected to in the US were there is a lack of stable support structures in place for the poor?


I dont' know know why I read this whole thing and the fact that abortion is only legal in cases of rape in some parts of the worls is what I'm left with, but I think it's the loophole that is the most telling about forced birthers intentions and lack of care for the zygote/embryo/fetus when it's convient for them. People make mistakes. People get assaulted. A woman who missed a birth control pill or who the pill doesn't work for and wound up having sex without a condom is not some evil person who should be made to endure suffering for this terrible crime.

If abortion is a tragedy that should be avoided because it "kills babies" then defend the babies. How does a baby deserve to die suddenly if there's rape? And if it can be stomached in cases of rape, it can be stomached in whatever other situations women THEMSELVES decide it's called for in their personal situation.
What about women who are trapped in abusive relationships and want to spare their kids that life? If people think forcing a woman to birth a child when she has been raped is too horrible a thing to subject an innocent person to, then wanting to subject women who have had consensual sex to it is pretty clearly about punishment more than about child welfare. Not to mention how difficult it is to prove rape, that many women don't want to come forward and deal with the brutal and traumatic process of even attempted to push charges so even in cases that ARE rape this is still not going to be accessible to many women, and what's more, since MRA's and the like already think most rape accusations are false, it's then incentivizes both a reason to lie about rape and ALSO given people who want to prove that rape accusations are mostly lies more reasons the rape accusations are just lies made up for women to get attention and abortions.

I think abortions are sad and I would like to reduce THE NEED for them myself, by ensuring that everyone woman has access to sex education, contraceptives, early abortion methods, and financial security and social support that overwhelming ensures a safe, healthy, loved, developmental appropriate childhood for every child as much as possible. Many times, even with financial resources, that is just not in the cards for a given situation and each woman who faces that (whether due to her own internal feelings about a pregnancy or to other external circumstances) should be able to deal with those decisions in private and with access to medical care and social resources to achieve her desired outcome. Whether or not a given woman wants to feel sad about an abortion or feels that there was eve na life there to worry about is each woman's personal decision about what is going on within their own bodies. There is not objective third party who knows THE TRUTH about when life begins, a woman can decide when she feels that process has begun and what should come any "life" that is there even if she believes an entity in her body HAS personhood. I think a lot of women who wanted children "some day" anyway and even who didn't might see unplanned pregnancy as a happy accident if they were going to be financially compensated for caring for their children were given multiple years off to care for their child if desired with guaranteed re-entry into the work force and part time options to spend time with their children, living wages and stable housing/food/healthcare and child enrichment items and activities. I personally think all of these are an emportant part of women's empowerment and the reproductive justice movement. Unfortunately, a lot of energy and time has to be spent trying to fight these fucks who cant just design a a sane policy around safe abortion access-- energy and time that could be devoted to making it possible for the women who actually WOULD want to parent unplanned children if a healthy and financial stable situation were available with the resources to do that safely and healthily. Other women will not even with such resources available because it's just not right for them and because they don't share the sentiment that a zygote or an embryo passing is any more tragic than having a period (and nor should they), and forcing them to birth is only causing suffering to both them, and worsening outcomes for the child who might be born from that. Instead, republicans wants to make sure that in the nation with the highest concentrations of wealth being poor IS HELL to the point of physical, psychological and cognitive damage to children in poor families. These fucks do not give a rats ass about child welfare, or women's welfare and I WISH it were possible to insert the facts of why this is into these people's heads such that they could understand them.

Women have periods every month, somewhere between that and birth most people agree that a being starts to develop and sense it's existence and become a baby. Other than that there is no baby when a woman menstruates and there is one at birth NO ONE CAN FUCKING AGREE WHEN THAT TIME IS. The best person to make that decision is the person who has do deal with all the consequences of the pregnancy and birth and subsequent child and we all know that sure as shit no republican is going to feel responsible for helping with any of that.

I know.. I'm just venting. To the choir. And all that.
posted by xarnop at 6:32 AM on July 1 [30 favorites]


posted by and they trembled before her fury
... eponyawesome

Seriously, though, the fact that it's 2014 and this is happening is sickening.
posted by ChrisR at 6:33 AM on July 1 [1 favorite]


Maybe not, but if the government is blocking access to contraception and approving the rights of people to stand around the clinic where you could get an abortion and scream at you, what other fucking option is there?

No, I understand. I'm just saying this drug is really friggin dangerous.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:37 AM on July 1


No, I understand. I'm just saying this drug is really friggin dangerous.

Pointing out its danger kind of doesn't help.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:38 AM on July 1


bobobox, you can read a little about off-label use of Cytotec here. Again, this is for induction of labor, so maybe off-label use for abortion is okay. I am not a doctor, I don't know.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:41 AM on July 1


No, I understand. I'm just saying this drug is really friggin dangerous.

That is what I mean by an intended consequence. You can't punish a woman for having teh sex if you allow her easy access to contraception and safe access to abortion. You can punish her by forcing her to take risks to end a pregnancy. If she dies in the process, who cares? The slut had it coming to her, having intercourse without taking responsibility...
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 6:42 AM on July 1 [5 favorites]


Coat hangers are also dangerous, and if the info from this is correct, there were less injuries and deaths reported once this pill was accessible.

But yes it would be the BEST if actually safe legal abortions were available to women instead.
posted by xarnop at 6:43 AM on July 1 [10 favorites]


Desperate people do desperate things. The point of this article is that some people are attempting to make it less dangerous by distributing information on how to use this drug in as safe a way as possible. The coat hanger is a terrible thing and it's not a joke and it's not a myth.
posted by h00py at 6:44 AM on July 1 [5 favorites]


bobobox, you can read a little about off-label use of Cytotec here. Again, this is for induction of labor, so maybe off-label use for abortion is okay. I am not a doctor, I don't know.

