Georgia Legislature -
December 11, 2002 4:52 PM   Subscribe

Legislators in Georgia next month plan to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision by introducing a bill that legally defines abortion as "executing" an unborn child, requiring any woman in the state who wants to have one to apply for a death warrant, at which point the child still in the mother's womb will be assigned a separate legal guardian who may choose to appeal the application for the mother to abort the child. Such a case will then lead to a trial similar to a death row appeal in which a jury will decide who's rights are dominant in the case- the mother or the unborn baby.
posted by XQUZYPHYR (61 comments total)
 
I would like to introduce a bill stating the unwanted baby is a terrorist.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 4:56 PM on December 11, 2002


The Jesse, where can i send my campaign contribution?
posted by quonsar at 5:08 PM on December 11, 2002


I would like to introduce a bill stating the unwanted baby is a terrorist.

But then how will Ashcroft install the wiretaps?
posted by gsteff at 5:13 PM on December 11, 2002


I don't think that we should take this too seriously, similar and worse bills have been proposed before without ever being passed. On second thought, with Ashcroft and Bush in charge, who knows what ridiculousness will become laws
posted by Raichle at 5:19 PM on December 11, 2002


I'm anti-death penalty -- just send all that babies to Guantanamo
posted by matteo at 5:20 PM on December 11, 2002


Think about the women in rural Georgia.

Won't anyone please think of the (women/children)? < /handwringing>

As pro-life, legislative publicity stunts go, this is pretty complicated, and almost cute. Naturally I doubt it will go anywhere.
posted by apostasy at 5:26 PM on December 11, 2002


Yet another wonderful law my from reps. I'm pro-life, but this law is retarded and doesn't really solve anything...Either it is a mother's choice & its not really a baby or they are killing a baby and it illigal (leaving out the very small percentage of extereme cases like rape). This law seems to imply that the unborn child is in fact a baby yet leaves open the window for killing the baby. righhhhhhht.
posted by jmd82 at 5:32 PM on December 11, 2002


sick.
posted by donkeyschlong at 5:44 PM on December 11, 2002


I'm waiting for the law that makes abortion perfectly legal, but you've got to get yourself (and the fetus) through a Indiana Jones stylee maze of Terrifyingly Lethal Traps!
posted by Ogre Lawless at 5:46 PM on December 11, 2002


I thought that Roe v. Wade was the decision that made all of these possible future court decisions unnecessary. Why does this need to be hashed and rehashed?
Also, this article made me want to throw my computer across the room. I kind of wish that I lived in Georgia so that any letters against this legislation that I could possibly write would actually have some sort of quasi-clout. As it is, a letter that threatens a possible residency in the state doesn't sound as forceful.
posted by zorrine at 5:46 PM on December 11, 2002


I've said it before, I'll say it again: We should repeat Sherman's Atlanta Campaign and March to the Sea on an annual basis.
posted by subgenius at 6:14 PM on December 11, 2002


subgenius: i would agree, save the sad reality that I am stuck in south carolina for the moment.

as for the georgia bill, i have to agree that there is small chance it will be passed. yes, us southern states like to get riled up over abortion, but there are enough women's rights groups and politically outspoken pro-choice folks (such as myself) to see to it that it won't.

I wish I could give parts of the Georgia legislature like....180th trimester abortions.
posted by lazaruslong at 6:37 PM on December 11, 2002


Here is the bill, if anyone would like to read it. It is a trifle melodramatic. I'm especially intrigued by this bit: "This Act shall be automatically repealed on the day following the day the United States Supreme Court issues a decision expressly declaring the overturn of Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973)."
posted by JanetLand at 7:03 PM on December 11, 2002


My how they are determined to shakle women to the whims of violence, peer pressure and male dominance. Brilliant idea too, I might add. I would not like to be a woman in these coming years of republican domination. Fuck, I wouldn't want to be a working class citizen in America these coming years. Trouble is, I am.

Luckily ladies, you have me on your side. You can reach me at--

Bleh. Maybe mom should have just aborted my seditious ass. I mean isn't that the point of being a right wing zealot anyhow? Killing and silencing and threatening and end-running justice? Why do conservatives care so much for the unborn zygotes who as soon as they are arborted take the express to heaven's pearly gates anyway? They haven't a fleck of compassion for anything else. They're not up in arms about the rights of the umbilically detached being trampled. Except we, with our rights looking increasingly like the grass at a summer Phish concert have voices too. Only our voices are real and speak from experience. Why is it that a void of uterine-bound non-voices are incessantly addressed by the rightists, but the voices of dissent, poverty and injustice are ideologically meaningless as they speak out on the chronic habit of the rightist to plunder that which has been subsequently born?

