Skip

On second thought ...
June 20, 2003 9:19 AM   Subscribe

Jane Roe of Roe vs. Wade wants veredict of Roe vs. Wade overturned
CNN's legal expert says it will not happen. Findlaw.com has a summary of the case for your perusal pleasure. Also worth remembering are the ambiguous opinions of the current administration on the issue.
posted by magullo (51 comments total)

 
Jane Roe was a pawn then, as she is now.
posted by the fire you left me at 9:21 AM on June 20, 2003


In petitioning the court to re-open and overturn the case, McCorvey and her attorneys have submitted affidavits from 1000 women who say that they, too, regret their abortions.

"I made a mistake, so please make it illegal for people to make that same mistake--even if most of them don't think it's a mistake."
posted by jpoulos at 9:29 AM on June 20, 2003


she didnt even know what the word abort meant? horseshit.
posted by Peter H at 9:30 AM on June 20, 2003


This just in, desires of 45 year old women not same as desires of 15 year old girls. Also, people grow up.

And forget.

Alot.

--Dan
posted by effugas at 9:30 AM on June 20, 2003


This just in, Norma McCorvey regrets Roe v. Wade ruling for past ten years.
posted by soyjoy at 9:37 AM on June 20, 2003


ug. i'll admit that i'm fanatically pro-choice and there isn't an issue more important with me than this one. i guess i'd like to ask how many of those 1,000 regretful women would be dead, sterile or horribly scarred in some back alley due to an illegal abortion if the procedure wasn't safe & moderated when they had them.
posted by eatdonuts at 9:43 AM on June 20, 2003


I really recommend reading her statement. Her whole point (after going into teenage-diary detail about who said what and how many beers they had) is that she wasn't really paying attention and didn't understand what was going on.

It would be kind of funny if it wasn't so weirdly oblivious.
posted by stefanie at 9:44 AM on June 20, 2003


If I were "pro-life", I'd be embarrassed to have this clueless idiot on my side.
posted by orange swan at 9:46 AM on June 20, 2003


Even after reading her brief, I don't understand why McCorvey thinks that anyone cares what she has to say about this.

I agree with jpoulos. It's ridiculous for these women to think that their personal regret over their decisions means that I shouldn't have the right to make the decision myself.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 9:47 AM on June 20, 2003


soyjoy--

My point is that human psychology drifts as we age, and what the teenage Norma wanted in life is necessarily drastically different than what the adult Mrs. McCorvey desires. Both males and females experience significant shifts of their desires towards partying less, settling down, having kids, and so on. There are differences between the genders -- notably, the desire of women to have children increases significantly after a certain point, much faster than male desire.

This isn't sexist; it's biology. What's commonly known as the "biological clock" isn't socially constructed.

What is purely social -- or more accurately, sociopolitical -- is the belief by older generations that younger generations should already possess their desires. The common statement is, "If only I knew then what I know now." It is undeniable that a 35 year old individual wants different things than a 15 year old individual; the question then becomes, whose desires are better? Since it's terrifying to think that one's desires have become worse, the only alternative is to think that these are the desires one should have had in the first place.

I respect Mrs. McCorvey's desire to express her present will, but I don't find it representative of the will of herself at a young age. The psychological drift is just too great.

--Dan
posted by effugas at 10:01 AM on June 20, 2003


...consider what she says is new evidence that abortion harms women.

...and so abortion should be illegal, even in cases where the health of the mother is at stake?

Figure that one out.
posted by goethean at 10:05 AM on June 20, 2003


of course, regrets or no, this tool of satan is personally responsible for like 300 kazillion fetus murders and is going to smolder in horrible, searing agony for eternity. i bet none of her pro-life friends told her that.
posted by quonsar at 10:06 AM on June 20, 2003


I am, and always have been, pro choice. It is not, and should not be the governments job to dictate policy to anyone on this type of issue.
One thing I cannot stand is the attitude, that being pro choice is somehow the moral equivalent of being anti-life.

There should only be two people involved in this type of decision, and only one person will ever have the final say. The people involved should be man and woman involved, and the final say should and always will be, the woman.

If they repeal this, how long before marriage out of wedlock is illegal?