While I'm very sorry for the author's loss, that paper is entirely based on anecdata and conjecture, and the ownership of the journal (Lamaze International) and the tagline (Advancing Natural Birth) kind of makes me doubt the impartiality of the journal.
posted by kagredon at 6:56 AM on July 1 [4 favorites]


But how many women who would benefit from such instructions are going to know to look up an article in the Atlantic from June 27, 2014?

This article does two things:

First, it puts all the information together (including dosages, sources, and links to other information), as well as the pathways (e.g. helplines) for how to provide the information to people who lack the resources to find this on the web. The article itself will be linked and shared, and the tools within it will be repackaged, developed, and passed on.

Second, this is the first time I've seen an article like this in a place like the Atlantic. The norm has been basically anthropological articles, looking from the outside: "look, here's how poor immigrant women are having to access healthcare." This piece, to me, marks a turning point of assuming that this knowledge developed by those immigrant women and activists in Latin America is needed by the middle and upper class readers of the Atlantic.

At one level I'm really glad to see such a clearly marked turning point away from just outrage and awareness, but I'm also horrified to be living in a country where networks to support under the radar access to healthcare is becoming relevant to a greater and greater percentage of women in the US. This is a dramatic step backwards, within just a few decades.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:59 AM on July 1 [29 favorites]


From an anonymous commenter:
When I was very young I found out I was pregnant. Although I don't live in the USA, I did live in a place where abortion was illegal. There was no way I was going to continue that pregnancy. Because I thought that I was not going to be able to have an abortion I punched myself in the stomach, I reached as far inside myself as I could to squeeze my uterus, I did straighten out a coat hanger and attempt to put it inside my uterus but thankfully I was unsuccessful. By the grace of whatever I didn't hurt myself and I did eventually (and within the first trimester) find a medical clinic where I could get an abortion if the correct terminology was used. Whenever I read about abortions becoming more difficult to obtain I think about what I put myself through and it hurts just as much all over again. The actual surgical abortion was nothing compared to it. It was the most desperate I have ever felt and I shudder to think that women all over the world, but particularly in a country where it is supposed to be enshrined in law, would even contemplate doing such a thing to themselves as I did because they felt they had no choice.
posted by restless_nomad at 7:13 AM on July 1 [49 favorites]


I've been going through a bit of a midlife crisis these days, maybe a return to school for midwifery is in order.
posted by Sophie1 at 7:27 AM on July 1 [6 favorites]


While I'm very sorry for the author's loss, that paper is entirely based on anecdata and conjecture

My thoughts exactly. I hope we can leave the labor induction issue/controversy aside but I feel like it would be a huge mistake to leave the scaremongering of "this drug is dangerous, you don't want it," unaddressed. Misoprostol is a VERY safe abortifacient, especially for illicit abortions, and we DO want it.

The biggest issues I could find were that blackmarket drugs can be of poor quality and that if too high a dose is taken (literally over a hundred times the recommended dose) there can be toxicity damaging other organs. The common side effects are diarrhea and fever, both usually self-limiting and within 24 hrs. Another issue that pops up is the possibility of uterine rupture. For women in their second trimester, the risk is 0.3% with uterine scarring (prior cesarean) and 0.04% without scarring [cite].
posted by bobobox at 7:30 AM on July 1 [4 favorites]


I'm reposting the Women on Waves link to Facebook. I wonder how long it'll be before it's taken down.
posted by mikelieman at 7:36 AM on July 1 [2 favorites]


ILU 486: "In the not-so-distant future of Virginia, the Personhood Act has outlawed abortion and chemical birth control. That doesn’t mean they don’t exist, though."
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:36 AM on July 1 [5 favorites]


Making abortion legal in cases of rape makes NO SENSE.

I realize you're being rhetorical here, and you're absolutely right to point out the hypocrisy in a non-absolutist opposition to abortion that permits of exceptions (i.e., if it's a baby then it's a baby). But many pro-life advocates working in politics and many working in education and advocacy positions would agree with you.
posted by resurrexit at 7:59 AM on July 1 [2 favorites]


It's time to elect more women. A lot of the worst laws and government actions are a consequence of electing men into power.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:48 AM on July 1 [5 favorites]


Well, at least they're consistent in being callous shits who don't give a fuck how much harm they subject women to... I guess? If they open up some magdelene laundry shit here I will fight a fucking war. I would try to leave zreo fatalities, but I think there are ways to fight a war without having a focus on taking lives. Also, because forcing women to birth children that die in impoverished conditions is so much more humane....


HAHA!!! I laugh so I don't break everything in my house in a fit of rage.
posted by xarnop at 8:50 AM on July 1 [1 favorite]


This made me all kinds of sad and angry. I'm going to donate to and repost the crap out of that Women on Waves page.
posted by greenish at 8:53 AM on July 1


I will say though, I am sincere that I know and have conversations with these people (unfortunately my family) and many of them really do believe they have loving compassionate hearts and they are living out gods mission to save the babies...

It's easy to think "these are hateful evil people" but like so much systemic cruelty and injustice ignorance and stupidity and submission to the grouthink are actually the larger factors.

So... missions to combat this should involve figuring out new ways to combat this kind of ignorance and deliberate delusion. I'm in favor of using peaceful means of social change, but that needs to involve carefully planned actions that will achieve something, something new we haven't tried before.
posted by xarnop at 8:56 AM on July 1


It's easy to think "these are hateful evil people" but like so much systemic cruelty and injustice ignorance and stupidity and submission to the groupthink are actually the larger factors.