I've said it before, but the "abortion issue", I suspect, is a shell game played on religious working class women (and men) to harness their emotions and vote plutocrat straight ticket. Brilliant these people are. Brilliant.
posted by crasspastor at 7:05 PM on December 11, 2002


While the rhetoric is flowing, why exactly has this increasingly recurrent meme of "working-class conservatives are just falling for propaganda" been so easily thrown about? It is deeply condescending and self-righteous and really should be put out of our misery. Voters, even in the working-class, do vote for principles on occasion, instead of the party that promises to aim the most treasure their way. I would think we'd be lauding those who would vote their conscience at the expense of their personal gain, rather than belittling them as gullible fools. CP, your cynical preaching affirms your namesake.

But if you truly want an answer to your question, it is simply this: there are many who feel that the right to life, and its demands on the state, are in an entirely different league than the demands of your particular definition of "injustice". Many have deeply held principles that the fetus deserves the same legal protections as any other human, and equally that the responsibilities of the state do not extend to ensuring, by force if necessary, absolute egalitarianism. And a few are just fucking demons. But this:

Why do conservatives care so much for the unborn zygotes who as soon as they are arborted take the express to heaven's pearly gates anyway? They haven't a fleck of compassion for anything else.

is just insulting simplisme. I doubt you'll find anyone here willing to support this bill. You hardly need to set off an ideological war over it.
posted by apostasy at 7:33 PM on December 11, 2002


*calmly shaves while the ideological war rages on around me, heads lopped off, heathens impaled*

Sometimes simplisme was staring you in the face all along and you didn't even notice. "Not nuanced enough" you said.
posted by crasspastor at 7:41 PM on December 11, 2002


Why do conservatives care so much for the unborn zygotes who as soon as they are aborted take the express to heaven's pearly gates anyway? They haven't a fleck of compassion for anything else.
It is precisely this compassion you speak of that makes me wish for unborn *babies* to have a chance to live instead of being killed for whatever reason.
posted by jmd82 at 7:58 PM on December 11, 2002


And what about animals? Up to a certain point, the in utero development of most mammals is extremely similar to that of humnans. All that differentiates us (humans) from other mammals in the early foetal stages is our DNA. And that human DNA is not very different, it turns out, from that of mice.

Whenever I hear the current US abortion debate, I think of the medieval catholic take on the subject: the foetus was not considered human (did not posess an immortal soul that is), and so could be legitimately aborted until "quickening" (when the baby started to kick).

I also think of the atrocious violence visited on factory raised farm animals in the US. And then there are the large brained fish (and the dolphins). What of their suffering? Unborn babies are fairly far down the list of concerns in my book.

Many mammals which we Americans currently treat with great cruelty have nervous systems as sensitive as ours. So the difference is.....our immortal soul? I, for one, chose to grant animals the right to posess souls too. So it follows that _____ (fill in blank)
posted by troutfishing at 8:17 PM on December 11, 2002


Subgenius (what an appropriate name), we'll be waiting for you at the border. You can have Bobby Franklin, the zealot who introduced the bill, and Cynthia McKinney (she's no longer needed) but that's it.

Troutfishing, are you advocating "catch and release" births?
posted by Frank Grimes at 8:46 PM on December 11, 2002


georgia's an odd little state. Save Atlanta and the bits of Athens within a block of downtown, it's perpetually two-thirty Monday afternoon, October 19, 1953. Given that it has all the population, Atlanta's pretty much in the driver's seat, politically speaking. Which leaves the rural conservatives with just enough power in the capitol to pull juvenile little stunts like this one.

It's the same mentality that gave the world Georgia's atrocious flag. Nice easily readable state seal on the blue background for Atlanta, little banner with the Official Flag of Lynching(tm) for Cordele.

(Yes, I know, the guy who introduced it's from an Atlanta suburb. But Marietta's in Cobb County, in which IIRC it is illegal to be homosexual, so I'm willing to consider them stuck in '53, too. :)
posted by Vetinari at 8:51 PM on December 11, 2002


How many of you who are arguing about this issue are women?