I agree with eatdonuts on the whole backalley abortion issue too.
People who cannot afford to fly to the UK or drive to Canada will be in a tough spot.
posted by a3matrix at 10:11 AM on June 20, 2003


There is no way to have a civilized discussion about this topic.
posted by eustacescrubb at 10:16 AM on June 20, 2003


If they repeal this, how long before marriage out of wedlock is illegal?

HAHAHAHAHA.
Sorry.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 10:19 AM on June 20, 2003


Dan -

I regret that my posting came right after yours and that I chose to swipe your opening phrase for some silly reason. I can easily see that it made my comment look like a response to yours. It wasn't. I agree with both your original comment and your clarification.

The point that I was trying to make is that this is not exactly breaking, "smoking gun" news. Even the current litigation has been on the front pages of Yahoo and Google News for the past three days.

That said, if we must discuss it, I agree with those who say that Roe v. Wade is a deeply flawed ruling. I don't think a reasonable person can find an explicit right to privacy in the constitution as it was written. I also wish they hadn't shanghaied some clueless (though her own version of her cluelessness seems to grow as the years go by) teenager to trump this up to the Supreme Court as quickly as possible.

BUT...

Something had to be done to acknowledge women's rights to their own persons and to save their lives, and this is what we got. Since we have Roe now, I obviously want to hold onto it as long as possible, because it's not as if those who object to its weak constitutional basis want to repair it or replace it with something more logically sound; they want to remove women's right to control their own bodies.
posted by soyjoy at 10:24 AM on June 20, 2003


yeah, this is ancient news - I mean Norma's turnaround - but it's irrelevant.

Dan, that's an interesting point about older women wishing they had kids, but there are also older women who had kids too young and wish they had careers etc. People often regret things - it's just part of life. That doesn't mean that women as a group can't be trusted to make important decisions about the use of their bodies by a fetus.

some
old
threads on topic
posted by mdn at 10:39 AM on June 20, 2003


i think it's truly disgusting that she didn't sterilize equipment between appointments when she was working at clinics.

that's the most horrifying thing in the whole brief to me. i don't think she's going to get anywhere, and i don't feel sorry for her because 'i thought i had just missed my period!' bullshit.
posted by sugarfish at 10:48 AM on June 20, 2003


The problem with discussion of the issues of abortion is that it's a far more problematic issue than either side ever admits. I dislike the excesses of rhetoric on both sides. I read the linked material days ago and it made me want to scream for reasons which mostly appear in this thread already. But the pro-choice camp can be offensive too (though less often). One time I read some short stories (by a number of well-known writers, one was Joyce Carol Oates) in a magazine that featured the tale of a woman being unable to buy bubble gum because she'd fallen so far down the slippery slope of lost rights after losing the battle for rights to have an abortion. I found the parallel between abortion and buying bubble gum deeply offensive. I hate the "woman's right to choose" rhetoric too - seems to me it over simplifies the issue. But then most slogans do.

I don't like abortion, I wish it were never necessary, but of course in a world like ours it is necessary, and we must have safe, legal abortions with the final decision resting with the pregnant woman and her doctor. And I am quite frightened for you Americans. Dubya is stacking the Supreme Court with judges who are anti-abortion. He's going to make a run at outlawing abortion. I am terrified he will succeed.
posted by orange swan at 10:54 AM on June 20, 2003




soyjoy--

Sorry about the misunderstanding.

The right to privacy has been established for a while, as the overarching "penumbra of privacy" across the entire bill of rights. After all, the right to assembly implies protection against unreasonable tactics to dissuade membership in that assembly; the protection against unreasonable search directly implies that one's personal space may not be run roughshod above; the right to bear arms implies self-protection is a private duty that may not be infringed upon by the state (and indeed, courts have repeatedly ruled that it is not the job of the cops to prevent crime or prevent injury, only to punish offenders.)

There's more, but "unreasonable search" directly implies "you're not allowed to look unless you have a good reason". And I give no quarter to those who say the constitution only limits the government; the bill of rights describes inalienable rights, inalienable by the government and anyone else. Or else, the feds could simply sit back and let a private mafia do all the dirty rights violations.

--Dan
posted by effugas at 10:56 AM on June 20, 2003


Some may find the comparison distasteful, but Rosa Parks was also largely just in the right place at the right time, a suitable subject for those who'd been waiting for a good opportunity to wage the Jim Crow battle in court. Other possible test cases had arisen before her, but hers was the one that ultimately decided history.

