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April 30, 2005 12:41 AM   Subscribe

A Florida court has blocked a thirteen year old girl's abortion. The judge's ruling comes in spite of Florida state law which specifically does not require a minor to seek parental consent before an abortion.
posted by thirteenkiller (170 comments total)

 
Yeah yeah, I know I've whined about front page news posts before, but someone was gonna post it, so it might as well have been me.

Anyway, I put a lot of work into my other posts.
posted by thirteenkiller at 12:45 AM on April 30, 2005


posted by thirteenkiller at 12:41 AM PST

The irony, well, kills me.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 12:46 AM on April 30, 2005


but someone was gonna post it, so it might as well have been me.

Greatest reason ever to post a link.
posted by justgary at 1:02 AM on April 30, 2005


Greatest reason ever to post a link.

Reminds me of the interview where they asked the director of the shot-for-shot remake of Psycho why he did it.

His reply: So that no-one else does.
posted by Jairus at 1:07 AM on April 30, 2005


How long will it take for the left to be able to spin this in such a way that they can be against this without looking like complete dicks for wanting to let this girl kill her baby?
posted by Photar at 1:10 AM on April 30, 2005


Photar: wtf are you going on about?


"forcing a 13-year-old to carry on an unwanted pregnancy to term,"
Also, arn't there medical reasons why its a good idea for 13 year olds to not have babies.
posted by Iax at 1:15 AM on April 30, 2005


"Wanting to let this girl kill her baby" is a particularly tricky way of phrasing it, don't you think? I'm pro-life, but if anything these are the sorts of cases that make the arguments "tough." The physical risks to the mother are HUGE when a child is that young, compared to someone even a few years older.

One might just as easily ask, "How long will it take for the right to spin this in such a way that they can be against the procedure without looking like complete dicks who care more for fetuses than little girls?"
posted by verb at 1:15 AM on April 30, 2005


Or better, how long for the right to spin this as the 'good' kind of judicial activism?
posted by hincandenza at 1:18 AM on April 30, 2005


I won't be satisfied until she's sentenced to death by stoning for adultery.
Anything less is an abomination before the Lord.
posted by 2sheets at 1:35 AM on April 30, 2005 [1 favorite]


My sympathies go to the girl. It must be tough enough to deal with potentially being a mother or having to get rid of a child (either through abortion or adoption) and coping with the realities of the way it came about (I presume it was consensual act with a friend), without being kicked around on the political field.
posted by Navek Rednam at 1:53 AM on April 30, 2005


Even if they reverse the ruling it may be too late for this poor girl. Once she passes the three month mark it would be really hard for her to terminate the pregnancy, although her lawyers may be able to argue that carrying the fetus to term could affect her health.
posted by Devils Slide at 2:26 AM on April 30, 2005


If the girl is "too young and immature" to make an informed medical decision then by extension is she not too young to consent to sex? This begs the question why is the male genetic contributor not being charged with rape?

The girl in question is currently "under the care of the state" which makes the state her guardian, no? Is the state liable for anything? Could the girl file civil suit against the state at a later date for a) not preventing the sex b) preventing the abortion? Is the girl liable for child support? Can a woman be liable for child support on a child she doesn't want? I know men can since, as best I can tell, men have no right to not be a father but women do have such a right, I think. So, again, by extension, since the state is forcing the girl to be a parent can she argue they've violated her right not to be a parent and that negates her obligation to the child?

Anyhow, I'll pass on commenting on the abortion debate. Suffice it to say both sides will bang their drums, gnash their teeth, wail, pander to their base and in the end the girl will suffer under the slow grinding wheel of the court.
posted by cm at 3:07 AM on April 30, 2005


cm.. We have no idea as to the fate of the sperm donor, you're making an assumption... but...yes it would be statutory rape.

You're also making the assumption that she was a ward of the state when the sex happened, we don't know that either.

As for Photar's comment... I'm proud of everyone who's commented so far for not taking that bait! Good work!
posted by HuronBob at 3:29 AM on April 30, 2005


Florida's department of children and families intervened and took the matter to court, arguing the teenager, who is under the care of the state, is too young and immature to make an informed medical decision. Judge Ronald Alvarez in Palm Beach accepted that argument and has granted a temporary injunction and psychological evaluation, which effectively blocks her from terminating the pregnancy.

This is not a 'medical decision'.

An abortion kills the life of a baby after it has begun... Birth control merely postpones the beginning of life. ~ Planned Parenthood "Plan Your Children" pamphlet in 1963.

There is no difference between a first trimester, a second trimester, a third trimester abortion or infanticide. It's all the same human being in different stages of development. ~ Dr. Arnold Halpern

murder: killing an innocent person when you have the ability not to kill that person.

person: someone with unique human chromosomes that will continue to grow if provided with nutrition and protection. The only reason to suggest ANY other definition is to justify killing other people.

child: a person with 2 parents

abortion = child murder
posted by bevets at 3:51 AM on April 30, 2005


Did you have to mention "taking the bait", HuronBob? Now look at who you summoned.
posted by DaShiv at 3:58 AM on April 30, 2005


Birth control merely postpones the beginning of life.

I know a lot of guys have been postponing childbirth for a while now.

Planned Parenthood "Plan Your Children" pamphlet in 1963.

Ha!
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:08 AM on April 30, 2005


More complete story

With this enlightening snippet:

- "At her age and at her stage of gestation ... her risk of death from an abortion procedure is about 1 in 34,000," said Jones, who has held positions at Planned Parenthood and the ACLU. "The risk of death in pregnancy is about 1 in 10,000."
posted by Navek Rednam at 4:33 AM on April 30, 2005


oh, this thread's gonna be fun...
posted by Stauf at 4:35 AM on April 30, 2005


Goddamn activist judges.
posted by graventy at 4:39 AM on April 30, 2005


Bevets, it may be "murder" by your definition, but it isn't by Florida's definitions. The issue here isn't a semantic one: it's that Florida is ignoring its own state laws in singling out this girl and denying her rights already granted by law.

But, folks like you, driven by emotion rather than a respect for the rule of law, don't mind setting law aside in favor of your view (which you take to be the only valid view).

Here's one for your list of "definitions":

zealot: one who believes at the expense of logic
posted by wheat at 4:41 AM on April 30, 2005


definitions: are more fun when you don't use the dictionary
posted by mek at 4:57 AM on April 30, 2005


What is to prevent her from leaving the state and getting an abortion elsewhere?
posted by sciurus at 5:07 AM on April 30, 2005


Settles in for massive, massive trainwreck...
posted by fixedgear at 5:12 AM on April 30, 2005


Popcorn anyone?
posted by HuronBob at 5:15 AM on April 30, 2005


Thanks, HuronBob.

(Why do I have to live in the crazy state? Why?)
posted by cmyk at 5:24 AM on April 30, 2005


cm.. We have no idea as to the fate of the sperm donor, you're making an assumption... but...yes it would be statutory rape.

Actually, in Florida it would only be statutory rape if the "other party" was over 24.

Also, according to this DOJ Article, it is a separate crime in Florida to impregnate a minor if you are over 24.

murder: killing an innocent person when you have the ability not to kill that person.

bevets - nope, murder is an intentional killing that is unsanctioned at law. As opposed to manslaughter, which is a reckless killing unsanctioned by law; negligent homicide (which exists in some states), you guessed it, an accidental killing unsanctioned by law.
Now compare this to abortion, which is wholly sanctioned under law (in most states), unlike infanticide.

Just because you kill "an innocent" doesn't mean its murder. What about every time you don't give money to Sally Struthers to save some starving African kid? And think of all the good that could be done if all the rabid anti-abortion and pro-abortion people just accepted the state of things, that abortion is legal but not socially accepted, and put that effort into something positive. Something like stopping hunger in Africa, or stopping hunger in the US.

P.S. Orange County (my hometown) has recently started a program that I think is an interesting way of addressing unwanted pregnancies.
posted by slm303 at 5:26 AM on April 30, 2005


Would now be a good time to bring up my idea to build a giant concrete wall along the southern border of Georgia?
posted by RavinDave at 5:42 AM on April 30, 2005


DCF attorney Jeffrey Gillen said he was concerned L.G. was more likely to suffer "detrimental effects" if she underwent an abortion because she had psychiatric or behavioral problems in the past.