My guess is very few. Those of you who are men and who effectively will never have this law change your life in any way -- why is what I do with my body any of your's or the governments business. Abortion is a legal, private and painful (physically and emotionally) procedure that is between the woman and her doctor and the God of her understanding. No one and I mean NO ONE makes a decision to have one lightly. It is made out of dire need and necessity. Why do men want to make it so much harder. I take this shit off of women much easier than I do from men.

I live in Atlanta and this bill is going to crash and burn. I will personally see to it.
posted by bas67 at 8:59 PM on December 11, 2002


Actually, i consider many other portions of Athens MUCH more active than downtown Athens...Heck, d/t is most active at night for the bars. Wally-World & the dorms are more active than downtown during the day.

Abortion: I may be a man, but i consider abortion a moral issue (where sex doesn't matter), an issue where a human is being killed. I also am of the philosophy that humans are above animals and are seperated by, among other things, a strong sense of reason.
posted by jmd82 at 9:14 PM on December 11, 2002


bas67: People currently are not allowed to sell their kidneys. Do you think they should be allowed to? [serious question, not meant to be snarky] I only ask because it seems to me that the whole bodily integrity thing, while an important consideration, can be overplayed. Certainly there should be a strong presumption in the law that you should be able to control your own body, but it seems equally evident that the right could be overriden in cases where there was a very strong competing concern. Many believe that fetuses are either human beings, or at least sort of quasi-human or potential human beings. If they are right, the argument for legal abortion is weakened significantly (although definitely not completely). The difficulty is that there's really no good way to prove whether they are right or wrong, nor are there really good ways to even argue about it. I think that's why the debate breaks down into pithy sloganeering about baby killing and "freedom to choose".

As for having to be a woman to talk about the issue, that seems a bit of a stretch. We don't say you must be black to talk about affirmative action, or you must be poor to talk about food stamps, or you must be a member of the military to talk about military policy. Having a vested interest in a particular issue can be clarifying in some ways, but can be blinding in others. It's probably true that men are less likely to take the rights of women seriously than women are, but that doesn't mean no man can honestly and intelligently discuss the issue.
posted by boltman at 9:29 PM on December 11, 2002


I saw this on the NARAL mailing list last week, and I was hoping it was a hoax or something. I did a bunch of google searches then and couldn't find anything more about it. Now I guess I believe it's true. It may not come to anything, but it's a shame that people keep trying to pull these stunts.

Women in Georgia already have it bad enough when it comes to getting access to abortion. Right now in Georgia there are only 41 abortion providers in the whole state - 90 percent of Georgia counties have none.
posted by acridrabbit at 9:30 PM on December 11, 2002


90 percent of Georgia counties have none.
Granted almost all of those are prob in Atlanta or even Macon, but GA also has the most counties in the nation so one county could hypothetically serve a lot of counties.
posted by jmd82 at 9:37 PM on December 11, 2002


On second thought, with Ashcroft and Bush in charge, who knows what ridiculousness will become laws.

Wow! When did they put Bush and Ashcroft in charge of Georgia? Now that's news.
posted by rusty at 10:43 PM on December 11, 2002


This isn't worth talking about. Some putz in a state legislature is introducing an asinine bill that's going to get promptly roundfiled and, even if everyone on the floor that day were smoking crack and it somehow passed in spite of a Democratic majority, it would *still* have to pass the other chamber, and even if *they* were smoking crack would still have to get approved by the governor or go through their veto-override procedure, and even if all of these people were smoking crack it would still get shot down faster than the partial-birth abortion bills were.

So? Guess what -- there are all manner of idiotic bills introduced every term across the country. They die. That's why legislatures are set up the way they are, to kill bill after bill as efficiently as possible.