The point? That the individual whose name is on the case file is often just a necessary piece in the legal machinery of a society with rules to figure out.
posted by scarabic at 11:04 AM on June 20, 2003


If they repeal this, how long before marriage out of wedlock is illegal?

Good catch pretty generic. That was a screw up. I think I meant to say, how long before childbirth out of wedlock is illegal? And, might the punishment warranted be public stoning to death?
posted by a3matrix at 11:07 AM on June 20, 2003


That the individual whose name is on the case file is often just a necessary piece in the legal machinery of a society with rules to figure out.

Isn't this kind of anti-feminist? "Woman as pawn"?
posted by eustacescrubb at 11:09 AM on June 20, 2003


Even though I probably come down on the pro-life side of the debate, I agree strongly with what orange swan said. It's not a simple thing.

As much people would really like it not to be so (and as much as we've been able to do to insulate ourselves) sex has consequences, among them, sometimes pregnancy. Even if you have an abortion, that has consequences, if nothing else, it's something you may wake up 20 years down the road and feel terrible about and wish there was some way to take it back.

Does that mean it should be flat-out illegal? I don't know. I'd tend to favor a cultural and policy approach that discourages abortion even if it's available, but educates: elucidating other options and encouraging input from women who do regret it. Perhaps that's what our friend McCorvey should be working for rather than an outright ban.
posted by namespan at 11:11 AM on June 20, 2003


True, and that might work in a perfect world, but I would be afraid of the people who, instead of gently discouraging a 13 year old from getting an abortion would be telling her that she would be evil to do so...
posted by agregoli at 11:18 AM on June 20, 2003


Isn't this kind of anti-feminist? "Woman as pawn"?

You could just as easily say "woman as precedent" or "woman as pioneer."

People have decried Jane Roe as a pawn for years, but always championed Rosa Parks as if she single-handedly ended Jim Crow.

I think their positions were more similar.
posted by scarabic at 11:20 AM on June 20, 2003


scarabic - As predicted, I find your comparison distasteful. Rosa Parks' initial act was one of potentially life-threatening defiance; McCorvey's was to get herself pregnant and regret it. Whether they were used as figureheads or "pawns" afterward doesn't alter this fundamental difference. Also, Rosa Parks has never subsequently said "you know what? Negroes really should ride in the back!"

Dan - I hear ya. I understand the logic behind extrapolating a right of privacy from clauses that make it seem "implicit," but as I said, it's not "explicit," which makes for the fissures in Roe v. Wade. Obviously it should've been there. But I read through the constitution once looking for anything that would make it explicit, and it doesn't. That said, I'm not a constitutional scholar, but I've heard this same case made by many of 'em, so I'll stick with it.
posted by soyjoy at 11:21 AM on June 20, 2003


Woman as pawn

Eustacescrubb, I wouldn't say it's anti-feminist - but yes, there are ethical issues with the Roe lawyers using that fucked up dipstick asa test case - and there would, arguably, have been issues with them using any unhappily pregnant woman who desired an abortion.

The system requires test cases, but it really is one thing to use a Rosa Parks or a Sue Rodriguez who is fully aware of and committed to the issue, and quite another to use someone who barely knows what's going and an suddenly finds herself in the eye of a storm at a time when she/he has plenty of problems already.
posted by orange swan at 11:22 AM on June 20, 2003


soyjoy--

What is the bright line between "unreasonable search" and "unreasonable violation of privacy"?

--Dan
posted by effugas at 11:36 AM on June 20, 2003


Once a right-wing justice is put in place, there's going to be another Roe. That's how this case works. The Right will find a case that can be used as an iconization of what's bad about abortion, and thusly use it as precedent to make abortion illegal.

My only disagreement with orange swan is the "choice" argument: it's not a silly rationalization because that truly IS the fight here.

I'm not "pro-abortion." It's not like people are waiting on line to get it or arguing how beneficial it can be for you like marijuana. This debate truly is about women, and what basic biological functions of their body the government is and isn't allowed to control, and the choice they have in regards to what to do about those functions. And yet, even when we call it "legal," in about 80% of the country women simply do not have access to abortion services: by means of Catholic-Church-controlled hospitals, decreased women's group funding, and local laws, the CHOICE for women has been removed, even with the RIGHT to abortion still technically in place.