Having a child at age thirteen, however, wouldn't be quite so detrimental?

Not old or mature enough to make a decision on having an abortion, but perfectly mature enough to become a mother. That's called "family values," I guess.
posted by leftcoastbob at 5:49 AM on April 30, 2005


An abortion kills the life of a baby after it has begun... Birth control merely postpones the beginning of life. ~ Planned Parenthood "Plan Your Children" pamphlet in 1963.

There is no difference between a first trimester, a second trimester, a third trimester abortion or infanticide. It's all the same human being in different stages of development. ~ Dr. Arnold Halpern

murder: killing an innocent person when you have the ability not to kill that person.

person: someone with unique human chromosomes that will continue to grow if provided with nutrition and protection. The only reason to suggest ANY other definition is to justify killing other people.

child: a person with 2 parents

abortion = child murder


wheat

Bevets, it may be "murder" by your definition, but it isn't by Florida's definitions.

slm303

nope, murder is an intentional killing that is unsanctioned at law... Now compare this to abortion, which is wholly sanctioned under law (in most states), unlike infanticide.

Stoning women (but not men) for adultery has been legally sanctioned.

Selling another human being has been legally sanctioned.

Killing jews has been legally sanctioned.

Legality does not trump Morality. It is morally wrong to murder someone -- regardless of the law. The fact that child murder is currently legal, does not mean child murder should be legal.
posted by bevets at 5:53 AM on April 30, 2005


Who needs examples to use in their paper about people moving things around in their head to fit in with their opinions?
posted by foodeater at 5:58 AM on April 30, 2005


I work in an "alternative" Catholic high school for students who are on the verge of quitting school. About a third of my female students are either pregnant or expecting. The reality of this situation remains quite sobering for me.
Near the end of the school year last year, another teacher and I were talking in the staff room during a break, and she confided in me with a whisper that her views about abortion were pretty cut and dry before working there, but that now she's "not so sure".
posted by foodeater at 6:12 AM on April 30, 2005


"Legality does not trump Morality."

Of course it does, and it happens all the time. Although it's easy to argue that legalities are the 'offspring' (sorry had to) of morality, it doesn't mean they are trumped by it - legally. The problem with morality is it is loosely defined. We all know it's wrong to kill but suddenly, when you attach the word, 'War' to it, it becomes foggy. You can see the moral divide right in this thread and I expect each side could argue indefinitely about their moral high ground.

Morality as defined by you is different than the morality as defined by someone else. It's YOUR standard, not humanity's standard. This is why we have law - it helps to take all of the skewed views of morality and make some sense of them.
posted by j.p. Hung at 6:14 AM on April 30, 2005


Does the DCF in this case have plans to put the baby up for adoption? The "more extensive" article indicates that they would take the child at birth, so the question becomes, what then? Is this kid just going to grow up bouncing around foster homes? If so, wouldn't it be in the State's best interest to let this girl have the abortion to avoid placing further burden on the system?

But of course that line of reasoning will never work in Florida because it touches the hazy shores of logic.

(Also : bevets is making my head spin. Killing Jews has been legally sanctioned! Let's all revert to [insert time period here] and follow wacky laws! Hell, let's go back Biblical times and demand that pork be taken off the market! *rolls eyes*)
posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:14 AM on April 30, 2005


May I echo the estimable Mayor Curley?

Up yours, bevets. A ball of cells is not a child. Nor is the salamandre-like creature this thirteen-year-old's fetus is. They have no self-awareness, and would not survive if taken from the mother.

additionally, way to ignore the true point of why we're all het up--a judge, who is supposed to rule on the law chose to ignore that law, and rule by his morals. Can you understand that this is wrong? Can you understand that aforesaid judge should have looked at ALL the available information and, oh, maybe not gone against state law?

I once had the honor of hearing the judge who ruled gay and lesbian adoption legal in the state of Delaware talk. Someone, of course, asked him if he morally agreed with gay and lesbian adoption; he smoothly replied that what he personally believed was irrelevant. His Catholicism was left at the door, he said, and he examined the facts in evidence, and the existing laws, and found the facts overruled them. The Florida judge, from evidence given on this thread did not review the facts before him, blatantly ignored state law, and decided that a young teenager giving birth and being saddled with a baby for the rest of her lifewas less detrimental than an abortion.
posted by kalimac at 6:15 AM on April 30, 2005


"'At her age and at her stage of gestation ... her risk of death from an abortion procedure is about 1 in 34,000,' said Jones, who has held positions at Planned Parenthood and the ACLU. 'The risk of death in pregnancy is about 1 in 10,000.'"

bevets writes " Legality does not trump Morality. It is morally wrong to murder someone -- regardless of the law. The fact that child murder is currently legal, does not mean child murder should be legal."

And the 13-year-old child in this case? What about the risk of her death, which if court-sanctioned could be considered murder?
"...illegal abortion made a lot of women sick. It was a problem because there were urban public hospitals, like Philadelphia General and Los Angeles County, in which entire wards had been ceded to patients trying to recover from illegal abortion; at Los Angeles County, on any given afternoon during the late 1950s and early 1960s, fifty to one hundred patients at a time were separated off into what the doctors referred to as Infected OB.

Every one of these wards, over the years leading into the mid-1960s, produced physicians whose personal encounters with criminal abortion complications were to haunt them for many years afterward. 'Infected OB is what they called it, but it was mostly infected abortions,' recalls Gail Anderson, the Los Angeles medical professor... 'It looked like a set of intensive-care units, all full of abortion patients. If you can imagine walking into a room where there's anywhere from five to ten patients all attached to tubes of whatever—many times they were jaundiced from infections. You've got foul-smelling stuff coming from their uteruses. You've got shock. And in some cases you'd have patients in congestive heart failure. They'd die, in congestive heart failure, foaming at the mouth.'

Gail Anderson walked the Infected OB ward every working day of his tenure at County's obstetrical and gynecological service, and when he took over the hospital's emergency medicine department and people wondered how an ob/gyn man could switch so seamlessly to trauma, he would always say: Well, if you had been where I have for the last thirteen years, you wouldn't need to ask. And around the country there were other physicians like Gail Anderson, doctors who had seen enough abortion patients to accumulate detailed casualty accountings of their own: bicycle spokes, umbrella spokes, Lysol, burned holes in the rectum, feces passing through the vagina, the sickest women I ever saw (Cynthia Gorney, Articles of Faith: A Frontline History of the Abortion Wars: pp. 25–26).
Abortion is legal to prevent these deaths. I'm not interested in any version of morality that wouldn't prevent that shit.
posted by heatherann at 6:25 AM on April 30, 2005


Legality does not trump Morality. It is morally wrong to murder someone -- regardless of the law. The fact that child murder is currently legal, does not mean child murder should be legal.

The problem is that you believe your morals are absolute and everyone should have the same ones as you. I believe in a different set of morals.

Compromise is the foundation of civil society. Absolutism is the foundation of tyranny.
posted by srboisvert at 6:31 AM on April 30, 2005


geez, people. didn't you get the Bevets memo?
posted by mek at 6:37 AM on April 30, 2005


Like it or not, this is yet another baby step by America towards a religious state.
posted by furtive at 6:40 AM on April 30, 2005


cm : "This begs the question why is the male genetic contributor not being charged with rape?"

It doesn't beg the question, it raises the question. As slm303 points out, as well, it only becomes rape when the partner is above a certain age, or a certain age difference (For example, if memory serves me, in Texas statutory rape laws apply whenever a minor has sex and their partner is more than two years older than them. That is, person A=13, M=15, not rape. F=13, M=17, rape. F=17, M=19, not rape (even though he's an adult and she's a minor). F=17, M=20, rape. But, again, this is my memory I'm relying on, so take it as an example of a possible answer to your question, and not definitive fact).

bevets : " There is no difference between a first trimester, a second trimester, a third trimester abortion or infanticide."

Er...yes, there is. The first trimester comes first, then the second, and then the third. If there were no difference, they'd all happen at the same time, and preganancies would take 1/3 the time.

bevets : " person: someone with unique human chromosomes that will continue to grow if provided with nutrition and protection."