Ouch--evil, ignorant, stupid, or thoughtless--not a lot to choose from there for those of us who disagree with you. :) I'd like to think I've thought through the issues carefully, and I prefer "ethically consistent": if it's classified as human, we can't kill it, no matter how strong our desires to prioritize this human's life over that human's life, especially when we're not talking about a zero-sum proposition (i.e., it's either this life or that life).
posted by resurrexit at 9:27 AM on July 1 [1 favorite]


Does your ethically consistent position require you to require me to live by your ethics? I'm totally down with you never having an abortion because it is ethically abhorrent to you, but I am less than totally down - as in not at all - with you enforcing your ethical or religious beliefs on people like me, who do not subscribe to them, when it comes to what kind of medical care I can access safely and legally.
posted by rtha at 9:38 AM on July 1 [38 favorites]


Well I am "pro-life" in the sense that I would prefer not to see abortions myself so I am sympathetic but when social or personal conditions are bad enough there are worse things than death, and forcing children into the world without supporting families (the overwhelming positions of conservative christians) creates a huge amount of suffering both for mothers and children. Around the world and through history you see higher rates of abortion and infanticide where there is brutal poverty or systemic cruelty and inequality and where people, even who believe there is a "baby" inside them, might compassionately send that little "spirit" back to the spirit realm rather than have them endure brutal conditions.

The solution that is presented by most conservative christians to the child poverty and emotional distress of children born to families where there are low economic or emotional resources (i.e. the parents don't feel able to love and care for a child emotionally) tends to be adoption rather than resources and this solution is EXTREMELY anti-woman resulting in a lot of PTSD long term debilitating mental health issues (although it is under researched and I have personally watched a research panel reject research that found high levels of trauma in women who placed children).

The lack of compassion displayed for the welfare of the poor and those in need by the conservative christian movement absolutely calls into question whether there is deliberate or ignorant choice to promote harm to other human beings. I am not suggesting that you or that everyone who is pro-life subscribes to the ethics of the fundamental conservative christian republican agenda but as those tend to be the ones driving policies their motivations are suspect.
posted by xarnop at 9:40 AM on July 1 [5 favorites]


I posted this in a thread six years ago. The thread was called "Before Roe vs Wade". I suppose this one is (outrageously) "After…":
"... [A] misfortune could bring misery. The way out of the misery could bring tragedy. Women took that way out because the alternatives were impossible. Today people need to be reminded that the choice is not between legal abortion and the supposedly edifying effects of bringing up an unwanted child. The choice is between legal abortion and illegal abortion. To know something of what an illegal abortion was like, you didn't need to have seen a girl's corpse after an unsuccessful operation. All you needed to have seen was a girl's face on the a way to a successful one."
Clive James, Falling Towards England
posted by Grangousier at 9:45 AM on July 1 [10 favorites]


Thank you for posting this - it's a really great article on many levels. The state of the law in Texas (and elsewhere) is stunningly wrong and dangerous.

It's so clear to me that restricting access to safe and legal abortion causes great harm, and isn't even effective at reducing abortion rates. If the anti-choice people REALLY wanted to reduce abortion rates, they would lobby for more education for women, sex ed, access to free birth control, paid maternity (and paternity) leave, free childcare, etc.

I am so angry.
posted by insectosaurus at 10:06 AM on July 1 [2 favorites]


Ouch--evil, ignorant, stupid, or thoughtless--not a lot to choose from there for those of us who disagree with you. :) I'd like to think I've thought through the issues carefully, and I prefer "ethically consistent": if it's classified as human, we can't kill it, no matter how strong our desires to prioritize this human's life over that human's life, especially when we're not talking about a zero-sum proposition (i.e., it's either this life or that life).

Well, I think there are people all along the spectrum of beliefs on abortion that could claim "ethical consistency"--it's in the "classification of human" that the principles start to diverge. But xarnop's right: it's not that there's anything wrong with the belief that life begins at conception, and that all life is sacred; it's that a lot of the people who loudly espouse those beliefs seem to belie that in their other policies and actions.

For me, the point that I come back to is this: there will always be people who seek out abortions, for whatever reason, and there will be those who are so desperate that they will risk their own lives and health, and that this risk is especially felt among the vulnerable (poverty, domestic abuse.) Not giving them a safe and legal path to abortion when it is in our means to do so is letting them die to prove a point, which I think is pretty awful no matter what your feelings on their own choices are.
posted by kagredon at 10:08 AM on July 1 [7 favorites]


"Does your ethically consistent position require you to require me to live by your ethics?"

rtha, if your parents were murdered, would you allow their killer this defense at their trial? Of course not, because respecting human life is a baseline rule for those who wish to be members of human society. We implicitly (and explicitly through our criminal laws) expect this of all members of human society or the world couldn't function. Fetal humans are humans entitled to be not-murdered every bit as much as an infant human, adolescent human, or elderly human is entitled to be not-murdered.

So yes, I expect all members of the human race to live by human ethics.
posted by resurrexit at 10:11 AM on July 1


It's time to elect more women. A lot of the worst laws and government actions are a consequence of electing men into power.

Seven men (albeit un-elected ones) are the reason we're having this discussion at all in the United States.
posted by resurrexit at 10:14 AM on July 1


Fetal humans are humans entitled to be not-murdered

Should miscarriages be prosecuted as negligent homicide or manslaughter?
posted by bradf at 10:16 AM on July 1 [8 favorites]


Seven men (albeit un-elected ones) are the reason we're having this discussion at all in the United States.

oh, trust me, we'd still be talking about underground abortions without Roe v Wade. A lot more, in fact.
posted by kagredon at 10:17 AM on July 1 [2 favorites]


Of course not, because respecting human life is a baseline rule for those who wish to be members of human society.

So with human ethics, do you oblige all people to donate body parts to keep humans alive, or just pregnant women and fetal humans? Are you going to make organ donation obligatory?
posted by jeather at 10:19 AM on July 1 [14 favorites]


Resurrexit, the difference is that for the most part pro-choice people don't believe an embryo should be considered a human. And there's no way to "prove" that and have everyone suddenly agree. In the meantime, women will continue to get pregnant when they don't want to, and have to make painful choices. We've seen that making abortion illegal only makes women turn to illegal methods. You may not want to believe that, but it's been proven again and again. Why not keep more women alive, by keeping abortion safe and legal?
posted by chowflap at 10:20 AM on July 1 [1 favorite]


So yes, I expect all members of the human race to live by human ethics.