The right to an abortion will likely always exist. Choice has been attacked for decades.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:39 AM on June 20, 2003


Isn't this kind of anti-feminist? "Woman as pawn"?

It's not "woman" as pawn, it's Norma McCorvey as pawn. She was a pawn for the female attorneys who argued the case.

Even if you have an abortion, that has consequences, if nothing else, it's something you may wake up 20 years down the road and feel terrible about

plenty of women never have this experience. Most people who've had abortions lead normal lives and eventually have families if they want them, etc, just like everyone else. Sometimes people regret things - but not just abortions. Some people regret choices regarding schools or majors or careers or marriages or break-ups or any number of other things, but we don't make those choices illegal because of that!

Does that mean it should be flat-out illegal?

no - see above. There are also people who regret not waiting until they had gotten somewhere with career / intellectual work / etc before having children, but we don't make it illegal to have children before you've figured out what you want to do with your life. Individuals have to take responsibility for their own decisions sometimes.

I'd tend to favor a cultural and policy approach that discourages abortion even if it's available, but educates: elucidating other options and encouraging input from women who do regret it.

what about from women who don't regret it?
posted by mdn at 11:50 AM on June 20, 2003


There is no way to have a civilized discussion about this topic.

That is a matter of personal choice.
posted by rushmc at 11:58 AM on June 20, 2003


What is the bright line between "unreasonable search" and "unreasonable violation of privacy"?

Dan - again, you're arguing for an implicit connection, which I'm not denying. But obviously those two phrases are not the same: One is specific to the procedures involved in investigating a crime and the other is so broad it could refer to anything, unless the concept of "violation of privacy" is spelled out explicitly. Which it ain't.

BTW, I'm about to head home, so if you want to continue this specific discussion, which we seem to be the only ones participating in, feel free to email me.
posted by soyjoy at 12:04 PM on June 20, 2003


I'm glad she admitted she was "drunk or stoned" while she was helping out with all of those abortions. Otherwise I'd think she was just plain lying about all those baby hands and blood-smudged instruments. Was she on acid, too?

Norma didn't understand what the case was about then, and she doesn't understand what it's about now, either. It is not, and it never was, about her wild and sorry life, but about every individual's right to autonomy over his or her own body.

I wish people who oppose legal abortion would spend more time making this society safe for raising children -- in a family or alone -- and less time harassing women who feel economically or psychologically unfit to raise a child.
posted by judlew at 12:07 PM on June 20, 2003


no - see above. There are also people who regret not waiting until they had gotten somewhere with career / intellectual work / etc before having children, but we don't make it illegal to have children before you've figured out what you want to do with your life.

And abortion is not the only way to avoid that. And the point of my post was that thing that I really dislike about much of what I've seen of the pro-choice lobby is that when they discuss these issues, that fact often gets lost.

what about from women who don't regret it?

I think that's probably reasonable policy.

Of course, there's always the question of whether or not you're going to get a balanced presentation. A fervent pro-choice advocate who believes in a right to sexual activity without consequences and sees pregnancy as an inconvenience is very likely to have already seen my views as far right of center, and I can already tell you I'd be chewed out as a lefty devil by a number of people on the actual right for suggesting what I've suggested. The biggest problem with my idea would be there is no such thing as some idea of education that would please everyone, and mine definitely wouldn't. I suspect no one's would. I've taught Math in the public schools and that's controversial and doesn't even touch tough issues of human life and death and sexual freedom and what have you.

That said, *I* don't think it'd be that hard to sit down with woman and explain that abortion is a sensitive issue, that nobody knows exactly when a fetus becomes a person, but everyone knows that it's an incipient human life. Nobody knows how they'll feel about it later, but some women regret it on a deep level that's real. Explain to them the risks and difficulties of carrying a pregnancy to term, along with the benefits of not having worry about the afforementioned moral/ethical issues. Let them talk to women who've done it, as many of those of whom do or don't regret it as they like.

It's a thought.
posted by namespan at 12:31 PM on June 20, 2003


The court hearing her appeal has declined to reopen the case, as expected. She'll appeal that too, as was also expected.