This thread won't serve any useful purpose, and might have well have had an FPP that said "I think women should be able to get abortions, and people who think otherwise are poopyheads." Our host should kill it, unless it gets derailed into a fun discussion of wacky things legislatures do instead of an abortion thread.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:51 PM on December 11, 2002


I do adore the disingenuous tone pro-choicers will take on when confronted with the reality of what they're advocating. As if all the energy they expend convincing each other (and trying to convince the rest of us...) that it's not a human child whose life is ended before it's even begun, it's just a bit of flesh, akin to a tumor perhaps, is now in vain. The law as it stands allows most women in most circumstances to kill their children within the first 90 days on conception, and I don't dispute that's the law. But despite the fact that this Georgia lawmaker's bird-brained idea goes way too far, forcing women who seek an abortion to acknowledge the death they are now responsible for doesn't seem like such a bad thing.
posted by JollyWanker at 10:53 PM on December 11, 2002


forcing women who seek an abortion to acknowledge the death they are now responsible for doesn't seem like such a bad thing.
Do you think they'll really ackowledge they're killing a baby?
posted by jmd82 at 10:58 PM on December 11, 2002


I do adore the disingenuous tone pro-choicers will take on when confronted with the reality of what they're advocating

Your "reality", to me, as both a pro-choicer and a believer in science, is that it's a zygote. No, that reality does not bother me.

Whatever. We shouldn't be having this discussion. It's MeFi, not contemporary moral issues 101. Might as well talk about euthanasia and the death penalty and gay rights and so on, without news links at all, if this is what you really want in a newsblog. It was a useless post, no offense to the poster. Hash and Re-hash.
posted by lazaruslong at 11:11 PM on December 11, 2002


OK, last past to this thread...
It's MeFi, not contemporary moral issues 101.
By the same token, this isn't PoliSci101 or any other 101 course, so should we cut out all talk of any class that can be taught at a university?
posted by jmd82 at 11:25 PM on December 11, 2002


We shouldn't be having this discussion

Is that a moral proposition?
posted by boltman at 11:31 PM on December 11, 2002


Actually, I was remarking that we should not be discussing FPP's (or seeing them at all, ideally) that serve only to, as Xenophone put it so wonderfully,

"This thread won't serve any useful purpose, and might have well have had an FPP that said "I think women should be able to get abortions, and people who think otherwise are poopyheads.""

There's no point. There is nothing gained from this discussion. We shouldn't really even be having the discussion on how it shouldn't be a discussion here either. That belongs here.
posted by lazaruslong at 12:07 AM on December 12, 2002


I do adore the disingenuous tone pro-choicers will take on when confronted with the reality of what they're advocating.

Do all prolifers think prochoicers are idiots? Come on, we know it kills a fetus. We're not stupid.

We just happen to think the sentient woman has more rights than a fetus that may miscarry anyway.
posted by SuzySmith at 12:15 AM on December 12, 2002


Do you think they'll really ackowledge they're killing a baby?

Do you think they'll really acknowledge that the fundamental argument of when a fertiziled egg becomes a baby is dependent on one's definition of human life, and that there are probably as many definitions as there are humans?

More succinctly, do you think anti-choicers will acknowledge that a person could in good conscience have a differing opinion?
posted by anildash at 12:29 AM on December 12, 2002


Most conservatives oppose abortion for the same reason most liberals oppose the death penalty. It's a deeply moral decision, on both counts. Personally I support the death penalty and abortion rights, with a few restrictions in each case. Of course supporting any restrictions on abortion quickly earns you a pro life label, which is another discussion altogether.
posted by Beholder at 1:43 AM on December 12, 2002


bas67: People currently are not allowed to sell their kidneys. Do you think they should be allowed to? [serious question, not meant to be snarky] I only ask because it seems to me that the whole bodily integrity thing, while an important consideration, can be overplayed.

That law is there to protect the integrity of the body against financial exploitation.

There is nothing gained from this discussion.

Erm, aren't we having a discussion about the link? Like what you're supposed to do on Metafilter? My opinion - this proposed law is an attemt to bully pregnant women. Abortion is either legal or it is not. Making it legal but shameful is the worst kind of Victorian hypocrisy.
posted by Summer at 2:23 AM on December 12, 2002


You go bas67!!

Why is it people who oppose abortions typically support the death penalty (excepting catholics?) If this is about the sanctity of life then there's a severe disconnect in the logic.

Amendment proposal for the bill:

All aborted fetuses must be buried while wrapped in the rebel flag. Think it will get enough support?
posted by nofundy at 6:14 AM on December 12, 2002


Can somebody tell me what happens to miscarried foetuses. Are they buried? Do they get a funeral?
posted by Summer at 6:36 AM on December 12, 2002


NoFundy - Another proposed bill: "Pictures of aborted foetuses will be displayed prominently on birth control device packaging". NewsFlash: "Sex down 40%"

This one could start a trend, as in (yet one more bill): "Pictures of victims of US arial bombardment ordinances, and missile attacks, (both military and civilian) will be displayed prominently on all advertising and brochures by the manufacturer of said ordinances and missiles."
posted by troutfishing at 6:43 AM on December 12, 2002


Until someone can conclusively prove to the satisfaction of all reasonable skeptics that an unborn child is not, in fact, a person, the most reasonable and moral thing to do is err on the side of caution and allow it to come to term. You can call the child a zygote, fetus, fertilized egg, whatever diminutive you want - that is not proof of anything, it is merely semantics.