Your ethics are not the only ethics.
posted by winna at 10:25 AM on July 1 [11 favorites]


the difference is that for the most part pro-choice people don't believe an embryo should be considered a human.

I actually wonder about this. Does Guttmacher keep track of this sort of thing? I think more pro-choice people believe it's human, or at least plausibly so, but make the policy decision that a mother's will trumps the fetal human's life.

Why not keep more women alive, by keeping abortion safe and legal?

Because I believe that fetal human life is entitled to protection just like yours and mine, and one is lost every time an abortion is successful, so I would rather keep more lives alive, period, by making abortion illegal. Are some desperate women going to make insane decisions? Yes, but humans make insane decisions to break the law all the time, even taking others' lives, when there are more reasonable options available to us.
posted by resurrexit at 10:32 AM on July 1


So with human ethics, do you oblige all people to donate body parts to keep humans alive, or just pregnant women and fetal humans? Are you going to make organ donation obligatory?

jeather, I'm sorry I don't follow. Not being obtuse.
posted by resurrexit at 10:33 AM on July 1


Fetal humans are humans entitled to be not-murdered every bit as much as an infant human, adolescent human, or elderly human is entitled to be not-murdered.

Murdered, eh? I genuinely love it when anti-choice dudes pull that one out. So, like, you know that murder is actually a word that has a very specific meaning, right? It isn't actually just a random word you can feel free to apply to the practice of safely and legally terminating zygotes, blastocysts, and embryos.

Check it out: The U.S. Department of Justice uses 18 U.S. Code § 1111 to define murder as "the unlawful killing of a human being with malice." That means abortion, at least in a post-Roe world, is... wait for it... not anything remotely like murder! Oh, what's that? You're just using this particular highly charged legal term to lend undeserved emotional heft to the same tired, flaccid justification that's been used since time immemorial to shunt thinking, feeling, living, breathing girls and women into a perpetually subjugate class of fetal incubators?

Don't like abortion? Fine. Don't have one. And please keep your personal beliefs way the hell away from my reproductive system.
posted by divined by radio at 10:35 AM on July 1 [36 favorites]


Fetal humans are humans entitled to be not-murdered

This is an ethical/religious position that is not held by all humans, at all. I do not hold it, for instance. Many religions do not, for example, hold that life begins at conception and apparently you do.
posted by rtha at 10:37 AM on July 1 [17 favorites]


resurrexit: rtha, if your parents were murdered, would you allow their killer this defense at their trial? Of course not, because respecting human life is a baseline rule for those who wish to be members of human society. We implicitly (and explicitly through our criminal laws) expect this of all members of human society or the world couldn't function. Fetal humans are humans entitled to be not-murdered every bit as much as an infant human, adolescent human, or elderly human is entitled to be not-murdered.

By your argument, we as a society have already decided this issue. As you say, a murderer cannot make the argument that his actions did not violate his personal ethics, because we as a society have decided that murder is wrong, and we have codified that societal ethic in our laws.

Similarly, we as a society, through our elected officials and those officials' judicial appointments, have made a decision (primarily through Roe v. Wade, and countless other judicial opinions) that abortion is not murder. (Yes, there are exceptions, but you're speaking in absolutes, so I will as well.) So, regardless of your personal concept of "human ethics," American ethics - as defined by the interpretation of our Constitution and laws - holds that women have a legally protected right to an abortion if that is their choice. End of story.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 10:37 AM on July 1 [9 favorites]


You're saying that fetuses have the right to the use of their mother's uterus as needed, whether or not the mother would like to share her uterus. (I'm not sure what you feel about abortion for health of the mother.) But what about after birth? Should parents be legally obliged to donate blood, or organs, as needed? If not, what is the difference? What about other adults, should they be obliged to donate blood or organs (while alive)? Why should now-dead-humans have any say over their body parts when other people could use them to stay alive? I'd like to know where you stand on the forced use of body parts other than uteruses.
posted by jeather at 10:38 AM on July 1 [7 favorites]


so I would rather keep more lives alive, period, by making abortion illegal.

Also, that is an incorrect assumption. Women still have abortions when abortion is illegal; the rate does not seem to change much if at all. So if your goal is fewer abortions, making it illegal is among the least efficient ways to go about it.
posted by rtha at 10:40 AM on July 1 [25 favorites]


so I would rather keep more lives alive, period, by making abortion illegal.

I can only assume that you will care for all these babies your beliefs would force women to have. I can only assume further that you are all in favour of providing free birth control to all women in order to prevent abortions.

I said this in another thread, and I'm going to say it again here:

You can believe whatever you want.

You cannot control what other people do with their bodies.

You cannot, especially, force women to carry babies to term, or become pregnant in the first place because it is none of your business what any consenting adults choose to do unless you are one of the consenting adults involved.

Please repeat those three sentences to yourself over and over until you understand them.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:42 AM on July 1 [12 favorites]


Every cell in the human body is "human" it has human DNA and is part of what makes up a human. An individual cell however does not have the same rights as a complete human person. Right? So for example, when I got my gall bladder surgery there were cells removed, and infact I think that individual organs may have something like a consciousness of their own in the same way nerve cells make up a mind, nerve cells are present throughout the body and organs function together. The way we define life and consiousness is not actually all that scientific given that consciousness research is, I hope, in it's infancy compared to where we will be.

So I got my gall bladder out, I actually DO think that's a loss of a living part of me. However it was infected and I could have died from keeping it inside me. People get to decide on what happens within their body for the sake of their own welfare and even that of potential humans who might come from those decisions. From vanishing limb studies and experiences the body may very well go through a loss when it loses parts of itself, I think the human organism is a series of relationships and that there are actually emotional "attachments" between cells and organs in the body.