This article also points out that the particular non-abortion in issue was the third child Norma put up for adoption; apparently she must not have had as strong a feeling about the first two.
posted by yhbc at 12:43 PM on June 20, 2003


What Norma McCorvey thinks or doesn't think about the 1973 decision is completely, wholly, and in all other ways immaterial. Cases are not accepted into the Supreme Court on the basis of the people involved with them - they are taken on because a segment of the Court feels the case touches upon some point of law or the Constitution that needs clarification. The Justices in Roe vs. Wade did not make the decision they did because of who Roe was or how she felt about it at the time; she was, as has been pointed out above, something of a pawn. Pretty much any of us common folk who are involved with a case that gets successfully appealed to the Supreme Court is.

Her opinion should have no more bearing on this issue than my next door neighbor Bubba.
posted by deadcowdan at 12:58 PM on June 20, 2003


It's not "woman" as pawn, it's Norma McCorvey as pawn. She was a pawn for the female attorneys who argued the case.

So females can use other females as pawns? I know 2nd and 3rd wave feminism import a lot from Marxism, but I was under the impression that feminism didn't buy the "you gotta break a few eggs" philosophy.
If (and this is a BIG if) McCorvey really was a pawn, then the feminists in question were letting the Big Idea justify allowing her to stay decieved. Most feminists wouldn't, I think, approve of such methods - McCorvey was anything but "empowered" is her story is true, which means her lawyers disempowered her to empower other women? Not cool. (Not really a legal basis for overturning the decision though.)

Re: Rosa Parks, she wasn't a dupe like McCorvey claims of herself. Parks was an active part of the movement before the bus ride, and though the event was planned, she was not unclear about what was going on. She doesn't, last time I heard, regret doing it or claim to have been duped.
posted by eustacescrubb at 1:36 PM on June 20, 2003


A fervent pro-choice advocate who believes in a right to sexual activity without consequences and sees pregnancy as an inconvenience...

I have met dozens, maybe hundreds of fervent pro-choice advocates and not one of them treated the concept of abortion so flippantly. I'm sure there are people out there who look at abortion more casually, and perhaps some women do consider it a form of contraception, but that isn't what the pro-choice movement is about. IMO, it is a myth created by those who oppose a woman's right to choose.
posted by jpoulos at 1:38 PM on June 20, 2003


side note: Anyone who has bothered to form an opinion about me and my political leanings, etc., might say that I'm farther to the right than the majority of this community - probably true. But I am pro-choice. So I can't help but think that pro-life, which is often tagged by the right, is actually much further right than the mid-point... like WAY right (if I may use such a phrase). I guess I also feel that way because the pro-life point of view is something that I just can't relate to at all (other than believing that abortion is a very unfortunate and awful event). Are there other right-ish people who feel similarly?
posted by Witty at 1:54 PM on June 20, 2003


And the point of my post was that thing that I really dislike about much of what I've seen of the pro-choice lobby is that when they discuss these issues, that fact often gets lost.

which facts get lost?

The biggest problem with my idea would be there is no such thing as some idea of education that would please everyone, and mine definitely wouldn't. I suspect no one's would.

Students already have sex ed classes; I don't know how much they learn about abortion, but I don't see why they shouldn't. However, guiding them towards having one or away from that choice doesn't seem like education; it seems like manipulation.

That said, *I* don't think it'd be that hard to sit down with woman and explain that abortion is a sensitive issue,

Explain to them that it's a sensitive issue?? Come on. You don't have to infantilize women; we're capable of understanding what we're dealing with.

that nobody knows exactly when a fetus becomes a person, but everyone knows that it's an incipient human life.

it isn't that "nobody knows", it's that we all disagree on the definition of human. We are able to tell quite a lot scientifically, and it's clear fetuses aren't conscious - probably that comes after a year or so on the outside - for instance. Before the third trimester, they don't even have a basic brain stem.

Nobody knows how they'll feel about it later, but some women regret it on a deep level that's real.

Anytime a person is faced with a major decision, she should be aware of the possibility of regret. But I think more people regret abortions because of fantasies about what having a child would have been like, without regard for the actuality that would have had to undergo.

Explain to them the risks and difficulties of carrying a pregnancy to term, along with the benefits of not having worry about the afforementioned moral/ethical issues.

But there are other moral / ethical issues - what if the father doesn't want to have a child? What if you don't have the money to properly care for a child? What if you're young and will resent the child for interrupting your life? etc.

So females can use other females as pawns? I know 2nd and 3rd wave feminism import a lot from Marxism, but I was under the impression that feminism didn't buy the "you gotta break a few eggs" philosophy.