As long as there is doubt, you run the risk of killing the innocent. And that is always worse than whatever tribulation the "poor" mother must endure. Heck, the entire judicial system is set up this way - innocent until proven guilty. A person until proven animal!
posted by timbley at 6:58 AM on December 12, 2002


timbley, that's backwards logic that reeks very similarly to the baseless argument of religious proof. You're mixing the definitions of human and person, and you're essentially demanding that the burden of proof be placed suddenly on the defenders. It's like saying that the world should err on the side of judgement that God exists because you can't prove he doesn't. That's a moral logic argument- not a scientific one.

Your argument is flawed in the very first sentence- the "satisfaction of reasonable skeptics." That in itself is a contradiction because there is no way to argue that it is reasonable to demand that a woman allows such a drastic change in her body to "run its course" because you're not satisfied what medical research has indicated. You are skeptic not because of a contradictory fact, but because of a moral belief- that the fetus is an indpendent human being. Morally, this is where you have your argument. Scientifically, there's no skepticism. You're just wrong. You're trying to establish a demand for proof on a moral basis, which cleverly is impossible to prove. Ignoring scientific fact, on the other hand, is the exact opposite of skepticism.

The scientific arguments have already proven that fetuses are incapable of independent survival, viability, or sentient thought prior to certain stages in the pregnancy. By saying you are skeptical of that because... of what, exactly?... you are being as far from reasonable as possible.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:29 AM on December 12, 2002


Hm. All I can say is that there's nothing that spells respect for the unborn like a wry, tongue-in-cheek political stunt. So, who are these women, the ones this legislation theoretically targets? You know, the ones who never considered what an abortion actually is and so they go around getting abortions like they're pedicures? "Oh Gawd!" they'll cry. "I didn't know it was a baby in there! Ah thought mebbe it was a kitty cat!"
posted by vraxoin at 7:34 AM on December 12, 2002


All aborted fetuses must be buried while wrapped in the rebel flag. Think it will get enough support?

Try that amendment somewhere more bass-ackwards, and it just may pass...
posted by themikeb at 7:54 AM on December 12, 2002


bas67: yes, i am a woman, but i don't live in Georgia.

also, i recently read part of a book [insert a stupid college student's excuse for not having finished the book] about abortion in Japan that opened my eyes a little bit. in Japan, they acknowledged that a child was being killed, yet they still have legal abortion. it seemed to me that as they were acknowledging the life being taken, they were also acknowledging the circumstances that can occur to make this sort of thing necessary to some people. i'm learning to accept that life does start at conception, but that there are also people who feel that it is ok to abort.

also, the book made a point similar to XQUZYPHYR's, that the thing being aborted was a human, but not really a person, that one wasn't really a person until they had done some living in the world first.
posted by zorrine at 8:04 AM on December 12, 2002


I'm so sick of these unborn freeloaders and their endless cries for special treatment. You don't want to get aborted? Get a job, hippie!
posted by RylandDotNet at 8:08 AM on December 12, 2002


I thought that Roe v. Wade was the decision that made all of these possible future court decisions unnecessary. Why does this need to be hashed and rehashed?

It's good to revisit past court decisions every so often. If we didn't, we'd still be ruled by Plessy v. Ferguson.
posted by claxton6 at 8:11 AM on December 12, 2002


pithy sloganeering about baby killing and "freedom to choose"

Which is exactly what all "debate" on this issue boils down to, and where this thread is quickly headed. It's what all political debate on this issue boils down to and where the Georgia legislature is headed. It's the stuff of protestors and those who talk (and shout) around the issue.