I doubt you would argue that my sick gall bladder, or a clump of cancer cells is more important than preserving the life of someone who needs an operation, or that people who want to have an elective procedure like a mastectomy when they know they have high cancer risk should not be within their control, right? We know from vanishing twins issues that sometimes when there is not enough resources to sustain all multiples in a pregnancy one may take over all the resources and live. To not do may mean death for both twins and in life, these kinds of "hypothetical" utilitarian decisions are actually real things that human beings have to face. They are also issues the body is managing within itself all the times, different parts of the body needs different kinds of resources to function and have health and some of those needs are competing-- examples being the need of the nerves for pain relief vs the need of the liver to avoid pain killers... There can be actual cell damage and death as a result of these competing urges and needs within the body.

A persons body is their own realm to govern and whether they feel they have the resources within them to safely sustain the creation of a new person without causing very real damage to their physical or emotional self is up to them to decide. Even if we could safely and comfortably remove a zygote or embryo/fetus from a woman's body and transfer it to another woman-- the loss of a part of that woman should be part of her decision to make. To watch that piece of you live out in the world, taken from you by others who claim your connection to your own child is worthless and meaningless-- it is an injury that is very hard to describe for many women. One that many never recover from and is not a "win win" solution from the perspective of a large portion of women I know who have gone through it (though it can be for some who actually want to be separated from their children and don't feel like a maternal relationship was developing, which happens).

There is no "win win" way to force someone to create a new person that is made out of their body when they don't want to or the conditions don't feel right to sustain that.
posted by xarnop at 10:46 AM on July 1 [8 favorites]


A persons body is their own realm to govern

That's sort of the beginning and the end of the argument right there. Or IOW, "Your right to your beliefs stops where my body begins."
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:50 AM on July 1 [5 favorites]


Fetal humans are humans entitled to be not-murdered every bit as much as an infant human, adolescent human, or elderly human is entitled to be not-murdered.

You act like this is an obvious, clear-cut, settled fact, when it's clearly not. Plenty of people believe animals are entitled to be not murdered every bit as much as any human, but nobody's trying to pass legislation for forced veganism. Killing and eating unborn chickens is what we call breakfast, and killing and eating full-grown chickens is what we call dinner. Killing fetal humans is what we call abortion. As for the morality of these things, reasonable minds can disagree.
posted by gueneverey at 11:09 AM on July 1 [1 favorite]


divined by radio, I see your argument, and of course it's been had before here on the blue. No way we'll agree there because I reject such a positivist approach to the law as, 'well, it was murder before 1973 but afterwards it's not, so therefore the intentional killing of a fetal human is not murder anymore.' I still believe fetal humans are humans capable of being intentionally killed. So, murder.

Because I believe it's murder, I agree with the statement that "Your right to your beliefs stops where my body begins," except I believe that fetal humans get to say that, too.
posted by resurrexit at 11:12 AM on July 1


I am, by the way, not trying to gotcha, resurrexit. If you're in favour of passing laws requiring, say, all parents to donate blood and organs to their children, or requiring organ donation on death -- well, I wouldn't agree with you (maybe about being unable to opt out of organ donation after death), but I think it's consistent. My argument is when the only "must share your body" rule is for pregnant women. I would like to know where you stand on other people being forced to share organs.
posted by jeather at 11:15 AM on July 1 [5 favorites]


Are you in favour of reality- and fact-based sexual health education for kids and teens?

Are you in favour of providing easily accessible and cheap/free birth control, especially to women?

If the answer to either of those is 'no,' you are yet another 'pro-lifer' who is no such thing; you are anti-women.

What do you plan on doing about all these babies you want to force women to have?

What do you plan on doing about the fact that illegal abortions will still occur whether you like it or not, and the horrific deaths and maimings that often result?

Do you or do you not understand that you do not have the right to control a woman's bodily autonomy?

Do you support the death penalty?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:16 AM on July 1 [8 favorites]


(that was directed at resurrexit, not jeather)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:17 AM on July 1


Do you believe that women who release fertilized eggs that don't implant have committed manslaughter?
posted by Twain Device at 11:18 AM on July 1 [5 favorites]


Expect more anecdotal horror stories about Misoprostol to show up in the mass media. Horrifying stories where everyone is referred to by first names, and even the name of the hospitals and cities are "changed to protect the victim's privacy". Stories with no empirical evidence behind them.

Expect lawmakers to respond to these anecdotal stories with a push to make possession and distribution of Misoprostol carry higher penaties than for say, rape. Expect Misoprostol to be the new big menace in the drug war.

The horror of Misoprostol, coming soon to a Reader's Digest or Fox affiliate near you.
posted by happyroach at 11:21 AM on July 1 [11 favorites]


is it too early to start drinking because happyroach, fuck.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:23 AM on July 1 [4 favorites]


it is never too early to start drinking
posted by and they trembled before her fury at 11:26 AM on July 1 [13 favorites]


I believe that fetal humans get to say that, too.

Please take me, step by step, through the process where an unviable fetus gets to trump the rights of the living human being.
posted by mikelieman at 11:30 AM on July 1 [12 favorites]


Fetal humans are humans entitled to be not-murdered every bit as much as an infant human, adolescent human, or elderly human is entitled to be not-murdered.

Even if allowing its continued life would kill its mother?

The incident that most strongly defined my personal opinions about abortion was not my upbringing as a Catholic, nor my years in a liberal arts college. It was overhearing a couple of neighbor ladies having a conversation when I was about twelve. Someone they knew - a friend of a friend, something like that - had been pregnant, but had suddenly developed a life-threatening allergic reaction to her unborn child, before it had reached the age of viability. And I mean a full-on, ancephelactic-shock, she-can't-breathe-get-the-epi-pen allergic reaction. This was something I had never in my life heard before, and it struck me for the first time how pregnancy could be dangerous, literally life-threateningly dangerous, and it also underscored how individual bodies can be very, very unpredictable things.