Doesn't that make cancer a person?
posted by Bugbread at 6:48 AM on April 30, 2005


"Like it or not, this is yet another baby step by America towards a religious state."

Relax. The girl is 13 years old. All legalities aside, it's not an unreasonable conclusion for the judge to say she is too young to decide for herself. Once all the legal crap is added it gets murky but on the face of it, he's not off the plantation here. I'd hardly say this is some religious coup. I'm more worried about that Senator down south wanting to ban anything that's ever been written or thought of by a gay person (can't remember the idiots name but saw the story on the news).

"The problem is that you believe your morals are absolute and everyone should have the same ones as you."

See what I'm saying bevets?
posted by j.p. Hung at 6:50 AM on April 30, 2005


It is morally wrong to murder someone -- regardless of the law.

WooHoo! War is illegal!! It is imperative that we arrest Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld now! String 'em up boys!

The 101st Fighting Keyboarders are guilty of advocating MURDER!

Protect the American blastocysts!

The NRA should demand they be adequately armed in order to protect themselves.

The fundies LOVE activist judges!
posted by nofundy at 6:50 AM on April 30, 2005


murder: killing an innocent person when you have the ability not to kill that person.

person: someone with unique human chromosomes that will continue to grow if provided with nutrition and protection. The only reason to suggest ANY other definition is to justify killing other people.

child: a person with 2 parents

abortion = child murder

Legality does not trump Morality. It is morally wrong to murder someone -- regardless of the law. The fact that child murder is currently legal, does not mean child murder should be legal.


j.p. Hung

Morality as defined by you is different than the morality as defined by someone else. It's YOUR standard, not humanity's standard. This is why we have law - it helps to take all of the skewed views of morality and make some sense of them.

Murder is ALWAYS wrong.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

kalimac

A ball of cells is not a child. Nor is the salamandre-like creature this thirteen-year-old's fetus is.

You are also a clump of cells. The only difference between you and this child is time and nutrition.

Victims? Don't be melodramatic. Look down there. Would you really feel any pity if one of those dots stopped moving forever? If I offered you 20,000 pounds for every dot that stopped, would you really, old man, tell me to keep my money? Or would you calculate how many dots you could afford to spare? Free of income tax, old man, free of income tax. The only way you can save money nowadays. ~ Harry Lime
posted by bevets at 6:51 AM on April 30, 2005


?
posted by foodeater at 6:57 AM on April 30, 2005


We had a discussion just like this the day I joined Metafilter, which was four years ago today. It didn't really go anywhere either.
posted by drezdn at 6:58 AM on April 30, 2005


Been through this issue with bevets, what, a half dozen or so times now on the blue? Don't try to convince him; you can't. You can only hope to contain him.
posted by psmealey at 7:03 AM on April 30, 2005


bevets : " Murder is ALWAYS wrong."

No it isn't.

bevets : " You are also a clump of cells."

So is cancer.
posted by Bugbread at 7:06 AM on April 30, 2005


i was just waiting for this to hit here. sadly, the news doesn't cover all the facts but you guys have touched on some important questions - points i wish more people who had decision making power down here would consider.

please consider setting aside your judgement against her - you don't know her life or the circumstances of this pregnancy. she's still a child.
posted by snack at 7:08 AM on April 30, 2005


"Murder is ALWAYS wrong."

Well Bevets, you might want to talk to the Pope about that. Seems the religious leader of over a billion 'moral' folks and his vatican have a dispensation for war time Murder. Or are you going to tell me that killing someone during war isn't murder? What about a Fatwah? This can go on forever.

It would help if you made more cogent points instead of blanket statements.
posted by j.p. Hung at 7:09 AM on April 30, 2005


So is a Dermoid Cyst!
posted by sian at 7:17 AM on April 30, 2005


bugbread

murder: killing an innocent person when you have the ability not to kill that person.

bevets : " Murder is ALWAYS wrong."

No it isn't.


Contradiction is not arguement. Please define murder and explain when it is not wrong.

person: someone with unique human chromosomes that will continue to grow if provided with nutrition and protection. The only reason to suggest ANY other definition is to justify killing other people.

bevets : " You are also a clump of cells."

So is cancer.


Most people acknowledge the difference between 'a child' and 'a tumor' (unless they intend to murder the child). No one has ever grieved the loss of a tumor.
posted by bevets at 7:22 AM on April 30, 2005


"No one has ever grieved the loss of a tumor."

You insensitive bastard!
posted by j.p. Hung at 7:28 AM on April 30, 2005 [1 favorite]


Save the theoretical future babies! Each one is precious. Remember Bevets, every time YOU don't rape a random 13-year old, you're killing a theoretical future baby. A baby that might be the next president! You're not a murderer are you? No, so stop wasting your time here and get your pants off.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 7:31 AM on April 30, 2005


Can we please spare Metafilter an actual argument about abortion, please?

Everyone please repeat after me...

Morality is subjective.

Social interpretations of biological state are subjective.

No matter how much information and argument is given, everyone has their own subjective opinions about these issues.

Can we focus on the young lady who has just been put into a legal situation where (a) her rights under state law are being blocked, and (b) a resolution to her situation may not come until after the legal window to exercise those rights?
posted by VulcanMike at 7:33 AM on April 30, 2005


I apologize for feeding the troll. I did not realize that bevets has a habit of employing his tactics to disrupt threads rather than contribute to them. I didn't realize he's a person who equates slippery slope fallacies with argument, ignores all questions put to him by other posters, and never saw a red herring he didn't like.

Since he is a person who believes that ". . . God (the creator) sets the standards and man (the creature) doesn't get a vote" (source), there's no point--from his perspective--in discussing public policy or law, apart from laws in his favorite book. We elect judges to uphold the laws of the land, not the laws of their private conscience. But why address that (larger) issue when you can kick up dust instead? It's more fun, after all, and it takes less effort.

I would like to point out that, by bevets own definition, the god of the old testament is a murderer). I'd also like to point out that guilt or innocence of the victim plays no part in the definition of murder.
posted by wheat at 7:34 AM on April 30, 2005


VulcanMike

Morality is subjective.

Can we focus on the young lady who has just been put into a legal situation where (a) her rights under state law are being blocked, and (b) a resolution to her situation may not come until after the legal window to exercise those rights?


You have just claimed all morality is subjective, why are you concerned about someone's 'rights'? Why should anyone else share your concern?
posted by bevets at 7:38 AM on April 30, 2005 [1 favorite]


Happy MeFi-Birthday drezdn!
posted by sciurus at 7:39 AM on April 30, 2005


Sadly there are two flaws in bevets' argument:
1) There is no god
2) bevets is a twunt

Point 1 has been discussed at length, and I believe point 2 is one of Euclid's postulatory axioms - qed.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 7:43 AM on April 30, 2005 [1 favorite]


it gets terribly frustrating when the naysayers decide this isn't an argument about legal rights or abortion, but why an adoptive family didn't step up to the plate and adopt her.

this is becoming more and more ridiculous.

i had a judge ask me once why i couldn't find a family to adopt one of my pre-teen sibling groups. i told him directly that if he had one in mind, i'd be willing to consider them.
posted by snack at 7:44 AM on April 30, 2005


It's always so sad when the judiciary has to step in and defend the public from an activist legislature.
posted by aaronetc at 7:52 AM on April 30, 2005


Ok, enough with the standard abortion arguments -- we've covered that ground before.

More interesting is whether denying wards abortions this is a new policy or the continuation of an existing policy at the DCF. (This is the same DCF that lost a child three years ago, and still hasn't found her, right? And the same DCF that Jeb Bush wanted to use to "save" Terry Schiavo?)

If it's a new policy, who came up with it and why? Specifically, is this another instance of Jeb Bush pandering to the Christian Right with a "Culture of Life" conflict bound to get lots of press?

And does Jeb want to win or -- as I suspected in the Schiavo case -- does Jeb want to lose into order to play into the "persecuted Christian martyr" role that seems to resonate so well with the Christian Right, which constantly complains that the atheists and the homosexuals and the abortionists and the liberals are conspiring to take away their Christ?