There are many of us who have long ago realized that if the goal is to reduce the number of women who are resorting to abortion then the way to do that is to find ways to give them other options. There are a lot of us doing that. Everyone else is, AFAIC, simply muddying the waters and spouting platitudes so that they don't have to do any real work. Talk is cheap and easy. Action, real person-to-person action, is the meaningful part and it requires much more by way of dedication and work.
posted by Dreama at 8:25 AM on December 12, 2002


"Until someone can conclusively prove to the satisfaction of all reasonable skeptics that an unborn child is not, in fact, a person, the most reasonable and moral thing to do is err on the side of caution and allow it to come to term."

You can't prove an "unborn child" isn't a person, because you can define "person" to include fetuses or not. The (most common) difference between pro-choicers and pro-lifers is that pro-lifers believe a fetus has a soul and define "person" as a being having a soul. Since pro-lifers, then, are the ones claiming an extra entity (the soul) the burden of proof should be on them to prove it.
posted by callmejay at 8:29 AM on December 12, 2002


There are many of us who have long ago realized that if the goal is to reduce the number of women who are resorting to abortion then the way to do that is to find ways to give them other options

Maybe abortion is the best option in many situations? The real battle is to cut down the number of women getting pregnant in the first place. But that's another discussion.
posted by Summer at 8:33 AM on December 12, 2002


Summer--in America, there really isn't a term for a miscarried fetus let alone any kind of acknowledgement for its death, like a funeral. It's really a shame because there's no ritualistic way for women to grieve for their miscarried or aborted children and no one really talks about it. In Japan, babies not carried to term for whatever reason are call Mizuko (water baby) and there are shrines dedicated to appeasing their spirits. It's a positive thing that there is cultural acknowledgement of such deaths, but the Mizuko "industry" has grown into something of a financial scam by greedy monks and shrines that exploit the loss and guilt of young mothers.
posted by mariko at 8:36 AM on December 12, 2002


I'm a woman from Georgia and I grew up outside of Atlanta.

I doubt that anyone is particularly gleeful about having an abortion, especially in such a religious guilt-inducing part of the country. Abortions are traumatic and horrible. But putting people on trial for such a thing just adds to the humiliation and pain. Pitting someone against their unborn child in a court of law just seems cruel. Most people will probably realize that it's less traumatic, quicker and less expensive to drive to a neighboring state.

However, I doubt very much that such a court will ever be created in Georgia. I have faith that a few people still have some sense left in them. (crossing fingers)
posted by Alison at 9:04 AM on December 12, 2002


in America, there really isn't a term for a miscarried fetus let alone any kind of acknowledgement for its death, like a funeral. It's really a shame because there's no ritualistic way for women to grieve for their miscarried or aborted children and no one really talks about it.

This isn't really accurate. Generally the decision about what to do with a miscarried fetus or stillborn baby is up to the parents (you may have to specifically ask for a miscarried fetus to be given to a funeral home for burial, but it's quite common to have funerals for full- or near-term stillborns). I've known of many parents who've had funerals for such children, and have named them and everything. It's common practice on labour and delivery floors to photograph stillborns and late-stage miscarried babies (wrapped in a blanket and made to look as undisturbing as possible) and let the parents know that there is a picture of their baby, should they want it. Some parents call months later, wanting the picture.
posted by biscotti at 9:23 AM on December 12, 2002


going out on a limb here:
georgia probably does not have a comprehensive (read: not abstinence-only) sex ed program? if they're not willing to look at other countries like amsterdam and realise that by saying "this is the side effect of sex, here are some condoms, (etc)", a wily law like this is NOT going to cut down on the number of abortions.

i'm also amused by the fact that people who want to make abortion illegal don't realise that doing so is not pro-life. what do you think happens when abortion becomes illegal? women go to less-than-reputable doctors to get an abortion, and in many cases it causes not one death, but two
posted by pxe2000 at 9:47 AM on December 12, 2002


I have had experience with both. The miscarriage, since it was only a few months along, was thrown away with other bio-hazardous waste. The stillbirth did indeed have a name, was baptized by the nurses (it occurred in a Catholic Hospital) and was cremated for free by a local mortuary. We also held a small memorial service where our family and friends could express their sadness and grief. He would have been the first born grandchild on both sides.