And it made me think - if someone were pregnant and their life were literally threatened by having to continue a pregnancy, that woman and her doctor would need to have the least number of roadblocks in their way when it came to saving her life. And after the fact, if we put medically-necessary conditionals on abortion, cases like that would clog the courts if we had to arrest every woman who had an abortion and brought every one in front of a judge and had their doctor describe what happened only to have the judge say "yow, okay, that totally makes sense" and throw the case out.

And that just struck twelve-year-old-me as being an enormous waste of time and thought, "well, I guess having it be legal makes way more sense. I mean, yes, it's not a happy thing, but maybe a woman who already has to go through an abortion is suffering enough as it is, so if she and her doctor think it's the right thing to do then why is anyone else getting up in their business?"

I swear to you, these were the exact conclusions I reached when I was twelve.

Because I believe it's murder, I agree with the statement that "Your right to your beliefs stops where my body begins," except I believe that fetal humans get to say that, too.

Except for the fact that fetal humans, especially those who have not reached the age of medical viability, are incapable of speech. But I realize that's a bit unfair, so let's go with a different yardstick: brain activity. The medically accepted call for "when death occurs" is "the cessation of brain activity", so....why not declare the onset of brain activity as the medical definition of when life "begins"? (All religions teach different things, but in the case of a medical procedure, the medical definition may be best to work under here.)

So. The onset of brain activity in the fetus is somewhere around week 20 - which is the beginning of the second trimester. And in fact, for many years in this country, this was also the definition of when life began when we had laws protecting the unborn - "quickening", or the first time the mother felt the unborn child inside her. That's also about the second trimester. Also, a lot of expectant couples - even ones who very much want a child - will hold off telling people until they enter the second trimester, because "things could go wrong and it's not until the second trimester is underway that you really know that the baby is actually gonna happen, before that it's kind of touch and go." No one takes heroic means to save a miscarrying fetus during the first trimester because it's not viable yet; they try, yes, but they don't try to deliver a first-trimester fetus and move it into the NICU and raise it as a preemie or anything like that.

And after all that, consider - the majority of abortions happen during the first trimester, when everyone has more or less agreed that while the fetal human could potentially grow into a developed human, it is not at present an actual human yet, and in fact could simply not develop at all any more anyway.

So - since medical science, the rest of society, and sometimes even nature itself has collectively agreed that a first-trimester fetus is a potential human rather than an actual human, then can you explain why it has an equal standing before the law as an already-born-and-grown-to-adulthood woman?

You believe fetal humans get to say "your rights stop where my body begins," I'm just baffled why you don't seem to think that that right applies to women.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:31 AM on July 1 [30 favorites]


I would rather keep more lives alive, period, by making abortion illegal

Which would be one thing if that were effective at eliminating or significantly reducing abortion.

Trying not to jump on you: I put it to you that given the relative ease (but danger) of abortion and of smuggling abortifacient drugs or of using other drugs off-label as abortifacients, the enforcement regime that would be necessary for legal prohibition to cause a large-scale reduction in abortion rates would not be acceptable to you. And that if a simple legal prohibition not accompanied by a truly effective enforcement regime would be acceptable to you, that you should consider more carefully what your goal actually is.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:31 AM on July 1 [2 favorites]


Came here to ask the same sort of questions feckless fecal fear mongering did: if these lives are important to you, what else are you doing?

See, what you said was:

so I would rather keep more lives alive, period, by making abortion illegal.

Emphasis added for the part that matters. You want to save lives... but you do not appear to want to save lives by pursuing a policy that works. Banning abortion doesn't actually reduce the number of abortions. You can wish it did, you can insist that it ought to, but it is demonstrably ineffective.

So what else are you doing?

It doesn't even have to be stuff where you roll up your sleeves and pitch in yourself. This is not a gotcha about how if you don't work in soup kitchens so you don't get a voice. Sticking with things as simple as voting: do you vote to keep protections in place for women in the workplace? Do you support increasing taxes that pay for schools?

Do you try to help these poor children in any other fashion, and if so, how?

Ouch--evil, ignorant, stupid, or thoughtless--not a lot to choose from there for those of us who disagree with you.

We talk like this a lot around here, but we do it because those are the only reasonable conclusions. Banning abortion doesn't save lives. It just hurts women... and it's literally the only thing we hear about this. I don't recall ever hearing about a church bussing a bunch of dudes up to a corporation that doesn't give maternity leave and yelling at them, or yelling about poor healthcare options for single moms - their kids are people too.

Their solutions to problems are always lazy - voting and outrage over positive action to help their fellow human beings - and they're never rooted in evidence.

That leaves the possibility that people who say they're all for saving babies are either lying - and therefore evil - or they're too dumb to go about their genuinely well-intentioned crusade in the right way. There's no third option where we're just disagreeing about nonsense philosophy bullshit like 'when is a fetus a person?'
posted by mordax at 11:32 AM on July 1 [14 favorites]


Oh Christ, can we stop with the abortion debate here please? This is an article about a specific phenomenon, and I would like to get back to discussing it.

I personally find it horrifying that this sort of covert information network will now be necessary again, but it is better than not having one at all. I guess. It just reminds me of Call the Midwife.
posted by Ragini at 11:38 AM on July 1 [4 favorites]


I recall back in ought-six, there was a bit of aggravation in response to the posting of instructions for surgical abortion -- calling back to Jane -- in response to South Dakota's nonsense.

I have a copy of it on the computer at home, but it seems to have been pretty much tossed down the memory hole.

However, I found the text copied into a Kuroshin post from about that time.
posted by mikelieman at 11:50 AM on July 1


It just reminds me of Call the Midwife.