Is losing "Culture of Life" wars a tactic to make the Christian Right feel marginalized, so that some Election Day they'll be angry, mobilized, and desperate for a win?
posted by orthogonality at 8:01 AM on April 30, 2005


bevets : " Contradiction is not arguement."
I think Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best:
Not less conspicuous is the preponderance of nature over will in all practical life. There is less intention in history than we ascribe to it. We impute deep-laid, far-sighted plans to Caesar and Napoleon; but the best of their power was in nature, not in them.
bevets : " Most people acknowledge the difference between 'a child' and 'a tumor'"

Most people acknowledge the difference between 'a child' and 'a foetus'.

bevets : "Why should anyone else share your concern?"

It's a hobby.
posted by Bugbread at 8:07 AM on April 30, 2005


What I'm about to say may piss a lot of people off, so call me what you like...

What the hell is a 13 year-old girl doing having sex anyway? In my view, she should be forced to keep it. If you're going to be stupid and have (consensual) sex at that young of an age, you better be damn ready to accept the consequences of your actions. And the parents definately should have the right to know what their minor daughter is doing.

DISCLAIMER: I personally, am pro-choice, but cases like this to me seem like abuse of the right to have an abortion.


posted by C17H19NO3 at 8:15 AM on April 30, 2005


C17H19NO3 - how do you know the sex was consensual? none of the articles have addressed that point.

she has no parents. they lost rights to her because they either abused her or neglected her. she's been in foster care for years.
posted by snack at 8:19 AM on April 30, 2005


C17H19NO3 's right, that little harlot should be forced to deal with the consequences of having a body that matured more quickly than her mind. Ruining two lives is certainly an appropriate punishment for her not knowing the consequences of sex at age 13.
posted by Space Coyote at 8:20 AM on April 30, 2005


In my view, she should be forced to keep it. If you're going to be stupid and have (consensual) sex at that young of an age, you better be damn ready to accept the consequences of your actions.

I feel the same way about unsupervised children who stick flatware in electrical outlets. They deserve to get a brain-damaging shock. Surely, someone must have warned them about the dangers. Whether they're capable of fully understanding the warning is irrelevant.
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:23 AM on April 30, 2005


Goodness knows, having a child in foster care give birth is a great idea. We NEED to be spreading foster care among as many generations, simultaneously, as we can.

Teach this child as soon as possible that pregnancy is 9 months of risk to your life, then the state takes the baby (that they forced you to have) away as soon as it's born. Yep, that's the lesson needed.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 8:24 AM on April 30, 2005


What the hell is a 13 year-old girl doing having sex anyway? In my view, she should be forced to keep it.

Thanks, C17. Have you thought about a career in social work?

This kid is a ward of the state, which is one big clue. A thirteen-year-old who has been taken away from/abandoned by parents doesn't have an excellent support structure to foster responsible behavior. Do you remember what it was like to be 13? Were you making good decisions?
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 8:29 AM on April 30, 2005


*looks around for articlebot*
posted by warbaby at 8:32 AM on April 30, 2005


Must learn to look at other posts on preview.../sorry for repeating the sentiment of the last four comments/

Maybe C17 should help the state name this child.
All I can think of is Hester Prynne and Terri Shiavo.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 8:34 AM on April 30, 2005


A very good point, C17. And I'll bet that if she had had abstinence-only training, this never would have occurred.

And if they bring back the stocks, we can set her in the public square so that all the other little kids can look at her swelling belly day after day and be reminded of the wages of sin.

And then when we force her to keep the child and sew a scarlet letter on her dress, she can get a job and support the little bastard. (Not that there's much in the way of employment for 14-yr-olds, but there's always the porn industry.)

The when this child's child grows up to be a happy, productive Christian-thinking adult, the circle will be complete.
posted by leftcoastbob at 8:38 AM on April 30, 2005 [1 favorite]


hahaha I love metafilter.
posted by Photar at 8:39 AM on April 30, 2005


Metafilter + trainwreck, 308 hits on google...oops.... 309

I need more popcorn
posted by HuronBob at 8:40 AM on April 30, 2005


I restrained myself from having sex until 18...My childhood was bumpy as well, simply having a rough childhood is not an excuse. When I was thirteen, I was mostly free to do whatever I wanted, but I wasn't into drugs/sex. Maybe that's why I have a hard time comprehending why people do these things.

Ruining two lives is certainly an appropriate punishment for her not knowing the consequences of sex at age 13.


Taking the baby and putting it up for adoption is not ruining it's life. Plenty of people are adopted at infancy and grow up to lead productive lives. At a young age such as that, allowing an abortion may cause them to have an "Oh, I can have sex because I could always get an abortion if I become pregnant" attitude.
posted by C17H19NO3 at 8:41 AM on April 30, 2005


srboisvert:

> The problem is that you believe your morals are absolute and everyone should have
> the same ones as you. I believe in a different set of morals.
>
> Compromise is the foundation of civil society. Absolutism is the foundation of tyranny.

Ready to compromise on slavery, srb? If not, why not? I'm stocking a plantation down here in GA and I have an option on a couple kids from Cote d'Ivoire, only pending your assurance that your abhorrance of slavery is just a relative thing for you and you don't plan on laying any kind of moral-absolutism trip on me. Please make it snappy, my vendor says he's got customers in Ghana, Liberia, Togo, all over the place really, and they're hot to do a deal and my option expires Monday.
posted by jfuller at 8:44 AM on April 30, 2005


At a young age such as that, allowing an abortion may cause them to have an "Oh, I can have sex because I could always get an abortion if I become pregnant" attitude.

Yeah, cause abortion's such an easy and comfortable experience. Yup, nothing to be worried about there.
posted by raena at 8:45 AM on April 30, 2005


Maybe C17 should help the state name this child.
All I can think of is Hester Prynne and Terri Shiavo.

Not funny. I totally supported Michael Schiavo and Terri's right to die.
posted by C17H19NO3 at 8:46 AM on April 30, 2005


gesamtkunstwerk

Do you remember what it was like to be 13? Were you making good decisions?

Many women have learned that abortion is a bad decision
posted by bevets at 8:49 AM on April 30, 2005


I restrained myself from having sex until 18...My childhood was bumpy as well, simply having a rough childhood is not an excuse. When I was thirteen, I was mostly free to do whatever I wanted, but I wasn't into drugs/sex. Maybe that's why I have a hard time comprehending why people do these things.

perhaps your "bumpy" childhood pales in comparison to hers. i'm glad you can rationalize your behaviors and turn them into moralistic bumper stickers to slap across everyone else's actions.

you must be proud.
posted by snack at 8:49 AM on April 30, 2005


jfuller says abortionis the same is slavery, but unless he advocates stoning adulterers to death, well then he's just another big fat moral relativist.
posted by Space Coyote at 8:50 AM on April 30, 2005


In response to raena's post:
I'm just saying that abortion seems to be an "easy way out" of a pregnancy, especially to a young teenager.
posted by C17H19NO3 at 8:52 AM on April 30, 2005


I note that the judge in this case was involved in smacking down the "Right to Know" law. So much for the "kill the umpire!" calls.

Maybe he's related to HuronBob...

This trainwreck is having an awfully slow start. Could we pick up the pace, please?
posted by warbaby at 8:52 AM on April 30, 2005


Ok, this subject went sour fast, so I am just going to shut up now.
posted by C17H19NO3 at 8:53 AM on April 30, 2005


...looking like complete dicks who care more for fetuses than little girls...

Exactly. How dare they? As mentioned in the (second) article, the girl did the right thing: L.G. said her caseworker had taken her on three visits to clinics, and risks and alternatives to abortion were discussed.
She should be praised for knowing how to deal with this, instead of being forced to have a kid she won't be allowed to keep. Would people rather that she kept it a secret, gave birth in an alley or bathroom, and dumped it?
posted by amberglow at 8:54 AM on April 30, 2005


Yeah, I'm sure that abortion is such a pleasant procedure physically and emotionally that will be the first thing to cross her mind C17...
posted by substrate at 9:01 AM on April 30, 2005


I [heart] this thread.
posted by etc. at 9:03 AM on April 30, 2005


Many women have learned that abortion is a bad decision

There is really no easy choice for an unwanted pregnancy. Abortion can be very painful, as can losing your childhood to parenthood. There are physical risks each way, though abortion is statistically safer. I know two women who were pregnant at a very early age (one by her pastor, the other by a fundamentalist uncle). Neither could not have children as an adult. One gave her child up for adoption; the other had an abortion. Today they are responsible, smart women, and they shy away from telling women what is right and wrong.