And by the way, I have been to Kyoto and seen some of the Mizuko Temples. They are a little disconcerting because a small doll is purchased and placed on the alter. These alters have thousands and thousands of tiny dolls.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 10:00 AM on December 12, 2002


I disagree with those who deem the discourse useless; it's always fascinating to see the nuts and bolts of this debate rehashed by different minds. And you never know when you may learn something new or see it through a different lens.
One of the unique things about this particular philosophical quandary though is that women are necessarily singular in the responsibity for pregnancy--not the impregnation but the gestation. So, it's natural for women, like bas67, to feel insulted by the indignation of men who will never have to bear the full burden of the decision--one way or the other. It may not be "fair" to men, who certainly have an interest in the debate--but I reckon it's a legitimate distinction.
It's always disturbed me that total strangers would invest themselves so intensely in the implications of my womb. The maelstrom of emotions that people whip up behind aborted pregnancies just didn't make sense to me--until the day it dawned on me that the debate about abortion is a lot less about the unborn than it is about female contrition and the need of societies to remind women that their authority is not to be trusted. If anything else were the case then women could expect to be equally humiliated by society for spontaneous abortions (miscarriages). I've had two of those, and one non-starter that I opted to have a D&C to remove--so I didn't have to endure the risk of hemorrhaging, or the shame of spontaneous abortion, in a room full of male classmates learning to be aircraft mechanics. With the exception of the D&C, my spontaneous terminations have occurred at home, alone. The personal risk was far greater without expensive medical supervision, but the privacy was, on the whole, worth it I suppose. And it always seemed perverse to have to pay for the experience of losing a pregnancy.
The point of relating these deeply personal and painful experiences with you lot is to remind you that women experience pregnancy as something deeply personal and sometimes incredibly painful. It is to remind you that a myriad of decisions are being made by women about their bodies and their reproduction that don't get accounted for by pro-life or pro-choice rhetoric. It is to remind you that my pregnancy is the sole consideration of myself and my lover. And lastly, it is to remind you that you are not welcome in my womb.
posted by Tiger_Lily at 10:59 AM on December 12, 2002


Thank you for your contribution to the conversation Tiger_Lily. I very much enjoyed reading it.

Thanks especially for the last sentence which says it all.
posted by nofundy at 11:44 AM on December 12, 2002


I suspect, is a shell game played on religious working class women (and men) to harness their emotions and vote plutocrat straight ticket. .

Thanks crasspastor same thought as it is one way to divide and conquer fellow folks.

I went to a christian high school and every year this issue arose. But those that were pro-choice usually made no big qualms against those that opposed.

But those that were pro-life put signs up, the ones depicting fetuses that are actually non-realistic just a scare tactic of a created image, a lie. The irony, folks lied to get their point across though they sinned doing it by their own beliefs.

But it did divide the school with some, those that were pro-life and those that out of respect, left folks alone to think for themselves.

(side note) I was seated at a table several years back with Mr. Wade side by side. Because he was attending a function for Ruby his connection to Roe vs Wade was forgotten by me. To this day I kick myself because I would have loved to hear his thoughts one on one. Talk about a missed opportunity to hear it from the horses mouth from living history... ....
posted by thomcatspike at 11:47 AM on December 12, 2002


thomcatspike: I'm guessing that if abortion were illegal there would be an awful lot of extreme pro-choicers. Obviously some people are going to feel strongly about this issue, on both sides. It's a hot button issue. There's a lot at stake. Personal freedoms and human lives are pretty damn important.

Personally, I'm pro-life. I don't really do anything about it though, which I suppose makes me some sort of evil bastard.
posted by ODiV at 11:57 AM on December 12, 2002


ODiV, you do make a good point in your observation.

But like your last statement, I wouldn't say your some sort of evil bastard, but one that feels it up to the individual to decide.

Now if abortion was illegal and it is easy for me to say this as it isn't, I would have to try to bite my tongue too.
posted by thomcatspike at 5:08 PM on December 13, 2002


the debate about abortion is a lot less about the unborn than it is about female contrition and the need of societies to remind women that their authority is not to be trusted

Sheesh. Is it really that hard to imagine that people could be genuinely concerned about the (in your opinion misguided) idea that innocent babies getting killed?

Human beings do that all the time -- they read about people or even animals suffering or dying somewhere in some situation that is totally none of their business, and some of them get upset and want to do something to stop it. Do you really think all that compassion (misguided as some of it may be) is all really a fake? That deep down, it's always an excuse for controlling and attacking people?

The whole "it's my body and it's none of your business" argument only makes sense if a fetus is more like a tumor than a two-year-old. And differences of opinion on that question is what the whole argument is about.
posted by straight at 1:13 AM on December 14, 2002


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