Jennifer Worth (author of Call the Midwife) wrote a Guardian piece about her experience of illegal abortions a few years ago:
I did not regard it as a moral issue, but as a medical issue. A minority of women will always want an abortion. Therefore, it must be done properly.
posted by Catseye at 11:50 AM on July 1 [6 favorites]


Holy shit the clinic in El Paso is going to be gone as of September 2014. That's a loss that will cost American and Mexican women their lives. I can't even process what a huge loss that one is.
posted by stoneweaver at 11:54 AM on July 1 [2 favorites]


I read this article just a few days ago after stumbling onto it at The Atlantic while my mind was meandering on other thoughts.

All I can say is that I was horrified then... and with yesterdays SCOTUS decision in regards to Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores and additional pending litigation... it is readily apparent what the end goal is.

My mind is still numb from seeing the trajectory.

I'll do and donate what I can. I will continue to vote my conscience.
posted by PROD_TPSL at 1:13 PM on July 1


My body is my body. No one gets to use it without my consent. That includes fetuses.

I am horrified by the number of people willing to turn women into less-than-people without the right to bodily integrity for the sake of fetuses that they can't be bothered to provide for once they're born.
posted by Deoridhe at 1:42 PM on July 1 [16 favorites]


I wonder how hard it is to produce the active ingredient. Imagine reproductive rights activists producing this stuff (competently and hygienically, needless to say) and giving it away. Obviously you can't sell it for money because A) then it's not civil disobedience, and B) that brings in the dodgy criminal labs that produce toxic shit in a dirty bathtub.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:44 PM on July 1 [3 favorites]


resurrexit, I'm so glad women have another Texan man telling them they shouldn't be allowed to control their own bodies. Thanks for that.
posted by jaduncan at 1:50 PM on July 1 [14 favorites]


shouldn't be allowed to control their own bodies.

Not only that, but those that do abort their fetus' should be thrown in jail. Since we are dealing with legality, that is what is at stake here. The pro life people want women who get abortions and the healthcare workers who provide them to be imprisoned.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 2:01 PM on July 1 [3 favorites]


So unfair, MisantropicPainforest. You forgot the people providing information on methods and/or dosages.
posted by jaduncan at 2:06 PM on July 1


I actually spent part of today talking with a dean at the school where I started my academic career, (Texas Women's University), because it's one of the finest nursing schools in the nation. I called her, because we know each other, and I know that she could have someone pull an informal review of my academics and give me an idea of what I would have to do to go get a Nurse Practitioner license. But, as it turns out, it would be easier to go to medical school, since zero of my education has been in nursing. (I did my work in feminist bioethics, but it was primarily philosophy degrees.) Also in Texas, NPs cannot prescribe meds unless they're operating under the umbrella of a doctor...and finding doctors who will prescribe abortion drugs is going to be problematic at best.

I've been thinking long and hard, for some time, about what we're going to do in Texas...and the only solution I can think of is to create a widely distributed Jane's Collective. Doing it in Dallas and Houston and Austin isn't enough. We need it in East Texas and West Texas and everywhere Texas. Because we sure as hell aren't going to have access to legal abortion.

Although nearly one-third of American women will have an abortion by age 45, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a respected New York research organization, the number of abortion providers dropped from 2,908 in 1982 to 1,787 in 2005. A comprehensive survey by The Daily Beast found that as of January 2013, only 724 abortion clinics remained operational across the U.S.

In Texas, which has lost nine clinics since the Beast did it's survey (other states have also lost ground), lawmakers have slashed family planning funding in the state budget, required abortion clinics to become ambulatory surgical centers and required abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. They've also slashed funding to feed poor kids, medicate poor kids, clothe and house poor kids. Because once a kid is born, fuck 'em, they're icky poors.

It's time for the collectives again. Which sucks, but there it is. We need to find sympathetic doctors who will take the rare patient with side effects, we need sympathetic doctors who will prescribe the meds, or we need access to massive buying power so we can stock and store misoprostol and RU489 at temperature controlled depots around the nation, we need an underground who can check up on the women who have taken the drugs and make sure that everything is going according to plan. And we need people who are willing to stand up and go to prison if that's what it takes to keep women free. I will be goddamned if I'm going to be dragged back in to the dark ages without a fight.
posted by dejah420 at 3:14 PM on July 1 [40 favorites]


Catseye, that article is fantastic -- matter-of-fact and compassionate. I have a lot of respect for the late Jennifer Worth.

She brings up a hugely important point, which is that these dangerous methods rarely apply to the rich and well-connected:

For rich women this would entail a clandestine visit, at great expense, to a secret address where a discredited doctor would operate illegally, but usually successfully.

For poor women it would be a very different story.


We see the same thing with the Hobby Lobby decision -- some women can afford to pay for IUDs, etc. out of pocket. It's the poor(er) women who suffer.
posted by Ragini at 3:19 PM on July 1 [3 favorites]


I will be goddamned if I'm going to be dragged back in to the dark ages without a fight.

That just brought actual tears to my eyes, dejah420. Good ones.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:23 PM on July 1 [4 favorites]


I've linked to it before in other abortion-related threads, but if you haven't read it, please go read Anitanola's comment about her experience with illegal abortion.

I go re-read it myself every so often, especially after people have reminded me that I am not considered to be more than a (potential) baby-carrying machine.
posted by rtha at 3:42 PM on July 1 [13 favorites]


resurrexit, respecting human life is a baseline rule for those who wish to be members of human society. We implicitly (and explicitly through our criminal laws) expect this of all members of human society or the world couldn't function. Fetal humans are humans entitled to be not-murdered every bit as much as an infant human, adolescent human, or elderly human is entitled to be not-murdered.
and
Because I believe it's murder, I agree with the statement that "Your right to your beliefs stops where my body begins," except I believe that fetal humans get to say that, too.