I've never had to choose. But I do know that it's never easy for anyone.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 9:04 AM on April 30, 2005


I mean both are shy about telling people what right and wrong when it comes to pregnancy. Both are pretty adamant about sex-ed.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 9:05 AM on April 30, 2005


I am so tired of Florida, they seem to have a disproportionate amount of controversies. Can we just give it to Cuba, or saw it off and let it float away... anything? Please?
posted by edgeways at 9:07 AM on April 30, 2005


warbaby

judge alvarez isn't the most beloved judge of the 15th circuit but he does care about the kids. he's presided over a couple of my adoptions.

these judges drive me crazy but their hearts are in the right place. they really care about the kids.
posted by snack at 9:09 AM on April 30, 2005


In my view, she should be forced to keep it. If you're going to be stupid and have (consensual) sex at that young of an age, you better be damn ready to accept the consequences of your actions.

I feel the same way about unsupervised children who stick flatware in electrical outlets. They deserve to get a brain-damaging shock. Surely, someone must have warned them about the dangers. Whether they're capable of fully understanding the warning is irrelevant.


See, we have the perfect solution: Make her have the baby, then make sure its nursery is well-stocked with thin metal thingies and electrical outlets. Who could possibly have a problem with that?
posted by TedW at 9:11 AM on April 30, 2005


I agree with edgeways. I think we should take away Florida's privileges as a state until they can learn to behave responsibly.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 9:17 AM on April 30, 2005


I wonder if that's how the rest of the world feels about America as a whole.
posted by C17H19NO3 at 9:22 AM on April 30, 2005


As judges go, I like this guy.

there's a saying that "hard cases make bad law" -- the converse is also true: bad law makes hard cases.

From the Washington Post article:
The girl learned she was pregnant two weeks ago and planned to have an abortion Tuesday. Her caseworker arranged for transportation and help. But the DCF asked Alvarez to block the procedure, citing a state law that says the agency cannot consent to any abortion.

Alvarez granted the request, prompting an immediate appeal by the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU says Florida statutes protect a minor's right to decide on an abortion.

The 4th District Court of Appeal said it will make its decision soon.
posted by warbaby at 9:22 AM on April 30, 2005


Scirius asks: What is to prevent her from leaving the state and getting an abortion elsewhere?

Funny you should mention that! One might indeed wonder why an older aunt or sister or even the impregnator wouldtn't take her to another state to have an abortion...well they better hurry because Bill Frist is working on cutting off that option too. Last Wed, the House passed the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act that would make it a federal offense for someone to bring a minor to another state for an abortion without parental notification. At this rate, it'll be back to the coathangers and illegal abortion mills in no time.

Of course, with better birth control information, these situations might occur less frequently. But zealots want to limit access to that too. In fact, they apparently lack such concern for the lives of women, they are willing to let women risk cervical cancer rather than provide them with information about life-saving vaccines to avoid the appearance of sanctioning sex.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:23 AM on April 30, 2005


If the girl is "too young and immature" to make an informed medical decision then by extension is she not too young to consent to sex? This begs the question why is the male genetic contributor not being charged with rape?

Hold the phone. If the "male genetic contributor" was an adult, I would hope that he is being charged, but then it would probably be widely reported, too. What if the male is also, say, 13? Then he should be charged with rape? Why would his immature consent be valid?

There was a -- little-known -- legal situation here in Canada for awhile where a woman who got drunk and slept with a guy -- who also got drunk -- was not legally responsible for her actions (she could not consent) but alcohol couldn't be permitted to be "an excuse" so he WAS still legally responsible (his drunken consent mattered). You can just imagine what kind of ridiculous precedent this sets (alas, our Charter is still largely interpreted in terms of "redress for members of groups who have historically suffered discrimination" -- forget current discrimination in any form)

I hope that I'm just reading things into your comment that you didn't intend. An adult -- YES -- should absolutely be charged.
posted by dreamsign at 9:28 AM on April 30, 2005


bevets: " Contradiction is not arguement."

"The only reason to suggest ANY other definition is to justify killing other people."
Obstinate exclusion of contradiction does not a definition make.

Oh, and I'm shocked and pleased by your report that it's legally sanctioned to kill Jews. Does that mean I get to pre-emptively defend myself and bash your skull in? It'd be the only moral thing to do. Trumped!
posted by Busithoth at 9:31 AM on April 30, 2005


gesamtkunstwerk...I think we should take away Florida's privileges as a state until they can learn to behave responsibly.
C17H19NO3... I wonder if that's how the rest of the world feels about America as a whole.

Shit no!!!
Soap-Opera-USA has moved ahead of soccer as the world's leading sportainment.
posted by peacay at 9:32 AM on April 30, 2005


Space Coyote:

> jfuller says abortion is the same is slavery, but unless he advocates stoning adulterers
> to death, well then he's just another big fat moral relativist.

Why no, spacey, I didn't say abortion and slavery are equally evil, though both are evils. My point was that, for any of the self-announced moral relativists we have around here, it's no trick at all to come up with an evil concerning which their moral relativism evaporates faster than dew in the noonday sun. For all of us, moral relativism only applies to those things we don't care much about.

Now you mention it, though, I do think stoning adulterers is a damn good idea. Just the guys, though.
posted by jfuller at 9:33 AM on April 30, 2005


A Florida law on the books for years says the state agency cannot consent to an abortion in any case.

But attorneys who work with foster children say DCF has rarely used that law to block an abortion sought by a child in foster care. Hadi's decision goes against state Supreme Court rulings that girls do not need parents' permission to get an abortion, some said.

Attorney Carolyn Salisbury, who represents children in foster care through the University of Miami's Children and Youth Law Clinic, said girls have been having abortions for decades without interference.

Normally, state caseworkers aren't involved, Salisbury said. A foster parent, attorney or friend drives the girl to the appointment. A private organization in Miami-Dade County donates money for the abortions so the state doesn't have to pay. In some cases, she said, the state never even knows.

"There's no reason for the state to know. It's a private decision," she said.

from the palm beach post

the problem with this case is that the girl went to her worker - and the muckity mucks got wind of it. the sad part is that we're here for exactly that reason. to be a safe, loving, trusted adult for these kids. she's in a shelter - there was no foster parent to step in (or relative). and if she had gone to one of the shelter staff, they would have told the worker anyway (as would a good foster parent).
posted by snack at 9:35 AM on April 30, 2005


snack, you nailed it. This case wouldn't exist if some pointy-haired boss hadn't stuck his/her oar in. The real bone of contention is the state law constraining the agency to act like christofascists.

=====

And this was really cute.

bevets: " Contradiction is not arguement."

Jesus Christ on a pogo stick! For a moment there, I thought bevets actually had a sense of humor and was quoting the Monty Python "Argument Shop" skit.

No such luck.
posted by warbaby at 9:48 AM on April 30, 2005


But she was right to go to her case worker. It absolutely was the right thing for her to do, and she doesn't have anyone else, or she would have gone to them. Case workers do this stuff all the time.
posted by amberglow at 9:59 AM on April 30, 2005


(by doing this stuff, i mean take them to a clinic and make sure they know their options, not get them involved in the courts about it)
posted by amberglow at 10:00 AM on April 30, 2005


amberglow - not disputing that in the least. i'm glad the girl went to her worker. i would expect my kids to do the exact same thing.

the problem is that politics are overriding the actual issue. people are making decisions for this girl that really have no business in the situation in the first place. (specifically DCF Secretary Lucy Hadi)
posted by snack at 10:05 AM on April 30, 2005


I think snack has (again) well highlighted the increased difficulties faced by wards of the state in the absence of foster families. That's just so unfair for the girl -- the fact that she can't get equal assistance/justice/legal protection/rights simply because there aren't enough foster families. It's prejudice is what it is.
posted by peacay at 10:20 AM on April 30, 2005


I'm just saying that abortion seems to be an "easy way out" of a pregnancy, especially to a young teenager.--C17

I guess you've never had an abortion, huh?