I didn't mean it in the sense that she was sacrificed; I just meant her example was used by the women arguing the case who had researched and thought and made plans and figured out angles etc etc etc, while McCorvey was just someone who happened to fit the description they needed. She could have been anyone, and what she thinks about this now is not relevant to the arguments made about the case. She was a pawn in the sense that as an individual she had no impact on the movement.
posted by mdn at 2:10 PM on June 20, 2003


Simple question: When does a fetus become a human? At conception? At birth? Somewhere in-between?

Answering this will define the line between personal rights and killing another human being.
posted by jsonic at 3:03 PM on June 20, 2003


Explain to them that it's a sensitive issue?? Come on. You don't have to infantilize women; we're capable of understanding what we're dealing with.

I was aware of the potential impact of that statement, but chose to word it that way because I don't know how else to put it. For some women, say, those under 18 or 21 or some other arbitrary age but corresponding level of maturity, your statement may very well not be true. Also, I'm also speaking with a proposed voice of policy. In that case, you can consider that the state/community/whatever as speaking in the voice I did. I'm not implying that women may not have already developed the equipment to examine such issues or come to those conclusions. I am stating that society might set policy which ask for a second examination and consideration of a particular set of views, even while allowing for an individual choice. Or at least making that opportunity available and encouraging its use.

it isn't that "nobody knows", it's that we all disagree on the definition of human. We are able to tell quite a lot scientifically, and it's clear fetuses aren't conscious - probably that comes after a year or so on the outside - for instance. Before the third trimester, they don't even have a basic brain stem.

Your facts match with the ones that I'm aware of, but I don't think it changes the idea that nobody knows when a fetus becomes a person... precisely because of what you mentioned, the difficulty of agreeing on what that means. I don't find either the presence of a brain stem or the dictum of the catholic church to be compelling arguments. They both have epistimological problems (which are especially magnified in the eyes of people who don't accept the epistomologies on which they're based). From a policy standpoint -- and our discussion does include law here -- I think it's best to accept that no one can come up with what will be a widely accepted definition of when a fetus becomes a person.

This leaves aside whether not there are moral/ethical issues of how you treat an incipient human life, but those are likely just as real.

which facts get lost?

The fact that carrying the pregnancy to term does not necessarily mean assuming parental responsibility after that point. Take for example your comment:

But there are other moral / ethical issues - what if the father doesn't want to have a child? What if you don't have the money to properly care for a child? What if you're young and will resent the child for interrupting your life? etc.

If either parent does not want the child, adoption is a possibility. I personally know several couples who would likely assume costs of medical care for the mother if they could adopt following birth. Federal/State agencies also currently provide funding for care during pregnancy for those who cannot afford it.

Students already have sex ed classes; I don't know how much they learn about abortion, but I don't see why they shouldn't.

Sex Ed classes I've encountered as a student and educator tend to focus on mechanics or reproduction, and prevention of disease and pregnancy. This isn't a bad thing, but it's terrible preparation for the decision about what to do with a pregnancy.

However, guiding them towards having one or away from that choice doesn't seem like education; it seems like manipulation.

It may seem that way to you. I see encouraging alternatives to abortion and education of a set of possibilities as a far more beneficial policy decision than continual arguing about whether or not the state will dictate the decision.
posted by namespan at 3:08 PM on June 20, 2003


If either parent does not want the child, adoption is a possibility.

Giving up control of a child (an actual child by this point, not a potential child) to unknown persons is also a choice fraught with ethical implications.
posted by rushmc at 4:42 PM on June 20, 2003


If either parent does not want the child, adoption is a possibility.

It's not that easy sometimes. My pelvic bone will never be as it used to be. The joints in it loosened up during pregnancy and my pelvis simply never became stable again. For the last five years I have been in pain every minute and I can't walk more than half a mile. The doctors say that the chances of correcting (through surgery or otherwise) this are slim to none. I might never be able to work "normally". I can't dance which I really loved to do before this and I have trouble taking my child for walks.

Now my pregnancy wasn't planned but the child was very welcome. But imagine someone having an unwelcome pregnancy and ending up with this, a body that won't function properly. This could happen to anyone that gets pregnant and if the child is unwanted then imagine how the woman feels when she can't even carry a bag of groceries home.