The difference is that pregnancy takes place in another human's body. It's a significant difference. Many anti-choice activists, including the Catholic church, even prioritize the life of the fetus over the life of the woman who is pregnant. Women die from pregnancies, sometimes pregnancies that are non-viable, for lack of abortion. I started loving my son once I knew he existed, but if his existence threatened my life even more than a standard pregnancy, I would have terminated the pregnancy and been grateful for safe, legal abortion. If I had a fetus with certain issues, anencephaly, hydrocephalus and others. I believe that I have, and must continue to have, dominion over my own body. I'll also point out that even with the pretty amazing pre-natal medicine available, some women don't get good information about a pregnancy until the 20th week or so.*

*A friend had amniocentesis. The sample was corrupted, and the test had to be repeated. She found out at 20 weeks that the fetus was healthy.
posted by theora55 at 5:25 PM on July 1 [6 favorites]


Just to throw in as a sample: I'm orthodox christian, adoptive mom and I carried a very risky (to my and her health) pregnancy to term, and have had now twelve miscarriages. I 'should' be pro-life. Yet all my experiences have made me believe passionately in legal safe abortion, including late-term.

(Having been through the scanning for fetal abnormalities down to every other day, it explodes my mind to imagine that a woman has to make that decision before 20 weeks, when you often don't HAVE the information because this is highlevel tech stuff, and then you have this grey area before, let's be accurate, 26 weeks is the real borderline because 24 weeks is only if the baby is absolutely healthy, and so you're going to put a mother and child in the HELL of that decision - how is that not encouraging even more early abortions and ending up trapping the women who couldn't make the decision that early because you know, it's one of the hardest fucking decision you have to make in your second trimester, into being one the women who go through stillbirth not by choice. Just. I would have chosen - I don't know, but I would have had to decide, no-one else.)

I have had to consider abortions for health before and been fiercely grateful to live in a country with reasonable laws. And yes, I would be choosing my existing children and their lives with a mother, over a completely innocent child who I do believe has a life. I have spoken with my priest about this at length and I can live with my choices.

But you know what? It doesn't matter what reasons I have. That's between me and me. My husband doesn't get to decide if I carry a pregnancy. My priest doesn't get to decide. They can decide if they want to stay married to me or give me communion, but not on my pregnancy. And I don't get to decide if another woman's reasons are Good Enough. She does.

One of the biggest hurdles for me is the doctors and nurses involved. I do think they should be allowed to refuse to do elective abortions because of their own beliefs, although I think they should know how to because many abortions aren't elective, but are after an incomplete miscarriage or the risk to the mother's health, like mine have been. The miso-pill makes a big difference there because it can be self-administered.
posted by viggorlijah at 5:59 PM on July 1 [24 favorites]


So I've been thinking of taking some classes at the community college lately and the alternative energy program looked neat.

However, now I think maybe something more useful would be in order. Like whatever classes short of actually being a CNA would be, like some basic stuff like taking blood, blood pressure, knowing human biology, medications and reactions/interactions.

I feel we'll have no need of people willing to be part time electricians and help out in an emergency, unpaid and anonymous.
posted by sio42 at 7:39 PM on July 1 [2 favorites]


Why not keep more women alive, by keeping abortion safe and legal?

I think they don't want to keep more women alive.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:46 PM on July 1 [13 favorites]


They want to keep fetal humans alive.
Referring to them that way is weird. Kinda makes the argument they are not really human.
posted by sio42 at 5:02 AM on July 2


It's about controlling female sexuality and by extension female agency. If it were actually about gametes or zygotes they'd be trying to put an end to uncontrolled menstruation and ejaculation.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 12:28 PM on July 2 [1 favorite]


It's about controlling women, full stop. I think, anyway. Make sure they don't know enough about sex, make sure they can't get free/cheap birth control, make abortions virtually impossible to get, then punish the sluts for wanting to have sex instead of waiting for A Good Christian Man to marry them--and then continue controlling their lives until death.

These people literally give no fucks about babies. If they did, they'd be the ones clamouring for anything that reduces abortion--like real sex education and access to birth control for men and women. It's only about controlling women, and that's the sick thing; they've managed to persuade so many women that they should be controlled.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:48 PM on July 2 [2 favorites]


It appears that a guide has already gone up along the lines of what has been mentioned above: A Womb of One's Own. Curiously, it does not cover IUDs in its description of contraceptive methods
posted by mostly vowels at 7:16 PM on July 2 [1 favorite]


a womb of her own: DIY abortion and birth control after hobby lobby
posted by and they trembled before her fury at 7:00 AM on July 4 [3 favorites]


I have been very lucky not to have been in a situation where I have had to consider getting an abortion. A lot of my fertile years I was celibate. When you raise two children on your own, you might not be dating. So even birth control wasn't an issue for me personally. I do know so many women who'se lives were ruined by a lack of available, affordable birth control, and a couple who'se lives were sent off the rails by a lack of safe, affordable abortions.

Hobby Lobby just opened a store in a mall I go to. They will not get my business.
Women have a right to decide these things, not some priest, minister, rabbi, imam or their boss at work.
You'd think bosses would WANT their female workers on birth control that works. Women who have to juggle school, daycare, illnesses, maybe a husband, ex-husband or baby-daddy really lose work time.
Those people at Hobby Lobby and the State of Texas are stupid and want a kicking.
So do 5 members of the Supreme Court.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 11:09 AM on July 12 [1 favorite]


Senate Abortion Hearing Reveals Junk Science Behind Women's Health Laws
posted by homunculus at 12:27 PM on July 28 [1 favorite]


Good news everybody!

Hobby Lobby + Satanism = Religiously Protected Abortion Access.
posted by benito.strauss at 1:12 PM on July 28 [1 favorite]


Federal Court Blocks Closing of Sole Mississippi Abortion Clinic

NEW ORLEANS — A federal appeals panel on Tuesday blocked a Mississippi law that would have shut down the only abortion clinic in the state.

The three-judge panel for the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in New Orleans, ruled by 2 to 1 that in closing the state’s sole clinic, Mississippi would have shifted its constitutional obligations to neighboring states. Closing the clinic, the court said, would place an undue burden on a woman’s right to seek an abortion.
posted by rtha at 3:33 PM on July 29 [2 favorites]


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