I find this argument that the desire to have sex is a moral or a logical failing, deserving of punishment, utterly fascinating. And that being forced to have a child is an appropriate punishment! "You play, you pay!" Old Puritan habits die hard in our nation's consciousness.

You're the luckiest little boy in the world, Timmy, because your mommy was forced to give birth to you as a punishment for her wicked ways!

I wonder, can this girl escape to another state to have this abortion? If so, I'd like to take up a collection to help her do it.
posted by apis mellifera at 10:28 AM on April 30, 2005


Thanks, right wing whack jobs, for forcing a 13 year old girl to be a mother.

Forcing a child to bear children.

Only the right would see the sense in that.
posted by rougy at 10:56 AM on April 30, 2005


Furthermore, if it were up to the "compassionate" right, there would be no abortion because they would have left the 13 year old girl to starve to death in the street.

"Personal accountability", you know.
posted by rougy at 11:01 AM on April 30, 2005


"The judge refused DCF's request to admit evaluations showing the girl has a history of psychological and behavioral problems, ruling them outdated and irrelevant."

How wise. After all, she was a minor at the time of the evaluations....

Oh! Wait....
posted by rougy at 11:17 AM on April 30, 2005


C17 - "I'm just saying that abortion seems to be an 'easy way out' of a pregnancy, especially to a young teenager."
apis mellifera - "I guess you've never had an abortion, huh?"

To be fair, neither has the girl. I'm not defending C17's overall statement, but I will defend that to a young teenager, an abortion seems to be an 'easy way out' of a pregnancy. Whether it is or not is a separate issue.
posted by Bugbread at 11:40 AM on April 30, 2005


The embryo = human being argument :

1. Killing an human being is illegal and morally wrong (two statements)

2. An embryo, regardless of the developement stage, is an human being in a certain stage of his/her lifetime (statement) regardless of the fact the embryo probably doesn't feel pain or have coscience

3. --> Killing an embryo is the same as killing an human being (equivalency) because embryo is just another stage of life : from embryo to leaving mother body to infancy to puberty to adult age till death.


Variations : contraception is against life , contraception is an acceptable method.

The embryo isn't an human being argument:
--------------------------
1. Killing an human being is illegal and for some moral system wrong (two statements)

2. An embryo isn't the same as an human being (statement) because up to a certain developement stage isn't but a bunch of cells who have the potency to become an human being, but still quite isn't an human being.

3.--> Killing an embryo isn't the same as killing an human being ; killing of an embryo is justified by medical research which benefits humans during their lifes , also justified in terapetuical abortion (when the life of mother is endangered) the final choice being that of the mother and in case of failure of contraception methods.

Variation: killing embryos is despicable, but unwanted child is very likely to be treated badly or without love ... family may not be able to support the child... there could be no family...kids are more likely to fear judgment of adults and ask criminal medical pratictioners to help them abort , which is very dangerous.


Did I miss something ?
posted by elpapacito at 11:42 AM on April 30, 2005


The American Taliban present "Compassion in Action," starring a 13 year old kid whom we save from the evils of abortion, then later stone to death for having a child out of wedlock!

Tonight, after Wheel of Fortune!
posted by moonbird at 11:47 AM on April 30, 2005


elpapa: that such a young girl bearing a child endangers her life.
posted by amberglow at 11:50 AM on April 30, 2005


If they do force her to have the child there will be people lining up to adopt it, meanwhile she will remain in the shelter along with all the other unwanted kids.

Maybe we could just cut to the chase and set up a baby farm that forces poor young women to produce innocent, un-tainted newborns for older, richer couples to adopt?
posted by fshgrl at 11:56 AM on April 30, 2005 [1 favorite]


Also, elpapa, there is: An embryo is a human being or worthy lifeform but so is a woman and forcing a woman to carry what is essentially a parasite is a greater evil than terminating an embryo.

Or what I would say: An embryo isn't a human or inherently worthy lifeform and way too many people who shouldn't have kids do, so free abortion on demand for everyone! Oh, wait, I mean abortion isn't good for women (no surgery really is), but no one should be forced to be a vessel, so let's get that free birth control stand on every corner movement up and running.
posted by dame at 12:02 PM on April 30, 2005


fshgrl: i bet someone's planning just that, for when roe v wade is finally gone. Homes for Unwed Mothers will be back with a vengeance. (altho there's a vast disparity between the white parents wanting to adopt and the non-white foster kids)
posted by amberglow at 12:02 PM on April 30, 2005


Its time to bring back the underground railroad my friends. The south is back to its old ways, time to help get free the people.

Modern day indentured servitude.
posted by IronWolve at 12:05 PM on April 30, 2005


This is now the slippery slope thread.
posted by Four Flavors at 12:14 PM on April 30, 2005


Thanks for the cliffnotes elpapacito, spot on.

moonbird: I never watch past Jeopardy, i had no idea the talibangelists were lurking out there. ;)

Really, what is it with FL? Elian, Schiavo, [13], interspersed with hurricanes.
posted by schyler523 at 12:23 PM on April 30, 2005


I suspect the aim of the judge was to make this drag on until it's too late for her to have an abortion.
posted by Krrrlson at 12:24 PM on April 30, 2005


LG said in the article that if she has the baby, she's not giving it up. How is a 13-year-old who lives in a shelter going to raise a baby? Can the state take the baby away from her just as it is apparently determined to force her to give birth to it?

Back in 1981 we had a similar case in Michigan...an 11-year-old girl was impregnated by her mother's boyfriend. The only info I could find online about the case was this short blurb:

Michigan NOW began an organizing effort to remove Judge Donald Halstead, a Juvenile Court Judge in Kalamazoo, MI. Halstead ruled against allowing an abortion for an 11-year-old girl who was pregnant by her mother's boyfriend, who had physically abused both the girl and her 10-year-old-sister. (10/81)


But IIRC, it seems to me that the girl's mother was the one who petitioned the court to prevent her daughter from aborting - she wanted to keep and raise the baby as her own. The child did end up giving birth, but I think it was basically because the case dragged on until it was too late for an abortion.
posted by Oriole Adams at 12:27 PM on April 30, 2005


fshgrl: Maybe we could just cut to the chase and set up a baby farm that forces poor young women to produce innocent, un-tainted newborns for older, richer couples to adopt?

Finally we've isolated the real villains in this debacle. It's older rich people who want to adopt. This girl is just like those poor farmers in columbia growing coca, they don't want to do it but the economic pressure is just to great not too. The real villains are those rich plutocrat bastards up north who create the demand for the stuff. They are ruining lives with their selfish child habit. Did you know that children are even more addictive than coke and that the average parent spends thousands a year on their vile habit. It's time to attack the source of this insidious evil. Cut off the head and the body will die.

I don't usually go for snark, and maybe I'm out of line on this one, but its obvious that this girl did not have sex for any economic reasons or at the behest of any couple looking to adopt no matter how rich, how old or how anglosaxon they are.
posted by Endymion at 12:32 PM on April 30, 2005


I think, Endymion, that fshgrl's comment was regarding the fact that there's probably no way this girl will be able to keep the baby. Thus, it will either go for adoption, or into the foster care system... and who generally adopts kids? Financially secure older people.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 12:38 PM on April 30, 2005


Four Flavors : " This is now the slippery slope thread."

Allowing the courts to make decisions regarding life and death is giving the courts the power of God, and will result in the day when judges call down rains of frogs, cause mountains to shoot off into space, and to give everyone infinite strength as well as a year's supply of rocks too heavy for them to carry.
posted by Bugbread at 12:39 PM on April 30, 2005


warbaby

For a moment there, I thought bevets actually had a sense of humor and was quoting the Monty Python "Argument Shop" skit.

No such luck.


It was not a direct quote, Monty Python is not a person, and the charcter played by Michael Palin is not named in the skit.

dame

An embryo is a human being or worthy lifeform but so is a woman and forcing a woman to carry what is essentially a parasite is a greater evil than terminating an embryo.