This was my choice and I live with the result of that choice. For every other woman it should be their choice, for them to make and then live with. If the child is unwanted her health for the rest of her life might be a too big sacrifice.

Also, I believe that by using birthcontrol you have done what is in your power to prevent a pregnancy. I know several women that has become pregnant despite being on the pill. The youngest was only 16 (in Sweden 15 is the "legal age" for having sex) and still in high school. By the pro-lifers standards her education would have been ruined and she would have been forced to instead carry an unwelcome child. Tell me how that would have been fair when she were using protection? She wasn't just sloppy and careless.

People are not going to stop having sex so the only option is to make life safer for the women who end up in situations like these. To have an abortion is not an easy choice but it has to remain the woman's choice. She is the one who has to deal with it, and it has an impact on the rest of her life be it good or bad. The guy on the other hand is free to go at any time and they frequently do just that.
posted by Stomne at 5:16 PM on June 20, 2003


Giving up control of a child (an actual child by this point, not a potential child) to unknown persons is also a choice fraught with ethical implications.

Not to mention emotional ones.

I have to say that namespan's idea of having to jump through "educational" hoops to get an abortion really gives me the creeps.

Don't women already have to go through this crap in some states? (Including a waiting period some places, I believe). Somewhere recently I read about an initiative to make women receive education about "fetal development" before being able to get an abortion. It smacks of trying to make them feel as guilty as possible for a choice they've already made...
posted by beth at 5:18 PM on June 20, 2003


Giving up control of a child (an actual child by this point, not a potential child) to unknown persons is also a choice fraught with ethical implications.

Absolutely true. Any putative education like the one I'd propose would need to address issues surrounding it, as well as how various agencies that manage adoption approach it.

I have to say that namespan's idea of having to jump through "educational" hoops to get an abortion really gives me the creeps.

Don't women already have to go through this crap in some states? (Including a waiting period some places, I believe). Somewhere recently I read about an initiative to make women receive education about "fetal development" before being able to get an abortion. It smacks of trying to make them feel as guilty as possible for a choice they've already made...


I don't see why education necessarily implies guilt. I don't even see why encouragement towards the option of carrying to term -- while allowing and informing about other choices -- even implies guilt. That is, unless you somehow believe that presenting people with the details about that option activates some inherent moral imperative which, if you ignore, will automatically leave you guilt ridden. In which case, you really should be in my camp.

Nor do I see why a waiting/education period is reasonable for many things such as vehicle operation and firearms, but isn't considered so for terminating a pregnancy.

And Stomne, I appreciate your comments, and think you'd qualify as a good counselor for people examining such choices. : ) But I do want to point out that while the biological work of gestation is strictly and necessarily the work of the woman alone, law/policy regarding paternal responsibility, particularly fiscal, is becoming stronger. As it should.
posted by namespan at 6:07 PM on June 20, 2003


Nor do I see why a waiting/education period is reasonable for many things such as vehicle operation and firearms, but isn't considered so for terminating a pregnancy.

Easy. Terminating a pregnancy doesn't involve danger to another person.

It's a woman's personal choice about what goes on in her uterus. (And of course she should get informed medical consent about the procedure, as with any medical procedure).
posted by beth at 6:30 PM on June 20, 2003


I don't see why education necessarily implies guilt. I don't even see why encouragement towards the option of carrying to term -- while allowing and informing about other choices -- even implies guilt.

have you ever had to euthanize an animal? For some people, abortion is in a similar ethical zone: it's not wrong, but it isn't something one feels great about, either. Giving up a pet you dearly loved for whatever personal reasons needn't be accentuated by an educational session before the procedure where the counselor continually pushes to see if you understand that this is a sensitive issue and that people sometimes feel regret about it.

Similarly, women who go in for abortions are generally not making light hearted decisions on their way home from the gym - they've already thought about the issues you're bringing up. Sure, some of them will regret things later, but as I've said many times, that is true of all decisions. People regret stuff. That doesn't warrant a change in policy.
posted by mdn at 6:37 PM on June 20, 2003


I'm pro choice but I do realize that roe vs. wade has no legal basis. Isn't that why the dems don't want any SC judge appointed by Bush that will respect the constitution becuase Roe vs. Wade "could" be overturned?
posted by ZupanGOD at 3:18 PM on June 22, 2003


« Older Guinness This!   |   The Historical Museum of Southern Florida Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post