A child's intrinsic humanity does not depend on the mother's maternal disposition. Being 'wanted' or 'unwanted' has no bearing on the child's biological status. It is a tragedy to be unwanted. It is a greater tragedy to be unwanted and dead.
posted by bevets at 12:41 PM on April 30, 2005


bevets : "Monty Python is not a person"

Whoa!! What about Pink Floyd?! Can I say "the Pink Floyd song", or is that also incorrect because Pink Floyd isn't a person?

bevets : "It is a greater tragedy to be unwanted and dead."

It's an even greater tragedy to lose both a girl and her child because she is too undeveloped to deliver the child.

And it's an even greater tragedy when a truck full of elementary school kids gets hit by a train full of relief workers. and sets fire to a building full of musicians.

Sartre -
Generosity is nothing else than a craze to possess. All which I abandon, all which I give, I enjoy in a higher manner through the fact that I give it away. To give is to enjoy possessively the object which one gives.
posted by Bugbread at 12:47 PM on April 30, 2005


wakko writes " Oh awesome! My 'Summon Bevets' spell works here too!"

Why isn't there a FPP flag option "Bevets' Entity Vortex Evoking Thread or Subject"?
posted by nkyad at 12:53 PM on April 30, 2005


It is a tragedy to be unwanted. It is a greater tragedy to be unwanted and dead.

But it's also a tragedy that a child should be forced to bear a child, at risk. And it's a tragedy that we don't educate our children well-enough about birth control. And it's a tragedy that this child didn't have a family that could teach her about sex, but was in a lousy foster system...
posted by amberglow at 1:03 PM on April 30, 2005


And it's a greater tragedy too, that we have unwanted children like this kid already in the world, yet some care more about the potential child she's carrying than her, and all the others.
posted by amberglow at 1:05 PM on April 30, 2005 [1 favorite]


to carry what is essentially a parasite

So much for the miracle of life, eh?

Should we not force women to nurse since that's no less of a parasite and instead let them kill the parasite for up to 30 days after birth?
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 1:06 PM on April 30, 2005


I'm a fan of the parasite argument. I don't think it has to lead to infanticide, because one can get rid of a newborn baby without killing it. One cannot get rid of a fetus without killing it, unless they're the mythical assholes who abort late term.

And of course we shouldn't force women to nurse.
posted by thirteenkiller at 1:13 PM on April 30, 2005


Lessee.... I'm wrong; it wasn't a Monty Python quote. Or I'm wrong because bevets disagrees. Or I'm wrong, bevets does have a sense of humor. Or...

Naaah.
posted by warbaby at 1:15 PM on April 30, 2005


endymion my point is that there are going to be couples coming out of the woodwork to support the judge and offering adopt this baby (especially if it's white) but no-one wants to know about the older kids (especially if they're not white). Why is an unborn baby so much more valuable than a 13 year old child? How can people justify forcing a child to go through a pregnancy and birth she doesn't want? A lot of times they justify it by saying that there are hundreds of couples who would love to adopt the child.

Of course the girl says she will keep the baby, she's been branded as an irresponsible, probably slutty, un-feminine baby hater. The only way she can fight back and say she is none of those things is to say she wants to keep the baby if she has to have it.
posted by fshgrl at 1:18 PM on April 30, 2005


WRONG! You all had Special K with banana! Issue number seven...
posted by thirteenkiller at 1:20 PM on April 30, 2005


It amazes me, all of these jerks sitting in front of their computer, cheering a 13 year old girl into becoming a mother.

You people have absolutely no idea how asinine you are.
posted by rougy at 1:56 PM on April 30, 2005


devildanced: When you're a woman, the miracle of life has to be balanced with the danger and total sucking demands required for such life to be nurtured. If you want a baby, then that is worth it. If you do not, it is not, and forcing someone to carry around some creature that sucks away her own nutrition and puts her in danger is wrong. As thirteenkiller points out, "I don't think it has to lead to infanticide, because one can get rid of a newborn baby without killing it. One cannot get rid of a fetus without killing it, unless they're the mythical assholes who abort late term."

Acting as if pointing this out makes someone callous or incapable of understanding "the miracle of life" (vomit) is part of the same conspiracy of silence that makes women feel unfeminine if they don't think motherhood is all fucking candy and roses. I'm not playing that game.

Even if you want a kid being pregnant can be miserable and it can kill you. There is nothing wrong with pointing that out. Like I said before, I'd rather there be free birth control everywhere and over the counter morning after pills so that no woman had to make such a choice. But if the choice has to be made, we might as well look at it straight on.
posted by dame at 2:02 PM on April 30, 2005


all of these jerks sitting in front of their computer, cheering

Who in this thread is cheering anything? Everyone agrees that the situation sucks, but different people have different ideas of how to proceed from here.

Stop debasing people who disagree with you.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 2:18 PM on April 30, 2005


OK bevets, 2 (or maybe 3) questions:

War: Morally wrong or not? Is the death of Iraqi kids by a few stray US bombs the equivalent of abortion in the great ledger book?

And, I'd like to know how many unwanted kids you, personally, have adopted.
posted by kgasmart at 2:31 PM on April 30, 2005


Well said, dame. It doesn't really matter to me if the fetus is a person or not. What matters is that a person shouldn't be forced to support another at the expense of her body.

Stop debasing people who disagree with you.

No kidding.
posted by thirteenkiller at 2:31 PM on April 30, 2005


The more I think about this case, the more I really worry about this girl. Christ, being thirteen and a ward of the state. Whose concerned for her? Was she raped? Molested? Seduced? Does she have any emotional support at all?

Sometimes I appreciate the sentiment of the "pro-lifers". Personally, I love babies and children. But here's a case where concern for a zygote completely trumps any concern for another child who sounds like she is in a world of trouble. Frankly I'm pretty pissed that people think punishment is the first course of action without knowing a single other detail about this girl other than she has a functioning uterus.

I think the pro-life movement should be renamed pro-control. If all life is precious, why not show a little fucking compassion for teenager who may or may not have made a mistake.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 2:45 PM on April 30, 2005


the Case Worker is there for her, thank God. I wish all kids in the system had such good ones.

And, scarily--there's talk of privatizing that sort of thing (Texas is considering it). Social Workers and Case Workers are usually the unsung heroes.
posted by amberglow at 2:47 PM on April 30, 2005


gesamtkunstwerk, amberglow is right - the girl's caseworker is there for her. as are many other people in the agency.

we're a family in many ways - and we're all fiercely protective of our kids.
posted by snack at 4:32 PM on April 30, 2005


Actually snack, I was thinking about you, though I didn't remember your name at first. I know there a lot of great social workers out there, and I am sure that you do care about the kids.

It just seems like this girl must have gone through a lot to become a ward of the state. I remember being thirteen, it is was tough, with two good parents and a stable home.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 4:39 PM on April 30, 2005


i know what some of my kids have gone through - and frankly, i have a drawer full of condoms available for my boys. i only have one teenage girl on my caseload - the rest are boys. and if i even suspected one of them was thinking about being sexually active - i'm prepared to have "the talk" with them. directly and matter-of-factly.

the girl and her worker had a similar discussion about ending this pregnancy.

it's just what we do.

that being said - i can't imagine what it would be like for a girl not dealing with foster care or abuse/neglect issues to face this decision. but on top of everything else...
posted by snack at 4:50 PM on April 30, 2005


Endymion, good snark!!

Bevets: LOL!
posted by Balisong at 6:11 PM on April 30, 2005


Amen, snack.
posted by wheat at 6:25 PM on April 30, 2005


It doesn't really matter to me if the fetus is a person or not. What matters is that a person shouldn't be forced to support another at the expense of her body.

I commend you. A little intellectual honesty goes a long way with me. It bugs me when I read court cases and judges say that they find something (or fail to) because the obviously don't like the consequences, instead of working toward a more nuanced law by saying "we do find X here, but it doesn't lead to W here and here's why" (or Y, if you prefer)

The whole "fetus as non-person" thing reaches us from a time when a large percentage of babies were not born live. You simply did not consider it a person until it was breathing air on its own. Well, the percentages have (heavily) changed, and it's time to accept that somewhere before birth, we are talking about a person (or what happens due to premature birth? not a person till the expected date?) but that this still isn't reason to put the life above other considerations. A brave argument, a difficult argument, especially against the religious right, but I won't consider this topic sensibly discussed unless we're willing to throw away the easy positions for the difficult but realistic ones.
posted by dreamsign at 7:33 PM on April 30, 2005


and forcing a woman to carry what is essentially a parasite

Oh for goodness sake. Then it's a parasite right up until birth. Let's at least be consistent.
posted by dreamsign at 7:35 PM on April 30, 2005


I don't want to be sappy, but it's really nice to know that someone like snack is working with kids like this girl.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 8:53 PM on April 30, 2005


I don't want to be sappy, but it's really nice to know that someone like snack is working with kids like this girl.

Yeah.
posted by thirteenkiller at 9:58 PM on April 30, 2005


Then it's a parasite right up until birth.

Only until then?
posted by peacay at 2:22 AM on May 1, 2005


What are the Dems in Florida saying about this? Honestly, this should be something to attack on: The GOP wants children to have children, even if it may kill them. Send it out in mailers, hammer it home.
posted by klangklangston at 7:53 AM on May 1, 2005


there...i read the whole thread...i've going to declare fshgrl the winner. and snack gets honorable mention. and a penalty for kgasmart for saking bevets questions.
posted by es_de_bah at 10:42 AM on May 1, 2005


and i get ten points for bad editing
posted by es_de_bah at 10:43 AM on May 1, 2005


What the hell is a 13 year-old girl doing having sex anyway? In my view, she should be forced to keep it. If you're going to be stupid and have (consensual) sex at that young of an age, you better be damn ready to accept the consequences of your actions. And the parents definately should have the right to know what their minor daughter is doing.

Lay off the morphine.
posted by delmoi at 11:05 AM on May 1, 2005


and now Randall Terry is involved--...Governor Bush, under no circumstances should LG's baby be killed by abortion. I am begging you to not allow a repeat of the Terry Schindler fiasco, which results in the death of another innocent person. ... (note that Terry has decided to annul the Schiavo's marriage- insane.)
posted by amberglow at 11:17 AM on May 1, 2005


Oh for goodness sake. Then it's a parasite right up until birth. Let's at least be consistent.

Huh? For one, that says the same thing as the quote you lauded for "intellectual honesty" if a little more tartly. For another, one could theoretically remove a fetus prior to birth and keep it alive after a certain point, as with premature babies. So the calculus would change. That is rather unimportant, though, as no sane woman is going to carry a fetus to a point where it is theoretically viable outside the womb, then demand to abort it except for those few cases of late-term abortions that have to do with health complications.
posted by dame at 12:40 PM on May 1, 2005


Then it's a parasite right up until birth.

Only until then?


Ha! Ain't it the truth.

snacks, although you've never claimed to be so, I have no idea how you stay sane in a world like this doing a job like that. My hat is off to you.

It doesn't really matter to me if the fetus is a person or not. What matters is that a person shouldn't be forced to support another at the expense of her body.

Exactly. I don't care if you call it an embryo, a child, a zygote, a cluster of cells or the second coming of Christ. It's my body and I'll do with it what I damn well choose to do with it.
posted by deborah at 2:37 PM on May 1, 2005


Oh for goodness sake. Then it's a parasite right up until birth. Let's at least be consistent.

Huh? For one, that says the same thing as the quote you lauded for "intellectual honesty" if a little more tartly.


No, I commended the person for saying that it didn't matter if it was a person or not. Let's not be cute. The person who says that a fetus is "parasitic" and the person who says that it is a parasite are trying for two different spins. The person who uses the "parasite" language is clearly attempting to dehumanize and is not making the point that personhood doesn't matter.

My whole point is that birth as a demarcation point for personhood is wholly artificial, as is just about any other point we're going to come up with. I don't blame pro choice advocates for not giving way on the "person" status of the fetus (except in cases like the murder of a pregnant woman. Tell me that there should not be two murder charges, come on) only because the religious right have been equally disingenuous in their arguments. I will applaud the honesty of pro-choice advocates who apply a more rigorous standard and actually get to the argument we want to have.
posted by dreamsign at 9:20 PM on May 1, 2005


amberglow writes "and now Randall Terry is involved--...Governor Bush, under no circumstances should LG's baby be killed by abortion. I am begging you to not allow a repeat of the Terry Schindler fiasco, which results in the death of another innocent person."

So let Randall Terry ask his pals Tom DeLay and Jack Abramoff for enough money to set LG up with a trust fund for her and her fetus.
posted by orthogonality at 10:34 PM on May 1, 2005


Wow, thedevildancedlightly, I've never heard that argument before. Wow.

*climbs up hill, prepares to slide down slope again*
posted by graventy at 6:59 AM on May 2, 2005


Screw you, dreamsign. This is what I said in the first place: "An embryo is a human being or worthy lifeform but so is a woman and forcing a woman to carry what is essentially a parasite is a greater evil than terminating an embryo."

You just got your panites in a wad because you don't like the entirely accurate comparison or because you can't fucking read. Stop acting like it's some high road against "dehumanization."
posted by dame at 7:30 AM on May 2, 2005


Didn't see it posted, but for the other side of the "women regret their abortions"...there's I'm Not Sorry.
posted by agregoli at 11:18 AM on May 2, 2005


update: judge alvarez reversed the injunction. his stipulation says that if DCF won't transport LG to the appointment, then her lawyer will be granted temporary custody.

i have a feeling Maxine (the attorney) will be asked to do it anyway to protect the worker - whether or not DCF allows the worker to transport LG.

there's no linkable news story to send you to, but i thought i'd update those who are interested.
posted by snack at 4:07 PM on May 2, 2005


thanks, snack--hopefully her rights will be protected.
posted by amberglow at 5:11 PM on May 2, 2005


person: someone with unique human chromosomes that will continue to grow if provided with nutrition and protection.

I'm not quite clear here--are you saying that two identical twins constitute only one person? Or that an identical twin is not a person at all? Since their chromosomes aren't unique, after all.

The only reason to suggest ANY other definition is to justify killing other people.

I would suggest another definition in order to protect the rights of identical twins. Your definition suggests it is acceptable to kill at least one (possibly both, I'm not clear) of a set of identical twins.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:29 AM on May 3, 2005


News story on reversal of judgement
posted by Navek Rednam at 12:40 PM on May 3, 2005


It got sucked out and flushed today. Great work, everybody!
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 1:02 PM on May 3, 2005


Screw you, dreamsign. This is what I said in the first place: "An embryo is a human being or worthy lifeform but so is a woman and forcing a woman to carry what is essentially a parasite is a greater evil than terminating an embryo."

Um yeah. And I agree with your conclusion. Unreservedly. I also think, however, that the pro-choice movement disingenuously takes a point of view (the non personhood of fetuses) in order to avoid a concession to the right that it feels (perhaps correctly) that it cannot afford. Denying personhood is a long-standing tradition when those persons are in your way, or want something you don't want to give or permit. I don't think a history lesson is really required.

The "parasite" angle is entirely appropriate -- if applied equally to the unborn at every stage of development. Tell me, Dame, how a third-trimester child is not a parasite? So what is your point in using that term, exactly?

You just got your panites in a wad because you don't like the entirely accurate comparison or because you can't fucking read.

These panites? I bought them like this.

With levelheaded rational comment like yours, I can't believe this whole abortion issue hasn't been settled by now.
posted by dreamsign at 9:36 PM on May 3, 2005


I'm glad to hear the girl got what she wanted. There'd be nothing quite so fucked-up as a child on an adoption waiting list being forced to give up her baby for immediate adoption. That sort of thing would be enough to excuse her for going seven sorts of McVeigh on the legislature.

We'd be a lot better off if parents could retroactively rescind their progeny's life when they prove to complete little shits. Might not be a bad idea to allow teachers and others who have to deal with them on a regular basis to also have a hand in the decision.

I've a teaspoon of human being for you, bevets, on a nearly daily basis.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:54 AM on May 6, 2005


"Mom, is it okay to abort a baby.. in the twenty third year?"
posted by thirteenkiller at 12:41 PM on May 6, 2005


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